BusinessMirror March 11, 2021

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Banks’ resilience clear in indicators–Diokno

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BROADERLOOK » A6-A7

Mysteries shroud higher ‘Migra-dollars’ to Major reMittance-receiving countries

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ANGKO Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno said recent indicators show that banks remain resilient despite the negative economic effects of restrictions to curb the pandemic. This is amid the recent assessments of two of the major international credit watchers, saying the Philippine banking system may face increasing pressures in 2021 as travel and movement restrictions are in place and bad loans continue to rise. In a recent speaking engagement, Diokno said the Philippine banking system remains strong based on three core strengths: capital position, liquidity buffers and expanding asset base. Diokno said the banking industry’s strong capital position is evidenced by its stable capital adequacy

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ratios (CAR) at about 15 percent in the past 10 years. This is well above the 10 percent minimum threshold set by the BSP and 8 percent minimum set by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). Moreover, the risk-based CAR of the universal and commercial banking industry stood at 17.2 percent on a consolidated basis as of endSeptember 2020. The BSP governor also said the banks’ liquidity buffers remain “ample.” This, Diokno said, enables banks to withstand short-term liquidity shocks and provides them adequate stable funding in the medium term. As of end-November 2020, the liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) of banks hit 201 percent. This is double the regulatory minimum of 100 percent. The minimum liquidity ra-

Diokno said the Philippine banking system remains strong based on three core strengths: capital position, liquidity buffers and expanding asset base.

tios of stand-alone thrift, rural and cooperative banks also continued to exceed the regulatory minimum requirement.

Thursday, March 11, 2021 Vol. 16 No. 151

Diokno also said banks’ assets continued to expand amid the pandemic on the back of increasing deposit liabilities. As of end-December 2020, the banking system assets grew by 6.1 percent year-on-year to P19.4 trillion. “All in all, these contributed to the sustained strength and resilience of the banking sector,” the BSP governor said. Earlier this week, Fitch Ratings put a negative outlook of the Philippine banks’ asset quality, as further deterioration is likely on the back of expected rise in bad loans for the year. This comes after the S&P Global Ratings recent assessment that the local banking system will continue to be under pressure in 2021 on account of rising bad loans. Bianca Cuaresma

FDI INFLOWS HIT 5-YR P25.00 nationwide | 2 sections 20 pages |

LOW TO $6.54B IN 2020 PROJECTS OK’D UNDER DUTERTE BREACH P3T, BUOY RECOVERY HOPE By Cai U. Ordinario

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@caiordinario

ROJECTS approved by the Duterte administration exceeded P3 trillion as of February 2021, according to data released by the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda). Based on Neda Board approvals as of February 2021, approvals reached P3.8 trillion covering 91 infrastructure projects. At the start of the Duterte administration, the government had aimed to spend P7 trillion to P8 trillion worth of projects to usher in the “golden age of infrastructure.” The top 10 projects approved by the Neda Board had a collective price tag of P2.78 trillion or 72.45 percent of the total approved by the Duterte administration in over four years of the President’s term. T he largest project ap proved by the administration

is the Unsolicited Proposal for the Bulacan International Airport Project which costs P735.634 billion. It w i l l b e u nd e r t a k e n through Public Private Partnership (PPP) by t he Department of Transportation (DOTr). The project involves the construction, operation and maintenance of the Bulacan International Airport in Bulakan, Bulacan, and consists of airport development (including passenger terminal building, airside and landside facilities), and an 8.4-kilometer tollway to serve as airport access connecting to North Luzon Expressway at Marilao, Bulacan. Another big-ticket project approved by the Neda Board was the North-South Commuter Railway System (NSCR) Extension Malolos-Clark Railway Project and PNR South Commuter Railway. Continued on A2

As part of efforts to help enforce strict health protocols to curb Covid-19 transmission while helping hasten recovery, Ayala Land Inc. has closed off for pedestrian use certain streets in the financial district in Makati City, this time to allow for al fresco dining, which experts deem less risky than air-conditioned eating places where the virus can easily thrive. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

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By Bianca Cuaresma

@BcuaresmaBM

HE Philippine economy attracted the lowest level of foreign direct investments (FDI) in five years, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported on Wednesday.

Long-term investments made by foreign investors to the Philippines declined by 62.6 percent in December 2020 to hit $509 million, from $1.36 billion in December 2019. This pushed the total FDI inflow to the Philippines to $6.54 billion in 2020, 24.6 percent lower than the $8.67-billion FDI inflow in 2019.

2020’s total FDI inflow to the Philippines is the lowest since 2015, when it hit $5.64 billion. The BSP said the decline in the December FDI inflow was due mainly to base effects given significantly large inflows from net investments in equity capital and debt instruments in December 2019. Continued on A2

Illegally caught fish estimated to be worth $1.3B By Jonathan L. Mayuga

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@jonlmayuga

LLEGAL fishing in the Philippines accounted for 27 to 40 percent of fish caught in 2019, which translates to approximately P62 billion or $1.3 billion annually, a study conducted by the US Agen-

cy for International Development (USAID) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) revealed. The study showed that at least 30,000 or 30 percent of municipal vessels remain unregistered, and commercial fishers do not report up to 422,000 metric tons of fish

PESO exchange rates n US 48.5440

each year. The statistics show the vast impact of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing on the Philippines’s marine ecosystem. Released on March 9, the results of the study quantified IUU fishing in the Philippines, and identifies measures to eradicate the practice

in Philippine waters. IUU fishing ranges from smallscale, unlawful domestic fishing to more complex operations carried out by industrial fishing fleets. It is by nature complex and clandestine, which means data are hard to come by and substantiate. Continued on A2

n japan 0.4476 n UK 67.4567 n HK 6.2550 n CHINA 7.4587 n singapore 36.1271 n australia 37.4323 n EU 57.7771 n SAUDI arabia 12.9412

Source: BSP (March 10, 2021)


News

BusinessMirror

A2 Thursday, March 11, 2021

‘PHL TOP CHOICE OF U.S., EUROPEAN INVESTORS’ By Tyrone Jasper C. Piad @Tyronepiad

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OR European and American investors, the Philippines remains to be the top choice for foreign investments in the Southeast Asian region, according to a study by Standard Chartered Bank (SCB). The British financial institution noted in its study that investors from the US, United Kingdom, Germany and France still see overseas markets’ growth potential, including the Philippines, despite the ongoing global economic slump. More respondents, from 37 percent to 42 percent, expressed increased business confidence for growth opportunities outside their countries, it noted. “It is apparent that businesses are beginning to pay greater attention to overseas growth and investing for the future,” SCB CEO of Europe and Americas Torry Berntsen said. In fact, companies in Europe and US named the Philippines among the top 5 Southeast Asian countries for opportunities to establish or expand their sourcing, selling or operations over the next six to 12 months,” SCB said. However, the bank said these companies have some worries over the regulatory environment, highlighting the need to further raise awareness about ease of doing business. Understanding the regulatory requirements in overseas markets remains to be the biggest deterrent for foreign companies

to expand operations in another country, SCB said. Building relationships with suppliers and adapting to supply chain logistics is also a primary concern. “With regulations noted as the number one concern amongst respondents looking to expand overseas, it could suggest an opportunity for Philippines to increase foreign investment through greater awareness of the ease of doing business locally,” SCB said. Meanwhile, the study also noted a greater focus on digital technology investment and environmental, social and governance matters relating to trade and supply chains. “Sustainability, digitization, and the need to understand regulation are not just key to how business will be conducted, they are also opportunities for companies to increase operational efficiency, grow internationally and stay ahead of the competition,” Berntsen explained. Across the globe, SCB noted that Asia is deemed a major growth region. Data from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas showed that foreign direct investment net inflows for January to November last year declined by 10.8 percent to $5.8 billion from $6.5 billion in the same period in 2019. For the period, equity capital placements came mostly from Japan, Netherlands, US and Singapore, and were invested in manufacturing, real estate and financial and insurance industries.

FDI INFLOWS HIT 5-YR LOW TO $6.54B IN 2020 Continued from A1

Overa l l, however, the BSP blamed the negative effects of the movement and travel restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19 for the FDI decline, as well as the negative sentiment across the globe that came along with these restrictions. “The disruptive impact of the pandemic on global supply chains and the weak business outlook adversely affected investor decisions in 2020,” the BSP said. Broken down, foreign investors’ net investments in debt instruments contracted by 22 percent to hit $4.1 billion in 2020 from $5.2 billion in 2019. Meanwhile, foreign investors’ net equity capital investments dropped by 35.7 percent to hit $1.5 billion in 2020 from $2.3 billion. Bulk of the equity capital placements during the period came from Japan, the Netherlands, the United States, and Singapore. Capital infusions were directed mainly to manufacturing, real estate, and financial and insurance

industries. Meanwhile, reinvestment of earnings declined by 13.6 percent to $978 million from $1.1 billion in 2019.

Pick-up seen

For the coming months, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) economist Michael Ricafort said FDI are expected to start picking up. “For the coming months, FDI could pick up, alongside with the expected further re-opening of the economy, as well as the possible signing into law of the CREATE [Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises]. This would make some foreign investors on the sidelines to become more decisive and bring in more FDI into the country,” Ricafort said. “Still, near record low interest rates/borrowing costs would also help attract more FDI into the country, as also supported by the country’s improved credit ratings in recent months,” he added.

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Owwa seeks ₧9.2-B funds as OFW hosting cost rises

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By Samuel P. Medenilla

@sam_medenilla

HE Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa) is now seeking an additional P9.2 billion to cover its mounting expenses to provide quarantine accommodations for returning overseas Filipino workers (OFW) due to a new testing protocol.

Despite this fund concern, Owwa gave assurances that its trust fund for its OFW members will remain untouched. In an online press briefing on Wednesday, Owwa Administrator Hans Cacdac disclosed they already submitted the fund request to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) since they have nearly exhausted their P6.2-billion funds under the 2021 General Appropriations Act (GAA) allocated for hotel, transport and food expenses of OFWs.

“We project by April or May, we [shall have] already exhausted the 2021 budget of P6.2 billion.... Currently we still have some remaining funds but we are already looking forward,” Cacdac said.

New protocol

He explained the fund was depleted faster than expected after the government implemented a new policy in January imposing a five-day waiting period for travelers before they could undergo reverse transcription-polymerase

chain reaction (RT-PCR). Before this policy, travelers, inc lud ing repatr iated OF Ws, were tested immediately upon their arrival. During that time, Owwa only had to provide quarantine accommodation for returning OFWs for one to two days. If they test negative for Covid-19, they are promptly sent home. However, with the new policy, Cacdac said they now have to host the OFWs for at least six days—a costly setup for Owwa since its maximum accommodation expense—including food—per OFWs is P3,000 per night. With about 10,000 OFWs now availing of quarantine accommodations from Owwa, Cacdac estimated this is costing them some P30 million per night.

Trust fund protection

Owwa hopes the DBM will grant the supplemental funds it sought, especially since another 80,000 to 100,000 pandemic-affected OFWs are expected to return this year. Since 2020 when the pandemic began, a total of 470,000 OFWs have been repatriated by

the government. On a positive note, Cacdac said they observed more OFWs are also coming back for a vacation. “This is a good sign since this means their work [abroad] has resumed or stabilized, and they could now afford the luxury of taking a vacation and seeing their loved ones here in the Philippines,” Cacdac said. Cacdac also guaranteed that the P18.4-billion Owwa trust fund will remain untouched and won’t be used to cover rising expenses. Since the onset of the pandemic, which disrupted the deployment of thousands of OFWs, Owwa’s revenue from membership fees dropped by 60 percent. Nevertheless, Cacdac is confident their trust fund will now be sustainable, especially since the national government started shouldering the accommodation, food and transportation expenses of OFWs. “Currently we are not in the red and we have managed to balance out funds due to the large [fund] assistance from the national government. So we don’t see the depletion [of our trust] fund,” Cacdac said.

‘Covid cases may rise 9-fold if UK variant spreads’

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HE number of infected cases in the country could increase 9-fold by the end of the month if the UK variant of Covid-19 becomes more widespread. “In certain cities in NCR [National Capital Region], we’ll see if the UK variant becomes the dominant strain, meaning it infects more than 50 percent of the cases, we can have 9 times more cases after a month,” Jun Wong of the InterAgency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) technical working group on data analytics said in an interview with PTV on Wednesday. Wong issued the statement af-

firming the projection of the University of the Philippines-OCTA Research that nationwide new Covid-19 cases per day could reach 5,000 to 6,000 by end of March if the current trend of infection continues. From March 5 to 8, 2021, the number of new Covid-19 cases per day nationwide exceeded 3,000. On Tuesday, it decreased to 2,668 before rising again to 2,886 the following day. Health experts noted one of the factors for the surge will be the spread of the new variants of Covid-19 in the country. Currently, DOH is closely moni-

toring the spread of the Covid-19 variant from the UK (B117) and South Africa (B1351), which are more transmissible than the usual variety of the disease. Last week, a total of 58 cases of South African variant and 118 cases of UK variant were confirmed by health officials.

WHO assessment

In a related development, Anna Ong-Lim of the Department of Health (DOH) Technical Advisory Group said the World Health Organization (WHO) is now looking into the new variants of Covid-19 detected in Cebu last month.

Lim said the reported new “variant under investigation,” which were named E484K and N501Y, were already reported to WHO. “This was already reported to a group within the WHO to determine if the [new variants] which were detected are unique here or are already found in other countries,” Lim said. “This is being monitored by our Philippine Genome Center,” she added. Following the discovery of the said Covid-19 variants last month, DOH said it still has yet to determine if these variants “will have any significant health” implications. Samuel P. Medenilla

Illegally caught fish estimated to be worth $1.3B

The report summarizes findings from a survey and a consensusbuilding workshop conducted in September 2020 by BFAR, USAID, Rare Philippines, the University of the Philippines (UP) Marine Science Institute, and the UP School of Statistics. During the workshop, more than 100 experts and practitioners estimated the quantity and value of illegal and unreported fish catches in the Philippines, and discussed the local context of unregulated fishing. The report highlights that while the government has invested sig-

nificant resources in the campaign against illegal fishing, its operational assets have to be augmented to curb the country’s huge economic losses from destructive and unsustainable fishing practices. The report also notes that fisher compliance with fisheries laws and regulations requires a strong, responsive governance structure, and that reducing IUU fishing is a shared responsibility that requires a whole-of-society approach guided by science. “Addressing IUU fishing remains an important Philippine govern-

ment priority. USAID has worked with BFAR for over three decades to promote sustainable fisheries. And we are pleased that this report will further strengthen government efforts to help prevent IUU here in one of the world’s most biodiverse marine sanctuaries,” Lawrence Hardy II, mission director of USAID Philippines said in a statement. “Our strong resolve to prevent and put an end to IUU fishing in Philippine waters will not waiver, especially now that we are gaining momentum technology-wise. With the use of science and data, we are

Continued from A1

in the process of developing an IUU Fishing Index and Threat Assessment Tool, which will be adopted in the 12 Fisheries Management Areas,” Agriculture Undersecretary and concurrent BFAR Director Eduardo Gongona said for his part. “Once fully implemented, this tool will provide us with periodic information needed to identify other ways to encourage voluntary compliance, strategically guide law enforcement operations, and clearly communicate our progress in reducing IUU fishing in the Philippines,” he added.

PROJECTS OK’D UNDER DUTERTE BREACH P3T, BUOY RECOVERY HOPE Continued from A1

T he projec t ’s ne w cost of P628.421 billion and change in scope was approved by the Neda Board; it will be funded Official Development Assistance (ODA) and undertaken by the DOTr. Another big-ticket approval was the Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP)-Phase 1, to cost P356.974 billion, to be financed through ODA and also undertaken by the DOTr. The project is a 25.3-km subway, to run from Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City to FTI in Taguig then to Naia. Its components include civil works; electromechanical, signaling, and telecommunications systems; station

facilities; depot facilities; land acquisition; and procurement of rolling stock. The top 10 also includes the Malolos-Clark Railway Project or Philippine National Railways (PNR) North 2, to cost around P211.425 billion, financed through ODA and undertaken by DOTr. It entails construction of a commuter line and airport express railway between Malolos and Clark Green City (CGC) through Clark International Airport (CRK) or a total of 69.5 kilometers. The P189.526-billion PanayGuimaras-Negros Island Bridges Project and the P175.656-billion Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge (BCIB) Project are also on the list. Both are ODA-financed, to be im-

plemented by DPWH. The Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridges project entails construction of a 32.47-km, four-lane, two sea-crossing bridges, including connecting roads and interchanges to connect the islands of Panay, Guimaras and Negros. The BCIB entails construction of a 32.15-km, four-lane bridge from Mariveles, Bataan, crossing Manila Bay and terminating in Naic, Cavite. The next three projects are the PNR South Long Haul Project or formerly North-South Railway Project (NSRP)-South Line; North-South Commuter Railway System (NSCR) Phase 1 (MalolosTutuban); and the Mindanao Railway Project: Tagum-Davao-Digos

(MRP-TDD) Segment. All three projects are ODA-funded, to be implemented by DOTr. The P175.318-billion PNR South Long Haul Project will have two components, the South Commuter or Tutuban-Los Baños segment and the South Long Haul or the Los BañosBicol, Sorsogon, Batangas segments. The Neda Board approved the cost increase and change in scope for the NSCR Phase 1 or MalolosTutuban segment, bringing the total project cost to P149.13 billion. The project was also initially approved by the Neda Board under the Aquino administration. The Board also approved the cost increase and changes in scope of the MRP-TDD Segment, the first phase of the 830-km MRP loop.

The approved changes increased the project cost to P81.686 billion. The list of top 10 projects also included the P74.413-billion CebuMactan Bridge (4th Bridge) and Coastal Road Construction Project, to be financed through ODA and implemented by DPWH. It entails building a 3.3-km bridge with an elevated viaduct of 3.385 km, with two lanes in each direction. The project includes construction of a 4.9-km, four-lane coastal road with a 4.751 elevated viaduct. Neda noted that interchanges will be constructed at the linkage between the two projects in Mandaue City. Earlier, in a joint statement, the President’s economic team

said the country’s recovery from 2020’s lockdown-caused recession will also rely on efforts to speed up implementation of infrastructure projects. “We need to ensure that programs already budgeted for under Bayanihan II and under the 2020 and 2021 budgets are implemented quickly. Our recovery and longterm development prospects also hinge on accelerating the infrastructure program, which has the highest multiplier effect on jobs and on the economy,” the economic managers said. The government intended to spend P7.74 trillion for infrastructure between 2016 and 2022 under the Public Investment Program (PIP) for 2017 to 2022.


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The Nation BusinessMirror

Editor: Vittorio V. Vitug • Thursday, March 11, 2021 A3

SC office starts inventory of cases involving attacks against lawyers T

HE Supreme Court’s Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) has initiated its inventory of criminal cases involving lawyers who were killed, harmed, threatened or attacked under the present administration. In line with OCA Circular 372021, Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez directed first and second level courts to provide data on the matter by filling a nationwide

survey form within 10 days. Marquez said the directive was in pursuant to the January 6, 2021 memorandum of Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta directing the OCA to address the “growing concern over the continued attacks against lawyers and judges.” Last January, upon the directive of CJ Peralta, Marquez held a series of consultations with the Department of Justice, Department of National

Defense (DND), Department of the Interior and Local Government, Commission on Human Rights, lawenforcement agencies and lawyers groups on the issue of killings of lawyers and judges. Marquez said he has been directed by CJ Peralta to submit a full report with measures to address the killings after meeting with concerned government agencies and other stakeholders.

Earlier, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has also started its inventory of cases on lawyers killed under the administration of President Duterte. Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the inventory would include cases under investigation by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), under preliminary investigation by the prosecution service, and those undergoing trial in courts. Guevarra said he is expecting to

receive the inventory on the killings of lawyers soon. “The data will come from all prosecution offices throughout the country,” Guevarra noted. The Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) said last Monday there has been a total of 61 lawyers, including prosecutors and magistrates, who have been killed under the Duterte administration. Last January, 53-year-old lawyer

Winston Intong from Malaybalay, Bukidnon, was shot dead by two men onboard a motorcycle. In 2011, Intong was reportedly arrested along with three other persons, during a buy-bust operation inside his office in Valencia City. The lawyer was allegedly caught selling shabu to an undercover agent of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency but was later acquitted of the illegal drugs charges. Joel R. San Juan


BusinessMirror

A4 Thursday, March 11, 2021

ESTABLISHMENT / ADDRESS NO.

FOREIGN NATIONAL / NATIONALITY

ESTABLISHMENT / ADDRESS POSITION

8 STONE BUSINESS OUTSOURCING OPC 5/f To 10/f, Tower 4 Pitx #01 Kennedy Road Tambo Parañaque City

NO. 39.

FOREIGN NATIONAL / NATIONALITY

ESTABLISHMENT / ADDRESS POSITION

NO.

IT SUPPORT SPECIALIST

75.

LAU MUN HUEY Malaysian

1.

LI, HONGFEI Chinese

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE MANDARIN SPEAKING

CLOVERSENSE TECHNOLOGY INC. 29/f Robinsons Summit Center 6783 Ayala Center Bel-air Makati City

2.

HUANG, ANQI Chinese

MANDARIN CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

40.

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MANDARIN CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

COSMOLINK GLOBAL SOLUTIONS INC. 11 Ortigas St. Brgy. 076 Pasay City

4.

HUANG, YINGBIN Chinese

MANDARIN CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

41.

5.

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MANDARIN CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

DAXIFA CORPORATION Mpire Center 93 West Avenue Project 7 Bungad 1 Quezon City

6.

FAN, WENCHAO Chinese

MARKETING STAFF MANDARIN SPEAIKING

42.

ACCENTURE, INC. 7f Robinsons Cybergate Tower 1 Pioneer St Mandaluyong City 7.

MULUMBA, KAPITA ANDRE Cambodian

FRENCH TRANSACTION PROCESSING ANALYST

8.

JUNG, YUKIL South Korean

TRANSACTION PROCESSING SENIOR ANALYST

AMUSETECH BUSINESS OUTSOURCING 2/f Rivergreen Residences 2217 Pedro Gil St. 096, Bgy 880 Santa Ana Manila 9. 10.

FONG CHOON SIONG Malaysian

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE MANDARIN SPEAKING

LI, QIN Chinese

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE MANDARIN SPEAKING

11.

SENG PAN Myanmari

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE MANDARIN SPEAKING

12.

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CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE MANDARIN SPEAKING

YU, HSUEH-JU Taiwanese

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE MANDARIN SPEAKING

13.

ANOC99 CORPORATION 5/f Ayala Malls Manila Bay Building D. Macapagal Blvd. Cor. Aseana Street Tambo Parañaque City 14.

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CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

15.

LIANG, CAIHUA Chinese

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CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

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CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

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AVIA MANAGEMENT GROUP INC. 6th-10th Flr. Southkey Hub Indo-china Drive Northgate Cyberzone Alabang Muntinlupa City 22.

CHEN, JIE Chinese

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

23.

CHENG, LONG Chinese

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

24.

LI, CHENG Chinese

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

BAYVIEW TECHNOLOGIES, INC. 43/f Yuchengco Tower Rcbc Plaza Ayala Ave. Cor. Sen. Gil Puyat Ave. Bel-air Makati City 25.

DONG THI VIET TRINH Vietnamese

TERRITORY EXECUTIVE (MULTI-LINGUAL)

BHP SHARED SERVICES PHILIPPINES INC. 27f, Arthaland Century Pacific Tower 5th Ave. Cor. 30th Street And 4th Ave. Cor. 30th Street Bonifacio Global City Taguig City 26.

ARIAS ESCUDERO, JUAN CARLOS Chilean

LEAD PURCHASING SUPPLY

BIGDOLPHIN SERVICES INC. Ug-8, Ug-9 & Ug-11 Cityland 10 Tower 2 154 H.v. Dela Costa St. Belair Makati City 27.

ZHANG, DI Chinese

MANDARIN COORDINATOR

BOWENHILLS TECH INC. 19/f Lepanto Bldg. 8747 Paseo De Roxas Bel-air Makati City 28.

GAO, LULU Chinese

CHINESE -SPEAKING MARKETING OFFICER

BRIGHTLEISURE MANAGEMENT INC. 10/f Newport Entertainment & C Newport City Manlunas Brgy. 183 Pasay City 29.

LIM CHENG SOON Malaysian

SENIOR DIRECTOR FOR SLOTS OPERATIONS

CAPSLOCK INC. 7th & 8th Flr. Y Tower Bldg. Coral Way Drive Cor. Macapagal Brgy. 076 Pasay City

GAO, SHAN Chinese

LIU, BAITAO Chinese

WANG, FULAI Chinese

DATA ANALYST-MANDARIN SPEAKING I

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

CSR MANDARIN SPEAKING

DEUTSCHE KNOWLEDGE SERVICES PTE LTD. 15th-19th Flr. Four/neo 4th Ave. Corner 31st. St. Bonifacio Global City Fort Bonifacio Taguig City 43.

SAKATA (GERBER), CHIAKI Japanese

ASSOCIATE

DEXIN INTERNATIONAL IMPORT AND EXPORT CORP. 534 Tomas Mapua St. 029 Bgy. 298 Santa Cruz Manila 44.

CHEN, MOUKANG Chinese

CHINESE CARGO OFFICE AGENT

DINELINK INC. 504p-508p, Five E-com Moa Complex Bldg. Pacific Drive Brgy. 076 Pasay City 45.

LIU, JUNJIE Chinese

CHEF

46.

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CHINESE CHEF

DITTO MUSIC PH INC. Unit 212 2nd Floor Avida Cityflex Soho Tower 7th Ave. Fort Bonifacio Taguig City 47.

GAONA JR, MANUEL ELOY American

SPANISH - LANGUAGE CUSTOMER / CONTENT SUPPORT

FIRST GREAT COMPUTER TECHNOLOGIES INC. Lot 5 Sta. Agueda Cor. Queensway Pagcor Drive Sto. Niño Parañaque City 48.

WANG, ZHENFENG Chinese

IT TECHNICAL MANDARIN

49.

JIA, WANGLIN Chinese

MANDARIN CUSTOMER SERVICE

FLY ASIAN INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION Eighty One Newport Blvd. Newport City Va, Brgy. 183 Pasay City 50.

DOAN THI CHUNG Vietnamese

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MARKETING CONSULTANT (MANDARIN SPEAKING CLIENTS)

GLOBAL B2B CONSULTANCY, INC. 50/f Pbcom Tower 6795 Ayala Avenue Bel-air Makati City

FOREIGN NATIONAL / NATIONALITY

ESTABLISHMENT / ADDRESS POSITION

NO.

FOREIGN NATIONAL / NATIONALITY

POSITION

CAI, ZHENGQIN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

131.

WANG, SHIXIONG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

76.

CHE, HAO Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

132.

WANG, YANGYANG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

77.

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CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

133.

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CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

78.

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CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

134.

WANG, ZHISHENG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

79.

CHEN, ZHIHUAN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

135.

WEI, SHENGDA Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

80.

CHEN, BO Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

136.

WONG SIEW KIM Malaysian

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

81.

CHEN, WEIBIN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

137.

WONG TECK SOON Malaysian

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

82.

CHEN, WEIJIE Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

138.

WU, YONGHUI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

83.

CHING KWOK HOW Malaysian

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

139.

XIANG, ZIPENG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

84.

CHO WEY TIONG Malaysian

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

140.

XU, HUI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

85.

CHU THI KIM THOA Vietnamese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

141.

XU, XUSHENG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

86.

CUI, MUCHUN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

142.

XU, LONGKANG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

87.

DAI, KUN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

143.

YANG, LEI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

88.

DAN, YANNI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

144.

YANG, CHUNLIAN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

89.

FAN, YIZHENG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

145.

YANG, HAOTIAN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

90.

FAN, QINGCHUAN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

146.

YANG, YUMENG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

91.

FAN, LUPING Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

147.

YANG, QIU Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

92.

FENG, SHUAIKE Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

148.

YANG, XINGGUO Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

93.

GAO, YINGSHENG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

149.

YANG, QIAN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

94.

HE, YANG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

150.

YANG, SHAOSHUAI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

95.

HE, ZHENGHUI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

151.

YI, LULU Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

96.

HU, SHUAI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

152.

YONG KAH CHIN Malaysian

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

97.

HUANG, QILONG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

153.

YU, YANGYANG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

98.

HUANG, DU Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

154.

ZHAI, LINSHENG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

99.

HUANG, YONGMING Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

155.

ZHANG, YUAN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

51.

TSENG, YI-HAO Taiwanese

CUSTOMER SERVICE CHINESE SPEAKING

100.

JIA, GUANGHUI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

156.

ZHANG, CHAO Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

52.

VALENTINO Indonesian

CUSTOMER SERVICE INDONESIAN SPEAKING

101.

LAUNG AYE Myanmari

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

157.

ZHANG, HANZHUANG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

53.

MAHAYODSANAN, PHAKKARAPHAT Thai

CUSTOMER SERVICE THAI SPEAKING

102.

LE HOA TRUNG Vietnamese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

158.

ZHANG, XUAN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

CUSTOMER SERVICE THAI SPEAKING

103.

LI, SHUAIPENG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

159.

ZHANG, SONG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

54.

UTAINSUTHI, THANIDA Thai

104.

LI, HAIXIN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

160.

ZHENG, WENJUAN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

105.

LI, NA Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

161.

ZHENG, SHENGHAN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

106.

LI, SIJIA Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

162.

ZHENG, SHI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

107.

LI, JUNNAN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

163.

ZHOU, JIE Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

108.

LIAN, JIAJING Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

164.

ZHUANG, HAILING Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

109.

LIAO, ZHONGYAN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

165.

ZOU, YUNSHUN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

110.

LIU, CAI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

166.

CHU TIEN SINH Vietnamese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SPECIALIST

111.

LIU, LIANSHENG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

167.

WANG, SAI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SPECIALIST

112.

LIU, HAIOU Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

113.

LU, QI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

114.

LU, DEYUN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

115.

