Press Briefing

Press Briefing of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque


SEC. ROQUE: Naku, napakabuting balita po ‘no: Nanalo po ang ating isa na namang boksingero, at mayroon na po siyang siguradong bronze medal. Ito po ang ating pinakabatang boksingero na si Carlo Paalam. At ang tinalo po niyang kalaban na galing po sa Uzbekistan ay siyang naging gold medalist sa kaniyang kategorya sa boxing noong kahuli-hulihang Olympics po sa Rio. So congratulations po kay Carlo Paalam!

At ilang minuto na lang po ay sasabak din ang ating isa na namang kababayan para sa ginto, ito po si Nesthy Petecio ‘no. So, Nesthy, kung naririnig mo kami, lahat ng Pilipino ay nagdadasal para sa iyong tagumpay at naniniwala po kami na malakas po ang posibilidad na makakauwi na naman tayo ng isang ginto na namang medalya galing diyan sa Olympics. Our prayers are with you, Nesthy Petacio.

At mamaya po, mamayang 6:20 P.M., may isa pa po tayong kababayan ‘no na nag-qualify sa finals ng Athletic Men’s Pole Vault, ito po si Ernest John Obiena. Go for gold, Nesthy! And congratulations po uli doon sa ating kababayan na si Carlo Paalam!

Now, isa na naman pong, well, hindi ko po alam kung mabuti, at least assurance po na bagama’t napakahirap po ng lockdown eh ang gobyerno naman po ay magbibigay po ng kahit papaanong tulong pinansiyal.

Now, kinumpirma ko na po na ang halaga ay 1,000 per person at 4,000 maximum per family. Saan po kukunin? Well, ito po ay kukunin sa savings ng lahat ng mga ahensiya ng gobyerno. Ito po ay nakasaad sa Administrative Order #41 na nilagdaan ng Presidente noong isang taon pa ‘no or last May 12, 2021—I’m sorry, it’s Administrative Order# 41 na pinirmahan ni Presidente last May 12, 2021.

Ang nakasaad po dito ay ang gagamitin natin para sa ayuda ay galing po sa mga, I quote, “Lahat ng unobligated continuing appropriations, savings na idineklara ng mga departamento, mga ahensiya, bureaus at mga opisina ng national government alinsunod nga po dito sa Administrative Order #41.” So nandiyan na po ang kasagutan kung saan natin kukunin ang ating pang-ayuda. At ang halaga pong gagamitin natin para sa 10.7 million residents na makakatanggap ng ayuda sa Metro Manila ay suma total 13.1 billion pesos.

Now, kung mayroon pa po tayong kinakailangan na iba pang ibigay na financial assistance dahil nga po dito sa ECQ, kukunin naman po natin iyan sa tinatawag na mga windfall na nakolekta po ng Bureau of Treasury.

Okay, mahigit dalawampu’t isang milyon or 21,210,129 na po ang total doses of COVID-19 vaccine na na-administer natin, ito po ay as of August 2, 2021. Samantala, mahigit siyam na milyon or 9,369,625 ang mga fully vaccinated – konti na lang po, aabot na tayo ng ten million – habang pataas nang pataas naman po ang nagpapabakuna. Pinapaalala lang namin sa lahat na huwag sayangin ang pagkakataon na magpabakuna dahil ito naman po ay libre. Magpalista sa inyong LGU, at kung may schedule na, magpaturok na po ‘no. Walang bayad ang first at ang second dose! Mas maganda na may dagdag na proteksiyon sa mas nakakahawang Delta variant.

Siya nga pala, simula ngayon, a-tres ng Agosto hanggang a-bente ng Agosto, libre po ang pamasahe para sa bakunadong pasahero na APOR or Authorized Persons Outside of Residence ng MRT 3, LRT 2 at PNR kahit isang dose lang basta nabakunahan na. At upang maka-avail, iprisenta lamang ng mga APORs ang kanilang vaccination cards, ito ay para may patunay na sila ay nakatanggap na ng bakuna.

Pagdating naman po sa supply ng bakuna: Dumating kahapon ang 415,040 doses ng AstraZeneca na donasyon po ng Inglatera. Maraming salamat po! Mamaya ang inaasahan nating darating ang tatlong milyong doses ng Moderna na donasyon naman po ng Amerika. Maraming salamat din po! Sasalubungin po iyan ng ating Pangulo.

Makikita sa infographic ang iba pang mga paparating na bakuna ngayong buwan. Ang total na darating po ngayon sa buwan na ito ay 22,726,060. Dumating na nga po kahapon iyong AstraZeneca na 415,000. Darating po mamaya ang Moderna na 3,000,060. Tapos itong unang linggo po ng buwan na ito, mayroon po tayong one million na Sinovac. Tapos darating din po ang inaasahan nating 813,150 na Pfizer. Mayroon pong karagdagang binili tayong AstraZeneca na 1,170,000. Tapos mayroon pong donasyon ang Tsina na Sinopharm – one million. Maraming salamat pong muli sa gobyerno ng Tsina ‘no. At mayroon din pong mga iba pang Sinovac na darating ‘no. Mayroon po tayong inaasahan na two million sa pangalawang linggo ng Agosto na Sinovac; three million sa pangatlong linggo; at 2,400,000 sa pang-apat na linggo.

Mayroon pang karagdagan pong darating na Pfizer na binili natin, 727,850, sa buwan ng Agosto. Ganoon din po ang 2.6 million Moderna na binili natin, at mayroon pang karagdagang donasyon galing sa COVAX na three million. At finally, mayroon pa po tayong karagdagang nini-negotiate na Sinovac na 1.6 million. Suma total ay 22,720,060.

Now, kung darating po lahat iyan—well, hindi po ‘no, as of July 31, ang suma total na pong dumating sa Pilipinas na supply natin ng bakuna ay 56,586,760 doses.

Ito naman po ang ranking ng Pilipinas sa mundo sang-ayon sa Johns Hopkins pagdating po sa COVID:

  • Number 24 pa rin po ang Pilipinas pagdating sa total case – 1,605,762
  • Number 29 po sa active cases – 62,650
  • Number 132 po tayo sa cases per 100,000 – that’s 1,458
  • Number 86 sa case fatality rate na nasa 1.75

Tingnan naman po natin ang ranking natin pagdating sa Southeast Asia: Pang-anim pa rin po tayo pagdating sa Southeast Asia ‘no. Ang nangunguna po sa Southeast Asia ay Indonesia, pangalawa ang Thailand, pangatlo ang Malaysia, pang-apat ang Vietnam, panlima ang Myanmar.

Now, dito po sa ating bayan: Mayroon po tayo ngayong mga 8,167 na mga bagong kaso sang-ayon po sa August 2, 2021 datos ng DOH. Mataas naman po ang ating recovery rate na nasa 94.4. Mayroon tayong 1,515,054 na mga gumaling. Samantala, malungkot ko pong binabalita na nasa 28,093 na po ang binawian buhay dahil nga po dito sa COVID-19.

