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Daily Archives: January 4, 2021 | 9:00 pm

Peso inches up vs dollar

THE PESO strengthened slightly against the greenback on Monday following the release of data showing a decline in local manufacturing activity. 

PHL stocks post gains on global vaccine rollout

LOCAL STOCKS ended the first trading day of 2021 on a high note as investor sentiment got a lift from the ongoing rollout of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines around the world.

Coronavirus tally may spike as more laboratories reopen

THE DEPARTMENT of Health (DoH) expects more coronavirus infections by mid-January as testing laboratories become fully operational after the holidays.

More than 327,000 Pinoys come home amid coronavirus

MORE than 327,000 migrant Filipino workers from at least 90 countries came home last year amid a coronavirus pandemic that has sickened 85.5 million and killed more than 1.9 million people worldwide, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

Kaspersky expects more fake news as elections draw near

FILIPINOS might get bombarded with more fake information as the Philippines prepares for the national elections in 2022, global cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab said.

Nationwide round-up (01/04/21)

THE HOUSE of Representatives committee on health will prioritize proposals to defer the scheduled hike in member contributions to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), the panel’s chairperson said on Monday.

Regional Updates (01/04/21)

PROSECUTORS have been directed to immediately file the resolution finding probable cause to charge nine policemen for murder and planting of evidence over the killing of four soldiers in Jolo, Sulu in June last year.

Agri prospects seen fragile due to pandemic, calamities

PROSPECTS for growth in agriculture remain tenuous due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic, with natural disasters holding the potential to inflict setbacks, and the worst-case scenario estimated in the negative single-digit range, a professor at Pampanga State Agricultural University said.

Cashless payment system eyed for entire public transport sector

THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) said it will be rolling out a cashless transit card payment system this year for use in all modes of public transportation nationwide.

Remittances seen bouncing back from lows but overseas job market remains weak

REMITTANCE flows in 2021 will recover from their lows in 2020, but the prospects for overseas workers will remain clouded, with some signs of resiliency and relief that the worst may have passed, money-transfer industry executives said.

Cabinet committee to reject higher tariffs on MDM chicken, turkey imports

THE Cabinet-level committee on tariffs plans to oppose an increase in duties on imported chicken and turkey in mechanically deboned meat (MDM) form, Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said.

Coal share of power mix seen at 59% by 2029 despite moratorium

COAL-FIRED POWER is expected to account for 59% of the country’s generation mix by 2029 after production at the Philippines’ sole gas field winds down, according to Fitch Solutions Country Risk & Industry Research.

Senate bill seeks to suspend SSS contribution hike

A BILL seeking to suspend the scheduled increase in member contributions to the Social Security System (SSS) due to the pandemic has been filed in the Senate.


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The serious repercussions of not withholding tax

New years are a good time to reflect, which is a useful exercise for evaluating how we responded to past situations, and which experiences will serve us well going forward moving forward. This helps us gain a better understanding of ourselves and draw up more realistic life goals. 

Sports going the ‘bubble’ way

ONE of the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, the local sporting community is slowly picking up the pieces and making its way back. And one of the ways it is going about it is holding a “bubble,” be it for training or tournament proper.

Playoff pairings set for NFL’s wild card weekend

WITH the Green Bay Packers (13-3) and Kansas City Chiefs (14-2) earning the top seeds and first-round byes in the NFC and AFC playoffs, respectively, the other 12 teams that made the playoffs have learned where they’ll be headed for wild card weekend.

SMC’s Chua sees player trades to happen after draft

WHILE the Philippine Basketball Association is set to lift the moratorium on trading players this month, San Miguel Corp. (SMC) sports director Alfrancis Chua expects bulk of movements happening after the rookie draft.

Team Lakay coach Mark Sangiao behind possible Pacquiao-McGregor boxing fight

WHILE it is still to be made official, a Manny Pacquiao-Conor McGregor super boxing fight could be one of the marquee sporting events for the year 2021.

Curry hits career-high 62 as Warriors blast Blazers

STEPHEN Curry exploded for 21 of his career-high 62 points in the first quarter Sunday night, helping the Golden State Warriors take a lead they never relinquished in a 137-122 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers in San Francisco.

New tax relief for small businesses

On May 2, 2020, I published an open letter to all legislators and sent a copy to both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Basically, the message is urging our legislators to end injustice by legislating tax policy reforms to help all businesses adjust to the new normal.

Damage control wreaks more damage

In a public address the other Saturday, President Rodrigo Duterte said, “Almost all soldiers have been inoculated. I have to be frank and I have to tell the truth. I will not foist a lie. The reason why is that they have to be in good health all the time because they are responsible for the law and order of this country.”

Bounce back, MSMEs!

Small enterprises face major challenges in 2021. Studies done before the pandemic revealed that about 20% of small businesses fail by the end of their first year. By the end of the fifth year, 50% go under, and by the 10th year, that number rises to 80%. With COVID-19, however, the attrition rate has accelerated substantially. In the Asia-Pacific region, nearly one-third of SMEs expect to lay off 50% or more of their workers just to survive.

