World Newsletter

17 Nov 2020




MANILA - The local government of Cebu City will reimpose stricter quarantine

measures, including border control, due to the rising number of COVID-19


“We used to have 1 digit lang and there were even days na zero talaga tayo

kaya nung nag double digit immediately, we made some efforts na we have to

contend with it. Awa ng Diyos, we only had 3 cases yesterday,” Mayor Edgardo

Labella told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.

As of Nov. 15, the Department of Health logged 292 cases of COVID-19

infections in the city.

The mayor has issued Executive Order No. 105,which requires all those

entering the city to present an authority to enter (ATE). The ATE shall be

issued upon the submission of necessary documents, including a negative


“Nag-issue ako ng executive order the other day na pag galing outside Cebu

Province, magdala sila ng authority to enter. Kailangang magdala sila ng

result ng kanilang swab test sa probinsiyang pinanggalingan nila,” Labella


The order also implements the "odd-even" scheme for quarantine passes. Those

with quarantine passes ending in odd numbers can only enter the city on

Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays while those with even number passes can

enter on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Labella said that many COVID-19 cases were from people who entered Cebu City

from September up to the present.

With a more relaxed quarantine classification, inter-island vessels were

allowed to ferry 50 percent of passengers. Aside from the city, they also

have 8 other piers all over the province.





MANILA – An environmental group on Tuesday made a fresh call to President

Rodrigo Duterte to declare a national climate emergency following a spate of

typhoons that has brought massive flooding in parts of Luzon.

Greenpeace Philippines country director Lea Guerrero called for a more

comprehensive approach in addressing the climate crisis, as the Philippines

is among the most susceptible countries to hazards brought about by climate


"The climate crisis is here to stay. It will be part of the future of the

country. This is the new normal,” she told ANC’s “Matters of Fact”.

“Unless we have plans that are comprehensive and that are forward-looking

like planning for long term… we'll be stuck in a cycle of just responding to

every disaster that comes in and it’s not sustainable.”

Extreme weather events such as the strengthening of typhoons are among

things linked to climate change and the worsening global warming.

While there have been efforts in addressing the effects of climate crisis,

Guerrero noted that the focus of present and past administrations had always

been on post-disaster response.

“There hasn’t been a big effort for a lot of administrations to really

address issues such as the country's coal use, fossil fuel use,” she said.

“We don't need a national task force to keep on responding to everything

that’s happening in localized places. But we need LGUs (local government

units) to have more capacity, to have more resources to be able to determine

the risks and manage the risks in their localities,” Guerrero said.





MANILA – The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council

(NDRRMC) on Monday recommended to place the entire Luzon under a state of

calamity following successive storms that caused massive destruction in the

country’s main island.

The recommendation for President Rodrigo Duterte to issue such declaration

was approved by the council in an emergency meeting. Under a state of

calamity, calamity fund can be tapped, prices of basic commodities can be

controlled, and interest-free loans can be availed, among others.

During the council's virtual meeting, various government agencies and

several local chief executives also agreed to create a technical working

group of the joint prevention, mitigation, and preparedness clusters of the

NDRRMC to assess the management of the country’s dams.

NDRRMC chairperson and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana ordered state

weather bureau PAGASA to revisit its historical data to strengthen warnings


Other issues discussed during the meeting were the provision of assistance

to affected farmers and fisherfolk, road clearing, shelter requirements, and

other recovery interventions.





MANILA — Petitioners represented by the Free Legal Assistance Group urged

the Supreme Court to conduct the preliminary conference on the

anti-terrorism law case through videoconference, citing COVID-19 risks and

the protocol enforced to curb the spread of the virus.

In an urgent omnibus motion filed Monday, FLAG said they are grateful for

the SC's move to conduct preliminary conference on the case, but asked the

high court to allow the remote participation of the parties in it.