LUO, FEI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

116.

MAO, JINGXU Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

117.

MENG, XIANGYANG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

118.

MIN NAING Myanmari

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

119.

NANG KYAR NU Myanmari

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

120.

NANG MO KHAM HTWE Myanmari

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

121.

NAR PHA @ THAZIN OO Myanmari

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

122.

PAN EI SAN Myanmari

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

123.

QIN, YONG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

124.

SHUAI, YONGQIANG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

125.

SONG, JIYU Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

126.

SUN, HANG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

127.

SUN, HUI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

128.

TANG, QIANG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

129.

WANG, YING Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

130.

WANG, YUZHUO Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

INTEGRITY GLOBAL GROUP, INC. 2/f-3/f Ayala Malls Circuit A.p. Reyes Ave. Carmona Makati City 55.

HOU, SHICHAO Chinese

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE (MANDARIN SPEAKING)

56.

LIU, YI Chinese

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE (MANDARIN SPEAKING)

57.

NGUYEN THI QUYNH TRANG Vietnamese

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE (MANDARIN SPEAKING)

JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A.- PHILIPPINE GLOBAL SERVICE CENTER 23/f Net Plaza 31st St. E-square Zone Fort Bonifacio Taguig City 58.

DICKSON, DOUGLAS IAIN British

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

MACH 86 TECHNOLOGIES CORP. 5th-13th Flr. Workspace Bldg. 1419 Industry St. Corner Finance St. Mbp Ayala Alabang Ayala-alabang Muntinlupa City 59.

CHEN, KAIHUAI Chinese

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

60.

DING, ZHIYE Chinese

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

61.

FAN, JUNHONG Chinese

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

62.

HAO, YIWEI Chinese

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

63.

KONG, MIN Chinese

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

64.

LI, LU Chinese

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

65.

LIAO, TIANXIANG Chinese

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

66.

WANG, WENJING Chinese

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

67.

WANG, YANG Chinese

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

68.

WEI, XING Chinese

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

69.

XIAO, KE Chinese

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

70.

YANG, LEI Chinese

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

71.

YU, GUANGZHI Chinese

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

72.

YU, JIABAO Chinese

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

ZHANG, LEILEI Chinese

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

30.

CAI, YINGCHAO Chinese

CHINESE IT SUPPORT SPECIALIST

31.

DENG, HONG Chinese

CHINESE IT SUPPORT SPECIALIST

32.

DING, LI Chinese

CHINESE IT SUPPORT SPECIALIST

33.

LI, MEITAO Chinese

CHINESE IT SUPPORT SPECIALIST

34.

WANG, PING Chinese

CHINESE IT SUPPORT SPECIALIST

35.

XIANG, SONGPU Chinese

CHINESE IT SUPPORT SPECIALIST

36.

XIAO, YANGQIONG Chinese

CHINESE IT SUPPORT SPECIALIST

73.

37.

YANG, QI Chinese

CHINESE IT SUPPORT SPECIALIST

MOA CLOUDZONE CORP. 4th-11th Flr. Nexgen Tower C4 Rd. Edsa Ext. Brgy. 076 Pasay City

38.

ZHU, LYUXIANG Chinese

CHINESE IT SUPPORT SPECIALIST

74.

AUNG MYINT NAING Myanmari

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

MOTIAL INC. G/f King’s Court Ii Bldg. 2129 Don Chino Roces Ave. Pio Del Pilar Makati City 168.

GU, WEIPING Chinese

MANDARIN ADMIN OFFICER

NEW ORIENTAL CLUB88 CORPORATION 1331 Pearl Plaza Bldg. Quirino Ave. Tambo Parañaque City 169.

BAI, XUEFENG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

170.

BAI, JIA Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

171.

CAI, JINGYU Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

172.

CAO, YUN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

173.

CHEN, XINGBAO Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

174.

CHEN, JIANKUN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

175.

CHEN, WEI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

176.

CHEN, DONGMEI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

177.

CHEN, JIPENG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

178.

CHI, LIANG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

179.

DENG, YI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

180.

DENG, WUWEN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

181.

DU, CONGHU Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

182.

FENG, KAISHENG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

183.

GAN, WEILING Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

184.

GAO, JIAWEI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE


BusinessMirror

www.businessmirror.com.ph ESTABLISHMENT / ADDRESS NO.

FOREIGN NATIONAL / NATIONALITY

ESTABLISHMENT / ADDRESS POSITION

NO.

FOREIGN NATIONAL / NATIONALITY

Thursday, March 11, 2021

ESTABLISHMENT / ADDRESS POSITION

NO.

FOREIGN NATIONAL / NATIONALITY

ESTABLISHMENT / ADDRESS POSITION

NO.

FOREIGN NATIONAL / NATIONALITY

POSITION

185.

GAO, JIAXIAN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

251.

MA, XIANLONG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

317.

YANG, LEI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

383.

TANG DANG THI DUNG Vietnamese

VIETNAMESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

186.

GUAN, XIAOPENG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

252.

MA, TAO Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

318.

YANG, FAN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

384.

TANG DANG THI NGOC Vietnamese

VIETNAMESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

187.

GUAN, XIUJU Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

253.

MA, TINGTING Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

319.

YANG, ZHIXIN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

385.

TRUONG VAN TU Vietnamese

VIETNAMESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

188.

GUO, YUBO Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

254.

MENG, HONGJU Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

320.

YAO, JUNFEI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

386.

TSAN CAM PHI Vietnamese

VIETNAMESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

189.

HAN, FANG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

255.

PANG, YANG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

321.

YAO, GANG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

387.

TU SAU DINH Vietnamese

VIETNAMESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

190.

HAO, WENLONG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

256.

PENG, JIABIN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

322.

YI, YANGCHUN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

388.

VANG DUNG PHAN Vietnamese

VIETNAMESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

191.

HE, WENTAO Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

257.

QI, XIN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

323.

YOU, FUCHAO Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

PLAYON.PH INC. Melrose Compound Tuktukan Taguig City

192.

HE, XIANGRUN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

258.

QIAO, JIANGTAO Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

324.

YU, SHICHAO Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

389.

193.

HU, DAN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

259.

QIN, JINQIAO Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

325.

YU, JIAJIA Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

194.

HU, HONGYAN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

260.

QIN, SHENGYING Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

326.

YU, LIANG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

195.

HU, ZHIJIAN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

261.

QIN, QIONG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

327.

YUAN, LONG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

196.

HUANG, HANGYUN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

262.

SAI, AO Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

328.

YUAN, WEIFENG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

197.

HUANG, PING Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

263.

SHEN, XIN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

329.

YUAN, XIAOTIAN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

198.

HUANG, ZHIWEI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

264.

SHEN, JIELONG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

330.

ZANG, JINXUAN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

199.

HUANG, LIJIN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

265.

SHEN, HAODONG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

331.

ZENG, JIN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

200.

HUANG, YUTING Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

266.

SONG, WENYAN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

332.

ZHA, WEI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

201.

HUANG, GANGPING Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

267.

SONG, HONGYING Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

333.

ZHAN, CHANGTENG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

202.

HUANG, FUXIN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

268.

SU, JINDING Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

334.

ZHANG, XIAOBIN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

203.

HUANG, RUI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

269.

SU, GENWANG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

335.

ZHANG, YULIANG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

204.

HUANG, GUOJUN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

270.

SU, WEISHENG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

336.

ZHANG, GEN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

205.

HUANG, RUIXUE Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

271.

SU, JIEWEI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

337.

ZHANG, WEIXIN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

206.

JI, TIANMING Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

272.

SU, YIQI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

338.

ZHANG, HAO Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

207.

JI, YANG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

273.

SUN, BAOWEI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

339.

ZHANG, ZHAO Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

208.

JIANG, JIAN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

274.

SUN, MEI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

340.

ZHANG, LUFEI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

209.

JIANG, XUEYING Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

275.

SUN, TENGFEI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

341.

ZHANG, MING Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

210.

KONG, JUN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

276.

SUN, LIANG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

342.

ZHANG, KUNHUAI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

211.

KUANG, XUE Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

277.

TANG, LINGLONG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

343.

ZHANG, YONG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

212.

LAI, YING Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

278.

TANG, LI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

344.

ZHANG, ZHIBO Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

213.

LI, DONGXU Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

279.

TAO, LIUQING Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

345.

ZHANG, XIAOWEI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

214.

LI, ZIJUAN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

280.

TIAN, MAOTIAO Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

346.

ZHANG, QILONG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

215.

LI, LIAN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

281.

WAN, SAI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

347.

ZHANG, QIONG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

216.

LI, ZHIZHAO Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

282.

WANG, SHUIYUAN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

348.

ZHAO, XIANG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

217.

LI, BAOLONG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

283.

WANG, HAILIANG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

349.

ZHAO, CHENWEI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

218.

LI, LINLIN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

284.

WANG, LINGLING Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

350.

ZHAO, JUAN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

219.

LI, XIAOFEI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

285.

WANG, XUEHONG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

351.

ZHI, ZHIMING Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

220.

LI, YULIN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

286.

WANG, QIANQIAN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

352.

ZHOU, PEI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

221.

LI, JUN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

287.

WANG, XIN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

353.

ZHOU, HAOJIE Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

222.

LI, ZHENPENG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

288.

WANG, YONG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

354.

ZHU, TIANWEN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

223.

LI, ADONG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

289.

WANG, JIANCAI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

355.

ZHU, SHUANGSHUANG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

224.

LIANG, SHIZHU Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

290.

WANG, XIN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

356.

ZHU, CHANGREN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

225.

LIANG, SHUQI Chinese

291.

WANG, XUECHUN Chinese

357.

ZHU, JIEFENG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

226.

LIANG, LUMEI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

292.

WANG, HAITAO Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

358.

ZOU, ZHIWEN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

227.

LIN, XIANGYU Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

293.

WANG, HAO Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

359.

BONITA TAN TZE MUN Malaysian

MALAYSIAN CUSTOMER SERVICE

409.

DENG, TINGTING Chinese

CHINESE IT SUPPORT SPECIALIST

228.

LIN, BAOQIANG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

294.

WANG, MINGFEI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

360.

CHUNG JUN BIN Malaysian

MALAYSIAN CUSTOMER SERVICE

410.

HUANG, AN Chinese

CHINESE IT SUPPORT SPECIALIST

229.

LIN, RUIQING Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

295.

WANG, HONGTAO Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

361.

HOW HOON TENG Malaysian

MALAYSIAN CUSTOMER SERVICE

411.

LU, SHUAIQUN Chinese

CHINESE IT SUPPORT SPECIALIST

230.

LIU, JIANI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

296.

WEI, HUANG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

362.

LEONG LEE CHEN Malaysian

MALAYSIAN CUSTOMER SERVICE

412.

TAN, XIANG Chinese

CHINESE IT SUPPORT SPECIALIST

231.

LIU, LU Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

297.

WEI, KUN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

363.

NG CHUN MIN Malaysian

MALAYSIAN CUSTOMER SERVICE

413.

YE, LAN Chinese

CHINESE IT SUPPORT SPECIALIST

232.

LIU, HAOMING Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

298.

WEI, MENGYANG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

364.

TIONG WOEI CHYUAN Malaysian

MALAYSIAN CUSTOMER SERVICE

414.

ZHANG, JUNWEI Chinese

CHINESE IT SUPPORT SPECIALIST

233.

LIU, TINGTING Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

299.

WEI, ZHENG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

365.

AUNG SOE TUN Myanmari

MYANMARI CUSTOMER SERVICE

415.

ZHENG, FUJUAN Chinese

CHINESE IT SUPPORT SPECIALIST

234.

LIU, YU Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

300.

WEI, HAIKE Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

366.

HNIN WUT YEE Myanmari

MYANMARI CUSTOMER SERVICE

416.

HENDY SUSANTO Indonesian

IT SUPPORT SPECIALIST

235.

LIU, XIAOSHUAI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

301.

WEI, LIRUI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

367.

KYI LIN Myanmari

MYANMARI CUSTOMER SERVICE

417.

LOW CHUN SIEN Malaysian

IT SUPPORT SPECIALIST

236.

LIU, GANG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

302.

WEN, BO Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

368.

KYI WIN Myanmari

MYANMARI CUSTOMER SERVICE

237.

LIU, SHENGQIANG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

303.

WEN, YANNI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

369.

LIN CHAN Myanmari

MYANMARI CUSTOMER SERVICE

238.

LIU, CHAO Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

304.

WU, GUIQIANG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

370.

NANG MO KHAM Myanmari

MYANMARI CUSTOMER SERVICE

239.

LIU, JINANSHENGJIE Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

305.

WU, PENGFEI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

371.

SAI KHAM LATE Myanmari

MYANMARI CUSTOMER SERVICE

240.

LIU, XIAOLONG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

306.

WU, JUNMEI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

372.

YAN LI PHEIN Myanmari

MYANMARI CUSTOMER SERVICE

241.

LIU, KAI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

307.

XIA, BING Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

373.

KE, TSAI-CHI Taiwanese

TAIWANESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

242.

LIU, HAO Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

308.

XIANG, LIU Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

374.

DUONG HUU TAN Vietnamese

VIETNAMESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

ZTE PHILIPPINES INC. Unit 1201 & 1202 12th Floor Fort Legend Towers 3rd Ave. Corner 31st St. Bgc, Fort Bonifacio Taguig City

243.

LIU, XIAOYUN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

309.

XIAO, XUNENG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

375.

HOANG THI LINH Vietnamese

VIETNAMESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

421.

244.

LIU, LEI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

310.

XIAO, ZHENKUN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

376.

HOANG VAN PHUONG Vietnamese

VIETNAMESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

245.

LIU, ZHENSHENG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

311.

XIE, ERWEI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

377.

HONG CONG PHAT Vietnamese

VIETNAMESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

246.

LIU, WENHUA Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

312.

XIE, JIAYUN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

378.

LE THI MAI Vietnamese

VIETNAMESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

247.

LUO, GANTONG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

313.

XIONG, JUNHUI Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

379.

LE VAN HOA Vietnamese

VIETNAMESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

248.

LUO, BIN Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

314.

XU, YONGCHENG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

380.

MA DUY NGUYEN Vietnamese

VIETNAMESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

249.

LYU, SHUAIBING Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

315.

XU, RANGLU Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

381.

NGUYEN THI HONG THAO, Vietnamese

VIETNAMESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

250.

MA, QIANG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

316.

YAN, HUIRU Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

382.

NGUYEN VU QUANG Vietnamese

VIETNAMESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

CHINESE CUSTOMER SERVICE

A5

JANG, JI-YOUNG South Korean

MARKETING CONSULTANT

REFINITIV ASIA PTE. LTD. - PHILIPPINE BRANCH Ground Floor 18/20 Building Upper Mckinley Hill Fort Bonifacio Taguig City 390.

HAWKINS, TIMOTHY SPENCER British

DIRECTOR, CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER

RIGHT CHOICE FINANCE CORP. 5e-1 Electra House Bldg. 115-117 Esteban Street San Lorenzo Makati City 391.

SU, HUANGMING Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SUPPORT

392.

XIE, HUIZHANG Chinese

CHINESE CUSTOMER SUPPORT

393.

SALAHUDEEN, MOHAMED AKBAR Sri Lankan

VP OF MARKETING

SA RIVENDELL GLOBAL SUPPORT, INC. 9-11 Flr., The Biopolis Bldg. Macapagal Blvd. Brgy. 076 Pasay City 394.

BUI THANH DANH Vietnamese

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

395.

CHAU PHUNG MAN Vietnamese

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

396.

LEE SHEUT TING Malaysian

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

397.

LI, XIANGYANG Chinese

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

398.

LU SO NHU Vietnamese

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

399.

TAN SWEE YEE Malaysian

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

400.

YE, BEILIANG Chinese

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

401.

ZHOU, KANGTING Chinese

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

SHOPEE PHILIPPINES INC 37/f Net Park 5th Avenue E Square Crescent Park West Bgc Fort Bonifacio Taguig City 402.

LEE, YU-CHEN (A.K.A. VINCENT) Taiwanese

COUNTRY HEAD

SINOMA CBMIPH CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION 37b Rufino Pacific Tower Ayala Ave. Cor. V.a. Rufino St. San Lorenzo Makati City 403.

GUO, JIANWEI Chinese

DEPUTY PROJECT MANAGER

SKYLUSTER TECHNOLOGY, INC. 10/f The Enterprise Center Tower 2 6766 Ayala Ave. Cor. Paseo De Roxas San Lorenzo Makati City 404.

ZHU, XIN Chinese

MANDARIN IT SUPPORT STAFF

405.

ZOU, JINBIAO Chinese

MANDARIN IT SUPPORT STAFF

SOURCEFIT PHILIPPINES INC. 21st Flr. Cyber One Bldg. Eastwood Cyberpark Bagumbayan Quezon City 406.

FONTENOT, DREW ALAN American

DEMOS TEAM LEAD

SPARVA INCORPORATED 7/f Insular Life Bldg. 6781 Ayala Ave., Cor. Paseo De Roxas Bel-air Makati City 407.

TEO CHENG HEAN Singaporean

OPERATIONS SUPPORT MANAGER

SUPERANTS INC. Unit 2802 The Trade And Financial Tower 7th Ave. Cor. 32nd St. Fort Bonifacio Taguig City 408.

VAN SIU YEN Vietnamese

FINANCE SPECIALIST (MANDARIN SPEAKING)

TIANYU TECHNOLOGY INC. 23/f Pbcom Tower Ayala Avenue Cor. V.a Rufino Street Bel-air Makati City

TRI7 SOLUTIONS, INC. Unit 9-a 9/f Marvin Plaza Bldg. 2153 Don Chino Roces Ave. Pio Del Pilar Makati City 418.

HAN, ZHENGYIN Chinese

CHINESE LANGUAGE CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

419.

WU, DONGSHAN Chinese

CHINESE LANGUAGE CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

420.

TRAN NGOC HUNG Vietnamese

VIETNAMESE LANGUAGE CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

WANG, HONGWU Chinese

PROJECT MANAGER *Date Generated: Mar 10, 2021

Any person in the Philippines who is competent, able and willing to perform the services for which the foreign national is desired may file an objection at DOLE-NCR Regional Office located at DOLE-NCR Building, 967 Maligaya St., Malate Manila, within 30 days after this publication. Please inform DOLE-NCR if you have any information on criminal offense committed by the foreign nationals.

ATTY. SARAH BUENA S. MIRASOL REGIONAL DIRECTOR


TheBroa

Business

A6 Thursday, March 11, 2021 • www.businessmirror.com.ph

Mysteries shroud hig to major remittanceBy Jeremaiah M. Opiniano

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Special to the BusinessMirror

OME call it olfactory memory. It’s what Rodel Guco, standing near where water burbles on one of the shores of the seaport city of Valetta, Malta, says what his nose remembers after briefly taking off his face mask. Guco (not his real name), also remembers the pungent smell of money, something his nose also missed when he arrived in Malta late-February, 2020, from the United Arab Emirates. That scent, however, wafted to hundreds of millions of families of migrant workers as, to the surprise of many, central banks of major origin countries relying on foreign remittances reported receiving higher dollar inf lows in pandemic-hit 2020. I ndeed , it w a s a we lcome surprise. This pandemic era pushed to the limits the world’s over-250 million migrants, working and residing in countries with millions to hundred thousand-andten thousand cases of SARS-CoV-2 caseloads. Economists fretted over concer ns t hat mig rants abroad will get displaced from work, and will therefore remit lesser amounts to their beleaguered home countries. Countries plunged into recession, and the might of the foreign remittance to save the day may have been hindered by government attempts to stem the spread of the virus.

Virus, job loss

GUCO clearly remembers that the blue waters of the Grand Harbor and the grandeur of Malta’s cities and three major island groups had magnetized him. This native of Leyte considered himself lucky after landing a job as a barista. His luck changed a week later, however: Malta locked down after a first reported Covid-19 case from a 12-year-old Italian girl. Masks led him to lose the experience of breathing in the salty fresh air from the calm seas. He also lost his job. For three months, Guco said he lived on the 400 euros received from a generous employer and in an apartment he shared with fellow jobless overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). News—filtering through audio and video mobile applications— that his family back in the Philippines was doing fine eased his worries like the waters lapping on the shores of Grand Harbor. When he was down to his last euros, however, it was only the waters where he found solace.

Anxiety, misunderstanding

“I can’t remit money because we in Malta got locked down,” Rodel said.

“No work, no pay for us. I want to make them realize that Malta also reels from this crisis. Malta relies on tourists, and there are no arrivals and, thus, no income.” Misunderstandings followed and anxiety increased. But Guco said he accepted these as “parts of life.” Mobility restrictions eased in Malta around July. The “odd ” jobs in Valetta came out and Guco beca me a const r uct ion worker, a part-time masseuse and a waiter at a restaurant that reopened. He was now able to send home money; sometimes P2,000 (nearly 35 euros), sometimes P5,000 (nearly 87 euros). Sometimes, he said, he sends money more than once a month. Guco, like other migrant workers, says whatever he earns “is not enough.” For remittance-receiving countries like the Bangladesh, Mexico and Sri Lanka, they were enough.

Country flow

M A JOR remittance-receiv ing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America got more of those green bucks last year than in 2019. However, it was a trend the Philippines didn’t enjoy. I nc re a s e d re m it t a nce s b y Mexico, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, El Salvador, Dominican Republic and Kenya got a push from their currencies, which depreciated versus the US dollar last year and from migrants wiring more incomes for loved ones living in quarantined areas. W hat these countries’ remittance levels reached negated country-level and regional-level projections from multilateral organizations in April last year that the economic and health impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic will pull down remittance inf lows. Full-year 2020 data from various central or federal reserve banks showed that year-on-year remittance inflows were higher by 11.44 percent in Mexico (an additional $4.16 billion); 17.37 percent in Pakistan (+$3.84 billion); 5.77 percent in Sri Lanka (+$387.32 million); 4.77 percent in El Salvador (+$269.65 million); 3.67 percent in the Dominican Republic (+$259.9 million); and, 10.64 percent in Nigeria (+$297.67 million). Bangladesh got some $3.409 billion more last year than in 2019, for an 18.6-percent increase.

Comparative data

THE Philippines, Nigeria and the Kyrgyz Republic received lesser remittance inf lows in 2020 at $230.05 million, $13.65 billion and $126.75 million, respectively. According to end-2019 data from the World Bank, Mexico (third), the Philippines (fourth), Ni ge r i a (s e ve nt h), Pa k i st a n (eighth) and Bangladesh (ninth) landed in the world’s top 10 remittance-receiv ing countries. Meanwhile, in terms of the share of remittances to gross domestic product (GDP), the Kyrgyz Republic is fourth (36 percent) and El Salvador eighth (26 percent) worldwide even if their actual dollar amounts are smaller. Remittance totals for Mexico ($40.606 billion), Pakistan ($25.967 billion) and Bangladesh ($21.741 billion) in 2020 were even historic highs for these countries. The Philippines, for its part, got $29.903 billion last year (some 0.76 percent less) from its army of land-based and sea-based OFWs, estimated to be some 10.3 million.

Inoculation rate

CAREGIVER Daphne Lagut and husband Miko beamed happily as they got the vaccination jabs recently. Malta leads the entire European Union in terms of the rate of inoculations, using the vaccines developed by Pfizer Inc. with BioNTech SE and Moderna Inc. Vaccination matters if economic life were to go back to normal, Lagut said. She said the ordinary Maltese fears SARSCoV-2, follows the wearing of masks and physical distancing diligently and scolds those who do not follow these rules. Fruits, right diet and vitamins keep us “safeguarded,” Lagut said. A year prior to the pandemic, the Laguts send home P40,000 (nearly 693 euros) monthly, especially since their child (being taken care of by doting grandparents) was unable to join them in the trip to Malta. Since the couple are essential workers, these caregivers for an elderly care facility still managed to send the same amount to loved ones in Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur. “Family is always our first priority,” Daphne said. The Filipinos in Malta sent $54.861 million last year, a stagger ing 38.1-percent increase from the $39.713 million remitted in 2019. That is, even if the global total of Filipino remittances year-on-year was just under a shade of being in positive territory (minus-0.76). Since cou nt r ies inst it uted months-long lockdowns in the early days of the pandemic, development analysts became watchful of month-on-month remittance inflows after June 2020.

Notably surprising

SENIOR economist Juan José Li Ng of the Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) noted the surprising increases of Mexican migrants’ remittances from the US after the second quarter of last year. Ng’s October 6 report for

BBVA saw July remittances grow compared to July 2019. January-to-June 2020 data from the Banco de México saw remittances grow by some 10.54 percent compared to the same sixmonth period in 2019. In a September 22 report by S&P (Standard & Poors) Global Market Intelligence, Ng was quoted as saying that cross-border Mexican migrants and commuters sent more money through formal banking channels “rather than delivering them directly” by crossing the US-Mexico border. Sensing the surprising trends, economists Laura Caron and Erwin Tiongson wrote for “The Conversation” on October 22 that immigrants are sending more money home despite job losses in host countries, notably the US and Middle East countries. B ot h e conom i s t s s aw t he 8-month surges of remittances in Mexico and Pakistan while those foreign funds f lowing to Vietnam and the Philippines “ have held steady.”

Earning income

THE tales of Guco and the Laguts show their efforts to remain steady and healthy. They illustrate how migrants worldwide try to keep themselves at bay, remain at work, stay healthy and send money home. Caron and Tiongson proferred five reasons for the steady increase in remittances. For one, migrant workers continue to earn income, getting employed in “essential businesses” and essential sectors in host countries while migrant-receiving countries have offered work, temporary residence and even social services to foreigners, including irregular migrants and asylum seekers. A third reason would be stimulus spending by host countries, which Caron and Tiongson said also benefited foreigners, including permanent residents and naturalized citizens. Sending incomes saved abroad as unemployed migrants anticipate returning to home countries

was the fourth reason. Fifth, there was an increase in digital transfers that shifted previous remittance transactions through informal remittance channels.

Flow alternative

ECONOMIS T Bi lesh a Weeraratne of the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka credited the rise of remittances in her country to remitted savings before return migrations. Weeraratne also considered migrants’ receipt of incomes “as terminal employment benefits.” S he adde d t h at m i g r a nt s switched to banking channels instead of sending through the hawala (trust) and undial informal remittance networks (these being popular for irregular migrants). At the same time, different types of Sri Lankan migrants coped with the economic impacts of Covid-19 differently. Weeraratne said skilled migrants were able to find new jobs or were able to sustain their stays abroad until new jobs came.


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sMirror

Editor: Dennis D. Estopace • Thursday, March 11, 2021

A7

gher ‘migra-dollars’ e-receiving countries The Bangladeshi Taka ended 2020 appreciating versus the US tender by some 0.12 percent. Nigeria’s sharp decline last year revealed the practice that migrants do not send through formal channels. They bring money home and exchange dollars with unregulated money changers market for higher exchange rates. At the same time, increased demand for foreign currency had put pressure on the naira (the Nigerian currency) as offshore investors exited Nigeria when the pandemic triggered fluctuating global oil prices. So just last December, the Central Bank of Nigeria shuttered naira-remittance accounts and told money transfer organizations to pay remittance recipients in US dollar amounts, not in naira. These measures, central bank officials hope, may direct more migrant remittances to formal financial channels.

BM GRAPHICS: JOB RUZGAL

Like before

But lower-skilled migrants who lost jobs “were affected more adversely,” Weeraratne said.

Odd, puzzling

POLITICAL Scientist Tasneem Siddiqui of the Refugee and Migrator y Movements Research (RMMRU) in Bangladesh was “quite puzzled” at the remittance upsurge in her country. Siddiqui told a February 9 webinar organized by the nonprofit Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA) that a survey she did revealed that 60 percent of migrant households did not receive money from June to August. Those who were sending money were mostly women, with men getting displaced from work. Saying also that informal remittances went to formal banking channels, Siddiqui said Covid-19 “may have exposed certain elements” in the country’s remittance industry and even some issues facing Bangladeshi migrant workers. An example she gave is that Ba ng l adesh i m ig ra nts spend

$3,000 on average for “visa purchases” for them to go to Middle East and Southeast Asian destination countries. That leads to some $1.74 billion of visa fees that recruitment agencies in Bangladesh “did not have to pay to purchase the visa,” Siddiqui said.

Remittance transactions

A SI A N Development Ba n k (ADB) Analysts Aiko Takenaka, Kijin Kim and Raymond Gasper noted that nine countries in Asia and the Pacific registered increases in 9-month remittances year-on-year. The ADB economists concurred with Caron, Tiongson, Weeraratne and Siddiqui on increased transactions using migrants’ savings and in preparing for returns home, plus increased digital remittance transactions. There are three other reasons, the ADB analysts add. One is that the deployment of migrant workers resumed in some countries (e.g., Thailand allowing migrants from Lao People’s

Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Viet Nam to return if they have proper paperwork). Another is that migrants needed to send more incomes home given the financial needs of families at home. Some origin countries also offered incentives to their migrants at least a year prior to the pandemic, such as cash rebates for telegraphic transfers (Pakistan) and a cash incentive if migrants send home at least $1,500 so as to get a 2-percent incentive (Bangladesh).

Against the dollar

BUT these analysts overlooked the role of foreign exchange rates. In the Philippines, for example, economist Alvin P. Ang of Ateneo de Manila University said currency appreciation contributed to lesser remittance flows. This, Ang says, sees the links of remittances to what economists call the “Dutch disease.” Economists refer to the Dutch disease as a situation of growth in one economic sector and a decline in

another sector, with this trend occurring under conditions of currency appreciation. As for remittances, it is said that depreciating currencies motivate migrants to send more or equal amounts of money so that their families in home countries enjoy more incomes. If foreign exchange rates appreciate, the tendency is for migrants abroad to send more so that they catch up on the “high” foreign exchange rates they previously enjoyed. Against the greenbuck, and citing end-2020 data from central banks, the Pakistani and Sri Lankan rupees weakened by some 3.17 and 3.27 percent, respectively. The Mexican and Dominican pesos depreciated by 4.57 and 9.68 percent, respectively. The Kenyan shilling also weakened by some 7.73 percent.

