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BUSINESS NEWS & INFORMATION

25th April 2016
Building Better Stories, Block by Block
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on April 25, 2016, 11:44 pm

A series of seminar-workshops for media practitioners on the links between the con-struction industry and sustainable growth is set to kick off next week.

The Philippine Press Institute (PPI) and Holcim Philippines, Inc. are undertaking this joint initiative, which builds on a similar, albeit more basic, training two years ago.

The new round of seminar-workshops by PPI, the national association of newspapers, and Holcim, a building materials and aggregates company, aims to see more nu-anced and in-depth reporting on the construction sector, highlighting its role in help-ing achieve sustainable and inclusive growth while focusing the spotlight on relevant issues affecting Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

With the theme “Taking the High Road to Better Construction Stories,” the training series also seeks to help the media explore unreported and underreported issues sur-rounding the industry, ideally set within the framework of civic journalism, PPI’s flag-ship program.

Holcim Philippines advocates sustainable construction practices that contribute to lasting and broad-based development.

PPI's thrust of “Building Better Communities through Civic Journalism” is in line with its goal of giving voice to the concerns and aspirations of communities and sectors that otherwise are not being heard in the public sphere or in the mainstream media.

The PPI-Holcim trainings call to mind two of the 17 United Nations Sustainable De-velopment Goals (SDGs) that replaced the Millennium Development Goals and were adopted by world leaders last year.

Goal 9 of the SGDs falls within the purview of the construction industry, among other concerned sectors: “Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrializa-tion and foster innovation.”

Goal 11 is a call to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.”

The PPI-Holcim training will be held in each major island group, with the Luzon leg scheduled for April 27 to 29 in Padi, Bulacan. Participants from the Visayas will gath-er in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, on May 4 to 6; and those from Mindanao in Malaybalay, Bukidnon on May 18 to 20.

Non-PPI members have also been invited to participate in the training workshops.

Regional focus

Tess Bacalla, PPI’s training director, said the seminar-workshops will also be high-lighted by discussions on relevant regional issues, which will be facilitated by re-source speakers. These will be followed by field visits that will allow the participants to take a deeper look into such issues and how these manifest on the ground, while pursuing stories that will serve as their group outputs during the workshop.

Journalists from Luzon will look into the status and quality of relocation shelters in Bulacan, which continues to be among the top relocation areas for informal settlers from Metro Manila.

Media participants from the Visayas will focus on the state of reconstruction and re-habilitation programs in Bohol, three years since the province was struck by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that reduced infrastructure gems such as centuries-old churches and ancestral houses to rubble.

In Mindanao, participants will learn about the living conditions of lumad, or indigenous groups, including those that have been displaced from their communities and are cur-rently staying in temporary facilities in Bukidnon.

The workshop-seminar series complements the Journalism Awards on Sustainable Construction Reporting (JASCOR), a Holcim-sponsored program undertaken in part-nership with PPI. National and community newspapers vie for the yearly awards, which are given out in ceremonies held in October.

Now on its third year, JASCOR hopes to promote excellent reporting on the construc-tion industry through the lens of sustainability, and thus generate increased public awareness and appreciation of, as well as support for, sustainable construction ef-forts.


21st April 2016
McDonald's opens second store in Tacloban, Leyte
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on April 21, 2016, 4:46 pm

(By Sun Star Tacloban, Thursday 21 April 2016)

MCDONALD'S Philippines continues to expand its presence in Visayas as it opened its second store in Tacloban City, Leyte.  The event also signifies that McDonald's is close to having 500 stores nationwide.

"We are proud and happy to open our second store in Tacloban. It is the first McDonald’s store in the city equipped with a Drive-Thru. More than offering Taclobanons the convenience of eating great-tasting food like Big Mac, Chicken McDo, and our World Famous Fries, the new store also brings more job opportunities for the youth," said Kenneth S. Yang, McDonald’s Philippines president and chief executive officer.

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27th March 2016
Has the Internet cut corruption in the Philippines?
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on March 27, 2016, 7:09 pm

(By Bienvenido S. Oplas, Jr., Business World, 26 March 2016)

 Many Filipinos and Asians now are getting more vocal about their frustrations regarding government (inefficiencies, wastes, corruption, plunder, etc.), corporate monopolies and duopolies, politicians and/or political parties, and so on. One of the explanations is that people have more information and have increased access to the Internet and events happening in their country and abroad.

More affordable laptops, tablets, and mobile phones plus greater access to the Internet, are big contributors to this.

In the past, news about a political scandal or a murder can take days or even weeks to be disseminated to the rest of the country. But now, these events can be broadcast within minutes and hours. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms have helped transformed ordinary citizens into spontaneous reporters of important community events and stories and national issues.

For this piece, I wish to test this hypothesis: “Increased publicly available information, broader access to the Internet, result in lesser government corruption.”

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12th February 2016
Stable prices seen on manufactured basic and prime goods
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on February 12, 2016, 11:44 am

(By the Dept of Trade & Industry, 12 Feb 2016)

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has seen stable prices of non-agricultural basic necessities and prime commodities since the start of the year, based on the regular price monitoring activities that the agency has been conducting.

