Press Briefing

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

Event Inter-Agency Task Force Virtual Presser

SEC. NOGRALES: Mga kababayan, magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat at sa ating kaibigan sa media, lalung-lalo na po sa ating mga magigiting na mga frontliners. Since we began regular daily briefings, we have regularly stressed the importance of our frontliners, especially our medical health workers who work day and night to care for our sick kababayans. We cannot thank them enough for working around the clock and for risking their lives on a daily basis. Sila ay tunay na bayani – real life and real time heroes – to whom we owe a great debt of gratitude. Maraming-maraming salamat po at mabuhay po kayong lahat.

In the month that Luzon has been under enhanced community quarantine, we have seen however that there are so many other frontliners that have also stepped up to serve the people. Kasama po dito ang ating peace keepers, those responsible for keeping our communities’ safe and secure; and those tasked to ensure that over 50 million people in Luzon abide by the stringent social distancing measures being implemented under the ECQ.

In Luzon, there are 4,389 quarantine control points manned by 59,454 personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, the Bureau of Fire Protection, and the Philippine Coast Guard. Sa lahat na naglilingkod nang walang pag-iimbot para sa ating kaligtasan, dalangin namin na ingatan nawa kayo ng Maykapal sa lahat ng pagkakataon. Maraming salamat po at mabuhay po kayong lahat.

Hindi po sila nag-iisa. In Luzon, there are just over 20,000 barangays, and you can only imagine the kind of manpower required not just to implement the ECQ but to distribute aid and assistance to the millions of families who live in these barangays. Dito po napakahalaga po ng tulong at trabaho ng ating mga barangay officials, volunteers at workers.

If you count the barangay councils alone, we are talking at around 160,000 barangay officials at our frontlines working for us. Kung isama pa natin ang mga barangay health workers at mga volunteers, it is likely that we have 200,000 workers in our barangays who have also stepped up during the biggest public health crisis in our country’s history.

So sa ating mga taga-barangay, maraming-maraming salamat po at mabuhay po kayong lahat.

Ngayon, may mga iilang updates po na gusto po naming ibahagi sa ating mga kababayan. Una, tungkol sa testing: Naibalita na po ni COVID-19 Response Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. na mayroon na po tayong labinlimang testing centers sa buong bansa. The new testing centers include: St. Luke’s Quezon City and Bonifacio Global City; V. Luna Hospital in Quezon City; Medical City in Pasig; The Makati Medical Center; and, The Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory.

Bukod po dito, niri-report po ng Department of Health na nakikipag-ugnayan po sila sa DOST para makahiram ng karagdagang PCR machines; samantalang ang University of the Philippines naman ay nakabuo na po ng mga scientists-in-training na magtatrabaho sa ating mga laboratoryo.

Aside from the 15 testing centers that are now operational, there are an additional 28 institutions undergoing the DOH laboratory certification process, while 37 more have expressed their intention to be certified as testing centers. Because of these developments, the DOH says that we are now in a better position to reach our target of 3,000 tests per day, then eventually 8,000 to 10,000 tests per day.

As of yesterday, a total of 33,814 individuals have been tested for COVID-19. As the government ramps up testing and more cases are identified, the next concern is ensuring that there are an adequate number of quarantine facilities and beds all around the country.

In his latest report, Secretary Galvez says, there are now 2,673 quarantine facilities in the Philippines for suspected and probable COVID-19 cases, with the total bed capacity of 165,756. These numbers will grow in the days and weeks to come as more and more of the identified quarantine facilities become operational.

Today, for example, the Rizal Memorial Stadium facility will be completed. And in the next few days, we expect other facilities to start accepting PUIs as well. Maliban po sa pasilidad, tatauhan din po sila ng mga mangangalaga sa ating kalusugan, mula sa tagalinis hanggang sa espesyalista. Ang mga katuwang nating pribadong mga kumpaniya ay magbibigay din ng sapat na supplies para sa mga pasyente at mga health workers na maglilingkod doon.

To ensure that our health workers are properly protected while they are on the frontlines, the national task force continues to distribute PPEs to the different hospitals in Metro Manila and the country.

