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CDO Filipino-Chinese Community donations to NMMC breach P4.3-M

April 7, 2020

Cagayan de Oro’s Filipino-Chinese Community showed its unequivocal support for the city’s battle against the CoVid-19 coronavirus with its biggest donation yet to the Northern Mindanao Medical Center on April 7. The group headed by President Sonny Choi and COVID-19 Response Committee Chairman Efren Uy turned over to NMMC Center Chief Dr. Jose Chan 1,980 sets of PPEs each worth P1,500 with a total value of  P 2,970,000.00 and 500 pieces of N95 face masks each worth P130.00 valued at P65,000.00 for a total donation of P3,035,000.00. With this latest donation, the community’s collective donations to NMMC comes to a total of P4,304,000.00, excluding donations also made to the city owned and operated J.R. Borja General Hospital (JRBGH). The NMMC is the only hospital in Region X with the capability to test and treat CONVID-19 Patients Under Investigation (PUI). Under the strategy adopted by the Regional and City Health offices, COVID-19 patients are exclusively referred to NMMC, while JRBGH and other private hospitals take in as many non-COVID cases as they can accommodate to give NMMC’s personnel and facilities as much slack as possible to deal with the outbreak. From March 23 to April 6, the CDO Filipino-Chinese Community had previously donated to NMMC on four separate occasions urgently needed PPEs and medical supplies collectively valued at P1,269,000.00. The initial shipment consisted of 60 cartons rubbing alcohol and sanitizing gel, two units knapsack sprayer, 12 pails disinfectant solution (chlorine), safety goggles, rubber boots, protective raincoats with pants, face shields, and 50 cartons disposable water tissues/paper towels collectively valued at P365,00.00 This was followed on March 28 by 480 set plastic rain coats worth P250.00 each valued at P120,000.00.00 and 800 locally made face shields worth P80.00each and valued at  P64,000.00 for P184,000.00 for the entire batch. On April 3, the group turned over 250 sets of PPEs made in Korea worth P1,800.00 each valued at P450,000.00 followed on April 6 by 100 sets PPEs made in China worth P 1,300.00 each valued at P150,000.00 and 200 sets of 5M brand PPE kit worth P600.00 each valued at P120,000.00 or P270,000.00 total. The Filipino-Chinese Community of Cagayan de Oro includes 21 community organizations, including family associations, chambers of commerce, schools, martial arts, civic and religious fraternities.  These including the following: Misamis Oriental Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Inc.;  Mindanao Council for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification of China in the Philippines; Cagayan de Oro Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Inc.; Cagayan de Oro You We Tong Civic & Religious Fraternity, Inc.; Oro Christian Grace School; Misamis Oriental Liong Tek Fraternity Association, Inc.; Sejo-Lim Family Association-Northern Mindanao Chapter; Cagayan de Oro Bell Church Foundation, Inc.; Kong Hua School; Cagayan de Oro Volunteer Fire Brigade, Inc.; Phil. Wushu Federation-Cagayan de Oro Chapter; Phil. Kim Mun Association-Misamis Oriental Chapter ; Cagayan Gospel Church ; Cagayan de Oro Filipino-Chinese Amity Club;  Cagayan de Oro San Lorenzo Filipino-Chinese Catholic Community; Philippine Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc.-Misamis Oriental Chapter; Philippine Chinese High School Alumni Association-Cagayan de Oro Chapter; Misamis Oriental Progressive Mason Temple, Inc.; Kong Hua School, Inc.; and the Chee Kung Tong Chinese Free Mason Misamis Oriental Branch.

