News and Updates


Economic recovery to start in 4th quarter, Diokno says

grocery-store-reutersECONOMIC RECOVERY is likely to start by the fourth quarter, with growth seen in key sectors such as agriculture and construction, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said on Monday.

“I expect to see some growth in Q4 — agriculture, construction, manufacturing, and public administration,” Mr. Diokno said in a more…

Credits to: Business World

Locsin pushes for the deployment of Filipino health workers abroad

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said he is currently lobbying for the deployment of Filipino health workers in countries that “need them now,” saying their contribution in the fight against the coronavirus disease across the world would “get us the gratitude of the international community.”

“There’s also now a pending issue on healthcare workers. I’m lobbying for them to go to the countries that need them now,” Locsin said in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel on Monday.

“The kind of work they do abroad will get us the gratitude of the international community,” more…

Credits to: INQUIRER

Embassy of France to the Philippines Resumes Issuance of Certain Visas From Today

France-Schengen-VisaPhilippine citizens can file their application for a visa to France starting from today, Monday. June 22, given that the visa type they are applying for belongs to one of the categories for which visa operations have resumed.

According to a notice of the Embassy of France to the Philippines, the Embassy has resumed the issuance of certain categories of visas from today more…

Credits to: Schengenvisainfo News

DFA releases updates on travel bans, restrictions

DFAThe Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) released Sunday infographics showing travel bans and restrictions in over 160 countries in the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East and Africa.

In a press release, DFA said the infographics are “based on the latest communications received from its foreign service posts as the coronavirus more…

Credits to: Philippine News Agency

Modern jeepneys start plying Metro Manila routes

19bagoSome 300 modern jeepneys were given the green light to start plying Metro Manila roads on Monday, but a think tank warned that the news might not be the reprieve commuters had been clamoring for since COVID-19 ground transportation in the capital to a halt months ago.

The jeepneys will be supplemented by 3,600 buses to ferry commuters who had been inconvenienced by the lack of public transportation, according to more…

Credits to: INQUIRER

‘King of the Road’ back on QC streets through ‘Lalajeep’

Metro56312-620x411Ruben Lopez was among the more than 9,000 jeepney drivers in Quezon City who were left without jobs after the government banned public transportation to stop the spread of the new coronavirus disease.

But last week, the 42-year-old was once again back behind the wheel through “Lalajeep,” a partnership between the city government and delivery service app Lalamove.

Small Business and Cooperatives Development and Promotions more…

Credits to: INQUIRER

Mass layoffs hit PH aviation industry

pal-cebu-pacificThe COVID-19 pandemic has forced the ground handling company of Cebu Pacific to lay off more than 1,000 employees, or a quarter of its workforce, in the single-largest retrenchment in the local aviation industry due to the health crisis.

1Aviation Ground handling Services Corp. on Thursday said the move was part of “drastic measures to ensure its survival” as the pandemic continued to pummel the air travel business more…

Credits to: INQUIRER

More buses, e-jeepneys may be out by June 22

JeepneyMANILA, Philippines — The government has increased routes of passenger buses and allowed the resumption of operations of modern or “standardized” jeepneys in Metro Manila to enable commuters to return to work under the “new normal” amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic more…

Credits to: philstar global

LTFRB eyes return of jeepneys by June 30

kl_2020-06-17_20-42-56The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is eyeing the resumption of operations of public utility jeepneys or PUJs in Metro Manila by the end of the month.

The Department of Transportation earlier said some old jeepneys may still be allowed to operate in areas under general community quarantine more…

Credits to: philstar global

Domestic travel seen to recover in 12 months

travel“The survey results strongly indicate that domestic travel demand will take a year or more to recover. Travelers remain cautious amidst concerns over health, income and work,” Chroma Hospitality said in the results of its Domestic Travel Sentiment Survey.

