business

GSIS grants P4B in loan aid to gov’t workers, pensioners

May 12, 2020

THE Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has released a total of P4.1 billion in loans to some 60,000 government workers and pensioners nationwide as of April 30.      This was reported Monday by Rolando Ledesma Macasaet, president and general manager of the state pension fund.     While most parts of the country are still in enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), GSIS was able to disburse P3.48 billion in various loans (conso-loan, policy loan and pension loan) to a total of 25,198 GSIS members and pensioners nationwide between the period March 27 and April 30.     In addition to these regular loan programs, the state pension fund opened the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) emergency loan program to its 2.1 million members and pensioners last April 13.     “I am very proud to say that in just 17 days, from April 13 to April 30, GSIS has granted PHP664 million in emergency loan to some 33,000 borrowers nationwide,” Macasaet said.     Earlier this month, this loan program was enhanced to make it more responsive to the needs of GSIS members and pensioners.     Under the enhanced program, Macasaet said members who have in-default loan accounts with arrears of more than six months are now allowed to renew their emergency loan.       “We have also reduced the paid premium requirement from six months to only three months,” he said. “However, since this is the first time for GSIS to offer the emergency loan on a national scale, there may be some delays due to systems maintenance activities. I am grateful for the patience and understanding of our stakeholders during this time.”      Considering that systems enhancements are still in progress, members and pensioners whose emergency loans were renewed and granted from April 13 to 30 may renew their loans starting 11 May 2020. (PR)

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PHL banks to see credit losses due to coronavirus pandemic

May 12, 2020

PHILIPPINE BANKS may see loan losses of up to P100 billion in 2020 due to the financial impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), according to S&P Global Ratings.     “For full year 2020, we estimate credit losses to rise threefold, by P100 billion, equal to 1.3% of banking sector loans,” it said in a report on Wednesday.     This year, banks will witness low single-digit growth, rising bad loans and credit costs and lower profitability as the country could go into recession due to the pandemic, S&P said.     “The effect on individual banks in the coming quarters will be uneven, largely hinging on whether lenders adopt relaxed accounting and provisioning standards,” S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Nikita Anand said.     The report said loan demand may be buoyed by the corporate sector which needs a liquidity boost during this period.     Amid the current situation, the asset quality of banks will be dependent on the performance of the corporate sector as it accounts for 82% of their total loan portfolio.     “Large conglomerates with their strong business profiles, diversified revenue streams and solid liquidity buffers will likely come through the challenging operating conditions intact,” S&P said.     “Micro, small, and midsize enterprises (7% of the banking sector’s books) and leveraged corporates may face challenges,” it added.     S&P also flagged that lenders’ exposure to sectors like hotels and catering (2% of bank lending), wholesale and retail trade (12%), transportation (3%) and manufacturing (10%) will be particularly high risk. Credit cards and unsecured personal loans from the retail segment are also likely to see higher default rates, it added.     “Secured retail loans such as mortgages and auto loans will not likely be in the first wave of nonperforming assets, but will see some stress as unemployment rises,” S&P said.     The firm noted that the country’s local banks are equipped with “good financial buffers and are entering the crisis “from a position of strength,” thanks to a 14% Tier 1 industry ratio and higher loan loss provisioning, which is seen to help mitigate rising risks in their operating environment.     The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has already implemented an array of regulatory relief measures for the banking industry amid this crisis, including the staggered booking of allowance for credit losses, ditching penalties on legal reserve deficiencies and expanding the single borrower’s limit, among others.     Earlier this week, the central bank has also allowed banks to tap the excess capital from their Basel-III mandated buffers to mitigate the impact of the situation on their operations.

