KUWTT: Duterte can do more – lawmakers | July 26, 2021

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Good day. Here are the stories for The Manila Times for Monday, July 26, 2021.

READ: Duterte can do more – lawmakers

President Rodrigo Duterte has delivered on his economic agenda, but there is still “so much more” to accomplish in his last year in office, a lawmaker said. AAMBIS-OWA Rep. Sharon Garin, head of the House Committee on Economic Affairs, believes the President has been “very consistent in pursuing economic policies.” Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda, an economist, commended the Duterte administration for sticking to its economic agenda. But both lawmakers noted key fiscal and economic measures and programs deserve priority during the President’s remaining months in office. Among them are liberalization and tax packages. Garin and Salceda specifically mentioned the Public Service Act, Retail Trade Liberalization Act, Foreign Investments Act, and Real Property Valuation.

READ: Populist policies to define Duterte govt

The administration of President Rodrigo Duterte has implemented policies and programs that have had an impact on the lives of Filipinos. On the whole, Duterte can be said to have focused on implementing populist policies, political analyst and Albert del Rosario Institute for Strategic and International Studies chief Victor Andres “Dindo” Manhit said. These range from higher salaries for the military and police, a controversial anti-illegal drugs drive and the Malasakit Centers being established nationwide by staunch Duterte ally Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go. The passage of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, which made education free for those studying in state universities and colleges, is another example, Manhit said. But while good intentions may have driven approval of the free college education law, he said the government could have done better by focusing on selected state universities and strengthening post-secondary education institutions such as the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

READ: Concepcion: Delta threat calls for ‘bold moves’

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Jose Maria “Joey” Concepcion 3rd urged the government to take “bold moves” to blunt the spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19.

Concepcion, who is also the founder of Go Negosyo, made the statement after the Department of Health (DoH) reported 17 more cases of the Delta variant, bringing the total to 64 cases. In a meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), medical experts, and private sector leaders, Concepcion proposed that the government exert more pressure on people who continue to refuse vaccination.

READ: Lacson makes early election pitch

Making his first election pitch, Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson vowed if elected next year, he and Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto 3rd will not fail the people and will seek to restore trust in government. Lacson has announced he will run for president as an independent candidate, with Sotto, the chairman of the Nationalist People’s Coalition, as his running mate.

READ: Boxer Magno advances

In today’s Olympic update, Filipino boxer Irish Magno advanced to the next phase while rower Cris Nievarez and rifle shooter Jayson Valdez crashed out of medal contention in the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday. Magno put up a clinical performance as she defeated Kenyan Christine Ongare via unanimous decision in the women’s flyweight division round of 32 of the Tokyo Olympics at the Kokukigan Arena. Five judges scored 30-26, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27, and 30-37, respectively as Magno advanced to the round of 16. The two-time Southeast Asian Games silver medalist displayed great footwork and counterpunching to neutralize the aggressive Ongare and win the three-round bout. Some of Magno’s highlights came with 41 seconds left in the first round when she hit Ongare with a left straight; at the 2:48 mark of the second round when she unleashed and connected on a nifty counter right; and seconds before the last minute of the third round when Magno peppered Ongare with a flurry of punches.

READ: Heavy rains leave 3 dead, 5 injured

Days of torrential rain spawned by the southwest monsoon left three people dead and five injured in Luzon, the country’s disaster management agency reported Sunday. The monsoon has been enhanced by the slow-moving storm, “Fabian” (international name: In-fa), and has resulted in massive flooding. Ricardo Jalad, chief of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), said one of the fatalities is in the Cordillera Administrative Region, while the other two are in the Ilocos region. Jalad said a 39-year-old female died when a tree fell on her car in Kennon Road in Baguio City. Two of her companions were injured. In Barangay Tartarabang, Pinili town, Ilocos Norte, lightning killed a 35-year-old male farmer and a 15-year-old student. Three of their companions were injured, according to the NDRRMC report.

READ: ‘SONA should tackle recovery roadmap’

The Duterte administration has demonstrated it is capable of pursuing historic policies that will enhance the country’s fiscal and economic performance, analysts and business groups said. But with growth stalled because of the pandemic, they want President Rodrigo Duterte to spell out how the government plans to win the war against the virus with just one year left to his term. While the President can point to the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act, Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act, Rice Tariffication law, higher pensions and free college education in state colleges and universities, among others, as accomplishments, the issue that needs to be urgently addressed is economic recovery, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. chief economist Michael Ricafort said. Duterte’s last State of the Nation Address (SONA), Ricafort said, should offer “the structural and long-term solution to many of the negative economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

BUSINESS: Economists expect lower 2021 inflation

Sticking to business, a study conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed that economists expect lower average inflation rate this year with risks shifting to the upside. The central bank said in its 2021 Second Quarter Inflation Report that the findings of a poll of 23 private sector analysts revealed that the mean inflation projection for 2021 has moderated to 4.1 percent, down from 4.3 percent in the previous survey. The forecast was faster than the 2.6 percent average for 2020. It is, however, quicker than the BSP’s projection of 4 percent and exceeds the government’s 2.0-to-4.0-percent target.

SPORTS: Diaz lifts for gold medal

Returning to the Olympics, Filipino weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, the 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist, tries to power her way to a gold this time, as she competes in the women’s 55-kilogram event in the Tokyo Olympics on Monday at the Tokyo International Forum. The competition is set at 6:50 p.m. (Philippine time), with Diaz, all 4-foot-11 of her, set to perform in her fourth and what she considers the last Olympic stint of her career. If the 30-year-old wins the gold, she will make history as the first Filipino athlete to do so. Diaz first participated in the Olympics in 2008 in Beijing, second in London 2012, and third in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

READ: Opinion and editorial

Rigoberto Tiglao and Fr. Ranhilio Aquino are today’s front page columnists. Tiglao believes colonial mentality and stenographic journalism have infiltrated Philippine media, while Fr. Aquino discusses traditions.

Today’s editorial discusses the upcoming State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte. Read a full version on the paper’s opinion section or listen to the Voice of the Times.

For more news and information, get a copy of The Manila Times on print, subscribe to its digital edition or log on to www.manilatimes.net. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and Keep Up With The Times.

On behalf of The Manila Times, this is Aric John Sy Cua reporting. Have a safe week ahead.

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