Press Briefing

Press Briefing of Cabinet Secretary and Acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles

Event Press Briefing
Location New Executive Bldg., Malacañang

SEC. KARLO NOGRALES: Magandang tanghali po sa ating mga kababayan at sa mga miyembro ng Malacañang Press Corps. Thank you for joining us for this Friday’s briefing. Today, we are starting off with the latest Inter Agency Task Force resolution, IATF Resolution Number 153 which was approved yesterday by the IATF.

Ito po ang nakasaad sa resolution: Una, na-escalate po ang bansang Portugal sa red list simula 12:01 A.M. ng December 12, 2021. Kailangang sumailalim sa testing and quarantine protocols for red list countries, territories and jurisdiction ang mga pasahero na nanggaling sa Portugal within 14 days immediately proceedings arrival in the Philippines; those who arrived on or after 12:01 of December 12, 2021. Mamaya ay ididetalye po natin kung ano ang testing at quarantine protocols na ito.

Simula 12:01 A.M. ng December 15, 2021 naman, hindi na papayagan ang pagpasok sa Pilipinas ng mga pasaherong galing o nanggaling sa Portugal sa loob ng 14 na araw bago ang pagdating nila sa Pilipinas anuman ang kanilang vaccination status. Ang papayagan lamang ay ang mga Pilipinong bumalik sa bansa via government-initiated repatriation, non-government-initiated repatriation at bayanihan flights.

To repeat po: Starting 12:01 A.M. on December 15, 2021, only returning Filipinos will be allowed to fly in from Portugal whether it be via government-initiated repatriation, non-government-initiated repatriation or bayanihan flights.

Sa mga pasaherong dumating naman bago ang December 12 at kasalukuyang sumasailalim sa quarantine, kailangan nilang makumpleto ang pinaiiral na testing at quarantine protocols ng sila ay dumating sa Pilipinas.

Pumunta naman tayo sa testing at quarantine protocols ng returning Filipinos na pinayagang makapasok ng Pilipinas via government-initiated repatriation, non-government-initiated repatriation at bayanihan flights mula sa red list. Unahin muna natin ang fully vaccinated individuals: Kailangan magpakita ng negatibong RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to their departure from the country of origin. Ang mga pasaherong darating sa Pilipinas galing sa ibang bansa ay kailangan din po nilang sumailalim sa facility-based quarantine with an RT-PCR test taken on the 7th day. They may be discharged from the facility upon release of a negative RT-PCR test but shall observe home quarantine until the 14th day of arrival with day of arrival being the first day.

We urge those required to observe home quarantine to really do so. As we have stressed the past few weeks, there may be a drop of new cases but we cannot be complacent. Alang-alang sa inyong mga mahal sa buhay, paki-observe lamang po ito.

Ito naman ang protocol para sa mga unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or those whose vaccination status cannot be independently validated: Kailangan magpakita ng negatibong RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to departure from country-of-origin ang mga pasaherong darating sa Pilipinas mula sa ibang bansa. Kailangan din nilang sumailalim sa mandatory 10-day facility-based quarantine with RT-PCR testing on the 7th day. They may be discharged from facility only upon completion of the 10-day facility-based quarantine regardless of the negative RT-PCR test results and plus they shall observe home quarantine until the 14th day with the day of arrival being the first day.

Ulitin na po namin: Ang susunding testing at quarantine protocols ng mga bata or minors ay ang testing at quarantine protocols ng magulang or guardian na kasama ng bata sa biyahe anuman ang vaccination status ng bata.

Ang mga batang may edad 3 at pababa saanmang bansa sila galing ay hindi na kailangang magpakita ng negative RT-PCR test result bago ang boarding maliban na lamang kung makikitaan ng sintomas ang nasabing bata.

Sa mga pasahero naman na nag-transit lamang sa mga lugar na nasa red list: Hindi sila maituturing na galing o nanggaling sa lugar na iyon kung sila ay namalagi lamang sa airport at hindi na-clear na pumasok ng immigration authority sa lugar na iyon. Pagdating ng Pilipinas, ang mga pasaherong nag-transit lamang mula sa lugar na nasa red list ay kailangan sumunod sa pinaiiral na testing at quarantine protocols.

Sa lahat ng mga galing sa red list na sumailalim sa mga facility-based quarantine sa petsa ng pagpapatupad ng resolution na ito na aking binabasa, you may retroactively avail of the approved testing and quarantine protocols kabilang po dito ang France na kung matatandaan po natin ay naisama na natin sa red list effective kaninang 12:01 A.M. base sa IATF Resolution Number 152-A.

Samantala, inaprubahan din ng IATF ang mga rekomendasyon ng technical working group. Una rito ang request ng Commission on Election na magsagawa ng nationwide mock election exercises sa December 29, 2021. Pangalawa, tinaas sa 7,000 ang 2021 annual deployment ceiling ng mga bagong hire na healthcare workers para sa mga trabahong natukoy ng Department of Labor and Employment bilang mission critical skills. Uunahin ang mga nurse na ang visa ay mapapaso na sa katapusan, December 31, 2021.

Sa usaping bakuna: Mahigit isang milyon o 1,017,900 doses ng Pfizer vaccines na binili ng pamahalaan ang dumating sa Pilipinas. Sa ngayon, nasa 25.8 million doses out of 40 million government procured Pfizer vaccines na ang dumating sa bansa. Nasa mahigit 95 million na ang total doses na ating na-administer ayon sa December 9, 2021 national COVID-19 vaccination dashboard.

Tingnan po natin ang breakdown ng bilang na ito: Nasa mahigit 54 million ang naka-first dose; nasa mahigit 36.5 million ang naka-second dose; nasa mahigit 3.6 million ang naka-single dose na Janssen at nasa 691,012 ang naka-booster or additional doses. Samakatuwid, nasa mahigit 40.1 million or 52.11% ng target population ang fully vaccinated sa buong Pilipinas.

