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Central bank to ‘go slow’ on interest rate cuts

BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said monetary policy easing will not be as “aggressive” this year compared to 2019 and will be delivered at a slower pace as inflation is expected to stay within target, and with other data showing the economy remains strong.

Int’l retailers continue to flock to PHL

INTERNATIONAL RETAILERS continued to flock to the Philippines last year, eager to sate Filipinos’ appetite for new brands and restaurants, according to a report by the local unit of real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield.

SEC warns public against investing in 727-Tycoon

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a warning to the public not to invest in individuals or groups representing 727-Tycoon/1Tycoon as it is not registered.

Key winners at the 2020 Grammy awards

THE GRAMMY AWARDS were handed out on Sunday at a ceremony in Los Angeles hosted by Alicia Keys. Following is a list of winners in select categories:

Home rental sector gets boost from Dinagyang Festival

ILOILO CITY -- The demand for accommodations during this year’s Dinagyang Festival highlighted the growing vacation home rental sector in Iloilo City, and the local government will now be looking into the regulation of these types of accommodations.

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.

SM Cinema’s new direction: mores screens in smaller theaters

SM MALL of Asia’s (MOA) cinemas have been relaunched after months of renovations, increasing screens but keeping the same number of seats in a preview of what cinemas under the SM chain would turn into.

Online platform makes it easier to buy, sell, and lease properties

PROPERTYACCESS Philippines recently launched its own online platform that aims to make buying, selling, and leasing real estate properties easier for Filipinos.

UnionBank books higher profit on loans, trading

UNIONBANK OF THE Philippines, Inc. saw its net earnings nearly double in 2019 on the back of a higher loan portfolio, margin recovery and strong gains from trading activities.

New York surges ahead of London as world’s top financial center...

LONDON — New York remains the world’s top financial center, pushing London further into second place as Brexit uncertainty undermines the UK capital and Asian centers catch up, a survey from consultants Duff & Phelps said on Monday.

Urban farming bill being readied for Senate plenary

THE Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food on Monday approved in principle a measure that will promote integrated urban agriculture and vertical farming in metropolitan areas.

Firms in Taal area urged to step up emergency, contingency planning

TRADE OFFICIALS urged industries at risk from Taal Volcano to firm up their contingency planning, with provisions for relocating operations and evacuating staff if necessary.

Reconsidering citizen roles and state response

The first month of 2020 has given us much to consider. The current climate of unrest in the Middle East, the sudden eruption of Taal Volcano, and the emergence of the coronavirus strain from Wuhan, China has no doubt given us more than a little cause for pause. It has also brought to the fore the different roles that the Philippine State plays in responding to the needs of Filipinos in times of crisis, whether natural or manmade.

GDP growth and Fidel Nemenzo support growth

The good news about the Philippines’ GDP growth of 5.9% in 2019 is that it is high by global and regional trends. The bad news is that growth is decelerating since 2016 and our GDP size remains small. With a low economic base, if we keep growing by just 5-6% yearly, it will take us many decades to be at par with the per capita incomes of our neighbors Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Thailand even if they grow only 2-3% yearly. (See Table 1).

DoJ to study plan to end military agreement with US

PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte has ordered government lawyers to expand their study of a plan to end an agreement with the US on the deployment of troops and equipment for war games, Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said on Monday.

18 shops fined for overpricing face masks

THE Trade department has fined 18 stores for overpricing face masks amid Taal Volcano’s eruption, it said in a statement on Monday.

Kobe, daughter among 9 killed in helicopter crash near LA

CALABASAS, CALIFORNIA. -- Kobe Bryant, one of the NBA’s all-time greatest players whose international stardom transcended basketball, was killed at age 41 on Sunday in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles along with his 13-year-old daughter and seven others on board, officials said.

Local basketball community mourns death of NBA legend Kobe ‘Black Mamba’...

NATIONAL Basketball Association legend Kobe Bryant loved the Philippines and, in turn, the country loved him back. So when news of the untimely death of the many-time Manila visitor on Monday (Manila time) broke out, Filipinos mourned and expressed their love and respect for the “Black Mamba.”

PHL economic risks from China virus downplayed

BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno downplayed economic risks that may arise from the continued spread of the novel coronavirus from Wuhan, saying the Philippines’ exposure to China is not that significant.

Philippines delisted from EU’s counterfeit watchlist

THE European Union (EU) removed the Philippines from its “priority” counterfeit watchlist, even if it noted that intellectual property (IP) protection in the country has not improved.

DoubleDragon targets P11B in maiden REIT listing

DOUBLEDRAGON Properties Corp. is finalizing plans for its maiden real estate investment trust (REIT) listing as it targets to raise about P11 billion every year in the next six years through the investment vehicle.

Isuzu PH to donate vehicle to Philippine Red Cross

ISUZU PHILIPPINES Corporation (IPC) early this week donated one unit of Isuzu D-MAX 4x4 LS MT to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), Laguna Chapter, at the IPC Plant in Biñan Laguna, for the Taal Volcano eruption relief efforts mobilization. Additional supplies were also provided such as bottled water, toiletries, clothes and other essentials to alleviate the condition of evacuees and affected individual.

