MTVN top stories:’Covid-19 Xmas’ and other choice cuts of news in the past 24 hrs…

MTVN top stories:’Covid-19 Xmas’ and other choice cuts of news in the past 24 hrs…

Celebrate “Covid-19 Christmas” with compassion, understanding and patience — Malacañang

MANILA — As the country celebrates Christmas Day amid the threat of the coronavirus pandemic, Malacañang has called on Filipinos to extend more compassion, understanding and patience to their fellowmen.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesperson Atty. Harry Roque enjoined the public to endure the ongoing health crisis even as the country “struggles to confront the various challenges that we faced this year.”

“The pandemic and the natural disasters brought fear and sadness but during these difficult times, we heal and recover as one,” Roque quoted from the Duterte administrations byword in response to the pandemic.

“Amid these challenges, there are ‘silver linings’ that Filipinos can be thankful for. May this Christmas be filled with hope, peace and joy,” he stressed.

The palace official likewise reminded everyone that as (the country) celebrates the Yuletide season, Filipinos must remember to share their blessings to their brothers and sisters who have been badly affected by natural or personal tragedies.

He went on: “I hope that we give more compassion, understanding, and patience to our fellowmen. It is high time that we collectively unite as one nation and one people for a better Philippines.”

Only 50% of Pinoys expect a ‘Merry Christmas’

MANILA—Although a high 99 percent have expressed hope for a better year in 2021, only 50 percent of adult Filipinos are expecting to have a truly merry Christmas this season until the Feast of the Three Kings on January 6—said to be the longest celebration of Christ’s birth worldwide.

According to survey results released by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) a day before Christmas Day, 15 percent of adult Filipinos expect a sad Christmas while 33 percent are expecting it to be neither happy nor sad.

SWS said the 50 percent of Filipinos expecting a happy Christmas is 12 points below the previous record-low of 62 percent in 2005, 2006 and 2013.

The poll body added that the expectation of a happy Christmas was a record-high 82 percent when SWS surveyed it for the first time in 2002.

It then went down to 77 percent in 2003 before ranging from 62 to 69 percent from 2004 to 2013. The percentage improved from 71 percent in 2014 to 79 percent in 2019.

“On the other hand, a new record-high 15 percent expect a sad Christmas, surpassing the previous high of 11 percent in 2011,” SWS disclosed.

Meanwhile, the 33 percent expecting Christmas to be neither happy nor sad is also a new record-high that surpassed the previous record of 29 percent in 2006.

LGUs plan to buy their own supply of Covid-19 vaccines

ILOILO CITY — Amidst the hullabaloo in the procurement of the Covid-19 vaccine that has scuttled the early distribution of supply for the country, a committee of the 145-member League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) has decided to meet after Christmas to tackle plans for direct procurement of the vaccines by local authorities across the archipelago.

In a statement, former LCP president and current Iloilo City mayor Jerry Treñas said that the meeting will be held next week in Bacolod and chaired by incumbent LCP president Bacolod City mayor Evelio Leonardia.

“We need to discuss plans especially for cities who can afford to buy their own vaccines because the sooner we can administer these, the sooner we can return to normal,” Treñas disclosed.

He added that defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who chairs the National Task Force Against Covid-19, has given his approval for the cities to initiate procurement for their own supply of vaccines.

Treñas likewise disclosed that he had already appealed to business organizations and employers to also procure vaccines for their employees.

The Florete Group of Companies, which includes radio network Bombo Radyo and a hotel chain in Iloilo City, has announced its plan to procure vaccines, according to the mayor.

COMELEC sets Palawan plebiscite date

MANILA — The office of the Commission on Election (COMELEC) yesterday confirmed March 16, 2021 as the final day for the holding of the plebiscite in Palawan that will divide the province into three more provinces namely Palawan Del Norte, Palawan Del Sur and Palawan Oriental.

The COMELEC En Banc has approved Resolution No. 10682, the revised rules and regulations on the conduct of the Palawan plebiscite and the election calendar of activities through Resolution No. 10687 on December 16, 2020

The resolution stated that there will only be one day for the voting activity and that every voter shall write the word “Yes” for affirmation or “No” if rejected or its conceptual equivalent in the blank box provided in the ballot.

The ballot includes a question which states, “Pumapayag ka ba na hatiin ang probinsya ng Palawan sa tatlong probinsya na papangalanang: Palawan del Norte, Palawan Oriental at Palawan del Sur alinsunod sa batas republika bilang 11259?”

Each voter can proceed to their voting precincts from 7 a.m. to 3p.m. only.

Counting of the votes cast will start right after the voting hours by the municipal and provincial plebiscite board of canvassers.

BARMM to get P75.6-billion budget for 2021

MANILA – Following the approval of proposed appropriations from the national budget, it was learned that the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) will receive a PhP75.6 billion budget for next year while extending the availability of the 2020 Bangsamoro appropriations to December 31, 2021.

Bangsamoro chief minister Ahod ‘Al Haj Murad’ Ebrahim signed the bill into law as Bangsamoro Appropriations Act (BAA) 2021.

Part of the BARMM annual budget is sourced from the block grant from the national government, which is given yearly to the region as mandated under Section 15 of the Bangsamoro Organic Law.

Section 15, Article XII of the BOL states the “national government shall provide an annual block grant as a share of the Bangsamoro government in the national internal revenue tax collections of the Bureau of Internal Revenue and collections of the Bureau of Customs.”

“Our task for the upcoming year is to create programs and policies that will simultaneously revive the economy, deliver basic services to the constituents and revisit our public health institutions,” Ebrahim said.

Maine Mendoza cries foul over malicious video scandal: Hindi ako ‘to!

MANILA— Phenomenal star Maine Mendoza has assailed a certain video scandal that is currently circulating online. Just recently, she took to social media to clarify that she is not the woman involved in the said video scandal.

The Dubsmash Queen raised the alarm about being linked to the said sex video after a follower shared a screenshot on Twitter last December 22.

The netizen posted: “Paki report please!!! Protect Maine Mendoza at all costs #MaineMendoza #ALDUBatADNHeartsAtPeace.”

The obviously shocked Maine replied: “Wtf???? Sobrang kamukha ko, kinilabutan ako pero hindi ako to!”

Yaya Dub’s fans are all out in support to her on their respective Twitter accounts defending their idol and promise that they will help in finding the culprit who spread the fake video.

Rams David, Maine’s manager immediately issued an official statement on the matter, saying the supposed sex video is fake and has been digitally manipulated using deep-fake technology.

Maine’s management, All Access To Artist, Inc., also urged the public “not to post, share, or otherwise circulate the video” as they “will not hesitate to take appropriate legal action against any person circulating the same.” (AI/MTVN)

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