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Take out politics from COVID-19 pandemic

A few weeks after the outbreak in March last year of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic reached our shores, a core group of professors from the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City decided to make sense of the statistics and data coming out from the Department of Health......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarMay 21st, 2021

Take out politics from COVID-19 pandemic

A few weeks after the outbreak in March last year of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic reached our shores, a core group of professors from the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City decided to make sense of the statistics and data coming out from the Department of Health......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 21st, 2021

Sotto disappointed over PDP’s ‘early politicking’

Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III on Saturday expressed disappointment over the “early politicking” of some government officials despite the massive setbacks caused by the Covid-19 pandemic on the country’s economic development. “They’re too excited for politics. Their political thinking is really disappointing,” Sotto said during a radio interview. He made the remark amid the […] The post Sotto disappointed over PDP’s ‘early politicking’ appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMar 13th, 2021

2022 presidential scenarios

With the COVID pandemic still in place, it is almost indecent to talk about the 2022 Philippine elections. But the incumbent administration’s tendency to play electoral politics at this point has pushed many of us to think ahead, and come up with scenarios that could help us rise above the feeling of hopelessness hanging above our heads......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsFeb 18th, 2021

Diocese of Balanga marks Christian Unity Week from Jan. 18 to 25

   The Diocese of Balanga in Bataan will observe Christian Unity Week from Jan. 18 to 25. Bishop Ruperto Santos (CBCP / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)    In a Diocesan Pastoral Directive, Balanga Bishop Ruperto C. Santos said priest formators from the Virgen Milagrosa del Rosario College Seminary will present and share their reflections on the Encyclical Letter of His Holiness, Pope Francis Fratelli Tutti.  The reflections, through the assistance of the diocese’s Ministry on Social Communications, are pre-recorded and may be downloaded on YouTube during the observance of Christian Unity Week.      Santos said the presentation and reflection will be made by  Father Jason Balan – Chapter One: Dark Clouds over a Closed World and Chapter Two: A Stranger on the Road; Father Joseph Quicho – Chapter Three: Envisaging and Engendering an Open World Moving Beyond Ourselves; Chapter Four: A Heart Open to the Whole World; Father Ramon Mariano – Chapter Five: A Better Kind of Politics; Chapter Six: Dialogue and Friendship in Society Social Dialogue; Father Rosauro Guila – Chapter Seven: Paths of Renewed Encounter Starting Anew from the Truth the Art and Architecture of Peace,  and Chapter Eight: Religions at the Service of Fraternity in our World the Ultimate Foundation.    “In order to build a better, just, and peaceful world, our Holy Father with his Fratelli Tutti fosters and highlights fraternity and social friendship. As one family in this world, all must work towards peace, that is, avoiding and declaring no to war, rejecting globalized indifference,” Santos said.    “It is in this devastating and dangerous time of the COVID-19 pandemic that all can show and act as brothers and sisters to one another. No one is ignored. No one is forgotten nor left behind. But all are helped. All are given hope. And they can feel and act as their brother’s keeper (Genesis 4,9). With Fratelli Tutti, we are one and united. We belong to each other and we need one another. With the grateful heart and open hand, let us listen to the valuable reflective sharing of our Virgen Milagrosa del Rosario College Seminary priest-formators,” he said......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsJan 17th, 2021

