Press Briefing

Inter-Agency Task Force Virtual Presser with Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles

Event Inter-Agency Task Force Virtual Presser

Mga kababayan, magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat; at sa ating mga kaibigan sa media at sa ating mga bayaning frontliners, sa lahat ng ating mga nanunood at nakikinig po ngayon.

Kahapon po, gusto ko lang ibalita, alam ninyo naman na nagkaroon po tayo ng IATF meeting. Nagsimula kami nang umaga at naging extensive po iyong discussions namin sa IATF para ma-prepare namin iyong small group na pinatawag ni Pangulo doon sa Malacañang para i-report kung ano iyong napag-usapan namin sa IATF.

So iyong bulk ng discussions po namin nakasentro po kung ano iyong gagawin natin after April 30 para iyong ilan sa IATF na mga miyembro ay makapag-report kay Pangulong Duterte.

Ganoon pa man ay mayroon pa rin kaming na-resolve ‘no base sa aming resolution, IATF Resolution # 26 kung saan nakasaad ang sumusunod:

All arriving Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), whether land-based or sea-based, shall be required to undergo a mandatory 14-day facility based quarantine and shall be subjected to rapid antibody testing for COVID-19 in accordance with Department Memorandum 2020-0180 issued by the Department of Health provided that sea-based OFWs on board cruise ships who have been issued with a clean bill of health by the Bureau of Quarantine upon presentation of a certificate of completion of 14-day quarantine issued at the point of origin immediately before departure shall nevertheless be subjected to a rapid antibody testing and shall be managed in accordance with the aforementioned Department Memorandum.

Lahat po ng OFW ay iri-require na dumaan sa mandatory 14-day facility-based quarantine at kailangan dumaan ng rapid antibody testing for COVID-19. Kaso ang mga OFW na nasa cruise ship na binigyan ng clean bill of health ng Bureau of Quarantine, pagkaprisenta ng certificate of completion of 14-day quarantine na inisyu ng bansa na huli nilang pinanggalingan ay isasailalim pa rin sa rapid antibody testing at ang pag-manage po sa kanila ay alinsunod sa Department Memorandum 2020-0180 ng Department of Health.

At this point, we believe it is only appropriate to give credit where credit is due. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has facilitated the repatriation of 16,682 OFWs of whom 13,213 are seafarers and 3,469 are land-based.

Sa DFA na walang tigil na tumutulong sa ating mga kababayan sa ibayong dagat, maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat.

Aside from this development, starting tomorrow, the Eva Macapagal Super Terminal in Pier 15 which was converted into a COVID-19 treatment facility will now be fully equipped with medical requirements for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, and will be ready to accommodate persons who are showing mild symptoms. Isa lang po ito sa mga pasilidad na naihanda para sa mga kababayan natin na natamaan ng COVID-19.

As of April 18, a total of 3,052 quarantine facilities for PUIs and mild COVID-19 cases with 211,474 beds have been established nationwide. This does not include the mega quarantine facilities or We Heal as One Centers such as the ASEAN Convention Center, the NCC Athlete’s Village, the New Clark City NGAC which together provide close to 2,000 additional beds.

Bukod po sa quarantine facilities, tuloy po ang pagtutok ng gobyerno sa pag-expand ng ating testing capacity. As of today, we have a total of 17 testing laboratories nationwide, including the Philippine Red Cross facility which we are inaugurating today. Aside from this, 40 more facilities are already in the pipeline for accreditation by the Department of Health. And we are confident that we will be able to quickly add to the 55,465 individuals we have tested to date.

The DOH recognizes that our frontliners need the proper equipment to allow them to perform their tasks without getting sick. As of April 18, the DOH has facilitated the delivery of the following medical supplies to various health facilities nationwide:

  • 10,018 units of alcohol
  • 79,050 cover-alls
  • 615,010 masks
  • 9,000 face shields
  • 140,000 gloves
  • 74,775 goggles
  • 113,300 head caps
  • 30 non-invasive ventilators

Para naman po sa atin na kailangan manatili sa sariling tahanan sa kalagitnaan ng ECQ, huwag po kayong mag-alala, sinisiguro ng Department of Agriculture na sapat ang ating bigas at essential food items tulad ng manok at baboy.

At present, the Department of Agriculture is undertaking efforts to ensure a sufficient supply of rice by the end of June equivalent to around 18 million metric tons of rice which is sufficient for 84 days, 1.95 million metric tons of chicken that is sufficient for 62 days, and 1.12 million metric tons of pork. Sa madaling salita, may pagkain po tayo at hindi po tayo mauubusan ng supply sa ating mga merkado.

Para naman po sa mga disadvantaged families, iniulat ng DSWD na namahagi na po sila ng 445,580 family food packs sa ating mga LGUs at mayroon po silang stock na 384,426 family food packs sa DSWD warehouses sa buong bansa.

