RDC chair endorses direct flights from Iloilo airport

By: Lydia C. Pendon

SUPPORTING the plan of Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, Regional Development Council chairman and Capiz Governor Victor Tanco is strongly supporting the plan of Mabilog to campaign for direct international flights from the Iloilo airport in Cabatuan, Iloilo to any country in Asia.

“The Iloilo airport is of international standards and what is an international standards airport if it does not cater to international flights,” Tanco said while in Iloilo City October 3.

Tanco assured his full endorsement and help to the city mayor as Mabilog is slated to go to Korea to seek international agreements with airlines to include the Iloilo airport in its direct flight schedule.

Private building constructions in 2010 barely increased

THE number of private building constructions in the country last year barely increased from 2009, the National Statistics Office reported on Monday.

In a special release, the NSO said there were a total of 113,230 new construction projects from approved building permits in the Philippines in 2010, a mere 1-percent improvement from 112,012 construction projects in 2009.

Total floor area of construction projects was estimated at 22.1-million square meters, 33-percent higher from the estimated area of 16.6 million square meters in 2009.

“Correspondingly, value of construction in 2010 was estimated at P200.3 billion, indicating a significant increase of 39.6 percent from P143.5 billion recorded a year ago,” the NSO said.

PHL share prices drop 3% on first day of extended trading

PHILIPPINE share prices resumed their fall on Monday, the first day of extended trading hours in the local bourse.

The PSE has extended the trading hours until 1 p.m. from its previous close of 12 noon, a move to prepare the local stock market for the link up with other markets in Southeast Asia.

The 30-company Philippine Stock Exchange index dropped 133.82 points or 3.35 percent to 3,865.83 while the all shares dipped 77.28 points or 2.70 percent to 2,781.95.

Losers dominated gainers, 127 to 33, while 24 stocks closed unchanged.

All six sub-indices retreated with Mining & Oil and Holdings Firms suffering the worst with a 5.70-percent slide and 4.70-percent slip, respectively.

Moves for standardized online analytics in PH continue

STAKEHOLDERS in the Internet in the Philippines are continuing to implement measures to standardize online audience measurement in the Philippines.

Internet Mobile and Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP) and Philippines Association of National Advertisers (PANA), in a joint statement, announced that they have agreed to form a Joint Industry Committee to guarantee the accuracy, impartiality and transparency of the online audience measurement. The JIC will be an independent body comprising media owner, agency and advertiser representatives.

The move comes after an I-COM Industry Leadership Strategy Workshop. I-COM is an industry-backed community of data champions worldwide exploring measurement challenges to grow the digital advertising industry. I-COM is known to work and implement best practices, standardization and tripartite consensus, facilitates learning via international benchmarking.

BOI: PH in interesting but dangerous times

By: Lydia C. Pendon

THE Philippines is in interesting but dangerous times as its economic growth nosed dive to 5 to 6 percent in 2011 as compared to 7.4 percent in 2010. However, the economic downtrend and problems in Europe and the United States must not deter the Filipinos and everything is not lost as the country is eyeing a drastic and higher economic growth in 2012.

This was announced by Board of Investment (BOI) Governor Pelagio Tan Ricalde while in this southern city September 30, 2011 to lead an orientation on the 2011 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) with the local business community composed mostly of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and representatives of macro business here.

Ricalde said that IPP is a major thrust of the current Aquino administration by creating incentives and more job opportunities in identified missionary areas.

PHL opens $500-M disaster response credit line

THE Philippines has opened a $500 million line of credit with the World Bank that can be “immediately tapped for emergency relief, recovery and reconstruction following a major natural disaster.”

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and World Bank Country Director for the Philippines Bert Hofman signed the financing agreement on September 23 at the sidelines of the Annual Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington D.C.

According to the World Bank, drawdown from the CAT-DDO will be triggered by a presidential declaration of a “state of calamity.” The drawdown period is three years and renewable up to four times for a total of 15 years.

DoF: Economy fit to face impact of another global crisis

MANILA – Should the ongoing uncertainties in the US and Europe trigger another financial crisis, the Philippines is in a much better position to withstand its potential impact, economic managers told investors during the mid-year economic briefing Friday.

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said that the country’s fiscal standpoint is significantly better than expected as of end-August.

“Nobody is going to be immune but we’re in a better position now,” Purisima said.

Latest data from the national government indicate that it posted a P9.22-billion surplus in August, due largely to a slight increase in government spending and higher revenue collections.

BSP: Monetary policy can support growth

MANILA – The Philippines can use monetary policy to support flagging growth, and needs to be ready to make adjustment as global economic conditions change, the central bank governor said on Friday.

Governor Amando Tetangco said authorities must stay vigilant to risks posed to the local economy by slowing growth in the United States and the euro zone’s debt crisis, though he expected the recent turmoil in the financial markets to be short-lived.

“We need to be alert to the developments both domestic and international so that we can adopt the necessary policy, adjust policy as may be necessary,” Tetangco told a business forum.

PHL’s end-June foreign debt up 7.3% to $61.4B

THE Philippines’ foreign debt reached 7.3 percent to $61.4 billion as of end-June, from $57.3 billion a year earlier, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Friday.

New loans and the revaluation of stronger third currencies against the US dollar mainly drove the country’s foreign debt higher, said BSP Gov. Amando Tetangco Jr.

However, the ratio of foreign currency loans to the gross domestic product continued to improve at 28.8 percent from 31.2 percent in the same comparable period, the central bank chief noted.

“Major external debt indicators remained at comfortable levels at the end of the second quarter,” Tetangco said.
As of end-March, the Philippine external debt totaled $60.9 billion, according to central bank data.

Jollibee to buy 54% stake in Burger King

JOLLIBEE Foods Corp. said Friday it is buying a 54-percent stake in BK Titans Inc., owner of PERF Restaurants Inc., the Philippine franchise holder of the Burger King brand.

“JFC’s acquisition of the majority interest in BK Titans Inc. will enable it to have presence in the premium price segment of the hamburger category in the Philippine fast-food market,” Jollibee said in a disclosure with the Philippine Stock Exchange.

“Jollibee Foods Corp expects the premium price segment of the fast-food market to grow appreciably in the years ahead as the Filipino consumer’s standard of living rises from the growing economy,” it added.

The country’s largest fast-food chain said it signed an agreement Friday with BK Titans on the equity-purchase deal.

P534.3M released for rice

THEe Department of Budget and Management has released P534.3 million for the agricultural programs ensuring rice sufficiency in the country. The funds would be used for on-farm and postharvest mechanization programs under the Department of Agriculture’s National Rice Program, Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad said Friday. The money, culled from government’s P5.217-billion National Rice […]

Strike to impact on PAL’s bottom line

THE protest action by members of the PAL Employees Association (PALEA) on Tuesday slashed by as much as 80 percent the cargo and passenger revenues of the flag carrier, an official of Philippine Airlines said Thursday.

PAL lost 80 percent of its daily revenues between $4 million and $5 million, Cielo Villaluna, PAL spokesperson, told GMA News Online in an interview.

The protest action by PALEA members will “definitely have an impact on our bottom line,” she said.

In peso terms, the PAL official estimated the daily revenues at P160 million. “We lost 80 percent of this amount because of the paralysis that occurred practically the whole day of September 27,” she said.

Villaluna estimated that by Wednesday, with PAL management slowly restoring its operations that was disrupted by a sit-down strike of PALEA members, the revenue loss was pared down to 60 percent.