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ECCP@Work Featured News Articles | February 08, 2021

February 08, 2021

ECCP Online

Duterte OKs creation of National Amnesty Commission

In a government briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte has approved an executive order that will establish the National Amnesty Commission, which will consist of seven members  in a step towards forging peace with various groups in the country, Malacañang announced Monday.

Agri department offers cash incentives to pork, chicken vendors affected by price cap
The price ceiling of ₱270 per kilo for kasim and pique, ₱300 per kilo for liempo, and ₱160 per kilogram for dressed chicken sold in Metro Manila takes effect starting today. The agriculture chief said they will give zero interest loans that market vendors can use as capital. The same benefits are extended to backyard hog raisers, he added.

Palace wants 'Bayanihan 2' carried out before new stimulus bill

Malacañang said it appreciated the filing of 'Bayanihan 3' bill in Congress, but it noted that other stimulus measures in place should be carried out first.

Palace says Philippines ready to start COVID-19 vaccinations next week

The Philippines is ready to launch its COVID-19 vaccination drive next week, Malacañang said on Monday, as the country awaited its supply of doses. The country's first COVID-19 vaccine batch will arrive in "mid-February" from the COVAX Facility, which seeks to ensure equitable access to the drug, said Palace spokesman Harry Roque. 

Inflation hits 2-year high on rising food prices

Consumer prices rose faster for the fourth straight month to a two-year record in January after food and transport costs spiked, according to the local statistics agency. Alex Holmes, Capital Economics’ economist for Asia, stated that economic recovery would continue to underwhelm in the quarters ahead if there is a failure to contain the virus, as it produced economic scars from the pandemic and lacklustre fiscal support. 

PH gov’t ‘ready’ to start COVID-19 vaccination drive on Feb 15 - Roque

The Philippine government is ready to start its COVID-19 vaccination drive on February 15, Malacañang bared on Monday. Under the government's immunization plan, health workers will be the first to get the doses, with its initial vaccine shipment to be from the COVAX facility which will cover 117,000 doses from Pfizer-BioNTech. 

Gov’t eyes P1 trillion in foreign loans

The Philippines is planning to borrow $23.71 billion (P1.14 trillion) from foreign lenders this year to plug its ballooning deficit amid the pandemic, a Finance official said over the weekend. In addition, this year, the government is planning to raise P3 trillion from domestic and external lenders to help fund the budget deficit that is seen to hit 8.9% of gross domestic product.

OCTA Research fellow developing oral COVID-19 vaccine

An associate at the OCTA Research team has disclosed work on an oral vaccine designed to combat COVID-19. Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, who is a molecular biologist, said the vaccine is meant to be an inexpensive alternative to other vaccines.

Velasco files ₱420-B Bayanihan 3 bill to rev up PH economy

Velaso, with Marikina City 2nd District Representative Stella Luz Quimbo, filed House Bill (HB) No. 8628 or the proposed “Bayanihan to Arise As One Act,” also known as Bayanihan 3. The bill hopes to be a continuation of the Bayanihan to Heal as One and Bayanihan to Recover as One laws that were passed last year to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and seeks to secure an additional stimulus package amounting to ₱420 billion that will help revive the pandemic-battered economy.

House bill seeks to triple unemployment benefits from SSS

Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel filed House Bill 8594, which proposes to grant displaced workers a one-time insurance claim amounting to 50 percent of their monthly salary for a maximum of six months.

DOF secures $17-B foreign loans for budget support, projects in 2020

The Department of Finance had secured a total of US $17.06-billion foreign loans in 2020 for key infrastructure projects and to help bridge the wider fiscal deficit due to the huge amount spent on pandemic response. Through its International Finance Group, the DOF said that it was able to secure last year $7.73 billion from multilateral lenders, $2.86 billion from the country's bilateral partners, and $6.47 billion from the commercial markets.

At best, PH can inoculate 50 to 70 million vs COVID-19 by yearend: Galvez

The country will get some 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines under the global alliance COVAX Facility in the first quarter, including 117,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine expected to arrive by the third week of February, said vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. Government aims to vaccinate some 70 to 80 million Filipino adults to achieve herd immunity.

More foreigners allowed to enter PH despite new COVID-19 variants

Inter-Agency Task Force spokesperson Harry Roque on Friday said foreigners with valid Special Resident and Retirees Visa will be allowed to travel to the country starting Feb. 16 despite the spread of new, more transmissible COVID-19 variants globally. The IATF also allowed the entry of foreign nationals with valid visas issued as of March 20, 2020.

COVID-19 vaccine cold chain service provider to be determined before end-February
Invitations were already sent out to several companies and the deadline for the submission of requirements is on February 11, DOH Undersecretary Carol Taiño said in a briefing on Friday. These will then go through the process of evaluation to determine which service provider is fit for the government's vaccine storage requirements


LIST: Priority sectors, subgroups in COVID-19 vaccination program
In the list, medical frontliners in private and public health facilities will receive the first doses arriving in the country in February. Other frontliners in the health sector, such as nursing aides, janitors, and barangay health workers will also be prioritized.

84-year-old man dies of new UK variant, 8 more cases confirmed in PH

The Department of Health reported one person infected with the COVID-19 variant first detected in the United Kingdom, died last month. The news comes as the agency confirmed eight new infections of the more infectious variant in the country. The agency said Friday that there are now 25 people in the country with B.1.1.7. SARS-CoV-2 variant.

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