Little pressure

THE Philippine peso (5.33 percent), Nigerian naira (24.12) and Kyrgz som (9.77) appreciated against the US dollar last year.

GUCO now works for a factory in Valetta. He went back to sending money regularly, just like when he worked in Dubai, UAE as a barista. During the lockdown, it was a “shot in the moon” to receive help from Maltese and fellow Filipinos. “Our compatriots gave us food and groceries,” Gruco said. The Laguts held on to work in the elderly care center. The money they sent remained the same or slightly higher today. It is this resilience by migrants that development analysts are banking on. Historical data show that migrants send more mone y a m id econom ic crises in either home or host countries, or both. As early as 2003, when the World Bank first saw this trend, a metaphor was given: countercyclicality. Remittances became countercyclical during the 20082009 global economic crisis. Today, analysts and some central bankers are banking on migrants’ resiliency amid job displacements, diminished incomes, repatriations and/or deportations and return migrations in 2020.

No crystal ball

GIVEN the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Bank initially pred ic t e d 2020 re m it t a nc e s t o low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) to contract by 19.7 percent ($445 billion) versus 2019 levels. The prediction changed to 7.2 percent ($508 billion) in an updated forecast last October, the bank said. The World Bank releases endyear remittances data every April when it releases its “Migration and Development Brief.” The bank cites data from countries’ balance of payments or BoP (a summary of a country’s financial transactions with the rest of the world) that are submitted to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Projections keep changing, s a id World B a n k E conom i st Sonia Plaza. “Nobody has a crystal ball with this pandemic. It will be very

difficult to predict, but observe country by country,” Plaza said in the same February 9 webinar by the MFA. Despite the extra efforts by overseas migrants from major remittance-receiving countries to send more in 2020, the World Bank projected a 7-5 percent decline ($470 billion) this 2021.

Other realities

SOME analysts believe that economic- and migration-related realities that the pandemic dragged this year will lead to lesser remittances for countries that got higher remittances last year. Caron and Tiongson noted return migrations will disable migrants from earning extra incomes and sending more remittances. The Philippines, for example, repatriated and assisted some 327,511 land-based and sea-based migrant workers last year. Estimates from Sri Lanka show about 60,000 mig rants returned in 2020. Weeraratne also doubts 2021 remittances will be more than last year for Sri Lanka. She noted this may be due to lower migrant worker departures, as current and returned migrants displaced from their jobs “have sent most savings and terminal (employment) benefits.” Takenaka and her ADB colleagues recommended that migrants’ origin-country governments should further help returned migrants and their households receive remittances. Displ aced m ig ra nt workers a nd departing migrants stranded at home, the ADB analysts add, can be assisted through job referrals, skills training and entrepreneurship assistance. In the long run, Takenaka and colleagues said, financial education and skills training can help migrants “improve their capabilities as well as their resilience to (economic) shocks.”

Water’s scent

GUCO said that just like the Covid-19 virus, the experiences of 2020 have brought unseen scars and pain from invisible wounds. He said when the lockdown on Valetta was lifted, he immediately went to the Grand Harbor to remember the scent the sea water brings. T his, he said, is one of the memor ies of t he pre loc k dow n p e r io d he w a nt s to re c a l l ; not t he a n x iet ies t he mobi l it y r e s t r i c t i o n s b r o u g ht . No matter how one ex pla ins things to family members, t he y m ay ne ver u nderst a nd , he sa id. “ They believe that since I live in Europe, I earn big time,” Guco sa id. “ T hey ask money f rom me; but during those times, I cannot give any. There will be moments in which you will just keep things to yourself. Hence, he says, he tries to fill his lungs with the scent of the sea water as the scent of money has become a faint memor y for his olfactor y senses.


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The World BusinessMirror

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Myanmar protesters adapt tactics after security forces use violence

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ANDALAY, Myanmar— Protesters against the military takeover in Myanmar carried homemade shields and moved with more caution and agility on Tuesday, adapting their tactics to the escalating violence from security forces not reluctant to use lethal force to break up crowds. In Mandalay, the nation’s second-largest city, about a thousand demonstrators emerged onto the streets, those in the vanguard carrying shields marked with a three-fingered salute, the movement’s symbol of defiance. They marched for just a few minutes before dispersing to avoid a possible confrontation with riot police. Another group made a mobile protest, driving through the streets on motorbikes. Security forces trying to stop people from gathering have used water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets most often, but also have fired live ammunition at crowds. The crackdown has left more than 60 protesters dead but has failed to slow the widespread protests against the Feb. 1 coup that ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. A school principal involved in the protest movement died Tuesday from unknown causes after being taken into custody by security forces, according to media reports and an activist who knew him. The death of Zaw Myat Lin in custody was the second in recent days. He was a member of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party. The deaths of Zaw Myat Lin and Khin Maung Latt, a party activist detained on Saturday night whose body was retrieved from a military hospital the next day, have raised questions about whether the government is torturing and killing detainees. Witnesses said Khin Maung Latt’s body had wounds consistent with torture, according to New York-based Human Rights Watch. Zaw Myat Lin was arrested Monday night as he tried to escape from a

police raid, the Voice of Myanmar online news service and other media reported. Maung Saungkha, an activist and friend of Zaw Myat Lin, said his family was summoned to retrieve his body on Tuesday and was not told how he died. Nighttime hours have become increasingly dangerous. Police and army units routinely range through neighborhoods, shooting randomly to intimidate residents and making targeted arrests. According to the Myanmarbased Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, more than 1,930 people have been arrested in connection with the coup. Dozens of journalists have been arrested, including Thein Zaw of The Associated Press, who has been charged under a public order law that carries a penalty of up to three years in prison. In what has become a daily occ u r rence, protest m a rc hes were held Tuesday in cities and towns across the countr y, according to local news reports and social media. Protests occurred in Ye, a town in Mon State in southern Myanmar; Kyaukpadaung, a town in central Myanmar; Mohnyin, a town in Kachin State in the north; and Myeik Taung, in the southeast. The authorities reportedly used force in each case. Armed police carried out night patrols on Monday, yelling abuse, firing at buildings and making targeted arrests in a tactic apparently aimed at spreading fear and weakening the resolve of those opposed to the army’s takeover. One video recorded Monday night in a district of Yangon, the country’s biggest city, shows more than 20 police swarming down a

Anti-coup protesters hold makeshift shields during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar on March 9. Demonstrators in Myanmar’s biggest city came out Monday night for their first mass protests in defiance of an 8 p.m. curfew, seeking to show support for an estimated 200 students trapped by security forces in a small area of one neighborhood. AP

street, around a corner and then opening fire. They return, point up at a window or balcony overlooking them and fire once again. Their actions came during a dramatic night when thousands of residents broke the 8 p.m. curfew to show support for protesters who had been trapped by police in an enclave of streets. They came out of their homes, sang songs against the coup and banged pots, pans and other implements together, partly in the hope of diverting police from the hunted protesters, estimated to number 200. Witnesses said several dozen of those who had sought shelter in the city’s Sanchaung neighborhood were arrested, but others made their way home at dawn, several hours after police withdrew from the area. The authorities continued their assault on the media on Tuesday, raiding the offices of Kamayut Media and detaining its co-founder, Han Thar Nyein, and editor-inchief, Nathan Maung. Some of the company’s protest coverage can be found on its YouTube channel. A member of Han Thar’s family said that according to witnesses, seven military trucks were involved in the raid and took away office material and equipment as well as the two men. The family member was unaware of where the men were taken. Maung studied film and video production and political science at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro before joining the media company. The military also raided the offices of Mizzima News. No one

was arrested in the raid, though equipment was vandalized and property was taken away. The military government on Monday imposed a major curb on media coverage of the crisis. It announced that the licenses of five local media outlets—Mizzima, DVB, Khit Thit Media, Myanmar Now and 7Day News—had been canceled. All five had been offering extensive coverage of the protests, often with livestreaming video online. The offices of Myanmar Now were raided by the authorities on Monday before the measure was announced. DVB, or Democratic Voice of Burma, said it was not surprised by the cancellation and would continue broadcasting on satellite TV and online. “We worry for the safety of our reporters and our staff, but in the current uprising, the whole country has become citizen journalists and there is no way for military authorities to shut the information flow,” Executive Director Aye Chan Naing told AP. The International Press Institute, which promotes press freedom, denounced the license cancellations. “Revoking the licenses of independent media outlets that have been providing vital information about ongoing events in the country is a draconian measure that amounts to direct censorship and breaches fundamental rights and international standards, to which Myanmar has committed,” IPI Executive Director Barbara Trionfi said in a statement. AP

Editor: Angel R. Calso • www.businessmirror.com.ph

Covid patients moved abroad as Czech hospitals struggle

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RAGUE—With record numbers of Covid-19 patients filling up intensive care units in the Czech Republic, the first patient to be moved outside of the country was transported to southern Poland on Tuesday. The 68-year-old woman was moved to Raciborz in Poland from a clinic in the town of Usti nad Orlici, in the Pardubice region. Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek said six other patients from a different region should be taken to Germany. Pardubice was the first entire region of the country’s 14 to declare last week intensive care units in its five regional hospitals were overwhelmed by Covid-19 patients in serious condition and it could not take any more. The Plzen region in western Czech Republic followed suit, while a number of individual hospitals elsewhere have to transfer their patients to clinics across the country. “To work as a nurse is difficult any time,” said Jirina Spelinova, chief nurse at the neurological surgery ward in Pardubice hospital in the capital of the same-name region located 100 kilometers (62 miles) east of Prague. “But it’s much more difficult during the pandemic,” Spelinova said. Besides the necessity to work in protective gear, staff “are so busy that they have no time to eat, drink, or, I’m sorry to say it, go to the toilet.” Spelinova’s ward was converted to a Covid ward, a common practice adopted by many clinics across the country to be able to treat those infected. But even those expanded capacities have reached their limits. Health Minister Jan Blatny has predicted that this week will be “the most critical” for the struggling hospitals. According to his ministry’s figures 8,478 Covid-19 patients needed hospitalization on Monday. Of those, a record high of 1,789 were in intensive care. The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths has risen over the past two weeks

from 1.44 per 100,000 people on February 22 to 1.88 on Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University. That figure is the worst in the world. The nation of 10.7 million has had over 1.3 million confirmed cases with 22,147 deaths. It currently has the highest per-capita infection rate in the EU, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. To cope with the surge attributed to a highly contagious coronavirus variant, the Czech Republic activated a plan to move dozens of its patients to hospitals in Germany, Poland and Switzerland. The three countries previously offered treatment in their hospitals, together with Austria and Slovenia. The government has also ordered medical and other university and high school students and also medical personnel at outpatient clinics to help out at the struggling hospitals. They should help reach a goal to add 100 intensive care beds and another 570 oxygensupported ones, Blatny said. Spelinova said the nurses have to cope with a high level of distress. “When more people are dying these days, it’s extremely demanding for them,” she said. Another nurse, Michaela Krehlova from the respiratory ward, said the high influx of patients makes 12-hour shifts stressful. “You feel you don’t spend enough time with everyone,” she said. “It’s tough to cope with more often and sometimes unexpected deaths, especially of younger patients.” Meanwhile, the Statistics Office said on Tuesday that 15,900 people died in the Czech Republic in January, the highest number for that month in 70 years. According to the Health Ministry, 4,767 people died of Covid-19 in January, the second biggest death toll after November. AP

BioNTech-Pfizer seen expanding capacity to 3 billion doses in 2022

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ioNTech SE could have capacity to make 3 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine with US partner Pfizer Inc. next year, the German company’s chief executive officer said, making their pioneering shot far more widely available around the world. “In principle, we could fur ther increase manufacturing capacity,” BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin said Tuesday in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “It depends on demand, it depends on factors such as if an additional boost to vaccinations is required.” Demand is growing around the world for Covid vaccines that countries desperately need to breathe back life into economies, return children to schools and get people back into offices and shops. Both the US and Europe have sought to accelerate vaccine deliveries this year as new, more aggressive variants of the virus spread. “We have an order book of already 1.3 billion orders, which is already fixed,” Sahin said. “We are discussing additional doses—hundreds of millions of doses as options—with government organizations.” Pfizer and BioNTech have committed to make 2 billion doses of their two-shot vaccine this year. Pfizer promised to ship two-thirds of the US’s 300 million-dose order by the end of May. In the European Union, the partners have promised to ship at least 500 million doses this year, with an option for an additional 100 million doses. Pfizer has projected about $15 billion in revenue this year from Covid vaccine sales, and CEO Albert Bourla said the price of the shot may increase.

Mutant strains

Concerns about mutated versions of the virus may also drive demand if new variants evolve with the ability to evade current inoculations. BioNTech is already discussing potential orders for boosters, Sahin said. BioNTech and Pfizer have begun laying the groundwork for a booster shot of their vaccine, which uses a new technology called messenger RNA. One trial, begun in February, is examining the safety and immune response of a third dose of the vaccine in people who took part in an early study of the shot last year. The partners have also said they’re planning a human test of a new vaccine that’s specific to a particularly problematic vaccine variant that emerged late last year in South Africa. “We now understand the evolution of the virus can result in new variants that come with new biological and medical features,” Sahin said. “The whole world was not prepared for this pandemic, and we now understand that this could happen again.” In lab studies using blood of people who’ve been inoculated, the existing form of the vaccine seems to be less effective against the South Africa strain than against other mutant versions of the coronavirus. While the vaccine still appears to offer some protection, the implications of the variants remain unclear. The companies will gain more data on the South Africa variant within six to eight weeks, Sahin said. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is cleared in more than 50 countries. Aside from the EU and the US, other major orders have come from Japan, Canada, and the UK. AP

Provincial Italian hospital overrun by virus variant

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HIARI, Italy—The 160-bed hospital in the Po River Valley town of Chiari has no more room for patients stricken with the highly contagious variant of Covid-19 first identified in Britain that has put hospitals in Italy’s northern Brescia province on high alert. That history was repeating itself one year after Lombardy became the epicenter of Italy’s pandemic was a sickening realization for Dr. Gabriele Zanolini, who runs the Covid-19 ward in the M. Mellini Hospital in the once-walled city that maintains its medieval circular street pattern. “You know that there are patients in the emergency room, and you don’t know where to put them,” Zanolini told The Associated Press. “This for me is anguish, not to be able to respond to people who need to be treated. The most difficult moment is to find ourselves again in a state of emergency, after so much time.” The UK variant surge has filled 90 percent of hospital beds in Brescia province, bordering both Veneto and Emilia-Romagna regions, as Italy crossed the grim threshold of 100,000 pandemic

Doctors tend to a patient in the emergency Covid-19 ward at Mellino Mellini hospital in Chiari, northern Italy on March 8. The 160-bed hospital in the Po River Valley town of Chiari has no more beds for patients stricken with the highly contagious variant of Covid-19 first identified in Britain, and which now has put hospitals in Italy’s northern Brescia province on high alert. AP/Luca Bruno

dead on Monday and marks the one-year anniversary Wednesday of Italy’s draconian lockdown, the first in the West. While Zanolini was able to offer a safety valve to hard-hit Bergamo during last spring’s deadly surge, and to Milan and Varese in the fall, now he must ask hospitals elsewhere in the region to take virus patients he himself cannot admit. New measures are again being considered in Rome to tamp down the increase in new cases attributed to virus variants, including also those identified in South Africa and Brazil. With the UK variant prevalent in Italy and racing from school age children

and adolescents through families, Lombardy has again put all schools on distance learning, as have several regions in the south where the health-care system is more fragile. In this surge, patients in the Chiari hospital Covid-19 ward are increasingly family members— husbands and wives, fathers and sons—Zanolini said. And unlike previous spikes, the average age has dropped, with many of the virus patients needing breathing aid between 45 and 55 years of age. “We have seen, however, that they respond well to treatment,” Zanolini said of the younger patients, noting that mortality remains

high among the elderly. Despite months of renewed restrictions starting in October, Italy’s death toll remains stubbornly high—several hundred a day. It topped 100,000 this week, the second highest in Europe after Britain. Italy’s new premier, Mario Draghi, is focusing on vaccines to help the country emerge from pandemic, pledging in a video message this week to intensify the campaign significantly in the coming weeks. “Everyone must do his part to contain this spread of this virus,” Draghi said Tuesday. “But above all, the government must to its part. Rather, it must try to do more every day. The pandemic is not yet defeated.” The vaccine is the only way out, Zanolini concurs. He sees all around him that people have grown weary of the restrictions, and are getting relaxed—too relaxed—with gatherings, distancing and masks. “We are worried because we don’t see an end. It seems like the tunnel is still very long,” Zanolini said. “We find ourselves hit by another wave, and we are very tired.” AP


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Lacson backs police, military might to enforce Covid-19 health protocols

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ITING the spike in Covid cases, Sen. Panfilo Lacson backed plans by the Duterte administration to deploy more soldiers and policemen in the streets to strictly enforce health protocols to effectively contain the deadly coronavirus contagion. In a news statement issued on Wednesday, Lacson reminded that “we are under a state of public health emergency” by virtue of Presidential Proclamation 922, noting that the country continues to struggle amid efforts to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, he added, “there is a noticeable spike in the past few days, and the government must use its police power under the Constitution to make sure that the further spread of the virus is prevented or controlled.” That said, Lacson stressed that civilians should also “do their part by cooperating with lawful instructions and following the proper health protocols.” “This is the key to minimizing the spread of the coronavirus,” the senator stressed. Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Debold Sinas, meanwhile, ordered policemen on the frontlines to strengthen the enforcement of health protocols amid the spike. A news statement released by the PNP, through its spokesman Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana on Wednesday said the directive was issued by Sinas to police units to reinforce existing

police support to implement Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Infectious Diseases —Department of Health protocols in response to the spike in the number of cases. “We cannot afford to lower our guard against the virus, especially at this point when the cure is already within reach,” the statement quoted Sinas as saying. The PNP chief said the police would be vigilant in enforcing public health guidelines and local ordinances that “seek to mitigate the effects of the pandemic that has so far infected 600,000 Filipinos, 12,000 of whom have died due to medical complications.” The PNP appealed to the public for greater awareness and cooperation in the implementation and observance of health protocols amid the increase of cases, including the proper wearing of face shield and face mask. “The layer of protection provided by the mask and face shield to cover the nose, mouth and eyes against airborne droplets from infected persons, we are, in effect, putting up a defensive barrier to shield ourselves from possible infection,” it said. The PNP said personal hygiene and disinfection only add up a layer of protection by eliminating the possibility of transmission through physical contact with frequently touched surfaces that may have been contaminated. Butch Fernandez and Rene Acosta

HPAI spread prompts DA to widen ban on poultry imports from UK Other countries of the United Kingdom such as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have already been infected with HPAI, aside from England. Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar

By Jasper Emmanuel Y. Arcalas @jearcalas

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HE Philippines has expanded its temporary importation ban of poultry products to the entirety of the United Kingdom as outbreaks of H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) continue to spread in the European country. Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar issued Memorandum Order (MO) 18 that temporarily banned the importation of domestic and wild birds and their products from the United Kingdom. Citing England’s reports to the World Organisation for Animal Health, Dar noted that outbreaks of H5N8 in England have continuously spread affecting birds with the latest confirmed case in South Derbyshire. “The outbreaks have continuously spread to other areas in England such as South Derbyshire, North Dorset, aside from the previously reported Frodsham, Hereford, Leicestershire, Hambleton, Breckland, Kings Lynn and West Norfolk,” Dar said in his MO issued recently. Dar added that he has previously issued an MO imposing a temporary ban on the importation of poultry products from England due to widespread outbreaks of bird flu.

Editor: Vittorio V. Vitug • Thursday, March 11, 2021 A9

Senators ready resolution blocking bid to slash tariff on imported pork

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By Butch Fernandez

@butchfBM

ENATORS on Wednesday decided to up the ante in the campaign against moves to cut pork tariffs by crafting a resolution, on top of a letter sent earlier to Malacañang by two of their members, asking President Duterte to reject the proposal for lower tariffs.

They echoed concerns raised earlier by Senators Cynthia Villar and Imee Marcos that slashing tariffs ­on top of a move to increase minimum access volume (MAV) for pork imports ­is unnecessary and would kill the local hog industry. This, without substantially addressing the concern of inflation caused by the shortage of pork supply. “We should not bring down tariffs; the local hog industry is already reeling [bugbog na] from the crisis spawned by the African swine fever and the series of typhoons late last year,” Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said, partly in Filipino. Senators approved a motion by Zubiri to have the Committee on Rules craft the Resolution for approval by the plenary on Monday, expressing the sense of the Senate

asking President Duterte to reject the pending proposal to slash tariffs on imported pork. Earlier, Senators Marcos and Villar, taking up the cudgels for the local hog industry, asked Malacañang to junk plans to cut tariff on imported pork. The proposal was reiterated by economic managers as inflation accelerated in February to 4.7 percent, with the pork shortfall cited as a key factor. The managers said slashing tariffs—on top of increasing the volume allowed for importation—would allow the entry of cheap pork imports and stabilize prices, but the two senators, and a key House panel, disagree. Senators Marcos and Villar, who chair the Economic Affairs and Agriculture committees, respectively, conveyed in a letter their appeal for

Duterte to reject the move to bring down tariffs on pork importers. Marcos said she and Villar cautioned Malacañang that slashing tariffs would not help check inflation so much but instead put out of business the local hog industry, now already reeling from the onslaught of ASF. The DA had petitioned to lower the tariffs for in-quota pork imports from 30 percent to 5 percent for the first six months; and to raise it afterward to 10 percent for the succeeding six months. The DA also sought to lower the out-quota tariff for pork to 15 percent for the first six months and increase it to 20 percent for the next six months. Out-quota pork imports are slapped with a 40-percent tariff. According to Marcos, they saw no need to further cut the tariff given the very low price of imported pork which, she said, would mean “the importers would earn so much more while government earns nothing.” Marcos reminded policy-makers that the government needs the additional revenue now in order to have adequate funds for buying vaccines, “to fight the Covid-19 contagion.” Villar earlier cited estimates that at least P16 billion in revenue would be lost if government lowers the tariff on pork and at the same time allows a 7-fold increase in importation of meat from the 54,000

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MAV increase

IN February, to stabilize pork prices, the DA recommended to President Duterte the increase in MAV of pork to 404,210 metric tons. The government had raised its proposed volume of imported pork this year to address the expected local demand for the food item. The current MAV is only at 54,000 MT. According to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Joey Salceda, an unnecessary tariff reduction could hurt the domestic swine industry, of which 71 percent is backyard production. “In a crisis like this, hurting a major source of revenues for household farms is unconscionable. We are drafting an official manifestation of the committee’s position to the DA. I would also like to remind the DA that this committee has oversight powers over tariff-related matters. That’s our original power, and the President only gets to exercise the power of flexible tariffs during Congressional recess,” Salceda added.

DOFil creation ‘not a magic wand’ to ease OFW woes, Sen. Imee says BM

“Other countries of the United Kingdom such as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have already been infected with HPAI, aside from England,” he said. “There is a need to prevent the entry of HPAI virus to protect the health of the local poultry population,” he added. Dar has instructed the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) to immediately suspend the processing, evaluation of the application and issuance of sanitary and phytosanitary import clearance (SPS-IC) of the banned products. “All shipments in transit/loaded/ accepted unto port before the official communication of this Order to the British authorities shall be allowed provided the products were not sourced from the following areas: whole of England; ScotlandOrkney Islands; Northern Island— Nr Lisburn, Nr Clough and Isle of Anglesey,” Dar said. The United Kingdom is not a major source of poultry products for the Philippines as the European country only accounted for 4 percent of total imported chicken meat products last year. BAI data showed that imports of chicken meat products from the United Kingdom last year expanded by 31.62 percent to 15,796.458 metric tons from 12,001.957 MT.

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ITING budget constraints for a new bureaucracy, Sen. Imee Marcos counseled caution as lawmakers are being rushed to pass a law creating a new Department of Overseas Filipinos (DOFil) in addition to the existing Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), on top of other allied agencies. Rushing to create a new DOFil is “no magic wand against overseas Filipino workers [OFW] woes,” Marcos said Wednesday, stressing the need to first “resolve issues that will hamper its effective operation as a Cabinet-level agency.” For instance, the senator noted the Duterte administration’s tight budget amid the Covid-19 pandemic, apart from lack of specialized training for DOFil’s future officers and personnel, adding to it “the overlapping functions and programs that remain unresolved among d if ferent gover nment agencies.” In a news statement, Marcos noted that “maintaining the POEA as an independent agency and excluding it from the organic set-up of the DOFil will be fatal to any effort to assist our OFW victims.” At the outset, Marcos made it clear she was not blocking the bill. “I am not against a new and discrete government agency for our beleaguered OFWs, but the establishment of a full-blown department is

not a magic wand that will make our OFWs’ woes simply and instantly disappear. For one, there is no P1.1 billion to be pulled out of the government’s hat.” She recalled that the Department of Budget and Management, during a Senate hearing in February told senators that the P1.1-billion minimum budget required to create DOFil does not yet include funding to implement the potential department’s programs. Marcos maintained that “the practical and critical solution in these financially challenged times may be an expansion of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, integrating it into the newagencyandextendingitspresence regionally, with satellite and mobile offices,” she added. The senator had been pushing for a “budget-conscious and right-sized alternative” to the DOFil through Senate Bill 407, proposing to instead create a National Overseas Employment Authority (NOEA) that will absorb the POEA, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and other OFW service offices in the labor, foreign affairs, and social welfare departments. Marcos assured “we can most likely assist our OFWs faster and quicker by expanding and strengthening POEA, OWWA, CFO [Commission on Filipinos Overseas] and the other offices of DFA [Department of Foreign Affairs] and international desks of the DSWD [Department of Social

DOJ wants NBI’s preliminary report on Calbayog ‘gunfight’ within 10 days

HE Department of Justice has given the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 10 days to submit a status report of its investigation into the “gunfight” that left Mayor Ronald Aquino and five others dead last Monday in Calbayog, Samar. In Department Order (DO) 057, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra directed NBI officer in charge Eric Distor “to submit reports on the progress of the subject investigation directly to the Office of the Secretary within 10 days and periodically thereafter.” Guevarra also directed the NBI to file

metric ton limit. Apart from that, she projected the market would be flooded with cheap imported meat that is seen to kill the local industry. This, even as hog raisers from Visayas and Mindanao conveyed assurances they can supply enough pork to fill the shortfall, particularly in Metro Manila.

the charges against “all persons involved and found responsible for any unlawful act.” The DOJ chief asked the NBI to lead in the investigation to prevent suspicion of a whitewash considering that members of the PNP are among the parties involved. Guevarra, however, said he would leave it to the NBI to decide which investigating unit to tap for this assignment. “I will leave that operational detail to the NBI. Normally, it’s the field office of the NBI that conducts the investigation. But in sensitive cases, operatives from

the main office are sent in,” he said. NBI spokesman Ferdinand Lavin said they would utilize both their Samar District Office (SAMDO) based in Catbalogan, Samar that is under the supervision of their Regional Office located in Tacloban City. The NBI forensic team from its main headquarters in Manila would also assist in the investigation, Lavin added.

LCP condemnation

THE League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), meanwhile has issued a statement condemning the killing of Mayor

Aquino, calling it a “brutal murder by ambush” and joined calls for a thorough investigation. “This cowardly act executed in broad daylight is a sobering call for vigilance and a cry for the restoration of absolute peace and order,” the LCP statement read. An active member of the LCP, Aquino served in the 2013-2016 National Executive Board as Regional Representative. He was fondly remembered for his active participation in various programs and projects geared towards fiscal autonomy and good local governance.

Joel R. San Juan and Jonathan L. Mayuga

Welfare and Development].” She explained that downsizing the DOFil will keep the government from replicating the “sorry examples of so called departments of illusion,” citing the DHSUD (Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development), DICT (Department of Information and Communications Technology), and DOST (Department of Science and Technology) as “existing in name but short of funding, adequate personnel, or sometimes even measurable objectives.” Moreover, Marcos noted: “Nor is staffing DOFil a simple task of filling job vacancies, but hiring officers and personnel with specialized skills that require experience and training to properly address OFW concerns. At the same time, the lawmaker

lamented the lack of “targeted effort to train specialized personnel for the said new department­—migration being a multi-disciplinary and complex field. “How do we instantly conjure experienced international negotiators to represent the Philippines at the International Labor Organization or pull out psychosocially adept diplomats out of a hat?” she asked. Marcos also aired concern that DOFil “may simply result in an unseemly pirating of staff from POEA, OWWA, and other offices under DOLE [Department of Labor and Employment],” Marcos added. The lawmaker likewise cited overlapping functions of government agencies made OFWs feel they were being given the runaround and made it more difficult for them to seek redress for labor abuses. Butch Fernandez


A10 Thursday, March 11, 2021 • Editor: Angel R. Calso

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editorial

Covid-19 pandemic: One year of misery

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ne year ago today, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus held a media briefing to declare a pandemic. He said: “In the past two weeks, the number of cases of Covid-19 outside China has increased 13-fold, and the number of affected countries has tripled. There are now more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries, and 4,291 people have lost their lives. Thousands more are fighting for their lives in hospitals. In the days and weeks ahead, we expect to see the number of cases, the number of deaths, and the number of affected countries climb even higher. WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction. We have therefore made the assessment that Covid-19 can be characterized as a pandemic.” When WHO declared the Covid-19 pandemic, nobody could foresee the long road ahead or the many ways in which people would suffer the ravages of an invisible virus—millions of deaths, the flattened economies, the miserable lives of millions of people who lost their jobs. Today, 117 million people are confirmed to have been infected, and according to Johns Hopkins, more than 2.6 million people have died. For the last 12 months, health experts have been providing guidance on how people could avoid Covid infection: Wash hands often, avoid crowds, practice social distancing, and wear face mask and face shield. Since then, most of us have been staying home and avoiding social gatherings. Yet if you go out on the streets today, you see people who do not wear face masks properly or they fail to abide by the social distancing guidelines set in place by health officials. They say people have grown weary of the restrictions and are getting relaxed, but as we wrote in this space before, the coronavirus is still very much in control. There’s no excuse, we know how we can avoid infection. From Bloomberg: “New global Covid-19 infections are picking up speed again after dropping to the lowest level since October a few weeks ago, as variants of the pathogen spread rapidly in places like Brazil and Europe. New infections for the seven days ended Sunday totaled 2.8 million, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg, increasing for a second week in a row following more than a month of declines. The pickup comes despite a significant slowing of infections in the US as the nation ramps up its vaccination efforts. Brazil is seeing record cases and deaths, with its hospitals overflowing as it plays host to a more contagious variant. That country is on course to overtake India in the next week for the second-highest number of infections in the world.” From the Associated Press: “The 160-bed hospital in the Po River Valley town of Chiari has no more room for patients stricken with the highly contagious variant of Covid-19 first identified in Britain that has put hospitals in Italy’s northern Brescia province on high alert. The UK variant surge has filled 90 percent of hospital beds in Brescia province, bordering both Veneto and Emilia-Romagna regions, as Italy crossed the grim threshold of 100,000 pandemic dead on Monday and marks the one-year anniversary Wednesday of Italy’s draconian lockdown, the first in the West.” In the Czech Republic, the AP reported that Covid patients are being moved outside of the country as the nation of 10.7 million has had over 1.3 million confirmed cases with 22,147 deaths. “It currently has the highest per-capita infection rate in the EU, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. To cope with the surge attributed to a highly contagious coronavirus variant, the Czech Republic activated a plan to move dozens of its patients to hospitals in Germany, Poland and Switzerland,” AP said. A Harvard immunologist said current vaccines appear to be effective enough to end the pandemic, despite growing concerns that more infectious Covid-19 variants would blunt the effectiveness of the jabs. Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said if 75 percent to 80 percent of Americans are vaccinated, then the US should reach the herd immunity threshold. The Duterte administration is aiming to vaccinate 70 million Filipinos to attain herd immunity, but the vaccines for the general population have yet to arrive. Until that vaccine reaches your arm, it’s best to take appropriate precautions to avoid Covid infection.

