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Philippine Airlines welcomes 5th Airbus A350-900

MANILA: Philippine Airlines on Thursday said it has received its fifth Airbus A350-900 dubbed as the “Love Bus.” In a statement, the flag carrier said officials welcomed the aircraft at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 on Wednesday. The “kissmark” logo on the brand new A350-900 commemorates the 40-year partnership of PAL and plane-maker Airbus, the airline said. ... Read More »

Customs shuts down Bulacan warehouse containing smuggled rice from China

MARILAO, Bulacan – Bureau of Customs personnel sealed off a warehouse in an industrial compound here on Friday dawn for concealing an undetermined amount of smuggled rice. Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna, Bulacan police director, said the team led by Alvin Encino of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service, padlocked the Evergreen Warehouse inside the compound of Federal Corporation (Fedcor) shortly ... Read More »

Modernization of maritime units vs. drug smuggling begins

MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has started the modernization of its maritime units in a bid to enhance its capability to combat seaborne illegal drugs smuggling. PNP chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde said part of the modernization is to purchase more motorized patrol boats and recruitment and training of additional personnel for maritime operations. “We are modernizing our ... Read More »

Maritime exercise shows preparedness of agencies under Davao City Maritime Council

Several government agencies under the Davao City Maritime Council conducted a search and rescue exercise in Davao City to show the council’s ability in responding to maritime situations, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said Friday. All available floating and air assets of the members of the Maritime Council were in full display during the anti-piracy, counter-narcotics and anti-terrorism exercise held ... Read More »

Higher tobacco tax could encourage illicit trade, smuggling

Raising the excise tax on tobacco products could encourage illicit trade such as smuggling and tax evasion among businesses in the country, an official of the Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) said. During a Senate hearing on proposed measures to increase the excise tax on tobacco products, FPI chairman Jesus Arranza said that previous increases in tobacco excise tax have ... Read More »

P11M worth of smuggled cigarettes seized in Zamboanga port

ZAMBOANGA CITY: Authorities intercepted over the weekend some P11 million worth of smuggled cigarettes at the local port of this city. Rear Admiral Rene Medina, commander of Naval Forces Western Mindanao, said joint operatives on illegal drugs and anti-smuggling seized the imported tobacco products inside commercial vessel MV Kristel Jane on Saturday, February 9. The vessel came from Jolo, Sulu, ... Read More »

Import ban on fresh produce from ASF-hit countries stays

MANILA: Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol on Wednesday reiterated that the import ban on fresh fruits, meat and its by-products, as well as plants from countries hit by African Swine Flu (ASF) is being strictly enforced by authorities. “Over the last few weeks, following the strict implementation of Quarantine Rules against the entry of fresh fruits, vegetables, plants, meat and ... Read More »

Most Asean markets fall, Philippines loses most

BENGALURU: Most Southeast Asian stocks fell on Monday in a lacklustre trading, with Philippines leading losses, as optimism about a trade deal between the United States and China waned. The Philippine benchmark index fell 0.6 percent ahead of the country’s inflation data, expected on Tuesday. Industrials and financials dragged the index with SM Investments Corp and BDO Unibank Inc dipping ... Read More »

Indonesia oil giant mulls $1-billion LNG project in Philippines

MANILA, Philippines: Indonesia’s second biggest crude oil producer, PT Pertamina, is looking to invest $1 billion for the development of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the Philippines through a regasification hub project, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said yesterday. Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said PT Pertamina has expressed interest to do business in the Philippines by being involved ... Read More »

NBI files complaint vs Lapeña, others for shabu smuggling

MANILA, Philippines—The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has filed criminal complaint against former Custom chief Isidro Lapeña and several others for the smuggling of billions worth of shabu inside magnetic lifters. Lapeña is facing two counts each for violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft Law, Dereliction of Duty and Grave Misconduct. On the other hand, former Philippine Drug ... Read More »

Philippine financial service firm flags data breach affecting 900,000 clients

MANILA: Cebuana Lhuillier, a Philippine financial service provider, said that the data of 900,000 clients had been accessed without authorization and that it had already alerted authorities to investigate the incident. The breach came as Philippine investigators were looking into allegations by the country’s foreign minister last week that a privately contracted firm took away documents and data from the ... Read More »

The outlook of the Philippine real estate industry in 2019

The Philippine real estate industry is forecast to maintain its growth and remain resilient in 2019. This is based on research and data gathered by industry leader JLL which reported an upward trend in the office, residential, retail, and hospitality sectors of the Philippine property market in 2018. In 2018, an estimated 1 million square meters of office space was ... Read More »

Tax increase not yet reflected in Tuesday’s oil price hike

MANILA: Oil companies announced a hike in fuel prices on Tuesday, January 8, but clarified that this increase is not yet due to the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law’s second tranche. In separate messages, oil firms said they will increase diesel prices by PHP0.70 per liter, PHP0.80 per liter for gasoline, and PHP0.40 per liter for kerosene. ... Read More »

Philippine shares open higher to kick off 2019

MANILA: Consumer stocks are poised to benefit from higher spending for the mid-term elections in May, with stocks likely to trade higher at the start of 2019, an analyst said. The consumer sector may see “low double digit” growth in earnings this year, Inflation is also expected to slow, said BPI Securities research head Haj Narvaez. Share prices historically open ... Read More »

Drive vs. smuggling, tax evasion shifts to high gear in 2018

MANILA: The government continued to intensify its campaign against smuggling and tax evasion through the combined efforts of the Bureaus of Customs (BOC) and of Internal Revenue (BIR) in 2018. On the watch of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, the BIR spearheaded several raids on warehouses storing counterfeit cigarette brands, while the BOC intercepted undocumented shipments of rice, steel products, ... Read More »

Stock index weakens in slow trading

The local stock barometer slipped in thin trade on Wednesday, tracking regional markets that were mostly sluggish on jitters on the US treasury and Cabinet exodus as well as a partial shutdown of the US federal government. The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) shed 29.7 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 7,450.01. “It doesn’t look like we’ll be ... Read More »

World Bank revises 2018, 2019 growth forecasts for the Philippines

MANILA — The World Bank said it has “slightly revised” growth forecasts for the Philippines in 2018 and 2019 to reflect the recent economic trends. Projections for the Philippines were lowered to 6.4 percent from 6.5 percent for 2018, and 6.5 percent from 6.7 percent in 2019, the World Bank said in a statement. “A strong, consistent delivery of the ... Read More »

PDEA files raps over multi-billion shabu smuggling

MANILA: The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) filed criminal complaints before the Department of Justice against individuals, including former PDEA and Philippine National Police (PNP) officials, for their alleged involvement in the smuggling of magnetic lifters that were found to contain billions of pesos worth of illegal drugs at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) last August. Facing a complaint ... Read More »

Lacson on Customs’ problems: Watch the watchdogs

Instead of placing the Bureau of Customs (BoC) under military control, Senator Panfilo Lacson offered several solutions to weed out corruption within the agency. Lacson noted that in the early 60’s, “very young and idealistic” military officers were also put in charge of the BoC operations. “They could not be bribed nor could they be intimidated even by powerful politicians,” ... Read More »

DOJ approves filing of raps vs Davidson Bangayan, others for rice smuggling

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has approved the filing of a criminal complaint against Davidson Bangayan or David Tan and five others for rice smuggling. In an 11-page resolution released Friday, the DOJ found probable cause to charge Bangayan with violation of Article 186 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) or “monopolies and combinations in restraint of trade” as well ... Read More »