front page

Metro Pacific mobilizes P190M to wage war against covid-19 pandemic

April 6, 2020

Manuel V. Pangilinan  and his group of business partners has mobilized over P190-M worth of resources with the aim of helping the front-liners and all those vulnerable communities against the unseen enemy that is covid-19 Pangilinan said Metro Pacific Investments Corp (MPIC), in support and cooperation with foundations and operating companies donated virus specimen collection kits, medicine, personal protective equipment, relief goods (food and school), face masks, water supplies, and transportation services for medical front-liners. According to a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange Tuesday, The MPIC is able to consolidate the efforts made by different units, including Manila Electric Co. (MERALCO); Maynilad Water Services; Light Rail Manila Corporation; Global Business Power (GBP); MPIC Hospital group; Metro Pacific Investments Foundation (MPIF, and One Meralco Foundation to provide back up support to municipalities, medical institutions and government agencies all over the country. There is also a nationwide international program being mobilized by MPIC purposely taking care of its thousands of employees doing infra projects nationwide. The group is also paying their employees' salary continuesly and benefits amid the lockdown period. Their employees are also provided with health kits and hygiene supplies such as masks and also vitamins to ensure a healthy atmosphere in their workplaces. Employees are also ensured with their advance payments of mid-year bonuses during lockdown period.  Employees who were given work from home were being supported with allowance for electricity, vitamins and internet needs, while managers also received their cash equivalent. Workers who work 24/7 such as Meralco and Maynilad were also given medical assistance, hygiene kits, and PPE for the lockdown period and especially for mission critical operations. There were also shuttle bus service provided for skeleton workforce, meal allowances including roving company doctors on call. MPIC and MPIF donated virus specimen collection tubes, vitamins and PPEs to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), the Lung Center of the Philippines, the Philippine Genome Center and the hospitals within the group.  Some 220 barangays along SCTEX, NLEX and Cavitex network was also coordinated by MPTC and donated P4.5 million worth of relief goods, while face masks were also distributed by Meralco Foundation to the Department of Transportation, Rizal and Philippine Heart Centers. Hundreds of checkpoints of the Philippine National Police, Makati Medical Center, Rizal Medical, San Juan Medical, Cardinal Santos, V. Luna and Pasig Gen hospitals, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Philippine Navy, UP-PGH and the Malabon, Parañaque, and Putatan local government units were also supported with water supply by Maynilad. “For now, the mandate from our Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan is to provide and prioritize the well-being and protection of our employees for the continued and efficient services from our utility business including health care workers from the Metro Pacific Hospital Group. We are also trying to help various public hospitals including the Philippine National Police and LGU volunteers,” said MPIF president Melody del Rosario.  

READ MORE
Billionare Francis Leo Marcos becomes the latest Youtube  and Facebook sensation amid coronavirus disease crisis

April 6, 2020

NEWEST HERO FOR THE POOR FILIPINOS: FRANCIS LEO MARCOS BY JOEL CALAMBA ESCOL, MDN Digital News Team Part 1 of a series METRO MANILA, Philippines (Special MDN News Feature) - This billionaire businessman is unknown to many Filipinos until he became the newest Youtube and Facebook sensation, when he started his "Mayaman Challenge," urging the rich and famous to get out of their abode and help the hungry Filipinos in Metro Manila who were greatly affected by the lockdown imposed by President Rodrigo Duterte. WHO IS FRANCIS LEO MARCOS? To start his Mayaman Challenge advocacy after maybe, being bored of being home quarantined in Metro Manila, Francis Leo Marcos went out of his house and drove his luxury vehicle and made some commentaries while driving, urging the rich families inside Green Meadows Subdivision, where he also lives, to share their millions. Marcos, thru a video, also showed the houses of rich people while driving his own car. Part of his challenge was purchasing 500 sacks of rice and gave them to the poor communities in Payatas. Payatas is a barangay located in the 2nd district of Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines. Hundreds of thousands of poor Filipinos are found in this barangay. Some of the notable vloggers and residents of Metro Manila has responded to the call of helping the poor residents and daily income earners who were badly affected by the lockdown. They include people working in small and medium companies, passenger jeepney drivers, pedicab drivers, ambulant vendors, beggars in the streets of Metro Manila and all other famies who are considered poorest of the poor, who have no means of supporting their familes and are now hoping for immediate government intervention for their daily survival food support. The Philippine Government has already expected this so that President Rodrigo Duterte has alloted more than P200 Million government funds to help those affected by the crisis and couldn't barely buy their food. But as the days become a week and more weeks had past, the growing concern for food support is riverberating in the slums and areas populated by low income earners in Metro Manila. Francis Leo Marcos promises to use his P20 Million liquid asset to help the poor Filipinos and this started with his 500 sacks of rice. But a few of the rich people in Metro Manila has started to respond to his challenge and also groceries and sacks of rice to distribute to the poor people in the slums of Metro Manila. "I am very thankful some of the rich people in Manila has started to respond to my challenge. I hope other people who are rich would not just keep silent of this coronavirus pandemic," I am appealing to them to get out and share their millions to the poor. This is the best time," he says.  NEW HERO OF THE POOR Then here comes the newest hero of the masses - Francis Leo Marcos aka Norman Mangusin. Why he has two names? Wait for part 2...Thanks   GAANO KAYAMAN SI FRANCIS LEO MARCOS?        