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DA, DTI, CdeO intensify price freeze implementation

April 7, 2020

The Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10) strengthens its coordination with stakeholders regarding price monitoring in a meeting at the DA-10 Conference Room. Under Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 2020-01 of DA, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Health (DOH) have issued the “Price Freeze Act under a State of Calamity throughout the Philippines due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)”. Pursuant to the JMC, prices of basic necessities under the jurisdiction of the DTI, DA, and DOH are frozen at their prevailing prices as of March 8, 2020 until May 15, 2020, unless sooner lifted by the President. Accordingly, DA-RFO 10 Regional Technical Director Carlota S. Madriaga and its Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) called for a meeting with DTI-10, City Price Coordinating Council (CPCC) and City Economic Enterprise Department (CEED) of Cagayan de Oro City and the Misamis Oriental Retailers Association (MISORRA). The group agreed on crafting a resolution for setting an enhanced price freeze on agricultural products, especially on premium quality bananas sold in the supermarkets. This resulted after concerns on the apprehension of some banana (lakatan) sellers for allegedly selling overpriced bananas. Madriaga detailed that the Php40.00 ceiling price is for the 8-10 pieces per kilogram specification only, wherein the basis for the set price was from the monitoring of the Cogon and Carmen markets three months prior to the COVID-19 crisis. She noted this might have caused confusion regarding the price among enforcers and consumers. Madriaga shared that the agency has already negotiated with the wholesalers outside Cogon and Carmen market areas to lower their product prices; thereby enabling retailers to follow the price ceiling. On the other hand, she stressed that DA will closely coordinate with the DA- Bureau of Plant Industry, Plant Quarantine Service (DA-BPI PQS), CPCC and the Criminal Investigation Detection Group-10 (CIDG-10) on the inspection of rice warehouses to prevent rice hoarding. Meanwhile, the reactivation of the Local Price Coordinating Council (LPCC) is in line with Joint Memorandum Circular No. 77 of DA, DTI and DOH which enables the Local Price Coordinating Councils (LPCCs) of local government offices to help implement price freeze, issue warnings and arrest offenders. Said initiative is sought to protect consumers against undue price spikes as the nation is under a state of emergency due to the spread of COVID-19. #

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GSIS pensioners may now ‘APIR’ online amid COVID-19 threat

April 6, 2020

Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) old-age and survivorship pensioners who were unable to comply with the personal appearance requirement or Activation of Pensioners Information Revalidation (APIR) before March 2020 are now allowed to do it online. GSIS President and General Manager Rolando Ledesma Macasaet said that providing an online service for the personal appearance requirement for pensioners  is part of the pension fund’s efforts to protect and assist all its pensioners amid the country’s health emergency situation. "The safety of our elderly pensioners, who are among the most susceptible to COVID-19, remains our top priority. To ensure that all of them receive their pension without letup during the enhanced community quarantine, GSIS has been adjusting its operational procedure,” Macasaet said. Earlier, GSIS has extended to 15 May 2020 the deadline for pensioners born in March and April to comply with APIR.  Under normal situations, GSIS requires all old-age and survivorship pensioners to report to  the nearest GSIS office or GSIS kiosk  during their birth month to ensure continued receipt of their pension.  It has been a monitoring mechanism to prevent pension overpayment to deceased pensioners. Despite this concession, according to Macasaet, some pensioners may have failed to undergo APIR even before the program was suspended last March 17. “We are accepting APIR requirements online because we want our pensioners to stay safe at home during the COVID-19 crisis,” he said. To comply with the  online APIR, pensioners must send via email a letter requesting GSIS to activate their status and send it  to an email address designated by GSIS for particular areas.   The letter must indicate the date of request and contain their details, namely, complete name; complete address; contact number (mobile or landline); and signature. Pensioners must attach to the letter a photo of their UMID  or eCard Plus card or their temporary card.  In case these are not available, a photo of their two valid IDs may be submitted. In addition, they must attach a chest-level photo of them holding a current newspaper whose headline and date of publication are prominently displayed.  If not, the photo background may be a news crawler or a ticker on the TV showing the current news headline and date.  (The date in the photo must coincide with the date of request indicated in the letter.) Pensioners  must send  the letter and other requirements  to the designated  email address according to their place of  residence: gsiscares@gsis.gov.ph (for residents of NCR including Quezon City and the entire province of Rizal and Cavite);  gsisnorthluzon@gsis.gov.ph (for residents of North Luzon); gsissouthluzon@gsis.gov.ph (for residents of South Luzon;  gsisvisayas@gsis.gov.ph (for residents of Visayas) gsismindanao@gsis.gov.ph (for residents of Mindanao). GSIS will inform concerned pensioners once it has received their documents. Another online program that GSIS currently made available to assist pensioners  in their financial difficulties during the COVID-19 crisis is the GSIS pension loan program. Under the program, pensioners may borrow up to six times their monthly pension but not exceeding Php100,000, depending on their age. To apply for GSIS pension loan online, pensioners only need to  download and fill out an application form from the GSIS website (https://www.gsis.gov.ph/downloadable-forms/)  and electronically send it  to the  email address designated  by GSIS according to the place of residence of the pensioner. The application must be sent along with a picture or scanned copy  of their GSIS UMID card or ecard or their valid ID (with picture and signature), and the pensioner’s photo holding the duly accomplished application form. For relevant advisories and other information, interested parties may call the GSIS Contact Center at 8-847-4747; visit the official GSIS website (www.gsis.gov.ph); or like and follow   its official Facebook page (@gsis.ph).

