KUWTT: Lacson fears P10-B vaccine overprice | July 14, 2021

Good day. Here are the top stories of The Manila Times for Wednesday, July 14, 2021.

READ: Lacson fears P10-B vaccine overprice

SEN. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson has raised suspicion that there could be an overpricing of over P10 billion in the purchase of 89 million doses of vaccines worth about $1 billion. The senator was reacting to a report that the government has so far bought 89 million doses of vaccines against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). He noted that Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd earlier told senators during a hybrid hearing on the vaccine rollout that the average price of the vaccine is “P446 per dose.” With the purchase of 89 million doses, there could be an overpricing of P10.41 billion,” the senator pointed out.

READ: DoF to review jab prices – Duque

HEALTH Secretary Francisco Duque 3rd said the government will review the pricing of vaccines after Sen. Panfilo Lacson raised suspicions that these could have been overpriced. Duque told The Manila Times he will review the prices along with the Department of Finance, which negotiates the payment for the vaccines.

READ: ‘Delta variant spreading at scorching pace’

BANGKOK: Tedros Adhanom Ghe- breyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), has warned of the “devastating outbreaks” caused by the Delta variant of Covid-19, saying that the new strain of the virus was infecting people “at a scorching pace.” Tedros said at a virtual press conference from Geneva that “after ten weeks of declines, deaths are increasing again.” The virus variant first identified in India in October 2020 is continuing to spread around the world and has now been detected in 104 countries, he said.

READ: 1 in 4 Filipinos prefer Sara– Pulse Asia

DAVAO City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio is the top bet of Filipinos for president, according to the June 2021 Ulat ng Bayan national survey by Pulse Asia Research Inc. The pollster said 28 percent of those surveyed said they would vote for Duterte-Carpio. She was followed by Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso at 14 percent, former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. at 13 percent, Sen. Mary Grace Poe at 10 percent, Sen. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao at 8 percent, Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo at 6 percent and Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson at 4 percent. Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte and Domagoso topped the list of preferred candidates for vice president at 18 percent and 14 percent, respectively.

READ: Economic managers positive on debt metrics

Topping Business, ECONOMIC managers remain optimistic about the country’s debt metrics despite Fitch Ratings’ negative view on the Philippines’ investment-grade credit rating. Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd said that the national government debt, as a proportion of gross domestic product (GDP), is expected to settle at a still-manageable level of 58.7 percent this year. Fitch observed in its most recent rating action comments that the country’s general government (GG) deficit widened to 5.4 percent of GDP in 2020, up from 1.7 percent in 2019, due to increasing Covid relief spending and poor GDP growth.

READ: Pacquiao camp slams WBA

In Sports,THE camp of Filipino boxing icon and Sen. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao cried foul over the World Boxing Association’s (WBAs) denial of the sole eight-division world champion’s request to reinstate him as its super welterweight champion. In January this year, the WBA stripped Pacquiao of his championship belt due to his inactivity in boxing. He last fought in July 2019 when he defeated American champion Keith Thurman. The WBA relegated Pacman as “champion in recess” and promoted Yordenis Ugas of Cuba as “regular champion” in the division.

READ: Pandemic worsens global hunger – UN

In World news, ROME: The United Nations on Monday (Tuesday in Manila) lamented a “dramatic worsening” of world hunger last year, saying much of that is likely connected to the pandemic and it urged billions of dollars to save millions of people from starving. A report issued jointly by five UN agencies said hunger outpaced population growth in 2020 with nearly 10 percent of all people estimated to be undernourished. It said the sharpest rise in hunger came in Africa, where 21 percent of the people – 282 million – are estimated to be undernourished. UN Secretary General António Guterres said the new “tragic data” shows that between 720 million and 811 million people in the world faced hunger last year – as many as 161 million more than in 2019.

READ: Opinion and Editorial

RIGOBERTO Tiglao and Marlen Ronquillo are today’s front page columnists. Tiglao likens the support of the US for the Philippines’ “arbitration victory” to its “weapons of mass destruction” lie while Ronquillo tackles the DepEd shooting the truth-telling messenger.

In its Editorial, the Times calls a proposal by the Department of Trade and Industry to form a technical committee that would “develop the Philippine National Standards (PNS) on popular Filipino dishes such as adobo, sinigang, lechon and sisig” a tasteless idea. Read the full version on the paper’s Opinion section or its digital edition.

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This is Christian Crow Maghanoy reporting.

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