MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – Senator Aquilino Pimentel III announced on Wednesday, March 25, that he was positive for the coronavirus. On social media, there was some confusion as to whether Pimentel knew that he was positive for the virus as early as Tuesday, March 24. Pimentel brought his wife Kathryna in a hospital in Makati Tuesday evening, as she was scheduled to give birth Wednesday morning. The Pimentels said that they were already at the hospital when the senator received the news about his test results. Here's a timeline of what happened: March 11 At 9:10 pm , Senator Sherwin Gatchalian announces that a resource person in a Senate hearing he had presided over had aqcuired coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Gatchalian says he will place himself under self-quarantine. Senator Nancy Binay, who was with Gatchalian at the hearing, follows suit. March 12 At around 10 am , Pimentel says he talked to Binay ... » Learn More about TIMELINE: When Pimentel tested positive for coronavirus
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For the fourth time, the proposal to create a department for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) made it to President Rodrigo Duterte's State of the Nation Address (SONA). Duterte on Monday, July 26, identified the creation of a Department of Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos (DMWOF) a priority bill in his final SONA. He made similar calls during his past SONAs, except in 2017 and 2018. "I also ask Congress to pass a law creating the Department of Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos. Kailangan po ito (this is needed) – because they are suffering, they suffered not only yesterday but they are still suffering now with so many inadequacies, in both our government response, including the monetary assistance – to ensure that there is a department that is solely focused on addressing the needs and taking care of the welfare of our countrymen abroad," Duterte said on Monday. It has been Duterte's plan to create a department focusing on OFWs even before he ... » Learn More about Does the Philippines need an OFW department?
Ex-senator Antonio Trillanes IV warned Vice President Leni Robredo that his Magdalo party would abandon her if she gave way to Senator Panfilo Lacson in the 2022 presidential race, casting a dark cloud over the shaky opposition alliance. In a tweet Wednesday, July 28, Trillanes was frank about how he felt upon hearing of Robredo's recent meeting with Lacson and his running mate, Senate President Vicente Sotto III. “VP Leni, I hope this is not true. Pero kung totoo ito, pasensya na po pero the Magdalo Group would not join you and LP kung mag give way kayo para kay Senator Lacson ," Trillanes tweeted. (VP Leni, I hope this is not true. But if it is, then I’m sorry but the Magdalo Group would not join you and LP if you would give way to Senator Lacson.) The Magdalo political organization of Trillanes, composed of retired members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, has long been allied with the once-ruling Liberal Party (LP), where Robredo is ... » Learn More about Trillanes warning: Magdalo dropping Robredo if she gives way to Lacson
President Rodrigo Duterte's economic team is pushing hard for the approval of the 2nd tranche of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law amid strong opposition. The Department of Finance (DOF) is proposing to cut corporate income tax and modernize fiscal incentives. These reforms, said economic managers, are necessary. But the 2nd TRAIN package has very few champions and many opponents. While the deliberations at the House of Representatives are moving, the Senate is wary. Senate President Vicente Sotto III said his colleagues fear the proposal would bring another wave of inflation . Two of the country's top promotion investment agencies have spoken out against the measure as well. Several businesses have raised concerns, too. Corporate income tax The Philippines has the highest corporate income tax (CIT) in Southeast Asia at 30%. Neighboring Indonesia and Malaysia have 25% and 24%, respectively. Singapore has ... » Learn More about EXPLAINER: Why the government is pushing for 2nd TRAIN package
This question at the Philippine Business for Education's (PBEd) July 5 press conference was key. Since early 2021, PBEd has been beating the drums to warn against this learning crisis. A week later, the question gained greater prominence when the IATF reviewed the controversy that had erupted between Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones and the World Bank (WB) . DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones was the star of the IATF session, earning praise from President Duterte for extracting a public apology from the WB, which had released a report on the poor state of basic education in the country. But the summary conclusion of the meeting, which suggested that the president was not unduly worried about education, seemed to misunderstand Secretary Briones’ issues with the WB and the gravity of the problems facing the department. The case of Briones against the WB rested on three points. First, it released its study to the media without giving her prior ... » Learn More about [OPINION] Does the government believe there is a learning crisis?
