14 Dec 2020
ASTRAZENECA OKS MORE COVID-19 VACCINES FOR PHILIPPINES
MANILA - Private firms from the Philippines are set to buy a second batch of
vaccines from British pharmaceutical group AstraZeneca, to add to the 2.6
million doses it had contracted previously, a presidential adviser said on
Joey Concepcion, Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship, said the second
purchase is now approved and can now be processed.
We are happy to announce that with enough support, and of course, demand
coming from the private sector, the second part is now already in the
works, Concepcion said in a statement.
The presidential adviser however did not say how many doses there will be in
the second batch of vaccines.
The presidential adviser said the initial procurement was meant to be more
than 2.6 million doses but had to follow a supply timeline as other
countries and institutions securing their vaccines too.
Concepcion said the first batch of vaccines will arrive in the Philippines
in May or June 2021, and would inoculate over 1 million Filipinos as the
vaccine requires 2 doses.
The government expects to roll out vaccines against COVID-19 in the middle
of 2021, according to vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr., noting the
scarcity of supply in the global market.
Government vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez meanwhile said he expects
Chinese vaccine Sinovac to arrive in the country by March next year and for
vaccines from AstraZeneca vaccines to be delivered around May.
Mass vaccination would happen around June or July Galvez said.
WALANG SENSE OF URGENCY: ROBREDO CAMP HITS GOVT VACCINE BUDGET
MANILA - The government did not prioritize COVID-19 vaccination in the
national budget for the coming year, the camp of Vice President Leni Robredo
said on Sunday, following a statement from a lawmaker that only P2.5 billion
had been guaranteed for vaccines in the 2021 General Appropriations Act.
Barry Gutierrez, Spokesman for the Office of the Vice President (OVP), said
the government should have made vaccination a priority in next years
spending plan, and already made deals with pharmaceutical firms to secure
Walang sense of urgency, Gutierrez said in the weekly radio program of the
Gutierrez echoed the concern of Senator Franklin Drilon who earlier
criticized what other lawmakers allotted for the planned COVID-19
vaccination program next year.
So hindi ba dapat, priority natin itong bakuna? Kaya nga nakakagulat na
hindi. Ito nga, iyong sinasabi ni Senator Frank Drilon na parang hindikahit
nakalagay iyan sa budget, P72 billion, eh hindi pa klaro saan kukunin iyang
pera na iyan, Gutierrez said.
Drilon said that while Congress authorized the executive branch to disburse
P72.5 billion to buy COVID-19 vaccines next year, only P2.5 billion was
guaranteed, while the remaining P70 billion needs to be sourced from loans
or excess non-tax revenue collections.
Gutierrez warned that this would further bloat the countrys debt.
Umaabot na ng ano ba, P10 trillion iyong ating utang itong taon na ito?
Ano, iuutang na naman natin ito?
Senator Sonny Angara, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, has said that
the executive branch has yet to give details about its plan to procure,
store and distribute COVID-19 vaccines.
PALACE: DE LIMAS VACCINE BILL REDUNDANT, SUPERFLUOUS
MANILA Malacañang yesterday downplayed opposition Sen. Leila de Limas
bill seeking to provide free COVID-19 vaccines to all Filipinos.
Redundant and superfluous, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said when
asked to react to the senators proposal.
De Limas proposal, which is contained in Senate Bill 1942, aims to require
the countrys health system to offer free COVID-19 vaccines, allocate funds
for the inoculation, and come up with an efficient and safe vaccine
The measure seeks to create a database to ensure the tracking of vaccination
recipients to address possible problems that may arise after the giving of
vaccines. It also allows people to select which accredited COVID-19 vaccine
to receive and the institutions from which to receive them.
The senator has said that the challenge brought about by the cornering of
vaccine supplies by rich countries should not be an excuse for a delayed
response since there are new suppliers with equally good efficacy rates.
The Duterte administration is planning to borrow P73.2 billion to buy
vaccines for 60 million Filipinos.
About 24.6 million Filipinos are expected to be prioritized for the vaccine
rollout, which may start in as early as the first quarter of 2021, according
AÑO: LGUS NOT FORCED TO DENOUNCE CPP-NPA
MANILA Local government executives are not being coerced by higher
authorities to declare communist rebels as persona non grata in their
respective localities, the Department of the Interior and Local Government
(DILG) said yesterday.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año refuted the claims aired by the Communist
Party of the Philippines (CPP), particularly the accusation that budgets of
local government units (LGUs) are under threat if such declarations are not
issued by local chief executives.
