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Kusug, Partido Barug, Partido Panaghiusa to unify for 2022 elections

Cebu Sun.Star - 1 hour 50 min ago

Three of the biggest political parties in Cebu will unite for the future of the Queen City of the South.

Cebu City Acting Mayor Michael Rama, City Councilor Raymond Garcia, and former City Councilor Jose "Joey" Daluz III have agreed to merge and unify as one for the 2022 National and Local elections.

On Wednesday night, September 22, a photo was posted by Councilor Garcia showing the three together with the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino who raised their hands.

Secretary Dino revealed that the three parties will unify in the upcoming elections to get a landslide victory in favor of the candidates in their line-up.

The Secretary said that under the unified party, Rama will run for Mayor, Garcia will be his running mate while Daluz will be the unified party’s campaign manager.

In June of this year, Rama said that they will "only have one enemy" referring to the party of the former Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña of the Bando Osmeńa Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK).

In the same month, Kusug named their officials which includes Garcia as president; Cebu City Councilor Jerry Guardo as vice president for the north district; Cebu City Legal Officer Rey Gealon as vice president for the south district; Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera as secretary-general; Mayor Edgardo Labella as deputy secretary-general; Cebu City Councilor Niña Mabatid as auditor; local school board chairman Raddy Diola as treasurer; and former Apas barangay captain Ramil Ayuman as PRO.

Kugi Uswag Sugbo or Kusug is a political party founded by former Mayor Alvin Garcia which was launched in June 2021.

Partido Barug, which is commonly known as BARUG, is another political party founded by Rama. Barug has been affiliated with PDP-Laban since 2018.

Meanwhile, Partido Panaghiusa, which was revived by Daluz, was organized by his late mother, broadcaster Nenita "Inday Nita" together with late Cebu City Councilor Antonio Cuenco and the late Senator John Henry "Sonny" Osmeña.

Although the three political leaders have expressed their unity in the upcoming elections, they have yet to announce the names of their official slate.

The Commission on Elections has set the schedule for the filing of the certificates of candidacy from October 1 to October 8. (PR)

Categories: Philippines News

Go backs limited use of face shields

Philippines Star - 11 hours 24 min ago
Sen. Bong Go has expressed his support for a proposal to limit the use of face shields to only high-risk activities, saying government should strike a balance between safety and comfort and economic considerations when recalibrating its COVID-19 pandemic policies.
Categories: Philippines News

House seeks extension of voters’ registration

Philippines Star - 11 hours 24 min ago
The House of Representatives yesterday pushed for the extension of voters’ registration up to Oct. 31.
Categories: Philippines News

Senate panel OKs P8 billion budget of OP

Philippines Star - 11 hours 24 min ago
The Senate finance committee swiftly passed yesterday the proposed P8.1-billion budget of the Office of the President despite repeated attacks on the chamber by President Duterte over senators’ investigation into alleged corruption in his administration.
Categories: Philippines News

Duterte urges wealthy nations to act vs climate change

Philippines Star - 11 hours 24 min ago
President Duterte yesterday reminded wealthy nations of their “moral obligation” to support actions to mitigate the effects of climate change.
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DOH prioritizes teachers’ vaccination for in-person classes

Philippines Star - 11 hours 24 min ago
The Department of Health has agreed to prioritize the vaccination of teachers in areas selected for the pilot resumption of face-to-face classes in the country.
Categories: Philippines News

Gordon sees no wrong with giving PDAF to PRC

Philippines Star - 11 hours 24 min ago
Sen. Richard Gordon yesterday confirmed that he infused a portion of his congressional allocation to the Philippine Red Cross more than 10 years ago, but stressed there was nothing irregular in the move.
Categories: Philippines News

Duterte slams ‘selfish’ nations on vaccines

Philippines Star - 11 hours 24 min ago
President Duterte lambasted yesterday rich countries over their “selfish” plan to give COVID-19 booster shots to their citizens as many poor nations suffer from an uneven distribution of the life-saving jabs.
Categories: Philippines News

Duterte limits use of face shields to 'closed, crowded' areas

Philippines Times - Wed, 2021-09-22 23:41

MANILA - Filipinos are no longer required to wear face shields outdoors, President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Wednesday.

Duterte made the pronouncement, as he approved the recommendation of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to limit the use of face shields to the so-called "3Cs," which ref

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DILG exec recommends wearing vax cards outdoors like IDs

Philippines Times - Wed, 2021-09-22 23:19

MANILA - An official of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday has recommended the wearing of the vaccination cards like IDs when going to public places.

