The 2021 Blog of DILA

looking into the adversities of our constitutionally disadvantaged non-Tagalog peoples

 

June 12, 2021

Reduction in cases, causes for concern.
A total of 4,077 new cases were recorded on June 8, considerably lower than in previous days. But there were many more cases in Mindanao, with those in Davao exceeding Quezon City's. New strains were blamed for the surge. Earlier, escalating cases were noted in Zamboanga City. An additional source of concern was a new variant from India, delta 1, causing deadly symptoms like gangrene.

Essential workers included among vaccination priorities.
A4 workers, workers in key industries, joined A1 to A3 categories (medical and other frontliners, those with comorbidities, etc.) in groups prioritized for vaccination. But few in priority groups have been vaccinated due to vaccination hesitancy. The WHO approval for Sinovac which Malacanang hoped would give legitimacy to China vaccination has not done so.

 

June 8, 2021

All roads lead to Sara.
Sen. Imee Marcos revealed that she and her brother, former Sen. Bongbong Marcos, met with Davao City mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio. She did not disclose the subject of their meeting. On June 3, former Defense Sec. Gilbert Teodoro and his wife, accompanied by former Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. visited the mayor on a private plane. The visit was followed by an FB post 'Done deal folks' by Andaya, who said they were destined to be with each other. Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, who describes the Davao City mayor as smart, strong and self-assured, sees GMA in her.
Some Manila newspapers see the Sara-Gibo tandem as the team to beat in 2022. Neither Duterte nor Teodoro, however, have disclosed their political plans.
More politics.
Political commentators commenting on the 'Sara-Gibo' tandem announced by former Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. said nothing is final, and that the Davao mayor might team up with either Teodoro or former Sen. Bongbong Marcos. Former Sec. Teodoro, they noted, has long been close to the Dutertes and was offered a cabinet post.
Other teamups are those of the Manila mayor teaming up with Sen. Grace Poe as VP and former Sen. Bongbong Marcos and Pres. Duterte. They said it is still early and that substitutions are possible at the last minute. Pres. Duterte was still running at third or fourth shortly before election day.
Teodoro confirms VP bid.
In a radio interview, former Defense Sec. Gilbert Teodoro said that events of the past year have convinced him that he can best serve the country in government service. He said Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio is the most capable for the highest office, and that he has offered to serve as vice president if she runs.

 

June 2, 2021

PDP-Laban questions.
Sen. Manny Pacquiao, the president of PDP-Laban, asked members of the national council to boycott a meeting to select its presidential candidate called by Sec. Al Cusi. Sec. Cusi, though, said the meeting has the blessing of Pres. Duterte. He said that the group needs to select only the standard bearer since it will ask Pres. Duterte to run as VP.
In other political news, the current cabinet is espected to be reduced by half by October since many are expected to run for senator including spokesman Harry Roque and secretaries Karlo Nograles and Mark Villar.
Sotto will run only under Lacson.
Senate President Tito Sotto, a leading candidate for vice president, said that he will only run as vice president under Sen. Panfilo Lacson since he is the only presidential contender that he trusts and admires.

 

May 26, 2021

Fake face shields seized in Paranaque.
Substandard face shields which did not meet standards were found by authorities in a Paranaque warehouse. They had been smuggled from China. The shields were later destroyed.
Dogs trained to detect COVID-19.
Researchers in the UK have trained dogs to spot people with the disease from their characteristic odor, with 95% accuracy. This is way faster than a PCR test, and more accurate than a lateral flow test. This can be used in malls, the LRT/MRT, and other places with large numbers of people entering, and where dogs are already used to detect bombs and explosives.
Hearing on Leonen impeachment set on May 27.
The hearing on Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen was set on M at 27 after the case was referred to the House of Representatives committee on justice by the committee on rules. It stems from his non-filing of his statement of assets, liabilibilites and net worth, and stems from a complaint of Ilocos Norte representative Angelo Marcos Barba.
It will be recalled that during his electoral protest, former Sen. Bongbong Marcos asked for the exclusion of Justice Leonen from the proceedings because he was allegedly biased against him.
House panel to tackle Leonen impeachment on May 27 news.abs-cbn.com/news/05/20/21/house-panel-to-tackle-leonen-impeachment-on-may-27
Lagman, Rodriguez say impeachment complaint vs. Leonen just 'hearsay' -gmanetwork.com/news/story/789073
Philstar.com
The House of Representatives’ swift junking of the impeachment complaint speaks of the baselessness of allegations against him, Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen said. - May 27

