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January 25, 2021 | Featured News Articles

January 25, 2021

ECCP Online

Officials insist granular lockdowns still effective despite threats of new COVID-19 variant

Health Spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez both agreed on Monday that for now, a granular lockdown approach works to spur economic recovery in the country, despite recording at least 17 cases of the new virus variant that first emerged in the United Kingdom.

Cha-cha won’t automatically result in lifting economic restrictions — House leader

Restrictions on foreign business ownership will not automatically be lifted should the proposed amendments to the Constitution be ratified. Ako Bicol Party-list Rep. Alfredo Garbin said Charter change will only give the next Congresses the freedom to enact legislation that will be more responsive to economic conditions.

PEZA eyes P100B in pledges this year

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) seeks to get more than P100 billion in investment pledges this year, slightly higher than last year.

NEDA board approves updated economic blueprint for next 2 years

The updated plan, which NEDA will release on Feb. 4, covers the government’s priorities for the next two years, Mr. Chua said. These include the enhanced implementation of the Universal Health Care Act, raising the quality of instruction in education, upskilling workers and institutionalizing social safety nets.

GDP likely contracted by 8.5% in Q4

A BusinessWorld poll of 18 economists and one institution last week yielded a median GDP contraction of 8.5% for the fourth quarter and 9.5% for the full year. Economic output grew by 6.7% in the fourth quarter of 2019, and by 6% during the year.

Gov’t approves cheaper, faster, safer saliva test for COVID-19

A laboratory experts' panel of the government has agreed to allow the less expensive saliva test for the new coronavirus, but this would be conducted initially only by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said on Saturday. The saliva tests, which could also be used for nontravelers, reportedly cost P1,500 to P2,000, compared to P3,800 to P5,000 charged for the RT-PCR tests.

Agriculture Dept. allots ₱80-M for local ASF test kits
The Department of Agriculture said it has earmarked ₱80 million for the development and production of Filipino-made test kits that could detect the African Swine Fever on livestock and meat products. A kit is priced at ₱3,500 with ten samples, each sample worth ₱350. However, through pooled testing with five surface swabs, saliva and feces from the same farm, the rate could be further reduced to ₱70 per sample, the DA noted.


Congress asked to pass bill providing compensation in case of serious side effects from COVID-19 vaccines
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Friday asked Congress to pass a measure aimed at compensating people who might experience serious side effects from COVID-19 vaccines. In the absence of an indemnification fund, state-run PhiHealth can shoulder the costs of possible hospitalization of vaccinated individuals who may have severe reactions from experimental vaccines, Duque volunteered.


New COVID-19 variant in PH since Dec. 10, but 'no evidence' of community transmission
In a media briefing on Saturday, the Department of Health’s Epidemiology Bureau disclosed that the new variant was detected in the COVID-positive specimen of a 23-year-old man from Calamba, Laguna whose sample was collected on Dec. 10 for whole genome sequencing.


Filipino with UK variant now negative for COVID-19; NBI tapped to trace missing co-passengers
The Quezon City Government said the 29-year-old patient tested negative in his latest swab test. Doctors in his quarantine facility have to assess if he can be sent home soon.


DOST lists target sites for Sinovac, Janssen, Clover vaccine trials
The Department of Science and Technology on Friday identified the target sites for the phase 3 trials of Belgium-based Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Chinese companies Clover Biopharmaceuticals and Sinovac Biotech in the country.

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