Good day. Here are the stories for The Manila Times for Monday, May 23, 2022.
THE Senate will hand over the certificates of canvass (COC) and election returns (ERs) to the House of Representatives early today, May 23, raising the possibility that the new president and vice president could be proclaimed this week. On Tuesday, the Senate and the House will in joint session start to canvas the votes in the 2022 presidential and vice presidential elections. The winners will be proclaimed soon after. The Senate Public Relations Information Bureau said Sunday the COCs and ERs will be transferred to the House at 4 a.m. As of May 19, 90.17 percent or 156 of the total 173 COCs have been delivered to the Senate, which checks the certificates before transmitting them to the House. The last certificates the Senate received were from Sulu province and those from overseas absentee voting held in Washington, United States; Australia, Denmark, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Switzerland and Brunei.
INTERIOR and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año has directed all local government units (LGUs) to seek out residents who are still unvaccinated against Covid-19 as well as those who are eligible for booster shots. Año issued the directive following the detection of the highly infectious Omicron BA.4 subvariant in the Philippines. He said the subvariant presents a threat since it can overcome the immunity provided by vaccination and prior infection. Each LGU was directed to maximize its resources to get the unvaccinated inoculated "as a precautionary measure versus a more transmissible Omicron variant and possible community transmission."
SENATE leaders declared that nothing can stop Congress from canvassing the votes and proclaiming the winning presidential and vice presidential candidates once it convenes as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) this week. The Senate and the House of Representatives (HoR) will jointly convene on May 24 to canvass the votes for president and vice president.
Lawyer Victor "Vic" Rodriguez, longtime chief of staff and spokesman for President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., has been nominated to be the executive secretary of the incoming administration. With the nomination, Rodriguez has formally relinquished his duties as Marcos' spokesman. The University of Santo Tomas alumnus, who is also the president of the Quezon City Trial Lawyers League, is the latest addition to the initial list of names expected to serve in the Marcos Cabinet.
BUSINESS: Analysts expect faster 2022 inflation
Over to business, a poll conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed analysts expect the country's average inflation rate to exceed the government's target this year, and at a faster rate than their prior projection. According to the results of a survey of 16 private sector experts, the average inflation outlook for 2022 has increased to 4.6 percent from 4.1 percent in the previous survey, the central bank noted in its latest Monetary Policy Report. The forecast for 2022 was higher than the 4.5-percent average for 2021. It has matched the BSP's forecast of 4.6 percent, which is higher than the government's target of 2 to 4 percent.
In sports, after being undefeated for six seasons with a record of 96 straight wins at the helm of the National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs team, Patrick Aquino is stepping down as the team's head coach and will pass the baton to his long-time assistant and former PBA player Aris Dimaunahan. Dioceldo Sy, chief executive officer of the sponsoring Ever Bilena, confirmed this development to The Manila Times.
READ: Opinion and editorial
Rigoberto Tiglao and Fr. Ranhilio Aquino are today's front page columnists. Tiglao hits out at scholars and academics who signed a manifesto against fake news, while Fr. Aquino shares his homily on the 40th year of his ordination to priesthood.
Today's editorial calls on the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict to reassess its policies. Read a full version on the paper's opinion section or listen to the Voice of the Times.
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On behalf of The Manila Times, this is Aric John Sy Cua reporting. Have a safe week ahead.