MDM importers’ refund hangs; BOC to heed EO

THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) said it will follow Duterte’s executive order and collect 5-percent tariff on imports of mechanically deboned meat (MDM) of chicken and turkey until end-2022. Customs Assistant Commissioner and spokesman Vincent Philip Maronilla told the BusinessMirror the BOC will release a memorandum soon following the issuance of the new EO. “We just...

Abalos: MMDA hiring more traffic enforcers for Edsa

THE Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is hiring additional traffic enforcers to improve the traffic management in Edsa. “We need additional traffic enforcers to improve our traffic management efforts,” said MMDA Chairman Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. The hiring process is expected to be completed within three months. The MMDA currently has 2,187 traffic enforcers manning the major...

Bangsamoro government continues to decommission thousands of MILF combatants

Over 28,000 more Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) combatants will be decommissioned by the government, according to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). In an online interview with PTV, BARMM chief minister Ahod Ibrahim disclosed they decommissioned 13,500 of the 40,000 MILF fighters they are targeting for the said process.     "For now, we already submitted...

IATF eyes ‘new normal’ guidelines for areas with no Covid cases

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) is now crafting guidelines for areas that may be placed under "new normal" classification as early as next month. In an online press briefing on Monday, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said his proposal for areas, which have no reported new cases of novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19)...

Saving lives

Flight attendant Christine Dacera’s untimely death bears painful evidence of the country’s lack of emergency medical services and the...
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Nation

Top News

CDA breach may imperil purchase of 148-million Covid vaccine doses from pharmaceutical firms – Galvez

THE government may be risking its chance to purchase 148 million doses of the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine for possible violation of the terms of its confidentiality disclosure agreement (CDA) with pharmaceutical companies.  Chief implementer of the government's national policy on Covid-19 Carlito G. Galvez said he had been warned by some of the...

Column

Our life is our message to the world

On January 25, we remember the birth of our beloved former President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino. We celebrate her legacy...

The Ram and the Tiger

The Ram and the Tiger. Two creatures of strength—signifying resolve and fortitude in the face of challenges and the...

Vaccine vertigo

Rapid and rabid could very well describe the efforts at developing, testing and manufacturing the vaccines to combat Covid-19....

Regulatory compliance ecosystem

Conclusion I was working in the Bureau of Internal Revenue back in 1980 when its computerized operations were under the...

Hungry people will be angry people

Some three decades ago there was a man who worked as a gardener in an exclusive village in Greenhills....

Opinion

A scourge to mankind, a bane to the entire world

Normally we celebrate milestones—golden wedding anniversary, centennial foundation of an institution, 20,000-career points in basketball, and other outstanding achievements—but...

Why the West seems to be falling apart

I just had my first haircut in a year. Actually, it was my first haircut in 20 years as...

Tax base: Local business taxes

IT is often said that taxes are the lifeblood of the government. This is true and it applies both...

2021 looks auspicious

A series of good news greeted 2021. The government is making progress in arranging supply agreements with top vaccine...

We cannot afford another ECQ

Two weeks ago President Duterte announced an extension of the general community quarantine classification for the National Capital Region...
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Gorillas test positive for coronavirus at San Diego park

Several gorillas at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park have tested positive for the coronavirus in what is believed to be the first known cases among such primates in the United States and possibly the world.

From Zoom to Quibi, the tech winners and losers of 2020

We streamed, we Zoomed, we ordered groceries and houseplants online, we created virtual villages while navigating laptop shortages to work and learn from home. In many ways, 2020′s pandemic-induced isolation threw our dependence on technology into overdrive, snipping away at our real-life connections while bringing digital relationships to the fore. But for every life-changing Zoom,...

Some businesses thrived, many lagged during pandemic in 2020

A look at businesses that benefitted from the pandemic and those that faltered.

India vaccine maker sees virus as wake-up call

NEW DELHI — The coronavirus pandemic is a “wake up call” for governments to invest more in health care, says Adar Poonawalla, CEO of the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines. The Serum Institute has taken on a vital role as the largest company licensed to manufacture the Oxford University-AstraZeneca coronavirus...

Is shopping in stores safe during the pandemic?

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says holiday shopping in crowded stores is a “higher risk” activity and that people should limit any in-person shopping, including at supermarkets.
The world is bracing for a new wave of Covid-19 infections, as the coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 95 million people and killed more than 2 million globally since late January. Recent attempts to revive social life and financial activities have resulted in another surge in cases and hospitalizations, though new drugs and improved...
China’s economy exceeded its pre-pandemic growth rates in the fourth quarter, propelling it to a stronger-than-expected expansion of 2.3 percent for the full year and making it the only major one to avoid contraction in 2020. Gross domestic product climbed 6.5 percent in the final quarter from a year earlier, fueled by industrial output, the...

