Gov’t contractual workers to get compensation during community quarantine period

GOVERNMENT CONTRACTUAL workers will be compensated during the community quarantine period in Metro Manila, Senator Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva said on Saturday evening. He said the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and the Commission on Audit (CoA) have both agreed to the proposal. “Final decision will be released (on) Monday,” Mr. Villanueva, who heads the committee on labor, employment and human resources development, told reporters. President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Thursday evening placed the National Capital Region (NCR) under a community quarantine from March 15 to April 14. He also suspended work in the Executive branch, leaving agencies to form a “skeletal workforce” to continue operations. Mr. Villanueva said he raised the proposal to CSC Chairman Alicia dela Rosa-Bala, who agreed with the proposal provided CoA will concur. “This needs concurrence with CoA again because there are Circulars governing Contract of Service and Job Orders, and are jointly issued by CSC and CoA,” he said. The Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE), for its part, urged the private sector to adopt alternative work arrangements to lessen the chances of exposure of employees to the coronavirus. Among the alternatives include telecommuting, work from home, reduction of workdays/ hours, rotation of workers and forced leaves. Leaves of absence during the community quarantine will be charged to the workers’ leave credits. Manufacturing, retail and service establishments were also advised to continue operations, given that social distancing is observed. In its Labor Advisory No. 11 s. 2020, DoLE noted that social distancing means there is at least a one meter radius between individuals. — Charmaine A. Tadalan

House of Representatives worker dies from COVID-19

AN EMPLOYEE of the House of Representatives, who was earlier reported to have contracted the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), passed away on Sunday. “Sad news. The HRep (House of Representatives) employee who was positive with COVID-19 passed away earlier today at 1:45 a.m.,” Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Party-list Representative Jericho Jonas B. Nograles told reporters in a Viber message on Sunday. — Genshen L. Espedido


Baguio residents advised to be home by 10 p.m.; tourists asked to postpone visit

THE BAGUIO City COVID-19 inter-agency task force (IATF) has released a list of new guidelines on preventing the spread of the new coronavirus, including asking residents to be home by 10 p.m. The IATF, led by Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, also “requested” tourists planning to visit the popular mountain city “to postpone their trips.” The guidelines also include protocols on health declaration forms to be submitted at checkpoints.


Iloilo City requires 14-day quarantine for all incoming passengers with recent foreign travel

ILOILO CITY Mayor Jerry P. Treñas has expanded the order on mandatory quarantine to all incoming passengers with recent foreign travel in any country. As of last week, the city government was monitoring 73 person who had travel history from countries with COVID-19 cases. Mr. Treñas also said the city hall will observe normal operations while employees with travel history from areas with confirmed cases and those with recent exposure to foreign clients have been ordered to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine. “We will be back to normal but there will be some employees who will be requested to undergo voluntary quarantine for further monitoring,” he said. — Emme Rose S. Santiagudo

Cebu bans air transport from Clark, Cagayan de Oro, other areas

ALL INCOMING domestic air and sea transport will be temporarily suspended in Cebu, Governor Gwendolyn F. Garcia announced Saturday. The ban immediately took effect for flights from Clark International Airport, Legazpi City, Cagayan de Oro City, and Dumaguete City. The total domestic ban on air travel starts today and will be in effect for 30 days. Incoming passenger sea transport, on the other hand, will be suspended starting Tuesday. — The Freeman


Zamboanga City bans all incoming transport starting 12 noon, March 16

ALL LAND, sea and air passenger transport will be barred from entering Zamboanga City starting 12 noon of March 16, the city government announced Saturday. Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar was scheduled to give a public address at 8 p.m. Sunday to provide more details on the order and other COVID-19 policies. “This is not a lockdown but an urgent preventive measure,” the city information office said in its announcement on its social media pages. The ban does not cover cargo transport and outgoing passenger trips. As of Sunday morning, Zamboanga City had zero patients under monitoring for COVID-19.

CDO orders passengers from Manila to register at barangay health centers for 14-day self quarantine monitoring

RESIDENTS AND visitors in Cagayan de Oro City who arrived from Metro Manila before the capital’s lockdown Sunday have been ordered to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine and coordinate with their respective barangay health centers for monitoring. “This now calls for patriotism… This demands sacrifice from all of us. Ang sakripisyo sa katawan (The sacrifice from the people) is to do preventive measures,” Mayor Oscar S. Moreno said in a streamed media conference Friday.

Meanwhile, public and private hospitals in the city are stepping up preparations for handling possible COVID-19 patients. The Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC), for one, has increased the number of allocated isolation rooms. NMMC was where a 54-year old male patient from Lanao del Sur was transferred from an Iligan City hospital last week. He tested positive for the new coronavirus and died Friday night. Meanwhile, JR Borja General Hospital chief Ramon Nery said while they are prepared for a potential surge of people at their Out-Patient department, he called on the public to first “patronize” their local health centers. Barangay Health Centers have been equipped for initial medical assessment and response teams have been trained to handle suspected COVID-19 cases.

GenSan imposes 9 p.m.–4 a.m. curfew

A 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew is in effect in General Santos City starting March 14 until further notice. “In the coming days, we will be more strict with the implementation, especially for areas where there are a large number of people,” Mayor Ronnel C. Rivera said Saturday evening. “We appeal to the public, to please follow our rules and regulations. I know this is hard for everybody… I understand our businessmen and residents. But this is for the good of everybody,” he said in mixed English and Filipino.

DA sets SRP for agricultural goods in Davao City main public markets

THE DEPARTMENT of Agriculture-Davao Region (DA-11) office has issued standard retail price (SRP) ranges for agricultural goods sold at two of Davao City’s main public markets. SRPs are set for fish, livestock and poultry, vegetables, fruits, and rice and corn at the Bankerohan and Agdao markets. The lists are posted on DA-11’s Facebook page, Agri Info Davao. Last Friday, the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry called on the regional offices of the DA and the Department of Trade and Industry to “impose price controls on critical commodities” amid the COVID-19 threat. — Carmelito Q. Francisco