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PAL readies special Xiamen flights for stranded passengers after ban

FLAG CARRIER Philippine Airlines (PAL) will be deploying “special flights” between Manila and Xiamen on Monday next week to carry stranded passengers after their flights were canceled when President Rodrigo R. Duterte ordered a travel ban.

Globe releases 5G-ready Huawei smart phone

GLOBE TELECOM, Inc. on Thursday launched its first fifth-generation (5G) network-enabled smart phone, the Huawei Mate 30 Pro, as it aims to expand further its network this year to meet the continuing strong demand for data.

MPIC unit secures nod to start collecting toll fees

MPCALA Holdings Inc. (MPHI), a unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), has gotten a go-signal from the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) to collect initial toll fees beginning Feb. 10 for the newly opened 10.7-kilometer Mamplasan Interchange-Sta. Rosa segment of the Cavite-Laguna-Expressway (CALAx).

Social-savvy nation battles coronavirus fake news

A FACEBOOK POST in the Philippines shared more than 2,000 times claimed a coronavirus strain that has killed hundreds in China and sickened thousands more is “a type of rabies.”

Kaspersky looking to double local sales

INTERNET security firm Kaspersky said helping financial institutions in the Philippines defend their systems and data from threats and attacks is one of its top priorities this year as it targets to double its sales.

DoTr to keep Mindanao railway single track, keeps options open

THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) said it will proceed with a single-track and non-electrified system configuration of the Mindanao Railway Project, overruling appeals from the Davao Regional Development Council to adopt a two-track, electric configuration.

Quarantine for cargo ships from any port lifted

THE BUREAU of Quarantine (BoQ) has exempted all cargo ships from the required 14-day quarantine amid the novel coronavirus (nCoV) threat in consideration of the country’s supply chain, Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago said on Wednesday.

Nationwide round-up

FORMER SENATOR Gregorio B. Honasan II, who now heads the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), may be summoned for the proposed Senate inquiry over alleged irregularities in the agency’s confidential funds.

Rival TV networks claim lead

ABS-CBN Corp. said it remained “leader” in national television ratings last month, while GMA Network, Inc. said it “clinched the top spot,” citing different rating providers.

Globe reports 20% income increase

GLOBE TELECOM, Inc. posted a 20% growth in its consolidated net earnings in 2019 to P22.3 billion, backed by higher revenues from customers’ data consumption, the Ayala-led company told the stock exchange on Tuesday.

SMC delays Skyway Stage 3 opening to July after fire

SAN MIGUEL Corp. (SMC) has committed to work 24/7 to open the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 — a portion of which had collapsed due to fire last Saturday — by July this year.

Palace eager to clarify reasons behind Rio resignation from DICT

MALACAÑANG said it will look into alleged irregularities at the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) which reportedly led Undersecretary Eliseo M. Rio, Jr. to resign.

Cagayan port touted as improving connectivity with Babuyan chain

THE government on Monday inaugurated the Port of Claveria in Cagayan, which it hopes will boost transport connectivity between the far north of Luzon and islands beyond.

Kennon Road rehab to be offered as PPP; toll road setup...

THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) hopes to modernize Kennon Road by offering its rehabilitation to toll-road operators as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP), the PPP Center said.

Consumers set to start retaining phone numbers

MOBILE phone users may start applying for mobile number porting in the third quarter of this year, Globe Telecom, Inc. Chief Commercial Officer Alberto M. de Larrazabal said.

First coronavirus death outside China reported in Philippines

A 44-YEAR-OLD Chinese man who died of severe pneumonia in the Philippines had tested positive for the new coronavirus strain, the first coronavirus-related death outside China, the Department of Health said on Sunday.

WHO declares global health emergency

THE World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global health emergency as a new deadly strain of coronavirus that came from China spread to at least 18 other countries, including the Philippines.

PAL, Cebu Pacific cut flights to and from China

PHILIPPINE Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific will be reducing their regular flights to and from China beginning February.

Globe, Puregold team up for shoppers’ mobile app

GLOBE Telecom, Inc. and Puregold Price Club, Inc. launched on Friday a mobile app that enables Puregold shoppers do online shopping.

San Miguel buyout of Holcim worries competition watchdog

THE Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has raised concerns regarding San Miguel Corp.’s (SMC) proposed $2.15-billion acquisition of Holcim Philippines Inc. (HPI), saying the deal could lessen competition in the grey cement market in Luzon.

Airlines downplay impact of coronavirus outbreak

LOCAL AIRLINES downplayed the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on their operations, saying there are no plans yet to reduce or halt flights to Chinese cities.

Draft policy on common telco tower delayed anew

THE Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) on Wednesday gave another schedule for the release of the common tower policy.

Approval of NAIAx expansion expected in first quarter

THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is expecting the approval of the NAIA Expressway (NAIAx) expansion project within the first quarter of the year.