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PLDT HOME strengthens support for Filipinos

April 6, 2020

Implements stringent Safety Measures for Frontliners   Manila, Philippines – Leading telecoms and digital service provider PLDT, Inc. reaffirmed its assurances to its customers that the company is exerting all efforts to continue providing vital communication services despite the constraints imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our customers need us now more than ever.  Our internet services and solutions power homes and businesses and, keep families connected while maintaining social distance in these trying times,” said Al Panlilio, PLDT Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer. He added that, “Given the continuing rise of the number of COVID-19 cases in our country, we need to pursue a delicate balance. We remain steadfast in our commitment to serve our customers while also ensuring the health and safety of both our employees as well as our customers.” Health and Safety of Our Employees The company is now carefully controlling the operations of its field and support personnel such as its repair and maintenance crews, its agents deployed in call centers, and, sales and service centers. While field crews remain ready to address emergency requirements and critical operations, they follow strict health, safety, and sanitation procedures. Given that in-home services of PLDT Home field installers have to be carefully managed, customers who have any urgent concerns are urged to access PLDT Home’s online platforms such as pldthome.com, Facebook.com/PLDTHome, and Twitter.com/PLDTHome for assistance. Keeping Filipinos Connected at Home PLDT Home also initiated its meaningful #StayHome campaign which, apart from its underlying message of encouraging people to remain safely at home, also provides for free, valuable services meant to alleviate the burden felt by their subscribers during these difficult times. PLDT Home has rolled out free Speedboost until April 30 for highly affected areas in Luzon including Metro Manila, Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Kalinga, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, and Tarlac. This translates to minimum speeds of 25 Mbps, which should be of great benefit to everyone working at home and for those who access entertainment streaming services for family bonding. In line with this, existing subscribers of PLDT Home Fibr Plan 1899 and up in Luzon are given an automatic one-month subscription of iflix VIP usable until April 30, giving them access to thousands of TV shows, movies and more! For those looking for alternative internet services at home, PLDT Home quickly serves the PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid, an easy plug-and-play device for home use. Additionally, an extension to the double data promo for PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid customers is also being offered until April 30. With this, Home Wifi Prepaid customers can enjoy up to 200GB data for all sites and apps. With the expected increase of home internet usage, PLDT has improved its network by expanding the caching capacity of its Data Centers. This will help avoid network overload and accommodate data traffic of commonly used social media and streaming sites such as Google, Facebook, and Netflix. PLDT Home has also stepped up to help ensure Filipinos stay connected at home. PLDT Home implemented a 30-day bill payment extension period and suspended disconnection of overdue accounts of its postpaid subscribers with bill period between March 16 to April 15. Free Calls and Access to Content Similarly, PLDT Home provides subscribers convenient access to accurate and timely news and information. PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid and PLDT Home volume-based subscribers can get free access to verified government and news websites—the DOH NCOV tracker, the official websites of the Department of Health and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), plus the news sites of CNN Philippines, ABS-CBN, Philstar, BusinessWorld, GMA News Online, and TV5. Free calls are also available for PLDT, Smart, Sun and TNT subscribers to the COVID-19 hotline 1555, National Emergency Response Center 8888 and Citizen Complaint Hotline 911. “As the country faces the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, PLDT Home is one with every Filipino family as we continue to provide the most reliable connections so that they can continue living their lives with normalcy – working, studying, playing, and praying together. As Filipinos stay home, PLDT Home’s unrelenting service will keep families stronger together and rise above this trying time,” concludes Panlilio. For more information about our efforts to keep you connected and safe during COVID19, please visit http://www.pldthome.com.