Alternative nicotine delivery systems (ANDS), such as vapes and heated tobacco products (HTPs) are now steadily gaining recognition in the Philippines. MANILA, Philippines — Current strategies to get smokers to drop their habit — including going cold turkey, counseling, and nicotine replacement therapy — have not been very effective, according to Peter Paul Dator, president of The Vapers PH, as quoted in a joint statement issued on Tuesday by various groups advocating safer alternatives to cigarettes. About 15.9 million Filipino adults smoke, with a quit rate of only 4 percent, the statement said, citing the results of the Global Tobacco Survey of 2015, which was conducted by the Department of Health and the Philippine Statistics Authority. The low quit rate is the reason that various groups have continued to promote Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR), a strategy that encourages smokers who are unable or unwilling to quit to switch to smoke-free alternatives — also known as ... » Learn More about Filipinos warming up to better alternatives to cigarettes
There are many lists where the Philippines finds itself at the bottom or near-bottom. For example, in the list of 79 countries that participated in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the Philippines scored the lowest in reading comprehension and the second lowest in mathematics and science. On the labor front, the Philippines finds itself near the bottom of the list of countries relative to the percentage of workers covered by collective bargaining agreements (CBA). The country ranks 80 th among 85 countries (1.6% for the Philippines as against 98.5% of workers covered by CBAs for the top country on the list). Furthermore, the Philippines ranks 67 th out of 89 countries in terms of union density, i.e. the percentage share of employees who are members of labor unions (ILOSTAT). But there is a list where the Philippines is among the topnotchers — the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) 2020 Global Rights Index Report, which ... » Learn More about [OPINION] The crucial role of Catholic educational institutions in labor rights
TOKYO: Japan's Yui Ohashi was a reluctant star after completing the individual medley double with victory in the 200m on Wednesday (Jul 28), but she said that her triumph was reward for persevering when she struggled from depression and wanted to give up swimming. Ohashi, who won the 400m medley on Sunday, delighted home fans once again by powering to gold ahead of United States swimmers Alex Walsh and Kate Douglass. Hungary's Katinka Hosszu had won both medley events in Rio, but she was not able to keep pace with Ohashi, finishing seventh and nearly four seconds behind. Ohashi let out a cheer and pumped her hand in the air after touching the wall, and she said it was still hard to believe that she was Olympic champion. Asked at a news conference how she has coped with anxiety and mental health issues in 2019, she said: "I had times when I wanted to give up swimming, but I learned to accept it and turned it into a strength." READ: Japan's Yui Ohashi wins women's ... » Learn More about Swimming: Overcoming depression, Japan’s Ohashi storms to double medley gold at Tokyo Olympics
TOKYO: Novak Djokovic is closing in on something that no man has achieved before, but for the Serbian "pressure is a privilege". Steffi Graf is the only tennis player to have won all four Grand Slams and an Olympic gold in the same year before. But the 34-year-old Serbian is three-fifths of the way there, needing a Tokyo gold and then the U.S. Open trophy to match the German's 1988 feat. Talk of the "Golden Slam" has dominated every press conference Djokovic has attended since he won the third major of the year at Wimbledon this month. But the steely-eyed Serbian seems to thrive under pressure. "Pressure is a privilege," Djokovic said when asked about the attention on him after reaching the singles quarter-finals and also winning a mixed doubles match on Wednesday. "Without pressure there is no professional sport. If you are aiming to be at the top of the game you better start learning how to deal with pressure. And how to cope with those moments on the court but also ... » Learn More about Tennis: ‘Pressure is privilege’ for history-chasing Djokovic