• By Jasper Y. Arcalas, August 14, 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/08/14/dar-to-n-f-a-sell-rice-stocks-to-boost-funds/ Image Credit to Business Mirror AGRICULTURE Secretary William D. Dar ordered on Tuesday the National Food Authority (NFA) to fast-track its milling operations and immediately sell rice so it can purchase more palay from farmers. Dar issued the order even if the NFA has been reduced to a buffer-stocking agency following the effectivity of Republic Act (RA) 11203, or the rice trade liberalization law. The NFA is an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture (DA). “[The NFA] should immediately unload milled rice so it could roll over funds, which it Read More…

  • By Bianca Cuaresma, August 14 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/08/14/5-month-fdi-down-37-as-investors-avoid-phl/ Image Credit to Business Mirror FOREIGN players stayed away from the Philippines as their long-term investments in the first five months of the year fell by an annualized rate of 37.1 percent, according to the latest data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). The BSP reported on Tuesday that net foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into the Philippines declined to $3.1 billion, from last year’s $5 billion due largely to the drop in net equity capital placements. Figures from the BSP indicated that net equity capital investments fell to $787 Read More…

  • By Arra B. Francia, August 13 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/property-firms-bullish-on-demand-despite-pogo-uncertainty/ Image Credit to Business World PROPERTY developers remain optimistic about demand for office space despite China’s crackdown on Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs), citing limited exposure to such tenants. Ayala Land, Inc. Commercial Business Group Head Jose Emmanuel H. Jalandoni said POGOs make up less than a tenth of their leasable office portfolio, limiting the company’s vulnerability to this segment. “For the office sector, we’re limiting it to a maximum of 10% for our office portfolio. Right now it’s a little below 10%…Since we’re limiting our exposure to 10% it’s Read More…

  • By Arra B. Francia, August 13 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/sec-eases-up-on-timetable-for-mpo-hike/ Image Credit to Business World THE Securities And Exchange Commission (SEC) has tweaked its plan to increase listed firms’ minimum public ownership (MPO) by raising the range while allowing them to propose their own timetable to hit the steeper requirement by a government deadline. SEC Commissioner Ephyro Luis B. Amatong said corporate regulators are now looking at a 20-25% MPO, against the earlier 15-20% prospective range. “The ASEAN standard is 25%… and there’s initial feedback since some companies in their initial offering actually go straight to 40%,” Mr. Amatong told Read More…

  • By Denise A. Valdez, August 7 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/dict-may-issue-new-common-tower-policy/ Image Credit to Business Mirror THE government is considering putting out a new draft policy on telecommunications infrastructure sharing in the next two months, after stakeholders sought firmer guidelines before committing major investments. The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) announced its plans yesterday at a stakeholders’ meeting for the common tower industry, which will help telecommunications firms roll out infrastructure faster and more cheaply. “May draft na tayo na policy [We’ll have a draft policy]… two months, or even sooner,” DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II told reporters yesterday. Representatives from Read More…

  • By Lourdes O. Pilar, August 8, 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/june-trade-deficit-smallest-in-15-months-on-import-decline/ Image Credit to Business World THE COUNTRY’s trade-in-goods gap in June shrank to its smallest amount in 15 months as imports declined by a double-digit rate while exports rode bigger earnings from electronic products. Preliminary Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed merchandise exports grew 1.5% to $6.008 billion in June, faster than the one-percent growth in May but slower than the 3.7% growth in June 2018. On the other hand, the merchandise import bill fell by 10.4% to $8.48 billion in June from $9.469 billion in the same month in 2018. Read More…

  • By Gillian M. Cortez, August 7 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/alcoholic-beverage-tax-to-be-fast-tracked/ Image Credit to Philippine Star ALBAY 2nd District Representative Jose Ma. Clemente S. Salceda committed to approve at committee level next week a bill increasing taxes on alcoholic beverages. He added that the ways and means committee, which he chairs, is also working on other measures seeking to raise taxes on electronic cigarettes to at least P25, and possibly to P45. Speaking at the Kapihan sa Manila Bay press briefing on Wednesday, Mr. Salceda told reporters that during a Monday meeting preceding the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) session, participants Read More…