In other political news, sources have mentioned retired Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio and Sen. Franklin Drilon as possible opposition presidential candidates. This follows reports that VP Leni Robredo is planning to run for a local position in Camarines Sur. The reason for hesitating to run for national office range from financial ones to the opposition of her daughters.
Panelo says Duterte can run for veep.
Presidential legal advisor Salvador Panelo says that President Rodrigo Duterte can run as vice president if there is a clamor from the Filipino people. According to Panelo, the common good has always been his object ever since he decided to run for president. If he does, he is expected to be the running mate of either his daughter Davao City mayor Sara Duterte Carpio or longtime aide Sen. Bong Go.
Sinovac rejected by employers abroad.
Radio interviews with OFWs have revealed that China-made China virus vaccines are not accepted by many countries and employers abroad. Many seamen vaccinated here have complained that their employers do not recognize the vaccine.
Similarly, a check with the Saudi Arabian embassy revealed that they recognize only four vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna, Astra-Zeneca and Johnson & Johnson.

 

May 21, 2021

Robredo, staff vaccinated.
Vice president Leni Robredo and 18 members of her staff have been vaccinated in Quezon City. In accordance with her attitude towards the Chinese occupation and the China-made virus and their vaccine, she selected an AstraZeneca jab.
In political news, the VP belied assertions by former Sen. Antonio Trillanes that he will be the opposition presidential candidate. She said the opposition has not yet selected a standard bearer, and that she has not yet ruled out running for the highest office or for a local position in Camarines Sur.
DILG orders non-disclosure of vaccine brands.
Secretary Eduardo Ano of the Department of Local Government ordered mayors not to reveal the vaccine brands to be used on constituents until the day of the vaccination. This was supported by most NCR mayors. This follows widespread opposition to China-made China virus vaccines and preference for the newly arrived Pfizer vaccine. Malabon Mayor Toby Tiangco registered dissent, saying that the order can only fuel suspicion and opposition to vaccines.

 

May 11, 2021

Duterte withdraws from debate.
President Rodrigo Duterte backed out of a debate to which he had challenged retired Supreme Court justice Antonio Carpio regarding who brought about the current crisis with China in the West Philippine Sea. He was advised by his cabinet that it was unseeemly for a sitting president to debate with a private citizen, which the retired justice now is. Instead, he proposed Sec. Harry Roque, whom he described as being knowledgeable in international law. Sec. Roque asked Justice Carpio to name the place and time for the debate.
EcoWaste coalition urges crematorium compliance with pollution control regulations.
The order for corona deaths to be cremated has made crematoriums operate continuously. April has seen a record for daily deaths (over 400). This has led to increased pollution from the practice, leading the EcoWaste coalition to ask for monitoring of the Clean Air Act to protect the health of the living.
The pandemic has led to other health problems. The BBC has reported that divers from environmental groups have found large accumulations of used face masks in Manila Bay.
Defensor thanks FDA for granting ivermectin CPR.
Rep. Mike Defensor hailed the Food and Drug Administration for granting ivermectin a certificate of product registration. This authorization for human use (it was previously for animal deworming) is only as an antihelmintic/antiparasitic and not against COVID-19. He asked for authorization for this purpose as he, according to him, and many others, have benefited from its use.

Philstar.com
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the DOH will submit an EUA application for Sinopharm before the Food and Drug Administration Monday after the World Health Organization approved the jab for emergency use. DOH to seek emergency use authorization for Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine philstar.com/headlines/2021/05/10/2097188/doh-seek-emergency-use-authorization-sinopharm-covid-19-vaccine

 

