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 lahat ng ating mga bayaning frontliners na nandiyan pa rin, tumutulong sa atin 24/7.

Kahapon po, the IATF held its second meeting for this week and issued IATF Resolution #24. Pero bago ko basahin iyong nilalaman ng resolution na iyan, hayaan ninyo muna akong banggitin ko po iyong latest updates sa ating Social Amelioration Program.

As of April 15, 2020, the DSWD already forged 1,387 Memorandum of Agreements on SAP (Social Amelioration Program) with various cities and municipalities. So, a total of 1,228 LGUs were already provided with funds amounting to 65 billion pesos. If the total amount for the Social Amelioration Program for the various LGUs is 80.9 billion pesos, then the 65 billion pesos already given to the LGUs accounts for more than 80% already downloaded. A total of 236,331 ‘low income, non-4Ps families’ received their emergency cash assistance equivalent to 1.3 billion pesos.

Now, in addition to the emergency subsidy program, the DSWD has also catered to 14,096 clients for COVID-related concerns, tulad ng medical assistance and/or burial assistance in the amount of P67,530,340.48 through the regular assistance to individuals in crisis situation.

The DSWD has further distributed a total of 400,201 ‘family food packs’ to various LGUs in the regions amounting to P156,116,899.49.

Balikan naman natin ang IATF Resolution #24.

Ang mga sumusunod ang mga kasunduan at nilalaman ng resolution na ito:

A.) Foreign cruise ships carrying Filipino crew shall be allowed to dock in ports in Manila, and to be used as quarantine facility for said Filipino crew members subject to the guidelines to be issued by the member-agencies of the sub-task group for repatriation of Overseas Filipino Workers pursuant to their respective mandates. Further, the foreign crew on board aforesaid foreign crew ships shall be allowed to disembark in Manila for the sole purpose of taking outbound flights to their final destination abroad as previously allowed pursuant to Inter-Agency Task Force Resolution #15 series of 2020 provided, such foreign crew have also completed the 14-day mandatory quarantine upon disembarkation.

Ang mga foreign crew ship na may dalang mga Pilipinong crew members ay papayagang dumaong sa mga pantalan ng Maynila at magamit bilang quarantine facility nila alinsunod sa patakaran ng sub-task group for the repatriation of Overseas Filipino Workers. Ang mga foreign crew members na kasama nila ay papayagang umuwi sa kanilang mga bansa basta matapos din nila ang mandatory 14-day quarantine dito.

B.) Pursuant to the directive of the President, the Department of Health in coordination with its technical advisory group is directed to finalize guidelines for the supplementary utilization of FDA approved rapid anti-body test kits.

And DOH kasama ang kaniyang technical advisory group ay inaatasan na isapinal na ang mga patakaran sa paggamit ng rapid anti-body test kits na aprubado ng FDA.

C.) The following recommendations of the Department of Agriculture are adopted:

1.) The government shall pursue the optimum level of harvesting activities ang planting operations with the support of the National Irrigation Administration, as well as the prepositioning of agricultural inputs for early planting.

2.) The Department of Interior and Local Government shall advise LGUs to actively partner with the regional field offices of the Department of Agriculture for the operational planning and implementation of various programs and projects of the agency.

3.) Food value chain logistics shall be improved.

4.) The Cash for Work Program in agriculture shall be explored.

Aprubado na rin po ang mga sumusunod na rekumendasyon ng DA:

1.) Itutuloy po ang pag-aani sa tulong ng NIA at ayusin din po ang pag-preposition ng agricultural inputs para maka-ani nang maaga.

2.) Ang DILG ay inaatasang abisuhan ang mga LGU para makipag-ugnayan sa mga regional office ng DA para sa mga pagpaplano ng mga proyekto pang-agrikultura.

3.) Ayusin at paigtingin ang food value chain logistics.

4.) Aralin ang cash for work in agriculture program ng Department of Agriculture.

D.) The IATF approves the recommendation of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to pursue supply chain regulatory impact assessments and to develop the supply chain analysis (SCAN) dashboard, in cooperation with partner agencies and selected private entities.

The outputs of the regulatory impact assessments shall be referred to the IATF as a whole or any of its member agencies. And the 0utputs of the SCAN dashboard shall be referred to the National Task Force COVID-19 for its consideration.

Aprubado na rin po ang rekumendasyon ng NEDA na gumamit ng supply chain regulatory impact assessments at bumuo ng supply chain analysis (SCAN) dashboard sa tulong ng ibang ahensiya at pribadong sektor. Ang produkto ng regulatory impact assessments ay ibibigay sa IATF o sa ahensiya ng kaniyang miyembro habang ang produkto ng SCAN dashboard ay ibibigay sa National Task Force COVID-19 para sa pagsusuri nila.

