10 August 2020
DUTERTE TO ADDRESS NATION TODAY
DAVAO CITY - President Duterte is set to address the nation from his home
city today where he has been staying since Aug. 3.
The President shall assess the latest updates in the COVID-19 crisis in a
meeting here with several Cabinet members as well as the Inter-Agency Task
Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).
After the meeting, he will brief the nation on the pandemic response and is
also expected to tackle issues and controversies that have emerged lately,
including those concerning the Philippine Health Insurance Corp.
Members of the Cabinet and the IATF are also expected to fly in here early
today for the meeting later this evening.
The President last met with the IATF in a hastily called conference last
Aug. 2 following the request of medical frontliners for a timeout and revert
Metro Manila and its environs to an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ)
status after noting a spike in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases.
But Duterte instead placed the National Capital Region and the provinces of
Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal to a modified ECQ status to address the
concerns of medical frontliners.
The President is expected to stay in his hometown for a little longer before
returning to Manila.
METRO MANILA 'READY' TO GO BACK TO GCQ: DEFENSE CHIEF
MANILA - Metro Manila appears "ready" to loosen its coronavirus lockdown
after its 2-week return to the second strictest quarantine level, an
official leading the country's pandemic response said Monday.
Coronavirus infections are "going down", with around 3,000 new cases
reported Sunday, compared to the 6,000 daily hike in recent days, said
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
He answered in the affirmative when asked if Metro Manila, home to 12
million people, can downgrade to a general community quarantine or GCQ that
would reopen the economy.
"I think we are ready to go down," Lorenzana, chairman of the National Task
Force Against COVID-19, told ANC.
"We cannot continue with the MECQ kasi nga alam na natin kung nasaan iyong
areas na may infection. Iyon ang tutukan natin so that the others can go to
work," he added.
Authorities will identify villages or streets with COVID-19 outbreaks that
need to be locked down, instead of shuttering entire cities, said Lorenzana.
Authorities are consulting local officials on increasing COVID-19 cases and
flagging down protocol breaches in workplaces, Lorenzana said.
The Philippines as of Sunday reported 129,913 cases of COVID-19, with 67,673
recoveries and 2,270 deaths.
PARTS OF WESTERN VISAYAS SUSPEND ENTRY OF RETURNING RESIDENTS
Three local governments in Western Visayas have temporarily suspended the
entry of returning residents and repatriated migrant workers to arrest the
spread of the novel coronavirus, the interior department said Monday.
Negros Occidental province and Bacolod and Iloilo cities sought the 14-day
ban on locally stranded individuals (LSIs) because their quarantine
facilities are almost full, said the interior department's Region 6
director, Juan Jovian Ingeniero.
These isolation facilities are congested due to delays in the swab test
results needed to release those quarantined, and an increase of residents
with the respiratory disease, he said.
Local governments also wanted a break for exhausted health workers, he told
"Tinitingnan talaga nila ang general welfare ng kanilang constituents na
iyong lessons learned na nangyari sa ibang cities, tulad ng Cebu at iyong
nangyayari sa National Capital Region, ayaw nilang mangyari sa Region 6.
Naging proactive sila na alam nila ang pagkukulang nila," he said.
Region 6's LSI ban, which will last until Aug. 21, has left hundreds of
people stranded in Manila, said Philippine Ports Authority General Manager
'NO COMPELLING REASON' FOR FURTHER POLICY CUT DESPITE PLUNGING INTO
MANILA - Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Gov. Benjamin Diokno said Monday there
was "no compelling reason" for a further policy rate cut despite the
economy's steep nosedive into recession due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Monetary policy works with a lag and the full effect of the cumulative
175-basis point cut in key interest rates this year is yet to be digested by
the markets, Diokno told ANC.
Key interest rate, used by banks to price loans, is at a record low of 2.25
"There is no compelling reason why the BSP has to move sooner, further
policy cut at this time," Diokno said.
"As you know the BSP has been one of the most aggressive central banks in
the world in terms of monetary easing.I don't see any pressure for
adjustment," he added.
In fact, there are signs of economic recovery including the pick-up in auto
loans by at least P4 billion, he said. Diokno said auto loans reached P568
billion from P564 billion in January.
The rise in demand is due to limited public transport mobility and marketing
strategies such as zero downpayment, he said.
