INQUIRER.net
INQUIRER.net
Speaker Velasco gets Award of Distinction from UST Law Alumni Foundation
MANILA, Philippines --- House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco received on Monday an Award of Distinction from the University of Santo Tomas Alumni Foundation Inc. through the UST Faculty of Civil Law, of which he is an alumnus. Velasco got the award for his "sterling leadership" of the House of Representatives and his accomplishments as representative of the lone district of Marinduque, former president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Marinduque Chapter, and former provincial administrator of Marinduque. The award is the highest honor that the alumni foundation bestows on distinguished law graduates of the university. The foundation officials --- led by their president, ...Keep on reading: Speaker Velasco gets Award of Distinction from UST Law Alumni Foundation
2 h
INQUIRER.net
PH now has ‘substantial population immunity’ vs COVID-19 – OCTA fellow
MANILA, Philippines --- Current data suggest that the Philippines has obtained "substantial population immunity" against COVID-19, an OCTA Research fellow, Fr. Nicanor Austriaco Jr., said during the weekly taped "Talk to the People" of President Rodrigo Duterte that aired late Monday night. Austriaco, a Catholic priest who is also a molecular biologist, noted that the country currently had achieved its lowest number of cases and hospitalization rate and its highest mobility rate in 20 months even after the arrival of the Delta variant. "So what these three mean together is that it suggests that we have obtained substantial population immunity from natural infections and vaccina...Keep on reading: PH now has ‘substantial population immunity’ vs COVID-19 – OCTA fellow
2 h
INQUIRER.net
Way out of COVID-19 pandemic is through vaccination, antiviral drugs – OCTA fellow
MANILA, Philippines --- The way out of the COVID-19 pandemic is through vaccination and antiviral drugs that would make the disease endemic, an OCTA Research fellow, Fr. Nicanor Austriaco Jr., said during the weekly "Talk to the People" of President Rodrigo Duterte that aired late Monday night. In turn, this would allow the Philippines to "reopen completely our societies," Austriaco, a Catholic priest who's also a molecular biologist, said. "The way out of this pandemic is through vaccinations, which we are doing now, and we must continue to do that to maintain immunity, especially with the Omicron threat. And we now also have to focus our efforts on procuring antiviral drugs,"...Keep on reading: Way out of COVID-19 pandemic is through vaccination, antiviral drugs – OCTA fellow
3 h
INQUIRER.net
Sampaguita gas drilling will ‘forcefully assert’ PH rights over WPS – solon
MANILA, Philippines --- The drilling at the Sampaguita gas field will show the Philippines' determination to enforce its rights over the Recto Bank, Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel said in a statement issued on Monday. Pimentel, who chairs the House Committee on Strategic Intelligence, made the remark following a survey that showed eight out of 10 Filipinos would want the next president to assert the country's rights over the West Philippine Sea (WPS). "We are counting on Forum Energy Ltd.'s offshore drilling in Sampaguita to demonstrate that the Philippines is determined to enforce its undivided rights over Recto Bank's vast petroleum resources," Pimentel said. "In fac...Keep on reading: Sampaguita gas drilling will ‘forcefully assert’ PH rights over WPS – solon
3 h
INQUIRER.net
Duterte offers OCTA fellow DOH post as replacement of Duque
MANILA, Philippines --- Fr. Nicanor Ausriaco Jr., a molecular biologist who's an OCTA Research fellow, can replace Health Secretary Francisco Duque Jr. --- if he wants the post, President Rodrigo Duterte said during his weekly "Talk to the People" that aired late Monday night. Austriaco had just finished making a presentation on the Omicron COVID-19 variant and making recommendations on how to prepare for it when Duterte asked him if he was open to accepting the job. "I would be happy to appoint you as secretary of health if that is okay with you," Duterte said. Austriaco declined the offer, saying he would rather have Duque stay in his post. "No, sir. Secretary Duque is ...Keep on reading: Duterte offers OCTA fellow DOH post as replacement of Duque
3 h
INQUIRER.net
Be careful, but don’t panic; let’s celebrate Christmas – OCTA fellow on Omicron threat
MANILA, Philippines --- The public has to be careful in the face of the threat posed by the Omicron variant of COVID-19, but there's no need to panic, an OCTA Research fellow, Fr. Nicanor Austriaco Jr., said during the weekly "Talk to the People" of President Rodrigo Duterte that aired late Monday night. According to Austriaco, a Catholic priest who's also a molecular biologist, said that current numbers of the COVID-19 situation in the Philippines are "some of the best numbers in the world." "First, there is no need to panic. Let us celebrate Pasko (Christmas). This is the best time in 20 months for the entire country," Austriaco said. "I say we have 500 cases yesterday com...Keep on reading: Be careful, but don’t panic; let’s celebrate Christmas – OCTA fellow on Omicron threat