  • By Vincent Mariel P. Galang, August 8 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/farm-output-marks-biggest-fall-in-3-years/ Image Credit to Philippine Star FARM PRODUCTION contracted for the first time in three quarters in April-June, marking its biggest drop in three years on a steep fall in crop output and signalling that the sector weighed on overall economic performance scheduled to be reported on Thursday morning ahead of the central bank’s fifth monetary policy review for the year. The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Wednesday that value of agriculture production contracted by 1.27% year-on-year to P98.496 billion last quarter, compared to a downward-revised 0.64% increase in Read More…

  • By Lenie Lectura, August 8 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/08/08/did-oil-deregulation-spur-competition-review-eyed/ Image Credit to Business Mirror SENATE Energy Committee Chairman Sherwin Gatchalian on Wednesday said he will file a resolution to review the 21-year-old oil deregulation law, following an injunction order issued by a local court against the Department of Energy (DOE) circular on the unbundling of fuel prices. “Its about time to revisit [the law]. The promise of the oil deregulation law is more competition and that it will lead to lower prices. We should find out if we have achieved those now,”said Gatchalian, when asked to comment on the court order. The Mandaluyong Read More…

  • By Janvic Mateo, August 8 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/08/08/1941586/pogos-be-moved-out-confined-hubs Image Credit to Philippine Star MANILA, Philippines — Chinese nationals working in Philippine offshore gaming operations (POGOs) will be transferred to “self-contained” communities or hubs that will limit their interaction with Filipinos, according to an official of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor). In an interview with “The Chiefs” aired on Cignal TV’s One News Tuesday night, Pagcor vice president for offshore gaming Jose Tria said these POGO hubs would address complaints of Filipinos over the reported unruly behavior of some Chinese workers. “That is the reason why we came Read More…

  • By Elizabeth Marcelo, August 8 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/08/08/1941585/marcoses-cronies-win-p102-b-court-case Image Credit to Philippine Star MANILA, Philippines — More than 30 years since its filing, a civil forfeiture case that demands P102 billion in moral and exemplary damages from the Marcos family and their cronies was junked by the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan due to insufficiency of evidence. “Plaintiff (Philippine government) miserably failed to adduce evidence to hold defendants Ferdinand E. Marcos and Imelda R. Marcos liable under any of the causes of action set out in the amended complaint,” the court’s Second Division said in its 67-page decision promulgated on Aug. Read More…

  • By Vince Angelo C. Ferreras, August 6, 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/house-eyes-oct-4-ok-of-national-budget/ Image Credit to Philippine Star THE HOUSE of Representatives targets final approval of the proposed P4.1-trillion 2020 national budget by Oct. 4, before the 18th Congress takes a month-long break, according to a senior official of the chamber’s Appropriations committee. “Susubukan po ng House (will try to approve it) before October 5,” Albay 2nd District Rep. Jose Ma. Clemente Sarte Salceda, vice-chairman of the committee, told reporters in a briefing when asked on the deadline for budget approval in the chamber. The government operated on a reenacted 2018 budget from January to Read More…

  • By Arjay L. Balinbin, August 6 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/duterte-names-acting-heads-of-agriculture-and-budget-departments/ Image Credit to Philippine Star PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has appointed acting secretaries to head the agriculture and budget departments, Malacañang said on Monday. In a mobile phone reply to confirm news reports in the morning that William D. Dar has been appointed as Agriculture chief, Executive Secretary Salvador S. Medialdea clarified: “as Acting Secretary.” Mr. Medialdea also confirmed later that former Presidential Assistant Wendel E. Avisado has been appointed acting secretary of the Department of Budget and Management, replacing officer-in-charge Janet B. Abuel. In 2018, Mr. Duterte appointed Mr. Read More…

  • By Charmaine A. Tadalan, August 6 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/ledac-to-start-quarterly-meetings/ Image Credit to Reuters THE LEGISLATIVE-EXECUTIVE Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) will hold quarterly meetings to ensure smooth action on priority measures, Senate leaders said after the body’s organizational meeting on Monday. A preparatory meeting will be held on Aug. 27 to “merge” the legislative agenda of both chambers of Congress. “Ang napagusapan ay ‘yung (We discussed the) organizational schedule ng ‘small’ LEDAC and main LEDAC,” Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III told reporters in a briefing. “It is scheduled once every quarter. The ‘small’ LEDAC is now scheduled every last Monday of the Read More…

