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Daily Archives: May 7, 2020 | 9:00 pm

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Local shares close higher on bargain hunting

LOCAL SHARES closed higher on Thursday as investors ignored the economic contraction reported in the first quarter and instead went bargain hunting on the market.

Peso weakens vs dollar

THE PESO weakened on Thursday after data showed first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) slumped for the first time since 1998 due to global supply chain disruptions and the onset of the Luzon lockdown.

Economic team proposes P131-B in relief measures

THE government’s economic managers proposed to Congress on Thursday P131 billion in new programs to help the vulnerable members of the population deal with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency.

NTC seeks amendments to allow broadcast operations during franchise renewal

NATIONAL Telecommunications Commission (NTC) Deputy Commissioner Edgardo V. Cabarios said the lesson the Commission learned from dealing with the franchise issue of ABS-CBN Corp. is that the Act No. 3846 or the Radio Control Law that it cited in its cease-and-desist order against the broadcaster needs to be updated to allow operations pending the franchise renewal process.

NAIA revenue foregone due to ECQ tops P1 billion

ESTIMATED revenue foregone by the Ninoy International Airport (NAIA) due to travel restrictions imposed under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) topped P1 billion at the end of April, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said.
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LGUs buy P1.58 billion worth of farm produce during ECQ

LOCAL government units (LGUs) have bought P1.58 billion worth of agricultural products from farmers and fishermen for distribution to their constituents since the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine on March 15, the Department of Agricuture said.

The use of force

THE American writer William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) was also a lifelong doctor of medicine. In one of his short stories, “The Use of Force,” the narrator-physician recalls making a house call to check on a little girl who, her parents suspect, has caught diphtheria during an outbreak of that disease among children.
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Congressmen seek to outlaw POGOs, say they’re a menace

THIRTY-ONE congressmen have filed a bill seeking to outlaw offshore gaming operations in the Philippines, calling the sector a social menace.

New demands in a post-pandemic period

Controversial French writer Michel Houellebecq recently declared that the world will be just the same after the coronavirus -- only worse. Houellebecq described COVID-19 as a “banal virus” with “no redeeming qualities.” He warned that self-distancing and home-working accelerate isolation -- the “obsolescence of human relationships.”

Making China pay

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo began the week with a blast: “There’s enormous evidence that... the virus originated in Wuhan, China.” His comments followed weeks of strident demands from many other countries -- from Australia to the UK to Germany and Japan -- for the totalitarian regime to open up regarding the events that led to this pandemic.

COVID-19 cases hit 10,343; death toll at 685 — Health dep’t

THE Department of Health reported 339 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, bringing the total to 10,343.

ABS-CBN franchise renewal won’t be vetoed, Roque says

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte was unlikely to veto a bill seeking to renew the franchise of broadcast giant ABS-CBN Corp., which had been critical of his administration.

Who’s up for the job of decontaminating Facebook?

SO, BIG SURPRISE, I have not been asked to be on Facebook’s Supreme Court of content. I was all ready to do an anti-Sherman if called: I will accept if nominated and will serve if elected.

Regulator says there’s enough supply of water in capital, nearby cities

THE National Water Resources Board (NWRB) on Thursday said there was ample water supply in Metro Manila despite lower water levels in Angat Dam.


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What your post-lockdown office will look like

WHETHER working from home has been a productivity and wellness-enhancing revelation or a burden to be shouldered with stoic resolve depends on your job, your home setup, and your personality. It may even depend on the day. But just as air travel changed beyond recognition after 9/11, traditional offices appear set to become safer, cleaner, and less pleasing environments too.

#COVID-19 Regional Updates (05/07/20)

THE Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) set off this week on a mission to start scouting for areas where the national government’s new program called balik probinsya — literally means back to the province — could be piloted.

Nationwide round-up

HOUSE of Representatives Minority Leader Bienvenido M. Abante, Jr. filed House Bill 6701 on Wednesday seeking the abolition of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for its alleged “defiance” to Congress over the franchise of broadcast firm ABS-CBN Corp.

Employees, companies welcome WFH setup as ‘new norm’ evolves

With the government extending the enhanced community quarantine to May 15 in select regions, provinces, and cities, including Metro Manila to mitigate the spread...

UAAP shows support for ABS-CBN after shutdown

LONG the home of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) through the ultra high frequency channel S+A, member schools of the collegiate league moved to show its support for media giant ABS-CBN following its forced shutdown of its broadcast operations early this week.

UFC 249: Ferguson vs Gaethje to air on FOX Sports on Sunday

UFC 249, the return-to-action event by the Ultimate Fighting Championship after taking some time off because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, will be aired over FOX Sports in the Philippines on Sunday, May 10.

Heavily restricted NBA practices set to resume this weekend

NEW YORK -- National Basketball Association teams are expected to get the go-ahead to reopen practice facilities for limited use as early as Friday, less than two months after the coronavirus outbreak forced the suspension of the season.

