TESDA strengthens dual training system to lessen job mismatch

IN A bid to lessen the job mismatch in the country, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority steps up its campaign for the dual training system (DTS), this time, involving players in various industries.

TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva on August 31 welcomed a total of 250 delegates from major industries in Central Luzon, who attended the first-ever forum on how to implement the DTS effectively.

“We expect that through industry consultations, the DTS will be effectively implemented throughout the country to lessen the job mismatch,” Villanueva said at the forum.

The industry forum, held at the Hotel Stotsenberg in Clark Freeport Zone, is the first leg of the nationwide consultations with industry players on the DTS.

US jobs growth stalls, fuels recession fears

WASHINGTON – Employment growth ground to a halt in August, reviving recession fears and piling pressure on both President Barack Obama and the Federal Reserve to provide more stimuli to aid the frail economy.

For the first time in nearly a year the economy failed to create new jobs on a net basis according to the Labor Department’s monthly nonfarm payrolls survey on Friday.

Economists had expected nonfarm employment to rise 75,000 last month but they cautioned against viewing the data as a surefire sign of recession.

A worsening debt crisis in Europe and an acrimonious political fight over the government budget and debt, which led Standard & Poor’s to strip the country of its AAA credit rating, ignited a massive stock market sell-off last month and sent business and consumer confidence tumbling.

PHL govt supports call to reopen high seas fishing

THE government said Friday it supports the call of the fishing sector to reopen expeditions to the Pacific high seas, the closure of which has contributed to the decline in fisheries output in 2010 and the first half of 2011.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said the government will “continuously push for the reopening of that portion of the high seas,” or at least secure preferential treatment for small and medium ring-netters and purse seiners or deep-sea fishing nets.

Alcala said they will coordinate with the industry in creating a team that will pursue such talks with Indonesia, Palau, the Solomon Islands and Kiribati.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and the Foreign Affairs Department was assigned to head the negotiating team.

P1.62B released to NPC to avert power shortage

UPON instruction of President Benigno S. Aquino III, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released P1.62 billion to the National Power Corporation (NPC) to prevent imminent power shortages in far-flung areas across the country.

“The P1.62 billion was immediately released by the government to urgently address the NPC’s capability to provide stable power supply in off-grid areas, some of which have already experienced sporadic brownouts due to fuel supply constraints,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said.

“Furthermore, the government is now preparing for its next steps in ensuring stable and affordable power supply to remote areas,” Abad said. A fund release for the sitio electrification project is currently being processed.

PNoy: PH to get $100M from ASEAN China Fund

PRESIDENT Aquino has announced another big deal that made his state visit to China a success: “more than 10%” of the $1-billion ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) China Fund.

That’s equivalent to around at least $100 million or P4.2 billion in fresh funds that will go to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Philippines.

“Nakakagulat na napakalaki ‘nung nilalaan nila, itinatabi para sa Pilipinas. Medyo significant portion of that fund ito,” he said in a statement released by Malacañang on Saturday.

Sponsored by the Swiss government, Asian Development Bank and United Overseas Bank, the ASEAN China Fund is a private equity providing capital to SMEs in the region and China.

World Bank chief warns of economic ‘danger zone’

BEIJING – World Bank chief Robert Zoellick warned Saturday that the global economy was heading into a new “danger zone”, as he urged China to speed up structural reforms to help its development.

“The financial crisis in Europe has become a sovereign debt crisis, with serious implications for the monetary union, banks, and competitiveness of some countries,” he said at a conference in Beijing on the future of China.

“The United States must address the issues of debt, spending, tax reform to boost private sector growth and a stalled trade policy,” he added, warning starkly: “The world economy is entering a new danger zone this autumn.”

Philippines sees more sugar exports to non-US markets

MANILA – The government expects sugar output in crop year ending August 2012 of around 2.4 million tons, nearly flat from the previous year, and may sell the sweetener to other countries on top of its US quota for a second year in a row, a senior official said.

The Southeast Asian country closed the 2010/11 crop year on Aug. 31 with total raw sugar output of 2.39 million tons, the highest in three years and up 21% from 2009/10.