Tingnan naman po natin ang confirmed cases by report date sa Metro Manila. Kung makikita ninyo po dito sa ating infographic ay bahagya na pong tumataas ang mga kaso natin dito sa mga nakalipas na araw. Well, ito po siguro ay dahil nga po sa COVID-19. Tumalon na po ng 65% na mas mataas ang numero kumpara noong isang linggo. Mula 968 average daily reported cases noong July 20 to 26, ito po ay naging 1,535 noong July 27 to August 2. Bagaman mayroon pong pagtaas, malayo pa po ito sa peak na naranasan ng Metro Manila na umabot sa mahigit limanlibo o 5,532 noong March 29 to April 4.

Tingnan naman po natin ang ating mga healthcare utilization rate. Hindi ko po alam kung nakikita ninyo ito ‘no, pero ang kulay pong ito ay tatlo, okay. Iyong hospital care utilization rate, iyong dark blue; iyong light blue po ay iyong ICU utilization rate; at iyong green po ay iyong mechanical ventilator utilization rate.

Now, ito pong unang slide na ito, this is national kasi pinapakita iyong mga iba’t-ibang mga rehiyon. Now, makikita ninyo po na mayroon namang mga rehiyon na nasa moderate at mayroon ng mga rehiyon na nasa high risk. Ang mga nasa moderate na po ngayon ay unang-una ang Region IV-A.

Well, simulan po natin sa ICU, okay, iyong light blue. Iyong light blue po pagdating po sa ICU ay mayroon na pong high risk, ito po ang Region I. At high risk na rin po pagdating sa ICU utilization rate ang Region II.

Now, ang mga nasa moderate risk na po ay ang Region III, ang Region IV-A, ang Region VI, ang Region VII, ang Region X, ang Region XI, at kakaunti na lang po ay Region XII. Ibig sabihin po, talagang tumataas po ang mga nagagamit nating healthcare facilities nationwide.

Now, kasama po natin ngayon ang ating DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire at Police Lt. Gen. Israel Ephraim Dickson, Deputy Chief, PNP for Operations and Commander Joint Task Force COVID Shield.

Puntahan muna natin si Usec. Vergeire. Ma’am, kinakailangan doktor po ang mag-explain nito ‘no. Pero marami po tayong naririnig na mga reaksiyon doon sa mga lugar na napasailalim sa MECQ kasama na po dito iyong mga probinsiya ng Apayao, Laguna at Aklan. At mayroon din pong mga naririnig tayong mga nagrereklamo rin at na-MECQ rin po ang Cebu City kasama po ang Lapu-Lapu at saka ang Mandaue. Ma’am, paki-explain nga po ngayon dito sa mga residente dito sa mga areas na na-classify as MECQ kung bakit at ano ang mga criteria na ginamit ng IATF para marekomenda na mapasailalim po sila sa MECQ?

The floor is yours, Usec. Vergeire.

DOH USEC. VERGEIRE: Yes. Good afternoon po sa inyong lahat. Magandang hapon po, Secretary Harry Roque, and of course the other guests in this room.

Tayo po ay nagdi-determine ng ating community quarantine classification base po sa parameters na ginagamit ng IATF and these would be the escalation. For escalation is the healthcare utilization at kapag de-escalation naman po the trends in cases like ADAR and two-week growth rate.

Ngayon po na mayroon ho tayong tinitingnan na pagtaas ng mga kaso sa iba’t-ibang lugar and dahil po sa Delta variant, binabaan po natin ang thresholds natin. Kung dati kailangan magha-high risk muna ang isang lugar para maisailalim sa Enhanced Community Quarantine, ngayon po nandoon pa lamang tayo sa moderate risk at nakikita natin ang pagsipa ng mga kaso sa lugar, atin na pong ginagawan ng preemptive na restrictions para hindi na po further kumalat ang virus or ang Delta variant.

Specifically for Cebu Province, nag-request po sila. Our process would entail that when the committee recommends already to IATF the specific classification of an area, local government have that parang right to appeal to IATF if they think, based on their experience on the ground, na iba po ang sa kanilang pananaw.

So, with Cebu Province they appealed na instead of MECQ it should just be GCQ heightened restrictions. Pinag-usapan po ito with DILG and it was parang agreed on that Cebu Province will be on GCQ with heightened restrictions pero iyon pong mga lugar na matataas ang kaso within the province will be placed on MECQ. So, it is like a granular lockdown but still having that heightened restrictions in Cebu Province.

As to the Aklan po which appealed to be escalated to MECQ, they are currently on GCQ status, nakita ho natin na iyong kanilang provincial health-care utilization bagamat wala pa ho doon sa sinasabi nating high risk, it was already at 65%. Malapit na po siya mag-high risk and ang pinakanakita natin iyong pagsipa po ng kaso dito sa lugar na ito. Ang kanilang average daily attack rate was at 22 per 100,000 population na mataas na po ito kapag tiningnan natin and their two-week growth rate is really positive for these past weeks that’s why we have escalated and we have complied with their appeal.

Iyon pong sa Apayao naman was escalated to MECQ because their health-care utilization kapag tiningnan natin, 98% na po. Ibig sabihin, iyong paggamit po ng mga hospital beds sa lugar na iyan ay malapit nang mapuno ang ospital at kailangan po nating i-preserve iyan so we need to lock it down first para mas makapag-prepare po ang sistema ng lugar na iyan.

And as to Laguna, it was escalated to MECQ because we saw the increase in the number of cases. Actually, noon pong nag-‘plus’ areas tayo naipababa po ng National Capital Region at ibang lugar sa ‘Plus’ areas ang kanilang mga kaso ngunit ang Laguna po patuloy po na nag-plateau siya, hindi siya tuluyang bumaba. And that pagkakita natin doon sa detection ng Delta variant, mayroon pala silang Delta variant at patuloy pong tumataas ang kanilang kaso kaya kami po ay nagdesisyon na kailangan na pong i-escalate muna para makapaghanda po ang kanilang sistema and we can further contain the transmission of the disease in their area.

SEC. ROQUE: Maraming salamat, Usec. Vergeire. Kasama rin po natin ngayon ang ating Police Lt. Gen. Israel Ephraim Dickson, siya po ang Deputy Chief ng PNP for Operations at siya rin po ang Commander ng Joint Task Force COVID Shield.

Sir, ano ba ho ang mga hakbang na ipapatupad po ng ating kapulisan ngayong linggo at mas importante doon sa dalawang linggo ng ECQ? Ngayong linggo po na ito ay mayroon na tayong restrictions sa mobility at pinagbabawal na po ang non-essential travel to and from Metro Manila Plus areas. So, ano pong sitwasyon natin ngayon, Gen. Dickson?

PLTGEN DICKSON: Magandang tanghali po, Sec. Harry at Usec. Vergeire at sa mga nanunood.

Tama ho iyon, Sir. Ayon sa IATF Resolution No. 130-A at sa kautusan po ng ating SILG, Secretary Ed Año at ang aming Chief PNP na si Police Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, ang iyong Joint Task Force COVID Shield ay nag-establish ng iba’t-ibang quarantine checkpoints.

Makikita po sa inyong TV, sa inyong screen, 75 ang na-establish na checkpoints sa mga area ng NCR Plus Bubble at ito po na-deploy-an ng 1,119 na PNP personnel at ito po ay naaayon sa kautusan at provision ng IATF Resolution 130-A na magpaigting na po tayo ng mga quarantine checkpoints para mapigilan o makontrol ang paggalaw ng mga tao lalung-lalo na po ang hindi authorized person outside of their residence (APOR) na lumabas at pumasok dito sa NCR Plus area na kinabibilangan po ng NCR at mga Probinsiya ng Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal at Laguna.

