The Duterte administration is sending a former special envoy to the Middle East to oversee the evacuation of Filipinos. Here are the big stories making the headlines on ANC today:
De-escalate and negotiate
The Philippines is taking steps to pull out overseas Filipino workers from Iraq and Iran after Tehran launched airstrikes against US forces in Iraq. The government is sending 2 battalions to help in the repatriation. Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu is going to the Middle East to facilitate the repatriation. There are also calls from the international community for the US and Iran to de-escalate and negotiate.
The tensions in the region are sparking concerns over our oil supply. Combined with new excise taxes for fuel in the pipeline, oil prices are likely to jump and affect consumer prices. Oil prices surged after the US assassinated a top Iranian general. Prices stabilized after that but spiked again when Iran launched an air strike.
Government officials and allies of President Duterte came down hard on Vice President Leni Robredo after she said the war on drugs has been a massive failure. The PNP rattled off its own version of the data on the drug war. But Robredo said she got her own data from the PNP itself. So if her data is wrong, Robredo said, she was fed the wrong data. In any case, she is seeking unified data on government drug war.
An inter-agency task force composed of the departments of tourism, environment and national resources and interior and local government is set to visit Baguio City to conduct inspections. The inspections will be the basis for discussions on the problems of Baguio City, like too much tourism and a host of environmental problems. This could lead to a rehabilitation effort by government similar to Boracay.
Fire Down Under
Fire continues to ravage Australia, and horrifying images coming out from the country continue to haunt everyone's feeds. ANCX asks: Is there still something that can be done, and how far off is the Philippines from such a disaster?