At the Laging Handa media briefing, DILG Undersecretary Martin Dino, who was once a barangay captain himself,

Categories: Philippines News

3rd batch of cases filed V. Casas in 2021

Cebu Sun.Star - Wed, 2021-09-22 22:38

CEBU City Administrator Floro Casas Jr. is facing criminal and administrative complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas for alleged irregular expenditures and transactions which he entered into on behalf of the City.

The case involves the alleged overpriced rentals of vehicles for the City’s free ride service program for health frontliners during the suspension of public transportation between March to November 2020 amid the raging Covid-19 pandemic.

In a 29-page complaint-affidavit filed before the Ombudsman-Visayas on Sept. 21, 2021, the complainants, Cebu City residents Nicaster Elim Lumacad and Andrew Jacalan Lumapguid, accused Casas of the following:

--Violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act (RA) 3019 for allegedly causing undue injury to the Cebu City Government and the public through evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence;

--Violation of Section 3(g) of RA 3019 for entering, on behalf of Cebu City, into alleged irregular and unconscionable rental contracts with several suppliers that are manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the City;

--Violation of Section 4(a) of RA 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees for allegedly wasting public funds, and

--Grave misconduct, serious dishonesty, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service as penalized by RA 6770 or the Ombudsman Act of 1989.

These complaints stemmed from Casas’ transactions, on behalf of Cebu City, when he rented a total of 373 vans and jeepneys worth P48,902,000 for the free ride service.

Casas rented 278 passenger vans for a total amount of P37,834,500 (P5,500 each per day) and 95 passenger jeepneys for a total amount of P11,062,500 (P2,500 each per day) covering a continuous period of not less than nine months.

The procurement date for the van rentals, the complainants said, was from March 26, 2020, starting with 20 units of vans, until Nov. 13, 2020.

The rental period for the passenger jeepneys was from July 15, 2020 (starting with seven units) until Sept. 3, 2020.

The complainants said this was overpriced as they learned that the City Government of Lapu-Lapu, during the same period, also rented passenger vans, but only for P2,166.67 each per day.

Sought for comment, Casas in a phone interview on Wednesday, Sept. 22, said the transactions were in line with the procurement process.

“Niagi man na og canvass ug procurement process. Emergency purchase na siya, but even if emergency purchase na siya miagi gihapon na siya og canvass (It went through canvass. It was an emergency purchase but even if it was an emergency purchase, it passed through canvass),” Casas said.

“Di man g’yod mi mahadlok sa among mga procurements kay kana siya nga procurement, mi go through man g’yod na siya sa atong procurement process in accordance to the procurement law. Wala ra siguro nay lingaw ang nagsige og file-file og case against namo (We are really not scared of our procurements because this procurement went through the procurement process in accordance with the procurement law. Maybe that person who keeps on filing a case against us has nothing better to do),” Casas added.

Casas said he has yet to receive a copy of the complaint.

Lumacad and Lumapguid also questioned why there was a need to rent numerous vehicles when the City owns several government vehicles.

Delayed salaries

“If these amounts that respondent Casas spent did not take time to be released, why is it that the salaries of the 98 job-order nurses of the Cebu City Quarantine Center were delayed,” reads a portion of the complaint.

This is the third batch of cases filed against Casas this year, 2021.

Earlier this month, radio commentator Arturo Barrit lodged a complaint against Casas and other officials of the Cebu City Government before the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 over the P19.5 million packed meals bought from a food caterer allegedly “favored” by the City.

Also this month, businessman Crisologo Saavedra filed a complaint at the NBI against Casas, Cebu City Attorney Rey Gealon, and six members of the Bids and Awards Committee for alleged anomalies in the bidding of the second phase of the City’s modern traffic lights and CCTV projects.

Categories: Philippines News

Sputnik V arrives in Cebu City

Cebu Sun.Star - Wed, 2021-09-22 22:38

A TOTAL of 5,100 doses of Gamaleya’s Sputnik V vaccine second component arrived in Cebu City on Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021, said Jeffrey Ibones, Cebu City Health Office officer-in-charge.

Ibones said the vaccines will be used to inoculate those who had been waiting for their second dose.

“We appeal to our brothers and sisters to wait for their schedule because we plan to administer all of these doses in just three days,” Ibones said on Wednesday in a mix of Cebuano and English.

He said they intend to start the inoculation of the second dose of Sputnik V vaccine at the Noah facility on Thursday, Sept. 23, while the inoculation at the University of Cebu Junior High School campus in Alcantara will begin on Friday, Sept. 24.

Ibones said by the end of the week, all of the additional Sputnik vaccines will be administered.

Aside from Sputnik V, a total of 8,000 doses of Pfizer vaccines were also allocated for Cebu City.

