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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 »

Philippines authorities seize nearly 70kg of ‘shabu’

MANILA: Nearly 70 kilos of suspected shabu (methampethamine hydrochloride) were confiscated on Sunday from three people who were arrested in a buy-bust operation of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the police in Sta. Maria town in Bulacan. Leonardo Pedroso, 39; Christian Ultra, 22; and a 16-year-old boy were caught in the operation that began at 10:30 a.m. Supt. ... Read More »

Philippines agriculture production falls 4.53% in 1Q

MANILA: Agricultural production fell 4.53 percent in the first quarter, weighed down by the poor output of the crop and fisheries subsectors as a result of the prolonged dry spell and damage caused by Typhoons Lando and Nona. In terms of current prices, output fell by 1.49 percent to P375.2 billion. The crops subsector, which contributed 52.06 percent to the ... Read More »

Philippines authorities seize illegal drugs worth P15.3 million

CEBU CITY: More than P15.3 million worth of illegal drugs were seized in a raid by operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Central Visayas (CIDG-7) on the house of a suspected drug dealer in Barangay (village) Lamintak, Medellin town, northern Cebu on Thursday morning. Senior Supt. Marlon Tayaba, CIDG-7 chief, said the suspected drug pusher, former seaman John ... Read More »

Philippine police arrest 3 drug suspects with amphetamine

MANILA: Three men were arrested by police in Manila Wednesday for alleged drug trafficking, who said they came from Taiwan, according to law enforcement authorities in the Philippines. However, a representative of Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau in the Philippines said that based on the preliminary information provided by police in Manila, the three could not be Taiwanese, and that further ... Read More »

PH rises to third place in crony-capitalism index

MANILA: The Philippines moved up to third place on a list of countries where so-called “crony sectors” accounted for a big chunk of the gross domestic product (GDP), even as the share of rent-seeking tycoons’ wealth slightly slid amid a growing economy. Data released by The Economist showed that in the Philippines, 11.3 percent of the GDP was comprised of ... Read More »

Philippine foreign reserves up to $83.47bn in April

MANILA: The Philippine gross international reserves (GIR) surged to 83.47 billion U.S. dollars in April, the local central bank said Friday. The GIR level in April was higher by 0.49 billion U.S. dollars than the March figures of 82.98 billion U.S. dollars, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said. The increase was mainly due to the revaluation gains on the ... Read More »

Robust domestic demand to shield PH, says IMF

MANILA: The Philippines would sustain its robust economic growth this year given its strong and resilient domestic demand, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said here the other day. In its Regional Economic Outlook for Asia and the Pacific report, the multilateral lender kept its gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecasts for the Philippines of 6 percent this year and 6.2 ... Read More »

Philippines Customs to auction off P1-B abandoned cargoes

MANILA: The Bureau of Customs (BOC), government’s second largest revenue generating agency, is planning to auction off nearly P1 billion worth of overstaying cargoes to boost its tax collection and decongest the several port areas. Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina yesterday directed his port officers to review all overstaying cargoes  in their respective areas for possible auction in accordance with the ... Read More »

PH wants tariff on farm products scrapped

MANILA: The Philippines will seek this Friday the removal of quotas and tariffs on its key agricultural exports such as bananas and pineapples under the first review of the Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (Pjepa). “We will seek additional concessions. We will push for the removal of tariffs on bananas, pineapples, yakitori, tuna and skipjack. Most of these products are of ... Read More »

Limited capacity holds back Mindanao seaports

MINDANAO: The limited capacity of seaports in Mindanao restricts the southern island’s potential role as a major trading point for the Philippines within the Association of South East Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) integrated economy, according to Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Emmanuel F. Esguerra. “Mindanao is still faced by current issues on sea transport such as limited capacity of its seaports,” said Mr. ... Read More »

Philippines investment pledges pile up 13% in Q1

MANILA: Investment pledges approved by the Board of Investments (BOI) soared 13 percent in the first quarter of the year, an unusual trend during an election year, a Trade official said. The BOI approved P61.94 billion worth of investments in the first three months of 2016, up 13 percent from the P54.62 billion recorded in the same period last year. ... Read More »

PH, EU to commence free-trade negotiations

MANILA: The Philippines and the four member states of the European Free Trade Association signed a free trade agreement aimed at boosting the commercial and economic relations of the two parties here the other day. The FTA was signed by Trade Secretary Adrian S. Cristobal Jr. in behalf of the Philippine government, and by Johann N Schneider-Amman, President of Switzerland ... Read More »

Manila pushes Mindanao sea links with neighbouring countries

MANILA – The Philippine National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is pushing for the development of sea linkages between ports in Mindanao and three neighbouring Asian countries to boost regional trade. In a speech at the second Mindanao Shipping Conference last Wednesday, Socioeconomic Planning secretary Emmanuel F Esguerra said that since Mindanao played a critical role in the Asian Economic ... Read More »