As of April 10, Secretary Galvez reports that 60,000 PPEs have already been distributed, with more now, on the way to our medical personnel.

Isa pong malaking concern na tinutugunan ng pamahalaan ay ang pagpapaabot ng tulong pinansiyal sa ating mga targeted fisheries at mga affected workers. The other day, we reported that the Department of Labor has now distributed funds under its COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) to 167,941 affected workers. Aside from this, the DOLE reports that it has already distributed funds under its Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) to 124,608 individuals, the total of which amounts to 507.8 million pesos already disbursed.

Pagdating naman po sa ating Social Amelioration Program (SAP), ayon po kay DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista, mayroon na pong nai-release na more than 323 million pesos for 14,400 beneficiaries na bahagi sa mga tsuper at transport groups dito po sa NCR. Nakapag-transfer na rin po ng 43 billion pesos sa ating mga LGUs; at sa BARMM, Bangsamoro Region, nakapag-release na rin po tayo ng 800 million pesos. So kung 100 billion pesos po ang halaga ng Social Amelioration Program natin para lang sa buwan ng Abril, halos nasa 50% na po ang nai-release para dito sa SAP program natin na ito.

The government recognizes that there have been concerns regarding the prompt distribution of these subsidies. According to DSWD they are working on resolving the issues concerning the timely distribution of the subsidies. Among which of course are security, the reconciliation of list of beneficiaries and the logistical challenges, especially with regards to remote communities in the provinces. Tuluy-tuloy po silang nakikipag-ugnayan sa ating mga LGUs para po matugunan ang lahat ng ito.

Sa ating mga kababayan ng naghihintay po para sa mga subsidies na ito, humihingi po kami ng paumanhin at pasensiya ngunit makakaasa po kayo na ginagawa po natin ang lahat ng ating makakaya upang mapaabot sa inyo ang tulong na ito sa lalong madaling panahon. Tandaan po natin, ito po ang pinakamalaking tulong pinansyal sa kasaysayan ng ating bansa; maliban sa pinag-iingatan po natin ang pamamahagi, sinisiguro din po natin na makakarating ito sa inyo na walang bawas at aberya.

Panawagan ko po sa ating mga LGUs, paki-submit na po ang inyong signed MOA at iyong budget proposal sa DSWD para sa lalong madaling panahon ay maibigay na po sa inyong mga LGU ang Social Amelioration Program budget para maipamahagi na po natin sa inyong mga constituents.

Now, an emerging concern involves the disposal of health care waste. For the information of the public, there is an existing protocol under the infection control of healthcare facilities regarding how to handle healthcare waste. As a protocol, all healthcare waste is pre-treated with chemical disinfectant such as hypochlorite solution, furthermore private hospitals in Metro Manila and in urban centers are served by private waste treaters and disposal system service providers.

The DOH has disseminated information particularly to field personnel regarding the need to pre-treat waste like used PPEs for PUIs or COVID-19 patients na nasa home quarantine.  According to the DOH, the department will soon be issuing guidelines in the use of hypochlorite solution for the infection prevention for COVID-19. That being said, we urge our LGUs to continuously intensify their campaigns on proper waste management and segregation as they are responsible for solid waste management in their respective jurisdiction.

On a parting note, we would to take this opportunity to thank the private sector for their donations. According to President Adviser for Entrepreneurship, the donation as of April 10 came from the Aboitiz Groups for various items for frontliners, food supply for patients and medical teams; from Bounty Fresh for chicken donations para sa ating mga frontliners; CDO Food Sphere for assorted items, PPEs, canned goods, other critical items; FFCCCI for face mask, food packs, various PPEs, alcohol and face shields; from FICCI (Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce) – N95 mask and surgical mask; from Filinvest Group – PPEs and assorted items, as well as ventilators; from the Gokongwei Group – cash to purchase PPEs, ventilators, assorted face masks, face shields, gloves, alcohol, assorted items; from ICTSI –PPEs, cash to purchase allotted various items; LBC – washable masks po ang donation nila; from the LT Group – alcohol, assorted PPE items, rice packs, canned goods, vitamins and other various assorted items; Megaworld Group for their medical supplies, food packs, alcohol and cash to purchase critical items; MVP Group – PPEs and assorted items; PDRF – cash for PPEs, Project Kaagapay; San Miguel – cash to purchase PPEs;  Safety Group again for PPEs, cash donation; SM Group for PPEs, assorted items, alcohol, ventilators, health kits and other various items; from Unilab – PPEs, assorted items, health kits, alcohol and ventilators; Uratex Group for purchase of PPEs, assorted items and special pillows; and Wilcon – cash to purchase assorted times and face masks, PPEs and other assorted items.