The government continues to prioritize efforts to provide our people with the financial assistance needed to ensure that everyone can secure the basic necessities during the ECQ.

Ayon sa DSWD, nakabigay na po sila ng emergency subsidies sa 4,597,854 low income and 4Ps families, katumbas ng 25.54% ng 18 million target beneficiary families. But more than 90% na po ay naibigay, na-download, na-release sa iba’t ibang mga LGUs kaya sa puntong ito, hinihintay po namin ang accomplishment report ng mga LGUs na nakatanggap na ng emergency subsidy program para ipamahagi sa kanilang mga constituents. So reminder lamang sa LGUs na i-transmit na ang inyong mga accomplishment reports.

Bukod po dito, nag-aabot din ang DA ng ayuda sa ating mga magsasaka. Batay po sa report nila, nabigyan na po ng financial subsidy for rice farmers ang 52,043 na magsasaka habang ang rice farmers financial assistance ay napaabot na sa 438,207 na magsasaka.

Noong isang araw, nabanggit po natin na magbibigay po ng ayuda ang gobyerno sa 3.4 milyong empleyado ng 1.5 milyong small businesses nationwide na apektado ng quarantine. Sa Small Business Subsidy Program, may matatanggap na limang libo hanggang walong libo na piso bawat empleyado kada buwan na ibibigay sa loob ng dalawang buwan – so, five thousand to eight thousand pesos bawat empleyado.

Pagkatapos po nating i-announce ito, the Department of Finance says that it has informed 124,606 small businesses that they are prequalified for the program. Inuulit po namin, ang anunsiyo sa mga maliliit na negosyo na bukas na po ang application para dito at inaanyahan po namin kayo na mag-apply para makuha ng inyong mga empleyado ang benepisyong ito.

Lately, there have been reports that the government plans to strictly enforce the ECQ in order to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. These are measures that are being adopted in order to ensure that the irresponsible behavior of a few does not threaten the welfare of the majority that have followed the ECQ and the stringent social distancing guidelines enforced by government.

To date, the Philippine National Police reports that there have already been 130,177 ECQ violators; 30,366 of them were arrested. While the MMDA informs us that they have apprehended 2,740 drivers of private vehicles who have violated social distancing rules.

Mga kababayan, these are not trivial violations. Napakalaki po ng epekto ng mga paglabag na ito. Everytime an individual violates ECQ guidelines, he or she chooses, to become a health threat to those who abide by it. Sa bawat pagkakataon ng paglabag sa ECQ, ang isang indibidwal ay nagiging banta sa buhay ng mga kababayan nating sumusunod sa mga patakarang ito.

Kahapon po, may 200 na bagong kaso ng COVID-19 for a total of 6, 459 cases; may labing siyam (nineteen) na pumanaw dahil sa sakit na ito for a total a total of 428 deaths; may apatnapu’t isa naman na naka-recover sa COVID-19 bringing the total number of recoveries to 613.

Kasama po sa pumanaw kahapon si former Senator Heherson “Sonny” Alvarez. We join his family in mourning the passing of a respected national figure who served our country in various capacities both in the legislature and in the Executive Department.

This pandemic has exacted a heavy toll on our country. Lives have been cut short. Loved ones have been taken from us. Never in our lifetime have we faced a public health threat of this magnitude. Yet, neither have we – individually or collectively – been in such a position to directly influence the course of events. Sa madaling salita, mayroon pong pagkakataon na ang bawat isa po sa atin ay may magagawa para masugpo itong pandemic na ito, kaya bahay muna, buhay muna. Lahat po tayo makakatulong sa laban na ito.

Together and with God’s grace and mercy, we will beat COVID-19; and together, we heal as one. Maraming salamat po!

Babasahin ko na rin iyong mga katanungan mula sa mga kaibigan natin sa media. Dahil hindi ko po nabasa ang mga katanungan nila kahapon gawa ng IATF meeting, babasahin ko na rin po iyong mga questions nila yesterday.

From Daniel Manalastas/PTV: “House Appropriations Chair Eric Yap is suggesting na ibalik daw ang POGOs for tax purposes in a work from home set-up. Then iyong funds daw na makukuha na puwedeng magamit for COVID-19 response. Ano pong tingin ng IATF dito?”

Hindi namin napag-usapan ang POGO directly kahapon pero baka naman sa IATF meeting namin tomorrow baka isa iyan sa mga pag-uusapan namin.

From Maricel Halili/TV5: “May audio of a woman circulating in group chats. This woman is asking people once again to buy their groceries because the President will declare a total lockdown either Monday or Tuesday. Please clarify.”

Hindi po totoo iyan at dinadaan na po sa forensics iyong audio clip na iyan.

From Joseph Morong/GMA 7: “How can we contain the virus, meaning prevent the spread of COVID in a modified lockdown situation?”

