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Daily Archives: March 19, 2020 | 9:00 pm

Peso declines versus dollar ahead of BSP rate decision

THE PESO weakened anew against the greenback on Thursday as players anticipated a rate cut from the central bank and amid risk-off sentiment due to the sell-off in the stock market.

Shares plummet as trading resumes after halt

LOCAL SHARES crashed to historic lows yesterday as the market recorded heavy sell-offs as it reopened after a two-day shutdown.
power lines DoE

Electricity demand drops 30% due to lockdown

POWER demand has fallen about 30% during the Luzon enhanced community quarantine to contain the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), reflecting the decline in power use by shuttered businesses, the Department of Energy (DoE) said late Wednesday.

All-industry revenue growth eases in 4th quarter

REVENUE across all industries grew in the fourth quarter, but growth slowed compared to year-earlier levels, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.

Work-from-home surge slowing internet services

THE Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said the Luzon-wide lockdown being implemented to contain COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) slowed Internet speeds due to a surge in users.

Emerging markets deemed ‘high risk’ during outbreak — Capital Economics

EMERGING MARKETS in Southeast Asia are deemed “high risk” during the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) outbreak due to the concentration of populations in urban areas, weak health care systems and flawed quarantine protocols, think tank Capital Economics said.


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A reprieve from tax filing during COVID-19

On March 12, President Rodrigo R. Duterte placed Luzon under community quarantine between March 15 and April 12 to contain the spread of COVID-19. With the income tax filing deadline for the 2019 tax year less than a month away, concerns were raised by taxpayers on how to proceed with their tax obligations.

Local scientists looking at virus patterns; 15 more test positive

PHILIPPINE researchers are looking at the local transmission patterns of COVID-19 to help policymakers respond better to the pandemic that has killed at least 17 people and sickened 200 more locally.

Senate eyes pro-poor measures

THE Senate is considering legislation on food subsidies to aid daily wage earners who have temporarily lost their jobs after President Rodrigo R. Duterte stopped work as part of a Luzon-wide lockdown to contain a novel coronavirus outbreak.

Muslim officials seek help in tracing KL event attendees

THE BANGSAMORO Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) government appealed for the public’s cooperation as it tracks down the people who attended a recent big gathering of Islamic preachers in Kuala Lumpur, where many of Malaysia’s COVID-19 cases are linked.

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

THE APPLICATION for food passes has been streamlined to ensure continuous movement of food, agri-fishery products and inputs in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon, according to Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar.
DFA logo seal

Nationwide round-up

THE GOVERNMENT has ordered a price freeze on basic goods and commodities until May 15 after President Rodrigo R. Duterte declared a nationwide state of calamity due to the rising cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The Plague

The global COVID-19 crisis has heightened interest in a 73-year-old novel by Albert Camus. Published in 1947 in Paris, France, The Plague (La Peste in the original French) is a fictional account of an outbreak of bubonic plague in the French-Algerian town of Oran.

Police power in the time of coronavirus

The issue is power. And the one under national scrutiny the past week has been this government’s use of that power in issuing its “enhanced community quarantine” measure to control the spread of the China-originating coronavirus.

Challenge to quickly rise within the count of 10

The Corona outbreak was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), describing it not just as a public health crisis, but one “that will touch every sector.”

The beauty of aging

Virginia Woolf once wrote, “I don’t believe in aging. I believe in forever altering one’s aspect to the sun.”

Virus lockdown is a $28-Billion gig-loan buster

NO economy is immune to a fast-spreading pathogen. But where activity is organized more formally, authorities can at least try to reach the pain points with liquidity, credit, tax rebates, salary supplements or rental discounts.

Private equity has the cash, and it is king

PRIVATE EQUITY FIRMS, sitting on a record $388 billion of dry powder in Asia, may be about to get their reward for patience. Cash is king as corporate finances are stretched by the coronavirus outbreak. Having sat on their hands for much of the past year in protest at unappealing valuations, the virus-induced stock market meltdown is creating a potential parade of bargains. Blackstone Group Inc.’s reported plans to acquire Hong Kong-listed property company Soho China Ltd. may be just the start.

ONE Championship taking the COVID-19 challenge head-on

THE CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19) can either bring the best or the worst to an organization. And for ONE Championship there is no way to guide its affairs but to the former.

NCAA moves to officially terminate Season 95

PUTTING the safety of its stakeholders above all else, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) on Thursday officially terminated the already-suspended Season 95 over the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

NBA weighs next moves while season is put on hold

DESPITE not yet knowing exactly when his sport will return to action, National Basketball Association (NBA) commissioner Adam Silver told ESPN on Wednesday that the league is considering several scheduling options depending on how long the coronavirus pandemic shutdown lasts, including a potential charity game.

AFC Cup 2020 group matches of Ceres and Kaya postponed

THE AFC Cup 2020 campaigns of local clubs Ceres-Negros FC and Kaya FC-Iloilo were put on hold on Wednesday after organizers decided to suspend all matches over concerns on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Risk-return ratio

Make no mistake. Tom Brady’s exercise of his free agency rights had everything to do with him underscoring his worth. His first choice was to stay with the Patriots, but he had a compensation package in mind, and he no longer wanted to compromise as he routinely did since he turned professional in 2000. With owner Robert Kraft letting head coach Bill Belichick make the final decision, however, the Patriot Way took precedence, thereby making the remuneration he sought untenable in light of his advancing age and seemingly declining skills. For the franchise, sense and sensibility ruled over sentiment and sentimentality.