E.) The updated nomenclature in classifying individuals for the surveillance and management of the COVID-19 health event is adopted. Patients Under Investigation with mild, severe or critical symptoms whose results have not yet been released shall be designated as suspect cases. PUIs with inconclusive test results shall be classified as probable cases. Persons Under Monitoring shall still be referred to as PUMs and shall be reported and managed accordingly.

Gagamitin na po natin ang mga bagong terminolohiya para sa pagklasipika ng mga indibidwal na pinagsususpetsahang may COVID-19 o kumpirmadong COVID-19. Ang dating tinatawag na mga patients under investigation o PUI na may banayad o malubhang sintomas na hindi pa nilalabas ang resulta ng kanilang mga test ay tatawaging ‘suspect cases’; ang mga PUIs na hindi pa tiyak ay tatawaging ‘probable cases.’

Ang mga taong tinatawag na natin dati na persons under monitoring ay tatawaging PUM pa rin.

The Department of Energy shall form part of the expanded membership of the Inter-Agency Task Force.

Isinasama na po ang Department of Energy sa expanded membership ng IATF.

Bago po natin I-wrap up ang briefing ngayong umaga, may ilang update lang po tayo. Nadagdagan na po ang bilang ng mga laboratoryong sertipikado na puwedeng magbigay ng COVID-19 test. Mayroon na po tayong 16 laboratories na kayang mag-conduct ng RT-PCR [real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction] for COVID-19, ayon sa Department of Health.

Bukod po dito ibinalita ng Philippine Coast Guard na sinimulan na po ang paggamit ng dalawang barko bilang quarantine facility. The PCG kicked off the operations of the quarantine ships by welcoming 90 repatriated Filipino seafarers from South Korea, Indonesia and Qatar last Tuesday. After being screened, the seafarers were provided with individual room accommodations where they shall complete the 14-day quarantine period.

Iyong iba na may nauna ng hotel bookings na inayos na ng OWWA ay mananatili sa nasabing mga hotel para sa kanilang 14-day quarantine matapos magsagawa ng medical profiling ang PCG Medical teams.

Ngayon, base sa huling tala ng DOH, may 230 na bagong kaso ng COVID-19 sa bansa for a total of 5,453 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The disease claimed 14 lives yesterday, bringing the total to 349 fatalities. Ibinalita na rin po ng DOH na kahapon 58 po ang naka-recover na sa COVID-19 bringing the total to 353 recoveries.

Hinuli ko po ang mga bilang na ito para idiin na napakaseryoso po ng outbreak na ito… itong sakit na ito. Habang tumatagal ang ECQ, human nature po na isipin na nagiging okay na ang lahat. Natural na maging kampante. Ngunit habang may mga kababayan tayo na nahahawa at namamatay dahil sa sakit na ito, habang may mga medical health workers na nagbubuwis ng buhay para labanan ang outbreak na ito, hindi tayo puwedeng maging kampante; we must stay the course.

Kailangan tuluy-tuloy ang pag-iingat, paghuhugas ng kamay at ang striktong pagsunod sa physical distancing at patakaran ng ECQ.

When we stay home and practice social distancing, we save lives; kaya bahay muna, buhay muna. Together we can beat COVID-19, together with the mercy and grace of God, we will heal as one. Maraming salamat po.

Sasagutin ko na po ang katanungan mula sa ating mga kaibigan sa media.

From Ace Romero: The number of recoveries outnumbered deaths yesterday, what are the implications of these if there are any, can this be construed as an indication that the curve is flattening, why or why not? How will this affect the decision on whether to lift or prolong the Luzon lockdown?

– Sa palagay ko po iyong mabilis na medical interventions natin ay isa sa mga paraan kung paano natin maiiwasan ang fatalities and paano natin mai-improve ang recoveries. So the more test and the more extensive iyong mga testing natin will become, we have to expect certain things ‘no. Gaya ng sinabi ko before, iyong testing capacity natin habang lumalawak iyan, dadami iyong lang ng magiging positive. So habang dumadami iyong bilang ng positive, siyempre kapag tinitingnan mo ang numero, mababahala ka na parami ng parami. Pero on the other hand, pag agad nalaman natin na positive, agad-agad nating malalaman ano iyong the best medical intervention natin para doon sa biktima na ito. So, kapag nag-positive, isolate kaagad natin, treat agad natin.

– The number two advantage iyan is mahihiwalay na agad natin and mai-isolate agad natin mula sa general population, so hindi na magkaroon ng paghahawa iyong mga malapit sa kanya within the vicinity, so iyon po iyong advantage. Kaya, the more extensive iyong testing natin – kasi ngayon 16 laboratories and then there are more in the pipeline to come – then, mas mate-test natin, ma-detect natin, ma-isolate natin, ma-treat agad natin. But siyempre ang tinitingnan natin ngayong numero is iyong recoveries, prevention of death and then more recoveries. That’s number one.

