Posts by ALFI54

    Media and Research - Press Releases

    BSP Statement on the 1000-Piso Polymer Banknote

    December 10, 2021

    The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has scheduled the circulation of the 1000-piso banknote made of polymer in April 2022.

    The United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, among other countries, have reported better performance of polymer banknotes compared to paper counterparts in terms of promoting public health and hygiene, enhanced security, durability and cost-effectiveness, and environmental sustainability.

    The design of the new 1000-piso polymer banknote features the Philippine eagle, which symbolizes clear vision, freedom, and strength. This is the first note in a new series of Philippine currency that will focus on the country’s rich flora and fauna.

    The BSP clarifies that the recently circulated photo of the new banknote was of a sample previously sent to the BSP for review. Necessary corrections have already been made, including the spelling and italicizing of the scientific name of the Philippine eagle.

    The issuance of the new 1000-piso polymer banknote has already been approved by the Monetary Board and the Office of the President.

    Said denomination was selected in view of the high number of 1000-piso banknotes in circulation compared to other notes. It is also the subject of the highest number of counterfeiting attempts, although it has the largest number of security features and is, thus, the most difficult banknote to forge.

    The BSP will continue to update the public on developments on this matter.…ediaDisp.aspx?ItemId=6060

    The numbers of nurses around the world are falling further just as the Omicron coronavirus spreads, and there is a also an imbalance as Western countries step up recruitment of healthcare workers from African and other poorer countries, the International Council of Nurses said on Friday.

    Many nurses are burned out from the COVID-19 pandemic and rates of “intention to leave” within a year have doubled to 20-30%, said Howard Catton, CEO of the Geneva-based group that represent 27 million nurses in 130 national associations.

    “I think that we are at a tipping point … if those numbers continue the trend that we are seeing, it could be an exodus of people,” Catton told a news briefing.

    “I almost think that governments need to be thinking about the life support package of measures they need to be putting together to invest in their nurses and their health care workers next year,” he said.

    At least 115,000 nurses have died from COVID-19, but Catton said this World Health Organization figure from the start of the pandemic through May was conservative and the true figure is probably twice that.

    There was already a global shortage of 6 million nurses pre-pandemic and some 4.75 million nurses are due to retire over the next few years, he added.

    On average, wealthy countries have nearly 10 times the rate of nurses in terms of their populations compared with poor nations, but many are recruiting overseas to staff their hospitals, he said, noting that the Philippines and India were traditional exporters.

    “We have absolutely seen increased recruitment activity by the UK and Germany as examples in Europe, the U.S. and Canada in North America as well,” he said. He added that African countries such as Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria were seeing their nurses recruited.

    The emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant, first detected last month in southern Africa and Hong Kong and now reported in nearly 60 countries, has caused fresh anxiety.

    “My sense is that nurses around the world, I think like all of us were perhaps starting to feel that we were starting to see light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, but now there is a palpable anxiety that we could be going back close to square one,” Catton said.

    Read more:

    Philippines' Miriam Refuerzo Damoah is now Miss Interglobal 2021 after Thailand's Nachita Jantana relinquished her title due to personal reasons, the pageant organizer announced on Friday.

    Damoah finished first runner-up at the pageant held on Dec. 5.

    "Nachita had recently informed us...that due to personal reasons beyond her explanation, she will not be able to carry out her duties as the Miss Interglobal 2021. Therefore, she is relinquishing her position," the organizer said in a statement.

    "For this reason, after discussion, we as an organization have respected her decisions and the title of Miss Interglobal 2021 will be transferred to the 1st Runner-Up, Miriam Refuerzo Damoah of the Philippines," it added.

    The organizer also wished them well on their new journeys.…iss-Interglobal-2021.html

    Thank you.

    Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Distinguished Members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.

    I stand before you, a representative of every journalist around the world who is forced to sacrifice so much to hold the line, to stay true to our values and mission: to bring you the truth and hold power to account. I remember the brutal dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi, the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta, my friend, Luz Mely Reyes in Venezuela, Roman Protasevich in Belarus (whose plane was literally hijacked so he could be arrested), Jimmy Lai languishing in a Hong Kong prison, Sonny Swe, who after getting out of more than seven years in jail, started another news group and now is forced to flee Myanmar. And in my own country, 23-year-old Frenchie Mae Cumpio, still in prison after nearly two years, and just 36 hours ago, the news that my former colleague, Jess Malabanan, was killed with a bullet to his head.

