9 Dec 2020
COVID-19 VACCINE APPROVAL MAY TAKE 3-4 WEEKS: FDA
MANILA - Emergency approval of COVID-19 vaccines in the Philippines may take
up to a month, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday as the United
Kingdom rolled out inoculation against the coronavirus.
A COVID-19 vaccine may arrive in the country in "late first quarter of
2021," said FDA director-general Eric Domingo. Vaccines and other drugs
usually go through a 6-month process for approval, he said.
"Dati wala namang tinatawag na EUA (emergency use authorization) kundi
normal na registration, dati umaabot 'yun ng 6 na buwan... Siguro kung
kumpleto ang kaniyang submission magagawa natin yan in 3 to 4 weeks," he
told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
"Pag ganung dalawang bansa na, mas tiwala tayo na maganda ang isa-submit
nila sa'tin at siguro konting review na lang ng ating mga eksperto.)
Domingo, meantime, warned the public against buying a COVID-19 vaccine or
The FDA has so far approved only one traditional Chinese medicine for
COVID-19 symptoms such as cough and fever, he said.
"Nakikiusap kami sa ating mga kababayan na 'pag nakakita kayo ng patalastas
o nagbebenta online 'wag po kayo papatol dahil...hindi po yan dumaan sa FDA.
CHINESE VACCINE VS COVID-19 MAY BE FIRST TO ARRIVE IN PH: INOCULATION CZAR
MANILA - A Chinese vaccine against COVID-19 may be the first to arrive in
the Philippines, the country's inoculation czar said Wednesday as the United
Kingdom began immunizing its citizens.
Among the vaccines the Philippines aims to procure are Pfizer, Moderna,
AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Novavax, Sinovac and Russia's Gamaleya,
Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr said.
China's Sinovac may arrive in the country by March if a contract is signed
within the month, he said.
"Sana makuha po natin ng first quarter. Sabi nga nung (According to) IP
biotech that if we will be able to have a consummation of contract when we
already successfully sign the contract, they can provide it after 60 to 90
days, meaning 2 to 3 months," he told ANC's Headstart.
Galvez said, "I was briefed by the vaccine expert panel and based on their
evaluation, Sinovac and the Chinese vaccines are very safe because it came
from the classical inactivated virus platform."
"They briefed me that the safest among the platform and the classical thats
been used for years is the inactivated virus."
Western-made vaccines Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca might come at a later
time as their countries of origin will be prioritized and "more than 80
percent of vaccine manufacturing capacity has been procured" by first world
countries, Galvez said.
ILO SEEKS HELP FOR SEAFARERS STRANDED BY COVID-19
NEW YORK - Hundreds of thousands of seafarers around the world are stranded
at sea due to coronavirus travel restrictions, unable to go home or get
medical care, the International Labor Organization (ILO) said on Tuesday,
calling on nations to address their plight.
Many shipping and transport workers have been at sea as long as 17 months or
longer, as COVID-19-related restrictions make it almost impossible to rotate
crews, the United Nations' labor agency said.
The ILO adopted a resolution asking nations to take action by providing
medical care to seafarers in need, waiving visa or documentation
requirements and designating seafarers as key workers who are allowed to go
"The problems faced by seafarers resulting from efforts to contain the virus
have lasted unacceptably long," said ILO Director General Guy Ryder in a
"These key workers continue to transport the food, medicines and goods that
we need, but their extended periods at sea, and the inability of seafarers
ashore to relieve them, are simply unsustainable."
About 90% of world trade goods are transported by sea, and coronavirus
restrictions have crippled supply chains even as lockdowns ease in some
parts of the world.
Nautilus International, a union of some 20,000 shipping workers, has
launched a global campaign for crew changes by Christmas.
The London-based organization said it estimates 400,000 seafarers are
stranded on ships, unable to be relieved.
Another 400,000 seafarers are home, unable to take over the jobs at sea and
in serious financial hardship, it said.
At a virtual summit hosted by Britain in July, a dozen countries including
the United States, Germany and Singapore agreed to open up their borders to
seafarers and increase the number of commercial flights to speed up
But countries must act on their commitments, the U.N. agency said. In June,
Pope Francis paid tribute to the stranded seafarers in a special video
message, saying they were "not forgotten."
FREE COVID-19 TESTS EYED FOR PINOYS
MANILA, Philippines President Duterte wants the government to provide free
COVID-19 testing to every Filipino, especially those who cannot afford the
expensive services offered by private laboratories and testing centers.
Many Filipinos have avoided taking the reverse transcription polymerase
chain reaction (RT-PCR) or swab test, which they find expensive.
