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Local Roundup: Travel ban lifted

  • Travel ban lifted
  • LGUs may now buy rapid test kits
  • School guidelines
The Filipino workers covered by the deployment ban—except health care workers—are now allowed to work abroad, Malacañang announced on Thursday.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said this was among the guidelines approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

READ: Airlines ask anew for government aid

“Land-based or sea-based [Filipino workers] are allowed to be deployed abroad upon the execution of a declaration signifying their knowledge and understanding of the risks involved,” Roque said in a virtual presser.

But he said medical professionals still may not leave under the deployment ban issued by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.

Roque said the IATF-EID also allowed recruitment and placement agencies to operate in the areas under modified enhanced community quarantine and general community quarantine.

The government offices and agencies involved in the processing of Filipinos bound for abroad should establish “green lanes” to enable prompt processing and deployment, he said.

READ: Domestic flights still banned, may resume May 16

The POEA earlier issued a resolution temporarily suspending the deployment of all health care workers “until the national state of emergency is lifted.”

Local Roundup: Travel ban lifted
NEW NORM. With the easing of quarantine controls starting May 16, 2020 public transport drivers like this one in Cavite-Zapote-Las-Pinas route begin installing plastic separators in-between seats to comply with social distancing rules. Seats marked with X must not be occupied and passengers must wear face masks, according to the driver. Norman Cruz
Rapid test kits

Local government units may now purchase rapid test kits to be used in screening people for possible infection with the coronavirus disease.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases gave the approval on Wednesday, Roque said.

Last month, the Health department said public or private institutions were not prohibited from buying and using rapid test kits approved by the Food and Drug Administration as long as the guidelines on the use of these kits were followed.

School-opening guidelines

The Education department says private schools and state or local universities and colleges offering basic education are allowed to open classes on the first Monday of June if there will be no face-to-face classes earlier than Aug. 24.

READ: Private schools start in August too

Face-to-face classes may be conducted only in the areas where schools are allowed to open physically.

Schools must comply with the minimum health standards that are consistent with the guidelines of the Department of Health, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, and the Office of the President.

Schools formally start on August 24, 2020, and end on April 30, 2021 for school year 2020-2021.

School enrollment is from June 1 to 30. The Christmas break begins on Dec. 19, 2020, and classes resume on Jan. 4, 2021.

Lockdown ordered

The Paranaque City government will place at least five barangays under “strict community quarantine” for three days following the surge of COVID-19 cases in the city.

Mayor Edwin Olivarez is set to sign an executive order ordering the strict quarantine, which will only allow health front liners, essential workers, and residents with emergencies to head out of their homes.

Olivarez identified the barangays with the highest number of coronavirus cases as San Antonio (78 cases), BF Homes (66), San Dionisio (64), Don Bosco (59), Moonwalk (51) and Baclaran (43).

Road map

A lawmaker on Thursday urged the government to develop a transportation road map under the “new normal,” and one that will serve the needs of transportation employees and the riding public.

Rep. Sandro Gonzalez filed House Resolution 841 to address the growing concerns on the job layoffs in the transportation sector due to the ill effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Under the new normal, physical distancing and travel restrictions in the affected areas will have major implications for transport mobility and connectivity,” said Gonzalez, vice chairman of the House committee on transportation.

“This magnifies the effects not just on health but also on education, jobs, and economic inclusion as people cease traveling and goods stop circulating.”

Gonzales also requested the House of Representatives to provide tax incentives and stimulus packages for the critical industries under the transportation sector.

Topics: Filipino workers , deployment ban , Harry Roque , rapid test kits , school-opening
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