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Daily Archives: March 16, 2020 | 10:02 pm

DTI guidelines propose rent relief for shuttered retailers

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has asked mall operators and commercial landlords to waive rents as stores shut during the month-long Metro Manila quarantine.

Food shipments into NCR to be assigned special lanes

AGRICULTURE Secretary William D. Dar said the government will permit cargo vehicles delivering food to use special lanes to ensure Metro Manila is adequately supplied during the COVID-19 lockdown.
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PCC freezes merger notification timeline for duration of quarantine

THE Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) is suspending the acceptance and evaluation of merger notifications with its offices minimally staffed while Metro Manila is under enhanced community quarantine.

DA confirms bird flu outbreak in Nueva Ecija

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) said confirmed an outbreak of H5N6 Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) at a quail farm in Nueva Ecija.
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Meralco launches measures to sustain power supply

THE Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) said Monday that it is implementing emergency measures to safeguard the power supply during the Metro Manila lockdown, particularly to critical users like hospitals.

Legislator backs waiver of penalties for late tax filing after April deadline

A KEY legislator has asked the authorities to waive penalties for taxpayers who miss the April 15 deadline for filing tax returns as a form of “administrative relief” for the public during the COVID-19 quarantine.


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Taxpayers’ right to due process: Can a new assessment be raised at the FDDA?

As the world is now facing a coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, each of us is reminded by the World Health Organization of the correct procedures for preventing infection, such as frequently washing hands with soap, maintaining social distancing, practicing respiratory hygiene, and seeking medical care early.

Case studies of lockdowns caused by COVID-19

Wuhan’s bold approach of restricting travel in and out of the industrial city seems to serve as a model for other cities and even whole countries to copy in combating COVID-19, although the lockdown of Wuhan only slowed down the spread of the virus by three to five days because about 5 million residents fled when they sensed the city government would ban exit from it.

Forecasting in a time of radical uncertainty

On Thursday night, President Rodrigo Duterte, upon the recommendation of health officials, announced that for 30 days starting March 15, Metro Manila will be put under “community quarantine,” a term that he said means a lockdown. The measure was in response to the rapidly rising number of COVID-19 infections in the last 10 days, increasing from only three (with one dead) to 140 (with 12 deceased) per the latest count (as of March 15).

Evolving viruses and innovator drugs

The bad news is that the Wuhan virus -- a.k.a. severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 or SARS-CoV-2 which causes coronavirus disease 2019 or Covid-19 -- continues to expand worldwide. The good news is that humanity is a survivor of many deadly viruses in the past and modern and innovator medicines and vaccines keep coming.

Commentaries on the One Person Corporation under the Revised Corporation Code

The conversion of an Ordinary Stock Corporation to a One Person Corporation (OPC) is explained in Section 131.

Countdown to Zero challenges big polluters

OIL MAJORS and big miners have been falling over themselves to promise better behavior when it comes to greenhouse gases. A significant number now say they are targeting zero emissions. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees on exactly what that means. It leaves investors clear on good intentions, but far less so on how to price transition risk, compare strategies and judge success.

Peso sinks further as coronavirus continues to spread

THE PESO dropped on Monday and settled at the P51-per-dollar level for the second straight day as more investors opted for safer havens amid fears due to the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which has now triggered an “enhanced community quarantine” for the whole of Luzon island.
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Stocks plunge as investors assess virus impact

LOCAL SHARES plunged on Monday as investors continue to assess the economic impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

China donates 2,000 novel coronavirus test kits

THE Chinese government has donated 2,000 “high-tech fast test kits” to the Philippines to help it fight a novel coronavirus outbreak that has killed at least 12 people and sickened 128 more.

Local governments a step ahead with community quarantine declarations

SEVERAL LOCAL governments around the country — mostly major cities, provinces, and even some municipalities — have declared a community quarantine to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the new coronavirus that has infected 140 Filipinos as of March 15.
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)

Gov’t clarifies lifting of travel ban for China

THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday clarified the lifting of the travel ban for mainland China, saying only returning overseas Filipino workers (OFW), holders of permanent resident visas and government officials were covered.

Expressions of hope follow as basketball grinds to a halt

WITH THE coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continuing to be an ongoing and concerning threat, basketball-loving Filipinos would have to wait some time before they get their steady dose of hoop action.

Golf’s Masters postponed, English soccer suspended

LONDON/NEW YORK -- Golf’s jewel in the crown The Masters and English soccer’s Premier League joined the lengthening list of elite sporting events to fall foul of the coronavirus pandemic on Friday.

Senator Zubiri tests positive for COVID-19; 2 more cases reported

SENATOR Juan Miguel F. Zubiri on Monday said he had tested positive for COVID-19.

Knights of the Square Table throws support to First Women’s Online Bullet Chess Championships

THE FIRST Women’s Online Bullet Chess Championships, which unfolds on April 1 at 1 p.m. gets a big boost as Knights of the Square Table announced its sponsorship of the prestigious competition featuring the world’s fastest players.

Herbalife expert underscores value of sports nutrition

GIVEN the many health challenges an individual faces nowadays, the need to stay healthy could not be more underscored.

Manila City orders nine-hour curfew

THE city of Manila will enforce a nine-hour curfew from 8 p.m. in line with a metro-wide lockdown ordered by President Rodrigo R. Duterte last week. The lockdown has since been expanded to the entire island of Luzon.