May 3, 2021

COVID-19 cases exceed million mark.
Despite significantly lower daily figures (7,000 for April 27), the total figure of those who have contracted the disease has gone past a million. The OCTA Research Group asked for a week's extension of MECQ for NCR+ to prevent a rise in cases after May.
DOH had earlier recommended a two week extension, but the Department of Trade and Industry said extending will wreck the economy and bring more job losses.
In pandemic-related news, Reps. Mike Defensor and Rodante Marcoleta are distributing ivermectin in Quezon City, even as the FDA warns of its safety.
The Philippines has issued a travel ban on India, where a double mutant corona strain is causing 300,000 cases a day and thousands of deaths.
Chinese criminality and POGO.
In addition to China's ships depriving Philippine fishermen of their livelihood by illegal occupation of Philippine waters, causing a food shortage by overfishing and spreading illegal drugs and bringing COVID, China nationals are also committing other crimes. A house in Multinational Village in Paranaque has been found boarding Pekingese POGO players and serving as a prostitution den catering to them. It is just the latest episode of their operations.
BFAR urges Filipino fishermen to fish in West Philippine Sea.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources asked local fishermen to continue fishing in the West Philippine Sea, saying they would be protected by the Coast Guard. The area provides 7% of the country's fishing requirements, so that China's incursions threaten Philippine food security.
Nothing was said about China's warnings to the Philippines to keep off what it calls its territory, and the continued presence of Chinese vessels.
Police officer dies of COVID-19.
The Philippine National Police said that a police officer based in Batangas died of COVID-19. The officer was confined after complaining of difficulty in breathing and other respiratory symptoms. He was vaccinated with the first dose of Sinovac last March.
1.5 million have lost jobs since ECQ.
One and a half million people in the NCR plus bubble ever since Mega Manila changed its quarantine status to Enhanced Community Quarantine and then Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine, said a past president of the Personnel Management Association of the Philippines.
Therefore the economy must be opened while observing health protocols or more people will lose their jobs.
Sputnik V vaccines arrive.
A plane carrying 500,000 doses of the Russian-made vaccine Sputnik V landed April 30. Representatives of the government met the party carrying the vaccine, which will come in time for the surge in cases of the China virus.
DOH threatens doctors involved in prescribing ivermectin with sanctions.
The Department of Health said that ivermectin has not yet been approved for use against COVID-19, apart from approval for compassionate use in some hospitals. Doctors involved in prescribing the drug, as well as in the distribution by two congressmen in Quezon City, face professional sanctions. FDA tests are expected to last until June.
Duterte vaccinated with Sinopharm.
President Rodrigo Duterte has been vaccinated with the China-made Sinopharm on the recommendation of his physicians and based on his personal preference. He said he hopes more Filipinos will follow. Shortly afterwards, Duterte's presidential legal counsel was vaccinated, also with Sinopharm. The vaccine has not been given an FDA permit but the president has a compassionate special permit (CSP).
In vaccine-related news, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez said he expects the NCR, Calabarzon and Central Luzon to have herd immunity by November.

DFA chief Locsin to China: 'Get the f— out' of Philippine waters -gmanetwork.com/news/story/785982
Duterte gets Sinopharm vaccine vs. COVID-19 -gmanetwork.com/news/nation/786057/duterte-gets-vaccinated-vs-covid-19
DOST exec: Benefits of virgin coconut oil, melatonin vs. COVID-19 still being studied -gmanetwork.com/news/story/785617
Doctors in 'ivermectin pantry' may face suspension, loss of license — PMA -philstar.com/headlines/2021/05/04/2095821

• biospace.com/article/death-disability-among-side-effects-of-chinese-covid-19-vaccines-leaked-documents-reveal
• mb.com.ph/2021/04/10/cop-dies-of-covid-19-a-few-days-after-receiving-first-dose-of-vaccine
• philstar.com/nation/2021/05/01/2094966/another-pnp-official-dies-covid-19-after-jab

 

April 26, 2021

Parlade likens community pantry to serpent's apple.
Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade of the National Task Force to End Communist Armed Conflict said the community pantry to distribute food to the needy is comparable to apples used to tempt Eve in Eden. He said communist groups use this to attract people to their ideology. The concept began in Quezon City and has spread througout the Philippines in the wake of food shortages brought by the pandemic.

 

April 20, 2021

Exchanges on China aggression.
Retired justice Antonio Carpio said the President should sound off China on its occupation of islands and reefs in the West Philippine Sea since China is not listening to protests from either Foreign Secretary Locsin or Defense Secretary Lorenzana. On the other hand, a political science professor said the president is back channeling since China will not be pleased to receive strong words.
In COVID-related news, the FDA is waiting for results abroad in connection with ivermectin's approval. The DOH for its part recommends virgin coconut oil, which has been proven in clinical trials against COVID-19.
New cases remain high.
April 15 cases totaled 10,776, while those of two earlier days exceeded 8,000. According to the OPTA Research Group, though, the transmission rate has gone down since Mega Manila, NCR+, was placed under ECQ. The OPTA Research Group however expressed concern over a new variant from France which cannot be detected by the RT-PCR test.
Ang denies endorsing Pacquiao.
Businessman Ramon Ang denied endorsing Sen. Manny Pacquiao for president. He said that in a press conference, the name of the senator was mentioned, but he gave no reaction. But Sen. Pacquiao went on the air to thank Mr. Ang for his endorsement.
Number of recoveries reaches new high.
There were 72,607 reported by the Department of Health on April 18.
Sotto also uses ivermectin.
In an interview, Senate president Tito Sotto said that he uses ivermectin as a preventive against the Chinese virus because of the testimony of its users of its effectiveness. The Philippine FDA is conducting tests on the safety of the antiparasitic drug.

