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Journos break barriers on business reporting in two-day webinar

Business journalists highlighted the importance of business news on ordinary people, especially in the middle of a raging pandemic, in a webinar on Friday, Sept. 17, and Saturday, Sept. 18.

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Business journalists during the two-day webinar entitled, “Beyond the Numbers”

Business journalists highlighted the importance of business news on ordinary people, especially in the middle of a raging pandemic, in a webinar on Friday, Sept. 17, and Saturday, Sept. 18.

Lourdes Fernandez, BusinessMirror’s editor-in-chief, stressed that the long-running pressing issues covered in the last 18 months of the pandemic “have been best told as business stories.”

“Business journalism is now the most compelling tool for storytelling, when getting the facts right and complete becomes complicated despite quick and easy access from technology,” Fernandez said.

For Fernandez, stories such as the pandemic’s effect on various sectors and industries, the government’s health crisis response, and the legislative hearings on pharmaceutical company Pharmally and the Bayanihan laws proved the genre’s relevance.

“I would like to think good business journalism will always go beyond the numbers and allow people a chance to reach out to each other,” she added.

Gerard dela Peña, TV5’s business correspondent, admits that even media practitioners are often intimidated by business and economic issues as they deal with numbers, corporate stories, management of public funds, and its effect on consumers.

“Maybe it’s not as sexy as covering politics, or as fun as covering lifestyle, but believe me, business journalism can be fun — if you give it a chance,” he said.

For Reuters correspondent Neil Jerome Morales, business journalism does not only focus on “alien-sounding” words including numbers, stocks, bonds, and financial statements, but also money in general.

“Capital markets deal with money, and money is life essentially,” Morales pointed out. “It’s about life [and] people, and money, particularly, is the lifeblood of the economy.”

Jasper Arcalas, BusinessMirror’s agribusiness reporter, discussed the importance of covering agriculture in the field of journalism and in the public interest.

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He said agriculture is a rich source of writing material where it can affect decisions of the public, especially when buying daily-commodity items.

“Not all news are newsworthy but in economics, pumapatok ang pagtaas ng bilihin,” he added.

Arcalas also explained that agricultural journalism promotes public awareness in the struggles faced by farmers and livestock business owners. These personal struggles can become great sources to stories about policies, trade, “laway” or consumer preferences, and more.

“May kuwento tayong mapupulot kanino, ano’t saan man, maski sa butil ng palay o isang stick ng helmet [chicken head],” he said.

The two-day business journalism webinar entitled, “Beyond the Numbers,” was organized by the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines, the UST Journalism Program, and the Aboitiz Group.

Annie Asistio
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Presidential elections and the Philippine stock market: An explainer

It is not a surprise for the Philippine stock market to move sideways after the partial and unofficial tally of the presidential election results shows Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. is leading over market-friendly Vice President Leni Robredo.

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Photos by Larizza Lucas/TomasinoWeb and Wance Paleri/Unsplash

The Philippines’ next president will have to deal with an embattled nation attempting to pull itself out of the pandemic and grave economic crisis.

It is bleeding red in the Philippines, as presidential aspirant Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr. leads the unofficial tally day and the country’s stock exchange index dips to -2.90-percent weekly average as of Tuesday, May 17. 

However, this was not surprising according to top economists and market analysts. For a week now, the global trend is consistent with this drop due to the tightening of US federal monetary policy, among others.

Elections are considered to be one of the major market drivers and the stock market, an indicator of confidence in government. Market jitters during these times are pretty much normal, consistent with past Philippine elections

This year’s high-stake election is different. Usually, investors look at the economic policy directions of candidates, as well as their track record, to assess government competency and market outlook for the years to come.

High government confidence would mean businesses investing in one’s country, which decidedly increases local job opportunities. As of March 2022, the Philippine unemployment rate is at 8.8-percent or 2.875 million unemployed Filipinos.

Zooming out long-term, economic recovery especially at the tail-end of the global health crisis has been the key focus of the current administration, committing to at least bring back the country’s growth to pre-pandemic levels.

For Japan-based global investment firm Nomura Holdings, the lack of Marcos, Jr’s “concrete” economic policies may get foreign investors on the defense, cautious about the Philippine economic crisis that happened after his father bankrupted the Central Bank.

