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MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang is considering a three-day nonworking holiday from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1—to be designated “National COVID-19 Vaccination Days”—and will mobilize the entire government to ramp up its inoculation drive.

While the vaccination program is successful in the National Capital Region (NCR), the government is still far from its national inoculation target as many regions are still way off their respective goals.

As of Nov. 10, only 30.5 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated, or 27.66 percent of the country’s more than 110 million population. The government is targeting to inoculate 5 million Filipinos a day during the three-day vaccination drive and bring the total nationwide to 50 million by the end of the year to reach population protection.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 9) — Prices of gasoline are expected to increase further, latest estimates from government officials show.

In a statement on Wednesday, House ways and means panel chairman Rep. Joey Salceda said gasoline prices could rise by about ₱11.1 per liter next week considering that current crude prices are already at $127 per barrel.

This is way up from ₱3.60/l increase enacted by fuel firms early Tuesday morning.

In a virtual briefing on Tuesday, Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi reported that gasoline’s common pump price stood at ₱69.28/l as of March 7.

LOS ANGELES, United States – A former Miss Ukraine on Tuesday called for global support for her country in the face of Russian attacks, highlighting the plight of mothers and children as the world marked International Women’s Day.

Veronika Didusenko, who won the beauty queen title in 2018, told reporters in Los Angeles her country was suffering under the onslaught ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Right now, millions of Ukrainian children and their mothers are trembling at every sound in the subway stations and bomb shelters,” she said.

There is no increase in COVID-19 infections since the National Capital Region (NCR) and over 30 other areas shifted to Alert Level 1, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

“At present, we have not seen any increase in COVID-19 cases since we have implemented Alert Level 1 in several areas in the country,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a Viber message Tuesday.

Vergeire, however, assured the public that the national government is strictly monitoring the mobility of people to ensure that they follow minimum health protocols.