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Daily Archives: May 21, 2020 | 9:00 pm

Peso gains versus dollar

THE PESO strengthened further against the dollar on Thursday on news of localized quarantine protocols and amid the ongoing dispute between the US and China.

PSE index extends climb on positive sentiment

THE MAIN INDEX climbed for a third straight day on Thursday, mirroring the rise in Wall Street overnight amid optimism on the government’s warming stance on private partnerships.

Conflicting gov’t claims on coronavirus state slammed

SENATORS on Thursday hit conflicting government information about the coronavirus situation in the country, which he said would erode state credibility to contain the pandemic.

More than 100 inmates freed amid pandemic

A TOTAL of 117 inmates were granted parole under relaxed rules amid a coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Justice (DoJ).
congress House of Representative

House constitutional change proposals take backseat

THE HOUSE committee on constitutional amendments will suspend hearings on proposed changes to the 1987 Constitution pending the country’s battle against COVID-19.

#COVID-19 Regional Updates (05/21/20)

THREE laboratories in different regions in Mindanao started coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing this week, boosting capacity in the southern islands where there are now five facilities for rapid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.

DoF says stimulus package, AMC bills urgently needed

FINANCE Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III urged legislators to pass “as soon as possible” a stimulus package bill and a bank bill facilitating the transfer of banks’ bad loans to asset Management Companies (AMCs).

AMC law useful if banks encounter worst-case NPL scenario — Diokno

A BILL PROPOSING the transfer of banks’ bad loans to asset management companies (AMCs) will come in handy should the financial sector’s position deteriorate further, but for now non-performing loan (NPL) levels remain low, the central bank said.

Taxing digital economy could raise up to P17 billion in VAT — DoF

TAXING the digital economy could yield up to P17 billion in fresh value-added tax (VAT) revenue in the first year of implementation, the Department of Finance (DoF) said.

PSALM wins approval to seek P43-B loan from DBP

THE Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) Corp. has won approval to seek a P43-billion loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), saying that despite “setbacks” encountered during quarantine, it does not expect to default on any of its obligations.

POGO work-permit applicants required to prove their firms are PAGCOR-registered

FOREIGN nationals working in Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) applying for a work permit will be required to submit proof that their company is allowed to operate by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR).

Tests for economic revival

Before COVID-19, the IMF, the World Bank, and the ADB were one in forecasting that this year, the Philippines’ real GDP growth would be one of the highest among the ASEAN 6. This prediction did not come to pass. The viral pandemic notwithstanding, the IMF must be in a deep quandary over why we did not perform as well as everyone expected in the first quarter of 2020.

The ‘new normal’ anomaly

The Philippine government has eased restrictions on people’s movement and allowed the operation of some businesses in Metro Manila, Cebu City, and Laguna by putting these areas under what it calls a modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ). Some provinces that used to be under ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) have been placed under General Community Quarantine (GCQ).

Thoughts in a triple lockdown

Here are five facts: 1.) the overwhelming majority of people do not have any significant risk of dying from COVID-19; 2.) we have a clearly defined population at risk who can be protected with targeted measures: older people and others with underlying conditions; 3.) protecting older, at-risk people eliminates hospital overcrowding; 4.) vital population immunity is prevented by total isolation policies, prolonging the problem; and, 5.) people are dying because other medical care is not getting done due to hypothetical projections.

Merkel and Macron show the way to a stronger Europe

A PROPOSAL announced this week by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron marks a real advance in the European Union’s sluggish response to the novel coronavirus. Their idea is for the European Commission to borrow some 500 billion euros ($548 billion) and distribute the money as grants to the member states most in need of fiscal support. That’s a much bigger number than previously contemplated, and the idea of giving grants rather than making loans is even bolder.

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What to expect when a coronavirus vaccine finally arrives

ON A SPRING MORNING in 1955, a pair of press officers greeted a mob of reporters in a stately hall on the University of Michigan campus. The officers had hot news: A clinical trial of the long-awaited polio vaccine had proved it to be safe and effective. The reporters nearly rioted in their scramble to spread the word. Once they did, church bells rang, and people ran into the streets to cheer.

Growth never ceases for Abdur-Rahim even in retirement

SHAREEF Abdur-Rahim spent 12 years as a player in the National Basketball Association. A time he described as full of growth and learning. It is the same experience he is having well into retirement.

FIBA 3×3 Olympic qualifying tourneys moved to next year

AFTER SUSPENDING all of its competitions early this year because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, world basketball governing body FIBA had decided to update its calendar for its 3x3 2020 season, including moving the Olympic qualifying tournaments to next year.

US Open without fans would devalue title win, says Cilic

MUMBAI -- Marin Cilic thinks winning the US Open in front of empty stands at Arthur Ashe Stadium would be forever remembered as a Grand Slam triumph with a very big asterisk, the former champion told Reuters.

ONE upstart Zamboanga has sights on world title

SHE may be early into her career in ONE Championship but upstart Denice “The Menace Fairtex” Zamboanga is very much determined to see her goal of winning a world title through.

