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Younger kids allowed in malls

Minors as young as 10 years may go out to visit malls in areas under a general lockdown starting Feb. 1 to boost consumer...

Muslim official warns of increased resistance

Splinter Muslim rebel groups might increase their resistance if the transition period toward a more independent Bangsamoro region in Mindanao is not extended, according...

As vaccines roll out, Congress files import-duty exemption bill

A bill seeking to address the initial non-exemption of vaccine imports from duties, taxes, and has been filed in the House of Representatives. Muntinlupa Representative...

Manila to get 40M free doses under COVAX

THE PHILIPPINES will get as many as 40 million doses of free coronavirus vaccines this quarter under a global initiative that ensures their equal distribution, according to the country’s vaccine czar.

Pressure on telcos to improve services will continue — DICT

THE Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said the government, including President Rodrigo R. Duterte, will not ease the pressure on telecommunications companies to improve their services.

State should let local governments import vaccines — senator

A SENATOR has filed a resolution asking the government to allow local governments and the private sector to order coronavirus vaccines.

Nationwide round-up (01/20/21)

A MEASURE that will institutionalize the 1989 agreement between the University of the Philippines (UP) and the Department of National Defense (DND) that limits military and police presence in UP campuses nationwide has been filed in the Senate.

Manila to wait for FDA consent before using free China shots

THE PHILIPPINES will wait for an emergency use authorization (EUA) from its Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before accepting and using 500,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines donated by China, according to the Health department.

Vaccine contracts bar gov’t from disclosing prices, says Duterte

THE GOVERNMENT is barred from disclosing the prices of coronavirus vaccines it ordered from suppliers under the terms of the contracts, President Rodrigo R. Duterte said on Monday night.

Gov’t in talks with logistic companies for vaccine storage

THE GOVERNMENT is in talks with dozens of logistic companies in time for the arrival of coronavirus vaccines in mid-February, an official said on Tuesday.

Nationwide round-up (01/19/21)

THE head of the country’s biggest state-run university has asked the defense chief for a dialogue over the unilateral cancellation of an agreement that keeps the police and military out of its campuses nationwide.

Executive branch may not certify economic reform bills as urgent

THE ADMINISTRATION is focused on delivering the needed fiscal boost for the economic recovery and may not certify as urgent a number of economic reform bills pending in Congress, the President’s spokesman Herminio L. Roque said.

Sinovac vaccine is reasonably priced, Malacañang says

MALACAÑANG on Monday said the coronavirus vaccine the government would order from China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd. was competitively priced.

Duterte says ties with China to hasten both countries’ recovery

STRONGER ties between the Philippines and China would hasten their economic recovery amid a global coronavirus pandemic, President Rodrigo R. Duterte said at the weekend.

Pass pending economic bills instead of Cha-Cha urges DTI Chief

Deputy Speaker calls for early approval of economic amendments to Constitution It would be better to pass pending economic reform measures instead of pushing for...

Gov’t includes UAE, Hungary in PH travel ban

The government’s task force on pandemic response has included the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Hungary in the list of countries with travel restrictions...

DOLE beefs up campaign vs firms violating health protocols; hotline for...

The Department of Labor on Employment (DOLE) is beefing up its campaign against business establishments that do not observe health protocols against the coronavirus...

FDA warns vs. purchase, use of AiDeLai face masks

The Food and Drug and Administration (FDA) has warned the public not to use two face mask brands which did not go through...

Philippines OK’s Pfizer vaccine emergency use

THE PHILIPPINES approved the emergency use of Pfizer, Inc. and BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine, the first in the country, as infections neared 500,000 on Thursday.

Government likely to ban foreigners from UAE — Malacañang

THE PHILIPPINES would probably include the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in its travel ban after a Filipino from Dubai tested positive for a more contagious coronavirus variant first detected in the United Kingdom (UK), according to the presidential palace.

Local governments free to choose own vaccine, says Duterte

THE NATIONAL Government won’t restrict mayors and governors in choosing a particular coronavirus vaccine for their people, President Rodrigo R. Duterte said on Wednesday night.

Vaccination fears may ease with Duterte’s own shot

GIVING President Rodrigo R. Duterte a coronavirus vaccine shot would probably persuade hesitant Filipinos to get vaccinated, according to the country’s vaccine czar.