Aid effort intensifies after Indonesia quake killed 81

MAMUJU, Indonesia—Aid was reaching the thousands of people left homeless and struggling after an earthquake that killed at least 81 people on an Indonesian island where rescuers intensified their work Monday to find those buried in the rubble. More rescuers and volunteers were deployed in the hardest-hit city of Mamuju and the neighboring district of...

Biden’s term to open in Trump’s shadow as agenda, impeachment trial converge

Joe Biden’s hope of turning the page on a chaotic chapter in American history with his January 20 inauguration dissolved on Wednesday, with his own party’s efforts to punish Donald Trump poised to drag on through the earliest days of the new president’s administration. Instead of shifting to Biden’s agenda and confirming his nominees for...

Tech giants banished Trump; now things get complicated

As the world adjusts to a Twitter without @realdonaldtrump, the next big question is: “Now what?” Major tech platforms, long accused of giving President Donald Trump special treatment not allotted to regular users, have shown him the door in the wake of his incitement of violence by supporters at the US Capitol on January 6....

Covid has imperiled plans to retrieve Titanic’s radio

NORFOLK, Va.—Fallout from the coronavirus pandemic is threatening a company’s plans to retrieve and exhibit the radio that had broadcast distress calls from the sinking Titanic, according to a court filing made by the firm. The company, RMS Titanic Inc., said Monday that its revenues plummeted after coronavirus restrictions closed its exhibits of Titanic artifacts,...

Biden unveils $1.9-trillion plan to stem virus, stabilize economy

WILMINGTON, Delaware—President-elect Joe Biden unveiled a $1.9-trillion coronavirus plan on Thursday to turn the tide on the pandemic, speeding up the vaccine rollout and providing financial help to individuals, states and local governments and businesses struggling with the prolonged economic fallout. Called the “American Rescue Plan,” the legislative proposal would meet Biden’s goal of administering...

Trump impeached in historic 2nd charge after Capitol riot

WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump was impeached by the US House for a historic second time on Wednesday, charged with “incitement of insurrection” over the deadly mob siege of the Capitol in a swift and stunning collapse of his final days in office. With the Capitol secured by armed National Guard troops inside and out, the House...

Globe upgrading stations to fast-track shift to 4G

Globe Telecom Inc. on Monday said it plans to upgrade its existing stations in certain cities in Visayas and Mindanao to 4G sites, as it promotes the use of the technology as the standard for mobile Internet in the...

Meralco to relax disconnection rule, but Hontiveros wants ‘surcharges’ reviewed

Senator Risa Hontiveros on Monday hailed Meralco’s move to relax rules on disconnection of its delinquent customers even as the opposition lawmaker pressed for a review of additional “surcharges” being passed on to its power consumers. The opposition senator stressed “there must be a comprehensive review of these surcharges being shouldered by consumers,” zeroing in...

Buyout of SN Power gets PCC nod

A Norwegian energy firm that has just entered the Philippine market has secured clearance from the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) to acquire a firm engaged in the generation of green power. The PCC last week approved the acquisition by Scatec Solar ASA of 100 percent shares in SN Power AS maintained by the Norwegian Investment...

ExxonMobil taps McKupler as sole distributor in PHL

ExxonMobil, the American oil and gas company, has appointed McKupler Inc. as the sole distributor for Mobil-branded commercial and consumer lubricants in the Philippines. In addition to its existing role as the distributor of Mobil-branded consumer lubricants, McKupler will expand its portfolio to take on distributorship of commercial lubricants. This will allow the distributor to...

Ayala Land: AREIT now owns The 30th

Property developer Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) on Monday said it has completed its deal to transfer the ownership of the The 30th commercial development to its real estate investment trust (REIT) unit, AREIT Inc. Ayala Land transferred the property located in Meralco Avenue in Pasig for P5.1 billion. The 30th is a commercial building with a...

Fruitas sets its sights on doubling revenues

Food and beverage kiosk operator Fruitas Holdings Inc. on Monday said it is targeting to increase its income by 5 times and to more than double its revenues through 2025. The company said it is targeting to record a net income of P500 million within the 5-year period, from the current annual earnings of more...