“As to the conduct of the preliminary conference by videoconference, the

petitioners submit that the said mode will best balance the need for the

speedy resolution of the consolidated petitions with the current public

health realities arising from the COVID-19 pandemic,” they said.

The SC will hold preliminary conference on the case on November 26, but it

has yet to set a date for the oral arguments.

FLAG noted that the petitioners come from various areas in the Philippines,

including from Visayas and Mindanao, and travel restrictions remain in

place. It also pointed out that other than the 37 legal teams of each group

of petitioners, the Office of the Solicitor General will also attend the

preliminary conference.

The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile,

nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to

one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to

trust you with a friendship. - Ralph Waldo Emerson





MANILA — President Duterte yesterday signed two administrative orders

allowing the grant of additional pay to frontline health workers and public

and private health personnel in direct contact with COVID-19 patients.

AO No. 35 authorized the grant of active hazard duty pay to health workers

serving in the frontlines during the state of national emergency. AO No. 36,

meanwhile, allowed the grant of special risk allowance to private and public

health workers directly attending to or in contact with coronavirus


Under AO 35, national government agencies, government-owned or controlled

corporations and local government units may grant active hazard duty pay of

up to P3,000 per month to all human resources for health.

The grant of COVID-19 active hazard duty pay shall be pro-rated based on the

number of days that the frontline health workers physically report for work

in a month, from Sept. 15, 2020 until Dec. 19, 2020.





MANILA - Residents of Cagayan province want to pursue the filing of charges

against operators of Magat Dam, governor Manuel Mamba said Tuesday.

Mamba earlier said the dam's water release, rainfall from nearby provinces,

and a heavily-silted Cagayan River submerged the province and killed at

least 9.

"I want to prevent doing that because you know there is real clamor from

people. I’m texted every now and then by people to pursue this. That’s why

sinasabi ko nga po (I'm saying) there should be medium-term and long-term

plans to mitigate or even prevent these things to happen and worsen," he

told ANC's Headstart when asked on pursuing a complaint.

"We will have to study this with our legal team just to effect change and

for them to come up with medium(-term plans)."

The governor said the dam management should ensure that its watershed was

"well-kept" as flooding from the dam's water release affects Cagayan, which

does not benefit from its irrigation nor power supply.

"Kasi hindi niyo ma-control ang pagdating ng tubig, hindi niyo rin

ma-control ang pagrelease. Baka pumutok ang dam, 'yun lang po ang gusto

namin maimbestigahan para kahit papaano po naman, we will not exacerbate

'yung paghihirap ng Cagayan na walang kapaki-pakinabang dyan sa dam na

'yan," he said.

The National Irrigation Authority is revisiting its protocols, said dam and

reservoir division manager Eduardo Ramos.

Ramos admitted that the dam's water release contributed to the worst

flooding Cagayan has seen in 4 decades.





MANILA — The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has infused an

additional P10 billion into the government’s disaster response fund,

bringing the available funds for typhoon victims to over P11 billion.

In a text message, Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado reiterated that the

government has enough funds for disaster response after his department

augmented the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (NDRRMF)

with another P10 billion.

This is on top of the P5-billion replenishment received by the NDRRMF

following the onslaught of Super Typhoon Rolly earlier this month.

“We just augmented the NDRRM Fund with P10 billion. Plus the previous

augmentation of P5 billion, we have now augmented out NDRRM Fund for 2020 by

a total of P15 billion, from the original approved budget of P16 billion or

an overall total of P31 billion,” Avisado said.

He said the augmentation was made in compliance with the directive of

President Duterte to provide additional funds to local government units

badly hit by Typhoons Rolly, Quinta and Ulysses.

During a situation briefing on the effects of Ulysses on Sunday, Budget

Assistant Secretary Kim Robert de Leon told the President that the DBM’s

augmentation brought the total available NDRRM Fund to P11.774 billion.

For his part, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the government

would assess the extent of damage caused by the recent typhoons to determine

if a supplemental budget or a third Bayanihan package would be needed.





