Senator Sonny Angara with ICT Stakeholders

The Philippines need to adopt a digital transformation as part of its major strategies to face the current crisis brought about by the pandemic.

Prompted by this urgent need, Senator Juan Edgardo Angara authored a bill for the creation of a national digital transformation policy to focus on the digital competence and skills of Filipinos, promotions digitally-enabled jobs, education and government service.

The bill seeks to create a digital competence framework for citizens to serve as a standard tool in improving the digital competence of citizens, guide in formulate of policies that support digital competence building, and plan education and training initiatives to improve the digital competence of various specific target groups.

It also aims to create an information and communications technology (ICT) competency framework for teachers to outline the competencies that teachers, educators and trainers need in order to integrate ICT into their professional practice. The framework shall be used to compare the teachers’ competencies in different regions, provinces, cities and municipalities, to analyze and develop educational programs and training courses of teacher professional development at national or regional level. It shall provide guidelines and a basic set of qualifications to develop courses for pre-service or in-service teachers, in order to enable teachers to integrate ICT in a pedagogically effective way.

Another provision of the bill is the creation of a national digital strategy to develop a national economy that is founded on knowledge and innovation, ensuring that every citizen shall have the opportunity to understand and learn ICT and develop skills and ability to apply the ICT in their work, vocation, business and life in society to achieve become part of national socio-economic development and growth.

The proposed bill envisions digital Inclusion to enable all citizens, irrespective of age, gender, physical ability, ethnicity, health conditions, or socio-economic status to access the opportunities of the internet. Citizens, businesses and public services must take full advantage of the transformational benefits of the digital revolution.  To achieve this, there shall be digital libraries and learning hubs to improve digital communication, increasing citizen’s digital footprint, promoting digital inclusion and transform these libraries as providers of digital access, training and support for local communities.

The bill also promotes digital entrepreneurship or the digitization of businesses according to their own specific digital needs, mainly focused on these four core digital activities, such as maintaining a web presence, selling online, using the cloud, and digitizing back-office functions such as payroll and human resource management, in order to become or remain competitive.

To ensure the highest standards of public service, the Civil Service Commission shall also identify and consolidate all the skills and competencies of public employees in the career service and recommend and cause the conduct of digital skills training under an annual digital skills mapping activity. All public employees shall be covered under a mandatory basis of certification under the digital competence framework for citizens to identify areas the need training and intervention.

The proposed bill also aims to establish national digital skills development strategy from primary up to post-graduate level, identifying work-related digital skills training programs for out-of-school youth, including for freelancers and part-time workers and training programs for adults requiring re-skilling and life skills in the digital economy for all citizens. The bill

To oversee the implementation of digital transformation, the bill will create a National Digital Transformation composed of relevant government agencies and at least ten representatives from the private sector that is involved in digital skills and talent development organizations, digital industries and jobs, or digital systems and products.


The New Normal

HIGHEST OR MAXIMUM PUBLIC HEALTH STANDARDS and GRADUAL EASING of Enhanced Community Quarantine subject to strategic general conditions:


1. With strictest quarantine for all COVID-19 vulnerable sectors identified by global experts subject to valid exemptions (school, work or emergency) such as but not limited to –

– Minors or persons who are deemed minors because of physical or mental disabilities unless

– Senior citizens who are sickly, who are incapacitated to work or are fully dependent on immediate family

– People who are suffering from serious underlying conditions or are incapable of working

– Persons who have no reason at all to go out of their homes or loiter

2. Strict Imposition of Curfew of 8PM, except for people working in the healthcare sector, BPO sector, law enforcement and transport and similar industries

3. Strict imposition of 8am to 5pm standard office hours. 5PM to 8PM window period should be used for travelling to respective homes


. Strictest guidelines and certifications for workplace sanitation and physical distancing observed in all industries and institutions. Reduction of reporting personnel through Work From Home schemes.

5. Constant promotion of contactless transactions with local government units and government agencies in compliance with RA 11032

6. Promotion of effective and safe food supply chains to ensure access to safe and affordable food

7. Development of new or aligned industries to create jobs and opportunities. Upskilling and re-skilling of manpower for digital jobs


8. Dissemination of clear and specific hotlines per barangay for tele-consultation of COVID-19 symptoms subject to confidentiality (process to follow DOH protocol)

9. Preparation and certification of designated quarantine areas equivalent to at least 1 bed per 1000/pop.

10. Preparation and certification of 1 COVID-19 hospital bed for every 2000/population

11. Weekly, Bi-Monthly or Monthly basic health check up for individuals reporting daily for work. Can be done remotely or digitally.

