Delayed ‘ayuda’ from last year banked on but unlikely to make impact

MANILA, Philippines — Just around 30 minutes before the health department reported Monday’s coronavirus tally, Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua came out with a statement. His message? That blanket lockdowns that disrupted the economy last year is “no longer an option.” It turned out later on Monday would mark another record-high in infections totaling 8,019. At that point, the Philippines had set record number of cases in three of the past 4 days. Yet calls to close down the economy again and let a suffocated health sector breathe has gone nearly unnoticed and many ob…

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