23 Nov 2020
HOUSE TO SEEK ADDITIONAL P5 BILLION IN 2021 CALAMITY FUND
MANILA - The House of Representatives will seek to hike the calamity fund
for 2021 by at least P5 billion, which will be used for the reconstruction
of areas devastated by the recent string of typhoons.
In a statement, House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco said the House will propose
the increase during the bicameral conference on the proposed P4.506 trillion
2021 national budget.
The two chambers will convene after the Senate approves its version of the
According to Velasco, there is a need to augment next year's calamity fund,
especially since the House approved its version of the budget before the
typhoons Quinta, Rolly and Ulysses wreaked havoc in the country.
Given the tremendous damage caused by these successive strong typhoons, it
is imperative that we augment the calamity fund in next years spending
plan. We have to help our people rebuild their lives and their communities,
He also said that based on the reports of concerned agencies, the total
damage brought by the three typhoons to infrastructure and agriculture is
now at P35 billion.
Velasco said there are enough appropriations in the proposed budget from
which the needed funds could be taken.
UNICEF SAYS TO SHIP 2 BILLION COVID VACCINES TO POOR NATIONS IN 2021
LONDON - Nearly 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines will be shipped and
flown to developing countries next year in a "mammoth operation", the U.N.
children's agency UNICEF said on Monday, as world leaders vowed to ensure
the fair distribution of vaccines.
UNICEF said it was working with over 350 airlines and freight companies to
deliver vaccines and 1 billion syringes to poor countries such as Burundi,
Afghanistan and Yemen as part of COVAX, a global COVID-19 vaccine allocation
plan with the World Health Organization (WHO).
"This invaluable collaboration will go a long way to ensure that enough
transport capacity is in place for this historic and mammoth operation,"
said Etleva Kadilli, director of UNICEF's Supply Division, in a statement.
COVAX co-led by GAVI vaccine group, the WHO and the Coalition for Epidemic
Preparedness Innovations aims to discourage governments from hoarding
COVID-19 vaccines and to focus on first vaccinating the most at risk in
At a G20 summit this weekend, leaders of the biggest 20 world economies
pledged to ensure the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, drugs and
tests so that poorer countries are not left out.
SKYWAY EXTENSION PROJECT OWNER, CONTRACTORS LIABLE FOR GIRDER COLLAPSE: DOLE
MANILA - The owner and contractors of the construction project at the Skyway
Extension site in Muntinlupa are liable for the collapse of a steel girder
last Saturday, an official of the labor department said Monday.
The accident, which left 1 dead and 4 others injured, was reported to have
been caused by a crane that tilted and fell on the girder, which spans the
length of two posts of the northbound lane of the Skyway extension project.
Traffic enforcers and warning signs could not be seen in videos of the
accident that were uploaded on social media, said Engr. Noel Binag,
executive director of DOLE's occupational safety and health center.
"Ang unang-unang napansin natin sa video ay parang walang nag-enforce ng
traffic, so tingin ko na-compromise din ang public safety. They allowed
traffic to continue despite critical activity ng ating (of the)
construction," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
"Considering ang oras na yan umaga, alam naman natin ang volume ng traffic
pagka Sabado ng umaga, rush hour yan."
San Miguel Corporation (SMC) on Sunday extended assistance and its President
apologized to the victims.
The company is required to file an incident report to the labor department
within 24 hours or face penalty, Binag said.
The DOLE will then validate the firm's report and make a technical report
that can be used by the victims' families to file a complaint, he added.
"Sa ating batas, jointly liable yung (project) owner, main contractor and
sub contractor, kung meron," he said.
PH ECONOMY SEEN RECOVERING 'ALMOST INSTANTLY' WITH 'INVESTOR FRIENDLY'
MANILA - The Philippine economy is poised to bounce back faster and catch up
with Vietnam's post-pandemic growth should the government rally for
investor-friendly reforms and push for more exports in the country, two
chamber of commerce heads told the ANC on Monday.
John Forbes of the American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AmCham) and
Lars Wittig of the European Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ECCP) said the
Philippines can bring back investments "almost instantly" should the right
laws be passed that will foster stability and predictability for foreign
investors and locators.
