China Grants First COVID-19 Vaccine Patent to Domestic Candidate

Chinese authorities have granted the first invention patent to a domestically developed COVID-19 vaccine candidate, which experts said enhances the international market’s trust in Chinese-developed coronavirus vaccines and demonstrates the vaccine’s originality and creativity. The vaccine is co-developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical firm CanSino Biologics and a team led by Chinese military infectious disease expert Chen Wei. According to a document …

NFA Rice Inventory Stands at 7 Million Bags

The current rice inventory of the National Food Authority stands at only seven million bags due to huge demand from local governments units and relief agencies amid the coronavirus lockdown. Despite the thin inventory, NFA administrator Judy Dansal said there is no reason to worry even as the lean season has already started. Dansal said, “Our current buffer stock, which …

Teachers Ride Boats, Climb Rocky Roads to Deliver Modules to Students

The Department of Education said public school teachers have been hard at work preparing for the opening of school year 2020-2021.This includes printing of learning modules and bringing these to students, DepEd Region 7 director Dr. Salustiano Jimenez said. In Sarangani, Davao Occidental, teachers even rode boats and traversed rocky paths just to reach remote areas and deliver the modules. …

France Plans Masks at Work Due to Rebound in COVID-19 Cases

France is proposing masks be worn in shared work spaces as it grapples with a rebound in COVID-19 cases. The health ministry reported 3,310 new infections, marking a post-lockdown high for the fourth day in a row. The number of clusters being investigated increased by 17 to 252. The resurgence prompted Britain to impose a 14-day quarantine for arrivals from …

Thailand’s Economy Shrinks Sharpest Since Asian Financial Crisis

Thailand’s economy saw its biggest annual contraction in 22 years and a record fall in the April to June period as the coronavirus pandemic and restriction measures hit tourism, exports and domestic activity, prompting an outlook downgrade. Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy, which is heavily reliant on tourism and exports, shrank by 12.2 percent in the second quarter from a year …

Part of Fuga Island Allotted for PH Navy Base

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority to set aside a portion of Fuga Island in Cagayan province for use as a Philippine Navy base. On August 10, Navy chief Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo said the President ordered the allocation of 20 hectares on the strategically-located island “for a naval detachment.” Juan Ponce Enrile, former senator and …

Obama Criticizes Trump for Discouraging People From Voting

Former US President Barack Obama last Friday criticized President Donald Trump for “trying to discourage people from voting” in the presidential election in November, as Trump attempts to “kneecap” the U.S. Postal Service. Obama commented on Trump’s opposition to providing extra funding for the Postal Service to facilitate extensive mail-in voting amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He said, “What we’ve seen, …

BIR: 59% Drop in Cigarette Tax Stamps Due to Lockdown

The Bureau of Internal Revenue saw a record double-digit drop in the issuance of tax stamps for cigarettes from March to June this year due to coronavirus lockdown measures in place during the period, according to the Department of Finance. The DOF said the BIR released 537 million cigarette tax stamps worth 18.88 billion pesos during four months of community …

ADB Pushes For Investments in Transportation Systems

The Asian Development Bank is pushing for investments in transportation systems that use new technologies to adopt to social distancing and increased take-up of non-motorized transport amid the coronavirus pandemic. In its new report titled “Guidance Note on COVID-19 and Transport in Asia and the Pacific,” the multilateral bank said future investments in transportation among developing countries in Asia should …