– Number two, may nakikita rin kaming… well, although it’s too early to tell, pero may slide na ibinigay sa IATF kahapon, noong nagre-report mula sa RITM at sa mga labs natin. Dati kasi sabi namin 17 to 18 ang nagiging positive out of the number of tests ‘no. So kung ganito karami ang tine-test natin, 17 to 18% niyan positive. But there was a slide that was presented to us yesterday na from 17 to 18% – nasanay na kami doon – naging 15%. So, it may be also a function of more testing, so the bigger siyempre iyong number of people being tested, then baka iyong naging positive bumababa na rin. But again, it’s too early to tell. Pero ang importante dito is we need to test more, so that we can detect more, isolate them and then treat them.

Will this decision affect iyong decision whether or not to lift or prolong the Luzon lockdown?

– I think it also has to do—it will be a factor ‘no, kasi siyempre ang tinitingnan natin factor is how… in terms of our health capacity factor, how quick we are able to detect, isolate and treat. So, certainly that is something that we will also be looking at when we consider kung ano ang mangyayari after April 30.

From Sherrie Ann Torres of ABS-CBN: May mga local officials pa rin pong nagre-require sa kanilang mga constituent na makipagkasundo munang hatiin ang cash aid o hindi bibigyan ng Social Amelioration Card form. Ano pong gagawin sanction sa kanila ng national government?

– Alam naman ng mga LGUs kung anong pinirmahan nilang MOA at gaya ng sinabi ko dati ang magiging complication lamang diyan is, number one, magkakaroon ng validation siyempre ang DSWD over and above that ang COA will also be doing an audit. And then gaya ng sinabi rin namin na nasa MOA din po na if hindi qualified iyong beneficiary, then kailangang i-refund iyong pera na ibinigay doon.

Saan puwedeng maghain ng reklamo ang mga kababayan natin na nakakaranas ganito at paano ang proseso ng paghain ng reklamo?

– Puwede po sa DSWD mismo, sa mga regional offices kung may reklamo dahil mayroon naman silang grievance mechanism or there are other avenues also – hotline 8888.

“Ilang barangays o areas na po ang nabibigyan ng cash aid ngayon ng DSWD, hanggang kailan ang latest na dapat i-release ng DSWD and Social Amelioration Card?”

– Gaya ng sinabi ko, 80% na po ng mga LGUs ang nabigyan na ng pondo mula sa DSWD. So that’s 65 billion already given to various LGUs and the total amount that we are looking at is 80.9 billion pesos. So that represent a little over 80% na po ng LGUs have already been given the funds.

– So now, based on the rules, they have to immediately disburse the fund and distribute that to the various constituents po nila. Tapos, kasama doon sa pagbibigay, iyong pagbibigay ng Social Amelioration Card. Tapos siyempre, dalawang portions iyon: iyong isang portion iki-keep noong family after filling it up, iyong kabilang portion, ibibigay doon sa LGU for encoding tapos ibibigay doon sa DSWD.

– Then after that, immediately after that magkakaroon ng validation ang DSWD doon sa pamamahagi ng pondo. Although doon sa distribution mismo, mayroon ding presence ng DSWD, PNP, AFP at iba pa.

From Maricel Halili/TV5: “Anong assistance ang puwedeng ibigay sa mga nasa ibang lugar na naipit sa lockdown? May construction workers po kasi ang nawalan ng trabaho dahil inabutan sila ng lockdown sa Batangas, pero dahil taga-QC sila, hindi sila isinama sa listahan ng barangay for the amelioration program of DSWD.”

– Okay. So gaya ng sinabi po namin before, mayroon tayong appeals process ‘di ba, at sinabi rin ni Pangulo, ang latest directive niya, binanggit na rin niya sa TV, is that “Hanapin. Kayong mga LGU at kapitan hanapin ninyo iyong mga dapat mabigyan at hindi nabigyan.” – So I would take to mean, na kasama itong mga na-stranded, because if you look at the social amelioration na memorandum, kasama rin po dito sa circular na ito kahit iyong mga stranded ay dapat isasama diyan. So in other words, they’re qualified to receive the social amelioration from the government. Kaya kung maaari iyong mga LGUs, isama ninyo itong mga construction workers na nawalan ng trabaho at naipit/inabutan ng lockdown.

“The President’s directive to PNP-HPG is to make sure that all passengers of private vehicles are part of APOR.”

– Ah, oo yeah. I mean to say ang puwede lang lumabas is iyong exempted.

“What if an APOR doesn’t know how to drive? Will they still be allowed to be fetched by a driver not included in the list of APOR?”

– Particular details na kasi ito eh, so siguro kapag may ganitong mga particulars, then they must go back to the agency that gave them the APOR in the first place or iyong accreditation in the first place. So these are particular cases na lang.

From Tina Mendez/PhilStar: “The President recently approved the procurement of some 3.3 billion worth of rapid testing and RTPCR based kits?” – So dalawa iyan, PCR pati iyong rapid test.

