COVID19 UPDATES

October 23, 2020


Philippines to allow foreign investors to enter from Nov. 1

Foreigners with 47A2 visas from the Department of Justice, and visas from the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority will also be allowed. They must have valid and existing visas at the time of entry and must likewise have a pre-booked accredited quarantine facility.


Government suspends issuance of foreign retirement visas


The Tourism Department’s Philippine Retirement Agency (PRA) halts the processing of retirement visas for foreign nationals as it amends its policies, including reviewing the 35-year-old minimum age requirement. 


PEZA readies FDI plan

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) is readying a contingency plan on how to attract more foreign direct investments (FDI) as more locators resume operations seven months after the quarantines.



PH to lift entry ban on select foreigners starting Nov. 1

The Philippines will allow entry of some foreign nationals starting Nov. 1, subject to strict protocols, Harry Roque, spokesperson of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases, announced on Friday.


Año backs GCQ in NCR until end-2020 to limit Christmas COVID-19 cases

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Friday said he supports keeping the less strict general community quarantine (GCQ) status in Metro Manila to slow down coronavirus disease infections.



October 22, 2020


Pandemic hits local poultry demand

LOCAL POULTRY production is expected to plunge by as much as 40% this year as demand weakened due to the coronavirus pandemic, the United Broiler Raisers Association (UBRA) said on Wednesday.


Inbound int’l tourism may pick up starting late 2021

THE Philippines may only see a significant rise foreign tourist arrivals starting late 2021 or early 2022 as uncertainty over the pandemic continues, Fitch Ratings said.


Philippines’ trade recovery continues to lag

PHILIPPINE EXPORTS likely fell by 8.7% in the third quarter, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said, as lockdown restrictions continue to weigh on recovery.


BIR clarifies complex VAPP issues

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) explained that the Voluntary Assessment and Payment Program (VAPP) is not a tax amnesty that the government issued previously for individual and corporate taxpayers.



Resume COVID-19 testing, Palace urges Red Cross

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Wednesday pressed the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) to resume its testing services for thousands of arriving overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to keep them from getting stranded in quarantines.


ADB pushes tech-based growth

Economies in Southeast Asia would be poised for a quicker economic bounce back from the COVID-19-induced recession if they will jack up investments in digital infrastructure to adapt to the new normal wrought by the pandemic, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Wednesday.


PH virus response fails to make IMF cut

Although it imposed the longest and most stringent COVID-19 lockdown in the Asia-Pacific region, the delay in mass testing and dodgy contact tracing failed to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus in the Philippines, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said.


DOLE: Duterte OKs overseas deployment of health workers with complete documents as of end-Sept.

President Rodrigo Duterte approved to exempt nurses and other medical workers, with complete documents as of Sept. 30, from the overseas deployment ban, according to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.


Laguna VCO clinical trials for COVID-19 treatment to be completed by December – DOST

The community-based clinical trials on virgin coconut oil (VCO) as adjunct treatment for COVID-19 is expected to be finished by December, an official of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said.


₱13-billion subsidy sought for employers who can’t provide 13th month pay

A lawmaker is seeking a ₱13.7 billion subsidy for employers who are unable to provide their workers with the 13th month salary and Christmas bonuses.


PH firms slow in shifting digitally

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is incentivizing local enterprises for them to adopt to digital technologies because while majority of enterprises are aware of the need to transform digitally many of them are facing various constraints, particularly the lack of capital.

October 21, 2020


ADB urges Southeast Asia to close gap, expand investments in digital infra

The Asian Development Bank urged Southeast Asian countries to provide equal access to technology and expand investments in digital infrastructure as the region recovers from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.


DOT: Hotels allowed to operate at full capacity in GCQ, MGCQ areas

Hotels in general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ areas are now allowed to operate at their full capacity, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said Wednesday.


ARTA to focus streamlining efforts on flagship projects

THE Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) said it will prioritize the streamlining of the permits process for flagship infrastructure programs after President Rodrigo R. Duterte was given special powers to address red tape.  One particular area of focus is water systems, which have been experiencing permit and licensing delays.


Fitch: Tourism receipts to remain weak next year

The impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 pandemic is seen disrupting international services trade, particularly tourism in the Asia-Pacific region including the Philippines until next year, according to Fitch Ratings.


Gov’t sees 2020 GDP shrinking by 6%

Economic managers project that the Philippine GDP for 2020 will contract by about 6%, with economic activities being significantly affected by the lockdown due to the COVID-10 pandemic. Meanwhile, the government expects a strong rebound in 2021, with a 6.5-7.5% GDP growth.


Palace: PRC’s COVID tests must proceed as Duterte vows to settle PhilHealth debt

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) should now continue its COVID-19 testing services after President Rodrigo Duterte gave his assurance that the government will settle the over P930-million debt of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), Malacañang said Wednesday.


Stranded OFWs due to testing delay caused by Red Cross-PhilHealth issue reach 6,000

Over 6,000 overseas Filipino workers are now stranded in different quarantine facilities in Metro Manila after the Philippine Red Cross stopped conducting COVID-19 tests for the government, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Wednesday.


Arrival of almost 28,000 young Chinese ‘retirees’ alarms senators

Several senators have expressed alarm over the arrival of almost 28,000 Chinese tourists who were allowed to enter the country as retirees, saying this poses a security threat for the Philippines.