Russia eyes establishing a pharma facility in PH for COVID-19, Duterte says

Marje Pelayo   •   October 15, 2020   •   560

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday that Russia is planning to establish a pharmaceutical company in the Philippines for the manufacture of COVID-19 vaccine.

The President said he had a serious discussion on the said plan with outgoing Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev during the latter’s farewell courtesy call in Malacañang on October 14.

“I just had a talk with the ambassador of Russia, the outgoing, and we had a serious one-on-one talk. He said Russia is coming in. They want to establish here, gagawa sila ng pharmaceutical and vaccine papasok,” the President said.

He reiterated his preference to source the COVID-19 vaccine from either China or Russia once available.

He added that the government has already secured enough budget for the purchase of the initial batch of vaccines, although an additional amount is still needed to cover for the vaccination of the entire Filipino population.

“ I have the money already for the vaccine, but hahanap pa ako ng maraming pera because you know there are 130 million Filipinos and to me ideally, all should have the vaccine without exception,” Duterte said. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

House to fast-track 5 priority bills when session resumes

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The House of Representatives will fast-track five priority bills as the session resumes next week, according to House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco.

“We will do our best to help the President fulfill all his promises to the Filipino people,” he said.

Among the priority bills to be passed include:

1. Philippine Virology Institute Bill
2. Center for Disease Control Bill
3. Amendments to the Continuing Professional Development Act of 2016
4. Bureau of Immigration Modernization Bill
5. National Housing Development Bill

Lawmakers aim to pass the Philippine Virology Institute Bill amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.  The bill proposes to create a research and development institute under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). The institute, to be called the Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines shall serve as the premier research and development institute in the field of virology.

The Center for Disease Control Bill aims to create an agency that would focus on preventing and managing the spread of diseases and other health threats in the country and abroad.

The bill amending the “Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Act of 2016”, on the other hand, requires the CPD as the mandatory requirement for the renewal of a Professional Identification Card.

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) Modernization Bill aims to make the BI more responsive to the challenges and developments of migration and immigration.

The National Housing Development Bill is set to provide continuous funding support for a large-scale pro-poor housing program in the country.

Velasco also hopes that the Senate approves the proposed Internet Transaction Act and the creation of the Department of Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Workers which was already approved by the lower house.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives said it is already prepared for President Rodrigo Duterte’s last State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday (July 26).

House of Representatives Secretary-General Mark Llandro Mendoza said around 300 lawmakers will be allowed to physically attend the SONA.

Karamihan mga deputy speakers natin, former speakers darating din, sa mga senators natin, I think mga 10 ata ang nag-confirm na (Most of our deputy speakers, former speakers, and senators. I think 10 already confirmed),” he said. AAC

Duterte on Pacquiao’s corruption allegations: ‘I think he’s punch-drunk’

Marje Pelayo   •   July 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night lambasted Senator Manny Pacquiao  anew for alleging that billions of pesos have been lost to corruption in government agencies.

Pacquiao earlier alleged that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) failed to properly distribute P10 billion worth of financial aid from the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

“Mga kaibigan huwag kayong maniwala diyan,” Duterte said during his public address Monday night.

“Papayag ba naman ang [Commission on Audit]? Hindi lang iyan. Papayag ba kami? Papayag ba ang mga secretary ng mga departamento na ganun may mawala 10 billion? That is a statement coming from a guy who is punch-drunk, lasing,” he added.

Pacquiao claimed anomaly in the DSWD’s transaction with the digital wallet service provider Starpay Corporation.

The boxer-senator said he has evidence to prove that the program is missing P10 billion in SAP funds and that he will ask the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to investigate.

Both DSWD and Starpay have denied the allegations.

Pacquiao’s accusations came after President Duterte challenged him to prove his claims that corruption under the Duterte government has worsened.

The Chief Executive said the senator’s corruption claims are just part of a strategy given the latter’s obvious plan to take the highest position in the upcoming 2022 elections. MNP (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

Duterte gets second Sinopharm jab

Marje Pelayo   •   July 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte received his second dose of COVID-19 vaccine from Sinopharm on Monday night.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III administered the vaccine at Malacañang.

“I confirm that President Rodrigo Duterte had his second dose of Sinopharm tonight before his meeting with select members of the IATF. Secretary Duque administered the jab to the President,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

Images of the President getting the vaccine were posted by Senator Bong Go.

After two weeks, the Chief Executive will be considered fully vaccinated.

On May 3, 2021, Duterte received his first dose of Sinopharm jab, one of the 1,000 only doses given emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).


The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel) (General inquiries)


UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.