Good day. Here are the stories for The Manila Times for Monday, May 3, 2021.
President Rodrigo Duterte’s chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo has floated the idea of a Duterte-Go tandem for next year’s election, with presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio running for president and Duterte’s longtime aide Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go as her running mate. Panelo earlier proposed a possible Duterte-Duterte combination, with the Davao City mayor running for president and her father for vice president and the Go-Duterte team-up with Go running for president and the chief executive for vice president. Panelo suggested the Duterte-Go tandem during his commentary show on May 1.
SEN. Sherwin Gatchalian on Sunday underscored the need to resolve distance learning problems to ensure equitable learning for the country’s K-to-12 learners. The chairman of the Philippine Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture voiced concern over the difficulty of some learners in answering modules. He cited the results of a Pulse Asia survey last February, which showed 53 percent of the parents, polled identified difficulty in answering modules as the most common problem encountered in distance learning. The problem is more common in Mindanao (74 percent) than in the National Capital Region (32 percent), the rest of Luzon (43 percent) and Visayas (62 percent). The survey showed 23 percent of respondents said they do not understand what the teacher is teaching. The problem is most prevalent in Mindanao at 33 percent and least prevalent in the Visayas (10 percent).
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Sunday said foreign tourists are still not allowed to enter the country. The clarification was made upon the lifting of some travel restrictions that took effect Saturday. In a statement, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said only foreigners with valid and existing visas are allowed to enter the Philippines.
More than 5,000 contact tracers will be deployed in Metro Manila starting this month as the government intensifies attempts to reduce the continued increase in Covid-19 cases in the region. The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Sunday said it signed with the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority a joint memorandum circular on the implementing guidelines for hiring, training and deploying 5,754 contact tracers in Metro Manila for three months, beginning this May. DoLE initially pledged 4,754 contact tracers but Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said an additional 1,000 tracers have since been tapped.
HONG Kong migrant worker groups criticized plans to make coronavirus vaccines compulsory for all foreign domestic helpers, labelling the move “discriminatory and unjust.” Health officials said they were planning to roll out mandatory inoculations for the 370,000 domestic helpers in the city, mostly poorly-paid women from the Philippines and Indonesia. Those wanting to apply for work visas — or renew their current ones — would need to show they had been vaccinated, officials said on Friday. If the plan goes ahead, it would be the first time Hong Kong has directly tied working rights for foreigners to vaccines.
The Commission on Population and Development (PopCom) urged pantry organizers to include contraceptives in the list of essential goods they distribute. Population and Development Undersecretary Juan Antonio Perez 3rd said preventing unplanned and unwanted pregnancies during the pandemic is a valid concern. Perez said community pantry organizers should seek the assistance of barangay health workers and family planning and barangay population volunteers in distributing contraceptives.
The Land Transportation Office (LTO) will resume operations in its offices in Metro Manila and in the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal on Monday, May 3, 2021. LTO temporarily suspended its operations on April 12 following the declaration of modified enhanced community quarantine in these areas.
BUSINESS: Inflation likely up in April
Over to business, Philippine headline inflation likely picked up in April after hitting a two-month low in March, analysts polled by The Manila Times said. Projections for the month ranged from 4.5 to 4.8 percent with a 4.6 percent average, slightly higher than the 4.5 percent recorded in March. Inflation in April last year settled at 2.2 percent. The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) will release official April inflation data on May 5. HSBC Global Research forecast inflation to hit 4.8 percent.
In sports, Filipino boxing great Sen. Manny Pacquiao is the third richest boxer in the world, according to a report by The Richest. The Richest — a media organization that covers business, expensive lifestyle, sports, national wealth & luxury from a monetary angle — stated Pacquiao has a net worth of about $220 million or around P10.6 billion.
READ: Opinion and editorial
Rigoberto Tiglao and Fr. Ranhilio Aquino are today’s front page columnists. Tiglao brands former Supreme Court justice Antonio Carpio and communist leader Jose Maria Sison as “liars”, while Fr. Aquino talks about vaccination.
Today’s editorial believes that the distribution of the antiparasitic drug ivermectin is illegal. Read a full version on the paper’s opinion section or listen to the Voice of the Times.
With Dafort Villaseran, this is Aric John Sy Cua reporting. May you have a safe week ahead.