Regional Updates (06/25/20)

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Traditional jeepneys to be checked for ‘road worthiness’ before allowed back on the road

JEEPNEYS WILL first be checked for road worthiness before being granted a permit to resume services, according to Palace Spokesperson Harry L. Roque. In a briefing Thursday, he said the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board is looking at allowing traditional public utility jeepneys to return on the road soon “if there is really a shortage of transportation service.” Buses and modern electric jeepneys have been deployed since last week after the strict lockdown rules, which included a ban on all public transport were lifted. Meanwhile, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año said it is too early to tell if quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila will be further eased by July 1. “It is too early to say or to conclude kasi kailangan aralin lahat ng mga data (because we need to study all the data),” he said. — Gillian M. Cortez

Police to deploy 150 special force commandos in Cebu City for quarantine enforcement

AT LEAST 150 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos, the elite unit of the police, will be deployed in Cebu City to help enforce strict quarantine rules to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in what is now considered the new epicenter of the outbreak. The city, as of June 24, had the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country at 5,088, with 1,344 admitted in hospital and 1,342 in isolation facilities, based on Department of Health data. Lt. Gen. Guillermo T. Eleazar, the police deputy chief for operations, said the SAF troopers are tasked to help implement health safety protocols such as restricted movement of residents, wearing of face mask, and physical distancing. “Mobility assets of SAF will also be deployed in Cebu City that include multi-purpose armored vehicles similar to what we used in the implementation of ECQ (enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila,” Mr. Eleazar said in a statement. He noted that the deployment of SAF commandos was effective in Metro Manila, especially in areas with a high number of COVID-19 cases and placed on total lockdown. “SAF commanders are known to be strict in enforcing the quarantine rules which subsequently compelled hardheaded resident to stay in their houses,” he said. Earlier this week, around 100 police officers from neighboring regions were temporarily assigned to Cebu City. — Emmanuel Tupas/PHILSTAR

Parañaque launches online appointment, applications

THE PARAÑAQUE City Government has launched several online services under its business permits and licensing office (BPLO) to improve the ease of doing business as well as minimize physical interactions amid the coronavirus threat. “The primary purpose of this on-line government services is to reduce the waiting hours in any request or transaction as a precautionary health measure to limit face-to-face interactions,” Mayor Edwin L. Olivarez said in a statement.

The services include an online appointment system and application process for business-related transactions.

Valenzuela, Makati courts temporarily closed due to probable COVID-19 cases

COURTS in the cities of Valenzuela and Makati have been temporarily closed starting Thursday pending test results of employees who are suspected to have been infected with coronavirus. Court hearings and raffling of cases through videoconferencing, and all other online transactions will continue in both cities. In a memorandum, Valenzuela City Executive Judge Maria Nena J. Santos ordered the closure of the Bulwagang Pangkatarungan while judges and court personnel are required to quarantine for 14 days starting June 25. In-court proceedings and other transactions will resume immediately if the test result of the person who had contact with a coronavirus-positive patient comes out negative. “However, if the result will turn out to be positive, the court will continue to stay in self-quarantine to complete required fourteen day period or until July 9, 2020,” the memo read. In Makati, all judges and personnel in all trial courts will also undergo a 14-day quarantine, or until July 8, after a court employee tested positive for the disease through rapid test while another employee is also a probable patient. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas