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Gov’t on alert on rice smuggling, hoarding

With rice imports surging, the government is shoring up tariff collections while also looking into possible hoarding and smuggling amid falling retail prices, according to the head of the Duterte administration’s economic team. In a speech at the 14th World Rice Conference on Wednesday, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said revenues from import tariffs slapped on rice already amounted to ... Read More »

Philippines’ Cebu Air signs deal for US$4.8b Airbus aircraft

Philippines’ Cebu Air Inc has finalised the purchase of 16 long-range Airbus A330 neo jets worth US$4.8 billion at list prices, the airline said on Monday. The budget carrier, which operates 74 aircraft, mostly Airbus A320s, under the brand Cebu Pacific, is turning to larger and fuel-efficient jets for expansion, despite limited slots at the main gateway in the Philippine ... Read More »

Manila grants tax perks to lure businesses back to Philippine capital

The Philippine capital is granting tax perks as it seeks to restore the historic city to its glory, Mayor Francisco Domagoso said in his speech before businessmen. Companies that build along Escolta Street in the country’s old business district will be exempted from business and real property taxes for 15 years, Domagoso said in a speech at the Management Association ... Read More »

2019 budget delay felt until August, says DBM

The impact of delayed budget approval on public infrastructure spending spilled over to August, with fund releases falling into lower levels, according to data from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). In August, the government spent P59.3 billion on infrastructure and other capital outlay, down 13.2 percent from P68.4 billion in the same period in 2018. Spending on infrastructure ... Read More »

Asian shares mixed on caution over China-US trade deal

Asian shares were mixed Thursday after officials signaled work remains to be done on an agreement for a truce in the tariff war between the U.S. and China. Hong Kong led regional gains after its chief executive, Carrie Lam, announced help for the property sector. The semi-autonomous city’s economy has been languishing amid months of increasingly violent political protests that ... Read More »

Philippines’ chicken imports seen surging 27% on ASF fears

MANILA, Philippines — Although African swine fever (ASF) is harmless to humans, the world’s pork consumption is expected to drop sharply amid fears of the viral infection that has recently been detected in more than 21 countries, including the Philippines. In pork’s stead, the US Department of Agriculture estimated in its biannual global livestock and poultry report that Filipino consumption ... Read More »

Philippines, Russia ink 10 business agreements

MANILA – Representatives of President Rodrigo Duterte’s delegation to Moscow signed business agreements with their Russian counterparts on Friday. Trade Secretary Mon Lopez said the signings were “the beginning of strengthening ties with Russian investors and market.” Below are the signed agreements: 1. Memorandum of Understanding Cooperation on information exchange and collaboration on business development aimed at the promotion of ... Read More »

LandBank reaches out to top abaca producers

The Land Bank of the Philippines held the third leg of its Financial Inclusion (FI) Forum in Libacao, Aklan, on September 21, 2019, and recognized the first loan availers of the municipality. Libacao was the first site in the province where the financial literacy forum was held, gathering around 700 participants, composed mostly of farmers. Libacao is known as one ... Read More »

P27.55-billion investments promised for Puerto Princesa

VARIOUS local and foreign companies pledged on Wednesday a total of P27.55 billion worth of investments in the City of Puerto Princesa on the back of its economic growth potential and conducive business environment. These committed projects, either for immediate expansion or three- to five-year initiatives, are mostly related to tourism, food, agriculture, fishery, education and business-process outsourcing industries. Mayor ... Read More »

Peso still firm vs. USD, PSEi slips anew

MANILA — The Philippine peso remained firm against the greenback on Friday despite risk aversion as a result of global growth issues and the latest cut in the Federal Reserve’s key rates. However, the Philippines’ main equities index ended negative for the fourth consecutive day. The local currency improved and ended the trade at 51.96 from 52.18 on Thursday, which ... Read More »

