327 new cases and 124 deaths and the data for 03.31.2022

The Health Agency continues to report low cases with 327 new cases today. The positivity rate is at a low 2.1% as well. However, the number of added deaths are quite disturbing as there are more deaths being reconciled now compared to the past months with 124 added today.

NCR owned 118 (36%) of today’s cases. Five LGUs had double digits, with the City of Manila topping it with 34 cases. The rest of the LGUs with double figures were: Quezon City 17, Caloocan and Pasay City with 12 apiece, and Parañaque 11. The rest of the LGUs in NCR had single digit numbers with 2 LGUs reporting zero covid – Pateros and Navotas.

Outside of NCR, the following provinces or HUCs had double digits: Cavite 20, Laguna 14, Iloilo 23 (province 16, city 7), and Cebu 14 (province 7, city 7). The rest of the country had low single digits or zero covid reports.

Delayed death reports and the data for 03.30.2022

The Health Agency reports 312 new cases with a 7-day average of 2.1% positivity rate. That’s the good news.

The sad news is the 87 added deaths today, which most likely are delayed reports.

The NCR accounted for 36% of the total cases for the day. Three LGUs in NCR report double digits – Quezon City 25, City of Manila 20 and Caloocan City 12. The rest report single digit numbers, with Pateros continuing its zero covid streak.

Outside of the NCR, the following provinces and other HUCs had double digit cases: Rizal 10, Batangas 11, Iloilo 19 (15 province, 4 city), General Santos City 15

The low Tuesday and the data for 03.29.2022

With a positivity rate of 2.5%, the Health Agency announces 246 new cases and 8 added deaths. The NCR leads (as always) today’s count with 89 new cases.

Only three LGUs in NCR reported double digits (and low numbers). Quezon City led with 13 cases, followed by Caloocan and Pasay City with 11 each. The City of Manila reported only 4 new cases today. Pateros was the only LGU that had zero covid.

Outside of NCR, double digit numbers came from: Cavite 15, Rizal 11, Bulacan 13, and Iloilo 14 (12 province, 2 city). The rest of the country had very low numbers with many areas reporting either low single digit numbers (<5 cases) or zero covid.

The week that was and the data for 03.28.2022

The summary for the week of March 21-27 continued to show the Philippines at very low risk for COVID19.

(1) Healthcare utilization is down to less than 17% for non ICU beds and at 15% for ICU utilization.

(2) Vaccination rate is slightly up with around 73% of the target population vaccinated and more than 75% of the A2 (senior citizens) vaccinated. More than 65.6M Filipinos residing in the PH are fully vaccinated, with a little more than 833,000 added the past 7 days. However, the booster vaccinations have not picked up with less than 300,000 getting the added booster vaccine the past week.

(3) There were 2726 new cases or a 7 days average of 389 daily cases reported from March 21-27, 2022. This was 24% lower than the cases reported the previous week. However, the decline in cases has slowed down. The good news, there were no severe and critical cases reported the past week. The bad news, 752 death were added (verified is the term used by the Health Agency) the past 7 days.

(4) Based on the Department of Health, of the 752 deaths, 107 occurred in march, 105 in February and 52 in January 2022. This is 35% of the total deaths reported for the past week. The remaining deaths were backlogs from August 2020 to December 2021. The majority of the deaths were from August to October 2021 with 326 (43.4%) occurring on those months alone. This was the start and peak of the delta wave in the country.

The Health Agency begins the week with 387 new cases and 15 added deaths. Of 15,784 individuals tested last March 27, 436 tested positive (2.8% positivity rate). The National Capital Region owned 40% or 156 of the cases today.

There were 8 LGUs in NCR that had double digits. They are: City of Manila 31, Pasay City 26, Makati 19, Quezon City 15, Taguig 14, Las Piñas 12, and Caloocan and Parañaque with 10 apiece.

Outside of NCR, the following provinces had double digits: Cavite 28, Rizal 11, Iloilo 16 (province 13, city 3), and Cebu 19 (province 15, city 4).

Is the PH seeing a trough as other Asian countries are on a declining trend and the data for 03.27.2022

The Health Agency announces 330 new cases and 131 added deaths to the COVID 19 data today.

The NCR accounted for a 25% (unusually low) share of today’s cases with 84. Only three LGUs had double digit numbers in the NCR – City of Manila 22, Quezon City 14, and Makati 11. The rest had single digit cases with Navotas and Pateros reporting zero covid.

