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Monthly Archives: March 2020

Government preparing package to aid small firms

THE economic team is working on an economic package and rehabilitation plan to keep small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) afloat after the quarantine period, which shut down most economic activity.

SEIPI seeking clarity on logistics curbs

ELECTRONICS EXPORTERS asked for movement restrictions on people and cargo to be eased, with companies also starting to plan to move some production out of the Philippines until the logistics situation clears up.

Manila ports choked by unclaimed cargo, shutdown looms

THE Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said Tuesday that cargo congestion at the Manila ports due to failure to withdraw cargoes may cause the terminals to shut down.
Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)

BIR suspends audits during emergency period

THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has suspended audits due to the lockdown and plans to resume 60 days after the six-month state of emergency is lifted.
hunger poverty

Inflation for poor households eases in February

INFLATION, as experienced by low-income households, eased in February, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said Tuesday.
National Electrification Administration (NEA)

NEA authorizes power co-ops to apply for loans

RURAL power cooperatives in rural areas have been given the green light to apply for short-term loans from financial institutions to cushion the impact of falling power demand during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
chicken hens poultry

Poultry, pork supply deemed ample amid checkpoint snags

AGRICULTURAL groups said the poultry supply is ample despite worries over the flow of food to locked-down cities during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) imposed to contain coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Visayas power demand drops as businesses shut down

THE Department of Energy (DoE) said power demand declined in the Central Philippines as industrial and commercial establishments, especially malls, closed down due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

Property prices rise over 10% in fourth quarter

PROPERTY PRICES picked up in the fourth quarter of 2019, though growth eased from the third quarter, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said.

Filipino Healthcare workers on the US’ COVID-19 front lines

Several years ago, I produced a special TV report on the topic, “What would happen if Filipino healthcare professionals do not report for work?” The point I wanted to make was the vital role that Filipino doctors and nurses, and other healthcare professionals, play in America’s healthcare system.

Disease and fear in 21st century US-China strategic competition

Since mid-January 2020, China’s political leadership single-mindedly concentrated on managing a deadly coronavirus epidemic that began in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. Recently, however, China has been conducting a major diplomatic and humanitarian offensive aimed at assisting countries that are struggling against the raging pandemic. Since early March 2020, China has been sending medical experts, rapid diagnostic testing kits, and protective medical gear to the Philippines, Serbia, Spain, Iran, and Italy.

Pandemics, police power, and private contracts

With the worsening COVID-19 outbreak, President Rodrigo Duterte has shifted gears. What began as a mere entreaty to the private sector to extend bills payments, grant reprieves on rental fees to alleviate day-to-day worries of the everyman, has now morphed into something broader.

Netflix watches as Instagram unites a quarantined world

“OH, I LIKE HER,” she says, referring to a berry-toned lipstick.

Cashing in on e-payments to flatten the COVID-19 curve

THE World Health Organization is encouraging countries to take advantage of e-payment systems as an alternative to cash-based transactions. This is to limit the use of cash in making transactions, since cash itself is a potential agent of transfer of the COVID-19 virus. Accordingly, several central banks, including the Bank of England, the Bank of Korea and the US Federal Reserve, have resorted to burning cash or at least mandating banks to sanitize their cash holdings and place them in quarantine for 14 days.

PSEi rebounds on China data, Trump comments

LOCAL SHARES bounced back yesterday as investors gained confidence from positive developments in China and the United States.

Peso ends higher vs dollar on oil prices, China PMI

THE PESO closed stronger versus the greenback on Tuesday on the back of positive market sentiment due to lower oil prices, as well as an unexpected rebound in China’s factory activity.

Duterte considers floating quarantine hospitals

THE government is looking at using “floating quarantine hospitals” on ships in different parts of the country to house persons under monitoring for the novel coronavirus and help unburden hospitals already at their full capacities, the presidential palace said in a March 30 report to Congress.

Bongbong Marcos tests positive for novel coronavirus

FORMER Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. has tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but his condition has started to improve, his spokesman said on Tuesday.

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Exporters unable to move goods close shop amid lockdown

SOME exporters have temporarily stopped operations after struggling to move goods and house employees amid a Luzon-wide lockdown.

#COVID-19 Regional Updates (03/31/20)

A FIVE-year-old female is the latest patient in Cagayan Valley confirmed to have the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), bringing the region’s total cases to 15.

Nationwide round-up

THE VALIDATION result of the test kit developed by the University of the Philippines National Institutes for Health (UP NHI) will be submitted by Wednesday, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director General Rolando Enrique D. Domingo said.

New Olympic dateGames now happening from July 23 to Aug. 8, 2021

TOKYO -- The postponed Olympic Games will now begin on July 23 next year and run until Aug. 8, the head of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee said on Monday, as the coronavirus pandemic made it impossible to plan and prepare for them properly this year.