    There are so many to thank for keeping us safer and working. The #HoldTheLine Coalition of more than 80 global groups defending press freedom and the human rights groups that help us shine the light. There are costs for you as well: more lawyers have been killed than journalists in the Philippines – at least 63 compared to the 22 journalists murdered after President Rodrigo Duterte took office in 2016. Since then, Karapatan, a member of our #CourageON human rights coalition, has had 16 people killed, and Senator Leila de Lima, because she demanded accountability, is serving her fifth year in jail. Or ABS-CBN, our largest broadcaster, a newsroom that I once led, which, last year, lost its franchise to operate.

    I helped create a startup, Rappler, turning 10 years old in January – we’re getting old – our attempt to put together two sides of the same coin that shows everything wrong with our world today: the absence of law and democratic vision for the 21st century. That coin represents our information ecosystem, which determines everything else about our world. Journalists – that’s one side – the old gatekeepers. The other is technology, with its god-like power, the new gatekeepers. It has allowed a virus of lies to infect each of us, pitting us against each other, bringing out our fears, anger, hate, and setting the stage for the rise of authoritarians and dictators around the world.

    Our greatest need today is to transform that hate and violence, the toxic sludge that’s coursing through our information ecosystem, prioritized by American internet companies that make more money by spreading that hate and triggering the worst in us. Well, that just means we have to work harder. In order to be the good, we have to believe there is good in the world.

    I have been a journalist for more than 35 years: I’ve worked in conflict zones and war zones in Asia, reported on hundreds of disasters, and while I have seen so much bad, I have also documented so much good, when people who have nothing offer you what they have. Part of how we at Rappler have survived the last five years of government attacks is because of the kindness of strangers, and the reason they help – despite the danger – is because they want to, with little expectation of anything in return. This is the best of who we are, the part of our humanity that makes miracles happen. This is what we lose in a world of fear and violence.

    You’ve heard that the last time a working journalist was given this award was in 1936, awarded in 1935. He was supposed to come and get it in 1936; Carl von Ossietzky never made it to Oslo because he languished in a Nazi concentration camp. So, we’re here, hopefully a little bit ahead, because we are both here!

    By giving this to journalists today – thank you – the Nobel committee is signaling a similar historical moment, another existential point for democracy. Dmitry and I are lucky because we can speak to you now (Yay for court approvals)! But there are so many more journalists persecuted in the shadows with neither exposure nor support, and governments are doubling down with impunity. The accelerant is technology, when creative destruction takes new meaning.

    You’ve heard from David [Beasley]: we are standing on the rubble of the world that was, and we must have the foresight and courage to imagine what might happen if we don’t act now, and instead, please, create the world as it should be – more compassionate, more equal, more sustainable.

    To do that, please ask yourself the same question we at Rappler had to confront five years ago: What are you willing to sacrifice for the truth?

    I’ll tell you how I lived my way into the answer in three points: first, my context and how these attacks shaped me; second, by the problem we all face; and finally, finding the solution – because we must!

    In less than two years, the Philippine government filed 10 arrest warrants against me. I’ve had to post bail 10 times just to do my job. Last year, I and a former colleague were convicted of cyber libel for a story we published eight years earlier, at a time the law we allegedly violated didn’t even exist. All told, the charges I face could send me to jail for about 100 years.

    But the more I was attacked for my journalism, the more resolute I became. I had firsthand evidence of abuse of power. What was meant to intimidate me and Rappler only strengthened us.

    At the core of journalism is a code of honor. And mine is layered on different worlds – from how I grew up, the golden rule, what’s right and wrong; from college, and the honor code I learned there; and my time as a reporter, and the code of standards and ethics I learned and helped write. Add to that the Filipino idea of utang na loob – literally the debt from within – at its best, a system of paying it forward.

    Truth and ethical honor intersected like an arrow into this moment where hate, lies, and divisiveness thrive. As only the 18th woman to receive this prize, I need to tell you how gendered disinformation is a new threat and is taking a significant toll on the mental health and physical safety of women, girls, trans, and LGBTQ+ people all around the world. Women journalists are at the epicenter of risk. This pandemic of misogyny and hatred needs to be tackled now. Even there, though, we can find strength. After all, you don’t really know who you really are until you’re forced to fight for it.

    Now let me pull out so we’re clear about the problem we all face and how we got here.

    The attacks against us in Rappler began five years ago when we demanded an end to impunity on two fronts: Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war and Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook. Today, it has only gotten worse – and Silicon Valley’s sins came home to roost in the United States on January 6 with mob violence on Capitol Hill.