INQUIRER.net
Leronlimab used as COVID-19 treatment for Erap, says Jinggoy -April 19
Philstar.com
Ramon Ang: No endorsement of potential Pacquiao presidential run -April 18
Philstar.com
The Department of National Defense denounces as irresponsible propaganda social media posts claiming that retired and active military officers have withdrawn support for President Rodrigo Duterte over the situation in the West Philippine Sea.

• manilatimes.net/2021/04/06/opinion/columnists/topanalysis/shocking-report-on-sinovac-vaccinations-increased-covid-cases-after-using-vaccine
• thestandard.com.hk/breaking-news/section/4/169336/Man-died-of-cardiac-arrest-23-days-after-he-took-Sinovac-jab
• straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/filipino-nurse-dies-of-covid-19-after-vaccination-officials-say-death-not-from-adverse
• newsinfo.inquirer.net/1411973/isabela-midwife-dies-13-days-after-getting-sinovac-jab
• thestandard.com.hk/breaking-news/section/4/168423/Another-man-died-after-receiving-Sinovac-vaccine

 

April 14, 2021

Politics in a time of pandemic.
In a time of pandemic intensified by an unprecedented surge due to new variants, our situation is further complicated by escalated Chinese aggression against the country. But wait, there's more.
Businessman Ramon Ang has said Sen. Manny Pacquiao will be the next president. And Pres. Duterte has said that if neither his daughter Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio nor longtime aide Bong Go will run, he will endorse either Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso, Sen. Manny Pacquiao or former Sen. Bongbong Marcos.
Enrile interview yields revelations.
A radio interview with former Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile revealed that the senator took ivermectin as a preventive against COVID-19 on the recommendation of his doctors. He endorsed it as an alternative to medicines which the poor cannot afford. He also said that among the presidential candidates, he would prefer Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Sen. Manny Pacquiao or former Sen. Bongbong Marcos.
More support for ivermectin.
An interview with Dr. Iggy Agbayani, an orthopedic surgeon who has kept up with the latest developments in corona drugs, revealed good results with over 300 patient to whom he prescribed for COVID-19. He said scientific studies in several countries attest to both its safety and efficacy (80 percent with mild cases, 50 percent with severe cases). He said it is cheap, costing only three hundred pesos compared to expensive ones like remdesivir, and should be approved since it will take time before most people are vaccinated.
Sinovac-vaccinated patient dies.
A Caloocan resident who was vaccinated with the China-made China virus vaccine Sinovac on March 29 has now died. He first complained of vomiting, then dizziness and headaches days later, was discharged before being hospitalized again. This time it had been more severe symptoms including kidney failure requiring dialysis. The DOH said Freddie Totales died of his ailments like hypertension and diabetes, and not because of Sinovac which is proven safe and effective.
By extolling Sinovac despite this unfortunate development while barring AstraZeneca for some patients because of reported side effects abroad, the DOH has shown inconsistency.

 

