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Imports needed for COVID-19 fight declared tax-exempt

IMPORTED GOODS, supplies and equipment, including test kits and protective equipment needed for containing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, as well as imported materials needed to manufacture these products have been declared exempt from all taxes, duties and fees, the Bureau of Customs said.

Fitch Solutions reduces PHL consumer spending 2020 growth outlook

FITCH SOLUTIONS Macro Research said it reduced its 2020 consumer spending growth estimate for the Philippines to 6.7% from 7% due to the lockdown imposed on Luzon to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

More Metro Manila LGUs to host mobile markets

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) will open more mobile produce markets sourcing directly from farmers to ensure sufficient food for the Metro Manila during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

Durant and Young headline players-only NBA 2K tourney

NATIONAL Basketball Association fans missing their favorite players in action get to see them strutting their stuff albeit on a different platform by way of the NBA 2K video game.

FIBA moves to update 3×3 World Tour season calendar

WITH an end to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic anything but certain at this point, world basketball governing body FIBA moved to update the 3x3 World Tour season calendar.

Duterte told to extend lockdown as cases reach more than 2,300

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte should extend the month-long lockdown of the entire Luzon island by another month to contain coronavirus disease 2019 that has infected more than 2,300 people, a congressman said on Wednesday.

Airlines to suspend flights out of Clark starting April 3

AIRLINES flying out of Clark International Airport in Pampanga province will stop commercial flights starting April 3, airport management said in an advisory on Tuesday.

Nationwide round-up

THE ADMINISTRATION’S economic team is in favor of mass testing to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country and minimize the outbreak’s harm to the economy.

The Great Isolation

First, there was the Great War, or the First World War, that ran from 1914 to 1918. Then, there was the Great Depression, or the worldwide economic recession that started in the United States in 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s. And prior to these, there was the Great Plague or the “Great Mortality” of 1347-1351, deemed the most devastating plague pandemic in history.

Rage killed the Cat — and other musings on COVID-19

We know the saying, “Curiosity killed the cat.” But recently, one cat wasn’t curious enough to understand why Filipinos thronged at a checkpoint despite the social distancing rule imposed during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Virus, bacteria, and pneumococcal diseases

Before the China virus -- a.k.a. SARS-Cov-2 which causes Covid-19 -- scare, pneumococcal diseases caused by a bacteria called Streptococcus pneumonia and their treatment were in the news. The bacteria can affect people of all ages, from babies to senior citizens, and pneumococcal diseases are a leading cause of death among children below five years old. When the bacteria invade the lungs, they can cause pneumonia and death. They can also invade the bloodstream and cause bacteremia, or invade the tissues and fluids surrounding the brain and spinal cord and cause meningitis.

Politics and Crisis: A Discussion SeriesGoverning the pandemic

THE FIRST TWO WEEKS of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic have unraveled the fractures of an already fragile relationship between our national and local governments. This is notwithstanding the fact that the current administration’s response to the crisis has been framed as a whole-of-government approach, with the national government exercising general supervision, and the local government units (LGUs) implementing the stipulations and guidelines coming from the national, albeit with differing capacities in implementation. As such, understanding the government’s response to the COVID-19 situation could most fruitfully be pursued by parsing through this national-local divide; governing the pandemic would anyway necessitate the coordination between these two levels of government.

On-demand services platform MyKuya looking for enterprise partners

After seeing a 300% spike in requests for their on-demand services, MyKuya is looking to partner with businesses struggling during the lockdown to help meet demand, as well as improving their partners’ cashflow, create jobs, and help their communities.

Isuzu Philippines lends vehicles to transport healthcare workers, frontliners

Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC), responding to the immediate needs of the country’s healthcare and frontline workers fighting to stem the outbreak of the Coronavirus...

AMA Online Education launches learn now, pay later program

With AMA OEd’s “Learn Online Now, Pay Later” scheme, students and professionals get access to a variety of programs and short courses offered by AMA OEd without having to pay any tuition fee until April 15, 2020.

PHL plans rice imports amid lockdown

THE government is planning to import 300,000 metric tons (MT) of rice to ensure there is enough domestic supply as Luzon remains under enhanced community quarantine.

Virus to cut Philippine growth — World Bank

THE Philippine economy is seen growing at a slower pace this year due to the fallout from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, and may even contract by as much as 0.5% if the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine will be extended, the World Bank said in a new report.

Inflation likely slowed in March as oil price plunges

THE overall rise in prices of widely used goods likely slowed in March, the central bank said on Tuesday, as oil prices plunged and food prices remained stable due to a price freeze amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

PHL airlines seek gov’t help to survive virus

LOCAL AIRLINES are appealing for government help, as the “catastrophic impact” of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic threatens their survival.

Meralco says electricity supply steady during Luzon lockdown

MANILA ELECTRIC CO. (Meralco) said it is working around the clock to ensure a steady supply of electricity and services amid the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.