The President said he would talk to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and
National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. on
how to come up with cheaper COVID-19 testing for travelers or for those
returning to their home provinces.
He said the problem with affordability is very evident at airports where
travelers including students on budget have to undergo tests before they
are allowed to board aircraft.
The President said he would look for money to fund the free testing, which
he said would be made available in all government hospitals or health
centers. He said he wanted the Department of Health (DOH) to come up with a
program by the first or second quarter of next year.
PH LAWMEN TO USE YANTOK ON HANDS, FEET OF PANDEMIC VIOLATORS
MANILA - Authorities will use yantok or rattan sticks on health protocol
violators who resist arrest, an official said Wednesday.
Violators will first be reminded to observe minimum health standards, then
will be given a warning, followed by a ticket, and if violation persists
will then be arrested, according to Lt. Gen. Cesar Binag, commander of Joint
Task Force COVID Shield.
"Kailangan naming i-overcome ang resistance ng aming aarestuhin. At sa
proseso ng pag-overcome nito, kung kinakailangang gamitin then we will have
to use it to overcome the resistance of the offender or unruly para madala
namin siya sa batas," he told ANC's Headstart.
Violators may be hit on their hands or their feet, Binag said.
"Ang tinuro samin sa training sa paggamit ng yantok ang papaluin mo 'yung
kamay, paa, papaluin mo lang siya para maovercome mo 'yung resistance niya
at madala siya sa batas," he said.
The Commission on Human Rights earlier said it was unnecessary and a "form
of violence" to use such weapon to carry out anti-virus measures.
The CHR was among those who gave training to police officers in using
yantok, Binag said.
"Sila nga ang nagturo paano gamitin 'yun. Nung binalangkas namin ang human
rights policing handbook namin, nakapaloob doon yung paggamit ng baton at
yun ang tinetraining namin sa aming training school," he said.
HOUSE OPPOSITION BLOC VOWS TO PIN DOWN LEONEN
MANILA The official opposition bloc in the House of Representatives
yesterday vowed to pursue the impeachment complaint that a non-government
organization filed against Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen for
culpable violation of the 1987 Constitution and betrayal of public trust.
The minority will perform its constitutionally mandated duty in the
impeachment process, House Minority Leader Joseph Stephen Paduano of
party-list Abang Lingkod, who heads the 25 or so opposition congressmen,
We will ensure that in the determination of sufficiency in form and
substance, the Rules of Impeachment will be strictly followed to the
letter, Paduano added, citing as well Article 11, Section 3 of the Charter
granting the House exclusive power on impeachment cases.
We call on our colleagues, most especially members of the House justice
committee, to exercise prudence and fairness. May we be guided by the
Almighty in the dispensation of this impeachment complaint, he declared.
The House justice committee is headed by Leyte Rep. Vicente Veloso, a former
Court of Appeals justice.
DUTERTE WANTS RUBBER BATONS FOR COPS
MANILA President Duterte has vowed to arm police officers with batons
after the government deployed yantok-wielding law enforcers to ensure that
physical distancing is observed in public places.
Duterte said he was wondering why policemen no longer have batons, which he
described as their first line of defense.
If I bring back the baton, maybe it would be made of hard rubber, not wood.
But in the meantime, the rattan will do, will also suffice. Well look for
the money next year. Ill buy you the baton... Use the baton, not the gun,
Duterte said during a public address last Monday night.
Duterte explained the rubberized baton is hard, but not enough to break
bones; it should be used moderately and the holder should know what parts of
the body to hit to prevent aggression.
MMDA PAG-AARALAN PANAWAGAN NG QC NA BUKSAN ANG ILANG INTERCHANGE SA EDSA
MAYNIILA - Nanawagan si Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte na buksan muli ang
interchange ng Muñoz at maging ang North Avenue at West Avenue para gumaan
ang daloy ng trapiko sa mga chokepoint sa bahagi ng EDSA.
Mabigat ang daloy ng trapiko mula sa Muñoz diretso na papunta ng Cloverleaf,
Bagong Barrio, Caloocan. Ang U-turn slot sa Bagong Barrio ang nananatiling
bukas pa rin.
Ayon kay General Manger Jojo Garcia ng Metropolitan Manila Development
Authority, nakapag-usap na sila ni Mayor Belmonte nitong Martes at kailangan
pa uling mag-meeting para malaman kung anong naging basehan ng lokal na
pamahalaan para buksan muli ang dalawang interchange.
