Good day. Here are the stories for The Manila Times for Thursday, June 3, 2021.

READ: No plan to seek higher post – Go

SEN. Christopher Lawrence "Bonwg" Go on Tuesday declared that he has no interest in seeking a higher post next year. The senator said he has no plans of running for president despite being prodded by some personalities, including President Rodrigo Duterte himself.

READ: Fewer areas hit by brownouts

THE power supply situation in the Luzon grid has slightly improved, energy officials said on Wednesday, adding that fewer areas were hit by rotating brownouts. Still, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) placed the Luzon grid on red and yellow alerts early Wednesday, but these were lifted at 3:21 p.m. "due to receding system demand."


SPECIAL REPORT: Regulators, players fortify financial system vs cybersecurity threats

On today's special report, digital transactions have gained a significant boost from the Covid-19 pandemic, benefiting businesses and consumers alike, but the increased uptake has also raised cybercrime risks. Pandemic-related lockdowns have created so much demand for fast, efficient and safe financial transactions that one e-money issuer saw a 1,000 percent year-on-year increase in remittances, the Better Than Cash Alliance has said.

READ: WHO gives nod to Sinovac

Malacañang on Wednesday welcomed the move of the World Health Organization (WHO) to approve Sinovac's CoronaVac vaccine for emergency use listing (EUL). Palace Spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said this would boost the public's confidence in the China-made vaccine.


READ: PH eyes 5M surplus vaccines from US

VACCINE czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said on Wednesday the Philippines would get 3 million to 5 million out of the 80 million surplus Covid-19 vaccines of the United States. The US pledged to distribute its 80 million surplus vaccines to various countries by the end of June. Philippine Ambassador to Washington Jose Romualdez earlier announced that the Philippines would be among the recipients of the American surplus vaccines.

READ: Duterte OKs P500-hazard pay for workers

President Rodrigo Duterte has authorized the grant of a P500-hazard pay to government workers who physically reported to work in areas under enhanced community quarantine and modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ). Administrative Order 43 signed by Duterte on June 1 amended Administrative Order 26 issued in March last year, which said that hazard pay should only be granted to those who physically reported working during the ECQ period. Duterte said government employees who report for work during ECQ and MECQ "are inevitably exposed to the risk of Covid-19 infection and other similar health dangers and hazards."


BUSINESS: 80% of 112 flagship projects OK'd

Topping business, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board has approved 80 percent of the national government's 112 flagship infrastructure projects since 2016, newly confirmed Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua said on Wednesday. Chua told the Senate during his confirmation hearing that the government was "moving fast" with regard to its Build Build Build program.

SPORTS: PBA won't allow Kiefer Ravena to play in Japan

In sports, Kiefer Ravena has officially signed with the Shiga Lakestars for the 2021-2022 Japan B.League season, which means he'll have a chance to play against his younger brother, Thirdy. The Lakestars confirmed it through its official website. But Ravena will have to go through an excruciating process before he gets the opportunity of playing in the Japanese B.League as he has an existing contract with the NLEX Road Warriors, his mother team in the PBA.

READ: Opinion and editorial

Antonio Contreras and Rep. Edcel Lagman are today's front page columnists. Contreras talks about ideologies, while Lagman discusses the ordeal of child brides.

Today's editorial is a house bill amending a section of the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998. Read a full version on the paper's opinion section or listen to the Voice of the Times.

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With Dafort Villaseran, this is Aric John Sy Cua reporting. May you have a safe Tuesday ahead.