"These are indications that the economy is starting to open up and we expect
it to pickup much stronger if we fully open up the economy," Diokno said.
The second quarter gross domestic product shrank 16.5 percent, which brought
the country into recession. Economic growth contracted by 0.7 percent in the
The economy could shrink to as much as 5.5 percent this year, recent
government estimates showed, a downward revision from its original forecast
of up to -3.4 percent.
WORKERS CANNOT LOSE REGULAR STATUS DUE TO PANDEMIC: LABOR CHIEF
Companies are not allowed to strip workers of their regular employment
status due to the coronavirus pandemic, the labor department said Monday.
"May mga pailan-ilan na natatanggap naming report. Pero hindi puwede iyon.
Hindi puwede iyong sabihin mong hindi ka na regular employee, kontrata ka na
lang," Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said.
Employers can instead implement a flexible work arrangement that cuts the
number of days an employee is required to report, he told ABS-CBN's
Companies that will permanently close due to bankruptcy are required to
compensate their workers, he added.
EXTEND MECQ TO 1 MONTH TO BUILD HEALTHCARE CAPACITY - LEACHON
The modified enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and surrounding
provinces enforced until August 18 should be extended up to a whole month in
order to flatten the country's COVID-19 epidemic curve, a former adviser of
the task force against the pandemic said Saturday.
Former National Task Force for COVID-19 special adviser Dr. Tony Leachon
said that extension of the quarantine which started Tuesday is necessary to
build the country's healthcare capacity for the meantime in order to
effectively address the health crisis.
LENI SEEKS PHILHEALTH EXECS' SUSPENSION
Vice President Leni Robredo yesterday sought the suspension of PhilHealth
officials amid ongoing probes on alleged irregularities and corruption in
"There should be suspension while investigations are ongoing," Robredo said
in her weekly program over radio station dzXL.
The Vice President added that this would allow authorities to look into the
issue more thoroughly and ensure that the integrity of the investigation is
"I hope they'll do that to show that they are serious in the fight against
corruption," she said.
The Senate, House of Representatives, and the Presidential Anti-Corruption
Commission (PACC) have launched separate probes on the alleged corruption in
the state-run health insurer.
The supposed irregularities at PhilHealth would not have gotten worse had
anti-corruption bodies done their jobs, according to Robredo.
"Don't we have anti-corruption bodies who were supposed to sense these
things?" she said.
MORALES READY TO FACE SENATE
MANILA - Despite his illness, Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth)
president and chief executive officer Ricardo Morales has expressed
willingness to testify before the Senate in its investigation into alleged
irregularities in the state-run insurer.
"As president and chief executive, it is my duty to represent the
corporation while still physically capable," Morales said in a statement
released by PhilHealth yesterday. "I regret that my privacy was not
Morales has no intention to skip the Senate investigation set tomorrow, or
any other investigation concerning the reported anomalies involving the
corporation, according to PhilHealth.
It said Morales merely submitted his medical certificate as required just to
ask the Senate that he be allowed to attend the investigation through video
conference instead of being there physically.
Morales was diagnosed with cancer last February and is currently undergoing
Because of his illness, Morales is considered immunocompromised and has thus
been advised to avoid going out.
Morales continues to hold office against doctor's orders, PhilHealth said.
Netizens have accused Morales of faking his illness to excuse himself from
the Senate investigation.
AFP: NO MILITARIZATION OF COVID-19 RESPONSE
MANILA: Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Gilbert Gapay has
assured the public that there is no militarization of the government's
COVID-19 response, only more visible troops to help in the pandemic efforts.
Gapay said the AFP has been actively involved in containing and addressing
the coronavirus disease in many aspects, including increased soldier
"Our soldiers are very visible, but it doesn't mean that this is
militarization. You see, we are very organized, well-equipped, and
well-experienced when it comes to addressing not only pandemics but other
calamities and disasters that have hit our country in the past," he said in
a mix of Filipino and English in an interview over the weekend on CNN.
Some sectors have criticized the supposedly militaristic approach of the
administration towards the public health emergency.
Gapay thumbed down this criticism, and said soldiers have been helping out
at the forefront, including manning quarantine checkpoints, providing
transport services, aid distribution, and even manning quarantine
He noted that it is part of the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster
Response operations, or HADR, of the AFP that have always been part of its
mandate. The AFP has also deployed doctors, nurses and other medical
personnel to some quarters.
