Advertisements


Primary responsibility for recovery lies with fiscal policy

The recent BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) statement on the Philippine banking system’s 2020 lending operations has provided fresh support for the belief that the primary responsibility for reviving an economy from a severe slowdown lies with fiscal policy, not monetary policy......»»

Category: newsSource: thestandard thestandardFeb 23rd, 2021

Solons to gov’t: Heed the plea of medical workers

Lawmakers expressed all-out support on Sunday (August 2) to the appeal made by Philippine College of Physicians and the Philippine Medical Associationto shift Mega Manila back to a 15-day enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), even as they sought a change in leadership in the Department of Health (DOH) and other agencies handling the country’s response against COVID-19. (JANSEN ROMERO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman, Anakalusugan partylist Rep. Michael Defensor, Bayan Muna partylist Rep.  Carlos Isagani Zarate, and Quezon City  2nd District Rep. Precious Hipolito Castelo called on the government to heed the plea of the medical experts and frontliners for more stringent health protocols in critical areas. “While both the health and economic crisis wrought by  the still ravaging COVID-19 pandemic must be both effectively addressed, the relief and recovery of the people’s health must be prioritized. Lives lost are forfeited forever but businesses lost can be redeemed,” Lagman said in a statement.“We must learn from the bitter lesson experienced by other countries like Japan which prematurely reopened economic, leisure and domestic travel activities only to be besieged later by a resurgence of the viral contagion,” he stressed.  Defensor, chairperson of the House Committee on Public Accounts, said, “If our leading doctors are prescribing it, then as good patients, we are all for Mega Manila’s brief return to an ECQ.” “Our sense is, our public health system is on the verge of collapse, and the momentary return to an ECQ will buy everybody more time to gird for a longer battle against the coronavirus disease,” he said. He said once the government gives in to the appeal, the COVID-19 National Task Force should take that opportunity to fix the lack of hospital staff due to doctors, nurses and other personnel getting infected and still recovering, or undergoing routine seclusion after possible exposure; expand the bed capacities of makeshift hospitals and quarantine facilities; and improve case-finding and the isolation of suspected cases. Defensor said the government should also step up contact-tracing and quarantining; upgrade public transportation options and safety; strengthen workplace protection; build up enforcement of and public compliance with self-protective measures such as the wearing of face masks and face shields, handwashing as well as social and physical distancing; and increase financial and livelihood support to distressed households. Zarate said they are one with our frontliners in demanding a reprieve from the overwhelming cases of COVID-19, particularly in the National Capital Region. “Reverting back to ECQ or whatever level of lockdown is useless or will be for naught if the primary recommendation of frontliners like free mass testing, pro-active contact tracing, isolation and treatment will not be seriously implemented by the government,” he said in a statement. For her part, Castelo said, “Let us listen to them. They are the ones on the frontline. Indeed, after five months of fighting this pandemic, they are exhausted physically, emotionally and mentally.” She laments that several doctors and nurses have died and many others have fallen sick while battling COVID-19. “Our medical workers are asking for a short time to recuperate. Let us give it to them,” she said. In a radio interview, Surigao del Norte 2nd district Rep. Robert Ace Barbers said the government should strike a balance between the economy and health of the Filipinos, but it should be tilted somehow, in favor of health amid the appeal made by physicians to shift Mega Manila back to a 15-day ECQ. He asked the DOH to come up with “a system, a policy, or even perhaps a strategy” to reinforce the country’s health system by augmenting the medical force.  In a separate statement, Assistant Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Representative France Castro said the Inter Agency Task Force for COVID-19 should be headed by medical experts instead of generals who have done nothing but to impose military solutions to combat a public health crisis.  “Our frontliners are already pleading to the Duterte administration to implement a comprehensive medical plan to address the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. The government needs to listen and take concrete actions with the demands of our healthcare workers,” she said.   “It is high time that medical experts lead in the fight against COVID-19 instead of military generals. Medical experts who will not twist data and try to sanitize the numbers. We need medical experts who use science and not allow an entire population to be used as guinea pigs in a failed response and inadequate policies for public health safety.”.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2020

Phillies fire manager Gabe Kapler in hyped season gone wrong

By Rob Maaddi, Associated Press PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Gabe Kapler took the fall for the Philadelphia Phillies. He was fired Thursday, nearly two weeks after a disappointing finish to a season of big expectations highlighted by Bryce Harper's arrival. Kapler went 161-163 in two years, his team unable to deliver following its offseason spending spree. Philadelphia finished 81-81, its first nonlosing season since 2012. "Several years ago, I promised our loyal fans that I would do everything in my power to bring a world championship team to our city. I will never waver from that commitment," Phillies managing partner John Middleton said in a statement. "I have decided that some changes are necessary to achieve our ultimate objective. Consequently, we will replace our manager. I am indebted to Gabe for the steadfast effort, energy and enthusiasm that he brought to our club, and we are unquestionably a better team and organization as a result of his contributions." The Phillies were only two games behind in the NL wild-card standings after beating Atlanta on Sept. 18 but lost eight of the next nine, including a five-game sweep at Washington. They finished eight games behind Milwaukee for the second wild card and 16 behind the first-place Braves in the NL East. Last year, the Phillies had a one-game lead in the division on Aug. 11 before going 15-31 the rest of the way. "When we hired Kap, it was our goal to develop a positive, forward-thinking and collaborative culture throughout the organization that would allow us to compete with the best teams in the league year in and year out," general manager Matt Klentak said. "While we have fallen short in the win column for the last two years, I can confidently say that Kap's efforts have established a strong and sustainable foundation for this organization moving forward." He added that in the coming weeks the baseball operations department will try to "find the right individual to build upon the existing foundation and bring a championship home to Philadelphia." The Phillies are the eighth team changing managers among the 20 that failed to reach the postseason. San Francisco's Bruce Bochy and Kansas City's Ned Yost retired. San Diego's Andy Green, Pittsburgh's Clint Hurdle, the New York Mets' Mickey Callaway and the Los Angeles Angels' Brad Ausmus were fired. The Chicago Cubs and Joe Maddon jointly said he would leave. Injuries were a big reason why the Phillies failed to have a winning record for the first time since 2011. They lost leadoff hitter Andrew McCutchen for the season in June and six of their top seven relievers missed significant time. Free-agent addition David Robertson pitched just 6 2/3 innings and Pat Neshek and Tommy Hunter threw a combined 23 innings. Also, starting center fielder Odubel Herrera played just 39 games before he was suspended for the rest of the season under Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy. The team also announced pitching coach Chris Young, head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan and assistant athletic trainer Chris Mudd will not return. Hitting coach Charlie Manuel will return to his role as a senior adviser. The new manager will inherit the remainder of the coaching staff. Despite adding Harper, McCutchen, J.T. Realmuto and Jean Segura, the offense was inconsistent, and the Phillies couldn't string together more than four victories in a row. Hitting coach John Mallee was fired and replaced by Manuel, a former manager, in August. The Phillies improved but couldn't overcome poor pitching. The starting rotation struggled throughout the season and the injury-depleted bullpen was filled with minor leaguers and castoffs. "We came into 2019 with very high hopes. We fell short of those, and that responsibility lies with me," Kapler said. "The next Phillies manager will inherit a team of talented, dedicated and committed players. There has been nothing more fulfilling in my professional career than the opportunity to work with the players on this team." The Phillies began the season with a three-game sweep of Atlanta, and led the division for two months before falling behind the Braves in June. By the trade deadline, team President Andy MacPhail said he didn't think the club was one or two players away from World Series contention so Klentak made a few minor moves rather than dealing prospects for high-profile players. Kapler wasn't popular in Philly because of his laid-back personality and new-school philosophy. He was heavily criticized for his use of analytics and unfairly ridiculed for being too positive in his assessment of his players. Harper, Realmuto and other players backed their manager but management caved to public pressure. "My hope is that I helped contribute to a developing culture in the organization that flourishes in the years to come," Kapler said. "I've come to care for this franchise and have the best wishes for this group in the future. The passion and devotion of the Phillies fan base both inspired and humbled me daily. It was an honor to grow, develop and learn with this team. I'm looking forward to what the future brings, and I know I'm a better leader and person for having had this opportunity." The team's dismal pitching certainly wasn't Kapler's fault. The Phillies counted on Jake Arrieta, Nick Pivetta, Zach Eflin and Vince Velasquez to fill out a rotation led by ace Aaron Nola. Arrieta struggled and needed elbow surgery. Pivetta was demoted to the minors and moved to the bullpen. Eflin had had ups and downs and Velasquez couldn't pitch deep into games. Even Nola wasn't the same guy who finished third in NL Cy Young Award voting last year. Klentak traded for Jason Vargas and signed Drew Smyly and added other pitchers off waivers. That didn't cut it. Still, Kapler took the fall for the team's shortcomings......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 11th, 2019

Duterte urged to veto 3 provisions in CREATE bill

An economic policy think tank is urging President Duterte to veto three provisions in the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises bill, the tax reform measure approved in the bicameral conference committee last Monday and ratified by both houses of Congress......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsFeb 3rd, 2021

Fire up recovery with doable bills

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III urged lawmakers to help jumpstart the country’s recovery by acting swiftly on “doable” priority measures such as long-due reforms in the corporate income tax and fiscal incentives system and easing restrictions on foreign ownership in certain sectors of the economy......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJan 26th, 2021

Multi-year highs for industrial metals

Last week, we talked about crude oil as one of the primary beneficiaries of the unprecedented monetary and fiscal stimulus, the Biden electoral victory, the Democratic blue wave, and the discovery of the COVID-19 vaccine. Another asset class that has benefited immensely is industrial metals......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 24th, 2021

GDP contribution of mining seen rising to 1.5%

The mining industry can potentially increase its contribution to the national economy to 1.5 percent if the government will make policy changes to aid in the country’s recovery amid the pandemic......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 2nd, 2020

& lsquo;Go Local, Buy Local& rsquo; drive draws support

Calls to “go and buy local” to revive and strengthen the local agriculture sector and food manufacturing industry to boost food supply and bolster economic recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic are gaining momentum, according to policy think tank Stratbase ADR Institute......»»

Category: financeSource:  thestandardRelated NewsNov 10th, 2020

Biden knocks Trump as rivals barnstorm heartland in election finale

Joe Biden intensified his attacks Friday on President Donald Trump as they battled over the American Midwest, chasing every last vote with four days to go in a region that propelled the Republican to victory in 2016. RUS President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Rochester International Airport October 30, 2020 in Rochester, Minnesota. With Election Day only four days away, Trump is campaigning in Minnesota despite the recent surge in coronavirus cases in the state. In accordance with state orders, only 250 people will be able to attend the rally with Trump while thousands of others will gather outside the airport to watch on a large television screen. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP) Trump and Biden barnstormed three heartland states each — with a resurgent coronavirus passing the milestone of nine million cases as they hit the stump — highlighting their differences in a race overshadowed by the pandemic. Trump, heralded a “big day” of campaigning as he left the White House, then held a rally in Michigan before heading to Wisconsin and Minnesota, all states battling climbing numbers of virus cases. “We just want normal,” Trump told supporters — many of them unmasked — at an outdoor rally near Detroit as he pushed states to relax public health restrictions and resume daily life. He again bucked his own administration’s health experts as he downplayed the Covid-19 threat, saying “if you get it, you’re going to get better, and then you’re going to be immune.” Covid-19 has killed nearly 230,000 people in the US, which is experiencing surges in most states as the winter flu season looms. The outbreak has ravaged the economy, and while there have been signs of recovery, millions remain jobless. Biden was also stumping in Wisconsin and in Minnesota, where he sharpened his attacks on the president on everything from Trump seeking to dismantle Obama-era health care protections and keep his taxes secret to climate change and trade policy with China. “We can not afford four more years of Donald Trump,” the 77-year-old Democrat said at a socially distanced drive-in rally in St. Paul, Minnesota. “So honk your horn if you want America to lead again!” he said, embracing the awkward pandemic-era campaign trend of rallying supporters in their vehicles. “Honk your horn if you want to have civility again, and honk your horn if you want America to be united again!” Earlier in Iowa he attacker Trump over his handling of the pandemic. “Donald Trump has given up (and) waved the white flag,” Biden told a drive-in rally with more than 300 cars in Des Moines. – ‘Less divided’ – Trump flipped Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin from the Democrats to clinch his shock victory four years ago.  Now polls show Biden leading in all three, albeit narrowly in Iowa. It was Biden’s first visit to Iowa since his inauspicious campaign start in February, when he placed a dismal fourth in the opening Democratic nominating contest. So can Biden win over enough voters to prevail in the Hawkeye State? “I wouldn’t put money on it,” Iowa attorney Sara Riley, 61, said at Biden’s event, although she was more confident about him clinching the White House. “I think Americans, even Trump supporters, want to get to a place where the country is less divided,” Riley said. With voters concerned about the health hazards of crowded polling stations on November 3, a record 86 million have already cast early ballots by mail or in person. Even as the US hit a grim new high in daily Covid-19 infections Thursday, Trump has stuck to his guns, downplaying the dangers and branding Democrats as rampaging “socialists” intent on shuttering the country. And while Trump has touted the economic successes of his presidency, including positive GDP figures Thursday, US stocks closed out their worst week since March, highlighting concerns about a shaky recovery. – ‘Turn Texas blue?’ – After a campaign largely muted by the pandemic, Biden is on the offensive, pushing Trump onto the back foot in unexpected battlegrounds like Texas, a large, traditionally conservative bastion now rated a toss-up by multiple analysts. On Friday the state reported that a staggering nine million residents had already voted, surpassing its entire 2016 total. Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris visited Texas Friday in a bid to turn the state Democratic for the first time since president Jimmy Carter in 1976. “We have a chance to turn Texas blue,” the 96-year-old Carter said in a fundraising email. Biden winning there would be a dagger to Trump, but the president dismissed the notion, saying: “Texas, we’re doing very well.” Trump and Biden are focusing their greatest efforts on traditional battlegrounds that will decide the election — such as Florida, where both campaigned on Thursday. On Saturday Biden returns to the Midwest bringing with him perhaps his strongest surrogate: ex-president Barack Obama, making his first joint in-person campaign appearance of the year with his former VP. Motown music legend Stevie Wonder will join them, the Biden campaign said. Trump will spend the day campaigning in the critical state of Pennsylvania, where he narrowly trails Biden in polls. Biden will follow suit there both Sunday and Monday in a clear sign that his campaign sees the Keystone State as absolutely crucial to his victory......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 31st, 2020

