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Daily Archives: May 13, 2020 | 9:00 pm

Peso climbs to two-year high

THE PESO rose further against the greenback on Wednesday, notching its strongest finish since January 2018 amid positive market sentiment on the government’s move to scale up its fiscal stimulus during the pandemic.
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Stocks drop as Metro Manila remains on lockdown

LOCAL SHARES retreated on Wednesday as investors assessed the economic impact of the government’s decision to keep the National Capital Region on lockdown for another two weeks.

Agri dep’t seeking to tap P66B from stimulus funds

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) sought P66 billion worth of funding from Congress to bolster the rice supply, improve logistics, and provide emergency employment in response to the pandemic.

Life insurance companies seeking to continue online policy sales after ECQ

THE life insurance sector is appealing to the Insurance Commission (IC) to allow agents to continue selling online even after the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is lifted.
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New oil import tariffs expected to raise P6.78 billion

THE government could raise P6.78 billion in 2020 from oil import tariffs imposed to help fund the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) containment effort, the Department of Energy (DoE) said Wednesday.

IT-BPM industry beats revenue growth target in 2019

THE Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) said revenue rose 7.1% to $26.3 billion in 2019, exceeding its targeted 5.2% growth rate.

UNESCAP sees pandemic ushering in green measures to help oceans recover

THE coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak holds the potential for helping marine environments recover if economies adopt greener practices, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) said.


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On hold: Quarantined tax assessments

After nearly two months under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), Metro Manila is now looking to ease some of the restrictions without compromising public safety. In anticipation, local government units (LGUs) are preparing the guidelines to transition towards new normal. The call to adjust operations on an unprecedented scale is proving to be challenging to industries like the academe, among others.

DoH criticized for data errors as coronavirus cases reach 11,618

SENATORS on Wednesday hit the Department of Health (DoH) for errors in coronavirus tracking data, saying such “incompetence” endanger the lives of the public.

Agents to probe police officer’s b-day festivities

THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will probe the birthday celebration of a high-ranking police official amid a lockdown in Metro Manila because of a coronavirus pandemic, Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said on Wednesday.

Typhoon Ambo intensifies into a severe tropical storm as it moves closer to land

HEAVY rainfall is expected in areas along the path of typhoon Ambo, which has strengthened into a severe tropical storm as of Wednesday with maximum sustained winds of 95 kilometers per hour (km/h) near the center and gustiness of up to 115 km/h.

Defense chief defends plan to buy attack helicopters

DEFENSE Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana on Wednesday defended a military plan to buy P13 billion worth of attack helicopters in the fight against Maoist rebels amid a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

#COVID-19 Regional Updates (05/13/20)

WESTERN Visayas did not have a new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) case reported on May 12 just as the region was declared among the areas with low transmission risk and can end lockdown measures by May 16.

Nationwide round-up

JOB opportunities are available within special economic zones around the country for those who will enroll in the government’s Balik Probinsya program, which encourages people in Metro Manila and other urban areas to move back or relocate to the provinces.

Start-ups and closures

I have yet to see data on how many businesses, particularly small and medium enterprises, in Metro Manila will not survive 2020 as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. A few will probably start reopening by next week, some more perhaps by June 1. And of those that can resume by the second semester, I doubt very much if most will make it to the end of the year.

Drug pricing in Asia and WHO assembly

As the COVID-19 global pandemic lingers, the search for new medicines and vaccines continues as existing treatments and medicines cannot cope with virus mutation. Public policies on the pricing of innovative, newly invented medicines and vaccines are among the important considerations, whether these new treatments will become available in certain countries or not.

Working at home

A COMMON PLACE for work became the “new normal” after the industrial revolution in the western world of the 1800s. The then agricultural economy, that itself founded villages, went on to large scale manufacturing, drawing laborers from the rural population to work in the assembly lines to produce such items such as automobiles and steel bars. This development separated the home from the place of work. The subsequent revolutions like the Information Age, as well as the rise of the service sector, led to even larger office buildings and the introduction of cubicles.

NBA gaining ‘momentum’ toward season resumption

FOLLOWING a Board of Governors call with commissioner Adam Silver on Tuesday, the National Basketball Association (NBA) is “increasingly positive about the league’s momentum” toward resuming the 2019-20 season, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported.

Challenges ahead for local football but stakeholders hopeful

LOCAL FOOTBALL will have it challenging as long as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic remains a going concern for the country. But stakeholders remain hopeful that in due time some semblance of normalcy can be achieved.

PSC beefing up measures heading into the new normal

ACKNOWLEDGING that local sports has been changed considerably by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is working and strengthening its legs heading into the “new normal” of doing things.

London mayor opposes Premier League’s June restart

BENGALURU -- London Mayor Sadiq Khan is opposed to the idea of the Premier League resuming in the capital next month while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause hundreds of deaths in the UK each day, a spokesperson for the mayor’s office has said.

Tests await players as PGA Tour prepares for return

TORONTO -- Golfers and caddies returning to the PGA Tour next month will face a battery of tests and safety measures as they adjust to tournament golf in the era of novel coronavirus.

