SEOUL — South Korea said on Monday it had found no link between the coronavirus vaccine and several recent deaths, as it ordered nearly 100,000 foreign workers to be tested after clusters emerged in dormitories.

Health officials had been investigating the deaths of eight people with underlying conditions who had adverse reactions after receiving AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, but said they found no evidence that the shots played a role.

“We’ve tentatively concluded that it was difficult to establish any link between their adverse reaction after being vaccinated, and their deaths,” Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) Director Jeong Eun-kyeong told a briefing.

South Korea began vaccinating residents and workers at nursing homes and other at-risk individuals at the end of February, with 316,865 people having received their first shots as of Sunday.

Several outbreaks in manufacturing and other industrial workplaces prompted authorities to begin inspecting 12,000 work sites with … Read the rest


BEIJING — China’s February exports grew at a record pace from a year earlier when coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) battered the world’s second-biggest economy, customs data showed on Sunday, while imports rose less sharply.

Exports in dollar terms skyrocketed 154.9% in February compared with a year earlier, while imports gained 17.3%, the most since October 2018. The data did not include figures for January alone.

In the January-February period, exports jumped 60.6% from a year earlier, when lockdowns to contain the pandemic paralyzed the country’s economic activity. That exceeded the forecast of analysts in a Reuters poll for a 38.9% surge.

Strong exports, which benefited from China’s success in largely containing the public health crisis, have helped fuel the country’s recovery from a pandemic-induced paralysis.

The surge was driven by a rebound in foreign demand, customs said in a statement on its website, citing improvements in manufacturing industries in the Read the rest


5 Money Lessons to Prepare Your Kid for The World

Spending more time at home with your son or daughter means playing “teacher” for the most part of COVID and running a central role in their everyday learning.

But as you help impart curriculum content, parents mustn’t forget to touch on fundamental life skills like money management.

That being said, below are some lessons to introduce your son or daughter to the world of dollars without further ado.

1. Money doesn’t come free. 

Your child may not understand where you get money from. They may fail to realize that there’s not always enough money to buy everything they desire.

Remind them that money is the result of work and that it is often limited in supply.

2. Spend within Your Limits

Kids do not understand that when money is borrowed, it must be returned to the lender. It’s also crucial … Read the rest


STOCKS closed in the red on Friday following the release of the February inflation report, which showed that the rise in prices surged to a 25-month high last month.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) went down by 1.12 points or 0.01% to finish at 6,881.37 on Friday, while the broader all shares index decreased by 4.68 points or 0.11% to close at 4,158.54.

“Selling pressures weighed on the market amid worries over inflation following the 4.7% February print,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Senior Research Analyst Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco said in a Viber message.

“Local shares closed relatively flat as the February inflation print came in within expectations,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said via Viber.

Inflation picked up for the fifth straight month in February to log its fastest pace in 25 months, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Friday.

Preliminary data … Read the rest


At times like these, prioritizing spending on the things that matter is absolutely essential. Globe has ramped up its spending not only to deliver better service through network improvements but also on how the company delivers care for its customers. After all, for any business to thrive especially during periods of difficulty, what’s important is to focus on who matters most – the customer.

For example, what used to be a not so affordable but sought-after product by Filipinos such as health insurance has now been made available by Globe to its millions of customers through GInsure. GInsure helps you stay protected through products that provide coverage against emergencies at very affordable packages and rates. It helps customers achieve peace of mind with strong covers for health, sickness, income loss and more, without the hassle of long forms and application processes.

Those who have availed of GInsure via GCash will … Read the rest


By Michael Angelo S. Murillo, Senior Reporter

The PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters are making their way back to the Premier Volleyball League (PVL).

In an announcement made on Wednesday, the team said that after six years it will once again call the PVL home.

“It definitely feels like a revival for our team since it feels good to be back home” said PLDT and SMART Head of Sports Jude Turcuato in a statement.

“With our campaign in PLDT which is ‘the strongest connections are at home,’ it was about time that we go back to our roots which is the PVL. It’s just refreshing to have a new beginning,” he added.

PLDT Home last played in the V-League (the forerunner of the PVL) back in 2015.

It made a huge wave that season, as the team, known then as the Ultra Fast Hitters, won both the Season 12 Open … Read the rest


One of the major initiatives of President Cory Aquino in restoring our democratic institutions was pushing for and signing the Local Government Code of 1991. The idea was to bring the government closer to the people. She had already succeeded in restoring free elections, the Congress and local governments. There was a new Constitution in place. During the Marcos era, the government was so centralized that often people would go to Manila and implore then-Minister of Human Settlements Imelda Marcos to give them a water well. Local governments have indeed gained more power. It is 30 years since then; yet many of the decentralization provisions have not been complied with.

The Lower House, which drafts the budget appropriations has not adequately provided funding for health concerns to the local governments. This has burdened the provincial municipalities which have assumed responsibility for operating health centers and hospitals; and are now, because … Read the rest


WELLINGTON — The mayor of Auckland called for residents to be prioritized for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines after New Zealand’s biggest city was thrown into its fourth pandemic lockdown over the weekend.

The seven-day lockdown imposed by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on a city of 2 million was prompted by just a single new COVID-19 case, reinforcing the New Zealand leader’s strict “go hard, go early” response throughout the crisis.

That approach has been credited with making New Zealand one of the most successful countries in the world at controlling the spread of the coronavirus, but the latest shutdown has been criticized by some on social media.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said the city would lose an estimated 200 jobs and more than NZ$30 million ($21.7 million) per day under the level 3 restrictions.

“We need the vaccine roll-out to be prioritized in Auckland to help avoid future lockdowns, Read the rest


BEIJING – China’s factory activity expanded in February at a slower pace than a month earlier, hitting the lowest level since last May and missing market expectations after brief COVID-19-related disruptions earlier in the year.

The official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) fell to 50.6 from 51.3 in January, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Sunday, remaining above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction.

Analysts had expected it to decline to 51.1.

Chinese factory activity normally goes dormant during the Lunar New Year break as workers return to their home towns. This year, the government appealed to workers to remain local to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Generally, China’s economic recovery has been gathering pace due to robust exports, pent-up demand and government stimulus.

The official PMI, which largely focuses on big and state-owned firms, showed the sub-index for new export orders was 48.8 … Read the rest


President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Friday night signed a measure creating a levy trust fund for coconut farmers, according to the presidential palace.

Republic Act 115421 or the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act seeks to declare coconut levy assets as a trust fund to rehabilitate and modernize the country’s coconut industry.

The measure lets poor coconut farmers benefit from taxes collected from them decades ago, now worth about P76 billion.

Under the law, the use of the trust fund will be based on a development plan prepared by the Philippine Coconut Authority, which must consult coconut farmers and their organizations, industry associations, civil society groups and government agencies about the use of the money.

The Treasury bureau must transfer P10 billion to the trust fund in the first year, P10 billion in the second year, P15 billion in the third year, P15 billion in the fourth year and … Read the rest