‘Tantamount to discrimination’: Belmonte denounces Arayat LGU move to ban entry of QC residents

Robie de Guzman   •   January 18, 2021   •   1391

MANILA, Philippines – Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Monday denounced the decision of the local government of Arayat, Pampanga to restrict the entry of the city’s residents into the municipality following reports that a resident from QC tested positive for the UK COVID-19 variant after traveling overseas.

In a statement, Belmonte called the local government’s decision ‘totally without basis’ and is ‘tantamount to discrimination’.

“We strongly denounce the Arayat local government’s decision to restrict the entry of Quezon City residents to their municipality, because this decision is totally without basis, can cause undue panic, and is tantamount to discrimination,” she said.

Belmonte pointed out that the patient did not set foot in Quezon City after arriving from Dubai on January 7 when he was tested and that he stayed in a facility as part of the 14-day mandatory quarantine period.

“The day after, it was confirmed he was COVID-19 positive. His sample was sent to the Philippine Genome Center. On the night of January 13, the city government and the city health department were informed by the DOH that he has the so-called United Kingdom variant. Since January 8, he has been staying at a facility where he remains up to this day for treatment,” she said.

The Department of Health (DOH) earlier reported that the patient traveled to Dubai on December 27 and returned to the country on January 7. His female companion tested negative for the virus but is also under quarantine and strict monitoring.

The DOH added that both had no exposure to a confirmed case before leaving the country.

Belmonte likewise emphasized that a total of 143 individuals, who are considered contacts of the patient have been identified, quarantined, and are closely being monitored.

“Among them are more than 30 healthcare workers and barangay workers who assisted and cared for the patient when he was transferred from the quarantine hotel in Manila to the isolation facility in Quezon City after he was tested positive for the virus,” she said.

Belmonte then appealed to the Arayat LGU to “reconsider its earlier order and allow QC residents to enter its jurisdiction.”

The Arayat LGU has yet to respond to Belmonte’s statement.

QC business permits will now be delivered to applicants – Belmonte

Robie de Guzman   •   August 19, 2021

The Quezon City government has launched a system that allows the delivery of business permits to the applicant’s address.

The city government said that through the Automatic Document Delivery System (ADDS) under the city’s Business Permits and Licensing Department (BPLD), all evaluated and completed permits — new businesses, amended, and renewed permits – will be delivered right at the owner’s doorsteps.

“Before, applicants have to set an appointment or book a courier service at their expense just to pick up their business permits. Now, we have already partnered with Airspeed that will do the delivery for them for free and for their convenience,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said in a statement.

After the applicants have submitted a filled-out unified application form and all necessary requirements at the QC E-services, the documents will be evaluated and verified by the BPLD, Zoning Administration Unit, City Assessor’s Department and other ancillary departments, the city government said.

Approved and completed permits will be released at the Business One-Stop-Shop (BOSS) and will be forwarded to ADDS, it added.

ADDS will separate documents for filing and delivery, print the KyusiPass, encode the documents ready for release, and print a unique QR code that includes the recipient’s address. After these, the released documents will be turned over to a designated driver to deliver.

“Bago namin i-release ‘yung permit, mayroon kaming checklist at sinisiguro namin na kumpleto ang ipapadala nating documents sa mga business owner. Halimabawa, kapag ipipapadala natin ang permit para sa new business, dapat included sa envelope ‘yung mismong permit, plate, Kyusipass, original official receipt, at tax bill,” BPLD chief Ma. Margarita Santos said in the same statement.

Aside from the physical copy of the permit, the BPLD is also releasing an electronic copy of the document as soon as the business owner’s application is approved.

The city releases 200 to 250 business permits per day.

“To ensure that the documents are not damaged or tampered, stickers and seals are affixed to the envelope,” the local government assured.

The city government said the system is part of the ease of doing business and automation initiatives.

Applicants who wish to apply for, renew, or amend business permits are advised to go to qceservices.quezoncity.gov.ph.

QC administers 1-M doses, aims to reach herd immunity in 2 months

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 15, 2021

The Quezon City Government has administered around 1 million doses of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte, during a virtual public briefing on Thursday (July 15), said the 40% of the target population received the first dose while 20% completed the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

She reported that the local government has administered a total of 1,072,230 doses in Quezon City under its vaccination rollout. A total of 687,143 received the first dose while 385, 087 are fully vaccinated.

Belmonte cited the good coordination of the public and private sector in boosting the number of daily vaccinated residents.

Gusto ko lang pong bigyang diin na actually ang momentum nandyan naman mabilis naman tayong magpabakuna. In fact yesterday [Wednesday] second doses natin nakaabot na tayo ng 50,000 a day that was very high po iyan,” she said.

(I want to point out that we have maintained momentum in the vaccination rollout. In fact, yesterday, our second dose reached 50,000 a day and that was very high.)

The QC mayor also hopes that if there are no delays in the delivery of vaccines and if 1.7 million residents are vaccinated, the city can reach herd immunity in two months.

“Given the speed that we were able to rollout basta may bakuna na na ready supply tingin ko enough ang 2 moths kaya nang abutin ang 1.7 million na target ng atin pong lungsod for population protection (as long as there are vaccines ready, it is enough. In two months, we can reach the target of 1.7 million population in the city),” she said.AAC (with reports from Janice Ingente)

Clark International Airport to open ‘world-class’ passenger T2 in July

Marje Pelayo   •   June 9, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — Clark International Airport (CRK) will soon inaugurate its new ‘state-of-the-art’ Terminal 2.

The new facility, which is set to open for domestic operations in July this year, is expected to hold up to 12.2 million passengers. This is triple the number of the terminal’s average capacity prior to the pandemic which is only 4.2 million a year.

Following its opening for domestic operations, the terminal will open its international services in September.

On Tuesday (June 8), Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade led the inspection of the new Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) at CRK in Pampanga.

He was joined by DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan who discussed the terminal’s map route alignment for the North-South Commuter Railway Extension (NSCREx) project that will connect to the CRK underground station.

Tugade believes the terminal will help boost the country’s economy specifically in the tourism sector as it creates more jobs and other opportunities for Filipinos.

Moreover, Tugade said, the construction project itself generated over 1,600 jobs amid the pandemic. Job opportunities are expected to increase once the new terminal goes fully operational.

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