I also would like to take this opportunity to thank once again the government of the Republic of Korea for donating to the Republic of the Philippines 500,000 US dollars worth of COVID-19 testing kits. And our big thanks, great gratitude to the government of the United States of America, to the government of People’s Republic of China, to the Japanese government and the Singapore government.

Paalala lang po, hindi ko man nabanggit ngayon, marami pa pong grupo at indibidwal na tumulong po sa sarili nilang paraan.

Sa gitna po ng hamong ito, wala pong malaki o maliit na ambag; lahat ng tulong ay welcome po, lahat ng donasyon makakatulong. Let us show the world that together we can beat COVID-19. Together we heal as one. Maraming, maraming salamat po.

Babasahin ko po iyong mga katanungan mula sa media.

From Arianne Merez/ABS-CBN online: “Anong personal info ang ire-release from COVID-19 patients? What happens to patients who refuse to disclose their personal info and to whom will the government release the patients’ personal info?

So, ganito po iyan ano. Kailangan po natin i-harmonize ang provisions ng Republic Act 11332, ito po iyong mandatory reporting of notifiable diseases at iyong Data Privacy Act. So kailangan pong i-harmonize natin iyan. So, para ma-harmonize po natin iyan, number one, kailangan po talaga iyong mga pasyente mag-disclose ng accurate and truthful information sa Department of Health and kung hindi po mag-reveal or mag-share ng information iyong mga pasyente ay mapapahamak po siya, iyan po iyong nakasulat sa batas. Because this is really a public health concern, nasa state of calamity po tayo at hindi po puwedeng magsinungaling ang mga pasyente at magbigay ng misinformation o hindi magsabi ng totoo. Kailangan po talagang magsabi ng totoo, ayon po iyan sa batas. So, hindi po sila puwedeng mag-refuse to disclose information. Napakaliwanag po niyan, hindi puwedeng humindi sila kapag tinatanong sila at kailangang magsabi sila ng totoo, number one.

Number two, ang mag-repository ng lahat ng information na iyon ay ang Department of Health. So, sa Department of Health kumbaga sila iyong safe keepers noong information at ayon din po ito sa national privacy act na batas.

So gagamitin ng Department of Health itong information na ito para gumawa ng tamang polisiya at tamang mga aksiyon. Kasama sa pag-utilize ng information na ito iyong tinatawag nating contact tracing. So iyong contact tracing po, kailangan po natin ng mga ‘enforcers’ diyan. Hindi kaya ng DOH lamang ito eh, kailangan makipagtulungan ang lahat ng ahensiya ng gobyerno at kasama na po diyan ang Philippine National Police, ang ating mga LGUs. Ang lahat ay magtutulungan para dito.

So ngayon, iyong Department of Health kailangan i-share niya ang data na iyon para matulungan siya ng mga LGUs at ng ating Philippine National Police at iba pa nating law enforcement agencies para tulungan po ang gobyerno, ang pamahalaan sa contact tracing. But sa lahat ng bagay na ito—so mayroong data sharing ‘no, ng DOH with the law enforcers, the LGUs. Pero sa lahat ng bagay na ito – data sharing, contact tracing at lahat ng iyan – ay kailangan mananatili pa rin po iyong data privacy law natin. So, even if may sharing po ng information, lahat ng public authorities, lahat ng public officials should be mindful of the provisions ng data privacy. So ganoon po iyong operation ng lahat ng iyan!