The importance of vaccination cannot be overstated given the emergence of the Omicron variant as a variant of concern. Malinaw po na kailangang natin paigtingin pa ang bakunahan dahil sa pagsulpot ng Omicron. Kaya limang tulog na lang, sa ika-15 ng Disyembre, ay magsisimula na ang second round ng ating Bayanihan Bakunahan.

Kung 10.2 million ang ating na-administer na COVID-19 vaccines mula November 29 to December 3, 7 milyon naman po ang ating target mula December 15 to December 17. We are again appeal to our country men and country women who have yet to be vaccinated to please get vaccinated. Magpabakuna na po tayo, may bakuna na po tayo.

Napakalinaw po ng ebidensiya: Vaccine works. Kita po iyan sa mga numero ng ating COVID cases sa kasalukuyan. Kaugnay nito, hayaan ninyong muli akong magpasalamat sa lahat sa naging matagumpay na unang National COVID-19 Vaccination Days. Sa mga LGUs na may highest improvement in their average jab rate: Congratulations sa General Santos City bilang best city! Congrats naman din po sa Tawi-Tawi bilang best province! At congratulations naman sa BARMM bilang best region. Sa mga LGU na may highest number of jabs for the 3-day National Vaccination Day: Congratulations sa Rodriguez, Tanza at Arayat bilang best municipalities! Congrats din sa Cebu City bilang best City! And congratulations din po sa Laguna bilang best province!

At dahil hindi na natin problema ang supply ng bakuna, kailangan natin ng maraming volunteers sa malawakang bakunahan na gagawin po natin next week. We urge those who have been vaccinated to pay it forward and help out if you can. Naka-flash po sa inyong mga screen ang form na kailangang sagutin.

Pumunta naman po tayo sa COVID-19 update: Nasa 562 ang mga bagong kaso ayon sa December 9, 2021 COVID-19 case bulletin ng DOH. Nananatiling mababa ang positivity rate, nasa 1.6% na lamang ito. Nasa 97.8% naman po ang porsiyento ng gumaling, nasa mahigit 2.7 million na po ang naka-recover.

Malungkot naming ibinabalita sa inyo na kahapon, 176 ang naidagdag sa bilang ng mga pumanaw dahil sa coronavirus; nasa 1.76% ang ating fatality rate. Ito ay nananatiling below the 2% global average. Nasa below 30% naman ang ating hospital utilization rate.

Sa ibang mga bagay, ngayong araw, a-diyes ng Disyembre ay ating ginugunita ang International Human Rights Day 2021. Ipinagdiriwang natin ngayong araw ang ika-73 anibersaryo ng Universal Declaration of Human Rights Day (UHDR).

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea who chairs the Presidential Human Rights Committee sends his message which I would read in part and would send a copy to the Malacañang Press Corps. And I quote:

“In a few more months, the Administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte will come to a close, but we find satisfaction that during the past six years, the President consistently introduced and implemented program and projects to reduce inequalities and advance human rights.

A few of these initiatives include unprecedented Free Tertiary Education; Universal Access to Healthcare; a massive scale infrastructure development; social amelioration to broaden the Filipino middle class; and an aggressive campaign to contain the pandemic’s surge and its ill effects on people’s health and the economy.

Further, the Administration had given its utmost effort to curb the proliferation of illegal drugs and criminality; to put an end to the decades-long struggle against local and international terrorists; and to eliminate deeply entrenched corruption in many government offices.

The success of these endeavors had benefitted our people who deserve protection and justice as much as the rest of us. The innocent victims who have suffered at the hands of heavy drug users, terror groups, corrupt government officials and criminals.

More than five years ago, the President made a promise that his Administration will pursue social justice based on equal treatment and protection for our country’s poorest and most vulnerable. Bring about improvement in our people’s welfare and standard of living and make human rights work to uplift human dignity.

We all have seen those promises fulfilled even in the midst of a pandemic which has affected us all.”

Good news po: The Philippines is a new entrant to the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) and immediately our country ranked 23rd in climate protection performance. The CCPI tracks the performance of 63 countries and the European Union on greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy use, and climate policy.

Another good news: The Philippines improved its ranking in the 2021 Global Health Security Index (GHSI) released by the Nuclear Threat Initiative and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at Bloomberg School of Public Health. We are ranked 57th out of 195 countries, four notch improvement from the 2019 ranking.

According to the report and I quote, “Only 37% of countries have made public commitment to share surveillance data and only five countries, which include the Philippines, made commitments to share data specifically for COVID-19.”

Samantala, nakikiramay po kami sa pamilya, kasamahan sa trabaho at mahal sa buhay ni Jesus “Jess” Malabanan. Iniimbestigahan na po ito ng mga awtoridad. They are exploring all angles, including the possibility that the killing was related to his work as a journalist. The government will exert all efforts that those responsible are caught, charged and convicted for this crime.

Dito po nagtatapos ang ating presentation. At dahil 14 na araw na lamang ay Pasko na, inimbitahan po natin si Director Beverly Ho ng DOH para pag-usapan ang Ligtas Christmas Para sa Healthy Pilipinas campaign ng ating pamahalaan. For it to be a very merry Christmas we urge the public to heed the advice of our public health professionals starting with Dr. Ho.

Dr. Beverly Ho?

DOH DIRECTOR DR. HO: Hello! Magandang hapon po, CabSec. At magandang hapon po sa lahat ng nanunood sa atin ngayong araw na ito, Friday, December 10.

Mula po sa Department of Health, inaanyayahan po natin ang lahat ng Pilipino na makisali po para magkaroon po tayo ng Ligtas Christmas Para sa Healthy Pilipinas.

