World Newsletter

PHILIPPINES NEWS
23 Oct 2020

NO TRASLACION: MANILA CANCELS GRAND PROCESSION OF BLACK

NAZARENE IMAGE FOR 2021

       

        MANILA — The Manila city government and Quiapo Church have

agreed to cancel the grand procession of the image of the Black Nazarene in

January 2021 because of the pandemic, the city government said Friday.

        It is the first time that the procession for the image of

the Black Nazarene, where millions of barefoot devotees take part yearly,

has been cancelled, the city government said in a statement.

        Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso said that public

health protocol must prevail over religious traditions because of the threat

posed by COVID-19.

        "Nakikisuyo po ako, iwasan po muna natin ang mga parada at

prusisyon ngayong may pandemya dulot ng sakit na COVID-19. Maaari pong

mapahamak ang ating mga deboto, mailagay sila sa alanganin," Domagoso says.

        Monsignor Hernando Coronel, Quiapo Church rector, said in

the same announcement that the more masses will be held for devotees.

        He said that Traslacion 2021 will not include the grand

procession from Luneta to Quiapo Church, adding that while he is sad that it

has been cancelled, the public needs to follow safety protocol against

COVID-19.

        "'Yung physical distancing, kailangan naka-faceshield,

naka-face mask, kasama ang regular monitoring ng body temperature, lahat

‘yun susundin natin. Hindi lamang ito sa loob ng simbahan, pati na rin sa

labas," Coronel said of the masses that will be held instead.

        Domagoso this week said he would sign an executive order to

allow more people to go to church, to 30% of seating capacity from a more

restricted 10.

 

 

        PHILIPPINE ECONOMY POISED TO RECOVER IN Q3 FROM 'ROCK

BOTTOM' Q2 FIGURES: BSP

       

        MANILA - Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Gov. Benjamin Diokno

said the third quarter gross domestic product would be better than the "rock

bottom" second quarter figures after the reopened economy showed "positive

indicators."

        Net inflow of foreign direct investments has grown since

May, unemployment improved in July, decline in exports eased and the

Philippine Peso remains one of the strongest currencies in Asia, Diokno told

ANC.

 

 

        CHIEF JUSTICE PERALTA HOLDS PRESS CONFERENCE

       

        MANILA — Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta, for the second time

this year, holds a virtual press conference on Friday morning.

        The Chief Justice Meets the Press event is themed “SC:

Rising Above the Pandemic.”

        Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the SC has released

circulars to help decongest the cramped jails in the country. It has also

adopted teleconferenced hearings amid the enforcement of health protocol.

        The SC Public Information Office said the press conference

also marks Peralta’s first year as chief justice. Peralta is expected to

answer questions from reporters covering the Justice beat.

        The Judiciary has been criticized following the case of

jailed activist Reina Mae Nasino, whose three month-old daughter passed away

while she was in government custody. Petitions for her temporary release,

including to see her dying baby daughter, were either rejected or unheeded

by the courts.

        Fides Lim, spokesperson of advocacy group Kapatid, has

called on Peralta to be a "more active, humane" court.

        The SC is also pressed to act on the 37 petitions

challenging the much feared anti-terrorism law, with the recent release of

its Implementing Rules and Regulations.

        Peralta also sits as the chairperson of the SC Manila Bay

Advisory Committee, and he had recently asked the Department of Environment

and Natural Resources to submit a report on the effects of dolomite on

humans following the controversial "Manila Bay sands" project.

        The press conference will go LIVE starting 9:00 a.m. on

Friday, October 23.

 

 

        PACC EXEC: CONGRESSMEN INVOLVED IN DPWH GRAFT

       

        MANILA — Some lawmakers are conspiring with public works

personnel and project contractors to commit corruption, an official of

President Duterte’s anti-corruption body said yesterday.

        Commissioner Greco Belgica of the Presidential

Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) said some lawmakers wield influence over

the implementation of local projects and the movement of district engineers.

        “DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) district

engineers are bullied by congressmen. They are involved in those projects,”

Belgica told Radyo 5.

        “That’s the conspiracy there – Congress, DPWH, contractors,

district engineers. District engineers are small employees. If you dismiss

them, fire them or move them to another post, they can’t do anything.

Powerful people like a congressman really can assert influence so they can

be moved to another assignment,” he said.

        Belgica did not identify the lawmakers supposedly benefiting

from the anomalies in public works projects. He cited the need to centralize

operations in state agencies to enhance the monitoring against

irregularities.

        “You know there are 250 districts, so each one talks to a

congressman. It’s not centralized, so there are problems in monitoring,”

Belgica said.

