todays top stories

COVID-19 vials burned in PHO fire in Misamis Oriental

April 14, 2021

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - Sinovac anti-covid-19 vials intended for 30 people were burned in the fire that gobbled up the Provincial Health Office (PHO) in Misamis Oriental Wednesday night, a top official said. Provincial Board Member Gerardo Sabal said that PHO Chief Jeri Calingasan has reported that the vials were the remaining vials after the first batch was rolled up for the front liners in March 2021. Dr Jerie Calingasan, PHO chief clarified that the ratio of Sinovac is only 1:1, meaning only one (1) person can use one Sinovac vial.  Sabal said that an investigation is still going on how the fire started, tapped in past 6:30 p.m. the fire was contained an hour later. The neighboring offices, particularly the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) whose building was closer to the PHO was only slightly damaged, fire investigators said. The PHO office houses the laboratory, blood bank, medical supplies, and equipment intended for the provincial hospitals in Misamis Oriental. The PHO building is located inside the provincial capitol compound and away from the main provincial capitol building.   Sabal said the provincial government will sit down Thursday to assess the damaged although there was no report of casualty. Sabal is chair of the provincial board's committee on health and environment. -0-

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Cagayan de Oro Mayor says QR code tracing system won't expose bank data

April 13, 2021

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY City Mayor Oscar Seriña-Moreno has assured the public during a regular press briefing Monday that the Quick Response (QR) Code to be used in contract tracing of Covid-19 contracted city residents won't expose the bank data of the code holders. The mayor quickly responded amid the growing clamor of the people and the business sector, showing their negative approach to the supposed total implementation of the QR code system. The City Council committee has recently approved an ordinance principally authored by City Councilor Ma Lourdes Gaane and co-authored by most members of the council in Cagayan de Oro. The City Mayor told the media that the QR Code system, Higala App, won't even ask users for any bank-related information.  Moreno said the contract tracing application (Higala App) is also 'protective' of the data privacy protocols, saying that those people claiming of bank-related issues such as identity theft are "baseless and absurd." Meanwhile, in a separate local radio interview with the principal author and Councilor Ma. Lourdes Gaane, She said the QR code system has been very well studied by the City Council before it was approved on final reading. She said this system is only meant to protect the city residents of Cagayan de Oro against the massive rise of coronavirus cases, now happening in Metro Manila and in many countries of the world. Gaane said the City Council won't approve such a measure if it would only go beyond the citizens' privacy. It was approved by the members of the City, she said because in this trying time of the pandemic the City Gov't cannot allow the surge of cases again. Mayor Moreno also added that stringent bank secrecy laws are protecting the accounts of people in banks, and the QR code system does not violate the bank secrecy laws. He told the media that the City Government is now doing its best to make dialogues with the business sector and other stakeholders on the QR code requirement, as stipulated in the ordinance passed by the City Council in February, this year.  The QR code system is supposed to be officially implemented last April 1, this year but ran into some technical dilemma, prompting the City Government to postpone its full implementation until next month.

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Dawlah Islamiya terror group leader killed in Marawi City encounter

April 13, 2021

TERRORIST KILLED IN GUNFIGHT    MARAWI CITY - A notorious sub-leader of the terrorist group Dawlah Islamiyah (DI) was killed Monday dawn (April 12) during an encounter with government forces, reports reaching MDNN said. The 30-minute exchange of bullets resulted in the death of Usop Nasif also known as Abu Asraf, reported as the follower of DI terror leader Abu Zacaria. The suspect was rushed to the Amai Pakpak Medical Center but attending physicians pronounced him dead on arrival (DOA). Nasif was intercepted by the joint operation conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Army. Since the suspect won't surrender alive he reportedly pulled his handgun and engaged the government lawmen in a 30-minute exchange of bullets also took his life. Nasif's wife was also wounded during the skirmishes but is now in a safe condition as she was also rushed to the same hospital. Meanwhile, seven operatives of the PNP were also wounded during the dawn encounter. BGen Jose Maria Cuerpo II, 103r Infantry Brigade commander, told reporters the government has successfully neutralized local terror group Dawla Islamiya in the death of Usop Nasif, the primary suspect in the killing of three PNP and three Army personnel early this year.  The suspect, the army general said, was also implicated in a string of killings of civilians who failed to give money to their reported extortion activities in the region. Gen Cuerpo said: "The hideout was pointed out by Guimba residents fearing that he will put to danger their lives and properties. Troops are on pursuit against the cohorts of Nasif and we encourage the locals to report their presence so that we could stop their terrorist activities in the province."  Meanwhile, 1st Infantry Division commander Maj.Gen. Gene Ponio commended the PNP and Army troops for the successful neutralization of the said terrorist sub-leader.  "We vowed to remain relentless against this terrorist group to sustain the peace and progress that we have attained in our area of responsibility," Ponio said.  

