(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Saturday, 28 May 2022) Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) affecting Mindanao. The entire Caraga region will have a Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms caused by Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to moderate winds coming from South to Southwest will prevail with slight to moderate seas (0.6 to 2.1 meters).



Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Interior chief: Thousands of lives saved by President Duterte’s resolute COVID-19 measures

Up to 200,000 lives were spared from the deadly coronavirus disease because of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s swift measures through the imposition of hard lockdown on Metro Manila and other cities throughout the country at the height of the pandemic, said Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, citing statistical reports.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with key government officials at the Malacañan Palace on February 28, 2022. KARL ALONZO/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

“Sa panahon pong noon ay wala talaga tayong healthcare facilities at natatandaan ko mga 1,500 lang ‘yung ating test kit at panahon po na ‘yun talagang pumasok po ‘yung tinatawag natin na surge and you made the decision. Your decision, Mr. President, saved probably a hundred thousand lives. And, yes, other says 200,000 lives,” Secretary Año said in his report to President Duterte on government’s COVID-19 interventions aired Tuesday morning.

Año says having the alert level in NCR and other cities lowered to Alert Level 1, which is deemed the lowest risk level, is “very historic” particularly after the Philippines battled more contagious variants of COVID-19 in the last two years.

The local government units, Philippine National Police (PNP) and other law enforcers, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and the national government agencies, among others, are ready to implement the Alert Level 1, according to the interior secretary.

Cities placed under Alert Level 1 can gradually return to normal with eased travel restrictions, 100 percent workforce, face-to-face classes, and more.

Meanwhile, Presidential Communications Secretary Jose Ruperto Martin Andanar, who also attended the meeting, said President Duterte’s support to the Palace’s media arm has contributed greatly to its successful COVID-19 information campaign.

It aided the successful implementation of public health measures such as wearing of face masks, social distancing, frequent handwashing and disinfection, among others.

“Malaki po ang papel ng komunikasyon para sa epektibong pagpapatupad ng ating COVID-19 response. Tulad ng inyo pong ‘Talk to the People,’ napakalaking bagay po nito upang mabigyan ang publiko ng tunay na estado at sitwasyon mula noon hanggang ngayon,” he said.

President Duterte first placed Luzon including Metro Manila under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in March 2020 to prevent the coronavirus from spreading further. Other cities were also placed in lockdown.

The Duterte government has allotted a total of P200-billion worth of aid for low-income households, farmers, and fisherfolk, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which was considered the biggest and widest social protection program in Philippine history.

The Department of Health (DOH) has recorded on March 1 a total of 3,661, 997 COVID-19 cases with 3,553, 367 recoveries and 56,451 deaths.  PND