Kapag na-announce na po namin kung ano iyong set-up, then we will explain further kung ano iyong magiging hakbang; mga dos and don’ts at mga bagong guidelines under the new rules after April 30.

“Can you address some of the voice clips going around about a total lockdown?”

Gaya nang sinabi ko, hindi po totoo iyan at dinadaan na po sa forensics iyong voice clip na iyan.

“Can we get a definitive statement on: 1. Will the President declare Martial Law?”

No. Nasabi na rin ng spokesperson ng AFP, PNP. Pati si Secretary Lorenzana already spoke about that.

“Is a total lockdown in the radar screen of the IATF?”

No, hindi namin pinag-usapan. Wala, wala kasi sa vocabulary namin iyong total lockdown, hindi ba? Ang discipline naman namin sa IATF is quarantine: Community quarantine, modified or enhanced or general community quarantine. So, we never use iyong lockdown?

“Will the IATF agree to lift the liquor ban as asked by liquor makers in the country?”

Sa totoo lang, hindi namin napag-usapan iyan kahapon. But again, may meeting kami tomorrow to further discuss iyong anong mangyayari after April 30. So, maaaring mapag-usapan namin iyan or hindi – so tingnan natin.

From Kris Jose of Remate/Remate Online:Kinumpirma na po ni Yorme Isko na magpapatupad ng lockdown sa Sampaloc area. Ito po kasi ang lugar na may mataas na kaso ng COVID. Wala pa pong specific date dahil masusi pa raw itong pinag-aaralan ng mga awtoridad. Sa IATF po, napag-usapan po ba ninyo ang ganitong hakbang na pagpapatupad ng total lockdown sa distritong may mataas na kaso ng COVID? Kailangan po bang makipag-coordinate ng LGUs na magpapatupad ng lockdown sa area ng kanilang nasasakupan kagaya po ng pamunuan ng Lungsod ng Maynila sa IATF bago po ipatupad ito? Ano po ang mga basehan or reasons bago po makapag-implement ng total lockdown sa isang lugar?

Okay. So instead of talking about lockdown, gaya ng sinabi ko ang disiplina naman namin sa IATF is we talk about quarantine. So sa pag-enforce ng mga quarantine—isa sa pinag-usapan namin sa IATF is gagawa kami ng mga guidelines subject of course to the approval ni Pangulong Duterte. At kasama sa mga guidelines na iyan kung ano iyong magiging triggers para sa iba’t ibang LGUs para i-akyat iyong quarantine level nila; so something to that effect. Kaya pagdating po doon sa kung per barangay, isa rin iyon sa mga  maari naming bigyan ng mga parameters or iyong tinatawag nga na ‘triggers’ para i-enhance iyong community quarantine possible doon sa mga localities na iyan down to the barangay level. So, that is also one option na tinitingnan natin.

Ngayon na dahil wala pa po iyan, naiintindihan naman po namin na iyong kalagayan ng City of Manila under kay Mayor Isko, so tama po iyon, dapat number one, makipag-coordinate siya sa DILG para maayos iyong pag-implement kung anumang mga measures na gustong i-implement ng City of Manila.

Number two, that already goes down to the implementation. So, pagdating sa implementation ng mga directives or policies ng IATF, iyong Chief Implementer po dapat makipag-ugnayan din po sila, so kay Secretary Galvez and Secretary Ano. But I know both of them are already aware of the predicament of Mayor Isko and I believe na nagko-coordinate na sila with Mayor Isko.

From Gen Kabiling:How will the government enforce quarantine rules in subdivisions and residential buildings amid reports some residents violated the rules and gathered in common places like pools and clubhouses?”

So iyon, iyong implementation is up to the LGUs, nasa responsibility ng mga LGUs to enforce whatever directives na binibigay ng IATF or ng mga patakaran ng mga LGUs based din do sa guidelines ng IATF.

“Do the policemen have authority to go inside these subdivisions and residential buildings to implement quarantine protocols?”

Again, we will leave that to the implementation of the Chief Implementer, together with the DILG kasi sa kanya iyong jurisdiction ng mga kapulisan together with the LGU, dahil sila po iyong nagko-coordinate as far as enforcement of laws are concerned at kasama rin po iyong enforcement ng mga ordinances and executive orders ng LGUs.

“Number two: Will the government heed the appeal of alcohol beverage makers to lift total liquor ban?”

Again, hindi namin napag-usapan kahapon. Maaaring mapag-usapan namin tomorrow sa IATF meeting.

From Triciah Terada of CNN Philippines:What is IATF’s assessment of government response more than a week before quarantine period ends?” 