4 h
INQUIRER.net
Marian Rivera as Miss Universe 2021 judge unfazed by critics
There's no stopping Marian Rivera---with her suitcases of gowns and dresses in tow---from starting her duties as a judge at this year's Miss Universe pageant in Israel this week. "I will be there to appreciate the beauty of women from all over the world and witness their bravery as they try to bring back some normalcy in the world, despite the radical changes that the pandemic caused in the world," she said at a recent virtual conference. READ: Marian Rivera defends self against critics of her being a judge in Miss Universe "I'm looking forward to meeting all the girls and seeing how they inspire other people," added the Kapuso star, whose schedule will be packed with activi...Keep on reading: Marian Rivera as Miss Universe 2021 judge unfazed by critics
4 h
INQUIRER.net
Kylie’s fondest memories of her reign as Miss International
There's been very good reason for beauty pageant aficionados in this corner of the world to feel proud about, especially given the number of crowns brought home in the past month or so by our Filipino queens. Recently, when we spoke to former Miss International Kylie Verzosa, whose latest film "My Husband, My Lover" premiered on Vivamax last week, we asked her what her fondest memories were of her reign in 2016. Kylie said, "It was the traveling. I think Miss International is such an underrated pageant and I feel like it isn't given enough attention compared to other top pageants [like Miss Universe and Miss World]. "But it was because of that pageant that I was able to trav...Keep on reading: Kylie’s fondest memories of her reign as Miss International
4 h
INQUIRER.net
Jason Abalos gets valuable tip from Albert Martinez on achieving longevity in show biz
At 36, Jason Abalos is under no illusion that projects will just continue pouring in for many more years to come. He's now at a stage in his career, he said, where one can "start to slowly fade away." "And that actually scares me," he said in a Zoom conference after his recent contract renewal with GMA Artist Center. "As you get older, the more likely you are to get pushed out of the limelight. That's the reason I'm trying to study or find ways to ... achieve longevity." Fortunately, he gets to work with many industry veterans who has been there, done that, like his "Las Hermanas" costar Albert Martinez, who gave him a valuable piece of advice: Go where you're needed. "He to...Keep on reading: Jason Abalos gets valuable tip from Albert Martinez on achieving longevity in show biz
4 h
INQUIRER.net
Senate approves on second reading bill expanding solo parents’ benefits
MANILA, Philippines --- The Senate approved on second reading on Monday a bill seeking to amend the Solo Parents' Welfare Act of 2000 to expand its range of benefits and coverage. Senate Bill No. 1411 --- the proposed Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act --- was approved before the plenary, with some key amendments made by Senators Pia Cayetano and Risa Hontiveros. One amendment widened the scope of who may be considered a solo parent. In the case of overseas workers, the solo parent could be a guardian, perhaps a relative, of their child or children. A previous bill only considered the spouses of overseas workers as solo parents. Even before the bill was amended, SB No. 141...Keep on reading: Senate approves on second reading bill expanding solo parents’ benefits
5 h
INQUIRER.net
Duterte sees ‘better days ahead’ as COVID-19 cases continue to go down
MANILA, Philippines --- President Rodrigo Duterte believes "better days are ahead" as the COVID-19 situation in the country continues to improve. "There are better days ahead because since Dec. 1, we are having an average of 500 to 600 COVID-cases and the number of active cases continues to go down," he said in his weekly public address that aired late Monday night. He also pointed out that the country's COVID-19 positivity rate was on a "downward trend," currently at less than 2%. The government was also able to administer a total of 10.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines nationwide from Nov. 29 to Dec. 3, during a massive three-day national vaccination drive. "[This] i...Keep on reading: Duterte sees ‘better days ahead’ as COVID-19 cases continue to go down
5 h
INQUIRER.net
PH jumps from 103rd to 57th in global COVID-19 recovery index
MANILA, Philippines --- The Philippines leaped from 103rd to 57th in an international COVID-19 recovery ranking based on infection control, vaccination, and mobility. According to Nikkei Asia's report on Monday, as of Nov. 30, the Philippines is ranked 57th, sharing the place with Tajikistan, Norway, and Malaysia with a total score of 53.5. https://twitter.com/NikkeiAsia/status/1467787529734795266 This is 46 spots higher compared to the country's ranking in October when it placed 103rd among 120 countries. "[This is] mainly thanks to a significant increase in its infection management scores," said Nikkei. "But while the country's infection numbers have dropped from the...Keep on reading: PH jumps from 103rd to 57th in global COVID-19 recovery index
5 h
INQUIRER.net
Over 1 million doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arrive in PH
MANILA, Philippines --- More than one million doses of the US-made Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine were delivered to the Philippines on Monday night. A plane carrying a total of 1,085,760 government-procured Pfizer doses landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 at around 9 p.m., according to a livestream of state-run PTV. The delivery came hours after nearly two million doses of another US-made vaccine, Moderna, arrived. As of Dec. 2, the total of COVID-19 vaccine doses delivered to the country was 146 million. The government is currently administering vaccine doses to minors aged 12 to 17 and booster shots to health workers, senior citizens, and persons with c...Keep on reading: Over 1 million doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arrive in PH
6 h
INQUIRER.net
Drilon agrees to 2021 budget validity extension but hopes gov’t stops relying on the practice
MANILA, Philippines --- Minority Floor Leader Franklin Drilon agreed on Monday with the move to extend the validity of the 2021 budget until December 2022, but he stressed that the government should not get accustomed to the practice. During the deliberation of House Bill No. 10373 --- which was brought to the Senate after being approved by the House of Representatives --- Drilon asked Sen. Sonny Angara about how much of the current budget had been obligated, which would allow lawmakers to gauge the government's efficiency in implementing projects. Angara, who is sponsoring the bill, said 56.3 percent of the budget had been obligated as of Sept. 30. Drilon pointed out that t...Keep on reading: Drilon agrees to 2021 budget validity extension but hopes gov’t stops relying on the practice
6 h
INQUIRER.net
SWS: 2.5M Filipino families endured hunger at least once from July-Sept 2021
MANILA, Philippines --- Some 2.5 million Filipino families across the country experienced hunger due to lack of food at least once in the previous three months, the latest survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) has shown. This figure, the polling firm noted, represents 10 percent of Filipino families nationwide -- which is 3.6 points below the 13.6 percent rate recorded in June 2021 and 11.1 points below the 2020 annual average of 21.1 percent. However, it added, the 10 percent rate is still higher than 2019's annual average of 9,3 percent. "The resulting 13.5 percent average for the first three quarters of 2021 is less than last year but has not fully recovered to pre-pandemi...Keep on reading: SWS: 2.5M Filipino families endured hunger at least once from July-Sept 2021
6 h
INQUIRER.net
Austria’s third leader in two months takes office seeking stability
VIENNA --- Austria's third conservative chancellor in two months, Karl Nehammer, took office on Monday seeking to bring the coalition government out of months of scandal-tainted turmoil and guide the country out of its current coronavirus lockdown. Nehammer, 49, was sworn in by President Alexander Van der Bellen soon after 1 p.m. (1200 GMT). As interior minister since last year, he was the enforcer of former Chancellor Sebastian Kurz's hard line on immigration and of four national lockdowns. He is now the first head of government of the post-Kurz era. "We do not know what the virus will surprise us with next," Van der Bellen said at the swearing-in, ahead of which Nehammer was ...Keep on reading: Austria’s third leader in two months takes office seeking stability
6 h
INQUIRER.net
Pope Francis says he accepted French bishop resignation due to harm to reputation
ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE --- Pope Francis said on Monday that he had accepted the resignation of Paris archbishop Michel Aupetit not because he had sinned but because the gossip about him had left him in a position where he could no longer govern the diocese. Speaking to reporters on the plane returning to Rome, Pope Francis said sins of the flesh were not as great as sins such as hatred, and that the bishop had been the victim of "an injustice." Aupetit asked for forgiveness after reports over a relationship with a woman. The 70-year-old cleric, who is bound by the Church's celibacy rule, has denied any intimate relationship with the unnamed woman, though he acknowledged his beh...Keep on reading: Pope Francis says he accepted French bishop resignation due to harm to reputation
7 h
INQUIRER.net
Indonesia volcano erupts again as death toll rises to 22
SUMBERWULUH, Indonesia --- An Indonesian volcano was active again on Monday, spewing out hot clouds of ash, two days after a powerful eruption killed at least 22 people and left dozens missing. Mt. Semeru, the tallest mountain on the island of Java, erupted dramatically on Saturday, shooting a towering column of ash into the sky that blanketed surrounding villages. Aerial footage showed roofs jutting out of an ashen landscape, while on the ground, military officers, police, and residents dug through the mud with their hands to pull out victims. The death toll had risen to 22 by Monday, while 27 were missing, Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency said. The volcano erupted...Keep on reading: Indonesia volcano erupts again as death toll rises to 22
