The ANC Brief: Empty boast?


Posted at Aug 14 2020 05:01 AM

We will have to wait for a little longer for that vaccine from our Russian comrades. Here are the stories making the headlines on ANC today:

Spin mode
The Philippines and Russia are planning to start running Phase 3 testing for the Russian vaccine from October 2020 until March next year. President Duterte earlier said that we could return to normal by December. Was this an empty boast? The Palace went on spin mode and said a COVID-free Christmas is still possible. 

Remote possibilities
The number of COVID-19 cases in the country is still rising and closing in on 150,000. But Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said there is a "remote possibility" Metro Manila, with the highest number of cases in the country, might downshift to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ). President Duterte is set to announce new quarantine clarifications soon.

Falsified claims
Some senators have called for the suspension of Philippine Health Insurance Corp.'s (PhilHealth) Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM). This the system that allows the payment of health services given by accredited health institutions for the treatment of Philhealth beneficiaries. Marikina Rep. Stella Quimbo said PhilHealth lost P15 billion in falsified pneumonia claims.

Mobility issues
Management of LRT 1 said they will defer firing a bulk of their employees for now. Also, officials and cycling advocates are set to hold a press conference on bike lanes on EDSA. Hopefully this doesn't turn into a mere photo opportunity.

Safety reminders
Health experts including former DoH secretary Esperanza Cabral and Dr. Benedict Co have apprehensions and warnings about the planned participation of Filipinos in the Russian vaccine trials.