    What happens on social media doesn’t stay on social media.

    Online violence is real world violence.

    Social media is a deadly game for power and money, what Shoshana Zuboff calls surveillance capitalism, extracting our private lives for outsized corporate gain. Our personal experiences sucked into a database, organized by AI, then sold to the highest bidder. Highly profitable micro-targeting operations are engineered to structurally undermine human will. I’ve repeatedly called it a behavior modification system in which we are all Pavlov’s dogs, experimented on in real time with disastrous consequences in countries like mine, Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka, and so many more. These destructive corporations have siphoned money away from news organizations and now they pose a foundational threat to markets and elections.

    Facebook is the world’s largest distributor of news, and yet studies have shown that lies laced with anger and hate spread faster and further than facts.

    These American companies controlling our global information ecosystem are biased against facts, biased against journalists. They are, by design, dividing us and radicalizing us.

    I’ve said this repeatedly over the last five years: without facts, you can’t have truth. Without truth, you can’t have trust. Without trust, we have no shared reality, no democracy, and it becomes impossible to deal with the existential problems of our times: climate, coronavirus, now, the battle for truth.

    When I was first arrested in 2019, the officer said, “Ma’am, trabaho lang po (Ma’am, I’m only doing my job).” Then he lowered his voice to almost a whisper as he read my Miranda rights. He was really uncomfortable, and I almost felt sorry for him. Except he was arresting me because I’m a journalist!

    This officer was a tool of power – and an example of how a good man can turn evil – and how great atrocities happen. Hannah Arendt wrote about the banality of evil when describing men who carried out the orders of Hitler, how career-oriented bureaucrats can act without conscience because they justify what they’re doing because they’re only following orders.

    This is how a nation – and a world – loses its soul.

    You have to know what values you are fighting for, you have to draw the lines early, but if you haven’t done so, please, do it now – where this side you’re good, this side, you’re evil. Some governments may be lost causes, and if you’re working in tech, I’m talking to you.

    How can you have election integrity if you don’t have integrity of facts?

    That’s the problem facing countries with elections next year: among them, Brazil, Hungary, France, the United States, and my Philippines – where we are at a do or die moment with presidential elections on May 9. Thirty-five years after the People Power Revolt ousted Ferdinand Marcos and forced his family into exile, his son, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is the front-runner for president, and he has built an extensive disinformation network on social media, which Rappler exposed in 2019. It’s literally changing history in front of our eyes.

    To show how disinformation is both a local and global problem, take the Chinese information operations taken down by Facebook in September 2020, a year ago: it was creating fake accounts using AI generated photos for the US elections, polishing the image of the Marcoses in the Philippines, campaigning for the daughter of President Duterte, and attacking me and Rappler.

    So what are we gonna do?

    An invisible atom bomb has exploded in our information ecosystem, and the world must act as it did after Hiroshima. Like that time, we need to create new institutions, like the United Nations, and new codes stating our values, like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to prevent humanity from doing its worse. It’s an arms race in the information ecosystem. To stop that requires a multilateral approach that all of us must be part of. It begins by restoring facts.

    We need information ecosystems that live and die by facts. We do this by shifting social priorities to rebuild journalism for the 21st century while regulating and outlawing the surveillance economics that profit from hate and lies.

    We need to help independent journalism survive, first by giving greater protection to journalists and standing up against states which target journalists. Then we need to address the collapse of the advertising model for journalism. This is part of the reason that I agreed to co-chair the International Fund for Public Interest Media, which is trying to raise money from overseas development assistance funds. Right now, while journalists are under attack on every front, only 0.3% of ODA funds is spent on journalism. If we nudge that to just 1%, we can raise $1 billion a year for news organizations. That will be crucial for the global south.

    Journalists must embrace technology. That’s why, with the help of Google News Initiative, Rappler rolled out a new platform two weeks ago designed to build communities of action. It won’t be as viral as what the tech platforms built, but the north star is not profit alone. It is facts, truth, and trust.

    Now for legislation. Thanks to the EU for taking leadership with its Democracy Action Plan. For the US, reform or revoke Section 230, the law that treats social media platforms like utilities. It’s not a comprehensive solution, but it gets the ball rolling. Because these platforms put their thumbs on the scale of distribution. So while the public debate is here, down here on content moderation downstream, the real sleight of hand happens further upstream, where algorithms of amplification, algorithms of distribution have been programmed by humans with coded bias. Their editorial agenda is profit-driven, carried out by machines at scale. The impact is global, with cheap armies on social media rolling back democracy, tearing it down in at least 81 countries around the world. That impunity must stop.