Please do not insult the intelligence of our local government officials,
Año said in response.
LGUs are not dumb and they cannot be dictated to do things against their
will. The truth is they are aware and they have witnessed the deception of
the CPP-NPA-NDF in their jurisdictions, he said in Filipino.
Last week, the DILG announced that a total of 1,546 LGUs nationwide declared
the CPP, its armed wing the New Peoples Army (NPA) and political front
the National Democratic Front (NDF) as persona non grata in their
Following the announcement, the CPP accused the national government of
forcing LGUs to pass declarations or else they would face budget denial.
Año called the CPPs allegations preposterous.
He said the annual Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) is released and
downloaded automatically to local governments, as mandated by the
In 2020 alone, more than P640 billion in funds were distributed without a
single complaint from LGUs, the DILG chief said.
He also noted how LGUs received more funding this year through the Bayanihan
to Heal as One Law and Bayanihan to Recover as One Law in response to the
COVID-19 public health emergency.
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana is keen on removing the
Makabayan bloc from Congress, saying that their presence in the House of
Representatives strengthens the influence of the CPP on government affairs.
RIGHTS BODY URGES PNP TO ADDRESS 'DOUBTS OF ANOMALOUS ARRESTS'
MANILA - The Commission on Human Rights on Sunday urged police to address
allegations of "anomalous arrests" as it denounced the apprehension of
journalists and trade union organizers on International Human Rights Day.
Those arrested last Thursday allegedly were in possession of illegal
firearms and explosives, said CHR spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia.
She also cited the deaths of peace consultants Agaton Topacio and Eugenia
Magpantay who allegedly resisted arrest and exchanged gunfire with the
Philippine National Police despite being sickly and elderly.
"Such arrests are cause for concern given that there were statements by
families and concerned personalities alleging irregularities and errors in
the said operations, including the fact that arrests were made in the midst
of red tagging of activists and human rights workers," she said.
The commission urged the PNP to address "doubts and allegations of anomalous
arrests" as government had already stated "here and abroad its commitment to
respect and protect the human rights of all."
"These commitments need to be translated to actual reforms, including
effectiveness of redress mechanisms in addressing similar allegations and
different human rights violations," De Guia said.
"For if these pledges will remain as words, then we would not only fail the
human rights cause, but this would also render hollow the government's
primary assertions that it will abide by its obligation to uphold the rights
NATIONAL ID REGISTRATION HITS 8.4 MILLION
MANILA Registrations for step one of the Philippine Identification System
(PhilSys) have reached 8.4 million, the Philippine Statistics Authority
We have made significant progress this quarter, with more than 8.4 million
Filipinos completing Step 1 Registration as of 09 December 2020, chief
statistician Dennis Mapa said in a statement over the weekend.
Our current pace for Step 1 Registration also allowed us to increase our
initial commitment of nine million Filipinos to 11 million Filipinos before
the end of the year, Mapa said.
Step 1 registration, or the house-to-house collection of demographic
information and scheduling appointments for Step 2, is adopted by the PSA as
a health and safety measure against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mapa also announced that the second step of the Philsys registration is
scheduled to start on Jan. 4, 2021 and will be on a gradual and small-scale
Step 2 Registration is the validation of supporting documents and capturing
of biometric information at registration centers.
The PSA said it has duly informed Step 1 registrants of this new development
in coordination with partner local government units (LGUs).
It added that it will also release an official advisory on hired and trained
enumerators for Step 2 Registration parallel to the announcement.
We will continue our Step 1 Registration activities until it is safe for
our registrants to proceed with Step 2 Registration. The PSA wants to ensure
that we deliver a safe, secure and seamless PhilSys registration experience
to the Filipino people, Mapa said.
DEPED TV STAFF DECRY DELAYED SALARIES
MANILA In October, Bianca (not her real name) was hired to work for the
Department of Education (DepEd) as part of the team that produces episodes
for its TV channel, which the agency launched this year under its distance
learning plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bianca said she took the job considering how difficult it was to find work
in the middle of the ongoing health crisis, which has crippled the
Philippine economy and plunged it into a recession.
But until now, Bianca said she has yet to receive a paycheck. Many of her
colleagues have also been complaining about their delayed salaries.
