Ostriches, PhilHealth Fraud, MECQ Day 1 + What Else Trended Today

August 4 has been a strange day (even by 2020 standards).

ILLUSTRATION War Espejo

(SPOT.ph) It has been one heck of a Tuesday. We round up some of the biggest news that happened today—best be sitting down for this, Spotters!

P15 billion allegedly lost in PhilHealth fraud schemes

Executives heading the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation—our government-funded national healthcare program—have supposedly made off with P15 billion worth of taxpayers' money, according to former anti-fraud legal officer Thorrsson Montes Keith, (a.k.a. the guy who gave us an epic resignation letter earlier in July). Meanwhile, the agency's officials stated that the national healthcare system is set to collapse by 2022 if the COVID-19 pandemic continues due to lack of funds.

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PH records 6,352 COVID-19 cases, the highest jump so far

A record-breaking 6,352 new cases has been reported by the Department of Health today, hiking the country's total COVID-19 cases to 112,593. Of this number, 1,826 come from the National Capital Region. Total recoveries are now up to 66,049 with 240 recovered patients recorded today. Total deaths, on the other hand, are now at 2,115 with 11 added to the tally today.

Ostriches run amok in Quezon City village

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Folks online pretty much freaked out when news broke that there were ostriches running freely in a Quezon City residential area. The pair ran around for a bit, gifting us with some pretty funny videos and prime meme content, before being captured by authorities. Ostrich 1 and Ostrich 2 are reportedly owned by one of the nearby homeowners and are in an okay state. There's no clarification yet as to why anyone in Metro Manila would own any of these large animals.

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Transport problems, checkpoints, and more return with MECQ in Metro Manila

A lot of changes were implemented as the capital region reentered a modified enhanced community quarantine on August 4—the government's response to a distress call by frontliners. Checkpoints were back in place, quarantine passes required, and pillion riding disallowed again, with an exception for frontliners. Local government units also declared their own rules on whether tricycles will be allowed to operate or not. 

Quezon City exec clarifies "shoot-to-kill" threat against quarantine violators

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Task Force Disiplina chief and former city councilor Rannie Ludovica explained that his post was merely to express his "dismay" with the return to modified ECQ as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. He also called out news network Rappler for allegedly spreading “malicious information” about the said social media post. Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte has condemned Ludovica's threat, saying "Ito po ay mali, it is inappropriate, it is irresponsible."

Palace says there's no reason to ban TikTok in the Philippines

Looks like the Chinese app is staying on Philippine shores. TikTok has come under fire for allegedly being used by Chinese authority to spy on users, with the app having been banned in India and U.S. President Donald Trump set to follow suit. "Sa mga nagsasabi na nanunupil si Presidente ng karapatan ng malayang pananalita, wala pong kahit ano'ng website na bina-ban ang Presidente," Harry Roque, presidential spokesperson, was quoted as saying by GMA News.

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