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IMEE HITS DOH ANEW OVER NEW ROADBLOCK TO VACCINE IMPORTATION

April 12, 2021

Senator Imee Marcos has again sought to stop the Department of Health (DOH) from implementing a new requirement that discourages private companies from procuring Covid-19 vaccines to augment the government’s limited supply and speed up mass vaccination.   “Companies will now be required to issue a so-called Certificate of A4 Eligibility under recent guidelines in the National Vaccine Deployment Plan (NVDP), which will exclude certain employees from priority vaccination even if their company’s products or services are considered essential, as food, pharmaceuticals, and transport,” Marcos revealed.   The term A4 refers to the group of vaccines prioritized after healthcare workers, senior citizens, and people with co-morbidities.   The updated NVDP will have 13 sub-classes for A4 comprising frontline workers in the private sector and the government, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in similar jobs, and the new addition of religious leaders.   Marcos, who chairs the Senate committee on economic affairs, said that the Certificate of A4 Eligibility will force the private sector to discriminate against its own workers and will likely cause confusion, resentment and disorder not only within companies but also in local government units (LGUs) tasked to administer vaccines nationwide.   “We cannot look forward to reopening the economy if the DOH keeps shutting the door. With so many new sub-classes in A4, the DOH should instead be giving incentives to private companies to vaccinate their rank and file, so that businesses can again run smoothly and recover swiftly,” Marcos said.   “Nor should OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) be turned away by LGUs if they cannot present the same certificate before taking the jab. The DOH does not even identify who will issue the certificates to them,” Marcos added.   The department had earlier sought to prevent the purchase of vaccines by manufacturers of tobacco, alcohol, milk substitutes, and other products deemed in conflict with public health, but President Duterte decided against it after Marcos exposed the attempt contained in an administrative order drafted by the government agency.

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Covid-19 hits Koronadal City Mayor Eliordo Ogena 

April 11, 2021

KORONADAL CITY – The deadly coronavirus disease continues to wreck havoc elsewhere in the Philippines. This time it's Koronadal City Mayor Eliordo Ogena who contracted the disease. The mayor was immediately taken to the hospital after health officials confirmed him positive of the virus. According to his daily health bulletin, the city mayor is still in "good condition."  In his FB account, the mayor said Saturday (April 10) he got the coronavirus disease based on the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test. Symptoms of the suspected virus were seen from him so that he was rushed to the hospital. “To all my beloved Koronadaleños, I am saddened to inform you that I am positive for Covid-19. But don’t you worry because I am in good condition,” mayor Ogena said as also advised his constituents not to worry about his condition. The mayor also advised his constituents never to worry as he is now in isolation and following IATF protocols for the safety of his family and the employees of the City Government of Koronadal.  Ogena said in a radio interview that his personal doctor advised him to undergo RT-PCR for the third time since the deadly virus is still attacking people around the world with no exceptions. On Friday night the city mayor also experiences a high fever. The city mayor also experienced coughing but he could ascertain whether it already the virus symptoms as he had been coughing for many years due to his heart-related condition. He had bypass surgery in 2007, and since then he was coughing.  He said: “My fever has already subsided and I am in good condition. So far, so good, I’m healthy and strong, and eating well. He said he has no idea where he contracted the disease as he was been into many activities in the past few days.  

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2 South Cotabato dads inoculated with Astra Zeneca but may face sanctions

April 11, 2021

SOUTH COTABATO -  Two mayors in this province could be in 'hot water' as they violated memo circular guidelines on giving priority to health care workers. This after the mayors got inoculated of the government-procured antivirus.  DILG South Cotabato Lawyer Rochelle Sero announced that Mayors Sulpicio Villalobos of Sto. Niño and Dibu Tuan of Tboli were inoculated ahead of the health care workers and this appeared the mayors violated DILG Memorandum Circular 2021-007. Lawyer Rochelle said the two mayors are not yet eligible to get the vaccines, based on a Memo Circular issued last January.  In a press briefing held recently, Lawyer Rochelle Sero said: “Kung makita nimo, naay priority and they cut the line. So maingon ta naa sila violation sa vaccine protocol” she said in a press briefing in Koronadal City. Sero leaves the resolution of the case on the mayor's violation to the Ombudsman to determine the gravity of the offense and the appropriate sanctions. The two were among the five mayors in the country who were initially flagged by the DILG central office and issued with show-cause orders on Wednesday for “jumping the line” on the vaccination priority list. Tuan and Villalobos got their first doses of the AstraZeneca last March 19.

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