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Philippine envoy to Lebanon dies after COVID-19 infection

THE country’s envoy to Lebanon has died due to complications from the coronavirus disease 2019, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Thursday.

#COVID-19 Regional Updates (04/02/20)

LAWMAKERS on Thursday hit the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for summoning Pasig City Mayor Victor Ma. Regis N. Sotto for alleged violation of lockdown rules against tricycle operations.

About 900 Filipino seamen come home from United States

A TOTAL of 881 Filipino seamen came home from the US on Wednesday amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic that has infected about 862,000 and killed at least 42,510 people worldwide, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

Nationwide round-up

THE ADMINISTRATION’S economic team is in favor of mass testing to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country and minimize the outbreak’s harm to the economy.

Bongbong Marcos tests positive for novel coronavirus

FORMER Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. has tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but his condition has started to improve, his spokesman said on Tuesday.

Nationwide round-up

THE VALIDATION result of the test kit developed by the University of the Philippines National Institutes for Health (UP NHI) will be submitted by Wednesday, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director General Rolando Enrique D. Domingo said.

Manila seeks Chinese help in fight versus novel coronavirus

THE Philippines has sought China’s help in battling a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak that has sickened more than 1,500 people and killed 78 mostly in Manila, the capital.

China denies it donated defective COVID-19 kits

CHINA on Sunday denied donating defective COVID-19 test kits that the Department of Health (DoH) found to be only 40% accurate.

Nationwide round-up

THE DEPARTMENT of Trade and Industry (DTI) urged supermarkets and pharmacies to adopt measures that will further ease the shopping process as well as improve health protection for senior citizens amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

US cancels war games amid COVID-19 pandemic

THE United States military has canceled war games involving thousands of troops with the Philippines scheduled for next month amid a novel coronavirus pandemic that has sickened more than 800 people.

Pimentel to face charges for violating quarantine

SENATOR Aquilino L. Pimentel on Friday said he would face allegations that he broke self-quarantine protocols for patients suspected to have been infected with the novel coronavirus.

Three more lawmakers infected with novel coronavirus disease

THREE more lawmakers — one senator and two congressmen — tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019, adding to the rising number of infections that the Health department said had reached 707 as of Thursday.

COVID-19 cases top 700; death toll now at 45 — DoH

SEVENTY-ONE more people have tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019, bringing the total infections to 707, according to the Department of Health.

Nationwide round-up

THE BUREAU of Customs (BoC) may now release medical equipment vital in addressing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) without clearance, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said.

Senators want to turn military hospitals into COVID-19 centers

SENATORS on Wednesday proposed that military hospitals and other state-owned facilities be converted into health centers to treat patients infected with the novel coronavirus.

Senator Pimentel tests positive for novel coronavirus

ANOTHER Philippine senator has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the second senator to get infected.

Congress empowers Duterte vs virus outbreak

LAWMAKERS approved a bill giving President Rodrigo R. Duterte special powers to deal with a novel coronavirus pandemic that has sickened hundreds in the Philippines and threatens to bring the economy to a standstill.

Nationwide round-up

THE WORLD Health Organization’s (WHO) Philippine representative has called on the private sector to help in the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers, citing a global shortage problem as the new coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19, continues to spread around the world.

Congress tackles bill to give Duterte special powers

CONGRESS on Monday sought to approve a measure that will give President Rodrigo R. Duterte special powers to address the national crisis triggered by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

Duterte eyes powers vs coronavirus

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte wants Congress to give him special powers to enforce measures to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that has sickened 380 people in the country, with 25 deaths.

Senate bill seeks perks for organic fertilizer use

A MEASURE providing incentives to farm cooperatives and associations for the use of organic fertilizer has been filed in the Senate.

Filipinos in Brunei, India latest COVID-19 patients abroad

TWO MORE Filipinos abroad have tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported Sunday.

Nationwide round-up

THE GOVERNMENT has ordered a price freeze on basic goods and commodities until May 15 after President Rodrigo R. Duterte declared a nationwide state of calamity due to the rising cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Prioritize workers on frontline in calamity fund use, gov’t told

SENATORS on Wednesday urged government agencies and local governments to prioritize frontline health workers for assistance once calamity funds are released.

