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Daily Archives: March 23, 2020 | 9:21 pm

BoC exempts donated protective gear from some import clearances

THE Bureau of Customs (BoC) said imported donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) will be exempt from Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance requirements to expedite their release to frontline personnel working to contain COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019).

LGUs preparing food packs urged to buy local, use more fresh produce

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) urged local government units (LGUs) putting together food packs for their more vulnerable citizens to source food from local farmers to stabilize the market for fresh produce during the COVID-19 quarantine.

Water firms to apply average billing during lockdown

THE Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System Regulatory Office (MWSS-RO) has authorized water concessionaires to apply average billing to their customers, as community quarantine measures on Luzon prevent them from sending out meter readers.

WTO index shows services slowing even before pandemic

SERVICES TRADE in the Philippines is expected to further slow as measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) halts tourism and impacts outsourcing.

Think tank proposes gov’t ditch growth targets, focus on health care

THE GOVERNMENT should abandon its growth targets and focus resources on mitigating the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) via emergency financial and non-financial aid for affected households and businesses, according to an Ateneo de Manila University think tank.


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Of extensions and lockdowns

It has been a week since the government imposed the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and stringent social distancing measures on Luzon. This has resulted in the suspension of classes, public transportation, and travel by land, air, and sea. Strict home quarantine is being imposed and public gatherings are prohibited. Most business establishments, except for those that provide basic necessities, such as public markets, supermarkets, hospitals, pharmacies, banks and public utilities (e.g., power, water and telecommunications facilities) companies, remain open. To ensure the continuity of government services, work from home and minimal staffing arrangements are being implemented in the executive branch, except for the PNP, AFP, PCG, and health and emergency frontline services, border control and other critical services.

The Hammer and the Dance

Strong coronavirus measures today should only last a few weeks, there shouldn’t be a big peak of infections afterwards, and it can all be done for a reasonable cost to society, saving millions of lives along the way. If we don’t take these measures, tens of millions will be infected, many will die, along with anybody else that requires intensive care, because the healthcare system will have collapsed.

The challenge of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A national health security strategy

Currently, the country has a National Security Policy and Strategy (NSPS) that very few in the government and the private sector know about. The document fails to provide guidance and foresight in light of crisis and hazardous situations. This is a major factor on how the government now responds to the COVID-19 pandemic issue: the government offers no clear strategy on how to get out of this crisis.

International tax cuts in virus time

During global health pandemics aided by hysteria, there is global economic slowdown, deep slowdown bordering on contraction (“negative growth”). Millions of jobs are lost as companies and shops either scale down operations or shut down. Some governments around the world adjusted to help the ailing and dying businesses and job creators via various forms of tax cut.

Navigating the Future: The Udenna Way

Whatever you believe to be true about life, one thing is for sure -- time passes whether you like it or not. The future cannot be stopped. And since the future is a mystery, many of us want to get a peek, or at least get the best possible guess, at what the future’s going to be like, to see if things will play out the way we hope they will.

Making sense of the virus

It has been a week under the “enhanced community quarantine” -- enhanced because it now covers the whole island of Luzon instead of just Metro Manila; community quarantine because the original term of “lockdown” was a shutdown and wasn’t reassuring.

Peso weakens anew in thin trade due to virus

THE PESO weakened anew against the dollar on Monday amid risk-off sentiment in the market after a stimulus bill to battle the economic impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was blocked in the US Senate.

PSE index ends lower on selling due to virus fears

THE MAIN INDEX closed lower on Monday as most investors opted to sell due to fears amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

DoH reports biggest daily rise in COVID-19 infections to 462

THE Department of Health (DoH) on Monday reported the biggest daily increase of 82 novel coronavirus cases on Monday, bringing the total infections to 462, while the death tally rose by eight to 33.
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Labor dep’t says 100,000 workers got displaced

MORE than 100,000 workers have been temporarily displaced after the entire Luzon island was locked down to contain a novel coronavirus outbreak, according to the Labor department.

DoH says there’s no VIP treatment for politicians

HEALTH authorities on Monday denied allegations that they had given preferential treatment to local politicians in testing them for the virus.

#COVID-19 Regional Updates (03/23/20)

Face masks and hygiene kits are ready for distribution to the barangay health workers and health centers in Las Piñas on March 23 as part of Rep. Camille A. Villar’s assistance to frontliners in the fight against the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

Nationwide round-up

THE LEADERS of Kapa-Community Ministry International (KAPA) are facing a new arrest warrant, this time from the regional trial court (RTC) of Cagayan de Oro City on charges that are non-bailable.

IOC tackles fate of Tokyo Games:Decision expected in next four weeks

ATHENS -- The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is stepping up its “scenario planning” for the Tokyo 2020 Games -- including a possible postponement -- as the coronavirus pandemic spreads, it said after an emergency meeting on Sunday.

The Candidates Tournament

The Candidates Tournament finally started and, thanks to the coronavirus outbreak, it is the only major sporting event taking place right now.