    Democracy has become a woman-to-woman, man-to-man defense of our values. We’re at a sliding door moment, where we can continue down the path we’re on and descend further into fascism or we can choose to fight for a better world.

    To do that, please, ask yourself: What are YOU willing to sacrifice for the truth?

    I didn’t know if I was going to be here today. Every day, I live with the real threat of spending the rest of my life in jail because I’m a journalist. When I go home, I have no idea what the future holds, but it’s worth the risk.

    The destruction has happened. Now it’s time to build – to create the world we want.

    So please, with me, just close your eyes for just a moment, and imagine the world as it should be.

    A world of peace, trust, and empathy, bringing out the best that we can be.

    Open your years. Now go, we have to make it happen. Please, let’s hold the line together. Thank you.…e-awarding-ceremony-2021/

    The government is considering giving booster shots three months after the second dose of the primary COVID-19 vaccine series, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Friday.

    Duque said health experts are looking at whether giving booster shots earlier than the recommended six months after the second dose would further boost the level of protection against COVID-19.

    “We are looking at even advancing the booster jabs. So maybe three months after if the response is truly much higher in terms of antibody levels. We are going to defer to our Vaccine Expert Panel (VEP) on this. Dr. Nina Gloriani, in particular, has been monitoring the situation very, very closely,” he told CNN Philippines’ The Source.

    “We are looking into it. We will submit to the VEP what will be the comparative advantage of giving earlier booster shots, say instead of the six months from the second dose of the primary series, what if we give it three months after the second dose? Will that confer even a much better, much higher level of protection?” said Duque.

    In the Philippines, booster shots are currently given six months after the second dose of a two-dose jab. However, for Janssen’s single-shot vaccine, a booster dose can be given at least three months after the initial vaccination.

    Read more:…ne-2nd-dose#ixzz7EcKuAhPD

    Auf den Philippinen ist ein Journalist von einem Unbekannten erschossen worden. Jesus "Jess" Malabanan sei am Mittwochabend mit einem Kopfschuss getötet worden, teilte die Polizei am Donnerstag mit. Der 58-Jährige hatte bei einer preisgekrönten Reportageserie über den harten Kampf gegen Drogen des philippinischen Präsidenten Rodrigo Duterte der Nachrichtenagentur Reuters mitgearbeitet.

    Malabanan sei erschossen worden, als er gerade in einem kleinen Laden seiner Familie Fernsehen geschaut habe, hieß es. Der Attentäter sei mit einem Mittäter unerkannt auf einem Motorrad geflohen. Die Tat ereignete sich in Calbayog City, 480 Kilometer südöstlich von Manila. Das Motiv ist noch unklar. Zuletzt arbeitete er für eine englischsprachige Zeitung und ein TV-Netzwerk in der Hauptstadt Manila. Kollegen zufolge soll er Morddrohungen erhalten haben.

    "Wir sind tief erschüttert, von dem Tod zu erfahren", hieß es auf Anfrage von einer Reuters-Sprecherin in London. "Jesus war ein talentierter und hartnäckiger Journalist, der 2017 bei der Pulitzer-Preis-gekrönten Berichterstattung über den Kampf gegen Drogen auf den Philippinen mit Reuters zusammengearbeitet hat."

    Malabanan sei ein erfahrener und engagierter Reporter gewesen, würdigte der Pampanga Press Club, dem der Journalist angehörte. Kollegen sprachen von einem "sinnlosen" und "feigen" Mord und forderten die Behörden auf, die Verantwortlichen zu finden.

    Malabanan ist laut der "National Union of Journalists of the Philippines" der 22. Journalist, der in dem südostasiatischen Land getötet wurde, seit Duterte 2016 ins Amt kam. Die Philippinen gelten als eines der gefährlichsten Länder der Welt für Journalisten. Die philippinische Journalistin Maria Ressa wird in diesem Jahr für ihre Arbeit mit dem Friedensnobelpreis geehrt. Duterte hatte bei seiner Wahl ein hartes Vorgehen gegen Drogenkriminelle angekündigt. Seither sollen Tausende Menschen von Todeskommandos getötet worden sein.…REiqj?ocid=BingNewsSearch

    Maria Ressa - HELDIN DES ALLTAGS

    Anruf aus Stockholm: Der Friedensnobelpreis geht zur Hälfte an eine philippinische Kämpferin für die Pressefreiheit.

