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Nat'l action plan vs. Covid-19 on track: Galvez

MANILA – A ranking government official said on Friday the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) and other efforts to mitigate the spread of the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) is on track."Despite the day-to-day challenges we continue to confront at the National Task Force, our work has proceeded as scheduled," said Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., National Task Force (NTF) Covid-19 chief implementer and Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, during a virtual press briefing.The efforts include the repurposing of some establishments into quarantine facilities for the Covid-19 patients, as well as the persons under monitoring (PUMs) and patients under investigation (PUIs) with the virus.Based on the task force's timetable, he said, the converted facilities are set to be operational and functional in the next 10 days.The government is already preparing the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), World Trade Center, and Cultural Center of the Phili…

No ‘shoot to kill’ order vs. quarantine violators: Duterte

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has clarified that he never directed authorities to “kill” individuals who would violate the quarantine protocols imposed during the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.Duterte clarified his recent pronouncement against troublemakers' attempt to mess with the government amid its fight against the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).Addressing the nation late Friday night, he said the police and the military are only authorized to shoot anyone who resorts to violence during an arrest.“Abogado ako (I am a lawyer). I never said in public, shoot to kill, period,” the President said in a speech aired on state-run PTV-4.“Hindi ako basta-bastang nagbibitaw ng salita. Sinabi ko (I don’t make statements arbitrarily. I said, do that only) if your life is in danger in arresting a person.”On Wednesday, Duterte warned that he would order the arrest of people found sowing chaos amid the implementation of the quarantine in Luzon.He also told …

Easterlies to bring rains over eastern PH

MANILA – Most of the country on Saturday will experience fair weather, with the eastern section affected by the trade winds or easterlies.In a weather bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said there will be partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rains in the Batanes and Babuyan Islands brought by the northeasterly surface wind flow.The same weather will be felt in Metro Manila and the rest of the country – mostly in the eastern section – brought by the easterlies or localized thunderstorms.Winds in extreme Northern Luzon will be moderate to strong and headed east to the northeast, resulting in moderate to rough coastal waters, with waves of 1.2 meters to 3.1 meters.The rest of the country will experience light to moderate winds headed in the same direction, with slight to moderate coastal waters with waves of 0.6 meter to 2.1 meters.The temperature in Metro Manila will range from 22°C to 35°C; Baguio City, 15°C to 25°…

Duterte denies role in NBI’s move vs. Vico Sotto

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has vehemently denied that he had a hand in the National Bureau of Investigation’s (NBI) recent move to summon Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto for supposedly violating the quarantine protocols imposed by the national government in Luzon.Addressing the nation late Friday night, Duterte said he does not meddle in the NBI’s affairs, including its actions against individuals who may be found violating the laws.“Wala akong pakialam sa operation ng NBI kung anong gusto nila. Karamihan diyan mga abugado iyan (I don’t interfere in the operations of NBI or in whatever actions they do. Most of the NBI personnel are lawyers),” he said in a speech aired on state-run PTV-4.Duterte issued the clarification after the NBI invited Sotto to appear at its main office in Manila on April 7 to respond to allegations that he violated Republic Act (RA) 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act that was passed on March 24 to address the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbre…

Maasin City's PUMs, PUIs decreasing

MAASIN CITY, Apr. 4 (PIA) -- Maasin City’s reported cases on Persons Under Monitoring (PUMs) and Patients Under Investigation (PUIs) showed a decrease in numbers from March 17 to April 1, 2020.Evidently, the number of PUMs recorded for March 17 at 214 showed an increasing trend on March 22 to 513, and a big decline for the next ten days with 25 PUMs as of April 1, Maasin City data showed.While for PUIs, which reported 15 cases for March 17, it declined to 7 as remaining cases until April 1.The declining number of PUMs and PUIs in Maasin City   was the result of the 14-day home quarantine completion of the said individuals and the strict implementation of Executive Orders issued by Mayor Nacional V. Mercado on the preventive measures against the spread of COVID-19.The identification and management for travellers and public awareness campaign among the residents down to the barangay level were also some of the contributor in achieving to flatten the curve for PUIs and PUMs in the city.O…

