A law meant to fight the pandemic is expiring. Here are the stories making the headlines on ANC today:
The “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act” giving President Duterte special powers to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic is set to expire today. But just where are we right now on the fight against the pandemic? How much have we healed? The Palace said we are in good shape. As of the latest count, there are 32,000 confirmed cases in the country with the number rising each day. Speaking of the Executive branch, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said it would propose a P4.3 trillion budget for next year to fight the pandemic.
Throwing science out the window
Cebu City is the country’s newest virus hotspot with the number COVID-19 cases increasing. Cebu just made the headlines again when Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia called out two doctors who made remarks about the traditional “tuob” (steam inhalation) method that Garcia is advocating, as a way to stop the virus. Garcia, who never wears a mask, told employees of the provincial government to make time to do “tuob.” This made #notodoctorshamingmore trend online. Garcia has since clarified that the employees can do “tuob” on a voluntary basis. Meanwhile, police officers, soldiers and health workers will be deployed to enforce a lockdown in Cebu City.
The private sector is bearing the brunt of the negative effects of the pandemic. The Aboitiz Group said recently it would be laying off employees. A bus company also said it would lay off 600 drivers and conductors. Okada Manila, Air Asia Philippines, Grab and Victoria Court earlier announced retrenchments as quarantines impact business and travel.
The plot on the controversial company thickens. Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Jan Marsalek, the former COO of Wirecard may still be in the Philippines. Guevarra said Marsalek arrived in the country on March 2 and left March 5. But Guevarra said there are some indications he may have returned recently and is still in the country.
Jonahmar Salvosa was able to overcome COVID-19 through prayers, acupuncture, and traditional Philippine medicine. Despite being weak from the virus, the artist chose to paint.