Stocks close lower over budget delay

The local stock market ended the week lower yesterday over concern that the passage of next year’s budget will be delayed.  The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) shed 11.05 points, or 0.19 points, to close at 5,931.61 with sectoral indices mixed.  Volume was lower at 9.16 billion shares worth P5.63 billion with gainers beating losers 119 to 76 with 43 unchanged.  “The local bourse declined due to worries over a possible delay in the passage of the national budget for 2021 which would serve as a risk against the local economic recovery,” said Philstocks Financial Senior Analyst Japhet Tantiangco.  Regina Capital Development Corporation Managing Director Luis Limlingan noted that, “Local shares retraced from earlier losses to close marginally lower after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected the idea of a standalone bill to aid the airline industry, saying such a measure would need to be part of a broader fiscal stimulus package. President Trump doubled down on the Fiscal Stimulus and insisted now to have a larger than the proposed airline stimulus.”.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020

Christmas 2020 for workers and farmers

HOTSPOT Tonyo Cruz Two things workers are looking forward to at the end of each year are the 13th month pay and the Christmas bonus. And it seems about two million workers may not get any 13th month pay at all, if the Duterte government would have its way. The reason? Because of the pandemic. In reaction, Kilusang Mayo Uno chairperson Elmer Labog  issued his shortest statement yet this year, unable to hide labor’s frustration: “It is the government’s responsibility to bail out MSMEs in times of emergencies.” Indeed, it is the state’s obligation to support and prop up micro, small and medium-scale enterprises especially now in the time of pandemic. By saying MSMEs could dispense with the 13th month pay, the government is practically passing on its responsibility to MSMEs. Workers continue to give their share through the cheap, underpaid and overstressed labor power that makes sure MSMEs continue to function and perform their role as main engines of the economy. The government must do its job: Bail out the MSMEs. It is quite surprising that the Duterte government seems disinterested in bailing out MSMEs, considering the avalanche of news about the borrowings here and there. According to Sonny Africa, executive director of the think-tank Ibon Foundation, the borrowings has reached a historic high: “It took 118 years for the country’s debt to reach P6.1-trillion in 2016. President Duterte is taking just six years to more than than double that to P13.7-trillion in 2022.” Again, the reason for the borrowing has been “because of the pandemic.” Regardless of where the money goes, and whether or not MSMEs and workers received only a drop from it, they would pay the entire debt through more and higher taxes for years to come. Workers are not asking for something they have not earned through hard work. They earned that 13th month pay. It is not an optional thing. It is part of the law. The pandemic should oblige the state to bail out our MSMEs to enable them to fully function, and to give the workers’ their due under the law. Workers have given and lost a lot because of the pandemic. Workers have not asked for free rides to work, but the government fails to provide adequate and safe mass transport. Workers have asked for free mass testing in their companies and communities, but the government has other ideas. Workers and their families would have fared better with unemployment benefits amid the dismal pandemic response of government, but it seems the same government wishes to push them instead to pawnshops and loan sharks. We haven’t even factored in the laid-off, underemployed and unemployed workers, as well as the undetermined number of overseas Filipino healthcare workers stranded in the country since April. They all don’t wish to be “patay-gutom” and “pala-asa”.  They don’t wish to stay unemployed and be dependent on aid. They are ready to work and earn their keep. But since the president made policy decisions affecting their ability to obtain work, it is the government’s obligation to bail them out as well. The situation of our nation’s farmers is no different. For instance, rice farmers continue to produce our national staple. The pandemic made even worse the effects on them of the combined power of policies such as rice tarrification, the stranglehold of Big Landlords, the vast influence of rice cartels, and the continued operation of illegal rice importers. Price monitoring by Bantay Bigas and the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas reveals the outrageously low palay prices nationwide, which means ruin to our nation’s rice farmers: Negros Occidental and Bicol region P10; Capiz P10-P11; Caraga P11; Tarlac P11-12; Ilocos Sur and Nueva Ecija P11-13; Camarines Sur P11.50-14; Bulacan and Mindoro P12; Isabela P12-P13.50; Pangasinan P12-P12.30; Antique P12.50; Agusan del Sur P13; Davao de Oro P13.14; Davao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and South Cotabato P13.50; North Cotabato P14; and Lanao del Norte P15. If you look at it, plantitos and plantitas today pay 20 to 50 times more for ornamental plants, compared to the prices traders and the NFA offer to our farmers. According to Bantay Bigas and KMP, the government procures way less than 20 percent of the produce of rice farmers.  And then we hear that the NFA would rather import rice from other countries, at pandemic-affected prices at that. Without any state intervention, by way of NFA buying rice farmers’ produce at P20 per kilo, and providing loans to farmers, there could be worse rural poverty in the coming months and years. Between our workers and farmers, their families have been made to sacrifice a lot since March, with prices of basic goods spiking, with new and higher expenses arising from online classes for the children. There cannot be no aid for them.  Neither should workers and farmers shoulder the burden of the failure or refusal of government to provide funding for bailouts sorely needed by MSMEs, and be forced to accept new national debts to pay for policies such as rice tarrification and importation. The government knows the scale of the problem. The Department of Labor and Employment says 13,127 companies have either laid off workers or permanently closed. The response cannot be “pass the burden to workers”. The answer should be: “the state must do everything to rescue the companies and the workers.” OFWs across the world should be familiar with bailouts and economic protections because of the pandemic. Many countries that host OFWs enacted huge bailouts and stimulus to their economies, partly so that migrant labor could continue to be employed. They enjoy health insurance, and special COVID19 coverage. Governments handed out checks to both citizens and companies. Is it too much to ask that the same be done in our own country? Or do Filipinos have to go abroad to experience such social and economic protections?.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020