“In relation to this, has IATF also approved the recommendation of the NTF for creation of a special task group that would spearhead the massive testing of suspected COVID-19 positive individuals?”

– Hindi namin pinag-usapan ito sa IATF because kung anuman ang policies na inilalatag naman ng IATF, ang implementor diyan iyong National Task Force. So whatever policies that we come out with, the implementation will be through the National Task Force. And then, they just report na lang sa IATF iyong kanilang accomplishments based doon sa guidelines and policies na ibinigay ng IATF.

– So in terms of the implementation, kay Secretary Galvez na lang.

“Sa ilalim ng NTF, ang lahat po ng results generated ng rapid anti-body based test kits will be subjected to RTPCR confirmatory test as strongly recommended by DOH?”

– Yes. So, even iyong discussions namin kahapon sa IATF meeting, that was still something that was emphasized. Iyong rapid test kit, kailangan pa rin ng confirmatory, number one. But the good thing about the rapid test kits din pala, as explained to us by the epidemiologists, is it also can be used to confirm kung iyong pasyente who is being treated ng COVID-19 is already cleared to go.

– So pinag-aaralan ngayon ng DOH na maaari, kunyari pasyente ka, tapos tini-treat ka na sa hospital, tapos gumaling ka na ‘di ba. Tapos noong gumaling ka na, siyempre before ka idi-discharge ng hospital para umuwi ka na sa tahanan mo, bahay mo dahil ano ka na eh, cleared ka na eh, kumbaga magaling ka na. So ang usual protocol po natin is magpa-swab ka. So magpa-swab ka at idaan na naman sa laboratory for the PCR test, iyong lab-based testing natin.

– Ngayon sabi ng mga epidemiologists, kapag ganoon, puwede rin nating pag-aralan na hindi na lang magpa-swab. Gamitin na lang iyong rapid test, kasi iyong sa rapid test kit, kapag lumabas ka doon na positive ka sa IGG, meaning to say naka-buildup ka na ng anti-bodies mo against COVID-19, then cleared to go ka na. Kasi cured ka na tapos naka-buildup ka na ng anti-bodies mo sa IGG test kaya cleared to go ka na. So, para hindi ka na pipila ulit sa lab-based test na kung saan marami pa tayong mga PUIs, mga PUMs at mga pasyente na sina-swab din doon sa lab-based.

– So that would remove some pressure doon sa lab-based, kung puwede na lang na ang clearance mechanism natin for patients is through the rapid test kits. So kaya ang binasa ko na resolution ng IATF na isa-pinal na, i-finalize na nila ang guidelines on how to use those rapid test kits under our present medical protocols. So iyon, isa iyon sa uses noong ating rapid test kits.

– But yes, to answer the question, mayroon pa ring confirmatory test kahit nagpa-rapid test ka na.

“Hindi po ba mag-overlap ang plano ng NTF sa ilalim ni Secretary Galvez sa pagsasagawa din ng expanded testing ng DOH na PCR-based at sa mga initiatives ng mga LGUs?”

– Hindi siya mag-0-0verlap because we are now—because of the—dahil sa utos ni Pangulo, ipapasok na namin iyong rapid test kits doon sa current health protocols natin particularly sa testing. So, kapag na-finalize na po iyan then we will cascade to everybody. The National Task Force will implement based on the guidelines; iyong LGUs din will implement based on those guidelines, so hindi magkakaroon ng overlap.

Please clarify again the use of rapid pass?

– Ito iyong sa DICT, ano?

How many Rapid Pass applications have been approved so far since its implementation this week? How come the PNP is not honoring the IATF accreditation issued to media because the policy strictly requires members of the press to present Rapid Pass bar code at checkpoints?

– It should not be a problem ‘no itong media and the Rapid Pass because that has already been coordinated. Lahat ng ginagawa ng DICT at DOST at iyong gumawa ng Rapid Pass has already been coordinated with the PNP so it shouldn’t be a problem. With regard to the details ng Rapid Pass in terms of how many applications, etc., I would refer you to the DICT for the updates on that.

– Iyong sa Rapid Pass lamang—siyempre nag-identify kasi sila ng mga tao sa different agencies—officials from the different agencies to be the one to approve. So, iyon lang naman iyong naging concern doon sa pag-operate ng Rapid Pass, iyong the different agencies concerned approving kung sino iyong mga applicants for Rapid Pass; but otherwise, it’s all systems go.

From Joyce Balancio, DZMM: May mga local officials pa rin pong nagre-require—

– Tapos na tayo diyan…tapos na tayo doon.

