Home 2020 March 18

Daily Archives: March 18, 2020 | 10:03 pm

Release rate from 2020 budget 76.9% at end-February — DBM

THE Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said it released P3.153 trillion or 76.9% of this year’s P4.1-trillion budget as of the end of February.

DA organizing LGU-based food distribution for locked-down communities

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) said it is organizing a food-supply system for locked-down communities linking produce suppliers with local government units (LGUs), which will be responsible for estimating the community’s food requirements and delivering rations to households.

PCCI proposes access to cash-transfer funds to provide relief for small firms

THE Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) has proposed that micro and small businesses be given access to cash-transfer funds normally disbursed to poor households, to help them deal with the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019).
poor poverty

Legislator seeks resumption of DSWD safety-net programs

THE LEGISLATOR chairing the House committee on poverty alleviation said he will appeal to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to resume the delivery of basic social services which were suspended due to COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019).

Electronic prescriptions authorized for patients vulnerable to COVID-19

THE Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will allow doctors to issue electronic prescriptions to individuals deemed vulnerable to COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019).

As virus destroys fuel demand, global refiners prepare to reduce output

NEW YORK/LONDON/SINGAPORE -- Falling prices for crude oil are usually a good thing for global refiners -- except when nobody is driving.

Telecommuting amid COVID-19

The community quarantines for Metro Manila and Luzon started on March 15 and on March 17, respectively, and are expected to last until midnight of April 14. Travel in and out of the island is restricted for most forms of transport -- land, sea, and air. People are advised to limit their movements and stay home as much as possible to avoid being exposed to the virus.

Living a quarantined life

I spent some time outside the house yesterday, sitting in the driveway to get some sun. I have not done that for a long time. It was pleasant to enjoy a slight breeze, and hear birds chirping. And from where I sat, which was about 50 meters from the main road just outside our community’s main gate, I could see a few cars and motorcycles, and pedestrians passing by.

More water and investments, less virus

When President Rodrigo Duterte lashed out at Maynilad and Manila Water that hold concession agreements (CA) with the government via the MWSS on Dec. 3, 2019, the stock prices of both companies and their allied firms suffered significant declines starting Dec. 4, which continued until mid-December. I continued the series to last Monday, the last trading day of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE). The percentage decline of stock values until this week remains big, 49% and 32% for Manila Water Co. Inc. (MWC) and Metro Pacific Investment Corp. (MPI) respectively.

The benefits of being irrelevant

SHOULD OPINIONS and conversations always be about the issues of the day? Does the opinion page need to follow the events in the front page and the latest posts on the net? Can we talk about something else aside from the virus and the economic recession it seems to be causing along with the travel restrictions and their effects on the price of oil?

The ethical way to ration coronavirus hospital care

IF COVID-19 spreads as fast as experts predict, the memories that will stick with Americans years down the road will be of desperately ill people turned away from hospitals.

The end of OPEC is here

OPEC may not survive to celebrate its own 60th birthday later this year. Saudi Arabia’s decision to abandon output restraint and flood the market with cheap crude signals the end for a group dubbed the world’s most successful cartel.

Peso rebounds as governments work to combat COVID-19 impact

THE PESO bounced back on Wednesday after a trading halt on the back of positive market sentiment, with the United States baring fiscal strategies to cushion the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

Pfizer, BioNTech to develop potential vaccine for novel coronavirus disease

PHARMACEUTICAL giant Pfizer, Inc. said it was working on a potential COVID-19 vaccine with BioNTech SE, a German company working on new kinds of immunotherapy treatments.
Malacañang Palace

Financial markets allowed to operate during lockdown

THE government has allowed financial markets to operate with a skeletal workforce during the month-long lockdown of the main island of Luzon.

Prioritize workers on frontline in calamity fund use, gov’t told

SENATORS on Wednesday urged government agencies and local governments to prioritize frontline health workers for assistance once calamity funds are released.
Quezon City hall

Two QC villages locked down

THE Quezon City government has placed under “heightened enhanced community quarantine” two villages where half-a-dozen COVID-19 cases came from.

#COVID-19 Regional Updates (03/18/20)

THE INTEGRATED Bar of the Philippines (IBP) will release early half of the 13th month pay and salaries of its national office employees located in the National Capital Region while Luzon is under enhanced community quarantine due to the novel coronavirus disease.

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Nationwide round-up

OPERATIONS IN the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) is “business-as-usual” amid the Luzon-wide lockdown due to the new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) threat, the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) said on Tuesday.

French Open organizers push tournament to Sept.

PARIS -- The organizers of the French Open on Tuesday postponed the claycourt Grand Slam tournament until Sept. 20–Oct. 4 from its May start amid the coronavirus outbreak, with the new dates colliding with numerous events on the scheduled global calendar.

NFL legend Brady to leave New England after 20 years

NEW YORK -- Six-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady said on Tuesday he is leaving the New England Patriots after 20 years with the team, stunning fans of the National Football League franchise and adding a dramatic twist to the league’s offseason.

Durant, three other Nets test positive for COVID-19; Lakers under quarantine

NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant has tested positive for coronavirus, the Athletic reported on Tuesday, less than a week after the global outbreak prompted the suspension of the National Basketball Association season.

Olympian says IOC’s push to stage Tokyo Games insensitive to athletes

CANADIAN Hayley Wickenheiser, a six-time Olympian, has accused the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of being insensitive and irresponsible for pushing ahead with the Tokyo Games in the face of a growing threat from the coronavirus outbreak.

