PHILIPPINE NEWS

Keep up to date with what’s happening in the Philippines.


  • Groups urge gov’t to stop ‘dump-and-fill’ reclamation projects
    by Alexander Magno on August 3, 2021 at 5:20 pm

    MANILA, Philippines — The government should stop “dump-and-fill” reclamation projects that had “disregarded environmental safeguards” prescribed by the Constitution and various laws and regulations, at least 80 civil society organizations said in a collective statement issued on Tuesday. “We call on the Philippine government to immediately halt the irregular approval of these projects that will The post Groups urge gov’t to stop ‘dump-and-fill’ reclamation projects appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • Dutertes top OCTA election survey
    by Kaithreen Cruz on August 3, 2021 at 4:49 pm

    DAVAO City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio again topped a survey for president conducted by OCTA Research in July.In the same survey, President Rodrigo Duterte, the mayor’s father, led the roster of probable candidates for vice president in the 2022 polls with 18 percent.”If the May 2022 elections were held during the survey period, 28 percent or more than a quarter of adult Filipinos support a probable presidential bid of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte,” OCTA said in a statement on Tuesday.This is 6-percent higher than the 22 percent she received back in February.OCTA reported that Sara received strong support from Mindanao at 59 percent, and from socioeconomic classes D and E at 29 and 27 percent, respectively.Recent surveys by Pulse Asia Research Inc. and PUBLiCUS Asia also showed that Duterte-Carpio was the top pick of Filipinos for the race to Malacañang in next year’s polls.Trailing Duterte-Carpio are former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. at 13 percent, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso at 11 percent and Senators Mary Grace Poe and Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, each with 10 percent.OCTA said the four also made it to the top five in its previous survey.Mindanao, the country’s second-biggest group of islands, also strongly backed President Duterte’s probable bid for the vice presidency.”Support for the probable bid of President Duterte comes from Mindanao at 39 percent and class ABC at 20 percent,” the pollster said.Trailing Duterte are Domagoso at 11 percent, Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano at 10 percent, Poe at 10 percent and Marcos at 9 percent.In February this year, the Davao mayor, the Manila mayor and Pacquiao “statistically tied” as bidders for vice president in an OCTA survey.It was only in July 2021that the President expressed intent to run for the 2022 elections.Duterte-Carpio earlier mentioned that she may not run in 2022 if her father decides to push through with his candidacy.OCTA Research conducted face-to-face interviews from July 12 to 18 with 1,200 respondents 18 years old and above.The survey results have a 95-percent level of confidence with a sampling margin error of ±3 percent.Possible runMeanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said that Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo might seek the country’s highest political office.Drilon said his partymate Robredo is still looking at a “possible [run for President]” in the 2022 polls.The senator refuted what he called a “totally wrong and baseless” assessment that the vice president has given up the possibility of becoming the opposition’s standard-bearer in the 2022 elections.”At this point, the vice president is still looking at a possible presidential run next year,” Drilon said on Tuesday during a virtual interview.”That assessment that she has given up a possible presidential bid is totally without basis and unfounded,” the Liberal Party (LP) vice chairman added.Drilon said he believes that Robredo has a chance of winning the 2022 elections.”Remember that in 2015 when Robredo became a vice presidential candidate, what support did she have in surveys? She was 1 percent in the surveys. Let us not forget that. She decided to run for vice president with 1 percent and she beat former senator [Ferdinand] ‘Bongbong’ Marcos [Jr.],” he recalled.”Today, she has anywhere from 6 to 8 percent. She has a better chance today than she had in 2016. If she won with 1 percent at the time, she has a better chance with 6 to 8 percent today. It is a question of her being able to decide as soon as possible,” Drilon said.He added that Robredo is “determined” to form a broader coalition that can defeat the heavy machinery of the anointed candidate of the Duterte administration.The objective is to have the strongest candidate against the administration, Drilon said.”All these efforts to look for a strongest opposition candidate include the vice president,” the senator added.”To me, objective number one is to make sure that those who are not with the administration must have a unified front in 2022. That is why she [Robredo] has been conducting these meetings,” he said.”If she becomes the most viable candidate, she will ask the others to come around and support her because the objective is to have a united front,” Drilon said.He, however, admitted that it would be difficult to present the LP as an alternative to the Duterte administration if they are not united.”We must be able to have a bigger base so that we can effectively present an alternative to our people,” Drilon said.”I think we should have a big tent wherein we can attract all sectors who believe that the next administration should not be identified with the [current] administration. A broader coalition is necessary,” he added.Drilon said he does not see any reason why Robredo should not talk to Senators Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and Richard “Dick” Gordon, both of whom Drilon said “have done their share in maintaining their principles.”Lacson had already declared his intention to seek the presidency next year with Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto 3rd as his running mate.Gordon is also reportedly eyeing the highest post in the land although he is still eligible for reelection.WITH REPORT FROM BERNADETTE E. TAMAYO

  • WHO: Delta leaves larger local footprint
    by Red Mendoza on August 3, 2021 at 4:47 pm

    The Delta variant of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) could have a “larger footprint” in the country, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).”Although we had limited capacity for whole genome sequencing, consecutive assays of samples have indicated that [the Delta variant affects] many regions in the country and many cities in the NCR (National Capital Region or Metro Manila), so this drives us to conclude that with the limited testing for whole genome sequencing, there could be a much larger footprint of the Delta variant in the country,” WHO Country Representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe said during a televised Laging Handa briefing on Tuesday.He added that the increase in cases caused by a prevalence of the variant is not limited to the country alone as there had been an 80-percent increase of Covid-19 cases across the globe that are driven by the Delta variant as well as noncompliance with health protocols.Even as Abeyasinghe lauded the government for delaying the entry of the variants through intensified border control and stringent facility quarantine of arriving passengers, he recommended preemptive plans against Alpha, Beta and other variants.”We need to prepare for a scenario where [the] Delta [variant], because of its higher transmissibility, will [be replaced by] the other variants, and when this happens, many countries will have unprecedented surges in cases,” Abeyasinghe said.While restricting movements and strengthening non-pharmaceutical interventions such as wearing masks and face shields and observing physical distancing are important, he added that vaccination, especially of senior citizens and those with comorbidities, should be prioritized to prevent hospitalization surges.”Because we know that if we can vaccinate senior citizens and [those with comorbidities], we are going to reduce severe and complicated cases, and it will delay or circumvent the overwhelming of hospitals,” Abeyasinghe said.He added that while there is still inconclusive evidence that a community spread of the Delta variant is happening here, the country should continue its non-pharmaceutical interventions such as a “personal ECQ (enhanced community quarantine)” among families and increased testing and facility-based quarantines.”What the government is doing and the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) is recommending are in the correct direction but the transmission cannot be suppressed only by these measures, we need to emphasize that transmission can be interrupted by each and everybody doing their own bit to reduce the transmission,” Abeyasinghe said.Health Undersecretary and National Vaccination Operations Center chief Myrna Cabotaje said while the government is acceding to a request of the Metro Manila Council to provide them with 4 million doses of vaccines, they need to search for more unvaccinated senior citizens and persons with comorbidities and prioritize them for inoculation.”While we have reserved 4 million for NCR, kailangan hanapin nila ‘yung most at-risk at (they should find the most at-risk and the) most vulnerable because they will burden our system,” Cabotaje also said during a media forum.In the forum organized by the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc., OCTA senior research fellow Dr. Guido David said with the current rate of vaccinations in the NCR, population protection or 50-percent full vaccination coverage may be reached by the end of the year.He added that with the Delta variant around, the promise of herd immunity, or inoculating 70 percent of the population, is not feasible anymore and could be moved to next year.OCTA founder Prof. Ranjit Rye said if the number of cases in the country caused by the Delta variant goes “out of hand, the economy will lose,” and that the government should learn its lessons from the previous lockdown in March during a surge in cases.On Monday, the country posted 6,879 new cases of Covid-19, breaking the four-day streak of more than 8,000 cases per day.Total overall cases are at 1.613 million, including 1.521 million recoveries and 28,141 deaths.

  • Petecio Olympic silver a first for a Pinay boxer
    by Niel Victor C. Masoy on August 3, 2021 at 4:47 pm

    Boxer Nesthy Petecio won the silver medal in the women’s featherweight division of the Tokyo Olympics in the finals held at the Kokugikan Arena on Tuesday, a first for a Filipino boxer since 1924, when the Philippines debuted in probably the most competitive of international sporting events.Hometown favorite Sena Irie of Japan beat Petecio to the gold medal via unanimous decision.Four judges scored the fight 29-28 and one judge scored it 30-27, all in favor of Irie who has now beaten Petecio three times in their last four encounters.The Japanese hit the Filipino with some solid connections, enough for the five judges to favor her in the scorecards.”Her (Irie) tying me up has affected the bout a lot. Breaking out of her clinch was way more harder than punching. We thought we had the upper hand after the third round, but when it was announced that it was unanimous decision, I knew where it was going,” Petecio said at the Philippine Sportswriters Association online forum also on Tuesday.Irie’s victory did not sit well with Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines President Ricky Vargas.”How can it be unanimous? It’s heartbreaking for me because of how hard Nesthy fought. We remain so proud of her. I hate to call it a hometown defeat,” Vargas said in a live interview on TV5 after the fight.”It’s fair officiating in the Olympics,but what I can’t accept is that it’s a unanimous decision,” he added.Still, Petecio is proud of what she achieved in Tokyo.”I’m really proud and blessed with this achievement. My coaches told me that it isn’t easy getting here (Olympics) and winning a medal. That’s why I’m proud of what I achieved. I fell short. This is just a silver, but it shines like gold,” she said.Petecio refused to entertain the idea that the bout was rigged in favor of the hometown boxer.”I accepted it [judges’ decision]. We will just be hurt if we think about it that way. I’m happy with what Sena has achieved and with what I have achieved,” she said.Petecio stands to receive an incentive of at least P17 million for her silver-medal finish on top of a condominium and a house and lot from the private sector and the Philippine government.The 29-year-old Filipino boxer managed to connect solid punches on the 20-year-old Irie, despite the Japanese clinching the Filipino most of the time.Petecio landed a solid right jab on Irie’s headgear at the 1:31 mark of the first round, delivered a right hook to the face of the Japanese at the 1:42 mark in the second round, a powerful left connection at the 1:51 mark in the third round, and a right straight to the opponent’s face with 1:21 left in the third and final round.Still, the fighter from Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, fell short of becoming the first Filipino boxer to win an Olympic gold.She is, however, the third boxer to claim an Olympic silver medal after Anthony Villanueva in 1964 and Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco Jr. in 1996.Officially, the Philippines as of this writing has two medals in the Tokyo Games as Hidilyn Diaz won the gold in women’s weightlifting on July 26.Middleweight Eumir Marcial and flyweight Carlo Paalam have advanced to the semifinal round and are each assured of winning at least a bronze medal for the Philippines in boxing.Malacañang also on Tuesday lauded Petecio.”We would like to congratulate Nesthy Petecio. Siya po’y nanalo ng silver ngayon lang po. Ang nanalo po ng ginto ay ang boksingero galing ng Japan. Nonetheless, napakagaling po ng pinakitang lakas at gilas ng ating Nesthy Petecio (We would like to congratulate Nesthy Petecio for winning a silver medal just now. The gold medal was brought home by Japan. Nonetheless, the strength and skill shown by our Nesthy Petecio was excellent),” Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said during a virtual news briefing.”Congratulations Nesthy Petecio for the silver in boxing. Ito po ang kauna-unahang pagkakataon na nagkaroon tayo ng mga kababaihang boksingero (This is the first time for us to have a female boxer on the podium) and it was a silver immediately. We are proud of you, Nesthy,” he added.This win is also the Philippines’ first medal in boxing since Velasco nabbed a silver in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.Petecio’s feat followed Diaz’s unprecedented Olympic gold-medal win.Sure bronzeRoque also congratulated Carlo Paalam, who defeated reigning Olympic champion Shakhobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan in the men’s flyweight quarterfinals also on Tuesday.Paalam will face Japan’s Ryomei Tanaka in the semifinals on Thursday, August 5.”Nanalo po ang ating isa na namang boksingero at meron na po siyang siguradong bronze medal. Ito ang ating pinakabatang boksingero na si Carlo Paalam, at ang tinalo po niyang kalaban na galing Uzbekistan ay siyang naging gold medalist sa kanyang kategorya sa boxing noong kahuli-hulihang Olympics sa Rio. Congratulations po kay Carlo Paalam,” Roque said.French Ambassador to the Philippines Michèle Boccoz said Petecio serves as an inspiration to women and girls worldwide to pursue sports and “defy gender stereotypes.””Another historic Olympic win for the Philippines! Congratulations and Mabuhay, Nesthy Petecio! We look forward to seeing you at Paris 2024 [Olympics]!” Boccoz said also on Tuesday on Twitter.”We’re joining our Filipino friends in celebrating this win! Congratulations and Mabuhay, Nesthy Petecio!” the French Embassy in Manila said in a separate tweet.Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri and Sen. Panfilo Lacson also commended Petecio.”Despite the problems we face at home, we Filipinos still have good reason to rejoice: One of our very own has given honor anew to the Philippines in the Olympics,” Lacson said.He added, “Nesthy Petecio represented us well, with her fighting spirit on full display in her bout against Sena Irie of Japan.””With her achievement, Nesthy has inspired us to punch above our weight class, not in the boxing ring but in the ring of daily life,” Lacson said in a statement.Zubiri also congratulated Petecio and Paalam.”Congratulations are in order for Nesthy Petecio for her silver medal win and also for the bronze medal win going for silver for Carlo Paalam,” Zubiri said during the hybrid plenary session also on Tuesday.House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco also congratulated Petecio for her Olympic feat.”Congratulations and thank you, Nesthy Petecio, for claiming a superb silver medal for the Philippines in the Olympic women’s boxing featherweight class,” Velasco said in a statement.”We also congratulate Carlo Paalam, who is now guaranteed at least a bronze medal in the men’s flyweight division, and good luck on your next fight,” Velasco added.”Filipino Olympians are a source of light and hope for our kababayan (countrymen) in these trying times, and the performance of our boxers in the Tokyo Olympics lifted our spirits,” Velasco said.WITH REPORTS FROM CATHERINE S. VALENTE, BERNADETTE E. TAMAYO AND REINA TOLENTINO

  • Nesthy to receive P10-M condo unit
    by Zsastee Villanueva on August 3, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    For her silver medal win, Nesthy Petecio will get a condominium unit in Davao City from real estate tycoon Andrew Tan. Suntrust Properties Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Andrew Tan’s Megaworld Corp., will reward Petecio a condominium unit worth P10 million in One Lakeshore Drive at Davao Park District, Lanang in Davao City.Lawyer Harrison Paltongan, Suntrust president, said they are proud of Petecio’s unprecedented achievement.”Her silver medal in the Olympics is a historic one because this women’s featherweight division of boxing debuts only in this Tokyo Olympics, and she is the first silver medalist in the category,” Paltongan noted.”Rightfully, she deserves the reward from our chairman, Dr. Andrew L. Tan, for the pride she gives to the Filipino nation,” he said.The pre-furnished unit is located in a township community in Davao City that is just about an hour away from Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, Petecio’s hometown.Before Petecio, Anthony Villanueva and Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco also won silver for the Philippines in the boxing category in 1964 and 1996, respectively.