BTr awards P22 billion at T-bills auction on strong liquidity

THE Bureau of the Treasury awarded P22 billion in its latest auction of Treasury Bills (T-bills) on Monday as rates remain low on the back of strong liquidity. National Treasurer Rosalia V. De Leon told reporters that liquidity remains to be strong, pointing to local and international monetary authorities signaling to maintain an accommodative policy...

Financial lessons for 2021

COVID-19 and bad weather brought a lot of havoc in the year 2020. Many are hopeful that the adverse effects on health and the economy will finally have solutions. As progress is being made toward the development of a vaccine for Covid-19, many are hopeful that the year 2021 will bring back a semblance of...

‘Underbanked may build credit rank via neobanks’

BY transacting through digital banks—so-called neobanks—the underbanked segment in the Philippines can build credit score, allowing access to more financing in the long term, a financial technology (fintech) executive said. While neobanks and credit scores have an indirect relationship, CredoLab Pte. Ltd. Founder and CEO Peter Barcak said the former allows more opportunities to create...

Insurers enhance products, digitization amid crises

Yuchengco-led insurance firms innovated their products and accelerated digital transformation to adapt to the changing needs of the clients amid the country’s economic and health crises. Sun Life Grepa Financial Inc. (Sun Life Grepa)—a joint venture between Sun Life Philippines and Yuchengco Group of Cos. (YGC)—and YGC-led Malayan Insurance Co. Inc. (Mico) understand that accessing...

Bank of China Manila named official clearing bank for RMB

IN support of a growing local renminbi market, Bank of China Manila has been officially established as the RMB Clearing Bank of the Philippines, the bank said in a statement. The designation comes following the initial memorandum of understanding signed by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)...

‘Charter change will allow PHL to secure more FDIs’

Liberalization bills pending in Congress are not enough to attract foreign investments, according to an economist-lawmaker. Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda issued the statement after Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez expressed hesitation over Charter change and indicated that he prefers legislative reforms over constitutional amendments. Lopez has said that it would be better if lawmakers focused...
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DOST-Mimaropa, CEST shore up Romblon areas

A solar-powered water pumping system with filtration and treatment facility; basic nutrition and food safety; chocobuco making as livelihood opportunity; and waste management. These were just some of the projects provided by the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST)-Mimaropa, through the Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) program to communities in Romblon. Water-source problem A newly...

DOST 2021 priorities: Intensify R&D projects, plus anti-Covid-19 solutions

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) announced that the department will intensify its research and development (R&D) in 2021 following the country's National Harmonized R&D Agenda. This is in addition to addressing the pressing concerns related to Covid-19, In a post on the DOSTPh Facebook page, Science Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña listed the...

PCAARRD, AIT ink ties for R&D, capacity building 

To intensify its partnership and collaboration with international partners, the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) recently inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Thailand’s Asian Institute of Technology (AIT).  AIT is a leading regional postgraduate institution that promotes technological change and...

AIM harnesses AI to curb water shortage in Metro Manila

Researchers from the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) are harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to help curb water shortages in the east service area of Metro Manila. The research team, led by Dr. Christopher Monterola, under the AIM-Analytics, Computing and Complex Systems Laboratory (ACCeSs), developed a simulation modeling software to...

Maximizing international linkages for S&T

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) did not waste time to deliver urgent researches and services to prevent the spread of Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. At the same time, it also did not fail to pursue its research and development (R&D) programs and projects despite the pandemic. Besides these huge responsibilities, the DOST also...

Valenzuela City joins VCO study for Covid-19 cases

Valenzuela City was identified as another site where the study on virgin coconut oil (VCO) will be conducted among symptomatic, asymptomatic positive Covid-19 cases. Science Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said on the virtual DOST Report media briefing that the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) identified Valenzuela City as a test site in recognition...

Research center gives positive outlook for PHL agri for 2021

Despite the natural catastrophes that affected agricultural production in Southeast Asia, and the Covid-19 pandemic that crippled most of the key economic sectors in the Philippines, the agriculture sector in the country was able to maintain a positive growth in year 2020. “It must be acknowledged that there were earlier production growth targets that may...

3 published outstanding R&D receive Dr. Elvira O. Tan Awards

Three published research and development papers in agriculture, aquatic sciences, and natural resources and environment were conferred with the Dr. Elvira O. Tan Awards. The awards were given during the recent virtual S&T Awards and Recognition of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and...