April 8, 2021

IATF recommended 1 more week of ECQ.
The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases recommended an extension of the Enhanced Community Quarantine for the NCR+ Bubble (Metro Manila plus Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal) from April 4 to April 11, as new COVID-19 cases reached a new record high of 12,000 cases. Active cases also reached 165,715 cases, the highest since the pandemic. Prof. Guido David of OPTA Research Group said a week of ECQ is too short to bring a reduction in new cases, though he said there was a reduction in reproduction rate.
On the West Philippine Sea, China said that it owns Julian Felipe Reef, said its fishermen had a right to be there, and cautioned against Philippine emotionalism.
Sen. Ping Lacson said the Philippines should file a diplomatic protest, and former Justice Carpio said China is sending Sinovac vaccines as payment for occupying Julian Felipe Reef and other islands.
New CJ named.
President Duterte announced the appointment of Associate Justice Alexander Gesmundo as the new Chief Justice. He replaces Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta, who has retired.
New COVID positives remain high.
Over 8,000 new China virus cases were reported April 5. This was less than over 10,000 new cases for much of the week, though some testing centers were closed during the holidays. Prof. Guido David of the OPTA Research Group said that while the reproduction rate has been reduced, the number of recorded cases is expected to reach a million.
Meanwhile an application for an FDA license has been made by Lloyd Laboratories. Many doctors and patients have attested to the effectiveness of ivermectin, used to combat parasites in animals, against coronavirus.
Roque says reef matter can be resolved amicably.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque says the discussion over China's vessels in Julian Felipe Reef, which is owned by the Philippines but has been overrun weeks back by China's ships, which have not departed allegedly because of the weather, will be resolved amicably because China is a close friend of the Philippines.
16 Pekingese with fake health certificates nabbed.
Sixteen China nationals who presented fake health certificates in connection with their applications for China virus vaccines were arrested by the police. According to the police, they were based in Binondo, but citizens of China.
US vows support for Philippines in China row.
The United States assured the country of assistance in the wake of escalating aggression by China. According to the US, it is bound by a mutual defense treaty with us, and will send vessels to the area. China vessels in the Julian Felipe Reef have refused to leave the area, which it says is part of its Nansha Islands.
New 2022 survey results released.
Another survey firm has come up with results of its 2022 survey. It was topped by Manila mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso, Davao City mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, former Sen. Bongbong Marcos, and Vice President Leni Robredo.
For vice president, the race was led by Davao City mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Manila mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso, former Sen. Bongbong Marcos, snd Sen. Manny Pacquiao.
Senatorial poll topnotchers included the Manila mayor, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, Dr. Willy Ong, a physician and broadcaster, Sorsogon Gov. Chiz Escudero, Davao City mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio , Sen. Risa Hontiveros, Sen. Joel Villanueva, Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto, and Antique Gov. Loren Legarda.
Go lashes out at Duterte bashers.
Sen. Bong Go criticized those reponsible for the Twitter hashtag 'Patay na ba ang Pangulo?' for spreading malicious and misleading information, after the president did appear for a presscon. This was also fueled by many Presidential Security Group officers developing COVID (most of them were earlier vaccinated with Sinovac).
Hospital given ivermectin CUA.
The Bureau of Food and Drugs gave an unnamed hospital compassionate use authorization to administer the drug to patients against COVID-19. This comes after many doctors and patients attested to its efficacy here and abroad. Ivermectin is an animal antiparasitic drug. Two firms have applied to manufacture it. An emergency use authorization has yet to be granted by the FDA.
New cases exceed 12,000 (April 9).
Towards the end of the second week of Enhanced Community Quarantine of the NCR+ Bubble, 12,225 new cases were tallied, raising further the number of active cases.
Still on pandemic-related news, an adverse reaction to Sinovac.
A Quezon City resident was vaccinated on March 29, and exprienced dizziness, headaches and sleeplessness the following day. He was admitted to the hospital and then was discharged, but experienced more severe symptoms. After being refused admission the next time because hospitals were full, he was eventually admitted to the East Ave. Medical Center where he had kidney failure, underwent dialysis, and is being intubated. He is fighting for his life.

US warns China over moves on Philippines, Taiwan gmanetwork.com/news/story/782888
China sends more jets; Taiwan says it will fight to the end if there's war gmanetwork.com/news/story/782885
Voice of America - VOA
Vietnam Joins Opposition to Chinese Activity Near Disputed Sea Reef
MANILA BULLETIN
DND calls for restraint amid presence of US carrier strike group in WPS

Dismissing rumors, Malacañang said President Rodrigo Duterte is fit and healty, and is performing his duties and responsibilities. Duterte ‘fit and healthy,’ Palace says -sunstar.com.ph
Duterte 'busy with paperwork' amid heart attack rumors, says Go gmanetwork.com/news/story/782871
MANILA BULLETIN
The apparent lack of planning and coordination on the distribution of assistance to residents in some parts of Metro Manila and four adjacent provinces. Senior citizens, PWDs expose themselves to COVID infection just to get cash assistance
INQUIRER.net
FDA grants a hospital compassionate special permit for ivermectin use
'Hitler', 'Spongebob' not making COVID-19 contact tracing easier -gmanetwork.com/news/nation/782847/hitler-spongebob-on-forms-not-making-making-covid-19-contact-tracing-easier
gmanetwork.com/news/nation/782807/fda-approves-sinovac-covid-19-vaccine-for-senior-citizens-amid-low-astrazeneca-supply
gmanetwork.com/news/nation/780333/fda-data-needed-before-sinovac-vaccine-can-be-used-on-elderly
Crematoriums in Metro Manila struggle with hike in COVID-19 deaths -gmanetwork.com/news/story/782857

Duterte to choose among Isko, Bongbong, Pacquiao if Sara, Bong Go not running in 2022 —Roque -gmanetwork.com/news/story/782852
Philstar.com
Palace spokesperson Harry Roque has incorrectly claimed that the country has yet to receive a single COVID-19 vaccine from the US despite it being the top donor of the COVAX facility vaccines. 'Where is Uncle Sam now?' Roque twits US, a top COVAX funder -philstar.com/headlines/2021/04/07/2089569