So, mayroon lang po tayong mga kaunting paalala ‘no. So, kung makikita ninyo sa screen ninyo maraming mga regalo ‘no, mga gift boxes. Pero ano ba ang laman nitong mga regalong ito? We want everyone to practice healthier and safer options during the holiday season kasi alam natin kating-kati na tayong lahat ‘no to be with our families and our relatives. So, because we all work hard to get to this point na medyo mababa na po iyong kaso natin at marami-rami na po iyong nabakunahan, puwedeng-puwede po tayong mag-celebrate but we encourage everyone to celebrate safely.

And these are the five main things that you can actually do: So, bakuna, airflow, mask, hugas at iwas. So, para po sa bakuna ‘no, we encourage that when we do these celebrations, we allow only fully vaccinated individuals into the venue. This is also for our protection but as much, for the protection po of the guests.

We also encourage vaccination not just of COVID-19 for anyone 12 years old and above but of course the routine vaccination for all children less than 13 years old. These are still available in all your health centers or with your pediatricians and so, the children should also be vaccinated.

As for airflow, we encourage everyone to conduct their activities or their reunions or gatherings in outdoor areas and as much as possible we need to avoid indoor settings with poor ventilation.

How do we make sure there is good ventilation? By opening doors, windows, electric and exhaust fans. You can use some of the gadgets that are available also to measure airflow.

As for mask, we encourage everyone to continue to wear the appropriate PPEs and only remove our mask when it’s time to eat. Pero kapag balik na sa celebration, sa mga palaro, then kailangan naka-mask na po.

We are reminding everyone that there’s actually an alert level system based on number of people or capacity that we can only accommodate ‘no especially in indoor areas versus outdoor areas. So it’s currently flashed on screen because most of the areas in the country are in Alert Level 2, tandaan po natin basta kapag nasa indoor 50% capacity lang tayo at kung outdoor naman puwedeng 70% capacity. And siyempre we thank all the venue operators ‘no who continue abide by—strictly abiding by these guidelines.

So the last two boxes or the two list are related to pag-iiwas ‘no or physical distancing and making sure that when we are symptomatic, hindi po tayo pumupunta sa mga party ‘no. If you don’t feel well, please be considerate about other people. We also should avoid games or activities that will involve close contact interaction or those that involve loud singing, shouting or similar actions ‘no. Siyempre we still prefer pre-packed or plated meals ‘no para hindi po tayo lahat nagga-gather habang kumukuha ng pagkain.

Finally, washing our hands and making sure there are handwashing stations and hand sanitizers in the area.

So, the second portion of being safe during Christmas season is iwas paputok ‘no and this is in collaboration with several other government agencies that you can see… with DTI, DILG, Bureau of Fire Protection and the PNP. So we encourage everyone to join community firework displays, have safe alternative activities and also know saan po iyong mga first aid ‘no, mga kailangang gawin at mga puwedeng puntahan just in case ‘no mayroon pong mangyari.

So finally, our last healthy tips for everyone: is to make sure that iyong mga hinahanda po natin ay mga healthy ‘no – less salt, less sugar and less fatty. We also encourage everyone to hydrate with water, less with alcoholic beverages and sugar sweetened beverages. Refrain from contact sports but use this time during the holidays to be able to exercise – only go to areas ‘no where they strictly enforce smoke-free environment lalo na kung indoors.

And lastly, perform appropriate self-care activities. On your screen, we also provide you some of the important numbers, quick line at crisis hotline na ongoing 24/7 po sila kahit holiday so feel free to call them.

Iyon lamang po, isang paalala mula sa Department of Health at makikita ninyo sa screen ninyo mga links po ‘no sa mga materials na maaari ninyo pong gamitin in your own companies, in your workplaces, sa mga communities para ma-download ninyo na lang po iyong mga paalalang ito.

So maraming salamat po, CabSec. Thank you very much for this opportunity.

CABSEC NOGRALES: Maraming, maraming salamat Dr. Beverly Ho sa reminders to the public on how we can celebrate Christmas safely. Thank you. Please stay on, may mga katanungan din ang ating mga kaibigan mula sa media.

In the meantime, let’s go to Usec. Rocky for the Q and A.

USEC. IGNACIO: Yes. Good afternoon, Secretary Nograles, and kay Doc Bev.

Una pong tanong mula kay Rosalie Coz ng UNTV: Kaugnay po ng ‘di ma-locate na travellers galing South Africa dahil sa maling impormasyon, nabanggit na po ni Health Secretary Francisco Duque III na ikinukonsidera na ng IATF na sampahan sila ng kaso. Gaano kadesidido ang IATF dito? Hindi kaya magresulta ito na lalo pang mahirapang i-locate ng mga awtoridad ang mga biyahero? Ano rin ang partikular na kasong isasampa at parusa sa mga hindi nagbibigay nang tamang impormasyon sa ilalim ng Notifiable Diseases Act?

CABSEC NOGRALES: Well, una sa lahat, gusto ko lang pong ibalita na apat sa pito ay nahanap na at nakikipag-ugnayan na po sa ating pamahalaan at kampante naman po tayo na mahahanap natin iyong tatlo pang nilu-locate natin ‘no.

Panawagan na lamang po doon sa tatlo na tayo naman po ay ang hiningi lang naman po natin ay ang kooperasyon ninyo. So sa tatlo ay pumunta na po agad at mag-report na agad sa mga authorities at napakaimportante po ng inyong kooperasyon especially na may kinakaharap po tayong… itong pandemya, itong public health emergency po natin. So we ask for your cooperation and please report to the proper authorities immediately.