Actually, kung nakikita ninyo ‘no at marami na rin siguro even sa private sector ang nagsasabi na we have been able to slow down the infection rate ng COVID-19. So, kung titingnan mo iyong rate of doubling natin is well… in some studies comparing the Philippines to other countries, we are between 5 to 10 days; ang cases ng COVID-19 double every 5 to 10 days na. Because some countries ay nagdo-double every three days, iyong iba nagdo-double between two days to three days. Tayo, ang Pilipinas nandoon tayo sa segment na nagdo-double iyong cases natin every 5 to 10 days. Iyong sinasabi naman na R0 [A crucial metric called ‘R0,’ pronounced R-naught, represents how many people an average person with a virus infects] natin is presently… I think our R0 is three; meaning to say, one patient infects three, if I am not mistaken here. We can check ‘no. So iyong R0 score natin is three right now.

So, in terms of iyong pag-slowdown ng mga infection rate ng COVID-19, nama-manage na po natin. So, iyon iyong isa ng mga basis na tinitingnan natin and which gives us more confidence doon sa pagde-decide natin on what to do after April 30.

“So, what do we expect in the next ten days?”

Well, the next ten days as far as IATF is concerned, tuluy-tuloy pa po iyong aming mga meetings, because kahapon po sa pagkakaalam ko noong nag-present po iyong members ng IATF to the President, hindi pa po nakapag-decide si Pangulong Duterte kung ano ano ang gagawin after April 30 at binalik niya muna niya sa IATF ang pagpapatuloy ng aming discussions doon para mas mabibigyan namin si Pangulong Duterte ng more options that he can take a look at. So, that is one.

Number two, magkakaroon tayo ng mas malawak na mga testing especially sa NCR. In fact, today, Tuesday magkakaroon ng inauguration doon sa Philippines Red Cross to show to the public that we are increasing our testing capacities. And then habang ine-expand natin iyong testing capacities natin, mas makikita natin within next ten days iyong how many more… ano iyong infection rate natin, mas makikita din natin iyong ating recoveries. We hope to be able to increase pa our recoveries and decrease iyong mga deaths natin. So, lahat iyan will play a big factor as we continue to monitor para matulungan din tayo sa paggawa ng desisyon na puwede naman namin ipakita kay Pangulong Duterte for him to chose iyong options niya.

“How is mass testing going?”

Like I said, i-expand pa natin iyong ating testing. Remember may mga cartridges na po tayo, apart from the PCR lab-based test natin na ine-expand natin, like I said we already have 17 laboratories, 40 more in the pipeline.

Number two, dumating na po iyong sa GeneXpert na cartridges natin, which is a lab-based test, pero ang turnaround time is 45 minutes, so mas mabilis iyon. And we have some laboratories already that are equipped to be able to conduct the GeneXpert.

Number three, iyong UP-NIH Manila Health Tech na local testing kits natin na PCR lab-based is also already ongoing, nabigyan na yata sila ng FDA, kino-conduct na iyong field implementation and they are ready to roll out 94,000 test.

Number four, iyong bagong guidelines natin doon sa rapid anti-body testing. So with that, with those four measures in place already, mas mae-expect na mas magiging expanded na iyong testing natin, using four different tests.

From Henry Uri:Maaari po bang hatiin ng Mayor o Barangay Chairman sa dalawang pamilya ang halagang matatanggap under SAP?”

No, kasi kapag in-audit iyan at binalidate ng DSWD at in-audit ng COA magkakaproblema po kayo, lalo na iyong mga LGUs.

From Arianne Merez of ABS-CBN News Online:What did the IATF recommend to President Duterte for the post April 30 scenario, how did he respond?

Gaya ng sinabi ko, unang-una hindi pa namin totally puwedeng i-reveal ang lahat, kasi it’s still undergoing study kumbaga.

So, siguro ang puwede ko na lang sabihin sa ating mga kababayan, siyempre ang sabi ko nga, ang binigay kay Pangulong Duterte are several options, okay. Iyong several options na iyon, siyempre titingnan natin in terms of, sabihin natin, pag-modify. If we modify it, you have to look at several factors: Modifying in terms of geography – location. So some areas, provinces doing much better than others in terms of … dito sa mga probinsiya na iyan, wala namang cases ng COVID-19. Sa mga set ng provinces na ito, mayroon pero very manageable, kukonti lang. Sa set ng provinces na ito at mga lugar na ito, medyo ito dapat bantayan natin kasi ano pa, hindi pa natin … masyado pang marami at may threat pa ng COVID-19. So that’s one;

Number two. Iyong in terms of age, hindi ba? Ito iyong mga most vulnerable sectors of society – age and health. Ito hindi sila vulnerable in terms of age pero mayroon silang mga comorbidities, mayroon silang mga sakit, mayroon silang mga health conditions. So that’s also another option na titingnan mo;

Then the next option is iyong sa industries. Itong mga industries na ito, puwede nating ma-manage iyong social distancing, hand washing, etc., etc. Itong mga industries na ito, mahirap magkaroon ng social distancing dito, because by the nature itself of the industry or the business, hindi talaga puwede; kahit anong gawin natin, hindi natin ma-manage;

And then, the next one is, sa mga industries na kaya nating i-manage. What sort of workforce is manageable for us, hindi ba. So ano ba, 30% ng workforce, 50% ng workforce, iyong iba is work from home ang arrangements; Iyong nature ng negosyo or ng industry, puwede bang lahat work from home. So may ganiyan ditong option na tinitingnan, ‘di ba.