DRILON NIXES NEW AGENCIES, WANTS 2021 BUDGET TO FOCUS ON HEALTH, SOCIAL
MANILA - The creation of a Department of Disaster Resilience will be a
"disaster" and will add bureaucracy, Sen. Franklin Drilon said Monday as he
urged government to focus next year's spending plan on the health and social
sector as the COVID-19 pandemic persisted.
Calls for a disaster agency remerged after a series of typhoons lashed Luzon
beginning last month.
An additional calamity fund is what is needed, Drilon said, citing more than
P30 billion worth of damage that Super Typhoon Rolly and Typhoons Quinta and
The senator said the proposed calamity fund for next year is at P16 billion
versus P20 billion last year.
"It will be a disaster because what we need are additional disaster or
calamity funds not additional bureaucracy. For every department you create
you spend one and a half billion in terms of salary and MOOE (maintenance
and other operating expenses) and you add to the bureaucracy," he told ANC's
"To create the Department of Disaster is a disaster because you need funds
especially today for calamity, COVID, housing, education rather than an
PHILIPPINES EYES 'TRAVEL BUBBLE' WITH SOME ASIAN COUNTRIES: DOT
MANILA The Philippines is looking at setting up travel bubble arrangements
with other Asian countries, a tourism official said Monday, as its neighbors
begin to loosen travel restrictions after imposing lockdowns meant to curb
the spread of COVID-19.
We've done some preparatory work, more or less which destination in
Southeast Asia or at least in Asia will be part of the travel bubble
program, which will most likely involve our resort destinations, Tourism
Undersecretary Bong Benzon told ANC.
However, he did not say when such program would begin and what countries
could be involved, but its part of the countrys efforts to further revive
the hard-hit tourism sector.
To date, travel bubble arrangements, in which areas can open their borders
to each other to allow free movement of travelers, have been confined to
domestic destinations, Benzon said.
On Monday, Siargao in Surigao Del Norte, which is considered the country's
surfing capital, will open its doors to tourists anew, following the
reopening of Baguio City and Boracay in October.
All domestic destinations are open to all Filipinos. International traffic
is still restricted. But we're hoping that overtime we'll be able to
increase the numbers of Filipinos moving around. Siargao is a gem of a
destination, Benzon said.
Domestic tourism accounts for about 80 to 85 percent of total tourism
revenue, he added.
We are confident in the next few months, with our focus on domestic
tourism, will be able to generate enough income to tide us over as we go
through this difficult time, the tourism official said.
'KILLING ME SOFTLY': NURSES' GROUP URGES GOVT TO LIFT CAP ON DEPLOYMENT BAN
MANILA - A group of Filipino nurses on Monday urged the government to lift
its cap on healthcare workers allowed to work abroad and pay on time those
who serve in the frontlines against COVID-19.
Maristela Abenojar, national president of Filipino Nurses United, said
nearly 30,000 healthcare workers have yet to receive several months of
salary, hazard pay and special risk allowance.
"Tingin ko po ang nangyayari ngayon ay killing me softly. Unti-unti kaming
pinapatay. Pinapatay kami sa pagiging exposed, nang di nabibigyan ng sapat
na proteksyon sa COVID-19. Pinapatay din kami sa gutom," she told ABS-CBN's
"Panawagan po namin, malapit na ang pasko, maawa naman po kayo sa ating
nurses at iba pang healthworkers. Ngayon po namin kayo kailangan magpatupad
ng mabilisan na pagkilos dahil pera naman po yan ng sambayanang Pilipino so
sana po gawin niyo po ang dapat niyong gawin para sa amin."
President Rodrigo Duterte over the weekend approved ending a ban deploying
the nation's healthcare workers overseas during the COVID-19 pandemic with a
limit of 5,000 a year.
Some 14 health professions are affected by the deployment limit, Abenojar
"Paano po yan paghahatian ng 14 na propesyon. Ano po ang kanilang proseso ng
approval dyan, hindi ho kasi malinaw," she said.
Abenojar reiterated that there are 200,000 unemployed or underemployed
nurses in the country so government does not need to enforce a cap on
healthworkers working abroad.
"Ang mas challenge sa government ngayon ay ang panghihikayat sa healthcare
workers. Ang panghihikayat ay magiging matagumpay lamang kung sila ay
magpapatupad ng tamang pasahod at benepisyo," she said.