So next question niya is: “Tuloy po ba ang mass testing tomorrow? Please provide details like saan mag-start at paano po ang proseso.”

So siguro ang basis ng katanungan ni Arianne is iyong nabanggit na po ni Chief Implementer Secretary Galvez na by April 14, wika nga niya, ay magkakaroon na ng mass testing. So let me qualify ‘no. Number one, we have been conducting testing. Now, kwinalipay (qualified) din ni Secretary Galvez na when he said mass testing, hindi po ibig sabihin na lahat iyong buong masa ng Pilipino ay maaari na pong magpa-test.

Ang ibig po niyang sabihin sa mass testing ay iyong kailangan mai-test ay dapat mai-test. At sino po ba iyong mga kailangan ma-test: Number one, iyong ating mga hospitalized patients, iyong may karamdaman – malubhang karamdaman lalo na. Kaya siguro narinig ninyo kanina, nabanggit na ni Secretary Duque na doon sa testing na gagawin natin, ang ating i-prioritize ay iyong hospitalized patients, lalung-lalo na iyong sinabi niya: Elderly, pregnant, those with pre-existing conditions.

So ibig pong sabihin nito, ito iyong mga pasyente na nasa ospital na hindi po natin alam kung COVID-19 ba sila, positive or hindi dahil hindi pa po sila naiti-test. So lahat ng hospitalized patients natin, lalung-lalo na iyong may mga sintomas na mukhang COVID-19 na elderly, pregnant, those with pre-existing conditions tulad ng cancer, asthma at iba pa – ito po iyong ipa-prioritize natin for testing.

Sino pa ang ipa-prioritize natin? Iyong ating healthcare workers; Iyon po, priority din po na mai-test natin ang ating healthcare workers. Bakit? Dahil sila po ang pinaka-exposed sa COVID-19. Kumpara sa lahat ng ating mga kababayan, sila po ang pinaka-exposed. Number of hours and days exposed, etc. etc., sila po ang pinaka-exposed.

Number three and four, ito po iyong mga tinatawag nating mga PUIs! Kaya ang ginawa na po ng DOH is kanila na pong nai-categorize na positive, probable, suspected.  So ang priority na rin po natin para sa testing, itong mga probable and suspected, ‘di ba, so ito po iyong next priority po natin. So, to put it in context doon sa sinabi ni Secretary Galvez na magma-mass testing na po tayo ngayon, April 14. Dahil po tugma po iyan sa plano ng pamahalaan at ng gobyerno na by today, ang ating mga quarantine at isolation facilities tulad ng PICC, World Trade, Ninoy Aquino, lahat po iyan ay dapat open na para mag-accept na at tumanggap na po ng nga PUIs sa kanilang mga isolation at quarantine facilities. At dahil doon, nakapagtanggap na po tayo at puwede na po tayong mag-conduct ng testing.

Okay, next. From Angel Ronquillo/DZXL-RMN: “Ano na po ang update sa pag-aaral ng economic team ng Duterte administration na maisama sa mabibigyan ng financial assistance ang middle class?”

Pinag-aaralan pa po. Wala pa pong report sa amin iyong economic team. But kapag mayroon na po silang detalye at proposal ay iri-rekomenda naman po iyan sa IATF.

“If ever, saan huhugutin ang pondo para dito?”

Isa rin po iyan sa kanilang pinag-aaralan.

From Karen Lema/Reuters: “Quick clarification on the mandatory disclosure of personal information. What’s the limit of it? Does it mean making public the info or making sure authorities have it? And will names of confirmed cases be publicized?”

Ganito po iyon ano, the DOH will be coming up with guidelines tungkol dito. So sa IATF meeting namin today and the next IATF (meeting), hopefully, mai-finalize na po iyong guidelines ng DOH with regard dito sa data sharing and contact tracing and using of the mandatory disclosure ng mga patients ng kanilang personal information.

From Bella Cariaso/Bandera: “Posible po ba na LGU mismo ang sangkot sa underreporting ng COVID cases dahil mayroon, sila ang nagpapatakbo ng ilang ospital? May mga obserbasyon kasi na iba ang cases na niri-report ng barangay sa summary ng breakdown ng LGU.”