So ito iyong mga iba’t ibang mga options na pinag-usapan nang masinsinan ng aming IATF. So bawat miyembro ng IATF, may kinontribute sa discussion, may mga inputs sa discussion, etc., etc. At the end of the day, since nandito iyong mga sets of options natin, iyong small group mula sa IATF ay pumunta kay Pangulong Duterte para ilatag iyong mga options na iyan.

So ang nangyari kagabi is—at kami rin sa IATF, ang nangyari kahapon is, sige ito iyong … basta ang number one na napag-agrihan [agree] ng IATF: O sige, we are in agreement that this is the framework that we use. So okay na kami diyan. We are in agreement that these are the options that we are looking at. Okay, agree na kami diyan. Okay, we are in agreement that we will present the option to the President – yes. And we are in agreement that this still needs further discussion and refinement – yes.

So pagdating kay Pangulong Duterte, pag-present ng ganiyan, ito ang mga options pero kailangan pa siguro natin i-refine ito at pag-usapan nang masinsinan, sinabi ni Pangulo: “Okay, ibalik mo muna sa IATF. Usap kayo ulit and then come back to me again kung ano iyong napagdesisyunan ninyo or napag-agrihan ninyo at iyong mga output ninyo.” So iyon ang naging discussion!

Kaya today, ang mangyayari sa amin today is bawat isa sa amin na mga miyembro ng IATF will continue to look at all of these options and study all of these options para pagbalik namin tomorrow – and some of us will engage some of our stakeholders para pagbalik namin tomorrow – we will come back with ano iyong aming panibagong inputs based doon sa options na iyon. So basically, iyon ang mangyayari sa atin tomorrow.

From Francis Wakefield/Daily Tribune: “Sabi ni Secretary Roque, wala pa raw desisyon kung extended na ang ECQ after the meeting by the IATF last Monday. Ano iyong naging contentious points doon sa naging meeting kahapon?

Iyong isa ko pa palang nakalimutan, iyong sa transportation din pala. So sa transportation, isa rin iyan sa mga napag-usapan namin. What sort of transportation na puwede tayong mag-regulate and ensure social distancing? Ano iyong mga types of transportation na mahirapan tayo? So isa rin iyon sa mga options na tinitingnan natin.

“Naging madugo nga ba talaga?”

Define madugo. Naging extensive discussion kasi lahat kami, siyempre lahat ng mga secretaries were presenting their respective jurisdictions, their respective mandates. So siyempre pagdating sa discussion, mayroon kang inputs based doon sa discussion mo with your stakeholders and based on your own mandate and jurisdiction. Kaya hindi naman madugo but it was very extensive discussion. At lahat ng mga inputs na maaaring ibigay ng bawat isa ay nabigay naman pero bitin – bitin pa rin. Kaya we have to do another round of discussions kasi I feel marami rin ang hindi pa natin na-put into the equation.

“Kumusta iyong naging meeting ni PRRD with the former Health secretaries and experts?”

Actually, wala po ako doon. But you can probably ask the question to Secretary Roque.

“Is the President already leaning to the extension of the ECQ or modified na nga or need more time pa to decide?”

Need more time basically. So binalik sa IATF for more extensive discussions, then we’ll come back to him with ano iyong output ng aming continued discussions.

From Rose Novenario/Hataw: “Good a.m. Bakit po ang Landbank ay walang pinatutupad na moratorium on loan payments samantalang government-owned bank ito? Maraming salamat po.”

Marami pong binigay o pinatupad na moratorium ang Landbank, in fact—basahin ko lang ‘no. Ang Landbank of the Philippines, payment moratorium so far has actually benefitted 9,161 credit card holders with waived penalties; and 3,362 card holders with deferred annual membership fees. The payment moratorium of Landbank has also benefitted 210,988 salary loan borrowers with amortization due – meaning principal and interest. It has also benefitted 712 loan accounts nationwide with principal and interest due, and 25,444 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) covering 43,100 hectares of agriculture land on amortizations due. And Landbank of the Philippines also extended a 30-day grace period to all its borrowers under the SPEED PUV program.

So these are accomplishments po ng Landbank in terms of iyong kanilang tulong tungkol dito, doon sa moratorium na sinasabi.

From Bella Cariaso of Bandera:The WHO said worse is still ahead as it warned countries on easing restrictions. UP also came up with statistics on the possible spike of COVID cases once lockdown is lifted after April 30. There is also a projection that Asia might become the epicenter of the pandemic. Given warnings from experts, will the government still proceed with the lifting of ECQ or further extend the lockdown?

