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Daily Archives: January 14, 2021 | 9:00 pm

Peso ends flat as coronavirus cases climb

THE PESO closed nearly flat against the greenback on Thursday due to the continued increase in coronavirus infections and softer remittance data.

Shares rebound as gov’t clears Pfizer vaccine use

PHILIPPINE shares ended higher on Thursday, ending its two-day skid, on the government’s approval of Pfizer, Inc.’s coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine for emergency use.

Philippines OK’s Pfizer vaccine emergency use

THE PHILIPPINES approved the emergency use of Pfizer, Inc. and BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine, the first in the country, as infections neared 500,000 on Thursday.

Government likely to ban foreigners from UAE — Malacañang

THE PHILIPPINES would probably include the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in its travel ban after a Filipino from Dubai tested positive for a more contagious coronavirus variant first detected in the United Kingdom (UK), according to the presidential palace.

Local governments free to choose own vaccine, says Duterte

THE NATIONAL Government won’t restrict mayors and governors in choosing a particular coronavirus vaccine for their people, President Rodrigo R. Duterte said on Wednesday night.

Nationwide round-up (01/14/21)

THE Sandiganbayan has dismissed the graft charges against Department of Information and Communications Technology Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II over the alleged anomalous use of pork barrel funds when he was senator.

Regional Updates (01/14/21)

DREDGING operations in three heavily silted segments of the Cagayan River, which partly caused heavy flooding in Cagayan province last year, will start by the end of the month or early February, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said on Thursday.

MSME digital shift hampered by poor internet, distrust of fintech

SLOW INTERNET connections and lack of trust in financial technology (fintech) services are hindering the transition to digital technology of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the competition regulator said.

ILO calls attention to ‘invisible’ problems of home-based workforce

THE International Labor Organization (ILO) said Thursday that employers need to focus on the problems faced by workers who have adopted work-from-home arrangements during the pandemic, particularly the need to pay fair salaries and offer social protections.

Independent commission sought to evaluate quality of education

AN INDEPENDENT commission with the power to review the deterioration of education standards during the pandemic has been proposed by Philippine Business for Education (PBEd), a private-sector organization advocating for workforce development.

CAAP says Camiguin, Tuguegarao last 2 airports closed to commercial flights

THE Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said Camiguin and Tuguegarao airports are the last two facilities still closed to commercial flights in the absence of permission from the local governments.

USAID awards grants to five groups working on ocean plastics

THE US Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded $890,000 worth of grants to five groups in the Philippines trying to find solutions to ocean plastics pollution, the US Embassy said in a statement Thursday.

Consumer Act, CREATE named DTI priorities

THE Trade department has asked the new chairman of the House committee on trade and industry to prioritize the passage of consumer protections and pricing laws.
electricity power lines

Household electrification rate hits 92.96% in Oct. — DoE

THE household electrification rate was 92.96% as of October, equivalent to 23.23 million households with access to power, the Department of Energy (DoE) said, citing data from electric cooperatives and utilities.

First Metro sees 2021 GDP growth at 5.5%-6.5%

THE ECONOMY is likely to grow between 5.5% and 6.5% this year, with recovery prospects mainly supported by infrastructure spending and various tax reform initiatives, according to First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC). 

Second year of pandemic ‘could be tougher’ — WHO

GENEVA — The second year of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic may be tougher than the first given how the new coronavirus is spreading, especially in the northern hemisphere as more infectious variants circulate, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.

Yellow grub becomes EU’s first insect food

LONDON — Mealworms may soon find their way into Europe’s pasta bowls and dinner dishes, after becoming the first insect approved in the region as a human food.
Covid19-Coronavirus-reuters

Gut bacteria tied to COVID-19 severity, immune response

THE MICROSCOPIC organisms living in our intestines may influence the severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the body’s immune response to it, and could account for lingering symptoms, researchers reported on Monday in the journal Gut.

It’s a six-way battle for PBA best player of the conference award

THE Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) honors standout performers in its tournament “bubble” last year this weekend, including the best player of the conference (BPC) which has six players vying for the award.

Houston Rockets trade star guard James Harden to Brooklyn Nets in four-team deal

THE James Harden saga ended on Wednesday when the Houston Rockets traded the star guard to the Brooklyn Nets as part of a four-team trade, according to multiple reports.

Adiwang featured at ONE Championship’s first offering this year

ONE Championship opens its 2021 season on Jan. 22 with “ONE: Unbreakable” which has Filipino mixed martial artist Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang among the featured fighters.


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Nets handle Knicks, with short roster following Harden trade

NO James Harden, at least for one more game? No Kyrie Irving, for who knows how long? It was no problem on Wednesday night for the Brooklyn Nets.

21-assets deal

James Harden finally got what he wanted. Within a day after publicly declaring he was in a “situation... that I don’t think can be fixed,” he wound up being shipped to the Nets as part of a four-franchise deal involving a stunning 21 assets. It was what he wanted, of course, and he made his sentiments felt way back in a tumultuous offseason that saw erstwhile backcourt partner Russell Westbrook leave in frustration. Since then, he had been on a scorched-earth offensive; he partied instead of practiced, breached health and safety protocols, showed up thoroughly out of shape, sulked his way to poor performances, and alienated teammates with his polarizing words and actions.

