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Philippines Supreme Court Upholds Duterte's Liability for Drug War Killings, Rules that President Cannot Enter / Withdraw from International Treaties without Senate Approval.
Rice supply shortages? Pfizer Bivalent approved, but not commercially available. DOH pushing masking and boosting again.
In a very unexpected move, raising hope for the independence of the judicial system, the Philippines Supreme court has ruled against Former President Duterte and paved the way for the ICC to investigate him (and others, which may include his daughter Sarah Duterte who is currently Vice-President) for “crimes against humanity”. Excerpts below, full 2nd July 2023 article, here.
Rice Supply Concerns
Rice comes by many different names in the Philippines and is daily staple for most Filipinos. The Philippines is not self-sufficient in rice production. It is not self-sufficient in many food commodities despite having abundant land and optimal growing climate. This article from 2021 aptly describes the dismal state of Philippines agriculture and how and why food production in the Philippines has devolved over time.
The 1st of August article claiming that the rice stock of the NFA (National Food Authority1) held only 2 days rice stocks, instead of the required 9 days, or even more ideal 15-30 days stock will have raised the alarm for many.
The above article was quickly followed by presidential reassurance that sufficient rice would be available for the population’s needs.
Philippines Trade Balance Deficit, OFW Remittances Save the Day
While rice is indeed a concern, perhaps a bigger concern is the Philippines trade balance deficit. I am no economist, but I am curious on the paths for reducing debt and promoting self-sufficiency in the face of an ongoing substantial trade deficit.
Of course, this trade deficit does not account for OFW remittances. Philippines exports labor to the world, and these OFW send money back to support their families in the Philippines, making a massive contribution to the economy.
Even though families are split and many Filipinos face loneliness and hardship working abroad, the importance of OFW contributions to their families and to the Philippines economy cannot be overstated!
Pfizer Bivalent Approved but Not Commercially Available
While the Pfizer Bivalent product has received its CPR, it is not available in the market yet (aside from donated doses) because no pharmacy has yet applied to carry it. Perhaps pharmacies realize demand will be low and are unwilling to stock and supply.
State of Health Emergency is Over? Regardless DOH Advises Masking, Protocols, and Covid-19 Boosting Against the Latest Omicron Strain
DOH is still pushing their 3-year-old agenda: masks and bivalent boosting. Still claiming that these Pfizer products provide protection! It seems that Covid-19 hysteria will not easily end in the Philippines.
Official cases are way down (or rather testing is way down). The real circulation levels are unknown and mostly uncared about.
Dengue and leptospirosis cases are up; both currently presenting much higher morbidity and case-fatality rates than Covid-19! They do get passing mention in MSM and warrant prevention and early treatment!
Heavy rain, wet weather, and typhoons are expected to continue throughout this month, enhancing the southwest monsoon and totally normal for this time of year.