12. Continued increase hiring and training of public doctors and healthcare frontliners

13. Setup of public health checkpoints for all transport drivers, social workers and barangay healthcare workers for free constant check

14. Continuous mass testing for COVID-19, increase testing capacity and strengthen access protocols


5. Continuous prohibition of large crowds gathering and continuous creation of systems to prevent long queues. Emphasis pn physical distancing in public areas and aggressive support for safe schools so education can resume gradually.

16. Continuous wearing of mask for individuals required according to global standards

17. Systematic and well-monitored inter-LGU travels


18. Mapping of depressed areas in the LGUs for targetted civic activities sponsored by private sector

19. Establishment of sectoral roadmaps to specifically assist sectoral recovery

20. Public and private sector, and mass media to support and continuously spread awareness and understanding of COVID-19, ways to stop the spread and build strong immune system in all fora

Pandemic Dialogues Scene 2

In a faraway kingdom of Pandemonia in the Land of the Idiots, King Moron was left to think on his own. The following is his monologue.

I Know.

I know now I should have started these things before the pandemic

I know now that shortening the time to do things is more efficient and cost-effective than doing it in for a longer period even if it means there is a add-on cost to that efficiency

I know now that many things can still be achieved, and achieved better, even when I get rid of manual or face to face system

I know now that many objectives and deadlines can still be met even on a zero physical contact basis

I know now that investment in improving my digital skills at least the basic level like operating a computer or mobile gadget) will eventually pay off and eventually become a matter of survival

I know now that investing in building intermediate and advanced digital skills could mean finding me a job of higher value and even of greater value when my manual job or my business is destroyed by the pandemic

I know now that I should have gradually installed digital transformation in my company, even just for simple payroll and personnel management, virtual conferences and digital marketing

I know now that as a government leader, I should have a long time ago installed digital innovation to ensure ease of doing business and zero contact prolicy and created a data base to ensure updated and proper profiling

I know now that aside from simply importing medicine and giving lip service to healthcare, we could have invested in manufacturing of medicines and research laboratories, and in health sciences to create vaccines and treatments

I know now that as a school, a hospital or an institution many of our services can be migrated to virtual format so we can still serve our core vision and mission

I know now that industries need to innovate and apply technology to increase production or yield like agriculture and manufacturing

I know now that accurate and real time data can help make sound policy decisions instead of guesswork and impulse

I know now that innovation can bridge communities, people and families in a timely manner, and the world come become smaller because we can share our ideas, aspirations and culture with everyone

I know what innovation means now. Its simply thinking out of the box to look for ways to do things faster, and more efficient because time is precious.

Sadly I know it only now that time became equivalent to life. The life threatened by waste of days to deliver healthcare, amelioration, real-time information.

I only know now that innovation can save lives.

But when I heard about innovation before – I thought of it as –
– an additional expense
– simply just a fad
– something we need to fear because we don’t know about
– something only tech-savvy people know about
– nothing of value that we need to learn about
– a burden to my comfort zone
– something that will simply make me vulnerable to the public
– of no consequence in my present because the future will take care of itself
– something a naive politician will say instead of simply buying our votes
– something voters won’t understand so I would rather give doleouts

The list of my reasons are long. Because I don’t know.

After this pandemic is over, there is a tendency I will not know again. I know.

Then King Moron retired to his chambers to rest. Another day is over in the Kindgdom of Pandemonia.

Disclaimer: All characters in this book are fictional and not real. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Laban Pilipinas

Inang Bayan By Kimberly Joy Mallo Magbanua

Kimberly Joy Mallo Magbanua, the painter of Laban Pilipinan is a nurse, a poet and syringe artist. She is a member of the Association fo Negros Artists (ANA) based in Bacolod City. Her recent artwork “Inang Bayan” showing three healthcare professionals operating on the Philippine Flag captured the hearts of netizens and her fellow artists.

Kimberly, the syringe painter of Bacolod

Below is the caption and poem of Kimberly with the artowrk which she calls “Inang Bayan” on April 18, 2020 as posted by Joan Honoridez, founder of ANA.

Dear Juan,

In one surgery I am now undergoing.
I don’t know when it will end
but the pain will endure.

I’m sad ‘ the heart is broken.
My wish is to be saved and healthy.

Even if the process is bloody and dangerous,
so stay at home, avoid trouble.

Cooperate with your sibling so I can be healed.
They don’t sacrifice for the end, their family will be with them.

