Faces of the News: Feb. 28, 2021
Dingdong Dantes, chair of the newly formed Aktor: League of Filipino Actors, described the group as “a community formed not just to empower ourselves and the industry, but also to become partners in nation-building.” The COVID-19 pandemic, a draft “Eddie Garcia bill” to protect entertainment workers, and the shutdown of ABS-CBN were the “triggering factors” for the group’s creation in May 2020. With Agot Isidro as president and CEO, Aktor now has 135 members from the film, TV and theater sectors. Its key projects include welfare initiatives, workshops on wellness, mental health, medical insurance and retirement, and programs extending professional and financial management training. “We want this to last for more than 100 years! We want this to outlive us,” Dantes pointed out. —Marinel Cruz
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued emergency use authorization (EUA) to the vaccine developed by the Chinese company Sinovac Biotech. FDA Director General Eric Domingo, however, stressed that the vaccine, the third to receive an EUA in the country, may not be the most effective especially for health-care workers. He cited trials in Brazil indicating it only had a 50.4-percent efficacy rate for health workers exposed to COVID-19 patients. The Department of Health and the interim National Immunization Technical Advisory Group, however, maintained that the vaccine is safe for health-care workers. An initial shipment of 600,000 doses of Sinovac donated by China will arrive on Sunday, 100,000 of which have been allotted for the military. —Patricia Denise M. Chiu
A lot of respect for Mayor Vico Sotto comes from his promotion of transparency and honesty in Pasig City. The agenda was already evident when Sotto, then a councilor in 2018, pushed for a freedom of information ordinance granting easier access to Pasig’s public records. As a newbie mayor in 2019, he followed it up with a 24/7 hotline for complaints and queries. He also promoted the involvement of civil society groups in budget deliberations and policymaking. Sotto recently drew praise from the US Department of State for being an “anticorruption champion.” Grateful for the honor, the mayor said he would prefer that the public focus would remain not on him but on the campaigns and programs he had set into motion. “If we want better long-term governance, we need to fight corruption. We have to denormalize it, get it out of our culture,” he said in a Twitter post. —Meg Adonis
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte insists she would not seek the presidency but her supporters’ actions tell a different story. Take the convoy of sports cars along Edsa that displayed tarpaulins encouraging her to run as the country marked the 35th anniversary of the 1986 People Power Revolution. Similar streamers and posters have sprouted in cities all over the country. Speaking to President Duterte in a recently televised meeting, Surigao del Sur Gov. Alexander Pimentel said Sara would ensure the continuity of her father’s programs. Publicly, Mr. Duterte has repeatedly discouraged his daughter from joining the 2022 presidential derby. But many are not buying it, recalling how the elder Duterte himself acted coy before the 2016 polls and stated many times that he would not run, only to join the presidential race as a substitute candidate at the last minute. —Leila B. Salaverria
A car crash 11 years ago already sent Tiger Woods’ life and career on a downward spiral, when from an accident involving a fire hydrant gushed a lurid mess of extramarital affairs that ended his marriage to Elin Nordegren. Last week, his car careened off a Los Angeles road and rescue crews had to free him from the wreckage. LA county sheriff Alex Villanueva said that the resulting leg injuries were not life-threatening, but many wondered how this would again affect Woods’ career. Prior to his 2009 crash, Woods had won 14 Majors and was on track to beating Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18. He only added one more trophy to his Major total after that. Surgeons and fellow athletes maintain it would be a mistake to count Woods out just yet. Elite athletes, like those with a notorious drive similar to his, eventually overcome adversities. Like this one.
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