DOH XI hospital prepared for possible increase in COVID-19 cases

DAVAO CITY, April 3 (PIA) – The Department of Health Davao Center for Health Development (DOH DCHD) is currently re-directing efforts and re-allocating resources to battle COVID-19 since it is now accepting COVID-19 referrals. This is to prepare for a possible increase in the number of confirmed cases in the coming weeks.The collapse of all services in the Southern Philippine Medical Center (SPMC) is being pushed to provide space, equipment, and proper facility preparations for a potential surge in COVID-19 cases for Region XI.“We are trying now to do our best to collapse all services and free all the wards so that I can free all of my manpower and all of the resources are concentrated and allocated for converting SPMC into a COVID referral center here in Davao City,” Dr. Vega said.The Chief of Hospital for SPMC Dr. Leopoldo Vega discusses the projections of the increase of confirmed cases in the next two to three weeks and how it is based on the current data that health professionals…

Sarangani converts China’s rehab center into PUI facility

ALABEL, Sarangani, Apr. 4 – Sarangani has retrofitted part of the Dangerous Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center that China built in Alabel town to be its isolation facility for COVID-19 patients under investigation (PUIs).As of Friday, Engr. Gerald Faciol, assistant provincial administrator, assessed the renovation to be already 95% complete.He said protocols on the admission of patients are now being drafted.Sarangani is still free from COVID-19 but according to Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon he has to “tighten measures” to deter the disease’s entry.As of April 2, the Provincial Health Office reported the following: Confirmed Cases (Tested Positive) = 0, Specimen Collected – 9, Tested Negative – 7, Pending Results – 2.Patient Under Investigation (PUI): No. of New Cases – 0, Admitted in Hospital – 2, Discharged from Hospital – 7, At Home PUI – 17, TOTAL PUI = 26.PUI details per LGU: Alabel – 1, Glan – 5, Kiamba – 5, Maasim – 3, Maitum – 2, Malapatan – 5, Malungon – 5.Perso…

Davao Region beneficiaries to receive P6,000 from Social Amelioration

DAVAO CITY, April 3 (PIA) – Each qualified household in Davao Region is set to receive P6,000 from the Emergency Subsidy Program (ESP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) under the Social Amelioration Measures of the national government thru the Bayanihan Heal As One Act.DSWD regional director Grace Subong, in a Virtual Presser initiated by the Philippine Information Agency XI, announced that the subsidy for qualified beneficiaries is set to be downloaded to the DSWD XI.“ One, we have finalized a memorandum of agreement with the LGU, the money may be downloaded immediately to the LGU. It is now up to the LGU how they intend to distribute either by door to door or by clustering”, said Subong.The DSWD, having the mechanism in place for its existing programs such as the 4Ps, is tasked to validate and listing prepared by the LGUs.“ We have ensured that this money will not be used for politics. This is not the money of any politician. The people deserves this money a…

DOLE-XI releases P29M CAMP fund for 2 batches of affected workers

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Members of DOLE-XI Task Force Covid-19 have been working full time to evaluate applications and prepare payrolls for the release of the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) benefit. As of present, DOLE-XI has already disbursed P29,945,000.00 cash assistance for the first two batches of affected workers in the region. (Photo by DOLE-XI)    DAVAO CITY, April 3 (PIA) – The Department of Labor and Employment XI (DOLE-XI) has already disbursed a total of P29,945,000.00 cash assistance under the Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP), for 5,989 affected workers from 409 private establishments in the region.In its press release today, DOLE-XI disclosed that it has just released as of April 3, P20 million CAMP fund for the second batch involving 279 establishments with 4,000 workers.On Thursday (April 2), the agency disbursed P9,945,000.00 for the first batch of recipients, covering 130 establishments with 1,989 workers.In an earlier press release, DOLE-XI Regional Director Raymun…

COVID-19 Crisis: SP passes P15.6M QRF

ALABEL, Sarangani, Apr. 4 – The P7M for the seven component towns of the province was among the P15.6M approved budget during the 10th Sangguniang Panlalawigan Session on Tuesday, March 31, under the 30% QRF of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management 2020 fund. Other projects funded by the province's QRF include P2.1M worth of emergency relief assistance to families affected due to the implementation of enhanced community quarantine, P3.2M for the logistical support to Sarangani Medical Center for PUMs and PUIs facilities, P300,000 for the reproduction of local 70% alcohol and disinfectant, and P3M for COVID-19 emergency response to contain the spread of the virus. Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon said on March 24 all component towns of the province are enjoined “to utilize their respective Quick Response Fund (QRF) to support disaster preparedness and response efforts subject to all accounting and auditing rules, regulations, and procedures.”Solon said the provincial…

