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MANILA, Philippines — At least P18 billion in taxpayer money is still “parked” and “sleeping” in the coffers of a little-known state-run trading company that’s been tasked with procuring coronavirus vaccines, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said on Sunday.

Drilon said he would seek a Senate investigation into the books of Philippine International Trading Corp. (PITC), an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which, according to him, “appears to be the go-to corporation [for] government agencies to park their unutilized funds.”

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 23) — More transportation options are now available to commuters after Angkas received the green light to resume its pilot run starting Monday.

Over 6,500 Angkas riders who have tested negative for COVID-19 and passed government guidelines will ply roads after over eight months of suspension of operations due to strict quarantine measures.


Angkas Chief Transport Advocate George Royeca assured commuters of safety, saying the riders underwent a refresher course on how to effectively disinfect the motorcycles and barriers. They will also implement a 100% cashless transaction to limit the interaction between the driver and passenger.

MANILA – Sen. Pia Cayetano on Friday urged the Senate to expand government scholarship programs for nursing students in future funding bills to entice more Filipino students to enroll in nursing courses.

While the Department of Health has a scholarship program for doctors and midwives, it does not have a similar project for nurses, Sen. Pia Cayetano said during budget debates in the Senate.

“At the current number of doctors, midwives and nurses that we have, it is the nurses that we’ll never have enough of even in the next 10, 20 years,” she said.


“What I want to stress is the importance of also supporting the allied health professionals… because the doctors cannot work on their own,” she said.

The government is banking on the success of antigen pilot testing to fully boost the country’s local tourism badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, Malacañang said Monday.

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Currently on pilot run in Baguio City, antigen testing is seen as a cheaper and faster alternative to the RT-PCR testing, which is among the requirements for anyone visiting travel destinations that have been opened to the public.

“Pag nadeklara na successful itong antigen testing ay mapapabilis po talaga ang ating turismo kasi yung antigen po mabilis at mas mura,” said presidential spokesperson Harry Roque in an interview on Unang Balita.