Outside of NCR, the following provinces reported double digits today: Cavite 13, Laguna 12, Rizal 20, Iloilo 25 (19 province, 6 city), and Cebu 20 (9 city, 11 province). The rest of the country reported single digit or zero covid cases.


While the new cases continue to decline in the Philippines, it has slowed down. And has most likely reached a trough – or a level of numbers that the country will continue to report daily.

What does this mean?

The number of COVID-19 cases will remain at the range of 350-450 as our lowest possible numbers. Notice that the reproduction rate is up at 0.77 (+/- 0.05). If Rt is at 1.0, that means that whatever number the cases are, they remain the same already. But 1.0 is not an ideal number to be at. To control the viral spread, we need to ideally remain at 0.5. This value provides us leverage in suppressing any unusual bump up in cases in the immediate future.

The graphs below show us the average cases (7-day moving) in the country at 432 per day (around 4 per million population). Several factors affect the low cases, including the non-testing of symptomatic patients (they simply go into isolation) and not contact tracing any longer.

With the backlogs on death reports being reconciled, the Philippines recorded two consecutive days of deaths >200, putting the 7-day average at 118.86 (or 1 death per million population).

The figure below shows the effective reproduction rate of COVID-19 in the country. Notice that it is now up at 0.77 (+/- 0.05). This rise explains the very slow decline in cases (almost reaching a trough) and that the country needs to work harder at continuously pushing the Rt lower (preferably 0.5 and below). Otherwise, the decline will not be sustainable especially with current campaign period and the upcoming national presidential elections.

Here’s a look at how other countries in East Asia are doing.

Most of the countries, except for China are now seeing a decline in new cases, with South Korea averaging 350,000 new daily cases and Vietnam 200,000. On a per capita basis, South Korea continues to lead with around 6900 cases per million population, followed by Vietnam with 2000 per million, Hong Kong with 1790 per million and Singapore with 1670 per million population.

Back to effective reproduction rate. Notice how quickly the Rt in other countries are now coming down. While the Philippines may have been the darling of East Asia in the control of the pandemic, other countries continue the decline in Rt, except for the PH which is up at 0.77 from a previous week of 0.53. This simply translates to the fact that the decreasing cases has slowed down significantly and that all efforts at bringing it lower should be exhausted, particularly in the minimum public health standards and the push to receiving booster shots when available and recommended for a particular group or age.

If there is one take home message this week in review emphasizes, it is the volatile condition of this pandemic. And the fact that 1/3 of the country’s total cases are from the NCR, the epicenter in the Philippines. The share of the NCR is always larger as the cases continue to decrease.

NCR accounts for 37% of the cases on 03.26.2022

The Health Agency reports 437 new cases and added 53 deaths to the count today.

While the numbers remain at the 400 level, the share of NCR is up at 37% (normally around 1/3 of the total daily share belongs to NCR) or 161 cases.

The national 7-day average positivity rate is down to 2.2%.

In the NCR, four LGUs report 20 and more cases. This is led by the City of Manila with 25, Parañaque with 20, and Quezon City and Pasay City with 20 apiece. Caloocan City had 19, while Makati 14 cases. The rest of the LGUs had single digit numbers, with Pateros the only LGU to report zero covid today.

Outside of NCR the following provinces had more than 20 cases: Cavite province 29, Iloilo 32 (20 for the province and 12 for the city), and Cebu 20 (12 for the city and 8 for the province).

The sins of Rodrigo and Ferdinand…

I rarely blog on politics.

This, is that rare occasion.

This is a personal opinion from my pulpit. After all, it is a fact that I had lived my life with both Ferdinand and Rodrigo as presidents of the Republic of the Philippines.


Ferdinand Marcos was a brilliant man. Greed was the reason for his downfall.

Martial Law was declared in order to perpetuate him in power. He used the opposition and the rebels as an easy excuse to declare Martial Law. In the beginning, it may have served the purpose of quelling the ‘threat’ of the Communist Party of the Philippines. But the one-man rule lasted for fourteen years. Martial Law gave birth to shifting power from the people to the military. While Ferdinand was elected president in 1965 and presided over an economy that grew during the beginning of his term, his 20-year rule would end in the loss of livelihood, extreme poverty, and a crushing debt crisis. Even when the family was exiled to Hawaii, the loot they carried from the Philippines and documented upon entry in the US was enough to feed a whole country. Considering how much a president’s monthly salary was in those days, even staying on as president of the country for his lifetime would not have amounted to being able to buy a building in New York (which would eventually be bought by Donald Trump) or wifey Imelda owning jewels or going on shopping sprees just for the heck of it.