USEC. IGNACIO: Opo. Ang second question po niya: Regarding po sa political caravans lalo na iyong maraming nagkakatipon – wala nang social distancing at iba pang nalalabag na health protocols – ano po ang aksiyon ng IATF kaugnay nito? May puwede bang kaharaping kaso at parusa sa mga organizer nito? Ano po ang paalala ng Malacañang kaugnay ng mga ganitong event?

CABSEC NOGRALES: Alam ninyo po dito sa laban against COVID, kailangan po nating lahat magtulungan ano po. So una, sa mga nagpa-participate sa mga caravan na ito ‘no, itong mga supporters – tandaan po natin na mask, hugas, iwas, bakuna, okay.

Una sa lahat, iyong mga pumupunta sa mga ganiyang klaseng mga events, please make sure na fully vaccinated po kayo; please make sure na naka-mask po kayo; please make sure na mayroon po tayong distansiya ‘no, at least 1 meter; and then, of course, practice sanitation – iyong hugas ng kamay; make sure na lagi tayong protected, kumbaga. So we really need the support and cooperation ninyo, iyong mga supporters na pumupunta sa mga events na iyan.

Pangalawa po, sa mga LGUs – local government units, local chief executives – alam ninyo naman po kung … itong mga naging challenging months and weeks para mapababa natin itong bilang ng COVID. Huwag nating sayangin lahat ng accomplishments natin, accomplishments po ninyo, kayong mga nasa LGUs. So make sure na that mayroon tayo nitong mga guidelines ‘no, sa mga resolutions ng IATF maging sa DILG, sundin po natin kung ano iyong mga nakasaad diyan sa mga resolutions at mga guidelines po natin ‘no. Panawagan of course sa DILG, tuluy-tuloy naman po iyong pagbabantay ng DILG at mga enforcers natin on the ground.

And then finally to the organizers: Sa mga organizers natin, the same message. Alam ninyo lahat naman tayo, we’re all in this together ano po. Lahat naman po tayo’y nagsisikap para talagang mawala itong virus, itong COVID na ito sa ating bansa so again huwag nating sayangin ‘no. Ang lahat ng efforts ng bawat isa sa atin, lahat ng kababayan nating Pilipino, lahat ng ating mga government agencies, lahat ng LGUs… so let’s take that responsibility to ourselves ‘no. Lahat tayo, we are responsible to one another so magtulungan po tayo, magtulungan po tayong lahat.

USEC. IGNACIO: Secretary, may follow up lang po si Tuesday Niu tungkol diyan ng DZBB: Obviously hindi nga po nasusunod, ano po ang gagawin sa mga lumalabag?

CABSEC NOGRALES: So the DILG right now is currently doing its assessment, nakikipag-ugnayan sa lahat ng mga LGUs. We are now consistently and constantly reminding ‘no lahat ng mga LGUs. Kasi pagdating kasi sa grounds, it’s really the LGUs that have the—they’re our first line of defense in terms of the implementation of all of the guidelines, protocols, resolutions ‘no, lahat ng mga pinaiiral natin, ang mga kailangan nating gawin. So it really belongs to the LGUs as our first line.

And when I say LGUs, kasama rin diyan iyong barangay ha. So reminder lamang but ito’y pinag-uusapan namin sa IATF and the DILG is currently coordinating with all of the LGUs – again to remind, remind, remind. Alam po natin na hindi pa tayo strictly nasa sinasabing campaign period. Pagpatak ng campaign period, ibang usapin naman iyan eh kasi Comelec na po ang magti-take over ‘no. So right now we’re also coordinating the handoff with Comelec kasi pagdating na ng campaign period, dito na papasok ang implementing power and authority na rin ng Comelec.

But in the meantime, it’s really with the DILG and the LGUs, the barangays to really step-up efforts ‘no to ensure na lahat ng minimum public health standards and protocols natin ay sinusunod.

Usec. Rocky?

USEC. IGNACIO: Mula naman po kay Llanesca Panti ng GMA News Online: Do we have enough supply for COVID-19 vaccine booster shots in stock for the entire eligible population for 2022?

CABSEC NOGRALES: Yes. Based on the GAA, kung hindi magbabago sa General Appropriations Act ‘no or sa—right now kasi nagba-bicam na ngayon ang House of Representatives at ang Senado to finalize the proposed budget for 2022. Pero doon sa sinubmit po namin sa Kongreso na proposed budget natin for the vaccines for next year, 45 billion po ang nakalagay diyan and we await ano iyong magiging final version ng budget as approved by the Bicameral Conference Committee ng Kongreso and I hope that intact pa po iyong budget na 45 billion para po sa karagdagang vaccines for 2022.

Thank you, Usec. Rocky. Please stay on. We’ll go first to Mela Lesmoras ng PTV.

MELA LESMORAS/PTV4: Hi! Good afternoon, Secretary Nograles, at kay Dr. Beverly Ho at kay Usec. Rocky.

Secretary Nograles, unahin ko lang po iyong tungkol nga sa holiday season. Natalakay po ba sa IATF kung may tsansa kaya na mag-Alert Level 1 sa kalahating parte ng December? Kasi marami na rin pong nag-uuwiang mga pasahero, may tsansa rin kayang ipag-utos na ng IATF ang full deployment ng mga provincial buses para mas maraming masakyan iyong ating mga kababayan?

CABSEC NOGRALES: Pinag-uusapan po ngayon sa IATF iyong tungkol doon sa provincial buses ‘no. So it’s an ongoing discussion among selected member-agencies ng IATF para maplantsa natin iyong detalye tungkol po diyan.

Now with regards sa Alert Level 1, we are still awaiting ‘no iyong final conclusive data coming from the WHO with regards sa Omicron variant. Kasi tatlong bagay po iyang tinitingnan natin with regard to the Omicron variant ‘no: Number one, iyong transmissibility; number two, iyong severity; at number three, iyong breakthrough infections kahit na bakunado.

