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Daily Archives: March 27, 2020 | 7:35 pm

BSP may pump more money into system amid outbreak

THE Philippine central bank is expected to pump more money into the financial system as low lending rates fail to stimulate an economy that has been put into a standstill by a novel coronavirus pandemic.

February outstanding debt rises on bond sales

THE National Government’s outstanding debt rose by 5.2% from a month earlier to P8.165 trillion as of end-February due to bigger sales of both foreign and local bonds, according to the Treasury bureau.

COVID-19 cases rise to 803; death toll at 54

THE Department of Health (DoH) on Friday reported yet again the biggest daily increase in novel coronavirus infections with 96 new cases, bringing the total to 803.

US cancels war games amid COVID-19 pandemic

THE United States military has canceled war games involving thousands of troops with the Philippines scheduled for next month amid a novel coronavirus pandemic that has sickened more than 800 people.
Bureau of Immigration (BI) logo

Local governments told to allow foreigners to leave

THE Bureau of Immigration will allow foreigners to leave the country even without their alien certificate of registration ID, the agency said in a statement on Friday.

Pimentel to face charges for violating quarantine

SENATOR Aquilino L. Pimentel on Friday said he would face allegations that he broke self-quarantine protocols for patients suspected to have been infected with the novel coronavirus.

DoST makes 3D-printed face shields

THE Department of Science and Technology (DoST) has started producing 3D-printed face shield frames for health workers on the frontline battling a novel coronavirus that has sickened more than 700 and killed at least 45 people in the Philippines.


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Ayala, Araneta and Aboitiz groups provide more support to lockdown-hit sectors

THE Ayala, Araneta and Aboitiz families have expanded their assistance to those affected by the lockdown in Luzon and other parts of the country, while others have joined the roster of private firms providing support to frontliners and vulnerable sectors.

PSALM defers bills payment

THE Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) has given entities in the power sector more time to pay their bills as it announced on Friday a due date of up to 30 days from the end of the Luzon-wide lockdown period on April 14.

SMC offers toll-free passage for doctors, nurses

SAN MIGUEL Corp. (SMC) on Friday said all of its expressways will be toll-free for medical practitioners battling the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

ICTSI to consignees: withdraw your reefers

RAZON-led International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) on Friday appealed to its consignees to withdraw their reefers immediately.

PHL to receive further $1.6-B from ADB

THE Asian Development Bank (ADB) said another funding package of at least $1.6 billion for the Philippines will be released in the coming weeks to help the government respond to the COVID-19 quarantine and to help affected industries.

Fee waiver sought for containers stuck in port during quarantine

LEGISLATORS have called on the government to waive storage, demurrage and detention fees for all containers that landed in the country while the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) is in effect.

Asia casino traffic seen dropping 60-80% during outbreak

THE Asia-Pacific gaming industry is bracing for “negative cash flows” as casino visits drop as governments prohibit large crowds during the COVID-19 outbreak, according to S&P Gobal Ratings.

Councils reactivated to monitor local food prices

GOVERNMENT agencies have reactivated a price coordination council to monitor prices of basic commodities in Metro Manila and other urban areas during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Transport GOCCs make advance dividend payment of over P10-B

THE Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), and the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), made an advance dividend payment of more than P10 billion Friday.
Arthur P. Tugade

DoTr to continue reviewing transport project proposals during lockdown

TRANSPORTATION Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said the review of unsolicited proposals for all transport-related projects will continue during the COVID-19 quarantine.

Lockdown threatens PUV modernization as lockdown squeezes operators

THE Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP), which is one of the main drivers of demand for commercial vehicles this year, faces “significant risks” of being delayed due to the lockdown on Luzon, Fitch Solutions said.

Palay farmgate prices rise 0.9% in late Feb.

THE average farmgate price of palay, or unmilled rice, rose 0.9% week-on-week to P16.18 per kilogram (kg) in the fifth week of February, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

BPI raises P33.9-B from oversubscribed 4.05% bonds

THE Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) raised P33.9 billion from an oversubscribed issue of fixed-rate bonds, with the bank expecting clients to borrow more to weather the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown.

DBP touts recovery financing program for hard-hit firms, LGUs

THE Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) said it is prepared to aid businesses and local governments with low-cost funding for their recovery efforts following the COVID-19 lockdown.
Insurance Commission (IC)

IC order extensions for policies expiring during quarantine

THE Insurance Commission (IC) ordered insurance firms and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) to extend for at least 30 days current policies and agreements expiring during the month-long enhanced community quarantine period.
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Peso strengthens as confidence improves after US stimulus package passes

THE peso strengthened Friday as market sentiment improved following the passage of a substantial US stimulus package as well as policy easing by the Federal Reserve.
PSE

Stocks down 2.5% as fears persist over rising COVID-19 cases

LOCAL shares closed the week on a negative note as the country continues to record more cases of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19), prompting investors to book gains while wary of the impact of the pandemic on the economy.