At base po sa aming datos, may 75 na ho kaming na-establish na quarantine checkpoints sa mga boundaries sa mga areas na ito. At ito po ay mina-man ng ating mga kapulisan sa tulong din po o support ng ating local LGUs na malapit sa lugar na iyon at ang ating mga allied agencies na kinabibilangan ng ating DOH, mga BFP or Bureau of Fire Protection at mga force multipliers na sumusuporta po sa inyong mga kapulisan.

Kung nais ninyo pong makita ang sinasabi po naming mga APOR or authorized person to move or lumabas o pumasok sa mga borders na binabantayan ng inyong mga kapulisan, ito po ang mga sumusunod. Ito po ang tinatawag naming mga APORs:

Sila po ang, una, employers and workers involved in essential manufacturing establishments, services and industries. Ang mga involved po sa manufacturing ay ang mga sumusunod: Sila po ang mga persons na gumagawa ng basic food products, essential products, medicine and medical supplies, and the entire value chain of all food and beverages, essential and hygiene products, medicines and vitamins, medical products such as PPEs, masks, gloves, at pet food, fish, fertilizers and pesticides, equipment for products necessary to perform construction works.

Ang mga employers and workers of the following establishments, sila rin po ay APOR:

  • Retail establishments – ito po iyong mga groceries, supermarkets, hypermarkets, pharmacies and the likes
  • Food preparation establishments in so far as takeout and delivery services
  • Media establishments
  • Hotels or similar establishments accommodating distressed overseas Filipino workers and stranded Filipino or foreign nationals, repatriated OFWs in compliance with approved quarantine protocols, non-OFWs who are required to undergo mandatory facility-based quarantine
  • Healthcare workers and other employees
  • Printing establishments authorized by BIR and other government agencies
  • All other establishments necessary for buying and selling of consumer goods or services via internet.

Employers and workers involved in the following services: Hospitals and medical clinics; dental clinics and other health clinics; laundry shops; food preparation and water refilling stations; logistics service providers; power; energy; water; internet service providers; cable television providers; IT and telecommunications supplies and facilities including their third party contractors and service providers; delivery services whether or not e-commerce platform, in-house or outsourced; essential and priority construction projects whether public or private in accordance with the guidelines issued by the DPWH.

Employers and workers involved in the following services shown on the screen are the public and private financial services providers involved in the distribution of government grants and amelioration subsidies; water collection; treatment and supply; waste collection; treatment and disposal; sewerage; repair and installation of machinery equipment; repair and maintenance of motorized and non-motorized vehicles including the sale of spare parts; installation of machinery and equipment; gasoline stations; electricity and gas supply; postal and courier service; real estate; repair of computers—

SEC. ROQUE: General, sandali lang po.

PLTGEN DICKSON: Yes, sir?

SEC. ROQUE: General, sandali lang po. We would like to congratulate Nesthy Petecio po, siya po ay nanalo ng silver ngayon lang po! Ang nanalo po ng ginto ay ang boksingerong galing Japan but nonetheless napakagaling po ng ipinakitang lakas at gilas ng ating Nesthy Petecio. Congratulations, Nesthy Petecio, for the silver in boxing! Ito po ang kauna-unahang pagkakataon na nagkaroon tayo ng mga kababayang mga boksingero and it was a silver immediately. We are proud of you, Nesthy!

General, please continue.

PLTGEN DICKSON: Ipagpapatuloy ko po ang pag-mention ng mga APORs under services: Iyong funeral and embalming; veterinary; technical and testing analysis; security and investigation; rental and leasing; employment/manpower services or essential activities; public transport providers and operators.

Employers and workers engaged in the following industries: Agriculture; fisheries; forestry; mining and quarrying; electronic commerce companies; export-oriented companies; business cruises outsourcing companies; money transfers, banks and capital markets; micro-financing institutions and credit cooperatives; shipping and airline.

Sa mga other authorized persons outside residence po, ito po:

  • Officials and employees of all agencies and instrumentalities of government including GOCCs and LGUs
  • Health and emergency frontliners
  • Officials and employees of foreign diplomatic missions and international organizations
  • Outbound and inbound international passengers and driver
  • Delivery personnel and cargo vehicles with or without load at least at the most three employees of critical transportation facilities
  • Construction workers accredited by DOWH to work in quarantine-related facilities and government infra projects
  • Those traveling for medical or humanitarian reasons (pastors, priests and imams or such other religious ministers whose movement shall be related to the conduct of necrologic or funeral rites)
  • Individual preferable 21 – 59 years old availing essential goods and services
  • Teachers, professors and other staff
  • Lawyers who will provide legal representation
  • Immediate family members of the deceased who dies of causes other than COVID-19

And the number three, ito po ay programa ng ating pamahalaan during the ECQ – those individuals scheduled or availing vaccination, ito po ang mga list of authorized persons outside their respective residences, sir.

SEC. ROQUE: Thank you very much, Police Lt. Gen. Israel Ephraim Dickson. Babalik muna tayo kay Usec. Vergeire dahil si Usec. Vergeire po ay sinagot lamang iyong aking mga katanungan kanina ‘no. So, Usec. Vergeire, for your prepared presentation, please. The floor is yours.

DOH USEC. VERGEIRE: Thank you, Secretary Harry. Magandang hapon po uli sa inyong lahat! Ako po ay magbibigay lang ng kaunting situationer para sa COVID-19 dito sa ating bansa. Can we have the next slides?

The impact of Delta variant is now observed nationally and in select regions and areas of the country. Half of our provinces, highly urbanized cities and independent component cities already show an increase in the number of cases and our health care utilization.

Given ongoing Delta variant of concern transmission, we need to immediately address observed case in places, closely monitor health care utilization and consider implementing higher community quarantine as preemptive measures to contain the Delta spread.

All localities whose cases and health care utilization are high and critical risk must urgently increase their health systems capacity to prevent fatalities from occurring resulting from poor accessibility. All localities exhibiting case increases but healthcare utilization are retained at low to moderate risk must likewise increase their health systems capacity to prevent being overwhelmed. Next slide, please.

So, let me begin by giving you brief situationer of our COVID-19 pandemic in our country. As of August 2, we have a total confirmed cases of 1,605,762; 3.9% are active cases, 94.3% are recoveries and 1.75% are deaths. Looking more closely, we have 96.7% who are asymptomatic, mild or moderate; 3.3% or 2,066 cases are severe or critical. The top 5 regions contributing to these new cases being reported are the National Capital Region, Region IV-A, Region VII, Region III and Region VI. And the 5 areas contributing to the new cases are Cavite, Laguna, Quezon City, Bulacan, Cebu City and Bohol.