BI ALLOWS FOREIGN BUSINESSMEN TO ENTER PHILIPPINES
MANILA Foreigners traveling for business and investments are now allowed
to visit the Philippines as the Bureau of Immigration (BI) further eases
entry restrictions on foreign nationals, it was learned yesterday.
Effective immediately, treaty traders and treaty investors, or those issued
visas pursuant to Section 9(d) of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940 are
allowed to enter the country, read a statement from BI Commissioner Jaime
The announcement for the expanded coverage of foreign nationals allowed to
enter the country in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic follows the latest
resolution issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of
Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).
The BI explained that those holding 9(d) visas are alien businessmen who are
in the country to carry on trade or commerce between the Philippines and his
country of origin, or invest in an enterprise here.
Also entitled to the same visa are the 9(d) visa holders spouse and minor
children as well as the aliens employees.
Also adding to the list of foreigners allowed entry by the BI are aliens
with visas issued by economic zones of the Authority of the Freeport Area of
Bataan, Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, and Clark Development Corporation.
TYPHOON EVACUEES WITH COVID-19 CLIMB TO 5
MANILA The number of typhoon evacuees in Marikina City who tested positive
for COVID-19 has climbed to five, Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said yesterday.
This prompted the city government to test some 12,000 residents staying at
Of the number of evacuees tested for COVID-19, Teodoro said 153 were found
to be reactive with the rapid tests.
The five who tested positive for the virus were taken to quarantine
facilities, Teodoro said in an interview on ABS-CBNs Teleradyo.
He said those who interacted with the patients have tested negative for the
GOVERNMENT SETS SRP FOR BEEF, VEGETABLES
MANILA The Department of Agriculture has included new food items in its
suggested retail price (SRP) list following the spike in prices of basic
commodities due to the recent consecutive typhoons that hit the country.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar over the weekend issued the administrative
circular to place more basic commodities in wet markets and supermarkets
under the SRP list to protect the consuming public from abnormal price
The SRP list now includes beef as well as lowland and highland vegetables.
In order not to aggravate the current difficulties of Filipinos who are
affected by the pandemic and the series of calamities, there is a need to
manage prices for basic necessities in the market, Dar said.
The imposition of SRP is in line with the Price Act, which aims to ensure
the availability of basic and prime commodities at reasonable prices at all
times without denying legitimate business a fair return on investment.
It also mandates that prices of basic necessities shall automatically be
frozen at their prevailing prices or placed under automatic price control
whenever an area is proclaimed or declared a disaster area or under a state
FAMILY PLANNING EYED IN DISASTER, PANDEMIC RESPONSE
MANILA Pandemic and disaster preparedness programs must include family
planning to build up the resiliency of families and communities against
calamities, the Commission on Population (PopCom) said over the weekend.
Ahead of todays start of Population and Development Week, PopCom
executive director Juan Antonio Perez III pushed for the inclusion of family
planning in the drafting of programs related to pandemic and disaster
Practicing family planning and responsible parenthood should be part of
medium- to long-term solutions toward building the resiliency of families
and communities, as these would enable couples to have greater capacity to
ensure their health, financial stability, and other social protections in
the future, Perez said.
When families are planned, vulnerabilities diminish and communities can
overcome pandemic and natural calamities, he said.
This week, PopCom will highlight the interconnection of population factors
and the pandemic.
Our resiliency against the pandemic and other related crisis situations
starts from our decision to form a family. We need to consider our
preparedness and capabilities to provide each member their physical, social,
emotional, and other pertinent needs, Perez said.
As observed from trends and patterns of COVID-19 infections in the country,
PopCom said community transmissions are still pervasive in cities with close
congregations of people.
Physical distancing a critical health and safety protocol being
implemented by the government has proven to be difficult to implement
among households of small residential units with an average of less than 20
sq. m., and having more than four members, PopCom said.