READ MORE
Caraga’s first Covid case confirmed

April 6, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur---- A 68-year-old man from Butuan City with pre-existing medical condition is reported to be the first confirmed Corona Virus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) case in Caraga region after more than a month that the area remained free from the dreaded disease. A report by government station Radyo Pilipinas in Butuan City however cited an interview with Dr. Jose Llacuna, Jr. Department of Health Caraga regional director, that the elderly patient has recovered and returned home from confinement at the Caraga Regional Hospital in Surigao City. “The clinical assessment now is, he is stable as far as physician’s point of view,”,Llacuna said in a live interview with the government broadcast station. The patient has a travel history in Manila, arrived in Butuan last March 12 and immediately went on home quarantine as Person Under Monitoring (PUM). During the period of his home quarantine, he developed fever, cough and colds and referred to Caraga Regional Hospital, this time made him Person Under Investigation (PUI). As this developed, Agusan del Sur Santiago Cane, Jr. has issued Executive Order 18-20 on Monday noon restoring the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) declaration in the entire province. Cane said the measure is important measure to prevent the dreaded virus spread in this landlocked province especially that there is no level III hospital here that can facilitate treatment of COVID-19. Rep. Adolph Edward Plaza of the province’s second district who has been long-time governor said in a live interview with Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar said the province cannot afford being infiltrated by COVID-19 with lack of medical facilities. He said the call for a total border lockdown in the province has been widely supported by the residents. “Were’ looking at the worst case scenario, a lockdown that would prolong from three to six months,” Plaza said as he assured the province had enough food supply production to address the long lockdown. The Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit initiated the contact tracing of persons who interacted with or were in close proximity with the patient including the patient’s flight details. “I would like to remind the public that this is something that we need to take seriously. Follow the policies set by the government and by DOH. Remember to practice physical distancing, hand hygiene, cough etiquette, boost your immune system, and avoid sharing unverified news,” Llacuna said. Meanwhile, DOH Caraga has also provided technical assistance to Butuan City government in the conduct of the rapid testing (Immunologic Method) for the PUIs admitted in the city hospital annex or the designated PUI Center. There were reactive samples found. These tests, however, must be confirmed using the COVID-19 RT-PCR or reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Test which is administered by the identified sub-national laboratories. Rapid test kits will measure antibodies present but not the viral load which is why a confirmatory RT-PCR based test is still required. The samples from the rapid tests taken will be brought today to SPMC for confirmatory testing. As of April 5, 2020, the regional office has already tallied a total of 12 PUIs where four are currently admitted and eight are on strict home quarantine.