SSS execs eye 32.3M e-transactions by 2020

MANILA: Banking on technological innovations to further enhance services, officials of state-run Social Security System (SSS) target to increase to about 32.3 million the electronic transactions of their members by 2020. In a briefing Thursday, SSS president and chief executive officer Aurora C. Ignacio disclosed that in the first half of this year, SSS transactions done through electronic channels only ... Read More »

PHL, China sign $219-M loan accord for PNR railway project

The Philippines and China signed here Thursday an agreement for a USD219.78-million preferential buyer’s credit facility to fund the project management consultancy for the Philippine National Railways (PNR) South Long-Haul Project. This infrastructure project under the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program will link Metro Manila to Legazpi, Albay; Legaspi to Matnog in Sorsogon; and Calamba, Laguna to Batangas City. ... Read More »

Inflation for the poorest slowest in 23 months–PSA

THE poorest Filipinos saw the slowest inflation they have experienced in nearly two years, according to data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). Based on the Consumer Price Index for bottom 30-percent income households, PSA said inflation experienced by the poorest reached 3.1 percent. This is slower than the 4-percent inflation posted in June and 7.6 percent in July ... Read More »

PH, other Asian nations hold drills on sea piracy, smuggling, terrorism off Subic Bay

Realistic training scenarios, like stopping a ship from sabotaging a commercial and shipping activity, while in the waters off Subic Bay near the West Philippine Sea was conducted by Asian maritime forces, including the Philippines and the United States Monday. A whole-day exercise against piracy, smuggling, and terrorism in sea were carried out yesterday by 150 personnel from different Southeast ... Read More »

BOC destroys P2.3-M smuggled cigarettes in Zamboanga City

ZAMBOANGA CITY: The Bureau of Customs (BoC) destroyed some P2.3-million worth of smuggled cigarettes confiscated at the local port. District Collector Segundo SigmundFreud Barte Jr. said the cigarettes were discovered aboard a ferryboat that came from Jolo, Sulu over the weekend. Task Force Aduana seized the items due to nonpayment of excise tax. Read More »

Pag-IBIG Fund collects record-high P30 billion in home loan payments in H1, PLR climbs to 90.6%

Pag-IBIG Fund reached record-high performing loans ratio as top executives report double digit growth in its housing loan payment collections in the first half of the year. From January to June 2019, home loan payments amounted to P30.44 billion, an increase of 12 percent compared to the P27.22 billion collected in the same period last year. “We were able to ... Read More »

July inflation seen settling lower at range of 2%-2.8%

THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) expressed confidence that the downtrend in inflation will continue in July after a one-off blip this year, as reflected in its monthly forecast. The BSP’s Department of Economic Research (DER) announced on Wednesday that July inflation likely settled in the range of 2 percent to 2.8 percent. This is a more optimistic forecast compared ... Read More »

PH seeks $500-M WB loan

The Philippines is seeking a fresh $500-million loan from the World Bank to sustain its ongoing initiatives aimed at making the country more resilient and immediately respond to natural disasters. World Bank documents showed that the proposed Third Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Development Policy Loan (DPL) with a Catastrophe Deferred-Drawdown Option (CAT-DDO) is being considered for approval of the Washington-based ... Read More »

Philippines’ Jollibee to buy Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf for US$350m

MANILA: Philippines’ Jollibee Foods Corp said on Wednesday (Jul 24) it is spending US$350 million to buy US brand Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. In a filing to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Jollibee said it had entered into an agreement through its wholly owned subsidiary Jollibee Worldwide to invest US$100 million in a new Singapore-based holding company to acquire 100 ... Read More »

Navy seizes P12-M smuggled rice off Basilan

The Naval Forces Western Mindanao (Navforwem) has intercepted a shipment of some PHP12 million worth of smuggled rice off Basilan province, a top Navy official said. Rear Adm. Erick Kagaoan, Navforwem commander, said the smuggled riced was intercepted by Naval Task Force 61 in the vicinity of Lampinigan Island, Basilan. Kagaoan said a ship belonging to Navforwem’s special operation unit ... Read More »