Coach Thibs

It’s easy to understand why Tom Thibodeau wants to coach again. He’s a hoops lifer -- always has been, and always will be. It doesn’t matter that he was a relative flop in his last stop; he had dual roles with the Timberwolves, and he couldn’t even sniff mediocrity in both. He drafted poorly and made questionable deals as president of basketball operations, including that which had him shipping Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, and Kris Dunn to the Bulls for what turned out to be a short rental of erstwhile favorite Jimmy Butler. More tellingly, he couldn’t coax any semblance of consistency on either end of the court from resident stars Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins and the rest of his roster as their head coach; his offensive and defensive predilections were anachronous to the prevailing pace-and-pace style of play.

Five ways to keep employees engaged during the lockdown

A lack of physical interaction among employees could pose different kinds of challenges for your team. But through the internet, there are ways for you to ensure that social distancing never means disengaged.

Singaporean AI predicts ‘end’ of pandemic

By Argie C. Aguja Senior Features Writer, The Philippine STAR A prediction paper released by a Singaporean university projects how long until COVID-19 reaches the last expected case in a...

PhilCare posts 21% income increase as company banks on smarter healthcare to drive growth

MANILA – Philhealthcare, Inc. (PhilCare), one of the Philippines’ most preferred health maintenance organizations (HMOs), posted a net income of P130.6 million for the...

PHL economy declines for first time since 1998

Following 84 quarters of uninterrupted growth, the Philippine economy shrank for the first time since 1998 in the first quarter of 2020, the Philippine...

How to get better at video conferencing

For most businesses, work in the age of COVID runs on video calls. Here are tips on how you can transition smoothly from face-to-face to virtual conferencing.

External trade plummets in March

THE COUNTRY’S international trade performance fell significantly in March as the restrictions imposed to arrest the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in the middle of the month led to exports and imports shrinking to multi-year lows, the government reported on Wednesday.

Philippine trade year-on-year performance (March 2020)

THE COUNTRY’S international trade performance fell significantly in March as the restrictions imposed to arrest the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak...

Agricultural output contracts in 1st quarter

THE country’s agricultural output contracted in the first quarter, as production of crops and fisheries dropped, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Wednesday.

Forced closure of ABS-CBN may hurt investor confidence

THE forced shutdown of media giant ABS-CBN Corp.’s broadcast operations may hurt investor confidence in the Philippines at a time when investments are anticipated to drop amid the coronavirus crisis.

MPIC income down for first time in history

METRO Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) posted a lower core net income in the first quarter, the first time it happened in its history, as its profits were halved as an effect of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in mid-March to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
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Five more illegal groups in SEC’s new warning to investors

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continued to flag groups that are soliciting investments from the public without authorization from the government.

First Gen watches ‘very low’ LNG prices as PHL prepares to import

THE current low prices of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world market are favorable for the Philippines as a future buyer of the imported fuel, an official of Lopez-led First Gen Corp. said.

Digital is ‘new normal’ as businesses restart

THE “new normal” for businesses after the lockdown is lifted will likely include a major shift to digital services, including digital payments and telemedicine.

Dealing with this summer of grief

THIS seems to be a summer of loss: jobs, money, stability, loved ones, and lives have been given over to the void. It’s not easy to wake up everyday not knowing what the world outside your windows would look like. The pandemic has changed the way we live, and in the moments that we’re trying to do more than just live and work, emotions usually bubble up to the surface.
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ERC further extends period to pay power bills

THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on late Tuesday ordered power utilities to further extend the grace period for customers in paying their electricity bills that were due within the period of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

WFH during the ECQ: Lenovo’s Michael Ngan

THE pandemic may have brought several industries to their knees because of quarantine measures which limit people’s movements outside their homes — but not Lenovo as the computer manufacturing company is expecting to see a rise in demand for its laptops and other productivity accessories. That optimism also led the company to hold the Philippine launch of the new additions to its Legion gaming line via a digital press conference, the first time it has ever done so.

Apo Agua plans recovery for delayed P12-B water project

DAVAO CITY — Aboitiz-led Apo Agua Infrastructura Inc. is finalizing a recovery plan to get back on track the completion of its P12-billion bulk water supply project in Davao City that has been affected by quarantine restrictions.

Facebook clamps down on fake news

SOCIAL networking giant Facebook has clamped down on misinformation about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) across its apps as more and more people turn to social media not only to connect with loved ones but also to look for information about the pandemic.

The end of the open plan office? Workspaces get post-pandemic makeovers

ONE-WAY corridors, buffer zones around desks, and clear plastic screens to guard against colleagues’ coughs and sneezes may become office standards after coronavirus stay-at-home orders are lifted, say occupational experts.

Holcim sets health controls ahead of operations

HOLCIM Philippines, Inc. has put in place health and safety controls, including social distancing in all its sites, as the listed cement maker prepares to resume operations with the government’s easing of enhanced community quarantine measures.

Maynilad turns over 100 isolation tents

MAYNILAD Water Services, Inc. has handed over 100 isolation tents and hygiene kits to an alumni association of the University of the Philippines that is setting up a 100-bed quarantine facility for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients.

PHL banks to see credit losses due to coronavirus pandemic

PHILIPPINE BANKS may see loan losses of up to P100 billion in 2020 due to the financial impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), according to S&P Global Ratings.

Apple to hold annual developers event online from June 22

APPLE Inc. said on Tuesday its annual developers conference will start on June 22 and attendees would be able to stream the event for free on its developer app or website.