Connect with us

News

Nike for chicken: Bartering soars in coronavirus-hit Philippines | News

Published

on


Struggling to make ends meet, Lorraine Imperio swapped a pair of Nike slip-on shoes for a whole dressed chicken on an online bartering site, one of dozens that have sprouted up during the Philippines’ virus lockdowns.

With millions stripped of their jobs and many forced to stay home to slow the coronavirus spread, Filipinos have flocked to Facebook groups to exchange their possessions, including kitchen appliances, children’s toys and designer handbags – mostly for food.

“It’s so difficult nowadays. You don’t know where you’ll get the money to settle the bills for groceries,” said Imperio, a mother of two whose husband works part-time at a doughnut shop in Manila.

His hours have been slashed because of the pandemic and he now only earns about 9,000 pesos ($185) a month, half of which is used to pay the rent for the family’s apartment.

Online bartering groups have provided a lifeline to the Imperios and other Filipinos hit hard by the country’s months-long virus restrictions that started in March and have plunged the economy into a deep recession.

Philippines State of the Nation Address focuses on pandemic

At least 98 groups, some with tens of thousands of members, are operating across the archipelago, according to an AFP tally.

Nearly all of them started during the pandemic as many Filipinos resorted to the ancient trading practice to feed their families.

Google search volume in the Philippines for the keywords “barter food” soared 300 percent in May from April, iPrice Group found in a recent study, as lockdowns squeezed household budgets and made travelling about difficult.

Its analysis of 85 popular Facebook barter groups, with more than two million members in total, found food and other groceries were among the most sought-after items.

People post photos and specifications of the goods they want to swap, indicate what they want in return and then negotiate via the comments section.

After successfully bartering baby bottles that she no longer needed, Imperio swapped a baby’s down jacket and a Ralph Lauren hoodie for six kg (13 pounds) of rice.

Struggling to make ends meet, Lorraine Imperio swapped a pair of Nike slip-ons for a whole dressed chicken on an online bartering site, one of dozens that have appeared during the Philippines’ coronavirus lockdowns [Maria Tan/AFP]

While the Nike slip-on shoes were traded for a chicken, a second pair has not had any takers after three weeks.

“Old items are more difficult to sell,” the 28-year-old said. “With bartering, it’s easier to convert them into food.”

Swapping to survive

Jocelle Batapa Sigue launched Bacolod Barter Community four months ago out of frustration at not being able to go shopping and a desire to help others.

Her husband held the family’s only quarantine travel pass, which people were required to carry when they left their homes during the lockdown.

“It’s difficult for me to get what I want when I tell my husband to buy it,” said Sigue, who is a lawyer in the central city of Bacolod.

The group has more than 230,000 members with more joining every day, she said.

Sigue estimates thousands of items – from shampoo and birthday cakes to mobile phones and eyeliner – change hands on her site daily.

Philippines faces worst COVID-19 crisis in Southeast Asia

“Without the pandemic, I don’t think the barter community would be popular,” she said.

An estimated 5.2 million Filipino families experienced “hunger due to lack of food to eat” at least once in the previous three months – the highest in nearly six years, a survey in early July by pollster Social Weather Stations showed.

But it is not just cash-strapped people bartering their belongings.

Others are taking the chance to dispose of goods they no longer need after quarantine measures upended normal life.

Chona de Vega, 57, traded her hair-straighter and electric kettle for a bag of groceries and now plans to dispose of her iron.

“I have no use for it,” said de Vega, who lives in Manila and spends most of her time at home because of travel restrictions.

Charles Ramirez, who runs a 14,000-member bartering site in the capital, said a “big percentage” of his group live in poverty and mostly ask for groceries.

“People are realising that while they have no money, they have accumulated a lot of material things (they can swap),” said Ramirez, who set up his group in May after losing his job as a grocery wholesaler.

“It’s a depressing feeling, of course, having to let go of things you have accumulated just to be able to survive.”



Source – www.aljazeera.com

News

Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million

Published

on

Ugandan businessman and MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Uganda surge above $51 million in just two days, as the share price in the leading teleco company increased by a single digit.

The single-digit bump in the share price caused the market value of Mbire’s stake to gain UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million) in less than two days.

The million-dollar increase in the value of his stake came after Uganda’s largest telecom company delivered the country’s largest-ever IPO through the listing of 22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Upon completing the largest IPO in Uganda’s history, MTN Uganda raised a record UGX535 billion ($150.4 million) from the applications that it received for a total of 2.9 billion shares, including incentive shares.

As of press time, Dec. 7, shares in the company were trading at UGX204.95 ($0.0574), down six basis points from their opening price this morning.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that since the telecom company registered its shares on the Ugandan bourse on Mon., Dec. 6, its share price has increased by 2.5 percent from UGX200 ($0.056) to UGX204.95 ($0.0574) as of the time of writing, as retail investors sustained buying interest long after the public offering.