 

 

        HOUSE PROBE SOUGHT ON ABS-CBN BLOCKTIME DEAL

       

        MANILA — Despite its closure, ABS-CBN Corp.’s ordeal may not

be over yet, as a congressman is calling for an investigation into the

resumption of its daily programming through a deal with the licensed

television station, ZOE Broadcasting Network.

        New House Minority Leader Joseph Stephen Paduano has urged

the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and the Bureau of Internal

Revenue (BIR) to look into ABS-CBN’s blocktime agreement with ZOE for

possible legal and tax issues after its shows returned to free TV last Oct.

10.

        “There is a legal issue about it. Let’s just see what will

happen there,” the Abang Lingkod party-list congressman told reporters in a

virtual press conference last Wednesday.

        Paduano, who now heads a 23-member bloc in the House of

Representatives, also hinted another congressional inquiry against the

former broadcast giant.

        “Let the NTC do the study or investigation on that matter.

Then NTC will recommend it to Congress, to the committee on franchise, and

the committee will act on it. We also have the responsibility and the right

to investigate it,” he said, citing Congress’ oversight function.

        Apart from legal matters surrounding the blocktime deal,

Paduano said there could also be a tax issue that the BIR should look into

since ZOE TV has a tax-exempt status being a religious broadcasting entity.

 

 

        FOREIGNERS WITH INVESTOR VISAS ALLOWED IN PHILIPPINES

STARTING NOV. 1

       

        MANILA - Foreigners with investors visa will be allowed to

enter the Philippines from Nov. 1, Malacañang said Friday, as authorities

sought to boost the pandemic-battered economy.

        "Ang pupuwede lang po ay mga foreign nationals na merong

visa na in-issue ng Bureau of Immigration pursuant to Executive Order No.

226 or the Omnibus Investment Code as amended by RA 8756 'yung mga

investor's visa na tinatawag po no," said Presidential Spokesperson Harry

Roque.

        "At kasama rin po dito ang mga foreign nationals na mayroong

4782 visa na in-issue ng Department of Justice, ang mga visa na inissue ng

Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority, at ng Subic Bay

Metropolitan Authority," he said in a Laging Handa public briefing.

        They are required to pre-book accredited quarantine

facility, he said.

        The Philippines is forecast to see a 6.9 percent economic

contraction this year, the World Bank has said, the biggest since the 1980s

and worse than the government's projected 5.5 percent decline.

        It has been gradually reopening the economy to allow more

businesses to resume operations and more people to go back to work, but

partial restrictions in and around the capital Manila remain to keep the

virus spread in check.

 

 

        THE REST

        ========

        

 

        DOH REPORTS 1,664 ADD’L COVID-19 CASES, TOTAL INFECTIONS

BREACH 363,000

       

        MANILA — The Philippines recorded 1,664 new coronavirus

infections on Thursday, bringing the nationwide caseload to 363,888, data

from the health department showed.

        This marks the third straight day that the daily additional

cases counted fewer than 2,000. The last time this happened was on July 27

to 29, according to ABS-CBN Data Analytics.

        Of the newly-reported cases, 1,526 or 92 percent occurred

within the last 2 weeks. The top regions with cases in the recent 14 days

were NCR (438), Region 4A (235) and Region 6 (170).

        Cases of recoveries jumped by 843 over the previous day, the

Department of Health (DOH) said in its latest bulletin. The total number of

recoveries stood at 312,333.

        The disease-causing virus, which first emerged in the

central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, has claimed 38 more lives in

the Philippines. The death toll climbed to 6,783.

 

 

        NATIONAL ID PILOT PREREGISTERS OVER 1 MILLION FILIPINOS

       

        MANILA — Over a million Filipinos have preregistered with

the Philippine Identification System barely eight days into the program’s

pilot period, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said on

Thursday.

        Of the 1,058,546 cumulative preregistrations, 572,977 were

males while the balance of 485,569 were females. By age group, 39.7% of

registrants were young people aged 20 to 39 years old, while 37.9% were

40-59 years old.

        The Duterte administration had started rolling out the

national ID program, a priority project, in 32 areas last October 12. As of

October 20, 28 of the 32 provinces were deemed “on track” to complete the

preregistration of mostly poor individuals and with no access to banks.

        Preregistrations involved the personal visitations from

statistics personnel to gather personal data such as name, age, sex contact

number and addresses. This initial step will run from October 12 to December

30, and will overlap on actual registration in PhilSys centers, where

biometrics will be taken, beginning November 25.