Gapay also welcomed President Duterte's marching order for the AFP to be at
the forefront of distribution once a vaccine for COVID-19 becomes available.
'STOP USE OF THERMAL SCANNERS, MISTS AT CHECKPOINTS'
MANILA - Medical experts are urging the police in Metro Manila to
discontinue some measures being implemented at quarantine checkpoints to
avoid further spreading the coronavirus disease 2019 in communities.
According to the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), medical
professionals suggested during a meeting last Friday to stop the use of
thermal scanners and misting tents at the quarantine control points.
The experts - composed of doctors from San Lazaro Hospital, Sta. Ana
Hospital, Chinese General Hospital and the health offices of Quezon City and
Muntinlupa City - also recommended a stop to the use of the disinfection
tent as "studies show it is no longer effective in the elimination of the
In June, doctor and police Capt. Casey Gutierrez died after inhaling
disinfectant. He attended to a patient undergoing quarantine at the
PhilSports Arena and got sanitized at the misting tent.
After the incident, the Department of the Interior and Local Government
(DILG) ordered a ban on using disinfection tents by uniformed personnel, as
its ability to help kill the coronavirus has not yet been proven.
The doctors also advised the police to make persons who violate quarantine
measures engage in community service like cleaning and planting aside from
continuously enforcing the minimum health standards like wearing of face
mask and face shield as well as physical distancing.
Police stations should also create a health declaration system wherein an
assigned officer would monitor the activity, they added.
SEN. BONG REVILLA TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19
MANILA - Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. on Sunday said he has tested
positive for COVID-19.
Revilla made the announcement on his Facebook page, adding that his children
and his wife, Bacoor Mayor Lani Mercado, all tested negative.
He also said they had themselves tested after a member of their household
got infected with the disease.
"Kami ay nagpatest at nag-isolate agad matapos may mag-positive sa aming
household at isa sa aking mga tauhan," Revilla wrote.
According to Revilla, he was in the Senate last Monday, and he was also out
in public last Tuesday to mark the 40th day of the death of his father,
Ramon Revilla Sr.
Revilla also asked for prayers for his recovery.
LOW PRESSURE AREA INTENSIFIES INTO TROPICAL DEPRESSION FERDIE
MANILA - A low pressure area west of Pangasinan province intensified into a
tropical depression on Sunday night, weather bureau PAGASA said.
Named "Ferdie," the country's sixth storm, was last spotted at 225
kilometers northwest of Dagupan City, Pangasinan while packing maximum
sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of
up to 70 kph as of 10 p.m., based on PAGASA's weather bulletin issued at 11
It was last seen moving northeastward at 20 kph.
It is forecast to move generally northward over the West Philippine Sea and
is likely to exit the PAR Monday morning.
It is not expected to make landfall while inside the Philippine territory.
Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal number 1 has been raised over the following
Western portion of Ilocos Norte (Badoc, Pinili, Currimao, Batac City, Paoay,
San Nicolas, Laoag City, Pasuquin, Bacarra, Burgos)
Western portion of Ilocos Sur (Santa Cruz, Tagudin, Santa Lucia, Galimuyod,
Salcedo, Candon City, Banayoyo, Santiago, Burgos, Lidlidda, San Esteban,
Santa Maria, Narvacan, Nagbukel, Santa, Caoayan, Vigan City, Santa Catalina,
San Vicente, San Ildefonso, Bantay, Sinait, San Juan, Magsingal, Santo
Western portion of Pangasinan (San Fabian, Dagupan City, Mangaldan,
Calasiao, San Carlos City, Mangatarem, Aguilar, Lingayen, Binmaley, Infanta,
Labrador, Sual, Bugallon, Dasol, Agno, Burgos, Mabini, Bani, Bolinao, Anda,
Northern portion of Zambales (Candelaria, Santa Cruz)
PAGASA warned residents of said area to expect winds between 30 to 60 kph or
intermittent rains in the next 36 hours.
Ferdie and the enhanced southwest monsoon will also bring monsoon rains over
Ilocos Region, Abra, Benguet, Zambales, Bataan, Tarlac, Pampanga, and
occasional rains over Batanes, Cagayan, Metro Manila, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA,
and the rest of Cordillera Administrative Region, and Central Luzon.