The increase in the company’s share price caused the market value of Mbire’s 3.98-percent stake to rise from UGX178.45 billion ($49.96 million) to UGX182.86 billion ($51.2 million).

In less than two days, his stake gained more than UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million).

In a statement after the successful listing of MTN Uganda’s shares, Mbire said the IPO shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and strategic intent.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ license,” he said.

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350 million (debt free).

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350. ( debt free).

He is into communications-revenue assurance-cement-distribution-oil services-real estate-oil exploration and logistics.

Source: Billionaires Africa

Continue Reading

News

2-year-old dies at Arua hospital as nurse demands Shs 210,000 bribe

Published

on

By


A two-year-old child died at Arua Regional Referral hospital after a nurse, Paul Wamala demanded a bribe amounting to Shs 210,000 before carrying out an operation. 

The incident happened on Saturday, after Aron Nabil, a two-year-old child was referred to the hospital for an operation after he was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction, a medical emergency caused by a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine.

According to the relatives of the child, Wamala allegedly asked them to initially give him Shs 30,000 to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional Shs 180,000 from the relatives.

Emily Adiru, a resident of Osu cell, in Bazar Ward, Central Division, and a relative of the child says although they paid money to Wamala, he abandoned the child without carrying out the operation. According to Adiru, Wamala later refunded Shs 200,000 through mobile money, after she threatened to report him to the police.

“They told us this boy needs an operation which was supposed to be done in the morning on Sunday at around 7 am. They took him inside there, some doctor came from the theatre, he called one of us and said, we should pay Shs 70,000 for buying medicine to start the operation. We paid the Shs 30,000 [but] after paying the Shs 30,000, after some minutes, the same man came and opened the door and called us again, and told us we should pay another Shs 100,000. We also paid the Shs 100,000 and we thought it is finished. We were outside there waiting for our patient to come out [but] then this man came back again and said we should pay another Shs 80,000,” said Adiru.

Although the operation was later carried out after a 7-hour delay, the child didn’t make it, and relatives attribute the death to negligence. Miria Ahmed, a concerned resident wonders why such incidents have persisted at the facility which is supposed to service the citizens.

“Is the problem the hospital, is it the management or it is the human resource that is the problem in the hospital? A small child like this you demand Shs 210,000 for the operation? Well, if the money was taken and the operation is done, I would say anything bad but this money was taken and the small boy was abandoned in the theatre,” she said. 

When contacted Wamala refused to comment on the allegations. Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital director says that the hospital will issue an official statement later since consultations about the matter are ongoing.

Arua City resident district commissioner, Alice Akello has condemned the actions of the nurse saying she has ordered his arrest so as to set an example to the rest. The case has been reported to Arua regional referral hospital police post under SD reference No:05/30/05/2022.



Source – observer.ug

Continue Reading

News

Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News

Published

on

By


Activists say the planned tourist train will harm the wildlife and natural features of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been dealt the latest setback to an ambitious plan to create a tourist train to connect the country’s southern Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, a judge indefinitely suspended construction on a portion of the project, known as the Mayan Train, saying the plans currently do not comply “with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation”.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by activists who said they were concerned the 60km (37 mile) portion of the train that would connect the resorts of Playa del Carmen and Tulum would adversely affect the area’s wildlife, as well as its caves and water-filled sinkholes known as cenotes.

The original plan for the disputed section was for an overpass over a highway, but the route was modified early this year to go through jungle at ground level.

The federal judge cited the “imminent danger” of causing “irreversible damage” to ecosystems, according to one of the plaintiffs, the non-governmental group Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment. In a statement, the group said that authorities had failed to carry out the necessary environmental impact studies before starting construction of the section.

Lopez Obrador had announced the ambitious project in 2018, with construction beginning in 2020. The roughly 1,500km (930 mile) cargo and passenger rail loop was presented as a cornerstone of a wider plan to develop the poorer states and remote towns throughout the about 181,000sq km (70,000sq mile) Yucatan Peninsula.

The railway is set to connect Caribbean beach resorts with Mayan archaeological ruins, with authorities aiming to complete the project by the end of 2023. The plan is estimated to cost about $16bn.

The project has split communities across the region, with some welcoming the economic development and connectivity it would bring. Others, including some local Indigenous communities, have challenged the project, saying it could not only disrupt the migratory routes of endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs and ocelots, but could also potentially damage centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites.

The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, the government agency overseeing the project, has said that it expects to “overcome” the latest challenge and that work should continue after an environmental impact statement is finalised. It said the Environment Ministry was currently reviewing its environmental application for the project.

For his part, Lopez Obrador has insisted the railway will not have a significant environmental effect and has accused activists of being infiltrated by “impostors”.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

Continue Reading

Trending