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Cautious spending, a legacy of the pandemic, could sink the consumer-driven...

Purchasing decisions were easy enough during the lockdown, with most people stripping down to essentials only like groceries. There was some wiggle room on utilities and rent because of grace periods ordered by the government. But looking forward, the question on many business owners’ minds is whether consumer confidence will ever return with the economy’s prospects remaining clouded.

NTC wants Sky Cable shut, demands refund

THE NATIONAL Telecommunications Commission (NTC) on Tuesday issued a cease-and-desist order against the direct broadcast satellite service of the Sky Cable Corp., a subsidiary of the embattled ABS-CBN Corp.

Nationwide round-up

THE PHILIPPINE capital does not need to revert to stringent lockdown measures and can just enforce localized quarantine in specific areas to contain the spread of the coronavirus, a World Health Organization (WHO) official said on Tuesday.

ABS-CBN to be asked out of digibox

THE National Telecommunications Commision (NTC) committed to the House of Representatives that it would order ABS-CBN Corp. to stop airing programs through digital television receivers or digiboxes.

PhilMech seeks P5.6-billion budget for 2021 to fund farm mechanization

THE Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) told Congress on Monday that it is proposing a P5.6-billion budget for next year to support mechanization programs under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF).

Lawmaker seeks more funds for small businesses

A LAWMAKER has called on the government to provide more funding to help small businesses as they cope with the effects of the pandemic.

Bill to give teachers P1,500 Web stipend

A LAWMAKER has filed a bill seeking to give public school teachers P1,500 in monthly Internet allowance as the country’s schools start blended learning programs when they open in August.

Regional Updates (06/28/20)

A LAWMAKER is calling for the immediate passage of a bill that will establish a unified cashless collection system in tollroads, which has become more critical for minimizing physical contact as the coronavirus threat lingers.

Grab to spare riders from cost of canceled orders

GRAB Philippines (Grab) is developing a new model to avoid “no-show” incidents in its food delivery service, the ride-hailing company said on Thursday.

Bill wants to remove Aquino name from international airport

THREE congressmen have filed a bill seeking to rename the Ninoy Aquino International Airport as the Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Pilipinas (Philippine International Airport).

Live births may rise by 13% on lockdown

THE PHILIPPINES expects almost two million live births next year — 13% or 214,000 more than usual — as people mostly stayed home amid a coronavirus pandemic.

House to probe BPO companies for unjust treatment of workers

A LAWMAKER has filed a resolution seeking to investigate companies including those in the outsourcing sector for unfair labor practices such as cutting wages due to slow Internet connection of workers who work from home amid a coronavirus pandemic.

Nationwide round-up

THE OVERSEAS Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) on Wednesday asked the Senate for a P5 billion supplemental budget, citing that it is facing the risk of bankruptcy by the end of 2021.

DTI seeks P12 billion for e-vehicle manufacturing program

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it needs P12 billion to fund a program to kickstart the electric-vehicle manufacturing industry.

Pessimistic Filipinos rose to record — SWS

THE RATIO of Filipinos who expect to be worse off in the next 12 months rose to a record 43% in May, as the world battles a novel coronavirus pandemic, according to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) poll.

Nationwide round-up

THE SENATE committee on labor, employment and human resource development will push for a labor audit as 7.3 million Filipino workers have so far been displaced by the economic downturn due to the coronavirus crisis.

Legislators seek investigation into fertilizer procurement

THE Makabayan bloc in Congress filed House Resolution 992 urging the Committee on Agriculture and Food to investigate the Department of Agriculture’s (DA’s) fertilizer procurement, amid allegations that its purchase price was inflated.

PhilRice says DBM-proposed budget for 2021 points to 5% decline in...

THE Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) said Monday that its prospective budget of P621 million for next year represents a 5% decline in funding levels for this year.

Local gov’ts blamed for cash aid delays

THE Social Welfare department blamed strict validation procedures by local governments for delays in the distribution of government cash aid to low-income households affected by the lockdown amid a coronavirus pandemic.

Retail sector growth tied to FDI by Congressional study

THE House of Representatives Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department (CPBRD) said in a report that increased foreign direct investment (FDI) is required in order to sustain the growth of the retail sector.

Lawmaker seeks pooled testing for coronavirus

A CONGRESSMAN wants the government to pool people for coronavirus testing at work and in schools.

Online sellers operating on irregular basis not required to register –...

