Palace hopeful US-PH ties to continue under Biden

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 21, 2021   •   338

Manila, Philippines — Malacañang on Thursday (January 21) said the Philippines’ foreign policy with the United States (US) will remain under the administration of US President Joe Biden.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said both countries have similar priorities, including the interest of the citizens.

“Ang ating relasyong panlabas pareho namang consistent ang ating polisiya. Ang president po ay isinusulong ang indipendienteng panlabas na relasyon na ang inuuna po ay interes ng ating bayan at sambayanang Pilipino. Ganoon din po ang mga Amerikano (Our policies are consistent with our foreign relations. The president is pushing for an independent foreign relation which prioritizes the interest of Filipinos. Americans are also the same),” he said.

Roque noted both countries are also prioritizing their own national interest and independence as a nation.

“Isusulong nila ang pang-nasyonal na interes at siyempre po ang pakikipagkaibigan pero ang mga bansa ang kinakailangang isulong, ang kani-kaniyang interes (They are pushing for their national interest and of course, foreign ties, but the countries have their own interests to pursue),” the Palace official added.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier on Thursday sent his congratulatory message to President Joe Biden for the latter’s inauguration.

“Our president, Rodrigo Duterte, sends his warmest greetings and his best wishes to the 46th president of the United States, Joseph “Joe” Biden and to his vice president Kamala Harris,” Roque announced.

Meanwhile, several political analysts said the Biden Administration might be more vocal regarding the human rights situation in the country, particularly the national government’s war against drugs. -AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte to visit areas affected by ‘Auring’—Palace

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte is set to visit areas affected by the onslaught of tropical depression Auring, Malacañang announced on Tuesday (February 23).

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles in an online briefing said the President wants to see firsthand the damage wrought by Auring and the situation of displaced residents. Duterte will visit the affected areas in the Caraga region accompanied by several members of the Cabinet.

Nograles reported that financial aid has already been given to the residents. He further assured that additional relief assistance will also be provided.

As of February 22, the number of families affected by Auring has reached 28,009. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Malacañang offers condolences on the passing of Bro. Eli Soriano

Robie de Guzman   •   February 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Friday expressed its condolences to the family, loved ones, friends, and followers of Bro. Eliseo “Eli” Soriano who passed away at the age of 73.

“Bro. Eli was a beloved preacher of Ang Dating Daan whose teachings touched the lives and served as guide to many,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

Brother Eli, a multi-awarded international evangelist, was the host of the longest-running religious program in the Philippines, “Ang Dating Daan” (The Old Path).

His death was confirmed in a statement issued by Members, Church of God International (MCGI) on Thursday.

“His dedication to propagate the words of God in the Bible was a clear testament of his steadfast love to serve his brethren and the Almighty,” Roque said.

“Our prayers go to Bro Eli as he may rest in eternal peace and happiness,” he added.

Brother Eli started his flagship program “Ang Dating Daan” in 1980. After years of challenges to find a permanent home, ADD and Bro. Eli’s other programs “Truth in Focus” and “Itanong mo kay Soriano” finally settled with UNTV on 2004.

He was forced to leave the Philippines in 2005 due to religious persecution. He settled in Brazil where he continued his global evangelization efforts.

He was known for his straightforward and courageous method of exposing errors in doctrines of various religious groups locally and abroad through his signature segment “Itanong Mo kay Soriano, Biblia ang Sasagot” – a non-scripted Bible Exposition being broadcasted live on TV and the internet where guests can ask impromptu questions which Bro. Eli answers with verses from the Scriptures.

Gov’t details priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination program

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines— Malacañang has released the government’s list of priority groups for its coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination program.

The Interim National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (iNITAG) adopted the priority population groups which include medical front liners on the top of the list, followed by senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities.

A1: Frontline workers in health facilities both national and local, private and public, health professionals and non-professionals like students, nursing aides, janitors, barangay health workers, etc.
A2: Senior citizens aged 60 years old and above
A3: Persons with comorbidities not otherwise included in the preceding categories
A4: Frontline personnel in essential sectors including uniformed personnel and those in working sectors identified by the IATF as essential during ECQ
A5: Indigent population not otherwise included in the preceding categories
B1: Teachers, Social Workers
B2: Other Government Workers
B3: Other essential workers
B4: Socio-demographic groups at significantly higher risk other than senior citizens and indigenous people
B5: Overseas Filipino Workers
B6: Other Remaining Workforce
C: Rest of the Filipino population not otherwise included in the above groups

For the first tranche of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine for healthcare workers will also be distributed to a) COVID-19 dedicated hospitals, b) COVID-19 referral hospitals, c) Department of Health-owned hospitals, d) Local government unit hospitals, e) Hospitals for uniformed services/personnel, and f) Private hospitals. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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