Survey results showed that domestic travel demand looks poised to substantially recover within  more…

Credits to: philstar global

Continued lockdown dampens Philippines’ bid to revive tourism

Travel 1Philippines’ hopes to jumpstart domestic tourism have been set back as the government reverts Cebu City back to enhanced general quarantine (ECQ), and extends the general community quarantine (GCQ) over Metro Manila – both until June 30 – as coronavirus surges.

In announcing the continued quarantine on June 15, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases said that the Covid-19 situation in Metro Manila has not improved, while Cebu City has seen a surge in coronavirus cases under the relaxed GCQ more…

Credits to: TTG Asia

PH looks at ‘travel bubble’ once tourism resumes

ilo-gigantes-islandThe Department of Tourism (DOT) is looking at introducing travel corridors or the so-called “travel bubble” once restrictions have relaxed and protocols are in place.

These corridors would allow the reopening of Philippine destinations with zero coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases to foreign tourists from infection-free nations, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said more…

Credits to: Philippine News Agency

Domestic air travel remains in a mess

PHILIPPINES-HEALTH-VIRUSDomestic airlines still find it difficult to serve stranded passengers across the country—a result of poor coordination between the national and local governments as new coronavirus cases continue to rise.

The Air Carriers Association of the Philippines (ACAP) is instead appealing to passengers to proceed to the airport “only when they have confirmed flights.” Hundreds of locally stranded more…

Credits to: INQUIRER

The Philippines eases rules to allow travel

PhilippinesThe Philippines’ Department of Tourism at the weekend welcomed the resumption of travel and other activities in places under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

Less stringent community quarantine measures came into play on 29 May in all areas under the  MGCQ rulings, after more than two months of strict movement restrictions more…

Credits to: TTRW

Japan declares victory over COVID-19, lifts state of emergency

Earlier this week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared victory over COVID-19 in his country and lifted the remaining state of emergency order over the greater Tokyo area. The nation of 126 million people has recorded only roughly 16,000 cases and 800 deaths. more…

Credits to: CBC News

Expert urges Japan to keep virus guard up as most people lack antibodies

News 1An infectious disease expert has urged people in Japan not to let their guard down against the novel coronavirus as government tests have revealed that most individuals lack antibodies and are at risk of contracting the virus in the second wave of infections more…

Credits to: Japan Today

Bank of Japan boosts aid for coronavirus-hit firms

A man wearing a protective mask walks past the headquarters of Bank of Japan amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in TokyoJapan’s central bank Tuesday ramped up aid for businesses struggling with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, as it attempts to ease the recession in the world’s third-largest economy more…

Credits to: Japan Today

Duterte to decide on Metro Manila lockdown rules today

President Rodrigo Duterte is set to decide on the fate of areas under quarantine. With the rising number of COVID-19 cases, will we have stricter safety measures, or will they be more relaxed? more…

Credits to: CNN Philippines

SoftBank to offer coronavirus antibody tests for all employees

SoftBank Group Corp is planning to make it possible for all of its employees and their families to take coronavirus antibody tests.

Masayoshi Son, chairman and president of the Japanese investment and technology conglomerate, wrote on Twitter that he has ordered 2 million COVID-19 antibody testing kits.

While hinting that he has already taken the test by posting a photograph of a testing kit with his name on it, Son said SoftBank is also prepared to provide the devices to medical workers and caregivers without making a profit if they more…

Credits to: JapanToday

Rakuten launches takeout support service for restaurants

Rakuten Inc says it will launch a new takeout support service, Rakuten Realtime Takeout, on May 7. The service makes it possible for customers to pre-order and pay for products from restaurants, cafes and other eateries.

Rakuten is accepting applications to introduce this service from business customers nationwide. In response to the spread of COVID-19, initial fees and monthly usage fees for this service will be made free of charge for a limited time, until Oct 31 (excluding credit card transaction and related fees.)

