NEW YORK, March 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Finastra has crowned Team 'WonderTech' the grand prize winner of its largest ever global fintech hackathon on its open development platform, FusionFabric.cloud. The Manila-based team was selected for the top honor for its 'Agree Farm App' from among five category winners at Finastra Universe New York. The app, which aims to connect rural farmers in the Philippines with access to bank loans, was chosen by an audience of senior professionals representing financial institutions. The team's app was built using open APIs on FusionFabric.cloud, Finastra's open development platform.
Team 'WonderTech' consisted of four young professionals and university students in Manila: Michael Puzon, Vaniza Dagangon, John Robert Tubale and Clyde Palattao. Using Finastra's payment APIs, in combination with third-party industry APIs, the team built the working prototype in just a few weeks, proving the speed and simplicity of FusionFabric.cloud.
Read more: Markets Insider
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 11) - The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has ordered a price freeze on all basic necessities following the proclamation of public health emergency amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Citing the Republic Act 7581 or the Price Act, DTI said that prize freeze on basic goods is implemented after a declaration of state of emergency, state of rebellion or war, and martial law.
Goods covered by the price freeze are:
. Rice, corn, cooking oil, fresh or dried marine products, fresh eggs, fresh meat (pork and beef), vegetables, root crops, sugar, and fresh fruits.
. Canned seafood, processed milk, coffee,laundry soap and detergent, candles, bread, salt, potable water in bottles and containers, locally-manufactured instant noodles.
. Firewood and charcoal
. Liquified petroleum gas (LPG) and kerosene
The prize freeze on basic goods will take effect for 60 days and 15 days for household LPG and kerosene.
Read more: CNN Philippines
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Academia Sinica on Sunday (March 8) announced that a team of scientists has developed antibodies that can identify the protein that causes the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) in just 19 days, paving the way for a new test for the virus that can provide results within 15 minutes.
On its Facebook page at noon on Sunday, Academia Sinica announced that Dr. Yang An-suei (楊安綏) and his team at the Genomics Research Center had developed monoclonal antibodies that can identify the protein of SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, within a "record-breaking" 19 days. Specifically, Yang said that the first monoclonal antibodies to bind the nucleocapsid protein (N protein) have been successfully tested and generated.
Yang said that if these antibodies can be successfully manufactured and validated, they could be used to create a rapid test for COVID-19 that could yield results in as little as 15 minutes, similar to rapid influenza tests. He added that these antibodies do not bind to the N proteins of the other fives strains of coronavirus, avoiding the problem of cross-reactivity.
Read more: Taiwan News
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A government project to set up 60 face mask production lines in a month has been accomplished ahead of schedule, and 15 firms taking up manufacturing are expected to produce six million masks on a daily basis to meet strong demand due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) visited the factory on Thursday (March 5) where more than 100 managers and technicians from 26 Taiwan machine tool enterprises had scrambled to assemble the production lines for the past month. Tsai commended the “national team” for reflecting the Taiwanese spirit, saying that "when facing challenges, Taiwanese will set aside competition and work together.”
The 60 production lines, which normally take from four to six months to complete, were set up in 25 days — before the scheduled one-month deadline. The 15 manufacturers will produce a total of 72 million face masks for the government in exchange for the machinery.
Read more: Taiwan News
MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte yesterday vowed to continue supporting infrastructure development projects such as the North Luzon Expressway Harbor Link C3-R10 project that cuts travel time to only 10 minutes from Port Area in Manila to NLEX in Valenzuela City.
“This will improve the movement of cargo between the Port Area and NLEX by shortening the travel time from the usual one hour to 10 minutes. Wow. This new access road will not only stimulate commerce and lead to greater development (in) CAMANAVA, but will also reduce the incidence of road accidents due to better road pavement and major traffic management control,” he said, referring to the Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas and Valenzuela area.
Speaking during the inspection and presentation of the NLEX Harbor Link C3-R10 section, Duterte noted that improved mobility is “a strong indicator of progress in any society.”
“Let me assure you that this administration will continue to pursue road infrastructure development throughout the country to improve the productive capacity of our economy, create more jobs and higher incomes and strengthen our investment climate for sustainable growth,” Duterte said.