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Friday clarified online sellers who operate on an “irregular” basis or sell homemade products as a...

Stimulus packages will come in three tranches — Cayetano

Stimulus packages to help the economy bounce back from the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic will come in three tranches, House...

Court junks De Lima’s petition to join Senate proceedings online

A regional trial court has rejected Senator Leila M. De Lima’s petition to join Senate proceedings via teleconferencing from her cell in Camp Crame. “Allowing...

#COVID-19 Regional Updates (06/18/20)

MEMBERS of the Philippine Coast Guard’s CCP Complex Station and Auxiliary 101st Squadron have been jointly patrolling the Manila Bay area since the start of lockdown in March, providing security as well as supporting relief operations in the coastal communities.

Nationwide round-up

HEALTH SECRETARY Francisco T. Duque should take a leave of absence while the Ombudsman is conducting an investigation on alleged irregularities in the Department of Health’s response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a senator said on Thursday.

E-commerce firms want sellers to share liability risk

E-COMMERCE companies said sellers and online platforms should share the liability risk for online transactions in order to deter scams.

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THE OFFICE of the Ombudsman has formed two teams to investigate alleged anomalies committed by health officials, including Secretary Francisco T. Duque III, in the government’s response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

House unlikely to introduce new taxes for health sector

A KEY legislator said the delivery of health services needs to be improved before Congress introduces new taxes to fund the sector.

Bill promoting urban agriculture hurdles House panels

THE House Committees on Agriculture and Food, and Food Security passed a substitute bill Wednesday seeking to institutionalize community gardens and urban farming to provide alternative sources of food.

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THE Department of Justice will submit to the Office of the President on Wednesday its comment on the anti-terrorism bill, which will become law with President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s signature.

House to probe delays in coronavirus cash aid

HOUSE of Representative leaders led by Speaker Alan Peter S. Cayetano want to investigate delays in the government’s distribution of cash aid to citizens affected by a coronavirus pandemic.

Regional Updates (06/16/20)

PRIVATE hospitals in Metro Cebu are increasing their bed allocation for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients as severe cases in the highly-urbanized area continue to swell.

CoA finds P81 million in PIDS unfinished research projects

STATE auditors reported that the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) failed to complete 24 research projects worth P81 million due to “unanticipated delays” encountered from other government agencies.

Nationwide round-up

MULTISYS Technologies Corp. needs at least half of the Philippines’ 109 million population to register to StaySafe.ph for the platform be fully effective as a health outbreak mitigation system, company Chief Executive Officer David Almirol Jr. said.

Tax-wary online merchants reminded of perks that come with gov’t registration

GOVERNMENT registration for online businesses is necessary to regulate the industry and protect consumers, and comes with benefits like incentives, subsidies, and tax breaks, a legislator said.

DoH proposes P21.5-B Northern Luzon budget for 2021

THE Department of Health (DoH) in Regions I, II and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) proposed to Congress a P21.5-billion budget for 2021.

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THE GOVERNMENT may tap labor groups to augment its manpower for assisting returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), the Associated Labor Union-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines said on Sunday.

ABS-CBN says PDR issuance ‘above board’

ABS-CBN Corp. assured lawmakers on Thursday that its issuance of Philippine Depositary Receipts (PDRs) is “above board” as evaluated by the government and market authorities.

Online transaction complaints surge during lockdown

COMPLAINTS involving online transactions rose to 8,059 at the height of the lockdown from 985 in the three months to March, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

Nationwide round-up

THE HOUSE committee on agriculture and food will look into the poultry industry’s grievance over the government’s refusal to temporarily stop imports amid oversupply in the market.

SB Corp. targets full loan disbursement to MSMEs by Aug.

THE Small Business Corp. (SB Corp.) told legislators that it will finish releasing its P1.5-billion loan program to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) by August.

Nationwide round-up

THE Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) plans to extend the period of its emergency employment program for informal sector workers who lost their livelihood due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.

Nationwide round-up

THE poultry sector has opposed the recommendation of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) to continue poultry imports amid excess local supply.

ARISE bill provision on loan restructuring seen as ‘unnecessary’

THE banking industry does not believe it is necessary for the stimulus measure recently approved by the House of Representatives to include a provision “encouraging” banks to extend the term of some consumer and commercial loans for up to two years, since lenders are already doing this on a case-to-case basis.