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Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto

Sotto clarifies rules on PasigPass 

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Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto denied claims that the city’s traffic enforcers will be requiring people entering the city to present their PasigPass, according to a report by Manila Bulletin. The mayor clarified that the pass, the city&...

San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora

San Juan pushes easing of curfew in NCR 

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San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora will propose to the Metro Manila Council (MMC) to ease quarantine restrictions and allow people aged 15 to 65 years old to go outside amid the general quarantine status (GCQ), according to a report by Phil...

POC members reelect Tolentino, Hontiveros 

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Metro News

Gov’t to lift testing requirement for OFWs

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The government plans to allow returning overseas Filipino workers from countries with a low prevalence of coronavirus disease to go back promptly to their provinces without undergoing a swab test, provided they complete a two-week quarantine, a Department of Health official said in a report by CNN Philippines.

“Kung talagang iyong (If) testing is not really accessible, we could just quarantine them for 14 days, and after 14 days they could go back to their provinces,” DOH spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a briefing on Saturday.

This statement follows the decision of the Philippine Red Cross earlier this week to stop processing the PhilHealth-funded real-time reverse transcription-polymerase or RT-PCR tests of returning OFWs, people arriving in airports and seaports, those in mega swabbing facilities, and frontline health and government workers.

Red Cross said this is due to the government insurance firm’s inability to settle its debt, amounting to over %u20B1930 million. PhilHealth chief Dante Gierran said Friday they will pay their unpaid balances to the non-profit organization, as he pointed out some questionable provisions of the existing deal for COVID-19 tests.

"We want to pay, only that we have to clear some legal issues affecting the memorandum of agreement that was entered into earlier between the management of PhilHealth and the Philippine Red Cross," Gierran said, pointing to some questions on procurement.

In the meantime, specimens will be sent to other government laboratories in Metro Manila and its nearby provinces while PhilHealth and Red Cross are resolving their issues, Vergeire said.

“This is a temporary measure ... so the operations will not be hampered,” she added.

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