So this is our epidemic curve, we saw a decline since our peak in cases for the first week of April but since May however, cases started to slowly rise again. Looking at the contribution of each region to the cases, we can see that since the increase of cases, National Capital Region has generally gone down. So these are the dark blue bars while Region VI at light blue bars and the other regions, the black bars, showed consistent increase and are now taking up a larger portion of the total number of cases in the country. However, the decline in the National Capital Region cases seems to have stopped or slowed down. The national cases saw an increase in the recent week. Cases from July 27 to August 2 recorded 7,283 cases per day, an increase of 1,348 cases per day compared to the previous weeks – 5,935.

Disaggregating our epidemic curve into major island groups and the NCR Plus areas, we have noted that first: All areas are showing increase in the number of cases; NCR and NCR Plus areas are showing a steep increase, the rest of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao exhibits a slight increase in the number of cases.

Nationally, our two-week growth rate is higher compared to the previous 3 to 4 weeks and is now exhibiting a positive growth at 29% in the recent 1 to 2 weeks. Our average daily attack rate on the other hand is still at moderate risk showing an increase in the recent week at 6 cases per every 100,000 individuals.

We would like to flag the National Capital Region, Region VII, Region I, Region II, CAR and Region X with high-risk classification based on its moderate two-week growth rate and high-risk ADAR. Region I and Region II also have high risk ICU utilization. Note that HCUR is based on the maximum between the beds and the mechanical ventilators utilized allotted for COVID-19 in that specific area.

Apart from these areas, we have Region IV-A, Region III, Region XII which are currently having positive two-week growth rate and all of the regions in the country. The National Capital Region remains to be at moderate risk with two-week growth rate at high risk and ADAR and it is currently at high-risk classification already. ADAR also went from 4.8 cases to 8.9 cases per 100,000 population.

So we now have 36 areas with moderate to high risk classification and healthcare capacity at low to moderate risk. Eight areas are found to have local Delta cases, the rest of the areas are seen in the next slide. So these are the other 36 areas where we can see at the last column of this slide, you’d see the total Delta variant cases.

So we have 21 areas flagged due to their cases, have both moderate to high risk classification, and high to critical healthcare utilization rate. 11 of the 21 areas have local Delta cases. So we have Ilocos Norte, Cagayan, Nueva Vizcaya, Bataan, Angeles City, Laguna, Pampanga and the other areas that are identified here. Please take note again of the colored pink and the colored red areas because these are the indications that these areas are at high risk and up to critical risk in terms of utilization and risk classification, based on the number of cases.

In the national level, deaths are declining. However, there was evident increase in the deaths for Region III and Region VII shown in this slide.

In NCR, 7-day moving average shows continuously increased trend as cases in the recent 7 days have exceeded, the previous 7 days by 607 cases. So we now have an average daily reported case of 1,535 here in the National Capital Region. All of the areas in the National Capital Region have positive two-week growth rates; Pateros and Malabon are at critical risk having high risk two-week growth rate and average daily attack rate.

Apart from these two areas, 13 areas have high risk ADARs. These are Makati, San Juan, Pasay, Las Piñas, Navotas, Muntinlupa, Parañaque, Valenzuela, Pasig, Mandaluyong, Taguig, Manila and Quezon City. Furthermore, it can be seen here that Las Piñas currently has a high ICUR or Intensive Care Utilization Rate, it is at critical risk level; while Muntinlupa and Quezon City have high risk ICURs. Nine out of the 17 cities in NCR are with Delta variants as of August 1 of this year.

Overall NCR HCUR and ICUR are at low risk in the district level. Second District and Fourth District already have a moderate risk HCUR while the rest of the districts are at low risk. For NCR, we currently have 9,256 total beds dedicated for COVID with a utilization rate of 47%. We have 1,140 ICU beds and the current ICU utilization is at 55%.

In addition to our indicators, we have added this pending ER admissions in the National Capital Region which we are seeing to have been increasing since the start of June.

Shown in this slide is the mortality curve in the National Capital Region. It can be seen that the number of deaths started to decrease in April and continue to do so in these recent weeks. So, for the NCR Plus areas, in ‘Plus’ areas, all areas are showing an upward trend in cases – Cavite and Bulacan with the fastest increase in the number of cases. For Plus areas, all areas are with positive two-week growth rate – Laguna and Cavite have high risk average daily attack rates and intensive care utilization rates and are both at high-risk classification. The rest of the areas have their health-care utilization and ICU utilization at low to moderate risk.

So going to our bio-surveillance efforts in our country, of the 8,309-sample sequence assigned with a lineage as of July 28 – 25.8% of samples are positive for the Beta variant or the South African lineage; 22.3% of samples were positive for the Alpha variant or the UK lineage; 2.6% or 216 samples are positive for the Delta variant; and .02% or 2 samples are positive for the Gamma variant.

Among the 216 Delta variant cases in the country, 190 have recovered; 9 individuals died; 17 remain to be active after validation and repeat RT-PCR conducted by our Local Epidemiology and Surveillance Units – 48 of them are returning Overseas Filipino Workers, 165 are local cases, and 3 cases are still being verified if they are local or returning overseas Filipino. 54% or 117 are males and cases belong to the age group from less than 1-year-old to 79 years old.

As to vaccination status, for those with details – 14 cases received 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, 11 cases received only 1 dose while 46 cases are unvaccinated and the vaccination status of the rest are still being verified.

So the next few weeks are crucial for us. Through the learnings we had from our past experience, we have identified critical action points to mitigate the possibilities of severe increase in the number of cases. To highlight the pivotal role that individuals’ collective behavior plays in our pandemic response, we have identified 3 special areas of focus. These are improving our community response, enhancing our hospital response and finally continuous vaccination.

For our community level response, we call on the continuous cooperation of our local government as leaders of our communities and frontline responders. The national government will be providing targeted to high-risk areas. We will continue to reinforce doors three and four by controlling the borders, both local and international. We call on, all of our local chief executives to utilize the barangay code to conduct active case finding, through which we can already shorten from detection to isolation of cases to less than five days.

We are already contracting Hotel Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facilities for Oplan Kalinga. The national government and the local governments are now contracting telemedicine providers to prompt triaging and consultations. We are preparing transportations, hospitals and burial sites. Laboratories, hospitals and local governments are required to submit daily and without fail their accurate and up to date case data.

To prepare our healthcare facilities in managing the increase in cases, especially severe and critical, we have requested our hospitals through our One Hospital Command Center to monitor and secure the following. We should stockpile on essential COVID medicines and commodities, which includes, ensuring a 30-day buffer for PPEs, reagents and other medical supplies, ensuring the benefits of healthcare workers, proper triaging and transferring of mild cases to Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facilities adding 30 to 50% bed capacity by repurposing hospital facilities and minimizing elective cases, linking our hospitals with our quarantine facilities for a step down approach encouraging them to expand, capacitate and maximized telemedicine providers, oxygen plants should be readied to produce twice their monthly production as projected and instructed PhilHealth to ensure the provision of COVID-19 benefits for both hospitalized and  home cared patients.

And lastly, the national vaccine operation center will be doing the following actions:

  • Ensuring continuity of vaccination program
  • Increasing coverage for the high-risk groups especially the A2, A3, A1 in high-risk areas
  • Implementing vaccination site contingency plan, work schedules for vaccination sites
  • Planning on the work schedules of the vaccination work force
  • And lastly, strict scheduling and pre-registration of the vaccination sites.