  • By Claudeth Mocon-Ciriaco, August 6 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/08/06/mmda-lgus-of-caloocan-san-juan-clear-roads/ Image Credit to Business Mirror THE Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), along with the local government units of Caloocan and San Juan, continued clearing operations on Monday to sustain the campaign to unclog traffic flow by tearing down illegal structures and towing illegally parked vehicles. In San Juan, MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim was joined by Mayor Francis Zamora and other local officials who conducted an inspection of the designated “No Parking Zone” in Barangay Greenhills. Zamora has suspended all roadside pay parking and one-side parking in the city and barangays, including Read More…

  • By Jasper Y. Arcalas, August 6 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/08/06/philmaize-to-seek-new-da-chiefs-help-as-rice-corn-blend-project-hits-snag/ Image Credit to Business Mirror A YEAR and a half after its launch, the implementation of the rice-corn blend (RCB) project nationwide encountered a series of roadblocks, forcing corn growers to go back to the drawing board. Philippine Maize Federation Inc. (PhilMaize) President Roger V. Navarro said recent events in the agriculture sector have overtaken the implementation of the private-public project and resulted in more delays. One of the roadblocks, Navarro said, is the enactment of Republic Act (RA) 11203, which effectively reduced the role of the National Food Authority Read More…

  • By Samuel P. Medenilla, August 6 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/08/06/biggest-number-of-alien-work-permits-seen/ Image Credit to Business Mirror THE country is now poised to register its biggest number of applications for Alien Employment Permit (AEP) this year with the implementation of new government permit regulations for foreigners. During the first half of the year, the Bureau of Local Employment (BLE) said it already registered 52,450 AEP applications, a figure that is approaching the 2018 full-year total of overall AEP applications at 54,251. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issues AEPs to foreign nationals before they can work in the country for more than six months. “Most Read More…

  • By Lenie Lectura, August 6 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/08/06/court-issues-injunction-against-fuel-unbundling/ Image Credit to Philippine Star THE Mandaluyong Regional Trial Court on Monday issued a preliminary injunction against the Department of Energy (DOE), stopping it from implementing a policy that requires oil firms to unbundle their fuel prices. Regulators had earlier deplored the oil players’ legal campaign to prevent the unbundling—a key policy to encourage fair pricing and transparency—from being carried out. Under DOE guidelines, oil companies must submit a detailed  computation of the price components with every price adjustment of petroleum products. In a nine-page order, Judge Carlos Valenzuela of Branch 213, Read More…

  • By Butch Fernandez, August 2 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/08/02/recto-gives-ched-incomplete-grade-for-unused-funds/ Image Credit to Business Mirror Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, citing unutilized funds in its annual budget, on Thursday gave the Commission on Higher Education an “incomplete grade.” “I will not be harsh and give CHED a failing grade of 5 in Fund Utilization 101,” Sen. Recto said, but warned that “I would give it an Incomplete, with a last chance stern warning that it implements remedial measures this year.” The Senate President Pro Tempore admitted he found it “so ironic that an institution that accredits Finance and Management schools in Read More…

  • By JAsper Y. Arcalas, August 2 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/08/02/sra-okays-250000-mt-of-refined-sugar-imports/ Image Credit to Business Mirror THE Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) has approved the importation of 250,000 metric tons (MT) of refined sugar to plug the shortfall in supply and avert possible price increases of the sweetener as the country enters off-milling season. The SRA issued Sugar Order No. 5 which authorized the contry’s second sugar import program for crop year 2018-2019, which ends this August 31. SRA explained that the importation would plug the shortfall in domestic production to meet the rising demand for sugar by the domestic market. “With Read More…

  • By Manuel Cayon, August 4 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/08/04/same-old-banana/ Image Credit to Business Mirror DAVAO CITY—Japan has reported yet another breach of its quarantine regulation by a banana shipper from the Philippines in July, raising apprehension anew that Tokyo may impose stricter measures against Philippine banana shipments and scale down its preference over the homegrown fruit. The Philippine agriculture attaché in Japan, Samuel B. Animas, told the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) that he was informed on July 10, 2019, by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) of “another violation [of the minimum residue limit] committed Read More…