DoH says 45 more got infected; one more patient has recovered

THE Department of Health on Tuesday reported 45 new infections from the novel coronavirus, bringing the total to 187.

Nationwide round-up

THE DEPARTMENT of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will temporarily suspend operations in its consular offices in Luzon beginning Tuesday and will operate with a skeletal workforce in its Visayas and Mindanao offices amid national and local government measures to mitigate the spread of the new coronavirus.

China donates 2,000 novel coronavirus test kits

THE Chinese government has donated 2,000 “high-tech fast test kits” to the Philippines to help it fight a novel coronavirus outbreak that has killed at least 12 people and sickened 128 more.

Gov’t clarifies lifting of travel ban for China

THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday clarified the lifting of the travel ban for mainland China, saying only returning overseas Filipino workers (OFW), holders of permanent resident visas and government officials were covered.

Senator Zubiri tests positive for COVID-19; 2 more cases reported

SENATOR Juan Miguel F. Zubiri on Monday said he had tested positive for COVID-19.

Senate minority backs session for budget to fight outbreak

THE Senate Minority bloc has called for a special session to allow Congress to pass a supplemental budget to help contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

438 Filipinos from US-based cruise ship to come home

THE government will bring home more than 400 Filipinos aboard the MV Grand Princess cruise ship docked in Oakland, California, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Sunday.

#COVID-19 Regional Updates

GOVERNMENT CONTRACTUAL workers will be compensated during the community quarantine period in Metro Manila, Senator Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva said on Saturday evening.

Police vow ‘absolute blockage,’ to arrest lockdown violators

POLICE on Friday threatened to arrest people who ignore a month-long metro-wide lockdown that President Rodrigo R. Duterte ordered on Thursday amid a new coronavirus outbreak, saying an “absolute blockage” would be enforced.

DoH confirms 12 more coronavirus cases; 3 more die

THREE MORE novel coronavirus patients have died, bringing the total deaths to five, according to the Department of Health (DoH).

‘Never before seen’:PHL braces for pandemic

A 48-YEAR-OLD Filipino worker at the Philippine office of accounting firm Deloitte was confirmed to have been infected with a novel coronavirus on March 5 after traveling to Japan in the previous month. He was the fourth case in the Philippines.

Nationwide round-up

THE SUPREME Court has ordered the suspension of hearings nationwide on March 13-18.

Senate resolution on ABS-CBN operation turned over to NTC

THE Senate on Wednesday turned over to the National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) the resolution allowing ABS-CBN Corp. to operate while its franchise extension is pending in Congress.

Bill on lockdowns filed at Senate

A SENATOR has filed a bill allowing the Bureau of Quarantine to impose lockdowns in selected areas amid the threat of a novel coronavirus outbreak.

Senate’s POGO money laundering probe to go ahead on Thursday

THE SENATE Blue Ribbon Committee will go ahead with its investigation into alleged money laundering linked to the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) even as President Rodrigo R. Duterte defended the industry.

Local COVID-19 test kits OK’d to speed up diagnosis

THE Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) test kits developed by local scientists to help speed up diagnosis amid rising cases in the Philippines.

Nationwide round-up

THE SENATE Energy Committee deferred probe on the alleged anomalies in the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) after its President, who was feeling “unwell,” skipped Tuesday’s hearing.

NEDA sees job losses up to 60,000 due to virus

THE National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) estimated up to 60,000 jobs in the tourism and manufacturing sectors may be lost if the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak persists until June.

Palace certifies CITIRA as urgent

THE measure lowering the corporate income tax (CIT) and streamlining fiscal incentives was certified as urgent Monday by President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

Gov’t confirms 14 more coronavirus cases

THE DEPARTMENT of Health (DoH) on Monday reported 10 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the Philippines — all Filipinos aged 24 to 72 — bringing the total infections to 20.

SC asked to issue jurisprudence on treaty termination

PHILIPPINE senators on Monday asked the Supreme Court to issue jurisprudence on whether the Executive branch can unilaterally end a treaty that the chamber had concurred in.