PopCom is providing technical assistance to local government units (LGUs)
and other institutions in addressing other population issues, such as
unmanaged internal migration, which causes congestion and crowding in
Population factors, PopCom said, will help local governments plan and
implement their programs, with focus on communities with demographic
MAGUINDANAO VILLAGERS ASK MILITARY TO HELP DEFUSE CLAN WAR
MAGUINDANAO Residents of an interior barangay in Sultan Mastura town urged
authorities Monday to intervene in a showdown between two heavily-armed
groups in their villages.
Community leaders said gunmen belonging to one of two feuding clans in the
area searched on Monday morning for firearms in a number of houses in Sitio
Santillan in Barangay Macabiso in Sultan Mastura town in Maguindanao.
Sitio Santillan has been the scene of sporadic gunfights since February
between the two feuding families, both identified with the Moro Islamic
Villagers told reporters the armed men who roamed in their villages early
Monday fired assault rifles at houses occupied by their adversaries.
The hostilities between the two groups started in February, sparked by land
conflict and political differences.
Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of the Armys 6th Infantry Division, has
directed the 1st Marine Brigade, which covers Sultan Mastura and neighboring
towns, to help local officials and the police settle the clan war.
ENTERTAINMENT & LIFESTYLE
QCINEMA FILM FESTIVAL TO GO DIGITAL THIS YEAR
MANILA - QCinema is adapting to the times as it brings the film festival
experience to anyone in the country right in the comfort of their homes.
In a press release, QCinema announced that the film festival will go digital
this year made possible by its partnership with UPSTREAM and GMovies.
The festival will run from November 27 to December 6, and will stream two
sets of films for five days each.
For its opening salvo, 10 award-winning and highly acclaimed films will be
available for rent for only P 150.00 each.
The films include QCinema grantees Cleaners by Glenn Barit, Oda sa Wala
by Dwein Baltazar, Balangiga Howling Wilderness by Khavn, and Babae at
Baril by Rae Red.
Aside from these films, QCinema also hosts the Asian premiere of Genus Pan
by Lav Diaz, the Southeast Asian premiere of Song Without a Name by Melina
León and Divine Love by Gabriel Mascaro, and the Philippine premiere of
Rom by Tran Thanh Huy, Suk Suk by Ray Yeung, and Corpus Christi by
Limited number of tickets will be available for each film and they will be
released beginning November 24 via upstream.ph.
QCinema Festival Bundles will also be made available for P750.00, wherein a
viewer will have access to five films and will receive QCinema-branded
items. These bundles are available via qcinema.ph.
PBA SCORES NOV 22
SUN, NOV 22, 2020 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 T
Barangay Ginebra 27 18 19 27 91
Meralco Bolts 12 22 18 32 84
TNT Tropang Giga 24 23 22 20 89
Phoenix Fuel Masters 22 27 24 19 92
NBA: CELTICS, TATUM AGREE TO $195M MAX EXTENSION
The Boston Celtics and star forward Jayson Tatum have agreed to a five-year,
$195 million max extension, ESPN reported Sunday.
The deal could approach $200 million with All-NBA escalators, per the
report. The extension takes effect for the 2021-22 season, as the
22-year-old has a year remaining on his rookie contract.
The Celtics selected Tatum No. 3 overall in the 2017 draft out of Duke.
NBA: HEAT RE-SIGN VETERAN GUARD DRAGIC
The Miami Heat officially announced the re-signing Sunday of veteran guard
The team did not disclose the terms, but The Athletic reported the deal was
for two years and $37.4 million with a team option for the second year.
NBA: LAKERS SIGN FREE AGENT WESLEY MATTHEWS
The Los Angeles Lakers signed free-agent guard Wesley Matthews, the team
The Athletic reports it's a one-year, $3.6 million deal.
NBA: BOGDANOVIC GETS $72M OFFER SHEET FROM HAWKS
Restricted free agent guard Bogdan Bogdanovic has a four-year, $72 million
offer sheet from the Atlanta Hawks, multiple outlets reported Sunday.
His current team, the Sacramento Kings, will have 48 hours to match the
NBA: UTAH'S MITCHELL AGREES TO $163M MAX EXTENSION
All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell agreed to a five-year extension with the
Utah Jazz worth a guaranteed $163 million, ESPN reported Sunday.
The value could increase to $195 million by meeting certain incentives, the
player's agents told the network.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
We become what we think about most of the time, and that's the strangest
secret. - Earl Nightingale