Food security research grants for Covid-19 impacts available to PHL, Southeast Asians

Grants for research on transformation through agricultural innovation in Southeast Asia are available to Filipinos and from Southeast Asian countries of Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Timor-Leste and Vietnam. The research grants are focused on food security during the Covid-19 pandemic...

Obiena settling well in new training camp

TOKYO Olympics-bound pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena feels like at home at his new training center in Padova or Padua in Italy. “I’m doing okay here. The training facilities are great, especially for the indoor training,” Obiena told the BusinessMirror on Sunday. “It has complete equipment. But it’s cold here.” Sure it’s cold in Padua—on Monday...

Hard work pays off

STANLEY PRINGLE was named Most Valuable Player of the Philippine Cup bubble, Scottie Thompson hoisted the Sportsmanship trophy and Prince Caperal was the Most Improved Player—individual awards Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Head Coach Tim Cone credited to all of his wards dedication and hard work. “I am genuinely proud and happy for our guys. All...

Forum on PSC bubble

PHILIPPINE Sports Commission (PSC) National Training Director Marc Velasco and Karate Pilipinas Inc. President Richard Lim share the spotlight in Tuesday’s online session of the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum. Velasco will give his inputs about the bubble training for three national sports associations (NSAs) at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna, in preparation...

Kicking it virtually

THE Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and Chooks-to-Go 3x3 Pilipinas weren’t the only successful bubble leagues last year. The Philippines Football League (PFL) had its own successful bubble despite infections on several players at the start of the shortened season. Last Saturday, I was invited to attend the PFL’s virtual kickoff to start the 2021 season....

Cycling club members strike a pose after morning ride

Members of Gruppo Italia cycling club at the BF Resort in Las Piñas City strike a pose after their regular morning ride. They are Bojet Ciudadano, Enrico Abulo, Felix Martinez (founding member), Ipe Nieva, Peter Martin, Popo Salazar, Ver Trinidad, Yetboo Del Rosario (founding member), Edwin Riosa, Raul Abad, Rodel Rivera, Radileo Castillo, JP...

Are you not entertained?

WHEN news broke out that 47 participants in the upcoming Australian Open have to be confined because they tested Covid-19 positive, I had two thoughts—one, that’s an awful lot, and two, this is fricking insane. I can understand trying to get on with our lives but I am confused. I am not sure what professional...

Match point for PHL volley

PHILIPPINE volleyball moved a match point away from unification following an agreement along the sport’s major stakeholders to hold general elections in a week’s time. The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) gathered the stakeholders on Saturday and laid the groundwork for the creation of a new national federation for the sport upon the request of the...

Comfort over style

LET’S just say Gabriele D’Annunzio isn’t on board with the new fashion trend for college basketball coaches. Coaches across the country have eschewed the traditional game day attire of coats, ties and dress slacks in favor of polos, quarter-zips and warmup pants. Notre Dame’s Mike Brey went so far as to coach a game in...

Paul Salas thankful for answered prayer

NOT many know that looker Paul Salas started out as a child actor. When he was around six or seven years old, he joined GMA’s kiddie version of StarStruck and even had a short stint in the fantasy drama...

CNN’s Tapper won’t take back criticism of congressional vet

NEW YORK—CNN’s Jake Tapper, under fire for a comment questioning a Republican congressman and combat veteran’s commitment to democracy, said Thursday the criticism is an attempt to change the subject from the attack on the US Capitol. During coverage of Wednesday’s House vote to impeach US President Donald J. Trump, Tapper referenced US Rep. Brian...

A whimsical and enchanting luxury collection

EVERY time my daughter and I visit Hong Kong, one of our favorite destinations is always Donguri Republic, a gift shop that specializes in character-themed merchandise based on the animated films helmed by world-renowned directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata for Studio Ghibli, the leading Japanese animation studio. My daughter is a big fan of...

Milan opens 1st fashion week with no VIP guests due to virus

By Colleen Barry | The Associated Press MILAN—Italy’s fashion chamber is opening on Friday the first Milan Fashion Week that won’t have VIPS populating runway front rows, as the reality of Italy’s persistent resurgence of the coronavirus has forced an all-virtual format for presenting menswear previews. The National Fashion Chamber maintained a live element during the...

A walk in the parque

WITH the mercury dropping in the metropolis in the next few weeks, there might be no need yet to escape to the traditional mountain resorts for a lazy bed weather. Down in Alabang, which boasts of lush greeneries and open spaces, you can bask in the cool breeze and get a feel of countryside...