Kaya naman po mga kababayan, ma-appreciate po natin kung gaano kahirap iyong magiging desisyon po ng ating Pangulo. Kaya iyong IATF po ay ginagawa ang lahat para po mapag-usapan nang masinsinan ang lahat ng mga aspeto ng anong gagawin after April 30 at ano iyong possible best scenario decision at setup na gagawin natin after April 30.

That being said, I’d like to assure the public also that we are also mindful of the guidelines being issued by the World Health Organization ‘no. Kaya nga po lahat ng mga decisions ng IATF ay nire-refer pa rin namin lahat ng iyan doon sa mga guidelines ng WHO. Now—so ano iyong mga WHO guidelines as far as iyong sinasabi nga nila na hindi puwede bigla-bigla ang pag-lift ng lockdown or quarantine or community quarantine ‘no.

So we are mindful of the following guidelines: Number one, sabi ng WHO kailangan you have to make sure that the COVID-19 transmission is controlled in those areas ‘no before you even consider iyong lifting ‘no. So number one, COVID-19 transmission is controlled. Kaya kami kasama sa parameters natin, tinitingnan natin iyong epidemiological curve, rate of acceleration, rate of deceleration, etcetera, etcetera.

Number two, public health capacities and systems in place to identify, isolate, test, trace and quarantine sabi ng WHO. Kaya nga po tayo sa Pilipinas at iyong IATF, mindful of these. Ang ating objective ngayon is to test, test, test para ma-identify; isolate, kaya nga po binasa ko we already have 200,000 plus beds ready nationwide ‘no to be used for isolation ‘no. So identify, isolate, test, trace, so iyong contact tracing na ginawa po natin as soon as nagkakaroon po tayo ng identification ng COVID-19, agad iyong PUIs at PUMs natin na-identify natin, tini-trace natin tapos tini-test din natin sila then we isolate agad. So kasama rin iyan sa ating mga protocols and we have the staysafe.ph app that helps us also doon sa contract tracing and quarantine.

Number three, minimize outbreaks in high vulnerability. Kaya isa sa pinag-uusapan namin sa IATF, ano ba iyong provinces na mataas pa ang bilang ng COVID-19, ano iyong medium, ano iyong zero so tinitingnan namin lahat iyan. Then iyong vulnerabilities in terms of age, sino iyong most vulnerable sector, sino iyong hindi. Doon sa hindi vulnerable na age sector, sino naman iyong mga comorbidities, sino may mga health issues, so kasama iyan sa mga pinag-aaralan ng IATF.

And then in workplaces that we will allow to operate, kailangan ng physical distancing, hand washing etcetera. Kaya sabi ko sa inyo, isa sa tinitingnan ng IATF ano bang industries ang puwede magkaroon ng physical distancing measures, ‘di ba? At doon sa mga workplaces na iyon na papayagan natin, ano naman po ang percentage of workforce na ia-allow natin just to ensure na may physical distancing ‘di ba.

Then number five, minimize importation. So ito rin pinag-uusapan natin, importation, and when we talk about importation, paano iyong importation in the context of from other countries, iyong inbound; kaya IATF laging binabasa namin ‘di ba, iyong ano iyong mga protocols. Ang latest protocol natin, lahat mag-rapid test kit, lahat i-undergo sa rapid test, lahat ng mga OFWs, lahat ng Overseas Filipinos, ira-rapid test na po natin.

So that’s one aspect imported from out of the country, what about in the country? Meaning to say, province to province. Anong protocols iyong ilalagay natin especially to ensure na iyong mga walang COVID ay mananatiling walang COVID. Iyong mga medium na lang, meaning to say iyong mga COVID pero manageable na hindi aakyat ‘no. And then of course iyong controlling doon naman na mataas ang bilang ng COVID-19 at to make sure na galing doon, hindi pupunta sa mga areas na na-control na at doon sa areas na wala pa. At kung may ganiyan bang klase, ano ba ang guidelines and protocols natin for that.

And then lastly sabi ng WHO, ensure that communities are engaged. Kaya nga po mayroon tayong inatasan na technical working group sa IATF, the Technical Working Group on Anticipatory and Forward Planning, and they are set to present to us, the IATF tomorrow iyong kanilang various surveys ‘no – consumer survey, their business survey, their agriculture and fishery survey and their survey on the definition of the new normal. So based on their surveys, siyempre tinanong nila ano ang inputs ng iba’t ibang mga sectors, the consumer sector, the business sector, the agriculture and fishery sector and a general survey on what our people feel should be the new normal.

At that’s part of the community engagement that we have, then each and every department secretary also are engaging their own stakeholders and ang utos din sa amin today is to continue that engagement to get more inputs from our different stakeholders para pagdating ng IATF meeting tomorrow, what we will be bringing in to the table tomorrow would be the inputs from various stakeholders all across the country.