Payagan man o hindi, sabi ng MMDA tutulong pa rin sila sa QC Department of
Public Order and Safety sa pagmamando sa daloy ng trapiko sa bahagi ng EDSA.
BACLARAN CHURCH NAGHAHANDA NA PARA SA SIMBANG GABI
MAYNILA - Naghahanda na ang Redemptorist Church sa Baclaran para sa
nalalapit na Simbang Gabi.
Ayon kay Fr. Victorino Cueto, dalawa ang naka-schedule na Misa mula sa
Disyembre 15 at 16. May anticipated Mass ng alas-8 ng gabi at Misa de Gallo
naman alas-4:30 ng madaling araw.
Patuloy naman ang regular na schedule ng ibang Misa.
Inaabangan pa rin kung paiikliin ang curfew para makadalo ang mga taong nais
na dumalo sa Misa de Gallo.
Tiniyak naman ni Fr. Cueto na kakayanin ng Baclaran Church ang dagsa ng mga
Aniya nasa 2,000 ang kayang papasukin sa church compound. Sa mismong
simbahan hanggang 605 lang ang bilang ng mga taong pwedeng makapasok.
Samantala, pinayagan na rin magbukas ng 24 hours ang Pasay Night Market na
nasa Roxas Boulevard Service Road. Dati ay mula alas-5 ng gabi hanggang 12
ng hatinggabi lang ito bukas.
MGA PULIS IPINAKALAT SA DIVISORIA PARA MAGPATUPAD NG HEALTH PROTOCOLS
MAYNILA - Nagpakalat ng maraming pulis sa Divisoria para magbantay ng mga
taong dumadagsa at nagsisiksikan para mamili dito bago ang Pasko.
Sa kanto ng Ilaya at Recto naglagay na ng checkpoint ang mga pulis para
mamonitor lahat ng mga sasakyan.
Nilagyan naman ng barrier ang gitna ng kalsada para paghiwalayin ang
entrance at exit sa lugar kung nasaan ang mga blue stall.
Mas marami na rin ang mga karatula ngayon na nagpapaala ukol sa mga health
protocol at meron na din megaphone ang mga pulis na patuloy na nagpapaalala
sa mga mamimili na sumunod sa patakaran sa physical distancing at pagsuot ng
Sa ibang side streets sa Divisoria, marami na ang one way para maiwasan ang
siksikan ng mga tao.
Inaasahan pa ang pagdami ng mga tao sa pagpapalapit ng Pasko. At kahit
walang Christmas party, marami pa rin ang bumibili ng mga pang regalo at
para sa handaan para sa pamilya.
METRO PACIFIC, PARTNER ACQUIRE LARGEST PETROLEUM IMPORT TERMINAL IN PH
MANILA - Metro Pacific Investments Corp on Wednesday said it will acquire
Philippine Coastal Storage & Pipeline Corp (PCSPC), the largest petroleum
products import terminal in the country as it diversifies its portfolio and
invest in new revenue streams.
MPIC said, together with Keppel Infrastructure Trust, it entered into a sale
and purchase agreement with Philippine Investment Alliance for
Infrastructure, a closed-end fund managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and
Real Assets to acquire the import terminal.
MPIC will initially hold a 20 percent stake in PCSPC's parent firm,
Philippine Tank Storage International Holdings Inc for $67 million, while an
option to increase its interest of up to 50 percent is being discussed, it
NBI COUNTER TERRORISM CHIEF FOUND DEAD IN HIS OFFICE
MANILA (Updated 6:07 p.m.) The head of the National Bureau of
Investigations counter-terrorism division was found dead in his office with
a gunshot wound, the bureaus spokesperson confirmed Tuesday.
NBI spokesperson Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin told reporters that NBI
Counter-Terrorism Division head Raoul Manguerra died past Tuesday midnight.
"The NBI is in a deep state of mourning," Lavin said. "We condole with the
family, relatives and friends of Chief Manguerra."
According to a police report, Manguerra's live-in partner Maria Rosario
Bernardo received a phone call from the NBI's counter-terrorism division
informing her that the NBI official was rushed to the Manila Doctors
Hospital after sustaining a gunshot wound but was pronounced dead on arrival
two minutes past midnight.
Bernardo also said that Manguerra was suffering from stage 3 colon cancer,
the report added.
Lavin said NBI Director Eric Distor has ordered a thorough investigation
into Manguerra's death and has locked down the premises of the bureau
immediately after the incident.
