Lahar from Mayon Volcano

Lahar mudflow from Mayon Volcano triggered by rains brought by typhoon Rolly partially bury some houses in a village in Guinobatan, Albay. Meanwhile, the airport in Legazpi City, the capital of Albay, sustained minimal damage in its ceiling boards due to strong winds, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.

PayMaya partners with Bataan for rice subsidy distribution

DIGITAL PAYMENTS firm PayMaya Philippines, Inc. has partnered with the provincial government of Bataan to implement the digital distribution of rice subsidies to more than 8,000 beneficiaries. “We are excited as we work closely together to help establish cashless ecosystems in the province through PayMaya’s end-to-end digital financial services,” PayMaya Founder and Chief Executive Officer Orlando B. Vea said in a statement. Bataan Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office head Marilyn C. Tigas said the beneficiaries can now receive their allowance directly to their PayMaya account, and use the funds to buy essential items such as food. “The electronic transfer of the subsidy makes everything faster, more efficient and more convenient,” Ms. Tigas said. Bataan Governor Albert S. Garcia said the shift to digital cash disbursement from typical cash distribution provides a safer and more efficient way to conduct business during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. “Those who are in charge with the distribution now get additional protection against the virus since this process eliminates person to person contact. This is a very good way for our province to venture into the new normal,” Mr. Garcia said. PayMaya’s PayOut disbursement platform is also used by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Social Security System (SSS), and several local government units in Metro Manila. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

Davao City recalibrates COVID-19 strategy after recent surge in cases

THE DAVAO City government is preparing to implement additional policies to strengthen compliance to health safety protocols at the community level following a surge in coronavirus cases in recent weeks. The local government has reimposed a curfew period from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. and the liquor ban will resume on Nov. 3. Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio announced Friday that the local coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) task force is also planning to deputize community-level officers, or barangay tanods, for the collection of fines from those caught violating health safety protocols such as wearing of face mask in all public areas. “There is a move to deputize barangay tanods to implement fine or community service to the violators,” Ms. Carpio said, adding that this will be coordinated with the City Treasurer’s Office to ensure transparency and accountability in the collections. The task force is also looking at the creation of a team of volunteers to assist the police and barangay officials in enforcement and continuing information dissemination. “Our goal is elimination, not mitigation and damage control. We need to develop the best strategic coordination of prevention, trace, and treat/isolate. Viruses need people, we need people to stay away from each other and couple with fast, efficient and electronic contact tracing,” the mayor said. The city’s active COVID-19 cases increased 83% to 987 patients as of October 31 from  539 on Oct. 15, based on data from the Health department’s regional office. Davao City has so far recorded 3,752 cases with 2,604 recoveries and 164 deaths. — Maya M. Padillo