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Monthly Archives: June 2020

Coronavirus cases may top 60,000 by end-July

CORONAVIRUS infections in the country may top 60,000 by the end of July, with about 1,300 deaths, according to experts from the University of the Philippines.
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)

1,500 Filipinos hit by pandemic come home

ALMOST 1,500 overseas Filipino workers (OFW) have come home amid a global coronavirus pandemic that has sickened 10.4 million and killed more than 508,000 people worldwide, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

Doctor assignment to Cebu made voluntary

THE GOVERNMENT will no longer force state doctors to go to coronavirus hotspot Cebu City, and will instead seek volunteers, the Department of Health (DoH) said on Tuesday.

Nationwide round-up

THE PHILIPPINE capital does not need to revert to stringent lockdown measures and can just enforce localized quarantine in specific areas to contain the spread of the coronavirus, a World Health Organization (WHO) official said on Tuesday.

Peso rallies on positive US data

THE peso strengthened against the greenback on Tuesday on US data suggesting signs of economic recovery and month-end transactions.
PSE BGC bells

PSEi closes higher on bargain hunting, Wall St.

THE LOCAL MARKET closed in green territory on Tuesday as US indices also rose.
Department of Finance (DoF)

Online payments hit 77% of total tax collections, BIR says

AROUND 77% of all taxes collected as of mid-June were coursed through electronic payment (e-payment) channels, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) reported, after the lockdown coincided with income tax season.
SEC logo

SEC backs ‘social bonds’ to help fund recovery efforts

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it is encouraging bond issuers to tap the social bond market to help support economic recovery efforts.

Cash-strapped start-ups looking to tap large companies for investment

START-UPS struggled during the lockdown because of restrictions on movement and declining cash, and are now looking to companies to partner with and provide investment, QBO Innovation Hub President Rene S. Meily said.

Pandemic seen as opportunity for start-ups with urgently needed offerings

THE COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic is an opportunity for start-ups with products that address urgent needs to bypass the usual hurdles and hit the ground running with full government support, speakers at a BusinessWorld Insights online forum said.

BGC-Ortigas link bridge 53% complete, on track for Q1 launch

THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said Tuesday that the P1.6-billion project that will connect Bonifacio Global City (BGC) and Ortigas Center is now about 53% complete.

POEA sets insurance requirement for OFW truck drivers

OVERSEAS workers driving trucks in Europe are now required to work only for employers that provide accident and vehicle insurance, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said.
National Electrification Administration (NEA)

Rural electrification projects face delays due to quarantine

THE National Electrification Administration (NEA) said around 187 rural electrification projects in rural communities are facing completion delays due to quarantine restrictions.

Environmental stewardship strategies for green economic recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused economies to fall. To bounce back, the Philippines has adopted a whole-of-society approach in turn-around management. A basic advantage of the Philippines is its cohesive private sector that has taken the lead and has quickly channeled resources towards the most vulnerable communities. This softened the impact on the people especially during the early weeks of the lockdowns.

NAIA: Testament to a hero’s courage

A comrade during my politically active EDSA Revolution days reminded me once to keep in mind that we Filipinos have such short memories. How right he was. Barely a generation has passed and already a bill has been filed in Congress by no less than the son of the President to nullify a gesture made by our country to honor a martyred hero on the very site of his assassination, our international airport.

Gilead sets a good-enough bar with COVID-treatment price

PRICING a new medicine aimed at taming a pandemic is one of the touchiest scenarios imaginable for a drug company. Set the price too high, and the world will assail you for price gouging. Too low, and you risk bleeding money and investors. No decision will ever make everyone happy, but Gilead Sciences, Inc.’s price for its COVID-19 treatment remdesivir is a solid attempt.

It’s Zuckerberg and Facebook’s time to bend

MARK ZUCKERBERG has a problem, and he can fix it.

China passes HK security law

HONG KONG/BEIJING — China’s parliament passed national security legislation for Hong Kong on Tuesday, setting the stage for the most radical changes to the former British colony’s way of life since it returned to Chinese rule almost exactly 23 years ago.

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Gilead prices remdesivir at $2,340 per patient for wealthier countries

GILEAD SCIENCES, Inc. on Monday priced its COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) antiviral remdesivir at $2,340 per patient for wealthier nations and agreed to send nearly all of its supply of the drug to the United States over the next three months.

Chinese researchers warn of new virus in pigs with human pandemic risk

SHANGHAI — A new flu virus found in Chinese pigs has become more infectious to humans and needs to be watched closely in case it becomes a potential “pandemic virus,” a study said, although experts said there is no imminent threat.

ABAP confident of adding more boxers for Olympics

THE COUNTRY is assured of at least two boxers competing in the rescheduled Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021 but the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) is confident more could be added to that number once qualifying tournaments resume.

Formula One fires up, four months late and sans a crowd

LONDON — Formula One starts its season in Austria this week, nearly four months later than planned due to the COVID-19 pandemic and against a very different backdrop even if Lewis Hamilton’s targets remain the same.

SBP welcomes rescheduling of 3×3 Olympic qualifiers

THE SAMAHANG BASKETBOL ng Pilipinas (SBP) welcomed the rescheduling of the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament to May next year as it gives the team from the Philippines added time to prepare.

Local football making adjustments for possible return

While waiting for the go-ahead for the community to resume activities amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, local football officials have started the ball rolling in preparation for a possible resumption by crafting guidelines to follow.