I think this is speculative. Hindi ko masasagot ito. Pero sigurado kung may nag-a-underreport ng mga figures at numbers at cases, malalagot sila. Hindi po puwede iyong underreporting dito at magkakaproblema po kung may mga underreporting.

From Triciah Terada/CNN Phils“It’s been a month since the ECQ was implemented. What is IATF’s assessment? What can we expect in the coming days?”

Ano naman ito eh, every IATF meeting, pinag-uusapan naman, ina-assess naman natin ang lahat ‘no. At we look at the different … we assess a lot of factors and a lot of things ‘no. Number of cases, iyong spike, acceleration, deceleration – lahat iyan we take into consideration.

“What can we expect in the coming days?”

Well, it’s hard to tell really. What we are after are more testing to be done, mas maraming testing! Kaya mahirap isipin na ano ang mangyayari kasi kapag tinest mo iyan at mas maraming testing, maaaring makakita pa rin po tayo nang mas maraming cases o na positive ‘no. Pero ang priority natin siyempre is to test more, to identify more, so we can take care of them faster ‘di ba. So the more na maka-identify po tayo ng mga positive cases, the more ma-isolate natin, and the more mabigyan natin ng proper health care.

So again, if we expand the number of testing then we might see more positive cases ng COVID.

Number two: “Kailan po magsisimula mag-transfer ng PUIs and mild COVID cases into quarantine facilities?

Ang alam ko, we have some facilities that are already—that should be ready to accept ‘no like Ninoy Aquino Stadium should be ready already to accept, and Rizal Memorial Coliseum should already be ready to accept. World Trade and PICC, if natapos ito over the Holy Week, then they should already be ready to accept.

May you please explain to us the structure of government response teams? Iyong IATF po ba is different from the National Task Force and National Action Plan?

Hindi po. Iyong IATF is the policy makers. IATF defines the policy, makes the policy and the National Task Force are the implementors of the policy. So under the National Task Force is mayroon pong task groups iyan, on resource, may task group on response, may task group on strategic communications ‘di ba. So iyon po ‘yung istraktura natin, and then that’s all part of the National Action plan. So that’s it for Trish Terada of CNN.

Next is Bella Cariaso/Bandera: “Ask ko lang, iyong supposed gag order na pinalabas ni Secretary Duque sa mga health officials at medical staff on COVID-19, may observation tuloy na nagiging China ang approach ng government, who has been accused of concealing information that led to the pandemic where officials and staff are threatened with possible administration cases. May allegation tuloy na matatakot na ang whistleblower na lumabas at magbigay ng testimony sakaling may mali sa palakad.

Nasagot na ito ni Secretary Duque at pati noong Administrator noong hospital ‘no, na diumano nautusan na mag-conceal, and it’s not government policy to conceal. In fact, gaya ng sinabi ko kanina, hinihingi nga natin sa ating mga pasyente na to reveal all possible information. Nakalagay din po sa batas na ito doon sa batas na 11332, mandatory reporting of notifiable diseases. Anybody who does not cooperate, anybody who conceals eh malalagot with the full force of the law ‘di ba.

So concealment is not a government policy. In fact, we want more openness, candor, honesty and truthfulness here because the more truthful people are, including patients, mas makaka-react po tayo nang tama.

From Gen Kabiling/Manila Bulletin: “What are the government’s preparations for the aggressive targeted COVID testing in the next two weeks? What’s the target number of persons to be tested daily?

Gaya ng sinabi ko kanina, we want to capacitate more laboratories ‘no, number one. Number two, we want more testing to be done, 3,000 tests nga ang gusto natin within this week. We hope to go into 3,000 tests per day na. Next week, we hope to double that ‘no. And then the week after, the last week of April, going to April 30… by April 30 dapat umabot na po tayo sa 8,000 tests per day. So in order for us to do that, kailangan ng mas maraming test laboratories ang ma-accredit.

Will the government ask more local government units and those from the private sector to assist in mass testing especially in priority areas?