  • Fewer girls born in next 10 years – research
    by Agence France-Presse on August 3, 2021 at 4:36 pm

    BANGKOK: An estimated 4.7 million fewer girls are expected to be born globally in the next 10 years because of sex-selective practices in countries with a cultural preference for male offspring, a trend that could undermine social cohesion in the long term, research showed on Tuesday.The research suggested that the projected shortfall in the number of girls being born will lead to a surplus of young men in around a third of the global population by 2030, which could lead to increased anti-social behavior and violence.Sex-selective abortions have been on the rise for the past 40 years in countries throughout southeast Europe along with south and east Asia, with as-yet undetermined demographic impacts.To model what short- and long-term effect sex selection will have on societies, an international team of researchers analyzed data from more than 3 billion births over the last 50 years.Focusing on 12 countries where the male-to-female ratio had increased since 1970 and another 17 where that ratio was at risk of increasing due to social or cultural trends, they simulated two scenarios.The first assumed an increase in the rate of sex selection, based on statistical evidence. The second scenario assumed increased sex selection in certain countries, based on observed trends and decreased fertility, but for which specific data were lacking.In scenario 1, countries saw a shortfall of 4.7 million in the number of girls being born by 2030. For scenario 2, the figure jumped to more than 22 million globally by 2100.Authors of the research, published in the BMJ medical journal, said the bias toward male offspring could lead to a “marriage squeeze” in affected countries.”Fewer-than-expected females in a population could result in elevated levels of anti-social behavior and violence, and may ultimately affect long-term stability and social sustainable development,” they wrote.The United Nations defines sex-selective practices alongside child marriage and female genital mutilation as harmful practices targeted under the Millennium Development Goals.The authors of the new study called for better data collection of such practices in order to stamp them out as well as wider education initiatives.”A broader objective relates to the need to influence gender norms which lie at the core of harmful practices such as prenatal sex selection,” they wrote. “This calls for broader legal frameworks to ensure gender equality.”

  • Limited public transport allowed during ECQ
    by Zsastee Villanueva on August 3, 2021 at 4:31 pm

    The Department of Transportation (DoTr) will retain the current public-transport capacity, which is at 50 percent for public utility vehicles, as well as the number of public utility vehicles (PUVs) in the National Capital Region (NCR or Metro Manila) once enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is imposed from August 6 to August 20.Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said only authorized persons outside residence will be allowed to avail of public transport services to stop the spread of Covid-19 and its variants.”Restrictions will be applied on passengers…to ensure that only authorized persons outside residence (APORs) are permitted to use public transport, as mandated by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID),” Tugade said in a statement.Inter-Agency Council for Traffic enforcers and transport marshals will be deployed to various transport terminals and stations to ensure compliance with transport health protocols and to identify the APORs.Persons authorized to travel should always bring with them their IDs or other documents as proof.Based on the August 3 DoTr list of public transport modes available in ECQ areas, PUVs will be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity.Passengers should be one seat apart, no standing is allowed, and only one person will be allowed in the driver’s row in public utility buses, jeepneys and provincial buses.UV express and taxis will be allowed to operate, but only a maximum of two persons per row is allowed and only one person will be allowed in the driver’s row.Motorcycle taxi services and transport network vehicle service (TNVS) will also be allowed to operate.Tricycles that are allowed to operate by the Department of the Interior and Local Government and by their respective local government units (LGUs) should only have one passenger in the side car, with no backriders.All Philippine National Railways, Light Rail Transits Lines 1 and 2, and Metro Rail Transit 3 trains will be deployed during the ECQ, with transport marshals onboard to ensure adherence to health protocols and enforce that only the APORs would be riding the trains.Domestic flights and sea travel in the NCR will continue but are subject to compliance with travel restrictions imposed by the IATF or the LGUs.Tugade appealed to commuters and transport operators to adhere to the health protocols to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 Delta variant.”We are more adamant now, as we reinforce the government initiatives and measures to prevent the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant,” he said.”We therefore remind the riding public of the importance of stringently observing the public transport health protocols, based on recommendations of health experts, to protect and uphold the overall welfare of the passengers and other transport stakeholders,” Tugade added.

  • House suspends plenary sessions during ECQ
    by Ma. Reina Leanne Tolentino on August 3, 2021 at 4:30 pm

    The House of Representatives will not hold plenary sessions during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila.The National Capital Region and nearby provinces will be on lockdown from August 6 to 20.House Secretary General Mark Llandro Mendoza, in a memorandum, said that regular office work will be suspended beginning August 5, Thursday.”By suspending regular office work and other preventive measures, we hope to contribute to the government’s effort in preventing a surge of infection that could possibly put our health care system in serious jeopardy,” Speaker Lord Allan Velasco said.Velasco said vital measures can still be tackled “as committee hearings will still be held remotely.”

  • No disconnection in ECQ, MECQ areas – Meralco
    by  Jordeene B. Lagare on August 3, 2021 at 4:23 pm

    The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) on Tuesday gave assurances that it would suspend disconnection activities in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).The power distributor said it would defer disconnection activities in Laguna beginning August 1 to 15 and in the National Capital Region (NCR/Metro Manila) from August 6 to 20.”Given the current situation, we continue to take into consideration the challenges our customers are facing amid these difficult times. Thus, we will again suspend all disconnection activities in NCR and Laguna to help ease the burden of our customers with the needed relief and additional time to settle their bills,” Ferdinand Geluz, Meralco first vice president and chief commercial officer, said.The company said meter reading and other vital operations would continue.”Meralco business operations, including meter reading and bill delivery activities, will continue throughout the ECQ. Our continued operations will ensure that actual consumption for the month will be billed accordingly. But rest assured there will be strict implementation of health protocols in order to safeguard the health and safety of both customers and our personnel,” Geluz said.

  • House grants Maynilad, Manila Water franchises
    by Lea Devio on August 3, 2021 at 4:22 pm

    The House of Representatives approved on third and final reading House Bills (HB) 9422 and 9423 granting Maynilad Water Services Inc. and Manila Water Co. Inc. their respective franchises.HB 9422 seeks to grant Maynilad “a franchise to operate and maintain water supply and distribution system and sewerage and sanitation services in the west zone service area of Metro Manila and Cavite.”The bill authored by Representatives Alfredo Garbin, Franz Alvarez and Janette Garin, among others, gives Maynilad a franchise of 25 years.Meanwhile, HB 9423 aims to grant Manila Water a franchise “to establish, operate, and maintain the waterworks and sewerage system in the east zone service of Metro Manila and province of Rizal.”Manila Water’s franchise will also be for 25 years.Several lawmakers, however, said the approval of the bills was “rushed.””Palalawigin ang paghawak ng Maynilad at Manila Water sa suplay ng tubig sa milyun-milyong kabahayan gayong napatunayang palpak at napakamahal ng kanilang serbisyo (Maynilad and Manila Water will be given longer franchises despite their inefficiency and costly service),” Gabriela Women’s party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas said in a statement.”Nakakaalarma na laman ng panukalang prangkisa ang pagbibigay ng power of eminent domain to Maynilad and Manila Water sa pagtitiyak ng kanilang operasyon at maintenance ng serbisyo (It is alarming that the franchise states that it will give power of eminent domain to Maynilad and Manila Water by assuring their operations and maintenance of their service). Under the old concession agreement and in Republic Act 6234, the power of eminent domain resides in MWSS. But under these franchise bills, the power of eminent domain is explicitly granted to the private concessionaires,» the lawmaker added.House Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said Congress appeared to be a “rubber stamp.””Tila naging rubber stamp lang ang Kongreso dahil sa bilis na ipinasa ng mga bagong prangkisa ng Maynilad at Manila Water na hindi man lang dumaan sa mabusising deliberasyon (Congress seemed like a rubber stamp for rushing the passage of Maynilad and Manila Water franchise. There were no thorough deliberations),” said Zarate.He added that even the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) Corporate Office raised several issues on the franchise.

  • Senate ratifies proposed LPG regulation law
    by Javier Joe Ismael on August 3, 2021 at 4:22 pm

    THE Senate has ratified the bicameral conference committee report on the disagreeing provisions of Senate Bill 1955 and House Bill 9323 that seek to regulate the LPG industry.Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, chairman of the Committee on Energy, said the bicameral committee (bicam) adopted the title from the House version of the bill, “An Act Establishing The Regulatory Framework For the Safe Operations of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Industry Delineating the Powers and Functions of Various Government Agencies, Defining and Penalizing Certain Prohibited Acts, to be known as the LPG Regulation Act.”The proposed LPG Industry Regulation Act aims to set the best practices for local industry players and establish a cylinder exchange and swapping program that allows consumers to buy any LPG brand of their choice.Gatchalian said the bicameral committee resolved to adopt the prohibited acts from the Senate version and the imposable penalties from the House version”The bicam agreed that the combination of provisions offer the strongest potential for strict compliance and enforcement,” the senator explained.He said the proposed law offers “stronger consumer protection” to ensure that the highest standard of safety are met and that pro-competition provisions promoting consumer choice would be fully implemented.”With one unified LPG bill that will ultimately govern the entire LPG industry, we can now fill in the regulatory gaps that are being experienced by our industry players and strengthen the various regulations issued by the government. Most important of all, it will provide safety standards for the protection of consumers by eliminating unsafe cylinders from circulation,” Gatchalian said.

  • Go lauds Duterte for approving cash aid
    by The Manila Times on August 3, 2021 at 4:19 pm

    SEN. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go commended President Rodrigo Duterte for approving additional financial aid for residents in areas that will be placed under enhanced community quarantine beginning Friday, August 6.”I am thankful to President Rodrigo Duterte for responding to our appeal to provide aid to the poorest of the poor to be affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region (NCR) starting August 6 to 20),” Go said in a statement in Filipino. The senator earlier urged the executive department to ensure that assistance will be given to the poorest of the poor that will be most affected when ECQ is reimposed.”Those living a hand-to-mouth existence are the ones most affected, as they have no one to turn to. They need to go out and work every day,” he said.The President approved the recommendation of the Department of Budget and Management, together with the National Economic Development Authority and other concerned agencies, for the allocation of P10.894 billion to cover 10.894 million individuals in the NCR or Metro Manila.Each qualified individual will receive P1,000 or a maximum of P4,000 per household.”Through this financial aid, we can help our poor countrymen to support their families while their livelihoods are affected by the ECQ, especially the daily wage earners and those living a hand-to-mouth existence,” Go said.He urged concerned authorities to quickly put the necessary mechanisms in place in order to prevent any administrative delays in distributing the financial aid.”Since the fund will be directly downloaded to the local government units in the NCR, my appeal to the local executives is to ensure that they can immediately distribute the assistance to the intended beneficiaries in a proper, fast and safe way without corruption,” the senator said.The government will also provide assistance to the residents of Iloilo province, Iloilo City, Cagayan de Oro City and Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental who were likewise affected by ECQ restrictions.”ECQ will be implemented in the NCR to anticipate the problem and avoid the further spread of the disease. It is like putting off the fire before going ‘out of control.’ But, simultaneously, we need also to anticipate the difficulty and avoid hunger in our communities,” Go said.The chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography acknowledged the need for stricter restrictions to curb the spread of new infections.He however stressed that addressing the issues of hunger and poverty is a vital part of any successful mitigation strategy.”I am appealing to everyone to follow the guidelines. Have yourselves vaccinated. Your discipline and cooperation will save lives. The small sacrifice is equivalent to lives we can protect,” Go said. Javier Joe Ismael

  • Govt to tap P13-B savings for ECQ aid
    by Catherine S. Valente on August 3, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    The government will use its 2020 budget savings to help finance the cash assistance for some 10.7 million residents in the National Capital Region (NCR) who will be affected by the two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), Malacañang said on Tuesday.Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said the P13.1-billion fund will come from the savings of government agencies and departments “from their respective appropriations under the General Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2020.””Lahat ng unobligated continuing appropriation savings na dineklara ng mga departamento, ahensya, bureaus, at mga opisina ng national government (All of the unobligated continuing appropriation savings declared by the departments, agencies and offices of the national government),” Roque said in his virtual press briefing.”Ito po ay nakasaad sa Administrative Order 41 na nilagdaan ng Presidente last May 12, 2021 (This was already indicated on the Administrative Order 41 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last May 12, 2021),” he added.If more financial assistance is needed, the government will tap the “windfall” collected by the Bureau of Treasury, the Palace official said.Duterte earlier ordered the Department of Budget and Management to “find the money” to provide cash aid for the residents who will be affected by the lockdown starting on Friday.Some 10.7 million of the 14.1 million population in NCR will receive P1,000 per person or up to a maximum of P4,000 per family for the two-week ECQ.Metro Manila will be under ECQ from August 6 to 20.Under ECQ, only essential trips and services are allowed. Only authorized persons outside residence will be allowed to go out of their homes.The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) earlier said the Philippine economy would lose hundreds of billions of pesos for each week that Metro Manila – the country’s economic center – is under the strictest quarantine classification.”Each week of ECQ in NCR will cost the economy P105 billion,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua said, citing latest estimates from the NEDA.