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Globe, DepEd to tackle “new normal” in high education learning

May 8, 2020

In the past few months, educational institutions—especially higher education systems—have shown their capacity to quickly adapt to learning challenges in the midst of a health crisis. Although the shift towards online learning was made at short notice, it has accelerated new forms of pedagogy and digital initiatives from the government in the form of new e-learning tools. Educators and families have embraced technology to foster learning and productivity while staying #SafeAtHome. However, questions still remain: how to meet higher education learning gaps during the COVID-19 crisis, and how to apply these momentary solutions to improve resilience in higher education in the years ahead. To answer these questions, Globe myBusiness is teaming up again with the Department of Education (DepEd) for the third installment of their E-skwela webinar series to discuss the current state of higher education in the Philippines and how this particular situation is changing the landscape of higher education in the country. The webinar will be held on May 8, Friday at 10AM via Zoom. E-skwela is intended for higher education professionals, faculty members, administrators, policy makers and parents to help them understand the value of connectivity and technology to higher education. Moreover, the series also aims to position interactive, experiential, collaborative and reflective learning, to maximize remote learning at this time. Joining this Friday's discussion are a diverse panel of educational experts and thought leaders: Dr. J. Prospero “Popoy” de Vera, Chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED); Dr. Caroline Marian “Doc Carol” S. Enriquez, Board member and President of the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities (PACU); Atty. Joseph Noel “Atty Erap“ M. Estrada, Managing Director and Counsel Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA); and Dr. Grace “Gigi” Javier Alfonso, Chancellor of the University of the Philippines Open University. Mark Arthur Payumo Abalos, Education Industry Lead at Globe myBusiness and Learning Technologies Scholar will be returning as a speaker and moderator. Key topics during the webinar include a) potential government policies and plans for higher education, b) school management strategies to support colleges and universities with regard to meeting needs related to learning experiences at the time of COVID-19, c) opportunities in remote learning that leverages on integrating technology for higher education institutions, and e) long-term impact of these teaching practices on the future of education in the country. As the country perseveres to fulfill the promise of 21st century learning, Globe myBusiness extends its support by joining forces with expert authorities from different sectors to share knowledge and expertise for policy-making, innovating teaching models, and in addressing modern issues in education. Register to the webinar for free via glbe.co/eSkwela3. For more information on Globe’s ongoing efforts to make everyone connected, informed and #SafeAtHome, visit https://www.globe.com.ph/stay-safe-at-home.html.

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XU Contra COVID-19: Xavier Ateneo offers facilities as quarantine stations

May 8, 2020

SEARSOLIN In March 2020, Xavier University, in partnership with the Department of Health - X offered its SEARSOLIN facility inside the Manresa Compound as a quarantine facility for medical frontliners of Northern Mindanao Medical Center, the COVID-19 referral center for Region 10. This was one of XU’s responses under #XUKontraCOVID19, especially on the needs of frontliners to undergo DOH’s mandatory quarantine after having served a seven-day period at the NMMC Hospital.  From March 17 until April 26, 100 frontliners have completed their required seven/14-day quarantine periods, depending on their degree of exposure.  XU through its SEARSOLIN facility continues to cater to frontliners for the purpose of containing and mitigating possible contaminations. MANRESA TRAINING CENTER Additionally, Xavier Ateneo recently inked a Memorandum of Agreement with the City Local Government for the use of three (3) dormitories at the Manresa Training Center as isolation/quarantine stations for Suspect and Probable COVID-19 cases within the City.  The City LGU anticipates a surge of people to be quarantined once the port and airport resume operations.  Medical experts for both quarantine facilities oversee the medical and health protocols to be observed in the daily operations. Xavier Ateneo‘s #XUKontraCOVID19 institutional engagements continue to operate through the headship of Fr Roberto C Yap, SJ, the Chief of Mission, focusing on responding to the needs of frontliners and the vulnerable sectors in the City.

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SMC’s “nutribuns” are saving lives, fighting hunger in the age of COVID-19, production reaches 600,000