Ibones said they will use the Pfizer vaccines possibly starting next week.

He said they will have to discuss the guidelines for Pfizer, though, as initially, there was information from the Department of Health (DOH) that Pfizer vaccines should not be used for walk-in vaccinations.

‘Safe zone’

In a separate interview, Cebu City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) deputy chief implementer and Councilor Joel Garganera said of the 15 public and private hospitals in Cebu City, only one private hospital remains at the moderate level while the rest are already in the safe zone or within the 60 percent utilization rate.

“From the very start, this is the first time that our public hospitals are in the safety level. We are at 52.7 percent (critical care utilization rate),” Garganera said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

He attributed this to the implementation of the health protocols.

Garganera also said the city’s Covid-19 cases have dropped and for the last six days, there had been more asymptomatic than symptomatic cases.

He also said the positivity rate in Cebu City has gone down.

Of the more than 1,000 individuals tested for the Covid-19, only 66 yielded positive results, resulting in the city’s latest positivity rate of 6.26 percent, said Garganera.

The World Health Organization’s pandemic threshold for positivity rate is five percent.

He said since the situation at the city’s isolation facilities have also improved, this is the best time to recruit nurses and other medical frontliners.

Garganera said with all these developments, he is confident that the City’s quarantine status will also improve from general community quarantine (GCQ) to modified GCQ in October.

He said the EOC is also proposing to add the negative saliva test results as additional options for requirements of inbound travel to Cebu City.

They also plan to consider allowing fully vaccinated inbound travelers in Cebu City to present only their vaccination card in lieu of the present requirement — either a negative RT-PCR test result valid for 72 hours or a negative antigen test result valid for 48 hours from departure date.

This as an incentive to those who are fully vaccinated.

“We have to hear our medical experts. We are weighing all possibilities,” he said. (WBS)

Categories: Philippines News

Mandaue City VOC holds vaccine registration for market vendors

Cebu Sun.Star - Wed, 2021-09-22 22:36

TO ENHANCE the protection of market vendors, the Mandaue City Vaccination Operations Center (VOC) conducted a vaccination registration exclusively for the market vendors and helpers on the second floor of the Mandaue City Public Market on Sept. 22, 2021.

There are 64 market vendors, helpers and porters who registered for the market vaccination.

The schedule of the vaccination of these registered market vendors and helpers is on Thursday, Sept. 23.

Edgar Seno, head of Market Authority, said there are almost 300 market vendors and helpers in the Mandaue City Public Market who are vaccinated.

There are about 3,000 market vendors and helpers in the market.

With this data, Seno said they convened with the market vendor leaders to know the concerns of the vendors with regard to the vaccination.

Seno said the vendors told them that they are afraid to get vaccinated because of the possible adverse effects that they will experience after getting the jab.

He said they conducted an information drive among the vendors with a video presentation from the Mandaue City VOC showing the benefits of the Covid-19 vaccines.

In an interview, one of the vendors named Maria Arlina Feguron told Sunstar Cebu that she had just recently registered for the vaccination because of the opportunity that was given to them.

She had not registered for the vaccination prior to it as she did not have time to go to a vaccination site.

With this opportunity, Feguron said she can finally have herself vaccinated as the vaccination will be held at the market.

On Sept. 23, Seno said they will continue to register the market vendors who failed to do so on Sept. 22.

He said the registration and vaccination will be simultaneously conducted on Sept. 23.

Those who registered on Sept. 22 will be prioritized in the vaccination, said Seno. (KFD)

Categories: Philippines News

Cyclists allowed to cross third bridge for free

Cebu Sun.Star - Wed, 2021-09-22 22:34

CYCLISTS will have an opportunity to cross Cebu’s third Mactan bridge free of charge.

This after officials of the Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corp. (CCLEC) said they will be establishing a bike lane at the third bridge, which is the Cebu Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX).

But Allan Alfon, CCLEC president and general manager, told SunStar Cebu that they are still coming up with operational procedures for cyclists who will be using the third bridge in certain weather conditions.

On its official Facebook page, CCLEX disclosed that it will establish a 1.5-meter pedestrian and bike lane on both sides of the third bridge.

But while cyclists are free to cross the CCLEX, Alfon said they are now in the process of finalizing a toll fee for drivers of motorcycles with below 400 cubic capacity (cc).

Alfon said motorcycle drivers will be required to pay a toll fee lower than that for standard big motorcycles and four-wheeled vehicles.

According to an earlier report, CCLEX’s toll fees would be P85 for class A vehicles, P160 for class B vehicles and P300 for huge trucks.