Mark Magsayo excited to turn a new leaf with MP Promotions

HAD HIS flourishing boxing career halted at one point for a year and a half because of contract dispute with his former handlers, undefeated Filipino boxer Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo is now excited to turn a new leaf after signing a deal to be part of MP Promotions last month.

NBA planning players-only NBA 2K tourney

THE NATIONAL Basketball Association has plans for a players-only NBA 2K video game tournament to be shown on ESPN, Yahoo Sports reported Monday evening.

Making its presence felt

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has effectively shuttered all sporting activities in the country but the sports community is finding ways to make its presence felt, stepping up and doing its share in the fight against the pandemic.

Information is power

There can be no discounting the power of celebrity when it comes to raising awareness for a cause. It was certainly on display over the weekend, when the Warriors’ Stephen Curry went on Instagram Live for the better part of half an hour to talk about the new coronavirus. It helped, of course, that he had Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, by his side. “Information is power,” he noted, and promptly discussed the importance of taking preventive measures with the key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

Singapore shares Covid-19 contact tracing technology with global developer community

Singapore is making its Covid-19 contact tracing technology freely available to developers worldwide.

Meralco assures public of 24/7 service during the enhanced community quarantine period

The Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) today assured the public that it will keep the lights on and continue to serve its customers, operating 24/7...

Beyond the Outbreak

As our country continues to scramble for a response to the swelling pandemic, microfinance institutions have become a lifeline for entrepreneurs like farmers and fisherfolk, and will continue to play a significant role in our economy’s post-quarantine recovery. But without support, will this key industry survive the current crisis? Dr. Jaime Aristotle B. Alip explains.

Philippines has greatest percentage of women traders in global eToro list

Filipino women lead the way for female investors globally as eToro releases data, showing the Philippines has the greatest percentage of women traders world-wide.

LGUs obtain more funds to fight virus

AT least P130 billion could be freed up from local government units’ (LGU) budgets to help them address the growing fallout from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) after the National Government allowed them to use their development funds.

Economy may shrink by as much as 1.9% — Nomura

THE Philippine economy may contract by as much as 1.9% this year if the Luzon-wide lockdown is expanded nationwide and lasts until May, according to a report by Nomura Global Research.
PSE BGC trader

Big fund managers buy PHL stocks in ‘mega sale’

BIG Philippine money managers are cautiously plowing back money into the nation’s equities, seeing cheapened valuations as an opportunity they have been waiting for, although the market has yet to bottom out.

P31 billion allocated for food sufficiency measures

THE government is allocating P31 billion for measures that would ensure there is enough food supply during the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.

Metro Pacific forms COVID-19 crisis team

THE HOSPITAL unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) has stepped up its response to the pandemic by forming a crisis team and designating one of its hospitals as a referral facility for those positive of the deadly virus.

Xurpas halts Singapore subsidiary’s operations

XURPAS, INC. is suspending the operations of a Singapore-based subsidiary due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and is divesting a majority stake in its cryptocurrency money transfer subsidiary.

Raymund Marasigan produces new single for We Got

THE EIGHT-PIECE reggae band We Got has released its first single from Sony Music Philippines, “Lihim na Pagtingin,” a song produced by singer Raymund Marasigan.

Cebu Air earnings hit P9B

CEBU AIR, Inc. reported a net income of P9.12 billion for 2019, or more than double its net income a year ago of P3.92 billion, driven by its core business.

Davao hotels to shelter health workers

DAVAO CITY -- The iconic Apo View Hotel, the oldest in the city at over 70 years, is one of the local businesses that have temporarily suspended operations due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

A tiger tale

Streaming service Netflix just dropped a new true-crime documentary series, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness, (Tiger King) a little over a week ago and the internet has not stopped talking about how crazy the people and the entire situation is. And seeing that the documentary hasn’t hit the Top 10 list in the Philippines just yet, here’s a review to whet the appetite of those who haven’t seen it yet.

Pilipinas Shell income up 11% to P5.6 B

PILIPINAS SHELL Petroleum Corp. posted an 11% year-on-year jump in net income in 2019 on the back of its marketing activities and savings from refinery costs.

Microstudio developer waives minimum lease requirement

MICROSTUDIO DEVELOPER Point Blue is waiving its minimum lease requirements to help those in need of a place to stay while Luzon is under quarantine.

From sofas and kitchens, music stars hold coronavirus concert fundraiser

LOS ANGELES — Billie Eilish sang on her sofa, Elton John played a keyboard belonging to his children, and the Backstreet Boys sang in harmony from five locations as dozens of musicians put on a fundraiser for the warriors against a coronavirus.

Gov’t rejects all bids for T-bills

THE GOVERNMENT rejected all bids for the Treasury bills (T-bills) it offered on Monday following the surge in rates as investors prefer to keep their cash amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

SMC allots P500M for health workers’ protective gear

SAN MIGUEL CORP. (SMC) has set aside P500 million to buy personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline health workers, the listed conglomerate said on Monday, as it called on local manufacturers to boost production to ensure a steady supply.