  • Energy research institute now a reality – Gatchalian
    by Javier Joe Ismael on August 3, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    SEN. Sherwin Gatchalian on Tuesday said the country can soon boast of a cohesive all-in-one institution that will focus on technical know-how with the signing by President Rodrigo Duterte of Republic Act 11572, the law establishing the “Philippine Energy Research and Policy Institute (PERPI)”.The institute will enable the Philippines to keep up with technological innovations and energy and policy research.”Isang malaking katuparan na matagal na nating minimithi ang magkaroon ng isang energy research and policy institute na nakatuon at malayang makakapagsaliksik ng mga panuntunan at mga makabago o scientific breakthroughs na magpapaunlad sa sektor ng enerhiya ng bansa (This is a great fulfillment of our dream to have an energy research and policy institute that is focused and free to conduct researches on guidelines and modern or scientific breakthroughs that will develop the energy sector in the country),” Gatchalian said.”An independent research institute, PERPI will be a think-tank, a laboratory, an innovation incubator and a sparring partner of the government energy policy apparatus all-in-one,” the chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy said.”As a publicly funded institute attached to the University of the Philippines, the results of PERPI’s research and policy development activities can be utilized to craft energy sector reforms for the benefit of the national economy and the lives of the Filipino people,” the senator said.PERPI, according to Gatchalian, is envisioned to establish linkages with government agencies, other universities, private and public institutions on existing energy research and policy studies, develop programs and capacity building trainings on energy, enhance the masters and doctoral pool of researchers and faculty in the field of energy, and serve as the repository of all energy-related researches, studies and data.

  • Keeping VFA an act of gratitude – Duterte
    by Currie Cator on August 3, 2021 at 4:10 pm

    President Rodrigo Duterte admitted on Monday that his decision to retract the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) was prompted by the vaccine donation from the United States.In his weekly “Talk to the People,” Duterte said it was an act of “gratitude” to the US for its generosity. He withdrew his order to terminate the agreement after US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin 3rd visited Manila on July 29.”Give and take lang tayo. Pasalamat tayo sa kanila at may nabigay na naman ako sa kanila (It has to be give and take. We need to thank them and I have paid them back). I considered the continuance of the VFA,” he said.”I’d like to thank the president of the United States, [Joe] Biden, the government and the people of America for not forgetting us,” he said. “Do not forget us because we share the same outlook.”Duterte personally welcomed the arrival of over three million doses of Moderna vaccine from the US through the Covax facility on Tuesday.In his speech, Duterte said that the cooperation and support of the US in the fight against Covid-19 highlights the “strong and deep friendship” between the two countries.”We are equally grateful for the donations of key medical supplies and equipment and the provision of institutional support to our Covid-response,” he said.”All of these have helped, and definitely will continue to help, the Filipino people,” he added.The President also extended his gratitude to the Covax facility for the continuous donation of these vaccines.”We look forward to the delivery of even more life-saving vaccines in the country very soon,” he said. “Let us beat Covid-19 together.”With Catherine Valente

  • ‘Communist rebels raked in P5.4B’
    by Dempsey Reyes on August 3, 2021 at 4:10 pm

    The New People’s Army (NPA), the National Democratic Front (NDF) and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and their front organizations raked in P5.4 billion from politicians, foreign donors and other sources to fund “terroristic activities” from 2016 to 2018, the head of the nation’s top intelligence coordinating agency said.Alex Monteagudo, director-general of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), said the bulk of the funds collected by the rebel groups came from foreign donors.Monteagudo, a retired police general, explained that the foreign donors have been “deceived” by the CPP “into giving donations using issues on human rights and indigenous people.”Aside from the foreign donations, he claimed that rebels have been collecting “revolutionary tax” from businessmen especially in far-flung areas.The amount collected was used “to support the lifestyle of their leaders,” he said, alluding to key officials of the CPP-NPA-NDF led by its chairman Jose Maria “Joma” Sison who sought political asylum in The Netherlands.Monteagudo said that a high-ranking rebel “has admitted that the communist rebels could not afford to stop their extortion activities as these have become an important part of their ‘livelihood’.”The NICA chief was referring to Jorge Madlos alias “Ka Oris”, with whom he had a conversation “years ago” about the alleged extortion activities. Madlos headed the NPA’s National Operational Command.Monteagudo also alleged that other schemes done by the rebels are using “front organizations like the party-list groups in Congress.”He claimed that 60 percent of the collected funds “were directly coursed [through] to the [CPP-NPA] Central Committee based on the testimonies of surrenderers who also revealed there is corruption within the party.”The government, the official added, is now going after politicians who have reportedly been supporting the rebels by providing cash, guns and food especially during elections.Without naming names, he said these include representatives, governors, vice governors and even former senators.Also being investigated are 87 companies “who financially supported or gave-in to the CPP-NPA-NDF extortion activities.”The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) is also investigating 18 international non-government organizations that supposedly provided financial aid to the communist group’s “project proposals bearing false advocacies with their allied organizations and the party-list groups.”AMLC Deputy Director Jerry Leal said that the donations “varied from millions of euros to thousands of dollars based on what the communist-terrorist groups have asked from the donors.”He said that the AMLC traced the transactions and was able to identify the countries where the money came from, the bank where the donations were coursed and the individuals who withdrew the funds.

  • Duterte not keen on letting Villar run in 2022
    by Currie Cator on August 3, 2021 at 4:06 pm

    President Rodrigo Duterte, who was said to be considering Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar as one of his senatorial bets, appeared to have changed his mind.”Manghinayang ako ‘pag tumakbo ka ng senador at manalo ka naman (It would be regretful if you run for senator and win),” Duterte said. “Mawawalan ‘yung Executive Department ng taong kagaya mo (The Executive Department will lose someone like you),” he added.He issued the statement after Villar enumerated the accomplishments of his department in the past five years, which earned the praise of the Chief Executive.”You know what, pareho kayo top performers (you are all top performers). But in terms of largest projects, naturally, it will always be the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways). Ang galing mo (You’ve done a great job),” Duterte told Villar.The DPWH implements the administration’s flagship infrastructure program Build, Build, Build.Duterte said the nation should be grateful for officials like Villar, who accomplish their tasks without resorting to corruption.In 2020, the President ordered the anti-corruption task force, headed by the Justice Department, to investigate alleged anomalies in the DPWH.Duterte has yet to unveil his senatorial candidates for 2022, but it was reported that he was thinking about letting Villar join the lineup.Villar had said he was “weighing out his options” for next year’s elections.Last week, Duterte urged Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to run for senator.

  • CBCP seeks food donation for ECQ
    by William Depasupil on August 3, 2021 at 4:06 pm

    THE Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) appealed for food donations and other basic necessities in preparation for the two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) lockdown in Metro Manila to help feed the poor and the homeless.Incoming CBCP president Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David launched the “Feed the Hungry ” campaign, saying that scarcity of food is one of the biggest problems faced by the poor during the pandemic.Donations, he said, will be used to support food banks in the Diocese of Kalookan’s 15 mission stations in areas heavily congested and populated by the poorest of the poor in the cities of Caloocan, Navotas and Malabon.”We invite you to join us in our fight against hunger and malnutrition. Please support our community pantries,” David said, adding that the same can be replicated in other dioceses around Metro Manila.Metro Manila will be under ECQ – the strictest form of lockdown – from August 6 to 20 to contain the spread of Covid-19 cases due to the contagious Delta variant.Figures released by the Department of Labor and Employment-Bureau of Local Employment estimated that some 30,000 to 40,000 will lose their jobs or suffer reduced income as a result of the lockdown in addition to the 152,987 displaced workers as of July 30.

  • Davao liquor ban, curfew extended to December 31
    by Edith Regalado on August 3, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    The 24-hour liquor ban and 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew in this city will be in effect until the end of the year.

  • PNP to strictly enforce curfew, border control
    by Emmanuel Tupas on August 3, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Philippine National Police chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar yesterday ordered police officers to strictly enforce longer curfew hours in the National Capital Region once the NCR shifts to enhanced community quarantine starting this Friday.

  • Meralco suspends disconnections
    by Danessa Rivera on August 3, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    The Manila Electric Co. will implement a no disconnection policy anew in areas under enhanced community quarantine and modified ECQ to help ease the burden on its customers, an official said yesterday.

  • 24,352 fully vaccinated Makati seniors get P1K
    on August 3, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    At least 24,352 fully vaccinated senior citizens in Makati have each received a P1,000 gift certificate that the city government started distributing last July 5, Mayor Abby Binay said yesterday.

  • Community pantries urged: Work with LGUs
    by Mayen Jaymalin on August 3, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Community pantry organizers should coordinate with local government units to ensure the house-to-house distribution of goods during the enhanced community quarantine, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Benhur Abalos said yesterday.

  • 2,923 volunteer for Manila’s 24/7 jab drive
    by Jose Rodel Clapano on August 3, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    At least 2,923 persons have applied as volunteers for Manila’s 24/7 vaccination drive during the two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) that will start on Friday, Mayor Isko Moreno said yesterday.

  • Cavite town mayor resigns
    by Ed Amoroso on August 3, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Citing old age and health reasons, Mayor Walter Echevarria Jr. of General Mariano Alvarez town in Cavite resigned from his post yesterday.

  • Prepare COVID-19 dead burial grounds, Aklan LGUs told
    by Jennifer Rendon on August 3, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Local government units in Aklan have been asked to prepare burial grounds for those who died of COVID-19.

  • 5 cops tagged in kidnap-slay of woman dismissed
    by Emmanuel Tupas on August 3, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Philippine National Police chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar ordered yesterday the dismissal of five policemen in Nueva Ecija who allegedly kidnapped for ransom and murdered a woman from Cavite.

  • 132 Cebu health workers get COVID-19
    by Caecent No-ot Magsumbol on August 3, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Amid a shortage in health care personnel as COVID-19 cases rise, 132 medical workers in Cebu City have contracted the virus in the past two weeks.

  • PAGASA: ‘Habagat’ to bring light to heavy rains over parts of Luzon
    by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz on August 3, 2021 at 3:19 pm

    (PIXABAY) The southwest monsoon or “habagat” may bring moderate to heavy rains over Batanes and Babuyan group of islands in the next 24 hours, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said in its 11 p.m. advisory on Tuesday, Aug. 3. PAGASA said light to moderate with at times heavy rains may also continue to affect Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Apayao, Abra, and Benguet. PAGASA warned against possible flash floods or rain-induced landslides during heavy or prolonged rainfall, especially in areas that are highly susceptible to these hazards. A low pressure area (LPA) northeast of Batanes continues to enhance the southwest monsoon that triggers habagat rains over some parts of Luzon. As of 3 p.m. the LPA was estimated at 580 kilometers northeast of Itbayat, Batanes, and may become a tropical depression within the next few hours, PAGASA said. Once it becomes a tropical depression inside the Philippine area of responsibility, PAGASA will be giving it a local name “Gorio.” Meanwhile, PAGASA said that partly cloudy to cloudy conditions with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms may prevail over the rest of the country.

  • Locsin: South China Sea dispute should be resolved peacefully via UNCLOS, Arbitral Award
    by Roy Mabasa on August 3, 2021 at 2:54 pm

    Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Tuesday said disputes in the South China Sea should be resolved peacefully through the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and in the 2016 Arbitral Award rendered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. (DFA) Locsin made this point during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – China Post Ministerial Meeting where senior ministers from the regional block interacted with Chinese Foreign Minister and State Counselor Wang Yi on various issues ranging from security, economic, political, and on COVID-19 response in the region. “A peaceful South China Sea is essential to its protection and sustainable management. Disputes in it should be resolved peacefully in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS and in the recent light of the 2016 Arbitral Award which singles out no one, was carefully crafted as to be unusable as a weapon for disputation; and most helpful in clarifying maritime issues,” Locsin said in his remarks. The DFA chief noted that even Scandinavian countries are now invoking the Award which was the result of a petition filed by the Philippines before the UN-backed arbitration court that sought to invalidate China’s excessive nine-dash-line claim in the South China Sea. China, however, refused to recognize the Arbitral Award, calling it a mere “piece of paper.” In the same gathering of ASEAN senior ministers, Locsin conveyed his congratulatory message to his Chinese counterpart on the celebration of the 100th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of China, calling it “the most important event in the modern history of Asia and its future.” The ASEAN meeting also coincided with the commemoration of the 30th year anniversary of ASEAN- China ties, which according to Locsin, gives both sides the time to pause “not just to look back but look ahead, as through a glass clearly.” Locsin further said that the quality and increasing extent of ASEAN-China relations “merit elevation to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, noting that China will soon be the world’s biggest economy and its imperative role for a global post-pandemic recovery. He also defended China against those criticizing the efficacy of its vaccines. “When critics of China said its vaccines are not as good, I asked: As compared to what? The Chinese vaccines were the first on the scene. Had many countries not made a grab for it, the death toll would be far greater,” the secretary said.

  • Pacquiao seeks police probe into social media posts alleging he misused gov’t funds
    by Rappler.com on August 3, 2021 at 2:45 pm

    The senator eyes filing a cyber libel complaint against those involved, including Apollo Quiboloy

  • Nesthy Petecio makes history with Olympic silver in boxing | Evening wRap
    by Rappler.com on August 3, 2021 at 2:30 pm

    Watch Rappler’s evening newscast with Quita Chuatico

  • Andanar heaps praises on Petecio, Obiena for admirable Olympic performance
    by Genalyn Kabiling on August 3, 2021 at 2:19 pm

    Two Filipino athletes who participated in the Tokyo Olympics have received praises from Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar. Olympic silver medalist Nesthy Petecio and pole vaulter EJ Obiena (File photos/AFP) According to Andanar, boxer Nesthy Petecio and pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena have brought honor and pride to the country following their inspiring performance at the Olympics. Petecio scored a silver medal finish after yielding to her Japanese opponent in the women’s featherweight final round in Tokyo Tuesday. She gave the Philippines its second Olympic medal of the Tokyo Games following the historic gold medal earned by weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz. Obiena bowed out of medal contention after failing to clear 5.89 meter mark after three attempts. He finished 11th in the men’s pole vault competition. Andanar first congratulated Petecio on her “remarkable performance” in the boxing competition at the Tokyo Games. “With her silver medal win, she has helped further our nation in achieving new records in this division. Mabuhay ka, Nesthy! We are all proud of you,” he said. To Obiena, Andanar said the nation remains proud of his “admirable performance” at the men’s pole vault competition. “Your exemplification of the Filipino spirit and sportsmanship did not only bring historic success to our nation, but also greatly inspired us to lift each others’ spirits during these tough times,” he said. “Nakakahanga ang pinakita mong world-class talent. Hindi ka man pinalad mag-uwi ng medalya, panalo ka pa rin sa puso ng bawat Pilipino! (The world-class talent you’ve shown is impressive. You were unable to bring home a medal but you’re still a winner in the heart of every Filipino),” he said.

