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DILG top man tests positive for coronavirus disease

April 1, 2020

DILG SECRETARY AÑO TESTS POSITIVE TOO! * The DILG top man vows to continue working despite a 14-day mandatory quarantine MANILA, Philippines – The coronavirus scare continues to haunt the cabinet members and legislators of the Duterte Government. This time, it was the Interior Secretary Eduardo Año who tested positive of the deadly coronavirus disease.     Secretary Año, being the highest man of the Department of Interior and Local Government, is the lead implementor in the campaign preventing the spread of the deadly strain in the communities.  He said he received his test result from RITM and the result was positive. "Today, March 31, I received the result from RITM informing me that I am positive for COVID-19," Año said. The government official said he has not shown any symptoms of the virus, like coughing, fever, or difficulty in breathing. The National Task Force which is the lead implementor in containing the virus, such as lockdowns, checkpoints, and curfews was headed by Sec Año. "I make this announcement to call the attention of all persons I had close contact with to go on self-quarantine and observe any symptoms, in accordance with Department of Health (DOH) guidelines."  He revealed that there were four persons he came in contact with who later became coronavirus positive. However, Año is firmed that he would continue to do work at home while he'll be put into the mandatory 14-day quarantine period for anyone positive of the deadly virus. DILG Secretary Año said "the result of my test will not in any way dampen my spirit and energy to do my job."  Menwhile, former senator Bongbong Marcos also revealed he was positive of covid-19. Marcos also received his test today from the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM). Three other top government officials who were on quarantine periods after they tested positive of the virus were Senators, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Koko Pimentel, and Sonny Angara.  

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DSWD food packs for 'irate and hungry' oro residents underway

April 1, 2020

FOOD PACKS ARE COMING TO ORO RESIDENTS * Mayor says he has given P121,000 each to barangay chairmen for temporary relief assistance to affected families and displaced workers * DSWD announces food packs distribution will be scheduled in proper time CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - A top-official of the Department of Social Welfare and Development during a press conference in Cagayan de Oro, announced that part of the 73,655 food packs are budgeted for the city residents.   This is in answer to the recent clamor of displaced private workers, informal workers, and indigent residents of the city, as they have now submerged into massive poverty, clinging the barangay and city leaders for food for their daily subsistence. They have lost their daily income after Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno implemented a community quarantine two weeks ago. But the city mayor, who was blamed by the city residents, revealed he has given a total of P121,000 cash to the barangay chairmen to help augment the food needs of their constituents affected by the crisis.  "I have given the barangay chairmen a total of P121,000 each to temporarily augment the food needs of their constituents," the city mayor said. As of this writing, only a few barangays have started distributing the food packs but the office of the city mayor announced that starting Monday, March 30, food support would be given to hungry and irate residents of the city, who recently mobbed the net and echoed their sentiments to the mayor's alleged delayed response to the food requirements of thousands of daily-income earners, ambulant vendors, beggars and public utility jeepney drivers, tricab, pedicabs and tricycle drivers displaced by the community quarantine. City Information Officer Maricel Rivera, who also heads Risk Communications Cluster said the city will release the relief goods to the barangay chairmen in all barangays for distribution. Rivera said "Sulod sa kada food pack mao ang mosunod: lima ka kilo nga bugas, lima kabuok nga noodles, lima ka lata sa sardinas, tulo ka lata sa corned beef, ug tulo ka lata sa beef loaf." This, the city information officer said, is based on the recommendations of the barangay leaders during the meeting of the members of League of the Barangays so that more people can receive the items for the first phase of house-to-house distribution.   Menwhile, Assistant Regional Director for Operations Aldersey M. dela Cruz of DSWD-10 said "Ang gihimo sa DSWD as per request from the LGU. Duna sila’y listahan ana mao kini ang basehan sa atong tagaan (The DSWD will wait for the request of the LGU. They [LGUs] have their own list and this will be the basis for the distribution),"  DSWD-10 prioritizes the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, informal sector, Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT), and Listahanan. Such will be forwarded to the local chief executives so there won't be any duplication of beneficiaries within the latter's area of responsibility.  "Responsible in food distribution is the local government unit," dela Cruz said. Since this is the primary role of the LGU, the assistant regional director said the LGU must promptly come up with the list of households whom they are going to provide assistance with. DSWD-10 has already hired volunteers to repack the goods and they are targeting to complete such by mid-April.  Furthermore, the department has identified prepositioned areas for distribution and with the aid of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, deliveries will be conducted at Maramag and Malaybalay in Bukidnon, Sinacaban and Oroquieta City in Misamis Occidental, and negotiations are currently held with a private facility for Camiguin area. - with a report from DSWD/PIA   ALSO READ: FOOD PACKS READY FOR DISTRIBUTION ON MONDAY      