From Cathy Valente of Manila Times: Kailangan po namin ang tulong ninyo. Taga-Palawan po ako, bayan ng San Vicente. Bukas po kasi ang bigayan sa amin ng five thousand na ayuda ni Presidente. Marami po ang mga naka-fill-up ng form, ngayon dumating na ang list… iyong list ng makakatanggap, marami po iyong wala sa listahan. Ang problema pa po doon, may mga kagawad na nakasama. Ano po ang puwedeng gawin?

– Mag-file po tayo ng reklamo sa DSWD or sa DILG, so para po maimbestigahan po ito. Kasi kailangan siyempre ng complainant para maumpisahan ang investigation dito at makakaasa po kayo na kasama naman ito sa proseso—whether or not may complainant, kasama sa proseso ng DSWD iyong validation; pero mas maigi po kung may complainant para ma-investigate talaga natin.

Sa totoo lang po karamihan dito sa amin,-sa liblib po kami, sitio lang po kami. Kung makikita ninyo po kami kahit kayo po ang magsasabi na karapat-dapat po kami. Salamat po.

– Okay. Kaya nga sinabi ni Pangulo, hindi ba – iyong kaniyang utos sa mga LGU pati sa mga kapitan – hanapin ninyo iyong mga dapat bigyan at kung nakaligtaan at hindi nabigyan, paki-ano na lang… pakisabi sa DSWD. Dahil inatasan niya po ang DSWD at DILG na makipag-ugnayan din sa mga LGUs para kung sino man iyong mga nakaligtaan ay ma-ano namin… ma-document ng pamahalaan para hanapan natin ng solusyon.

From Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN: May mga exemptions bang ibibigay ang IATF for motorists to travel kung hindi sila kasali sa listahan ng mga authorized persons outside residence? Halimbawa, iyong magpapa-check-up who will seek medical treatment in a hospital located in another city or may personal emergency situations?

– Kung naaalala ninyo po, we already issued—the IATF already issued previously sa one of our IATF Resolutions, that for humanitarian reasons, DOH can give exemptions.

Paano iyong gustong mamili in a bigger supermarket, grocery, pharmacy in another city kasi mas maraming mabibili doon or doon lang available ang kailangang bilhin?

– Ang—Huwag na lang po kasi ganiyan na lang din, huwag na lang. Kasi kung mamimili lang dahil mamimili ka ng gusto mo kaya gusto mong pumunta sa ibang siyudad or ibang lugar, kung mahahanap naman doon sa city mo or sa lugar mo, doon na lang, huwag na lang tayong picky kumbaga. When in case of doubt, huwag na lang. You have to understand the situation na lang… ganoon na lang. Intindihin na lang natin ang sitwasyon, okay?

– Ngayon, naghihigpit na po tayo. Dinala na po ng PNP ang HPG unit nila, iyong Highway Patrol Group. Mayroon ng joint forces ngayon ang PNP at AFP, iyong parang joint task force or joint team nila for quarantine. Dinadala na po ang lahat ng mga ibang law enforcement agencies to the frontlines para bantayan po ang ating mga kalsada, highway, public spaces, okay. Ibig sabihin, naghihigpit na po talaga tayo ngayon kasi ito ang napag-usapan na rin namin sa IATF kagabi.

– Nasa last—medyo going to the—malapit na ang April 30, hindi ba? It’s already what? April 16. So, ano na lang… let’s just—so, naghihigpit na tayo. Let’s just ano na lang… tuloy-tuloy na lang natin kasi kung lahat ng sakripisyo na ginawa natin simulan ang pag-umpisa nito and it’s been more than a month already, tapos doon ka pa sa—parang ang point doon is, so nag-sakripisyo na ang lahat, hindi ba, for how many weeks? More than a month na and then we’re down to our parang kumbaga ang tawag pa nga nila last stretch tapos doon pa tayo sa last stretch naging you know, complacent tapos dumami iyong mga pasaway tapos—So kung gawin natin iyon, lahat—ano iyong point ng lahat na ito na ginawa na natin, na inumpisahan na natin, hindi ba? That’s the point there na kung iyong lahat isinakripisyo natin mababale-wala lang dahil naghahanap tayo ng paraan para makalabas, dahil, ‘Eh, doon sa ibang lugar kasi iyong paborito kung ganito, iyong paborito kong ganiyan or sawa na ako sa mga nabibili ko dito’ – it just destroys everything, hindi ba?

– Parang—So, marami namang nagko-comply pero napansin din siyempre kahit ni Pangulo na marami ng mga pasaway, so wala tayong choice kung hindi maghigpit tayo lalo. So that’s why I’m saying when in doubt, huwag na lang.

Pahabol from Tina Mendez of Philstar: The Chinese media reported that the Chinese medical team who visited the country found that the Philippines is “in a significant risk of not being able to cut-off source of infection.” They observed the limited bed capacity and lack of enough PPEs. Any comment?

Well, personally, I cannot comment because I was not part of the team who accompanied the Chinese medical team for them to observe what’s happening here in the Philippines. So I think, I must defer the question to the Department of Health, particularly the officials who were advised by the Chinese medical team.