Lady Gaga, car horns trumpet Biden’s grand campaign finale

PITTSBURGH  (AFP) – Honking horns, huge American flags, and pop superstar Lady Gaga: on the eve of the presidential election, Joe Biden brought an air of spectacle to workers’ stronghold Pittsburgh as he capped a campaign largely curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic. US singer Lady Gaga performs prior to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaking during a Drive-In Rally at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on November 2, 2020. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) “The power’s in your hands, Pennsylvania!” the Democratic White House nominee thundered late Monday to several hundred supporters gathered for a drive-in rally in what has become the pivotal state in Biden’s battle against President Donald Trump. “It’s time to stand up and take back our democracy,” the 77-year-old added, prompting a crescendo of car horns outside the stadium that is home to the Pittsburgh Steelers American football team. In the biting November cold, Biden took up the clarion call of a campaign that he launched 18 months ago: “This is a battle for the soul of America,” he said. “We have to win this.” Lady Gaga, clad in a white sweatshirt with “Joe” printed on the front, listened and applauded from her stage. Minutes earlier she had peeled off her gloves and sat down at a white piano to give a short but inspired musical warmup to the Biden headliner. “Gloves off because it’s a fight — a fight for what you believe in,” she said before launching into her hit “Shallow.” The 34-year-old Grammy winner called on the audience to vote for Biden because “we needed somebody that was going to bring us all together for this moment, for this very important moment.” “No matter who wins tomorrow, we’re going to have to do this together. Tomorrow’s got to be peaceful,” she added somberly, in an allusion to the tensions that have swelled in the United States ahead of the poll. The singer, who once lived in Pennsylvania, has been in this position before. In 2016, she helped close out the campaign of Democrat Hillary Clinton, who lost in a shocker to Trump. ‘End of Trump era?’ Dancing in the parking lot was Jamie Scafuri, a 26-year-old hairdresser, who came with friends invited by someone who works for the campaign. “We’re hoping that it’s the end of the Trump era,” Scafuri told AFP. “We’re hopeful. That’s why we’re here.” These drive-in rallies have become a staple of the Democrat’s mostly low-key campaign, which has scrupulously adhered to social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines to guard against the coronavirus, which has already killed more than 230,000 Americans. But despite efforts to put on a show at least partly resembling concert-infused mega-rallies that have traditionally marked the end of a campaign, the cars parked at distance, sparse spectators and few journalists allowed to enter makes it clear: the pandemic has upset the face of American politics in 2020. “Stay close to your cars!” urged an announcer as fans rushed forward for the arrival of Lady Gaga, in scenes far removed from the massive Trump rallies that often bring thousands of supporters packed together, very often without wearing masks. But here, Biden’s supporters understand the constraints. “I feel safe being here around our car with masks on, but it’s a great opportunity to celebrate life for sure,” Scafuri said. Biden is “a pro-science, pro-healthcare candidate, so it makes sense that he would want to protect his constituents,” added Scafuri’s friend Katie Soulen, 32, who owns the salon where they work. Trump ‘don’t care’ about us Biden is coming full circle with his campaign. The former vice president launched his White House candidacy — his third, following disastrous bids in 1988 and 2008 — in April 2019 in this blue-collar city. Even then, in the cradle of the American steel industry now remaking itself as a tech hub, Biden predicted that a victory against the Republican president would “happen here,” in Pennsylvania. Biden has a slight lead in the pivotal state, which Trump won by less than a percentage point in 2016. But the polls have tightened in recent days, and after the brash billionaire’s shock victory four years ago, some Democrats are nervous. But Bob Wilson, born and raised “right where we stand” in Pittsburgh, is confident that Trump will be defeated. “No, we’re gonna crush him… We’re gonna beat him in every state,” the 68-year-old retired truck driver, now a union official, said as he waited for Biden in the large parking lot at Heinz Field, named after the giant food processing company founded here in the 19th century. Trump is “not qualified” and “don’t care about nobody but himself,” he added......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsNov 3rd, 2020

Being a poor kid taught me empathy

Mayor Isko Moreno BATANG MAYNILA In a recent interview, I was asked by a reporter if I am amenable to the idea of placing the beggars under arrest.  These are the homeless people who end up in the streets begging for alms due to lack of income. Flatly, I rejected the idea. It is just not my cup of tea. Having been in that rock-bottom situation before, I cannot say that being poor is a sin or a fault in any way.  It is the kind of situation in which no one would ever, ever  want to be. I do not question the wisdom of national authorities who broached the idea of having the beggars arrested, for fear that they may be spreading COVID-19, since they do not observe any safety protocols particularly wearing of face masks. Maybe those from the national government have a different perspective about this issue but to me, sending the homeless people to jail is another thing, not only because I was also homeless at one point in my life but as I’ve said, it just isn’t my cup of tea. I would rather get these homeless people off the streets and care for them in our very own facilities designated for the purpose. In fact, for almost eight months now, we in the city government of Manila, through our social welfare department headed by Re Fugoso, had been taking care of hundreds upon hundreds of homeless people who ended up living in the streets and begging for alms, due to the pandemic. Since the quarantine and lockdowns began in March, we gathered these homeless, unwanted individuals and have been taking care of them since. We have three facilities for them. Modesty aside, we do not only feed these streetdwellers three square meals a day. We also provide them with clothes, toiletries, various forms of entertainment — like regular movie showing and zumba sessions— and even extras, since most donations of clothes and food that that land in our office from time to time are automatically sent to them. We also ensure their health and safety, by making them undergo regular medical tests. Our medical teams go to them and conduct the checking. While their life in our city-run facilities may not be luxurious, it is comfortable enough and definitely, a lot better than living in the streets. In fact, I suspect that a lot of homeless troop to Manila probably upon learning that the city provides the basic needs of those gathered. Those who would want to go to their native hometowns are being assisted by social welfare chief Re Fugoso herself, as in fact, 200 such families have already been sent to their respective provinces about a week ago. Back to the issue and let me be clear. There is no question that we in the city government are all for instilling discipline among everyone in the city, including the homeless. No exception. However, I firmly believe that when you are at the helm of governance, you have to strike a balance between putting discipline and certainty in place on one hand, and then compassion and humanity on the other. Addressing the poor is never easy. Actions need to be taken but there is a need to learn to stretch your patience to the maximum. I remember clearly what former President Ramon Magsaysay once said: “Those who have less in life should have more in law.” This creed of one of the greatest Presidents who ever lived, is what endeared him to the masses and had been my guiding rule since I entered politics. Simply put, this means that the  ordinary citizens or those in the lower rung of society, specially the poor, should get the necessary attention from government which they need more than those who are well off. Maybe having grown up knowing precisely what poverty means and actually feels like, also instilled in me the value of empathy. *** Gaya ng paulit-ulit  kong sinasabi, kailangan ko ang tulong ninyong lahat. Walang magmamalasakit sa Maynila kundi tayo ding mga Batang Maynila. Manila, God first! *** For updates on latest developments in the city of Manila, please visit my Facebook account — “Isko Moreno Domagoso”.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