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President Duterte addresses the nation amid covid-19 pandemic  

March 31, 2020

THE WORKING PRESIDENT * Thanks frontliners as the new heroes  * Vows to help small and medium businesses affected by the crisis * Vows to help Filipinos affected in the countryside     DAVAO CITY (National News) - President Rodrigo Duterte today (March 30) has addressed the nation and directly pointed out very important points, appealing to the Filipinos to be strong and actively combat and resist the virus from spreading futher in communities. He said this is the best time for everyone to help the government in the fight against coronavirus disease, by simply following quarantine protocols and lockdown orders implemented by military and the police. THANKED FRONTLINERS In his short message today, the president especially mentioned the act of heroism done by many young and dynamic doctors, nurses and all medical workers and all alied forces, including the police, the army and other private sectors.  Eleven of the doctors have already risked their lives and died in the frontlines of this battle against covid-19. "Those who are fighting on the frontlines - doctors, nurses, allied or professionals, police, soldiers, civil servants, and everyone performing essential services in the private sector, I assure you that your efforts will be rewarded. Your heroism will not be forgotten. Saludo kami sa inyo," President Duterte said. Duterte also thanked local government units (LGUs) for doing their best to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease. RECOVERY PACKAGE FOR AFFECTED SMEs He also said the government will provide a recovery package especially to micro, small and medium enterprises which have dealt with the economic effects of this pandemic.  "My economic team is already creating the guidelines as I speak," the president said.  Thousands of SMEs have closed down in many parts of the country after being affected by the pandemic. Soon, it is expected that with the president's assurance, the small and medium businesses will be helped and continue to operate when economic situations will be back to normal again. ###    

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Oro dads intensify drive vs spread of Covid-19, monitor prices of goods

March 31, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro City--A councilor launched an intesified drive against the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) while another councilor has vowed to monitor the prices and stocks of basic goods sold in the city to prevent hoarding and unnecessary price increase. In a report released on Monday, the Power said Councilor Maria Lourdes Gaane led a team in initiating an information dissemination through “Rekorida” in different barangays. On one hand, Councilor George Goking, chair of the City Council committee on Trade and Commerce, assured the public that his committee will continue to monitor the prices of goods sold in the market. Goking has expressed optimism that local retailers will abide by the price freeze being imposed on basic commodities. "Gihangyo sa konsehal ang mga grocery stores nga limitahan ang mga pumapalit sa duha lamang kabuok matag klase sa ilang paliton aron usab mahatagan og kahigayonan ang uban nga aduna pay mapalit," the Power, a daily newsletter of the City Council, reported "Iyang gipasabot nga siya kanunay nga nagmonitor sa stocks sa pagkaon nga gikinahanglan sa katawhan aron malikayan ang pag hoarding ug magpabilin nga malinawon ang dakbayan samtang gipangitaan sa pamaagi nga mapakgang ang pagkaylap sa COVID-19," the report said. Gaane, chair of the City Council committee on health and health insurance, distributed leaflets containing advisories and safety measures in dealing with the global pandemic scare. Her team also conducted a public health education campaign in barangays Indahag, Macanhan, Balulang, Bulua, and Tignapoloan, followed by other barangays. Gaane said that she conducted information drive to encourage everyone to cooperate and practice preventive measures at home. Gaane expressed gratitude to her staff who are working hard to help disseminate health education on the fight against the virus. She urged the public to help the government by staying at home. “A big thank you to our staff who are leading the fight against this pandemic. So, mga higala, as your help to the government, we encourage you all to please, please stay at home,” Gaane said.