So, I would like to emphasize these individual actions that we can do to prevent the transmission of aCOVID-19. If we can only do this correctly and consistently, we can be protected with this variant that we call the Delta variant.  First, ensure good ventilation and continue doing mask, hugas and iwas.

Whenever we are indoors, we have to ensure there is good ventilation. Transmission increases as more people go out and mix together.  Second, get the jab done. We need to help our loved ones and encourage them to get vaccinated especially our elderlies and those with underlying medical conditions to get vaccinated as soon as possible, get vaccinated when it is your turn and complete your doses as scheduled.

Third, when in doubt, isolate and quarantine the patient. We need to immediately isolate, if we start experiencing any symptoms and consult your physicians through telemedicine hotlines. Coordinate with your local governments through the Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams.

Lastly, share responsibly and think before you click. We are all responsible for the kind of information we create that we share to our peers and loved ones. We need to combat misinformation and disinformation. Stay informed, get and share information only from reputable sources.

And lastly, while we are still collecting sufficient evidence to declare community transmission of the Delta variant, it is important that we already act as if there is already community transmission.

Our numbers of indicators may differ, but trends say the same thing, cases are rising. Hence, our unified strategy should be to focus on what we need to do now! We need to act now, both as individuals and as a community. Sa mga susunod po na linggo, bukod na nais po nating mapigilan ang pagkalat ng sakit at pagdami ng mga namamatay, ito na rin po ang oras para mapalakas natin ang ating health system.

Marami pa po tayong natutunan na mula sa nakaraan sa pamamagitan nito, mapapalakas po natin lalo ang ating komunidad, mga ospital, border and vaccination response. Lagi po nating tatandaan, we are not defenseless, marami na po tayong natutunan, marami na po tayong armas na mayroon sa ngayon para labanan po ang sakit na ito.

So, that is all, Secretary, over to you, sir.

SEC. ROQUE: Thank you very much, USec. Vergeire. Punta na po tayo sa ating open forum. Go ahead, Usec. Rocky.

USEC. IGNACIO: Yes. Good afternoon, Secretary Roque, at sa atin pong mga bisita.

Question from Leila Salaverria of Inquirer: Secretary Galvez said the number of vaccinated senior citizens has barely increased due to their hesitancy and this poses a challenge. The government has already been conducting information drive. What do they think are the factors contributing to this hesitancy? What else can the government do to convince the elderly to get vaccinated?

SEC. ROQUE: Alam mo kahit anong sabihin ko will be conjecture or speculation. Pero may mga ilang dahilan diyan: Unang-una, may mga lolo/lola na mas gustong bigyan ng prayoridad iyong mga mas bata; pangalawa, iyong mga lolo/lola natatakot na pumunta doon sa mga vaccination centers ‘no dahil baka doon pa sila mahawa ‘no; at saka pangatlo, may mga lolo/lola na siyempre nagiging concern din sa safety.

Pero uulitin lang po natin ‘no, wala naman pong bakuna na in-authorize ng ating FDA at ng WHO—WHO na rin po nagsabi, lahat ng bakunang ginagamit natin ay nasa emergency use list po ng WHO na hindi po napatunayang ligtas at epektibo. Pangalawa, kung ano pa iyong mga concerns eh pupuwede naman pong pumunta sa vaccination centers na safe. Mag-mask at mag-face shield lamang at dumistansiya at mababawasan naman po iyong risk kung tayo po ay magpapabakuna.

Siguro po the best incentive is, mga lolo/lola, siyensya na po nagsabi – kayo po talaga ang pinaka-at risk dahil dito sa COVID-19 na ito at ang proteksiyon po talaga natin kung gusto pa nating makasama ang ating mga apo ay magpabakuna na po tayo.

USEC. IGNACIO: From Kris Jose of Remate: Reaksiyon daw po ng Malacañang na nanguna ang mag-amang Pangulong Duterte at Mayor Sara sa presidential at vice presidential survey na ginawa po ng OCTA Research nitong nakaraang buwan. Lumabas sa tugon ng Masa National Survey ng OCTA na ginawa sa iba’t ibang panig ng bansa simula July 12 hanggang 18 na 28% ng adult Filipino respondents ang suportado ang probable presidential bid ni Mayor Sara election 2022. Similar question po iyan with Ivan Mayrina ng GMA News.

SEC. ROQUE: Well, nagpapasalamat po kami sa patuloy na tiwala ng ating taumbayan sa ating Presidente at kay Mayor Sara Duterte. Malinaw naman po iyan na hindi natin maiiwasan ‘no na talagang ang suporta kay Mayor Sara ay pagsuporta rin sa ating Presidente. Maraming salamat po!

USEC. IGNACIO: From Sherrie Ann Torres ng ABS-CBN: Your reaction to Senator Drilon’s statement on his information that from 2021’s 19.2 billion fund, NTF-ELCAC’s proposed 2022 will increase to 40 billion. Drilon sees this increase as an “election giveaway” which he says is unacceptable in the face of growing threats of COVID-19 virus.

SEC. ROQUE: Wala po akong reaksiyon diyan dahil wala pa po akong alam kung magkano talaga ang magiging budget sa 2022 para sa ELCAC. Itong budget pong ito ay pini-print pa lamang so hindi ko pa po nakikita. So hindi ko po alam kung ano naging basehan ni Senator Drilon ‘no.

Pero mayroon naman po tayong mga safeguards ‘no sa ating Omnibus Election Code, pinagbabawal po ang kahit anong mga infrastructure projects sa panahon po ng campaign period. Ito nga po ay para maiwasan na magamit ang pondo ng gobyerno for infrastructure for election parties and purposes.

USEC. IGNACIO: Ang sunod po niyang tanong: Whether there is an increase or not, how can the Palace ensure that NTF-ELCAC funds will not be used by the administration or LGU officials for election purposes?

SEC. ROQUE: Iyong batas na po natin nagsasabi, magkakaroon po tayo ng infrastructure ban during election period.

USEC. IGNACIO: From Cedric Castillo ng GMA News: Base po sa pag-aaral ng Japanese researchers, natuklasan na tatlong klase ng mutations sa spike protein Lambda variant ay maaaring magbigay sa virus ng resistensiya laban sa vaccine-induced antibodies.

SEC. ROQUE: Well, siguro si Dra. Vergeire ang kailangang sumagot niyan dahil kinakailangan dalubhasa. Ma’am, Usec. Vergeire?

DOH USEC. VERGEIRE: Yes, sir ‘no. So ito pong Lambda variant ay patuloy pong pinag-aaralan ng ating Philippine Genome Center. Pero sa ngayon po, wala pa ho tayong detection nito out of the more than 8,000 plus samples that we have sequenced in the country.

Ito pong Lambda variant na ito ay unang na-identify dito sa South American countries kung saan sinasabi nila ito ay mas nakakapanghawa at sinasabi nila na mayroon din itong escape mechanism when it comes to our vaccines.

So pinag-aaralan pa rin po ito lahat, wala pa ho tayong sufficient evidence for this but we will continuously monitor.

USEC. IGNACIO: Ang sunod po niyang tanong: Mabilis din ba na makapag-upgrade ng bakuna ang pharma companies o posible daw pong humantong sa puntong hindi na uubra ang vaccine sa COVID, Usec. Vergeire?