Best of All Time

Among the many offshoots of the airing of The Last Dance has been the revival of “Best of All Time” discussions in hoops circles. That Michael Jordan reportedly decided on thumbing up the production of the documentary series shortly after LeBron James, against whom he is often pitted for the accolade, engineered a remarkable comeback in the 2016 National Basketball Association Finals speaks volumes of his mindset, not to mention competitive spirit. He had previously sat on comprehensive behind-the-scenes footage of the Bulls’ title run in 1998, content in his place at the top.

Baguio’s battle against COVID-19

By Michaela Tangan Features Writer, The Philippine STAR  A lot is yet to be cleared and understood about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). What remains evident...

Business priorities to consider when recovering from the COVID-19 crisis

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a world-changing event. For many business executives, the toughest leadership test is how to deal with the...

Local brands get online boost as Lift Lokal goes live

Homegrown virtual platform helps keep indie brands afloat amid the pandemic

Globe starts weekly rapid antibody testing of frontline employees

As the government eases up community quarantine restrictions, Globe Telecom has started the weekly rapid antibody testing of all its frontliners to ensure that...

Post-ECQ consumer sentiment says with or without COVID, strong brands will survive

By Karen V. De Asis Chief Brand Strategist, MKS Marketing Consulting Social media and viber groups are awash with business scenarios triggered by paranoia and propagated...

IMMAP offers free webinar to jumpstart your digital media strategy

Learn how to jumpstart your digital media strategies with tips on how to deal with post-COVID-19 scenarios in the next IMMAP Web Wednesdays webinar.

Regional UN forum concludes with call for multi stakeholder partnerships to preserve development gains,...

Bangkok (ESCAP news) – The 7th Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) concluded on May 20 with a resounding call for countries to revive international cooperation and...

Gearing up frontline and back-end heroes in the new normal

Technology has proven to be invaluable during the pandemic, allowing businesses to continue operations in spite of rigid quarantine measures through remote work. Those...

Gov’t open to more solicited PPPs

THE government is open to more public-private partnerships (PPPs) in infrastructure, as state resources are stretched by the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) response.

No need for bicam if Senate passes ‘fiscally sound’ CITIRA — Salceda

THERE may be no need for a bicameral conference committee if the Senate passes a “fiscally sound” version of the Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Rationalization Act (CITIRA), according to House Ways and Means Chair and Albay Rep. Jose Maria Clemente S. Salceda.

PCC warns against unchecked price controls

THE Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) warned against unchecked price controls and “rescue mergers,” as it flagged a possible lessening of competition among companies during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Physical distancing will be ‘very costly’ for some firms

COMPANIES that rely on face-to-face interaction are likely to be more negatively affected by the implementation of physical distancing measures than other sectors, as fears over the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) persist, according to economists from the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P).

‘High contact intensive’ firms stand to lose from new normal as personal interaction becomes...

COMPANIES that rely on face-to-face interaction are likely to be more negatively affected by the implementation of physical distancing measures than other sectors, as...

AC Health allots P300M for virus response

THE healthcare unit of Ayala Corp. (AC) is looking to take a bigger part in the country’s battle against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, allotting up to P300 million for initiatives to support testing and triaging.
Philippine Airlines (PAL)

PAL further bleeds as last year’s losses more than double to P10B

THE listed operator of flag carrier Philippine Airlines reported a net loss of P10.31 billion last year, more than twice the attributable losses to equity holders recorded a year earlier.

Mid-market focus boosts FDC net profit by 23%

FILINVEST Development Corp. (FDC) recorded a 23% earnings growth to P12 billion in 2019, lifted by higher profits from its banking and property segments as it focused on the middle market.

SMC starts COVID-19 tests on employees

SAN Miguel Corp. (SMC) has started doing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) tests to its employees as they prepare to return to work.

Roxas Holdings cuts losses in second quarter

ROXAS Holdings Inc. (RHI) trimmed its losses attributable to equity holders to P92.75 million during the second quarter of its fiscal year ending March in part after the company reduced some of its expenses.

Personal SM shoppers and more on MyKuya

ON-DEMAND service app MyKuya announces that its users can now use the app to shop in SM Supermalls as quarantine measures “inspired [the company] to continue expanding its horizons for the comfort of the Filipino people,” a statement read.

ERC asked to order refund of Meralco bills for May

A CONSUMER group on Wednesday asked the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to ask Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) to return to customers their payments for May bills, as well as to halt its billings during the period of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

Best wine movies to watch

The last two months of our quarantine, I am sure most of us stuck at home have done our share of movie bingeing. For a change, why not watch movies with wine themes?
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CPG backs gov’t in COVID-19 facility

CENTURY Properties Group, Inc. (CPG) is working with the government to operate a new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing facility in Bulacan.

HSBC, Citi speed up digital push to ward off upstarts

BANKS IN Asia’s financial hubs such as HSBC Holdings Plc and Citigroup, Inc. are finding that the disruption from the coronavirus outbreak is helping them push back on a threat from a breed of virtual upstarts.

Quarantine Cocktails

WITH liquor bans being eased in some cities (Quezon City, Pasay, Makati, and Taguig at our last count), we think it’s okay now to have a drink, or two, or four — provided one follows social distancing measures, meaning one should drink these following drink recipes only at home. You don’t have to be lonely — some have gone on to the video-conferencing app Zoom for “e-numans” (remote drinking parties).