Read more: The Philippine Star
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 3) - The government task force in infectious diseases has agreed to withhold new travel bans on other countries despite the rapid worldwide spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Tuesday said the decision by the inter-agency task force (IATF) was guided by the health security risk assessment matrix, which evaluates risks with the outbreak.
“The IATF has also agreed that there are to be no new imposition of travel restrictions or lifting of the same as regards other countries or jurisdictions. The IATF assures that the review concerning travel restrictions and protocols to and from the Philippines shall be regularly conducted by it,” said Panelo in a statement.
The country has so far imposed restrictions on mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau, and in North Gyeongsang province, South Korea, with the exemption of overseas Filipino Workers, permanent residents, and students.
The government has also raised the possibility of imposing travel bans in Japan, Iran, and Italy.
There is no local transmission as yet, but there are confirmed infection of Filipinos in the United Arab Emirates and Singapore.
Read More: CNN Philippines
Companies are now looking into expanding their supply chain and tapping the Philippines as a source after COVID-19 has slowed down production from China, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said. He said major companies around the world are now looking to diversify their sources, adding that the Philippines could benefit from this development.
Read more: Inquirer.Net
The government has made it faster for businesses to complete their registration requirements.
The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the Anti-Red Tape Authority led the launch of the first national business one-stop shop (NBOSS) at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last week.
The one-stop shop allows the completion of business registration in nine steps within seven and a half days. The old process, which has 13 steps, usually takes 33 days to complete.
The NBOSS is the physical colocation where applicants can register their business and employees, submit documents and avail of online services.
Apart from the SEC, it also supports the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Social Security System, Philippine Health Insurance Corp. and the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-Ibig).
DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan II said in a statement the NBOSS would save time and eliminate fixers.
The NBOSS is an initiative provided under Republic Act No. 11032, or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.
Moves to streamline business registration would help the country become more competitive versus its regional peers. The Philippines jumped 29 notches in the World Bank’s annual Doing Business Report as it ranked 95th in the 2020 edition.
The report noted the Philippines improved in the areas of starting a business, dealing with construction permits and protecting minority investors. The report also revealed the Philippines was among 42 economies that made it easier to do business in at least three of 10 areas being measured.
Read more: Inquirer.Net
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) targets to commence by the second quarter the construction of a new road that will beef up connectivity to Sangley airport in Cavite.
“It’s going to start (construction) soon. It is already budgeted for 2020, so we will get it going by the second quarter,” Public Works Secretary Mark Villar said.
Villar said the project, which would cost between P200 million and P250 million, is expected for completion in a year’s time.
“It’s a major road. New alignment, using the coastal alignment. CAVITEX will be doing its own extension, but we will develop a road there along the coast,” he said.
“It goes along the coast to connect to Sangley since at present, when you go there it is quite congested. For this road we will use the coastline alignment,” Villar said.
The new road is eyed to start at the end of the Manila-Cavite Toll Expressway (CAVITEX) and will connect directly to Sangley.
For its part, Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) has also proposed to construct a five-kilometer spur road connecting the CAVITEX to the Sangley Airport.
The spur road is part of a 22-kilometer toll road proposal in Cavite by MPTC-unit Cavitex Infrastructure Corp. and the Philippine Reclamation Authority.
Read more: The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine manufacturing conditions improved at the fastest pace in 13 months in February despite disruptions caused by the coronavirus disease 2019, according to the latest IHS Markit Philippines Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI).
The headline PMI for manufacturing rose from 52.1 in January to 52.3 in February, the highest reading in 13 months.
This remains well-above expansionary territory as a reading below 50 indicates contraction.
The headline PMI provides a quick overview of the health of the manufacturing sector based on the weighted average of five indicators: new orders (30 percent weight), output (25 percent weight), job creation (20 percent), supplier delivery times (15 percent), and inventories (10 percent).
While responding purchasing managers reported supply chain disruptions related to COVID-19, this was offset by the sustained rise in new orders and growth in output.
Workloads from foreign markets also rose at a faster pace in February, with the pick-up in exports the strongest since July 2018.
To cope with increased demand and output, manufacturing firms hired more workers in February.
Read more: The Philippine Star
ABOUT PTIC TAIPEI
The Philippine Trade & Investment Center in Taipei is the Commercial Affairs Section of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office and the representative office of the Philippine Department of Trade & Industry in Taiwan