  • PH receives more than 3 million Moderna vaccines donation from United States
    by Roy Mabasa on August 3, 2021 at 12:49 pm

    The United States on Tuesday delivered a total of 3,000,060 doses of Moderna vaccine to the Philippines as part of its worldwide effort to help end COVID-19. This is the US government’s second bilateral vaccine donation to the Philippines in less than a month following the delivery of 3.2 million one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccines last July. President Duterte led the welcoming of the US-donated Moderna vaccines at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City. The shipment was provided directly to the Philippines via the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facility, a global initiative to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. “Recent outbreaks in the region remind us all this pandemic is not yet over, but the science is clear – the best way to stay healthy, to keep your loved ones safe, and to bring this pandemic to an end is to get vaccinated. The United States is working, and will continue to work, with the Philippines to make safe, effective vaccines widely available throughout the country,” US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires John Law said. Duterte and Law were joined at the ceremony by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, IATF Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez, and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles. To date, the Philippines has received more than 13.3 million vaccine doses through the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), a global initiative run by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. The US is the largest monetary contributor to Gavi, having provided nearly P100 billion ($2 billion) to the Alliance. The United States has worked closely with Philippine stakeholders throughout the pandemic to protect public health and support the local response to the pandemic and has so far provided an assistance amounting to over Php1.37 billion ($27.5 million).

  • LOOK: Boxes containing donated Moderna vaccines arrive in PH
    by Ariel Fernandez on August 3, 2021 at 12:40 pm

    A total of 3,000,060 doses of the Moderna vaccine–encased in boxes emblazoned with the American flag–were flown into the Philippines on Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 3. (Photo from BOC-NAIA) (Photo from BOC-NAIA) The United States (US)-made jabs touched down at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Pasay City at past 4 p.m., before they were brought to the Villamor Airbase, also in Pasay City, at around 5:30 p.m. The shipment represents the largest ever donation from the single country as far as coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines are concerned. The life-saving jabs were coursed through the COVAX facility. (Photo from BOC-NAIA) President Duterte, US Embassy Charge’ d’Affaires John C. Law, vaccine czar Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. and Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III welcomed the Moderna vaccines at Villamor airbase. Prior to this, the boxes of anti-COVID shots underwent inspection by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in NAIA.

  • Robredo thanks Filipino Olympians for inspiring PH amid pandemic
    by Mara Cepeda on August 3, 2021 at 12:27 pm

    Vice President Leni Robredo makes a special mention of the four athletes who have secured Olympic medals for the Philippines

  • ‘Nine out of 17 cities in NCR are with Delta variant’ — DOH
    by Analou de Vera on August 3, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    (JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN / FILE PHOTO) The Department of Health (DOH) said that nine cities in Metro Manila have recorded at least one patient infected with the Delta variant of the coronavirus. “Nine out of the 17 cities in NCR (National Capital Region) are with Delta variants as of August 1 of this year,” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Tuesday, August 3. These cities are Malabon with four cases, Makati with three cases, San Juan with two cases, Las Pinas with 14 cases, Valenzuela with one case, Pasig with six cases, Mandaluyong with two cases, Manila with 12 cases, and Caloocan with four cases. Vergeire said that Metro Manila continues to exhibit an increasing number of COVID-19 cases. “In NCR, the seven-day moving average shows continuously increased trend as cases in the recent 7 days have exceeded the previous seven days by 607 cases,” said Vergeire. “So, we now have an average daily reported case of 1,535 here in the National Capital Region. All of the areas in the National Capital Region have positive two-week growth rates,” she added. The healthcare utilization rate in Metro Manila is still classified as low risk, said Vergeire. “For NCR, we currently have 9,256 total beds dedicated for COVID with a utilization rate of 47 percent. We have 1,140 ICU beds and the current ICU utilization is at 55 percent,” she said. At present, the Philippines already detected a total of 216 Delta variant cases, of which, 165 are considered local cases while the remaining 48 cases were returning overseas Filipinos. “Given ongoing Delta variant of concern transmission, we need to immediately address observed case in places, closely monitor health care utilization and consider implementing higher community quarantine as preemptive measures to contain the Delta spread,” said Vergeire.

  • Manila Bulletin among Filipinos’ most trusted news outlets — survey
    by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz on August 3, 2021 at 11:47 am

    (MANILA BULLETIN) The Manila Bulletin is among the most trusted media outlets of Filipinos, based on PUBLiCUS Asia Inc.’s independent and non-commissioned survey released on Tuesday, Aug. 3. In the PUBLiCUS Asia’s Pahayag-Quarter 2, Manila Bulletin placed 4th with a high trust rating of 45.40 percent. The survey was conducted from July 13 to 19, 2021 with 1,500 respondents. The respondents were particularly asked: “How would you rate the overall trustworthiness of the following over the past 12 months?” (PUBLiCUS ASIA) CNN Philippines topped the list with a 59.80 percent high trust rating, followed by GMA7 with a 51.40 percent high trust rating, and Philippine Daily Inquirer with a 49.60 percent high trust rating. Meanwhile, PUBLiCUS Asia noted that Rappler and ABS-CBN online garnered the “highest total low trust ratings” with 37.66 percent and 30.40 percent, respectively. During the same survey period, PUBLiCUS Asia found that social media has been a dominant force in changing the Filipino culture and source of information for at least 10 years now. “Social media has driven most conversations and interactions that led brands and even social issues into the mainstream with a single click of a button. And in those years, and most recently, news consumption is taken from social media at a 78.8 percent rating–as the most popular media-related activity among respondents. While reading news on print continues its decline,” it said. Facebook and YouTube remain the most widely and intensely used media platforms with near-universal usage rates and staggering average daily usage rates. Significantly, most respondents identify spending over five hours on social media platforms and OTT or over-the-top daily–with Facebook, YouTube, and Netflix leading the way followed by Cable TV and Instagram.

  • Philippines receives 3 million US-donated Moderna doses
    by Sofia Tomacruz on August 3, 2021 at 11:31 am

    President Rodrigo Duterte graces the arrival of the second batch of vaccines donated by Washington

  • Mayor of Cavite town resigns due to health reasons
    by Dennis Abrina on August 3, 2021 at 11:21 am

    Walter Echevarria Jr steps down as mayor of General Mariano Alvarez town in Cavite. His daughter, Vice Mayor Maricel Echevarria Torres, replaces him.

  • FALSE: 2022 preference survey results from Pulse Asia, SWS, PPCRV, KBP
    by Rappler.com on August 3, 2021 at 11:01 am

    No evidence can be found that the said organizations conducted surveys with the given results

  • OCTA Research: PH likely has 2,000 Delta COVID-19 cases
    by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz on August 3, 2021 at 10:56 am

    (JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN / FILE PHOTO) The number of Delta variant cases in the country could have already reached 2,000 at present, based on the genome sequencing of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) samples, OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David said on Tuesday, Aug. 3. “As of the latest data, we see 26 percent of cases sampled were the Delta variant. If that were the case, that would be as much as 2,000 cases of the Delta variant in the whole Philippines. We are not saying we know this as a fact. This is just the projection based on the sampling,” David said in an online forum organized by the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. He pointed out that the country has a “limited” genome sequencing, accounting for just 100 samples per day out of around 8,000 COVID-19 cases nationwide. However, David pointed out that a surge in cases is “definitely happening” in the National Capital Region (NCR). “We are now at around 2,000 cases recorded yesterday (Aug. 2). If we look back in March, this is equivalent to about the first week of March when we had 2,000 cases. (But) now we are responding earlier than when we did last March,” David said. “What we are seeing based on the trend is that it looks very likely that this will increase even further. It will grow exponentially from this point, he added. David also noted that the increasing reproduction number in Metro Manila could indicate that there is a replacement of COVID-19 variants. “What we are seeing is very alarming. The reproduction number is actually accelerating. What that indicates is that there is now a replacement going on with the variants. That is a very likely explanation why the reproduction number is suddenly increasing,” OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David said in an online forum organized by the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. on Tuesday, Aug. 3. He said the Delta variant has a strong replacement factor, which means “it tends to replace the other variants because it is more infectious.” As of Monday, Aug. 2, Metro Manila’s reproduction number is 1.59. “This is the average number of infections of each infected individual. A reproduction number of 1 means one person is infecting one other individual,” he said. David said that the reproduction number is the primary indicator that OCTA has been using to predict the surge. “We can compare the reproduction number (at present) with what we saw back in late February or early March. At the start of February, the reproduction number in NCR was around 1. 1 is an okay reproduction number but it started increasing. It increased up to 2 and then we instituted a lockdown and it started to decrease the reproduction number,” he said. “We were able to control the reproduction number and decrease it to less than 1 but it had started growing again recently,” he added. He noted that hospital bed occupancy in the NCR has started to increase. “In fact, on average, 50 new hospital beds are being occupied every day over the past two weeks. For ICUs, they have also been increasing steadily,” he said. David said that OCTA maintains its position to curb the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant at the soonest possible time. The group lauded the decision of the national government to implement a two-week enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila starting Aug. 6, as it is a necessary move to prevent the spread of the Delta COVID variant and avoid overwhelming hospitals and healthcare. “If we look at the entire timeline of the pandemic in NCR since 2020 when we have a surge like this, there’s no way for it to stop. We cannot control it anymore. The question becomes–when do we put a stop to it? Do we stop it sooner or do we stop it later when hospitals are filled? The position of the OCTA Research group is it is better to stop it sooner rather than wait for it to grow and then we stop it later when hospitals are full,” he said.

  • 9 areas in PH still have ‘red tide’
    by Betheena Unite on August 3, 2021 at 10:46 am

    Consumers were warned against the consumption of shellfishes collected from nine places in the country where toxic ‘red tide’ persists. (Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources) The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) identified the affected areas as the coastal waters of Milagros in Masbate; coastal waters of Dauis and Tagbilaran City in Bohol; San Pedro Bay in Western Samar; Matarinao Bay in Eastern Samar; Dumanquillas Bay in Zamboanga del Sur; Murcielagos Bay in Zamboanga del Norte; Murcielagos Bay (Sapang Dalaga and Baliangao) in Misamis Occidental; Balite Bay in Mati City, Davao Oriental; and Lianga Bay in Surigao del Sur. According to the latest laboratory results from BFAR, shellfishes collected from these coastal waters “are still positive for paralytic shellfish poison (PSP) or toxic red tide that is beyond the regulatory limit.” All types of shellfish and alamang gathered from the affected coastal waters are not safe for human consumption, the agency said. Fish, squids, shrimps and crabs, however, are safe for human consumption provided that they are fresh and washed thoroughly, and internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed before cooking. Meanwhile, Sorsogon Bay in Sorsogon has been declared free of red tide.

  • ‘Ayuda’ distribution may be done manually – DSWD
    by Jhon Aldrin Casinas on August 3, 2021 at 10:39 am

    The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said the distribution of cash aid or “ayuda” to residents of areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) may be done manually due to limited time. (ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN) The DSWD noted that such mechanism “worked” during the distribution of assistance when the National Capital Region (NCR) and its nearby areas were previously placed under the strictest quarantine classification. “We also respect the recommendation to adopt manual/face-to-face distribution of aid due to the limited time that we have to distribute the needed assistance and the peculiarities on the ground,” DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao said in a statement Tuesday, Aug. 3. The department recognized that the digital payment system for the distribution of cash aid had “some challenges.” It explained that some of these challenges included the insufficient information provided by beneficiaries and that some recipients do not have smartphones. “However, we believe that certain gains resulted from the use of digital payouts as affirmed by the study conducted by the Innovations for Poverty Action, in collaboration with the World Bank and the DSWD, entitled, Monitoring Digital Financial Payments of Cash Transfer in the Philippines,” Dumlao said. “According to the study, 92 percent of respondents reported high or very high satisfaction levels on the use of digital disbursements for SAP,” she added. Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos reportedly said that the distribution of cash aid to metro residents may be done through face-to-face basis due to the limited time. The DSWD has employed the use of digital and manual payout of emergency cash aid under the government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP) to residents of areas placed under strict quarantine restrictions.

  • Robredo thanks Filipino Olympians for ‘hope’ and ‘inspiration’
    by Raymund Antonio on August 3, 2021 at 10:32 am

    Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday, August 3, congratulated and thanked Filipino Olympians for bringing hope and inspiration to a nation in crisis. In a video message posted on Facebook, the vice president took pride in the accomplishments of Filipino athletes during the ongoing 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Photo from the Philippine Olympic Committee “Sa gitna ng matinding pagsubok na dala ng pandemya, salamat sa pag-asa at inspirasyon (Amid a great challenge brought by the pandemic, thank you for the hope and inspiration). Thank you for bringing us together, lalo na sa panahong ito. Buong bansa, isang pamilyang nae-excite, nagchi-cheer, at nagse-celebrate sa bawat laban ninyo (especially during these times. The whole country, one family, is excited, cheering, and celebrating in your every fight),” she said. “Sa bawat laban ng Pilipino sa Olympics nitong mga nakaraang araw, naghahalo ang saya, kaba, pati ang gigil. Pero higit dito, araw-araw nangingibabaw sa atin ang pagiging proud (In every fight of a Filipino in the Olympics these past days, there’s a mixed feeling of joy, nervousness, and grit. But more than this, every day we are proud). Today is no exception,” Robredo added. Addressing each of the Olympic medalists, she told Nesthy Petecio, who won silver in boxing and became the first Filipino to win a medal in Women’s boxing, that Filipinos are proud of her “for making history.” Japan’s Sena Irie denied Petecio of gold as she beat the Filipina boxer by unanimous decision. READ: Nesthy Petecio yields to Japanese foe, settles for boxing silver Robredo thanked Carlo Paalam, who secured another sure bronze for the Philippines, for “showing heart” while she told Eumir Marcial that he shocked the country with another “knockout victory” and “another sure podium finish.” She also mentioned EJ Obiena who will be at the pole vault final in Tokyo on Wednesday, August 4, as well as Yuka and Bianca who will be competing in the gold tournament. The vice president also celebrated other athletes who make up the 2020 Tokyo Olympics line-up for the Filipinos. Robredo recognized Hidilyn Diaz, who made history for bringing the country’s first Olympic gold, as well as “world-class gymnast” Carlos Yulo and skateboarder Margielyn Didal, who Robredo said brings “good vibes.” READ: ‘Istorya ng Pag-asa’ champ: Hidilyn Diaz overcomes struggles for PH’s first gold Robredo also gave an equivalent of a video shoutout to Juvic Pagunsan, Kristina Knott, Elreen Ando, Remedy Rule, Kiyomi Watanabe, Cris Nievarez, Kurt Walker, Jayson Valdez, Luke Gebbie, and Irish Magno.

