Omicron may be driving spike in COVID infections – DOH

The Department of Health said that there is a high possibility of local transmission of the Omicron variant because of the sharp increase in cases. For consecutive days, DOH has reported more than 4,000 new infections. In a statement by Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, she said that other countries had trends that had cases double every two days and …

Metro Manila to restrict movements, activities of unvaccinated

Metro Manila mayors have agreed to pass local ordinances that will restrict the movements of unvaccinated people in the National Capital Region while under Alert Level 3 or higher. The local legislation will restrict people to their homes and will ban them from malls, restaurants, and public areas. MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos said that the mayors of Metro Manila have …

PGH may transfer, refer non-COVID patients if infections rise further

The Philippine General Hospital (PGH) is eyeing the transfer or non-acceptance of non-COVID-19 patients if the demand for more hospital beds for COVID-infected patients increases. PGH spokesperson Dr. Jonas del Rosario said the hospital initially had 350 beds for COVID patients, but they later on converted this when infections in the country went down in the latter part of last …

Over 50 million persons in PH fully vaccinated vs COVID-19 — Galvez

According to vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., the number of individuals who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 has breached the 50 million marks. The tally is four million short of the government’s target of fully inoculating 54 million people by the end of 2021. Galvez said the target can be met by the first or second week of January …

DOT chief livid over hotels selling ‘absentee-quarantine’ packages

The Department of Tourism is cracking down on hotels in Metro Manila that are allowing what has now been dubbed as “absentee quarantine” of returning overseas Filipinos or balikbayans. Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat said that she personally warned the owner of a prominent hotel in Paranaque which has been allegedly selling absentee quarantine packages. Under said deals, the guests …

Comelec holds mock elections in 34 barangays

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) started to conduct mock elections in 34 barangays nationwide. COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez said that they are already ready for this with ballots and vote counting machines already delivered to designated polling sites. In a statement, he said that there would be a maximum of 800 voters per precinct with some locations going as low …

PH population growth lowest in 75 years

According to the Commission on Population and Development (Popcom), the Philippine population is projected to increase by merely 0.3% or 324,000 in 2021. In a statement, they said that this increase is the lowest since the period between 1949 and 1947, when the population grew by 254,000. Popcom executive director Dr. Juan Perez III explained that this was the result …

PH lifts ban on open-pit mining

The Philippines has lifted the nationwide ban on open-pit mining, reversing the order put in place by the late and former Environment Secretary Regina Paz Lopez to “protect the environment.” According to Jim Sampulna, the Environment Undersecretary for Enforcement, Mining, and Muslim Affairs said DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu already signed the Administrative Order to give the go signal. Essentially the …