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Daily Archives: March 17, 2020 | 9:18 pm

Human Settlements dep’t orders 3-month freeze on gov’t mortgage payments

THE Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) ordered a three-month moratorium on loan payments to government agencies providing housing finance during the Luzon enhanced community quarantine.

MRT-3 rehab suspended for duration of quarantine

THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) said the rehabilitation of the Manila Metro Rail Transit System (MRT)-3 will be suspended during the one-month enhanced community quarantine imposed on Luzon.
Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) logo

BIR sets June 15 payment deadline for amended ITRs

THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said it will waive penalties for income tax return (ITR) amendments provided that settlement payments are made on or before June 15, with the bureau still enforcing the April 15 filing deadline while Luzon is on lockdown.

Checkpoint procedures set for vehicles carrying food

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) said accredited cargo vehicles delivering food into Metro Manila can pass through checkpoints and use special lanes if they present passes and display decals, while drivers and passengers must also present accreditation documents and ID.
Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) logo

Metro Manila construction materials prices rise in Feb.

WHOLESALE prices of construction materials in Metro Manila rose in February, though the rate of growth slowed compared with a month earlier, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.

John Legend holds online concert

AMERICAN crooner John Legend decided that the COVID-19 pandemic was not going to stop him from performing as he decided to hold an online concert via Instagram Live on March 18 at 4 a.m.

You’ve come a long way, Filipina

A foreigner was once quoted as publicly saying that the best man in the Philippines is the Filipino woman. It is not surprising therefore that an international accrediting organization has ranked the Philippines as number one in the world in percentage of women in senior executive positions, many of them actually being CEOs. Although we have had two women presidents, a distinction the richest nation in the world has not achieved, the fact is the women presidents have gotten there through derived credentials: Cory Aquino’s husband who was martyred was presidential timbre, and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s father was president.

(Undisrupted) learning in the time of COVID-19

The World Health Organization defines COVID-19 as the “infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus.” The virus has swept through the globe, affecting 144 countries and resulting in 5,735 deaths as of March 15.

The coronavirus: Why not news about those who get well?

Chris Cuomo, host of the CNN news-commentary program, Cuomo Prime Time, had good news about someone who had been found positive for the strain of coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2 which causes COVID-19.

Suspect and treacherous

In as much as the country is in limbo about the circumstances and consequences brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the government needs to consider two equally important national concerns.
airport runway

Philippine capital suspends international flights

AIRPORTS on the main Philippine island of Luzon will close their doors to inbound and outbound international flights starting March 20 as part of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s lockdown order to contain a novel coronavirus outbreak, the Transportation department said on Tuesday.

Apple’s $1.2-billion conspiracy fine is fair enough

THE TEMPTATION with antitrust cases -- especially involving a company as high-profile as Apple Inc. -- is to identify an ulterior motive. Why have the authorities attacked this particular target? Why is the fine so big? Surely there’s a hidden agenda at work, with broader implications.
hospital beds

DoH says 45 more got infected; one more patient has recovered

THE Department of Health on Tuesday reported 45 new infections from the novel coronavirus, bringing the total to 187.

Keep sanitizer out of the market’s invisible hand

DURING THE WEEKEND the New York Times reported on several professional price gougers who had rounded up Purell hand sanitizer and other disinfectants from local stores to sell at steep markups on the internet. The article was cast as something of a human-interest piece, reflecting how crackdowns on scalping had left these would-be entrepreneurs with excess supply and nowhere to sell. But the public blowback against them was swift and scathing, and at least one has already had his stash seized by a state attorney general.

Grab, Foodpanda to operate during Luzon lockdown

GRAB Philippines on Tuesday said it had resumed its food and delivery service to support food outlets allowed to operate during a Luzon-wide lockdown.

#COVID-19 Regional Updates (03/17/20)

THE NATIONAL Water Resources Board (NWRB) has guaranteed that water supply is sufficient in Metro Manila amid further decline in the water level of Angat Dam.
DFA logo seal

Nationwide round-up

THE DEPARTMENT of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will temporarily suspend operations in its consular offices in Luzon beginning Tuesday and will operate with a skeletal workforce in its Visayas and Mindanao offices amid national and local government measures to mitigate the spread of the new coronavirus.

Casimero and Ancajas title fights postponed

TITLE fights of Filipino world boxing champions John Riel “Quadro Alas” Casimero and Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas scheduled for next month have been postponed to a later date over concerns on the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

10th ASEAN Para Games reset further to October

THE already-delayed staging of the 10th ASEAN Para Games in the country was further pushed back after the ASEAN Para Sports Federation (APSF) Board of Governors decided in an emergency meeting on Monday to tentatively stage the event in October over the ongoing concerns on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).


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There is more to life than golf, says Tiger Woods

AMERICAN Tiger Woods sought to put the cancellations of a slew of golf tournaments due to the coronavirus into perspective on Monday, saying the well-being of others trumped the sport.

Missing out

The University Athletic Association of the Philippines already cancelled Season 82 over the ongoing and concerning threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). And while it still provided a glimmer of hope of resumption of collegiate play, including the marquee volleyball tournament, albeit with a reconfigured format if the situation improves, at this point nothing is definite yet.

