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Daily Archives: March 26, 2020 | 9:00 pm

Index posts biggest one-day rise in over a decade

THE PHILIPPINE Stock Exchange index (PSEi) saw its biggest one-day jump in almost 13 years yesterday, driven by improved investor confidence over the government’s efforts to support the economy amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Peso gains ground versus dollar on PSEi’s strength, US stimulus

THE PESO appreciated against the greenback on Thursday, reflecting gains in the local stock market and better market sentiment amid measures unveiled by the US government to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Three more lawmakers infected with novel coronavirus disease

THREE more lawmakers — one senator and two congressmen — tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019, adding to the rising number of infections that the Health department said had reached 707 as of Thursday.

COVID-19 cases top 700; death toll now at 45 — DoH

SEVENTY-ONE more people have tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019, bringing the total infections to 707, according to the Department of Health.


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Top pediatrician dies after being infected with new coronavirus

THE president of the Philippine Pediatric Society died after contracting the coronavirus disease 2019, Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said yesterday.

#COVID-19 Regional Updates (03/26/20)

THE Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has approved the food resiliency protocol endorsed by the Department of Agriculture (DA) for faster movement of major food commodities to Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon.

Nationwide round-up

THE BUREAU of Customs (BoC) may now release medical equipment vital in addressing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) without clearance, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said.
Carlos G. Dominguez III

Dominguez says worker support main priority

FINANCE SECRETARY Carlos G. Dominguez III said the government is focused on saving jobs and ensuring workers are paid during the COVID-19 outbreak, and does not consider tax breaks a priority.

MSMEs running out of working capital during lockdown

A SECOND lockdown would devastate the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sector because their working capital has been depleted with the shutdown of most businesses as banks grow more reluctant to lend because of the heightened bad-loan risk, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Jose Maria A. Concepcion III said.

Harvest means rice inventory ample until June — Agriculture dep’t

AGRICULTURE Secretary William D. Dar said the dry-season rice harvest will make inventories of the staple sufficient to meet demand until June.

Tighter overseas lending seen as main risk to PHL economy

A WIDER COVID-19 quarantine and more restrictive lending conditions worldwide pose the main risks to the Philippine economy, threatening to bring growth to their lowest levels since 2011, Fitch Solutions Macro Research said.

Quorum during quarantine

Undeniably, the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak have spread globally. In the Philippines, Luzon has been placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine, along with other areas across the nation. People were advised to stay home, most businesses are closed except for those serving the public, and social distancing is imperative where possible.

Locking-down our priorities

COVID-19 PH4, Carlo L. Navarro, a 48-year-old tax lawyer, visited Japan in February with his wife, Evie and only daughter, Gia. Throughout their trip, they wore protective masks, gloves, and incessantly used alcohol on their hands. Seven days after returning home, Mr. Navarro showed mild signs of COVID-19. A responsible citizen and father, he immediately insisted on being tested for the virus at a private hospital. His infection was confirmed within two days. He was the first Filipino to be found positive in the country. He was quickly confined to prevent its spread. His family, household members, and contacts have all tested negative.

Defying the virus

With over 500 cases in the Philippines, the COVID-19 threat is already serious enough to concern everyone. But its unwanted presence has also further exposed Filipinos to the authoritarian virus that to this day has survived the 1896 Revolution, World Wars I and II, the EDSA civilian-military mutiny of 1986, and the untiring efforts of human rights defenders, independent journalists, committed artists and academics, civil society organizations, and social and political activists to combat it.

Spring thoughts

Spring officially began on March 21st . In our tropical country, it is also the start of the long, hot summer season.

China coronavirus killed federalism

If anything, this China coronavirus-induced crisis spectacularly revealed the unworkability and shortcomings of a federal form of government for the Philippines. When push came to shove, the instincts of even the most ardent federalism supporters almost immediately were for the National Government to take control of the situation.

Why our leaders fail to learn pandemic lessons

IT’S THE WORST EPIDEMIC of our times, a health emergency that has now left more than 420,000 infected, 18,800 dead and paralyzed the global economy. The scale has been clear for weeks. All the more baffling, therefore, to watch poor decisions being repeated, over and over again.

Adjustments set for PHL Olympic push after Games postponement

PREPARATIONS of the Philippines for the Tokyo Games will continue albeit set for adjustments after the quadrennial sporting spectacle was officially pushed back by a year this week as the world continues to grapple with combating the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Team Lakay fighter Lito Adiwang rising above adversities

HAD HIS FAIR SHARE of adversities while growing up, ONE Championship fighter Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang said it only made him a better individual and something he is now taking cue from as he builds a solid career in mixed martial arts.

IOC working with sports bodies for rescheduled Tokyo Olympics

TOKYO -- The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is working with sports bodies to arrange a July–August window for the postponed Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and hopes to confirm the schedule within a month, Japan’s Yomiuri newspaper reported on Thursday.

Legendary UAAP coach Aric del Rosario passes away

THE local basketball community is mourning the passing of legendary University Athletic Association of the Philippines basketball coach Januario “Aric” del Rosario who suffered cardiac arrest on Wednesday. He was 80 years old.

NBA could be back by May — Mavs’ Cuban

DALLAS MAVERICKS owner Mark Cuban said he’s hopeful the National Basketball Association can resume playing games on TV, without crowds, by May.