DTI’s price monitoring arm, the Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB), monitored a total of 218 supermarkets and groceries in the National Capital Region (NCR) and all of which were found to be selling within the Suggested Retail Prices (SRPs) set by the manufacturers of basic and prime goods.

According to the price monitoring report of the FTEB, cement and flour remained at their prevailing prices while some brands of basic and prime goods have increased in price by P0.10 to P3.00 but still remained within the SRP level. These are Alpine Evaporated Milk, Nescafe Classic Coffee Refill 50g, Surf Bar Calamansi, Surf Bar Blue, Lucky Me Instant Noodles Chicken and Beef Flavors, Safeguard White, Absolute Distilled Bottled Water, and Summit and Viva Mineralized Bottled Water.

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14th August 2014
Farm-to-market roads for rural development project
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on August 14, 2014, 8:11 am

(By Sarwell Q. Meniano, Business World)

TACLOBAN CITY -- Farm-to-market road projects worth P559.5 million have been approved for inclusion in the World Bank-funded Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP).

The PRDP regional advisory board recently approved the following: a 19.4-kilometer (km) road in Liloan, Southern Leyte; a 4-km road in Sogod, Southern Leyte; a 12.6-km road in Basey, Samar; a 4.1-km road in Sta. Rita, Samar; a 2-km road in Maydolong, Eastern Samar; and an 8.36-km road in San Roque, Northern Samar.

These comprise the first batch of sub-projects that will be endorsed this month by the Department of Agriculture (DA) to the World Bank.

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7th October 2013
SHELLFISH BAN LIFTED IN EASTERN SAMAR
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on October 7, 2013, 10:42 pm

(By Sarwell Q. Meniano, 7 Oct 2013  |  10:02 PM)

TACLOBAN CITY -- The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has lifted the shellfish ban in Eastern Samar’s Matarinao Bay, five months after toxins were found in water and shellfish samples.

In a bulletin issued last week, the bureau said all types of shellfish gathered in Matarinao Bay are now safe for consumption. The bay includes the municipal waters of Salcedo, Quinapondan, McArthur and Hernani in Eastern Samar.

“Shellfish samples collected from the bay have been free from paralytic shellfish poison from three consecutive weeks of sampling in the area. Marketing of shellfish harvest is now permitted,” BFAR Regional Director Juan D. Albaladejo said.

He said frequent rains brought by the southwest monsoon “pushed” the toxins from the shallow waters to the deep sea.

The toxins were first recorded in Matarinao Bay in March 2010 and lasted for one year. It recurred for four months in 2011, six months in 2012 and five months this year. -- Sarwell Q. Meniano


DA-8 INFUSES SUPERIOR BREED OF GOATS FOR SMALL RUMINANT RURAL ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT IN SAMAR ISLAND
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on October 7, 2013, 7:53 pm


Anglo Nubian Purebreed

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, October 7 (PIA) – The Department of Agriculture in Eastern Visayas recently distributed newly acquired superior breed of goats to some beneficiaries of the Samar Island Small Ruminant Rural Enterprise Development (SAIS-RED) Project.

Dr. Wilson A. Cerbito, DA-8 Regional Technical Director for Research and Regulations and Manager of the SAIS-RED Project, disclosed that 12 pure-bred Anglo Nubian goats comprising of 10 bucks and two does from the Alaminos Dairy Goat Farm in Laguna were purchased and distributed to initially identified project recipients.

Said animals, weighing 30-35 kilograms, were priced at P30,000 per head inclusive of freight and air transport fees, Dr. Cerbito said.

“This is the first batch of Purebred Anglo-Nubians we bought to improve goat stocks in farms that we have initially identified. These are areas with existing quality upgraded goats and categorized as semi-commercial farms,” RTD Cerbito said expressing hope that next year, DA will be able to infuse another 20 bucks for the next-in-line recipients.

RTD Cerbito explained that Anglo-Nubians are considered a dairy or dual-purpose breed suited to local conditions and are known for the high butterfat content of their milk. They can live in very hot climates and have a longer breeding season than other dairy goats, he added.

In Samar Province, beneficiaries from Calbayog City and Sta. Rita each received a buck. Same number of goats was allocated to San Isidro, Catarman, San Roque and Palapag in Northern Samar as well as in Balangkayan and Salcedo,Eastern Samar.

The remaining two bucks and two does were delivered to the DA-8 regional goat farm in Malitbog, Southern Leyte for breeding and multiplication purposes.

The station also distributed seven (7) locally born crossbred Boer-Anglo Nubian bucks for project recipients with small hold backyard goat farms in the same areas, RTD Cerbito added.

Moreover, in order to complete the package, planting materials of forage legumes and grasses were provided by the department to ensure the availability of feeds for the animals.

All in all, some 9,500 assorted legume seedlings (Indigofera, Flemegia, Sesbania and Rensonii), 800 cuttings of dwarf Napier grass, 500 Humidicola root stocks, 800 cuttings ofGuineagrass, and another 800 cuttings of Brizantha, have already been planted on the ground in preparation for the infusion of animals.

