Duterte, Xi call for ‘win-win’ cooperation on 46th anniversary of PH-China ties

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 10, 2021   •   343

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping both call for a “win-win” cooperation in commemoration of the 46th anniversary of Philippine-China relations.

The Philippine President expressed his gratitude for  China’s assistance to the Philippines in the face of challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Philippine-China economic ties are of course the dynamic force that will continue to drive or bilateral relations forward,” Duterte told Xi in a statement.

“I am confident that my Administration’s Build Build Build program together with the Belt and Road Initiative, will reap long-term benefits for our peoples,” he added.

Meanwhile, in a letter addressed to Duterte, the Chinese president acknowledged that in recent years, with concerted efforts of both sides, Philippine- China relations have remained “healthy and stable.”

“I attach great significance to the development of China-Philippines relations, and stand ready to work with you in guiding our bilateral relations to move forward in a sustained and steady manner, so as to achieve greater win-win results and mutual benefits,” Xi said. AAC

 

DOH says delay in reporting of new COVID-19 deaths due to tech issues

Robie de Guzman   •   September 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The reporting of deaths due to COVID-19 in the past three days was delayed due to technical issues, the Department of Health (DOH) said Tuesday.

In a press briefing, DOH Epidemiology Bureau director Dr. Alethea de Guzman said the COVIDKaya system encountered technical problems that prevented the encoding of data and validation process of deaths for three consecutive days.

“The reason provided to us was that the server already reached its capacity,” De Guzman said.

She said the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is working on identifying sustainable solutions to expand the server capacity to avoid downtimes.

“Right now, the DICT is trying to identify what will be the immediate fixes para po lumaki ang server capacity natin and longer-term, more sustainable fixes para we don’t experience these downtimes frequently,” she said.

The DOH uses the COVIDKaya system to handle, receive, and process bulk data from the COVID-19 Document Repository System (CDRS).

De Guzman said the agency extracts data from the system that goes through necessary processes in preparation for deduplication, and tagging of duplicates, which will then be reconciled to the original entry before being dropped from the linelist.

The deduplicated linelist is further checked for consistency and validity of case information then they generate the data drop, which is used to update the COVID-19 tracker.

When the COVIDKaya system went down, De Guzman said the DOH had to manually extract the data from the repository system in order to provide daily updates on the COVID-19 cases except for deaths.

She, however, assured that the glitch in the COVIDKaya System will not impact the assessment on COVID-19 situation in the Philippines and the responses being implemented.

“Dito naman sa alert level system natin, ang metrics na ginamit natin ay yung dami ng kaso and the healthcare utilization. Yung healthcare utilization—- it is a different information system,” she said.

“When it comes to case data, hindi siya naapektuhan kasi may access pa rin tayo sa CDRS, which is where we get the number of new cases. So nakakapag compute pa rin tayo kung ilan ang bagong kaso, ano yung two-week growth rate, and average daily attack rate,” she added.

After reporting zero deaths for three consecutive days, the DOH on Monday reported 93 deaths, raising the death toll to 37,494.

The DOH said that backlog deaths will be reported in separate advisories.

Duterte on Senate probe into Pharmally: ‘More than martial law’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday called the Senate order to detain Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corporation director Linconn Ong as “more than martial law”.

In his weekly talk to the nation aired Monday night (September 27), Duterte criticized the Senate’s “intimidation” tactics in its investigation on government transactions with Pharmally.

Akala ko ba ayaw ng mga taong Pilipinas ng martial law? Tingnan mo ang ginagawa ng Senado ngayon, (I thought the Philippines does not like martial law? Look at what the Senate is doing now), it is just more than a martial law,” he said.

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chaired by Senator Richard Gordon has ordered Ong’s detention after citing the latter for contempt for allegedly evading questions regarding Pharmally’s P8 billion worth of transactions with the government. Ong was supposed to be transferred to the Pasay City Jail.

Duterte said the Senate panel is not really looking for answers but expecting specific replies from summoned resource persons.

Kung ayaw ninyo ang sagot, magagalit kayo tapos you threaten (If you don’t like the answer you will get mad and threaten) you will—’We will cite you in contempt and we can detain you forever.’ Is that how a civilized Congress works? Takutan ba ito (Is this intimidation),” he said.

“Do not blame him because that is his truth. You just cannot assume altogether that he is lying. That would be a cockeyed view of what a hearing should be,” he added.

Duterte also wondered what the human rights advocates have to say regarding the issue.

“So ang Human Rights, gusto kong marinig kung ano rin ang sinasabi (I also want to know what they have to say). The Constitution really provides that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. Is there a due process of law if you already have the preconceived answer? And if it does not dovetail your frame of mind, you send him to jail?” he asked.

The president addressed Senator Richard Gordon anew during his speech, telling him to “try to be a lawyer and not a despot.”

“You are not the king of Congress. Please do it for the sake of you, your family, and for the country,” he said. AAC

PH logs 18,449 new COVID-19 cases

Robie de Guzman   •   September 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines on Monday recorded 18,449 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the country’s total to 2,509,177, the Department of Health (DOH) said.

Of the new cases, the DOH said that 17,953 were reported from Sept. 14 to 27.

The top regions with cases in the recent two weeks were National Capital Region (NCR) with 3,060 or 17%, Region 4-A with 2,465 or 14%, and Region 3 with 1,922 or 11% , it added.

Of the nationwide total, 158,169 cases are active – 78.7 percent of which are mild, 3.42 percent are moderate, 15.3 percent are asymptomatic, 1.7 percent are severe, and 0.8 percent are in critical condition.

Total recoveries climbed to 2,313,412 after 21,811 more patients recuperated from the disease.

The DOH also reported 93 new fatalities, raising the death toll to 37,494.

The agency noted in its bulletin that backlog deaths will be reported in separate advisories.

The DOH also said that 130 duplicates were removed from the total case count, while 227 cases previously tagged as recoveries have been validated to be active cases.

Some 117 cases that were previously tagged as recoveries were reclassified as deaths after final validation, it added.

The DOH said two laboratories failed to submit data on time.

Data from the agency also showed a positivity rate of 23.5 percent out of the 68,678 tests reported on Sept. 25.

The DOH said that ICU beds allotted for COVID-19 patients are 75 percent occupied nationwide, and 77 percent in the NCR.

Ventilators allotted for COVID-19 cases are 54 percent in use nationwide, and 58 percent in the NCR.

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