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DPWH Continues to Help in Fight Vs. COVID-19

April 6, 2020

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will once again turn over health commodities such as surgical face masks donated by Chinese contractors to hospitals and other service frontliners.  About 18,000 pieces of surgical face masks,  1,000 pieces N95 masks, and 90 pieces personal protective equipment (PPE) were received by DPWH Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain from two (2) Chinese construction groups on Holy Monday, April 6, 2020 by DPWH, as donation to help in the Philippine government’s effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus.  The contractor of the BGC to Ortigas Center Road Link Project, Sino Road and Bridges Group Co. Ltd. through its General Manager Li Hui donated 6,000 pieces face mask and 40 pieces PPE.  On the otherhand, China Road and Bridge Corporation General Manager Ren Xiaopeng handed 12,000 pieces surgical face masks, 1,000 pieces N95 masks, and 50 pieces PPE. China Road and Bridge Corporation presently undertakes the construction of the Binondo-Intramuros bridge in Manila, and the Estrella-Pantaleon bridge between Makati and Mandaluyong under implementation of DPWH Unified Project Management Office-Roads Management Cluster 1.  Secretary Mark A. Villar instructed Undersecretary Sadain to turn-over these donations to the following hospitals and DPWH service frontliners dealing in the campaign against COVID-19: Philippine General Hospital 4,000 pcs, Lung Center of the Philippines 4,000 pcs, Philippine Heart Center 2,000 pcs, Manila Doctors Hospital 2,000 pcs, Veterans Memorial Hospital 2,000 pcs, National Kidney and Transplant Institute 2,000, and Fabella Hospital 2,000.  Meanwhile, the DPWH acting on the request of the Lung Center of the Philippines, will facilitate the installation of electrical / cable wiring of CCTV and patient monitors in the new hospital wards. Secretary Villar said that all skilled workers will be wearing the donated personal protective equipment to prevent getting direct exposure to Lung Center patients and hospital environment.  Living up the spirit of “Bayanihan to Heal as One”, North Star Construction President Mr. Al Tengco has volunteered to DPWH their service by assigning 30 workers to handle the job at Lung Center anytime once all sensitive preparation including disinfection are completed by the hospital management.  Secretary Villar acknowledged the support on their personal capacities given by various construction industry partners of the Department in respond to COVID-19 pandemic.

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LANDBANK backs LGUs with P10-billion emergency loan vs COVID-19

April 6, 2020

The Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) is launching a new lending program to help Local Government Units (LGUs) on the purchase of goods and procurement of services to support their constituents during the COVID-19 crisis.  The Bank is allocating P10 billion for the LANDBANK HEAL (Help via Emergency Loan Assistance for LGUs) Program as emergency funding for provincial, city, and municipal governments. “The HEAL Program is LANDBANK’s way of supporting our LGUs deliver immediate health services, food, and basic commodities to their constituents during this crisis. Our LGUs are at the forefront of this adversity, and as our partners in development, we will continue to finance their recovery and rehabilitation needs,” LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo said. Both client and non-client LGUs of the Bank may avail of the HEAL Program at an affordable fixed interest rate of 5% per annum, payable up to a maximum of five years, with a one-year grace period on principal payment. The LANDBANK HEAL Program is also in support of Republic Act No. 11469, otherwise known as the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act,” declaring a state of national health emergency, and grants President Rodrigo R. Duterte the power and authority to carry out urgent measures to combat COVID-19. This includes the provision of timely and affordable credit to affected sectors, especially in the countryside. Interested LGUs may contact the nearest open LANDBANK Lending Center or Branch nationwide, or call LANDBANK’s customer service hotline at (02) 8-405-7000 or at PLDT Domestic Toll Free 1-800-10-405-7000. For more updates and client advisories, please make sure to follow, like, and share the official LANDBANK social media accounts—for Facebook and Instagram: @landbankofficial, and for Twitter: @LBP_Official, and the LANDBANK website: www.landbank.com.

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