The following is our exclusive weekly feature in which we ask our readers a news topical question and then give you a week to answer it on our various channels, compiling a diverse range of answers and opinions to present to you, our valued readers. Last week, we asked you the following: Reader Talkback: What do you think about Chonburi becoming a maximum control zone and getting tougher restrictions? Some context around the question: This week, we are going to choose the biggest topic on most people’s minds, Chonburi becoming a maximum control zone, or dark red, effective tomorrow, July 20th, 2021 until further notice. This announcement brings a number of tough new restrictions, measures, closures, and other rules. Officials claim the move will help prevent Covid-19 in the province as cases have steadily been rising for the most part regionally. The decision was, it is to be noted, made by the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration, or CCSA, with the central ... » Learn More about Reader Talkback Results: What do you think about Chonburi becoming a maximum control zone and getting tougher restrictions?
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As of this writing, 185,291,530 cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed worldwide, with 4,010,834 deaths. When two of those deaths belong to your family, you want to be precise; just as you want to be circumspect about saying anything positive can come from all this pandemic madness. "The Earth is healing," was one of the early ones. "Our grandparents went to war and all we need to do is stay home and watch Netflix," was another. The unavoidable, self-congratulatory proselytizing came out too: "Learn a new skill," "Write that novel," "Develop that side hustle…" otherwise you’d have wasted the opportunity of all this “free” time. And the narcissists, never to be outdone, started counting their "true friends" based on who checked on them, while some folks needed the nudge of a few million deaths to value “family time” and/or “self care” and/or “simple living.” I sound salty and I won’t be the only one. The (mostly) well-meaning comforts turned tone-deaf and hollow quickly, ... » Learn More about [OPINION] Injustice is contagious
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?
The President's next State of the Nation address is expected to be his last, barring an unconstitutional extension of his term, and he would naturally want his valedictory, a victory lap of his administration. At best, however, it would be a pyrrhic victory lap, for we, the nation, are not at our best. We are instead languishing: in the tides of history, in a flood of blood and tears. We languish in COVID, with the Philippines holding the ignoble record of the longest continuous lockdown. $15 million has been borrowed to tide the country over during the pandemic, but we've only seen infection numbers seesawing, business shuttering, families going hungry and losing loved ones, and the vaccination rollout still trying to gather steam. All this was derived from decisions made since February 2020, when, despite evidence that the Wuhan outbreak could become a pandemic, the Duterte administration dithered on controlling flights from the region. That other countries are also going ... » Learn More about [OPINION] The languishing state of the nation
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
At a glance Claim: President Rodrigo Duterte told his economic managers and agencies to make Davao, his home region, the last priority for infrastructure projects. Rating: MISSING CONTEXT The facts: The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism reported that Davao Region had the highest budget increase with 119% from 2016 to 2017. Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said various infrastructure projects in Davao had been completed, such as airport development projects, improvement works on an international airport, and port projects. Why we fact-checked this: Duterte made this claim during his final State of the Nation Address on Monday, July 26, 2021. Complete details In President Rodrigo Duterte’s final State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 26, 2021, he claimed that he told his economic managers and agencies to make Davao the last priority for infrastructure projects. (READ: FULL TEXT: President Duterte’s State of the Nation ... » Learn More about MISSING CONTEXT: Duterte policy to make Davao Region ‘last priority’ for infrastructure
WE all know that lockdowns are temporary measures to control the spread of Covid-19 within the community and lessen the healthcare burden. However, there are major concerns about how they can negatively affect people’s mental health. As a paediatrician, I receive numerous calls and visits by parents worried about their children’s health – especially those less than five years old. Most parents assume that the older age group would understand the pandemic better than the young ones and thus handle it better. I beg to differ. Here are some observed effects of lockdowns on children. > Developmental milestones – For school-going children, repeated school closures and strict movement control cause a significant reduction in having direct contact with their peers. Such measures also prevent children from participating in social activities like going to the playground or having playdates. This situation may make them feel lonely and anxious and some (especially young adults) ... » Learn More about How do lockdowns affect our children and what can we do to help them?
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
The pandemic has drawn families, including pets, closer together. Being stuck inside a bedroom-turned-classroom has turned our pets into classmates as well. I live with my four dogs, Obi (a German Shepherd), Snow (a Labrador), Chewy (their son – what we call a “Huskador” or “Labsky”), and Solo (a Beagle). A year and a half into this pandemic, and being at home has given me an opportunity to rekindle my fondness for dogs. There’s science behind the effect of dogs on mental health. Most of these studies were conducted on patients undergoing in-house long-term care. Given the current circumstances, our being on lockdown for the duration of the pandemic provides evidence enough of the help our dogs can offer us. Owning a pet is a give-and-take relationship. Throughout the time I've continued to spend with my dogs, I’ve paid more attention to their needs, and they, in turn, have helped me to reflect on the way I take care of myself. It takes a lot of steps to take ... » Learn More about [OPINION] Self-care, as told by dogs
A resident in Olongapo City gets inoculated against COVID-19 during a recent mass vaccination at the SMX Convention Center of SM Olongapo Central. (Photo courtesy of Olongapo City Information Center) MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Rodrigo Duterte has no misgivings about persons already vaccinated against COVID-19 going outside. “I do not have any qualms about people going out if they’re vaccinated,” Duterte said, speaking partly in Filipino, in a taped speech that aired late Wednesday. “What’s the purpose of having a vaccine if you’re not going out?” “Those who are vaccinated, you may now roam around. Those are not vaccinated, stand aside. I’ll make plans about what to do with you,” he added. Duterte said a law might be needed for unvaccinated persons going around, but said he could not wait for that to be passed. “There is no law, but the necessity is there,” he said. “I’ll answer for that. This is my order: You will be returned to your house. That’s my order. You ... » Learn More about Duterte not worried about persons already vaccinated vs COVID-19 going out