The Marcos years were turbulent ones. When you had become his (or his wife’s) enemy, you’d be tagged as an enemy of the state. And people were afraid. No one dared to say anything about Ferdinand or Imelda.

The bailiwick of the Marcos is the north of the Philippines. They call it the Solid North. The only compass in that area (and the story of Rodrigo later on), would point the reader to why parents in politics prepare their children for that same role. The dynasties created do not provide a change of the guards to keep the businesses growing. The conflicts of interest propagate a deep cultural behavior among clans and small kingdoms created by local government units that collide, connive and collude with one another.

While Ferdinand Marcos may have had stellar moments at the beginning of his political career, avarice became too enticing to resist. If there is a story that is unforgettable in the eyes of the Filipino people, it was the story of Martial Law. I recall my father reminding me that we should not even mention the names of Ferdinand or Imelda during any outdoor conversation because the ‘walls have ears’ and that the Philippine Constabulary had people that were listening in on everyone’s conversation. That was the kind of fear that was instilled among those who grew up in the generation of Ferdinand.

The EDSA revolution created a sense of ‘woke’ among the Filipino people. With unrest even in the military ranks, it became inevitable that the chapter on Marcos’ reign was coming to a close anytime soon.

The People Power Revolution in 1986 paved the way for a new successor, through a non-violent revolution, to succeed the ailing dictator. The family of Ferdinand fled the country, and true to their nature, with loot in tow as they left.

A new dawn came for the Filipino people.


With a new slate, Corazon Cojuangco Aquino, needed to put order back from chaos. She became the 11th president of the Republic of the Philippines.

A constitutional convention replaced an abolished government. It was during her term that the 1987 constitution was written.

A country in deep debt and political crisis had to rise from the rubbles. After two decades of political machinations and corruption, it would take the country the same amount of time to resurrect from the ashes. In the meantime, the political parties left by Ferdinand remained intact. The lords did not die. With the wealth amassed by the political allies of Marcos during his presidency, the political families went underground and used that wealth to regroup, establish business enterprises and resurrect in or as another political party.

They say that there is no accountability in politics. When the term of offices of politicians come to an end, one is punished while another one forgiven. That amnesic disease would be played over and over the next three decades after Cory became president.

The Marcoses would be allowed to return to the country in 1991 by Cory herself, to face charges of tax fraud and corruption. After all, the crimes committed could not be prosecuted in a different country, even from Big Brother Uncle Sam.

By the time they returned, the tumultuous term of Corazon was coming to an end. The popularity of the yellow brigade was at a low ebb. While Cory was cheered at the beginning of her term as an icon for a new democracy in the Philippines, her lackadaisical stance and distrust of people she felt threatened by, pushed her to the brink of several coup attempts that would jar her monumental rise to power. During the term of Aquino, a new TradPo (traditional politician) had risen. However, the class D and E remained at the bottom of the rung. Even at the property of Cory’s family – Hacienda Luisita – the issue of Land Reform Program among the poor remained unaddressed. At the end of her term, her anointed successor, Fidel Valdez Ramos would win by a hairline to Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

Over the years, the Marcoses returned to power, slowly but surely. First stop was in their own hometown where people would undoubtedly put them in political positions that would later on catapult their solid return to national posts. This calibrated patience is what politics is all about. They worked at the back end like the late Ferdinand. The Marcoses did not only have that patience, but the financial and political backing to return to power.

The blame goes to the inept judicial system of this country. The very slow roll of justice to Martial Law victims was akin to an ant on an expedition from Batanes to Jolo.

Several presidents and corruption laden governances later, the people slowly forgot the story behind EDSA. The millennials, GenX and GenZ mostly do not recall Marcos’ legacy and the painful beginnings of a new democracy. People Power Day, while a public holiday in the country would lose its meaning and be left as just another day of rest and recreation.

A forgiving, nah, forgetful people is how the Filipinos turned out after ousting Joseph Ejercito Estrada, the 13th president of the Philippines, whose corruption laden plunder triggered his short lived stint as the chief executive of the country. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the Vice-President at the time of Estrada would abandon him and succeed him after a second People Power Revolution (albeit, a smaller one) would ‘overthrow’ Estrada. Estrada would be incarcerated because of plunder but would later be pardoned by Arroyo.

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo became the 14th president of the Republic of the Philippines and the longest serving president in the post Marcos era. Three years of the remaining term of Estrada and winning the next national election would put her into power. A coup attempt before her term ended gave rise to the political careers of the mutineers after the term of Arroyo. An election scandal with leakage of the “Hello Garci” tapes would make Arroyo apologize on national TV for the controversial elections of 2004. But she would not step down.

