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Daily Archives: May 22, 2020 | 7:53 pm

Central bank may still ease policy amid coronavirus — Diokno

THE Philippine central bank can still use monetary tools including further policy easing to boost liquidity amid a coronavirus pandemic, its governor said on Friday.

Q1 metal output drops amid mine closures

THE country’s metal production value fell 10.69% to P24.86 billion in the first quarter from a year earlier as some mining operations were halted amid a coronavirus pandemic, according to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).

45-day lockdown cost Philippines P1.1T

THE Philippines may have lost P1.1 trillion in potential revenue in the first 45 days of a Luzon-wide lockdown that has since been eased, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

Gov’t seeks rapid response as infections rise

THE government may classify areas affected by the coronavirus into zones as it adopts a “granular approach” to contain the pandemic that has killed more than 13,000 in the Philippines, the chief enforcer of the nation’s anti-COVID-19 measures said on Friday.

Duterte seeks probe of overpriced supplies

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte wants the alleged overpricing of medical supplies and equipment for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) investigated, his office said on Friday.
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Lawmakers agree to extend Duterte’s special powers

SEVERAL lawmakers have agreed to extend the effectivity of a law giving President Rodrigo R. Duterte special powers to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
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4.2 million Filipinos got hungry during pandemic — SWS

FILIPINO families who got hungry nearly doubled to 4.2 million during a Luzon-wide lockdown that was imposed in mid-March to contain a coronavirus pandemic, according to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) poll.

Duterte accepts DICT usec’s resignation

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has accepted the resignation of an undersecretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), three months after the official questioned hundreds of millions of pesos in intelligence funds at the agency.
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Power consumers allowed staggered bill payments

THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has ordered power distribution utilities to allow some of their customers to pay up to six portions of their electricity bills every month from mid-June.

JFC allots P7B for business shake-up

JOLLIBEE Foods Corp. (JFC) will be spending P7 billion for its rationalization efforts across its businesses worldwide in 2020, including its move to bolster digital capacity, as it grapples with the impact of the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
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SEC says KAPA fraud case still active

KAPA-COMMUNITY Ministry International (KAPA) is still facing fraud charges for committing one of the country’s biggest investment scam, while a cease-and-desist order against the group remains active, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said Friday.

Grab resumes taxi service in Baguio and Naga

GRAB Philippines has resumed its taxi services in Baguio and Naga on Friday, implementing the cashless payment mandated by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

Gov’t, GCash partner for cashless payment in taxis and TNVS

THE government has partnered with Globe Telecom, Inc.’s mobile wallet arm GCash to carry out cashless transactions in taxis and transportation network vehicle services (TNVS), the Department of Transportation (DoTr) said.

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Newport Mall to partially open shops, restaurants

RESORTS World Manila (RWM) will partially open Newport Mall, as a number of retail shops and restaurants will resume operations on Friday, with the implementation of the modified enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila.

Toyota resumes production, reopens 66 dealer outlets

TOYOTA Motor Philippines Corp. (TMP) announced on Friday that it has resumed the operations of its manufacturing plant in Santa Rosa City, Laguna and reopened most of its dealer outlets nationwide.

Stocks end three-day gains, declines 1.16%

THE LOCAL market fell 1.16% on Friday, ending three consecutive days of gains as worries from investors continue while the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic remains.

Investment Priorities Plan to incentivize pandemic-containment projects

THE Board of Investments (BoI) said Wednesday that it has proposing to modify the 2020 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) to classify variuos pandemic-mitigating activities as eligible for incentives, with the adjustments awaiting President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s approval.

DoF, DoE rule out suspending VAT on power consumption

THE Department of Finance (DoF) and the Department of Energy (DoE) on Friday rejected a proposal to suspend value-added tax (VAT) on power consumption as a relief measure during the pandemic.

BIR cites gov’t cash crunch in rejecting further extensions

THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said the government’s urgent need for funds rules out any further extensions of tax deadlines, though it will consider extending the availment period for the tax amnesty on delinquencies.

OFW new-hire deployments dwindle to 47 in April

NEW-HIRE deployment of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) dwindled to 47 in April from more than 30,000 a year earlier, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) told Congress.

PHL domestic funding capacity seen favorable among emerging markets

THE Philippines’ ability to fund its pandemic spending from domestic sources gives it an edge among domestic markets, Oxford Economics said,

Diokno backs health care, tech, agriculture reforms after pandemic

THE government needs to implement structural reforms in health care, technology and agriculture while upskilling the workforce to ensure recovery from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said.

