PSC vows no job layoffs despite financial woes amid pandemic

While unemployment has risen to an alarming rate amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Philippine Sports Commission assured its employees that there will no layoffs in the agency. Appearing on Tuesday’s online session of the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum, chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez said that despite a meager budget with nothing more to spare, the PSC will continue to carry out its day-to-day operations. Even under these very difficult times, the PSC puts priority on the welfare of its workers Ramirez stressed.   “Even before COVID, we have communicated with Malacanang that we will let go of some contractual employees,” said Ramirez, adding that it would have taken effect on Aug. 31. But the global pandemic made the PSC change its mind. “We in the PSC board made a collective decision that it will not happen. We will not remove anyone from the PSC unless there is cause. We are in very difficult times,” said Ramirez. The PSC has 250 regular employees and more than 250 contractuals. “Sa kahirapan ngayon, ano ang kakainin nila?” said Ramirez, currently staying with his wife at the athletes’ quarters at the PhilSports Complex (formerly ULTRA) in Pasig City. The agency months ago implemented belt-tightening measures, including a 50 percent ‘equity reduction’ on the allowances of the national athletes and coaches. But despite the financial difficulties, athletes and coaches continue to receive their allowances, and can expect to get their regular stipends once the situation improves or when the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) resumes its monthly remittances of close to P100 million to the PSC. Ramirez also added government sports agency is thinking beyond sports, and talked about “fortitude and sacrifice" during the Forum presented by San Miguel Corp., Go For Gold, Milo, PAGCOR, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, and powered by Smart, with Upstream Media as official webcast partner. At the height of the lockdown, the national government channeled P1 billion of PSC money for COVID-19 purposes. The PSC has also allowed the use of its facilities like the Rizal Coliseum and Ninoy Aquino Stadium in the fight against the deadly virus. The PSC has also donated 350 beds and close to 500 laptops that were used during last year’s Southeast East Asian Games to various government offices during the pandemic. “The PSC is not only focused on sports now. We are adapting to the new environment,” said Ramirez......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnAug 18th, 2020

Demand for liquid investments boosts Philippines bond market in Q3

The domestic bond market grew strongly in the third quarter amid high liquidity in the financial system and investor appetite for liquid investments amid the pandemic, according to the Asian Development Bank......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 1st, 2020

Manila grants P5K aid to contractual workers

Mayor Isko Moreno has signed an ordinance granting P5,000 financial assistance to contractual workers of the city government amid a pandemic......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 29th, 2020

RCBC& rsquo;s DiskarTech named Most Inspirational Brand in financial services industry

Amid the fear, uncertainty and desperation brought about by the COVID -19 pandemic there’s nothing more refreshing and reassuring than an inspiration to drive you to move forward despite the odds.  .....»»

Category: techSource:  thestandardRelated NewsNov 26th, 2020

PAL to implement financial restructuring to stop losses

Philippine Airlines said Wednesday it is set to implement another financial restructuring to protect the flag carrier from further bleeding amid the COVID-19 pandemic......»»

Category: financeSource:  thestandardRelated NewsNov 25th, 2020

Peso may strengthen further to 47:$1

Peso may strengthen further to 47:$1 MANILA, Philippines — Dutch financial giant ING Bank sees the peso maintaining its momentum and strengthening further to pierce the 47 to $1 level amid the outperformance of Asia-Pacific countries in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. Rob Carnell, regional head of research for Asia Pacific at ING, said in a […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  balitaRelated NewsNov 24th, 2020

Peso may strengthen further to 47:$1

Dutch financial giant ING Bank sees the peso maintaining its momentum and strengthening further to pierce the 47 to $1 level amid the outperformance of Asia-Pacific countries in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 24th, 2020

