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Daily Archives: March 22, 2020 | 10:20 pm

COVID-19 and the economy

I am pleased to share with readers a post Christine Tang and I wrote for GlobalSource Partners (globalsourcepartners.com ) on March 18 on the potential economic growth impact of COVID-19 and on March 19 on the recent actions government has taken in the monetary and fiscal policy areas.

Global distancing

COVID-19 said it to the whole world: stay home. With the lockdowns of their communities, countries humbly said yes. It seems it is only in the Philippines that the term “lockdown” has been so fearfully avoided, but call it by whatever name, “enhanced community quarantine” is a lockdown -- both a lock-in and a lock-out, where plain quarantine is simply a lock-in. Whatever, just stay home.

The need to invest in soft power

This is alternative reading for those who need a break from corona virus-related news.

How prepared are we to fight Covid-19? What has to be done?

That all countries failing the test of beating COVID-19 is not an imagined fear. What we are seeing now is severe stress to the point of failure in all country health systems, regardless of preparedness.

A Philippine social protection and economic recovery plan

THE WORLD is facing its biggest public health crisis in a century. Managing this crisis via a lockdown requires an intentional contraction of the economy of unprecedented proportions. This deliberate and unavoidable drawdown in market activity will put businesses at risk of destruction, with hundreds of thousands of Filipinos likely to lose their sources of livelihood. Many households will be plunged into poverty. Without assistance, those who are already poor will find themselves at the literal threshold of life and death as they battle both the virus that is ravaging their health and well-being, and the economic hardship that will almost certainly exact a social -- if not physical -- death. Even those who are currently economically stable risk joining the ranks of the vulnerable.

DoH confirms 73 more cases; 6 more COVID-19 patients die

THE Department of Health (DoH) reported 73 more novel coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing the total to 380 infections with 25 deaths.

Country headed for complete collapse if quarantine ignored

THE Philippine healthcare system could collapse unless Filipinos strictly comply with President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s order for a Luzon-wide lockdown and similar quarantines imposed by other provinces, according to a political consultancy firm.

Economic loss from Luzon lockdown may hit P1.157 trillion

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte’s order to lock down Luzon amid a novel coronavirus outbreak could lead to P1.157 trillion in losses, as economic activity virtually comes to a halt, according to a congressman.


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Filipinos in Brunei, India latest COVID-19 patients abroad

TWO MORE Filipinos abroad have tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported Sunday.

PAGCOR seeks resumption of casino operations for high rollers, home-based POGOs

PHILIPPINE Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Andrea D. Domingo called on the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to allow the resumption of three "high-earning" gaming operations to raise more funds for the government’s efforts against COVID-19.

DICT warns courier service providers violating COVID-19 protocols

THE DEPARTMENT of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) on Sunday warned Private Express and/or Messengerial Delivery Service (PEMEDES) operators who violate the government’s guidelines on handling and delivering basic goods and necessities amid the Luzon-wide community quarantine.

Maynilad, Manila Water suspend meter reading, billing

WATER concessionaires Maynilad Water Services, Inc. (Maynilad) and Manila Water Company, Inc. (Manila Water) have temporarily suspended their meter reading and billing activities amid the enhanced community quarantine due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lawmaker calls for toll fee exemptions for COVID-19 response operations

A LAWMAKER has called for the suspension of toll fee collection on operations related to the government’s response on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

NFA assures enough rice supply for NCR

THE National Food Authority (NFA) has completed the prepositioning of rice stocks and is now awaiting delivery and disbursement in strategic areas across Metro Manila amid the enhanced community quarantine measures implemented in Luzon, the agency said Sunday.

#COVID-19 Regional Updates

HEALTH and local government officials of Cagayan have given assurance that the district hospitals around the province are ready to handle suspected COVID-19 cases with isolation rooms set up and medical workers briefed.

Nation at a Glance — (03/23/20)

News stories from across the nation. Visit www.bworldonline.com (section: The Nation) to read more national and regional news from the Philippines.

DA seeks extra P1 billion for food supply efforts

AGRICULTURE Secretary William D. Dar has requested a supplemental budget of at least P1 billion to support his department’s food resiliency and price control activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Workers from exempt industries, cargoes may go through checkpoints — DTI

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said employees of companies allowed to remain in operation will be permitted through lockdown checkpoints, as will goods cargoes bound for factories.
BSP

External debt at end of 2019 rises 1.1% vs end-Sept.

OUTSTANDING external debt rose 1.1% quarter-on-quarter at the end of 2019, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), with debt levels remaining within prudent levels by government norms.

WESM continues trading amid Luzon lockdown

THE Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) is still operating during the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.
windmill renewables

FiT-All fund still sufficient to support renewables industry — TransCo 

THE National Transmission Corp. (TransCo) said it still has a “sufficient” balance in the feed-in-tariff allowance (FiT-All) fund to aid renewable energy (RE) developers and help sustain their operations during the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.

Are you ready for the data-driven digital era?

Digital technologies offer new opportunities to create value by leveraging data captured while companies carry out business as usual. However, while most companies embark on data-driven digital transformation, many still struggle to 1) determine the right data strategy that allows them to become a truly data-driven organization and 2) properly manage and govern their data. In fact, data management and governance ranked as the second top IT challenge identified by business tech leaders after IT security and privacy. As data increases in scale and complexity, some organizations remain fragmented and still work in silos to collect, transfer, process, analyze and store their growing data. Many companies cannot adapt to these changes and find themselves stuck in the archaic way of managing data.

Clamor grows to postpone Olympic Games in Tokyo

LONDON -- Calls from sporting organizations for this year’s Tokyo Olympics to be postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic gathered pace on Saturday with USA Track and Field (USATF), the French Swimming Federation and Brazil’s Olympic Committee the latest to join the throng.

Badminton Asia Championships 2020 next month postponed

THE Badminton Asia Championships 2020 set for the country in April has been suspended by the world governing body of the sport over continuing concerns on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Athletes battle anxiety as COVID-19 turns life upside down

NEW YORK -- With the coronavirus pandemic turning daily life upside down and confining people indoors, 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams shared an increasingly common sentiment on social media -- “Every little thing makes me really crazy.”

Amsali, NU duo lead rankings of top local high school players

FORWARDS from San Beda and Nazareth School of National University (NSNU) head the rankings of the top high school players in the land in the National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) and lead the 24 players that will see action in the 2020 NBTC All-Star Game.

A bind

First off, this much is clear: The Federation Francaise de Tennis was absolutely right to postpone the French Open to a later date. It couldn’t have opened the gates of Roland Garros on May 24 as originally planned given community quarantine protocols in place due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. And with cancellation as an acceptable alternative only in a worst-case scenario, it settled on postponement instead. From its vantage point, it had an obligation to host the major tournament even at the expense of tradition. At least the crown jewel of the clay court season would be moved and not scuttled altogether.