Engraving in history that we are unite.
To the beloved town, hope will break.
To Almighty let’s pray.
He has mercy, our prayer will be heard.

Mother Filipinas 🇵🇭

Art and words by: Kimberly Joy Mallo Magbanua
-painted using syringes and needles. 💉
#covid19art #lockdownart #associationofnegrosartists #bacolodartists #artph #bacolod #localartists #cityofsmiles

Here is Kimberly’s caption and poem in her FB wall as posted April 18, 2020.

I got inspired with the thoughts that popped into my mind yesterday
so I painted a syringe art and wrote a poem about her.
Our motherland is sick. She needs you to heal. She’s battling inside the operating room now.
Can we help her move to recovery room?
or help her transfer to the ward as soon as possible.
Spread the love. Spread the hope.
We heal as ONE.
One love, one nation.🇵🇭
In the name of God almighty, Inang Filipinas will be discharged soon.


syringe art by kimjoymm💉

Here are some more of her artworks using syringe.

Using Luminous Paint

Using powerful hashtags “Laban Pilipinas” along with #WeHealAsOne – 27-year old Kimberly’s works serve as inspiration to both young artists and frontliners in the midst of this pandemic.

We salute our thousands of health workers and frontliners now risking their lives in the fight against COVID19. We are praying for you!

Laban Pilipinas!!!

Understanding Herd Immunity

Written and Posted on Facebook By R. Dennis Garcia

Dear friends and policy-makers,

When May 1 comes and we go out of our homes, we will not be immune to COVID-19 any more than we were before March 16, except for the few of us who were infected in the preceding 6 weeks. Indeed, if 10,000 Filipinos would have been infected by May 1, this would only amount to 0.009% of the PH population, hardly a dent towards obtaining herd immunity against the dreaded virus.

At the onset of the lockdown on March 16, the doubling time of COVID-19 cases was 5 days. By April 15, as an effect of the lockdown, the doubling time had prolonged to 13.8 days.

The Phl population is 110M. To achieve a sizable herd immunity, we generally have to have at least 70% of the population to have been infected by COVID-19, and to have recovered.

Over how long a time can we achieve that 70%?

Once the lockdown is lifted on May 1, if there are 10,000 Filipinos infected by then, and if people behave as they did before March 16 (inadequate social distancing, unimpeded outside activities, no substantial use of masks in public), it will require roughly thirteen doubling times, if viral spread is transferred efficiently from person to person, in order to infect 82M Filipinos. With a 5-day doubling time, the date by which 82M Filipinos would have been infected will be as early as July 5. 82M is 74% of the Phl population, enough for herd immunity. As the viral transfer becomes inefficient when more people become infected and recover, if the doubling time is spaced out to 9 days, the new date by which 82M Filipinos will be infected will be August 26. Currently, on April 15, due to the lockdown’s inhibiting effect on the spread of the virus, the doubling time has prolonged to 14 days. If we assume that when the lockdown is lifted on May 1, and we can still have a 14-day doubling time (because people will be good at preventing horizontal transfer as they go back to work and school), we will achieve the 82M Filipinos infected by October 17 (ie., thirteen doubling times).

In all of the above scenarios, if the target herd population to be infected is 82M Filipinos, and based on Chinese data, 20% of infected people will become severely ill, this means that 16.4M Filipinos (of the 82M) will need in-patient hospital care between May 1 to October 17. So, the huge question is: will the hospitals throughout Metro Manila and the rest of the country be able to provide beds, HCWs, ventilators and medications to admit and treat 16.4M Filipinos between May 1 to October 17? If we divide the 16.4M over 5 & 1/2 months (to October 17), the number will be about 3M admissions/month. Where will we get these beds, medications, ventilators and personnel? Another problem is that when moderately ill COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, the length of stay lasts 2-3 weeks, tying up a hospital bed for a prolonged time. Yet another problem is that, as the hospital industry is unable to provide the necessary hospital care to those who need it, the mortality rate will rise compared to what it is now.
Prolonging the lockdown will continue to slow down the spread, perhaps past 2020. Otherwise, a quickly developed and approved vaccine is the only real solution for an illness with no clear effective treatment. The former is untenable much longer because people are growing hungry, using up their savings, losing their jobs, while government has finite resources by which to feed the people, and, heaven forbid, law and order may break down. The government will have to find the best balance at allowing a gradual lifting of the lockdown to allow essential industries to operate, allowing less-at-risk working populations to return to employment, while shielding the elderly and those with co-morbidities at home, and enforcing strict and punishable rules on containing the spread of infection by having masked civilians on the streets, offices and schools; encouragement of home-based work, and well thought-out mass transportation arrangements, among many things.