Top 10 energy stories of 2020

Here is my modest list of the top five international and top five national energy stories last year.

Why Indonesia is vaccinating its working population first, not elderly

JAKARTA — As Indonesia prepares to begin mass inoculations against COVID-19, its plan to prioritize working-age adults over the elderly, aiming to reach herd...

Japan PM mulls declaring state of emergency for Tokyo area

TOKYO — Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Monday the government would consider declaring a state of emergency for the Greater Tokyo metropolitan area as coronavirus cases climb and strain the country’s medical system.

In recorded call, Trump pressured Georgia to ‘find’ votes to tilt election

US PRESIDENT Donald Trump pressured Georgia’s top election official to “find” enough votes to overturn his defeat in the southern state, according to a recording of the hour-long call published by US media on Sunday.

UK rolls out AstraZeneca vaccine, touts British science triumph

LONDON — Britain began vaccinating its population on Monday with the COVID-19 shot developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, touting its position as the first Western country to roll out an inoculation programme against the novel coronavirus.

Thailand to get 2M doses of China’s Sinovac shots

THAILAND will get its first lot of COVID-19 vaccines from China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd. next month, allowing the country in the middle of a resurgence of the coronavirus outbreak to begin inoculating people with the highest risks for infections.

South Korea expands ban on social gatherings nationwide

SEOUL — South Korea expanded a ban on private gatherings larger than four people to the whole country, and extended unprecedented social distancing rules in greater Seoul as the number of daily cases bounced back to more than 1,000 in four days.

Pope criticizes people going on holiday to flee COVID lockdowns

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis condemned on Sunday people who had gone abroad on holiday to escape coronavirus lockdowns, saying they needed to show greater awareness of the suffering of others.

As end to pandemic mask-wearing nears, South Koreans scramble to arrange cosmetic surgery

When Ryu Han-na, a 20-year-old university student, got cosmetic surgery on her nose in mid-December, she had a simple reason: it might be the last chance to do so covertly before people start taking off masks this year as vaccines are distributed.

Dollar drops on first trading day, portending more losses ahead

The world’s reserve currency fell on the first trading day of 2021, foreshadowing more losses to come, after a slew of improving Asian manufacturing...

Valuation caution returns as emerging markets face 2021 reality

Rarely, if ever, can a year have started with price levels in emerging markets looking so divorced from the fundamental backdrop. Rising COVID-19 case numbers...
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[B-SIDE Podcast] Bang for your buck: how businesses can change the world a dollar...

https://open.spotify.com/episode/0AzVYezR2KbuyNqnwo8aYw Follow us on Spotify BusinessWorld B-Side Jeremy Meltzer, founder of cause marketing platform i=Change, explains how brands and consumers can make a difference, a dollar a...

Rising startup SquidPay licensed as an e-money issuer by the BSP

SQUIDPAY TECHNOLOGY INC. can now operate as an e-wallet after obtaining its Electronic Money Issuer (EMI) license from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)...

Analysts’ December inflation estimates (2020)

INFLATION may have eased slightly in December, as the rise in food prices was tempered by the normalization of supply chains after the spate of typhoons in the prior month.

Inflation eased slightly in Dec. — poll

INFLATION may have eased slightly in December, as the rise in food prices was tempered by the normalization of supply chains after the spate of typhoons in the prior month.

PHL may need to boost COVID-19 response if vaccination is delayed

THE Philippine government may have to roll out more policy measures and increase spending for its pandemic response if the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination program is delayed, experts said.

Stock market operator targets 3 IPOs this year

THE Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc. (PSE) is targeting three initial public offerings (IPOs) and four real estate investment trust (REIT) listings this year, despite market uncertainty amid the pandemic.

DTI slashes goal as coronavirus pummels exports

THE Trade department slashed its export projection by around a fifth to $103.9 billion by 2022, taking into account the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

PSE plans short selling program, new sector indices

THE PHILIPPINE Stock Exchange (PSE)plans to introduce new products in 2021 as part of its effort to create an “end-to-end” digital experience for stakeholders.

ERC wants new feed-in tariff proposal for ocean energy resources

COMPANIES that are looking forward to a guaranteed rate for power generated from ocean energy resources will have to wait longer as the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) denied the feed-in tariff (FiT) proposed by the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB).

Rates of T-bills, bonds to move sideways as virus fears persist

GOVERNMENT SECURITIES on offer this week may see their yields move sideways at the first auctions of the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) this year.

San Miguel Aerocity franchise lapses into law

SAN MIGUEL Aerocity, Inc. was granted the franchise for the P740-billion Bulacan airport after the legislation lapsed into law last month.

The power to make things better

EVEN as the restaurant’s main branch along Quezon City’s Roces Ave. was forced to close after pandemic restrictions decimated the bottom line, requiring a major pivot to their second branch cum school which adapted to the needs of the times, Waya Araos-Wijangco’s restaurant, Gourmet Gypsy Art Cafe, has been feeding frontliners since the beginning of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.