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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.  

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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?        

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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.

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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)

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Camiguin Governor appeals to Camiguingnons to stay at home amid first covid-19 positive

April 5, 2020

STAY HOME PLEASE, CAMIGUIN ISLAND GUV SAYS CAMIGUIN ISLAND - Governor Jurdin Jesus "JJ" Romualdo has appealed to all residents of the island to observe home quarantine religiously in order to avoid the deadly coronavirus disease.     This, as Governor JJ assured his people that everything is okay and the local government of the island is doing everything to contain the virus. As of yesterday, one of the government employees of the island, a 33-year-old female tested positive of covid-19 after attending a seminar in Metro Manila three weeks ago. Romualdo said the employee is now on strict monitoring and quarantines for another seven days although she was still assymptomatic. "Wala man siya gibati, only lang nga naa man diay siya history sa asthma," the governor said, as he went live in his FB acccount last night. "I am appealing to all the people of Camiguin to please be calm and stay home and to strictly observe home quarantine. Kung naay unnecessary nga lakaw ayaw na. Palihog lang ako naga awhag sa tanan," the governor said. The governor claimed during his rounds in the province he saw a lot of people still roaming around without necessary thing to do. "Daghan kitag nasita kay naglakaw lakaw gihapon for the sake of makasuroy-suroy lang," he claimed. FIRST COVID-19 POSITIVE The new case is a 33-year-old female from Mahinog, Camiguin. She has a history of travel to Manila last March 8,2020, and arrived in Camiguin last March 14,2020. Immediately after her arrival, she was placed under mandatory 14-day home quarantine. However, on March 17,2020, the patient experienced mild symptoms of colds and sore throat, thus, swab was taken and specimen was sent to reference laboratory testing. The patient has a pre-existing case of asthma. Currently, the patient is under strict home quarantine and is being monitored by the Provincial Health Office and Rural Health Unit personnel. The DOH encourages all persons who travelled to areas affected by Covid-19 to monitor themselves for the development of fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you have these sysmptoms, please see the nearest health facilities.  It was also learned that the trainor during the seminar had earlier tested positive of covid-19, so that the Department of Health immediately conducted contact tracing to all those who have attended the seminar and have showed signs of the flu-like symptoms.   Immediately after she was traced in Camiguin Island, the government employee was isolated  and has undergone strict monitoring from attending physicians. After her 14-day mandatory quarantine period ended, she was still assymptomatic so she was discharged from the hospital. Until her third confirmatory test has arrived this afternoon (April 4), confirming that she was positive of covid-19. The Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in Camiguin told the media that contact tracing is currently done in Camiguin Island to contain the spread of covid-19. This, after Governor Romualdo announced on April 4, 2020 around 10:00PM that a 33-year-old female tested positive of the disease. The patient who went to Manila for a conference did not show symptoms of the disease and was tested once by the DOH, according to Dr Gretchen Cabalang of the Provincial Health Office of Camiguin. Governor Romualdo urges the residents in the island to stay home and limit their activities such as purchasing of commodities if not necessary. The PIA Camiguin told reporters final announcement will be made by the DOH during a press conference.      

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Ten 'Pinoys' in UK test positive for covid-19

April 4, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Filipinos abroad have also tested positive of the deadly coronavirus disease, the Philippine ambassador to the United Kingdom reported.   Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom and Ireland Antonio Lagdameo confirmed this report during a press briefing for "Laging Handa." Lagdameo said: “Sa pinakahuling datos na nakuha natin, sampung Pilipino at former Pilipino sa UK na nagpositibo sa COVID-19, at pito po naman sa Ireland.” Lagdameo said there are also 33 patients under investigations (PUIs) but they are still waiting for the results of their tests. "There are other four persons who are also under monitoring, " he said. Some of those who became PUIs, he said, are nurses and healtcare workers. The Department of Health announced that prevoiusly, there were 466 Filipinos who contracted the virus, and 21 of which have already died.  In the country, the DOH also reported, the death toll has climbed to 136, while infections have also reached 3,018 cases. Meanwhile, in the press briefing yesterday, the DOH announced that mass testing would be done in the barangays to let the government have the exact figure, who among the Filipinos, need to be isolated and quarantined. The DOH also announced that in the event that many Filipinos needed to be quarantined, there are now quarantine facilities identified by the government.  

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