Pedal towards a better life

OUT of a crippling pandemic rose the Filipinos‘ realization that biking is better—for health, for the community, and for the environment. From the same crisis came a passion to help, and a bicycle brand dedicated to the democratization of mobility for Filipinos during these challenging times: Better Bike. Better Bike encapsulates the perfect balance of...

RCM receives highest in awards

ROTARY Club of Manila (RCM) received from Rotary District 3810, the Over-all Platinum Champion for Club, while RCM Immediate Past President Jackie Rodriquez (center) was named the Over-all Platinum Champion for Club President for the year 2019 to 2020. In photo with Rodriquez are RCM Director Albert Alday and RCManila Foundation Chairman Hermie Esquerra in front of their several category awards...

Xbox: The oral history of an American video game empire

The box looked like an old VCR, the controller was comically large, and it was made by one of the most boring companies on earth. Somehow, the Xbox triumphed and gave Microsoft Corp. the first—and last—successful video game console brand from an American company since Atari. “We needed to penetrate the living room,” said Steve...

Filipino traders top online trading competition

TWO Filipinos were among the top 3 traders to earn the highest percentage in returns during the recent ATFX online trading competition in Southeast Asia participated in by more than 100 traders from the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Korea, Cambodia and Myanmar.    Grand champion Danilo Rosal from Quezon City bested everyone with a 34.75...
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How a simple need for free communication turned into a messaging giant

IN 2010, four Israeli friends devised a way to simply solve a very personal yet relatable problem. They decided to initiate talking to each other at no cost.  Two of these four friends ended up as couple but the group's simple goal was to offer free calls to Iphone users.  Free communication which ended...

The Coronavirus Chronicles: Communications and the Great Restart

EVERY New Year brings with it aspirations for hope, a fresh start, a new beginning. But after a year that changed the world, the desire for better times and a better world resonates so much stronger as we welcome 2021. With the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines on the horizon, this finally seems within reach, and...

Into the New

WE nearly hibernated for most of 2020, challenging the record of the Siberian salamander, said to have the longest kind of self-isolation. Throughout the lockdowns and quarantine variations, the human spirit fought on. The new strain of the virus may have changed how we celebrate, but it could not stop the Season of Seasons. Public...

Recharge, refresh, recover

HOW much of an understatement would it be if I described 2020 as one heck of a rollercoaster ride? I usually have words for everything, but not for 2020. I just wish for this year to end, hoping that after what it has dished out, we have nowhere to go but up. As communication and...

BMPlus

NTC asks telcos to submit 2021 roll-out plans to help ensure improvement in internet speed

IN line with President Duterte’s directive to telcos to improve their services last year, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) instructed all public telecommunications entities to submit to the Commission, not later than 20 January 2021, their respective roll-out plans for this year. The measure will allow the NTC to closely monitor telcos’ progress in helping...

Meralco 2019 Sustainability Report awarded Gold Rank by Asia Sustainability Reporting Rating

The Asia Sustainability Reporting Rating (ASRRAT), a ratings system initiated by the National Center for Sustainability Reporting (NCSR), recently recognized Meralco’s 2019 Sustainability Report (SR), “Sustaining the Future,” with a Gold Rank after its assessment of sustainability reports published across Asia, and covering multiple sectors.  Established in 2005, NCSR is the first independent organization to...

No need to wait for the sorbetero’s cart to pass

Across our islands, the ringing of the sorbetero bell would make one immediately head outside, towards the cart filled with sorbetes to enjoy this treasured treat that is uniquely Filipino. But what happens when during the pandemic, where lockdowns and shutdowns are common, these iconic carts cannot visit your area? With this in mind, C. Valley...

Asics returns to its roots to uplift the world through sport

As the world faces the risk of a mental health pandemic, ASICS today announces its renewed commitment to use the power of sport to uplift the world. In 2021 and beyond, ASICS will support more people to experience the transformative power of sport, not just on the body but on the mind. Through research...

Protected: Bridging gaps between cities

As an archipelago, the Philippines faces a persistent challenge to its continuous economic growth -- inaccessibility. With towns and cities wide apart, sustained economic activity has proven to be difficult. While the government’s Build, Build, Build program and other initiatives of local government units have pledged to address this issue, more support is needed to...

NTC issues Show Cause Orders against Internet Service Providers

President Rodrigo Duterte has directed the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to impose sanctions on internet service providers (ISPs) for their failure to stop the proliferation of child pornography. Alarmed at the increase in child online sexual exploitation during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, the President made the order at his last Cabinet meeting. Over the weekend,...

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