Philidor refuted?

This is a continuation of IM Robert Ris’ analysis where he tries to prove that the Philidor Defense has been refuted. We reproduce it here with the special permission of Chessbase.com, which has also very generously agreed to make the video available to our readers. The main article is here.

Changing address

In retrospect, Tom Brady spent the 2019 season giving hint after hint that he was prepared to leave the Patriots. Not that the greatest quarterback in the history of the National Football League really planned to; familiarity and prolonged success provided ample reasons for him to stay. Rather, he felt he needed to show all and sundry that sentiment would be taking a back seat to sense, and that he, as a result, was prepared to cut ties with the only franchise for which he has ever suited up. Respect, he insisted, was due him for all his physical and financial sacrifices, and if he wasn’t going to get it in-house because the so-called Patriot Way cuts no slack, then pack his bags he must.

Local employment startup Penbrothers accepted into 500 Startups Global Launch program

“It’s all too often that we see ambitious, idealistic startups with compelling visions sadly ruined by an inability to keep up with rising costs of doing business. Companies like Penbrothers can save the day, and programs like the 500 Startups Global Launch make connecting with them easier than ever.”

Church-goers find new ways to gather on live-streaming platform KUMU

This March, the Favor Church community is streaming all five of its scheduled Sunday services live via KUMU. Users can now attend the services online and send virtual gifts which will all go to the church.

IdeaSpace launches Opportunity Fund for Philippine startups

“We started the Opportunity Fund...to widen our net and to find dynamic, investment-worthy startups within and beyond the IdeaSpace ecosystem and to earn additional revenues to support IdeaSpace in the future,” shares Meily.

Lockdown may push growth below 6%

MOODY’S Investors Service slashed its economic growth outlook for the Philippines to below six percent this year, factoring in the impact of the Luzon lockdown and the rising number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

PHL becomes 1st country to shut financial markets

THE Philippines on Tuesday became the first country to shut all financial markets until further notice, amid the implementation of a lockdown in Luzon aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Government unveils P27-billion stimulus, but some say it’s not enough

THE GOVERNMENT has rolled out P27.1 billion in funds to help contain the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and aid affected sectors, with $1 billion more in financing under negotiation, the Department of Finance (DoF) said.

More private companies heed call for support versus virus

THE Philippines’ top companies are accepting the challenge of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to support the country in efforts to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Airlines bracing for long-term impact of COVID-19 on business

BUDGET carrier Cebu Pacific said the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic will continue to impact its operations in the coming months, even after the month-long enhanced community lockdown being imposed over the entire Luzon island.

Entertainment in the time of COVID-19; Studios, networks release films and series online

WITH THE whole of Luzon, including Metro Manila, under quarantine — the government is asking people to stay at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19 — there’s not a lot to do while stuck at home aside from worrying. Fortunately, several studios and networks are either uploading full movies on YouTube for free or promoting their online portals to access full episodes of their series or films.
Chuchi Fonacier

Banks ready to provide services, cash during ‘enhanced’ lockdown

BANKS WILL CONTINUE to provide basic financial services amid the enhanced community quarantine in the whole of Luzon, a central bank official said, while assuring a bank run is unlikely even as people look to hold cash during the lockdown period.

Aboitiz group allocates P73B capex this year

ABOITIZ Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) is setting aside P73 billion in capital expenditures (capex) in 2020, with its power and infrastructure units getting the biggest share, the holding firm said on Tuesday.

Virtual religious gatherings amidst COVID-19

RELIGIOUS groups are holding televised and online streaming worship services in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and the Luzon lockdown.

BSP to boost oversight of payment systems

THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) is looking to boost its oversight of payment systems under a draft circular which will establish a framework for the sector.

Pangilinan says group’s staff told to work from home

BUSINESSMAN Manuel V. Pangilinan assured President Rodrigo R. Duterte that the companies he leads under the so-called MVP Group of Companies are helping their employees cope with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic that has forced his government to declare a Luzon-wide lockdown.

Spotify launches playlist dedicated to emerging Filipino talent

MUSIC streaming service Spotify has launched a dedicated Philippine playlist for emerging artists representing the service’s “commitment to emerging artists across all stages of their development, in order to help them deepen their connection to new and existing audiences around the world.”

South Korea eyes measures to ease dollar funding squeeze

SEOUL — South Korea will announce measures on Wednesday to ease dollar funding shortages in its local market, two government officials familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The Philippines did it. Now smaller markets may follow shutdown

In their war against the coronavirus and foreigners’ exodus, smaller markets might follow the Philippines in shutting down their bourses, market participants say.

Four ways to tell if a COVID-19 article is fake news

COVID-19 has permeated every facet of the news cycle, and sometimes it seems like there’s a new update on the novel virus every hour. News spreads more quickly than ever now, thanks to social media and messaging apps. However, misleading or sensationalized information has also started circulating, spreading dangerous claims and causing unnecessary panic.

Coronavirus: first test of a US financial system years in repair

WASHINGTON — A health emergency dismissed at first as a fleeting risk to the US economy has turned into a full-on test of whether a decade of planning, regulation, research and soul-searching has left the financial system resilient to a major shock and its central bank able to mount a rescue.

Ayalas allot P2.4B for employees as virus disrupts work

THE Ayala brothers are rolling out a P2.4-billion emergency response package for employees and partners affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) business disruptions.