ADB urges SEA economies: Tap green financing for recovery

The Asian Development Bank is urging policy makers in Southeast Asia to tap into green financing to raise funds for projects that will help economies recover......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 8th, 2020

Fitch Solutions sees BSP keeping interest at record low until 2021

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is unlikely to tweak its monetary policy stance until the last part of 2021 amid the manageable inflation environment and signs of economic recovery from the health crisis, Fitch Solutions, a unit of Fitch Group, said in a report Monday......»»

Category: financeSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 5th, 2020

Public clamor for more jeepneys met with eased distancing instead

“The policy aims to help in the opening and recovery of the economy,” transportation spokesperson Goddes Libiran said in a text message. .....»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 14th, 2020

Financing economic recovery

As the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic's spread across the length and breadth of Asia and the Pacific, finance ministries are continuing their relentless efforts to inject trillions of dollars for emergency health responses and fiscal packages. With continued lockdown measures and restricted borders, economic rebound seems uncertain......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsSep 7th, 2020

Fiscal policy has failed the economy

When the government placed on lockdown the most important parts of this country’s economy, it temporarily ended, for a reason unrelated to the nation’s economic situation, the flow of incomes within the economy......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsSep 2nd, 2020

Built by Bo, bonded for Bo, believe in Bo

This is not the first time that Bo Perasol has had a recruiting haul this huge. Now heading into his fifth season in the University of the Philippines, he has brought in blue-chip recruits such as Gerry Abadiano and Carl Tamayo and talented transferees like Joel Cagulangan, CJ Cansino, and Malick Diouf to a team that already has Bright Akhuetie, Kobe Paras, and Ricci Rivero. And don't forget that Gomez de Liano brothers Javi and Juan are only sitting out the next season - and what lies beyond for them is yet to be determined. This is not that different from his time in Ateneo de Manila University when he scored UAAP Jrs. Season MVP Jerie Pingoy, UAAP Jrs. Finals MVP Hubert Cani, NCAA Mythical selection CJ Perez, and NCAA Jrs. standout Arvin Tolentino in his first few years. Those promising prospects then joined forces with Blue Eagle stalwarts Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal Unfortunately, all of Pingoy, Cani, Perez, and Tolentino - along with the rest of the so-called "Magnificent 7" - found themselves with academic deficiencies and, therefore, ineligible by the blue and white's standards. Not long after, they transferred to different schools and squads and then had varying degrees of success. Will Coach Bo's tale get a different ending this time with the Fighting Maroons? Perasol is making sure of that. "From my experience in Ateneo, natuto ako. Ngayon, meron kaming grupo sa programa na nagha-handle lang ng academics ng players," he shared. He then continued, "Sinasamahan sila sa mga klase, pinapakilala sa mga propesor, ine-explain na player natin yan, pag merong problema, coordinate lang po tayo." Apparently, this academic assistance team is made up of former student-managers who have graduated. Now, their first job is all about seeing to it that State U would not have to go through the same sort of headache Ateneo had with its "Magnificent 7." With that, you could be sure that UP's pillars of honor and excellence still stand strong even as all these new faces join Men's Basketball Team. "Walang special consideration. Pumapasok sila, bumabagsak sila. Binibigyan sila ng extra work, humihingi sila ng extra work," Coach Bo said. He then continued, "Ang ine-explain ko lagi sa players at sa professors, ang mahalaga, basta masipag pumasok at nagpapakita ng intensyong matuto." STARRING AND STRIKING At present, just about everybody is still getting used