7 h
INQUIRER.net
Chinita Princess reigns: Kim Chiu earns 11 million followers in Instagram
Kapamilya actress Kim Chiu proved once more that she is a force to be reckoned with in social media as she reached the 11 million followers mark on her Instagram account. Chiu happily announced the milestone via a post yesterday, Dec. 5, where she also shared a short festive video of herself playing with balloons and dancing before a backdrop, bearing the sign "11M." "This morning woke up to 11M of you here in IG," Chiu said. She then recounted the day she was about to start coming up with her own Instagram account. "I remember when I was just setting up my first social media account as 'artista' which is Instagram, didn't know what my user name will be. Thinking of....will I go...Keep on reading: Chinita Princess reigns: Kim Chiu earns 11 million followers in Instagram
7 h
INQUIRER.net
EU condemns ‘politically motivated’ Suu Kyi detention
Brussels,Belgium --- The European Union (EU) on Monday condemned the Myanmar ruling junta's jailing of ousted leader Aug San Suu Kyi as "politically motivated" and a "blatant violation of human rights." In a statement from EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on behalf of the 27 member states, the EU said Suu Kyi's sentence "represents another step towards the dismantling of the rule of law." Suu Kyi, 76, has been detained since the generals staged a coup and ousted her government on February 1, ending the Southeast Asian country's brief period of democracy. She has since been hit with a series of charges, including violating the official secrets act, corruption, and electoral ...Keep on reading: EU condemns ‘politically motivated’ Suu Kyi detention
7 h
INQUIRER.net
COVID-19 disruptions caused surge in malaria deaths – WHO
Geneva,Switzerland --- Pandemic-related disruptions caused tens of thousands more malaria deaths in 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Monday but added that urgent action had averted a far worse scenario. In a fresh report, the UN health agency found that COVID-19 had reversed progress against the mosquito-borne disease, which was already plateauing before the pandemic struck. There were an estimated 241 million malaria cases worldwide in 2020 -- 14 million more than a year earlier -- and the once-rapidly-falling death toll swelled to 627,000 last year, jumping 69,000 from 2019. Approximately two-thirds of those additional deaths were linked to disruptions in the pro...Keep on reading: COVID-19 disruptions caused surge in malaria deaths – WHO
7 h
INQUIRER.net
Shiga loses steam in 2nd half, drops 8th game in a row
MANILA, Philippines---Shiga took its latest setback at the hands of SR Shibuya, 95-82, in the Japan B.League on Monday at Aoyama Gakuin Memorial Hall. Eager to get back on the winning track, the Lakestars appeared poised to end their slide after heading into halftime with a 48-44 edge. But Shiga failed to sustain their form in the second half as the Sun Rockers outscored the Lakestars, 30-16, to take control of the game in the third quarter. Shibuya swept its two-game series with Shiga, which got waylaid, 102-75, on Sunday. Kiefer Ravena, who is coming off a four-point performance, struggled anew from the field but he did a little bit of everything this time with 13 point...Keep on reading: Shiga loses steam in 2nd half, drops 8th game in a row
7 h
INQUIRER.net
20 charged with plotting to kill Madagascar president as trial begins
ANTANANARIVO --- Twenty people, including two French nationals, were charged on Monday with plotting to kill Madagascar's president and other offenses as their trial began in the Indian Ocean island nation. Madagascar has a history of political violence. Former coup leader Andry Rajoelina, 44, was sworn in as president in 2019 after a hard-fought election and a constitutional court challenge from his rival. The suspects, all of whom were present in court, were formally charged with counts including criminal conspiracy, criminal association, rebellion against the president, and possession of illegal weapons. They have all denied the charges. READ: Several arrested over plo...Keep on reading: 20 charged with plotting to kill Madagascar president as trial begins
7 h
INQUIRER.net
Vehicles, tactical vests, equipment worth P398M acquired by PNP
MANILA, Philippines --- The Philippine National Police (PNP) has acquired various equipment, including vehicles, tactical vests and other gadgets worth P398.2 million, as part of its Capability Enhancement Program that started in 2018. During a program on Monday morning, the equipment that was turned over to the PNP and other items donated by the police organization's partner groups were shown publicly before being commissioned to different police offices. PNP Bids and Awards Committee chair Maj. Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. presented the following procured materials to PNP chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos: 161 units Patrol jeeps 594 Tactical Vest Level 3A1,389 Upgrade Plates Level 4...Keep on reading: Vehicles, tactical vests, equipment worth P398M acquired by PNP
