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Insular Life ’15 revenue hits P19.9B

MANILA: Insular Life Assurance Co. Ltd., the country’s largest Filipino-owned life insurance company, posted P19.93 billion in consolidated revenue in 2015, driven by its core life insurance business. Insurance revenue grew by 6 percent to P13.59 billion, on the back of higher sales of single pay and multiple-pay variable unit-linked products. In a statement, the company said consolidated assets rose ... Read More »

SMB eyes P12-P15B profit this year

MANILA: The country’s leading beer brewery San Miguel Brewery Inc. expects to chalk up P12 to P15 billion in net profit this year on the back of a double-digit expansion in volume growth. Ramon S. Ang, SMB chair and president of San Miguel Corp., said after a slowdown in volume due to the increase in excise taxes last year, volume ... Read More »

P1.1B worth of liquid shabu seized in Pampanga raid

ANGELES CITY: Around P1.1 billion worth of liquid methamphetamine used in the manufacture of shabu was seized on Tuesday morning by Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) agents and Angeles policemen from a laboratory in a subdivision here. The chemical, contained in 45 gallons, was found in a house on Don Vicente Street in Villa Dolores in Barangay Santo Domingo during ... Read More »

OFWs, travelers gain in new Customs law

MANILA: Travelers and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are top beneficiaries of a newly signed law updating the country’s customs regulations that were last tweaked nearly 30 years ago. President Benigno Aquino III signed Republic Act 10863, or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), last Friday, amending the Customs and Tariff Code last touched in 1987, the Bureau of Customs ... Read More »

P10-M shabu seized, pusher nabbed in QC

QUEZON: A suspected drug pusher was arrested while two plastic bags containing more or less two kilos of shabu valued at P10 million were seized in a buy-bust operation in Quezon City yesterday. Chief Insp. Enrico E. Figueroa, chief of the Quezon City Police District-District Anti-Illegal Drugs-Special Operations Task Group, initially identified the arrested person as “Ricky.” Figueroa said the ... Read More »

Anti-smuggling group seeks tighter import controls

MANILA: An anti-smuggling coalition is calling for tighter inspection procedures and controls over imports following the questionable entry of about P95 million worth of suspected substandard steel products at the Subic Bay Freeport last month. The Fight Illicit Trade (Fight IT) movement, which comprises major players from most commonly smuggled goods such as rice, sugar, corn, palm oil, tobacco, steel, ... Read More »

Philippines may inflation seen at 1.1-1.9%

MANILA: The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) expects inflation to range between 1.1 and 1.9 percent this month on the back of rising food and pump prices of fuel products. BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said lower power rates imposed by electricity giant Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) partly offset the increase in domestic oil and food prices. “Higher domestic oil ... Read More »

Union Bank’s 4-month profit up 28%

MANILA: Aboitiz-led Union Bank of the Philippines grew its net profit in the first four months by 28.1 percent year-on-year to P2.4 billion driven by a double-digit expansion in interest income and fee-based earnings. In a press briefing after UnionBank’s stockholders meeting on Friday, bank president Edwin Bautista said growth had been fastest on the consumer side where loan spreads ... Read More »

Philippines Customs seizes ecstasy pills worth P378,000

MANILA: The Bureau of Customs (BOC) said at least 95 grams of unlabelled pills of ecstasy worth P378,000 from Germany were recently seized from a postal services firm in Parañaque City. BOC Deputy Commissioner Ariel Nepomuceno said the package was declared to be that of cosmetics items but the contents turned out to be 252 pills when it was opened. ... Read More »

Philippines imports up 11.7% in March

MANILA: Philippine imports rose 11.7 percent in March on increased demand for capital goods and consumer goods, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported yesterday. Imports rose to $6.36 billion during the month, up from $5.69 billion reported in the same period a year ago. PSA attributed the growth in the import bill to double-digit growth in the value of inbound ... Read More »

PHL imports up 11.7 percent in March

MANILA: Philippine imports grew by double digits in March on the back of the sustained demand for capital and consumer goods, data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Wednesday showed. Imports for the month rose 11.7 percent to $6.4 billion from $5.7 billion, the PSA said, “on account of higher purchases of capital goods at 24.1 percent and ... Read More »

P500K worth of shabu seized in Cebu buy-bust

CEBU CITY: An alleged drug pusher was arrested while close to P500,000 worth of shabu were seized in a buy-bust operation in Consolacion town, northern Cebu early Wednesday. Randy Godinez Gonzaga, 41 who was said to be a notorious drug pusher in Barangay Pulog, Consolacion, was held at Consolacion police detention cell pending filing of charges. An undercover policeman pretended ... Read More »

Philippines set to improve customs administration with ICT solution

MANILA: The Bureau of Customs in the Philippines is spearheading an initiative that would spur ICT adoption within government organizations. The agency has recently partnered with Microsoft Philippines to streamline productivity in customs administration, ensure the security of data, and promote transparency. “We are committed to annihilating alleged controversies and corruption within our agency, and we believe we can empower ... Read More »

Banks book robust growth in resources

MANILA: Philippine banks booked a double-digit growth in total resources in the first quarter amid external challenges arising from the impending further rate hike in the US, the negative rates in Japan as well as the slowdown in China. Data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas showed total resources of Philippine banks went up 10.1 percent to P12.52 trillion ... Read More »

Customs taps Microsoft in P170-M antihack move

MANILA: Bureau of Customs (BOC) commissioner Alberto Lina said the rising cases of cyberattacks continued to compromise government data and cause revenue losses of up to P64 billion every year for the agency. The BOC expressed alarm as he acknowledged that up to 85 percent of the bureau’s IT system “is compromised” and needs to be protected from all forms ... Read More »

Donations for Mindanao poor held by Philippines Customs

MANILA: On May 20, 2015, two container vans of medicines and medical equipment worth $1 million, donated by Montero Medical Missions (MMM), arrived in Manila from Virginia, USA. More than a year later, the donation still sits in a Customs warehouse, and it will not be released unless the donor pays P559,435 that it can no longer pay. According to ... Read More »

Philippines budget gap widens to P74.4 B in March

MANILA: The Aquino administration incurred its widest budget deficit in three months in March, pulling up the first-quarter tally as declining revenues failed to catch up with strong spending. The gap – which indicates expenditures exceed revenue – totaled P74.39 billion in March, more than four times the P17.4 billion a year ago, the Bureau of the Treasury reported yesterday. ... Read More »

Philippine Q1 economic growth reaches 6.9%

MANILA: The Philippines’ gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the first quarter of the year reached 6.9 percent, exceeding average consensus forecast of 6.6 percent, the country’s socioeconomic planning secretary said Thursday. Emmanuel Esguerra, also the director-general of the National Economic and Development Authority, said in a press conference that the first-quarter performance of the economy increases the likelihood of ... Read More »

Shabu, weapons seized in Bilibid raid

MANILA: Authorities from the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) on Wednesday seized illegal drugs already packed and prepped for selling inside the Maximum Security Compound of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP). Seized from Building 2 Quadrant 3 occupied by Sputnik Gang were plastic sachets containing suspected shabu (methamphetamine). NBP Superintendent Richard Schwarzkopf said the sachets were packed in ice plastic placed ... Read More »

Remittances at steady climb in March

MANILA: Remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) rose 1.5 percent in March, hitting their highest level since December amid the steady demand for skilled Filipino workers abroad, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported yesterday. BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said cash remittances from overseas Filipinos amounted to $2.42 billion in March, $35 million higher compared with $2.39 billion in ... Read More »