MERGE Former Rep. Alfredo Benitez (2nd from left) with Bacolod Councilor Renecito Novero, Mayor Evelio Leonardia, and Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran (l-r) discuss the “timeout weekend” at a meeting Saturday.* (Richard Malihan photo)

Four-day lockdown set
for Covid mass testing


A four-day "timeout weekend", from August 28 to 31, will see the lockdown of four cities and one town in Negros Occidental for mass COVID-19 testing to curb the rising transmission of the deadly virus, provincial economic adviser, former Rep. Alfredo "Albee" Benitez, announced Saturday.

A special task force will be created to oversee the testing of about 5,000 Bacolod City residents for COVID-19 in the first two days, and 5,000 in Silay, Talisay and Bago cities and Murcia town on the last two days of the “timeout weekend,” he said.

The COVID-19 test supplies estimated to cost about P35 million will be sourced from the national government, and persons manifesting symptoms of the virus will be the priority for free testing, Benitez said at a press conference Saturday attended by Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson and Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia. moremoremore

Positive cases now 1,682,
CLMMRH hits full capacity


Negros Occidental and Bacolod City’s Covid-19 positive cases hit 1,682 yesterday and the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital announced that it can no longer accept patients hit by the virus.

The Department of Health said Bacolod City had 84 new COVID-19 cases during the weekend and Negros Occidental had 51.

This brings Bacolod City’s total number of COVID 19 cases to 735, with 257 recoveries, 461 active cases, and 17 deaths, the DOH said. moremoremore


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Confed calls for higher US sugar quota

The Confederation of Sugar Producers (Confed) is pushing to increase the allocation of sugar intended for the US market by a percentage higher than last year’s quota to balance the supply in the country that is projected at 2.190 million metric tons for crop year 2020-2021 from last year’s production of 2.145 million MT.

In their position paper submitted to the Sugar Regulatory Administration, Confed is pushing for a 6 percent allocation for “A” and 94 percent for “B” or domestic sugar.

It added that there is no need for any “A” sugar replenishment in the coming crop year and that early swap must come from sugar produced in the same crop year. Any “A” replenishment for CY 2019-2020 must be done by September 30, 2020, a press release said.