“We are now working together with sugar planters and millers to determine the ideal export allocation for 2011/12 crop year,” Regina Bautista-Martin, chief of state agency Sugar Regulatory Administration, told Reuters in a phone interview on Friday.

“There will be more exports on top of our sugar quota commitments to the US,” she said.

Net portfolio inflows quadrupled to $3B – BSP

JUST-RELEASED data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Thursday show that net inflows of foreign portfolio investments as of last August 19 quadrupled to $3.06 billion from only $756.58 million a year back.

These investments consisted of capital invested in the Philippine Stock Exchange and in peso-denominated government securities.

BSP Deputy Governor and current officer-in-charge Diwa Guinigundo said in a text message to news media that the new figures could be a sign of “some recovery when the market has digested the meaning of the Standard and Poor’s action.”

S & P scaled down the Triple A rating of the United States’ long term debt to AA+ in early July.

SEC OKs new PSE rules for listing of energy firms

THE SECURITIES and Exchange Commission (SEC) has given its consent to the proposed supplemental listing and disclosure requirements of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) for petroleum and renewable energy companies, the PSE said in a statement on Friday.

The supplemental rules are a result of a collaboration initiated by the Exchange with the Department of Energy and the SEC. The supplemental listing requirements aim to relax the one-year operating history requirement under the Second Board Listing Rules of the Exchange to allow the listing of petroleum and renewable energy companies.

“We are grateful for the support of the SEC and the DOE in providing a viable listing environment for Philippine companies. This partnership with the government is a collaborative commitment to widen access to capital and align our rules with global standards,” said Hans B. Sicat, PSE president and chief executive officer.

PINOYS GO CRAZY FOR TRAVEL

FILIPINOS conceal a mole on their feet (May nunal sa paa.) Admittedly, the Filipino race has wanderlust.

DOT’s and NSO’s 2009 Household Survey on Domestic Visitors (HSDV) says that about 36.9 percent of Filipinos aged 15 years old and over travelled within the country during the period April 1 to September 30, 2009. On average, each traveller made two trips and visited two places in the country during the reference period. That meant 28.9 million bag toting, pet bottle clutching travellers were hopping from one point to another for a variety of reasons.

With this background, the Philippine Tour Operators Association Inc. is organizing at the SMX Convention Center on September 2 to 4 the 22nd Philippine Travel Mart, an event that will highlight the Filipino penchant for travel. The weekend fair will showcase industry leaders, among them Negros Navigation and Super Ferry.

In tandem with the theme “Biyahe Sale ng Bayan”, the country’s most trusted shipping companies will offer the new Crazy Tawad Sale Promo. “With this novel bargain, Filipinos can now travel to any part of the country at fares of only P200.

38,000 Pinoy millionaires by 2015

THE Philippines will have 38,000 millionaires by 2015, taking the total number of wealthy Asians to 2.82 million, a report from private banking group Julius Baer said on Wednesday.

The Swiss wealth manager placed the Philippines on the list of Asian countries with the largest number of high networth individuals (HNIs), or those with $1 million or more in investable assets by 2015.

China, which tops the list, would be home to nearly half of the millionaires in Asia with combined wealth of $8.8 trillion.

The world’s most populous nation had 502,000 million HNIs with investable assets totaling $2.6 trillion, the report said.

PNoy admin vows to make up for Q2 slack

Economic planners pledged to boost government spending in the coming months to pump prime the economy and make up for the slack in the first and second quarters.

The second quarter results were “…below NEDA’s forecast of 4.5-5.5 percent, as well as private analysts’ average projection of 4.9 percent, and some international organizations’ average outlook of 5.0 percent in the second quarter,” NEDA director-general Cayetano Paderanga said in a statement Wednesday.

The economy, as measured by the gross domestic product (GDP), grew 3.4 percent in the second quarter from a revised 4.6 percent in the first quarter and 7.9 percent a year earlier, National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) data showed.

The second quarter GDP amounted to P2.4 trillion, according to NSCB data.