Fitch and Moody’s: Qualified Rating Actions

It’s most interesting juxtaposition between the varied accounts and perspectives on the pandemic and the Authorities’ optimistic view of the Philippine economy this year and the next. We saw this in the last few days splashed all over the broadsheets, with both citing factual basis but pointing perhaps to some qualified conclusion.

Trump’s triumph

With only a little exaggeration did some analysts call it an insurrection — an attempt to overthrow the US government.

Other-ness

The whole world has been rushing forward at a dizzying speed for decades. There was a mad rush to meet deadlines, to accomplish goals, to achieve. A year ago, the spinning suddenly slowed down due to extreme natural disasters and the pandemic. The frenetic movement forward shifted. It became a confusing downward spiral. Every day has been hazy, uncertain and anxiety-ridden. Confinement and a loss of activity stretched from weeks to months. And during the downtime, there is quiet time for reflection and evaluation.

When media discriminates

Last weekend saw tech giants Twitter and Facebook, including, bizarrely, Spotify, banning US President Donald Trump from the use of their platforms. This was followed by bans imposed on certain conservative personalities or substantial reductions in their reach or followers.

How China is controlling the COVID origins narrative: silencing critics and locking up dissenters

Just over a year has gone by since the novel coronavirus first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan and the world still has many questions about where and how it originated.

Globe partners with Microsoft Office 365 to power virtual education

Globe expands its initiatives to maximize digital education through Microsoft Office 365 solutions. Due to COVID-19, digital learning emerged as a means to continue...

Ocean 100: Profits from world’s seas dominated by 100 companies

Just 100 companies account for most of the profits from the world’s seas, researchers said on Wednesday, calling on them to help save the oceans from over-fishing, rising temperatures, and pollution.

Entrego now offers cashless option for safer transactions

Many Filipinos have experienced the convenience of doorstep delivery services during the COVID-19 pandemic, as everyone is encouraged to stay safe at home. Aside...

‘Walkable chair’ makes standing on the job an easier prospect

If you or your employees have a job that requires standing for long periods of time, Japanese startup Archelis may have the device for you.

COVID-19 infection gives some immunity for at least 5 months, UK study finds

LONDON — People who have had COVID-19 are highly likely to have immunity to it for at least five months but there is evidence that those with antibodies may still be able to carry and spread the virus, a UK study of healthcare workers has found.

Philippines’ FDA approves Pfizer vaccine for emergency use

The Philippines has approved Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE’s COVID-19 vaccine, the first to be allowed for emergency use in the country. The Food and Drug Administration...

US House impeaches Trump for a second time; 10 Republicans vote yes

WASHINGTON — Donald J. Trump on Wednesday became the first president in US history to be impeached twice, as 10 of his fellow Republicans...

UnionBank seals new five-year agreement with labor union, assures members that ‘no one gets...

AFTER five months of negotiation, the representatives of Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) and the UnionBank Employees Association (UBEA) signed, last December 4,...

Policy rates to remain low — Diokno

THE Philippine central bank will keep benchmark interest rates low to support economic recovery amid a coronavirus pandemic, its chief said on Wednesday.

Traffic congestion in Manila is 4th worst in the world despite lockdown

ANNUAL TRAFFIC congestion in Metro Manila significantly dropped last year due to coronavirus lockdown, but the Philippine capital was still the fourth-most congested city in the world, according to data from a location technology company.

Metro Manila among cities with the worst traffic congestion

ANNUAL TRAFFIC congestion in Metro Manila significantly dropped last year due to coronavirus lockdown, but the Philippine capital was still the fourth-most congested city in the world, according to data from a location technology company.

PHL sees no jobs boost from free trade deals

THE country’s free trade agreements (FTAs) have increased labor productivity but not jobs, a study from the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) showed.

Adding pleasure to life

WE all have things that we deem necessary, but what these necessities are might be different for different people. Counting on your fingers might seem enough for some when praying the rosary, but others can’t do without a lovely jeweled chain. Either way, when we can, it’s always best to inject a little bit of pleasure into our lives.

SEC warns against Masa Mart investment schemes

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has advised the public not to invest or stop investing in any scheme offered by Masa Mart Business Center after it has solicited investments without proper registration.

I gut you

MICROBIOTA is the community of microorganisms that thrive in the gut and influence one’s health. By fermenting nondigestible food components, they contribute to the production of nutrients and energy and give us innate immunity.

DITO CME, CloudSwyft to launch online learning platform

DITO CME Holdings Corp., the communications, media and entertainment arm of the Udenna Group, is set to launch an online learning platform called the Luna Academy.

IBM leads in quantum computing, Ford in driverless car patents

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, quantum computers and autonomous vehicles are among the fastest growing areas of technology, with American companies often in the lead, according to a new study of US patents issued over the past five years.