  • DA serious with digital push, rolls out ‘Byaheng Digiskarte’ program, ‘BayaniKita’ app
    by Betheena Unite on August 3, 2021 at 10:30 am

    A mentoring program and a mobile app intended to modernize the country’s agriculture sector were launched by the Department of Agriculture (DA). FARMERS GO DIGITAL–A farmer-youth tandem completes the hands-on activity on smartphone familiarization under the Digital Farmers Program training conducted by Agricultural Training Institute Region 2. (Photo courtesy of the ATI-Region 2) The “Byaheng Digiskarte ni ANI at KITA” program and the “BayaniKita” app were unveiled by the department on August 2 to encourage and educate more farmers and fisherfolk on using digital platforms to further boost their earning powers. The agriculture department joined hands with digital technology companies to create the programs, which will be key to its push for digital transformation. “The push for the digitalization of the country’s agriculture sector has been one of the DA’s goals, especially during the new normal,” DA Secretary William Dar said, stressing the need to reduce the complexities of doing business through digital platforms. “It is important that we help and empower our agri-fishery sector by providing them the technical, marketing, and financial support they need,” Dar added. The Byaheng Digiskarte ni ANI at KITA is a mentoring program undertaken in collaboration with Aboitiz Foundation. It is designed to assist in the recovery and growth of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and cooperatives that were affected during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic by linking them up with digital technologies and other platforms to increase profit. “With the skill to use mobile phones, Internet, and online platforms, they will be able to effectively reach more buyers, improve business and organizational operations, and enhance member services,” the secretary said. The BayaniKita app, on the other hand, aims to provide its stakeholders with vital communication. It is carried out in partnership with IoT Valley Corporations. It features a chat facility directly connected to the Office of the Secretary to address stakeholders’ concerns and complaints, an e-wallet system connected to digital payments facilities or platforms, and digital ID for farmers and fishers. The app is also integrated with other DA’s services such as weather updates, marketing platforms such as bagsakan/bulungan and price monitoring, and the Bantay African Swine Fever program, among others. “All of these will simplify communication and transition of acquiring agri services without leaving the comforts of your home. This will also promote the ease of doing business and lessen physical interaction with people especially in this time of the pandemic,” Dar pointed out. DA also signed an agreement with BAYAD, GCash, and Union Bank for a three-year contract to avail of their payment collections services and payment facilities for DA services such as SPS permits, laboratory fees, and other related fees in its attached agencies and corporation. The Philippine Association of Agriculturists, Inc. (PAA) also signed an agreement for the promotion and utilization of the BayaniKita app to its registered members.

  • Catholic, Aglipayan churches issue statement on mutual recognition of baptism
    by Leslie Ann Aquino on August 3, 2021 at 10:22 am

    The Philippine Catholic Church and the Iglesia Filipina Independiente vowed to continue the healing process of fractured relationships between the two churches. Archbishop Romulo Valles, CBCP President (CBCP NEWS/ MANILA BULLETIN) In a joint statement released on Tuesday, August 3, the churches pledged to pursue dialogue in the spirit of repentance and forgiveness. The IFI is a Christian denomination that breakaway from the Catholic Church in 1902 due to alleged mistreatment of Filipinos by Spanish rules. The statement recalls the beginnings of the Aglipayan movement during the Philippine Revolution against Spanish colonial rule from 1896 to 1898. It stressed that Aglipayans were not against the Catholic Church, but rather against the continued domination of Spanish bishops and priests in the country. The document also emphasized that the movement was a continuation of the earlier nationalist struggle of the Filipino clergy for recognition. CBCP News said in the statement, both IFI and Catholic leaders “ask and pray for mutual forgiveness for any injuries inflicted in the past” and “strive for the healing and purification of memories among our members.” A companion statement that was also signed on the same day is the statement of “mutual recognition of baptisms” between the IFI and the Catholic Church. The Trinitarian baptismal formula of the IFI is actually recognized already by the Catholic Church in its list of validly administered baptisms by other Christian churches. The latest updated list was issued by Bishop Jose Rojas, chairman of the CBCP Commission on Doctrine of the Faith, in March this year. CBCP News said what is new in the agreement is the expression of mutual recognition by both churches. The document also includes the signatures of two Episcopalian bishops as witnesses, since the IFI entered into full communion with the Episcopal Church in 1961. In 1980, the Philippine Episcopal Church had already affirmed in a signed agreement its mutual recognition of baptism with the Catholic Church. The document was formally launched during an ecumenical service held at the IFI National Cathedral on Taft Avenue in Manila, and coinciding with the foundation day of the IFI. Among those in attendance were IFI leaders led by its Supreme Bishop Rhee Timbang and some representatives of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. CBCP President Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles and other bishops joined the event online.

  • House OKs franchises for Manila Water, Maynilad
    by Rambo Talabong on August 3, 2021 at 10:17 am

    Opposition lawmakers, however, question the ‘rushed’ passage of the bills

  • Monsoon rain persists; 2 LPAs, 2 tropical depressions not seen to hit PH
    by Acor Arceo on August 3, 2021 at 10:15 am

    PAGASA says on Tuesday, August 3, that rain from the southwest monsoon will continue, especially in Northern Luzon

  • Creation of PH Energy Research Institute to ‘bridge policy gap’ in energy sector
    by postie on August 3, 2021 at 10:15 am

    MANILA, Philippines — The creation of the Philippine Energy Research and Policy Institute (PERPI) will bridge gaps in the energy sector in the country for the benefit of Filipinos, House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco said Tuesday. Velasco made the remark as he hailed President Rodrigo Duterte’s move to sign Republic Act No. 11572, which establishes The post Creation of PH Energy Research Institute to ‘bridge policy gap’ in energy sector appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • US sends over 3M free Moderna jabs to PH
    by Martin Sadongdong on August 3, 2021 at 10:15 am

    The United States (US) government donated a total of 3,000,060 doses of Moderna vaccine to the country Tuesday afternoon, August 3, as the national government races against time to ramp up the inoculation program due to the threat of the Delta variant. The vaccines, delivered through the COVAX facility, were transported via Qatar Airways flight QR 932 which arrived at Terminal 3 of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Pasay City at 4:12 p.m., according to online flight tracker FlightAware. President Duterte led government officials in the turnover of the vaccines at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City. He was accompanied by vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., Department of Health Sec. Francisco Duque III, US Embassy Charge d’ Affaires John Law, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Cabinet Sec. Karlo Nograles, and Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go among others. The vaccines were the second tranche of donations sent by the US government to the country this year. The US had earlier donated 3,240,850 doses of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine which were flown in two shipments on July 16 and 17. The donations formed part of Law’s commitment to allocate more donations to Manila after the J&J shipments last month. Prior to this, US President Joe Biden vowed to distribute 80 million vaccines for free around the world. The US will purchase an additional 200 million doses of Pfizer around the world by the end of 2021, and another 300 million Pfizer jabs in the first half of 2022. With the delivery, the country has now received 37,275,800 doses of procured and donated vaccines since February. Of these, 3,500,460 doses are Moderna. There were also 19.5 million doses of Sinovac; 7,273,940 doses of AstraZeneca; 3,410,550 doses of Pfizer; 3,240,850 doses of J&J; and 350,000 doses of Sputnik V.

  • Velasco hails signing into law of bill creating energy research and policy institute
    by Ben Rosario on August 3, 2021 at 10:11 am

    Speaker Lord Allan Velasco lauded President Rodrigo Duterte for signing into law the proposal to establish the Philippine Energy Research and Policy Institute, saying that this is a “major victory for the energy sector.” 41FA4097-B706-4A57-8415-CB55CA7F07D1_4_5005_c Velasco is the main author of the measure which he pushed during his chairmanship of House Committee on Energy. Duterte signed Velasco’s proposal as Republic Act 11572 or the Philippine Energy Research and Policy Institute Act, information reaching the Lower House revealed. “This is a major victory for the energy sector as the new law will help improve the country’s ability for energy research and policy creation, and we thank President Duterte for his action on this matter,” Velasco said. The speaker said the institute would help “bridge the research and policy gap in the energy sector for the benefit of the Filipino people.” He said it was high time for the Philippines to develop a stable, sustainable, affordable, and reliable energy supply by harnessing the latest research and technology available in order to meet the country’s growing demand for energy. PERPI is envisioned as an independent body that shall undertake trans-disciplinary research, explore, and develop the latest technologies, and provide autonomous policy output or recommendations for the benefit of policymakers, as well as private and public energy stakeholders. The body is expected to provide timely technical and strategic assistance to the government, energy regulators and Congress, on energy-related matters requiring policy direction and advice. It shall also serve as a medium in bringing together local and international experts in the field of energy through local and international linkages. Under the law, PERPI will be an independent policy and technology research institution attached to the University of the Philippines (UP) headed by an Executive Director, who shall be a recognized expert in energy policy and research. The institute will also have its own Advisory Council consisting of 10 members, including five ex-officio members, namely: the secretaries of the Department of Energy, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Science and Technology; Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority; and UP President. The law establishes mechanisms for dissemination and utilization of research for technology and policy development, creating and administering training programs, and providing appropriate fellowship grants for capacity building of the academe and energy stakeholders.

  • Fake news victim Pacquiao seeks police help in war vs trolls
    by Mario Casayuran on August 3, 2021 at 10:10 am

    `Senator Emmanuel ‘’Manny’’ D. Pacquiao on Tuesday, July 3 sought police help in identifying the persons behind a social media (socmed) ‘’fake news’’ that linked him to an alleged P3.5 billion corruption in the construction of Sarangani Sports complex. Pacquiao said he is determined to hold the social media trolls accountable for spreading lies about him hoping that this would empower more Filipinos to rise up against the irresponsible and reckless use of the social media. “ Many of these SocMed trolls are making a lot of money at the expense of honest and hard-working citizens. I’ll make it my mission to stop them at all costs,” he stressed. Eight-time world division boxing champion Pacquiao is in Los Angeles training for his upcoming fight with unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. in Las Vegas on August 21. Through his legal team from the Cuison, Daguinod, Mendoza-Martelino Law offices, Pacquiao requested the help of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Anti-Cyber Crime Group to identify the owners and administrators of 27 fake news sites which carried or shared the fake news that tagged him in an alleged P3.5- billion corruption for the construction of the Sarangani Sports Complex. Pacquiao’s action stemmed from a social media post made by President Duterte’s spiritual adviser, Pastor Quiboloy of SMNI who falsely claimed that the senator was behind the unfinished Sarangani Sports Complex that eventually became a “white elephant.” Quibuloy also claimed that the project had cost the government P3.5 billion as he showed pictures of a dilapidated bleachers and overgrown grass, Pacquiao pointed out. The post of Quibuloy, who claims to be the Appointed Son of God, was quickly shared and discussed by various social media trolls that include self-confessed Duterte die-hard loyalist Bryan Cristobal, who is better known Banat B(o)y in at least 27 fake news sites, he added. “The post is libelous and was malicious to destroy the good reputation of the Senator. For the benefit of the public, I would like to remind everyone the Senate is part of the legislative branch of government. Their role is primarily to create bills and resolutions which may become laws later on. It is because of this that the senator, being a strong advocate for sports development, proposed the creation of a world class sports complex in Sarangani to further develop athletes in the region. Pacquiao proposed this in 2018 and it was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on February 22, 2019, lawyer Atty. Pelagio Lawrence Cuison said. “The full implementation of the project will be done by the local government through province of Sarangani and the municipality of Alabel where the land is located, while the budget will be coming from the national government. ‘’The contractor selected by the bidding committee of the province also has no relation to the senator,” Cuison added. Cuison said that in reality, the P3.5 billion that was being cited by Quibuloy as the budget for the Sarangani Sports Complex was actually the budget allocated for the construction of the Philippine Sports and Training Center to be located in Bataan under Republic Act 11214 (Philippine Sports Training Center Act). He said that the construction of the Sarangani Sports Complex was made possible with the enactment of Republic 11224 (An Act Establishing the Sarangani Sports Training Center) which Pacquiao authored but it’s allocation was not fully realized since the budget has to realigned for COVID-19 response. “The obviously malicious intent of these fake news outlets is to smear the good name of the senator should not go unpunished and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Cuison said. ====30====

  • Duterte thanks US generosity for Moderna donation; poor Filipinos to be given vaccine priority
    by Genalyn Kabiling on August 3, 2021 at 10:06 am

    The Philippines’ vaccine arsenal got another shot in the arm with the arrival of 3 million doses of Moderna vaccines donated by the United States Tuesday. President Duterte holds a vial of a Moderna coronavirus vaccine during the arrival of more than 3 million jabs donated by the United States on August 3, 2021. (RTVM Screenshot)  President Duterte thanked the United States for its generosity and promised to prioritize poor Filipinos in the vaccine distribution. Duterte, accompanied by some Cabinet members, attended the arrival ceremony of the US-donated vaccines at the Manila airport. “It is with joy and high hopes that we welcome today the arrival of more than three million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines from the United States of America. I wish to thank the United States for the generosity in sharing various COVID-19 assistance to the Philippines,” the President said. “I know that it is the sentiment of America that the vaccines that should be given to the Philippines should go first to those who have least in life, ‘yung mga mahirap, the poor ones who cannot afford. And for those, well, who do not want to be vaccinated, we will try to entice them with the vaccines given by the United States,” he said. Duterte admitted that ensuring the safe delivery of the vaccines to the people would be a “tedious and difficult process.” But he pledged the government is committed to observe the US guidance to give the vaccines to the country’s poor. “It could be the squatters who must be in the provinces, but these vaccines which America donated carries with it the sentiment that it be given to the least of those Filipinos who cannot afford. Rest assured everybody will follow that directive,” he said. The latest US vaccine donation was coursed through the World Health Organization-COVAX facility. America earlier donated more than 3 million Johnson & Johnson jabs to the Philippines. President Duterte greets US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires John Law with a fist bump during the arrival of 3 million Moderna vaccines donated by the United States government on August 3, 2021. (Photo: PCOO)READ: US completes 3.2M vaccine donations to PH The President also expressed his deepest gratitude to the COVAX Facility for the continuous donation of these vaccines. “We look forward to the delivery of even more life-saving vaccines in the country very soon,” he said. Apart from the vaccines, the President thanked the US for its other COVID-related assistance to the Philippines, citing the “strong and deep” ties between the two allies. He said the country was also grateful for the donations of the key medical supplies and equipment and the provisions of institutions support of the government’s pandemic response. “All of these have helped, and definitely will continue to help, the Filipino people. Indeed, the cooperation between the Philippines and the US in overcoming the pandemic highlights the strong and deep friendship between our two countries,” he said. Among those present in the vaccine arrival ceremony were Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., and US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires John Law. The President earlier admitted that he decided to keep the country’s visiting forces agreement with the US following its donation of vaccines to Filipinos. He said it was a “concession” out of gratitude for the donated vaccines. READ: ‘Give and take’: VFA retention a ‘concession’ after US vaccine donation, Duterte admits Law said the arrival of the US-donated Moderna jabs was “part of continuing U.S. efforts to support our Filipino #FriendsPartnersAllies.” “We thank Pres. Duterte for joining us to welcome the arrival of these life-saving vaccines,” the US official tweeted. Today’s arrival of 3 million doses of U.S.-donated Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is part of continuing U.S. efforts to support our Filipino #FriendsPartnersAllies. We thank Pres. Duterte for joining us to welcome the arrival of these life-saving vaccines. #USPHThrivingAt75 pic.twitter.com/FusUYy1EoY— Chargé d’Affaires John Law (@USEmbassyPHDCM) August 3, 2021