Food and medicine passes to be implemented on April 7

DAVAO CITY April 3 (PIA)- The Davao City Police Office will implement the checking of food and medicine passes on April 7, 2020 despite the imposition of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Davao City on April 4, 2020.Colonel Kirby John Kraft, director of the Davao City Police Office said he was ordered by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to extend the implementation of FMP until April 7 since the FMP is not 100 percent distributed to the communities.He said the police will give time for the full distribution of the food and medicine passes before the implementation.“Technically, the city residents can still buy food without the FM pass until April 6, because its implementation will be on Tuesday, April 7 unless the implementation is again ordered extended by the City Mayor.  Everything will now depend on the full distribution of the FMP,” Kraft said.He said private vehicles including tricycle are allowed to travel under the ECQ provided the riders will be composed of the d…

Two confirmed Covid-19 patients in Mati City now tested negative

MATI CITY, Davao Oriental- The two Mati City residents, who were the first patients to have tested positive for Covid-19 infection more than a week ago, are now cleared of the virus.This was the good news revealed by Mati IMT Covid-19 commander Dr. Ben Hur Catbagan Jr. on Friday, April 3, exactly a week after their confirmatory test result came out. Catbagan said that after a repeat swab on PH1514 and PH1516, the two have already tested negative. This means that the two can now be released from the Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City where they are admitted for the past week now. Catbagan said that the two will however be under strict home quarantine for another 14 days as protocol of the Department of Health.Patient #3 meanwhile is also in good and stable condition at the moment and is still under home quarantine for more than 2 weeks now since she has been asymptomatic.The DRMC also requested that Patient#3 stay under home quarantine instead of being transported to DRMC so t…

PRRD ‘careful’ in distributing Covid-19 relief efforts

MANILA – President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Friday disclosed that he is “careful” in processing the release of PHP200-billion worth of emergency subsidies that would be granted to 18 million poor households affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic in the country.In an address to the nation aired on state-run PTV-4, Duterte said he was meticulous when it came to the details of the distribution of relief to avoid the possible commission of corrupt activities by some unscrupulous individuals.He also explained that he had to strip local government units (LGUs) of their role to provide emergency aid to make sure that beneficiaries would receive the full financial aid from the national government.“Kaya careful ako. Tinanggal ko. Wala akong sinabi sa LGU. Wala rin akong sinabi sa barangay captain. Kailangan ko sila. Pero maya, ‘yung magdating doon, makulang ang pera. ‘Pag ibigay mo, PHP5,000, ibigay, PHP3,000 lang. Kupit doon (That’s why I’m careful. I need the LGUs and vill…

DOLE extends TUPAD, CAMP to displaced workers

BORONGAN CITY, April 3 (PIA) – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) through Aleksie Abellar informed that they have a special program called Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD).Guesting at PIA Hour on Friday, the DOLE expert said that TUPAD is a community-based package of assistance that provides emergency employment for displaced workers, underemployed and seasonal workers, for a minimum period of 10 days.Informal sectors such as tricycle drivers, vendors and other daily wage earners affected by the community quarantines of the LGUs can avail of this emergency employment.The barangay will provide the list for their people as it is the barangay officials who know them and their livelihood.After listing, the Punong Barangay will submit this to the Public Employment Service Officer or PESO officer of the municipality or city.Those listed only have to work in their homes, disinfect their homes, and clean their front and backyard.Aside from the …

DSWD targets 79,366 family beneficiaries for SAP in So. Leyte, 16,101 for Maasin City

MAASIN CITY, April 4 (PIA) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has released the number of family-beneficiaries for the entire province of Southern Leyte who are entitled to receive funding assistance as provided under a new law.Target beneficiaries for the whole province reached 79,366 families comprising the total sum from 18 municipalities and one city, with the city getting 16,101 families as its share.“As a response to the COVID-19 threat, our government has implemented the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.  This Act includes a provision for the delivery of Social Amelioration Program (SAP) to provide assistance to the families affected by enhance community quarantine,” the DSWD said in a statement.“To ensure that the budget allocated for the program is followed,” the statement further said, “attached here are the number of target beneficiaries for the SAP, as estimated and budgeted by the Department of Finance.”According to widely-published reports, the nationa…