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Predictions 2021

merican baseball legend Casey Stengel once said, “Never make predictions, especially about the future.” Stengel also said, “You have to go broke three times to learn how to make a living.” With those two thoughts, I try not to make predictions as I have never made any money predicting the future.

The Global Priorities Project was a part of The Future of Humanity Institute research center of the University of Oxford. In their report, “Global Catastrophic Risks 2016,” they assessed the biggest “global catastrophic risks” that had the highest likelihood over the next five years. These, in order of possibility, were a Natural Pandemic, a Nuclear War, and an Engineered Pandemic.

The moment you make a “prediction,” you assume that you will be accurate and your actions are geared to being right. It is hard to adjust to changing realities when you know you are not wrong about what is coming next. However, there is nothing wrong—or costly—about looking at what other people predict for the future. Note that a “forecast” is to calculate some future event or condition as a result of analysis of available pertinent data. A “prediction” is only sometimes based on facts or evidence. The go-to person for predictions in the 20th and 21st centuries has been Michel de Nostredame (Nos-

means. But I do know this. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a page called “Zombie Preparedness.” CDC says that the purpose is a fun way “to reach and engage a wide variety of audiences on all hazards preparedness.” A likely story. And remember “Coincidence” and “Conspiracy” both begin with the letter “C.” Turning to analysis more rooted in the 21st century, as Yoda once said, “Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future.” Macroeconomic forecasts are predicated on assumptions about the pandemic. Therefore, this is like trying to predict the weather from deep inside a dark cave on Mt. Makiling. Good luck. Consulting firm Pricewater-

John Mangun

OUTSIDE THE BOX

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tradamus) reaching a cult-like if not religious status. After an unsuccessful time studying to be a physician and a name change, he married a rich widow and started dabbling in astrology for wealthy patrons, including Catherine de’ Medici. The Daily Express reports that after analyzing texts from French forecasters, a “horoscope” web site says next year could see a zombie apocalypse, with a virus unleashed by a Russian scientist, the rise of the living dead. Nostradamus: “Few young people: half-dead to give a start. Dead through spite, he will cause the others to shine. The Great One to be no more, all the world to end.” I do not have a clue what that all

houseCoopers said on January 8: “Oil price to remain below $60bbl but likely to pick in second half of year.” Unfortunately, Brent crude is currently trading at $67. The consensus is that “China will have a strong 2021.” Compared to 2020, every country will have a strong 2021. But will “2021’s recovery be led by China” as European credit ratings company Scope Group says? UBS, the investment banking firm, said in early January that “economic activity in China has already largely normalized.” But that does not necessarily mean a strong global economic recovery. The Caixin China General Manufacturing PMI fell to 50.9 in February 2021, the lowest since May last year and below market consensus of 51.5. China will not produce goods if there is no strong foreign buying. Looking forward is always interesting. But looking backward is when the game gets real. The Global Priorities Project was a part of The Future of Humanity Institute research center of the University of Oxford. In their report, “Global Catastrophic Risks 2016,” they assessed the biggest “global catastrophic risks” that had the See “Mangun,” A11

Gender equality–Our unfinished business By Gustavo Gonzalez

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N a male dominated world, there is no doubt that the empowerment of women must be a key priority. This is fundamental to address a historic injustice, reflected in arbitrary stereotypes, in exclusionary policies and anchored sectarian ideologies. It is also about development effectiveness. A recent study found that $12 trillion could be added to global gross domestic product by 2025 by just advancing women’s equality. In addition, there is growing evidence that if women’s employment equaled men’s, economies would be more resilient and growth would be more sustainable. Women and girls with better reproductive health and education also have better chances in life. They earn higher salaries. They invest more in the health of their children. In other words, investments now can pay dividends for generations.

The Covid-19 pandemic has given us a wealth of lessons on gender equality. Lockdowns have exposed the enormous value of unpaid care and domestic work for the economy and how disproportionately this burden has been shouldered by women. Many analysts have even highlighted how women leaders around the world have demonstrated successful management of the Covid-19 pandemic, based on inclusive, evidence-based leadership. Yet, women lead only 7 percent of countries. For instance, a survey of 30 countries with Covid-19 task forces and committees showed that, on average, only 24 percent of members were women. In conflictaffected countries, women’s representation in Covid-19 taskforces is

even lower, at 18 percent. The reality of women in conflict and post-conflict processes is particularly alarming as their voices have been systematically excluded for decades. Between 1992 and 2019, women constituted, on average, just 13 percent of negotiators, 6 percent of mediators, and 6 percent of signatories in major peace processes worldwide. About seven out of every 10 peace processes did not include women mediators or women signatories. The encouraging news is that, worldwide, the proportion of peace agreements with gender equality provisions has increased from 14 to 22 percent between 1995 and 2019. However, the share of aid dedicated

Let us not be satisfied with recognizing the importance of gender equality. We must take the indispensable next step of transforming this acknowledgment into an act of justice—through concrete policies, practices, approaches, actions and institutions.

to programs or projects with the primary objective of improving gender equality and women’s rights has decreased to 4.5 percent in 2017 to 2018 from 5.3 percent in 2015 to 2016. I will not be surprised that changes in aid policies as a result of the pandemic will negatively affect this trend. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity of visiting Cotabato, for the first time. Based on my experience in post-conflict transitions, I decided to meet an important number of women leaders, workers, students and women ex-combatants, as they are the best barometers for assessing the evolution of a peace process. They are reliable interpreters of the so called “peace dividends.” I was positively impressed by the important progress achieved in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) on the women agenda, a region that is still emerging from decades of conflicts. I had working sessions

with the very dynamic Bangsamoro Women Commission (BWC), where I was briefed on the recently launched Bangsamoro Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security—a historic step towards gender equality in the region. I was also impressed by the community engagement of the Bangsamoro Islamic Women’s Auxiliary Brigade. The BIWAB is composed of former non-combatant members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), who are now acting as catalysts to change social and cultural norms and behaviors in the Bangsamoro. During my field visit, I was informed that only 16 percent of appointments in the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), the governing body of the BARMM, are women. To address this challenge, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), with support from the governments of Norway, Japan and New Zealand, provides capacity development for 590 former combatants of the BIWAB to engage in local policy advocacy, working to pass local legislation that institutionalizes the Regional Action Plan for Women, Peace & Security. These experiences in leadership development and policy advocacy supports multiple goals: (1) strengthen local democratic processes, (2) advance inclusive governance, (3) See “Gonzalez,” A11


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‘Railroad robbery’

For us, lifted up and given

BusinessMirror

Msgr. Sabino A. Vengco Jr.

Val A. Villanueva

Businesswise

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nvestigating what went terribly wrong in the procurement process of Light Rail Transit-2 (LRT-2) was one of the last official actions of the late Dante Jimenez, chairman of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), before he succumbed to aortic aneurism on January 29 this year.

The LRT-2 case involves alleged indiscretions on the purchase of P170.3 million worth of equipment (such as rolling stock diagnostic tools, scissors lift and articulating boom, conveyance, among others). Jimenez said then that his office unearthed what seemed to be a collusion among LRT-2 officials and equipment suppliers, which deserved the filing of charges against light rail officials and the companies that took part in the bidding. The PACC cited, for instance, that what the LRT-2 received—re-railing and rolling stock diagnostic equipment—were not those that were sanctioned by the Bids and Awards Committee of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). In particular, the sticker printout on the crate containing re-railing equipment identified it as having been shipped by CRRC Dalian Co. Ltd. Corp., as ordered by the winning bidder Kempal Construction and Supply Corp. It turned out that what the crate actually had inside were equipment from Bemco, an Indian company. Worse, the PACC noted, the signature in the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) Inspection and Acceptance Report was forged. What becomes more intriguing is that CRRC Dalian vehemently denies having anything to do with the whole fiasco. In a phone interview, the company told BusinessWise that CRRC Dalian has never been a supplier of Kempal (BusinessWise tried but failed to get reactions from LRTA and Bemco. Only CRCC Dalian accommodated our call). A company representative told us that CRRC Dalian has already written the PACC, the LRTA Administrator, and the Executive Director of Procurement Services (PS) under the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to inform them that “[it] did not supply any equipment for the LRT- 2 project and that Kempal Construction and Supply Corp. is not a customer” of the company in the Philippines. Another irregularity uncovered by the PACC concerned the escalators bought for LRT-2 stations. The LRTA ordered escalators with a required capacity of 9,000 persons per hour, but those delivered could only accommodate 6,000 persons per hour. What’s more, these escalators

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highest likelihood over the next five years. These, in order of possibility, were a Natural Pandemic,

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ensure equity in the normalization process and (4) pass local ordinances that enhance women’s safety. When women are empowered, the whole community benefits. The Women Friendly Space (WFS) is an initiative led by the UNFPA, to provide a “safe space” for women and girls—including the survivors of Gender-Based Violence and those who face risks of violence—with psycho-social counselling service, and information sessions on human rights and dignity. The all-women WFS Facilitators, many of whom are former female combatants, are trained to engage community members in

Another irregularity uncovered by the PACC concerned the escalators bought for LRT-2 stations. The LRTA ordered escalators with a required capacity of 9,000 persons per hour, but those delivered could only accommodate 6,000 persons per hour. What’s more, these escalators broke down long before their warranty date expired. broke down long before their warranty date expired. Jimenez said then that his office would forward its findings to a special task force headed by the Department of Justice. PACC is a member of the task force along with the National Bureau of Investigation, the Office of the Special Assistant to the President, the National Prosecution Service, the DOJ Office of Cybercrime and the Anti-Money Laundering Council. LRTA spokesman Hernando Cabrera was quoted as saying that Administrator Reynaldo Berroya already ordered last year a probe involving the transaction. “We have already rendered the report and findings on the matter of the Rolling Stock Diagnostic Tools,” he said. Although the report on the re-railing tools was already being prepared, Cabrera added that “the investigation on the Scissor Lift and Articulating Boom, and Conveyance is still ongoing.” This LRT-2 case highlights how public procurement is particularly susceptible to corruption, providing a lucrative source of “livelihood” for the best briber and the corruptible government official. Public office is clearly misused when procurement rules are violated or when legitimate deviations are made. Worried about substandard government infrastructure? Check the padded pockets and bank accounts of those involved in the purchase of public goods and services. The scourge of corruption in any form—graft, embezzlement, bribery, lobbying, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, parochialism, patronage, and influence-peddling— has long been the national headache that won’t go away.

Alálaong Bagá

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he mystery of God’s salvific love for us in Jesus Christ is dramatized when he was lifted up on the cross and given by the Father, so that whoever believes in him will not be condemned (John 3:14-21). For those who look up to Jesus on the cross with faith have in fact eternal life.

He must be lifted up The cross was a scandal, stumbling block to many. A savior hanging on the gibbet of the cross! In anticipation of the Jews’ cry of repudiation: “Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!” (John 19:15), the evangelist firmly locates Jesus on the cross, taking a cue from the Wisdom of Solomon (16:6-7) that spoke of “sign of salvation” in the brazen serpent in the wilderness. In a play of the word “lifted up,” we are told that “just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” During the wanderings of the Israelites in the wilderness, their end-

less grumbling against Moses and against God led them to be stricken by fiery serpents (Numbers 21:6-9). Begging Moses to mediate for them with God, they were instructed to look upon the brazen serpent Moses was commanded to mount on a pole. They were healed by looking upon the ordered sign, that is, by believing in God’s power as manifested in the serpent. Now all those who look upon and believe in the crucified and lifted up Son of Man will be saved. The double significance of “lifted up” bespeaks the cruel lifting up of Jesus upon the cross by his enemies (John 8:28; 12:32), and his lifting up and exaltation by the heavenly Father at his

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cross and resurrection. The hanging on the cross was not the end of Jesus but the beginning of his ascent to glory to the Father. The evangelist clearly has in mind the description by Isaiah (53:13) of the suffering servant, “Behold my servant shall prosper: he shall be lifted up and glorified exceedingly.” The healing of the many was accomplished by the suffering of the servant.

He was given by the Father

The other word John uses to delve into the soteriological significance of Jesus on the cross is the verb “to give.” Again, its double significance alludes first to the handing over of Jesus by his enemies to Pilate (John 18:30.35.36; 19:11) and by Pilate to the soldiers to crucify Jesus. But its deeper meaning refers to God’s “giving” us His only Son not only at the incarnation but also likewise at the sacrifice of the cross. Whatever Jesus’ enemies might have thought they were doing to and against him, the evangelist is tracing what God is writing straight for our salvation through their crooked lines. With echoes of the faithfulness and sacrifice highlighted in the story of Abraham and his son Isaac (Genesis 22:2.16-18) and in the figure of

E-mail me at mangun@gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter @mangunonmarkets. PSE stock-market information and technical analysis provided by AAA Southeast Equities Inc.

To achieve the above PA 2015 goal, climate scientists are calling for a rapid transition of economies from fossil fuels, the single biggest source of global greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions, to renewable energy. Studies of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the UN Environment Programme indicate that the use of coal, oil and gas needs to drop by 78 percent, 37 percent and 25 percent, respectively, by 2030 compared to 2010 levels in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius. According to the 2020 UNEP Production Gap report, between 2020 and 2030, global coal, oil, and gas production would have to decline annually by 11 percent, 4 percent, and 3 percent, respectively, to be consistent with a 1.5 degree Celsius pathway. Clearly, the challenge is for governments around the world to summon the will to retire the use of fossil fuel by phasing out facilities dependent on coal, oil and gas, and banning the establishment of new fossil-dependent plants and infrastructures. The problem is that a number of big fossil users, mostly multinational corporations (MNCs) and a few advanced economies, refuse to give up the use of fossil fuel. They keep

a business-as-usual (BAU) attitude, meaning irresponsibly maintaining and expanding dirty coal, oil and gas plants. However, a few fossil users, who are trying to wear a false image of being socially responsible, have found a way of justifying their refusal to phase out dirty plants and facilities. They proclaim that they are “net zero” emitters. How? By buying “carbon credits” or engaging in “carbon offsetting.” These carbon credits are secured by sponsoring GHG-catching projects such as treeplanting programs for reforestation or by promoting the establishment of power plants using renewable energy such as wind mills. As a result, these carbon credit buyers/offsetters have succeeded in making the discourses on climate change mitigation and adaptation confusing. Now a group of 41 scientists— from different European and Australian academic and research institutes—came up late last year with a statement blasting the myths around “net zero targets and carbon offsetting.” Below is a summary of these myths and the position of the climate scientists: Myth 1—Net zero by 2050 will solve the climate crisis. Scientists’

discussions on many different topics such as gender-based violence, and child marriage, with a view to transforming gender inequitable beliefs and behaviors. I remember one WFS Facilitator saying “it was so difficult to go out before. People thought we were just looking for trouble as members of BIWAB. But now, as a WFS facilitator, we can help in the peacebuilding process by ending violence within communities and families.” To ensure the effectiveness, durability and sustainability of peacebuilding investments in the Bangsamoro, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has supported the organization of the Women Insider Mediators Rapid Action and Mobilization Platform (Women’s RAMP), a group of commu-

nity-based women mediators from Moro and Indigenous Peoples communities in the Bangsamoro. This innovative initiative is supported by the governments of Australia and Norway and the Delegation of the European Union in the Philippines. The Women’s RAMP aims to change attitudes and behaviors that promote conflict and violence; create spaces for dialogue and mediation for peaceful resolution of conflicts; facilitate rapid response for the prevention of violence; and enhance participation and leadership of women in local peace processes. In response to the conflict in South Upi in Maguindanao, for instance, Women’s RAMP members facilitated the distribution of immediate assistance for 599 displaced and disadvantaged families. In the region, women have played

a remarkable role in the disengagement of children from non-state armed groups. From 2016-2017, the United Nations Children’s Fund, actively worked with women of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to successfully advocate with the group’s commanders for 1,869 children, of which around 33 percent are girls, to be disengaged from its armed forces and be treated as “children not soldiers”. In follow up actions as part of a reintegration program, funded by the governments of Japan and Canada, and Unicef, 118 women were trained as para-social workers to follow up on the situation of these children, and extend family-based case management, referral, psychosocial and parenting support in their conflictaffected communities. To date, no

children previously disengaged have re-associated with any armed groups. Jointly with the Bangsamoro Transitional Authority and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, we succeeded in securing a catalytic contribution from the United Nations Peace Building Fund. Implemented by IOM—the UN Migration Agency, UNFPA and UN Women, the project seeks to fortify reintegration efforts for former women combatants by empowering them to engage and support peacebuilding, and to support conflict understanding and prevention by promoting gender-responsive, inclusive, and culturallysensitive legislation, policies and programs, among others. As we see, the world has made

a Nuclear War, and an Engineered Pandemic.

Alálaong bagá, we rejoice on this Laetare Sunday at God’s faithful love for us even as we confess to our sinfulness and unworthiness. God did not send and give His Son to the world to condemn the world, “but that the world may be saved through him.” On our part it is necessary that we believe in Jesus and with him concretely stand for the light and the truth. Jesus is the light come into the world. True believers do not prefer darkness to light. Those who hate the light do not live the truth. The truth and the light are venues of our communion with God in Jesus Christ. Join me in meditating on the Word of God

every Sunday, from 5 to 6 a.m. on DWIZ 882, or by audio streaming on www.dwiz882.com.

Climate change: When ‘net zero’ is not zero answer: misleading. The challenge is how to make major reductions in emissions now. There is no assurance that net zero targets will deliver “negative emissions,” or removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through storage in vegetation, soil and rocks. Myth 2—Fossil fuel emissions can be compensated by “naturebased solutions” such as carbon sequestration in vegetation and soil. Again misleading. Fossil fuel emission happens immediately, while nature-based solutions take time and sometimes fail (for example, carbon released again by forest fires). Myth 3—Net zero targets and carbon offsets provide incentives for emission reduction. Misleading. The so-called incentive declines when it becomes financially advantageous and socially acceptable to buy carbon offsets from abroad. Myth 4—Carbon offsetting helps developing countries, as hosts of carbon sequestering projects, meet PA 2015 commitment. Misleading. Developing countries also have emission targets to deliver under PA 2015. Myth 5—Funding renewable energy projects compensates for fossil fuel emissions. Problematic. Host countries have the duty to go renewable; but if renewable projects are used as offsets, they are simply added to the existing energy mix, meaning no overall carbon reduction. Myth 6—Technological solutions for carbon dioxide removal will solve the problem. Overly optimistic. Yes, there are technologies being developed but they are expensive, energy intensive and still unproven. Hence, it is irresponsible to make net zero assumptions based on uncertain “future technologies.” Myth 7—Tree plantations capture more carbon than old forests.

For comments and suggestions, e-mail me at mvala.v@gmail.com

the suffering servant (Isaiah 53:12), the evangelist points to the depths of the Father’s love as the bottomline and most sublime ground for the entire mystery of our salvation. “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.” What could account for the things mentioned by Jesus to Nicodemus: the gifts of rebirth, of the Spirit, of life in union with God, of eternal glory? Not any merit on our part can explain such divine mercy, but alone God’s incredible love for us.

Dr. Rene E. Ofreneo

LABOREM EXERCENS

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he Paris Agreement of 2015 (PA 2015) seeks to prevent a climate Armageddon: global temperature rising at a level that makes life on Planet Earth unsustainable. The global target: limit rise in global warming to 1.5-degree Celsius above pre-industrial era.

Misleading. Old forests contain “centuries worth of carbon” and carbon released by felled trees can take a hundred years or more to be recaptured. In short, no time for tree plantations to make up for losses due to deforestation. Myth 8—Planting trees in the tropics is win-win for both nature and local communities. Oversimplified. Planting trees by outside investors for the sole purpose of capturing carbon can threaten the rights, cultures and food security of local communities, especially of indigenous people. There are also threats to biodiversity. Myth 9—Each ton of carbon dioxide is the same and can be treated interchangeably. False. Carbon dioxide removal tomorrow cannot compensate for emissions today. Nor emissions from luxury consumption be the same as emissions from essential food production. Myth 10—Consumption of marketed products, including travel, can be “climate neutral.” False. Both the consumed products and travel have carbon footprint, which cannot be offset. The conclusion of the 41 climate scientists, the solution to climate crisis is straightforward “real emissions reductions,” especially in advanced countries. Offsetting between highand low-income countries should be rejected and replaced by just financing arrangements. Extraction and marketing of fossil fuels, the primary cause of climate crisis, should be stopped. Instead of “net zero” targets, humanity needs “real zero targets” to terminate fossil fuel production.

Dr. Rene E. Ofreneo is a Professor Emeritus of University of the Philippines. For comments, please write to reneofreneo@ gmail.com.

important progress in the journey towards gender equality since the Beijing Conference in 1995 and the adoption of Security Council resolution (S/RES/1325) on women and peace and security in 2000. However, as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, “gender inequality remains the “unfinished business of our time.” The journey continues. Let us not be satisfied with recognizing the importance of gender equality. We must take the indispensable next step of transforming this acknowledgment into an act of justice—through concrete policies, practices, approaches, actions and institutions. Gustavo Gonzalez is the United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Philippines.


FIFTH DEATH ANNIVERSARY MARCH 11, 2021


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Petron incurs loss of ₧11.4B as crisis cuts demand for oil By Lenie Lectura

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@llectura

etron Corp. incurred a net loss of P11.4 billion in 2020, a reversal of the previous year’s P2.3-billion net income, as revenues plummeted by 44 percent to P286 billion. Sales suffered from a slump in demand, poor refining margins, and collapse in global prices during the period brought about by the pandemic. Consolidated sales volume stood at 78.6 million barrels, down 27 percent from 2019’s 107 million barrels. Consolidated revenues declined 44 percent to P286 billion from P514.4 billion in 2019, reflecting the impact of the pandemic on Petron’s financial performance. For the fourth quarter of 2020, Petron posted a net income of P1.2 billion due to increased volumes and inventory holding gains as prices began to rally towards year-end.

However, refining margins remained soft which challenged the economic viability of the company’s Philippine operations. Revenues during the said quarter reached P69.6 billion, marking two straight quarters of growth, after experiencing a historic slump in the second quarter due to the pandemic’s economic impact. The last quarter of the year registered a 46-percent improvement from the P47.7 billion reported in the second quarter, Petron’s hardest hit quarter in 2020. Consolidated sales volume in the fourth quarter reached 19.08 million barrels despite the extension of the

general community quarantine in key cities in the country and another Conditional Movement Control Order in Malaysia. Petron President Ramon S. Ang said he is optimistic that demand for fuel products will recover this year. “We have been working hard to minimize the impact of the pandemic on our business and our performance in the second half of 2020 proves that we are moving in the right direction. We look forward to sustaining our recovery as we anticipate higher demand and a more stable industry situation with an end to this crisis finally in sight,” he said. Petron, he added, plans to resume refining by the second half of the year after it ceased refining operations last February 10. Prior to this, the Bataan refinery was shut from May to October last year. Ang said Petron vowed to further improve its competitiveness after it secured approval as a registered enterprise in December 2020 by the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB). FAB-registered enterprises are

SMFB income falls by 30% in 2020 By VG Cabuag @villygc

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an Miguel Food and Beverage Inc. (SMFB) said its net income was down 30 percent last year to P22.4 billion, from the previous year's P32.27 billion, as the pandemic slowed down its business and dampened demand for its beer and food products. The company said consolidated revenues fell 10 percent to P279.3 billion from the previous year's P310.78 billion. Second half consolidated revenues were up 27 percent to P156.5 billion, from P122.8 billion in the first half, it said. “While 2020 was extremely challenging, our businesses were able to pivot and deliver significant volume growth for the balance of the year. These encouraging results demonstrate the company’s resilience in the face of the global crisis and positions it for a strong and stable recovery,” company president and CEO Ramon S. Ang said. Profits for the period were driven by San Miguel Brewery Inc. (SMB) which posted volume growth in the second half following the lifting of liquor bans in various areas of the country. SMB ended the year with consolidated revenues of P107.9 billion, down by almost a quarter from the previous P142.27 billion. Its performance was backed by company-initiated consumption-

generating programs, direct-toconsumer initiatives and cost containment efforts. Net income for the period fell by a third to P17.5 billion from the previous year's P27.28 billion. SMB’s international operations also benefitted from easing of restrictions in the second half of the year. Its Hong Kong, south China, Vietnam and export markets delivered profits better than 2019, the company said. Liquor maker Ginebra San Miguel Inc. delivered volumes of 38.6 million cases, 8 percent higher than the prior year. Consol id ated revenues for 2020 amounted to P36.2 billion, up by 24 percent from last year's P29.06 billion. Ginebra's net income hit P2.8 billion for the period, up 65 percent from the prior year's P1.67 billion. The latest figure is the highest level ever registered by the company. San Miguel Foods ended the year with consolidated revenues

of P135.2 billion, 3 percent lower than the previous year's P139.45 billion. Its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was 8 percent higher year-on-year at P12.2 billion. The company did not state its income. Its 2019 income, however, was already low at P3.45 billion, down by 41 percent from the previous P5.88 billion as it faced issues on its poultry division during that year which dragged the entire food unit. The company said its food unit responded "nimbly" last year to the spike in home consumption and the shift to home-based lifestyles throughout the lockdown, ensuring product availability and accessibility. Its prepared and packaged food segment benefitted most from the shift delivering a doubledigit performance in 2020. This segment also helped mitigate the effects of the softening of certain segments, particularly the protein business, as operations of most of its food service customers were affected by community quarantine restrictions. “We believe that the worst of the pandemic is over and we look forward to 2021 with optimism. We will continue to adapt to the changing market conditions and leverage on lessons learned. Soon, we will reemerge stronger and more resilient on the path to longterm profitable growth,” Ang said.

Ayala Corp. to seek SEC nod for bond offer

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he board of conglomerate Ayala Corp. has approved the company's shelf registration of P30 billion worth of bonds, a third of which will be immediately sold to the market. In its disclosure, the conglomerate said it will issue some P6 billion worth of fixed-rate bonds and an additional P4 billion in oversubscription option. The company will still have to submit its registration papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Early this month, Ayala said its unit, Ayala Healthcare Holdings

Inc., has completed its acquisition of a majority stake of Mercado General Hospital Inc. The acquisition was facilitated through AC Health unit, Healthway Philippines Inc., which purchased shares from White Knight Holdings Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Ayala Land Inc. and other shareholders. Mercado General owns and operates the Qualimed Health Network, which includes 4 hospitals: Qualimed Sta. Rosa located in Nuvali, Qualimed San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan, Qualimed Iloilo in Iloilo City and Daniel O. Mer-

cado Medical Center in Tanauan, Batangas. Qualimed also operates an ambulatory surgical center in UPPhilippine General Hospital, and has clinics in Makati, Quezon City and in Cebu IT Park. Jaime E. Ysmael, formerly Ortigas Land Corp. president, assumes the presidency in Qualimed, AC Health said. Prior to his Ortigas Land stint, Ysmael was previously the senior vice president and group chief financial officer of Ayala Land Inc., and was a managing director of Ayala Corp. VG Cabuag

entitled to avail of fiscal incentives under the Special Economic Zone Act of 1995 or Omnibus Investment Code of 1987. This will benefit the company in the form of better timing on the payment of value added taxes, which shall be upon withdrawal of the products from the refinery. “We continue to implement various cost-saving efforts but tax efficiency is another critical area that should improve. Our AFAB registration will help make our refining business more competitive and financially viable as soon as demand recovers,” said Ang. Petron’s 180,000 barrels per day refinery—the only remaining refining facility in the country—produces high-value petroleum products and petrochemicals capable of supplying 40 percent of domestic demand. Despite being greatly affected by the pandemic, Petron said strives to make a positive impact on the economy. The country’s largest oil company remained the biggest contributor in the government’s Fuel Marking Program, according to the latest tally by the Department of Finance.