Optimism reigns

It’s still too early to say the world is on the way to recovery from the novel coronavirus pandemic. The worst is yet to come in many parts of the globe, and it’s fair to argue that no one country has succeeded in keeping the spread in check for good. In the midst of the uncertainty, however, all have remarkably tried to keep or restore a semblance of normalcy to their affairs. In Japan, for instance, the B. League decided to resume competition over the weekend after having suspended the season in mid-February. In South Korea, meanwhile, the Korean Basketball League is prepping for the return to action of its 10 teams by the end of the month.

KUMU launches expanded streaming services to connect communities amid Covid-19 outbreak

“As a live streaming platform, Kumu realizes its responsibility in that and opens our doors to collaborate with anyone who are still unsure on how to proceed in the coming days.”

QBO to temporarily close Makati HQ in light of Covid-19

QBO Innovation Hub will be closing their headquarters in the interest of the health and safety of their community, but will proceed with most programs virtually.

SM Group allocates Php100M towards COVID-19 outbreak support to PGH, RITM, and other government...

“To ensure the safety of medical frontliners, SM is bringing in personal protective equipment (PPE) - face masks, gowns, visors, hoods, gloves, and shoe...

KonsultaMD offers Globe and TM mobile access to telehealth hotline sans call charges

With many people getting concerned about the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic, Globe and TM customers who subscribe to KonsultaMD may now get in touch with a doctor via their telehealth hotline sans mobile call charges.

COVID-19 case count: Philippines (as of March 16)

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte on Monday ordered the lockdown of the entire Luzon island to contain a rapid novel coronavirus outbreak, suspending work and...

Duterte locks down Luzon

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte on Monday ordered the lockdown of the entire Luzon island to contain a rapid novel coronavirus outbreak, suspending work and public transportation and regulating food and health services, according to his spokesman.

PHL companies gauge coronavirus impact

THE country’s top companies are beginning to assess the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak on their businesses, warning of lower consumer demand and continued operational disruption in the coming weeks.

Jan. remittance growth fastest in nearly 2 years

MONEY sent home by overseas Filipino workers (OFW) climbed at its quickest pace in nearly two years in January as diversified deployments helped boost inflows amid global uncertainties.

BSP may consider 50-bp rate cut on Thursday

BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno on Monday said they may consider a 50-basis point (bp) policy rate cut at its meeting on Thursday, after the US Federal Reserve’s emergency rate cut triggered policy easing by other central banks as they try to soften the blow of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to the global economy.

ABS-CBN, GMA adapt to lockdown by stopping teleserye tapings

TV NETWORKS GMA and ABS-CBN have both halted production of their entertainment shows after the declaration of a community quarantine in Metro Manila.

Musicians give free online concerts to beat coronavirus

BERLIN — Bans on mass gatherings introduced to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic might have been expected to deal a death blow to musical life, but have instead prompted a boom in free online concerts.
airport runway

Airlines try to stay afloat ahead of ‘travel surge’

JUVY P. CASTILLON, a 54-year-old grade school English teacher in Bangkok, Thailand, is scheduled to return to General Santos City via Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City on March 21.

Disney releases Frozen 2 on streaming early

PARENTS, get ready to hear a lot of singing.

‘Millionaire’s playground’ set to rise in northern Luzon

THE Widus Group, owner and developer of Widus Hotel & Casino and the Marriott hotel chain in Clark, Pampanga, recently introduced a luxury lifestyle brand which will bring the idea of a “millionaire’s playground” to life.

Gov’t makes partial T-bills award on uncertainties over COVID-19

THE GOVERNMENT partially awarded the P20 billion in Treasury bills (T-bills) it offered on Monday, with the market veering away from the three-month papers as they opt to hold cash due to heightened fears over the escalation of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in the Philippines and its impact on the economy.

Universal Music CEO Lucian Grainge tests positive for COVID-19

LUCIAN GRAINGE, chairman and chief executive officer of Universal Music Group Inc., has been hospitalized after testing positive for Covid-19, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Siglo Suites generates P448M in rental income

CENTURY PROPERTIES Group, Inc. (CPG) said it has helped its condominium unit owners generate over P448 million in rental income last year through its professional asset and leasing management service.
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SEC, PSE ease rules amid virus

CORPORATE regulator Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and local bourse operator Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc. (PSE) are easing rules and requirements to adjust to mitigation efforts against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Banks see lower loans, more bad debt on virus

BANKS HAVE NOW activated their business continuity plans (BCP) and are allowing flexible work arrangements as they brace for the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

QCinema grantees named

QCINEMA International Film Festival (QCinema) has announced its three new feature film production grant winners for 2020.

Cancel your trip due to coronavirus outbreak? Airbnb refuses scores of refunds

JOSH OSTROFF had a difficult choice to make: Cancel a trip to Japan in March that he’d been promising his 10-year-old son for three years, or ignore travel warnings and put his family’s health at risk amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Port operators, shipping firms adjust to slowing trade amid virus

LISTED port operators International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) and Asia Terminals, Inc.(ATI) said their business operations continue while contingency measures are being carried out to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
telcom tower third player

Telcos assure consumers working from home

PHILIPPINE telecommunications service providers are working double time to ensure minimal disruption to their operations as more consumers have begun working from home due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.