    Es ist dieser Blick aus blitzenden Augen, der unablässig das Gegenüber fixiert. Es ist diese sanfte Stimme, dieses ermunternde Nicken, als wäre sie tatsächlich mit dem einverstanden, was ihr Gegenüber an Ungeheuerlichkeiten in die Kamera spricht. Die Philippinerin Maria Ressa, 58, raspelkurzes Haar, randlose Brille, wirkt wie die Liebenswürdigkeit in Person, dabei kann sie knallhart sein und löwenmutig, eine Ausnahmeerscheinung im Journalismus. Ihr Feind ist Rodrigo Duterte, Präsident der Philippinen. Als sie ihn vor ein paar Jahren interviewte, drohte er ihr unverhohlen: »Don’t f*ck with me! Ich habe Ihnen gesagt, machen Sie einen Bogen um mich.« Vor laufender Kamera gestand er, eigenhändig drei Menschen getötet zu haben. Keinen Moment ließ ihn Maria Ressa aus den blitzenden Augen, nickte und hatte ihren Scoop.

    Als am 8. Oktober der Anruf vom Friedensnobelpreiskomitee aus Stockholm kommt, befindet sich Ressa in einer Zoom-Konferenz zum Thema Pressefreiheit in Südostasien, es gibt ein Video von diesem Moment. Sie wendet sich kurz ab, taucht wieder auf und sagt mit tränenerstickter Stimme: »Es ist ein Schock!« Später am Tag lässt sie sich von ihrer Crew filmen und gibt Interviews, sie sagt, sie widme den Nobelpreis, der ihr gemeinsam mit dem russischem Journalisten Dmitrij Muratow verliehen wird, gefährdeten und verfolgten Kollegen in anderen Ländern der Welt. »Diese Auszeichnung ist für uns alle, eine Anerkennung dafür, wie hart es ist, heutzutage Journalist zu sein.« Und bedankt sich für die »Anerkennung der Rolle der Journalisten bei der Reparatur, der Wiederherstellung unserer kaputten Welt«.

    Maria Ressa wächst in einer halbwegs heilen Welt auf, in den USA, wohin sie mit ihren Eltern als Neunjährige auswandert, nachdem Diktator Ferdinand Marcos über ihre Heimat das Kriegsrecht verhängt hat. Ressa studiert in Princeton, kehrt zurück nach Asien, ist viele Jahre lang prominente CNN Korrespondentin und Expertin für Terrorismus und al-Qaida in Südostasien. Vor zehn Jahren gründet sie in Manila das wirtschaftlich bald erfolgreiche Nachrichtenportal Rappler – eine Wortschöpfung aus »rap«, kritisieren, diskutieren, und »ripple«, sich auf etwas auswirken, Wellen machen.

    Vor fünf Jahren dann kommt Rodrigo Duterte an die Macht, startet seine »Antidrogenkampagne«, die einem Krieg gegen die eigene Bevölkerung gleichkommt. Von Anfang an berichtet Ressa über brutal ermordete Opfer, nach Schätzungen von Menschenrechtsorganisationen zwischen 20 000 und 27 000, die Zahlen variieren stark. Sie schickt ihre Reporter in die Armenviertel zu Drogensüchtigen, lässt Investigativteams Machtmissbrauch und Korruption der herrschenden Elite aufdecken. Für Rappler arbeiten 90 Journalisten, die meisten von ihnen furchtlose Frauen wie Ressa, täglich liefern sie Beweise, wie sich ihr Land in eine Diktatur verwandelt.

    Der Preis, den Ressa für ihren Erfolg zahlt, ist immens: Duterte lässt ihre Leute aus dem Regierungspalast werfen, beschimpft sie als Abschaum, Müll, Hurensöhne, droht mit der Schließung von Rappler. Ressa selbst wird verfolgt, bedroht, verhaftet. Acht politisch motivierte Haftbefehle wegen angeblicher Steuerhinterziehung oder Verleumdung im Netz sind anhängig, rechnet man die geforderten Höchst strafen zusammen, müsste Ressa für mehr als 100 Jahre in Haft.