DOH USEC. VERGEIRE: Yes po, Usec. Rocky ‘no. So ‘pag tiningnan natin sa ngayon, ang ating mga bakunang mayroon tayo currently ay epektibo naman dito sa mga variants na mayroon sa atin ngayon. But as viruses continue to mutate, manufacturing companies tries to adapt. Ang ginagawa po nila ay kung ano po iyong nagiging mutation at pagbabago doon sa virus, ina-adapt po nila iyong kanilang mga bakuna.

But one thing I can tell you, hindi po mabilis gumawa ng bakuna. It takes years to make a vaccine. So ngayon po lahat, because of public health emergency, binibilisan, pinag-aaralan.

So ganoon din po ang ginagawa ng ating manufacturers so that the vaccines will be appropriately—or appropriate ‘no to manage the specific type of virus where the vaccines are needed. So titingnan ho natin for this next generation vaccines na apparently may lalabas naman po in the coming weeks or in the coming years ‘no, next year siguro po.

USEC. IGNACIO: Opo. Ang sunod po niyang tanong: Kumusta daw po iyong monitoring ng Department of Health tungkol sa Lambda variant?

DOH USEC. VERGEIRE: Hanggang sa ngayon nga po, katulad ng sabi ko, wala pa ho tayong nadi-detect of this variant of interest dito po sa ating bansa.

USEC. IGNACIO: From Jerome Aning of PDI for Usec. Vergeire: Dr. Salvaña said yesterday that one major reason daw po for the lockdown is to keep our healthcare system from being overwhelmed. ‘Di ba dapat daw po this time nearly 1 year and 6 months since COVID reached the Philippines, our healthcare system should already be able to withstand surges.

When will the country be able to reach the sufficient number of hospital beds for severe/critical cases and TTMFs for mild and asymptomatic cases?

DOH USEC. VERGEIRE: Yes, Usec. Rocky ‘no. So gusto ko lang ho ipaalam sa ating mga kababayan, no country has ever been prepared for this SARS-CoV-2 virus. Kung dati ang atin pong iniestima at pinagpaplanuhan iyong original strain noong virus, iyong B614G at sinasabi noon 1 is to 2 – may isang pasyente makakapanghawa isa hanggang dalawang tao.

Dumating po ang UK variant, ang naging strain nito, itong kaniyang variant na ito can infect more than the original virus from Wuhan. So ito po ay tumaas na maaaring makapag-infect hanggang apat. Ngayon po we have the Delta variant and it has also increased transmissibility na hanggang walo naman po.

So nakikita ho natin na pataas nang pataas ang requirements and we are trying to prepare, we are trying to catch up. Kaya kahit nga po tingnan natin sa ibang bansa, talagang hirap na hirap din po – it’s a challenge really for all countries. Pero what would be most important we are preparing, mayroon na ho tayong set baseline on the different resources we have. Itinataas na lang nang itinataas para po nakakapag-manage tayo as the characteristics of the virus becomes different every time.

SEC. ROQUE: Bago tayo magpatuloy ‘no, breaking lang po. Nakakuha po tayo ng komunikasyon kay Mayor Ahong ng Lapu-Lapu City at iyong kaniyang EO 40 daw po na nagsasabi na hindi pupuwedeng pumasok sa mga commercial centers ang non-vaccinated has been revoked.

Ulitin ko po: Iyong kontrobersiyal na EO 40 sa Lapu-Lapu City has been revoked dahil ang Lapu-Lapu City po ay napasailalim na sa MECQ. So wala na pong dahilan para ipatupad ang EO 40 dahil iyon po ay para sa deklarasyon ng MGCQ lamang.

Pero binabalita rin ni Mayor Ahong na dahil nga daw po sa kaniyang EO eh talaga naman pong sumipa iyong daily rate ng kaniyang pagbabakuna from 2,000 to an average of 6,000 a day. At kahapon daw po ay umabot sa record breaking 8,200 individuals at ang total na nababakunahan na niya ay 39,000 persons sa loob lamang ng anim na araw ‘no.

So ang sabi rin po niya, kinakailangan talagang ipatupad ang kaniyang EO dahil nagpapabakuna na ang mga taga-Lapu-Lapu City. Congratulations sa ating mga kababayan sa Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.

Go ahead please for your next question.

USEC. IGNACIO: Yes. Secretary, tanong pa rin po Jerome Aning ng PD: For Secretary Roque, ff we do not want our hospitals overwhelmed by severe, critical cases among the elderly and sickly, hindi kaya mas makakatipid ang government to just track down and vaccinate all such person, instead of shutting down the economy of the entire Metro Manila? NEDA Secretary Karl Chua said, each week of ECQ in NCR will cost P105 billion. Surely it would not cost the governmentP200 billion to locate and inoculate all the remaining A1, A2, A3 people for the NCR, LGUs and set up enough TTMFs for mild and asymptomatic cases.

SEC. ROQUE: Jerome, kasama iyan sa ating istratehiya. Kaya nga po kinukumpirma ko po na itong lockdown na dalawang linggo, beginning sa a-sais, sasabayan po natin ng 4 million na vaccination sa Metro Manila alone. Pero hindi talaga po solusyon ang bakuna, dahil ang bakuna ay sisipa lang po ang effectivity niya, mga 6 weeks after dahil hindi po siya kaagad effective. Kaya kinakailangan pa rin ang mask, hugas, iwas at saka iyong ating PDITR, at kinakailangan pa rin po nating mag-extreme measure na ECQ dahil nga po kinakailangan pabagalin. Pero kasama po talaga sa response ng gobyerno ang mabilisang pagbabakuna, 4 million po, in-approve na po para sa Metro Manila. Dahil alam naman po natin na kapag na-contain natin ang virus sa Metro Manila, mako-contain din natin iyong pagkalat sa buong Pilipinas. So, kabahagi po iyan ng ating istratehiya.

At totoo po, naiintindihan po namin na talagang napakamahal ng halaga ng lockdown, pero hindi naman po natin i-impose iyan kung hindi po talaga magdudulot nang mas malaking problema kung hindi tayo magla-lockdown. Ulitin ko po, sang-ayon po doon sa pag-aaral ng FASSSTER, 525,000 po pagkatapos lamang ng Setyembre kung mananatili tayo sa GCQ. At tingin ko po, hindi tayo magkakaroon ng sapat na hospital, beds at ICU units para alagaan iyong napakadaming kinakailangan maospital kung ang total number will be 525,000. So paunawa po, pero hindi po natin ginagawa ito for no reason at all. Ito po talaga is to save lives.

USEC. IGNACIO: From Joseph Morong of GMA News for Usec. Vergeire: At what point do we consider an increase as a surge?

DOH USEC. VERGEIRE: As what we have been explaining in the past – kasi po iyong surge, hindi po siya recognized in epidemiological terms – so ang surge po in familiar language, ito po iyong rapid rise and big increase in the number of cases. So kapag tiningnan po natin ang ating mga datos, hindi po natin … we will not rely on our current metrics na high risk bago po tayo magkaroon ng deklarasyon na mataas na ang kaso at kailangan na po nating itaas ang restrictions. We are lowering our thresholds because of the Delta variant’s transmissibility pattern kung saan napakataas ng kaniyang transmissibility, ang kaniyang viral load ng isang tao ay napakataas, therefore, ang pagkakahawaan ay talagang mabilis.