Globe employees volunteer as customer service reps during crisis

In a pandemic, how can a company continuously serve its millions of customers with the closure of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies and other...
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Phase 1, 3rd Leg of BUSINESSWORLD INSIGHTS: COVID-19 and the Philippine Stock Market

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5zQiEHl1i4 As economies are put to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic, global markets and investments took a deep dive. Is there a silver...

NASA, partners launch virtual hackathon to develop COVID-19 solutions

As the program's first global virtual hackathon, Space Apps will be putting open data to work in developing solutions to issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Positioning the real estate industry for a post-pandemic world

By Bjorn Biel M. Beltran Special Features Assistant Editor, BusinessWorld The coronavirus pandemic has all but stopped the property industry in its tracks. For the past...

Metro Manila lockdown extended

THE government is keeping Metro Manila and two other areas under lockdown until the end of May, although some businesses will be allowed to resume partial operations.

DoF proposes revisions to CITIRA bill

THE Department of Finance (DoF) is proposing to give the President the power to grant “tailor-fit” incentives to investors under the Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Rationalization Act (CITIRA) bill, which is still pending at the Senate.

PHL economy to contract by 2% this year — Moody’s

MOODY’S Investors Service now expects the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) to contract by as much as 2% this year, as the coronavirus outbreak continues to wreak havoc on the economy.

Salcedo opens an online exhibition

WHILE museums and art galleries remain closed, and gatherings for art events are still prohibited, enjoying — and purchasing — art continues online.

WFH during the ECQ: LPC’s Lylah Fronda-Ledonio and Phillip Añonuevo

WITH enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila nearing the 60-day mark, Leechiu Property Consultants (LPC) executive directors for commercial leasing Lylah Fronda-Ledonio and Phillip Añonuevo now have their work-from-home (WFH) routines down pat.

Telco revenue to be flat this year — Fitch Ratings

THE revenue of Philippine telecommunications companies will “remain relatively flat” this year as the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt economic activities, Fitch Ratings said in a report released on Tuesday.

Cirtek turns to China and Taiwan for expansion

CIRTEK Holdings Philippines Corp. (Cirtek) is exploring opportunities in China and Taiwan as part of diversifying its supply chain amid challenges brought by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Kominers’ Conundrums: Poker with zero privacy

LAST week’s puzzle was completely hidden, so this week I’m putting everything on the table — the poker table, that is:

Gov’t fully awards bonds

THE GOVERNMENT made a full award of the reissued seven-year Treasury bonds (T-bonds) it auctioned off on Tuesday amid lower rates and strong demand as investors eye longer tenors as they seek higher yields.
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SEC warns of more easy money groups, penalties during pandemic

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is warning the public against more groups operating investment schemes without authorization from the government.

Delayed Friends reunion holding out for live audience over remote event

LOS ANGELES — Fans may have to wait until the fall for the Friends reunion special as HBO Max executives are holding out hopes of filming it before a live audience rather than shooting the much-anticipated get together remotely with stars under quarantine.

Bank lending expands faster in March on rise in production loans

OUTSTANDING LOANS disbursed by universal and commercial banks rose by 12.9% in March, faster than the downward-revised 12% pace in February, according to data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
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SMC’s Holcim bid withdrawn after PCC rejection

THE Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) said San Miguel Corp. (SMC) withdrew its acquisition of Holcim Philippines, Inc. after the agency rejected the parties’ proposals for voluntary commitments drafted in response to concerns from the merger.

Seinfeld star Jerry Stiller, 92

NEW YORK — Jerry Stiller, who played two of American television’s most cantankerous fathers on the sitcoms Seinfeld and The King of Queens, has died aged 92, his son Ben Stiller said on Twitter on Monday.
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Metrobank to exercise call option on P6.5 billion in notes

Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank) will redeem P6.5 billion in debt in August after securing approval from the central bank.

Kurt Cobain’s Unplugged guitar has $1 million auction estimate

Kurt Cobain’s cardigan sold for a record $334,000 last year. Now the acoustic guitar the punk rocker played for Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged session, just five months before his death, is expected to fetch around $1 million at auction in June.

PNB net income slides in Q1

Philippine National Bank (PNB) saw its net earnings drop in the first quarter as it set aside bigger loan provisions to prepare for the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Keppel Philippines attributable income slips 3.1%

THE Philippine unit of Singapore-based Keppel Corp. Ltd. reported a 3.1% decrease in its first-quarter attributable income to P6.01 million, while its after-tax income slightly grew with the increase in equity share of its investment in a property leasing firm in Zambales.

Diamond Hotel favorites are available online

Cakes, bread, sandwiches, platters of savories are just some of the things that can now be ordered through the online shopping site of the Diamond Hotel Philippines. Like other hotels under ECQ, the Roxas Blvd. landmark is no longer accepting guests and its restaurants are closed. Adapting to the times, it has reopened its kitchens for take out.