  • ECQ cometh: DOLE needs P2B to sustain ‘ayuda’ program for formal sector workers
    by Ellson Quismorio on August 3, 2021 at 9:59 am

    The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will ask the national government for an additional budget of P2 billion in order to sustain its one-time cash assistance program for workers who have been affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III (Screengrab from Zoom meeting) Thus, bared DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III in a statement on Tuesday, Aug. 3, even as he expects the impending reimposition of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region (NCR) to have an adverse impact on the employment situation. “The imposition of [ECQ] in NCR this August [6 to 20] will surely affect successive survey rounds,” he said, referring to monthly Labor Force Survey (LFS). “But with government agencies collaborating and with people following quarantine measures and protocols, we are hoping to mitigate its adverse impact in our labor market and the economy,” Bello said. “Targeted assistance to workers is being finalized by a Small Working Group on Social Amelioration (SWG-SAP), while the proposed wage subsidy being pushed by the National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS) Task Force is awaiting green light from our economic managers. In the meantime, the DOLE shall request for [a] P2 billion budget augmentation for the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) for formal sector workers who will be affected by the ECQ. These will be implemented once approved,” the labor chief revealed. Through CAMP, the labor department has been able to provide a one-time cash assistance or “ayuda” of P5,000 to various types of workers amid the persisting public health crisis. These include displaced overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and tourism industry employees, just to name a couple. “These are on top of the regular programs of the government, particularly the NERS Task Force, on supporting businesses through available incentives, providing platform for jobseekers to facilitate their access to employment, and supporting our workers through upskilling and retooling initiatives,” Bello noted. The results of the June 2021 LFS reportedly showed a 34,000 increase in unemployed persons and a 917,000 increase in underemployed persons. Bello described these as “reminders that much still has to be done”. The number of unemployed Filipinos jumped from 3.73 million in May to 3.76 million in June, the latest figures showed. “[DOLE] is working vigorously with the NERS Task Force and will continue to be active in working with various government agencies and support initiatives such as the Task Group on Economic Recovery (TGER) towards sustained improvement in our labor market,” Bello said.

  • ECQ reignites calls for donations to community pantries
    by Dwight de Leon on August 3, 2021 at 9:55 am

    ‘Nananawagan ako sa mga may kakayahang magbigay, i-push po natin ang pagbibigay sa pinakamalapit na community pantry sa atin, o sa kapitbahay nating nangangailangan,’ says Patricia Non

  • Malacañang: 4 million vaccine doses for Metro Manila during ECQ
    by Pia Ranada on August 3, 2021 at 9:42 am

    The additional doses would raise the vaccination coverage in Metro Manila to 45% and bring the region closer to achieving ‘population protection,’ says Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque

  • ‘Railroaded, questionable’: House OKs Maynilad, Manila Water franchises
    by postie on August 3, 2021 at 8:12 am

    MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives approved the franchises of the country’s two biggest water concessionaires, Maynilad Water Services and Manila Water Companies, but some lawmakers complained that the approval had been railroaded and that the applications had not been thoroughly scrutinized. During Tuesday’s session, the lower chamber approved House Bills No. 9422 and The post ‘Railroaded, questionable’: House OKs Maynilad, Manila Water franchises appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • Panelo to Hidilyn Diaz: Thank you, but I don’t understand why I must be forgiven
    by postie on August 3, 2021 at 7:15 am

    Chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo said he does not understand why he has to be forgiven by Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz. The post Panelo to Hidilyn Diaz: Thank you, but I don’t understand why I must be forgiven appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • Palace: Wrong to say gov’t is ‘reactive’ in response vs Delta threat 
    by postie on August 3, 2021 at 6:14 am

    It is “wrong” to say that the government has been “reactive” in its response to the COVID-19 Delta variant, Malacañang said Tuesday. The post Palace: Wrong to say gov’t is ‘reactive’ in response vs Delta threat  appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • DOTr issues public transport guidelines in NCR during ECQ
    by postie on August 3, 2021 at 6:11 am

    MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) released Tuesday the public transportation guidelines to be implemented in the National Capital Region (NCR) once the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) takes effect on August 6. According to Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, public transportation is still available during the ECQ period but only Authorized Persons Outside Residence The post DOTr issues public transport guidelines in NCR during ECQ appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • WHO urges PH to prepare oxygen supplies amid threat of Delta variant
    by postie on August 3, 2021 at 4:18 am

    The Philippines should prepare additional oxygen supplies in anticipation of rise in COVID cases due to threat of the Delta variant, WHO said. The post WHO urges PH to prepare oxygen supplies amid threat of Delta variant appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • Alvarez advises ‘friend’ Duterte: You’re already a champion, don’t run for VP
    by postie on August 3, 2021 at 2:34 am

    For former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, it would be best for President Rodrigo Duterte not to seek the vice presidential post in the 2022. The post Alvarez advises ‘friend’ Duterte: You’re already a champion, don’t run for VP appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • Ex-drug war defender Alvarez now says campaign can be handled better
    by postie on August 3, 2021 at 2:12 am

    From being one of the biggest defenders of the Duterte administration’s war on drugs, former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez is now saying the controversial and bloody campaign could have been handled better.  The post Ex-drug war defender Alvarez now says campaign can be handled better appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • Defender no more? Alvarez says he is ‘disappointed’ with Duterte admin’s performance
    by postie on August 3, 2021 at 1:46 am

    One of President Rodrigo Duterte’s biggest defenders now expresses disappointment over the chief executive’s term, particularly hitting the administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.  The post Defender no more? Alvarez says he is ‘disappointed’ with Duterte admin’s performance appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • 167,000 workers face job loss, pay cuts during Metro Manila lockdown
    by besguerra on August 2, 2021 at 9:08 pm

    At least 167,000 workers in Metro Manila would be affected by the two-week lockdown starting Aug. 6, according to data from the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole). These consisted of about 40,000 workers who risked being laid off and another 127,000 workers who could see a further reduction in their pay. During an enhanced The post 167,000 workers face job loss, pay cuts during Metro Manila lockdown appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • Gov’t opens vax drive to public during ECQ
    by besguerra on August 2, 2021 at 9:04 pm

    MANILA, Philippines — The government is opening its vaccination drive to anyone, 18 years and older, in the National Capital Region (NCR) during the two-week lockdown starting Aug. 6 to achieve a wider coverage of Metro Manila’s population. However, the Department of Health (DOH) said that “walk-in,” or those who were not preregistered, would not The post Gov’t opens vax drive to public during ECQ appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • Special audit of anti-communist task force funds sought
    by besguerra on August 2, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    MANILA, Philippines — Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Monday called for a special audit of the funds given this year to the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac), as he slammed what he said was Malacañang’s plan to double its funding to P40 billion in the 2022 national budget. The The post Special audit of anti-communist task force funds sought appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • DENR drives out illegal occupants from Marikina watershed
    by besguerra on August 2, 2021 at 8:58 pm

    MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has issued stoppage orders against 123 illegal structures within the Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape in its campaign to keep encroachers out of the area. As of July, the DENR regional office in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) said it had The post DENR drives out illegal occupants from Marikina watershed appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • Lacson: No reason to delay submission of budget
    by besguerra on August 2, 2021 at 8:56 pm

    MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) cannot use the absence of Secretary Wendel Avisado as an excuse for the imminent delay in the submission by the executive department of the National Expenditure Program (NEP) for 2022, Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson said on Monday. He said the DBM could not extend the The post Lacson: No reason to delay submission of budget appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • Urban poor groups push Robredo for president
    by besguerra on August 2, 2021 at 8:55 pm

    MANILA, Philippines — More than 500 urban poor groups have banded together to form a coalition supporting Vice President Leni Robredo’s potential bid for the presidency, in hopes of shoring up enough support for only one opposition candidate in the 2022 national elections. On Monday, Leni Urban Poor (LUP) coalition—a broad alliance of social housing The post Urban poor groups push Robredo for president appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • Comelec has not discussed extension of voter registration in ECQ areas – Jimenez
    by Alexander Magno on August 2, 2021 at 7:44 pm

    MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has not considered extending the period of voter registration despite calls for it to do so in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), commission spokesperson James Jimenez said on Monday. “The Commission en banc has not – repeat NOT – discussed the possibility of extension of the The post Comelec has not discussed extension of voter registration in ECQ areas – Jimenez appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • Over 1.3 million overseas Filipinos repatriated during pandemic
    by Alexander Magno on August 2, 2021 at 7:33 pm

    MANILA, Philippines — A total of 1,304,813 million Filipinos abroad have been repatriated since the start of the pandemic, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Monday in the taped weekly briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte. Of that number, 1,048,754 were overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and 256,059 were residents abroad. Among the repatriated OFWs, 601,439 were land-based The post Over 1.3 million overseas Filipinos repatriated during pandemic appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • Drug war to continue through NCR Plus lockdown period – Año
    by Alexander Magno on August 2, 2021 at 6:12 pm

    MANILA, Philippines — The drug war will continue right through the enhanced community quarantine that will be enforced in the so-called NCR Plus from Aug. 6 to 20, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said in the taped weekly briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte that aired late on Monday. “The campaign against illegal drugs will continue until The post Drug war to continue through NCR Plus lockdown period – Año appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • Who ‘benefitted’ from drug war deaths? ‘Filipinos, not me,’ says Duterte
    by Alexander Magno on August 2, 2021 at 5:35 pm

    MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte says it was Filipinos — and not him nor his family — who “benefitted” from the deaths in his administration’s drug war. Duterte insisted on this in his taped weekly briefing on Monday in an expletive-laden rant about human rights advocates’ criticisms of the drug war. “Let’s assume that The post Who ‘benefitted’ from drug war deaths? ‘Filipinos, not me,’ says Duterte appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • ‘Tighter restrictions to delay Delta surge’
    by Red Mendoza on August 2, 2021 at 4:41 pm

    THE Department of Health (DoH) said the increased restrictions, particularly in the National Capital Region (NCR), will help the country prepare for a possible surge in Covid-19 cases triggered by the highly infectious Delta variant.Metro Manila will shift into a much stricter enhanced community quarantine starting Friday to fight the alarming spread of Covid-19 cases in the region.During a press briefing on Monday, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the hard lockdown will buy the Health department time to reserve more beds for severe and critical cases.Vergeire added if more people get vaccinated, there will be fewer severe cases that require hospitalization.The DoH has been busy preparing hospitals for a possible spike in severe and critical Covid-19 admissions. It has made available 240 more intensive care unit (ICU) beds in hospitals like the Lung Center of the Philippines, National Center for Mental Health, East Avenue Medical Center and the Quirino Memorial Medical Center.An additional 755 ICU beds and 332 isolation beds were set up in Luzon, 314 isolation and 210 ICU beds in Visayas and 190 ICU beds and 306 isolation beds in Mindanao.The department has also begun prepositioning medicines and medical equipment in high-risk areas.Vergeire said inoculating more people will further ease the pressure on hospitals.Based on the initial projections by the Inter-Agency Task Force’s Data Analytics sub-technical working group, NCR will have 15,000 cases a day if the current general community quarantine with heightened restrictions is maintained. If the region goes into a three-week lockdown, it will only experience 758 new cases a day.Because Delta variant has a higher viral load than the Alpha variant, any individual, vaccinated or unvaccinated, can transmit the virus, Vergeire said.Delta’s viral load makes it likely to infect as many as eight people, she said.Because of this, the current 15-minute rule that makes a person a “close contact” of an infected individual does not apply anymore, Vergeire said.She agreed with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that the Delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox because they share certain transmission characteristics.The country has 216 reported Delta cases of which 17 are active, 190 have recovered and nine have died.The DoH said 165 of the Delta cases were local transmissions and the rest were returning overseas Filipinos.In its August 2 report, OCTA Research flagged Cagayan de Oro City as a “critical risk area” because of climbing hospitalization rates and high reproduction number.The hospital bed rate of the Northern Mindanao city is 85 percent while its ICU utilization is 86 percent. Its reproduction number is a high 1.46.Metro Manila averaged 1,394 daily cases from July 26 to August 1, a 46-percent jump from July 19 to 25, and its reproduction number is now 1.59.On Monday, the country posted 8,167 new Covid-19 cases, the fourth day the number soared past 8,000.The total national caseload is more than 1.6 million infections. Recoveries totaled 1.515 million and deaths were at 28,093.