Opportunity to reform market economy

The crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic provides a singular opportunity to significantly reform the so-called free market economy that has been embraced by countries of different political shades and persuasions, from socialist China to capitalist America.  Although it cannot be denied that the experiment with market-oriented economic policies by China has resulted in the liberation from dehumanizing poverty of hundreds of millions of people over the last 20  to 30 years, there continues to be scandalous disparity of income and wealth among those who have benefited from these reforms and those who have been left behind.  The massive unemployment that has been caused by the lockdowns of  economies all over the world has worsened the inequity in the distribution of income even in the most developed countries of Europe and elsewhere. The human sufferings that we are witnessing during the worst global economic crisis in 150 year  should bring world leaders to finally come to their senses and listen to what Pope Francis has been saying about   the limitations of the free market economy in respecting the dignity of each human person and in pursuing the common good of society. In The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis clearly states that “the dignity of each human person and the pursuit of the common good are concerns which ought to shape all economic policies. At times, however, they seem to be a mere addendum imported from without in order to fill out a political discourse lacking in perspectives or plans for true and integral development.”  The Holy Father points out that  growth in social justice “requires more than economic growth, while presupposing such growth.”  it requires decisions, programs, mechanisms, and processes especially geared to a better distribution of income, the creation of sources of employment, and an integral promotion of the poor which goes beyond a simple welfare mentality.”  In the publication “This Economy Kills,” authors Andrea Tornielli and Giacomo Galeazzi, inspired by the teachings of Pope Francis, enumerate the types of leaders who are needed for authentic human development in both developed and emerging markets.  According to them, we need “men and women who look to the future, who are committed to pursue the common  good and whose goal is not just the next election campaign.  It requires men and women who not only look at the spread and stock market indices as indicators of the health of a country but inquire whether the younger generations have a job, a future, and hope; whether children have kindergartens and schools that can educate them by introducing them to reality; whether couples have the opportunity to buy a house; whether there are effective welfare programs available for the elderly; and whether those who still bet on the future by putting children into the world are justly taxed, rather than penalized.  It requires men and women who are engaged in politics and work in institutions without corrupting themselves or letting others corrupt them, even managing perhaps to revive a minimum of esteem (which has never been so in decline) for that ‘highest form of charity’—that is, politics—in as much as it is exclusively committed to the common good and to the real lives of people, with special attention   and dedication to those in difficulty, those left behind, those  who are excluded and should be included.” We have in the above quote a program that should permeate the so-called new normal post-pandemic.  What I have read so far about prognostications concerning the “new normal” are mostly about means, not ends. There is a lot of talk about the digital transformation that all economic sectors shall have undergone as a response to the changes in consumer lifestyle and business practices brought about by COVID-19. It asserted that digitalization will be a universal practice. Online purchases of practically all types of consumer goods and services; modes of payments; delivery of formal education and all types  of skills training; banking practices; religious services; sports events; forms of entertainment; etc.  These transformations, however,  could occur without addressing the fundamental problem of great disparities in the distribution of income and wealth and may even exacerbate the problem of the poor if, for example, their children are further left behind because they lack the resources to participate in online learning.  Although the means are also important, there should be greater emphasis in the transformation of the ends or objectives of the economic system.  Our leaders should ask themselves how to make the structural changes necessary to reduce mass poverty (which has worsened during the many lockdowns made necessary by the pandemic).  In more concrete terms, the economic system should be geared to providing more nutritious food to the poorest of the poor; better quality education and health care to the bottom 20 percent of the population; free health services to those who cannot afford them;  socialized housing for the homeless; and well paying jobs for the unemployed and underemployed. The new normal should give the highest priority to providing the small farmers with what they need to eke out a decent living by providing them with the necessary infrastructures such as farm-to-market roads, irrigation systems, post-harvest facilities, access to credit and other farm support services that have long been denied the Filipino farmers.  I have always maintained that the first cause of dehumanizing poverty in the Philippines is the long-term neglect of rural and agricultural development.  It is not a coincidence that 75 percent of those who fall below the poverty line are in the rural areas. Many of them are the beneficiaries of agrarian reform who, after being provided with one or two hectares of land, were completely abandoned to their own resources.  They are the landless farm workers, the “kaingeros” (slush-and-burn farmers), and the subsistence fisherfolk. Hopefully, the shortage of food during  the pandemic has made it crystal clear that food security should be on top of our economic objectives.  Food security now and in the future can be made possible only by a significant increase in the productivity with which we use our agricultural resources.  To be continued For comments, my email address is bernardo.villegas@uap.asia.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 3rd, 2020