Ombudsman suspends 5 DOH officials

The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered a six-month preventive suspension order against five officials of the Department of Health (DOH) over the late releasing of benefits of healthcare workers amid the pandemic.  In an order signed on Tuesday, Ombudsman Samuel Martires preventively suspended Health Undersecretary Roger Tong-An, Kenneth Ronquillo, Maylene Beltran, Laureano Cruz, and Esperanza Carating for six months without pay due to neglect of duty and inefficiency as government officials. The order only addressed the issue of the alleged delay in releasing benefits to health workers, the first action made by the Ombudsman since the investigation was opened in June. However, Martires said that the overall probe regarding the Department’s supposed irregularities on COVID-19 response was still ongoing. The Ombudsman formed investigation teams last June to look into the delayed procurement of physical protective equipment (PPEs) and other items needed for the protection of medical frontliners, and the reported lapses and irregularities that led to the death of health workers. Other issues include the department’s inaction in the release and processing of financial assistance to infected and “fallen” medical workers, as well as the “confusing and delayed” reporting of COVID-19 deaths and confirmed cases. The probe was based on the recommendations of Assistant Ombudsman Caesar D. Asuncion, Assistant Ombudsman Joselito P. Fangon, and Assistant Ombudsman Jose M. Balmeo Jr. Martires previously said that investigators faced difficulties during the early part of the probe as some DOH officials refused to cooperate. With this, Martires authorized the filing of necessary criminal or administrative charges against any official or employee who fails or refuses to comply with the Ombudsman’s legal processes, orders, and requests. Any DOH official or employee who willfully obstructs or hinders the conduct of the investigation or even anyone who misleads the Ombudsman investigators will likewise be charged......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 27th, 2020

As oil prices dive, Iraqi Kurds seek to diversify economy

Iraq's Kurdish region has for decades lived off its oil wealth, but plummeting energy prices amid the pandemic and financial mismanagement are forcing locals to return to long abandoned farms......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 21st, 2020

Addressing mental health amid a pandemic

BETTER DAYS Senator Sonny Angara Mental health has historically been a difficult subject to talk about in Philippine society. Many of us, no doubt, have our own stories, personal or otherwise, of how difficult it is to seek help. In fact, in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, an August, 2020, analysis of many studies on the matter confirmed that the low utilization of mental health services among Filipinos could be attributed in part to the stigma associated with mental health issues, with resilience and self-reliance becoming possible alternate coping strategies. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has made mental health an even bigger issue. The quarantine, the economic effects of the pandemic, and the anxieties brought about by the virus’ unpredictability have had a negative effect on the mental health of many Filipinos. Although we as a country are consistently rated to be in the Top 5 of a global optimism index, according to the DOH, the calls for help have been increasing. According to the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH), their helpline received about 400 calls monthly from May, 2019, to February, 2020. That’s an average of 13 to 15 calls daily. By March, 672 calls were serviced, and this grew steadily in the following months, until there were 1,034 calls in July – and 440 for the half of August. These double the monthly average from March to August to 876 calls, or 32 to 37 calls daily. Many government and private mental health services are available for people who are seeking help or just someone to talk to. Aside from the NCMH crisis hotline, the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation has confidential crisis lines and a referral system to partnered psychologists. The foundation is also a hub for prevention, recognition, and treatment of depression. The Philippine Mental Health Association also offers similar services, and universities like UST, UP Diliman, and Ateneo de Manila have their own mental health service organizations. Some, like Ateneo’s Center for Family Ministries have affordable or negotiable fees. Online resources like the Silakbo.Ph website have listings for many other mental health service providers outside of the NCR. In fact, many organizations have already partnered with the Department of Health (DOH); perhaps more of them should be invited to the table to plan new policies, projects, and initiatives that will address the growing number of mental health cases. The DOH is also encouraging people to learn more about general mental health through free e-learning courses translated into Filipino.  The source material is from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) QualityRights initiative, which is a global project that aims to help participants improve their own mental health, learn how to support their loved ones and communities, and gain knowledge and skills to tackle mental health issues. Clearly, we need to reassess and adapt to the fact that more Filipinos are now looking for mental health services and treatments. This is why I am seeking to amend Republic Act 11036, the Mental Health Act, particularly its existing chapter on “Rights of Service Users and Other Stakeholders.” Our proposed amendment seek to give health service users the right to immediately receive compensation benefits and special financial assistance they are entitled to under law, should they sustain temporary or permanent mental disability in the line of duty or by reason of a person’s office or position. This is an important amendment, as the Mental Health Act requires that PhilHealth provide insurance packages to patients with mental health conditions, and that access to medicines is ensured. With the observation of World Mental Health Day last October 10, it is important to remember the DOH’s theme for this year, “Mental Health for All: Unifying Voices for Greater Investment and Access.”  This theme encourages that we open conversations on the various challenges that our mental health care system faces every day, such as social stigma and limited funding. In fact, the simple act of marking the day itself is important. It shows those who are suffering that we see them, and care for them. It tells others who are hiding their issues that it is perfectly normal to seek help. And most of all, it encourages the whole world to stand in solidarity in recognition of the need for all of society to help those with mental health issues. E-mail:| Facebook, Twitter & Instagram: @sonnyangara Senator Sonny Angara has been in public service for 16 years—9 years as Representative of the Lone District of Aurora, and 7 as Senator. He has authored and sponsored more than 200 laws.  He is currently serving his second term in the Senate. .....»»