Otherwise, for the health care industry to not collapse in the 3-4 weeks after the lockdown is lifted on May 1, the following have to be present by then, or within 2 weeks of that date:

1. Testing capacity should be adequate for the whole Phl. Those who are sick have to be tested, so that every ill person is identified, treated, quarantined and/or hospitalized.

2. Quarantine facilities in every town, city and province should be ready for occupancy, numbering in the thousands of beds for big cities.

3. The LGU should be able to fund the needs of the quarantine facility.

4. Multiple COVID-contact tracking teams employed by each local government, whose job will be to do contact tracing of all COVID+ people and their contacts, should be in existence. Their job will be to see to it that the COVID+ patients and their contacts are staying at home, if they are clinically well and the home is big enough, or are housed in the LGU’s quarantine facility. Quarantining is the best way to protect the COVID+ patient’s family and housemates from becoming ill themselves, especially for people who live in one-room homes. Placing them in the quarantine facility will also prevent them from unnecessarily occupying a much needed hospital bed, which should be saved for the 20% of sick and elderly people who really need these beds. The hospitalized COVID+ cases can also be discharged to the quarantine facility, to finish the quarantine period, so that they do not infect their housemates if and when they go home too early.

5. The people who test positive, and those suspected to have it, should be placed in the quarantine facility, if not in their homes, for the obligatory number of days. This process will shield the community and limit the virus’ spread.

6. National and local governments have to designate the local hospital which will take in the COVID+ and probable cases all over the country, down to the smallest town. The medical, nursing and HCW staffs have to be increased, correspondingly, to the expected huge increase in workload.

7. The moderately and critically ill will be admitted to appropriately staffed and stacked government COVID-19-designated and private hospitals.

8. Appropriate numbers and volume of PPEs, pulse oximeters, oxygen tanks, ventilators, medications and other medical needs should be budgeted for and obtained.

9. The goverment needs to continue to support private hospitals, which will continue to provide for the bulk of in-patient care, as has been noted in Metro Manila.

10. Most importantly, the public has to be continuously reminded that going out of one’s home everyday is a life-and-death decision, and should be considered as such.

Unfortunately, this problem will not go away like a bad dream when we open our eyes in the morning. By having a populace well-educated and conscious of how to avoid getting the infection and spreading it to others, and with the necessary preparations of the government and private sectors through testing, pursuing ill people and their contacts, quarantining, protecting HCWs, and bracing hospitals, which are the last strongholds of the battle, we can see a situation wherein the Filipino population can attain a recovered number of people necessary to attain herd immunity over a manageable prolonged time period, like over 2-3 years (unless we are fortunate to have a vaccine within a year), while avoiding a total collapse of the hospital and health care industries in a situation of anarchy.
We do hope and pray for the best and God’s grace, but we all have to concretely realize what we are up against in the next many months.

R. Dennis Garcia
Infectious Disease Physician

IMPORTANT: This FB Post has been copied in verbatim without any editing or modification and with knowledge of author.


To find the law, order or issuance that you need, please click on the logo of the agency or department below to see their respective issuances.

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Commission of Audit (COA)
Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)
Bureau of Customs (BOC)
Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB)
Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA)
National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM)
Board of Quarantine (BOQ)
Dangerours Drugs Board (DDB)
Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)

International Guidelines from WHO and CDC

Other Resource Documents related to COVID-19


IMPORTANT: Please look at other reference materials to fully ascertain that the laws and issuances are still effective. This is since we are experiencing a global pandemic and agency issuances are being modified or changed according to expediency.

We thankfully acknowledge the University of the Philippines Women’s Circle (WILOCI) for the compilation of laws in this site as shared by The Outstanding Women in the Nations Service (TOWNS) Awardee Atty. Lorna Kapunan.

The Pandemic Dialogues Scene 1

SCENE 1: The Awakening

One day, in a faraway Kingdom of Pandemonia in the Land of Idiots – there was a great pandemic which needed a massive quarantine of all people. King Moron assembled his leaders.

Leader 1: Let’s wait for orders. We cannot act without orders.

Leader 2: Let’s alarm people. They need to know. This is something big.

Leader 3: Let’s inventory all our resources from food to healthcare supplies so we can prepare. Let’s ensure we protect our doctors and nurses.