“Marcos Jr., in our view, will likely be regarded as less market-friendly than Robredo, particularly when it comes to experience at the national level and in articulating a strategy for the country to recover from the pandemic,” the January 2022 report said.

Using the five-point categorization, economists of Nomura Global Research assessed presidential candidates on continuity/good governance, infrastructure progress, fiscal discipline, national experience, and business friendliness. 

The Robredo-Pangilinan tandem scored highest with 26 out of 30, while Marcos and his teammate Sara Duterte tallied the lowest mark with 14 out of 30.

The study further added: “Political uncertainty will also likely grow, considering Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s large poll lead over VP Leni Robredo. This will likely weigh on local market sentiment and presents a challenging environment for the Philippines’ net portfolio investment flows.”

A separate report from Bloomberg showed investors favoring a Robredo presidency, with Marcos Jr. at the bottom of the survey along with Sen. Manny Pacquiao.

28 analysts and investors were asked to give ratings to the presidentiables from 1 to 5 who they think will be the best economic leader of the country. Robredo scored 106 while Marcos landed second to the last with 46.

As of press time, the unofficial and partial count of the elections shows the son and namesake of the late dictator Marcos Sr. leading the national polls at more than 58-percent of the total votes. Robredo is trailing behind at 28-percent.

Paolo Alejandrino
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UST crisis management committee green lights F2F bacc mass and graduation rites

The in-person graduation ceremonies shall be for the Classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022 from the tertiary, post-baccalaureate, and graduate levels.

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(Photo by Gillian Robles/TomasinoWeb)

The University’s Crisis Management Committee approved the conduct of in-person graduation ceremonies, including Baccalaureate mass, a memorandum from the Office of the Secretary-General (OSG) said on Saturday, May 7.

The in-person graduation ceremonies shall be for the Classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022 from the tertiary, post-baccalaureate, and graduate levels.

Only the Class of 2022 will have in-person rites for Senior High School graduates.

Two Baccalaureate masses for the said batches will be held in June. 

According to the OSG, this year’s mass will be “solemn and austere” to express solidarity with the “plight of many people who are still recovering from the ill effects of the pandemic, Thus the traditional fireworks display at the conclusion of the mass will be scrapped this year. 

The solemn investiture shall be conducted starting June 6 either on the Quadricentennial Pavilion or the Medicine Auditorium, schedules may vary per college or faculty. 

Only two companions are allowed to be with each graduating student.

Local graduation committees shall conduct respective orientations for the said batches.

The University, however, shall “strictly abide” by the regulations of the Inter-Agency Task Force, should there be changes in the alert level status in the National Capital Region. 

Ian Patrick Laqui
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UST among top universities in 2022 SDG impact rankings

Among the Philippine universities, the University placed second in Gender Equality (SDG 5), while ranking third in Good Health and Well-being (SDG 3) and fourth in Quality Education (SDG 4).

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(Photo courtesy of Aliah Danseco/TomasinoWeb)

EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this article mentioned that the University “slipped from its third local standing last year.” We sincerely apologize for this mistake. 

The University ranked sixth among Philippine universities implementing the United Nations’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

According to the data published by the Times Higher Education’s (THE) Impact Rankings 2022 on April 29, UST placed 601-800 in the global rankings and maintained its third spot in the Philippines. 

The University also improved in its overall score. From 47.6-56.5 in 2021, it now received an overall score of 57.3-64.9 in 2022.

Among the Philippine universities, the University placed second in Gender Equality (SDG 5), while ranking third in Good Health and Well-being (SDG 3) and fourth in Quality Education (SDG 4).

Ateneo De Manila University remains the top implementer of SDGs in the country, placing 101-200 in the global rankings – the highest ranking received by any Philippine university, as per the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd).

Globally, Western Sydney University led the overall ranking this year, while Universiti Sains Malaysia led the Asian overall ranking.

The THE Impact Rankings measured 1,406 universities from 106 different countries and regions. THE carefully calibrated indicators to provide a comprehensive and balanced comparison across four broad areas: research, stewardship, outreach, and teaching. 

Justine Xyrah Rennzel Garcia
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