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13 Pasig residents nabbed for illegal cockfight - 2020-03-19
MANILA, Philippines -- Despite an order for citizens to stay home as part of the enhanced community quarantine to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), 13 residents were caught participating in illegal cockfights in Pasig City on Wednesday. Ten violators were apprehended in Barangay Pinagbuhatan at around 12:30 p.m ...

Tacloban traders buck lockdown - 2020-03-19
MANILA, Philippines -- Mayor Alfred Romualdez said he would implement an"intensified restriction" on business and economic activities *starting tomorrow. PCCI president Eugene Tan said a lockdown would be counterproductive, noting that Tacloban is the center of commerce and industry in Eastern Visayas. "We in the business sector are ...

Duterte lauds business groups for bayanihan spirt - 2020-03-19
MANILA, Philippines -- President Duterte lauded yesterday business groups that heeded his call to exhibit the Filipino bayanihan spirit by helping their employees and others who are in need as the month-long enhanced community quarantine in Luzon continues. "The President acknowledges and lauds the efforts of the private sector and private ...

FDA OKs imported test kits for commercial release - 2020-03-19
MANILA, Philippines -- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved four imported test kits for commercial release amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. "These are PCR-based reagent kits used in laboratories and not point-of care or do-it-yourself kits," FDA director general Eric Domingo stressed, noting that the ...

BSP delivers deep interest rate cut - 2020-03-19
MANILA, Philippines -- As expected, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) yesterday delivered a deeper interest rate cut of 50 basis points to soften the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 outbreak on the economy. BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said the Monetary Board decided to implement a larger-than-expected cut in its ...

Stocks plummet by record 24%, end at 8-yr low - 2020-03-19
MANILA, Philippines -- The stock market collapsed yesterday in a dizzying crash, with the index hitting an eight-year low and wiping out P1.16 trillion in market value, after a two-day controversial shutdown. The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi), the stock market gauge, nosedived to the 4,000 level, finishing 711.95 points ...

Cebu starts local testing for COVID-19
CNN Philippines - 2020-03-19
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 19) -- Cebu started local testing for the coronavirus disease or COVID-19, following the arrival of 100 test kits from Manila, health officials said this afternoon. The test kits are currently at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City, one of the identified sub-national laboratories in the ...

Private hospitals call for establishment of hospitals for COVID-19
CNN Philippines - 2020-03-19
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 19) -- A number of private hospitals in Metro Manila appeal for the establishment of one or two hospitals designated for COVID-19 patients, as their manpower continues to "deplete," with medical equipment also running low. In a statement Thursday, private hospitals call for the government "to ...

CDC stops POGOs operation in Clark
BusinessMirror - 2020-03-19
On Tuesday, CDC issued guidelines in limiting movement within the Clark Freeport Zone to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Only employees in specific business enterprises will be allowed to and from the Freeport. These include workers in the food sector (groceries, supermarkets, duty free shops, convenience stores), gasoline stations, clinics and ...

Filipina domestic worker in Kuwait tests positive for coronavirus
Philippine Daily Inquirer - 2020-03-19
MANILA, Philippines -- A female overseas Filipino worker (OFW) serving as a domestic worker in Kuwait was tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In a statement Thursday, the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait said that the patient had a close contact with a person who traveled recently to the United Kingdom. The OFW is in ...

Metrobank, GT Capital donate ?200-M Covid-19 relief funds
BusinessMirror - 2020-03-19
The Ty-led group said it would continue monitoring the situation and enforce necessary measures. Earlier, Metrobank reported that it has implemented its business continuity plan protocols to ensure it would remain operational despite the enhanced community quarantine imposed all over Luzon island. "Metrobank has already activated its ...

LT Group gives alcohol, bottled water to public health workers
BusinessMirror - 2020-03-19
The LT Group Inc. on Thursday said it donated ethyl alcohol, bottled water and face masks to frontline health workers leading the fight against Covid-19. The holding firm of taipan Lucio Tan said it donated 400 four-liter bottles of ethyl alcohol, which forms part of the total 20,000 liters it committed to deliver to the Department of Health ...

PAO chief Acosta: Public lawyers are on-call; hotline for emergencies opened
Philippine Daily Inquirer - 2020-03-19
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT FROM CHIEF PUBLIC ATTORNEY PERSIDA V. RUEDA-ACOSTAPAO Central OfficeMARCH 19, 2020Announcements:In support of the government's Enhanced Community Quarantine and nationwide declaration of calamity: 1. All PAO Lawyers and staff are On-Call;2. Inquest duties of PAO lawyers and staff continue on On-call basis, contact numbers ...

