LOOK: Duterte’s third weekly COVID report
In his third weekly report to Congress, President Rodrigo Duterte detailed the “intensified steps” his government has taken in relation to coronavirus (Covid-19).

LOOK: Duterte’s third weekly COVID report

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By Prince Golez

In his third weekly report to Congress, President Rodrigo Duterte detailed the “intensified steps” his government has taken in relation to coronavirus (Covid-19).

His 27-page report was based on the submission of 85 departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the executive branch, said Duterte.

“I continue to direct the Executive department to optimize temporary emergency measures permitted therein, at all times within the limits of the Constitution. I maintain the policy of forgoing collaborative and mutually beneficial arrangements between government agencies and the private sector in taking necessary and effective steps to move forward and overcome this public health emergency,” he also said.

On the funds which Congress has authorized him to program for Covid-19 responses, the President assured that the government has been “more than diligent in looking ways and means to source the same, and more than judicious in the utilization thereof.”

Here’s a brief rundown of this administration’s accomplishments in addressing the viral disease:

Department of Budget and Management

-Released a total amount of P101.5 billion for the implementation of the Social Amelioration Programs (SAP)

Department of Social Welfare and Development

-Executed a tripartite Memorandum of Agreement with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and the Land Bank of the Philippines for the provision of emergency subsidy to around 435,000 drivers of public utility vehicles whose operations were suspended due to the enhanced community quarantine

-Provided emergency subsidies amounting to P323 million to 40,418 non-4Ps beneficiaries comprising 4,175 from transport network vehicle service sector and 36,243 from the other public utility vehicles sectors

Department of Agriculture

-Released an unconditional cash transfer of P5,000 each to a total of 300,994 farmers out of 597,404 target beneficiaries for its Rice Farmers Financial Assistance Program

-Created a central Bantay Presyo Task Force to monitor prices of basic food commodities and enforce the Price Act

-Provided fingerlings and seaweed propagules to a total of 1,005 fishpond and cage operators and seaweed farmers to augment the country’s fish production and help fisher folks increase their incomes

-Distributed agricultural products to local government units (LGUs) in the National Capital Region (NCR) worth P3 million as additional relief goods

Department of Agrarian Reform

-Issued Memorandum Circular No. (MC) 4 which prescribes the guidelines on the issuance of identification cards to agrarian reform beneficiaries to ensure their access to the SAP and other emergency assistance provided by the DAR and other concerned agencies

Department of Labor and Employment

-Adjusted its targets (from 115,806 to 321,975 workers) for the Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) and the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) – Barangay Ko, Bahay Ko projects to cover the extended ECQ period

-TUPAD Program has provided assistance to 46 percent of its target beneficiaries or 118,086 workers from the informal sector, amounting to P206 million.

-The CAMP program has provided assistance to 52 percent of its target beneficiaries equivalent to 167,941 workers and has utilized P840 million for said program.

Department of Foreign Affairs

-Assisted in the repatriation of 2,869 sea-based Filipino workers and 1,666 land-based workers from April 3 to April 8, 2020

-Issued 14 flight clearances for the repatriation of foreign nationals in the Philippines and approved 15 requests for flight permits for the repatriation of Filipino nationals abroad

Philippine Overseas Employment Administration

-Issued MC No. 09 adopting guidelines on the arrival and repatriation of overseas Filipinos and the guidelines at seaports for all maritime vessels issued by the Department of Health to prevent further transmission of Covid-19 at seaports and maritime vessels

Department of Tourism

-Assisted in 323 rescue missions to facilitate safe travels of foreign nationals to gateways, in coordination with their respective foreign embassies and relevant agencies.

Bureau of Corrections

-Suspended the visitation privileges of persons deprived of liberty and restricted visits from religious organizations, non-government organizations, foreign embassies and consulates, and other humanitarian, educational, business or political missions

-Implemented disinfection protocols and quarantine schemes to reduce physical movement of personnel

Department of Health

-Introduced a free dedicated telemedicine service for both Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 concerns for residents in the NCR, particularly hotline number (02) 8424-1724 or (02) 7798-8000

-Significantly increased its capacity to conduct massive testing for persons under investigation and persons under monitoring

Mines and Geosciences Bureau

-Authorized MGB Regional Directors to allow mining companies to re-align unutilized funds in their Social Development Management Program to assist their respective host communities and neighboring areas

Department of Education

-Issued Board Resolution No. 02 which imposes a three-month moratorium on payment of loans by DepEd staff and extending the payments period for an additional three months without accruing additional interest and penalties

-Secured an agreement with the Government Service Insurance System for a three-month moratorium on loan payments for their members and pensioners

Department of Trade and Industry

-Conducted 2,415 price monitoring activities, where 98 percent of 12,602 monitored entities were found compliant

-Issued 150 Letters of Inquiry and 71 Notices of Violation, and launched a total of 888 operations in connection with its campaign on anti-hoarding/anti-profiteering

-Included personal protective equipment and other medical-related products in the price monitoring of basic needs and prime commodities due to the surge in demand

Department of the Interior and Local Government

-Ordered the dismantling of checkpoints installed by LGUs along national and provincial roads, and encouraged the public to report any action that hampers movement of essential goods and cargoes

-Designated five hotlines that will receive complaints against, and reports of abuse committed by, LGU officials and police personnel

National Water Resources Board

-Increased the water allocation of Metropolitan Water Works and Sewerage System from 42 cubic meters per second (CMS) to 46 CMS until April 30

Industrial Technology Development Institute

-Made available online various e-learning materials and instructional videos on technologies that can provide livelihood opportunities to those affected by the pandemic

Bureau of Quarantine

-Assigned 20 teams to different hotel-quarantine facilities and deployed 87 employees for purposed of overseeing the mandatory 14-day quarantine of Overseas Filipinos

-Monitored the arrival of 167 Overseas Filipinos who are required to be quarantined

Commission on Higher Education

-Approved the use of five state universities and colleges (SUCs) as quarantine facilities and discussions for the possible use of two other SUC facilities for similar purposes

-Created a Public Health Experts Group, consisting of experts in the field of medicine and public health, to provide technical assistance and guidance to SUCs and LGUs in ensuring the safety of using SUC facilities as quarantine centers/community isolation units

Food and Drug Administration

-Approved 33 Covid-19 test kits for commercial use, composed of 23 Polymerase Chain Reaction based kits and 10 Rapid Antibody test kits

Armed Forces of the Philippines

-Pledged a portion of their salaries for one month, with the total amount of P17.435 million to support the country’s frontliners in the fight against Covid-19

Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office

-Donated P290 million to Covid-19 referral hospitals and approved the release of P447 million worth of financial assistance to 81 government hospitals, chargeable against the Charity Fund of the PCSO

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