Online filing of documents to start on March 15–SEC

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he Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday said its online submission tool (OST)—which will accept documents, such as annual financial statements, general information sheet, and other annual reports—will go live on March 15. “With the OST, we are one more step closer to achieving our ease-of-doing-business and sustainability goals, which have been at the core of our ongoing digital transformation,” SEC Chairman Emilio B. Aquino said. “The OST is equally important in our efforts to automate business transactions to limit face-to-face interactions, and consequently help stem the transmission of Covid-19 and accelerate the country’s recovery from the pandemic,” he said. All stock corporations, including the branch offices, representative offices, regional headquarters and regional operating headquarters of foreign corporations, will be required to submit their reports using the system starting this year. Meanwhile, non-stock corporations will still have the option to submit their reports over the counter. By 2022, the SEC will require all non-stock corporations to enroll in and submit their reports through the system. Corporations, partnerships, and their authorized filers are required to enroll in the system by accomplishing the online application form and submitting the required documents at https:// ciffs-ost.sec.gov.ph. The documents required for enrollment include a board resolution authorizing its representative to file reports on behalf of the corporation or partnership, as well as a copy of their submission

of email addresses and cellular phone numbers or their accomplished GIS using the 2020 version of the form, as required by SEC Memorandum Circular No. 28, Series of 2020. Law, consultancy and other firms providing related services to corporations and partnerships may also enroll as authorized filers. The online facility will show the required format of the report to be submitted. For instance, a GIS must be submitted as an accomplished but unsigned form saved as a multipage portable document format (PDF) with text layer, as well as a high-resolution scan of the signed and notarized document saved as a multipage PDF. The reports will undergo quality check upon submission. Once approved, the filer will receive a QR code indicating the final acceptance of the reports. Upon successful submission, the reports will be made available to the public through the Online Submission Portal. Submissions made through email, mail or courier, and drop boxes in SEC offices will no longer be accepted once the OST goes live. The SEC's extension offices outside of the National Capital Region will only accept reports over the counter if the filer encountered problems during the enrollment or submission process. The filer will have to present the corresponding notice generated by the OST. The agency said it will set up kiosks in its offices and other designated areas to provide users with technical assistance from March 15 to December 15. Subsequent submissions will be done remotely. VG Cabuag


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mutual funds

March 10, 2021

NAV One Year Three Year Five Year Y-T-D per share Return* Return Stock Funds ALFM Growth Fund, Inc. -a 216.04 4.87% -8.83% -2.46% -4.92% ATRAM Alpha Opportunity Fund, Inc. -a 1.2534 22.49% -7.87% 2.05% -4.54% ATRAM Philippine Equity Opportunity Fund, Inc. -a 2.9596 3.4% -13.07% -4.49% -5.53% Climbs Share Capital Equity Investment Fund Corp. -a 0.7564 6.04% -8.4% n.a. -5.91% First Metro Consumer Fund on MSCI Phils. IMI, Inc. -a 0.6698 -5.46% n.a. n.a. -9.68% First Metro Save and Learn Equity Fund,Inc. -a 4.6909 6.35% -6.88% -1.8% -5.07% First Metro Save and Learn Philippine Index Fund, Inc. -a,4 0.6865 -0.77% -10.42% -6.81% -9.65% MBG Equity Investment Fund, Inc. -a 99.82 14.84% -5.22% n.a. -2.08% PAMI Equity Index Fund, Inc. -a 44.4227 7.3% -6.93% -1.04% -5.18% Philam Strategic Growth Fund, Inc. -a 464.71 5.7% -6.85% -1.7% -4.96% Philequity Alpha One Fund, Inc. -a,d,5 1.0362 14.66% n.a. n.a. -5.57% Philequity Dividend Yield Fund, Inc. -a 1.1132 5.33% -6.67% -0.78% -4.71% Philequity Fund, Inc. -a 33.1064 6.54% -6.45% -0.21% -4.78% Philequity MSCI Philippine Index Fund, Inc. -a 0.8618 3.88% n.a. n.a. -5.61% Philequity PSE Index Fund Inc. -a 4.5468 7.73% -6.45% -0.27% -5.1% Philippine Stock Index Fund Corp. -a 760.71 7.98% -6.34% -0.38% -5.11% Soldivo Strategic Growth Fund, Inc. -a 0.6843 2.61% -10.33% -4.25% -4.81% Sun Life Prosperity Philippine Equity Fund, Inc. -a 3.4423 1.79% -8.47% -1.88% -5.01% Sun Life Prosperity Philippine Stock Index Fund, Inc. -a 0.8701 7.67% -6.65% -0.51% -5.19% United Fund, Inc. -a 3.1753 4.53% -5.69% 0.54% -4.33% Exchange Traded Fund First Metro Phil. Equity Exchange Traded Fund, Inc. -a,c 102.0959 7.99% -6.14% 0.34% -5.08% Primarily invested in foreign currency securities ATRAM AsiaPlus Equity Fund, Inc. -b $1.2502 32.16% 3.8% 9.11% 3.93% Sun Life Prosperity World Voyager Fund, Inc. -a $1.6541 28.55% 8.56% n.a. -1.12% Balanced Funds Primarily invested in Peso securities ATRAM Dynamic Allocation Fund, Inc. -a 1.6372 10.09% -3.28% -0.8% -1.88% ATRAM Philippine Balanced Fund, Inc. -a 2.2004 9.73% -3.05% 0.33% -3.72% First Metro Save and Learn Balanced Fund Inc. -a 2.5319 5.66% -2.45% -0.85% -3.62% First Metro Save and Learn F.O.C.C.U.S. Dynamic Fund, Inc. -a,1 0.1903 -1.5% n.a. n.a. -4.18% NCM Mutual Fund of the Phils., Inc. -a 1.9283 5.19% -0.55% 1.45% -1.82% PAMI Horizon Fund, Inc. -a 3.6336 5.67% -1.79% 0.37% -4.08% Philam Fund, Inc. -a 16.2942 5.92% -1.72% 0.32% -3.79% Solidaritas Fund, Inc. -a 2.0364 6.17% -2.65% 0.38% -2.76% Sun Life of Canada Prosperity Balanced Fund, Inc. -a 3.4595 2.06% -4.26% -0.73% -3.18% Sun Life Prosperity Achiever Fund 2028, Inc. -a,d 0.9707 5.04% n.a. n.a. -5.08% Sun Life Prosperity Achiever Fund 2038, Inc. -a,d 0.8941 5.27% n.a. n.a. -5.8% Sun Life Prosperity Achiever Fund 2048, Inc. -a,d 0.8801 5.5% n.a. n.a. -5.68% Sun Life Prosperity Dynamic Fund, Inc. -a 0.8542 2.57% -5.18% -1.5% -3.77% Primarily invested in foreign currency securities Cocolife Dollar Fund Builder, Inc. -a $0.03753 -4.63% 2.15% 1.11% -4.06% PAMI Asia Balanced Fund, Inc. -b $1.1224 11.97% 1.75% 5.38% -2.42% Sun Life Prosperity Dollar Advantage Fund, Inc. -a $4.4749 18.79% 6.49% 8.35% -0.84% Sun Life Prosperity Dollar Wellspring Fund, Inc. -a,3 $1.1768 6.96% 3.14% n.a. -2.1% Bond Funds Primarily invested in Peso securities ALFM Peso Bond Fund, Inc. -a 370.53 2.81% 3.18% 2.6% -0.15% ATRAM Corporate Bond Fund, Inc. -a 1.9052 -0.4% 0.58% 0.17% 0.26% Cocolife Fixed Income Fund, Inc. -a 3.2169 2.19% 4.18% 4.59% 0.07% Ekklesia Mutual Fund Inc. -a 2.2516 -0.04% 2.28% 1.81% -1.93% First Metro Save and Learn Fixed Income Fund,Inc. -a 2.4287 1.85% 3.17% 1.82% -1% Philam Bond Fund, Inc. -a 4.4832 0.73% 3.95% 2.2% -3.27% Philam Managed Income Fund, Inc. -a,6 1.3183 4% 4.32% 2.64% -0.22% Philequity Peso Bond Fund, Inc. -a 3.9635 3.7% 4.34% 2.86% -0.94% Soldivo Bond Fund, Inc. -a 1.0211 3.14% 3.9% 2.05% -2.01% Sun Life of Canada Prosperity Bond Fund, Inc. -a 3.1732 1.5% 4.51% 3.14% -1.02% Sun Life Prosperity GS Fund, Inc. -a 1.7319 0.57% 3.8% 2.53% -1.32% Primarily invested in foreign currency securities ALFM Dollar Bond Fund, Inc. -a $480.77 1.66% 2.84% 2.48% -0.64% ALFM Euro Bond Fund, Inc. -a Є219.13 -0.77% 1.02% 1.2% -0.02% ATRAM Total Return Dollar Bond Fund, Inc. -b $1.1711 -4.94% 1.57% 1.17% -8.54% First Metro Save and Learn Dollar Bond Fund, Inc. -a $0.0256 - 0.78% 1.06% 0.88% -3.76% PAMI Global Bond Fund, Inc -b $1.0446 -7.54% -0.08% -0.71% -4.4% Philam Dollar Bond Fund, Inc. -a $2.4371 -1.12% 3.88% 2.19% -3.88% Philequity Dollar Income Fund Inc. -a $0.0623759 2.47% 3.17% 2.21% 0.09% Sun Life Prosperity Dollar Abundance Fund, Inc. -a $3.0601 -6.47% 1.32% 0.83% -5.07% Money Market Funds Primarily invested in Peso securities ALFM Money Market Fund, Inc. -a 129.9 2.49% 3.26% 2.54% 0.07% First Metro Save and Learn Money Market Fund, Inc. -a 1.0491 1.54% n.a. n.a. 0.1% Sun Life Prosperity Money Market Fund, Inc. -a 1.2998 2.18% 2.93% 2.59% 0.25% Primarily invested in foreign currency securities Sun Life Prosperity Dollar Starter Fund, Inc. -a $1.0546 1.31% 1.77% n.a. 0.21% Feeder Funds Primarily invested in Peso securities Sun Life Prosperity World Equity Index Feeder Fund, Inc. -a,d,7 1.1677 n.a. n.a. n.a. 3.37% Primarily invested in foreign currency securities ALFM Global Multi-Asset Income Fund Inc. -b,d,2 $0.98 2.08% n.a. n.a. 0% a - NAVPS as of the previous banking day. b - NAVPS as of two banking days ago. c - Listed in the PSE. d - in Net Asset Value per Unit (NAVPU). 1 - Launch date is September 28, 2019. 2 - Launch date is November 15, 2019. 3 - Adjusted due to stock dividend issuance last October 9, 2019. 4 - Renaming was approved by the SEC last October 12, 2018 (formerly, One Wealthy Nation Fund, Inc.). 5 - Launch date is December 09, 2019. 6 - Re-classified into a Bond Fund starting February 21, 2020 (Formerly a Money Market Fund). 7 - Launch date is July 6, 2020. "While we endeavor to keep the information accurate, the Philippine Investment Funds Association (PIFA) and its members make no warranties as to the correctness of the newspaper’s publication and assume no liability or responsibility for any error or omissions. You may visit http://www. pifa.com.ph to see the latest NAVPS/NAVPU."

BOI enticing HK toymakers to transfer operations to PHL By Elijah Felice E. Rosales

T

@alyasjah

he Board of Investments (BOI) is urging Chinese toy manufacturers to transfer their production facilities here, as the agency seeks to take advantage of the growing demand for video games during the Covid-19 pandemic. In a meeting in February, the BOI presented to members of the Toys Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong (TMHK) the opportunities in relocating their factories here. TMHK firms are scanning the Southeast Asian terrain due to the surge in production costs in China, making it imperative for them to consider expanding abroad. Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo said the agency wants to make the Philippines an investment destination for multinationals, including toymakers, eyeing to expand outside of their home country. Further, Rodolfo said the pandemic forced buyers to shift from traditional toys, including action figures, dolls and play sets, to video games, such as those developed by Japan’s Nintendo and the United States’ Blizzard Entertainment. Toy manufacturers may begin to bring their products on multiple platforms, and the BOI wants to capitalize on this change in play preference. “Experts have noted that the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on toys and games have globally reinforced the trends already shaping the industry sales [prior to] Covid-19 mainly through digital transformation,” Rodolfo said in a statement on Wednesday. “A Covid-19-generated shift to-

wards home entertainment and online education has led to further surge in video games, including esports, and digital education tools. While some traditional toy categories have seen a spike in 2020, the long term trend is reflected in the strong repositioning of toy industry players as entertainment providers on multiple platforms." Also, Rodolfo pitched to HMTK members the availability of raw materials here, such as plastics, rubber, cotton and textile that enabled toy producers like Academy Plastic Model Toy, Bandai Namco Philippines and Dunlop International (Philippines) to operate here. Based on BOI records, the Philippines hosts 125 firms engaged in the manufacture of toys and games, and they represent a total of P450 million worth of investments. Mattel Philippines made the largest capital registration in toy making at P39 million, while Carissa Balsam Sdn. Bhd. was the latest player to enter the game with its P2.65 million investment in 2018. In 2019 Philippine exports of toys, games and requisites amounted to $176.1 million, although the BOI admitted this is made up of traditional items and video consoles, and has yet to include applications and in game transactions. According to the BOI, TMHK members are considering the Philippines as an investment location due to the reforms in its fiscal structure as introduced by the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act. Now awaiting President Duterte’s signature, the CREATE Act brings down the corporate income tax to 25 percent, from the highest rate in Southeast Asia of 30 percent. For firms earning below P5 million yearly, the rate was reduced to 20 percent.

Converge unveils new consumer products

C

onverge ICT Solutions Inc. is banking on its boosted consumer connectivity offers to further grow its subscriber base of 1.1 million at present, company officials said on Wednesday. The listed internet service provider launched Wednesday FiberX Time of Day, which allows residential subscribers to have boosted speeds either during the day or at night for a minimal rate increase. Converge subscribers have two options for the new offers: Day Plan or Night Plan. Day Plan allows subscribers to double their bandwidth from 7 a.m. to 6:59 p.m., while Night Plan allows subscribers to double their bandwidth from 7 p.m. to 6:59 a.m. Michael Maquiran, who heads the consumer sales department at Converge, said his group hopes that the two new consumer products could help boost the subscriber base of the company, while also encouraging existing customers to upgrade their existing plans. “We currently have a little over 1.1 million subscribers and we’re rolling out our fiber network all over the country. We offer Time of Day as an additional product offering that suits the market’s needs. There is a huge need in the market for a customized Internet service, and we expect existing customers to avail of this product. For new ones, this will be a huge come on for them,” he said during a press launch. Gilbert Virtucio, the company’s product management head, ensured that the current network of Converge can handle the additional load from the new offers. “What we do is we monitor our core connections and utilizations. If we hit a certain threshold, that’s a signal for us to do a network upgrade. We also encourage content delivery networks to cache local to Converge. Those are two ways by which we ensure that we minimize network congestion,” he said. In February, Converge said it has more than doubled its fiber network in 2020, providing Internet services to underserved and unserved areas in the country. Dennis Anthony Uy, the company’s CEO, said the fiber network of Converge now runs to over 55,000 kilometers, 28,300 kilometers more than the prior year’s 26,600 kilometers of fiber optic cables. Through the fiber infrastructure, Converge has made available nearly 2.7 million fiber-to-the-home ports nationwide. At end-2020, Converge had over 1 million subscribers, or double its 529,000 home subscribers the year prior. Converge aims to have at least 15 million subscribers by 2025. Currently, Converge recorded 6.1 million homes passed, which is about 25 percent of the total households in the Philippines. Lorenz S. Marasigan

www.businessmirror.com.ph

PSE STOCK QUOTATIONS

March 10, 2021

Net Foreign Stocks Bid Ask Open High Low Close Volume Value Trade (Peso) Buy (Sell) FINANCIALs

ASIA UNITED BDO UNIBANK BANK PH ISLANDS CHINABANK EAST WEST BANK METROBANK PBCOM PHIL NATL BANK PSBANK RCBC SECURITY BANK UNION BANK BRIGHT KINDLE COL FINANCIAL FIRST ABACUS FERRONOUX HLDG FILIPINO FUND IREMIT MEDCO HLDG NTL REINSURANCE PHIL STOCK EXCH SUN LIFE VANTAGE

43.3 105.9 82.25 23.95 9.91 47.05 22.1 24.6 54.5 17.18 125.6 73 1.46 3.86 0.61 3.13 7.5 1.37 0.395 0.72 150.5 2,200 1.01

44.35 106 82.3 24 9.94 47.5 22.5 24.65 55.45 17.5 125.7 73.7 1.55 3.87 0.62 3.2 8.6 1.42 0.41 0.74 150.7 2,280 1.08

44.45 107.2 82.35 24 10.08 48 22.15 24.55 55 17.5 124.5 74.2 1.6 3.95 0.61 3.21 7.5 1.48 0.4 0.72 150.3 2,200 1.01

44.45 108.6 82.8 24.1 10.08 48 22.15 24.6 55 17.5 126 74.2 1.6 3.97 0.61 3.21 7.5 1.54 0.41 0.77 151.1 2,200 1.01

44.4 105.7 82.2 24 9.9 46.9 22.15 24.5 55 17.18 123.5 73 1.46 3.87 0.61 3.2 7.5 1.37 0.395 0.7 150.3 2,200 1.01

44.4 105.9 82.3 24 9.91 47.5 22.15 24.6 55 17.18 125.7 73 1.55 3.87 0.61 3.2 7.5 1.48 0.41 0.76 150.7 2,200 1.01

800 2,181,000 1,825,050 51,100 212,300 5,555,900 1,000 144,600 2,000 11,000 399,630 10,270 1,416,000 135,000 65,000 87,000 1,200 177,000 720,000 51,000 18,890 165 1,000

35,555 232,303,494 150,330,411.50 1,226,800 2,106,293 263,268,680 22,150 3,553,360 110,000 189,552 50,125,010 756,969 2,136,550 529,030 39,650 278,680 9,000 249,990 288,500 36,310 2,848,301 363,000 1,010

INDUSTRIAL

AC ENERGY ALSONS CONS ABOITIZ POWER BASIC ENERGY FIRST GEN FIRST PHIL HLDG MERALCO MANILA WATER PETRON PETROENERGY PHX PETROLEUM PILIPINAS SHELL SPC POWER VIVANT AGRINURTURE AXELUM CNTRL AZUCARERA CENTURY FOOD DEL MONTE DNL INDUS EMPERADOR SMC FOODANDBEV ALLIANCE SELECT FRUITAS HLDG GINEBRA JOLLIBEE LIBERTY FLOUR MACAY HLDG MAXS GROUP MG HLDG SHAKEYS PIZZA ROXAS AND CO ROXAS HLDG SWIFT FOODS UNIV ROBINA VITARICH CONCRETE A CONCRETE B CEMEX HLDG DAVINCI CAPITAL EAGLE CEMENT EEI CORP HOLCIM MEGAWIDE PHINMA TKC METALS VULCAN INDL CROWN ASIA EUROMED LMG CORP PRYCE CORP CONCEPCION GREENERGY INTEGRATED MICR IONICS PANASONIC SFA SEMICON CIRTEK HLDG

6.81 1.25 25 0.84 30.1 74.7 275.8 14.7 3.41 3.67 12.14 21.6 10.1 14.5 7.2 3.38 12.86 17.4 9.2 7.7 10.12 64.2 0.62 1.42 50.25 184 30.65 7.5 5.79 0.295 6.9 1.09 1.46 0.134 127.6 0.81 52.75 56.25 1.16 3.15 11.68 7.7 5.55 6.6 12.28 1.14 2.23 2.08 1.95 4.5 5.4 20.3 3.9 10.06 1.13 5.75 1.37 5.81

6.82 1.27 25.2 0.85 30.15 75 278 14.8 3.44 3.7 12.38 21.8 10.18 14.98 7.33 3.39 12.9 17.42 9.29 7.74 10.16 64.4 0.63 1.43 50.3 184.1 31.5 8.09 5.8 0.3 7 1.1 1.5 0.135 128.6 0.82 52.85 65 1.17 3.16 12 7.85 5.6 6.65 12.38 1.16 2.25 2.12 1.99 4.6 5.5 20.35 3.91 10.16 1.14 5.76 1.38 5.82

6.65 1.24 24.9 0.97 30.05 74.8 278.8 14.8 3.44 3.67 12.4 21.9 10.12 14.5 7.2 3.43 12.94 17.38 8.73 7.48 10.02 65 0.62 1.4 51 182.9 32 8.15 5.99 0.325 7.16 1.11 1.52 0.136 130 0.83 52.7 65.35 1.21 3.5 12 7.46 5.76 6.9 12.22 1.14 2.4 2.05 2.01 4.56 5.5 20.45 4.1 10.3 1.15 5.76 1.41 6.05

6.95 1.27 25.25 0.99 30.25 74.8 282 15 3.44 3.7 12.4 22.05 10.18 14.5 7.65 3.44 12.94 17.5 9.3 7.79 10.16 65 0.62 1.47 53 186 32 8.15 6.04 0.325 7.16 1.13 1.52 0.136 131.8 0.84 52.85 65.35 1.21 3.6 12 7.94 5.76 6.98 12.24 1.24 2.55 2.13 2.01 4.6 5.51 20.45 4.16 10.78 1.2 5.77 1.5 6.39

6.6 1.24 24.9 0.81 30 74.55 275 14.5 3.4 3.66 12.12 21.6 10.08 14.5 7.15 3.38 12.86 17.38 8.73 7.33 9.99 64.2 0.62 1.4 50.25 182 30.55 7.5 5.6 0.295 6.88 1.1 1.46 0.13 127 0.82 52.7 65 1.15 2.99 11.66 7.46 5.55 6.51 12.22 1.13 2.17 2.02 1.95 4.5 5.5 20.05 3.91 10.06 1.13 5.75 1.37 5.8

6.82 1.25 25.2 0.84 30.1 74.7 278 14.7 3.41 3.7 12.38 21.8 10.1 14.5 7.33 3.39 12.86 17.42 9.29 7.74 10.16 64.2 0.62 1.43 50.3 184 31.5 8.15 5.79 0.295 7 1.1 1.5 0.134 128.6 0.82 52.75 65 1.16 3.15 12 7.7 5.55 6.65 12.24 1.14 2.25 2.08 1.95 4.5 5.51 20.3 3.91 10.16 1.14 5.75 1.37 5.81

35,290,600 1,504,000 932,800 104,169,000 336,400 27,230 378,070 1,876,400 859,000 26,000 25,300 617,400 112,900 500 1,933,300 792,000 4,700 957,300 300,500 8,515,700 2,156,900 27,360 300,000 7,681,000 82,570 738,380 1,000 300 713,100 14,520,000 64,500 2,441,000 72,000 11,570,000 892,320 1,662,000 540 670 5,950,000 25,102,000 1,271,800 1,645,900 1,000,700 1,098,600 47,800 1,232,000 18,042,000 1,034,000 216,000 46,000 1,900 52,700 14,013,000 3,009,800 738,000 32,900 1,822,000 2,358,400

-41,398,748 -43,648,401 -806,445 19,775 99,734,475 652,790 3,468 -36,512,462 -441,067.50 38,800 -2,329,785 363,000 -

241,454,712 1,893,500 23,416,060 93,023,950 10,120,525 2,033,232 105,665,044 27,583,522 2,935,330 95,570 309,728 13,480,260 1,140,968 7,250 14,315,647 2,688,300 60,692 16,662,568 2,708,132 64,285,155 21,583,861 1,767,037 186,000 11,070,120 4,309,153 135,878,257 31,255 2,380 4,182,141 4,464,850 451,159 2,699,650 107,130 1,536,850 115,263,379 1,379,210 28,518 43,634 6,926,690 78,909,180 14,891,372 12,348,586 5,635,199 7,437,347 584,916 1,431,150 42,680,690 2,147,820 425,650 208,820 10,459 1,070,945 56,778,370 30,902,054 862,040 189,275 2,592,270 14,390,241

15,608,150 -364,385 150,150 3,068,020 1,237,507 -36,986,470 -889,578 -402,830 18,300 37,572.00 156,495 200,990 -921,718 -2,414,978 716,937 5,744,047 15,022 -532,987 -300,150 3,251,645 12,683,002 -77,343 272,200 -23,358 -148,940 3,000 -4,905,531 -1,166,310 -1,634,510 -784,984 2,458,325 -2,079,856 16,713 -489,580 218,780 41,580 -159,125 -4,221,680.00 12,568,884 11,500 -110,310 179,920

HOLDING & FRIMS ABACORE CAPITAL 0.95 0.96 1.01 1.04 0.95 0.95 19,997,000 19,685,990 ASIABEST GROUP 6.8 7.25 6.9 7.25 6.8 7.25 10,800 74,711 770 779 777 781 760 779 355,420 274,676,840 AYALA CORP ABOITIZ EQUITY 41.8 42 41.05 42 40.85 42 866,700 36,334,590 ALLIANCE GLOBAL 10.72 10.76 10.34 10.82 10.26 10.76 9,223,500 97,197,702 2.88 2.89 2.89 2.91 2.8 2.88 11,993,000 34,319,850 AYALA LAND LOG ANSCOR 7.45 7.5 7.4 7.45 7.32 7.45 72,700 538,537 ANGLO PHIL HLDG 0.69 0.7 0.74 0.74 0.69 0.7 5,595,000 3,987,430 0.84 0.85 0.88 0.88 0.84 0.84 5,994,000 5,112,670 ATN HLDG A ATN HLDG B 0.85 0.9 0.85 0.9 0.85 0.9 101,000 85,900 COSCO CAPITAL 5.39 5.4 5.3 5.4 5.3 5.39 4,516,300 24,168,712 5.25 5.33 5.22 5.33 5.21 5.33 16,913,700 88,793,009 DMCI HLDG FILINVEST DEV 8.45 8.46 8.5 8.5 8.25 8.46 25,300 214,105 FJ PRINCE B 3.14 4.08 3.61 3.61 3.6 3.6 6,000 21,630 0.238 0.25 0.238 0.238 0.238 0.238 140,000 33,320 FORUM PACIFIC GT CAPITAL 548 552 541 552 541 552 64,890 35,455,175 HOUSE OF INV 3.6 3.69 3.88 3.88 3.6 3.69 64,000 233,710 63.3 64.9 63.45 64.9 62.85 64.9 1,373,430 87,874,573.50 JG SUMMIT LODESTAR 1.21 1.22 1.39 1.48 1.12 1.22 42,375,000 54,785,640 LOPEZ HLDG 3.72 3.75 3.75 3.75 3.75 3.75 28,000 105,000 13.08 13.18 13.18 13.36 12.9 13.18 1,555,800 20,499,290 LT GROUP MABUHAY HLDG 0.51 0.52 0.52 0.52 0.52 0.52 178,000 92,560 MJC INVESTMENTS 1.76 1.86 1.87 1.87 1.76 1.76 8,000 14,850 4.01 4.03 3.97 4.08 3.97 4.01 15,237,000 61,153,380 METRO PAC INV PACIFICA HLDG 3.7 3.9 4.1 4.1 3.6 3.6 181,000 710,560 PRIME MEDIA 3.21 3.25 3.36 3.57 3.15 3.25 12,836,000 42,819,610 2.61 2.69 2.63 2.63 2.6 2.6 48,000 125,350 REPUBLIC GLASS SOLID GROUP 1.28 1.3 1.3 1.35 1.28 1.28 183,000 240,660 SYNERGY GRID 312 330 312 312 312 312 160 49,920 1,035 1,057 1,035 1,057 1,025 1,057 282,025 293,660,310 SM INVESTMENTS SAN MIGUEL CORP 123.5 124 123 124 122.3 124 165,050 20,384,747 SOC RESOURCES 0.66 0.7 0.73 0.73 0.7 0.7 346,000 245,010 2.2 2.38 2.35 2.38 2.35 2.38 17,000 40,080 SEAFRONT RES TOP FRONTIER 136 139.9 140 140 139.8 139.9 660 92,331 WELLEX INDUS 0.232 0.248 0.24 0.241 0.23 0.23 1,380,000 323,650 0.22 0.227 0.212 0.229 0.212 0.212 660,000 143,490 ZEUS HLDG

639,760 -114,145,295 5,111,965 -2,061,174 -167,460 239,480 938,043 -66,729 -159,877 9,013,045 -41,850 7,416,793.50 6,600 33,750 -4,427,502 2,801,370 24,000 825,180 -31,698,320 -746,517 47,563 -

PROPERTY

ARTHALAND CORP AYALA LAND ARANETA PROP AREIT RT BELLE CORP A BROWN CITYLAND DEVT CROWN EQUITIES CEBU HLDG CEB LANDMASTERS CENTURY PROP CYBER BAY DOUBLEDRAGON DM WENCESLAO EMPIRE EAST EVER GOTESCO FILINVEST LAND GLOBAL ESTATE 8990 HLDG PHIL INFRADEV CITY AND LAND MEGAWORLD MRC ALLIED PHIL ESTATES PRIMEX CORP ROBINSONS LAND PHIL REALTY ROCKWELL SHANG PROP STA LUCIA LAND SM PRIME HLDG VISTAMALLS SUNTRUST HOME VISTA LAND

0.63 37.2 1.2 32.9 1.52 0.86 0.79 0.138 7.01 5.27 0.405 0.325 14.32 6.6 0.285 0.09 1.16 0.89 7.16 1.41 1.07 3.63 0.365 0.38 1.5 18.82 0.28 1.39 2.7 2.17 35.8 3.72 1.52 4.18

0.64 37.35 1.32 33 1.58 0.89 0.8 0.14 7.2 5.32 0.41 0.34 14.42 6.85 0.29 0.091 1.17 0.9 7.19 1.42 1.08 3.66 0.37 0.395 1.55 18.98 0.29 1.4 2.74 2.27 36 3.91 1.59 4.24

0.66 37.05 1.24 33 1.55 0.91 0.79 0.142 7.15 5.26 0.415 0.33 14.4 6.95 0.29 0.09 1.17 0.92 7.19 1.51 0.95 3.59 0.41 0.39 1.56 18.64 0.285 1.43 2.7 2.3 35.8 3.66 1.67 4.23