Yes. In fact, more private laboratories have signified their intention to join and to be accredited as testing laboratories.

What is the extent of disclosure of public information about coronavirus patients? Will the government now publish names?

Like I said, this is something that is being discussed sa IATF ‘no. We need to harmonize the RA 11332 together with the Data Privacy Act; then we have to harmonize iyong data privacy. We are asking DOH to come up with the guidelines para po dito.

How will the government balance concerns on protecting individual’s privacy, reducing stigma and collecting information critical to public health?

Yes, that is what has to be balanced ‘di ba. It’s a public health emergency, we are under state of national calamity. We need disclosure of accurate, correct and honest data and information. We need to share the data to those who are supposed to conduct contact tracing for us to be able to identify who are the possible PUIs, probable/suspected na COVID-19. And also iyong protecting against the stigma ‘di ba na sinasabi. So, it’s a delicate balancing act that is an ongoing discussion in the IATF and DOH is supposed to come up with the—has been tasked to come up with the guidelines towards that.

From Aileen Taliping/Abante: “Ano po ba ang protocol sa mga PUIs, kung puwede na silang mag-stay lang sa bahay or kailangan silang dalhin sa hospital?

Ang ating kuwan talaga, ang target talaga natin is to isolate PUIs. That’s the reason why we already furbishing all of these isolation facilities, not just here in NCR but all over the country para po ma-isolate na po natin ang mga PUIs.

From Joseph Morong: “For how long can we last in terms of government’s resources and all if a vaccine is not found in the near future? What’s our next step? What’s the worst case scenario?

Ang management po natin na ginagawa ngayon is to enable for us to flatten the curve para po we do not overwhelm the healthcare facilities natin, our doctors, our frontliners, our hospital beds, our ventilators. All of our health equipment and facilities are not overwhelmed with the number of COVID-19 cases. So iyan po ang strategy and that’s a worldwide strategy. All other countries are doing the same, you hear ‘flatten the curve’ as something being discussed and talked about by different countries all over ‘no.

So, we will last until—we must last, that’s the point. We have to manage this in a way that we have to last, period ‘no. More recoveries, less deaths… you know, so talagang ano, hahanap talaga tayo ng paraan dito. We have to make ourselves last until… until, until. So iyan po, they have to find a vaccine otherwise, you know, we’ll take it one step at a time. But ang forward looking natin is the world must find a vaccine – and I believe they will. But you know, siyempre may clinical trials pa ‘iyan, etc., … safety also, integrity.

“In terms of selling government assets, why did the President specifically mention the CCP and PICC?”

I really don’t know. But iyong selling government assets is doon na iyon sa pag ano na talaga. Kasi ang context diyan is, siyempre government can do its work because of the taxes paid by our taxpayers, basically. But taxpayers can only pay the tax according to their income ‘di ba, according to how much economic activity. So, siyempre there’s also a concern sa collection etc. etc., so iyong selling of government assets na, ano na iyan… pinakadulo na iyan, if there’s no other way. But we will find a way.

“What should we do with the ill-gotten jewelries sequestered?”

I don’t know. It’s not something that we’ve discussed, siguro that’s something that should be given to the proper government authorities to decide on.

“Are finance charges from credit cards included in the fees that should be waived?”

Finance charges? I’m not sure.

“And if the banks can—if the banks have deducted the amount, what can be done?”

I’m not sure about the finance charges ng credit cards. Let me ask the question later sa IATF, our economic managers and even… I don’t know if this is something within the realm of the BSP.

“Do you think POEA, DOLE ban on medical workers can be repealed? Our OFW medical health workers ban from going out of the country?”

That’s a topic of discussion for the IATF. Although the POEA already issued a pronouncement to that effect, it will be discussed later sa IATF.