Residents of the affected areas are also warned of that flooding and
possible landslides may occur during heavy or prolonged downpour especially
in areas highly susceptible to these hazards.
PAGASA, likewise, said it is monitoring two other weather disturbances
outside the PAR.
Tropical Storm Jangmi was last spotted 950 km north northeast of extreme
ENTERTAINMENT & LIFESTYLE
'DREAMS COME TRUE': MIMIYUUUH 'TEACHES' SARAH G HOW TO DANCE IN FUN VIDEO
MANILA -- He was the one who reminded Filipinos of the "Sa Iyo" dance craze,
back when "Tala" was taking over everyone's Christmas parties, breathing
life into the old song released back in 2003.
So it's only fitting that social media star Mimiyuuuh would be the one to
teach --in jest, of course-- Sarah Geronimo the moves to the dance she once
popularized but may have forgotten.
In a fun YouTube video uploaded this Friday, Mimiyuuuh joked that he was
hired by Geronimo to teach her how to dance.
He reluctantly accepted, and only did so because he saw "talent sa bata" and
that "she really needs help."
The video saw Mimiyuuuh "correct" some of the dance moves in the original,
Geronimo gamely doing the vlogger's hilarious suggestions, and both of them
having a genuinely good time.
NBA: RIVERS, ROCKETS DISMISS ALSO-RAN KINGS
Austin Rivers notched a career-best 41 points, and the Houston Rockets
overpowered the Sacramento Kings, 129-112, for their fourth win in five
games inside the NBA bubble at the Walt Disney World complex, Sunday (US
Rivers made 14 of 20 shots, including six three-pointers, and added six
rebounds and four assists off the bench to pace the Rockets.
Thanks to his performance, the Rockets barely missed All-Star guard Russell
Westbrook, who was rested for the game.
James Harden added 32 points, eight rebounds, and seven dimes. Houston
improved to 4-1 since the NBA restart.
This marks the 14th season in a row that Sacramento will not play in the
NBA: JAYSON TATUM CLUTCH IN CELTICS OT VICTORY OVER MAGIC
Gordon Hayward scored 31 points, and Jayson Tatum added 29 along with
crucial baskets in regulation and overtime to lead the Boston Celtics to a
122-119 win over the Orlando Magic Sunday (US time).
His team behind by 5 in the last 40 seconds, Tatum sank a triple then
followed that up with the game-tying fadeaway jumper with 4.2 seconds on the
He effectively forced an extension with a block on Terrence Ross' 3-point
In overtime, Tatum accounted for half of Boston's 10 points, including a
long jumper that made it 120-117 in the Celtics' favor and put the Magic on
After an exchange of baskets, Orlando had a chance to extend the game
further, but Nikola Vucavic missed his shot from downtown.
Vucevic tallied 26 points to lead the currently 8th-seeded Magic, who hung
with a Celtics team that destroyed No. 2 seed the Toronto Raptors in their
NBA: ZION, PELICANS FALL TO SPURS, ELIMINATED AFTER BLAZERS WIN
DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points and Rudy Gay chipped in 18 off the bench, and
the San Antonio Spurs made key free throws down the stretch to beat the New
Orleans Pelicans 122-113 on Sunday (US time).
With the win, the Spurs (31-38), part of a crowded bunch on the fringe
eyeing the 8th and last playoff berth in the West, boosted their chance of a
The loss, coupled with the Portland Trailblazers' 124-121 win over the
Philadelphia 76ers later in the day, meant the Pelicans and the Sacramento
Kings were eliminated from postseason play.
Besides the Spurs and the Blazers (33-39), only the rising Phoenix Suns
(31-39) and the fading Memphis Grizzlies (33-38) remain in contention.
NBA: RAPTORS BOUNCE BACK; WEST PLAY-IN RACE HEATS UP, AS GRIZZLIES LOSE
Pascal Siakam scored 26 points, and the Toronto Raptors broke loose in the
third quarter to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 108-99 on Sunday (US time).
It was the Raptors' 50th win of the season, their 5th straight year accompl
Meanwhile, Memphis' loss meant the Grizzlies, who remained in 8th place in
the West, kept the race for play-in spots wide open.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government
from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of
them. - Thomas Jefferson