  • By Jovee Marie de la Cruz, August 2 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/08/02/congress-vows-to-hasten-bills-for-invigorating-phl-business/ Image Credit to Philippine Star THE chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means said the lower chamber will fast-track the deliberation of the Corporate Income Tax and Incentive Rationalization Act (Citira) bill that lawmakers said would help remove uncertainties for investors. Albay Rep.  Jose Ma. Clemente S. Salceda said Congress was encouraged by the overall positive view of the business groups and foreign chambers that view the Citira bill as beneficial to the country’s economy. Salceda said the measure is, at best, “revenue neutral” and the Read More…

  • By Karl Angelo N. Vidal, August 5 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/policy-rate-cut-seen-as-inflation-slows/ Image Credit to Business World INFLATION likely slowed further in July as food prices sustained a decline, analysts said in a poll, adding that this would give space for the central bank to resume trimming benchmark interest rates after “a prudent pause” in its June 20 policy review. Estimates of 17 analysts and a research group yielded a 2.4% median for July inflation, which settles at the midpoint of the 2-2.8% range given by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). If realized, it would also mark the second straight Read More…

  • By Cai Ordinario, August 2 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/08/02/adb-creates-contingent-disaster-financing-for-natural-disasters/ Image Credit to Business Mirror The Asian Development Bank (ADB) disclosed on Thursday that it has created a new financing mechanism to support developing countries in disaster preparedness and response. In a statement, ADB said the new contingent disaster financing (CDF) mechanism will strengthen disaster preparedness and provide quick-disbursing budget support following natural disasters. ADB said the creation of the CDF was approved by ADB’s Board of Directors on Thursday. It aims to support the bank’s Strategy 2030 which aims to increase efforts in tackling climate change and disaster resilience. “CDF Read More…

  • By Butch Fernandez, August 2 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/08/02/recto-gives-ched-incomplete-grade-for-unused-funds/ Image Credit to Business Mirror Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, citing unutilized funds in its annual budget, on Thursday gave the Commission on Higher Education an “incomplete grade.” “I will not be harsh and give CHED a failing grade of 5 in Fund Utilization 101,” Sen. Recto said, but warned that “I would give it an Incomplete, with a last chance stern warning that it implements remedial measures this year.” The Senate President Pro Tempore admitted he found it “so ironic that an institution that accredits Finance and Management schools in Read More…

  • By Christina Mendez, August 1 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/08/01/1939696/palace-wont-stop-senate-probe-pcso-anomalies Image Credit to Philippine Star MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang will not get in the way of any congressional inquiry into the reported irregularities surrounding operations of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO). “They can do whatever they want because that’s their duty as members of Congress,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said yesterday. Panelo said there is no need for PCSO officials to file a courtesy resignation until after the investigation has concluded. Presidential Anti-Crime and Corruption Commissioner Greco Belgica also said the agency would conduct lifestyle checks on all PCSO officials, Read More…

  • By Rosette Adel, July 31 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/07/31/1939488/list-new-prohibited-items-airports-airlines Image Credit to Philippine News Agency MANILA, Philippines — The Office for Transportation Security last week released an updated list of prohibited items or items which are not allowed to be brought or carried to the airport and aircraft after the International Civil Aviation Organization set an expanded items list under the international standards. The transportation security clarified that the revised list of the ICAO are still subject to special requirements or instructions from the airlines. The list of items that cannot be brought or carried include chemicals and other toxic substances. Read More…

  • By Rainier Allan Ronda and Sheila Crisostomo, August 1 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/08/01/1939686/shutdown-cost-pcso-p250-m-revenue Image Credit to Philippine Star MANILA, Philippines — Some P250 million in revenues were lost following the suspension of lotto games of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) starting Friday. PCSO general manager Royina Garma explained that the state lottery generates an average of P60 million in revenue per day. “We lost P250-million lotto revenue since our operations were stopped. That figure is only for lotto, the other games are not included,” Garma told a press conference yesterday. Garma thanked President Duterte for lifting the suspension order Read More…

  • By Vincent Mariel P. Galang, July 31 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/dar-targets-land-distribution-by-2022/ Image Credit to Business World THE Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) said it is upgrading its processes in order to accelerate land distribution, and set a 2022 target for completing its land acquisition and distribution (LAD) program. “Right now we are trying to initiate moves. We are innovating our system so that we will be able to comply with the President’s order of completing the land acquisition and distribution by 2022… We are going to approach it scientifically by using technology,” DAR Secretary John R. Castriciones told BusinessWorld by phone. Specifically, Read More…