IBM, U.S. White House collaborate on COVID-19 computing consortium

IBM, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, brings supercomputers into the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic with the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium.

SSS temporarily extends filing periods of sickness notifications, sickness benefit claims

The Social Security System (SSS) has temporarily extended the filing periods of sickness notifications and sickness benefit claims for contingencies starting on 1 March...

First Shoshin, DA5 partner to pilot ‘contactless, tellerless, cashless’ Western Union branch

The WU branch will adopt a contactless, tellerless, and cashless model for an expedited remittance service. Their goal is to enable an end-to-end solution that allows anyone in the world to send or receive money in any currency in real time.

Eskwelabs offers free data science courses for Filipinos in quarantine

Eskwelabs is currently offering free data science courses for Filipinos who might benefit from upskilling from home.

Gov’t set to borrow P190B in April

THE government has set a P190-billion borrowing program for April focused on short-term tenors, even reintroducing a 35-day term, as investors shun securities with longer maturities amid ongoing uncertainties.

Bigger budget deficit not expected to hurt Philippines’ credit profile

THE PHILIPPINES still has room for a more aggressive fiscal response to blunt the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, according to credit raters who said that the expected widening of the budget deficit will not affect the country’s credit standing as long as the debt rise is temporary.

LGUs, agencies urged to cut red tape amid ECQ

GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, including local government units (LGUs), are being urged to simplify and streamline procedures and requirements as the country is under a state of national emergency due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

Netflix reduces video quality in more countries to handle surge

NETFLIX Inc. is reducing video quality in India, Australia, and some Latin American countries following conversations with internet service providers and governments, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Foreign groups back steps vs virus

FOREIGN business groups are backing government measures to address the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and support the economy.

OPM artists hold online fundraising concerts

TOP Original Pilipino Music (OPM) artists have come together for several online fundraising concerts to benefit the COVID-19 front liners -- from a concert series held by Smart Communications to another by National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab.
Department of Energy (DoE)

No plant shutdown despite falling power demand, says DoE

POWER generation companies are not allowed to shut down their operations despite falling energy demand amid the Luzon-wide lockdown, the Department of Energy (DoE) said on Thursday.

Singer debuts with uplifting single

TWENTY-four-year-old singer-composer Seth Dungca is set to release his debut single “Halika,” a song meant to “uplift people’s spirits” in these time of fear and uncertainty, on April 3.
SEC logo

SEC accepts electronic signature, unnotarized corporate filing

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will now accept corporate filings with electronic signatures and are unnotarized sent through e-mail while Luzon is on lockdown.

New shows to launch in April

IT’S been almost two weeks since the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine was imposed to stem the spread of COVID-19, and the majority of people have been staying home and practicing social distancing. Here are some new shows to look forward to in April from WarnerMedia and Netflix, to make passing the quarantine easier. One has to note that many of these shows are starting in the middle of April -- hopefully, the quarantine would be lifted by then.

Suntrust shareholders approve lease for hotel casino

SUNTRUST Home Developers, Inc. said stockholders have approved a recently signed lease agreement for its planned hotel casino in Parañaque City.

AC Energy begins P1-billion share repurchase

AYALA-LED AC Energy Philippines, Inc. (ACEPH) is repurchasing up to P1 billion of its shares in the open market since March 24.

Famous victims of a pandemic, exactly 100 years ago

DISEASE does not discriminate, and takes lives great or small. During this coronavirus pandemic, when you can: stay at home. Otherwise, maintain distance in public, avoid close contact with people, and take all necessary sanitary precautions.

Keep supply chains open during pandemic, says IATA

THE International Air Transportation Association (IATA), a trade association for the global airline industry, is asking governments to remove supply chain obstacles amid the pandemic as the continuing airfreight delays caused by bureaucratic processes are “endangering lives.”
DoLE

Hotels to house OFWs stranded by lockdown

THE Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) will provide accommodation to stranded Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) during the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.

Stuff to do at home (03/27/20)

ENJOY PDF and ePubs on modern art from the Guggenheim Museum’s archive. The collection includes books by Francis Bacon, Max Ernst, and Mark Rothko.

Global central banks turn to Bank of Japan for yield curve control lessons

AS CENTRAL BANKS around the world reignite quantitative easing (QE) programs or adopt them for the first time, Japan’s key focus of controlling bond yields rather than a quota of purchases is being explored.