Guiao urges PBA to be 'proactive' and push for own return

The PBA might as well be the first sports league to return in the Philippines following the COVID-19 pandemic. In the past few months, the PBA has been active when it comes to creating health protocols to make a 2020 return possible. Just recently, the league received approval to have teams practice. Naturally, the next phase would be plotting when the games actually return. The PBA will have a meeting with coaches and team managers Friday. A more pivotal PBA Board meeting will come next month. "Dalawa lang ang choice natin, maghintay tayo ng vaccine na di natin alam kung kailan dadating o gumawa tayo ng paraan," NLEX coach Yeng Guiao said. "While there's still no vaccine, let's try something. It's feasible when we make it feasible," he added. Guiao, who has dabbled into politics in the past, says that the PBA should come up with its own ways to return. The league can't put all its hopes of a return on the Philippine government according to Coach Yeng. "We have to look for own solution and be proactive. We're the least of problems by the government. Ang dami nilang problema kung sila ang iintayin natin. We have to start pushing for our own resumption," he said. "The government will always be conservative, they don't want to be blamed. So if nobody moves, walang mangyayari," Guiao added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 9th, 2020

LeBron James group touts sports venues as mega-voting sites

By BILL BARROW Associated Press ATLANTA (AP) — If basketball icon LeBron James gets his way, NBA arenas and other sports venues around the country will be mega polling sites for the November general election. James and his voting rights group, formed this spring with other black athletes and entertainers, are joining with other professional basketball leaders and Michigan’s top elections official to push for mega voting sites to accommodate in-person balloting amid the COVID-19 pandemic. More Than A Vote, the James organization dedicated to maximizing Black turnout in November, shared its plans with The Associated Press on Wednesday after the Detroit Pistons became the second NBA franchise to announce plans to use its arena for voting later this year. In Georgia, Fulton County elections officials this week approved the Atlanta Hawks’ proposal to use State Farm Arena as a polling site. Plans call for the arena to serve as a countywide early voting site ahead of Election Day. The idea, which comes after Kentucky used large facilities in its June 23 primary, is to use large spaces that allow for in-person voting while still enforcing social distancing guidelines. It also underscores the attention on the mechanics of voting amid the pandemic, with the intensity already reflected in both President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden warning that state and local officials have the power to “corrupt” the election. Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson called her “partnership” with the Pistons an “blueprint for other teams and leagues seeking to advance our common goal of protecting access to the vote for all.” Lloyd Pierce, head coach of the Atlanta Hawks, said the arrangement in his city ensures “high turnout” in a safe environment. Benson, Pierce and David Fizdale, former New York Knicks head coach, will advise NBA franchises and arena management entities around the country on how to replicate the existing deals. The Milwaukee Bucks also confirmed they are willing to use their home arena as a voting site in the most populous city in the key battleground of Wisconsin. The coordinated push is a turnabout, of sorts, in the often-partisan jousting over voting procedures. Some Democrats panned Kentucky elections officials for limiting in-person June primary voting in the state’s two most populous counties to Louisville’s Exposition Center and the University of Kentucky football stadium in Lexington. Voting rights advocates argued in federal court that the plan, part of culling voting sites statewide amid coronavirus concerns, would harm minority voters. A federal judge rejected their claims, and voting proceeded without the melee that some advocates had forecast. Now, Benson, a Democrat, is pushing the arena model not as an example of potential voter suppression, but a way to fight it. “One of our greatest challenges in protecting voters’ access to democracy this November is identifying accessible locations where citizens can safely vote in person,” she said. Amid COVID, that could outweigh potential logistical difficulties of large sites. Lines for such venues can still be long — just as with normal polling locations — as was seen in Lexington at some points on primary day. Voters also could face traffic jams