From Arianne Merez/ABS-CBN online: “May reminder po ang DSWD kahapon against unauthorized public solicitation for charitable purposes, ibig sabihin po ba nito ang mga fundraising ng pribadong indibidwal para sa mahihirap ay kailangan pang i-coordinate sa DSWD?”

I’m not aware. So, perhaps seek clarification from DSWD. But this was not discussed sa IATF, so sa DSWD na lang siguro magpa-clarify.

From Joyce Balancio/DZMM: “Pahabol po also: One, ano talaga ang programa para sa mga senior citizens?”

Well, number one, sa senior citizens, for senior citizens who are not receiving monthly pensions, they must be included sa Social Amelioration Program, iyon. And then, we also have senior citizens, indigent senior citizens who are receiving social pension from government, so kasama rin sila sa ating social amelioration.

“Number two, directive sa LGU officials na na-overlook ang welfare ng senior citizens?”

DILG is supposed to be the one to supervise, oversee and even exercise oversight sa mga LGUs ‘di ba. So kung may mga na-overlook na welfare ng citizens at kung ito ay labag sa any of the laws for the protection of the senior citizens, then DILG will act immediately.

“Ilan na ang na-assist na senior citizens especially iyong mga living alone?”

DSWD would probably have the data for this because—and we have a new body on the senior citizens also. But in the meantime, pagdating kasi sa senior citizens, it’s DSWD who will take care of them, particularly iyong mga indigent natin na senior citizens.

From Joseph Morong/GMA7: “What happens if the curve is not flattened before or on April 30, is the IATF looking at selective lifting, maybe per city lifting of quarantine?”

Ganito iyan, iyong small group na inatasan ni Pangulong Duterte to look at the data and to already plan what will happen sa April 30, they are the ones that are currently gathering all of the data and data analytics, so we discussed this a bit noong IATF meeting kahapon. And ang promise ng grupo is by Monday, meaning next Monday – this coming Monday next week – they will have something to present na to the IATF. So hintayin na lang natin.

But they’re looking at all aspects, tinitingnan lahat ng aspects. Like I said, may five parameters iyan. So they are looking at the (1) epidemiological curve – acceleration, deceleration. (2)They will look at the health aspects: Iyon iyong sinasabi ko kanina na dapat titingnan mo iyong capacity natin to test, to isolate, to treat; And then in terms of treatment, iyong bed capacity; and iyong health workers natin, In terms of health workers; In terms of facilities natin; and then iyong (3) social aspect, (4) economic aspect and then the (5) security aspect. So all of those five parameters will be taken into consideration!

So iyong sinasabi ni Joseph Morong na iyong sa flattening of the curve, that’s one part of one aspect out of five. So all of that and the data needed to make decisions on that is now being collated, gathered and then put together; and then—that’s the assignment of that group this week. So this whole week, wala na silang ibang gagawin kung hindi tingnan ang lahat ng mga numero. And then by Monday, they will have something to present to the IATF.

Ngayon, we will we make a decision come Monday? Not yet because by Monday, next week, that’s their presentation. So siyempre pag-present nila niyan, I anticipate a lot of discussions ‘di ba. But at the very least, pag-present nila niyan, makikita na natin talaga iyong … kumbaga, iyong running total or the running figures as of Monday, taking into consideration all of these five parameters.

And then that will guide us all the way for next week. And then at one point, we will present that to the President ‘di ba. Because by next week, dapat mayroon na talaga tayong maiprisenta kay Pangulo, kasi the week after that, iyon na iyong week ng April 30 ‘di ba, so iyon ang timeline!

From Gen Kabiling/Manila Bulletin: “Is the government alarmed, the Philippines has the highest number of COVID cases in Southeast Asia? What best practices shared by neighbors have the government taken into consideration to contain the outbreak? Will you consider the Chinese medical experts’ suggestion on establishing Fangcang hospitals(?) and improving virus detection capacity?”

Iyong sa Chinese medical experts, I won’t comment muna on that. Let’s let the DOH comment on that because again, I have no personal knowledge.

But are we alarmed? Ganito, iyong number of cases ng COVID-19 sa Pilipinas, we believed, is a function of the expansion of our testing capacity, capability and implementation. Tingnan mo lang iyong math, sabihin natin 17 to 18% of those undergoing testing come out positive. So necessarily, kapag in-expand natin iyong testing, kapag dinamihan natin iyong iti-test natin, i-calculate mo lang – what is 17% of the number of tests that we are conducting? Kung aabot tayo ng 40,000, i-multiply po ng 17%, kung aabot tayo ng 50,000 tests, i-multiply mo ng 17%.

But like I said, may nakita nga kaming graph na naging 15% na. So it can also be a function na the more that we expand, bababa rin iyong number ng pa-positives kasi in-expand mo na iyong testing mo eh. But again, that’s inconclusive, may nakita lang kami, ‘Oh, nag-dip ah.’ But again, that’s inconclusive.