From Joseph Morong, GMA-7:What was the recommendation of the small group tasked by President to study post April 30 scenarios?

Nabanggit ko na po.

Of the five factors that you mentioned that would be considered in the post April 30 scenario, what were the main concerns/issues that dictated the recommendations?

So to put context sa katanungan ni Joseph Morong, naalala ninyo mayroon tayong 5 parameters ‘di ba – iyong epidemiological curve, iyong health capacity natin, social, economic and security factors. So iyong security factor, pag-uusapan din namin iyan tomorrow kasi hindi masyado namin na-discuss iyan kahapon. So tomorrow, they will make the presentation. But all these other four factors, siyempre napag-usapan lahat iyan and all those five parameters, we also compared that with the WHO guidelines, so sama-sama lahat iyan.

Ang question was: ano iyong concerns and issues? Well iyong sa epidemiological curve, siyempre gaya ng sinabi ko, it appears that we’re able to control it naman ‘no, the rate of increase is not that high anymore; we’re doing more testing so we’re getting a better clearer picture of where we are now. And I’d also like to announce that—remember before I was saying na ang lumalabas sa mga tests natin, is that out of all of the test that we’re conducting, about 17 to 18 percent iyong pagpa-positive.

And then remember I told you noong nag-expand tayo ng testing, from 16 to 17 percent na being tested—from all of those being tested, naging 16 to 17 ang—sorry, 17 to 18 ang positive. I mentioned na when we expanded, naging 15 na lang, 15% na lang ang tini-test natin ang lumalabas na positive. Pero sabi ko, well it’s too early to tell kasi ano pa naman eh, that’s just one slide.

But remember, we’ve been increasing our testing capacity and it appears that as we expanded our testing, it has now gone down to 13%. So that’s also an indicator somehow na the more we expand our testing from—biro mo from 18 naging 17, from 17 naging 15, then from 15 naging 13% na lang ang positive sa COVID-19. So, also gives you somehow a picture that we’re able to control.

So based on that parameter, siyempre ang takot natin is if we lift it or open or modify, those numbers could go up ‘di ba, there’s that risk. So you have to look at the risk, so there were models that were created; and the model is mas magiging kampante tayo to modify if our testing gets even more expanded. Meaning to say, we can go on a modified quarantine… we will be more confident of going to a modified quarantine if our testing capacity is expanded even more. So the more we expand our testing capacity, the more we have confidence in modifying the quarantine.

Next is iyong sa health capacities natin, so binilang natin how may beds, how may ICU beds we have, how many ventilators we have, how many hospitals we have all over the country and how many healthworkers we have to give us a sense na this is the maximum, maximum health capacity natin right now. And we have to put in the model, ensure that when we create the model, iyong peak natin will not hit our maximum health capacity. In fact, kailangan may buffer ka pa so that was the discussion doon sa second parameter.

Then of course iyong economic parameter, iyong sinabi ko na. Iyong what industries will open, transportation, how much percent of the employment… And then iyong sa social factors naman is, okay, ano ang magiging social health or response natin to those – number one, iyong industries that we will allow to operate, iyong employees nila doon. Siyempre makakatrabaho na sila, so mayroon na silang kikitain. What do we do now with those na hindi pa puwedeng mag-operate? What do we do now with those na hindi pa puwede magtrabaho? So, discussion din natin iyon. So iyon, ganoon ka-extensive ang mga discussions namin dito sa IATF.

 “What do you think are the repercussions/implications of the recommendations?

So I guess, I already talked about that ‘no.

From Triciah Terada, CNN Philippines:Forty healthworkers from RITM have been infected. Has the task force found out how this happened?

We are waiting for word from the RITM and the DOH to advise us, If not today, maybe tomorrow ‘no, we’ll get a clear picture.

So, how does the IATF and DOH plan to resolve possible backlogs?

Well, that’s why I said iyong 17 subnational laboratories very important that they’ve already begun their testing. So even if the RITM has limited already their testing because of the 40 health workers ng RITM that was infected by COVID-19, and that just goes to show how dangerous, kaya nga hindi puwede basta-basta na lang tayo mag-accredit ng laboratory because again the exposure, exposure to the COVID-19 virus is too great.

So the backlog will be resolved through the 17 subnational laboratories that are operating right now. Ngayon iyong sa RITM, of course we’re taking care of the health of these healthworkers and nursing them to full health. But just like to assure the public that their—iyong pag-limit ng operation or pag-downscale ng operation ng RITM is temporary. So we need to find healthworkers who are healthy, obviously not infected, who can come in to the RITM so that we can ensure that the RITM goes back to normal operations while we take care of the healthworkers ng RITM who were infected by COVID-19.

