KUWTT: Jabs go full blast Apr 15, 2021

Good day. Here are the stories for The Manila Times for Thursday, April 15, 2021.

READ: Jabs go full blast

THE government’s vaccination program is seen to pick up as more vaccines are distributed especially in the Visayas and Mindanao, where the resupply of 500,000 doses of the CoronaVac vaccine will be deployed, the Department of Health (DoH) said. The vaccines that arrived last Sunday will be given to health care workers in the two regions, according to vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. and Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

READ: Mobile hospital to rise in Rizal Park

A temporary mobile hospital and drive-through vaccination site will soon rise in Rizal Park after the Department of Tourism (DoT) gave its nod to the project. Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat announced that the Board of Directors of the National Parks Development Committee approved the proposal of Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso to build a temporary hospital at the Burnham Green in Rizal Park and a drive-through vaccination site at the Independence Road (Parade Grounds) of the Quirino Grandstand.

READ: PH has most number of child baptisms

THE Philippines, the lone Catholic country in Asia, topped the Vatican’s list of countries with the highest number of baptized young children or those below seven-years old, according to the latest Statistical Yearbook of the Church. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), citing a report by the Catholic News Service (CNS), said the Philippines also ranked third in the world with the most baptized Catholics.

READ: Vessels back, DFA files new diplomatic protest vs China

FOREIGN Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Wednesday ordered the filing of a new diplomatic protest against China amid the reported return of over 200 Chinese vessels in the West Philippine Sea. Locsin issued the directive following the report of the National Task Force on the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) that 240 Chinese militia vessels were seen swarming several features in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

READ: FDA admits pressure on ivermectin use

FOOD and Drug Administration (FDA) Director-General Rolando Enrique Domingo admitted on Wednesday there has been “pressure” to approve the use of the antiparasitic drug ivermectin. The FDA issued a hospital a compassionate special permit (CSP) for the medicine last week. Domingo said other hospitals could also apply for a CSP as a measure of last resort.

READ: DoH to investigate Australian’s Covid death

THE Department of Health (DoH) will investigate the death of an 80-year-old Australian man who died of Covid-19 in Brisbane on Monday, days after arriving from the Philippines. The Australian Broadcasting Corp. and Nine Network Australia reported that the man had lived “for some time” in the Philippines. The man, who arrived in Brisbane, Queensland via Papua New Guinea on March 20, tested positive for the virus on March 25. He was later admitted to the Prince Charles Hospital, where he died. Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr. Jeanette Young said the man contracted the virus in the Philippines.

READ: Lawmakers to Duterte: Scrap pork tariff EO

LAWMAKERS crossed party lines on Wednesday to file a joint resolution asking President Rodrigo Duterte to immediately withdraw an executive order imposing tariff cuts on pork importation. The Joint House Resolution, which remains unnumbered as of press time, also seeks to reverse President Duterte’s order to expand the minimum access volume (MAV) of pork imports.

READ: REGIONS: Subic facility to boost Covid-19 fight

THE mega quarantine center at the former campus of The Manila Times College (TMTC) in Subic will further boost the government’s fight against Covid-19, testing czar Vivencio “Vince” Dizon said on Wednesday. Dizon, deputy chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19, made the statement after the government on Wednesday formally opened the temporary treatment and monitoring facility (TTMF) that can accommodate over 300 Covid-19 patients.

READ: Taberna files theft rap vs former employee

BROADCAST journalist Antonio “Ka Tunying” Taberna Jr. on Wednesday filed a qualified theft complaint against his former employee Ernie Patrick Aquino and a bank employee before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office. Aquino, who was the finance head of Taberna Foods (Tunying’s Café) allegedly conspired with Gualberto Baluyut 2nd, East West Banking Corp.-UP Village branch manager, to steal from Taberna over P15 million. Taberna said the alleged theft was uncovered after several checks issued by the company in November last year bounced despite supposed availability of funds. It was discovered that Aquino was able to open seven accounts in the same branch under the company’s name without the required secretary’s certificate or board resolution.

BUSINESS: DBM releases P3.51T of budget for 2021

Topping business, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released P3.51 trillion of the 2021 budget in the first quarter, data showed on Wednesday. Data from the Budget department showed that allotment releases in January-March was already 78 percent of the P4.50-trillion programmed budget of the government. The latest figure was higher than the P3.21 trillion released in the first three months of 2020. Of the total, P2.29 trillion went to line departments, which include funds allocated to agencies and other constitutional offices. A total of P115.99 billion was released as special purpose funds (SPFs), which are budgetary allocations in the General Appropriations Act for specific socioeconomic purposes.

SPORTS: Orcollo bags 3 titles in Alabama

Over to sports, Filipino cue artist Dennis ‘The Robocop’ Orcollo stamped his class in the Iron City Open at the Iron City Billiards in Birmingham, Alabama held recently. Orcollo, a five-time Southeast Asian Games and one-time Asian Games gold medalist, ruled the 18-entrant One Pocket, 23-entrant 10-ball and the 141-entrant 9-ball events of the tournament. The 42-year-old Orcollo outlasted compatriot Warren Kiamco, a two-time Asian Games silver and one-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist, in the extended race-to-7 of the One Pocket finals, 7-4.

READ: Opinion and editorial

Yen Makabenta, Ramon Tulfo, and Arch. Felino Palafox, Jr. are today’s front page columnists. Makabenta focuses on who will run in next year’s presidential elections, Tulfo apologizes to President Rodrigo Duterte on his piece, while Arch. Palafox discusses about philanthropic architecture for vaccination and Covid-19 testing centers.

Today’s editorial discusses about economic bills being imperative, though these are not urgent. Read a full version on the paper’s opinion section or listen to the Voice of the Times.

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With Dafort Villaseran, this is Aric John Su Cua reporting. May you have a safe Thursday ahead.