  • US vaccine aid may have helped save VFA – Roque
    by Currie Cator on August 2, 2021 at 4:39 pm

    THE vaccine donation from the United States may be one of the reasons President Rodrigo Duterte lost interest in abolishing the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), his spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said on Monday.”Consider the totality of circumstances. There’s a good possibility that [it] was part of the equation,” Roque said in explaining the President’s decision to retain the VFA.He told reporters Duterte’s decision may have been driven by other factors, including “upholding PH strategic core interests, the clear definition of PH-US alliance as one between sovereign equals, and the clarity of US’ position on its obligations and commitments” under the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty.The treaty compels the Philippines and the United States to come to each other’s aid in case of an armed attack.President Duterte retracted his order to terminate the agreement following the July 29 visit to Manila of US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin 3rd.Roque reiterated that Duterte did not “fully” intend to scrap the VFA in the first place.”Talagang kung gugustuhin ni Presidente, talagang pinatuloy niya ‘yung termination ng VFA. Pero patuloy siya sa extension (If he really wanted to, he would have pushed through with the termination of the VFA. But he repeatedly suspended it),” he said.Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said Duterte will personally welcome today, August 3, the arrival of the Moderna vaccine the US donated through the Covax Facility.Duterte had proclaimed in February 2020 that the Philippines will terminate the VFA after the US revoked the visa of Sen. Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa, who was the chief of the Philippine National Police during the bloody war on drugs.The President also had run-ins with then-US president Barack Obama, a staunch critic of his human rights record.In June 2020, Duterte again suspended the VFA’s termination for another six months.

  • Petecio, Obiena vie for gold
    by Niel Victor C. Masoy on August 2, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    BOXER Nesthy Petecio and pole vaulter EJ Obiena will attempt to secure their own gold medals and make history when they see action on Tuesday, August 3, at the Tokyo Olympics.Petecio, 29, will face the 20-year-old Sena Irie of Japan at 12:05 p.m. (Philippine time) in the women’s featherweight final round at the Kokugikan Arena.A win will make Petecio the second Filipino athlete and the first female boxer to win an Olympic gold medal.Petecio defeated Marcelat Mashu Sakobi of Congo via unanimous decision in the round of 32, world no. 1 Lin Yu-Ting of Chinese Taipei via split decision in round of 16, Yeni Arias of Colombia via unanimous decision in the quarterfinals and Irma Testa of Italy via majority decision in the semifinals to secure the country’s first Olympic boxing silver medal since Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco’s silver in the 1996 Olympiad.Meanwhile, Irie topped Yamileth Solorzano of El Salvador via unanimous decision in the round of 32, Khouloud Hilimi Ep Moulahi of Tunisia via unanimous decision in round of 16, Maria Claudia Nechita of Romania via split decision in the quarterfinals and Karriss Artingstall of Great Britain via split decision in the semifinals.Irie is no stranger to Petecio. In fact, Petecio, who hails from Davao del Sur, has faced her four times, winning once and losing twice to the Japanese.The first time Petecio fought Irie was in the ASBC Asian Confederation Boxing Championships in April 2019 in Thailand where Irie made her amateur debut. Then 18 years old, Irie defeated Petecio via split decision.Six months later, Petecio got back at Irie, topping the Japanese via majority decision and went on to win the World Women’s Boxing Championships in Russia. Irie, however, beat Petecio again in the Asian Olympic Qualifiers in March 2020 in Jordan as she denied the Filipino an outright Olympic berth.The defeat caused Petecio, a 2019 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist, to ultimately qualify for the Olympics a year later (March 2021) by virtue of her highest standing in her weight category.Meanwhile, Obiena, a 2019 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist, will also fight for gold in the men’s vault final at 6:20 p.m. at the Olympic Stadium.The 25-year-old Obiena, who spent the last 16 months training and competing in Europe, qualified for the final round as he cleared the 5.75-meter bar on his third attempt in the qualification phase on July 31.The other vaulters who made the final round are Bo Kanda Lita Baehre and Oleg Zernikel of Germany, Kc Lightfoot of the United States of America, Kurtis Marschall of Australia, Menno Vloon of the Netherlands, Emmanouil Karalis of Greece, Harry Coppell of Great Britain and Ersu Sasma of Turkey.The blue-chip vaulters in world no. 5 Christopher Nielsen of the United States; world no. 4 as well as 2012 gold and 2016 Olympic silver medalist Renaud Lavillenie of France; world no.3 Pitor Lisek of Poland; reigning Olympic champion and world no. 7 Thiago Braz of Brazil; and world no. 1 and record holder Armand Duplantis of Sweden are also in contention for the medal.Obiena, world No. 6, whose personal best is 5.87 meters, has to leap at least 6 meters to make the podium.Braz is the Olympic record holder with his 6.03 meters that got him the gold in the 2016 Rio Games while the 21-year-old Duplantis is the world record holder of 6.15 meters. Lisek’s personal best is 6.02 meters.

  • Palace assures aid for ECQ households
    by Currie Cator on August 2, 2021 at 4:32 pm

    Read this in The Manila Times digital edition.HOUSEHOLDS that will be affected by the two-week lockdown in Metro Manila will receive cash aid from the government, Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. reiterated on Monday.Roque on Monday said the one-week leeway was implemented prior to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) mainly to give government agencies time to prepare for the distribution of assistance.”Ang assurance ng ating Presidente [Rodrigo Duterte], hindi talaga magla-lockdown kung walang ayuda. At nakumpirma ko ngayong araw na ito [na] siguradong-sigurado pong ibibigay natin ang ayuda (The assurance of the President [Rodrigo Duterte] is we will not go on lockdown without cash assistance. And I confirmed today that we will certainly provide aid),” he said.Residents could expect the same amount as what was provided in March 2020, the first time the country was placed under ECQ – P1,000 per person or a maximum of P4,000 per family.Roque admitted it was unsure where the budget will come from, but said he will find out later Monday from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).He said the budget is expected to be distributed to local governments “within the week.”Roque also allayed rumors that Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado has resigned.”I received a copy of the press release of the DBM [regarding his medical leave], and I have no basis to question that. He’s on medical leave,” he said.Metro Manila mayors had assured they will strictly enforce the minimum public health standards, such as social distancing, during the distribution of assistance.The capital region will transition from general community quarantine with “heightened and additional restrictions” to ECQ from August 6 to 20 as the country faces the threat of another Covid-19 surge with the spread of the more transmissible Delta variant.The ECQ is a preemptive response to the spread of the Delta variant, Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said Monday.Go, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, assured he will always prioritize the health of Filipinos.He said he agrees with the majority who are against the hard lockdown but the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases believes it is necessary to wipe out the threat of the Delta variant before it can spread further.”Ang kinatatakutan nila, ‘yung nangyari sa Indonesia, ‘yung daily cases sa Indonesia na ‘di nila nakontrol, ‘yun ang ayaw nating mangyari dito sa ating bansa at sayang ang inumpisahan nating pagbabakuna sa ngayon dahil ang ganda na ng momentum natin sa pagbabakuna (What they are afraid of is what happened in Indonesia where the government failed to stem the rise in cases. We also do not want to waste the momentum of the vaccination program that we have started),” Go said.Only individuals authorized to go outside their homes can enter and exit the NCR Plus bubble made up of Metro Manila, Cavite, Rizal, Laguna and Bulacan.Go also called for the reinforcement of contact tracing and genome sequencing, the augmentation of health care facilities and hastening of the country’s vaccine rollout.He appealed to the public to follow the health precautions and to get vaccinated.He gave assurances that the government is prepared to overcome the challenges from the coronavirus as long as people cooperate and remain united in achieving the collective goal of protecting lives.WITH JAVIER JOE ISMAEL

  • Concepcion: Success of lockdown depends on teamwork
    by Currie Cator on August 2, 2021 at 4:30 pm

    PRESIDENTIAL Adviser for Entrepreneurship Jose Maria “Joey” Concepcion 3rd said the success of the lockdown will depend on the coordination of the government, local chief executives and the private sector.He added the reimposition of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila will allow the country’s health care system to “efficiently recalibrate” its measures against Covid-19, particularly the Delta variant.”The success of the lockdown depends on teamwork. To be able to accomplish it in two weeks, the private sector, [the] national government and [the] local government units must really come together for a united effort. This is because we do not want it to extend,” he said on Monday.The Go Negosyo founder earlier expressed support for the appeal of the OCTA Research Group to impose a two-week “circuit breaker” or “hard lockdown” to control the spread of the more contagious variant.On July 30, Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. announced Metro Manila will go back to the strictest enhanced community quarantine from August 6 to 20.Concepcion noted the government should inoculate people as fast as possible to “reach the unvaccinated before the Delta variant does.””We need to slow down the acceleration of the Delta infections to buy us more time to inoculate the unprotected. This also allows us to save the lives of the unvaccinated people who are the most vulnerable during this time,” he said.”A lockdown without accomplishing massive vaccination will not work. The lockdown doesn’t kill the virus, but only weakens it, so we have more time to mobilize our vaccines. That is the objective,” Concepcion added.He said the urgent implementation of tighter quarantine rules will be “better” for the capital.”We prefer that we solve the problem early and not wait for [it] to get bigger, because then, we will have a lockdown for months. That is the most catastrophic thing in our country – if that happens in the fourth quarter,” he said, referring to the last three months of the year, the peak demand season for the private sector.Concepcion and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Benjamin Abalos will lead a town hall meeting on Wednesday to discuss how the National Capital Region can effectively maximize the ECQ to curb the rise in infections.

  • ‘Walk-in’ jabs not allowed during ECQ
    by Red Mendoza on August 2, 2021 at 4:29 pm

    VACCINATION centers in Metro Manila will no longer allow “walk-ins” or unscheduled inoculations during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to prevent crowds from gathering.Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said on Monday the vaccination sites will only jab preregistered individuals.Vaccinations are expected to continue even while the metropolis is under a hard lockdown.”Walk-ins will not be allowed, there will be preregistration, there will be strict scheduling para po hindi nagkakaroon ng mass gathering sa ating bakunahan (so there won’t be mass gathering at vaccination centers),” Vergeire said.Local government units (LGUs) must also provide transportation to fetch persons willing to get vaccinated but who can’t get a ride to vaccination centers, she said.All persons who will go to a vaccination site will be considered APOR or an authorized person outside of residence. Those scheduled for second doses will also be considered APORs as long as they present proof of appointment or their vaccination cards.Vergeire also said the vaccine cluster, headed by National Task Force chief implementer and vaccination czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., has agreed in principle to give Metro Manila the 4 million additional doses the mayors requested but it will still depend on vaccine availability.”Hindi naman po natin agad-agad mafu-fulfil ang kailangan nila kasi dumarating ang supplies in batches, hindi pang maramihan, pero pag dumating ang supplies and mabibigay natin sa LGUs (We cannot readily fulfill their request immediately because the vaccines come in batches. But once supplies arrive they will be promptly shipped to LGUs in Metro Manila),” she said.Vergeire reminded LGUs that while the public will be allowed to get jabbed during ECQ, health care workers, senior citizens and persons with comorbidities must still be given priority.As of August 1, the country has fully vaccinated 9.1 million individuals while 11.7 million have received first doses.According to the Department of Health, 2.6 million of those who had been fully inoculated are senior citizens while 3.32 million are persons with comorbidities.

  • Longer Metro Manila curfew starts Aug. 6
    by Currie Cator on August 2, 2021 at 4:27 pm

    THE Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will impose a longer curfew once the National Capital Region shifts to enhanced community quarantine on Friday.MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos said on Monday the new curfew will be from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m., two hours longer than the current 10 p.m. to 4.a.m. curfew.Abalos said the mayors of Metro Manila voted unanimously to extend the curfew.He said approval from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases for the new curfew was no longer necessary since “this kind of regulation is within the power of mayors.”To further regulate the movement of people, quarantine passes will be required in Metro Manila, Abalos said. Local government units (LGUs) may opt to use old quarantine passes or issue new ones.LGUs had designated one pass per family during the first lockdown in the metropolis in March 2020 to provide household representatives access to essential goods and services.The mayors can decide whether to enforce a liquor ban in their areas, Abalos said.”We are giving discretion to each local government unit. So far, there are LGUs saying they will not implement [a] liquor ban,” he said.Abalos said stricter border controls will also be implemented in the region starting on Friday.Metro Manila is under general community quarantine with “heightened and additional restrictions” until Thursday.

  • Covid cases double in San Juan City
    by Christian Crow Maghanoy on August 2, 2021 at 4:26 pm

    Read this in The Manila Times digital edition.THE number of active Covid-19 cases in San Juan City has doubled, Mayor Francis Zamora said on Monday.”Lumagpas na tayo sa 100 because for around two months prior to this week, nanatili tayo sa mga 60, 70, 80 cases lamang (We have reached 100 because for around two months prior to this week, we only had about 60, 70, 80 cases),” he said in an interview with DZMM’s TeleRadyo.”Unti-unti na nating nararamdaman ang epekto nitong surge (We are gradually feeling the effects of this surge),” he added.As of July 31, 2021, the city had 181 active cases, 229 deaths and 9,247 recoveries. It only had 88 active cases on July 1.The city had two cases of the Delta variant. Both patients have recovered.Zamora expressed confidence the city would reach herd immunity by the end of August.

  • Manila ramps up vaccination, eyes 24/7 jabs
    by Zsastee Villanueva on August 2, 2021 at 4:23 pm

    THE city government of Manila plans to ramp up its vaccination drive against Covid-19 by giving jabs 24/7.Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Monday called for medical volunteers.”Kung sinumang lisensiyadong puwedeng magbakuna, idu-duty ko kayo sa gabi to replenish our workforce (Whoever is licensed to vaccinate, I will assign you on night duty to replenish our workforce), our medical frontliners during daytime,” Domagoso said in a statement.The city is looking for doctors, nurses, dentists, midwives, medical technologists, pharmacists and others who would like to volunteer.They are also looking for college graduates or students who are computer literate who will serve as encoders.Those who are interested may call or text 0995-106-9524 and 0960-604-0771.As of August 1, the city has administered 1,368,389 vaccines.

  • PHLPost launches ‘Noynoy’ stamp
    by Zsastee Villanueva on August 2, 2021 at 4:15 pm

    THE Philippine Postal Corp. (PHLPost) unveiled on Monday a commemorative stamp to honor former president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino 3rd.Aquino, who died last June 24 of renal disease secondary to diabetes, was the Philippines’ 15th president and served from 2010 to 2016.The PHLPost said the stamps are a fitting tribute to his services and contribution to the country.”Sa munting selyo na ito natin maalala ang pagmamahal at malasakit ni [former] president Noynoy para sa bayan (With this seal [stamp], we will remember the love and concern that [former] president Noynoy had for the country),” PHLPost Postmaster General Norman Fulgencio said.Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the “PNoy Stamp” is a celebration of Aquino’s legacy of public service.The Aquino sisters were not able to attend the event.Nevertheless, Aquino’s sister, Maria Elena “Ballsy” Aquino-Cruz expressed her gratitude to the post office for recognizing the late president’s services and contributions to the country.Malabon City Mayor Antolin “Lenlen” Oreta 3rd, Aquino’s cousin, was physically present during the launch ceremony.