So ngayon po, when we talk about our metrics, nasa moderate risk pa lang po ang ating mga lugar, atin na pong sina-sound ang alarm at atin na pong gagawan ng preemptive restriction sa mga lugar na ito.

SEC. ROQUE: Ang second question niya: Do we have enough oxygen for our hospitals? How many for NCR, sa bansa? And how about medicines?

DOH USEC. VERGEIRE: Ah, yes currently mayroon naman tayong sapat. The inventory was done by the DOH together with the Department of Trade and Industry. Ang ginawa po ng DOH, minapa po natin lahat ng current supplies ng ating mga ospital, both public and private nationally, pati po iyong kanilang needs per day, iyong kanilang requirements per day. At napag-alaman din natin iyon namang production galing po sa DTI side ay sufficient din. So, we are requiring about 560 tons of oxygen or cylinder tanks per day of oxygen and the production is at 580 cylinder tanks, tons of cylinder tanks per day ng oxygen.

So, may surplus tayo. Pero ang sinasabi po kasi ng eksperto, if you have the Delta variant at nagtaas talaga iyong mga kaso ninyo, you will require twice as much as what you are requiring right now for oxygen. So ngayon, tumaas po ang requirement natin to almost 600 tons ang kinakailangan natin at nai-communicate naman po natin iyan sa ating mga producers ng oxygen pati doon sa oxygen generation plants natin dito sa ating bansa.

USEC. IGNACIO: Opo. From Ian Cruz of GMA News. Iyong tanong niya ay nasagot na ni Secretary Roque, about iyong 4 million doses during ECQ sa NCR. Ang second question niya: Paano daw po ipapatupad ang no walk-in policy sa vaccination?

SEC. ROQUE: Iiwan na po natin iyan sa mga LGUs. At nangako naman po ang mga LGUs sa pamamagitan po ni Chair Abalos na 250,000 a day ang babakunahan nila, ano. So, ang computation ko po at 250,000 a day at 4 million iyong karagdagang supply nila ay makakatapos po sila ng 4 million vax in 16 days. So kayang-kaya po iyan at iyan namang 250,000 po ay minimum iyan. Inaasahan natin dahil karamihan naman po ay hindi magta-trabaho, eh makakaya pong mas marami pa than 250,000 a day.

Now, kapag nakamit nga pala po natin iyang additional 4 million jabs, that will bring our total vaccinated individuals sa Metro Manila to around 45%, 5% na lang po ay pupuwede na tayong magkaroon ng population protection sa Metro Manila.

USEC. IGNACIO: Opo. From Red Mendoza of Manila Times for Usec. Vergeire: May kumakalat po daw sa social media na puwede ng mag-apply for yellow card forCOVID-19 sa Bureau of Quarantine at nagkakaubusan daw po ng slot sa Bureau of Quarantine Center para mag-apply dito. Advisable ba ito? And will this enough for international travel? Ano po ang advice ninyo sa mga nag-a-apply dito?

DOH USEC. VERGEIRE: Yes po ano. So kailangan maintindihan ng ating mga kababayan, ito pong yellow card ng Bureau of Quarantine has been used for decades already by our government through our Bureau of Quarantine.

This is part of our international health regulation agreements with the other countries, where if you have this yellow card, you will need to comply with the medical requirements of another country. Halimbawa, kapag pumunta po kayo sa Africa, kailangan ninyo ng bakuna ng yellow fever, magpapabakuna kayo and that yellow card will give you that certification that you received the vaccine. So, when you go to Africa, makakapasok kayo sa kanilang bansa.

Ngayon, dito po sa ating pagbabakuna ng COVID-19, noong pinag-usapan ng IATF what will be our means to validate our vaccinations dito sa Pilipinas to make it official when you go abroad? And this BOQ yellow card was identified as one of those mechanisms na puwede nating ma-validate ang ating mga bakuna, through this BOQ yellow card.  Also, those coming from abroad, maaari din po pagdating nila dito, maaaring iyong mechanism ng BOQ ay makapag-validate at makapag-certify din for them.

So, these are mechanisms for us, for verification of our vaccination status. Iyon pong sinasabing nauubusan na ng slots, hindi po iyon—kasi may schedules po tayo, hindi po lahat ay naa-accommodate per day kasi madami talaga ang nanghihingi ngayon. So look for your schedule, find your schedule, and then you can go there and get your yellow cards.

USEC. IGNACIO: Opo. For Secretary Roque, tanong pa rin po ni Red Mendoza ng Manila Times: Too late na ba ang naging response ng lockdown ng gobyerno? Marami ang nagsasabi na hindi proactive ang naging response ng gobyerno sa Delta variant kung hindi naging reactive ito?

SEC. ROQUE: Mali po iyan. Isang linggo nga naming binigyan ng palugit ang publiko para paghandaan po itong lockdown ng ECQ. Maling-mali po po iyan, hindi po tayo reactive; we are guided by science. Kaya nga po hindi alam ng marami na bukod pa doon sa 300 o 30 ba o 300 iyong sinabi ni Dra. Alethea na tao sa Epidemiological Bureau nila – 300 staff yata – bukod pa doon sa 300 staff members sa ating Epidemiological Bureau ng DOH, eh mayroon pa tayong mga consultants, kasama na nga po diyan iyong FASSSTER. So lahat po ng desisyon natin nakabase sa siyensiya.

Now, kung maalala ninyo iyong graph—ewan ko kung maipapakita pa natin iyong graph ‘no, makikita naman natin na in fact, iyong inaasahan nating pagsipa ay hindi pa po mangyayari, until August 15.  Pero ako po, as movant na bigyan ng one week palugit ang publiko at ang gobyerno para paghandaan ang ayuda at iba pang mga bagay ay ayaw ko namang i-push na August 15 ang lockdown dahil baka mamaya too late na nga po iyon dahil nakikita nating tumataas na ano. Pero sa ngayon po, itong linggong palugit ay wala pong danger na mauubusan tayo ng hospital facilities dahil tumataas pero pinaghandaan naman po natin iyan noong mga nakalipas na araw.

So ang gusto lang po natin, we hope that this will be our last ever lockdown. Bakit po? Kasi tumataas na iyong numero ng ating pagbabakuna. Inaasahan po natin na bagama’t ang numero ay tataas pa, bagama’t tumataas din ang ating mga nababakunahan na ay iyong mga nangyayari sa mga bansa kagaya ng Israel at Estados Unidos ay mangyayari rin dito maski tumaas pa ang numero, hindi na po sila nagkakasakit ng seryoso o hindi na namamatay.

So from now on po, kung ma-achieve natin ang population protection, it’s the number of critical and serious cases that will matter, and the death rates dahil kapag bakunado na po, COVID-19 can become an ordinary cold ‘no.

So hindi po siya reactive; we had foresight, we were guided by science and we are preparing for what we hope to be our last ever lockdown. Pero nakasalalay po iyan doon sa pagbabakuna natin ng ating mga kababayan.