0.66 37.5 1.32 33 1.58 0.92 0.86 0.142 7.2 5.55 0.415 0.37 14.5 6.95 0.3 0.093 1.18 0.92 7.2 1.55 1.28 3.7 0.41 0.44 1.56 18.98 0.29 1.43 2.7 2.33 36.8 3.97 1.67 4.24

0.63 36.75 1.24 32.4 1.5 0.86 0.77 0.138 7.1 5.26 0.4 0.325 14 6.44 0.285 0.087 1.15 0.89 7.19 1.41 0.95 3.56 0.365 0.37 1.47 18.58 0.28 1.39 2.7 2.15 35.6 3.6 1.5 4.15

0.63 37.35 1.24 33 1.52 0.86 0.78 0.14 7.2 5.27 0.405 0.34 14.42 6.6 0.285 0.092 1.17 0.89 7.19 1.42 1.08 3.66 0.365 0.395 1.56 18.98 0.28 1.4 2.7 2.27 35.8 3.91 1.52 4.24

534,000 10,421,900 116,000 542,600 3,681,000 2,248,000 1,774,000 3,730,000 99,600 1,207,700 4,310,000 62,200,000 1,727,500 107,200 870,000 2,070,000 7,198,000 4,875,000 25,100 2,952,000 21,887,000 22,099,000 64,920,000 10,440,000 622,000 2,574,400 280,000 439,000 161,000 549,000 4,766,700 52,000 1,664,000 742,000

339,690 387,807,830 143,920 17,820,015 5,693,090 2,008,180 1,395,160 520,580 713,847 6,488,390 1,731,550 20,747,600 24,500,992 717,753 252,700 181,470 8,370,390 4,385,170 180,569 4,270,930 25,564,040 80,657,400 24,726,850 4,153,650 940,960 48,406,138 79,300 614,750 434,700 1,220,830 171,734,995 189,900 2,567,620 3,118,440

-247,732,765 -4,762,090 -1,560 -6,540 453,040 694,502 100,710 42,500 3,150 -256,352 5,700.00 4,443,270.00 72,000 720 46,420 -9,364,390 227,500 -49,750 -27,462,288 -168,010 429,300 -21,523,490.00 9,840 1,739,620

SERVICES ABS CBN 11.42 11.7 11.74 11.82 11.4 11.42 105,300 1,222,280 GMA NETWORK 6.96 7.04 7.06 7.2 6.96 6.96 1,182,000 8,430,456 0.43 0.475 0.425 0.43 0.425 0.43 130,000 55,750 MANILA BULLETIN GLOBE TELECOM 1,963 2,018 1,975 2,018 1,955 2,018 39,105 77,295,420 PLDT 1,327 1,328 1,300 1,338 1,298 1,328 141,485 188,234,150 0.165 0.166 0.206 0.213 0.163 0.165 2,291,810,000 429,015,300 APOLLO GLOBAL CONVERGE 17.5 17.54 16.8 17.6 16.8 17.5 5,799,400 100,799,644 DFNN INC 3.89 3.93 4 4.14 3.89 3.89 940,000 3,745,640 8.99 9 11.38 11.6 8.5 9 403,894,300 4,120,131,138 DITO CME HLDG IMPERIAL 1.52 1.61 1.6 1.6 1.52 1.52 56,000 85,700 ISLAND INFO 0.155 0.156 0.165 0.171 0.156 0.156 9,560,000 1,542,680 2 2.11 2.03 2.11 1.98 1.98 41,000 83,340 JACKSTONES NOW CORP 2.8 2.83 2.85 2.89 2.74 2.8 7,078,000 19,765,910 TRANSPACIFIC BR 0.49 0.495 0.475 0.55 0.445 0.49 169,780,000 85,460,650 2.79 2.8 3.3 3.51 2.77 2.79 6,502,000 19,325,000 PHILWEB 2GO GROUP 8.25 8.6 8.98 9.45 8.25 8.25 308,500 2,738,880 ASIAN TERMINALS 15 15.5 15.78 15.78 15.78 15.78 100 1,578 3.3 3.35 3.73 3.8 3.3 3.3 5,603,000 19,529,190 CHELSEA CEBU AIR 46.8 46.85 45.6 47.1 44.9 46.85 474,900 21,788,905 INTL CONTAINER 127.8 128.4 128 129.6 127.8 128.4 4,431,420 568,266,702 17.14 17.26 17.14 17.28 17.14 17.14 14,900 256,404 LBC EXPRESS LORENZO SHIPPNG 1.06 1.1 1.13 1.13 1.06 1.09 1,513,000 1,619,320 MACROASIA 5 5.04 5.3 5.5 5 5 1,787,800 9,300,367 2.25 2.27 2.42 2.46 2.25 2.25 1,491,000 3,483,150 METROALLIANCE A METROALLIANCE B 2.24 2.77 2.78 2.78 2.5 2.77 154,000 427,270 PAL HLDG 6.01 6.1 6.25 6.25 6 6.01 36,500 220,727 1.25 1.28 1.28 1.29 1.25 1.25 827,000 1,045,270 HARBOR STAR ACESITE HOTEL 1.46 1.51 1.51 1.51 1.51 1.51 3,000 4,530 BOULEVARD HLDG 0.077 0.078 0.083 0.085 0.075 0.078 490,890,000 39,297,560 5.04 5.19 5.28 5.51 5.19 5.19 881,300 4,659,468 DISCOVERY WORLD GRAND PLAZA 10.2 10.66 10.28 10.28 10.24 10.24 3,800 38,984 WATERFRONT 0.5 0.51 0.51 0.52 0.495 0.5 2,878,000 1,445,580 6.83 9.2 6.82 6.82 6.82 6.82 1,600 10,912 CENTRO ESCOLAR IPEOPLE 7.52 8.08 8 8.11 7.5 8.11 81,900 655,370 STI HLDG 0.38 0.39 0.385 0.385 0.38 0.38 3,410,000 1,312,700 4.35 4.59 4.41 4.41 4.3 4.3 14,000 60,600 BERJAYA BLOOMBERRY 7.77 7.8 7.8 7.88 7.65 7.8 5,220,000 40,937,971 PACIFIC ONLINE 2.05 2.08 2.12 2.12 2.05 2.05 133,000 273,490 1.74 1.76 1.85 1.85 1.72 1.76 408,000 714,000 LEISURE AND RES MANILA JOCKEY 2.08 2.09 2.11 2.11 2.09 2.09 60,000 125,700 PH RESORTS GRP 2.11 2.17 2.27 2.4 2.11 2.11 12,570,000 28,362,570 0.42 0.43 0.425 0.435 0.42 0.42 22,170,000 9,410,100 PREMIUM LEISURE ALLHOME 8.1 8.25 8.05 8.25 8.01 8.25 752,200 6,164,798 METRO RETAIL 1.29 1.3 1.31 1.31 1.28 1.29 545,000 703,070 35.5 35.75 35.9 36.2 35 35.5 1,500,700 53,334,100 PUREGOLD ROBINSONS RTL 53.4 54 53.8 54 53.1 54 1,350,730 72,239,903 PHIL SEVEN CORP 98 98.4 98.6 98.6 98 98.4 8,860 871,309 1.24 1.25 1.25 1.29 1.24 1.24 2,377,000 2,982,360 SSI GROUP WILCON DEPOT 17.18 17.56 17.12 17.34 17.04 17.18 618,300 10,625,106 APC GROUP 0.38 0.405 0.395 0.41 0.38 0.38 1,110,000 440,600 6.9 7 7.01 7.05 6.9 7 101,300 703,930 EASYCALL GOLDEN MV 432 450 430.2 450 430.2 450 800 354,060 IPM HLDG 5 5.09 5 5 5 5 3,000 15,000 2.24 2.37 2.24 2.24 2.24 2.24 2,000 4,480 PAXYS PRMIERE HORIZON 1.95 1.96 2.42 2.48 1.91 1.95 127,461,000 276,083,770 SBS PHIL CORP 4.32 4.39 4.36 4.4 4.32 4.32 22,000 96,060

-27,995,785 3,525,180 5,967,670.00 15,653,278 106,420 52,128,233 -630 648,600 -768,100 194,940 -1,324 315,340 9,021,485 310,809,561 146,092 1,083,711 -169,830 4,384,120 10,380 3,048,636 42,740 -297,420 -420,000 491,530 -34,930 -20,159,155 -19,600,804 199,409.50 -11,350 -7,799,036.00 -6,900 2,757,710 26,400

MINING & OIL ATOK 8 8.06 8.8 8.92 7.99 8 1,855,400 15,230,348 15,388 1.46 1.47 1.47 1.49 1.45 1.47 1,102,000 1,621,540 15,200 APEX MINING ATLAS MINING 6.32 6.35 6.41 6.41 6.28 6.32 370,200 2,351,159 375,107 BENGUET A 2.71 3 2.97 3 2.72 3 181,000 513,460 2.72 2.96 2.73 2.96 2.72 2.96 69,000 187,950 BENGUET B COAL ASIA HLDG 0.295 0.305 0.3 0.3 0.295 0.295 320,000 95,550 DIZON MINES 10.68 11.18 11.7 11.7 10.72 11.18 324,700 3,541,152 22,000 2.27 2.28 2.4 2.42 2.26 2.27 9,529,000 22,135,180 1,192,460 FERRONICKEL GEOGRACE 0.375 0.38 0.41 0.41 0.37 0.38 6,980,000 2,668,550 LEPANTO A 0.139 0.141 0.147 0.147 0.14 0.14 45,190,000 6,493,680 0.14 0.144 0.145 0.145 0.144 0.144 73,630,000 10,675,850 LEPANTO B MANILA MINING A 0.0099 0.01 0.01 0.011 0.0096 0.01 2,709,900,000 26,207,320 MANILA MINING B 0.01 0.011 0.0096 0.01 0.0094 0.01 1,074,000,000 10,319,000 -200,600 1.19 1.2 1.3 1.3 1.2 1.2 1,589,000 1,950,890 -37,460 MARCVENTURES NIHAO 2.22 2.33 2.36 2.36 2.22 2.28 172,000 390,410 NICKEL ASIA 5.13 5.14 5.2 5.2 5.1 5.13 6,383,500 32,811,614 14,462,712 0.425 0.435 0.425 0.435 0.425 0.435 200,000 85,100 OMICO CORP ORNTL PENINSULA 0.91 0.92 0.95 0.98 0.88 0.91 3,251,000 2,973,370 16,850 PX MINING 4.74 4.76 4.65 4.9 4.6 4.76 1,538,000 7,306,390 3,830 12.52 12.56 12.4 12.56 12.3 12.52 2,657,600 33,212,640 772,330 SEMIRARA MINING UNITED PARAGON 0.0084 0.0085 0.009 0.009 0.0083 0.0084 138,000,000 1,199,900 9,300 ACE ENEXOR 23.05 23.45 22.9 24.4 20.5 23.45 994,200 22,844,195 -236,120 0.011 0.012 0.012 0.013 0.011 0.012 195,200,000 2,264,800 ORNTL PETROL A ORNTL PETROL B 0.012 0.013 0.012 0.012 0.012 0.012 47,700,000 572,400 PHILODRILL 0.011 0.012 0.012 0.013 0.011 0.011 475,200,000 5,677,000 -7,200 8.62 8.7 9.15 9.27 8.61 8.62 1,209,800 10,840,968 132,343 PXP ENERGY PREFFERED HOUSE PREF B 100.1 101 100.2 100.2 100.1 100.1 790 79,083 HOUSE PREF A 99.8 100 99.9 100 99.75 99.75 5,100 509,985 101.4 101.7 101.7 101.7 101.5 101.5 1,720 174,604 1,017 DD PREF FGEN PREF G 106.5 108.9 109 109 109 109 100 10,900 MWIDE PREF 100.4 100.9 100.5 100.5 100.4 100.4 8,350 839,105 100 101 100 100 100 100 500 50,000 50,000 MWIDE PREF 2A PNX PREF 4 1,003 1,005 1,005 1,005 1,003 1,005 1,455 1,462,030 PCOR PREF 2B 1,014 1,020 1,020 1,020 1,020 1,020 3,260 3,325,200 1.78 2.11 1.64 2.1 1.64 1.78 82,000 152,710 SFI PREF SMC PREF 2C 78.7 78.75 78.75 78.75 78.7 78.7 11,170 879,512.50 SMC PREF 2E 76.4 78.4 76.3 76.3 76.3 76.3 140 10,682 78 79.75 79.45 79.75 79.45 79.75 17,000 1,351,992.50 1,351,992.50 SMC PREF 2F SMC PREF 2G 76.8 76.9 76.3 76.9 75.7 76.8 48,030 3,684,031 3,083,696 SMC PREF 2I 77.85 78 79 79 78 78 71,000 5,541,500 4,914,000 76.2 76.6 76.2 76.2 76.2 76.2 1,300 99,060 SMC PREF 2J SMC PREF 2K 76.5 77.1 76.2 77.5 76.2 76.5 40,700 3,145,175 PHIL. DEPOSITARY RECEIPTS ABS HLDG PDR 11.7 11.78 11.78 11.78 11.72 11.72 9,500 111,620 -26,992 GMA HLDG PDR 6.82 6.99 6.9 6.99 6.9 6.99 601,500 4,167,700 377,374 WARRANTS LR WARRANT 1.45 1.46 1.76 1.76 1.34 1.45 3,786,000 5,934,140 -1,650 SMALL & MEDIUM ENTERPRISES ALTUS PROP 20.5 20.95 21.5 22 20.3 20.95 310,300 6,517,490 ITALPINAS 2.23 2.25 2.46 2.46 2.22 2.25 2,439,000 5,736,890 141,700 5.52 5.6 5.51 5.6 5.51 5.52 16,700 92,621 KEPWEALTH MAKATI FINANCE 2.53 2.58 2.54 2.54 2.53 2.53 79,000 200,280 MERRYMART 4.68 4.69 5.11 5.29 4.55 4.69 50,781,900 250,566,330 6,634,391 EXHANGE TRADE FUNDS FIRST METRO ETF 102.5 102.6 103.4 103.5 102.3 102.6 18,010 1,853,346 -458,722


Envoys&Expats BusinessMirror

www.businessmirror.com.ph

Spanish training ship due in PHL for Quincentennial

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By Recto L. Mercene

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O attract more investments and support existing Filipino investors in Sri Lanka, Ambassador Shobini Gunasekera met with high-ranking executives of the Aboitiz Group on February 26 at the said country’s embassy in Manila. One of the biggest business conglomerates in the Philippines with interests in energy production, banking, agriculture, construction, real estate, among others, in Asean, the Aboitiz Group acquired in 2019 Gold Coin Sri Lanka—a thriving agribusiness venture focusing on the production of animal feeds for the local Sri Lankan market. Discussions focused on the operations of the Aboitiz Group’s ventures through Pilmico and Gold Coin. The group relayed their gratitude to the embassy for its continuous assistance and guidance as it expands its operations in Sri Lanka. Gunasekera assured the company of the embassy’s continuous support. She also encouraged the companies to study opportunities for further investments in the agriculture sector as a potential step in exploring other markets in the region, with Sri Lanka as a manufacturing base. In addition, the ambassador discussed incentives and assistance for investors under the government of Sri Lanka’s national policy blueprint: Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour. CEO of Pilmico Foods Tristan Aboitiz, Aboitiz Equity Ventures First Vice President Christopher Camba, and AEV Chief External Affairs Officer DJ Sta. Ana represented the Aboitiz Group. Gold Coin representatives from Sri Lanka and Singapore also joined the meeting online.

DFA, UP Law Center jointly launch treaties index book

it back three years later. The “Elcano” will arrive in Guiuan, Eastern Samar on March 16. It will then proceed to Suluan and Homonhon Islands on March 18, and later in Cebu between March 20 to 22. It will anchor at the actual spot where the expedition made the first visual contact, landing and human encounter on that fateful day half a millennium ago. According to organizers, the space-and-time coincidence will help to better visualize the special feeling that Spanish expeditioners experienced when they first gazed at the beauty of this country and discovered the hu-

SECRETARY of Foreign Affairs Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. (center), with authors Atty. Crystal Gale DampilMandigma and Undersecretary J. Eduardo Malaya DFA-OPCD

T THE Juan Sebastián Elcano FB: EMBASSY OF SPAIN IN THE PHILIPPINES

manity of its people. The “Elcano” is a four-mast brig-schooner, built in 1928 and named after the captain of the 17 remaining crew members of the Magellan-led voyage. Its length of 113 meters makes it the thirdlargest tail ship in the world. The Quincentennial journey will count as its 10th time to set sail

around the world. For the momentous occasion, the Embassy of Spain said it will cover the commemoration extensively through its social media accounts in Facebook and Twitter. In addition, it has programmed a full series of events organized by Instituto Cervantes in Manila and Casa Asia in Spain.

Sri Lanka pursues local FDI prospects Ambassador Shobini Gunasekera (left) meets with one of the officials from the Aboitiz Group. FB: EMBASSY OF SRI LANKA IN MANILA

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@rectomercene

HE Spanish flag ship Juan Sebastián Elcano will arrive in the Philippines this month to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the first circumnavigation of the world. The sea vessel is scheduled to pass by a number of Philippine islands, which is a major part of its tour around the world to commemorate the Armada de Maluco, or the Magallanes-Elcano expedition route. The feat made the idea of sailing across the planet possible for the first time in the 1500s— considered one of the most significant achievements in the history of mankind. The journey is considered a quantum leap forward and a technological challenge for that era. Initially, five ships and 238 men departed Spain as part of the expedition. Only 18 men and one ship—the Victoria—made

Thursday, March 11, 2021

ENVOYS AT VACCINE ARRIVAL Ambassadors present at the turnover of AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX facility: Norway’s Bjørn

Jahnsen (from left), Germany’s Anke Reiffenstuel, Spain’s Jorge Moragas, Italy’s Giorgio Guglielmino, the Netherlands’ Saskia Lang, France’s Michèle Boccoz, Australia’s Steven Robinson AO, the European Union’s Luc Véron and the United Kingdom’s Daniel Pruce. EU IN THE PHILIPPINES

HE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the University of the Philippines Law Center (UPLC) recently launched online the book Philippine Treaties in Force 2020—an index of some 3,367 subsisting agreements entered into by the Philippines since 1946. The 392-page book was edited by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary J. Eduardo Malaya and Atty. Crystal Gale DampilMandigma of the DFAs Office of Treaties and Legal Affairs (OTLA). In his foreword to the book, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. described the publication as “a valuable chronicle to the country’s international relations” and “manifests our dynamic relations with other countries and international organizations near and far.” For his part, Senator Aquilino Martin L. Pimentel III, who is the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, cited the book as “most useful listing and index,” which makes “treaties more accessible to the Filipino people.” OTLA Assistant Secretary Igor G. Bailen welcomed online participants, who referred to the book as “an index, a time capsule, a journey of the last 75 years, of a thousand and one stories, of our country and our relationship with the world, through the treaties and agreements we have with all other countries.” The UPLC-Institute of International Legal Studies collaborated with the DFA in the preparation and publication of the book. Its director, Professor Rommel J. Casis, said that “by providing a roadmap of our international commitments, this reference book can serve as a useful tool which can assist our leaders, foreign-service officers, lawyers, and researchers alike in navigating our increasingly intricate relations with our allies in the international community.” The last update of the treaties index was undertaken in 2010 by a three-person team, which was also led by Malaya, who was then assistant secretary for treaties and legal affairs. The 2020 edition is more precise, yet comprehensive, as it contains agreements in force and excludes those which have expired. It also contains links

to online treaties databases where the full text of most of the agreements can be found, primarily the Philippine Supreme Court e-Library (elibrary.judiciary.gov.ph), the Asean Legal Instruments database (agreement.asean.org), and the United Nations Treaty Series Online (un.treaties.org). In his talk on “Reflections on Philippine Treaty Practice: A Practitioner’s Perspective,” Malaya—also the coauthor with Professor Casis of the book Treaties: Guidance to Practice and Procedure (UPLC, 2018)—underscored the importance of good database management of treaties, as “[they] are the embodiment of the country’s commitments and legal obligations, or its flipside, the county’s rights and entitlements vis-à-vis the international community.” “For policy makers, we need to know what [our rights and obligations are,] where the gaps are with respect to our development and other priorities, and what we need to work on,” Malaya averred. “We also owe the public transparency and allow them the right of access to treaties and related documents in a timely and organized manner.” Members of the diplomatic corps, DFA officials—including those based overseas, officials from other government agencies, the nongovernment organizations community, members of the academe, law students, and other interested parties attended the event, which was broadcast via Zoom and live-streamed via Facebook (https:// fb.watch/45rr2OkMCK/). The DFA-OTLA, the UPLC–Institute of International Legal Studies, and the Foreign Service Institute jointly hosted the gathering. Malaya was the Philippines’s ambassador to Malaysia from 2011 to 2017, and currently the ambassador-designate to The Netherlands. This is his ninth book, having earlier authored or edited books and articles on diplomacy, presidential history, and law. Copies of the book are available for P450 at the UPLC. For further information about the book as well as pre-ordering procedures, interested persons can e-mail iils_law.upd@up.edu. ph. Recto L. Mercene

UK commitment to PHL United States welcomes arrival of its supported COVAX vaccines on vaccines: Rock-solid By Daniel Pruce

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HE United States welcomes the successful arrival of 487,200 doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19) vaccine to the Philippines on Thursday, March 4. The vaccines were made available through the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access, or COVAX Advance Market Commitment—a global initiative to support equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines. According to its embassy in Manila, the US has already donated P97.2 billion (or about $2 billion) to COVAX—by far, the largest contribution—to ensure the Philippines and other countries receive Covid-19 vaccines. It said that in February, the US announced a total planned contribution of P194.4 billion (around $4 billion) to the COVAX. Its government has provided already an initial Php97.2 billion ($2 billion). The Philippines was among the first countries in the region to have received Covid-19 vaccines through the said facility. “The US is proud to be the largest contributor to COVAX, and we welcome the successful arrival of the first tranche of AstraZeneca vaccines in the Philippines,” stated US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires John Law. “Fighting the pandemic together, the US will continue to [aid this country’s] vaccination and

British Ambassador to the Philippines

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Covid-19 mitigation efforts.” US contributions to COVAX, through the US Agency for International Development, or USAID, will support the purchase and delivery of safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines for the world’s most vulnerable and at-risk populations in 92 low- and middle-income countries. This support, according to the embassy, is critical to controlling the pandemic, slowing the emergence of

new variants, and helping to restart the global economy. The embassy also noted that the US has worked closely with Philippine stakeholders throughout the duration of the pandemic to protect public health and strengthen the response to Covid-19. To date, total US-government Covid-19 local assistance has amounted to more than P1.1 billion (approximately $23.4 million).

WAS delighted to see the arrival of the first batch of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine here in the Philippines through the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facility. I would like to pay tribute to the personal efforts of vaccine czar, Secretary Carlito G. Galvez Jr., in achieving this. It is also a recognition of the work across central and local government to ensure the country is ready to deploy the vaccine. For myself and for the embassy, it has been a privilege to work alongside our broad range of partners in the Philippines. And this has been part of the United Kingdom’s global commitment of doing all it can to ensure equitable access to safe and effective vaccines, which have been developed transparently. I should also recognize AstraZeneca’s commitment to supply the vaccine on a not-for-profit basis during the pandemic. The British government supported the research at Oxford University which led to this vaccine. We have donated £548 million to COVAX, making us one of the largest donors. We’ve worked with other countries to raise contributions to the facility, totaling $1 billion. It is COVAX that got its first batch here, and it’s COVAX that will get vaccines to many other countries around the world. That international effort is critical to beating the coronavirus. None of us are safe until all of us are safe.

PRUCE BRITISH EMBASSY MANILA And no one should be left behind. We have also been honored to assist in preparation for vaccine deployment in the Philippines. For example, we have reached over 2,000 people involved in this mammoth undertaking through a series of embassy-organized roundtable discussions in recent weeks, where officials from the United Kingdom (UK) have shared their experience of our own rollout. This first batch of COVAX will be followed by others. In total, 5 million shots of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be delivered under the COVAX facility. And, as we look ahead to the coming months, a further 17 million shots will come—thanks to the agreement among the government, AstraZeneca, the local government units and the private sector. Around 23 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine should arrive in the country during this year. That’s a fantastic achievement. The UK’s commitment to working with the Philippines at this difficult time is rock-solid. We will see this through with you.


B4 Thursday, March 11, 2021

Banking&Finance BusinessMirror

Branch banking activities seen slowing down more

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By Tyrone Jasper C. Piad

@Tyronepiad

HYSICAL branch banking activities may continue to lessen as more than half of the Filipinos prefer using digital platforms during this pandemic, a study by a Californiabased data analytics company revealed.

Fair, Isaac and Co. (FICO) said last Wednesday that 56 percent of Filipino consumers are now choosing to accomplish banking needs via digital channels. The data is based on a poll it conducted in December last year, which the firm said proves the openness of consumers to embrace digital banking. “If customers prefer digital channels during times of hardship, their most difficult time, it seems to me we can expect branch banking to continue its decline,” Aashish Sharma, risk lifecycle and decision management lead for FICO in Asia Pacific, was quoted in the statement as saying. FICO noted that the high level

of smartphone penetration in the country resulted in 29 percent of the respondents choosing to reach out to their banks via mobile banking applications. Some 12 percent use Internet banking; 9 percent communicate through emails; 4 percent opt for telebanking; and, 2 percent prefer virtual conference technology. Sharma noted that the risk of infection and lockdown measures in the past year made branch visits “less appealing,” which prompted the quick shift to digital banking platforms. “Being able to deliver and manage numerous channels in line with customer preference and deliver a

seamless and engaging experience is a challenge that is here to stay,” Sharma explained. “Investment in customer management and communication tools that span these channels and product silos, and can deliver personalization and improved decision making, is key to making digital banking a success.” Despite the rise of financial technology (fintech), FICO said banks still have advantage when it comes to data and relationships with clients. The survey concluded that one in three consumers in Asia Pacific prefer to accomplish all their banking transactions in one bank only. For the Philippines, 40 percent shared the same sentiment; further 34 percent, meanwhile, said they “somewhat agreed” to transacting in just one primary bank. Sharma explained that managing many financial accounts at the same time is not ideal for customers as they might find it complex, timeconsuming, and even costly. Digital banking users are keener on having “greater control and visibility of their financial position,” she said. Still, 24 percent of the Filipinos said they were “inclined to consider” a fintech or challenger bank while

43 percent were “relatively open to the idea.” “To consolidate and strengthen main bank engagement, lenders need to offer digital banking features that compete with the challengers to ensure the stickiness and viability of long-term customer relationships,” Sharma said. Out of all the Filipino respondents, 38 percent said they would switch to a competitor for better personalization and controls in digital banking service. This refers to the ability to view transaction history, update personal details, reset passwords and other related functions. This sentiment is echoed across Asia Pacific, FICO said, noting that 31 percent of the respondents cited the same reason. Other drivers to switch to competitors include the ability to control a payment card and set up recurring payments; and better security features, such as biometrics and two-factor authentication. FICO surveyed 5,000 consumers across ten countries for the study. Aside from the Philippines, these countries included Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

BDO named best PHL bank by HK firm for 8th year

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DO Unibank Inc. announced it was recently named as the best local bank during “The Asset Triple A Country Awards 2020” for the 8th consecutive year. The awarding ceremony recognized Asian issuers and global institutional investors for excellence in banking, finance, treasury and capital markets by Hong Kong-based publisher Asset Publishing & Research Ltd. Shares in BDO fell by 2.75 percent, or P3, to close at P105.90 each amid the 0.61-percent rise for the benchmark index last Wednesday. The Sy-led bank said its subsidiary BDO Capital & Investment Corp. was awarded as the “Best Corporate and Institutional Advisor-Domestic,” “Best Equity Advisor” and “Best Loan Adviser.” BDO and BDO Capital were recognized for their roles as sole lender and lead arranger and bookrunner in the KKR-led consortium’s $1.3-billion stake acquisition in Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings Inc. It was considered the largest merger and acquisition in the healthcare sector in the country. The bank said it was recognized for having the “Best Retail Bond” as well for its P36-billion fixed-rate bond issuance. This was seven times more than the original size of P5 billion, which BDO attributed to robust demand from individual and institutional investors. Meanwhile, BDO Capital was

IN this undated file photo, two women are seen transacting in a BDO branch. Photo courtesy of BDO Unibank Inc.

also awarded the Best Local Currency Green Bond recognition. It was a joint lead underwriter and joint bookrunner for the P3-billion fixed-rate Asean green bonds of Arthaland Corp. “In line with the bank’s sustainability mission, the green bonds adhere to the Asean Green Bonds Standards, which require

proceeds to be used exclusively for environment-friendly projects,” BDO said. BDO saw its net income fall by 36 percent to P28.2 billion last year from P44.2 billion in 2019 as loan loss buffers surged to P30.2 billion. As of end-December 2020, capitalization was at P393 billion, with capital adequacy ratio at 14.4 percent and

common equity tier 1 ratio at 13.2 percent. The listed bank earlier said it was eyeing to install more upgraded automated teller machine (ATM) terminals this year to allow cardless, QR (quick response) code-based withdrawals. There are over 100 QRenabled ATMs in Makati currently. Tyrone Jasper C. Piad

PHL among top nations for foreign investments

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second study by Standard Chartered Plc revealed that European and American companies ranked the Philippines among the top 5 Southeast Asian countries for opportunities to establish or expand their sourcing, selling or operations over the next six months to 12 months. “With regulations noted as the number one concern amongst respondents looking to expand overseas, it could suggest an opportunity for Philippines to increase foreign investment through greater awareness of the ease of doing business locally,” the financial intermediary said. Asia remains a major growth region (with over 85 percent operating and implementing in Asia or considering it for business activities).