135 stranded foreigners in NegOr opt to stay

DUMAGUETE CITY – The City Tourism Office has said 135 foreigners are stranded in Negros Oriental following the cancellation of trips from here to Metro Manila and Cebu after the declaration of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis.The province entered its first day of the 14-day ECQ on Friday.City Tourism Officer Jacqueline Antonio on Thursday afternoon said the majority of them, of different nationalities, “have opted to stay here, some with their families, in resorts and Air BnB accommodations”.Except for five of them, the rest did not request quarantine pass, a requirement for a person to be able to leave their homes/residences/temporary accommodations, while the province is under ECQ status, she said.Many have flights out after April 16, and onwards through May, she added, but the ECQ will be lifted only on April 18 so they will have to find a way how to get some of the tourists out of the province earlier.Antonio said that these…

Cebuano is 34th Covid-19 case in C. Visayas: DOH-7

CEBU CITY – A 42-year old man from this city has become the 34th confirmed case of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in Central Visayas, the Department of Health (DOH)-Central Visayas report said.Dr. Jaime Bernadas, regional director of DOH-7 Center for Health Development, said in a late Thursday situation report that out of 80 specimens tested at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center Sub-National Laboratory (VSMMC-SNL), 79 results were negative.The latest data includes the results of the repeat tests for those who were initially positive but have now tested negative, Bernadas said.He said the patient from this city has mild symptoms and “has been on strict home isolation even before the result was released”.“This now brings the total cases in the city to 22. There are four patients who have now tested negative, recovered and discharged,” he said.He said the four patients who have recovered and discharged came from Cebu City (2), Mandaue City (1), and Cebu Province (1), adding t…

Tacloban waives market, terminal rental fees

TACLOBAN CITY – Traders at the city’s public market and new bus terminal here will no longer pay rental fees for March 2020 as the current health crisis affected the income of small entrepreneurs, the city government announced on Thursday.The city council has approved Ordinance No. 2020-14-06 as a response to the current health crisis, affecting business establishments.Lessees at the City Convention Center or Astrodome are also waived, based on the approved ordinance.The city council cited Executive Order 2020-04-17 or intensifying the restrictions to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) that ordered the temporary closure of non-essential business operations here.“This curtailed the movement of people and hampered the economic activity,” the city government said in a statement on Thursday.Exempted from the temporary suspension are hospitals, basic utility providers, take-out orders in restaurants, grocery stores, laundry services, gasoline, and water refillin…

DSWD distributes aid to first batch of ‘Bayanihan’ beneficiaries

MANILA -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has begun distributing the social amelioration package to low-income households heavily affected by the enhanced community quarantine brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao said Friday that the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries would receive their top-up grants for April.“The beneficiaries will receive PHP750 for health and PHP600 for rice. So, they have PHP1,350 from (the) 4Ps program. (Also) note that walang pasok sa (there are no classes in) April so the education grant is not included,” Dumlao said.She added that the beneficiaries would receive PHP6,650 top-up from the social amelioration package to reach the PHP8,000 subsidy.Beneficiaries of the 4Ps will receive PHP3,650 to PHP6,650 per month for two months, depending on the prescribed emergency subsidy per region determined from the particular region’s minimum wage levels.The Departmen…

Pag-IBIG is now accepting calamity loan applications via email

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(Photo from Michael Regaza/PAG-IBIG Lucena City Branch)LUCENA CITY, Quezon, April 3 (PIA)- The Pag-IBIG Lucena City branch office is now accepting applications  for calamity or multi-purpose loan via email to all active members in CALABARZON.  Michael Regaza of Pag-IBIG Fund Lucena City branch, said Pag-IBIG members should accomplish a multi-purpose or calamity loan form that can be downloaded at www.pagibigfund.gov.ph.Applicants should also request their employer to sign the application agreement portion  of the form. Then scan or take photos of the accomplished loan application form along with one valid ID, or any of three: loyalty card plus; LandBank or DBP cashcard.Regaza also said applicants should also send abovementioned scanned copies to their employers."The member-applicant can avail of the loanable amount of 80 percent of their total contribution to Pag-Ibig payable in 24 months or two years," Ragaza said. After submitting the application form and other supporting …