 

April 3, 2021

China holds military exercises in disputed islands.
In the midst of a pandemic, China staged military exercises in the Paracel and Spratly Islands, which are claimed by several other governments including the Philippines. Despite Philippine diplomatic protests, over 200 Chinese vessels, which it claims are fishing vessels but have military markings have been staying for weeks at Julian Felipe Reef in the West Philippine Sea.
Meanwhile, a million doses of Sinovac have arrived in the Philippines. Despite a ban on mass gatherings, a welcoming party was at hand for the arrival of the vaccine from a Philippine friend, which happens to occupy several Philippine islands.
New COVID-19 cases shoot past 10,000.
Coronavirus positive cases tallied on March 29 reached 10,016, intensifying the shortage in hospital rooms. More prominent people tested positive, including former President Joseph Estrada, who was in serious but stable condition at the Cardinal Santos Hospital.
Quezon City mayor Joy Belmonte tested positive but is asymptomatic eight months after recovering from the disease. A former mayor of Pakil, Laguna died of COVID after the mayor of Famy, Laguna died earlier. Former Calauan mayor Antonio Sanchez, who was jailed for the Sarmenta-Gomez rape-slay, tested positive and was found dead over the weekend.
Rep. Mike Defensor, who tested positive, batted for the approval of ivermectin, an antiparasitic drug, to be used for COVID.
Philstar.com
NEW RECORD-HIGH TALLY: DOH logs highest single-day tally with 15,310 new COVID-19 cases. The total reported cases has reached 771,497 on April 2, 2021.
-New deaths: 17
-Total active cases: 153,809

 

March 29, 2021

NCR+ Bubble placed under ECQ.
Following a record-breaking week, in which daily additions to the list of China virus positives were at an all-time high, Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal were placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine from March 29 to April 4.
Many hospitals were running out of space, and quarantine facilities were also close to full capacity. The OPTA Research Group said the NCR+ Bubble ECQ was inadequate, as cases were also surging in Pampanga and Batangas. The Red Cross and the Philippine Genome Center said 20 percent of their samples were now positive, compared to the usual 5 percent.

 

March 22, 2021

New cases reach 5,400.
New China virus cases reached 5,400, setting a new record. The decision to open some Intramuros historical sites was withdrawn as a result of the surging incidence. Sec. Harry Roque tested positive, and blamed the galloping cases on the more transmissible new variants.
- philstar.com/headlines/2021/03/18/2085145/covid-19-cases-hit-peak-2020-level
Ban on travel to Philippines imposed.
A travel ban has been put by the government into effect whether by incoming foreigners or Filipinos. This follows a surge of COVID-19 cases. March 17's 4,300 and 4,500 the previous day followed days of over 5,000 new cases, resulting in overcapacity of many NCR hospitals.
Suicide cases increased by 26 percent over 2019, accompanied by increases in mental illness and admission at NIMH.
PNP reports peaceful conduct of Palawan plebiscite.
No untoward incidents were reported by the PNP in the plebiscite to divide the province on Saturday, where 'no' prevailed.
COVID-19 cases on March 18 increased to 7,000 new ones, the highest since the pandemic.
With the accelerating number of cases in the metropolis, vaccines deployed to the provinces have been recalled to the NCR.
Sputnik V given EUA.
Russia's COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V, produced by Gamaleya, was given Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA. This comes amid numerous new cases, which have caused more and more hospitals in the NCR to reach full capacity.
A proposal by Metro mayors for closing borders was called premature by the Department of Health, though. Thirty-seven areas in Pasig were subjected to localized lockdowns, and the OPTA Research Group predicted a rise in daily cases to 10,000.
New COVID-19 cases reach almost 8,000.
As new cases of the China virus exceeded 7,900, the president issued directives for the next two weeks. Mega Manila (NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal) was placed under stricter GCQ. Nonessential travel outside the locality will be forbidden along with restaurant dining in, mass gatherings/meetings and religious services. Those below 18 and over 65 cannot leave the house. Delivery services will be allowed, and as much as possible, working from home is encouraged.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana appealed to China to remove its ships from the West Philippine Sea.
Twelve ships of China were spotted by the National Task Force on the West Philippine Sea. In addition, the National Security Adviser said that over 200 fishing vessels were found in the West Philippine Sea last March 7.
Day 1 of the new quarantine.
On the first day that NCR+ or Mega Manila (NCR and Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal) was reclassified to a stricter form of General Community Quarantine, the largest number of new cases since the beginning of the pandemic hit 8,019.
Leading hospitals like Asian Hospital and St. Luke's Medical Center have reached full capacity. Outside of essential travel, movement to and from NCR+ is forbidden until April 4 as with mass gatherings, religious services, dining in in restaurants, and going out for people under 18 and over 65.
The UK and South African variants are now widely diseminated in the NCR, and the Brazilian and P.3 (Ph) variants have also been reported elsewhere including Central Visayas. As a result of the spikes, vaccines sent to the provinces have been recalled to the NCR. Baguio has barred NCR tourists again.
The OPTA Research group has warned that daily cases will reach 12,000 if present trends continues.
- 8,019 new COVID-19 cases is new PHL record, total soars to 671,792 gmanetwork.com/news/nation/780672
- COVID-19 variants now present in all NCR cities, says DOH gmanetwork.com/news/nation/780642
- Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, vice president of the CBCP, Why ban masses but allow gyms, spas in NCR Plus? philstar.com/headlines/2021/03/22/2086208
- Most vaccines will be from China, Russia until July — Galvez, philstar.com