to blue-chip recruits and talented transferees going for UP. That is why there are more questions than answers each and every time they announce a new player. And along with the question of whether or not all these new faces would be up to par in terms of the honor and excellence the Philippines' prime public university prides itself in, there is a question of just how the Fighting Maroons got here in the first place. How could State U, not that far removed from its self-proclaimed "dark days," get all of these players? And not just players, at that, but many big name players. The categorical answer? The program could now afford it. "Meron nang pondo salamat sa sponsors," head coach Bo Perasol explained. "For example, kung makikita mo lang yung patches sa harap ng jersey, malaking pera yun. Nag-aagawan ang marami para dun." At present, the shot-caller said that UP has eight corporate sponsors all getting together for the funds for the program. And unlike Ateneo which has Manny V. Pangilinan or National University which has Hans Sy as primary backers, the Fighting Maroons' system is quite different. "Ang source ng funds ng UP, halos lahat galing sa alumni. Tapos lahat yun, mina-manage ng nowheretogobutUP," coach Bo said. According to its website, nowheretogobutUP (NTGBUP) is "a volunteer group of UP alumni that aims to help, assist, and support the development, improvement, and advancement of the varsity program of UP." All of the finances it manages, however, are not necessarily donations. As Perasol put it, "Yung model ng UP is unique kasi yung support nila, kailangan may balik din from us." For example, the tactician said that many of their players have made appearances, online in this continuing COVID-19 crisis and in person prior to the pandemic, to cheer up employees of Palawan Pera Padala, one of the team's sponsors. More importantly, Coach Bo reminded yet again that the only reason they have all these new faces is because they have to. He pointed out how Abadiano and Filipino-American Sam Dowd would make up for the losses of Jun Manzo and Juan GDL as well as how Diouf and Cansino are already waiting in the wings once Bright Akhuetie and Ricci Rivero graduate. "We're also recruiting for the impending need," Perasol said. "Hindi naman ito biglaan. Since nagsimula kami rito, we all did this nang dahan-dahan lang. Kaya rin yung support from alumni for funding, hindi na rin naging mahirap." DREAMING Still, the mere fact that UP is now a big-time player on and off the court in collegiate basketball seemed so farfetched just five years ago. Before Bo Perasol, the Fighting Maroons were stuck in a vicious cycle. Now, though, they have back-to-back playoff appearances and have traded blows with traditional powerhouses for recruits and transferees. All of this made possible because the very moment he came in, Coach Bo already knew the secret to success. "You cannot build a program without funds," he said. Perasol furthered that his biggest takeaway from his time in Ateneo was that competing with the traditional powerhouses on the court entailed competing with them as well off of it. "Alam ko yung kakayanan ng Ateneo and siyempre, kakumpetensya ko rin nun yung La Salle so alam ko rin yung kanila. Ganun na rin ang kakayanan ng NU and yung iba pa, kakayanin din nila kung gustuhin nila," he said. He then continued, "Kaya kung ang objective ng programa is to be in the top four, your program should be levelled din sa capacity ng top four." The General Santos native then went on to point out how training in the country or abroad, recruitment local and overseas, housing, and food and nutrition all have costs. "To sum it up, everything you're going to do would entail financing. Hindi ito kakayanin ng UP as a public school dahil wala namang pondo ang gobyerno para dyan," he said. He then continued, "Ang pinakasagot nalang ng school is yung scholarship. And siyempre, yung nag-aaral ka sa UP." That doesn't mean, however, that their hands were tied. In fact, the answer to the questions had always been there. "The good thing about UP is there's millions of alumni all over the world and a lot are successful people and businessmen who are willing to help," Perasol said. BELIEVING Indeed, having