Nationwide round-up (01/13/21)

A NUMBER of Filipino migrant workers have withdrawn from the government’s repatriation program as their host countries have started vaccinations against the coronavirus, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Wednesday.

Senator says gov’t likely to miss target for vaccine orders

THE GOVERNMENT would probably miss its target of ordering 148 million doses of coronavirus vaccines by the year-end, according to a senator.

Nationwide round-up (01/12/21)

THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Monday filed new criminal and administrative complaints against officials of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) over alleged irregularities in a financial assistance program for health care institutions hammered by “fortuitous” events like the coronavirus pandemic. 

Regional Updates (01/12/21)

JUSTICE Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra cited the coronavirus-related lockdown in Sulu for the delayed issuance of arrest warrants against the nine police officers charged for the killing of four soldiers in the province’s capital Jolo on June 29 last year.

Duterte orders mining freeze in Tumbagaan, Tawi-Tawi

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has ordered the suspension of all mining on an island in Tawi-Tawi, within the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, a cabinet official said Tuesday.

Regional Updates (01/11/21)

CITY mayors are set to meet with national officials online on January 12 to discuss the procurement of vaccines as several local government units (LGUs), mostly cities and some provinces, have already signed contracts with pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca Plc.

House prioritizes economic ‘Cha-cha’

HOUSE SPEAKER Lord Allan Q. Velasco on Sunday said there is an urgent need to amend the restrictive economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution to help the Philippine economy recover from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Gov’t urged to ease process for online business registration

A LAWMAKER on Sunday urged the government to ease online small business registration by removing fees imposed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

House CREATE bicam delegation seeking more tax incentives for rural investment

THE HOUSE contingent to the bicameral conference committee harmonizing the two chambers’ Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) bills are pushing for expanded incentives to be awarded to investments made outside the capital region.

Russian drugmaker seeks vaccine emergency use

Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology has applied for emergency use authorization for its coronavirus vaccine in the Philippines, according to the local Food...

House to start cha-cha debates next week

The House of Representatives will start debates on a resolution proposing changes to the 1987 Constitution on Jan. 13, a congressman said on Friday. Party-list...

Jobs recovery plan highights safe workplaces, confidence, small-business loans

The labor department said its recovery blueprint for employment will enlist multiple government agencies to bring about safer workplaces, improved business and consumer confidence,...

Fast track sought for measure closing POGO tax loophole

THE House of Representatives needs to fast-track a measure closing a loophole in a tax law authorizing the collection of a 5% franchise tax...

Velasco files House measures to suspend PhilHealth, SSS rate hikes

SPEAKER Lord Allan Q. Velasco on Thursday filed House Bill (HB) No. 8316, which authorizes the President to suspend scheduled increases in member contributions to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) “in times of national emergency or when the public interest so requires.”

Fresh push to change charter a ‘waste of time,’ likely to...

OPPOSITION senators on Thursday thumbed down a fresh push at the House of Representatives to change the Constitution, saying it was likely to fail and waste lawmakers’ time.

Philippines still untouched by more contagious strain — DoH

A MORE contagious coronavirus strain that has caused a fresh surge in cases in Europe has yet to reach Philippine shores, Health authorities said on Wednesday.

Pfizer to get green light for emergency use application soon

THE PHILIPPINES is expected to grant the emergency use authorization for the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer, according to the chief of the local Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Nationwide round-up (01/06/21)

THE Senate will prioritize the bill that will defer the scheduled rate increase for Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) contribution when sessions resume, a Senate leader said on Wednesday.

Duterte signs bills extending budget, Bayanihan II validity

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte signed measures extending the validity of the funds authorized by the 2020 national budget as well as those appropriated for the government’s second stimulus package.

Senators seek probe of Chinese workers’ illegal vaccination

SENATORS on Tuesday urged the government to investigate the inoculation of 100,000 Chinese workers at offshore gaming companies in the Philippines using a smuggled coronavirus vaccine from China.

Nationwide round-up (01/05/21)

PROPOSED laws that will defer the scheduled increase in contributions to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) have been filed in both chambers of Congress.

Nationwide round-up (01/04/21)

THE HOUSE of Representatives committee on health will prioritize proposals to defer the scheduled hike in member contributions to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), the panel’s chairperson said on Monday.

Regional Updates (01/04/21)

PROSECUTORS have been directed to immediately file the resolution finding probable cause to charge nine policemen for murder and planting of evidence over the killing of four soldiers in Jolo, Sulu in June last year.