Anyway, for argument’s sake, sabihin natin we stick it to settle talaga at the 17% level. So the more you expand, the more tests we conduct, kung maging 50,000 or 60,000 test na iyan, i-multiply mo ng 17%, iyan ang number of possible COVID-19. Let’s just make these assumptions, okay. So dapat what is the good thing that will come out of that –ma-detect agad natin, ma-isolate agad natin at mabigyan agad natin ng health intervention – the proper health intervention. That way, we can increase the numbers of recoveries and decrease the number of deaths, okay.

Now, that is just based on assumption, if you do linear assumption. Pero there is also a chance na it might not be that linear. Maybe there’s a chance na from 17%, maging 16, 15, 14, the more you expand. But ito iyong laging pinupukpok ni Secretary Galvez, “Let’s test, test, test.”

– So to answer the question: we must not be so alarmed na if you’re seeing—of course you’d will be alarmed, but you don’t get disheartened if ang nakikita mo is, ‘oh dumadami tayo, oh mas malaki na tayo sa Malaysia o tayo na ang pinakamalaki sa ASEAN.’ If naman ang kapalit niyan is agad nating nai-isolate, agad natin tini-treat and agad nating napapa-recover.

– Kasi some scientist, epidemiologist will say na… na we don’t… we haven’t seen the—hindi pa natin na-detect ang lahat ng COVID-19 carriers or possible carriers, di ba. Kaya nandoon pa rin iyong sinasabi na dapat na mas aggressive tayo sa testing and that is what we are trying to do. That is why the President said, ‘ipasok na natin iyong rapid test kit na iyan, let’s increase our laboratories who can give those PCR lab-based test so that we can get a greater picture.’ That’s number one.

– Number two, hindi naman ito contest among ASEAN nations, di ba, hindi naman ito contest na pakontian ng number, hindi ganyan and that is also something that was not discussed doon sa ASEAN summit. Ang best practices pa rin is exactly what we are doing. In fact, if there is something that we learned doon sa summit namin sa ASEAN, pati iyong ASEAN Plus Three is that what we are doing here in the Philippines is also something that they are doing also in their respective countries – iyong quarantine or lockdown; iyong travel restrictions, ganoon in ginagawa nila; iyong testing ganoon din and then iyong treatment; and number five, we are all waiting for a vaccine.

– In fact, sabi ng isang country na ang short term goal natin to medium term goal natin is treatment, iyan ang focus. And in fact, sabi noong isang country, that is what we are trying to focus on now – treatment, what is the medicine; what is the treatment that we can give to our patients. Because the vaccine will take a year to develop, iyon ang kanilang projection. It will take a year for somebody to develop. Of course the world is now—you know, it’s a race to find a vaccine. But just to manage everybody’s expectation, sinasabi nila na it might take a year, baka 2021 pa iyang vaccine.

– So the medium term goal should be to look for what is the best medicine, medical intervention, treatment that we can provide. Kaya kita ninyo kahit si Pangulong Duterte, number one, pumayag na siya na ang Pilipinas makasama doon sa clinical trials ng Avigan.

– Number two, even before that, the President, the Department of Health and the IATF supported that the Philippines will also be part of the clinical trials ng WHO. Clinical trials for treatment. So ito po, iyong ginagawa natin sa Pilipinas, ginagawa din po sa ibang bansa sa ASEAN. So, that just gave us even more determination and in fact, it reinforced sa amin at kay Pangulo na we are doing exactly what we should be doing, iyong testing, iyong treatment, lahat po iyan, its shared eh.

– And then, sabi din nila na—so we now have a mechanism that we are sharing best practices, we are sharing the information of what everybody else is doing, but also we share the same challenges, iyong challenges in terms of PPEs, they are also feeling that, ganoon din ang kakulangan ng PPEs; iyong health facilities and even supply chain, iyong pinoproblema natin na iyong supply chain natin within our country, iyong unhampered flow of goods and cargo, that’s also something that they are feeling but taking it one level up.

– Ang agreement din sa ASEAN is that we also have to think about way forward: What are we gonna do with our trade; what are we gonna do with people to people exchanges; what will do with exchange of goods; and how are we gonna create a more resilient ASEAN after this is all over. So iyon, kaya ang agreement is dapat tuluy-tuloy pa rin ang pag-uusap ng ating mga finance ministers, economic ministers and our foreign affair ministers.

Partidong Manggagawa said the 50 billion subsidy for MSMEs workers won’t be sufficient, will the government consider the proposed 10,000 wage subsidy for all formal workers?

– I mean, we can take a look at the proposals, but what has already been approved is P5,000 to P8,000 and like I said, again, we cannot be bogged down by going back na naman to the drawing board and thinking about these things. Kung anong mayroon na tayo, let’s just implement it and then saka na lang natin isipin iyong additional, if ever.