READ MORE
Moreno’s foresight in using funds amid ongoing health emergency

April 5, 2020

Charlotte, North Carolina—Good day friends and followers I hope you’re all doing well in your home quarantine in whatever part of the world you live in and that all of us find the light in the end of the dark tunnel that is the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve had two podcasts/online voice broadcasts posted so far this week, the latest on Thursday April 2 at 7 am to 8 am Philippine time over at the Facebook page of 105.5 Bay Radio Way Kurat FM Balingasag, the station based in Balingasag town, Misamis Oriental which is the birthplace of former congressman, former Misamis Oriental governor and now last term Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno. Speaking of Mayor Oscar Moreno, my Thursday online broadcast centered on the noise generated over the Cagayan de Oro City Council’s approval of the P658 million budget for the city’s response to the COVID-19 threat  The FB post drew attention from local netizens who joined in on the online uproar, venting their ire on what they perceived was the slow response of the Moreno administration in allocating funds for the distribution of relief goods to the households affected by the ongoing citywide quarantine. And rather than be dismissive of the online furor, let me be clear that Filipinos are guaranteed free speech under the 1987 Constitution even if a lot of them tend to be abusive of this right to the point of being outright malicious. Yes lest we forget the social media landscape had been populated by bashers/trolls or paid hacks who dish out verbal abuse on their designated targets who are usually public officials like Mayor Moreno.  And the last two elections had witnessed the rising weaponization of social media by scheming politicians who pay these trolls to bash their rivals and ride the resulting wave of dissatisfaction to score political mileage.     ************** That is where Mayor Moreno finds himself in, a very volatile spot in which he is being circled by detractors and bashers out to poke holes on his stance to maintain a calibrated citywide quarantine rather than a lockdown that they continue to insist on demanding to this day. Elected public officials made of less sterner substance would have caved in but not Mayor Moreno and so far I admire him for it. Proponents of an ‘enhanced quarantine’ in Cagayan de Oro City similar to what is imposed in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon by the national government may have conveniently overlooked what is happening in these areas right now with the local governments there are barely keeping order as it was amid the riots erupting over the distribution of relief goods. Again, anyone has the right to question and require transparency from government in their dealings and programs that affect their welfare and interest with exceptions of course on public security that may be compromised should details be disclosed and made accessible to enemies of the state. But such demands for transparency and accountability from government unfortunately are being exploited by those with a political agenda in order to score brownie points with the masses. The same thing applies here. The Moreno administration should ensure that they are transparent and accountable to its constituents in the allocation of relief assistance and to be fair, City Hall officials exerted every effort to be transparent to city residents through the daily press briefings at the mayor’s conference room that had been unfairly judged and sneered at by online trolls and paid hacks of these opportunistic opposition politicians. All that these bashers and trolls have produced so far is online noise, screaming ALL CAPS RANTS and sanctimonious indignation signifying nothing of substance, not even a shred of evidence to back up their vitriolic attacks. And I am at a certain age when I get tired and furious at these pathetic trolls who must now work harder than ever to earn their daily bread from their masters.          ************** Let’s try to do it by the numbers okay? City Budget Officer Percy Salazar said City Hall sourced P90 million from the city’s five percent calamity fund or quick response fund amounting to P340 million as initial fund for its response to the COVID-19 threat. About P28 million out of the P90 million had been spent so far which included P111,000 assistance to each of the city’s 80 barangays or more than P8 million in barangay assistance alone. The P28 million also went to the acquisition of thermal scanners or zero contact thermometers that looked like those radar guns used by the police to measure the speed of incoming vehicles which aren’t cheap, along with the purchase of medical supplies for barangay health centers and health workers or frontliners assigned at either the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) and the JR Borja City Hospital. No specific amounts were mentioned but owing to the sharp demand by other hospitals around the country for alcohol, hand sanitizers and other essentials that are in now short supply, it’s safe to assume that the city government spent a lot to maintain this daily supply to their frontliners. Also add in the daily disinfection of public places, the salaries and meals of personnel (we can’t reasonably expect them to work all day for free now, do we) and the picture becomes a bit clearer. And Mayor Moreno made it a point to emphasize to anyone who cared to understand that while the city has money it still has to fully source the P658 million it needs for its COVID-19 response and due to the citywide quarantine that shut down hotels, malls and other businesses that attract large crowds, City Hall expects revenues to decline. I just hope that the P658 million standby fund won’t have to be used so the money can be reverted back to its intended items like school building projects and more, but people’s lives are at stake and Moreno has the foresight and wisdom to calibrate the allocation of funds for as long as the state of public health emergency remains in effect around the country due to the COVID-19 threat. (For questions and comments email me at susanap@yahoo.com and also keep an eye out and hit the notification button for my online broadcasts at 105.5 Bay Radio Way Kurat FM Balingasag by liking, following and sharing the station’s Facebook page).