So right now, ito iyong hinihintay natin. Puro preliminary data pa lamang ang pinapadala kasi ng WHO sa atin. That being said, again, we are not yet ready in terms of the finalization ng parameters for Alert Level 1. Ito ay work in progress pa rin po sa IATF. So, tuluy-tuloy naman ang mga IATF meetings natin, so abangan na lang po natin ano iyong maging kinalabasan nito. But again, we are waiting for more conclusive data from the WHO with regard sa Omicron.

MELA LESMORAS/PTV: Opo. So, CabSec, may chance na tuluy-tuloy po iyong Alert Level 2 hanggang sa pagtatapos ng taon? Malaki po iyong tiyansa nito?

CABSEC. NOGRALES: Well, it would appear. Unless nga we get more conclusive data from WHO. So, unless we get that, kasi right now, puro preliminary data lang eh. Kaya wala pa iyong comfort level kumbaga ng IATF to definitely put and set and finalize the parameters for Alert Level 1. So, dahil ganoon nga po, then we will wait and see, kasi it’s a developing thing eh with the WHO. So, parang we are getting data, they are sending us data, but nothing so conclusive enough to give us enough comfort sa IATF.

MELA LESMORAS/PTV: Opo. And, CabSec, about lang sa Summit for Democracy. Kumusta po iyong naging participation ni Pangulong Duterte sa Day 1 ng Summit? At ano po kaya iyong lalamanin ng speech niya mamaya para sa Day 2 naman?

CABSEC. NOGRALES: Well, right now, it is happening as we speak. So we will issue a statement, Palace will issue a statement immediately after and then ipapadala na lang po namin sa ating mga kaibigan sa media.

MELA LESMORAS/PTV: Opo. At panghuli na lamang po, Secretary Nograles. Ano lang po ang reaksiyon ng Malacañang lalo na at may mga bumabatikos sa participation ni Pangulong Duterte dahil taliwas umano ito sa mga human rights violations sa bansa? Ano po ang masasabi ng Malacañang dito?

CABSEC. NOGRALES: Well, I think iyong imbitasyon sa bansang Pilipinas ‘no, at ang pakikilahok at pagsali ni Pangulong Duterte dito sa Summit na ito ay pagkilala sa demokrasya na umiiral po dito sa ating bansa.

MELA LESMORAS/PTV: Okay. Maraming salamat po, CabSec.

CABSEC. NOGRALES: Thank you, Mela. Let’s go back to Usec. Rocky for more questions from the media.

USEC. IGNACIO: Yes, thank you, Secretary Nograles. Ang tanong po mula kay Cris Maralit ng Manila Times, pero natanong na po ito ni Mela Lesmoras about doon sa democracy summit. Tanong po mula kay Leila Salaverria ng Inquirer: DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said, the President wants to inoculate 90% of the population before he steps down. What is the game plan to achieve this? Will National Vaccination Days be a regular thing or will the Palace consider pursuing mandatory vaccinations?

CABSEC. NOGRALES: Well, can we flash that slide on our accomplishments now sa vaccination. So, ang target po natin para sa end of 2021, ang target po natin ay magkaroon tayo ng fully vaccinated na 54 million Filipinos fully vaccinated. So, if you can see, nasa 40.1 million na po tayo. Ang target natin is 54. So, sabihin natin na 40 iyan and then we hit our target na 7 million hopefully, dadagdag tayo ng 7 million sa next round or second phase natin ng Bayanihan Bakunahan, then we are really closer to the 54 million na fully vaccinated. Tapos iyong ating next target, sa first quarter naman ng 2022, ang gusto nating mangyari is 77 million Filipinos fully vaccinated for the first quarter of 2022. So that’s about, kung 54 then the difference between 54 at 77 is about 23 million.

So we have three months, sabihin nating we hit the 54 million end of December, then we’ll have three months to hit the 23 million target for the next three months going to March of 2022. And then for the second quarter – and this would be the last quarter of the administration of President Duterte – we want to add another 22 million more in the remaining three months that would put us to 99 million Filipinos fully vaccinated by the end of term of President Duterte.

So, ganoon po ang mga sine-set nating targets para hindi na po mahirapan iyong next administration once we hand it off to them. So, these are rough targets. We are finalizing the targets as we speak. But again, these are just rough estimates ng mga targets po natin. Then we will just consistently update the targets as we go along.

USEC. IGNACIO: Opo. Tanong naman mula kay Neil Jerome Morales ng Reuters News: May we ask for Malacañang comments on the Supreme Court decision to invalidate parts of the Anti-Terrorism Law? How will President Duterte and his allies respond to this SC decision?

CABSEC. NOGRALES: Well, first of all, we have to wait for the full decision. We have to wait that na matanggap muna namin iyong full decision from the Supreme Court. So, as we speak, wala pa po sa amin iyong final and full decision, written and complete. So, hintayin muna namin. But asahan po natin na pagdating po sa amin ay the Office of the Executive Secretary will coordinate and consult with the Office of the Solicitor General kung ano iyong magiging susunod na hakbang natin pagkatapos naming mabasa iyong buong final decision mula sa Korte Suprema.

USEC. IGNACIO: Thank you, Secretary Nograles.

CABSEC. NOGRALES: Thank you. Let’s go to Triciah Terada of CNN

TRICIAH TERADA/CNN PHILS: Good afternoon, Sec. Karlo. Sir, first question: What is the IATF going to do—I understand na kung may nahanap nang four out of the eight un-located passengers from South Africa. But what is the IATF going to do in terms of possible lapses sa contact tracing efforts natin? Is this some sort of a red flag? Could this be a sign na may problema tayo sa contact tracing efforts natin?

