President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday visited Jolo, Sulu to talk to the troops of the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Joint Task Force (AFP-JTF) at the Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Headquarters.

LOOK: Duterte visits soldiers in Sulu

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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday visited Jolo, Sulu to talk to the troops of the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Joint Task Force (AFP-JTF) at the Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Headquarters.

During the visit, Duterte led the awarding of medals to the military personnel and donning of ranks to Brigadier General Divino Rey Pabayo of JTF-Sulu and Brigadier General Andres Centino of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Operations.

The Chief Executive also conferred a Gold Cross medal to seven soldiers and distributed food packs to five enlisted personnel of the JTF-Sulu in a ceremony.

The recipients were Lt. Col. Abdulmoel Alamaia, Lt. Col. Ronaldo Amteo, 1st Lt. Romel Pacer, 1st Lt. Geronimo Vergara, Cpl. Ariel Sanchez, Cpl. Engelbert Tañan, and Cpl. Reylan Busmeon.

In Sulu, Duterte also visited the 15 soldiers who were injured while fighting the Abu Sayyaf Group at the Camp Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital.

He likewise awarded Cpl. Arsenio Opaco Jr., Cpl. Sonny Jumoc, Pfc. Edwin Yurong, Pfc. Edeson Alom, Pfc. Abduhasad Baladji, Pcf. Joevertt Ramirez, Pvt. Dominic Osorio, Pvt. Jeric Peñaredondo, Pvt. Raymund Balambao, Pvt. Ramil Diaz Jr., and Pvt. Albert Daligdig the Order of Lapu-Lapu with the Rank of Kampilan.

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Keep ’em coming! 38K AstraZeneca vaccine doses arrive in PH

The Philippines received another 38,400 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines on Sunday night.

The delivery from Amsterdam via a KLM Asia flight arrived around 7 p.m.

National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said the deliveries completed the expected 525,600 doses secured by the national government that is part of the first round of allocated doses from the COVAX Facility, a global risk-sharing mechanism for pooled procurement and equitable access to vaccines led by the World Health Organization and Gavi Alliance.

“Sa ngayon meron na po tayong 1.1 million doses para sa ating mga (As of now, we already have 1.1 million doses of vaccines for our) healthcare workers,” Galvez said in an interview at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 in Pasay City.

The vaccine will be immediately deployed to high-risk communities. The initial 487,200 doses arrived on March 4.

A total of 54,500 AstraZeneca doses have been sent to hospitals in National Capital Region (NCR), Region 4-A (Calabarzon) and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

NCR got 1,500, Calabarzon received 13,000, CAR 10,000 doses, and Central Luzon 20,000.

“For this week, to all regions, we will be deploying 240,720 doses,” he said.

Based on the resolution submitted by the Department of Health and the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group, the government will prioritize vaccine deployment to Covid-19 high risks areas such as NCR, Central Visayas, Calabarzon, Region 11 (Davao) and other areas in CAR.

“With the arrival of the AstraZeneca vaccines in the country — all 525,600 doses — there is no doubt that the WHO-led COVAX is committed to carry out its crucial role of ensuring that less-developed nations have equitable access to life-saving vaccines,” Galvez said.

He cited the recommendations made by the vaccine expert panel and President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to allocate all the vaccines arriving this month to healthcare workers.

“The Duterte administration is doing its best to secure the vaccine doses it would need to inoculate all medical front-liners and healthcare workers in the country within this month,” he said.

The government is targeting to complete the inoculation of healthcare workers within March and start with other priority sectors by April. (PNA)

Create spaces for all genders: Robredo urges women to be trailblazers

Vice President Leni Robredo called on women to unite and work together to create new trails amid challenges to gender inequality.

Robredo said the International Women’s Day, which is celebrated Monday (March 8) is a reminder that the fight for gender equality continues.

“We need as many women and allies as possible banging against the glass ceiling and creating spaces where all genders can flourish and contribute to society. Because progress hinges not on the brilliance of a few, but in the sustained united effort of all,” she said.

“So as we honor the victories of those who came before, let us blaze new trails for others to follow. Let us answer the calls to leadership, face the trials of our time with resolve, and strive towards a fairer, kinder, more humane world, where no one is left behind,” the Vice President added.

Robredo is the second female Vice President of the Philippines, next to former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

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