Uplifting the arts in challenging times

Cinemas, theaters, concert halls, and museums have all closed their doors since Luzon was placed on enhanced community quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic two weeks ago. Show openings, gigs, workshops, regional art festivals and conferences have either been postponed or canceled.

Treasury turns down all bids for 35-day T-bills as rates increase

THE GOVERNMENT rejected all bids for the one-month Treasury bills (T-bills) it auctioned off on Tuesday as investors continue to ask for higher yields amid uncertainties caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

SEC to firms: use digital platform

THE SECURITIES and Exchange Commission (SEC) is encouraging the public to make use of its digital platform for corporate registration while its physical office is closed due to the Luzon quarantine.

Elton John’s coronavirus ‘living room’ show raises $8 million for US...

LOS ANGELES — A weekend benefit broadcast featuring recording stars performing live music online from home raised nearly $8 million for two charities serving first responders and Americans facing economic hardship amid the coronavirus crisis, sponsors said on Monday.

Nickel Asia units suspend operations

TWO SUBSIDIARIES of mining company Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC) announced the temporary suspension of their mining operations, amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Stuff to do at home (04/01/20)

One Night Stand, in partnership with Open House, presents an online concert called Bedroom Voices on April 1, 8 p.m.

Sy group allots P170M to fight virus

THE SM GROUP is increasing its donations to more than P170 million to aid the country in fighting the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

LGUs obtain more funds to fight virus

AT least P130 billion could be freed up from local government units’ (LGU) budgets to help them address the growing fallout from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) after the National Government allowed them to use their development funds.

Economy may shrink by as much as 1.9% — Nomura

THE Philippine economy may contract by as much as 1.9% this year if the Luzon-wide lockdown is expanded nationwide and lasts until May, according to a report by Nomura Global Research.

Big fund managers buy PHL stocks in ‘mega sale’

BIG Philippine money managers are cautiously plowing back money into the nation’s equities, seeing cheapened valuations as an opportunity they have been waiting for, although the market has yet to bottom out.

P31 billion allocated for food sufficiency measures

THE government is allocating P31 billion for measures that would ensure there is enough food supply during the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.

Metro Pacific forms COVID-19 crisis team

THE HOSPITAL unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) has stepped up its response to the pandemic by forming a crisis team and designating one of its hospitals as a referral facility for those positive of the deadly virus.

Xurpas halts Singapore subsidiary’s operations

XURPAS, INC. is suspending the operations of a Singapore-based subsidiary due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and is divesting a majority stake in its cryptocurrency money transfer subsidiary.

Cebu Air earnings hit P9B

CEBU AIR, Inc. reported a net income of P9.12 billion for 2019, or more than double its net income a year ago of P3.92 billion, driven by its core business.

Davao hotels to shelter health workers

DAVAO CITY -- The iconic Apo View Hotel, the oldest in the city at over 70 years, is one of the local businesses that have temporarily suspended operations due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

Pilipinas Shell income up 11% to P5.6 B

PILIPINAS SHELL Petroleum Corp. posted an 11% year-on-year jump in net income in 2019 on the back of its marketing activities and savings from refinery costs.

Microstudio developer waives minimum lease requirement

MICROSTUDIO DEVELOPER Point Blue is waiving its minimum lease requirements to help those in need of a place to stay while Luzon is under quarantine.

From sofas and kitchens, music stars hold coronavirus concert fundraiser

LOS ANGELES — Billie Eilish sang on her sofa, Elton John played a keyboard belonging to his children, and the Backstreet Boys sang in harmony from five locations as dozens of musicians put on a fundraiser for the warriors against a coronavirus.

Gov’t rejects all bids for T-bills

THE GOVERNMENT rejected all bids for the Treasury bills (T-bills) it offered on Monday following the surge in rates as investors prefer to keep their cash amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

SMC allots P500M for health workers’ protective gear

SAN MIGUEL CORP. (SMC) has set aside P500 million to buy personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline health workers, the listed conglomerate said on Monday, as it called on local manufacturers to boost production to ensure a steady supply.

Life insurers extend grace period due to COVID-19

LIFE INSURANCE FIRMS extended the grace period for premium payments to up to 91 days to give relief to clients amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

Stocks drop on worries of recession due to virus

PHILIPPINE SHARES declined yesterday on mounting worries of a recession due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Manila seeks Chinese help in fight versus novel coronavirus

THE Philippines has sought China’s help in battling a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak that has sickened more than 1,500 people and killed 78 mostly in Manila, the capital.

Work-from-home to drive telecom investment; returns uncertain — Fitch

THE SURGE in data traffic due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic will drive telecommunications companies in Asia-Pacific countries to ramp up their spending on additional network capacity, Fitch Ratings said.

DoLE urged to suspend overseas nurse deployments

A LEGISLATOR asked the Department of Labor and Employment to suspend the overseas deployment of nurses for the duration of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) containment effort.