CABSEC NOGRALES: I think what we should emphasize muna sa ating mga kababayan is to please provide the proper information, so iyon po iyong number one diyan. Everything stems from there, if you provide us with the proper information then it becomes easier for us to do the job. But kung hindi iyong proper information, then obviously you will be giving us challenges. So iyon po iyong kailangan nating idiin sa ating mga kababayan na responsibilidad po nating lahat na ibigay ang tamang impormasyon.

TRICIAH TERADA/CNN PHILS: Sir, but how are we going to address concern for those people who refuse or who are really hesitant to give the proper information, one, for fear of how their data will be handled or, two, takot lang ding ma-hassle, those things? How are you going to address those?

CABSEC NOGRALES: Well, mayroon tayong batas, may batas po tayo, iyong Notifiable Diseases Act, which actually imposes and mandates for everyone to provide the proper data and information. And in fact, nakalagay doon lahat ng mga kailangan, especially under a public health emergency. So, that is the law that we are currently executing and implementing right now.

Pero that being said, I would again like to appeal doon sa mga hinahanap po natin na makipag-ugnayan po kaagad and cooperate with the authorities. This is for everyone’s good, not just for your good but para sa lahat ng kababayan, para sa sambayanang Pilipino, para sa sambayanang Pilipinas. We all have to understand na importante talagang mag-cooperate and to really submit the proper data and information.

TRICIAH TERADA/CNN PHILS: Sec., balikan ko lang po iyong question doon sa caravan and iyong possible parusa or penalties. Sir, I understand there’s pressure on the LGU to impose strict measures. But shouldn’t the candidates equally be held accountable for these things? Kasi, sir, ‘di ba, parang kung halimbawa at this moment hindi na nila makontrol iyong kanilang mga supporters, wouldn’t that say a lot about the kind of leadership that they espouse?

CABSEC NOGRALES: I think, this is a shared responsibility of everyone. Kaya nga iyong pagsagot ko po ng tanong is lahat po tayo may responsibilidad, maging supporter ka man, organizer ka man, ikaw man ang kandidato, pati na rin iyong LGU. Lahat iyan, shared responsibility po iyan ng lahat.

So I hope that we take our shared responsibility seriously given na ang haba na ng pinagdaanan ‘no, for how many months in this war against COVID-19, huwag po nating sayangin ang efforts ng lahat.

TRICIAH TERADA/CNN PHILS: Sir, shared responsibility but kanino dapat iyong, kumbaga, iyong pressure, kanino dapat iyong bigger responsibility of that shared responsibility?

CABSEC NOGRALES: It’s shared ‘no so I think everyone—kasi, you know the danger about saying na, “Hindi, responsibility nila iyan,” nagtuturuan na eh. That’s what we want to avoid ‘no. It’s shared responsibility, maging supporter ka man, ‘di ba.

Kung supporter ka ng kandidato, dapat alam mo ang repercussions din sa kandidato mo, ‘di ba. Iyong candidate ganoon din, kung mahal mo rin iyong mga supporters mo then you also have to be careful ‘no. LGUs ganoon din, mandated iyong responsibility by law, iyong mga barangays natin.

So we all have our role to play. We all have our responsibilities to ourselves, not only to ourselves but sa ating pamilya, sa ating community, sa ating mga kababayan. Kaya I’d like everybody to understand that it is everyone’s responsibility.

TRICIAH TERADA/CNN PHILS: Sir, final question na lang, on another topic. By any chance, napag-usapan po ba sa IATF iyong redefining of what a fully vaccinated individual is, considering that we are now opening ito pong booster shots? Would we consider na na three dose na iyong booster shots o wala pa po sa ganoon iyong usapan ang IATF?

CABSEC NOGRALES: This was asked also in the previous press briefing po natin ‘no. Right now, hindi pa namin talagang—we, in the IATF, hindi pa namin masasabi iyan. We have not come to a decision yet with regard to that terminology, because right now ang pina-prioritize po talaga natin iyong mga hindi pa naka-first dose at siyempre iyong mga kailangan pang mag-second dose.

So para hindi lang po ma-confuse muna ang ating mga kababayan, we want to prioritize the first … those who need the first dose and those who also need the second dose muna. And hopefully, with Bayanihan Bakunahan Phase 2, we’ll be able to hit our targets for the fully vaccinated and increase those who need their first dose.

TRICIAH TERADA/CNN PHILS: All right. Thank you very much, Spox. Salamat po.

CABSEC NOGRALES: Salamat din po. Let’s go back to Usec. Rocky for other questions from the media.

USEC. IGNACIO: Thank you, Sec. Karlo. Tanong po mula kay Kris Jose ng Remate/Remate Online: May grupo raw po ng provincial bus ang umaapela sa gobyerno ng full operation sa Kapaskuhan. Ang apela ng Nagkakaisang Samahan ng Nangangasiwa ng Panlalawigang Bus sa Pilipinas, Inc. sa gobyerno ay magbukas ng ibang ruta at pumayag sa muling pagbubukas ng kanilang terminal. May posibilidad ba na pagbigyan ng pamahalaan ang apela na ito ng nasabing grupo?

CABSEC NOGRALES: Pinag-uusapan na po iyan sa IATF. At mayroon po tayong mga napiling mga ahensiya na… kumbaga, mag-uusap about the concern at issues po tungkol diyan. And sa lalong madaling panahon, hopefully, we’ll be able to come up with the program soon. So ano lang muna, let’s give our concerned agencies a chance to discuss that issue.

USEC. IGNACIO: Opo. Tanong pa rin po mula kay Kris Jose ng Remate/Remate Online para po kay Dok Bev: Simula po nang pumasok ang buwan ng Disyembre, nagsimula na ang pangangaroling sa mga bahay-bahay. Since marami pong kabataan ang nabakunahan, safe na po ba raw mangaroling? Papayagan na rin ba ang street party ngayong Kapaskuhan?

