E-Money Transactions Surged 36% to P1.48 Trillion

The value of Philippine electronic money transactions surged by 36 percent to 1.48 trillion pesos in 2019 from 1.09 trillion pesos in 2018. The amount is expected to rise further as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas promotes digitalization amid COVID-19 after launching the National Retail Payment System in December 2015. Vicente de Villa, managing director of the central bank’s financial …

DepEd: Over 300K Public School Teachers Trained on Tech-based Teaching

Over 300,000 public school teachers have been trained on technology-based instruction, the Philippines’ education department said, as the country’s education system prepares to shift to a new normal due to COVID-19. As of June 22, a total of 337,486 public school teachers were trained by the department’s Educational Technology Unit on information and communications technology-based instruction, said Education Undersecretary Alain …

French Defy Lockdown With Festival of Music

Thousands gathered across France on Sunday, June 21, to celebrate an annual music festival, defying COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. Revelers ignored social distancing and danced in the streets for the Fête de la Musique. Images posted online showed thousands thronging roads in cities across the country, partying without face masks. Current rules prohibit public gatherings of more than 10 people and …

43% of Filipinos See Life Worsening in Next 12 Months

Forty-three percent of working age Filipinos expect their life to worsen in the next 12 months, according to results of a recent Social Weather Stations survey released last Tuesday. The survey, conducted from May 4 to 10, said 43% of those who expect their life to worsen for the next year is also the highest percentage of “pessimists” ever recorded …

85,000 Makati Students to Receive Learner’s Package

Some 85,000 Makati City public school students, from pre-school to senior high school, will receive a learner’s package and free internet load from the city’s local government. Mayor Abby Binay last Tuesday said the package was a project, in coordination with the city’s School Division Office, which aims to assist the present education system affected by COVID-19. Binay said the …

7.4 Earthquake Rocks Southern Mexico

A powerful magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck southern Mexico’s Pacific coast on June 23, killing at least six people, cutting off isolated villages, and causing tremors hundreds of kilometers away. The fatalities were near the quake’s epicenter in Oaxaca, a mountainous state known for its coffee, mescal and Spanish colonial architecture. Rockfalls blocked the winding mountain roads between the state capital …

Salvaging Global Trade Needs Multilateralism, Says WTO

Global problems cannot be solved without global solutions, according to World Trade Organization spokesperson Keith Rockwell. The WTO kept its April projection that global trade in goods would fall between 13 and 32 percent in 2020, saying the record fall stopped short of a worst-case scenario thanks to rapid responses by governments. Rockwell said, “Governments have put in place almost …

Cops Arrested Foreigner Behind Kidnapping of POGO Worker

Police officers arrested a foreigner in Makati City for his involvement in the alleged kidnapping of a Philippine offshore gaming operator worker and her cousin. The Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group director Brigadier General Jonnel Estomo identified the suspect as Falendra alias Parker, an Indonesian national. Estomo said agents conducted a rescue operation at a Makati building where Falendra was …

Germany’s Reproduction Rate Rockets From 1.06 to 2.88 in Two Days

Germany’s COVID-19 reproduction or R-rate has increased from 1.06 on June 19 to 2.88 on June 21, according to the Robert Koch Institute for public health. The figures, based on a four-day average, mean every infected person will, on average, pass the virus on to three other people. An R-rate of below one is required to stop the virus from …