 

 

        PAGBABAKUNA KONTRA TIGDAS, POLIO SIMULA NA SA OKT. 26

       

        MAYNILA - Aarangkada na ang pagbabakuna laban sa mga sakit

na tigdas at polio sa Lunes, Oktubre 26, ayon sa Department of Health.

        “Ito po ay sabayang measles-rubella, 'German measles, and

oral polio vaccine supplemental immunization activity sa mga rehiyon sa

Luzon—except NCR, Region 4A and Region 3—at lahat ng rehiyon sa Mindanao,”

pahayag ni Dr. Wilda Silva, National Immunization Manager ng DOH.

        Sa panayam sa TeleRadyo Biyernes, sinabi ni Silva na

nakatanggap sila ng request na dahil sa tumataas ang kaso ng COVID-19 at

kasalukuyang nasa ilalim ng modified general community quarantine pa rin ang

probinsya ng Lanao del Sur kaya maantala ng pagbabakuna sa lugar na ito ng

ilang linggo.

        Ayon kay Silva, naantala ang kanilang programang pagbabakuna

dahil na rin sa COVID-19 pandemic.

        “Pareho naman po ang ating gagamitin na vaccinator at

rumeresponde sa COVID-19. Unfortunately, may mga health workers tayo na

naka-quarantine ngayon sa ibang lugar kaya naantala ang ating pagsasagawa ng

malawakang pagbakuna kontra tigdas,” sabi niya.

        Magkakaroon ng fixed posts ang DOH, gayundin ng temporary

sites para mailapit ang serbisyong pagbabakuna sa komunidad.

        “Wala po tayong door-to-door ngayon but instead, 'yung ating

temporary site 'yung ang sinasabi nating dadalhin 'yung ating kabataan

together with the parents doon sa itinalagang temporary sites,” ayon kay

Silva.

 

 

        COOLER SHOPPING: DTI EASES CONTROL MEASURES IN MALLS

       

        MANILA — Control measures enforced at malls and shopping

centers were relaxed beginning yesterday to allow more patrons to enjoy

their visit, encourage spending and spur economic activity, the Department

of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

        Under Memorandum Circular 20-55, the DTI relaxed certain

control measures and now allows malls and commercial centers to set air

conditioning to cooler temperatures, provide free WiFi services for

customers, and hold sales and promo events.

        Specifically, air-conditioning temperature can now be set

below 24 degrees Celsius while free WiFi service, which usually attracts

more customers, can be switched on.

        In addition, the malls can hold sales promotion activities

and marketing events, but would have to ensure strict physical distancing is

observed and permits are secured from the DTI Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau.

        Last week, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of

Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) decided to allow malls to conduct sale

events.

 

 

        PRIVATE LABS TO CONDUCT SWAB TESTS FOR OFWS

       

        MANILA — As the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is still not

providing swab testing services for those who use their Philippine Health

Insurance Corp. or PhilHealth cards as payment guarantee, the Department of

Health (DOH) reported yesterday that at least seven private laboratories are

set to do the tests for returning overseas Filipino workers and other

affected sectors.

        In a virtual briefing yesterday, Health Undersecretary Maria

Vergeire said the private laboratories have offered to help in addressing

the “bottleneck” in swab testing.

 

 

        BREWING STORM SET TO ENTER PAR - PAGASA

       

        MANILA - A low-pressure area (LPA) seen east of Mindanao is

expected to enter the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) Friday, the

state weather bureau said.

        The brewing storm was last spotted 1,145 kilometers east of

Mindanao as of 3 a.m., weather specialist Loriedin Dela Cruz.

        The LPA is likely to develop into a tropical cyclone and may

become the country's 17th storm this year, she added.

        Meanwhile, typhoon Pepito, which left the country Thursday,

was last seen 520 kilometers west of northern Luzon.

        The typhoon's trough or extension will still bring cloudy

skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms over Batanes, Babuyan

Islands, Pangasinan, Zambales, Bataan, Occidental Mindoro and Palawan.

        Metro Manila and the rest of the country will have partly

cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers due to localized

thunderstorms.

 

 

        ENTERTAINMENT & LIFESTYLE

       

 

        LIZA SOBERANO UNFAZED BY MILITARY OFFICIAL'S STATEMENT,

'WILL CONTINUE RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH'

       

        MANILA – Actress Liza Soberano will continue to express her

views despite being threatened by a top military official because of her

advocacy for women's rights, her camp said Friday.

        “Liza is not afraid of this statement from [Lt.] Gen.

Antonio Parlade [Jr.]. Though I must state we take note of the general's

advice, unsolicited as it may sound,” the actress’ lawyer Juanito Lim Jr.

told ANC’s “Matters of Fact.”

