For Manila’s quarantine facilities

MANILA MAYOR Francisco M. Domagoso (left) receives plastic furnishings donated by Grand Taipan Land Development, Inc. President Joeben Tai for the city’s quarantine facilities. As of June 22, Manila has 1,270 active coronavirus patients and 715 suspect and probable cases under monitoring. Over 600 from the city have recovered from the disease.

Cimatu buckles down to work on COVID situation in Cebu City

ENVIRONMENT SECRETARY Roy A. Cimatu immediately flew to Cebu City on Tuesday after President Rodrigo R. Duterte appointed him to oversee the response measures in Cebu City, which now has the highest number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the country. “To my brothers and sisters in Cebu, both in the city and the provinces, I will send over General Cimatu,” Mr. Duterte said in a speech late Monday night. Cebu City, with 4,852 COVID-19 cases as of June 22, has overtaken all other cities in Metro Manila, which was the epicenter of the outbreak in the country. Upon his arrival in Cebu, Mr. Cimatu, a retired military general, held meetings with local government and health officials, the police, and other members of the local COVID-19 inter-agency task force. — Gillian M. Cortez with a report from The Freeman

NTA gives P49.5M assistance to tobacco farmers

THE NATIONAL Tobacco Administration (NTA) has released P49.5 million in rice production assistance under a program that aims to increase the alternative income of tobacco contract growers. The beneficiaries are 3,537 tobacco-rice farmers in major tobacco producing areas in Abra, Cagayan, Isabela, and the four provinces of Ilocos Region. The rice production assistance worth P25,000 per hectare with 40% subsidy will cover costs such as the purchase of certified seeds, tractor or animal rental for land preparation, fuel for irrigation, and fertilizers. The NTA’s Integrated Farming and Other Income-Generating Activities program is in line with the Rice Resiliency Project of the Department of Agriculture. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

Senate under semi-lockdown after 2 staff test positive for COVID

THE SENATE has been placed on partial lockdown upon confirmation that two of its employees tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III said. “We are already in semi lockdown. I was just briefed by the Senate Secretary of the request of some employees,” Mr. Sotto told reporters over phone message Tuesday. He said the Senate cannot be placed on total lockdown as hearings and other legislative work are ongoing. “My suggestion to the Senate Secretary is to inform those (offices) who want a lockdown to do so if they prefer, but we cannot declare so for the entire Senate.” According to the Senate Medical and Dental Bureau, 16 positive cases have been recorded since March, of whom 14 have recovered and 2 are still active cases. Mr. Sotto also said the persons exposed to the two active cases have already concluded the mandatory 14-day self quarantine. Among those who tested positive and recovered were Senators Juan Miguel F. Zubiri, Juan Edgardo M. Angara and Aquilino L. Pimentel III. — Charmaine A. Tadalan

Public school students in Makati to get blended learning package, daily pre-paid internet access

PRESCHOOL TO senior high school students in Makati City’s public schools will get a blended learning package and free prepaid internet access daily during the coming academic year that is expected to start August. Mayor Abigail S. Binay, in a statement on Tuesday, said over 85,000 students will receive the learner’s pack, which includes a flash drive containing learning modules, printed modules, and two washable face masks. “The city government has been actively involved in current efforts of the Department of Education to ensure that quality education continues to be accessible to the youth amidst the crisis. We are committed to making the blended learning approach work to the advantage of our students, through equipping them with the right tools,” Ms. Binay said. She also appealed to parents to support the adjusted schooling system by taking a more active role in their children’s education at home. “We are counting on the parents to do their part by guiding their children in the daily learning activities.” Guidelines will also be distributed to parents on how they can better assist their children. Teachers, meanwhile, will also get free internet access for delivering online lessons and activities.