The ANC Brief: Getting worse before getting better


Posted at Jan 27 2020 05:00 AM

How long before the new coronavirus (nCov) reaches the Philippines? And how long can local authorities keep out the virus? Here are the big stories making the headlines on ANC today:

Spreading virus
As of this writing, 56 are dead with around 2000 confirmed cases. Meanwhile, a Filipino OFW in Hong Kong has been quarantined on suspicion she might have nCov. In the Philippines, the Department of Health said a man in Tacloban is under observation on suspicion he is carrying the virus. The Palace said there are no plans to evacuate Filipinos in Wuhan, ground zero of the epidemic. Also, 156 Chinese in Aklan have been returned to Wuhan.

Ash-covered homes
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) lowered the alert level on Taal Volcano to alert level 3 after days of unrest. Residents in some towns around the volcano were allowed to return to their ash-covered homes. But classes in Batangas are still suspended. Is this the end of Taal Volcano’s unrest?

Pivot to China
The Palace said other agreements with the US like the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) won’t be scrapped. The statement was made after President Duterte said he would terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) after the US canceled Sen. Ronald dela Rosa’s visa. Former DFA Secretary Albert del Rosario said ending the VFA would make the Duterte administration’s pivot to China possible. Another former US ambassador, Jose Cuisia will be on Early Edition to talk about the termination of the VFA.

Roiling the markets
Will the looming departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union roil the markets? Or have the markets factored in Brexit? In the local economic front, Central Bank Gov. Benjamin Diokno will appear on Early Edition to assess the recent numbers of the gross domestic product (GDP) and his outlook for the economy.

Destiny’s child
For a place that others have referred to as the ‘armpit of the nation,’ it’s puzzling why Quiapo is where people look for solutions, hope, and what the future holds. ANCX spent a day with the ‘manghuhulas’ of Manila to have our fortunes told.