Lakers finalizing deal with JR Smith, reports say

THE LOS ANGELES Lakers are finalizing a deal with guard JR Smith to add him to their roster for this month's season restart in Orlando, Florida., multiple outlets reported Monday.

Bubble challenge

The news that 16 of 302 players tested positive for the novel coronavirus is among the biggest pieces accompanying the National Basketball Association’s announcement of the restart of its 2019–20 campaign. Lost in the excitement of pro hoops returning to the mainstream come July 30: the fact that nearly six percent of the base got flagged. It’s a hefty number, particularly when juxtaposed with national and worldwide totals. On the other hand, the sample size is admittedly too small to make a determination one way or the other; for corrective purposes, it holds value only as a reminder of the need for the league to continue taking extraordinary precautions in ensuring the well-being of its stakeholders.

India bans TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps citing security concerns

India banned ByteDance Ltd.’s viral short-video service TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps, citing threats to its sovereignty and security as relations between the world’s two largest populations worsened.

With coronavirus under control, Vietnam and New Zealand see different travel trends

LONDON/HANOI — Laura Douglas’ tourism start-up, a farm surrounded by snow-tipped mountains in southern New Zealand, was attracting hundreds of mostly foreign visitors a month until the coronavirus pandemic brought it to a sudden halt in March.

SPARKUP ENTREP SERIES: The Next Frontier in Innovative Business

https://youtu.be/QGerjPPoKOY The economy continues to suffer large opportunity cost due to COVID-19. Until a vaccine will be discovered, the community must adapt to the new...

Will office buildings ever be the same? Empire State offers clues

NEW YORK — The Empire State Building has been a symbol of America’s economic might for almost 90 years. Of late, it’s also become...

‘No excuse’ for countries that fail in contact tracing, WHO’s Tedros says

GENEVA — Tracing contacts of people with coronavirus infections is the most important step in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, and countries that are failing...

BPOs face slowing growth this year

MANY business process outsourcing (BPO) companies expect flat growth or a contraction this year, while some big businesses still hope to grow by single-digits amid the pandemic, according to an informal poll conducted by the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP).

DICT relaxes registration requirements for tower firms

THE Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has eased the documentary requirements for common tower providers as the country remains in a state of public health emergency due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

AMLC promises ‘thorough’ probe of Wirecard

MANILA — The Philippines’ anti-money laundering agency on Monday said it would conduct a “swift and thorough” investigation into scandal-hit German payment firm Wirecard AG and that it has drawn up an initial list of people and entities of interest.

ADB grants PHL loan to improve property tax valuation, collection

THE Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a $26.5-million (P1.32-billion) loan to help local governments generate more revenues by digitizing property tax valuation and collection.

ABS-CBN to be asked out of digibox

THE National Telecommunications Commision (NTC) committed to the House of Representatives that it would order ABS-CBN Corp. to stop airing programs through digital television receivers or digiboxes.

Ayala joint venture enters bidding war for Infigen

AN AFFILIATE of Ayala-led AC Energy, Inc. and Spanish distribution utility Iberdrola, S.A. are now in a bidding war to take over an Australian energy company after both firms have raised their offer prices.

Departing POGOs told to settle taxes

THE BUREAU of Internal Revenue (BIR) will still go after Philippine offshore gaming operation (POGO) companies that are leaving the country to make them pay their tax obligations, the Finance chief said.

The Future is now past

TODAYXFUTURE, a bar in Cubao, was the one place in the world where heiresses in Chanel could dance to songs by the Sexbomb Dancers. It was one of the few places in the city where 20-somethings danced to “The Ghost In You” by The Psychedelic Furs, and other New Wave and disco hits. Within a few minutes, the same crowd would also be dancing to Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own,” a perennial crowd favorite that always brought shrieks of elation. More importantly, as a safe space for queer individuals, it was one of the few places in the world where I felt secure holding another man’s hand. And now it’s gone.

KKR unit completes First Gen share purchase

A SINGAPORE-BASED holding company of New York-listed KKR & Co., Inc. has completed its share purchase at Lopez-led First Gen Corp., receiving acceptances higher than targeted.

Instituto Cervantes to show classic Spanish films

THE Instituto Cervantes de Manila and the Embassy of Spain will be showing Spanish film classics in a film cycle called Clásicos contigo/Classics with You, during the weekends of July, for free, through the Instituto Cervantes Vimeo channel.

Meralco considers extending ban on disconnection, puts notices on hold

MANILA Electric Co. (Meralco) is discussing if it will extend the moratorium in serving disconnection notices to customers who still cannot settle any portion of their unpaid bills, especially before the quarantine period.

TV show The Simpsons ditches using white voices for characters of color

LOS ANGELES — Animated TV comedy The Simpsons is ending the use of white actors to voice characters of color, producers said on Friday.

Megaworld trims capital spending to P36 billion, reports 9% drop in earnings

MEGAWORLD Corp. is cutting its capital expenditures (capex) this year to P36 billion as it reported a 9% profit decline due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Jeremy Wade checks out the Bermuda Triangle in new show

FOR decades the Bermuda Triangle in the North Atlantic Ocean has been associated with unexplainable disappearances, including that of the USS Cyclops, a US coal transport vessel belonging to the Navy that disappeared en route from Brazil to Baltimore with no trace of the ship or its 309 passengers; Flight 19, a routine two-hour training mission that ended in the disappearance of 13 student pilots with a lieutenant who said that his compass wasn’t working before losing contact; and a Piper Navajo cabin class aircraft that disappeared on the radar a mile before landing even as a controller previously saw it approaching.