Alphaland plans stock market return

ALPHALAND Corp. owner Roberto V. Ongpin is considering a return for the operator of Balesin Island Club to the stock market soon, its incoming president said.

Hyundai sustains position among top car companies in 2019

HYUNDAI Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI), the official distributor of the leading Korean automotive brand in the Philippines, ended the year strong with 2.9% growth in December 2019 or 3,163 units sold versus the same month last year.

Fine jewelry is forever

FILIPINO designer Josie Natori wore a minimalist black outfit that showed off her statement jewelry perfectly -- dangling dragon earrings in midnight silver accented with a white gemstone at the center.

Nike moves forward with Infinity Run and Adapt BB 2.0 shoes

NIKE’S thrust of providing consumers with quality products by tapping the latest in technology continues with the launch of its new running and basketball shoes -- the Nike React Infinity Run and Nike Adapt BB 2.0 shoes.

Indonesia to increase imports from India amid New Delhi spat with...

KUALA LUMPUR/NEW DELHI -- Indonesia has agreed to immediately increase imports of Indian buffalo meat, sugar and auto parts after India boosted purchases of Indonesian palm oil amid a spat with rival supplier Malaysia, two Indian government sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Friday.

Nigerian rice farmers fall short after borders close

MAKURDI, NIGERIA -- Thomas Tyavwva Maji is planting rice on more of his land in Nigeria’s Benue State than ever to take advantage of a surge in prices since the country shut its land borders in August.

Peso may climb further on market optimism

THE PESO could strengthen this week amid optimism coming from the recently signed sin tax bill.

POGO tax collections in 2019 rise nearly 170% to P6.42B

THE government’s tax take from Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) and their service providers grew nearly 170% to P6.42 billion in 2019 amid a compliance crackdown, the Department of Finance (DoF) said Sunday.

House bill seeks to give PCC more powers

A LEGISLATOR has filed a bill seeking to amend Republic Act 10667 or The Philippine Competition Act to enhance the competition regulator’s powers.

Senate to review plan to terminate US military deal

THE Senate foreign relations committee will study a government plan to end an agreement with the US on the deployment of troops and equipment for war games, after the visa of an administration senator was canceled.

POEA sets rules on Tripoli deployment

FILIPINO workers in Tripoli will be allowed to leave the country temporarily and return to their jobs later under certain conditions, amid a deployment ban.

Kvitova beats Sakkari, makes it to quarterfinals

MELBOURNE -- Petra Kvitova came from a set down and took full advantage as her Greek opponent Maria Sakkari’s self-belief drained away to advance to the Australian Open quarterfinals with a 6-7(4) 6-3 6-2 victory on Rod Laver Arena on Sunday.

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang offers new arcade mode Magic Chess

A THRILLING, real-time auto-chess strategy game, with a magical twist, Magic Chess: Bang Bang, has finally arrived in the Philippines.

A market-friendly way of reducing medicine prices

About two weeks ago, President Rodrigo R. Duterte, in an interview with Ted Failon from ABS-CBN, said that he will sign an executive order imposing a limit on the prices of certain medicines. “That’s good for the Filipino, reduced prices or maintaining a price. I will even sign the document twice over,” the President said.

The UP Chancellorship

The University of the Philippines (UP), particularly Diliman, is abuzz. The process of selecting the next UP Diliman Chancellor has aroused the UP community, including the alumni.

BSP: Inflation likely to stay within target range until 2021

INFLATION is likely to settle within the midpoint of the central bank’s target range this year until 2021, with risks tilting slightly upward, according to officials from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Inflation for poor households eases to two-year low in 2019

THE year 2019 saw inflation as experienced by low-income families fall to its lowest level in two years despite picking up in December, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Friday.

LGUs allow limited access to Taal volcano-affected areas

SOME local government units in areas affected by the Taal volcano eruption allowed their residents to go home on Friday to feed their livestock, amid the seeming decrease in Taal Volcano’s activity this week.

BIR suspends tax deadline in Batangas due to Taal eruption

THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has suspended the deadlines of filing and payment of tax returns in Batangas to provide relief to the residents affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano, until the situation returns to normal.

DA eyes auction system for commodity imports

THE DEPARTMENT of Agriculture (DA) is now studying following an auction system starting with sugar to ensure transparency in the country’s import system.

Philippines joins ASEAN Single Window

THE PHILIPPINES has officially joined the ASEAN Single Window (ASW) and went live last Dec. 30 via its three pilot ports, the Department of Finance (DoF) said.

Airlines ordered to cancel PHL flights to and from Wuhan

THE Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) has ordered the suspension of all flights linking Wuhan, China and the Philippines to protect the country from the spread of the new flu-like virus.

CHED chairman welcomes review of UP-Ayala lease contract

THE Commission on Higher Education (CHED) welcomed the government’s review of Ayala Land, Inc.’s (ALI) contract to develop a property of the University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman, Quezon City.