    Im Juni 2020 wird sie zu sechs Jahren verurteilt, legt Berufung ein und hinterlegt, wie schon so oft, eine Kaution, nur deshalb ist sie noch auf freiem Fuß. Ressa hat beste Kontakte in die USA, sie ist auch USStaatsbürgerin, warum flieht sie nicht? »Wir waren vor Duterte da«, sagt sie dem SPIEGEL im Mai 2020. »Wir sind auf der richtigen Seite der Geschichte.«

    Bis 2022 ist Duterte noch Präsident, dann darf er laut Verfassung nicht wiedergewählt werden, nun wollen sich unter anderen seine Tochter und ein Marcos-Sohn auf das Amt bewerben. Maria Ressas Kampf ist also nicht zu Ende, seit ein paar Jahren hat sie zudem einen zweiten Feind: die sozialen Medien, Facebook vor allem. Sie wirft ihnen vor, zu wenig gegen Desinformation durch Cybertrolle und Fake Accounts zu unternehmen und mitverantwortlich zu sein, dass Männer wie Duterte vom Volk verehrt und gewählt werden.

    In keinem anderen Land der Erde verbringen Menschen so viel Zeit in den sozialen Medien wie in den Philippinen. »Facebook ist unser Internet«, so ist ihre Einschätzung, wodurch die Gefahr besteht, dass Machthaber diese Plattform nutzen, um Lügen als Tatsachen zu tarnen. Indem sie etwa behaupten, Journalisten seien Kriminelle – und diese Darstellung millionenfach verbreiten, bis sie geglaubt wird. Auch Ressa bekommt Hassbotschaften, man wolle sie hängen, köpfen. Sie beschäftigt zahlreiche Anwälte, unter ihnen Amal Clooney, wird bewacht von Personenschützern. Mann oder Kinder hat sie nicht, das macht sie weniger erpressbar. »Ich sage meinen Leuten immer«, sagt Ressa in dem Dokumentarfilm »Die Unbeugsamen«, »es gibt nichts zu fürchten, außer der eigenen Angst.«

    Drei Tage nach Bekanntgabe des Nobelpreiskomitees reagiert auch Präsident Duterte. Durch einen Sprecher lässt er Ressa gratulieren; denn natürlich sei der Preis der beste Beweis dafür, dass es im Land keine Zensur gebe und die Pressefreiheit lebendig sei. Laut Reporter ohne Grenzen sind die Philippinen einer der gefährlichsten Orte für Journalisten, seit den Achtzigerjahren wurden hier knapp 200 Journalisten ermordet.

    »Schließen Sie sich mir an, berichten Sie«, das ist Ressa Botschaft an die Kollegen, denen sie den Preis widmet. »Wir werden uns nicht ducken, wir halten die Stellung«, sagt sie oft, mit blitzenden Augen..

    Fiona Ehlers


    About 6.5 million minors aged 12 to 17 years have so far been vaccinated against COVID-19, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said Thursday.

    “Tuwang tuwa kami kasi maganda na magface-to-face na ang ating mga estudyante,” he said in an awarding ceremony in Mandaluyong City.

    Meanwhile, the total number of fully vaccinated individuals in the country is now at 39.7 million, Galvez said.

    About 57.64 million Filipinos have also at least received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

    Galvez said the government was able to inoculate 10.25 million Filipinos during its national vaccination drive held from Nov. 29 to Dec. 3.

    The drive was supposed to be only three days but was extended upon the request of many local government units, Galvez said.

    The government aims to hold another round of the massive vaccination drive from Dec. 15 to 17, with the goal of completing the doses of 7 million individuals.

    Read more:…ully-vaxxed#ixzz7EWYfEMuk

    Meta Platforms, Inc., which handles social media sites Facebook and Instagram, said Thursday it is working to stop “coordinated campaigns” that seek to “manipulate public debate” on its platforms as the 2022 national elections draw near.

    Meta head of politics and government outreach for Asia and the Pacific Roy Tan said that they are also continuously investigating “coordinated inauthentic behaviors” (CIB) in their platforms.

    “We’re constantly working to find and stop coordinated campaigns that seek to manipulate public debate across our suite of apps,” Tan said in a Senate hearing on the rise of social media platforms in the country.

    “And when we identify CIB on Facebook or Instagram, we take action and disclose it publicly in our monthly report. And we continue to look at these investigations in the lead-up to elections next year,” he added.

    Read more:

    The government is set to tighten restrictions on travelers coming from France, which has been included in the “red list” countries, or areas deemed high-risk for COVID-19.

    Malacañang announced the Inter-Agency Task Force’s decision on Wednesday, which would be effective from Dec. 10 to 15.

    Passengers who have been to France within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines from Dec. 10 to 12 shall be required to undergo facility-based quarantine for two weeks, acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles said.

    They will also be mandated to undergo RT-PCR testing on the 7th day, with day one being the date of arrival. But even with a negative test result, the completion of the quarantine period is required, Nograles added.