        “However, please know that Ms. Soberano will continue to

exercise her constitutionally-protected right to free speech and expression

without fear nor restrain from anyone.”

        Parlade of the National Task Force to End Local Communist

Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) drew flak after he warned the actress she would

end up getting killed if she continued supporting the women’s group

Gabriela.

        This, after Soberano participated in a webinar conducted by

Gabriela Youth about children and women’s welfare.

        “Liza Soberano, there's still a chance to abdicate that

group. If you don't, you will suffer the same fate as Josephine Anne

Lapira,” Parlade said in a statement.

        Lapira, a UP Manila student, was killed in an encounter

between state forces and suspected members of New People’s Army (NPA) in

Nasugbu, Batangas in November 2017.

        Parlade made the same threat to Miss Universe 2018 Catriona

Gray and also alleged actress Angel Locsin was part of the underground

movement.

        For Lim, his client has nothing to be afraid about.

        “As any civilian would feel, being red-tagged might cause

some sort of a chilling effect, but going to this particular situation with

Ms. Soberano, we feel that there's nothing to worry about as far as Liza is

concerned because as we have earlier stated she has not committed any

wrongdoing other than expressing her views,” he said.

        He also maintained the actress was not a member of Gabriela

nor any cause-oriented or left-leaning groups.

        “Liza remains apolitical,” he said, adding his client is

neutral and not favoring any group.

        Soberano, who was last seen in the ABS-CBN Teleserye “Make

It With You,” is currently in the US.

 

 

        SPORTS

       

 

        STREAKING ALASKA SENDS RAIN OR SHINE TO FIRST LOSS

       

        Alaska Aces put an end to the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters’

undefeated run, eking out a narrow 89-88 decision in their 2020 PBA

Philippine Cup tussle on Thursday night at the AUF Sports Arena and Cultural

Center.

        It was a third consecutive victory now for the Aces after

starting the conference at 0-2, while they sent Rain or Shine crashing to

its first-ever loss inside the bubble.

        Both teams found it hard to create separation from each

other as no team led by double digits, with the Elasto Painters building

their largest advantage at seven points, 78-71, inside the six-minute mark

of the final canto.

        But the lead dissipated as Alaska responded with a 14-2

surge for a quick turnaround as it held an 85-80 cushion with 1:43 to go

before proving steadier on both ends.

        After the E-Painters hit back-to-back triples to close the

distance and forced Aces forward Jeron Teng to a turnover, Rey Nambatac

missed a three-pointer from way out before fouling Vic Manuel on the other

end.

        The window was still open for Rain or Shine, though, as Beau

Belga went for a lay up to make it just an 89-88 game in the final seven

seconds, and Teng committed another turnover for the Aces.

        But Nambatac failed to hit his mark once again, as Manuel

secured the board and eventually the win for Alaska.

        Manuel, who scored 10 points in the fourth quarter—including

Alaska’s last six points, led all scorers with 18 points to go with seven

rebounds.

        Teng provided an all-around game with 13 points, eight

rebounds and six assists, while Barkley Eboña and Abu Tratter each had 10

points for Alaska, which improved to 3-2.

        Sidney Onwubere topscored for Rain or Shine with 16 points,

Javee Mocon produced 14 points, while Adrian Wong had 12 markers that went

for naught as they dropped to 3-1.

 

 

        TNT STEAMROLLS BLACKWATER TO STAY PERFECT AT 5-0

       

        TNT Tropang Giga rolled to its fifth straight win as it

trounced the Blackwater Elite, 109-96, in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup

Thursday at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena in Pampanga.

        As a result, the KaTropa reclaimed the solo top spot in the

team standings with a 5-0 win-loss record, as several TNT players stepped up

in the absence of leader Jayson Castro.

        Playing without star guard Castro—who was sidelined after

feeling tightness in his right calf—barely affected the rampaging KaTropa,

who got off to a strong start and never let up, as the lead went as much as

21 points.

        Roger Pogoy once again led the TNT offense, finishing with

20 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and three steals, while Ray Parks

added 18 markers in the dominant victory.

        Troy Rosario put up a double-double effort of 17 points and

12 rebounds, Poy Erram tallied 14 points, five rebounds and five assists,

while Simon Enciso had 16 points.

        Don Trollano led Blackwater with 23 points, Mac Belo added

16 points and eight rebounds, while Mike Tolomia chipped in 12 markers in a

losing effort as the Elite absorbed their second straight defeat that

dropped them to 2-3.

 

 

        INDICATORS

       

        FOREX $1 = P 48.60

 

 

        THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

       

        No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a

single experiment can prove me wrong. - Albert Einstein

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