Never pa ako sumahod. And as far as I know, lahat ng pumasok noong October,
hindi pa sila nakakasahod, or nakasahod sila pero for one pay day lang.
Bale, for two weeks na trabaho lang sinahod nila. Ever since, after that,
hindi na din sila sumahod, Bianca, who has resigned from DepEd TV, told
The DepEd TV staff were also told that they would receive their salaries
this month, but the dates on when they would get the payments have been
Nina (Not her real name), who has been working for DepEd TV since September
but received her salary only once, also lamented the delay in compensation.
Parang ang dating kasi, na-bait yong mga tao sa sweldo. [Tapos ngayon]
overworked tas walang compensation, she said.
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) urged the department to resolve
employment problems experienced by DepEd TV staff and ensure that they are
compensated before Christmas.
HEALTH FACILITY ORDERED TO EXPLAIN PRICEY COVID-19 TESTS
MANILA The Department of Health on Monday said it is looking into a health
facilitys violation of the set price range for COVID-19 swab tests.
Meron tayong nakita na isang facility na non-compliant. Tayo ay nagpadala
na ng ating letter for them to explain, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario
Vergeire said when asked during a virtual briefing about the implementation
of the price range for polymerase chain reaction tests.
Vergeire explained that is part of their existing monitoring process under
the Health Facilities and Services Regulatory Bureau.
Inaantay natin 'yung response nila kung ano ang sagot nila - if it is
valid or if they should be penalized, she added.
Under the joint administrative order of the DOH and the Department of Trade
and Industry, a facility that violates the prescribed price range of P4,500
to P5,000 for the tests may face suspension and fines.
For a first offense its a 15-day suspension and a fine of P20,000. For a
2nd offense, its a 30-day suspension and fine of P30,000. For the 3rd
offense, the government will revoke the testing facilitys license to
METRO MANILA HOSPITALS BRACE FOR POST-HOLIDAY COVID-19 SURGE
MANILA - At least two COVID-19 referral hospitals in Metro Manila have
prepared in advance for a possible surge in coronavirus cases following the
holidays, their officials said Monday.
The Philippine General Hospital has continued its coronavirus operations
since it became a referral center last March 30, said spokesperson Jonas del
"Handa po kami, di naman namin binawasan ang mga kama sa COVID. Tuloy po ang
COVID operations ng PGH," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
"Sana nga po di magkaroon ng surge na medyo mataas dahil binubuksan na po
talaga namin ang aming ospital para sa non-COVID patients na dumadami na
ENTERTAINMENT & LIFESTYLE
ANGEL LOCSIN RECOGNIZED AT PARAGALA CENTRAL LUZON MEDIA AWARDS FOR
MANILA Several Kapamilya personalities were big winners at this years
Paragala Central Luzon Media Awards.
One of those honored in a virtual ceremony on Saturday night was actress
Angel Locsin for all her remarkable philanthropic deeds on top of being
among the Top Entertainment Personalities.
The Iba Yan host, who is also dubbed by some as the real-life Darna, was
the recipient of the Paragala Pang Lingkuran award.
Aside from Locsin, other Kapamilya stars that made it to the Top
Entertainment Personality list were Anne Curtis, Daniel Padilla, Enrique
Gil, James Reid, Kathryn Bernardo, Liza Soberano and Nadine Lustre.
Meanwhile, for the seventh straight year, ABS-CBN was voted by the academic
community in Central Luzon as the Best TV Station.
ABS-CBNs entertainment programs also raked in awards, including Its
Showtime (Best Noontime Show), Maalala Mo Kaya (Best TV Anthology),
Kadenang Ginto (Best Teleserye), and Tonight with Boy Abunda (Best Talk
ABS-CBN Lifestyle, on the other hand, won Best Digital Content for
Furthermore, the networks news division reaped awards with DZMMs Radyo
Patrol Balita receiving the Best Multi-Platform News Program award, while
Umagang Kay Ganda and host Gretchen Ho were hailed as Best Morning Show
Program and Best News Personality, respectively.
Paragala Central Luzon Media Awards is spearheaded by the Holy Angel
It is said to be the biggest student-based award-giving body in the
Philippines, and the first in the region, with around 29 schools
participating in voting for the winners every year.
Held annually, the event aims to recognize outstanding programs and
personalities in the field of media.