ENTERTAINMENT & LIFESTYLE
PINOY CELEBRITIES AMONG FORBES TOP DIGITAL STARS
MANILA Filipino celebrities Marian Rivera-Dantes, Angel Locsin, Kim-Chiu,
Anne Curtis, Vice Ganda, Kathryn Bernardo and Sarah Geronimo made it to
Forbes Asias list of 100 most popular stars on social media in the
Forbes Asias 100 Digital Stars list includes BTS, the seven-member widely
popular band from South Korea.
Forbes touted BTS as one of the worlds most successful musical groups ever,
with over 33 million Instagram followers.
BTSs song Dynamite reportedly made YouTube history as the first video to
get over 100 million views within 24 hours of being posted, Forbes said.
Chinese actress and singer Yang Mi is also on the list. Her endorsement
deals include Crocs, Estée Lauder, Stuart Weitzman and Victorias Secret.
Forbes Asias 100 Digital Stars list features 100 singers, bands, film and
TV stars in the region with a strong social media presence.
With millions of followers across popular platforms, these celebrities have
maintained their relevance and popularity in this challenging period by
leveraging on the power of social media. Many have also used their influence
to support worthy causes, especially those with a COVID-19 focus, Forbes
Forbes recognized that artists rely on social media platforms now more than
ever to connect and communicate with fans, especially in the absence of live
entertainment due to COVID-19 restrictions around the region.
The 100 celebrities highlighted on the list range in age from 20 to 78,
proving that social media influence is a cross-generational phenomenon,
said Rana Wehbe Watson, editor of the list.
Rivera-Dantes, 36, is the Philippines most popular celebrity on Facebook,
with 23 million followers, according to Forbes.
While not appearing on screen since the birth of her second child in 2019,
she has been busy on social media, endorsing brands that include Nestlé
Nido, Philippine National Bank and appliance maker Tough Mama, Forbes said.
With over 19 million followers, actress Angel Locsin is the second most
popular Filipina celebrity on Facebook after Rivera-Dantes. Locsin has
donated about P15 million ($310,000) over the past decade to various causes,
earning her a spot on the 2019 Forbes Asias Heroes of Philanthropy list.
Recently, Locsin helped raise P11.3 million for the purchase of 246 hospital
tents for medical workers fighting the pandemic.
Chiu, 30, used a viral video gaffe during a live stream in May as the basis
for The Classroom Song, Forbes noted.
A live performance of the hit has over nine million views on YouTube. Chiu
then sold The Classroom Song branded T-shirts to raise money for pandemic
relief, Forbes also said.
Curtis, 35, is recognized as the Philippines most popular Instagram
As the Philippines most popular Instagram celebrity, the actress has
roughly 16 million followers and endorsement deals with Jollibee, Louis
Vuitton and Pantene, Forbes said.
Comedian and TV host Ganda, 44, is one of the most popular male celebrities
in the Philippines, with 17 million Facebook followers.
For Bernardo, 24, Forbes noted her movies, which are the Philippines two
highest grossing films: 2018s The Hows Of Us and 2019s Hello, Love,
Goodbye, grossing roughly $20 million.
Geronimo, 32, actress and singer, sang a duet with her husband Matteo
Guidicelli at a COVID-19 benefit concert that raised roughly $5 million,
To determine the finalists, Forbes Asia evaluated the candidates combined
social media reach and engagement. Their recent work, impact and advocacy,
brand endorsements and business endeavors and their recognition profile on a
local, regional and global level were also considered.
PBA: TNT'S CASTRO, PARKS DOUBTFUL FOR GAME 5
MANILA -- TNT Tropang Giga may have to play a do-or-die game without two key
According to team manager Gabby Cui, both Ray Parks Jr. and Jayson Castro
are "doubtful" for Game 5 of the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup Finals, set for
Wednesday night at the Angeles University Foundation Gym in Angeles City,
The Tropang Giga have their backs against the wall as they are down 3-1 to
Barangay Ginebra in the best-of-seven series.
Parks has not played since Game 2 after sustaining a left calf strain in
TNT's overtime loss in Game 1. Castro, for his part, exited in the third
quarter of Game 4 last Sunday when he aggravated a knee injury.
The veteran point guard is dealing with bone spurs that cause pain in his
knee whenever he lands with impact.
A source informed ABS-CBN News that neither player practiced on Tuesday.
Parks was TNT's leading scorer in the elimination rounds at 20.1 points,
along with 8.2 rebounds per game. He had 20 points in Game 1 for the Tropang
Castro, hobbled by his knee injury, is averaging 10.5 points, 5.75 assists,
and 2.75 boards in the finals.
FOREX $1 = P 48.08
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
When our memories outweigh our dreams, we have grown old. - Bill Clinton