NEDA: No need for Bayanihan 3

NEDA_Karl Kendrick Chua | Juan Manila


MANILA Socio-economic planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua declares there is no more need for Congress to pass a third stimulus package when other measures meant to drive economic recovery are to be fully implemented.

“’Yung Bayanihan III sa tingin ko, hindi na kailangan kung buksan na natin ang ekonomiya. And pinaka-epektibo at cost-effective na paraan para ibalik ang consumer confidence ay ’yung pagbukas ng ekonomiya nakita natin sa datos (I think Bayanihan III is no longer needed if we will further reopen the economy, which is the most efficient and cost-effective way to boost consumer confidence),” Chua says.

He explains that funds from the Bayanihan II were not even spent and the FIST (Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer) and CREATE (Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises) still have to be implemented.

On Friday, 19 February, House Speaker Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco announced that the House of Representatives is “prepared to pass” House Bill No. 8628 or Bayanihan to Arise as One Act (Bayanihan III), which allocates 420 billion for programs such as cash handouts, wage subsidies, and financial assistance to hard-hit sectors.

But it can be noted that the validity of Republic Act (RA) No. 11494 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan II), which provides 165.5 billion for pandemic response measures, was extended until end-2021 after there were delays in disbursement and program rollout.

Meanwhile, the newly-signed RA No. 11523 or the FIST Act, which covers the establishment of asset management companies that will absorb the bad loans from banks, has not yet been implemented as rules and regulations are still being drafted.

Also the proposed Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Law will slash corporate income tax and streamline fiscal perks is still awaiting President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature after its ratification on 3 February.

Chua says in a radio interview on Friday that another stimulus measure such as Bayanihan III is no longer needed if the country’s lockdown will be further eased, allowing the economy to recover faster. (JSM/JuanManila)

Featured image: National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief Karl Kendrick T. Chua

Rapper asks to correct “inaccurate lyrics” and apologize

NEDA_Karl Kendrick Chua | Juan Manila

LAPU-LAPU CITY In a rare display of unity and rising above political partisanship, the Lapu-Lapu City Council unanimously approves a resolution condemning the lyrics of the song “Panalo” by Ez Mil. The council pressed the rapper to rectify his misdeed and issue a public apology addressed to the residents of this highly urbanized city south of Manila.

Lapu-Lapu City officials and Oponganons (Opon is the old name of Lapu-Lapu City) were earlier shocked and enraged upon hearing the song, the lyrics of which goes

Nanalo na ako nung una pa 
na pinugutan si Lapu sa Mactan
At lahat ay nasaktan na nalaman 
nila na pinatay ang kanilang bayani 
sa karagatan ng bansa na pag-aari 
ng Pilipino

The resolution states that the song was performed by Miller, popularly known as Ez Mil on Wish USA Bus FM radio, a music platform based in Los Angeles California. It further notes that Miller’s uploaded music video garnered more than 27 million views on YouTube where most have no idea about the inaccurate lyrics.

The resolution asking Ez Mil for his public apology and eventual correction of his “inaccurate lyrics” that besmirched the honor of Lapu-Lapu as a national hero was finally approved in the city council’s regular session on Thursday, 18 February.

It can be recalled that last 9 February, the city council in their special session deferred the proposed resolution of Councilor Jan Vincent de la Serna condemning the lyrics of the song “Panalo” of the rapper that greatly mocked Lapu-Lapu.

During their 9 February special session, vice-mayor Celedonio “Celsi” Sitoy succumbed to the pressure of the majority councilors and reset the tackling of the Dela Serna resolution in their next regular session on 18 February. (JSM/JuanManila)

Featured image: Ez Mill belting out the “inaccurate lyrics” on Lapu-Lapu who was declared by President Rodrigo Duterte as Filipino hero on 27 April 2017, the date the Battle of Mactan happened. From thereon, 27 April 27 is dedicated to the first Filipino hero who defeated foreign rule.

Repatriated OFWs to provinces reach 450K+ — DOLE

Repatriated OFWs to provinces reach 450K+ — DOLE | Juan Manila


MANILA — Government repatriation efforts for Filipinos abroad have reached close to half a million individuals amid the global health crisis the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) says.

Data from the country’s labor department show that as of last week, a total of 447,076 Filipino migrant workers abroad have returned to their respective home regions or provinces since May 2020 after most companies around the world have either decreased their business operations because of the lockdowns and quarantine restrictions or retrenched employees due to Covid-19 crisis.

It may be recalled that the Duterte administration began repatriating  OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) affected by the pandemic in the middle of last year.

DOLE’s figures show that, so far, the highest number of repatriated Filipinos was recorded from 29 June  until 26 July  last year at 41,233; followed by May 15 to 31, 2020 with 33,924 and June 1 to 28, 2020 at 33,194.

The figures in months from 27 July to February 2021, however, did not exceed 18,000 repatriates.

For this year, on 20 February, only 883 were sent home to their provinces—the least number of OFWs that have been assisted back to their homes. Data covering 4 January to 20 February show the biggest number of OFWs that have reunited with their families for this year, as recorded from 25 to 31 January  at 9,953, followed by 11 to 17 January with 9,376.

The returning workers were transported back to their home regions via air, sea, and land transportations provided by the Government to aid OFWs—deemed as the country’s new breed heroes for the millennium—started by Senator Christopher Go in the previous year under the so-called Balik Probinsya Program. (JSM/JuanManila)

Russia informs WHO of its first case of avian flu strain in humans

Russia informs WHO of its first case of avian flu strain in humans | Juan Manila


The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed to CNN that Russian authorities have detected what is believed to be “human infection with avian influenza H5N8.”

Russia reported to WHO of the possible strain. “If confirmed, this would be first time H5N8 has infected people, ” says a WHO Europe spokesperson.

According to preliminary information, the reported cases were workers exposed to bird flocks. Said workers were “asymptomatic and no onward human-to-human transmission was reported,” says the spokesperson.

On a televised briefing, meanwhile, Dr. Anna Popova, head of Russia’s Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Well-being, says that the strain had been detected in seven poultry workers in the south of the country, Russian news agency TASS reported.

While no confirmation has been released yet from the WHO, Russian health authorities are in discussion with national authorities to gather more information and “assess the public health impact” of the incident. As avian flu usually affects only birds, there are reportedly many strains of it.

Most cases of human infection are caused by contact with infected poultry or surfaces that are contaminated with infected bird excretions: saliva, nasal secretions, or feces.

In 2014 the H5N8 outbreak infected poultry farms in Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. (JSM/JuanManila)