    From Dec. 13 to 15, passengers coming from or who have been to France within the last 14 days will not be allowed entry to the Philippines regardless of their vaccination status.…h-red-list-countries.html

    The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases has agreed not to add more countries to the Philippines’ “red list” the meantime, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Tuesday, noting that the country cannot totally close its borders from the rest of the world.

    During Teleradyo’s Sakto, Vergeire was asked if the Department of Health will recommend further expanding the travel ban amid the looming threat of the highly transmissible Omicron variant that has been detection in more countries recently.

    “Unang-una, hindi ho natin pwedeng isara ang Pilipinas from the rest of the world. So, ‘yan po ‘yung prinsipyong pinanghahawakan ng Inter-Agency Task Force kaya ang ating mga eksperto nag-rekomenda na lang po ng mga protocols, stricter than before, so that at least we can ensure that we can still guard our borders kasi alam naman po natin na talagang kakalat at pupunta sa iba’t ibang bansa ang variant na ito. It is not really a matter of not having it inside our country, but when will it enter the country,” she explained.

    (First, we cannot close the Philippines from the rest of the world. That is the principle that the IATF holds that is why our experts recommended stricter protocols so that at least we can ensure that we can still guard our borders because we know that Omicron will really spread.)

    Read more: https://globalnation.inquirer.…-threat-doh#ixzz7EKkxfMJY

    The COVID-19 situation in the country continues to improve as the Department of Health reported on Monday that the Philippines is now under minimal risk case classification.

    Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vegeire said the average daily attack rate from Nov. 22 to Dec. 5 is now below one, which means the country can be downgraded from low risk to minimal risk.

    "Nationally we remain at minimal risk case classification with a negative two-week growth rate at -57% and a low-risk average daily attack rate at 0.67 cases for every 100,000 individuals," she said in a media briefing.

    Thirteen of the 17 regions are under the same classification, the official added.

    Only Metro Manila, Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan Valley, and Zamboanga Peninsula are under low risk case classification, which is one step higher than minimal risk status.…Philippines-December.html

    Prices of basic commodities rose at a slower pace in November with food and energy costs mainly driving the increase, newest figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority show.

    National Statistician Dennis Mapa reported on Tuesday an inflation rate of 4.2% for the month. This is milder than 4.6% in October and 3.3% in November 2020.

    The latest figure is outside the 3.3-4.1% range projected by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for November. It is likewise outside the 2-4% target band eyed by the BSP for the year.

    The central bank earlier said that higher costs of electricity, LPG, and produce could primarily push inflation up during the period, but could be offset by local oil price rollbacks and the peso’s appreciation.…lation-November-2021.html

    More than 2,000 students in 28 public schools in Metro Manila have started the pilot run of limited face-to-face classes on Monday, most of them in kindergarten to Grade 3 and senior high school, amid the declining COVID-19 cases in the capital region.

    "Actually, most of the public would find it counterintuitive that we start with kindergarten to Grade 3, they say it would be more difficult to discipline them but this is actually a recommendation from our public health experts that we consulted including the Department of Health," Education Usec. Nepomuceno Malaluan told CNN Philippines' The Source on Monday.

    Nepomuceno said based on their analysis, students from these year levels have shown "greater resilience" in terms of the duration and severity of COVID-19 symptoms.…face-to-face-classes.html

    The first-ever face mask production facility in Northern Luzon has been launched, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said.

    DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña said Safetech by Modulhaus Incorporated, in partnership with DOST I, launched the facility on Nov. 25.

    The production facility is owned by Richard Chan, who has been a beneficiary of the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) since 2016.

    Chan’s family-owned corporation, Modular Plus Home System Incorporated, produces modular products like kitchen, wardrobe, and pantry cabinets, restaurant, and console tables, bathroom, and vanity fixtures, and other architectural and interior office features, de la Peña said.

    The launch of the facility was attended by the different Regional Directors of the various regional government line agencies.…-northern-luzon-launched/

    The state weather bureau on Sunday reported the lowest temperatures for Metro Manila and Baguio City during the amihan (northeast monsoon) season.

    Pagasa reported that the temperature in Baguio City dropped to 11.4 degrees Celsius at 4:50 am, while the temperature in Metro Manila measured at the Quezon City Science Garden, was recorded at 20.4 degrees Celsius at 6:15 am.

    Pagasa said both stations logged its lowest temperature so far this northeast monsoon.