Coping up

Community quarantine measures are disruptive to all and sundry for obvious reasons. When it comes to athletes, however, the change can be nothing short of unnerving. National Basketball Association players, in particular, have encountered no small measure of difficulty adjusting to the new normal for the immediate term. Prior to the suspension of the 2019-20 campaign, they were deep in competition and ready for the stretch run through the last fifth of the regular-season schedule. Now, they’re compelled to stay at home and away from practice facilities, unsure of when they can take to the court anew.

Las Piñas Rep. Camille Villar readies essential supplies for barangay health workers, military personnel...

The Office of Las Piñas Rep. Camille Villar preps face masks and hygiene kits - soaps, alcohols and sanitizers - for distribution to barangay...

Tips on managing a thriving remote workforce from Kalibrr’s CEO

Former Googler and Kalibrr CEO Paul Rivera shares some easy-to-implement tips on ensuring employee well-being, accountability, and productivity as they work remotely.

Five effective ways to motivate your sales team

Motivation is key to unlocking the potential of your sales force, enabling each member to contribute to the success of a business. As a...

How edtech companies and related sectors are helping students with distance learning

How can Filipino students cope with the disruption of the school calendar until April 12, and how can edtech companies help students in distance learning?

Companies and individuals offer services for free amidst the Covid-19 crisis

Amidst the uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses and individuals are stepping up and showing their solidarity by offering their services and products to those badly affected by the crisis.

Duterte eyes powers vs coronavirus

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte wants Congress to give him special powers to enforce measures to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that has sickened 380 people in the country, with 25 deaths.
PSE BGC bells

PSE trading threshold adjusted to curb volatility

THE Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc. (PSE) is adjusting its trading threshold to reduce market volatility amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Economic recovery possible by 2021 — Diokno

THE GOVERNMENT could miss its growth target this year after Luzon was locked down to contain a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, even as growth is expected to pick up in the third quarter and recovery by 2021, according to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno.

Region’s airlines are ‘hardest hit’

AIRLINES in Asia-Pacific countries, including the Philippines, have been hit the worst by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, according to Australia-based Center for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA).

Panic selling pulls down SM Prime

PANIC SELLING among investors prevailed during the shortened trading week amid continued pandemic uncertainty, making Sy-led SM Prime Holdings, Inc. one of actively traded issues last week.

FedEx continues to reach virus-stricken locations

MULTINATIONAL logistics company FedEx Corp. said it continues with its delivery services to and from areas affected by the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The confusion of confinement, in words

YOU and I have been placed under house arrest by an invisible spectre: a virus.

Tips on working from home

WHEN the novel coronavirus started spreading across Asia in January, forcing the world’s largest work-from-home experiment, not many knew what to expect, least of all Bloomberg’s 400-plus journalists in the region. Six weeks later (and counting), only now are some starting to return to the office.

Private firms launch drive for lockdown-affected Filipinos

LOPEZ-LED companies have donated P100 million to ABC-CBN Corp.’s fund-raising campaign that aims to help local government units provide food and basic necessities to families affected by the Luzon-wide lockdown, the media company said.

Rates of T-bills, T-bonds to rise as investors prefer to hold cash

GOVERNMENT SECURITIES on offer this week will likely fetch higher rates as investors prefer to hold on to their cash amid the rising number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the country and its potential impact on the economy.

Cinemalaya film fest postponed

THE 16th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival scheduled for August has been postponed as the COVID-19 pandemic poses “safety and health hazards” to filmmakers trying to make their deadlines, the Cinemalaya Foundation Inc. said in a statement.

D&L raw materials output goes on

LISTED manufacturer D&L Industries, Inc. said it continues to produce raw materials used in food and sanitation products to help provide the public’s needs amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

The fast and conscientious Porsche Taycan

“SPORTS CAR” and “environment-friendly” do not usually appear in the same sentence and are, in fact, largely dichotomous concepts. But Stuttgart-headquartered Porsche has a clear goal for itself: To become the most sustainable premium sports car manufacturer in the world. The brand is inventing and implementing measures across its entire value chain to avoid (or, at least, reduce) CO2 emissions.

Yields on government debt climb on coronavirus fears

GOVERNMENT SECURITIES (GS) yields went up across-the- board last week as market players grapple with uncertainties brought by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Pork, poultry supply estimated good for five months’ consumption

PORK and poultry producers said the supply of their produce is ample for Luzon, especially Metro Manila, with large inventories in cold storage supplementing available livestock estimated as good for five months’ consumption.

GMA adjusts programming because of quarantine

GMA Network announced that it has adjusted its programming starting March 21 due to the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine which was imposed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Petron says fuel supply secure

THE Philippine’s largest fuel refiner said it has a steady supply of its petroleum products during the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.

We don’t need a second skin in our cars

THIS IS certainly a great week for meaningful birthdays. For one, it’s Velocity’s anniversary week. For another, I will be observing (yes, not “celebrating,” thanks a lot, social distancing tyrant Covid-19) my own birthday.