Filipino domestic helper tests positive for COVID-19 in Kuwait
CNN Philippines - 2020-03-19
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 19) - A Filipino domestic worker tested positive for COVID-19 in Kuwait, said the Philippine Embassy. The Philippine Embassy to Kuwait said the Filipino patient had close contact with a person who traveled recently to the United Kingdom. Yet, health authorities said the patient is in stable condition and the ...

Cebu-based firm CLI gives bonus pay, health kits to workers
Philippine Daily Inquirer - 2020-03-19
So far, there have been 217 confirmed cases, including 17 deaths and eight recoveries. All workers will also be provided health kits and masks, CLI chairman and CEO Jose Soberano III said. "Should there be a lockdown, pay without work will be provided for those who cannot work from home," he added. "We cannot predict the business impact ...

South Korea Stocks Plummet as Foreign Investors Shed $317 Million Net of KOSPI Shares
YAHOO! - 2020-03-19
South Korea stocks resumed their declines after benchmark indexes fell more than 8%, triggering circuit breakers for the second time in a week.

BIR moves ITR filing deadline to May 15
BusinessMirror - 2020-03-19
Sen. Joel Villanueva said, "We thank the Bureau of Internal Revenue for reconsidering its business-as-usual state of affairs and extending the deadline for the filing of annual income tax returns to May 15." He suggested, however, that the BIR also consider allowing extension of other tax payment deadlines, citing public health considerations.

BusinessMirror - 2020-03-19
On the other hand, American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Senior Advisor John D. Forbes admitted members are reeling from the trimmed business activity caused by the virtual lockdown across the island. "US firms are impacted by reduced work activities and concerns for the health of employees. Export BPO [business-process outsourcing ...

NHA suspends collection of amortization for three months
CNN Philippines - 2020-03-19
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 19) -- The National Housing Authority (NHA) announced on Thursday it will suspend its collection of amortization or lease payments in all NHA projects for three months. The measure was made to help cushion the impact of the enhanced community quarantine and the threats of COVID-19 on its housing beneficiaries.

Local stocks plunge to historic lows but stage modest recovery
CNN Philippines - 2020-03-19
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 19) -- It was a bloody Thursday at the Philippine Stock Exchange, with share prices taking their steepest fall in history shortly after the market reopened. The stock market resumed operations following a two-day shutdown after Luzon went under "enhanced community quarantine," as authorities scrambled to ...

Qantas halts all international flights as coronavirus restrictions tighten
CNN Philippines - 2020-03-19
(CNN) -- Qantas Group is halting all international flights after the Australian government told citizens to avoid overseas travel because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Scheduled international flights operated by Qantas and Jetstar will continue until late March to help repatriate Australians, and will then be suspended until at least the ...

Roger Mayweather, 58 - 2020-03-19
MANILA, Philippines -- Roger Mayweather, former world champion, renowned boxing trainer and uncle of retired superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr., died Tuesday after a long battle with illness.

PH temporarily suspends visa issuance, visa-free entry to all foreign nationals
Philippine Daily Inquirer - 2020-03-19
MANILA, Philippines -- Philippines is temporarily suspending the issuance of a visa and visa-free entry privileges to foreign nationals, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Thursday. The said measure is effective Thursday, March 19, said Locsin. "Starting today, all our Embassies and Consulates will temporarily suspend visa ...

Buckle up: More wild market swings seen ahead as virus spreads
Al Jazeera English - 2020-03-19
Among the region's heavyweight markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 1.04 percent, China's Shanghai Composite index fell 0.98 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dropped 2.61 percent, all closing above their lows for the day. In the Philippines, stocks slumped by a record 24 percent at one point on Thursday when trading resumed after a ...

Crossing the Pacific to beat the Philippines's coronavirus lockdown
Al Jazeera English - 2020-03-19
but strict travel restrictions would be imposed and I risked not being able to enter the Philippines if I did not get home in time. I was not surprised. By then, Italy was a cautionary tale of how the virus and the disease it causes, known as COVID-19, could spread exponentially and bring one of the world's better health systems to its knees.