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With decrease in PUMs, CDO now eyeing to monitor persons with flu-like symptoms

March 31, 2020

EVEN with the decrease in the number of persons under monitoring (PUM) for COVID-19, the City Health Office of Cagayan de Oro is not letting their guard down.   In a press conference March 31, city health officer Lorraine Nery said they are eyeing to expand their surveillance to include persons who are experiencing flu-like symptoms but not necessarily PUMs.   A person is automatically considered a PUM upon arriving in Cagayan de Oro starting March 20 after traveling elsewhere in the country.   As of presstime, there are only 85 persons left who have not yet completed their 14-day quarantine.   "This is the essence of community quarantine. Our BHERTs will conduct monitoring on a house-to-house basis," Nery said.   BHERTs are the barangay emergency response team institutionalized by the Philippine government as a grassroots preemptive response to COVID-19.   Flu-like symptoms include fever, ache, chills, fatigue, weakness, sneezing, chest discomfort, cough, stuffy nose, sore throat and headache.   In a related development, the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) has merged the checkpoints in its boundaries to maximize its personnel and smoothen the flow of vehicles.   The checkpoint in barangay Bugo is now merged with that of Tagoloan municipality while the checkpoint at barangay Iponan is now infused with the one situated in El Salvador City.

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Oro official answers Bebot's rant

March 31, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro City budget officer Percy Salazar enumerated March 31 the disaster expenditures of the city in answer to Councilor Jocelyn Rodriguez's rants a day before at the City Council.   Earlier on Monday (March 30) during their weekly session, Rodriguez opposed a then proposed ordinance approving a P658-million supplemental budget, claiming that the Moreno administration has yet to liquidate its calamity fund for the year.   In particular, Rodriguez was demanding on how the P90-million quick response fund and P53-million emergency welfare and crisis intervention fund appropriated in 2020 was used.   In response, Councilor Ian Mark Nacaya told Rodriguez to inquire from the city's executive before proceeding to rally his colleagues in passing the supplemental budget.   A day after on Tuesday, Salazar emerged in a press conference and explained the whereabouts of the two funds.   Salazar said that as of the present, the city has already spent P28 million out of the P90-million quick response fund.   These were used in the purchase of alcohol, mask, needs of frontliners, disinfectants and equipment and other medical supplies as well as to answer the needs of every barangay (food and non-food items).   Salazar said City Hall will release the remaining amount as the need arises.   On the other hand, only P12 million was already disbursed from the P53-million emergency welfare and quick response fund as of the present.   These consist of food for work/cash for work and assistance for distressed individuals and families, emergency shelter assistance and assistance to individuals in crisis.   Thus, the remaining balance of the emergency welfare and quick response fund is P41 million.   Salazar explained that the remaining balance will be used throughout the year since the appropriation is intended until December and not just at this time.   Meanwhile, the bulk of the P658-million supplemental budget that was approved by the City Council last Monday will be used for COVID-19 response.   The allocation for COVID-19 response for this specific fund is P550 million.   The rest (P108 million) will be for other purposes - procurement of musical accesories, renovation of the City Registrar's Office, anniversary bonus, procurement of brand new dropside truck, working capital loan for Cogon United Market Vendors Cooperative, construction of road from proposed Court of Appeals site to Cagayan de Oro Convention Center, repair of Boy Scouts building and economic enterprises allocation.

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