MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Risa Hontiveros on Wednesday urged the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) and the Department of Health (DOH) to account for the P9-billion fund allotted for makeshift hospitals and isolation facilities, following reports that hospitals have been overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases. She lamented accounts that family members helplessly watched their loved ones die, sometimes under the heat of the sun, while waiting to be admitted to hospitals that could no longer admit patients. “Has the P9 billion been depleted, so much so that patients from Metro Manila have spilled over to hospitals in the provinces? Our hospitals are now so full that even tents have been converted into emergency rooms,” Hontiveros said. Hontiveros recalled that the P9-billion allocation under the Bayanihan to Recover As One law was supposed to go to setting up of “temporary but humane and fully equipped” makeshift hospitals. “Too many of our ... » Learn More about Where’s the P9-billion hospital budget? – Hontiveros
Hospital budgeting process
If you’re looking to stretch your retirement budget as far as you can and are up for an exotic adventure, consider retirement in Thailand. This country has a low cost of living as well as some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. However, the culture shock of living in Thailand can be significant for Americans. Before considering a move overseas, ask yourself if you will find the reality of life in Asia thrilling and invigorating or intimidating and stressful. Here’s what you need to know about retirement in Thailand. Retirement and the Cost of Housing in Thailand Renting before you consider a property purchase is a good idea. The cost depends on the location. You can rent in some parts of the country for as little as 6,000 baht ($190) per month, but accommodation that tends to appeal to American retirees generally starts at around 10,000 baht ($318) per month. Most apartments and many houses come furnished. Utilities are usually paid by tenants, although extras like Wi-Fi and ... » Learn More about Stretch your Retirement Budget and Consider Retirement in Thailand
SINGAPORE - An estimated 56,300 public healthcare workers - including nurses and support care staff - will get pay bumps over the next two years, starting in July. Nurses will see increases of 5 to 14 per cent in their monthly base salaries, while other healthcare staff, such as allied health professionals, pharmacists and administrative and ancillary staff, will get pay rises of 3 to 7 per cent. The Health Ministry (MOH) will also increase funding support for salaries at publicly-funded community care organisations in order to ensure that wages in this sector remain competitive. This will benefit another 20,800 staff. In announcing the pay increases, Senior Minister of State for Health Koh Poh Koon spoke of how the Covid-19 pandemic has shown Singapore the importance of maintaining a resilient core of healthcare workers. "Our healthcare workforce is the lifeblood of our healthcare system, and the work that they do is critical in protecting the health of our society," he ... » Learn More about Budget debate: Pay hikes for over 56,000 public healthcare workers from July; nurses get up to 14% more
The stock market fell sharply last week as the number of daily new covid-19 cases jumped to more than 5,000. The market reacted negatively as the sharp rise in infections will lead to the tightening of restriction and negatively affect consumer confidence, hurting the Philippines’ economic outlook. I admit that I did not think we would see a steep rise in infections since we made it past the holiday season without a spike in the numbers of cases. However, the latest surge might be due to several factors including the presence of new variants, which are said to be more transmissible and the relaxation of some quarantine restrictions. Coupled with the steep rise of inflation, the Philippine stock market has decoupled from the rest of Asia and is now the region’s worst performing market in 2021. As of last Friday, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) was down by 9.85 percent for the year-to-date period, while the MSCI AC Asia Pacific index was higher by 4.3 percent. Although ... » Learn More about Will stocks retest 2020 low?
Fadli Barjadi Kusuma was petrified when he arrived in a grand, leafy building of a university medical school in his hometown of Bandung, Indonesia , in mid August. The motorcycle-taxi driver was there to take part in the late-stage clinical trial of a Covid-19 vaccine made by Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech. “I was very scared, because my life was at risk. But I had set my mind to be a volunteer, I knew the risks, so I was finally ready. God willing, I would be fine,” Fadli, 32, said. Fadli, who learned about the trial from a relative, wanted to volunteer because his job requires physical contact with other people. “I want to protect myself and help the government. I am really affected by this pandemic. I can’t set up my own business because I have no money, jobs are scarce so it’s hard just to afford to eat,” said the father of three, who earns about two million rupiah (US$140) a month. Fadli has received two doses in the vaccine trial. Three months after his second dose, ... » Learn More about China’s coronavirus vaccines: Is Southeast Asia ready to trust them?
PETALING JAYA: IOI Properties Group Bhd reported a 13% increase in revenue to RM1.3bil in the first six months of its current financial year ending June 30,2021, while operating profit was 7% higher to RM511.2mil, despite the challenging business environment due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a statement yesterday, the company said improvement in revenue and operating profit was mainly due to higher-than-expected contribution from its operations in Xiamen, China. “For the period ended Dec 31,2020, the group recorded a total sales value of RM916.4mil, ” it said. In the same statement, IOI Properties CEO Datuk Voon Tin Yow said the measures announced in Budget 2021 and the Home Ownership Campaign will continue to stimulate the property market in Malaysia. He noted that these measures will help boost demand for mid-priced range products that are highly sought-after within the group’s integrated developments that are located in high-growth areas, which are complemented by a wide ... » Learn More about IOI Properties’ first-half revenue up 13%
At Iraq's borders, a customs-evasion cartel is diverting billions of dollars away from state coffers, an AFP investigation has found BAGHDAD - Along Iraq's borders, a corrupt customs-evasion cartel is diverting billions of dollars away from state coffers to line the pockets of armed groups, political parties and crooked officials. The prime beneficiaries are Iran-linked Shiite paramilitaries that intimidate federal officials who dare obstruct them, sometimes through chillingly specific death threats, a six-month AFP investigation has found. The network is so well-oiled and entrenched that revenues are parcelled out among rival groups with remarkably little friction, part of a parallel system that Iraq's finance minister has described as "state plunder". "It's indescribable," said one Iraqi customs worker. "Worse than a jungle. In a jungle, at least animals eat and get full. These guys are never satisfied." Like most of the government officials, port workers and importers ... » Learn More about ‘Worse than a jungle’: the cartel controlling Iraqi borders
A tumultuous economy, a volatile job market , and a constantly nagging fear of health risks are just some side-effects of this global pandemic. At a time like this, though, we need to cling on to hope more than ever— the hope of a total medical, social and economic recovery. We’ve got to beat it, right? The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) predicts sustained job losses as the country’s economy continues to battle fallout from the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. Retrenchment, pay cuts and no-pay leave have become increasingly common concerns for employers and employees. Employees in retail, F&B, travel and recreation services are most vulnerable to lay-offs. Just last week, Airbnb laid off 38 of its Singapore staff as part of its heartbreaking move to retrench a quarter of its global workforce. The cost of treating Covid-19 , should you contract it, can be an additional strain on your finances. It’s why, at a time when the fear of unemployment looms large, a great insurance ... » Learn More about Part-time jobs and where to find them during circuit breaker
A health worker prepares a syringe with the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine at Bang Khae market in Bangkok. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill) As various countries start to see positive results from mass vaccination programmes, Thais are getting angry following a surge in infections last week, prompting concerns about the possibility of stringent government measures to control the latest outbreak. Businesses believe several factors are to blame for the latest outbreak, but by far the greatest one is slow-moving inoculation efforts by the authorities. As of April 7, Thailand had 323,989 doses of vaccine administered to its population, the equivalent of half a dose for every 100 people, according to the Our World in Data project at the University of Oxford. Only 0.4% of the population had been vaccinated at this point in time. Israel was in pole position in terms of inoculation efforts with 114 doses per 100 people, with 59% of its population inoculated against Covid-19. In ... » Learn More about Inoculation effort fails to impress