DOH DIRECTOR DR. BEVERLY HO: Sa pangangaroling po, alam natin na kinakailangan ‘no bukod sa bakunado, kailangan po naka-wear ng mask, ‘di ba, kasi may chance pa rin po tayong makapag-spread ‘no. So as long as ginagawa naman iyon at may distancing, yes, okay lang po sa atin ‘no.

Pangalawa po, doon sa street party, siyempre kung sa street iyong party ay alam natin open air iyon, well-ventilated. Pero mahalaga rin po na alam natin iyong bilang ng tao ‘no na kaya lang i-accommodate sa lugar na iyon. And for that, mayroon naman tayong kung outdoor area siya at nasa Level 2 tayo, 70% ‘no. So as long as kaya ng ating local authorities or ng organizers to make sure that that happens, na ma-enforce iyong mga guidelines na iyon, puwede ‘no. Pero kung wala tayong kapasidad to enforce those guidelines, sabi nga ni CabSec ‘no, we have to be equally accountable, then hindi po natin dapat pag-isipan pa ‘no any of these parties.

USEC. IGNACIO: Opo. Susunod pong tanong ay mula kay Jopel Pelenio ng DWIZ. Ang tanong po niya ay para kay Sec. Karlo at Doc Bev: Base po sa statement ngayong araw ng Department of Health, there’s no Omicron variant that was detected in 48 positive swab samples na siniquence po ng Philippine Genome Center last December 8. Does this mean na may possibility o big possibility na puwede nang ibaba ng IATF sa Alert Level 1 ang malaking bahagi ng bansa or the whole country?

CABSEC NOGRALES: I will defer to Dr. Bev.

DOH DIRECTOR DR. BEVERLY HO: Thank you, sir. Parang nasagot naman ni CabSec iyon kanina po ‘no. Sinabi niya na hinihintay pa po natin iyong mga detalye tungkol sa Omicron variant para po madesisyunan kung bababa po tayo ng Alert Level 1.

In the meantime, marami na pong maluwag ‘no na guidelines ngayon sa Alert Level 2 so let’s just continue to perform the minimum public health standards para wala po tayong makikitang any ‘no pagtaas ng kaso after this or during this holiday season.

CABSEC NOGRALES: Usec. Rocky, actually, tuluy-tuloy pa naman din po iyong ginagawa nating genomic sequencing, iyong active surveillance po natin. If you look at the IATF resolutions po natin, nakalagay naman po doon na active surveillance ang ginagawa natin especially for those returning from overseas. Then, of course, kung may mga positive cases, very targeted din po ang genomic surveillance and sequencing po natin. Again, that is currently being done to make sure at malaman din po natin ano iyong mga variants na nandito po sa ating bansa at, of course, special attention kung may Omicron.

Gusto ko rin pong dagdagan iyong sa sinagot ni Director Dr. Bev Ho kanina doon sa mga parties na sinasabi, number one, makipag-ugnayan po muna sa LGU, okay. So huwag ninyong isipin na, “Okay, puwede ito, puwede,” hindi, hindi po. Makipag-ugnayan muna sa LGU because there will be some LGUs that will have requirements. So huwag itong i-generalize na, “Okay, sige, puwede na,” ‘di ba? LGU po, number one, go to your LGU. Makipag-ugnayan kayo sa LGU ninyo before you plan anything tulad na lang ng mga party-party na street party or what. You go to your LGU muna.

USEC. IGNACIO: Opo. Susunod pong tanong ni Jopel para po kay Dr. Bev: May mga natitira pa bang samples na kailangan daw pong i-sequence ng PGC? Ilan po daw ito?

DOH DIRECTOR DR. BEVERLY HO: Hindi po natin iyan masasagot ngayon ‘no kasi tuluy-tuloy naman po. Every time may ma-test na positive na dumadating galing sa ibang bansa, tuloy po iyon ‘no. Basta it reaches a threshold of iyong CT less than 30, mapupunta na po iyan agad for genomic sequencing. So tuluy-tuloy lang po iyon. The numbers can change every hour po. Thank you.

USEC. IGNACIO: For Sec. Karlo from Jopel Pelenio pa rin po ng DWIZ: May mga passengers po sa paliparan na nakakaranas na maiwan ng kanilang flight dahil lamang sa kabagalan po ng ilang LGU partikular na ng ilang staff diumano ng Dumaguete City sa Negros Oriental na magproseso at mag-release ng S-PaSS na iyong ibang passenger na ito ay pawang mga senior citizens pa. Ano po ang maaaring gawin ng IATF or ng DILG regarding this matter?

CABSEC NOGRALES: Opo. Well, we’ll bring this to the attention ng DILG na makipag-ugnayan din po sa mga LGUs with regard doon. Pero siguro we’d also like to remind the passengers ‘no sa responsibility din po natin na to fill up the requirements or the forms na kinakailangan, well, you know, days, hours before the flights para hindi po ma-hassle. At maaga po, the sooner that you fill up the forms, the sooner that you fill up the data and information, then the less the chances na magkaroon ng ganiyang klaseng aberya.

USEC. IGNACIO: Opo. Mula pa rin po kay Jopel Pelenio ng DWIZ: After daw po na maiwan ng kanilang flight ang mga pasahero, sinabihan sila ng airline company na hindi daw nila maaaring i-refund at bigyan ng libreng rebooking dahil hindi naman daw sila pasok sa company guidelines under force majeure bunsod ng hindi naman daw ang airline ang nagkamali kung bakit sila naiwan ng flight kung hindi ang LGU kaya ang ilang naiwan na pasahero napilitan na muling gumastos at bumili ng tiket para lamang daw po makalipad on that day pauwi ng kanilang lalawigan particularly nga sa Dumaguete City.