In addition, 500 packets of Indigofera seeds were given out to same goat raisers, compliments of Alaminos Goat Farm to build up feed supply and nutritional requirement of goats. A four-hectare pasture land of semi-commercial goat farmers is also being developed and assisted by DA RFU 8.

Meanwhile, RTD Cerbito disclosed that identified recipients, LGU partners and the regional team members of the SAIS-RED Project are set to participate in the upcoming Experiential Learning on Integrated Goat Management System to be held at the DA-8 station in Malitbog. This will be followed with a Lakbay Aral to progressive goat farms in Leyte from October 8-10, 2013.

Ms. Jessa Faye Macapañas, DA assistant information officer said that the SAIS-RED Project is a five year, 2013-2017, multi-agency initiative focusing on goat and sheep production. It aims to alleviate poverty among small farmers in the three Samar provinces. (eotiu/PIA­ 8)


6th October 2013
E. VISAYAS SMES GET FACILITIES
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on October 6, 2013, 10:42 pm

(By Business World, 6 Oct 2013, 10:42 PM)

 PALO, LEYTE -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will launch nearly P30 million worth of shared service facilities (SSFs) for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Eastern Visayas.

The new shared services facilities include bottling equipment for seaweed and sardines.

At least P7.8 million has been spent to procure facilities as of mid-September, according to Ma. Delia M. Corsiga, DTI regional business development division chief.

Ms. Corsiga said that by the end of this year, P15 million worth of projects will have been deployed. The projects entail the setup of SSFs, or production centers to give SMEs access to better technology.

“We would want to launch all projects within the year, but we were told to wait for new mechanisms in the procurement of facilities and selection of reliable cooperators. This is to ensure that funds will not be wasted,” Ms. Corsiga said.

A total of 90 facilities worth P29.97 million were approved in July this year, with some 3,857 beneficiaries.

As of this week, five facilities worth P1.15 million have been launched in four provinces: milkfish processing equipment in Babatngon, Leyte; coconut coir twining and weaving machine in Caibiran, Biliran; sardines and seaweed bottling in Sta. Margarita, Samar; coconut coir equipment for a decorticating plant in Lope de Vega, Northern Samar; and handloom and twining machines for geotextile net production in Javier, Leyte.

This month, the DTI plans to launch SSF projects in Baybay City, Abuyog, Leyte; Dulag, Leyte; and Sta. Margarita, Samar.

Among major projects up for launch this year is an P8-million retort packaging facility, used for food, on the main campus of Eastern Visayas State University. Philippine International Trading Corp. is scheduled to deliver equipment within the month.

The retort packaging will extend the shelf life of native delicacies such as moron and binagol.

Of the 609 priority villages for SSF deployment nationwide, at least 100 are in Eastern Visayas, one of the most impoverished regions in the country.

“These facilities will be established in economically depressed areas to help people augment their income and generate new jobs,” Ms. Corsiga said.

DTI plans to generate 2,387 direct jobs in the area through SSFs, for three priority products: processed food; gifts, decor and houseware and coco coir.

“Our small producers are banking on the growing demand for geotextile nets in the implementation infrastructure projects. It will be used by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to prevent soil erosions,” Ms. Corsiga added.

Maria Jesusa Dechos, DTI SSF focal person for Region 8, noted that use of the facilities is not for free. SMEs have to pay a minimal amount to cooperators for maintenance.

“After the project turnover, the association should prepare a manual of operation, which also outlines a sustainability plan. The DTI will continue to monitor the project. If the cooperator won’t be able to effectively manage the facility, this will be transferred to other associations,” Ms. Dechos said.

The cooperators will have the option to buy the equipment three years after the turnover. -- S.Q. Meniano


28th September 2013
Dellosa replaces Lim at Customs
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on September 28, 2013, 9:52 pm

(By Llanesca T. Panti, 28 Sep 2013, 9:52 pm)

 President Benigno Aquino 3rd has appointed former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Jessie Dellosa as one of the deputy commissioners of the Bureau of Customs (BOC), replacing retired general Danilo Lim, a Palace official said on Saturday.

Deputy Presidential Spokesman Abigail Valte made the announcement two months after President Benigno Aquino 3rd lambasted Customs officials for failing to curb the smuggling of illegal arms and drugs.

"Jessie Dellosa was appointed Deputy Commissioner for the Intelligence Group, and the appointment was signed by the President yesterday," Valte told Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday.

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7th October 2012
OFW PERKS BENEFITING THE ECONOMY
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on October 7, 2012, 9:01 am

(Business World, 6 Oct 2012)

TAX BREAKS granted to the remittance industry are worth the loss in government revenues since they encourage savings and investments among migrant workers, the National Tax Research Center (NTRC) said.
 
Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are exempted from the 7.5% final withholding tax on interest earned by their foreign currency deposits, among others, which the NTRC said in a study can then be channeled to investments like insurance and real estate -- developing the capital markets and stimulating the economy.

Migrant workers also enjoy an exemption from the P0.30 documentary stamp tax charged for every P200 in money transfers and remittances. The incentive was passed into law in 2010 to lower OFWs’ transaction costs as the government feared the tax was forcing them to send money via informal channels.

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