READ MORE
A MISTAKEN BELIEF

April 5, 2020

A mistaken belief accompanies each and every one of us daily. Incorrect decisions and wrong doings are part of our daily life. It is almost a ridiculous fact that man wants to know certain truths about mundane things. But really he seems least interested in even mundane truths as can be read many times in newspapers or other media. There seem to be too much rash judgments, and the readers absorb these and make these their own. A fatal attraction! This is sometimes referred to as journalistic mentality wherein accusations are generously made without proof. Evolution started this trend, when scientists stated for example that man evolved from the apes, without proof. The only proof they had was the missing link, and if I am not mistaken, it's still a missing proof until now. To look for proofs is a mental activity, which is no longer a common thing nowadays, because it takes really time, effort and is too serious to think about. Yet in Christian education, thinking right is very important.That's why Philosophy is important in Christian life. To avoid error in thinking, the rules of right reasoning must be studied and mastered. It is really totally neglected in today's modern education? Thinking is actually an enjoyable activity but when one is pressured to get a good job for one's sustenance, then the other more mundane become attractive. After all, great thinkers many time do not get (good?) jobs... . Spiritual writers like the British Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) noticed that mankind had stopped thinking even two centuries ago. That was during his age. Man probably stopped thinking even earlier. He has ceased many times to search for the truth. It's easier to listen to gossip and believe in it. What a sign of weak minds! Too often are we blind to the truth and as a consequence we easily believe in lies we only have to like it. Too bad, if people always like to close their eyes and ears especially while experiencing the delusion of error.   +++   Email: doringklaus@gmail.com or follow me in Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter or visit www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com .    

READ MORE
In Camiguin: Woman under monitoring for Covid-19?

April 5, 2020

CAMIGUIN--Authorities are now closely monitoring the health condition of a 32-year-old woman suspected to have been infected with coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). Following the report, Governor Jurdin Jesus Romualdo over the weekend said the local government unit (LGU) along with the authorized health workers are conducting contact tracing and have been strictly following the protocol in handling the patient. The 32-year-old patient experienced sneezing when she arrived from Manila, where she attended a training, but was thoroughly handled from her point of arrival to her residence in Mahinog town in Camiguin, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) reported yesterday. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Grechen Cabalang said when the patient arrived in the province: “Gidisinfect diretso ang iyang gisakyan ug gilimit ang iyang contact. Ang nagtabo namo naka-mask ug diretso gi-isolate sa ilang balay. Even ang iyang pamilya gi-inform na daan sa protocol.(The vehicle used was disinfected immediately and contact was limited. Those who fetched us wore tjeir masks and the patient was immediately isolated in their house. Even her family was informed ahead of time on the protocol)." The test was conducted within the patient's 14-day quarantine period and results were obtained on the 21st day of quarantine from the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC). Only one test was conducted, Cabalang said. Known with an asthmatic case, the patient was immediately referred for testing because of her exposure to a COVID-19 positive patient in Manila aside from her sneezing symptom. The test was conducted at Camiguin General Hospital. “Kung mag-follow lang gyud sa protocol nga mao ra sad ang gibuhat diri sa Camiguin, dili gyud angay mabalaka ang katawhan. Dili pud ni siya dad-on sa NMMC (If we just follow the protocol, which what we are doing here in Camiguin, people need not worry. The patient will not be brought to Northern Mindanao Medical Center),” Cabalang said. As of writing, the LGU is waiting for the official statement and announcement from the Department of Health (DOH). Romualdo said while they are exerting efforts to contain the disease, he reminded the residents to stay home and limit activities such as buying commodities to the market. (RTP/PIA10)

READ MORE

Subscribe Now!

Receive email updates from Mindanao Daily News.