Bakit hindi puwedeng i-consider ang ganitong mga insidente under force majeure ng mga airline? May pananagutan ba ang LGU sa mga ganitong insidente?

CABSEC. NOGRALES: Iyong sa concern na iyan, we will refer to DOTr, for DOTr na makipag-ugnayan po sa airline companies siguro to provide the reminders doon sa mga pasahero po nila and sa DILG din na makipag-ugnayan din sa mga concerned na LGUs.

But again, we’d also like to remind the passengers na para hassle-free po then I think kailangan kung anuman ang mga forms na kinakailangan natin na i-fill-up we have to do it immediately at alamin po natin kung ano iyong mga required na mga forms kapag lumilipad po tayo or pumupunta po tayo sa ibang lugar dito sa ating bansa ‘no.

So, I think everybody has to be just aware and inform kung ano iyong mga requirements — LGU, then sundin po natin. Kung the earlier that you can know and fill-up those forms, do it para less hassle at hindi po magkaroon ng ganiyang klaseng aberya. But iyong concern na iyan, we’ll refer it to DOTr.

Usec. Rocky, may tanong po dito iyong sa fully vaccinated by end of term, pasensiya na, 77 naging—It’s 90 million po, 90 million fully vaccinated iyong target po natin for end of term ni Pangulong Duterte. Na-double-double namin kaya pasensiya na po.

USEC. IGNACIO: Opo. Sec. Karlo, ang kasunod pong tanong mula kay Cresilyn Catarong ng SMNI: May update daw po ba o any update kung kailan daw po magpapa-booster shot si Pangulong Duterte?

CABSEC. NOGRALES: Wala pa po. Again, this is something between the President and his personal physician, so let’s wait. Hintayin na lang po natin.

USEC. IGNACIO: Opo. Sunod po na tanong: May bagong kandidato daw na iiendorso si Pangulong Duterte. Kailan kaya posibleng ianunsyo ito ng Pangulo? May idea ba ang Malacañang kung sino po ito?

CABSEC. NOGRALES: Again, let’s wait for the President to make the proper announcement if and when he decides to make that announcement. Hintayin na lang po natin.

USEC. IGNACIO: Opo. From Ivan Mayrina ng GMA News: In an interview with reporters, former Spokesperson Harry Roque said that as a personal observation, the President will soon realize that he cannot endorse just Mayor Inday as Vice President and added he will [unclear] endorse BBM as President. Do you share the same observation?

CABSEC. NOGRALES: Hintayin na lang po natin si Pangulong Duterte if and when he decides to make that announcement. Hintayin na lang po natin siya if and when he wants to make that announcement.

USEC. IGNACIO: Opo. Iyong second question po ni Ivan Mayrina nasagot ninyo na, Secretary, about doon sa participation sa Democracy Summit ni President Duterte. Si Llanesca Panti ng GMA News: Does the Palace agree with the statement of Health Secretary Duque that the 23 cities with 70% full vaccination rate still have no absolute protection as infection may come from other areas with low vaccination rates. Why and why not?

CABSEC. NOGRALES: Alam ninyo, we have to make it clear na it’s bakuna plus mask, hugas, iwas. It’s mask, hugas, iwas, plus bakuna. Lahat po iyan, it’s taken as one kumbaga, combined po iyan.

So, ibig pong sabihin sa nakikita natin na nangyayari sa iba’t-ibang bansa sa buong mundo na may biglaang pagtaas ng bilang ng COVID cases or itong mga variants, hindi po puwede na bakunado ka lamang at dahil fully vaccinated ka puwede ka ng magtanggal ng mask or hindi ka na mag-social distancing or hindi na tayo mag-practice ng proper hygiene and sanitation, iyong paghuhugas ng kamay – no! It’s a combination.

So, ganoon po iyon, importante pong maunawaan at matandaan po natin iyon na it’s bakunado – fully vaccinated, tuluy-tuloy pa rin po iyong mask, hugas, iwas.

USEC. IGNACIO: Opo. Sec. Karlo, patanong ito ng mga kaibigan ko sa gobyerno. Mayroon po ba daw aasahang service recognition incentive o SRI ang government employees this year just like what was given in the past two years?

CABSEC. NOGRALES: I will ask the concerned agencies. I will relay the question to the concerned agencies po.

USEC. IGNACIO: Opo. Thank you, Sec. Nograles.

CABSEC. NOGRALES: Thank you. Thank you, Usec. Rocky. Maraming, maraming salamat din po kay Doc Beverly Ho, Director of the DOH Health Promotion Bureau sa mga reminders of the dos and don’ts for this Christmas holidays.

Before wrapping up, ini-report po ng World Health Organization na ang preliminary data ukol sa Omicron variant and I quote, “The preliminary data doesn’t indicate that this is more severe. In fact, if anything, the direction is towards less severity.” Pero dagdag pa ng WHO, “We have highly effective vaccines that have proved effective against all variants so far in terms of severe disease and hospitalization. There’s no reason to expect that it wouldn’t be so for Omicron.”

Bagamat magandang balita po ito, hindi pa rin ito dahilan para maging kampante. Nananatili ang ating panawagan, kailangan nating magtulungan; mask, hugas, iwas, bakuna. Let us all do everything that got us to this point. Many of us will be able to see our loved ones because of our collective vigilance and because of the cooperation of everyone.

So, please wear your mask, wash your hands, practice social distancing and convince everyone you know to get vaccinated.

Maraming salamat po. Ingat po lagi. Happy weekend. Thank God it’s Friday. God bless you all po.

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News and Information Bureau-Data Processing Center