MANILA - The Department of Education will not likely issue an academic

freeze following the onslaught of several storms, an official said Tuesday.

Several groups called for an academic freeze or break after a series of

typhoons ravaged parts of the country in the past weeks as the COVID-19

pandemic persisted.

No country has suspended its reopening of classes even when the pandemic

hit, DepEd Undersecretary Tonisito Umali said.

"Hindi na po siguro mangyayari ito dahil sa nabanggit ko, bukod (dito)

maaaring i-correct niyo po ako, kung may alam po tayong bansa na maaaring

hindi po nagtuloy ng kanilang unang araw ng pasukan dahil sa COVID-19,

parang wala po," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

"Kung gagawin nating barometro ang ginagawa ng buong mundo patungkol sa

edukasyon ng mga bata, wala pong nagka-academic freeze dahil palagay po

namin ito ang tamang polisya, ang magpatuloy. At ang nakikita po natin with

the latest issuance ay maging flexible na lang tayo."

The agency has implemented an "academic ease," where students are given

flexible time to submit requirements, said DepEd Undersecretary Tonisito


"Di po tayo ngayon mahigpit na nagpapatupad ng requirements sa mga bata nang

makasabay at matugunan po itong mga pangangailangan na ito," he said.

Meantime, more than 1,000 schools in various regions were damaged by the

typhoons as of Sunday, Umali said.

Some 430 schools with 14,000 classrooms are housing 1,935 families as

evacuation centers, he added.









MANILA — Confirmed coronavirus cases nationwide soared to 409,574 with the

addition of 1,738 cases yesterday, according to the Department of Health


The DOH reported that 91.4 percent or 374,366 of the total confirmed COVID

cases have recovered from the potentially deadly infection. The DOH recorded

45 additional recoveries yesterday.

Seven additional deaths brought to 7,839 the number of COVID-related

fatalities. The figure represents 1.91 percent of total cases nationwide.





MANILA — More than 100,000 public utility vehicle (PUV) operators will

receive cash subsidies from the government this week, the Land

Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) announced yesterday.

LTFRB Metro Manila director Zona Tamayo said the subsidy program, which is

under the Bayanihan 2, seeks to provide P6,500 to each PUV operator.

“The amount can double if they have two PUV units,” Tamayo said at a press


A breakdown provided by the LTFRB showed that around 178,000 PUV units were

included in the cash subsidy program. The number is composed of about

120,000 jeepneys, 21,998 buses, 24,374 UV Express units, 10,188 Filcabs,

1,259 mini buses and 426 point-to-point shuttles.

The LTFRB said the program requires a funding of at least P1.1 billion,

including a contingency budget for service charges and additional


The transport regulator targets to start distributing the financial

assistance to PUV operators this week, Tamayo said.





ZAMBOANGA CITY — A senior high school student died during a fraternity

hazing in this city on Sunday.

The victim was identified as Joselito Envidiado, 21, of Sarangani Drive,

Barangay San Jose Gusu.

Police arrested 12 of 18 officers and members of the Tau Gamma Phi

Triskelion-San Jose Gusu Chapter, who were reportedly involved in the

initiation rites, according to Maj. Elmer Solon, chief of the city police

Station 11.

Envidiado was one of six recruits, who underwent hazing, police said.

Investigation showed the hazing was conducted at around 10 a.m. at the house

of one of the arrested fratmember, identified as Fidel Cubol, in Doña Martha

Drive, according to Capt. Yashier Sarikin, spokesman for the Zamboanga City


Barangay officials said they had no idea that a fraternity hazing was being

conducted in their village as the area where it took place was secluded.

Two of the fraternity members, identified as Marcelino Viñas Jr. and Joseph

Villaroses, rushed Envidiado to the Zamboanga City Medical Center, where the

victim was declared dead on arrival.

Viñas was reportedly the master initiator of the rites.

