Duterte staying in Manila during Holy Week holiday

PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte is staying in Malacañang and attending to duties during the coming long weekend holiday in observance of the Catholic Holy Week days, according to his spokesperson. “He will continue to function and perform his duties as President. He will continue to monitor and then give directives,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador S. Panelo said in a briefing Wednesday, belying reports that Mr. Duterte is flying back to his hometown Davao City. Mr. Panelo said the President is staying in the capital to focus on the government’s measures against the coronavirus disease 2019. — Gillian M. Cortez

TESDA institutions busy making face masks, disinfectant

TECHNICAL Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) institutions have been producing personal protective equipment (PPEs) and disinfectant to aid frontliners against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) threat, the agency’s director general said. “What we did immediately is that I issued a directive sa lahat ng ating (to all) TESDA technology institutions saka mga (and) provincial training centers… to produce itong mga (these) face masks (and) other personal protective equipment (and) disinfectants,” Secretary Isidro S. Lapeña told radio DZBB on Wednesday. As of April 4, Mr. Lapeña said the TESDA centers have made 90,000 washable face masks, which were distributed throughout the country. He said they cannot accept new trainees at the moment given the suspension of classes, but those who are already employed will continue to produce PPEs. — Genshen L. Espedido

DTI assures stable supply of goods in extended quarantine

THE DEPARTMENT of Trade and Industry (DTI) assured there will be a stable supply of goods amid the extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon, which includes Metro Manila. “We keep on monitoring mga manufacturers and many of them actually are operating close to 80-90%,” DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez told DZMM radio on Wednesday. He said production has been quicker, noting improvements in employees ability to report for work and in cargo movement. The luzon-wide lockdown, intended to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), was initially set to end on April 12 but has been extended to April 30. At the start of the ECQ, business groups said movement of goods was hampered, including a supermarket association that said their supply had been delayed in checkpoints and ports. — Jenina P. Ibañez

Filing of administrative cases suspended during ECQ

THE FILING of administrative cases is suspended for the duration of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), according to an order released by the Palace on Wednesday. Administrative Order No. 29, signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on April 8, prescribes guidelines on the interruption periods for filing of administrative cases, appeals, petitions for review and other pleadings, while the entire Luzon island is on lockdown. “Since the implementation of the ECQ, the mobility of people over Luzon and even in certain jurisdictions in Visayas and Mindanao has been heavily restricted, and lawyers, law firms, and postal services have not been included in the list of exempted individuals, entities, and services from the ECQ,” the AO said. The suspension is retroactive, with its effectivity beginning March 17 when the Luzon ECQ started. The reglementary period for commencement of appeals, petitions for review, and administrative disciplinary cases, pleadings, appearances, motions, and other papers will be deemed interrupted for the whole period of the ECQ, based on the order. Same will go for judgments, resolutions, and orders that will fall within the ECQ period. Proceedings scheduled during the ECQ will be rescheduled after the lockdown is lifted. — Gillian M. Cortez