educated Filipinos for over 112 years now, UP has, without a doubt, more than a few successful alumni. It was all a matter of uniting - and then unleashing - them. Even before Bo Perasol came home to Diliman, NTGBUP was already organized. They were not necessarily thrilled with the Fighting Maroons, though. "Nung una, dahan-dahan lang, ambag-ambag lang para merong kakainin, pambayad sa dorm. Merong nag-donate ng shoes," Coach Bo said. He then continued, "Pero siyempre, they want first and foremost a program with improvements and direction." NTGBUP and the UP community got just that from Perasol as a 3-11, seventh-place finish in 2015 became a 5-9, sixth-place finish in 2016 in Coach Bo's first year. In his second year, the squad improved to a  6-8, fifth-place finish. From there, the Fighting Maroons have been in the Final Four for back-to-back years now - and even made the Finals in 2018. "Nagsimula maging excited ang alumni nung nagsimula ring manalo," he shared. "When we started winning, nagkaroon hindi lang ng physical support, but financial support as well. We were ascending eh." In his third year at the helm, State U, finally, officially had corporate sponsors. And you know how that year went? That was when they ended a 21-year Final Four drought and then a 32-year Finals absence. Safe to say, the sleeping giant was awoken. "Yes, sleeping giant talaga tayo and when we say nagising, ang pinaka-catalyst was the winning," its fearless leader said. Now, UP MBT has a mean machine of financial support on its back, paving the path for its big-time recruiting haul in 2020. Even better, they now have a loud and proud fanbase that is making up for all the lost time they stayed away during the "dark days." "Actually, sa pitches ko sa recruitment, kasama sa presentation ko yung machi-cheer sila nang ganung klaseng crowd," Coach Bo said. SURVIVING At the same time, though, that loud and proud fanbase expects much, much more from this brand new power. For each and every one of them, Bo Perasol has but one reminder. "What we have done in the past years is to level up lang. We have a new gym, we have all these players, we can train abroad," he said. He then continued, "Pero yung mga Ateneo, La Salle, 20 to 30 years na nilang ginagawa yan. What we did was just to level up alongside them." Again and again, Coach Bo has said that what he has been doing is, put simply, putting UP in the best position to win. Still, with a roster as overflowing with talent as this, he could only acknowledge that just about everybody sees them as having gone championship or bust. Credit to him, however, Perasol was blunt with his assessment that he would also be disappointed if they would not be able to taste their first championship since 1986 sooner than later. "Yes, it will be a failed plan kung hindi tayo makakakuha ng championship in the next three to five years," he said. He then continued, "Yan naman talaga ang plano and ang ginagawa natin ngayon is all going towards that objective." And again and again, he is putting all those great expectations on his shoulders - and on his shoulders alone. "Ako naman, hindi ko rin pwedeng hindi gawin itong ganitong recruitment kasi hindi rin naman ako magkakaroon ng chance kung ganun. I have to be in the best position to succeed so that we are in the best position to succeed," he said. Only time would tell if all the seeds he has sown would bear fruit. But Coach Bo is already guaranteeing that whatever happens then, he would have no regrets. "In the end, alam ko namang babalik ang lahat sa akin. Alam na alam ko namang ako ang leader ng team," he said. He then continued, "Ang mahalaga is we gave ourselves a chance. Anuman ang outcome, basta nabigyan natin ang sarili natin ng pagkakataon." After years and years and years as the laughingstock of men's basketball, it looks like it's now UP's turn to smile and wave. Whether or not that ultimately turns into jumps for joy for their first title in three decades remains to be seen. But maybe, just maybe, Coach Bo is right - this is all worth it just to have a chance to compete. Just remember that in the "dark days," that chance to compete wasn't there at all. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 30th, 2020