USEC. IGNACIO: Question from Llanesca Panti of GMA News Online for Secretary Roque: Former Speaker Alvarez said, he was disappointed with the President due to poor pandemic response. Is the former Speaker right?

SEC. ROQUE: Hindi po! I will flash again our standing in the international community. Sa lahat ng magsasabi na mahina ang response natin, how do you explain the fact po na ngayon sa Southeast Asia, pang-anim na lang tayo. At sa buong mundo, ano po ang datos? Hindi po kami nag-imbento nito, ito po ay galing sa Johns Hopkins: We are Number 24 worldwide pagdating sa total cases; aktibong kaso – 29th; cases per 100,000 – 132. At ang pinakaimportante, we are only 86 in the whole world as far as iyong mga namamatay. One death is too much, totoo po iyan, pero in relation to the whole world, Number 86.

All those na nagsasabi na mali at mahina ang COVID response, I am sorry, you’re wrong; and the data will support us.

USEC. IGNACIO: Okay. Second question po niya: Is it true that the DFA was deprived of 30,000 doses of Moderna as claimed by Secretary Locsin?

SEC. ROQUE: Hindi ko na po pinakikialaman iyan. Bahala na po kung iyan ay nangyari o hindi, hindi ko na po alam iyan. Sila na po ang tanungin ninyo.

USEC. IGNACIO: From Ivan Mayrina ng GMA News for General Dickson: Sir, paano po ang magiging treatment sa mga quarantine violators? Sila ba ay kakasuhan o ikukulong?

GENERAL DICKSON: Sila po ay initially pagsasabihan. At base po sa instruction ng ating Chief PNP ay we will treat them humanely. Kung pasaway pa rin po sila ay dadalhin po namin sa mga dedicated areas na safe naman po ang mga spaces na hindi makakahawa or hindi rin sila mahahawa para maimbestigahan ho.

USEC. IGNACIO: Thank you po. For Usec. Vergeire, iyong sunod pong tanong ni Ivan Mayrina ay nasagot ninyo na about Lambda variant.

From Aileen Taliping of Abante Tonite for Secretary Roque: Pupuwede po bang magpabakuna sa Metro Manila ang mga taga-kalapit-bayan kagaya ng Cainta at Montalban sa panahon ng ECQ dahil hanggang ngayon ay wala pa rin silang schedule bunsod ng kawalan pa ng supply ng bakuna sa kanila?

SEC. ROQUE: Ang problema po diyan ay dahil iniiwasan nga natin iyong siksikan ‘no dahil baka maging super spreader events iyan sa panahon ng ECQ, kinakailangan ay mayroon pong prior registration sa inyong LGU. So kinakailangan po iyon dahil dini-discourage nga po natin iyong mga walk-in.

USEC. IGNACIO: Second pong tanong niya: Humihingi ng tulong kay Pangulong Duterte ang mga taga-Occidental Mindoro dahil sa matinding problema sa brownout na nararanasan nila araw-araw. Sana raw po ay kalampagin ng national government ang mga kinauukulan para mabawasan ang kanilang dinaranas na sakripisyo.

SEC. ROQUE: Makakarating po iyang reklamo nila hindi lang kay Presidente kung hindi sa ating Department of Energy, sa NGCP at kung sino pa ang dapat pagbigyan ng notice ‘no, kasama na rin siguro po diyan ang ERC.

USEC. IGNACIO: From Rosalie Coz ng UNTV para po kay Usec. Vergeire: Ano po ang tulong na maibibigay ng Department of Health sa private hospitals, ready po sila in terms of additional beds, problema raw po nila ay limited ang kanilang manpower?

DOH USEC. VERGEIRE: Yes, Usec. Rocky. So na-experience na ho natin ito in the past increase in cases. Like noong nag-increase po ang kaso noong 2020 last July and then ito uling March, iyon pong ating mga private hospitals, nabibigyan din po natin sila ng tulong as to healthcare workers; nabibigyan natin ng tulong as to logistical supply.

So kailangan lang pong magsabi sila sa amin para we can be able to provide them with the needed assistance.

USEC. IGNACIO: Opo. From Reymund Tinaza ng Bombo Radyo for Secretary Roque: Silver medal na nakuha ni Nesthy Petecio sa katatapos na laban sa Japanese boxer – talo pero silver pa rin – ano raw po ang statement ng Palace?

SEC. ROQUE: Well, in fact, we broke it. We broke the news na silver po tayo. We congratulate Nesthy. She made us very proud. And as usual ‘no, ang kuwento po ni Nesthy ay kuwento ng buong sambayanang Pilipino – tayo po ay naghirap, nangarap, nagwagi.

Tagumpay po ang silver medal ha, huwag po nating kakalimutan. At dahil bata pa naman po si Nesthy, mayroon pang susunod na Olympics para makakuha ng ginto. Pero as it is, we’re very proud as a nation of Nesthy. Mabuhay ka, Nesthy!

USEC. IGNACIO: Opo. Congratulations, Nesthy! Tanong naman po ni Dreo Calonzo ng Bloomberg: Clarification lang daw po, Secretary Roque, bakit daw po 13 billion pesos ang kailangan kung 1,000 each lang ayuda for 10.7 million residents? Para saan daw po iyong excess na 2.4 billion pesos?

SEC. ROQUE: Iyon nga po iyon, iyong mayroon tayong contingency for whatever we may still need ‘no. Dahil hindi naman po natin nasisigurado talaga iyong bilang eh. Lumalaki iyan, lumiliit, depende sa mga listahan ‘no. So iyon po iyon, mayroon lang po tayong provision for contingency.

USEC. IGNACIO: Okay. Thank you, Secretary Roque.

SEC. ROQUE: Okay, maraming salamat po ‘no. Bago po tayo magtapos ‘no, congratulations po sa ating mga manlalaro sa Olympics. Bukod po kay Hidilyn Diaz na nanalo na ng ginto, nagsimula po ang araw natin with Carlos Paalam – ang pinakabata nating boksingero – na nasigurado nang magkaroon ng bronze medal at posible pang maging ginto.

At nasigurado na nga po ni Nesthy Petecio ngayon ang silver medal. So ang ating count ngayon is one gold, one silver. Pero mayroon pa tayong dalawa na possibility na gold dahil nandiyan pa nga po si Carlos; nandiyan pa po si Eumir Marcial na sigurado na sa silver medal ha. Antayin na lang po natin ang kaniyang finals ‘no. So pupuwede pang maging tatlo o apat ang ating ginto.

At huwag din po nating kakalimutan, kinakailangan nating ipagdasal din po si Ernest John Obiena na lalaban po mamayang hapon sa men’s pole vault.

So dahil wala na po tayong katanungan, maraming salamat po kay Usec. Vergeire. Maraming salamat po kay P/Lt. Gen Israel Ephraim Dickson. Maraming salamat, Usec. Rocky. Maraming salamat sa ating mga kasama sa Malacañang Press Corps. At maraming salamat sa lahat ng ating manlalaro sa Olympics na nagbigay po talaga ng pride and pag-asa na kahit anong sitwasyon natin sa buhay basta mayroong pangarap, pupuwede pong magwagi. Go, Philippines!

Magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat!

 

###

SOURCE: PCOO-NIB (News and Information Bureau-Data Processing Center)