Facebook has a coronavirus problem. It's WhatsApp.
CNN Philippines - 2020-03-19
(CNN) -- Governments and medical officials are scrambling to provide the public with accurate and timely information about the novel coronavirus. But those efforts are being undermined by the spread of medical misinformation and fake cures on one of the world's most popular messaging platforms. WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, is coming ...

QC police: Tighter security in place in barangays under extreme enhanced community quarantine
CNN Philippines - 2020-03-19
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 19) -- The chief of Quezon City Police Department says they are ready to implement security measures in two barangays identified by the local government as under extreme enhanced community quarantine. PBGen Ronnie Montejo made the assurance Thursday at a press conference attended by Mayor Joy Belmonte.

BSP launches 'assertive' rate cut to boost economy amid COVID-19 pandemic
CNN Philippines - 2020-03-19
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 19) -- The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) slashed interest rates by half a percent on Thursday, in a bid to spur the economy amid the slowdown due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno announced that the Monetary Board pulled down the key interest rate to 3.25 percent, 50 basis ...

SM Supermalls waives tenant rentals nationwide - 2020-03-19
MANILA, Philippines -- The SM Supermalls announced on Wednesday that it will waive rentals to all tenants nationwide from March 16 to April 14, 2020. This is to offer tenants some relief during this trying time, so that they can in turn lend more assistance to their employees during the period of community quarantine. "We share our tenant ...

5.6-magnitude offshore quake off Zambales felt in Pampanga amid Luzon quarantine - 2020-03-19
MANILA, Philippines -- State volcanology bureau Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Thursday afternoon recorded a magnitude 4.6 earthquake of tectonic origin. According to the state seismology agency, the quake's epicenter was identified at 30 kilometers southwest of San Felipe, Zambales. The quake was felt at ...

COVID-19 stirs PH insurance firms to life
Philippine Daily Inquirer - 2020-03-19
These are interesting times for the insurance industry. Responding to the need for relief as COVID-19 wreaks havoc everywhere, insurers offered extended payment deadlines and added benefits if clients got ill or died of the disease. Perfectly timed for COVID-19, these insurance firms are offering what appeared to be added benefits to ...

CHED to private schools: Consider tuition payment deferral during quarantine period
CNN Philippines - 2020-03-19
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 19) --The Commission on Higher Education is asking private universities and colleges to stop collecting tuition until the quarantine period in Luzon is over, and allow payment on a staggered basis "in the subsequent months." CHEd Chairman Prospero de Vera III reiterated the appeal Thursday in behalf of ...

Indonesia, Philippines and Australia cut rates to bolster markets
NIKKEI - 2020-03-19
JAKARTA/MANILA -- Indonesia, Australia and the Philippines cut benchmark rates on Thursday, in moves aimed at stemming the economic hit from the new coronavirus pandemic that is battering global markets. Bank Indonesia lowered its seven-day reverse repo rate by 25 basis points to 4.50% -- its second cut in as many months, and a step seen by 12 ...

Pangilinan, Hontiveros say they have not been tested for COVID-19
CNN Philippines - 2020-03-19
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 19) -- Two opposition senators said they have yet to be tested for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) even after a colleague has tested positive. In separate messages, Senators Risa Hontiveros and Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan said they have been following health protocols set by authorities and have kept ...

Philippine goes for deeper rate cut to fight virus impact
Nasdaq - 2020-03-19
The Philippine central bank delivered a larger-than-expected cut in its benchmark interest rate on Thursday as it braced for the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak. By Karen Lema and Neil Jerome Morales MANILA,

Psychologists' group offers mental health tips amid COVID-19 scare - 2020-03-19
The lockdown will last until April 12. The Psychological Association of the Philippines said it is "normal to worry about or health and that of our loved ones, our work, and finances" amid a pandemic. They listed the following tips that may help people manage their stress and care for their mental health: They suggested that the public ...

BSP delivers fresh monetary stimulus vs COVID-19 impact - 2020-03-19
MANILA, Philippines (Update 3, 5:47 p.m.) -- The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) slashed key rates aggressively on Thursday, a tad short of rolling back tightening measures to control inflation two years ago, as focus shifts to powering the economy battered by the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. Barely an hour after a bloodbath ...

PSEi suffers worst crash with investors wanting more fiscal stimulus - 2020-03-19
MANILA, Philippines (Update 2, 4:25 p.m.) -- Following a two-day halt in trading due to the Luzon lockdown, Philippine shares collapsed anew Thursday, posting its biggest decline on record as investors search for more government measures to support an economic bounceback from the impact of the coronavirus. The local bourse sank 711.95 points ...