Africa and the Middle East also saw marginal increase (up 4 percent) as potential growth markets over the next six to twelve months. Despite the ambition to expand internationally, understanding the regulatory requirements in overseas markets remains the greatest obstacle (35 percent) for companies who are looking to expand or strengthen their international operations. This is followed by the need to build relationships with suppliers and adapt supply chain logistics (21 percent). As companies look ahead into a post pandemic environment, the respondents’ top three priorities have indicated slight shifts away from issues including supply chain failure (down 2 percent to 50 percent) and the need for liquidity (down 2 per-

cent to 47 percent) to an increase in investing in digitisation to mobilise liquidity (up 4 percent to 66 percent) and environmental, social and governance, or ESG, (up 5 percent to 23 percent). The bank said the second study on the international growth strategies and challenges that chief financial officers (CFOs) and Treasurers in the US, the UK, Germany and France face indicate that, despite uncertainty caused by the global pandemic and its associated economic repercussions, overseas markets remain key to growth. The study also revealed incremental emphasis towards investing in digital technology, unlocking trapped cash and increased focus on ESG issues in relation to trade and

supply chains. Since the first study six months ago, respondents have indicated increased business confidence in growth across borders, where 42 percent (up from 37 percent) of companies see the best growth opportunities outside of their home markets. “It is apparent that businesses are beginning to pay greater attention to overseas growth and investing for the future,” Torry Berntsen, Standard Chartered CEO of Europe and Americas, said. “Sustainability, digitization and the need to understand regulation are not just key to how business will be conducted, they are also opportunities for companies to increase operational efficiency, grow internationally and stay ahead of the competition.”

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DBP borrows overseas to fund maturing bonds

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HE Department of Finance (DOF) announced that the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) returned to the international debt capital market last March 2 to refinance its 10-year $300-million bonds that are set to mature on March 25. In a statement last Wednesday, the DOF described the offering as “successful” as the bond refinancing “were priced at even tighter spreads over the United States Treasuries than when these notes were first offered to global investors in 2011.” The statement quoted JP Morgan, who was among the joint lead managers and bookrunners of the offering, as saying that the bond refinancing tightened DBP’s spread over the US Treasuries to T10+97.5 basis points (bps), from T10+25 bps in 2011. The DBP raised $300 million from its global bond offering in 2011. JP Morgan said DBP and the Philippine government were able to score “another big win” with the bond refinancing last March 2, “despite a volatile past week on the back of weaker equity markets and large US Treasury rate swings.” “DBP’s offering last March 2 was the first US dollar-denominated

bond sale by a Philippine issuer and the first US dollar senior public bond issuance from a Southeast Asian bank this year,” the statement said. The offering marked DBP’s return to the international debt capital market after a decade. JP Morgan was quoted in the statement as saying “the transaction saw strong demand from real money fund managers and achieved a 27.5 bps revision from the initial price guidance.” “While investors had initially exhibited price sensitivity due to the volatility in rates, the transaction was eventually priced at T+97.5 bps to yield 2.421 percent, which represents a premium of approximately 32.5 bps over the implied fair value of the Philippine sovereign at the time of issuance,” JP Morgan was quoted in the statement as saying. DBP’s spread over the implied fair value of ROP (Republic of the Philippines) bonds was 95 bps in 2011. JP Morgan said the DBP “was able to time the market and capitalize on the stronger market backdrop” to launch its global roadshow on March 1 and subsequently price a successful transaction the following day. Bernadette D. Nicolas

Deposits-insurer to sell assets via online bidding By Bernadette D. Nicolas @BNicolasBM

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HE Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC) has shifted to electronic bidding (e-bidding) to sell corporate and closed banks’ assets, particularly real properties. The government-funded deposits-insurer said last Wednesday it has recently launched its e-bidding portal “to provide a convenient and user-friendly platform for property hunting and buying.” The e-bidding portal may also be accessed via PDIC’s Assets for Sale web site. The PDIC announced during the launch of the online platform that the first e-bidding of properties is set on April 8 wherein a total of 10 vacant subdivision lots in Waterwood Park Subdivision, Barangay Pagala, Baliuag, Bulacan will be up for sale on an “as is, where is” basis. The areas of the vacant residential lots range from 250 square meters up to 325 square meters, with minimum disposal price starting at P2.5 million up to P3.3 million. Situated in various locations

at Waterwood Park Subdivision, these lots have a combined area of 2,719 square meters and aggregate minimum disposal price of P27.2 million, the PDIC said in a statement. Online bids shall be accepted by the Real and Other Properties Acquired Disposal Committee from direct buyers only who register through the e-bidding portal, the PDIC said. Online bids may be placed between 9 a.m. on April 7 and 1 p.m. on April 8. The complete list and description of the properties, requirements and e-bidding process are posted in the PDIC Assets for Sale online site. Bid documents—bid forms, conditions of bid and the required format of the Special Power of Attorney and Secretary’s Certificate—may also be downloaded, if needed, from the site. The PDIC also announced that e-bidding would also be held on April 14 for the disposal of properties based in Metro Manila and Silang, Cavite, and on April 23 for properties based in Luzon, Misamis Oriental and Cagayan de Oro City.

Asia-Pacific ‘strongest banks’ list includes AUB

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SIA United Bank (AUB) Corp. announced it has been listed by Singaporeheadquartered TAB International Pte. Ltd. as one of the 500 strongest banks by balance sheet evaluation in the Asia Pacific in 2020, landing 52nd place in the region and third in the Philippines. The “Strongest Banks” ranking was released by TAB International’s publication “The Asian Banker. AUB said the financial performances of the banks in the Asia Pacific region were rated through six crucial indicators: Scale of the banks’ assets relative to domestic gross domestic product (GDP); balance sheet growth of net loans and deposits; risk management of the banks’ operations; profitability and sustainability; strength and credibility of loans disbursed; and, liquidity of assets to meet adverse events requiring cash outflow. AUB said it scored highest in capital adequacy ratio, return on

asset, cost to income ratio, loan loss reserves and liquid assets. “We are extremely pleased of AUB’s performance vis-a-vis local banks, as well as in the region,” AUB President Manuel A. Gomez was quoted in a statement as saying. “It is proof of AUB’s stability and resilience as an institution, and a recognition of [our] hard work and commitment, despite the challenges we faced during the pandemic.” Earlier, AUB made it to the Forbes Asia’s 2020 “Best Undera-Billion” list as it was recognized along with 200 top-performing publicly listed companies with less than $1 billion in revenue and consistent top and bottomline growth. AUB began operating in 1997 after securing a full-branch commercial license that year. In 2013, AUB joined the league of Philippine banks that have become publicly listed, acquiring universal banking status.


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CALLIGRAPHY SERIES AT SUNSHINE PLACE ONLINE

LEARN the art of beautiful handwriting online at Sunshine Place (www.sunshineplaceph.com) with Beth Robles of Play Crafts Philippines. Robles will conduct a four-series workshop on calligraphy via Zoom. Calligraphy refers to the design and execution of lettering with a broad-tipped instrument, brush, or other writing instrument. The series started with a Tools and Basic Strokes workshop last March 6. Students learned how to use the tools for pointed-pen calligraphy, plus the basic strokes in forming each letter of the alphabet. The second workshop, Ligatures and Capitals, will focus on connecting letters to form words, phrases and quotes. Students will also learn the principal strokes in writing capital letters using the pointed nib. The workshop is scheduled on March 13 and 20, from 9 am to 12 noon. Also scheduled is the Flourished Letters workshop. Students will learn the basic rules of flourishing and how one can flourish each letter of the alphabet. Adding embellishments or decorating the letters with loops or swoosh will make the letters more beautiful and noticeable. The workshop is scheduled on March 27, from 9 am to 12 noon. The enrollment deadline is March 20. The last in the series is Offhand Flourishing on April 10, from 9 am to 12 noon. It will be a fun calligraphy workshop where students can play with the different strokes to form quills, cartouche, border design and accent flourishes. The enrollment deadline is April 3. The workshop series is open to participants aged 11 and above. More information is available at 0917-5155656 or online.sunshineplace@gmail.com.

EASIER PATH TO WELLNESS

BOOST your immunity and strengthen your bones, teeth and muscle with Vitamin C + Zinc + Vitamin D in passion fruit flavor...support your nerve health while enjoying the orange flavor of B complex...see a more beautiful world Billberry Complex, which is perfect eye care for those who are always in front of laptops and mobile devices...reduce acne, eczema, and help relieve symptoms of PMS, hot flashes and breast pain with Evening Primrose, which boosts women’s health. The path to health and wellness is being made increasingly easier, with regional health care and beauty care chain store powerhouse Watsons highlighting the newest range of Watsons Vitamins and Supplements (www.facebook.com/WatsonsPH). There are over 64 new products in various formats—tablets, capsules, softgels and effervescent tablets for overall wellness, immunity building as well as beauty supplements. These quality yet affordable vitamins and supplements go through the meticulous Watsons Quality Assurance Process to meet FDA standards, making everybody’s daily health routines more convenient and enjoyable. This comes at a time when it has become part of our daily routines to take precautionary measures against Covid-19 as well as any other viruses that may be looming around us. Together with being proactive in eating healthier foods and maintaining a consistent workout routine, we must also make a habit of taking vitamins and supplements to further build and strengthen our immune system. The popular brand now offers Watsons’ Call & Delivery for consumers to get their orders within 24 hours. For those always on-the-go, Watsons offers four new variants of effervescent tablets that are fit for them. Just drop a tablet to a glass of water and leave it to dissolve so you can enjoy a refreshing and fizzy way of taking your vitamins. Apart from Vitamin C + Zinc + Vitamin D and B Complex, there is the Calcium + Vitamin D3 variant that supports bone and joint health, and Watsons Vitamin C + Vitamin E + Glutathione which whitens, nourishes, and protects skin from UV damage. There are other essential vitamins and supplements from the brand that might be helpful during this time, such as Evening Primrose for women’s health and Bilberry Complex for eye health support. It might also be good to stock up on Glucosamine for joint health, B Complex Plus for nerve health and increased energy levels, Omega-3 capsules which reduce risks of heart diseases, and MGX+ by Watsons, which has the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of mangosteen. As the global community continues to struggle against the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic, health and wellness becomes even more important.

VITAMIN C + Vitamin E + Glutathione effervescent tablets in refreshing peach flavor.

EVENING

Oil ➜ Primrose help support

women’s health and Bilberry Complex help improve eye health.

Editor: Gerard S. Ramos

• Thursday, March 11, 2021

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Teaching kids about equality and inclusion

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S parents, we know our kids are growing up in a more diverse world than that we grew up in. Part of raising a 21st century learner, according to Hirsh-Pasek, is teaching kids the value of collaboration. Aside from learning to get along with others and building teamwork, collaboration also involves experiencing diversity. As a parent and an educator, I believe this skill is one of the most important, yet one of the hardest to teach. That’s why I was so glad to discover how global consumer brand P&G is at the forefront of exemplifying equality and inclusion in the workplace. I have always believed that our work should make us better parents, because of the new learnings we get to pass on to our kids. For more than 180 years, P&G has nurtured and developed a diverse work force. They have passed their purpose, values and principles down from generation to generation of employees, to guide how they conduct business, including how they treat each other and the commitments to the people they serve. They aspire to create a world free from all types of bias based on race, ethnicity, culture, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, and background. They believe in the power of differences and the impact we can make when we come together united by shared values and purpose. They have come together as a company and with others to advocate for diversity and inclusion beyond their walls—leveraging their message in advertising, investing with diverse suppliers, and partnering with companies and non-profits to learn from each other and expand their collective impact. In line with this new “equality and inclusion” strategy, P&G’s plan of holistic and integrated action is to make meaningful impact in four key areas: employees, brands, partners and communities. The company believes that equality takes people beyond diversity. For them, equality is the state or experience of being equal, particularly in status—in rights and opportunities. Inclusion is the feeling of belonging. P&G believes that when people feel supported in being themselves, this leads to people becoming their best. They rally for equality and inclusion for all because they believe it is better for communities, companies and economies when this is true. Last January, P&G launched a new global Paid Parental Leave minimum standard, which marks

an important milestone in the company’s journey to driving positive change through real action. The company’s ShareTheCare offers all parents, regardless of gender and marital status, the opportunity to care for and bond with children new to their family, setting eight weeks of fully paid leave as the minimum standard for each parent. This is beyond the standard seven days mandated by government for fathers. Birth and adoptive mothers continue to receive 105 days maternity leave. This new framework aims to remove gender bias from child caregiving by giving all P&G parents equitable access to paid leave and hence shift cultural norms. Aside from providing parents more time to engage with their kids, this policy also supports the view of shared obligations of both partners in caring for their child and family. Leading this forward view in the country is P&G Philippines president and general manager Raffy Fajardo. In an online conference, I liked how he put the whole intent of this movement by saying, “It is the right thing to do!” It reflects his 21 years of living through the company’s values and clearly shows its commitment to honoring individuality and the unique contributions of each member of the company. Raffy is a father of two girls with his wife Frances.

I also thought it would be best for us parents, both moms and dads, to learn about simplified parenting from him. True to the concept of bringing learning from work, Raffy applies the “no-fly zone” policy from work at home. This defined time zone means a parent setting aside this period for pure family time. According to Raffy, these times simplify parenting “because the more time you spend with your kids, the more you get to know them; the more they trust you and the easier it becomes to communicate with them.” Whether it be lunch, bonding or exercise times together, Raffy underscores the need to free up such time. It is good to know that as much time as P&G devotes in being at the forefront of consumer goods— staying ahead in trends of upsizing affordable essentials, accessibility and innovation of products— it also takes its commitment to consumers and employees to an equally high standard. At the onset of this pandemic, P&G reconfigured its Cabuyao plant in six weeks to produce face masks, and was able to donate 2 million face masks to frontliners by June. As consumers, even if we are not part of their work force, we should bring home P&G’s values of equality and inclusion in our own families, and hopefully raise more collaborative kids in the process. ■

Covid-19 survivor’s guilt a growing issue as reality of loss settles in BY DAVID CHESIRE University of Florida PEOPLE are eager to return to normal after a year of coronavirus, but is the the world there yet? Hardly. The ongoing psychological and spiritual damage caused by the pandemic is rising, too. Guilt and shame are two prevailing emotions surrounding Covid-19.This guilt stems in part from the fact that anyone could be a potential carrier of the virus—so anyone, then, could unwittingly pass it to another person. Guilt can also arise when a person looks at the national and global death tolls and wonders how they were spared. Guilt also happens when family members can’t visit loved ones undergoing treatment at a hospital, or when someone with Covid-19 survives but reads about a infected stranger who died. A particular type of response called survivor’s guilt can occur when people lose loved ones due to a traumatic event, or when they themselves experienced the threat but survived it. As a psychologist and a doctor of emergency medicine, we have personal experience with patients suffering from survivor’s guilt as they watched loved ones succumb to Covid-19. And as the pandemic continues, we expect to see more. SURVIVOR’S GUILT IS COMPLICATED SURVIVOR’S guilt can occur whether or not a person caused an event to occur. It can happen to a sole survivor of a plane crash who had nothing to do with the accident, or an intoxicated driver who crashed his car and killed his passenger. Either way, the person feels they were spared an event while others perished, and feelings of grief and anxiety result. Survivor’s

guilt can affect up to 90% of survivors of traumatic events. Covid-19 survivors in Bergamo, Italy, one of the world’s hardest-hit towns, have experienced this on a widespread basis. Some people have reported a type of survivor guilt when they have been vaccinated, with many wondering why they have been so fortunate. Conflicting messages from national and local governments haven’t helped. Because some leaders have suggested that Covid-19 is no worse than the flu, millions of Americans did not wear masks. By some estimates, not wearing masks could have contributed to 130,000 deaths. Also, a person can spread Covid-19 without knowing they have the disease. This uncertainty combined with loneliness might have led to social gatherings that weren’t the safest. Perhaps an elderly parent decides to risk illness rather than spend the holiday alone. Many parents, including our own, say they want to make the most out of the time they have right now; they cannot bank on being around next year. In the world of palliative medicine, there is no shortage of examples of patients choosing quality of life over quantity, sometimes refusing lifesaving but invasive treatment so they can spend time engaged in activities they might not otherwise be able to enjoy. This is not unusual at any age—it’s not at all uncommon for people to make choices that have potential tremendous costs, from smoking to skydiving. So is someone who inadvertently passed along Covid-19 at fault? For example, how do we cope with the guilt when we know we passed the virus on to a family member? Generally, people don’t ascribe this kind of blame when they inadvertently pass the flu to someone who gets sick, or perhaps even dies. We do

not see countless news stories assigning blame when someone with the common cold does not wear a mask at the grocery store. We believe that people should be forgiving of themselves should they accidentally transmit Covid-19. Self-forgiveness requires recognition we cannot control everything, and that our motives were benign. DEALING WITH SURVIVOR’S GUILT SYMPTOMS of survivor’s guilt include anxiety, depression, headache, nausea, sleeplessness and fatigue. It can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder. Managing survivor’s guilt is an individual process, and what works for one may not work for another. Interventions include deep breathing, meditation, relaxation, exercising, a healthy diet, journaling, adopting a hobby, getting a pet, watching comedies and reaching out—volunteering or engaging with family, friends and co-workers. For some, spirituality and faith are also important. Nonreligious people may find comfort by connecting directly to nature, where life and death are part of a grand cycle, and nature itself may have a purpose that ordains when one person succumbs while another survives. As people pass through the grieving process, healing comes by recognizing our interconnectedness to each other. But when the US quarantined, many people lost that most basic and primal coping mechanism. Instead, Americans, sometimes alone, have had to explore existential truths that may have been painful, even devastating. Yet in many ways, the country has already prevailed. Through mourning our losses and suffering heartbreak, our medical, psychological and spiritual well-being remains a strength. THE CONVERSATION

P&G PHILIPPINES President and General Manager Raffy Fajardo with wife Frances and their daughters (left), and P&G’s Sales Director for the Omni-Retail Channel Vince Murga with wife Billie and their baby girl.


B6 Thursday, March 11, 2021

Achieve cleaner indoor air with Sharp’s Plasmacluster Ion

Villar welcomes vaccination rollout, renews call for cooperation in Las Piñas

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ENATOR Cynthia Villar welcomed the Covid-19 vaccination rollout with vaccines from China’s Sinovac Biotech that began on March 4 in her hometown Las Pinas City. “I am happy that we already started giving the Covid-19 vaccines in Las Piñas. We hope all medical frontliners and residents will grab the opportunity to be vaccinated, so they will be protected against the virus” Villar said. Villar said she is confident that many individuals, including healthcare workers, will be innoculated regardless of the vaccine brand, citing the assurance given by our health officials and the government that they are safe and effective. The lady senator is looking forward the vaccines rollouts will run smoothly as she renewed her calls to Las Pinas residents to cooperate with the city government and health officials who are only thinking of their protection, safety and welfare. She also urged everyone to receive their Covid-19 shots for the country to finally be able to move to the new normal of living and to recover from economic slump amid the pandemic. “At present, this is our best defense against the virus,” she also pointed out. She likewise acknowledged government efforts to ramp up vaccine confidence and overcome vaccine hesistancy brought about by the Dengvaxia controversy. To ease fears of the Covid-19 vaccines, hospital directors and some government officials got the first jabs of the vaccines. Villar said Las Piñas General Hospital and Satellite Tauma Center (LPGHSTC) General Director Dr. Rodrigo Hao confirmed that 300 frontliners already got their first dose of the China-made

LAS PIÑAS LPGHSTC General Director, Dr.Rodrigo Hao is inoculated with Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine. Las Piñas City received an initial 300 doses of vaccine on March 4, 2021. Sinovac vaccine. Among the first to get the jabs was Dr. Hao. Another 300 doses of Sinovac, which arrived last on March 7, will be administered to another batch of medical frontliners. LPGHTC and the Las Pinas City government is also awaiting for the arrival of those AstraZeneca vaccines from Covax and those procured by Las Pinas City from AstraZeneca the British drugmaker

EXPENSIVE electricity cost, illegal charges, vulnerability to disasters, lack of infrastructure for energy choices, and slow economic recovery from the pandemic had been cited as reasons for consumer involvement.

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upward. When an air purifier is placed directly underneath, an airflow is created that quickly circulates around the room. This process enables airborne virus droplets to be captured effectively. For almost two decades, Sharp has been working toward achieving comfortable indoor air environments by using Plasma cluster and airflow technologies. Because of that, they have various products that are equipped with these advancements. Sharp FP-J50P-H Air Purifier is an excellent companion for fresher air. It can cover a 40sqm of room with its high-density PCI generator and fan. It can be can controled with your smartphone because of its Smart Operation function through AIoT. Sharp is also leveling up your typical electric fan by equipping it with Plasmacluster ion technology to fight off germs, molds, allergens, and viruses. Moreover, this one features an Anti-Overheat Motor for long hours of usage and consumer’s safety.

Security Bank bags 3 silvers at the 56th Anvil

(300,000 doses). The Las Pinas City also procured from Novavax (200,000 doses). Las Piñas City government prepared for the mass vaccination rollout by conducting vaccination simulation as it targets to inoculate 3,000 residents daily, putting up screening sites in the city’s 20 barangays for the listing down of those to be prioritized to receive the vaccines, and designating vaccination sites during the mass vaccination program.

Kuryente.Org calls for more consumer-involved energy industry

MID the economic strain caused by the pandemic, consumers are also burdened by exorbitant fees imposed by energy suppliers. Thus, Kuryente.Org has been established to ensure that the government, the energy industry, and the consumers are in an open conversation to future-proof the economy. The consumer organization launched last February 17 expressed alarm over what it perceives as an energy crisis in the country, aggravated by the lack of consumer empathy and participation in the energy industry. “The Philippines remains to charge one of the highest electricity costs in Asia. This and the continued poor services especially during the current pandemic are affecting the ordinary Filipino’s capacity to cope. Many are also losing their jobs,” said Nic Satur,

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AVING good indoor air quality is an important part of living in a healthy home. Lacking it can bring two common health problems to your family: allergy and asthma. Not to mention, more people now prioritize on cleaner air because of the airborne viruses which may harm our family. With this in mind, Sharp Corporation and Associate Professor Masashi Yamakawa conducted a study to prove how Plasmacluster Ions and Airflow technology effectively collect airborne particles. Masashi Yamakawa from Kyoto Institute of Technology is an expert in the analysis of airborne virus droplets. With his assistance, they confirmed that an air purifier with Plasmacluster ions work much better than the conventional ones. In this simulation, there’s a comparison between a general air purifier that sends air directly above the product with an air purifier with our proprietary 20° Angled Rear-Directed Airflow. Apart from that, they did an analysis and comparison using an air conditioner equipped with a general filter with high air passthrough efficiency. The general air purifier releases a direct upward flow that causes the virus droplets to diffuse in several directions. How about the Sharp’s air purifier? It causes the air to circulate so virus particles are effectively captured without being dispersed in space. The same thing happens with Sharp proprietary airflow air conditioner versus a traditional one. For the regular air conditioner, the airborne virus droplets are carried on air currents and drawn into the air conditioner so they are not captured. These droplets are diffused again into the room on the air flowing out from the air conditioner. With a Sharp air conditioner, the air is blown

National Coordinator for Kuryente.Org. He added, “We in Kuryente. Org believe that transparency and accessibility in the energy industry will help consumers be educated about a more transparent and socially inclusive energy program.” The virtual launch was attended by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chair of the Senate Committee on Energy, as he underscored how important it is for consumers to be educated and involved in issues that affect the lives of the majority of Filipinos. He said that consumer protection is ensured and competitive operation of the electricity industry is enhanced through the Senate Bill No. 173 or the “Energy Advocate Act”. Gatchalian has authored several laws on consumer protection and energy, among them are the Electric Cooperatives Emergency and Resiliency Fund Act, the Energy Virtual

One Stop Shop Act, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act, the Rice Trade Liberalization Act, and the Mobile Number Portability Act. He said, “The rationale for the Energy Advocate Act is to give organizations a bigger voice in terms of rate setting and going into the approval of retail rates here in our country. The Energy Advocate Act created the Energy Advocate Office under the Department of Justice. Thus, it becomes the lawyer of consumer groups and the representative of all end-users in energy sector matters.” A research study made by Kuryente.Org entitled ‘Electrifying a Nation: The Philippine Energy Sector in Focus’ revealed overbilling through the averaging scheme committed against consumers during the peak of the community quarantine. The said averaging computation was based on higher generation rates and not the lower rates during the lockdown period. Satur explained, “Our study shows that, historically, only a few rich families are controlling the energy industry, and we would like to change that by strengthening consumer empowerment and representation. We want to reclaim the power back to the Filipino consumers.” As a consumer welfare organization, Kuryente.Org is calling on the government to allow substantial consumer representation in the ERC as an ex-officio observer in the commission en banc; develop a comprehensive roadmap for migration from coal to cleaner, more efficient, and much cheaper renewable energy sources; have a public review and accounting of universal charges, system loss, FIT All charge and other subsidies as pass-on charges to consumers; and implement an immediate lifting of the TRO on RCOA and gradual lowering of the threshold.

THE Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP) awards a Silver Anvil to the Security Bank Foundation for its flagship CSR project, Build a School, Build a Nation Program: the Classrooms Project.

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ECURITY Bank Corporation was feted at the recently held 56th Anvil Awards, taking home three Silver Anvils for its internal employee newsletter “Bankers Bond”, the bank’s COVID-focused Internal Communications program and Security Bank Foundation’s Build a School, Build a Nation Program. Banker’s Bond is one of Security Bank’s major internal communication tools to keep its employees abreast of significant developments involving the bank. Formerly a traditional magazine, it was relaunched in 2019 to become the go-to digital publication and internal website of Security Bank employees. Security Bank also adjusted its internal communications upon the onset of COVID-19 in the country, and its main goal has been to harness the power of communication to maintain business continuity, sustain productivity and inspire engagement. “Keeping employees informed and in the know is essential. With Bankers Bond going digital, we not only cut on our carbon footprint

by removing the need to print hard copies but also ensure that employees are constantly updated through our various digital channels. We’ve made sure to pay particularly close attention to adjusting our communications strategies both in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and future crises,” says Nerissa Berba, SVP and Head of Human Capital Management. Security Bank Foundation’s flagship CSR Program, “Build a School, Build a Nation: The Classrooms Project”, has been helping the government address classrooms shortage by constructing classrooms in areas where Security Bank has presence. The program also aims to improve the quality of education through the provision of training opportunities for teachers and school heads. “The legacy that Security Bank wants to leave behind through our Classrooms Project is the improvement of the learning conditions and academic performance in public schools all over the country. Through our Classrooms Project, Security Bank hopes to create a brighter tomorrow for the next generation of Filipinos through better education,” says Rafael Simpao, Jr., Chairman of Security Bank Foundation. The 56th awards ceremony, themed “PR for Good,” recognized purpose-driven and impactful initiatives that promote corporate integrity and social good. The ANVIL is awarded to public relations programs, tools, and practitioners under four categories: COVID-related PR programs and tools, Digital PR program, Digital PR tools, and crisis or issues management for government. For more information on Security Bank’s products and services, you may visit www. securitybank.com or Security Bank’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SecurityBank.

Homegrown café chain launches online brand

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HE country’s biggest homegrown café chain recently launched its digital brand to serve the hip and urban generation with a new array of food and beverage, and overcome mobility constraints brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. Dubbed Bo’s Coffee Daily, the trailblazing brand marries quality locally-grown coffee beans and 25 years of the coffee firm's craftsmanship with the convenience of internet technology. “When the quarantine restrictions took hold, we realized that coffee was such a customary part of consumers’ lives–whether it meant catching up with good friends or getting some work done. We couldn’t deliver the cafe experience which people missed, but we could still bring them the perfect brew through hassle-free online ordering,” says Coffee president Steve Benitez. He said that urbanities in key cities can now get the freshly-brewed coffee they crave for anytime, anywhere. Customers can order safely and conveniently from home, beat the traffic and mobility issues, and avoid crowded locations. Through a user-friendly and secure chatbot Facebook Messenger, customers can recreate the cafe experience at home to simulate an actual interaction with a friendly barista. “Customers expect convenience, but what we have done is go a step further and make the experience more personalized and closer to a café experience,” Benitez enthused. With bold flavors introduced regularly, the brand invites customers to try something new and make their drinks a part of their “daily” habits. Bo’s Coffee Daily team, largely composed of coffee lovers, relies on heavy customer research and rigorous testing to perfect each drink on the menu.

Customers can get their preferred blend of bold, light, or creamy daily in stores in Makati, Mandaluyong, Manila, Taguig, and Quezon City in Metro Manila, and Cebu City and Mandaue City. The Cebu-based brand also envisions of expanding this year to more than 50 key locations as it leverages technology to make premium locally-grown coffee available to more Filipinos. Order from Bo’s Coffee Daily via FB Messenger, FoodPanda or GrabFood, or access it on the FoodPanda and Grab mobile phone apps.


Editor: Anne Ruth Dela Cruz

Health&Fitness BusinessMirror

Prevent obesity in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life, experts say By Claudeth Mocon-Ciriaco

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VERWEIGHT and obese children are more likely to stay obese in adulthood and to develop noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at a younger age, the World Health Organization (WHO) said. Obese children and adolescents may also suffer from both short-term and longterm health consequences. Factors contributing to the increasing problem of overweight and obesity include poor diet, inadequate nutrition, and failing food systems. Additionally, limited physical activity is likewise contributing to the growing problem on overweight and obesity. Prevention remains to be the most feasible option for curbing the childhood obesity epidemic.

Overweight and obesity

WITH the Philippines suffering from a triple burden of malnutrition together with other forms of undernutrition including stunting and wasting, micronutrient deficiencies, along with overweight and obesity, the Department of Health (DOH), National Nutrition Council (NNC), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), WHO, and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) jointly called on the public, civil society organizations, the academe, and the private sector to take action to prevent and manage childhood overweight and obesity. Overweight and obesity are complex and multifaceted problems that would require multisectoral and comprehensive strategies to effectively and sustainably prevent and manage. Sustainable, responsive, resilient and functional food systems can enable better and healthier diets. However, while the food systems encompass a range of public and private actors, the role of government is crucial in developing and implementing programs and policies that address the production, distribution, accessibility, and utilization of food in the country.

