Dominguez thanks Duterte, Congress for amended retail trade law

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III lauded President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Congress for the enactment into law of a measure backed by the Department of Finance (DOF) that seeks to further liberalize the Philippine economy and open the country to more foreign direct investments (FDIs) and job creation. “As we continue our path to recovery, the economic liberalization bills either passed or being considered by our lawmakers will be crucial to bringing in much needed foreign investments that would supercharge the economy and create a lot more jobs for Filipinos,…

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Police nabs suspected gunman of Cavite deputy prosecutor

A drug buy-bust operation led to the arrest of the suspected killer of the deputy prosecutor who was exercising outside his house when gunned down in Barangay Cabuco, Trece Martires City, Cavite on New Year’s Eve. Philippine National Police chief, Gen. Dionardo Carlos, on Sunday identified the suspect as Marvin Tagayon Linaban, 44. He was one of two persons nabbed by Cavite Drug Enforcement Unit operatives during an operation in Barangay H2, Dasmariñas City at about 10:30 p.m. of January 7. Another suspect, Elvin Esguerra, 40, was wounded and arrested…

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5 gun ban violators arrested in NCR, Zamboanga

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said five persons were arrested in violation of the nationwide election gun ban that kicked off Sunday. Of the five, two were nabbed at the National Capital Region while the three others were arrested in Zamboanga Peninsula. “The early results of our strict implementation of Comelec (Commission on Elections) Resolution No. 10728 more or less describe the overall aggressiveness of police operations against violators of election law,” PNP chief, Gen. Dionardo Carlos said in a statement. In a message sent to reporters, Lt. Col. Jenny…

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Gov’t capable of replacing typhoon-spoiled vaccines

The National Task Force Against Covid-19 on Sunday said it can replace vaccines damaged during the onslaught of Typhoon Odette last month. NTF Against Covid-19 head of strategic communications, Assistant Secretary Wilben Mayor, made the assurance during a phone interview shortly after the arrival of 2,703,870 doses of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines donated by the US government through the COVAX Facility. He said the country has enough supply of jabs that could replenish the spoiled ones when “Odette” hit parts of Palawan, Visayas, and Mindanao on Dec. 16 and 17, 2021.…

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Pray for PH recovery from Covid-19, Duterte prods Filipinos anew

As the Filipino Catholics observe the Feast of the Black Nazarene, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Sunday renewed his call to pray that the country would be able to overcome the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic. He described the Feast of the Black Nazarene as a “venerated religious tradition” and a precious time for every devotee to understand the value of suffering and its saving grace. Duterte acknowledged that the traditional procession of Black Nazarene or “Traslacion” was suspended due to an uptick in Covid-19 infections, but noted there are other ways…

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NCR exceeds 50% positivity rate: OCTA

The OCTA Research Group on Sunday said the positivity rate in the National Capital Region (NCR) has exceeded 50 percent for the first time –50.5 percent as of January 7, 2022. “The data from DOH (Department of Health) shows that the rate of increase of the positivity rate could be slowing down. We will know in the next few days if the positivity rate is indeed slowing down or if this is just an artificial effect,” OCTA Research Group fellow Dr. Guido David said in his tweet. Positivity rate is…

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PH logs add’l 2,579 Covid-19 recoveries; 28,707 new cases

The Department of Health (DOH) on Sunday reported 2,579 recoveries and 28,707 new coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections. The latest Covid-19 bulletin indicated 128,114 active cases while total recoveries rose to 2,785,183, or 93.9 percent of 2,965,447 infections since the pandemic started in March 2020. Out of the active cases, 119,276 are mild, 2,851 are moderate, 4,213 are asymptomatic, 1,465 are severe, and 309 are critical. “Of the 28,707 reported cases today, 28,512 (99 percent) occurred within the recent 14 days –Dec. 27, 2021 to Jan. 9, 2022,” the DOH…

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Ex-Palace exec defends order restricting movement of unvaxxed