  • Chinese killed in drug bust
    by Christian Crow Maghanoy,Dempsey Reyes on August 2, 2021 at 4:11 pm

    A CHINESE was killed in what authorities said was a shootout on Sunday in a string of anti-drug operations against drug syndicates that led to the seizure of over a billion pesos worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu.In a statement on Monday, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said Wu Zishen was fatally shot after he allegedly tried to resist lawmen in a buy-bust operation in Barangay Santol in Balagtas, Bulacan.The second suspect, identified as a certain Chen Hongli, allegedly escaped.Authorities seized 75 kilograms of shabu that were packed in tea bags. It had an estimated value of P510 million.The Bulacan operation was the third of a series of operations that resulted in the seizure of P1.482-billion worth of shabu.Three Chinese were arrested in the initial operation that took place at 10 a.m. on Sunday in Barangay San Bartolome in Novaliches, Quezon City where police and PDEA operatives confiscated around 127 kilograms of shabu with an estimated value of P863.6 million.An hour later, a police and PDEA team seized 16 kilograms of shabu in a buy-bust in front of a bank in Paso de Blas, Valenzuela City.Authorities arrested Joseph Dy, also a Chinese. The seized substance is estimated to have a street value of P102 million.PDEA spokesman Derrick Carreon told The Manila Times the Chinese suspects belong to a transnational drug syndicate who were operating in separate groups.”We did a case build-up and eventually conducted anti-drug operations against them,” Carreon said.In a related development, two men were arrested in a buy-bust in Taguig City on Sunday, which resulted in the seizure of P1.7-million worth of shabu.Maj. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr., director of the PNP National Capital Region Police Office, identified the suspects as Reggie Pariño Villar alias Reymark and Jerry Adriano Bitancor.The two were arrested in an operation at Tatay Berting’s Special Pancit Food House along Manuel L. Quezon Street in Barangay Lower Bicutan at around 2 p.m.

  • 415,000 AstraZeneca doses arrive from UK
    by Currie Cator on August 2, 2021 at 4:10 pm

    OVER 415,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine donated by the United Kingdom arrived in the Philippines on Monday.UK Ambassador to the Philippines Daniel Pruce said the donation was part of the “very important shared objective” of both countries in providing maximum access to vaccines and “in making sure that these vaccines are delivered, deployed and administered effectively.”Last week, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the jabs were among the 9 million doses their government will donate to “poorest” countries.”This is part of the first batch of the 100 million doses we’ve pledged to get the poorest parts of the world vaccinated as a matter of urgency,” he said in a statement. “We’re doing this to help the most vulnerable, but also because we won’t be safe until everyone is safe.”Today, August 3, President Rodrigo Duterte will personally welcome US-made vaccine donations from the Covax Facility of the World Health Organization.

  • Sotto, Lacson reset launch of candidacy
    by  Bernadette E. Tamayo on August 2, 2021 at 4:07 pm

    Read this in The Manila Times digital edition.SENATE President Vicente “Tito” Sotto 3rd and Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson rescheduled the August 4 launch of their candidacy in the 2022 elections because of the impending lockdown in Metro Manila.Lacson and Sotto were scheduled to formally declare on Wednesday their intention to run for president and vice president respectively in next year’s national polls.Sotto said the concerns about the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant of Covid-19 and the “Ghost Month” were also part of their decision to reschedule the event.”Sen. Lacson and I have agreed to reschedule the launch event to a later date due to the new developments on the Covid-19 Delta variant in the country,” Sotto said on Monday.”While we are dealing with a possible nationwide surge in the infection rate, we thought it best to focus more on attending to our people’s health concerns and priorities than any other non-health related activities,” he said in a text message.”We will make the proper announcement on the new launch event date which will be most probably right after the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine),” Sotto said.Asked whether they have an alternative date for the launch, Sotto said, “Looking at possibly September 8. Ghost Month ends September 6.”The Chinese believe it is “unlucky” to start a business, sign contracts, do renovations, or engage in a major undertaking during the duration of the Ghost Month.Sotto is chairman of the Nationalist People’s Coalition while Lacson recently took over as chairman of the Partido para sa Demokratikong Reporma.

  • Bill granting private schools tax relief OKd
    by Lea Devio on August 2, 2021 at 4:05 pm

    The Committee on Ways and Means at the House of Representatives approved on Monday a measure that will define the tax rates for proprietary schools allowing them to avail of the 10 percent preferential rate on taxable income.Under the substitute bill, the preferential tax rate of 10 percent imposed on proprietary educational institutions will be reduced to one percent from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2023. After that, “the tax rate shall be set to 10 percent.”Committee chairman Albay Second District Rep. Jose Ma. Clemente “Joey” Salceda said the bill seeks to intervene in the implementation of the recent regulation of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) that increased the tax rate of private educational institutions to 25 percent from 10 percent. The bill will also help private schools hire more teachers and keep its existing staff.”During the briefing, we reached a consensus and came up with a draft which also adopted some recommendations of the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations,” Salceda said.”The draft clarified the preferential tax rate, now one percent of their taxable income under Create, applies to all proprietary schools. We sent this draft committee report along with the notices and invitations,” he added, referring to the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises.Salceda added the bill will also help private schools keep their teachers.”They already had to fire teachers due to the pandemic. I think the whole committee agrees we should provide them relief,” he added.Salceda said applying the reduced one percent preferential rate under the Create law until 2023 would allow schools to save an equivalent of 3.43 percent of compensation expenses. He said these schools could help them rehire at least 12,996 teachers at the start of the next school year.The lawmaker said the bill will also “absolve private schools of legal liability to pay back taxes during the period when the law was unclear as to their treatment.””But the aim is also to ensure the BIR is also absolved from any refund liabilities. It’s a good compromise and was the premise of the agreement between me and the BIR,” Salceda added.”By tomorrow, we will sponsor this measure in [on] the House floor. Hopefully, before the year ends, this bill will be on President Duterte’s desk.”

  • Oil firms to impose hefty price hike
    by  Jordeene B. Lagare on August 2, 2021 at 4:04 pm

    After imposing a hefty price rollback last week, oil companies will implement a big-time price hike today.The cost of gasoline will increase by P1.05 per liter, diesel by 80 centavos per liter and kerosene by 75 centavos per liter.So far, Cleanfuel, Petro Gazz, Pilipinas Shell and Seaoil have announced the impending adjustments in fuel prices. Other firms are expected to follow.

  • Monsoon rain to persist in N. Luzon; cloudy skies over NCR, rest of island
    by postie on August 2, 2021 at 11:26 am

    MANILA, Philippines – Monsoon rain will continue in northern Luzon, while cloudy skies are predicted across the rest of the island, including Metro Manila, from Monday night through Tuesday. “Asahan ng mga kababayan natin ‘yung mga katamtaman hanggang sa may kalakasang pagulan dito sa Ilocos region, sa Batanes, Babuyan group of islands, sa lalawigan ng The post Monsoon rain to persist in N. Luzon; cloudy skies over NCR, rest of island appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • Defensor’s FB page faces shutdown after ivermectin post; solon cries censorship
    by postie on August 2, 2021 at 11:08 am

    MANILA, Philippines — The Facebook page of Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor is at risk of getting “unpublished” – or invisible to users – following his post on Ivermectin as means of fighting COVID-19. But the lawmaker dubbed this as “censorship” from the social media platform. In his Facebook post, Defensor slammed the Department of Health The post Defensor’s FB page faces shutdown after ivermectin post; solon cries censorship appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • House passes bill granting night shift differential pay to gov’t employees
    by postie on August 2, 2021 at 10:00 am

    MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives approved Monday a bill seeking to grant night shift differential pay to government employees, including those in government-owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs). With 225 affirmative votes, no negative, and no abstention, the lower chamber approved House Bill No. 9459 on final reading. Under the measure, government employees occupying The post House passes bill granting night shift differential pay to gov’t employees appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • Duterte signs law creating Energy Research and Policy Institute
    by postie on August 2, 2021 at 9:38 am

    MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a measure establishing the Philippine Energy Research and Policy Institute (PERPI). The President signed Republic Act No. 11572 or the Philippine Energy Research and Policy Institute Act on July 30, a copy of which was only made public on Monday. Under the law, the new The post Duterte signs law creating Energy Research and Policy Institute appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • House OKs bill increasing indigent seniors’ social pension to P1K monthly
    by postie on August 2, 2021 at 9:21 am

    MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives approved Monday a measure seeking to increase the social pension of indigent senior citizens to P1,000 per month. With 225 affirmative votes, no negative, and no abstention, the lower chamber approved on final reading House Bill No. 9459 which seeks to amend Republic Act No. 7432, as amended, The post House OKs bill increasing indigent seniors’ social pension to P1K monthly appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • 415K doses of AstraZeneca donated by the UK arrive in PH
    by postie on August 2, 2021 at 9:11 am

    MANILA, Philippines — Some 415,040 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine donated by the United Kingdom government arrived Monday in the Philippines. The latest vaccine shipment arrived past 4:30 p.m. at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez and UK’s Ambassador to the Philippines Daniel Pruce welcomed the arrival of the vaccines. Since The post 415K doses of AstraZeneca donated by the UK arrive in PH appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • Eleazar wants probe of Abu Sayyaf connections with some PNP personnel
    by postie on August 2, 2021 at 9:04 am

    The PNP said investigations are underway to determine if there are other police personnel who are linked to the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). The post Eleazar wants probe of Abu Sayyaf connections with some PNP personnel appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • Drilon to block even a single centavo of NTF-Elcac’s P40-B ‘election giveaway’
    by postie on August 2, 2021 at 8:14 am

    Sen. Franklin Drilon vowed to oppose “even a single centavo” of the government’s NTF-Elcac’s P40-B “election giveaway.” The post Drilon to block even a single centavo of NTF-Elcac’s P40-B ‘election giveaway’ appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • Palace: Avisado submitted proposed 2022 budget before going on leave
    by postie on August 2, 2021 at 7:13 am

    MANILA, Philippines — Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado was able to submit the proposed 2022 national budget before going on medical leave, the Palace said Monday. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the proposed national budget for next year is currently being printed before it is passed on to Congress for deliberations. “Bagama’t [Budget] Sec. Avisado is The post Palace: Avisado submitted proposed 2022 budget before going on leave appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • Palace assures ‘ayuda’ on lockdown, but still unsure on funding source
    by postie on August 2, 2021 at 5:22 am

    MANILA, Philippines — While Malacañang gave assurance on Monday that there will be financial assistance during the looming lockdown in Metro Manila, it also admitted that it remains unsure where the funds for the program will be sourced from. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque made this remark four days before the re-imposition of the enhanced community The post Palace assures ‘ayuda’ on lockdown, but still unsure on funding source appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • Over 9 million fully vaccinated vs COVID-19 in PH
    by postie on August 2, 2021 at 4:54 am

    MANILA, Philippines — Over 9 million individuals have so far been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in the Philippines, Malacañang said Monday. “Mahigit siyam na milyon o 9,115,963 ang fully vaccinated na po mula kalahati lang po, 4 million noong buwan ng Marso o pagkaraan ng apat na buwan,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a The post Over 9 million fully vaccinated vs COVID-19 in PH appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • DILG: Metro Manila LGUs to require quarantine passes anew
    by postie on August 2, 2021 at 4:45 am

    MANILA, Philippines — Local government units (LGUs) in Metro Manila are once again set to require quarantine passes for residents going outdoors as the re-imposition of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the region looms, the Department of the  Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Monday. DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said Metro Manila Council (MMC) The post DILG: Metro Manila LGUs to require quarantine passes anew appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • Lawmaker rues timing of Avisado’s leave as budget deliberations approach
    by postie on August 2, 2021 at 4:04 am

    MANILA, Philippines — The medical leave taken by Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Wendel Avisado “cannot be at a worse time” as the deliberations for the 2022 national budget of a pandemic-stricken Philippines loom, Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate said Monday. Zarate said Avisado’s medical leave timing is “truly lamentable” as the The post Lawmaker rues timing of Avisado’s leave as budget deliberations approach appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • DILG enforces one-passenger policy for tricycles during ECQ; use of old IATF IDs allowed
    by postie on August 2, 2021 at 3:29 am

    MANILA, Philippines — Tricycles may still operate with a one-passenger limit, and identification cards issued by the COVID-19 task force will still be honored by authorities during the two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) over Metro Manila, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Monday. DILG spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said public transportation will The post DILG enforces one-passenger policy for tricycles during ECQ; use of old IATF IDs allowed appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • DILG rejects house-to-house vaccination during ECQ: It’s not feasible
    by postie on August 2, 2021 at 2:47 am

    MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday rejected the idea of conducting house-to-house COVID-19 vaccinations during the two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila. DILG spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said the conduct of house-to-house COVID-19 vaccinations remain limited to bedridden residents. “But hindi po feasible yung house-to-house,” he The post DILG rejects house-to-house vaccination during ECQ: It’s not feasible appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • PH’s daily COVID-19 cases might exceed 30,000 sans ECQ — Nograles
    by postie on August 2, 2021 at 1:25 am

    MANILA, Philippines — The country’s daily COVID-19 cases might exceed 30,000 if the government does not impose the stricter enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Monday. “If we do not do the ECQ, we might see the cases going beyond 30,000 per day. So importante yung ECQ to keep The post PH’s daily COVID-19 cases might exceed 30,000 sans ECQ — Nograles appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • DOT receives highest COA rating for 2nd straight year
    by postie on August 2, 2021 at 1:13 am

    MANILA, Philippines — For the second straight year, the Department of Tourism (DOT) has received the highest audit rating from the Commission on Audit (COA), Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat announced on Monday.  Puyat said that DOT received from COA an ‘unqualified opinion’ on its fiscal year 2020 financial statements.  Last year, COA also gave the The post DOT receives highest COA rating for 2nd straight year appeared first on Inquirer News.

  • Border controls in Metro Manila meant to stop exodus to provinces – Año
    by besguerra on August 1, 2021 at 9:10 pm

    MANILA, Philippines — Checkpoints were activated at 12 a.m. on Sunday at the borders of the National Capital Region (NCR) and the neighboring provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite — collectively called the NCR Plus — to stop the exodus of people in the capital region to other nearby provinces, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año The post Border controls in Metro Manila meant to stop exodus to provinces – Año appeared first on Inquirer News.