August 06, 2021
The province of Laguna and the cities of Iloilo and Cagayan de Oro will be placed under enhanced community quarantine from Aug. 6 to 15, Malacañang said. Parts of Calabarzon will also be placed under tighter quarantine protocols for the same period. Cavite, Lucena City, and Rizal will be under modified ECQ, while Batangas and Quezon will be placed under general community quarantine with heightened restrictions.
Drivers of essential workers will now be allowed on the road during the enhanced community quarantine period, Philippine National Police chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said. Eleazar said that drivers may pick up or drop off workers who are considered authorized persons outside of their residence. However, workers must present the certificate of employment from their employers, as well as a business permit proving that they are part of the permitted industries allowed to operate during the strictest lockdown. Employers must also provide an "extra certification" stating the identity, vehicle, and contact number of the workers' designated driver.
The Department of Health on Thursday confirmed the detection of 116 new cases of the Delta coronavirus variant, raising the country's total to 331. It noted 95 are local cases, one is a returning overseas Filipino (ROF), and the remaining 20 are still being verified. The majority, or 83, of the local cases had an indicated address in Metro Manila, according to the department. Meanwhile, four are from Central Visayas, three from Calabarzon, two from Davao Region, and one each from Zamboanga Peninsula, Cagayan Valley, and Ilocos Region.
The nationwide tally of COVID-19 active cases or currently sick patients climbed to 66,895 on Thursday, according to the Department of Health. It is the highest active case count in over three months since May 3, when there were more than 69,000 ill patients. Currently ill patients comprise of 4.1% of the case total which rose to 1,627,816 after 8,127 more people got infected. At least 94.6% of active cases have mild symptoms, 1.9% have severe symptoms, 1.3% are in moderate condition, 1.1% are in critical condition and 1% are asymptomatic.
President Duterte has signed Republic Act (RA) 11573 improving the confirmation process for land titles. The new law, which Duterte signed last July 16, 2021 but was only released to the media last Wednesday, amended the Public Land Act and amended the Presidential Decree No. 1529 or the Property Registration Decree. RA 11573 stipulates only natural-born citizens of the Philippines may file for an agricultural free patent for a land not more than 12 hectares.
Inflation hit 4% for the month compared to 4.1% the preceding month and 2.7% in July 2020 — bringing 2021’s average so far to 4.4%. The slowest figure logged during the year to date, July marks the first time inflation rate fell within the 2-4% target band of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. National Statistician Dennis Mapa said the slower price increases for transport, restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services, along with alcoholic drinks and tobacco mainly drove the milder inflation for July.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is requiring even small businesses to file their withholding tax certificates online amid ongoing lockdown restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic. Under Revenue Regulations No. 16-2021 issued on Aug. 3, the requirement to file withholding tax certificates online “shall apply to all taxpayers whether or not registered with the Large Taxpayers Service (LTS) of the BIR.” Prior to the issuance of the regulation, only large corporations were required to file these documents online.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) lowered its full-year growth target for the farm sector to 2% due to the impact of the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak. Despite the lower growth target for 2021, Secretary Dar said palay (unmilled rice) production is expected to reach 20.4 million metric tons (MT), one million MT more than the previous record harvest of 19.4 million MT in 2020. The DA chief said farm and fisheries production can still improve with the help of modern technology, a higher budget, and more investments from local governments and the private sector.
The Labor Department has requested emergency funding worth ₱2 billion to help workers who will be affected by the imposition of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila. For now, DOLE said it would be utilizing a portion of its emergency employment fund to assist workers who will be displaced during the lockdown period. The agency estimated around 300,000 to 400,000 workers in the National Capital Region will be affected by the ECQ, which starts on Friday.
The government had already identified a source of cash aid when Metro Manila reverts to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the most stringent form of lockdown, from Aug. 6 to 20, according to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III. Dominguez said the funding came from government-owned and/or -controlled corporations (GOCC). Under Republic Act (RA) No. 7656, or the GOCC Dividend Act, all state-run firms were mandated to declare and remit at least half of their annual incomes to the national government as dividends. Last year, the national government ordered GOCCs to remit their dividends in advance to boost the government’s COVID-19 war chest.
Saying the Philippines’ road to recovery will be a challenging one, the central bank reiterated its commitment to keep domestic interest rates as low as possible for as long as possible to help the pandemic-ravaged country rise from its deepest postwar economic slump. Since the start of the pandemic early last year, the BSP has infused about P2.2 trillion worth of liquidity into the domestic economy through a combination of rate cuts, reserve requirement cuts and loans to the national government, among others.