Presidential survey results released.
A reliable source has revealed the results of a survey of the preferred president in the 2022 elections. Manila mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso came first (significantly ahead), followed by Davao City mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, former Sen. Bongbong Marcos, Sen. Grace Poe, and Vice President Leni Robredo, who came sixth.
The survey was conducted in the last week of February. A significant thing about the survey was that the candidate who commissioned it was not the one who came on top, giving it an additional measure of reliability.

 

March 15, 2021

Bulacan gets 1 more district: Palawan holds plebiscite on split.
With the approval by the Senate, Bulacan gains another district, covering the towns of Angat, Santa Maria and Norzagaray. Palawan's voters on the other hand, will decide whether to split the province into Palawan del Norte, Palawan del Sur and Oriental Palawan. Detractors say that this will bloat the bureaucracy and dissipate resources, inadvisable especially with the pandemic. Others point to more chilling scenarios, such as China's takeover of Palawan del Norte, which is near the islands it is occupying.
No is reportedly leading but official results are not expected until March 17. Palayan mayor endorses Duterte for veep in 2022.
Palayan City mayor Ryan Cuevas said that she supports the candidacy of Pres. Duterte (who cannot run for reelection in 2022) for vice president this time. This sentiment was previously voiced by presidential legal adviser Sal Panelo, who favors a Duterte-Duterte ticket. Since Davao mayor Sara Duterte has ruled out running for the presidency, attention has shifted to Sen. Bong Go, who said he would run if endorsed by the president.
Highest COVID-19 cases in 7 months recorded.
March 12 set a new record as China virus cases climbed to their highest in seven months. New cases doubled in just a week in the National Capital Region, due to both more liberal rules and the spread of the new virus variant. As a result a metrowide curfew from 10 pm to 5 am was agreed upon, in addition to localized lockdowns in many areas. The opening of moviehouses and other liberalization measures were postponed as hospital facilities approached critical levels.
Pacquiao calls for unity, setting aside politics.
Amid calls for the PDP-Laban to endorse Pres. Duterte for vice president in 2022, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, who heads the PDP-Laban, said the people should unite behind efforts to fight the pandemic and turn to politics later. He said PDP-Laban leaders behind this were not authorized. In any case, the leading 2022 tandems were surfacing. According to one survey, Poe-Sotto, Pacquiao-Marcos, Go-Duterte and Robredo Pangilinan were ahead.
Meanwhile, with the plebiscite to break up Palawan in three under way on March 13, radio commentators called on voters to reject it, saying it will only divide the internal revenue allotments of the three provinces while increasing expenses and expanding the bureaucracy. A radio commentator from Cavite said that Palawan has only 500,000 people compared to 3.5 million in Cavite, yet there are no moves to similarly divide Cavite.
New cases reach 5,000.
The number of new cases of COVID-19 reached 5,000 on March 13. This came after two OFWs were found to be positive with the Brazilian variant, which is 50% more transmissible. Brazil has the highest number of fatalities after the US. While reports that a lockdown has been declared was debunked as fake news, some public health experts, like Dr. Tony Leachon, have called for a return to Enhanced Community Quarantine following the surge in cases.

