Good day. Here are the stories for The Manila Times for Friday, October 29, 2021.
As Covid-19 cases continue to dip, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Jose Maria “Joey”Concepcion 3rd and business owners called on the government to place the National Capital Region (NCR) under Alert Level 2 to help businesses recover. Metro Manila is currently under Alert Level 3, allowing a 50 percent capacity for outdoor operations and 30 percent for indoor activities in select establishments. Concepcion, who is also the founder of Go Negosyo, said that business sectors look forward to the further downgrading of the alert level, as this would allow them to expand their operations.
FORMER senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. led another noncommissioned presidential survey showing that the public sees him as their preferred presidential candidate in the 2022 national elections. Marcos is running for president under the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) banner. His camp on Thursday said the former lawmaker topped the survey conducted by the Issues and Advocacy Center or The Center from September 27 to October 8. Based on the nationwide survey conducted among 2,400 respondents, Marcos led the presidential race after securing 23.5 percent of the votes.
SEN. Richard “Dick” Gordon on Thursday raised suspicion that President Rodrigo Duterte’s former economic adviser, Chinese businessman Michael Yang, is a “spy” for Beijing. Gordon, chairman of the Senate blue ribbon committee, wondered why President Duterte kept on defending Pharmally executives and “someone named Michael Yang”. The senators questioned the decision of the Procurement Service-Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) to award over P9 billion worth of contracts to Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. despite having only P625,000 in paid-up capital.
Meanwhile, Gordon said executives of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. linked to the alleged overpriced medical supplies cannot invoke the Data Privacy Act in refusing to cooperate with the Senate, as the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee resumed its investigation of the alleged anomaly. He said Pharmally executives Linconn Ong, Mohit Dargani, Twinkle Dargani and former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang cannot hide behind Republic Act (RA) 10173 to evade questioning and in refusing to submit documents asked by the Senate.
THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is contemplating closing temporarily the Manila Bay dolomite beach for expansion, an official of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said. Interior undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a TV interview that there is a possibly that the controversial beach will be closed from All Saints’ Day “until such time” that the DENR has completed the expansion.
BUSINESS: Financial inclusion to drive growth
Topping business, financial inclusion will enable the vulnerable to step out of poverty, reduce inequality and help drive economic growth, a Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) official said. According to Land Bank senior vice president Randolph Monteza during The Manila Times’ anniversary forum, Let the Future Begin: Moving forward despite Covid-19, recent empirical evidence and a growing number of literature indicate that access to basic financial services like savings, credit, and insurance make a substantial positive impact on people’s lives.
In sports, former World Boxing Organization bantamweight champion Marlon “Nightmare” Tapales of Lanao del Norte will fight Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) super bantamweight champion Hiroaki Teshigawara of Japan on November 27 at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas in Nevada, USA. The bout will be an International Boxing Federation (IBF) super bantamweight world title eliminator as Tapales is rated No. 4 and Teshigawara is ranked No. 3. The 29-year-old Tapales has been training at the Brick House Gym and the Wild-card Gym in Los Angeles, California since July under coaches Ernil Fontanillia andLucas Sugar. Tapales said he is currently doing six rounds of sparring daily against different opponents in the two gyms.
READ: Opinion and editorial
Rigoberto Tiglao and Ruben Torres are today’s front page columnists. Tiglao believes it is the worst timing for an election for the opposition, while Torres discusses the workers’ agenda for the next administration.
Today’s editorial talks about challenges facing the COP26 climate summit. Read a full version on the paper’s opinion section or listen to the Voice of the Times.
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On behalf of The Manila Times, this is Aric John Sy Cua reporting. Have a safe Friday ahead.