From Francis Wakefield/Daily Tribune: “Last night, Secretary Galvez said maaari raw magkaroon ng selective quarantine kung magiging maayos ang pagsunod sa ECQ. Magagawa rin daw ito kapag nagkaroon na ng massive testing ng suspected cases, tumaas ang recovery rate ng mga pasyente, bumaba ang number of deaths at new cases, tumaas ang capacity ng ating mga local health units sa level nang kayang-kaya na po nating mag-react nang normal. Do the IATF think this could be attainable in two to three weeks? Secretary Galvez also mentioned last night na malaki ang naitulong ng lockdown para ma-prevent ang lalong pagkalat ng virus.”

I agree with Secretary Galvez – number one: in terms of—malaki ang naitulong talaga ng lockdown. If hindi po nag-declare ng lockdown si Pangulong Duterte when he did, it would have been much, much worse for the Philippines. Take a look at the other countries, iyong mas mayaman sa atin, tingnan ninyo ang mga numero nila – iyon ang lagi naming binabalikan. Kung hindi agad nag-declare ng Enhanced Community Quarantine si Pangulong Duterte when he did, when there were people who were even saying na OA, you can only imagine ano iyong—how overstretch na siguro tayo kung hindi agad tayo nag-declare ng ECQ. So, napakalaking tulng po noong ECQ!

Now, doon sa selective quarantine – binanggit ito ni Secretary Galvez – ang konteksto po nito is because there are some stakeholders who are suggesting that, na selective quarantine, so kasama po iyan sa discussions na pinag-uusapan namin sa IATF. But again, kami ni Secretary Galvez ayaw po namin pangunahan siyempre. Because the IATF is not just Secretary Galvez and myself, there are plenty other Cabinet Secretaries in the IATF and other high-ranking officials all discussing the probable. So when Secretary Galvez said that, that is a probable, pero is it final? Not yet because ultimately we have to come up with a game plan what happens after April 30 and ultimately, kailangan din po natin ang approval din ni Pangulong Duterte.

But we have to show with accuracy how these mechanisms will operate and how it will be to the advantage of our health, our safety, security, our economic and social dimensions. So, kaya nga lima iyong parameters na ginagamit namin and kung ano man ang magiging desisyon namin, it will be based on those five parameters.

Aileen Taliping/Abante: “May mga barangay officials na ibini-based pa rin sa pagiging botante sa kanilang lugar ang pamimigay ng tulong, ano po ang dapat gawin sa mga ganitong barangay officials?”

Hind po puwede at napakaliwanag po niyan na iyong botante lamang ang pagbibigyan dahil dito po nakapaloob sa guidelines ng Social Amelioration Program na ang pagiging botante po is not one of the qualifications required para po kayo ay magiging isa sa mga beneficiaries nito, kasi nakalagay po dito na hindi pagiging ‘botante’ ang requirement, so hindi pupuwede iyan at alam naman ng LGU iyan at binabantayan naman sila ng DILG.

Although gusto ko ring banggitin na, at nasabi ko na rin ito kahapon, kapag ineligible po iyong pinagbigyan ng social amelioration package, kung hindi siya eligible, kung ineligible siya, malalagot din naman ang LGU na namahagi because after maipamahagi na iyong social amelioration, DSWD will conduct a validation. Then after validation titingnan—during the validation titingnan niya ang eligibility pati kung nag-duplicate-duplicate ba.

Now, in cases of ineligibility, i-inform ng DSWD ang LGU within 72 hours and the LGU official will have to refund iyong amount na ibinigay niya doon sa ineligible or non-eligible na beneficiary. And that does not preclude government from filing any criminal, civil or administrative cases against the LGU official. Then iyong family na iyon na ineligible, obviously blacklisted na siya, disqualified na siya. And unless ma-liquidate ng LGU ang lahat ng ipinamahagi niya using the social amelioration funds ay hindi na po mauulit ang second round doon sa kanila, because no additional funds will be given to the LGU unless makapag-submit po siya ng liquidation report.

Maricel Halili/TV5: “How can we ensure that there won’t be discrimination against COVID patients and PUI if the government will disclose their identities? Not all LGUs have policies on anti-discrimination. How do you monitor the cases in slum areas?”

Like I said, hintayin muna natin iyong guidelines ng DOH regarding that.

From Maricel Halili again, follow-up: “Tuloy ba ang mass testing tomorrow? What will be the process?”