Rakuten Realtime Takeout enables users to select products available for more…

Credits to: JapanToday

State of emergency a heavy blow to consumption, production in Japan

The coronavirus-necessitated state of emergency to be declared by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe later Tuesday across some of the most densely populated parts of Japan is expected to deal a heavy blow to consumer spending and manufacturing activities, economists warn.

Local authorities in Tokyo as well as Saitama, Kanagawa, Chiba, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka prefectures are expected to request stronger restraints on more…

Credits to: Kyodo News+

Abe unveils massive coronavirus stimulus worth 20% of GDP

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, speaks during a meeting at the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo on Monday night.  Photo: Franck Robichon/Pool via REUTERS

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged on Monday to roll out an unprecedented economic stimulus package, equal to 20% of economic output, as his government vowed to take “all steps” to battle deepening fallout from the coronavirus.

The package, to be confirmed by the cabinet on Tuesday, will total 108 trillion yen, far exceeding one compiled in the wake of the 2009 financial crisis more…

Credits to: Japan Today

Philippine Authorities Go After Media, Online Critics

The Philippine government is cracking down on journalists and social media users critical of the government’s COVID-19 response, threatening media freedom and the rights to free expression and access to information.

202004asia_philippines_duterte_coronavirusOn March 24, President Rodrigo Duterte signed a COVID-19 law that provides the administration funding and grants broad emergency powers to address the coronavirus. A last-minute provision criminalizes the spreading of “false information” with up to 2 more…

Credits to: Human Right Watch

What will life in Japan under a state of emergency look like?

A state of emergency is set to be declared in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka prefectures — areas most heavily hit by the spread of the coronavirus. So how will life change for residents?

In practice, not as much as you might think. People will be instructed to stay at home except to carry out important tasks such as purchasing food and daily supplies or seeking medical care. Working from home will be encouraged but not mandatory.

Essential businesses such as supermarkets, convenience stores and pharmacies will remain open, and the government has given assurances that there is no need to panic buy or hoard everyday necessities like toilet more…

Credits to: Japan Today

Japan to impose entry ban on 21 European countries, Iran

Japan will impose an entry ban on foreign travelers coming from 21 European countries and Iran as part of stronger measures to contain the new coronavirus, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday.

Starting midnight Thursday, those who have been to any of the 21 countries including Italy and Germany within 14 days of arriving in Japan will be turned away.

Japan has already closed its doors to foreign travelers from parts of China and South Korea, which had initially more…

Credits to: Kyodo News+

Experts warn Japan may not have enough new virus test kits

_w850Despite Japan’s efforts to carry out more testing for the new coronavirus, medical experts have cast doubt on whether the country can provide adequate testing for citizens and promote effective policies to contain the outbreak.

Other pundits have warned that many private companies and government bodies in Japan have remained reluctant to take aggressive measures to combat the spread of the pneumonia-causing virus until an employee is found to be more…

Credits to: Japan Today

Coronavirus infections growing in Japan

Japan has reported 47 more infections with the new coronavirus, bringing the total to 1,101 as of Sunday.

The figure was provided by the health ministry and local governments. It includes 14 cases confirmed among people who returned from China’s Hubei Province on chartered flights.

With 712 cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship included, the total number of infections now stands at 1,813.

The number of fatalities from the virus is 49, including eight from the cruise ship.

The health ministry says 61 infected people, including 12 from the cruise ship, were in serious condition as of Thursday. more…

Credits to: NHK World – Japan

Malacañang is asking Congress to declare a national emergency and grant President Rodrigo Duterte additional powers, including the power to take over public utilities, hospitals and businesses.

Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III confirmed Sunday to CNN Philippines that he has received a draft bill from Malacañang asking for the declaration and special powers for Duterte. more…

Credits to: CNN Philippines

LIST: Countries with coronavirus travel restrictions affecting Philippines
Wearing face masks, Filipino travelers say goodbye to their loved ones at the departure area of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 on February 14, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

The development prompted some governments to impose travel restrictions on the Philippines as a precautionary measure against the spread of the virus.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, here are countries whose restrictions for inbound travel include the Philippines: more…

Credits to: ABS-CBN News

Philippines declares state of public health emergency due to coronavirus
Commuters mostly wearing face masks cross at a busy street in Mandaluyong on February 5, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

President Rodrigo Duterte has placed the Philippines under a state of public health emergency to arrest the spread of novel coronavirus infections after authorities confirmed local transmissions of the disease.

Over the weekend, health authorities confirmed 7 cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 10. Duterte’s order came nearly 3 weeks after the Department of Health suggested declaring more…

Credits to: ABS-CBN News

Rugby: Top League considers extending virus hiatus

The league, which kicked off its 2019-2020 season on Jan. 12, played six rounds before announcing that two rounds would be suspended. The JRFU will decide on Monday whether or not to resume play as scheduled on March 14 or delay the league’s restart. more…(Japan Rugby Football Union Chairman Osamu Ota speaks at a press conference in Tokyo on Feb. 26, 2020, announcing the postponement of 16 Top League more…

Credits to: Kyodo News+

Canceling Tokyo Olympics would lower Japan GDP growth by 1.4%: estimate

If the ongoing spread of the new coronavirus forces Japan to cancel the Tokyo Olympics, it would reduce the country’s annual gross domestic product growth by 1.4 percent, according to an estimate by a securities firm. In a report released Friday, SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. projects that the Tokyo Games would create demand through spectator consumption and the staging of sporting events totaling 670 billion yen ($6.4 billion) and the cancellation of the Olympics would sap Japan’s GDP by about 7.8 trillion yen. more…

Credits to: Kyodo News

A community-level transmission of COVID-19 is likely to happen in a short span of time, which could prompt a lockdown in certain communities and a shift to a higher Code Red level, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Wednesday.

“What we have now is localized transmission in the areas we have earlier mentioned. But the situation can very quickly progress into a community transmission, which means, there could be a larger area of affected communities,” Duque bared during the hearing of the House Committee on Health led by Quezon Rep. Angelina Tan. more…

Credits to: CNN Philippines

Canceling Tokyo Olympics would cut Japan GDP growth by 1.4%: estimate
A man walks past a countdown clock for the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, on Friday. Photo: REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

If the ongoing spread of the new coronavirus forces Japan to cancel the Tokyo Olympics, it would reduce the country’s annual gross domestic product growth by 1.4 percent, according to an estimate by a securities firm.

In a report released Friday, SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. projects that the Tokyo Games would create demand through spectator consumption and the staging of sporting events totaling 670 billion yen ($6.4 billion) and the cancellation of the Olympics would sap Japan’s more…

Credits to: Japan Today

Gamot na may cannabidiol pinayagan nang magamit sa PH | TV Patrol

Pinayagan na ng Dangerous Drug Board na magamit sa Pilipinas ang isang rehistradong gamot na may cannabidiol, isa sa mga sangkap na makikita sa marijuana. Pero ito ay limitado lang sa gamutan ng ilang uri ng epilepsy more…

Credits to: ABS-CBN News

Japan Closes Schools For A Month To Stop Coronavirus Spread | NBC Nightly News

There are more than 200 coronavirus cases in Japan, with two new fatalities from the virus. Tokyo’s Disneyland has closed its gates for the first time since the 2011 tsunami and officials are considering scaling back next month’s Olympic more…

Credits to: NBC News

US State Department raises travel advisory levels for Japan and S. Korea | ABC News

More than 77,000 coronavirus cases have been reported globally with an uptick in infections in Japan and South more…

Credits to: ABC News

Countries around the world battle to keep COVID-19 from becoming a pandemic | WNT

The World Health Organization raised the global risk assessment to its highest level with a blunt warning to “wake up, get ready.” more…

Credits to: ABC News