Murang Kuryente subsidy to take effect next year

THE Power Sector Assets & Liabilities Management Corp.(PSALM) said the government’s subsidy for some universal charges will take effect next year, removing some of the cost from electricity bills.
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Construction materials price growth in Metro Manila eases in April

GROWTH in the retail price of construction materials in Metro Manila eased in April after the lockdown depressed demand for these goods, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.
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Farm-loan penalty condonation for ARBs finds backer in Senate

SENATOR Ralph G. Recto said Friday he will push for Senate action on a measure relieving agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) from penalties incurred in the course of taking on agricultural loans.
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SMC buys 69 million kilos of corn to support farmers

SAN MIGUEL Corp. (SMC) said its food unit has purchased 69 million kilograms of corn from farmers to ensure adequate supply and prop up farmer incomes during the market disruptions caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Launch of Overseas Filipino Bank, e-invoicing expected by third quarter — DoF

THE Department of Finance (DoF) said the digital-only Overseas Filipino (OF) Bank and the electronic invoiving (e-invoicing) program are set to roll out by the third quarter of 2020.

ASEAN lenders likely to accelerate digital shift due to pandemic — Fitch Ratings

BANKS in the ASEAN region are likely to hurry along their digital transformations due to the pandemic and the resulting social distancing measures, Fitch Ratings said.

Peso slips on US-China tensions as oil prices creep back up

THE peso weakened Friday on negative market sentiment after a new round of US-China tensions as well as higher oil prices.

Our new normal should be a green one—WWF

Atty. Angela Ibay, WWF-Philippines Head of Climate and Energy, opines that we have what it takes to make our post-COVID world a sustainable one. Here are her three arguments for a greener normal.

Nationwide round-up

THE Food and Drug Administration warned the public against “misleading advertisements” on disinfectants that supposedly decrease the risk for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

BoI-approved investments plunge

THE Board of Investments (BoI) saw pledges sink by 71% in the first four months of 2020 as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) disrupted economic activity in the country.

Inflation for low-income households speeds up in April (2020)

INFLATION, as experienced by low-income families, accelerated in April as lockdown measures were implemented to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19),...

Inflation impact on poor picks up in April

INFLATION, as experienced by low-income families, accelerated in April as lockdown measures were implemented to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Philippine Statistics Authority reported on Thursday.

ERC to extend bill payment moratorium for poor households

THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) will order power utilities to further extend the moratorium on bill payments for poor households in areas that continue to be under lockdown.

Meralco to refund ‘convenience’ fee

MANILA Electric Co. (Meralco) is returning the additional tariff paid for by customers who settled their bills via its online app during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period, as the company will shoulder these fees charged by its service providers.

NLEx segment C3-R10 to open in June

NLEX Corp. targets to open by end-June the 2.6-kilometer C3-R10 Section of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) Harbor Link Segment that is expected to improve commuter mobility between airports, seaports, and growth corridors in the north and south.

SMIC profit hit by pandemic

PROFITS of SM Investments Corp. (SMIC) dropped 16% to P9 billion in the first quarter, pulled by income declines in its retail, property and banking segments.

Del Monte completes sale of shares in Philippine unit

DEL MONTE Pacific Ltd. has completed the sale of shares in its Philippine subsidiary Del Monte Philippines, Inc. (DMPI) to a Singapore-based investor for $120 million (about P6.07 billion).
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SEC warns violators of grace period for lenders

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is warning lenders to comply with adjusting payment schedules in consideration of quarantine measures imposed since mid-March.

Marathon online concert series raises P80 million

THE marathon concert series Bayanihan Musikahan has raised more than P80 million in donations to benefit various organizations and communities after two and a half months of nightly online concerts.

PXP Energy reports loss as oil output declines

PXP Energy Corp. incurred a consolidated net loss of P40.4 million in the first quarter, compared to P7 million it earned in the same period in 2019, as oil revenues fell with output in its Palawan well declining.

QR Code menus, elevator foot pedals, and disinfectant sprays: how public spaces are adapting...

AS countries start to tentatively reopen after locking down in order to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, businesses around the world are having to adapt to new norms like social distancing, hand washing, and disinfection. Here are some methods an Italian restaurant, a Thai mall, and a Japanese pub have come up with.

FLI profit falls on operational halts

EARNINGS of Filinvest Land, Inc. (FLI) dropped 25% in the first quarter due to business disruptions caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

VLF 2020: the boundlessness of a couple’s relationship

PALANCA award winner and filmmaker Dustin Celestino and director Roobak Valle reunite for their second collaboration in VLF 2020 KAPIT: Lab in the Time of Covid (A Virtual Labfest Lockdown Edition).