Food packs delivered to stranded UPLB students, but donations still encouraged - 2020-03-19
MANILA, Philippines -- Students of the University of the Philippines Los Baños stranded in their dormitories since Luzon quarantine have received aid, but donations are still encouraged Task Force CURE (Community Unit Response-Elbi) said. In a release, the group said that with the help of officials from Barangay. Batong Malake, the community ...

Philippine Stocks Tank by Record After Two-Day Shutdown
Bloomberg - 2020-03-19
Luis Limlingan, head of research at Regina Capital, discusses investing in the Philippine market. Philippine stocks resumed trading from a controversial two-day shutdown with the benchmark index posting its biggest intraday loss on record.

European Central Bank throws 750 billion euros at the economy to fight the coronavirus crash
CNN Philippines - 2020-03-19
(CNN) -- The European Central Bank on Wednesday announced a huge new money-printing program aimed at keeping the region's financial system functioning and helping the economy cope with the devastating shock caused by the coronavirus epidemic. The central bank said it would spend EUR750 billion ($821 billion) buying government debt and private ...

San Miguel revives "Nutribun" for communities in need
Philippine Daily Inquirer - 2020-03-19
Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is rekindling the production of vitamin-packed Nutribun for distribution to charitable groups and critical Metro Manila communities where families have either no access to, or unable to afford, food amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This is while continuing to deliver SMC food products consisting of ...

SE Asia Stocks-Philippines marks biggest drop in history, others fall on coronavirus panic
Reuters - 2020-03-19
Philippines plunged 24% on Thursday on reopening after a two-day hiatus, while other Southeast Asian stock markets also sustained heavy losses on fears over the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic.

Limit social media usage, adopt a routine amid virus outbreak -- mental health experts
CNN Philippines - 2020-03-19
"Feeling worried and anxious is an expected reaction to the current crisis. It is normal to worry about our health and that of our loved ones, our work and finances. There are ways to lessen our stress and anxiety so that we can better care for ourselves and our family members," the group said. Follow proper health guidelines. PAP said the ...

Health care workers getting sicker from coronavirus than other patients, expert says
CNN Philippines - 2020-03-19
(CNN) -- The novel coronavirus seems to hit health care workers harder than others who contract the disease, but it's unclear why, according to disease experts. "We know the high mortality in older people, but for reasons that we don't understand, front-line health care workers are at great risk for serious illness despite their younger age ...

Asean response to COVID-19 pandemic under spotlight as crisis deepens
Philippine Daily Inquirer - 2020-03-19
JAKARTA -- A regional response on the new coronavirus disease outbreak has come under the spotlight as Southeast Asia scrambles to prevent the wider transmission of COVID-19, which has reached eight out of 10 Asean member states. The World Health Organization on Tuesday called on countries in the Southeast Asia region to urgently scale up ...

Reds not keen on gov't ceasefire as efforts to contain COVID-19 continue
CNN Philippines - 2020-03-19
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines March 19) -- The founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines says their group is not keen on the government's offer of a ceasefire in the middle of efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease or COVID-19. In a statement, Jose Maria "Joma" Sison, said the unilateral ceasefire declared by ...

Aid ready for mass transport drivers in Cainta, Rizal - 2020-03-19
MANILA, Philippines -- Tricycle, pedicab, jeepney and UV Express drivers in Cainta whose livelihoods are affected by the suspension of mass transportation in Luzon will soon receive help, Mayor Kit Nieto said. Nieto directed tricycle drivers to coordinate with their association presidents on Thursday and in the coming days. "Sa kanila ko ...

Phivolcs lowers Taal Volcano status to Alert Level 1
CNN Philippines - 2020-03-19
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 19) -- State volcanologists on Thursday lowered the alert level hoisted over Taal Volcano after it showed decreased volcanic activity. The status was lowered after four weeks from Alert Level 2 or decreased unrest to Alert Level 1 or abnormal activity -- the lowest of a five-tiered alert system. The ...

DOF: Deadline of filing of tax returns moved to May 15 - 2020-03-19
MANILA, Philippines (Updated 10:41 a.m.) -- Filing of tax returns has been moved to May 15 from April 15, as relief for tax payers who were unable to prepare for filing amid the lockdown in Luzon, the Department of Finance said. In a statement Thursday, DOF said the Bureau of Internal Revenue "has extended the deadline for the filing of 2019 ...

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