Category: newsSource: NewsOct 18th, 2020

Major US firms roll out parade of layoffs over pandemic woes

New York---Hit hard by the coronavirus crisis and with new government stimulus funding in limbo, Disney, American Airlines and United Airlines announced 60,000 layoffs in just 24 hours---leading a barrage of job losses a month before US elections......»»

Category: financeSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 3rd, 2020

US grants $213-M aid to Philippines economy amid pandemic

The Philippines secured over P10.5 billion financial assistance from the United States to help the local economy navigate through the coronavirus crisis and beyond the pandemic......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 28th, 2020

PAG-IBIG Fund grants 60-day grace period on all loan payments

Pag-IBIG Fund granted a 60-day grace period on all loan payments and is offering a special loan restructuring program for home loan borrowers in its efforts to provide members financial relief amid the pandemic......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 25th, 2020

Banks told to implement debt reprieve

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has directed banks and other financial institutions to immediately comply with the provisions of a new law including the 60-day reprieve on loan payments amid the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 pandemic......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 20th, 2020

PGH doc sees woes in revised social distance

The government's easing of physical distancing in public transportation amid the COVID-19 pandemic is "problematic," an expert said Sunday......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsSep 14th, 2020

Financial regulators seek re-deployment of liquidity

Financial regulators want to further tap the liquidity in the system amid the height­ened risk aversion caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the inter-agency Financial Stability Coordination Council said......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 12th, 2020

DA vows to keep prices stable

The Department of Agriculture has vowed to keep food prices affordable as inflation eases amid the pandemic......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 7th, 2020

Pandemic now seen destroying jobs of 700k migrant workers

About 700,000 Filipino migrant workers will likely lose their jobs this year amid massive layoffs around the world triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, the labor department said Thursday......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 3rd, 2020

Sun Life Foundation launches Rise Brighter

Sun Life Financial Philippines Foundation Inc. recently launched its “Rise Brighter PH” program to promote financial security and provide accessible health care amid the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 pandemic......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 30th, 2020

Pandemic woes continue to push hot money out of PH markets

MANILA, Philippines — Short term investments in local financial markets continued to leave the Philippines in July as investors repatriated their assets due to the economic uncertainties caused by the coronavirus pandemic, according to the latest data from the central bank. As of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) latest figures, more of these so-called […] The post Pandemic woes continue to push hot money out of PH markets appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 27th, 2020

Pag-IBIG vows to help borrowers keep their homes amid pandemic

Top officials of Pag-IBIG Fund on Wednesday  assured borrowers that the agency’s loan policies are designed to help them keep their homes, especially during the pandemic......»»

Category: financeSource:  thestandardRelated NewsAug 20th, 2020