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Regional Updates (02/09/21)

Price check

National government officials — led by Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar and Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez — together with Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chair Benhur S. Abalos, Jr. visit various public and private markets around the capital on Tuesday to monitor the implementation of the price ceiling imposed on pork and chicken products. The price control, which will be in effect for 60 days starting Feb. 8, was imposed following the recent spike in costs.

Solane confiscates illegally refilled LPG tanks in La Union

LIQUID petroleum gas (LPG) supplier Solane has seized around P70,000 worth of illegally-refilled and distributed LPG cylinders in two municipalities in La Union last month, the firm said Tuesday. In a press release, Solane said that confiscated 32 unauthorized LPG tanks during recent raids in the towns of Sto. Tomas and San Juan. Five tanks amounting to P11,150 were retrieved during a raid at Barangay Patac, Sto. Tomas last month, while 17 tanks worth P39,950 were seized in Barangay Namboongan. Meanwhile, 10 tanks with a value of P18,050 were confiscated during a raid at Barangay Urbiztondo in San Juan. The company reiterated its call for LPG buyers to be vigilant against unlawfully-refilled and marketed cylinders. “Only authorized and branded LPG dealers are guaranteed to supply genuine LPG products. These suppliers can be found in physical branches bearing the LPG brand’s name and government certifications inside their stores,” it said in a statement. Solane said buyers can verify if dealers are authentic by checking the markings on the cylinder. Authentic tanks, it said, carried the embossed brand name, trademark of manufacturer, the specific standards used, the date the cylinder was tested; the serial number, and tare weight in kilograms. It added that customers can find verified Solane products in authorized stores, or directly contacting the firm through its published mobile number or official Facebook page. — Angelica Y. Yang

P37.9M worth of fake CopperMask brand seized

COUNTERFEIT face masks under the brand CopperMask with an estimated value of P37.9 million were seized on Tuesday by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). In a statement, the bureau said the items were confiscated from several stores in Binondo, Manila and Pasay City, and in a warehouse in Biñan, Laguna. NBI Officer-in-Charge Director Eric B. Distor said the operation was prompted by a request from JC Premiere Business International, official distributor of CopperMask in the country. The company sought “investigative assistance and enforcement actions to stop the proliferation and distribution of counterfeit/fake CopperMask products,” Mr. Distor said. Seven search warrants against the subject stores and warehouse for violation of trademark infringement under Republic Act 8293 or the Intellectual Property Code were issued by Regional Trial Court Branch 46 of Manila. The search, conducted by the NBI-National Capital Region (NCR) team, was done in the presence of respondents’ witnesses, mall security, and barangay personnel. The seized CopperMasks are currently in a storage facility, NBI Public Information Officer Nick V. Suarez said in a mobile message on Tuesday. Once the search warrants are returned, “we will wait for a court order as to what to do with the (CopperMasks),” Mr. Suarez added. — Bianca Angelica D. Añago

63 people apprehended at QC restobar for protocol violations

SIXTY-three persons, including 15 senior citizens and a pregnant woman, were apprehended at a restaurant-bar in Quezon City past midnight Monday for alleged violations of quarantine restrictions. Ranulfo Z. Ludovica, who heads the city’s task force on health protocol compliance, said some of the senior citizens were over 65 years old, the age limit set for those who are not supposed to leave the house unless for emergencies. A pregnant woman and members of a music band were also accosted and fined for violating the city’s health and safety guidelines. Ten employees of the restobar could also face charges for working without health certificates. The restobar is also facing closure as it was operating beyond the 11 p.m. limit. Mr. Ludovica said they raided the restobar at around 12:15 a.m. following a complaint from a concerned citizen sent to Mayor Maria Josefina G. Belmonte. “There was also a video forwarded to us so we conducted a surveillance,” he said in a phone interview. It turned out the restobar was celebrating its grand opening on Monday when it was raided. — Emmanuel Tupas/PHILSTAR

Mactan-Cebu airport clears terminal of local gov’t booths; screening to be done at town, city borders

ARRIVING passengers at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, the country’s second busiest gateway, no longer have to go through local government clearing at the terminal after the airport authority ordered the removal of all screening desks set up by various towns and cities in line with the coronavirus pandemic. The Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) Board issued the directive last week to clear out all the booths and revoke the access pass issued to all local government personnel manning these desks.  The MCIAA resolution was proposed by Cebu Governor Gwendolyn F. Garcia, a member of the airport board, after it was discovered last week that Cebu City personnel made misrepresentations by asking unnecessary requirements from arriving passengers bound for different parts of the province. The province and the city are administratively independent from each other. Ms. Garcia has demanded an explanation from the Cebu City team. The airport board agreed that local governments should just hold their screening protocols at their respective jurisdictions. On the part of MCIAA, Acting General Manager Glenn B. Napuli assured that they will continue to assess policies to avoid similar confusions and unnecessary burden to passengers. “We will be reviewing procedures and protocols if these are within the legal bounds and consistent with our intention to be the friendliest airport,” Mr. Napuli said in a statement from the provincial government. — MSJ 

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