How soon will the Japan-led clinical trials of Avigan starts in the country?

– Department of Health na lang po and DFA should be the one to answer the question.

“What other potential drugs for COVID treatment are being considered by the government?”

– DOH na po ang sasagot.

From Henry Uri/DZRH: “Dahil sa tigas ng ulo ng marami, hindi sumusunod sa pakiusap na manatili na lang sa bahay. May mga nagmumungkahi na pairalin na lamang ang martial law lalo na sa Metro Manila – Ano po ang pananaw dito ng IATF; Hindi ba ito napag-uusapan sa mga task force meeting?”

– Hindi po! Kasi martial law, for you to use or declare martial law, ano po iyon, rebellion and invasion. So hindi po pinag-uusapan.

From Bella Cariaso/Bandera: “Pa-ask na lang iyong clarification sa panghuhuli sa kalsada ng mga unauthorized vehicles. May mga nagtatanong paano daw iyong involved sa relief efforts at iyong sa mga gasoline stations. Wala sila sa list na inilabas ng MMDA.”

– Kapag gasoline stations kasi, that’s sa Energy eh. So it’s supposed to be DOE ang magbibigay ng authorization or DTI. So ang alam ko kasi nabigyan na iyang mga iyan ng accreditation passes, so that’s not supposed to be a problem. Iyong sa panghuhuli sa kalsada ng mga unauthorized vehicles, that’s already being implemented. MMDA po ang tanungin natin diyan because they have actually sent out sa social media, na mga social media cards, they’ve actually announced the public already.

– So even if you browse through Facebook, you’ll see those social media cards na nilabas ng PNP, ng DILG, ng MMDA, even ng PCOO, makikita mo naman diyan kung sino iyong allowed and not allowed. And the IATF has already been issuing statements and resolutions with regard to that. So I think, that’s the last.

So sa ating mga kababayan, maraming salamat po sa inyong pakikipagtulungan sa inyong pamahalaan. Gaya ng sabi namin lagi: Bahay muna, Buhay muna. Kayo po ang first line of defense. Sa ating mga kasama sa pagpapalaganap nang tama at napapanahong impormasyon sa iba’t-ibang media outlets sa TV, radyo, diyaryo at online na naka-hookup po sa atin ngayon, maraming, maraming salamat po.

Mga kababayan, ito na iyong—we are on the week after Holy Week. We have this week, we have next week and then the week after that, iyan na po iyong April 30. By next week, mayroon na pong ipi-present sa amin – sa IATF, nang maliit na grupo na inatasan ni Pangulo para tingnan anong mangyari sa April 30. So pinag-uusapan na po namin iyan. Pag-uusapan po namin next week at maging masinsinan at malalim na pag-uusapan ang mga bagong do’s and don’ts, ganoon na lang, after April 30.

So ang mensahe ko na lamang po is, after April 30, we will try to setup new guidelines for the new normal. All things being considered kung maganda ang makita natin within the next – how many days? – 14 days. So kailangan po talaga natin ng kooperasyon ng bawat isa, to make the decision easier for us: The more na may mga pasaway, the more it becomes difficult to make the decision ‘di po ba? Because siyempre, lahat naman tayo gustong, you know, gusto nang pumunta doon sa new normal.

Pero siyempre iyong decision points po namin, ng inyong pamahalaan, ng inyong gobyerno will be based also on the attitude and the conduct ng lahat ng ating mga kababayan, lalung-lalo na sa Luzon, lalung-lalo na sa NCR. So in the words of Secretary Año, nasa last stretch na tayo, konting sacrifice na lang, isipin na lang natin iyon.

So iyon po iyong pakiusap natin sa lahat, pero ganoon pa man, asahan ninyo na maghihigpit ang pamahalaan, ang DILG, MMDA, at ang iyong mga LGU maghihigpit na, kasi we don’t want to waste all of our sacrifice, iyong common nating sacrifice. At magiging unfair naman din po ito doon sa mga sumusunod. So we have to impose this order, we have to be strict about it, kasi sa totoo lang mas marami naman iyong nagko-comply kaysa sa pasaway.

At hindi po magiging patas, it won’t be fair to them who have been following orders. Kung may iilan na talagang ayaw sumunod. Pero sa mga ayaw sumunod, sa gusto ninyo at ayaw ninyo, we will impose the law. Kaya iyon na lamang po, maraming, maraming salamat sa mga lahat ng mga sumusuporta at nagko-cooperate sa inyong pamahalaan at sa inyong gobyerno.

And pakiusap ko na lang din po, if you can help government – police your own ranks, police your own community at sabihan ninyo iyong mga pasaway na huwag na…dahil malaking tulong na rin iyon para sa ating lahat.

Maraming salamat, God bless… maayong buntag. Daghang salamat!

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