It was Cory’s demise that won the election for her son NoyNoy or PNoy (Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III) as the 15th president of the country. With an outpouring of support for the late Corazon, NoyNoy would trump all other candidates. And while PNoy had the best and brightest in his cabinet, corruption allegations hounded his term as well. Like his mother, he only trusted a circle of friends. The opposition would be a minority and the upper and lower law making chambers down to the smallest local government unit would throw their political support to his party. The bungling of the Mamasapano massacre was the sterling highlight of his political career. A sad ending to good beginnings.

While PNoy made Arroyo accountable for the mess she left behind, her incarceration was more of a zarzuela. And the next president, like all previous presidents would end up pardoning the sinners.

In all those jump start years of every president, one sore thumb stood out at each closing. The class D and E were the crowd the candidates wooed each and every election year. After they are elected, it was still the class D and E that were forgotten. Accustomed to this fate, the poor knew how a single meal a day felt and that every politician vying for a vote would woo them back every three to six years. Unless they left this country, there was no rise from the slum areas they grew up.

And this is evident in the massive exodus of professional and non-professional Filipinos as Overseas Filipino Workers. The economy of the Philippines is strong because of the remittances of the OFWs. They served as the anchor for the Philippine economy to stay afloat. While some investments came through, it was the oligarchs and those close to the powers that be, that benefitted from the largesse and political channels.

Starting idealistically with the bravado of changing the lives of the poor, all politicians gradually ended their stint doing two things – perpetuating themselves and their families in office and/or earning enough during their government stint for a beneficial retirement.

Frustrated at the system, the 2016 election became the game changer.

The rise of technology and social media platforms would put to test the Philippine National Election.


The swashbuckling mayor of Davao City became the 16th President of the Republic of the Philippines.

There was nothing unusual in the rise of a strongman into power. After all, Filipinos believe that only an iron fist can turn the story of this nation around. They saw that in Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

Duterte or Digong as people would call him is the oldest elected president of the country. Digong is not new to politics after running Davao City for over 22 years having won seven terms. It was the climate of change and discipline in Davao City that became the sterling symbol for the campaign of Duterte. Ironically, it was Corazon Aquino who had placed him in that position after the People Power Revolution.

They say there are no friends in politics.

The political position of Duterte would be a populist and nationalist one. His governance began with his war on drugs. And while it is an admirable advocacy, it was hounded with human rights issues and extrajudicial killings. This war would again hurt the class D and E, where majority of ‘small time’ drug users, pushers and abusers were killed on the spot. The real vendors and distributors were protected by those who punish the criminals. Duterte allowed the military and the police force latitude in addressing the drug problem of the country. His embrace for ‘independent foreign policy’ with China and Russia was troubling considering that he had put aside the winning International arbitration case against China on the row of the West Philippines Sea.

But the mortal sin of Duterte would be that of abetting and fueling fake information. His presidency was marred by fake posts on achievements and accountability of various public issues. His personal agenda and vendetta against big corporations and media would be the flip side of his governance. Appointments of the worst and the blatant disrespect for good governance was the icing on the cake. Like the little mayor of a city, he would find a way to favor awarding contracts to his inner circle.

With the rapid advances in technology and social media, Duterte’s minions took advantage of this progress. The rise of fake information in a country where mobile phones and other gadgets far outnumber the population would be the perfect experimental setting to demonstrate the depreciation of a nation through fake news and revisionism.

It is in his term that we credit the rise of the keyboard warriors. In 2016, BBC News had published a story with the title “Trolls and triumph: a digital battle in the Philippines”. Nobel Prize winner Maria Ressa of Rappler had investigated the machine built by the Duterte campaign. Former advertising executive Nic Gabunada had used this for Rodrigo’s campaign strategy. Trolls and troll farms became big business as part of a marketing machinery to garner popularity among the gullible.

Troll farms were created using ‘coordinators’.

How do coordinators work? Essentially, each are assigned a particular group, task and messaging. Each group is assigned to a particular region or working group, for example over overseas foreign workers. They each have targets, bespoke messages and other immediate experiences relevant to the crowd. [https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-38173842] is an interesting read as it shows how social media is able to achieve what it has done in three words – Arouse. Organize. Mobilize.

Yet the end does not justify the means.

