The Palace said Monday health workers do not need accreditation from the Department of Health to be exempted from the enhanced community quarantine, which was imposed to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
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Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said health workers will only have to present their medical license or ID card issued by their employer.
He said health workers were “real life heroes” and the government would not give them a hard time over accreditation.
He also said the government has provided free shuttle service after some health workers were forced to walk due to the ban on public tansporation during the Luzon-wide lockdown.
Masks not needed to go shopping
The government said there is no regulation that says shoppers must wear face masks to enter a supermarket.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles issued this statement after some groceries began denying entry to shoppers who were not wearing face masks.
Supermarkets and other establishments are only required to practice social distancing to prevent the spread of the disease, he said.
Jobless workers tapped for disinfecting
Informal sector workers who have temporarily lost their livelihood will be given temporary disinfecting jobs due to the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon, the Department of Labor and Employment said Monday.
In a radio interview, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said daily wage earners displaced by the lockdown are given the minimum wage for 10 days in exchange for disinfecting their homes and communities.
DOLE has set aside P180 million for an emergency employment program which will be offered to 16,000 informal sector workers.
“We will distribute disinfectants, give them to those in the list who will disinfect their homes, their street, and their neighbors' houses. They do that for 10 days, mininum wage of P300. Here in Manila it's P537, the Labor chief said.
DTI says food supply is enough
There is enough supply of food to last until the end of the enhanced community quarantine, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said Monday.
“Production continues, so we are covered until after the quarantine,” Lopez said in a mix of English and Filipino in an interview over radio dzBB.
Lopez issued the statement after the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. (PAMPI) warned of a possible "severe shortage" of canned goods by next month, as inventories could only last for two weeks.
PAMPI cited logistical issues given the implementation of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine, which restricts travel within the region in efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Poor should be taken into account
The government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic should take into account the poor and the marginalized that have long been disadvantaged by the country's health system, health policy students and faculty members of the University of the Philippines (UP) Manila said.
Current measures do not fully consider the urban poor, who cannot practice social distancing in their dense communities and daily wage earners who risk their lives to provide for their families, according to the University of the Philippines-Manila Master of Arts in Health Policy Studies (Health Social Sciences) Program.
"We call for evidence-based, health-driven policies to combat the pandemic. While we strive for long-term solutions to reform our health system, we lay out short-term policy directions to ensure no one is left behind as we combat this pandemic," their statement read.
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