LGU Sta. Maria bumuo ng Task Force Food Security

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BAY, Laguna, Abril 4 (PIA) – Habang nasa ilalim ng Enhanced Community Quarantine dahil sa banta ng Cornonavirus Disease o COVID-19, nagbuo ang Lokal na Pamahalaan ng Santa Maria ng Task Force Food Security epektibo noong Marso 30, 2020.Sa pamamagitan ng Executive Order (EO) No. CVC-030. S. 2020 na ipinasa ng Lokal na Pamahalaan ng Santa Maria kung saan nabuo ang Task Force o TF Food Security, masisiguro na ang sapat na suplay ng pagkain para sa mamamayan ng naturang bayan.“Ang purpose ng Task Force Food Security or EO CVC-030 S. 2020 ay upang patuloy na masiguro na may sapat na supply ng pagkain at available para sa mga mamayan ng Santa Maria ngayong panahon ng Enhanced Community Quarantine,” paliwanag ni Mayor Atty. Ma. Rocelle Carolino.Aniya hindi lingid na sa ipinatutupad na Enhanced Community Quarantine o ECQ ay naapektuhan ang supply ng lahat ng goods saan mang panig ng bansa.Kasunod na ng sitwasyong ito ang katunayang pag-unti ng mga nabibiling mga produkto na kailangan ng bawat…

Cavite officials discuss viability of COVID-19 testing facility in the province; LGU readiness 

Province of Cavite, Apr. 4 (PIA) -- Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla yesterday, met with heads of cities and municipalities, PNP Chiefs, City and Municipal Health Officers and the De La Salle-Dasmariñas medical team to discuss the viability of the province's COVID-19 testing facility and the readiness of each LGU in facing the challenge.During the meeting, the following data were established to get a clear view of what are needed to fully capacitate the province for this undertaking.As of April 2, there are already 1,200 PUIs in the province which could be tested within five days because the province has its own PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) testing machine.It is also taken into consideration that there are only 125 ventilators available in all hospitals (both public and private) in the province and an estimate of 5,000 units are needed once the designated holding areas for COVID-19 PUIs and positive patients which are being prepared by the LGUs in their respective cities and muni…

Duterte axes PACC exec over call to probe Robredo

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte announced Friday that he has fired an official of the presidential anti-corruption body for urging the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to probe Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo for supposedly competing with the national government’s response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak.In an address aired on state-run PTV late Friday night, Duterte said Commissioner Manuelito Luna is no longer part of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC).The President made the pronouncement as he slammed Luna for being “stupid” in saying that Robredo may have violated certain laws for receiving donations to help people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.“Ngayon, ito naman may tao akong abugado sa PACC, Commissioner Manuelito Luna. Gusto niyang paimbestigahan si Leni kungbakit nag-solicit. Anak ka ng... Kaya ako nung narinig ko, sabi ko, ‘Fire him.’ (Now, PACC Commissioner Manuelito Luna, a lawyer, wanted Leni to be investigated fo…

SPMC can test 5,000 samples, additional reagents coming

DAVAO CITY, April 2 (PIA) - The COVID-19 (Corona Virus Disease-19) subnational testing center inside the Southern Philippine Medical Center (SPMC) can test up to 5,000 samples with its current inventory of reagents according to Department of Health-XI Assistant Regional Director Dr. Lenny Joy Rivera.Rivera said they can test around 50 samples a day as they are using the RT- PCR machines. She said they are getting samples from different parts of Mindanao as the SPMC is the only subnational COVID-19 testing laboratory in Mindanao.The DOH-XI is expecting additional testing kits that will be arriving in the region, this will beef up the current capability. She said that every hour they are processing new samples for testing.“Every day, every hour, may pumapasok po (arriving), as of yesterday may pino-process pa sila because it takes time to run it sa PCR machine. Every minute there are samples which are run in SPMC,” Rivera said.Meanwhile SPMC Chief of Hospital Dr. Leopoldo Vega said they…

Enhanced Community Quarantine in Davao Region to start April 4

DAVAO CITY April 2 (PIA)- The chair of the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force against Corona Virus Disease-19 confirmed that the declaration of the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Davao Region will take effect at 9:00 pm April 4, 2020 (Saturday) and will be lifted at 11:59 pm April 19, 2020.Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, chair of the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force against Corona Virus Disease-19 said residents in Davao City has to be guided with the contents of the Executive Order No. 23 which contains the dos and don’ts during the time of the Enhanced Community Quarantine in the city.In an interview by the Davao City Disaster Radio, she said food and medicine pass will be issued to the residents who are required to fill in it two persons, one main and one alternative to buy food and medicines and with the corresponding identification card when doing the purchase.“The public must be more afraid of the COVID-19 than the ECQ being implemented for everyone’s welfare,” Duterte-Carpio said.Sh…