Alfon said CCLEX had an original length of 8.5 kilometers, but they decided to extend this up to 8.9 kilometers or an extension before the entry from Cordova to Cebu City.

Alfon said they will be able to secure a substantial 90 to 95 percent completion of CCLEX by the end of the year.

The third bridge is scheduled to be fully completed by the first quarter of next year.

Alfon said the are currently working on the Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) since they would not accept cash payments from the users or commuters if CCLEX will be fully operational.

As of this time, Alfon said they will market the stickers and the radio-frequency identification card (RFID) in which loads can be accessed through E-wallet. (MVE)

Categories: Philippines News

2nd isolation facility opens in Lapu-Lapu City

Cebu Sun.Star - Wed, 2021-09-22 22:34

The isolation facility at Mactan National High School

is the second one established by the City

A PUBLIC high school in Barangay Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City was converted into a 260-bed isolation facility for the city’s Covid-19 patients.

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan and other city officials formally inaugurated the City’s new isolation facility at the Mactan National High School (MNHS) on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2021.

The isolation facility at MNHS is the second one established by the City.

The city’s first isolation facility is at the Lapu-Lapu City College (LLCC) campus where they can accept around 206 patients.

Chan told reporters that the facility established at the MNHS will serve as a temporary treatment and monitoring facility (TTMF) and will accept mild, moderate and asymptomatic Covid-19 patients.

“The facility has its own kitchen. Compared to our first isolation facility, we have staff on site that can prepare freshly cooked food for those who are being isolated at our TTMF facility in Mactan,” Chan told reporters.

Andy Berame, who will serve as manager of the TTMF facility at the MNHS, said they also have two doctors, two nurses, three nursing aides, one medical technician and 13 utility workers who will be assigned at the facility.

Aside from the two doctors assigned at the facility, they also have one standby doctor that they can call in case of emergencies.

Earlier, Lapu-Lapu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (LLCDRRMO) head Nagiel Banacia announced the opening of a second isolation facility at the MNHS after its first isolation facility at the LLCC had already reached full capacity. (GCM / JKV)

Categories: Philippines News

City to release 3-month cash aid for seniors

Cebu Sun.Star - Wed, 2021-09-22 22:33

THE Cebu City Government will release another set of cash assistance for senior citizens on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021.

The P3,000 cash aid to be given this Saturday will represent the cash allocations for the months of July, August and September.

The cash aid will be given through house-to-house distribution as a way to protect senior citizens from getting infected with Covid-19.

Just before he left for his medical leave, Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella signed Executive Order (EO) 144 on Monday, Sept. 20, authorizing the City to conduct the distribution of cash aid for senior citizens.

In his EO, Labella tasked the city’s Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (Osca), Department of Social Welfare Services and the City Treasurer’s Office to facilitate the distribution of the cash assistance.

Labella also requested the local police and even the Armed Forces of the Philippines to assist city personnel in distributing the cash aid in the city’s 80 barangays.

Still entitled

Senior citizens who died within the months of July, August and September are still entitled to the city’s cash aid.

Labella encouraged senior citizens in the City to prepare their identification cards issued by Osca, to wear a face mask and to bring their own pen once they will claim the cash assistance. (PAC / JKV)

Categories: Philippines News

Argentine star Luis Scola retires from playing basketball

Philippines Times - Wed, 2021-09-22 21:13

ISTANBUL - Luis Scola has decided to retire from basketball, the Argentine Basketball Confederation announced on Tuesday.

"Farewell to a legend was confirmed. A 22-year career in the National Team, with 22 tournaments, 173 games and 2857 points. An immense career that made us better and fille

Categories: Philippines News

Senate bill extending voter registration until October 31 approved on 2nd reading

Philippines Star - Wed, 2021-09-22 21:05
The Senate on Wednesday approved on second reading a bill seeking to extend the voter registration period by a month, moving the looming September 30, 2021, deadline to October 31, 2021. 
Categories: Philippines News

Phivolcs to launch 1st cluster hub for earthquake, tsunami

Philippines Times - Wed, 2021-09-22 20:53

MANILA-The Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Institute of Volcanology and
Seismology (DOST-Phivolcs) will inaugurate its Mindanao Cluster Monitoring Center for Earthquake and Tsunami (PMCMCET) on Friday (Sept. 24) via Zoom.

The ceremony will be facilitated through the InfoSen

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Taliban ask to participate in UN General Assembly session

Philippines Times - Wed, 2021-09-22 20:47

UNITED NATIONS - The Taliban has sent a letter to the United Nations requesting to attend General Assembly meetings and fielded spokesman Suhail Shaheen as a candidate for UN ambassador.

Amid disputes over who will represent Afghanistan at the international body, the Taliban said in the lette

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