  • By Vann Marlo M. Villegas, July 31 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/solgen-appeals-supreme-court-ruling-on-power-deal-competitive-selection/ Image Credit to Philippine Star THE Office of the Solicitor-General (OSG) has appealed a Supreme Court (SC) decision ordering a competitive selection process (CSP) on all power supply agreements (PSA) submitted by distribution utilities (DUs) to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on or after June 30, 2015. In 74-page motion for reconsideration, the OSG, representing ERC, asked the court to deny for lack of merit the November 2016 petition of consumer group Alyansa Para sa Bagong Pilipinas, Inc. which sought to nullify ERC resolutions which effectively postponed CSP requirements Read More…

  • By Karl Angelo N. Vidal, August 1 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/bsp-july-inflation-could-be-as-low-as-2/ Image Credit to Business World THE OVERALL RISE in prices of widely used goods could have eased to its slowest pace in more than two-and-a-half years last month, the central bank announced on Wednesday, citing lower rice and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) prices, cheaper electricity rates and a stronger peso that made imports cheaper. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Department of Economic Research told reporters in an e-mail that it “projects the July 2019 inflation to settle within the 2.0-2.8% range,” explaining that “[l]ower rice and domestic LPG Read More…

  • By Bianca Cuaresma, August 1 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/08/01/landbank-to-expand-loans-to-agri-sector/ Image Credit to Business World THE Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) is looking to intensify its lending to the agriculture sector in the next few years, in line with President Duterte’s directive for the bank to focus more on farmers and fishers. LandBank President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Cecilia Borromeo told reporters the bank is keen on growing its agriculture loan portfolio by an average of 20 percent yearly, higher than the historical average of 15 percent. In his State of the Nation Address (Sona) earlier this month, the Read More…

  • By Bianca Cuaresma, July 31, 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/07/31/bsp-manufacturing-gets-1-3-of-fdi/ Image Credit to Business Mirror THE manufacturing sector continued to get the lion’s share of the gross foreign direct investments (FDI) channeled to the Philippines in the first four months of the year, according to data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). Of the $2.9 billion FDI that flowed into the Philippines in January to April, the manufacturing sector received one-third, or 33.51 percent. Other recipients of large FDI are the transportation and storage sector with 28.84 percent; financial and insurance services, 26.52 percent; and real-estate activities, 26.16 percent. FDI Read More…

  • By Denise A. Valdez, July 29 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/ltfrb-sets-formula-for-fare-adjustments/ Image Credit to Business World THE public land transport regulator has set a formula for changes in jeepney, bus, taxi and UV Express fares that takes into account fuel pump price movements, in order to remove the need for operators to seek regulatory approval for each adjustment. The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) published Memorandum Circular No. 2019-035 in a newspaper on Sunday which outlined the formula for base fare adjustments using inputs such as fuel pump price data from the Energy department and the share of fuel Read More…

  • By Mark T. Amoguis, July 29 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/inflation-impact-on-poor-eases-in-june/ Image Credit to Business World JUNE inflation, as experienced by low-income families, softened to its slowest pace in 18 months, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority. The inflation rate for the country’s bottom 30% income households was at four percent, slower than the year-on-year increase of 4.6% in May and 6.7% in June 2018. This was the slowest in 18 months or since the 3.7% recorded in December 2017. For the first half, the inflation rate for this income segment averaged 4.7%, slower than the 5.9% average in the first Read More…

  • By Bernadette D. Nicolas, July 26 2019 https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/07/26/its-final-security-of-tenure-bill-has-been-vetoed-palace/ Image Credit to Business Mirror PRESIDENT Duterte has indeed vetoed the Security of Tenure (SOT) bill, Malacañang confirmed on Friday morning, after issuing conflicting advisories late Thursday. Panelo confirms – then retracts – ‘veto’ of security of tenure bill “Security of Tenure bill vetoed by the President,” Panelo said in a text message shared to reporters. This comes after Panelo backtracked at past 11 pm on Thursday, minutes after confirming that the bill, objected to strongly by local and foreign business groups, had been vetoed. While there was a purported copy of the Read More…