From Bella Cariaso of Bandera:Clarification sa IATF ID issued by IPC. Kailan na lang siya puwede gamitin at required na ba lahat na may exemption na kumuha ng rapid pass? Anong dahilan bakit nag-decide na huwag nating gamitin ang IATF IDs?

This is now sa realm ng implementation, so I will have to refer you to our National Task Force COVID-19 Chief Implementer Secretary Galvez.

From Ace Romero/PhilStar:What prevented the President from coming up with the decision? What were the contentious points during yesterday’s meeting?

Well, it’s not an easy decision to come up with basically and we—number one. Number two, we still have time, so we still have time for the President to give his decision. In fact, we’re looking at the entire week, this week to give the President some leeway and time to make up a decision. Kasi April 30 is next week pa naman eh, so kaya nga inumpisahan namin ang meeting namin ng Monday, ng IATF to talk about this nga, because we anticipated that it’s not an easy decision to make, really it’s not.

Kahit kami sa IATF, we’re trying to put in as much meat and details into the several options that the President has. Because ultimately, siyempre iga-guide namin siya na itong option na ito, ito ang magiging effect niyan. Itong option na ‘to, ito ang magiging effect niya. So iyon lang iyong gustong makita ni Pangulo na kailangan pa naming pag-usapan para mas malagyan pa namin ng karagdagang detalye. Para kapag pinakita namin sa kaniya na ganito iyong decision points mo Mr. President, at ito iyong magiging repercussions niyan. Ito iyong magiging effect niyan, iyon. So we just need to put more meat into the possible decision points of the President.

So that’s the last of the questions, kaya sa mga may-ari o gumawa ng mga material na ginamit namin para sa slides kanina at sa mga nakalipas na pressers, maraming, maraming salamat po sa inyong tulong sa pagpapaintindi sa ating mga kababayan tungkol sa pinapahayag natin dito.

Sa ating mga kababayan, maraming salamat po sa inyong pakikipagtulungan sa inyong pamahalaan. Gaya ng sabi namin na pabalik-balik: Kayo po iyong first line of defense kaya bahay muna, buhay muna. Huwag po kayong maniwala at magpakalat ng mga impormasyon kung ito ay hindi beripikado at hindi nagmula sa mga ahensiya ng gobyerno. May katumbas pong parusa ang mga gumagawa nito.

Sa ating mga kasama sa pagpapalaganap ng tama at napapanahong impormasyon, sa iba’t ibang media outlets sa TV, radyo, diyaryo at online na naka-hookup po sa amin ngayon, maraming, maraming salamat po. Salamat din sa Google Philippines, Facebook Philippines at YouTube – thank you din po. So salamat din sa CNN for continuing our TV broadcast.

So, mga kababayan, siguro sana maunawaan po natin na hindi po madali ang desisyon na ito, lalung-lalo na po para kay Pangulong Duterte. Kami sa IATF, maging kami ay siyempre, kailangan pa namin nang panahon pa para pag-usapan pa po ang lahat ng mga options na available po para sa atin. At para makipag-ugnayan po kami at malaman din po ang mga inputs mula sa iba’t-iba nating mga stakeholders at iba’t ibang mga communities po natin.

So konting panahon na lamang po ang hinihingi namin sa inyo para talagang masinsinan na mapag-usapan namin ito sa IATF para mas guided pa po si Pangulong Duterte kapag ibinigay na po namin sa kaniya ang ibang options na puwede niyang pagpilian.

Anuman ang maging desisyon ng ating Pangulo, sana po suportahan nating lahat. At itong mga desisyon na ito, hindi man madali, kapag nadesisyunan na rin naman po ay mayroon din po naman tayong mekanismo na kung makita natin na kailangan mag-adjust po tayo pagdating ng panahon tulad nang kung sa ibang areas ay sisipa iyong numero, tataas iyong numero ay dapat mabilis din po iyong aksiyon natin doon sa mga areas na iyan.

Ang importante po ay, unang-una, na habang ginagawa po natin ang lahat na maka-survive dito sa pandemic na ito, ay kailangan gawin na rin po natin ang nararapat para maka-survive din po ang ekonomiya ng ating bansa. At ang ating mga kababayan na puwedeng magtrabaho ay mabigyan ng pagkakataon na magtrabaho, kumita at magpakain ng kanilang pamilya.

So ito po iyong delicate balance na kailangan natin, pag-aralan pa nang mas malalim at mas masusing pag-aaral at pag-uusap. Kaya konting panahon na lamang po ang hinihingi namin sa inyo. Kaya in the meantime mga kababayan, let’s follow all the rules and regulations ng ating gobyerno dahil ginagawa namin ang lahat ng ito para sa proteksiyon ninyo at sa kaligtasan ng inyong mga mahal sa buhay.

Maraming, maraming salamat po. Amping kanunay, padayon ta sa atong pag-ampo. Maayong buntag. Daghang salamat sa tanan.

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