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Daily Archives: January 5, 2021 | 9:00 pm

Peso weakens on faster inflation

THE PESO weakened against the greenback on Tuesday as inflation picked up in December.
PSE

PSEi drops on manufacturing data, profit taking

SHARES ended in negative territory on Tuesday as investors booked their gains and as market sentiment was dampened by recent manufacturing data.

FDA ordered to decide on vaccines in 20 days

THE PHILIPPINES’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) risks being penalized if it fails to decide on product registration applications for coronavirus vaccines within 20 days, according to the agency against bureaucratic red tape.

Senators seek probe of Chinese workers’ illegal vaccination

SENATORS on Tuesday urged the government to investigate the inoculation of 100,000 Chinese workers at offshore gaming companies in the Philippines using a smuggled coronavirus vaccine from China.

Nationwide round-up (01/05/21)

PROPOSED laws that will defer the scheduled increase in contributions to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) have been filed in both chambers of Congress.

Regional Updates (01/05/21)

THE QUEZON City government urged taxpayers and business owners to tap the available electronic service systems for convenience and minimize health risks amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Japan releases second tranche of standby loan to Philippines

THE Japanese government, through its overseas development arm the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), has released 10 billion yen (P4.7 billion) to the Philippines from its standby loan facility, with the proceeds intended to support recovery efforts for communities hit by recent typhoons.
Department of Budget and Management (DBM)

DBM starts releasing cash allocation notices for first quarter

THE Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said it has started releasing notices of cash allocation (NCAs) covering the expenses of government agencies for the first quarter.

Free public Wi-Fi spots rose to 7,556 — DICT

THE Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said the number of free public Wi-Fi sites rose to 7,556 at the end of 2020, after the addition of 4,305 new hot spots last year.
Mindanao Railway map

DoTr seeking bids for Mindanao Railway consultancy services from Chinese shortlist

THE Transportation department has invited shortlisted Chinese consultants to submit bids for the project management consultancy services contract of the Mindanao Railway Project (Tagum-Davao-Digos segment).

NTC to unify all LGU emergency hotlines into national 911 system

THE National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has asked local government units (LGUs) to migrate their emergency hotline systems to a unified national 911 hotline within six months.

November rice stock rises by 6.6%

THE rice inventory rose 6.6% year on year to 3.16 million metric tons (MT) in November, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

GDP share of non-renewable energy resource sector declined to 0.46% last year — PSA

NON-RENEWABLE energy resources accounted for 0.464% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019, down from 0.524% a year earlier, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) energy accounts data.
LNG

Energy dep’t, ERC seek more time to comment on Senate gas bill

THE Department of Energy (DoE) and Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said that they will submit their detailed comments on the proposed midstream natural gas industry development act or Senate Bill (SB) No. 1819 by Monday.

Complaint portal launched for BIR, BoC employees’ unexplained wealth

THE Department of Finance (DoF) said Tuesday that it is now offering a portal for complaints about unexplained wealth against officials of its various agencies, including the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BoC).

Recovery needs a people-centered and sustainable green economy

In the Stratbase ADR Institute Special Study entitled “The Challenge of Managing 21st Century Pandemics Amidst the US-China Strategic Competition,” trustee and program convenor Dr. Renato C. De Castro emphasized that “while the global society grapples to control and eradicate the COVID-19 virus: it ignores the big picture that pandemics in the 21st century are on the rise, and that the global society needs to contain the process that drives them, not just the individual diseases.”

Our damaged culture

In 1987, American journalist James Fallows won an award for writing a long piece in the Atlantic Monthly about the Philippines, where he had spent six weeks as an investigative reporter after the EDSA Revolution. He concluded that our main problem was the lack of nationalism, which would deter progress for our country. He correctly predicted that Korea and our neighbors Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia would do better because of a sense of nationalism. Perhaps he is right in many ways.

A better normal for women and girls after COVID-19

THE YEAR 2020 was synonymous with the COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented crisis it brought across economic, social, and health dimensions; 2021, on the other hand, is already being associated with the promise of the next normal.

Combat sports thrive amid virus

WHILE the year 2020 was a rough one for Philippine sports and athletes, combat disciplines somehow proved resilient despite the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and even managed to squeeze in performances to cheer about and be hopeful for moving forward.

Stephen Curry tallies another 30 as Golden State routs Sacramento

STEPHEN Curry followed up a career-best 62-point effort with 30 more in just 31 minutes on Monday night, propelling the Golden State Warriors to a second straight run-away win, 137-106 over the Sacramento Kings in San Francisco.

Reelected Tolentino seeks to give POC a permanent home

AS HE begins his fresh term as Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president, Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino shared that one of his goals in the next four years is to give the sports agency a permanent home.

Cristiano Ronaldo shines again as Juventus thump Udinese, 4-1

CRISTIANO Ronaldo scored twice and created another goal as Juventus got back to winning ways in Serie A with a 4-1 victory over Udinese in Turin on Sunday, moving the champions up to fifth in the standings.


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Dominant Curry

It’s never in good form to draw conclusions off a small sample size, and especially from the start of the season. Yet, not a few quarter chose to write the Warriors’ eulogy following blowout setbacks in the first two outings of their 2020-21 campaign. To be fair, the unexpected loss of Klay Thompson due to a freak injury hurt their chances. And, with cornerstone Stephen Curry emerging from a long layoff, even more uncertainty beyond that engendered by the pandemic threatened to hamper their competitiveness.