    Read more:…ihan-season#ixzz7EBiWu4zo

    The Philippines is banning flights - except those carrying Filipino repatriates - coming from South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, and Italy until Dec. 15.

    "We have more or less 50 Filipinos stranded in Europe. Pero sa Africa naman po (Meanwhile, in Africa)...we just received word this morning na mayroon pong (there are) around 49 [stranded Filipinos]," Undersecretary Sarah Arriola said in a government briefing Saturday.

    Arriola urged other Filipinos affected by new travel restrictions to contact Philippine embassies and consulates so they can help them go back home.

    The undersecretary said the Philippines will mount repatriation flights from The Netherlands and South Africa. She just cautioned stranded Filipinos abroad that the repatriation process now "is a little bit more complicated, so we need the cooperation of our kababayans (fellow countrymen) because they have to transfer from one country to another to be able to join the repatriation flights."…H-Omicron-travel-ban.html

    Singapore hält die weitere Oeffnung des Landes zurück!

    Eigentlich hatte ich Singapore auf dem Radar ... für Feb 22 ... wird wohl auch nichts werden ? ... bin zwar nicht genrell gegen Reiseabenteuer, aber da möchte ich mir schon die Abenteuer selber raus suchen ... :D

    LG Alf

    The Department of Health (DOH) said that the shelf life of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine made by Pfizer-BioNTech can be extended from six months to nine months.

    “Itong extension ng shelf life ng Pfizer (This extension of Pfizer), it happened months before. This was applied for by the manufacturer and submitted to the Department of Health and FDA (Food and Drug Administration) that they found—based on their continuing studies of their vaccines—that we can extend the shelf life up to another three months from the time that it is set to expire,” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Friday, Dec. 3.…-be-extended-to-9-months/

    Ganzer Artikel lesenwert


    Here’s what the current crop of presidential aspirants say:

    • Ka Leody De Guzman

    De Guzman said on Oct. 26 that individuals involved in corruption and killings should be prohibited from seeking elective posts.

    “A government led by officials who are allegedly corrupt, killers, and thirsty for power will never become a good government. There should be a realization to prevent this kind of governance,” he told One News’ The Chiefs.

    He said electing these kinds of officials will only make corruption endless.

    • Panfilo Lacson

    Lacson, who was among the senators assailed by Duterte for the Senate investigation of COVID-19 spending anomalies, said he would immediately sign a bank secrecy waiver on his first day in office as president.

    Lacson said he expects all other officials in government to do the same.

    “To ensure our people that leadership by example will set the tone of my administration, I will lead the way by signing a waiver of my rights under the bank secrecy law and encourage all the members of the Cabinet, down to the rank and file to do the same,” he said.

    He said his first 100 days in office will lay the foundation for a clean government.

    Lacson also promised to catch the “big fish” in his fight against corruption.

    “There must be a single standard of leadership, applicable to all. Unlike what we have seen in the past, the treatment will vary when someone close is involved, like someone who has helped a politician in the elections,” he said.

    • Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

    Marcos Jr. has not made any new comment yet on corruption. However, he told CNN Philippines’ The Source in October that he was not sorry for the violations committed by his father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

    “I can only apologize for myself, and I am willing to do that if I have done something wrong and if that neglect or that wrongdoing has been damaging to somebody,” said Marcos Jr.

    “No matter what apologies you give, it won’t be enough. It’s not been enough because the political forces opposing my father, let us remember, his government fell. They won. That side of the political aisle has been dominant since 1986.”

    • Mayor Isko Moreno

    Moreno said on Oct. 1 that if he was elected as president, he would send individuals engaged in corruption to prison, saying that those who profit at the expense of Filipinos will not have a sound sleep.

    “We will hold accountable those from the government who raped us and private companies that committed wrong, stole, abused their power, and we will hold them accountable in the eyes of the law,” he said.

    • Manny Pacquiao

    Pacquiao, who said he has no questionable wealth, said on Nov. 17 that he wants to see corrupt government officials in prison as he promised to bring “real change”.

    “People’s heads and ears get irritated because of corruption. I want to see these thieves in prison. That would be my happiness,” he said.

    Pacquiao said he can wear expensive watches because Filipinos know where his wealth came from – his blood and sweat. “The others pretend to be poor, they are not wearing expensive watches or they are shy to wear it because they know where their wealth came from,” he said.

    • Vice President Leni Robredo

    Robredo said on Oct. 29 that while those seeking elective posts would promise to fight corruption, Filipinos should check if the commitment was genuine.

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