Layers of protection: how Magwai helps saves the corals

Local sunscreen Magwai propels for protection of corals

Filipino team bags grand prize at Finastra global hackathon

The team’s solution aims to connect local farmers to financial opportunities.

Facebook calls for applicants to new Community Accelerator

“Community leaders in the Philippines often tell us that some of the biggest challenges they face are a lack of access, training, and funding. We are excited to continue to invest in and support them through the Community Accelerator.”

Asia-Pacific faces imminent recession

A RECESSION across Asia-Pacific is “now guaranteed” amid an unprecedented disruption in the flow of people, trade and supply chains in large economies like China and the United States, with emerging countries in the region like the Philippines also likely to see spillover effects, according to S&P Global Ratings.

Trouble in paradise: Foreign tourists gone amid coronavirus outbreak

STAND UP paddle board instructors on a stretch of beach on the world-famous Boracay island have not had a client for three days.

WB extends $100-M loan to PHL for coronavirus fight

THE WORLD BANK Group (WB) is extending a $100-million loan to the Philippines to allow the Health department to buy test kits and protective equipment for health care workers, among others, as the country tries to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, according to the Department of Finance (DoF).
PSE BGC bell

Traders expect stocks to slide as market opens

THE local market is set to come back today after a two-day shut down, and traders anticipate it to stay on the decline.

ABS-CBN Convergence’s franchise expires

THE franchise of ABS-CBN Convergence, Inc. expired on March 17, 2020 while it was awaiting the provisional authority from a government agency that will allow the Lopez-led company to operate, its parent firm said on Wednesday.

CNN Philippines goes off-air for building disinfection

LOCAL news channel CNN Philippines on Wednesday said it had to go off the air for at least 24 hours as the Worldwide Corporate Center where it is housed needed to be disinfected after an employee of another company in the same building tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Big business groups join fight vs virus spread

MORE billionaires are joining to help fight the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) across the Philippines.

How hotels are dealing with the lockdown

WHILE several hotels have sent us statements regarding their operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, the rules have changed as swiftly as the statements were issued. While hotels such as The Peninsula Manila and Marco Polo assured us of their food safety procedures a few days ago, they, as most of the hotels in the National Capital Region have since been closed, or are currently closing.
2GO Group

2GO trims losses to P892M

2GO GROUP, Inc. posted a net loss of P892 million for 2019, a 39% improvement from its net loss of P1.47 billion for the previous year as it completed “a series of restructuring activities.”

Social media giants warn of AI moderation errors

SAN FRANCISCO -- Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube, Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. warned on Monday that more videos and other content could be erroneously removed for policy violations, as the companies empty offices and rely on automated takedown software during the coronavirus pandemic.

Pag-IBIG grants extension for borrowers’ payments

RESIDENTS OF Luzon and the National Capital Region will be given a three-month payment extension to repay loans from the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund) as the region has been placed under enhanced community quarantine, which has forced some businesses to shut down, leaving employees with no wages.

Grocery delivery in the time of COVID-19

WHILE we’ve been ordered to stay home, going to the supermarket can feel risky, what with the long lines of panic buyers and checkout stands touched by every Tom, Dick, and Juana who may be harboring the virus that causes COVID-19. But there now are grocery delivery services available where one can order one’s necessities without having to interact with anyone in real life,except maybe the wary delivery person. Here is a list of where to get your groceries and other essentials in this time of need. Most websites, however, have posted warnings that there will be delays in delivery, due to the obvious logistical issues.

Zara owner Inditex writes down inventory and postpones dividend

INDITEX SA said the coronavirus outbreak has forced the owner of the Zara and Massimo Dutti chains to shutter half its stores as the epicenter of the disease shifts from China to other key markets such as Spain and Italy.

Pandemic hands Big Tech a chance to burnish its image amid scrutiny

WASHINGTON -- Google, Facebook and Amazon are using their size, reach and technological prowess to help Americans cope with the coronavirus crisis, an opportunity for Big Tech to counter a drumbeat of criticism in Washington.

Banks waive fees, give grace periods for loans

AMID THE enhanced community quarantine that has caused business disruption and some job losses, more banks are giving their customers leeway, with some extending payment deadlines to up to two months.

Ortigas malls restaurants open for delivery

WITH the entire Luzon island under lockdown and local governments having ordered malls and other non-essential businesses to close, there is a need to know if basic necessities like food and medicine are still available. Ortigas malls — Greenhills Shopping Center, Estancia, Tiendesitas, and Industria — have announced that while the main malls are closed, many of their food establishments are still open for deliveries and take-out.
SEC logo

SEC temporarily changes filing rules amid lockdown

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is temporarily changing the rules for the filing of structured and current reports for corporations during the government’s lockdown period.

BPI sees delay in bond issue, BDO postpones planned offer

SOME BANKS are deferring or expecting delays in their bond issuances after business operations were affected by the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.

Zalora halts warehouse operations but still accepts orders for later delivery

ONLINE shopping site Zalora has paused its warehouse operations starting today until the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine is lifted.