  • By Business Mirror, July 29, 2019 https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/07/29/fallout-from-shutdown-of-pcso-lotto-weighed/ Image Credit to Business Mirror THE President’s decision to shut down Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) lottery operations may only deepen and widen the underground economy, according to local economists. This, as leading members of the House of Representatives sought a full investigation of the alleged corruption that led President Duterte to suspend all PCSO operations late Friday, stunning licensed small lotto operators and workers, and putting in limbo the fate of the government’s multibillion-peso charity operations that ordinary Filipinos rely on for medical subsidy. The resulting revenue shortfall is also seen to Read More…

  • By Business Mirror, July 29 2019 https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/07/29/phl-scientists-to-use-radiation-to-sterilize-reduce-dengue-mosquito-population/ Image Credit to Business Mirror With the Department of Health declaring a national dengue alert due to the increasing number of dengue cases in several regions, the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI) continues to harness nuclear science and technology to help mitigate the perennial dengue problem in the Philippines. Using radiation to sterilize mosquitoes, PNRI scientists are starting to develop the sterile insect technique (SIT) to reduce the population of Aedes aegypti, which serves as the vector for dengue, chikungunya and zika virus. PNRI scientists rear male mosquitoes in the laboratories Read More…

  • By Elijah Felice Rosales, July 26 2019; Business Mirror http://PHL innovation ranking jumps to 54th Image Credit to Business Mirror THE Philippines’s ranking jumped by 19 notches to 54th due to improvements in its scores for institutions, business sophistication, knowledge and technology outputs and creative outputs in this year’s edition of an index that tracks the innovation performance of countries. In the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2019, the Philippines improved its score to 36.18, from 31.56 in last year’s cycle. This put the country fifth among eight Southeast Asian economies surveyed in the index. Singapore headed the region by finishing Read More…

  • By Arjay L. Balinbin, July 25 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/house-eyes-2019-ok-of-tax-reforms/ Image Credit to Philippine Star THE HOUSE of Representatives targets to approve all remaining tax reforms within the year, Deputy Speaker for Finance Camarines Sur 2nd District Rep. Raymond F. Villafuerte, Jr. said on Wednesday. “Actually we’re targeting all of these by this year,” Mr. Villafuerte said in a press briefing at the Malacañan Palace, referring to tax reforms that failed to make it out of the 17th Congress which ended on June 3. Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua said in the same briefing: “In general, we would like… to have Read More…

  • By Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio, July 23 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/bsp-backs-amendment-to-help-banks-comply-with-agri-agra-law/ Image Credit to Philippine Star THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said it is looking forward to passing an amendment to the Agri-Agra Reform Credit Act this year which would expand the projects that banks can fund to comply with their agricultural lending obligations. “Ginagawa pa ng House ngayon. Kasi ibro-broaden lang namin ’yung eligible projects sa agri agra. (The House is working on it. It will broaden the eligible projects under Agri Agra.) We will consolidate it. Kasi ngayon 10% sa agrarian reform, 15% sa agriculture (under current rules, banks are required to lend 10% of their portfolio to agrarian reform Read More…

  • By Denise A. Valdez, July 23 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/ride-sharing-restrictions-lifted-on-small-cars/ Image Credit to GrabPH/Business World REGULATORS will clear hatchback and subcompact cars to operate legally as part of the ride-sharing fleet. The Department of Transportation (DoTr) issued Department Order No. 2019-013 yesterday, which ruled that these types of car can register for the transport network vehicle service (TNVS) category. TNVS-registered vehicles make up the fleet accredited by ride-sharing platforms such as Grab Philippines (MyTaxi.PH, Inc.). The DoTr said the policy aims to “further promote mobility and recognize new forms of transport vehicles that can help address the large demand for Read More…

  • By Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio, July 24 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/asean3-think-tank-cuts-economic-growth-forecasts/ Image Credit to Reuters THE ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) has revised downward its Philippine economic growth forecast for 2020 to 6.5% from its previous outlook of 6.6% in May, according to the July Monthly Update of the ASEAN+3 Regional Economic Outlook released on Tuesday that showed the 2019 projection retained at the 6.3% pencilled in June but down from 6.4% in May. “AMRO has revised Philippines’ GDP (gross domestic product) growth forecast slightly downward to 6.3% for 2019 and 6.5% for 2020 due to a gloomier global growth prospect and Read More…