May 8, 2020

In the 1970s, it was the solution to malnutrition among young public school children. Today, as the country battles the Covid-19 global pandemic—which has put the economy and people’s lives on hold—the humble “nutribun” is back and is helping fight hunger in the poorest communities. San Miguel Corporation (SMC), which decided to revive and produce the nutritious bread to solely donate it to vulnerable sectors of society, reported that total production has breached 600,000 pieces —more than double its previous production of 284,171 during the closing weeks of April. “While our food donations consisting of rice and San Miguel food products continue, there are still many who have limited or no access to sufficient nutrition--the most disadvantaged in our society, especially children. That is why we continue to work to increase production of our ‘nutribun’, so we can distribute them for free and provide essential nutrition for them,” said SMC president Ramon S. Ang. Health benefits The new iteration of “nutribun”, like its predecessor, is packed with many health benefits, especially for young people. Made with San Miguel Mills’ King Hard Wheat Flour and its Star Margarine, the reformulated Nutribun was developed by the company’s flour technology team. Unlike the normal pandesal, usually made of 30 grams of dough, SMC’s nutribun is denser, with 85 grams of dough. Each bun has 250 calories and is also high in dietary fiber and is a good source of iron and iodine. “It is really designed to provide energy and essential nutrients, so that our disadvantaged youth can avoid hunger and hopefully maintain good overall health during this pandemic,” Ang said. Children, the most vulnerable “The quarantine is still far from over, and while we worry about the spread of the virus, we also cannot disregard its impact to families already saddled with poverty, whose children are the most vulnerable." Data from “The State of the World’s Children 2019” released by the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) reveal that one out of three children under the age of five are stunted in growth as many children in poor families are threatened with undernutrition and hunger. Given the pause in economic activity and lack of income sources for most poor families, this figure is expected to increase and should be addressed. Donation through organizations SMC’s nutribun donations have already reached some 85 communities, as well as the homeless, through its partnerships with non-profit groups. These include  institutions like Communities Organized for Resource Allocation (CORA), Caritas, Puso ng Ama, Jesuit missions, other NGOs, as well as through military and police installations, parishes, convents, barangays, and local health offices. Ang said the company is able to produce some 29,000 nutribuns daily at its food business San Miguel Foods Inc.’s new ready-to-eat food manufacturing facility in Sta. Rosa, Laguna and its Flour Development Center in Ugong, Pasig City. Since the start of the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine throughout Luzon, San Miguel Corporation has launched what has now become the largest food donation drive in the company’s history.  It has donated some P491.4 billion worth of food, including rice, canned meats, poultry and fresh meats, flour, dairy, coffee, and biscuits. Its total contributions to the country’s anti-Covid-19 efforts--which also includes donations of life-saving medical equipment and supplies, free disinfecting alcohol manufactured from its reconfigured liquor plants, and free fuel and toll to transport medical front liners, among many others--have reached over P1.1 billion and is still growing.  

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0917 launches ‘Creative Xchange’ online learning series

May 6, 2020

While the outside world used to provide us with avenues to relax and unwind, the new norm we are currently facing has subjected us to a repetitive routine that leaves most of us emotionally distressed. Although it is important to keep a vigilant eye on what is happening with the rest of the world, it is also equally important to search out silver linings for our own mental and emotional well-being. 0917 recognizes the inherent need of its users to feel productive, while staying #SafeAtHome. To help foster a creative and engaging environment for Filipinos, 0917 in partnership with Globe Studios and Wonder, is launching Creative Xchange—a series of online classes and talks that viewers can stream from the comfort of their homes. Scheduled to run from May 5 to May 8, Creative Xchange will feature workshops and discussions to keep creativity flowing. There will also be a talk on stress management, to give viewers moments to reflect and check up on their emotional health and well-being. “With the extended lockdown, more Filipinos have become restless and uninspired given the lack of social interaction. At 0917, we want to provide an outlet for anyone seeking a creative refuge within their homes, to help them cope during times of isolation,” said Beng Ochoa, Acting Head, 0917. “Through Creative Xchange, people will have the opportunity to learn alongside others and regain their momentum to stay productive.” Speakers and experts from the different industries will each hold a creative session to talk about their passions and expertise on a range of topics from art and film to self-care and mental health. This will be followed by Q&A to allow viewers to interact with the speakers. For the schedule of events: fashion designer - Carl Jan Cruz, will talk about “Creation in Fashion  and Fashion Design” on May 5; followed by a discussion of “Film and Video Content” on May 6, led by the award-winning director - Jade Castro. On May 7, world-renowned graphic designer and illustrator - AJ Dimarucot, will share his insights on “Creativity in Uncertainty”; while life and corporate coach - Kimi Lu, will talk about “Managing Stress and Anxiety through Creative Visualization,” on May 8. The series will be hosted by Quark Henares, an award-winning digital content creator and the head of Globe Studios, and Sarah Santiago, Business Head and Editor of digital platform for youth culture Wonder.ph. Interested participants can choose which workshop or talk they would like to attend by registering at https://globe.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN__Oixng8VSXuULZgbtWCFaw. A link and password will be provided via email after registration.

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