In this case, Duterte winning the election did not translate to better governance. Rodrigo’s supporters continued to peddle fake news, owned fake accounts, bots and trolls – all meant to justify the weaponization of hatred, lies and deception. After all, trolls have no moral compass. To them, the monetary compensation far outweighed truth, justice and righteousness. The trolling business puts food on their tables and addresses their material needs. At the end of the day, we are back to the same story. The class D and E who are most vulnerable and gullible continue to be used rather than taught to rise from the rubbles of ignorance.

The pandemic was (or should I say is) a blessing in disguise for the president. With his penchant of staying away from almost all direct duties as chief executive of the country (due to ailing health and age), he assembled the IATF or the InterAgency Task Force, that decides and recommends to him what to actually do in managing the pandemic. It was chaotic in the beginning, particularly when the Health Agency was in panic mode. Two years into the pandemic and we are left with an economy in shambles, hardly struggling to survive, and again, the class D and E literally begging for scraps.


I started off this blog with the president I knew as I grew up. And end it with the current president of the Philippines.

I did not realize that I would write about the rise of the son from the north, and his alliance with the “punisher” from the south. The story I write here is factual. Those who doubt it should research a bit deeper instead of relying on social media or what is shared by your group. Fact checking is a mandatory exercise for our brain.

There is more I can write about, but I leave that to the reader to dissect on their own with whatever they would like to know more about. Revisionism of history must come to an end. Only then can the Filipinos people expect a real change in governance. Dynasties must come to an end. The business of politics should abruptly be halted. If there is one law that needs to be passed, it is one that will end all kingdoms from proliferating and propagating corruption.

There is no political will.

The gap between the different economic classes will grow wider and wider. The poor will remain poor. Gullible. Used. Abused. And those that supported this kind of political quagmire we face today and the future should be held accountable for the continued decline in the power of the people to astutely choose a leader that will lead us to the promised land.

It is sad that those left behind, eventually leave for better opportunities, not because they want to, but are forced to, because of the circumstances leaders create for them.

The politicians? They remain in my beloved country amassing wealth for themselves and their families, perpetuating themselves in office in connivance with those whose families and businesses are in collusion with evil. Those that belong to class D and E will perpetually remain pawns in their greed for power.

How does this story end? We will know on May 9, 2022.

411 new cases and 60 deaths for 03.25.2022

It’s not a bad day to end the week.

The Health Agency announces 411 new cases today with 60 deaths added.

The NCR accounted for 34% of the total cases with 140 today. Six LGUs contributed double digits led by the City of Manila with 21 and Quezon City with 20. Makati and Parañaque had 16 cases apiece and Caloocan and Las Piñas 12 apiece as well. While the rest of the LGUs continued to report less than 10 cases, only one LGU had zero covid – Mandaluyong.

Outside of NCR, the following provinces reported double digits: Cavite province 28, Rizal 12, Iloilo province 32, Pangasinan 11, South Cotabato 12, and Zamboanga City 14.

The deaths streak and the data for 03.24.2022

It’s the second straight day where the Health Agency reports more than 200 deaths (with 208 deaths added today). Most of these cases are most likely backlogs since the healthcare utilization is at a very low risk already.

There are 442 new cases added today as well. NCR accounts for 30% of today’s numbers and will most likely continue to account for >30% of the daily data due to density, testing capacity and requirement for work purposes in this region.

Six LGUs in NCR reported double digits, led by the City of Manila with 28 cases and Quezon City with 22. Parañaque had 16, Pasay City 15, Caloocan 13, and Makati 11. All other LGUs had single digit numbers with Pateros and Navotas reporting zero covid.

Outside of NCR, it was Cebu that reported 41 cases (Cebu City 21 and Cebu Province 20), while Cavite had 24 cases and Iloilo province had 23. Iloilo City reported zero covid today.

407 cases and 282 deaths for 03.23.2022

The Health Agency announces 407 new cases today, but it’s the deaths that’s startling as 282 deaths are added, bringing the total deaths to 58,563 (from yesterday’s 58,281).

The National Capital Region accounted for 30% of today’s cases with 123. Five LGUs in NCR reported double digits. They are: Quezon City 21, City of Manila 17, Caloocan 13, and Makati and Parañaque 11 apiece. The rest of the LGUs reported single digit numbers, with San Juan and Pateros logging ZERO COVID.

Outside of NCR, it was the province of Cavite that had the most cases with 47 cases today. Iloilo province and city had 21 cases (18 for the province and 3 for the city), Cebu province and Cebu City had 20 cases (13 for the city and 7 for the province), Laguna 15, and Rizal 11. The rest of the provinces and HUCs reported 10 and less cases today.

The 7-day average positivity rate is at 2.4%.