#COVID-19 Regional Updates (03/16/20)

A MORATORIUM on rental fees, one-month reprieve on the payment of utility bills, and hazard pay for frontliners are among the measures proposed by senators amid the community quarantine imposed in Metro Manila.

Philidor refuted?

To recap, in the Philidor Defense after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Black’s woes can be traced to his insistence on maintaining the strongpoint on e5. Why not just give it up and play solid? What’s wrong with 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Be7, the Antoshin Variation? GM Larry Kaufman in “Kaufman’s New Repertoire for Black and White,” remarks that this line is a pretty reasonable choice for Black in a must-win situation, because although White is better, both sides have play, and the chances of a draw are fairly low. He then revealed that he selected this defense for Black repeatedly and successfully for the computer program Rybka in a match where it gave draw and White odds in every game to GM Joel Benjamin.

Nationwide round-up

A BILL seeking to provide compensation and benefits package as well as security of tenure and free education for barangay health workers (BHWs) has been filed by the Makabayan bloc in Congress.

Postponed

Golf was among the last of the organized sports to shut down due to the novel coronavirus. The Players Championship, long touted to be the pro ranks’ unofficial fifth major event due to its competitive fields and highly regarded home course, actually finished its first round -- and with crowds to boot -- before being called off. Up until then, United States Professional Golfers Association Tour commissioner Jay Monahan had been adamant in saying the show would go on in light of the varied circumstances under which competitive play occurs.

Another year of single-digit loan growth for Philippine banks due to Covid-19

Credit risk research company S&P Global Ratings believes Philippine banks could see another year of slow loan growth as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. While it expects trade and private investments to slow in the Philippines, dragging on banks' lending business, it also believes banks will be resilient to external pressures supported by strong fundamentals.

Dengue hotspot prediction tool declared global finalist and “Best Use of Data” in NASA...

Project AEDES utilizes big data to predict life-saving information-- for free.

CIMB Bank Philippines poised to double customer base, target SMEs by 2020

The digital bank shared their achievements so far and goals for the year.

Gov’t to boost spending amid outbreak

THE government will boost spending this year including on infrastructure and social programs to shield the economy from the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, softer global demand, and the Taal Volcano eruption at the start of the year, according to the Budget department.
BSP

Central bank seen to cut rates by 25 basis points this week

THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) may cut rates anew this week following the move of global central banks to ease policy amid fears of slower economic growth and lower demand for key commodities including oil due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Property giants to take a hit as Manila malls close

SOME shopping malls in Metro Manila will be closed starting today, after the government urged mall operators to suspend operations during the month-long “community quarantine” to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
PSE

Coronavirus fears expected to spur more stock market volatility

CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19) fears are expected to spur more volatility in the already bearish stock market, as Metro Manila starts the first work week under “community quarantine.”

Policy rate expectations for March 19

THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) may cut rates anew this week following the move of global central banks to ease policy amid fears...

Outsourcing firms told to prepare flexible work schemes amid virus

AN outsourcing business group has advised companies to implement flexible work arrangements amid the new coronavirus (COVID-19) disease outbreak.
Court of Tax Appeals (CTA)

Tax court denies JG Summit move on P1.3-B assessment

THE Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) denied for lack of jurisdiction the petition of JG Summit Holdings, Inc. to cancel the P1.3 billion tax liabilities assessed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

Davao del Norte cacao farmers show gains from PRDP funding

DAVAO CITY -- The nearly P1 billion worth of funding obtained by Davao del Norte from the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) is starting to show results in the cacao industry.

Torre Lorenzo considers REIT via market listing

TORRE LORENZO Development Corp. (TLDC) is studying the possibility of launching a real estate investment trust (REIT) and listing at the stock exchange through an initial public offering (IPO) in the coming years.

Sporty spice: Subaru Forester GT Edition now here

FOLLOWING its unveiling at the Singapore Motor Show early this year, the fifth-generation Subaru Forester’s sportier-looking iteration now makes its way to the Philippines to take the top rung in the SUV model’s roster.

PhilRice to train more farmers in higher-value production methods

THE DEPARTMENT of Agriculture’s Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) said it will bring its agroenterprise development program to more than 3,000 new farmers to promote higher-value products like special varieties of rice and byproducts.

Global fashion brands face EU crackdown to clean up textiles

EUROPE’S fashionwear manufacturers and importers may face stricter environmental rules under a push to clean up textiles production.

Motorcycle taxis halted for social distancing

THE government has ordered the suspension of the operations of motorcycle taxis such as Angkas (DBDOYC, Inc.), JoyRide (We Move Things Philippines, Inc.) and Move It (We-Load Transcargo Corp.) in line with President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s “community quarantine” order in Metro Manila.

Mitsubishi Xpander Cross has more ‘SUV-like’ qualities

IT WAS touch and go, but the threat of COVID-19’s further spread in the metropolis finally ended the hope of the planned formal launch of the Mitsubishi Xpander Cross last week. In a letter sent out to the media, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) said it “decided to cancel the scheduled Xpander Cross mall display in Glorietta 2, Activity Center. This decision is made to prioritize the health and safety of the public, our employees and dealer partners. MMPC is one with the effort of the Philippine government to contain the spreading of the virus.”

Rates of Treasury bonds, bills to drop on demand for gov’t papers

RATES OF government securities on offer this week will likely inch lower amid strong demand for safer assets as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to fuel uncertainties, spooking investors.