Aside from Cubol and Viñas, among those arrested were Ruben Sebastian,

reportedly the head of the fraternity; his deputy Roldan Paler, and members

Eryan Alabata, Cleven Atis, John Dale Bulalacad, Azis Camlian and Xavierwyn


Responding police officers recovered a paddle wrapped in a sack at the scene

of the incident.

Solon said they would file charges for violation of the Anti-Hazing Law

against the suspects including the six fratmembers who have yet to be


A police personnel who knew but failed to report the incident will be

investigated, Solon said.






MANILA — Former First Lady Imelda Marcos was ridiculed in the fourth and

latest season of award-winning Netflix series “The Crown.”

In the show’s Season 4, Episode 3, Princess Margaret ridiculed Imelda’s way

of speaking the English language.

"So there we are in Manila, in the middle of a state banquet, when who

barges into the room? None other than Imelda Marcos. She makes a beeline

straight for me, saying she’s desperate to show me her… wait for it..." said

Princess Margaret, played by Helena Bonham Carter.

"Shoe collection," Princess Anne, played by Erin Doherty, interrupted.

"Shell collection," Princess Margaret clarified.

Prince Philip, played by Tobias Menzies, said that Imelda probably tried to

say "shoe," and Princess Margaret misunderstood it.

"No, I can assure you, it was seashells," Princess Margaret replied, which

drew out laughter.

"So now the whole dinner party decants into a convoy of limousines, we’re

rushed through the streets of Manila..." Princess Margaret continued.

It is not clear, however, if that really happened. But Princess Margaret

really visited the country on April 2, 1980.









MANILA — Fans of celebrity couple Derek Ramsay and Andrea Torres are asking

whether they have broken up, as they now appear to no longer be connected on

social media.

Hawkeyed fans on Monday noticed that Ramsay and Torres appear to have

unfollowed each other on Instagram, with the actress’ page noticeably wiped

of traces of her relationship with the actor.

Ramsay and Torres, who co-starred in a primetime series, first confirmed

their relationship in September 2019.

As recently as September 2020, the two appeared to be in good terms, and in

fact agreed in an interview that they were “ready” to get married.

They also have a shared YouTube channel, dubbed “Andrek,” whose most recent

episode was released in October.

As of writing, neither Ramsay nor Torres has made any statement pertaining

to their relationship, amid the rumored breakup.








SMART CLARK GIGA CITY, Pampanga — Following their unceremonious exit as PBA

Philippine Cup kingpin, the fallen San Miguel Beermen are pondering how to

get back on their feet.

Is it time to tweak the battle-scarred core responsible for the historic

All-Filipino five-peat and bring in fresh legs as they try to regain lost


“I hope we realize what we have right now. Next season, we still don’t know

how it will go, when it will start,” said SMB coach Leo Austria.

“Of course, we’re not getting any younger. Probably, we will talk to

management regarding the composition of our line up next year.”

Austria’s old guards had difficulty adjusting to the rigors of the

compressed bubble schedule. They had their hands full dealing with the

absence of MVP June Mar Fajardo and later on Terrence Romeo.

“I think we’re the oldest team in the league and our starters are averaging

34 years old, whereas our opponents are 27-28 and in their primes,” he said.

“Maybe in a regular season, we could have adjusted. But here, (we played)

every other day, sometimes back-to-back days. It’s tougher,” he said.

If the next tournament will be played in a similar bubble setting, Austria

admitted the need to really make some changes.

“I hope there will be (changes) because we cannot survive as all the teams

are getting better and better. Those players are getting some experience.

They could catch up with the talent we have. In terms of energy, they have

the advantage. Especially if we don’t have June Mar, mahirap,” he said.

Ranked fourth in the quarterfinals, the Beermen blew a twice-to-beat

advantage to No. 5 Meralco Bolts, and kissed their hopes goodbye.

They’re up against the unbeatable foe – Father Time.





FOREX $1 = P 48.22





The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile,

nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to

one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to

trust you with a friendship. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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