7 h
INQUIRER.net
Novartis working on pan-coronavirus oral treatment, says CEO
Novartis hopes to still play a role in the development of COVID-19 treatments with research ongoing for a pill that could work broadly against coronaviruses, not just the one that causes COVID-19, chief executive Vas Narasimhan told Reuters. In an interview following his recent presentation at Total Health last week, the head of the Swiss drugmaker pointed to Novartis' manufacturing support to COVID-19 vaccine and drug makers when asked if it had been on the sidelines during the pandemic. "Now I would have loved for some of our own clinical trials to have worked out, but they didn't. I mean, that's part of the deal," Narasimhan said. "I think we as a sector have collaborated...Keep on reading: Novartis working on pan-coronavirus oral treatment, says CEO
7 h
INQUIRER.net
Belle Mariano recounts singing videoke for lolo amid launch of first album
If there's one person more excited than Belle Mariano when she released her first album "Daylight," it was definitely her mom Katrina who has supported her all the way. She also happened to be the first person Mariano shared the good news with. "Sobrang natuwa siya (She was so happy). She wants that for me and she knows how much na gusto kong magkaroon ng album (I really wanted to have an album)," Mariano said during the album's online press launch last Friday, Dec. 3. Mariano still can't seem to believe that she now has an album she can call her own, with the single "Sigurado" off it. She's ecstatic about how the album dropped officially at the stroke of midnight, and she is still...Keep on reading: Belle Mariano recounts singing videoke for lolo amid launch of first album
7 h
INQUIRER.net
Pope ends Mediterranean trip defending refugee rights
ATHENS --- Pope Francis heard from young people, including children of migrants who have fled war or poverty, at a school in Athens on Monday as he wrapped up a trip to the Mediterranean in which he defended the rights of refugees and condemned those who exploit their plight for political gain. The pope's last event in Greece was a visit to a Catholic-run school where he listened to accounts from several students, including 12-year-old Aboud Gabro, whose family left Syria after their house in Aleppo took a direct hit by a bomb in 2014. He urged also the children to become social themselves instead of slaves of social media and "prisoners of the cell phones in their hands." D...Keep on reading: Pope ends Mediterranean trip defending refugee rights
7 h
INQUIRER.net
LOOK: Students in Taguig attend first day of limited in-person classes
MANILA, Philippines --- Around 15 students from Grades 11 and 12 attended their first day of face-to-face classes at Sen. Renato "Compaero" Cayetano Memorial Science & Technology High School in Taguig City. According to the city's public information office, the students were chosen for the pilot program after getting consent from their parents and the Taguig City government. Taguig PIO said that all its teachers and non-teaching personnel are all vaccinated, "giving the city the confidence in operating the in-person learning program." "The local government explicitly follows all the precautions to successfully transition to the new normal such as students attending...Keep on reading: LOOK: Students in Taguig attend first day of limited in-person classes
8 h
INQUIRER.net
P13.6-M worth of ‘shabu’ seized in Sulu bust; 3 arrested
MANILA, Philippines --- Anti-narcotics operatives arrested three suspected drug peddlers in a buy-bust operation in Sulu, seizing P13.6 million worth of crystal meth, locally known as "shabu." The three were arrested in Kajatian, Indanan, Sulu on Dec. 4, 2021 during a joint operation of the Police Regional Office Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Special Action Force. One of the suspects, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP), is a barangay kagawad of Barangay Gata-Gata, Panglima Estino, Sulu, identified as Ilahan Sabdain Yahya, 48 years old. The two other suspects were identified ...Keep on reading: P13.6-M worth of ‘shabu’ seized in Sulu bust; 3 arrested
8 h
INQUIRER.net
Groups allegedly funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies accused of demonizing vaping bill
MANILA, Philippines --- Local anti-vaping groups identified in a congressional investigation as being funded by American charity Bloomberg Philanthropies are spreading lies to discredit a Senate bill that aims to regulate e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products in the country, according to consumer advocates. The National Consumers Union of the Philippines (NCUP) and Vaper AKO in a joint statement challenged anti-vaping organizations to substantiate their allegations against Senate Bill No. 2239 with scientific evidence, and not with pure insinuations. They issued the statement as the Senate continues to deliberate on the bill that aims "to objectively regulate a much better option t...Keep on reading: Groups allegedly funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies accused of demonizing vaping bill
8 h
INQUIRER.net