KATHRYN ADDRESSES RUMORS ABOUT HAVING NOSE SURGERY
MANILA Kathryn Bernardo has denied once again that she ever had cosmetic
surgery to enhance her looks.
In a game of Never Have I Ever, celebrity doctor Aivee Teo told Bernardo
that a lot of people are wondering if she had her nose done.
Its a common question ah. They would ask me, Parang Kath had her nose
done kasi parang her nose is not the same. But I would always say, No, she
Telling Bernardo that its a good opportunity to clarify the matter, Teo
said: People are asking, they are so intrigued bakit daw ung nose mo
In response, the Kapamilya atcress said: Si Doc Aivee, hindi ka naman niya
pipilitin to do something if youre not comfortable with it. I am happy with
my nose. Siguro lang when I got thinner and medyo tumanda, kaya siya
But I swear, si Doc Aivee walang ginawa sa nose ko or any doctors before
Doc Aivee, just to be clear, she added.
Agreeing with Bernardo, Teo said that it is just natural that as a persons
face becomes slimmer, the more its features are revealed.
I think its nice that its coming from you Kath because a lot of people
are curious and they are interested to know. They want to know the truth
straight from you, she said.
Nonetheless, Bernardo said she has nothing against people who choose to have
their looks enhanced.
But if you want to have surgery, wala din namang problem doon. Go to Aivee,
si Doc na ang bahala. But for me, no [I did not have anything done]. Its
all natural, she said.
NBA SCORES DEC 11 & 12
1 2 3 4 T
Magic 1-0 31 21 35 29 116
Hawks 0-1 23 29 25 35 112
N. Vucevic ORL
18 PTS, 11 REB, 4 AST
D. Hunter ATL
18 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST
1 2 3 4 T
Knicks 1-0 22 26 26 16 90
Pistons 0-1 18 29 14 23 84
R. Barrett NY
15 PTS, 5 REB, 2 AST
S. Bey DET
14 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST
1 2 3 4 T
Rockets 1-0 37 31 34 23 125
Bulls 0-1 26 22 24 32 104
B. Caboclo HOU
17 PTS, 7 REB, 1 AST
C. White CHI
15 PTS, 1 REB, 6 AST
1 2 3 4 T
Clippers 0-1 22 24 15 20 81
Lakers 1-0 25 18 16 28 87
NBA Preseason Roundup
P. George LAC
10 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST
T. Horton-Tucker LAL
19 PTS, 9 REB, 4 AST
1 2 3 4 T
Kings 0-1 36 26 19 21 102
Trail Blazers 1-0 41 31 24 31 127
B. Hield SAC
23 PTS, 0 REB, 1 AST
C. Anthony POR
21 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST
1 2 3 4 T
Pacers 0-1 22 23 28 31 104
Cavaliers 1-0 20 29 16 42 107
NBA Preseason Roundup: Day Two
D. Sabonis IND
16 PTS, 13 REB, 2 AST
C. Osman CLE
23 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST
1 2 3 4 T
Thunder 1-0 33 40 25 23 121
Spurs 0-1 32 26 32 18 108
T. Maledon OKC
20 PTS, 5 REB, 2 AST
P. Mills SA
24 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST
1 2 3 4 T
Raptors 1-0 23 35 29 24 111
Hornets 0-1 32 19 25 24 100
M. Thomas TOR
16 PTS, 1 REB, 5 AST
M. Bridges CHA
12 PTS, 6 REB, 3 AST
1 2 3 4 T
Mavericks 1-0 19 34 38 21 112
Bucks 0-1 21 38 15 28 102
L. Doncic DAL
13 PTS, 2 REB, 4 AST
G. Antetokounmpo MIL
25 PTS, 10 REB, 1 AST
1 2 3 4 T
Grizzlies 1-0 34 26 29 18 107
Timberwolves 0-1 27 27 23 28 105
J. Morant MEM
20 PTS, 4 REB, 11 AST
J. Nowell MIN
22 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST
1 2 3 4 T
Nuggets 0-1 23 27 27 28 105
Warriors 1-0 31 30 23 23 107
N. Jokic DEN
26 PTS, 10 REB, 5 AST
K. Bazemore GS
13 PTS, 5 REB, 0 AST
1 2 3 4 T
Suns 0-1 26 25 32 22 105
Jazz 1-0 33 29 25 32 119
L. Galloway PHO
17 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor
to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider. - Francis Bacon