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FDA warns vs misleading ads on disinfectants

THE Food and Drug Administration warned the public against “misleading advertisements” on disinfectants that supposedly decrease the risk for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In an advisory, the FDA said the advertisement of SDS Blocker Anti-Virus and Virus Shut Out employ “deceptive marketing and promotion.”

“These products shall not, in any way, cure and specially kill viruses and bacteria and any other disease, and should not bear any misleading, deceptive and false claims on their label and/or any promotional material that will provide erroneous impression on the product’s character or identity,” the advisory read.

The FDA further warned that exposure to ingredients such as chlorine dioxide or chlorite through inhalation and skin contact may cause irritation in the mouth, esophagus, or stomach, shortness of breath and other respiratory problems.

The agency also noted that “there are no specific treatments for COVID-19.”

“Everyone is encouraged to follow accurate public health advice and guidance from the Department of Health and World Health Organization on basic protective measures against COVID-19 like handwashing, respiratory etiquette and physical distancing,” FDA said.

It also directed stores to stop using such “misleading advertisements and promotions.” — Vann Marlo M. Villegas

P77M aid alloted to artists

THE National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) has allocated almost P77 million worth of aid to artists affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.

NCCA Executive Director Al Ryan S. Alejandre said in a briefing on Thursday that they have budgeted “around P76.8 million” to help about “14,520 freelance cultural workers in 19 sectors.”

Malaki ang epekto ng COVID sa ating mga artists and cultural workers sa Pilipinas kasi marami sa kanila ay freelancers (COVID has a huge effect on our artists and cultural workers in the Philippines because many of them are freelancers),” Mr. Alejandre said.

NCCA Deputy Executive Director Marichu G. Tellano, meanwhile, said they are studying other ways to continue their programs lined up for the year without violating public health safety protocols.

She said while some projects have been moved to the online platform, they will hold consultations in June to explore other possibilities.

The NCCA and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) are also assessing the fate of performing arts companies under CCP as leisure activities remain prohibited under the relaxed quarantine policy. NCCA Chairman Arsenio “Nick” Lizaso is also the president of CCP. — Gillian M. Cortez

LTO releases IRR for bigger number plates for motorcycles

THE Land Transportation Office (LTO) has released the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 11235, the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act, which requires bigger rear and front number plates for motorcycles.

The IRR, dated May 11, 2020 and signed by LTO Assistant Secretary Edgar C. Galvante, was published in newspapers on Thursday.

Section 5 of the IRR requires the LTO to issue a set of bigger, more readable, and color-coded number plates for every motorcycle.

For the rear, it will be a metal number plate 235 millimeters in width and 135 mm in height. A decal number plate with a 135×85-mm size will be displayed in front.

According to the IRR, both number plates will bear a unique combination of alphanumeric characters.

“The contents of the number plates shall be readable from the front and the back of the motorcycle from a distance of at least 15 meters from the motorcycle. For this purpose, all motorcycles shall have a rear plate light,” the IRR says.

“The utilization of voluntary and paid labor from prisoners shall be among the requirements to bid for the procurement of the number plates.”

President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act on March 8 last year.

The law is intended to prevent and penalize the use of motorcycles in the commission of crimes with the installation of more visible plates.

The new law also states that color coding would serve as an identifying mark per region. — Arjay L. Balinbin

Charges over quarantine violations vs metro police not going away

METRO MANILA’s police chief, Debold M. Sinas, is still facing charges for violating quarantine protocols despite President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s decision to keep him at his post.

In a briefing on Thursday, Palace Spokesperson Harry L. Roque said, “Malinaw sinabi ni Presidente. Sa ngayon mananatili s’ya pero kung ano ang mangyayari sa susunod na araw, ating hintayin po (What the President said is clear. For now, he (Sinas) will stay but what will happen in the next days, let’s wait and see).”

Photos of a birthday celebration held for Mr. Sinas on May 8, posted by the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), showed violations of public health safety standards and the liquor ban.

The photos circulated online and drew public flak. The NCRPO has since removed the images.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte earlier this week called Mr. Sinas a good and honest man, and said he will not remove the NCRPO chief from his post.

Criminal charges against Mr. Sinas were filed last week along with 50 other policemen present in the gathering.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Wednesday that the probe on Mr. Sinas will continue.

PNP Chief Archie F. Gamboa has said he stands by Mr. Sinas, adding that he will be hard to replace considering his programs that will help beat the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, over 1,100 persons were accosted by police officers for breaching quarantine protocols, a day after the President defended Mr. Sinas.

PNP data released Thursday show 1,152 persons were apprehended since Wednesday.

Of the total violators, 918 were from NCR.

From March 17 to May 20, a total of 177,540 persons have been rounded up by authorities for allegedly defying quarantine protocols, 52,535 of whom ended up in jail. —Gillian M. Cortez and Emmanuel Tupas/PHILSTAR