Caraga remains steadfast amid health crisis, intensifies measures to remain COVID19-free

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BUTUAN CITY, Apr. 3 (PIA) -- Government officials in Caraga remain vigilant despite having no positive cases of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).In his interview in the Laging Handa Network Briefing on Thursday with Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar, Regional Development Council (RDC) Chairperson and Agusan del Norte Provincial Governor Dale B. Corvera enumerated the measures undertaken by the different stakeholders to combat the spread of the disease in the region.Recently, the RDC along with other line agencies activated the regional task force dubbed as One Caraga Shield through the provisions of the Resolution No. 7, Series of 2020. Its mandate is primarily to come up with a region-wide guideline on the community quarantine and related measures that local government units (LGUs) can adopt.Spearheading the creation of the harmonized guidelines is the Caraga Regional Task Force for COVID-19 and the Department of the Interior and Loc…

DBP offers aid to expand health care facilities in PH

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TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, April 3 (PIA)--State-run Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) has offered to provide financing to public and private health care institutions and boost the overall capacity of the health care system in the country, a top official said.DBP President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Herbosa said the bank’s initiatives under its Strategic Healthcare Investments for Enhanced Lending & Development (SHIELD) program would be beneficial to companies and local government units seeking to enhance accessibility to health care services especially to low-income groups in underserved communities.“DBP is prepared to fill in the need to develop new health care facilities in the country and improve overall preparedness of the nation especially during outbreaks and national public health emergencies” Herbosa said.Based on government data, there are approximately more than 1,400 hospitals in the country with about 32 percent or around 463 government-run. Out of the…

DPWH to finish conversion of PICC Tent as COVID facility by April 10

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DPWH workers unloading construction materials at the PICC Forum Tent yesterday. (Photo from DPWH Facebook Page)QUEZON CITY, Apr. 3 (PIA) -- Conversion of Forum Halls of the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) as COVID-19 quarantine facility is expected to finish before Holy Thursday, a Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) official said.“We will be working 24/7 at three shifts as we are looking to finish before Holy Thursday,” DPWH National Capital Region director Ador Canlas said.Looking at the upward trajectory of new COVID-19 cases, the DPWH is preparing to decongest hospitals in Metro Manila by constructing new health care facilities to isolate mild to moderate cases of corona virus disease (COVID-19) patients and reserve the hospital beds instead for more severe cases. “Time is not on our side anymore with the exponential increase in the number of patients,” DPWH Secretary Mark A. Villar said. With the support of private firms EEI Construction and the Villa…

4 more positive Covid-19 cases recorded in Soccsksargen

GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- Four more residents of Region 12 (Soccsksargen) have tested positive for the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19), bringing the confirmed cases in the area to seven.

Arjohn Gangoso, health education and promotion officer of the Department of Health (DOH)-Region 12, said Thursday two of the new Covid-19 cases were from Cotabato City and one each in South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat provinces.

Gangoso said these were based on the confirmatory test results received by the agency from the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) laboratory in Davao City as of 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Gangoso said the fourth Covid-19 case (PH 2173) was a 52-year-old male from South Cotabato that was initially confirmed by the Integrated Provincial Health Office last Tuesday.

The patient, who was in stable condition and under home quarantine in Tboli town, returned home from Manila through a passenger vessel via Cagayan de Oro City and arrived in the area last March 16.

He said the fifth ca…

24 Covid-19 fake news peddlers face raps: PNP

MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday said it has sued 24 persons for allegedly spreading false reports and information on the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.PNP chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa said they have so far uncovered 20 incidents of spreading fake news since the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon took effect on March 17.He said five suspected authors of fake news have been arrested for allegedly spreading fake news on social media portals that have caused panic among the people.“They are among 24 persons named respondents in 32 complaints filed for an inquest or preliminary investigation for violations of the law on Unlawful Use of Means of Publication and Unlawful Utterances under Article 154 of the Revised Penal Code as Amended in relation to Sec 4c4 (Online Libel) and Section 6 of Republic Act No. 10175, or the Anti-Cybercrime Law,” Gamboa said in a statement sent to reporters.He also said that a case build-up is underway against the authors o…