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ECCP@Work Featured News Articles | February 05, 2021

February 05, 2021

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Inflation picks up in January at 4.2%

Prices of basic goods went up by 4.2% for the month, quicker than the 3.5% figure logged in December but slower than the 4.4% recorded in January 2019. The latest inflation rate is above the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' forecast range of 3.3-4.1% last week, with the central bank citing higher fuel, meat, and electricity costs.

Unemployment to temporarily rise in 2022 with influx of K-12 graduates — NEDA

“In 2022, we will have graduates from the first batch of the full K-12 and also the ones finishing college because of the K-12,” said Acting NEDA Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua of the Education Department’s program’s effects. This, the official said, will lead to a huge increase in members of the workforce during that period.

Duterte okays extension of ‘no-disconnection policy’ for low-income families

President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the extension of the "no-disconnection policy" for "lifeliners" or low-income households that are unable to pay their electricity bills amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Thursday.

BIR targets 13% higher excise tax collection for 2021

The BIR set a P332.102-billion excise tax collection target for 2021, 12.6% higher than the P294.91 billion collected last year. Excise tax collections from large taxpayers slumped by 7% in 2020, due to the strict lockdown measures and economic slowdown. The BIR attributed the higher target to the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) projection that the Philippine economy will return to a growth trajectory this year.

PH looking to give COVID-19 vaccination priority to economic frontliners, athletes

Authorities will look into possibly expanding the priority list for COVID-19 vaccinations to cover economic frontliners and some athletes, an official leading the inoculation drive said on Wednesday. The COVAX Facility, a global initiative for equitable vaccine access, requires that the coronavirus shots it will give to the Philippines must go to health care workers and vulnerable groups, said Secretary Carlito Galvez, chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19. 

PH to request 900,000 more Pfizer vaccine doses from COVAX

The Philippines will apply for around 900,000 more doses of Pfizer vaccines through the COVAX facility, possibly rounding off the total doses to be received from the American manufacturer to 1 million. Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. on Wednesday said they will send the request to the World Health Organization for the additional vaccines on top of the 117,000 Pfizer-BioNTech doses that the government expects to receive this month.

House panel OKs bills creating job training program for workers aged 40 and above

The House Committee on Labor and Employment has approved bills seeking to establish a job training program for workers 40 years old and above who are unemployed, poor, or who lack formal schooling.

Bank lending drops for the first time in 14 years in Dec

The decline was the first since September, 2006, preliminary data from the central bank showed, and some economists expect lending to remain weak given subdued consumer and corporate demand.

Banks have already gone through the worst, bankers' group says

The country's banks are on their way to recovery following the adverse effect the COVID-19 pandemic had on the economy, an official of a bankers' group said Wednesday, Antonio Moncupa, vice president of Bankers' Association of the Philippines, told CNN Philippines that despite having some of the lowest loan growths last year, learnings from previous crises have prepared the industry.

Congress ratifies bicam report on bill lowering corporate income taxes

Both houses of Congress on Wednesday ratified the bicameral conference committee report on the CREATE bill which seeks to lower corporate income taxes and provide incentives to exporters and domestic enterprises.

DOH: J&J single-dose COVID-19 'beneficial' to PH

Vergeire said the J&J vaccine would be "operationally simple" in the Philippines because the public may not need to receive another shot, unlike those being developed by other drug makers. The company said last week its single-dose COVID-19 vaccine was 72 percent effective in preventing the illness in large-scale trials conducted in the United States.

U.K. reports new coronavirus mutation

The mutation, called E484K, has been reported previously in South Africa in a coronavirus lineage called B.1.135. Public Health England, a government body, said in an analysis made public on Tuesday that in an analysis of 2,14,159 cases, 11 had shown up as carrying the new mutation.

Recovered COVID patients likely protected for at least six months: study

Scientists said the study, which measured levels of previous COVID-19 infection in populations across Britain, as well as how long antibodies persisted in those infected, should provide some reassurance that swift cases of reinfection will be rare.

Duterte EO transferring national gov’t functions to LGUs out this year
In an online interview on Tuesday, Budget Secretary Wendel E. Avisado said the EO will transfer expenditures on local infrastructure, agriculture, social welfare, health care and livelihood, among other sectors listed in the Local Government Code of 1991 which LGUs can implement.

Vaccine czar wants 4 Metro Manila hospitals to get first batch of COVID-19 doses
Galvez suggested prioritizing the vaccination of around 56,000 medical frontliners and hospital staff at the Philippine General Hospital, Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and Sanitarium or Tala Hospital, Lung Center of the Philippines, and the East Avenue Medical Center with the 117,000 Pfizer doses that will be supplied through the COVAX facility, an initiative led by the World Health Organization.

Manufacturing output soars to 2-year high in January
The IHS Markit Philippines Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) grew to 52.5 in January, well above the 50.0 neutral value separating expansion from contraction. The index has stayed in contractionary territory for the previous three months, with December's index figure at 49.2.

PRC partners with SM Supermalls for drive-thru saliva tests

The Philippine Red Cross has inked a partnership with SM Supermalls for the open drive-thru saliva RT-PCR collection. Starting on 2 February, people can head to SM Megamall and SM Mall of Asia for testing at ₱2,000. 

PH slips to 115th place in global corruption index

The Philippines has dropped 2 notches in a global corruption index by Berlin-based watchdog Transparency International, which said efforts to rein in corruption in the country appears to have "stagnated." The country ranked 115th out of 180 countries with a score of 34 out of 100 points, the 2020 Corruption Perception Index released Thursday showed. It was in the 113th spot on the 2019 list. 

DOTr: Full implementation of child car seat law to be deferred amid Covid-19
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Tuesday said they will postpone the full enforcement of the Republic Act (RA) No. 11229 or the Child Safety In Motor Vehicles Act during the coronavirus disease pandemic as it finalizes enforcement protocols for the law.

DA denies postponement of effectivity of price caps on pork, chicken products in NCR
After an agency official initially announced the implementation of price ceilings on pork and chicken products sold in Metro Manila will be delayed to Feb. 8, the Agriculture Department now clarifies Executive Order No. 124 will not be postponed.

SWS: Adult joblessness dropped in Q4 2020
"The national Social Weather Survey of Nov. 21-25, 2020, found adult joblessness at 27.3% of the adult labor force. This is down by 12 points from the 39.5% in September 2020," said the pollster. It added that there were around 12.7 million jobless adults in November, compared to 23.7 million in September of the same year.

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