A former Palace official on Sunday defended the directive of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to restrict unvaccinated people from going out of their homes, saying it was part of the President’s duty as head of state. Senatorial aspirant and former presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo defended Duterte after the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said Duterte’s order to restrict unvaccinated people “violates” the Constitution and human rights. Panelo said there are provisions in the 1987 Constitution that allow the President to order restrictions in the mobility of unvaccinated people to secure…

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Taguig limits movement of unvaccinated persons

To save lives and livelihood, Taguig’s Safe City Task Force will be adopting the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) resolution that limits the movement of unvaccinated individuals Under Advisory No. 62, enforcement will focus on areas with a high possibility of Covid-19 transmission, such as public transportation and closed spaces, and areas which have seen increased cases and low vaccination rates. In a news release on Sunday, the city also asked the private sector to check its employees’ vaccination status. “Unvaccinated individuals are at a higher risk if infected with…

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IATF-EID to discuss possible Alert Level 4 in NCR: DILG

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said the recommendation to place the National Capital Region (NCR) under more stringent Alert Level 4 status will be discussed in the succeeding meetings of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID). This, as the OCTA Research Group on Sunday said the positivity rate in Metro Manila has exceeded 50 percent for the first time –50.5 percent as of January 7, 2022. “This (Alert Level 4) will be discussed in the next IATF meeting,’’…

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Gov’t ramps up bed capacity, testing amid rise in infections

The national government will be ramping up hospital bed capacity, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing, and vaccination in the wake of record high daily Covid-19 infections. Acting Presidential Spokesperson, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Sub-Technical Working Group (sTWG) on Data Analytics recommended implementing an increase in the availability of bed capacity in the National Capital Region (NCR) and surrounding areas (NCR Plus). NCR Plus is composed of the NCR and the nearby provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan, and Rizal. He said the IATF-sTWG also…

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Civic groups complement gov’t relief efforts for ‘Odette’ victims

Alongside the continuing efforts of government instrumentalities to answer the immediate needs of Caraga Region residents badly hit by Typhoon Odette last month are civic organizations, private groups, and individuals who pooled their resources and went to affected communities. Among these civic organizations is the Lions Club International (LCI) that conducted a two-day distribution activity In Surigao City, Surigao del Norte during the weekend. The group distributed 600 food packs contained in pails, 600 water containers, and 365 gallons of potable water to affected residents in the villages of Barangays…

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PNP calls for vigilance as election gun ban starts Sunday

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Dionardo Carlos, has called for vigilance as the 150-day nationwide election gun ban kicked off Sunday. Carlos said law enforcers will be conducting checkpoint operations in strategic locations to strictly implement the gun ban from Jan. 9 to 8 to maintain peaceful national and local elections on May 9, 2022. “The PNP, together with other agencies are ready to protect all vital installations and economic key points and other places of convergence. We call on the public to be vigilant at all times to…

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EU, US execs discuss Russia’s military build-up around Ukraine

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed Russia’s military build-up around Ukraine during a telephone call Saturday. The call came ahead of a Jan. 10 US-Russia meeting on security in Geneva. They reaffirmed the EU and US support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and emphasized the need for Russia to de-escalate and fully implement the Minsk agreements, the EU said in a statement. Any further military aggression against Ukraine will have massive consequences and severe costs, it said. They also discussed…

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169 checkpoints set up in Central Luzon

A total of 169 checkpoints are set up with 1,300 police personnel deployed in Central Luzon to strictly implement the 150-day gun ban as the election period began Sunday. Brig. Gen. Matthew Baccay, Police Regional Office 3 director, said Sunday the public must cooperate with authorities at checkpoints and reiterated they will observe policies and procedures. At checkpoints, motorists are advised to slow down, dim their headlights, turn on their cabin lights, and answer promptly if asked by authorities. “I have also reminded our personnel to be courteous to motorists…

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9 election hotspots in NegOr up for validation

The province of Negros Oriental has identified nine election “hotspots” or areas of concern leading to the May 9, 2022 national and local polls. Lawyer Eddie Aba, Provincial Election Supervisor of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), told the Philippine News Agency in an interview that the military and the police submitted the potential hotspots based on parameters used for the classification of areas of concern. “The Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines are the ones in a position to identify, determine, validate, and confirm whether these…

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