  • By Marissa Mae M. Ramos, July 24 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/scorecard-bares-mixed-devt-gains/ Image Credit to Business World A GOVERNMENT SCORECARD that tracks the Philippines’ progress in meeting economic development targets showed the government making strides in curbing anti-competitive practices and promoting ecological integrity, but performing poorly in agriculture, governance and culture. According to the Statistical Indicators on Philippine Development (StatDev) 2018, 138 out of the 307 indicators show “high likelihood” of hitting targets by 2022, when President Rodrigo R. Duterte ends his six-year term. The report, released on Tuesday by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), also showed 42 indicators had “medium Read More…

  • By Denise A. Valdez, July 23 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/dpwh-pushing-to-open-entire-length-of-c5-link-by-end-2021/ Image Credit to Business World THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said it wants to expedite the opening of the entire length of the 7.7-kilometer C5 Link project, in order to connect Taguig to the Manila-Cavite Expressway (CAVITEx) by the end of 2021. Public Works Secretary Mark A. Villar said at the opening of the 2.2-kilometer section of the expressway Tuesday he is targeting to complete the remainder of the toll road earlier than its 2022 timeline. “I’m looking forward to the full opening by 2021… We set Read More…

  • By Elijah Felice Rosales, July 23 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/07/23/despite-rodys-trabaho-bill-backing-ecozone-locators-to-lobby-vs-it/ Image Credit to Business Mirror ECONOMIC zone locators will challenge President Duterte’s endorsement of the Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High-Quality Opportunities (Trabaho) bill, and have vowed to dialogue with senators and ensure its nonpassage. In interviews with the BusinessMirror, leaders of various industry groups said the President’s endorsement of the Trabaho bill will not stop them from trying to persuade senators to do away with the measure. They admitted Duterte’s order to pass the measure carries weight, but its fate, whatever happens, stays with the hands of legislators. Read More…

  • By Jovee Marie de la Cruz, July 22 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/07/22/house-speaker-race-not-a-done-deal/ Image Credit to Business Mirror TWO breakfast meetings at the House of Representatives, just hours before the opening of the 18th Congress and the President’s State of the Nation Address, are being seen as indications the smooth transition Malacañang had hoped for may not be forthcoming. And, as a senior lawmaker put it on Sunday, some people may have sleepless nights on Sona’s eve, in a throwback to the 2018 hours-long standoff at the House, when then-Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez was ousted in a “coup” that installed Pampanga Rep. Gloria Read More…

  • By Bianca Cuaresma, July 22 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/07/22/inflation-seen-to-dip-earlier-than-expected/ Image Credit to Philippine Star PRIVATE economists in the country agree that inflation will go further down than earlier expected, likely on base effects and the stabilization of food prices toward the end of the year. In its June 2019 survey of 27 private bank economists across the country, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported that the analysts forecast inflation to hit an average of 2.9 percent for the year. This is lower than their earlier average forecast of 3.3 percent for 2019. The BSP said respondent economists expect inflation Read More…

  • By Butch Fernandez, July 19 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/07/19/government-urged-to-fast-track-approval-of-student-fare-discount-laws-irr/ Image Credit to Business Mirror The government was prodded on Thursday to fast-track the early implementation of the 20-percent land-sea-air fare discount benefit for students recently signed into law by President Duterte. “Let us move fast to implement the law,” said Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara, principal author of the Student Fare Discount Act. The senator pressed for the new law’s early publication in newspapers, or the Official Gazette, to pave the way for government agencies concerned to issue the implementing rules. “Without these two, Republic Act [RA] 11314 can’t be implemented,” Angara pointed out, adding, Read More…

  • By Arjay L. Balinbin, July 22 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/duterte-to-give-glimpse-of-road-ahead/ Image Credit to PCOO PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte delivers today his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA), which Malacañang said on Sunday should give the country an idea of what lies ahead in the second half of his six-year term. Mr. Duterte marks the midpoint of his term with an 85% public satisfaction rating in Pulse Asia Research, Inc.’s latest poll despite a bloody anti-drug war and an inflation rate that has been easing back this year into the central bank’s 2-4% target band after successive multi-year monthly peaks Read More…