Leader 4: Let’s make sure we are safe. I am going home to prepare my family.

Leader 5: Let’s make sure all key agencies are coordinate.

Leader 6: Let’s create solutions to ensure the orders are curated and blasted real time in readable formats. Let’s also give more information to people so they panic less and know what to do instead of assume things. Let’s create solutions to track our resources real time and connect with requests so we know how much is left and how much we need every minute. Let’s harness systems to lessen exposure of our frontliners to the virus like telehealth and other solutions. Let’s create solutions to connect us with our families and communities so we can keep and eye on everyone and know who needs immediate medical care and isolation. Let’s make solutions to ensure all agencies data are interoperable so a citizen just asks one portal and not go to all agencies for each single item of assistance.

Leader 1: You might violate rules. Don’t do anything of that sort. Stick to what we follow now.

Leader 2: No, I am now going to post on Facebook whatever I want to post just to alarm people. I am well versed with social media.

Leader 3: Sorry, our manual system is more reliable. It maybe slow but its what we re used to.

Leader 4: What???? What is that gibberish?

Leader 5: That will take a long time. Agencies will surely flag down those ideas. And besides, our citizens are scared of using digital solutions.

Leader 6: I was just concerned for all of you.

Then Leader 6 went on auto-pilot mode. Thanks to some citizen innovators who created it- at least the AI Leader got to suggest.

Post script: Unlike in the TikTok Republic above, in the Philippines there are many Filipinos who are like Leader 6. Not an AI but real human beings. Sadly they are not leaders.

Disclaimer: All characters in this book are fictional. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental

Graffiti Art at Wynwood Walls

As Henry Matisse puts it – “creativity takes courage”. Only visionary leaders can see the direct correlation between art and economic development. Art has a powerful way of bringing community together by allowing open spaces to become spawning grounds for creativity and productivity.

I will not forget what I saw in Miami in November of 2015 – how a cluster of long abandoned buildings shaped the culture of a community and transformed it into a thriving arts district. This article, How the Wynwood Walls Have Shaped Miami’s Art Scene, describes how real-estate developer and arts patron Tony Goldman first started acquiring New York real estate in SoHo in 1968, graffiti was something that property owners wanted to remove from a building—not add to it. However, the developer’s thoughts on street art changed in 1984 when he acquired a property at Bowery and Houston, where then-rising star Keith Haring had famously painted a massive mural two years earlier. Rather than tear it down, he left it up for a few years, and restored it to its former glory in 2008 with dealer and street art fan Jeffrey Deitch, which would set the precedent for Goldman’s next big transformation: Miami’s Wynwood Walls.

My visit to Wynwood Walls was part of the Global Women’s Forum dubbed as Making Strides: Advancing Women’s Leadership organized by Eisenhower Fellowships with other organizations on November 17 to 19, 2015 in Miami, Florida. On the last day, there were several exposure trips arranged for the delegates and I chose Art, Economic Development & the Wynwood Walls with Jessica Goldman Srebnick, CEO Goldman Properties and Jane Golden, Executive Director, City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program (EF, USA).

For over forty years, Goldman Properties has been recognizing the value in depressed, undervalued urban areas, reconstructing and transforming declining historic districts into popular, thriving global destinations. The company has been recognized as the driving force behind the transformations of the Upper West Side, the Wall Street Financial District and Soho in New York City, Center City in Philadelphia, South Beach in Miami, and most recently the transformation of the warehouse/arts district in Miami’s Wynwood.

Goldman Properties’ portfolio of assets has received worldwide press and been the recipient of multiple awards including, the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Awards, Developer of the Year from American Institute of Architects, the Louise DuPont Crown in Shield Award, the highest honor awarded from the National Trust for historic preservation, Urban Land Institute (ULI)’s  Lifetime Achievement award and most recently being named as a finalist for ULI’s Global Excellence Awards for Wynwood Walls.

Jessica Goldman Srebnick, CEO Goldman Properties shares about Wynwood Walls

Here are some of the breathtaking artworks I was able to capture with my lenses.

There were also shops, food areas, and interactive museums.

Wynwood Walls Food Area

The gardens were also filled with paintings.

The whole neighborhood are lined with street arts and building owners decorated their walls with art, making the whole community an art gallery.

With Diane Shoemaker, Alumni Network Officer of Eisenhower Fellowships

Urban communities today suffer from vandalism that destroy properties and create disorder. I look forward to seeing cities investing in art that will not only bring about more jobs and opportunities for locals but also highlight their creativity and artistry.

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