QB free agency

To argue that the National Football League has been having a bizarre offseason would be to understate the obvious, and not simply because of the continued threat of the new coronavirus pandemic. For the first time in a long, long while, quarterbacks aren’t in demand. Erstwhile Patriot Tom Brady was a target of suitors, certainly, and for more reasons than 20 years’ worth of achievements show. For others who have had significant burn under center, however, the free-agent market doesn’t seem to be inviting at all. Even as unease and accompanying movement have historically been tied to the most important position relative to success, 2020 appears to be setting itself up as an outlier.

UP students win competition for generating electricity from water vapor

Patrick Parone and Hannah Ramos of University of the Philippines bested five other teams in the recent Go Green Philippine Finals. They will move on to represent the country in the APAC Regional Finals on April 16, 2020.

Eastern Communications on why cloud computing is key to business continuity

As worries around Covid-19 rise, more firms are investing in better means to ensure business continuity. Eastern Communications explains how the solutions many businesses are looking for may be in the cloud.

Nationwide round-up

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte signed into law on Tuesday Republic Act No. 11469, or the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act,” which gives him emergency powers in managing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country.

Government eyes up to $2-billion loan

THE COUNTRY is looking to borrow up to $2 billion from multilateral lenders to support increased spending to stem the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Finance chief said, adding the government’s fiscal position is sound and can accommodate larger debt to plug its budget deficit.

Household consumption to take hit amid coronavirus pandemic

ANNA CRUZ, a mother of two, has been struggling to feed her family since last week when Luzon was placed under enhanced community quarantine in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country.

Foreign business groups urge gov’t to address cargo delays amid ECQ

FOREIGN business groups are urging the government to ensure the unhampered transport of food and other essential products, amid reports that cargo trucks are still being stopped at checkpoints amid the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

SM Prime issues P15-B bonds

SM PRIME Holdings, Inc. has issued P15-billion fixed-rate bonds from its shelf registration of P100-billion securities.
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SEC warns versus ‘Narcfunds’ scheme

THE country’s corporate regulator is warning the public against investing in a group called Narcfunds/Narcsfund, which it said is operating without a license.

LT Group, SMC raise rubbing alcohol production

TWO of the largest alcoholic beverage companies in the Philippines have boosted their production of rubbing alcohol to donate to the frontline facilities and workers battling the spread of the 2019 coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

AC Energy, partner to use GE wind turbines in Vietnam

AC Energy, Inc. and its partner The Blue Circle Pte. Ltd. have ordered eight of the new 5 megawatt (MW) wind turbines from a unit of General Electric Co. (GE) to power the second phase of the firms’ $80-million wind farm in Vietnam.

ISM changes name to DITO

ISM COMMUNICATIONS Corp. has officially changed its name to DITO CME Holdings Corp.

‘Efficient’ Netflix sought during lockdown

THE Philippines’ telecommunications commission has asked US media-services provider Netflix to “efficiently manage” its streaming bit rates to ease data congestion as the Luzon-wide lockdown to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has slowed Internet speeds due to a surge in users.

Toyota, NTT teaming up on development of smart cities

TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp. and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (NTT) have agreed to work together on developing smart cities and will invest 200 billion yen ($1.8 billion) in each other to cement the relationship, the two companies said on Tuesday.
National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP)

NGCP to consumers: conserve power

WHILE THERE is a continuous supply of electricity, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) urged consumers to conserve energy given the uncertain impact of the new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Microwaved and one-pot recipes for the quarantined beginner cook

IT must be a challenge to be stuck at home with nowhere else to eat, and all you’ve got are your cooking skills (we’re working under the assumption that they’re not top-tier). We got a few idiot-proof recipes to tide you over during these trying times. Three of these recipes are from San Miguel Foods Culinary Center’s Home Foodie recipes, made using just a microwave and your own two hands. Recipes from restaurateur Myke “Tatung” Sarthou and the late culinary grande dame Nora Daza might sound a bit daunting, but these start with the words “mix all ingredients.” There is no way you could screw this up. The recipes from Mr. Sarthou and Mrs. Daza also have the advantage of keeping well, a true need during times of uncertainty.

BPOs in Davao City checked for compliance with DTI rules

DAVAO CITY -- Business process outsourcing (BPO) companies here are being checked by a joint team from the city government and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for compliance with guidelines on continued operations.
Asian Development Bank (ADB)

PHL bond market’s growth slows in Q4 on maturities, lower issues

THE GROWTH of the Philippine bond market eased in the fourth quarter of 2019 after the stock of government bonds declined as some issues matured and amid lower issuances, according to an Asian Development Bank (ADB) report.

Barolo 2016 vintage shines

As of this writing, Italy has sadly already overtaken China with more recorded deaths from the Covid-19, while in many parts of the world including here in Metro Manila, people are under lockdown, quarantined, and restricted to their homes for health preservation reasons. Everything may seem gloomy now, but as Wuhan, China has proven, there will be light at the end of the tunnel for the Italians, and the rest of the world undergoing this pandemic.

PayMaya opens digital donation facility

DIGITAL PAYMENTS firm PayMaya Philippines, Inc. has launched a one-stop digital donation facility, enabling people to donate to various charitable organizations that aim to help affected communities and frontliners who are dealing with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Stuff to do at home (03/26/20)

View Frida Kahlo’s work on your screens through the Google Arts & Culture platform.

MyKuya reports climb in bookings, job applications due to Luzon-wide lockdown

PHILIPPINE on-demand service company MyKuya reported a 300% increase in service demand last week as Luzon is under enhanced community quarantine, including getting more than 500 job applications because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, according to the company’s founder.

RCBC closes offer of two-year peso bonds

RIZAL COMMERCIAL Banking Corp. (RCBC) closed its offering of two-year fixed-rate bonds ahead of schedule as orders reached more than double its P3-billion program.