or public transit hiccups given the number of people involved. General elections also have considerably larger turnout than primaries. Nonetheless, there’s a growing bipartisan push for large-venue voting. NFL executive Scott Pioli last week presented the National Association of Secretaries of State a plan for widespread use of professional and college sports facilities. James’ group is officially nonpartisan. But the NBA star has been open about its emphasis on the Black community, where Trump faces intense opposition for his white identity politics. James has not endorsed Biden, but he endorsed Hillary Clinton over Trump in 2016. In Milwaukee, meanwhile, the Bucks owners, the Lasry family, are major Democratic Party donors. Bucks executive Alex Lasry helped lead the effort that landed the Democratic National Convention in the city.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 2nd, 2020

Leachon hits politics, ‘arbitrary’ ouster

Aside from problems on data, sacked special adviser to the National Task Force on COVID-19 Anthony Leachon said Thursday night that the country’s response to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic is beset by politics......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 19th, 2020

Business groups welcome call for passage of legislative measures

Business groups welcomed the call of President Duterte in his State of the Nation Address for the passage of legislative measures intended to help the economy bounce back from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated News1 min. ago

DOF says P660 billion spent for COVID-19 pandemic

The government has reported spending P660 billion on efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, amid allegations that it is underspending......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated News14 hr. 0 min. ago

Women: The bigger victims

There is now solid evidence that the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have fallen more heavily on women. In a recent policy brief, the International Labour Organization reported that women’s jobs worldwide fell by 4.2 percent as a result of the pandemic, as against 3 percent for men. It also projects that “only 43.2 […] The post Women: The bigger victims appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated News16 hr. 0 min. ago

Volatility risks continue in the face of the third wave of Covid – El Financiero

Despite advances in vaccination worldwide, the main risk to the global and national economic environment remains the control of the COVID-19 pandemic and the new.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 26th, 2021

LIVE UPDATES: COVID-19 pandemic

LIVE UPDATES: COVID-19 pandemic.....»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  pepRelated NewsJul 26th, 2021

UnionBank profit surges to P8.3 billion in first half

Union Bank of the Philippines almost doubled its profit to P8.31 billion in the first half from the revised P4.27 billion in the same period last year on the back of the double-digit growth in revenues and a sharp drop in provision for potential loan losses arising from the COVID-19 pandemic......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 26th, 2021

Speaking on pandemic, Duterte jokingly looks for ambulance: Baka meron na ako?

MANILA, Philippines — As President Rodrigo Duterte began to tout “how well [he] led” the country during the pandemic, he jested about contracting COVID-19 as he jokingly looked for an ambulance during his final State of the Nation Address (SONA). “I have to admit, back when I decided to answer your call and run for […] The post Speaking on pandemic, Duterte jokingly looks for ambulance: Baka meron na ako? appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 26th, 2021

The key to success?

What is one common factor among all the Filipino Olympians who are favored to medal in Tokyo? It’s something that was made even more obvious by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 26th, 2021

Duterte, Dominguez deny government underspent Bayanihan funds

The Duterte administration has denied underspending funds intended to address the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left more than 27,000 people dead in the Philippines and dragged its economy into a recession......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 26th, 2021

Fed to meet as inflation, virus variants complicate US recovery

As rising prices and the spread of new COVID-19 variants increase risks to the US economy, Federal Reserve officials are expected to maintain their easy money policies intended to help American companies and workers survive the pandemic damage......»»

Category: financeSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJul 26th, 2021