Weremote Newsbits | The Week In Recap April 13th to 18th

You Can Now Be Fined For Not Following ECQ Guidelines In Your Car

People caught not following social-distancing rules inside their vehicles can face a P5,000 fine from the MMDA. In case you aren’t aware, there’s a limit to how many people a vehicle can carry at the moment—sedans, for example, can only carry up to four passengers.

If you are caught violating the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine—meaning you drive out even if you are not an authorized person outside residence (APOR)— Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) personnel can fine you P1,000 for disobedience and confiscate your driver’s license. | Source: EsquirePH

More than 750 Health Workers Test Positive for Covid-19

Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire announced today a total of 766 Filipino health workers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19): 339 are doctors and 242 are nurses. “Unfortunately, 22 of these healthcare workers have lost their lives to COVID-19,” Vergeire said in a televised news conference | Source: EsquirePH

DSWD Gets Another P2.5 Billion For Workers' Cash Aid

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Friday, April 17, authorized another P2.5 billion for the cash aid to private-sector workers.

In a text message to Rappler, Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado said he signed on Friday the Statement of Allotment Release Order (SARO) and the Notice of Cash Allocation (NCA) for the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) coronavirus adjustment program. Avisado’s statement came as DOLE stopped accepting applications for cash aid due to depleted funds.| Source: Rappler

Avigan: Antiviral Being Tested For Coronavirus Patients

How is it being used to treat coronavirus?

Some doctors began trying favipiravir to treat coronavirus patients early on, reasoning that its anti-viral properties would be applicable.Some initial results suggested the drug could help shorten recovery time for patients, with China’s ministry of science and technology hailing it as yielding “very good clinical results”.

There are currently around 5 clinical trials ongoing in countries including the US, Italy and Japan, where Fujifilm announced it would be testing the drug’s efficacy on a group of 100 patients through until the end of June. “There are to date over 300 clinical trials underway for COVID-19. “Let’s wait and see. However, rather than drugs, the best treatment against COVID-19 for now is social isolation, wash our hands and stay at home.” | Source: Rappler

Meralco staggers lockdown consumption into 4 installments

MANILA – Power consumed during the lockdown period will be divided into 4 monthly installments to ease the burden for consumers, Meralco said Friday.

During the lockdown, consumers are billed based on their average consumption for 3 months since the physical meter reading is suspended. 

Bills will be adjusted once meter reading resumes after the lockdown is lifted, Meralco spokesman Joe Joe Zaldarriaga told DZMM. | Source: ABS-CBN News

The Virtual Doctor Is Now In

MEDIFI, a telehealth platform app that connects doctors and patients remotely, was launched in 2015 to relieve the “overburdened” healthcare system. It’s new version went online last November 2019, Fajardo said.

Users and doctors on the platform grew “exponentially” after the enhanced community quarantine was announced, he said. The app now has 1,280 doctors and 6,261 patients with over 300 daily sign-ups.

Currently, the app caters to over 120 consultations per day. | Source: ABSCBN News

ITR Filing Moved To May 30th

Among those extended by the new regulation is the due date for the filing of annual income tax returns (ITR) of individuals and corporations for the calendar year ending Dec. 31, 2019, which is now moved to May 30.Initially, the due date for ITRs and the payment of corresponding taxes was extended from April 15 to May 15.

This was confirmed by BIR Deputy Commissioner Marissa Cabreros in a text message. “From May 15, (it’s) now May 30,” she said. The filing of the annual ITR of corporations for the fiscal year ending Jan. 31 was also moved to June 15. The regulation also covers monthly and quarterly value-added tax declarations, documentary stamp tax declarations, excise tax returns and withholding taxes on compensation, among others. | Source: PhilStar

CPP extends ceasefire until April 30

MANILA, Philippines—The Communist Party of the Philippines has extended the unilateral ceasefire with government forces until April 30 to “prioritize” the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement Thursday, CPP said it ordered the New People’s Army to “continue to desist and cease from carrying out offensive military actions” against the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police and other armed groups of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines. The ceasefire order will remain effective until 11:59 p.m. on April 30. | Source: PhilStar

Philippines Now Has 17 COVID-19 Testing Centers

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 17) – The Chinese General Hospital is the latest hospital to be certified as testing facility for coronavirus disease, said the Department of Health (DOH).

DOH Spokesperson Ma. Rosario Vergeire noted in a virtual briefing that the country now has 17 testing centers for the highly-infectious virus which infected more than 5,000 Filipinos.

Vergeire added that 47 laboratories are undergoing certification process to become testing facilities.| Source: CNN

Report: Covid-19 patients recovering quickly after getting experimental drug Remdesivir

Covid-19 patients who are getting an experimental drug called remdesivir have been recovering quickly, with most going home in days, STAT News reported Thursday after it obtained a video of a conversation about the trial.

The patients taking part in a clinical trial of the drug have all had severe respiratory symptoms and fever, but were able to leave the hospital after less than a week of treatment, STAT quoted the doctor leading the trial as saying.

“The best news is that most of our patients have already been discharged, which is great. We’ve only had two patients perish,” Dr. Kathleen Mullane, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Chicago who is leading the clinical trial, said. | Source: CNN

LandBank Offers Help For SMEs

The LandBank added that the program also offers restructuring of existing loan account via an additional loan, extended repayment period or through other means (or combination of means).

SMEs, MFIs and cooperatives may borrow up to 85 percent of their actual need for working capital, at an affordable interest rate of 5 percent per annum, payable up to a maximum of five years, with a grace period on the principal payment, it said.

The loan may be extended up to a maximum of 10 years, with up to three years grace period on the principal and up to one-year grace period on interest, depending on cash flow. Source: ManilaTimes

Japan Ditches China In Multi-Billion Dollar Coronavirus Shakeout

It’s not Donald “Tariff Man” Trump’s fault anymore. It’s the new SARS coronavirus’ fault for shaking things up. On Thursday, geopolitical watchdogs at The Spectator Index noted that Japan’s government would spend upwards of $2 billion helping its multinationals leave China. Japan’s decision to help company’s source elsewhere, a timely and expensive endeavor after multinational corporations that have made China their go-to manufacturing hub for decades, comes at a time when U.S. companies are leaving, too, even though there is no official push to do so. | Source: Forbes

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