Iran resumes uranium enrichment

DUBAI — Iran has resumed 20% uranium enrichment at an underground nuclear facility, the government said on Monday, breaching a 2015 nuclear pact with major powers and possibly complicating efforts by US President-elect Joe Biden to rejoin the deal.

Tiny apartment sales skyrocket in world’s priciest home market

IN THE world’s least affordable housing market, one in eight homes sold is a nano apartment, a term widely used to describe tiny homes in Hong Kong.

Major airlines back global COVID-19 testing program

WASHINGTON — A group representing major US airlines on Monday backed a proposal by public health officials to implement a global testing program requiring negative tests before most international air passengers return to the United States, according to a letter seen by Reuters.

How shoe tycoon Steve Madden got back on his feet

NEW YORK — Steve Madden, founder and design chief of a multibillion-dollar eponymous shoe brand, knows something about being sanguine in a tough situation.

How the pandemic will shape the workplace trends of 2021

The economist John Maynard Keynes predicted in 1930 that the amount we work would gradually shrink to as little as 15 hours a week as technology made us more productive. Not only did this not happen, but we also began to spend extra time away from home due to commuting and suburban living patterns, which we often forget are recent historical inventions.

UK scientists worry vaccines may not protect against South African coronavirus variant

LONDON — UK scientists expressed concern on Monday that COVID-19 vaccines being rolled out in Britain may not be able to protect against a new variant of the coronavirus that emerged in South Africa and has spread internationally.

Jack Ma’s disappearing act fuels speculation about billionaire’s whereabouts

BEIJING — Alibaba founder Jack Ma’s absence from public view in the past two months, including missing the final episode of a TV show on which he was to appear as a judge, has fueled social media speculation over his whereabouts amid a Chinese regulatory clampdown on his sprawling business empire.

This is what Asia’s stock investors are betting on in 2021

After narrowly beating their US peers for the first time in three years in 2020, Asian stocks could see another strong year, analysts say. Asia’s...

December inflation accelerates to 3.5% yr/yr

MANILA - Philippine annual inflation picked up faster than expected to 3.5% in December, driven by the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages sector to...

$842 Million in combined Mega Millions and Powerball jackpot for the New Year

2021 promises to be an exciting year when it comes to lotteries. Hundreds of millions of dollars in jackpot prizes are up for grabs...

DTI slaps safeguard duty on cars

THE PHILIPPINES will slap provisional safeguard duties on imported cars, after an investigation by the Trade department showed the surge in imports has hurt the domestic auto manufacturing industry.

Philippine couples have more free time to make babies amid lockdown

RENALEE M. CANILAO-FLORES, 27, got pregnant at the height of the coronavirus pandemic in June.

Factory output further shrinks in December

FACTORY ACTIVITY in the Philippines further deteriorated in December, falling behind Southeast Asian peers that all saw an improvement, as ongoing lockdown restrictions and bad weather  dampened production, IHS Markit said on Monday.

Manufacturing purchasing managers’ index of select ASEAN economies, December (2020)

FACTORY ACTIVITY in the Philippines further deteriorated in December, falling behind Southeast Asian peers that all saw an improvement, as ongoing lockdown restrictions and bad weather  dampened production, IHS Markit said on Monday.

BIR, BoC beat lowered collection goals for 2020

THE TWO biggest tax collection agencies generated P2.4 trillion in revenues in 2020, exceeding the downscaled targets but still 15% lower than the previous year.

Singapore firm to take 17.5% of Ayala energy arm

ARRAN Investment Pte. Ltd., an affiliate of Singapore-based GIC Pte. Ltd., is set to acquire an ownership stake of 17.5% in AC Energy Philippines, Inc. for P20 billion, Ayala Corp. (AC) said on Monday.

Ayala Corp. to donate P120M worth of  COVID-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca

MORE THAN P120 million worth of vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) will be donated by Ayala Corp. to the government for its mass immunization program, an official of the listed company said on Monday.

Suntrust infuses more funds into project management unit

SUNTRUST Home Developers, Inc. has subscribed to 227.46 million new shares of its project management subsidiary as it moves to infuse more funds into the wholly owned unit.

Gov’t hikes award of Treasury bills as rates drop

THE GOVERNMENT on Monday hiked its award of Treasury bills (T-bills) and even opened its tap facility as yields went down across the board on expectations of slower inflation data.

Basic Energy calls for payment on outstanding subscriptions

BASIC ENERGY Corp. has issued a call for payment on unsettled subscriptions to its capital increase and stock option plan shares, the firm told the Philippine Stock Exchange on Monday.

The show(s) must go on

AFTER a tumultuous year which saw several of GMA’s shows shelved and postponed because of the pandemic, the country’s largest television network is starting 2021 by announcing a slate of new shows and the return of pandemic-interrupted shows.

Changi reinvents itself for return of business travel

SINGAPORE’S Changi Airport, routinely voted the world’s best and a key part of the city-state’s psyche, is reinventing itself for the COVID era and beyond.