Low prevalance

THE results of the Expanded National Nutrition Survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) in 2019 reported a relatively low prevalence of overweight at 2.9 percent among children under five years old; medium prevalence of 9.1 percent and 9.8 percent among children aged five to 10 years old and 10 to 19 years old, respectively. Among Filipino adolescents, the number of overweight has tripled in the last 15 years. There is a higher rate of overweight and obese children in urban areas than in rural areas and higher prevalence of several risk factors and environmental conditions could rapidly increase the rates. “The Department of Health recognizes the emerging problem of childhood overweight and obesity in the country and although its prevalence pales in comparison with that of undernutrition, it will be unfortunate to prejudice the public health attention it deserves to mitigate its future risk on non-communicable diseases, premature death and disability in adulthood,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said. Further, Duque said, “the economic costs of this escalating problem are considerable both in terms of the enormous financial strains it will place on the health-care system and lost economic productivity.”

Start early

DR. Azucena Dayanghirang, Executive Director of the NNC, said that to prevent obesity, “we need to start early, that is in the first 1,000 days of life when we could also prevent undernutrition, which could also result in obesity in later life.” She said that the NNC is leading the multisectoral Overweight and Obesity Management and Prevention Program of the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition 2017-2022. The PPAN targets

no further increase in child obesity by 2022 by fostering a healthy food environment and promoting positive nutrition behaviors towards consumption of healthier diets. For his part, Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe, WHO Representative in the Philippines, said that from a public health, economic and moral perspective, it is imperative for the government and the whole of society to act on this issue of childhood overweight and obesity. “Curbing the childhood obesity epidemic requires political commitment at all levels, and the collaboration of many public and private stakeholders. A multisectoral approach is essential, and should provide supportive environments that encourage physical activity, restrict access to unhealthy foods and drinks, support mothers to practice exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months and to protect children from marketing influences. It is also important to ensure that policies and laws are fully implemented and protected from undue commercial interests,” he said.

Healthy, nutritious diet

MEANWHILE, Kati Tanninen, FAO Representative to the Philippines, said that maintaining a healthy and nutritious diet is especially important at this time of a pandemic. “To promote and achieve healthy and nutritious diets, sustainable, functional and responsive food systems—borne out of collaborative and multisectoral action—are paramount,” she emphasized. To this end, FAO is supporting the national government through the implementation of the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition 2017-2022, which calls on policies and programs to be “nutrition-sensitive.” “Policy measures related to food systems that support healthy diets should be enforced. These policies and legislations should also be in line with—and guide the country’s actions towards— its pledges to global commitments such as the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition 2016-2025 and the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly to SDG 2 on attaining Zero Hunger and improved nutrition for all. But more importantly, such legislations should be responsive to the country’s unique health and nutrition context, objectives, and priorities,” she added.

School policies

IN recent years, several legislations have been enacted by the Philippine Congress to support healthier diets and nutrition of Filipinos. The Department of Education has also issued policies on the sale of healthy foods and beverages in schools, as well as the promotion of physical activity. “While there have been positive developments to enable an environment for better nutrition in the Philippines, there should also be a clear and prompt action to address the triple burden of malnutrition and to recognize childhood overweight and obesity as a central health issue. Aside from actively working with the Philippine Government and other partners to strengthen nutrition policies and plans, UNICEF also collaborates on generating evidence to better address overweight and obesity and ensure access to healthy food for children. We remain committed to support health and nutrition initiatives for every child, especially the most vulnerable,” said Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov, UNICEF Representative in the Philippines. The DOH, NNC, FAO, WHO, and UNICEF jointly called for the firm and continuous enforcement of the existing legislations, and to introduce front of pack labelling of commercially produced foods, and to regulate harmful practices such as the marketing of unhealthy foods to children. They also call on public to change the way overweight and obesity is viewed by society and become advocates for change for healthy food environments and policies that prioritize obesity as a serious health issue.

Patients with heart disease getting younger, experts say By Rory Visco

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Contributor

EFORE, it was not surprising that people in the older age bracket were the most common victims of cardiovascular diseases. But not anymore, according to Dr. Regidor Encabo, the Executive Officer of the Cardinal Santos Medical Center (CSMC) Cardiovascular Institute. He cited the long-running perception that cardiovascular diseases only occur among adults aged 60 above. This has changed already since the number of young people developing these diseases has been on the rise in recent years. “That is why it is vital that people learn how to identify and manage heart disease risk factors,” Dr. Encabo said. The CSMC recently held a webicon titled “Where Do Broken Hearts Go? Broken Heart Syndrome and Other Cardiovascular Diseases You Didn’t Know You Might Have,” to promote increased awareness of cardiovascular diseases that are becoming more prevalent, and encourage regular heart check-ups among adults regardless of age. During the event, CSMC cardiologists underscored the importance of knowing about the typical symptoms linked to common cardiovascular diseases, as well as how to address and prevent them.

A top killer in the country

THE head of the CSMC Preventive Cardiology, Clinical Lipidology and Hypertension unit, Dr. Lourdes Ella Santos, cited that Ischemic Heart Disease or cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the country, according to the Philippine Statistical Authority (PSA) in 2018. The factors that influence in having

cardiovascular disease include the non-modifiable ones like age, sex, genetic disorders and history. There are also modifiable risk factors that can be changed or prevented like smoking, sedentary lifestyle, diet, dyslipidemia or increase in cholesterol, hypertension, inflammation, diabetes, and obesity. “It is important to change these because they contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease.” She said that nothing can be done with the non-modifiable risk factors, so individuals must focus on managing the modifiable risk factors since these can also contribute greatly to the development of cardiovascular diseases if left unchecked. This is where consulting with a preventive cardiologist comes in. “The role of a preventive cardiologist is to help individuals minimize these risk factors in order to prevent the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases,” Dr. Santos said. “According to the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology, a team-based care approach is an effective strategy for the prevention of cardiovascular disease, and this is one of the options being offered by the Preventive Cardiology Center of Cardinal Santos,” Dr. Santos added.

The Achy-Breaky Heart

CSMC’S Critical Care and Heart Failure Unit Head Dr. Rochelle Regina “Rucci” Cruz, meanwhile, talked about heart

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Air quality monitor

YOU can do so by using a device that measures the particulate matter within the air at its location. Typically, it has different meters that measures levels of oxygen content, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and volatile gasses in the air inside the house, and determines each particulate level type that will be able to give a reading. It is not enough to know the level of oxygen; it is more important to know how much volatile gasses, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are in the air in the home. The Covid-19 pandemic and the accompanying community lockdowns saw more people packed inside their homes since non-essential travel is restricted. While staying indoors may be good and reduce air pollutants, no one knows if the air inside the house is good.

failure—what it is, how it occurs, what can cause it, and how it can be prevented. She said there are two types of heart failure—heart failure with reduced left ventricular function or reduced ejection fraction, or when the heart is unable to pump out enough oxygen-rich blood needed by the rest of the body, and heart failure with preserved left ventricular function or preserved ejection fraction, where contractility is normal, but the heart’s chambers get thicker, resulting in lesser amount of blood going into the heart. According to Dr. Cruz, the most common causes of heart failure include hypertension; coronary artery disease, which results from the buildup of cholesterol in the arteries; and faulty heart valves, where the heart has to work harder in supplying blood to the body, to name a few. “The best way to prevent these is through good physical and mental health, as well as minimizing stress levels. Regular visits to the doctor are also important in keeping heart failure at bay,” she said. She added there are many risk factors for heart failure, such as family history, hypertension, obesity, advancing age, excessive alcohol intake, diabetes, smoking, inactive lifestyle, and sleep disorders. But there is also one equally important risk factor, which is severe stress that causes stress-induced cardiomyopathy or more popularly known as “Broken Hearts” syndrome. “Broken Hearts” syndrome is a form of sudden heart failure triggered by extreme emotional trauma. “It is not a myth, folklore or in today’s street parlance ‘hugot.’ It really happens, believed to be caused by a person’s reaction to physically or emotionally stressful events.” The body’s response to it is to release stress hormones that tempo-

rarily decreases the heart’s ability to pump. The American Heart Association said women are more prone to it (probably because they are more emotional) compared to men and are linked to events such as separation or loss of a loved one. Though recovery is easier, Dr. Cruz said it should also be treated with the right medication to manage the patient’s stress, especially during this pandemic. “This means that in addition to physical health, it is also important to prioritize mental health and stress levels because somehow they are interconnected. And if the symptoms mentioned are being felt, consult a doctor for proper physical examination to find other signs of heart failure,” Dr. Cruz said.

Creating coverage options

FINALLY, Dr. Ariel Miranda, the Chairman of CSMC’s Cardiovascular Institute, discussed several reasons why people do nog want to consult medical professionals when it comes to the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. The biggest of these, says a CSMC study, is the financial challenges involved. “One particular important thing why patients do not want to go to the hospital is because they know that they will spend a lot of money,” Dr. Miranda said. “A lot of Filipinos take a long time to decide. Even those who get admitted to the ER due to heart attack, they still can’t decide if they would want to undergo treatment because they’re thinking of the expenses.” He then hoped that stakeholders in the medical industry will be able to work together in creating coverage options that will help Filipinos with this problem when treating cardiovascular diseases. “We want it so that when a patient visits us, we can assure them that they are covered.”

Pinoys observe Philippine Digestive Health Week

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OLORECTAL cancer, liver cancer, peptic ulcer disease, diarrhea, and stomach cancer are among the leading causes of sickness and death in the country. In line with the observance of Philippine Digestive Health Week(PDHW) from March 7 to 13, health experts are urging Filipinos to take a proactive role in caring for their digestive health. This year’s PDHW theme is “Empowering Filipinos to Care for their Digestive Health: Malusog na Tiyan, Masiglang Katawan.” the past 15 years, the Philippine Society of Gastroenterology (PSG), Philippine Society of Digestive Endoscopy (PSDE) and Hepatology Society of the Philippines (HSP) have held their Joint Annual Convention (JAC) in conjunction with the three societies’ PDHW celebration. On March 18, 2020 the President signed Proclamation No. 930 declaring the second week of March of every year as Philippine Digestive Health Week.

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to President [Rodrigo] Duterte for his invaluable support. Proclamation No. 930 will legitimize our efforts to celebrate PDHW annually and facilitate our initiatives to promote awareness on digestive health among Filipinos,” said Dr. Augusto Jose G. Galang, president of the Philippine Society of Gastroenterology (PSG). In his message, Duterte encouraged the people to continue working with the government in ensuring the improved wellbeing of every Filipino and upholding the highest quality of medical care for all as the country continues to deal with a global pandemic. “My warmest greetings to the Philippine Society of Gastroenterology as it spearheads the observance of Philippine Digestive Health Week. I am pleased with your organization’s efforts to work with the Disease Prevention and Control Bureau of the Department of Health in celebrating this week-long occasion that aims to bring together our medical professionals and promote greater public

Check home air quality with app-based gadget

ANY of us worry about the air we breathe the moment we step out of our homes. It is because the Philippines, particularly Metro Manila, has one of the worst air pollution levels in the world. A real-time check of the National Capital Region (NCR) Air Quality Index rating is pegged at 31, ranked fair, while PM (Particulate Matter) is at 2.5, which refers to particles that can be inhaled into the respiratory tract and penetrate deep into the lungs, comes at 14 µg/m3 (micrograms per cubic meter) for a 27 rating, which is also marked fair. That is due to the marked reduction of vehicles on the roads because of the lockdown. However, have you checked your quality of the air in your house lately?

Thursday, March 11, 2021 B7

If not managed or monitored properly, the environment in the house may also expose its occupants to equally poor-quality air that can be as dangerous as outdoor air.

The uHoo Virus Index

DESCRIBED as the world’s first real-time assessment of virus survival (such as Covid-19) based on air quality, the “uHoo Virus Index” is a patentpending technology that analyzes air quality data and provides an assessment on the risk of viruses surviving in the home or workplace, as well as how the air affects general health and its impact on the immune system. The index uses a 10-point system divided into four levels: “Good,” “Mild,” “Bad” and “Severe.” These levels provide specific insights about factors such as air quality, risk of virus survivability,

and how to improve the environment in order to reduce risk. Points 1-3 is generally “Good,” where virus survival is low and airborne virus spread is unlikely. For Points 4-6, or “Mild” level, virus survival is moderate and spread of airborne virus is possible. The air quality poses little to almost no direct health threat or risk for those sensitive to air pollutants. However, for Points 7-8, which is “Bad,” the survivability of the virus is extended and the airborne virus will most likely spread to other areas, posing some health risks. This is where critical assessment of air quality is needed, coupled with swift action to improve it. Lastly, Points 9-10, which is “Severe,” indicates the virus will remain and airborne spread is highly likely, creating adverse effects on the

awareness on digestive health,” Duterte said.“This year’s PDHW theme is ‘Malusog na Tiyan, Masiglang Katawan,’ which, according to Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III, is appropriate and timely as we address the growing burden of various diseases and conditions relating to digestive health, and recenter the discussion on preventive measures.” “I am hopeful that the Philippine Society of Gastroenterology would find ways to integrate and collaborate with primary care providers to ensure a holistic approach to caring for all even before they become sick. Rest assured that the DOH is one with you in this vast endeavor,” Duque said. “ We will heighten the information drive on colorec tal cancer every March as we observe Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Together with our multistakeholder partners led by the Philippine Society of Gastroenterology, we will launch the use of fecal immunochemical test or FIT as the primary population-based colorectal

health of people in the house so it’s best to find immediate solutions.

The uHoo indoor air quality monitor

THE most immediate solution for many homemakers is to buy air purifiers found in malls or online, but it can backfire because it may not really work best to purify the air. Another is to use electronic sensors spread throughout the house or office, but it may be a more complicated and expensive setup or worse, more difficult to use. In this day and age of the internet, the solution may lie in the adage “there is an app for that.” With the size comparable to an insulated tumbler, the uHoo indoor air quality monitor may be small but utterly useful since it measures the air quality of an enclosed space. Just connect it to any WiFi network and it then transmits data to a companion app (downloadable via Google Play story or App Store) for real-time reporting on nine different air quality parameters such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), fine dust

cancer screening tool. This will be followed by colonoscopy which is both diagnostic for colorectal cancer and therapeutic for premalignant polyps and is also used for cancer surveillance,” said Dr. Clarito U. Cairo, Jr., Program Manager of the National integrated Cancer Control Program, DOH Disease Prevention and Control Bureau. “Tummy Talks,” a four-part online talk show will feature gastrointestinal health and wellness, awareness on colorectal cancer, H. pylori infection and gastric cancer, hepatitis, cirrhosis, and liver cancer. Concurrently, a webinar lecture series on dyspepsia, H. pylori infection, irritable bowel syndrome, colorectal cancer screening, gallbladder diseases, acute pancreatitis, viral hepatitis, and cirrhosis and its complications will be held for general practitioners and family physicians. There will also be a lay forum on the fecal immunochemical test (FIT), a screening test for colorectal cancer. Claudeth Mocon Ciriaco

particles (PM2.5), ozone, and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), including traditional measurements for temperature, air pressure, and humidity. Once it connects to your WiFi, just wait for a minute as it gathers data and you will have the results almost immediately. The device measures air quality and makes solid recommendations to help improve air quality. The uHoo app comes with the patent-pending uHoo Virus Index that lists down the thresholds for indoor air quality that helps minimize virus risk. For example, the more people are inside a small space, CO2 levels increase as this is the air expelled by people. High CO2 levels indicate a lack of fresh air and also contribute to fatigue and migraine. Thus, introduce ventilation for air to circulate properly, like adjusting the home’s airconditioning, or simply opening windows or doors to let fresh air in. Just remember that the uHoo Indoor Air Quality Monitor is just a tool to help monitor, identify and alert users of any issues and provide guidance on what appropriate action to take. Rory Visco


Constantino in charge with 69

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ARMIE CONSTANTINO took charge with an early burst of birdies then bucked a faltering finish and Princess Superal’s late fightback to cling to a one-stroke lead and closer to a dream debut in the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI)Eagle Ridge Challenge at the Aoki course on Thursday in General Trias, Cavite. The rookie pro sustained her birdie-birdie finish Tuesday that kept her within a stroke off Superal, mastering Nos. 8 and 9 for the second straight day to surge ahead by two on a fiery 33 start. She bucked the heat and the wind and went four-under with another pair of birdies from No. 14 against a bogey on the 12th but bogeyed the 18th again to settle for a 69. But with a 142 total, the former University of Georgia mainstay moved 18 holes away from marking her maiden Ladies Philippine Golf Tour (LPGT) campaign with a victory in new normal, five years after beating a crack international field, sans Superal, by eight to win the ICTSI Mt. Malarayat Classic as an amateur. “I holed in more putts today (yesterday) and played a little less aggressive, so I made less mistakes,” said Constantino, who, however, toned down expectations for a big finish. “I’m here just to have fun,” she said. But Superal, winner and runner-up in the twin ICTSI Riviera events late last year, is no mood for leisure play. Failing to match Constantino’s hot start with a birdie-bogey frontside card, she fell farther back with another mishap on No. 10 but rebounded with birdies on No. 15 and 16 to card a 71. The 2019 LPGT Order of Merit winner also closed out with a clutch par to cash in on her rival’s last-hole miscue to stay within at 143, guaranteeing a shootout for the top P72,000 purse in the 54-hole championship organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. Pauline del Rosario, who set an LPGT record by winning four titles in her rookie season in 2017, blew a one-under frontside card with a bogey on the 12th but her 72 and 146 earned her a spot in the championship flight and a crack at another victory after edging Superal by one in the other Riviera event. The rest lay too far behind to pose a threat although no lead is safe at the challenging Aoki, which yielded just two under-par cards and another pair of even-par scores in the first two days to underscore the wind-raked layout’s toughness. Daniella Uy turned in a second 75 for 150, Chanelle Avaricio recovered from a 79 with a 74 for a 153 in a tie with amateur Laurea Duque, who shot a 76, while Sunshine Baraquiel limped with an 84 for a 162 and Cyna Rodriguez floundered with an 82 for a 163.

Sports BusinessMirror

Eisma

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| Thursday, March 11, 2021 mirror_sports@yahoo.com.ph Editor: Jun Lomibao

Subic nation’s sports bubble capital—Eisma

NEW LEADERS Quiban, Bibat share men’s helm

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USTIN QUIBAN produced a stirring 10-stroke turnaround with a scorching seven-under 65 on Wednesday, catching Michael Bibat at the helm in a day of changing fortunes halfway through the rich International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) Eagle Ridge Challenge Challenge at the Aoki course in General Trias, Cavite. As erstwhile leader Joenard Rates turned from awesome to awful and tumbled to joint sixth with a 76 after a 69, Quiban rebounded from a 75 Tuesday with a barrage of birdies in hot, windy conditions, including three straight to kick start his backside drive. He did stumble with a couple of bogeys but the two-time champion in Philippine Golf Tour (PGT)

Asia at Luisita in 2017 and in PGT Bacolod in 2018 negated them with six more birdies on Nos. 14, 17, 1, 3, 6 and 8 as he found his rhythm and touch lacking in his error-filled opening three-over card to move on top with Bibat at four-under 140. “I really hit it good compared to yesterday [Tuesday]—off the tee, iron and wedge shots,” said Quiban, who tied for fifth and 11th in the two ICTSI Riviera events late last year. While Quiban banked on a big rebound to fuel his title bid in the P2 million ICTSI-sponsored championship, Bibat played it steady with a second 70 to stay on course of ending a long spell after scoring a breakthrough at Rancho Palos Verdes in 2013. “Patience is key here. The course is tough with the wind coupled with tough pin

positions,” said Bibat, who broke a two-birdie, two-bogey card at the front and took the lead with birdies on Nos. 11, 14 and 16. But he bogeyed the treacherous 18th for the second straight day, enabling Quiban to gain a piece of the lead, just a stroke of Richard Sinfuego and Zanieboy Gialon, who assembled 141s after a 66 and 69, respectively. Miguel Tabuena checked a wobbly backside 37 with two birdies at the front, breaking par 71 and moving to joint fifth at 144. But four shots behind the joint leaders, the former two-time Philippine Open champion and former PGT Order of Merit titlist will need to go low in the last 36 holes to gain a stab at glory in this kickoff tournament of the 2021 season.

S JUSTIN QUIBAN and Harmie Constantino make their moves in the second round.

While Quiban regained nearly everything to seize control, Rates lost his, including the momentum of his three-birdie feat in the last five holes in the first round. He went without a birdie and made five bogeys in the first 15 holes, gaining a stroke just on the par-5 16th for a 76. He slipped to 145, now five strokes behind, in the company of Reymon Jaraula (71), Paul Echavez (73) and American Lexus Keoninh, who moved on top at four-under behind a frontside 33 but just as quickly with a closing 40, marred by an triple-bogey 7 on No. 13 for a 73.

SCRIBES PICK THREE ‘LIFETIME’ AWARDEES T

HREE very important personalities considered as among the pillars of Philippine sports will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award during the San Miguel Corp.-Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) virtual Annual Awards Night. The late Ambassador and former San Miguel Corp. Chairman and CEO Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, one-time Gintong Alay Project Director Jose Romasanta and former Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner Renauld “Sonny” Barrios will receive the special award to be handed out by the country’s oldest media organization in the March 27 event at the TV5 Media Center. The three respected personalities join unanimous Athlete of the Year choice Yuka Saso

in the compact list of awardees which will be recognized in the first-ever PSA virtual awards copresented by the Philippine Sports Commission and Cignal TV with 1-Pacman Partylist and Rain or Shine as major backers. A year ago, pool legend Efren “Bata” Reyes was bestowed the Lifetime Achievement Award, joining a long and storied list of previous honorees that included the likes of Carlos Loyzaga, Virgilio “Baby” Dalupan, Florencio Campomanes, Mauricio Martelino, Francisco Elizalde, Carlos Padilla, Filomeno “Boy” Codinera, the 1973 Philippine men’s basketball team, among others. Although known more as a businessman and political figure, Cojuangco was best remembered as

The former Tarlac governor and congressman who run for the highest position in the country in the 1992 elections as founder of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), later turned his attention to De La Salle’s basketball program, which netted the school two University Athletic Association of the cojuangco romasanta barrios Philippines championship in 2013 and 2016, respectively. He died because of lingering illness in June a long-time supporter of Philippine basketball 2020. He was 85. and godfather of the national men’s basketball Romasanta meanwhile, is a sportsman team during the time of the late President all his life, having been a pillar of the Project Ferdinand Marcos. Gintong Alay where he was executive director Under his watch, he put together the shortly after the EDSA Revolution. blueprint of the Northern Consolidated Corp. A long-time associate of former Philippine basketball program under the late great coach Olympic Committee President and congressman Ron Jacobs and bannered by the country’s top Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, the 76-year-old amateur players and three naturalized cagers. Romasanta was also a former POC vice president The program saw the resurgence of and of the national sports associations of Philippine basketball in international campaigns softball, karatedo and volleyball. which saw the country win the 1982 Asian Youth He was chef de mission of the Philippine Championship at the Araneta Coliseum, 1984 delegation to the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics Asian Interclub Championship, 1985 Jones Cup that saw the country end a 20-year medal and Southeast Asian Games, before culminating drought after Hidilyn Diaz bagged silver in the with a triumphant campaign in the 1985 FIBAwomen’s 53-kg division of weighlifting. Asia Championship, marking the last time the Barrios served in various capacities in his long country topped the biennial tournament. tenure with Asia’s pioneering pro league, initially Cojuangco was also the man behind the as assistant to the executive director, executive success of San Miguel Corp. in the PBA which assistant and finance officer, deputy commissioner, won the league’s first grand slam outside of acting commissioner and finally as commissioner in the fabled Crispa Redmanizers in 1989. More 2008, becoming the PBA’s seventh chief. championships were won later when both He is currently the executive director of the Ginebra and Purefoods became part of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas. giant conglomerate.

PSC, CHED establish agreement

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HILIPPINE Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William Ramirez and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman Prospero De Vera III signed the Memorandum of Agreement on the development of Tertiary School Sports on Wednesday at the CHED Auditorium in Diliman, Quezon City. “I am so happy for this new forged partnership with CHED. They have been a brother to the PSC because as a small agency, we cannot be effective and succeed without the help of other agencies,” Ramirez said. Ramirez added that the partnership would create more competitive and excellent coaches and athletes in the collegiate level. “This gives us the missing link in providing a professional development in continuous sports education and will cater more to the educational aspect of our teachers in coaching,” he said. “We welcome this memorandum of

agreement as it will allow us to join forces with the PSC in joint projects that we can initiate,” de Vera said. “We commit the support of CHED in all the undertakings on higher education sports development and wellness.” One the objectives of the MOA are to maximize engagement and collaboration between both parties in the formulation of a unified tertiary school sports development program to ensure that the Higher Education Institutions’ Sports Development Plans are aligned with the national agenda and of the highest international standards. The PSC and CHED also committed to provide training for student-athletes, coaches and sports officials on higher education through professional development and to ensure that the highest coaching and training skills will be provided to tertiary athletes as the country strives to produce elite athletes for world-class performances.

By Henry Empeño

UBIC Bay Freeport—The Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) resumed its Lakan Cup season at the Subic Gym on Wednesday—the second sports competition that the freeport has hosted in a bubble environment in a two-week span. The defending champion San Juan Knights battled it out with the Makati Super Crunch in the do-or-die Game Three of the North Division finals. On Thursday, it will be the turn of the Basilan Steel side and Davao Occidental Tigers in for the a similar no-tomorrow Game Three for the South Division crown. Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma welcomed the participants at the Subic Gym, stressing the MPBL playoffs further cements Subic’s claim to fame as the nation’s sports bubble capital. Just two weeks ago, Subic successfully hosted the 2021 Gatorade-Philippine Superliga Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup, the country’s first beach volleyball tournament held under a bubble set-up. “Subic Bay is out to prove that sports activities, which are essential for our physical and mental health, can still be done despite the limitations of Covid-19,” Eisma said. “However, let us not forget that we are here because we were able to keep the Subic Bay Freeport safe. And this is not the time to rest,” she added, calling on MPBL participants to observe health protocols while in Subic. Under the sports bubble concept, all the participants—players, organizers and technical crew—will have to pass an RT-PCR test and will be allowed access only to the sports venue and their designated hotels. Health protocols also forbid the participants from having any interaction with the public, as well as spectators from watching the games inside the venue.

Nietes returns to ring in April

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ORMER world champion Donnie Nietes will be back atop the ring after a two-year absence when he fights either Panama’s Orlando Penalba or Dominican Republic’s Norbelto Jimenez in a non-title super flyweight fight put up by the MTK Global on April 3 at the Caesar’s Palace in Dubai. Speaking to BusinessMirror over the weekend before his sparring session in Cebu, the 38-year-old longest reigning Filipino world champion said he remains in top condition for an upcoming regardless of who his opponent will be. His probable foes are the unbeaten Penalba (10-0 win-loss record with two knockouts) or Jimenez (30-9-5 record with 16 knockouts). “There might be changes between Penalba and Jimenez because of the travel difficulties from Panama to Dubai,” Nietes said. “It now depends on who can travel there first.” Nietes last fought in December 31, 2018 in Macau where he defeated Japanese Kazuto Ioka via a split decision for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) super flyweight title. “I requested the MTK Global to send me to Dubai two weeks before the fight so I can acclimatize,” added Nietes, who holds a 42-1-5 record with 23 knockouts. “Right now, I am also completing my travel documents.” Nietes was a former WBO super flyweight, light flyweight and minimumweight champion and International Boxing Federation flyweight champion. He has been parring with former ALA stablemates Jeo Santisima and KJ Kataraja at the Villamor boxing gym under Edmund Villamor. “I haven’t stopped training since my last fight so I am confident I can pull off this victory,” said the Bacolod City native. Josef Ramos

Marcial remains in Roach’s care

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By Josef Ramos

HE national boxing team flew to Thailand on Wednesday morning to resume their training camp—but Tokyo Olympics-bound Eumir Felix Marcial won’t be joining his teammates. Marcial couldn’t conveniently travel to Thailand because of travel restrictions and opted to continue training at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, California, international matchmaker Sean Gibbons told BusinessMirror on Wednesday. “Eumir [Marcial] is working here in Los Angeles, and it is still very, very difficult to travel right now to Thailand with the Covid-19 quarantine,” said Gibbons, also the president of Senator Manny Pacquiao’s MP Promotions. “But he is very, very good right now in training here.” Gibbons also said that he has yet to schedule the 25-year-old middleweight’s

second professional fight after his successful debut last December in Los Angeles where he decimated American Andrew Whitfield via unanimous decision. “There is no fight schedule, just a tremendous sparring and good work in the gym,” said Gibbons, adding Marcial just finished a few rounds of sparring with Gabe Rosado at the Wild Card gym earlier on Wednesday. Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (Abap) Secretary General Ed Picson, on the other hand, said the federation will discuss with Gibbons about the possibility of Marcial catching up with the two-month training camp in Thailand. Picson also said that the national boxers will vie in a tournament in India in May, hoping to have Marcial on the team.

EUMIR FELIX MARCIAL strikes a pose with sparring partner Gabe Rosado. “He [Marcial] said he wanted to join us but we’re still going to discuss it with Mr. Gibbons. We’ll discuss what’s good for Eumir,” Picson said. The boxers—Tokyo Olympics qualifier Irish Magno, women’s world champion Nesty Petecio, Carlo Paalam, Rogen Ladon, Ian Clark Bautista, Junmilardo Ogayre, James Palicte, Marjon Pianar, Risa Pasuit and Aira Villegas flew to Thailand via Philippine Airlines. On the same flight were coaches Donald Abnett, Nolito Velasco, Ronald Chavez, Elmer Pamisa and Reynaldo Galido.