MANILA BULLETIN
The active cases in the National Capital Region (NCR) have tripled in a span of two weeks, Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez said Friday (March 12). Active COVID-19 cases in NCR tripled in two weeks - Olivarez
3,749 infections push active COVID-19 cases to nearly 48k -gmanetwork.com/news/nation/779264
Philippine Star
5,000 new COVID-19 cases in a day on Saturday, March 13, the highest since an increase in COVID-19. 5,000 COVID-19 Cases Logged In Phl In A Day, And This Is Not Fake News
MANILA BULLETIN
With Duterte's 'shoot-to-kill' order, 'all hell breaks loose' -- Lacson
Calbayog intel chief relieved for seeking court list of communists’ lawyers -snstr.co/c8w
Will you support current President Rodrigo Duterte if he runs for vice president in 2022? Labella, Rama support Duterte for VP plans -sunstar.com.ph
Gordon pushes for creation of police courts -gmanetwork.com/news/story/779227
The Department of Health (DOH) confirmed Saturday, March 13, a new variant of the coronavirus called P.3 which was first found in the Philippines. mb.com.ph/2021/03/13/doh-confirms-new-coronavirus-variant-from-ph
UP-OCTA VS OCTA Research, they're not actually the same group. interaksyon.philstar.com/trends-spotlights/2021/03/09/187157/are-you-confused-between-up-octa-octa-research-heres-the-deal-with-up-and-research-team
Partial unofficial results in Palawan show 'no' votes leading in plebiscite regarding dividing province gmanetwork.com/news/story/779573
Two leaders pushing for the division of Palawan province concede defeat ahead of Monday’s official tally for the plebiscite. -inq.news/3qKpVfl

 

March 9 & 11, 2021

Robredo denounces Calbayog mayor killing.
Vice President Leni Robredo said the killing of mayors, journalists, lawyers and other people should not be regarded as normal. This followed the killing of Calbayog City mayor Ronaldo Aquino by policemen after an alleged shootout with his party. The policemen were members of the PNP Integrity and Monitoring Group and provincial drug enforcement unit. The PNP said the mayor's party fired first, which was disputed by witnesses. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the VP should wait for an investigation before jumping to conclusions.
Biggest COVID-19 cases in 5 months recorded.
New cases in March 4 exceed 3,000, the biggest figure in five months. This coincided with elevated numbers in several NCR cities especially Pasay, and the arrival there of the more contagious South African variant. The Astra-Zeneca vaccine also arrived on a KLM flight. DOH Sec. Duque is scheduled to be vaccinated - significantly with Astra-Zeneca, because he is a senior rather than the expected Sinovac.
Emergency Use Authorization is being prepared for Sinopharm, which is preferred by Pres. Duterte. Meanwhile, presidential spokesman Roque denounced VP Robredo's criticism of Sinovac, saying that she is playing politics in a time of pandemic.
Inflation rate highest in 2 years.
Inflation rate has risen to 4.7 percent according to figures released by the Philippine Statistics Authority. It is the highest figure in two years. It was mostly due to increases in prices of food. Prices of round scud (galunggong) rose to P250, prompting the government to put price controls on the fish.
New COVID-19 cases top 3,000 for 4th straight day.
Figures from the Department of Health revealed that new China virus cases exceed 3,000 for the fourth straight day on March 8. In addition, cases of the South African variant were found in Paranaque. Earlier, the SA variant was also found in Pasay. Dr. Guido David of OCTA Research Group said that in addition to increased overall cases, more pediatric cases are being observed, and that entire families are being infected, consistent with the faster transmission of the new variants.
Daily new COVID-19 cases in NCR may reach 5,000 by March 31 —OCTA gmanetwork.com/news/metro/778886

 

March 1, 2021

INQUIRER.net
"Maluha-luha kami noong dumating ‘yung Sinovac," Galvez said in a speech at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH)
Philstar.com
philstar.com/headlines/2021/03/01/2081074/covid-19-vaccination-starts-today _ President Rodrigo Duterte said Sunday that he intends to visit Chinese President Xi Jinping by the end of the year to thank him for the donated doses of Sinovac
Philstar.com
UP-PGH director Dr. Gerardo Legaspi gets inoculated with Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine. He is the first PGH healthcare worker to receive COVID-19 vaccine.
Twenty health care workers are slated to receive the Sinovac-made Coronavac today, March 1, at the Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP).
Health workers from the Veterans Medical Memorial Center receive the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine
Philippine Star
Department of Health says Sec. Francisco Duque was not inoculated with Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines
MANILA BULLETIN
Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. receives Sinovac vaccine at PGH
INQUIRER.net
Thirteen people who received the vaccines from Sinovac biotech firm experienced negative effects during the first day of the government’s immunization program on Monday, the Department of Health (DOH) said Tuesday.

 

THE BLOG in 2020 Part2

THE BLOG in 2020 Part 1

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