Web threats detected locally increase in the 4th qtr.

THE Philippines was seventh in the world in terms of the number of web threats detected during the fourth quarter of last year.

Multisys partners with Manorama to upgrade its health platform

SOFTWARE engineering solutions firm Multisys Technologies Corp. has forged a partnership deal with Indian software company Manorama Infosolutions Pvt. Ltd. (MIPL) to upgrade its health care platform HealthBox.

3 Japan firms keen on Manila subway contract

AT LEAST THREE Japanese firms, including one of the maintenance providers of Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3), signaled interest in bidding for the contract to provide train sets and electrical and mechanical (E&M) systems for the Metro Manila subway project.

ATI posts double-digit rise in Batangas cargo volume

ASIAN Terminals Inc. (ATI) said it handled more than 310,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) at the Batangas Container Terminal (BCT) in 2019, up 25% from the previous year.

DPWH completes Samar evacuation center

THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said Tuesday it completed a P36-million regional evacuation center in Catbalogan, Samar and the P96.50-million road dike project in Gubat, Sorsogon.

New Malabon exit seen to benefit 20,000 motorists

ABOUT 20,000 motorists are expected to benefit starting next month from the new Malabon exit, which is part of the 2.6-kilometer C3-R10 Section of the NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10.

QBex construction launch expected this year

THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said the construction start date for the Quezon-Bicol Expressway (QBEx) will fall sometime this year.

South Cotabato bridge, road projects due for completion

THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) hopes to finish this year three infrastructure projects in South Cotabato, including the P100-million road-widening project from Koronadal City to General Santos City which is set for completion in April.

Senate to draw rehab plan for Taal Volcano

SENATE President Vicente C. Sotto III on Monday asked the chamber to draw up a long-term plan to rehabilitate Batangas province after Taal Volcano’s eruption destroyed homes and buried shops in ashfall.

MRT-3 ticket sales, rider count further fall as repairs continue

METRO RAIL Transit (MRT)-3’s number of passengers and collection from ticket sales fell further in 2019 as the railway system undergoes rehabilitation to increase its capacity by July 2021.

Lawmaker calls Angkas owner persona non grata; motorcycle taxi wishes ‘to...

A RESOLUTION seeking to declare Singaporean investor Angeline Xiwen Tham as persona non grata for owning ride-hailing company Angkas at its inception has been filed in the Senate.

Realme looking to help speed up 5G dev’t in the country

CHINESE smartphone manufacturer Realme said it is collaborating with Philippine tech firms and network operators to expedite the development of the fifth-generation (5G) network technology in the country, as it is set to roll out its 5G smartphones in China this year.

Kaspersky’s PHL enterprise solutions business grows

INTERNET security firm Kaspersky on Monday said the enterprise solutions segment of its business achieved a “twofold” growth in the Philippines last year.

AirAsia set to fly to Zamboanga, General Santos and Dumaguete

PHILIPPINES AirAsia, Inc. is set to launch three more domestic routes this year in response to the growing volume of passengers in Zamboanga City, General Santos City, and Dumaguete City.

DoTr clarifies airport tally refers to rehab, upgrade projects

THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) said 120 airport projects, which include rehabilitation, expansion and upgrade works, have been completed by the current government.

Cap for motorcycle taxis in Metro Manila increased, pilot run now...

THE DEPARTMENT of Transportation’s (DoTr) interagency technical working group (TWG) has increased the cap for motorcycle taxi bikers in Metro Manila to 45,000 from 30,000, and expanded the coverage of the pilot run to Cagayan de Oro City, where 9,000 bikers are allowed to operate, the same number as in Metro Cebu.

JoyRide readies more bikers despite plan to stop motorcycle taxis

JOYRIDE is bent on deploying more bikers until it reaches the 10,000 cap despite the government’s plan to terminate the pilot program that allowed the operation of motorcycle taxis, an official of the ride-hailing firm said.

SEC approves creation of company for mobile phone number portability

CONSUMERS switching telecommunication networks are a step closer to retaining their contact digits after the securities regulator cleared the creation of a new company that will ease the portability of mobile phone numbers.

SMC waives toll fees at SLEx for relief operations

SAN MIGUEL Corp. (SMC) said no fees would be collected at the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) and Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) for vehicles involved in relief operations in areas affected by the Taal Volcano eruption.

Motorcycle ride-hailing industry faces the axe

A GOVERNMENT BODY has recommended ending a program temporarily allowing motorcycles to transport commuters, which will effectively make their operations illegal.

Operator of LRT-1 ready to face probe after Duterte’s new rants

THE operator of Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) is ready to cooperate should the government push through with an investigation into an alleged irregularity in its concession agreement.

An aerial photo tool for now, drones could transform disaster relief

AROUND a hundred drones rose up into the night sky during the final leg of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games Torch Run at the Clark Freeport Zone on Nov. 23.