Like I said, I think when sinabi iyong mass testing ni Secretary Galvez, I think it is in the context of PUIs being isolated in our isolation and quarantine facilities and those PUIs undergoing tests. So, ang idea ni Secretary Galvez is doon sa isolation facilities po natin and quarantine facilities natin for PUIs na suspected COVID positive, suspected COVID cases, lahat po sila will be tested – so, iyon po iyong step by step process. Let’s isolate them in the testing facility then all of them together, we will conduct the testing. And that’s what he meant when he said mass testing.

Vic Somintac/DZEC: “Hindi ba lalabag sa karapatang pantao at sa Republic Act 10173 or Data Privacy Act ang pag-oobliga sa mga COVID-19 patients na i-disclose sa publiko ang kanilang personal information?”

Wait, we are not telling the patient to disclose to the public; we are telling to the patient to disclose to DOH all accurate and honest information. DOH ang siyang repository at safe keeper ng information. But DOH in the context of contact tracing may ask LGUs and law enforcement agencies to help in contact tracing and to do that, DOH must necessarily share the information with these enforcers but all mindful of the provisions under the Data Privacy Act.

From Tuesday Niu/DZBB: “Kasama po ba ang nurses na may existing contract sa abroad pero nagbakasyon lang dito at inabutan ng lockdown dito sa Pilipinas sa deployment ban ng POEA?”

Pag-usapan namin mamaya sa IATF, then babalitaan ko kayo kung ano iyong naging decision.

“Papaano po iyong mga stranded local tourists sa mga province na gusto nang umuwi sa Manila. Puwede po ba silang umuwi pa, hindi ba sila pipigilan ng checkpoint going to Manila?”

Please, ang mga turista po natin, the Department of Tourism is handling all of these. So please get in touch with DOT.

From Henry Uri/DZRH: “Para sa kapakanan ng mga ordinaryong mamamayan, puwede po ba ninyong ipaliwanag ang step by step na paraan kung paano magpa-test ng COVID sa ilalim ng mass testing ng gobyerno? Sino ang puwedeng magpa-test at malalaman po ba agad ang resulta nito?” 

Like I said, hindi po ibig sabihin ng mass testing ay lahat ng masang Pilipino ay puwede pong magpa-test. Ang ating priorities po:

Number one – iyong nasa hospital, hospitalized patients na hindi natin alam kung COVID-19 positive patients sila lalung-lalo na if they exhibit symptoms na sila ay parang COVID-19, ite-test natin sila; lalung-lalo na iyong mga elderly, pre-existing conditions at pregnant women.

Number two – healthcare workers who are constantly exposed to COVID-19 patients.

Number three – PUIs. At kapag sinabing PUIs may sintomas po, hindi po tayo magma-mass testing ng mga walang sintomas. Although kapag nag-contact tracing po tayo at nalaman namin na ikaw ay probable dahil may close contact ka with a COVID-19 patient, then you become eligible for testing also pero i-isolate ka na namin. Kaya iyon ang gamit ng ating isolation quarantine facilities.

From Joyce Balancio/DZMM: “Mapapahamak po ang hindi magdi-disclose na patients?”

Yes, read RA 11332. Nandiyan din po iyong penalties, under RA11332 or the mandatory reporting of notifiable diseases. Iyan din po ang batas na pinanggagalingan ng pag-declare ni Pangulong Duterte ng Public Health Emergency. So nakapaloob doon sa batas na iyon na ang violators of this act mayroon pong kaso.

Sa ating mga kababayan, maraming salamat po sa inyong pakikipagtulungan sa inyong pamahalaan. Kayo ang first line of defense against COVID-19, kaya bahay muna, buhay muna.

Sa ating mga kasama sa pagpapalaganap ng tama at napapanahong impormasyon sa iba’t ibang media outlet sa TV, radyo, diyaryo at online na naka-hook up po sa amin ngayon, maraming, maraming salamat po.

So sa inyo pong lahat, ingat po kayo, amping kanunay at patuloy natin itong laban na ito. Daghang salamat. Maayong buntag sa tanan.




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