The Philippines has commenced mass testing for the coronavirus. Meanwhile, the number of cases keeps rising. Here are the stories making the headlines today on ANC:
No cash for middle class
The number of COVID-19 cases in the country breached the 5,000 level. But the number of recoveries in a single day reached a new high with 53. COVID-19 Response Chief Implementor Carlito Galvez Jr. has ruled out a nationwide lockdown. The task force is also tracking down 15,000 potential carriers of virus. President Rodrigo Duterte approved a P50.8-billion wage subsidy for workers of small businesses. Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said cash aid for the middle class wouldn't happen.
Fit and healthy
The Palace said a petition to compel the disclosure of the true state of President Duterte’s health would be junked. On Monday, a lawyer filed a petition before the Supreme Court for the disclosure. But Malacanang said the petition was based on speculation and “anchored on mere conjectures and surmises.” He said Duterte is “fit and healthy” to lead the country amid the pandemic.
Time of reckoning
The Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Prosecutor released Tuesday a subpoena for Sen. Koko Pimentel for allegedly breaching quarantine protocol after he showed up at a hospital despite experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus. A preliminary investigation has been tentatively set for May 20.
While the world fights COVID-19
According to Gregory Poling of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI), China is still building its presence in the disputed South China Sea as the world grapples with COVID-19. Recently, a Chinese sea vessel sunk a Vietnamese fishing boat. The Philippines expressed solidarity with Vietnam on the incident. But who or what can stop China? Poling recommends a multilateral effort to put political and economic pressure on China.
X-ray body scanners, more contactless transactions, a local tourism boom—David Celdran breaks down for ANCX what the future of leisure will be like post-COVID-19.