Businessmen call for reopening of economy

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry called for the full resumption of economic activities as the lockdown extension may worsen business woes and render recovery plan more difficult even with fiscal support......»»

Category: financeSource:  thestandardRelated NewsAug 7th, 2020

‘Limits of fiscal capacity: COVID-19 lockdown, recession and recovery’

In general, undertaking a successful recovery is made more difficult by the burden of a large population. Since it is obligatory to support a country’s human base, the margin for improving development outcomes is reduced......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 4th, 2020

WTTC issues insurance guidelines for travel industry

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has released “new normal” insurance guidelines for the travel and tourism sector globally.WTTC is a private global forum composed of over 200 heads of world’s leading travel and tourism companies, such as aviation, hotels, and cruise.In a statement, WTTC said the guidelines are designed to drive the return of safe, healthy and responsible travel, noting that insurance will provide peace of mind and risk mitigation to consumers, suppliers, and organizations across all the stakeholders in the sector.The new guidelines were compiled based on input from leading companies, many of which have partnered with trusted experts in public health and governments to support safe, healthy, and responsible travels.It also aims to promote consistent standards across all relevant functions with an increased focus on health and safety, in line with what travelers need and expect.“We have worked closely with key players across the travel insurance industry to make recommendations to ensure individual travelers, groups and organizations can feel safe and confident enough to travel, sure in the knowledge they have the protection they need,” WTTC President and Chief Operating Officer (CEO) Gloria Guevara said.WTTC divided the new normal guidelines into four pillars, including operational and staff preparedness; ensuring a safe experience; rebuilding trust and confidence; innovation; and implementing enabling policies.Among the recommendations announced include:• All organizations to provide risk management plans, including how they aim to combat COVID-19 to insurers• Organizations to make sure their plans are thorough, practical, and simple to follow• All staff to be informed of protective measures being taken, which include insurance products that will cover them• Insurers to ensure audits identify and plug gaps in and source the right partners and providers to ensure appropriate coverage• Insurers to create blanket insurance and crisis management coverage to give comfort to customers• Ensure there is enhanced awareness of the terms and conditions, restrictions, and coverage limits of insurance products/policies• Insurers to provide a minimum base of mandatory coverage for risks posed by COVID-19• Educate travelers who are unfamiliar with the risk they could be exposed to and what coverage to look for.To recall, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat has expressed her confidence in rebuilding the country’s local tourism industry with the help of WTTC, whose primary initiative is the recovery of the global tourism industry amid the unprecedented crisis brought by the COVID-19 pandemic......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2020

Cleanfuel Strengthens Retail Network in Southern Manila

Now serving with the newest technologies implemented to create high-tech fuel for your vehicles, Cleanfuel, believes in the resiliency of the Filipino people that would bring and sustain solid economic recovery amid health crisis. Their recently opened retail station at Doña Soledad in Parañaque City shows a testament that the company remains upbeat in expanding their network footprints in Southern portion of Metro Manila.   “While 2020 is a challenging year, Cleanfuel has remained optimistic riding in the resiliency of Filipinos towards economic recovery. This is the reason why Cleanfuel Group of Companies continues to invest and opened more stations as a testament and commitment to its people to provide top-notch fuel to every motorist,” said Atty Bong Suntay, President of Cleanfuel. “The opening of the new station in Doña Soledad is in line with Cleanfuel’s goal to expand its reach and strengthen its customer base in the Southern part of Metro Manila,” Suntay said. Situated at the busy thoroughfare of Doña Soledad Avenue Extension at Barangay Don Bosco in Parañaque City, the new station offers a top-notch fuel and lubricants including Clean91 (Unleaded), Premium 95 gasoline, and Euro-4 diesel. It provides access to both public and private motorists from Better Living going to Moonwalk, connecting in the bustling intersection of eastern Parañaque.  In addition, the second district of Don Bosco is the primary residential Barangay of Ninoy Aquino International Airport and one of the 16 Barangays in Parañaque City. Key factors of the city’s progress include banks, shopping malls, restaurants, residential properties, and commercial manufacturing. Motorists heading towards the busy streets of Doña Soledad Avenue Extension from east-west and northern side of Parañaque can gas up to experience Cleanfuel’s brand mantra: Quality fuel for Less! Further, Cleanfuel Doña Soledad station will become a key driver of growth to more than 60,000 population of Barangay Don Bosco. As the city relies on shopping centers as part of major contributors, the company sees that the opening of Cleanfuel Doña Soledad will further strengthen and boost economic confidence. “We’re grateful and honor to inaugurate Cleanfuel Doña Soledad as our first station to open in these unprecedented times. The economy in the City of Parañaque has been growing consistently with massive projects in property and commercial manufacturing,” the company’s chief executive said.  Suntay adds that in the next coming months Cleanfuel is adding more stations not only in NCR but also in provinces to provide quality fuel for business and opportunities for others. “We intend to leverage our business aggressively and expand our retail network across the country, focusing on Mega Manila and Northern Luzon,” concludes Suntay.  Cleanfuel is expected to open more stations in coming weeks in Ortigas Avenue Extension in Pasig and mega branch in Mabalacat Pampanga as part of the long-term business expansion plan. Aside from expansion, the company has extended its support by providing fuel subsidy for the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr’s) Free Bus Ride for Health Workers Program and drive relief donations to northern provinces, which include Pangasinan (Villasis, Binalonan, Pozorrubio) and San Fernando (La Union) and other cities in Metro Manila......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsAug 1st, 2020