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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 »

China firms up $4.4-B iron, steel project as biggest investment in Philippines

MANILA: The Philippine government on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding with Chinese companies for the joint implementation of the “Philippine Iron and Steel Project” in Misamis Oriental. In a social media post on Friday, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the two-phased project costs $4.4 billion, the biggest Chinese industrial investment in the Philippines to date. The MOU was signed ... 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 »

Customs shuts down Bulacan warehouse containing smuggled rice from China

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 after midnight. At ... Read More »

Senate cites in contempt 4 linked to drug smuggling

Sen. Richard Gordon cited in contempt four personalities being linked to “shabu” smuggling in the country for being no-shows at the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing on the issue on Thursday. Cited in contempt were former police official Eduardo Acierto, former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Deputy Director General Ismael Fajardo and two officials of trading company SMYD—Marina Signapan and ... Read More »

Ni hao! Philippines dials China for trade, infra, telco

MANILA: Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives in the Philippines this week with Beijing’s footprint in trade, infrastructure, tourism and telecommunications, a testament to what President Rodrigo Duterte once described as “springtime” in relations. The welcome for Xi is a dramatic turnaround from his last visit 3 years ago, when then President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino appeared to ignore him during a ... Read More »

Hard-hitting Philippine news portal faces tax evasion charge

MANILA, PHILIPPINES: Philippine prosecutors said they will file charges of tax evasion against a news website that has been critical of President Rodrigo Duterte. The Justice Department said in a statement it found probable cause to indict Rappler Holdings Corp. and its president, journalist Maria Ressa. The case could be filed later this week, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said. Rappler ... Read More »

Philippine economy slows down to 6.1% in Q3 2018

MANILA, Philippines: The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowed down to 6.1% during the 3rd quarter of 2018, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said on Thursday. The figure is lower than the revised 2nd quarter figure of 6.2%. “We are not exactly exuberant about the 6.1% growth rate, but still comforted that we remain one of the fastest-growing economies ... Read More »

Former Customs officer also links policeman to ₱2.4-B shabu shipment

Former Bureau of Customs (BOC) intelligence officer Jimmy Guban on Tuesday revealed that a former policeman asked him for help in the entry of two separate shipments of shabu concealed in magnetic lifters. In a hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, Guban said that former Senior Supt. Eduardo Acierto asked him for help in smuggling a shipment of shabu ... Read More »