Sunday, March 26, 2017

Duterte early lead in “TIME: No. 1 Most Influential Person in the Universe” VOTE NOW! For his Crown

Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte takes early lead in TIME 100 pol Most inflential person in the universe
Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte takes early lead in TIME 100 poll.

The TIME 100— annual list of the most influential people in the world—features a number of leading artists, politicians, lawmakers, scientists and leaders of tech and business. Although TIME's editors will choose the final list of honorees, we want readers to share their choices with us as well.

Did football player Colin Kaepernick or Oscar-winning filmmaker Barry Jenkins strike you as most influential this year? What about the Women's March co-chairs, Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez and Bob Bland? Or perhaps Steve Bannon or Kellyanne Conway, close advisers to President Donald Trump?

How about the Philippine' most popular President and  illegal drugs buster Hero "Rodrigo Roa Duterte"? will you cast your vote for him?

Cast your vote below. Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. E.T. on April 16, 2017, and the winner of the reader poll will be announced immediately after. This year's official TIME 100 list will be announced April 20.

VOTE HERE!

If you want Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to be crowned as Time 2017 most influential person in the Universe then give him an unrivalled VOTE just him alone. But if you want others to compete his crown then vote the others as well as his challenger. To vote click “YES” for approval and “NO” for disapproval or if you don’t like the candidate to be crowned as most influential person. Click START POOL


Your vote counts! just vote accroding to what your heart's says.

See Who Is Winning the 2017 TIME 100 Poll here 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

2 TC-90 Japanese Jet be Transferred to the Philippines March 27 To Patrol Maritime Territory

TC-90 Japanese Jet be Transferred to the Philippines
2 of 5 leased Super King Air Beechcraft trainer jet left Japan's Tokushima Air Base Arriving the Philippines March 27

Two of the Five Leased T-C90 Japanese aircraft will be officially transferred to the Philippine Navy next week in a boost for Manila’s limited capabilities and an indicator of the significance of the bilateral defense relationship.

T-C90 Trainer jet is developed by Beechcraft Super King Air and is comprises of number of twin-turboprop models that have been divided into two families; the Model 90 and 100 series developed in the 1960s are known as King Airs, while the later T-tail Model 200 and 300 series were originally marketed as Super King Airs, with "Super" being dropped by Beechcraft in 1996.

The King Air was the first aircraft in its class and has been in continuous production since 1964. It has outsold all of its turboprop competitors combined. It now faces competition from jet aircraft such as the Embraer Phenom 100, Honda HA-420 HondaJet and Cessna Citation Mustang; as well as from newer turboprop aircraft including the Piaggio P180 Avanti, and single-engine Piper Malibu Meridian, Pilatus PC-12, and Socata TBM.

According to the Japan Ministry of Defense’s Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Agency (ATLA), two Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) TC-90 training aircraft will be officially transferred to the Philippine Navy on March 27. In a confirmation on Monday, the agency said that the aircraft would leave on Tokushima Air Base on March 23, with an arrival ceremony to be held at Naval Base Heracleo Alano in Sangley Point, Cavite City.

It had also come shortly after both sides had inked a landmark defense equipment and technology agreement, which was just the fourth Tokyo had signed with any country. As I have pointed out before, though attention tends to be overly focused on the Philippines’ relationship with its treaty ally, the United States, Japan is another of the key security partners that Manila has been cultivating. Thus far, signs are that this is set to continue under Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, despite discontinuities in other dimensions of foreign policy

Philippine officials have publicly admitted that the TC-90s would be a much-needed capability boost for the military, which remains one of Asia’s weakest. The planes have around twice the range of the existing Norman-Britten BN-2 Islander fleet, which the navy uses for patrol, surveillance, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and rapid assessment missions. They are also much faster. The aircraft can also be fitted with additional equipment such as basic surface and air surveillance radar that would make it useful on the South China Sea front.

The TC-90s will be used to augment the existing Norman-Britten BN-2 Islander fleet, which the Navy uses in patrol, surveillance and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) and rapid assessment missions.

Last November, two Philippine Navy pilots and six air crews left for Japan to start their TC-90 flight training.

The Department of National Defense (DND) earlier announced that the Philippines will re-equip the TC-90s as Japan has stripped them of some equipment, including their surveillance systems.

The country will pay Japan $7,000 USD each for the first four aircraft yearly and only $200 USD for the fifth, for total of $28,200 USD as stipulated in its lease agreement.

The 5 TC-90 Beechcraft Super King Air which would be transferred to the Philippines for lease agreement are part of the active 40 TC-90 Trainer Jet in Japan leaving 35 active in the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) asset inventory.

The DND added it is also looking at the possibility of using the TC-90 for 20 years while the military is upgrading its equipment.

The TC-90, which is part of the Beechcraft King Air aircraft family, was offered by Japan shortly after the Agreement Concerning the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology was finalized Feb. 29 last year.

The TC-90’s patrol range is double that of a small Philippine aircraft, which only has a maximum range of 300 km.

Monday, March 20, 2017

In 18 Century- Europe Invaded China, 21 Century Asks Free Druglords in Philippines: Duterte SO ANGRY on EU's Requests: Give Shabu to Addicts, FREE the Drug Lords Selling Drugs

Opium War in Asia - Britain invaded China for arresting the druglords from selling Opium drugs, products of Britain
Opium War in Asia - Britain invaded China for arresting the druglords from selling Opium drugs, products of Britain. Photo: Nationalinterest.org


The War That Made Asia: How the Opium War Crushed China


European countries First Illegal Drug Trafficking to China led to “The Opium War, China’s Defeat”
In 1839, England went to war with China because it was upset that Chinese officials had shut down its drug trafficking racket and confiscated its dope.

Stating the historical record so plainly is shocking — but it’s true, and the consequences of that act are still being felt today.

The Qing Dynasty, founded by Manchurian clans in 1644, expanded China’s borders to their farthest reach, conquering Tibet, Taiwan and the Uighur Empire. However, the Qing then turned inward and isolationist, refusing to accept Western ambassadors because they were unwilling to proclaim the Qing Dynasty as supreme above their own heads of state.

Foreigners — even on trade ships — were prohibited entry into Chinese territory.

The exception to the rule was in Canton, the southeastern region centered on modern-day Guangdong Province, which adjoins Hong Kong and Macao. Foreigners were allowed to trade in the Thirteen Factories district in the city of Guangzhou, with payments made exclusively in silver.

The British gave the East India Company a monopoly on trade with China, and soon ships based in colonial India were vigorously exchanging silver for tea and porcelain. But the British had a limited supply of silver.

More War, More Opium:


Imperialism was on the upswing by the mid-1800s. France muscled into the treaty port business as well in 1843. The British soon wanted even more concessions from China — unrestricted trade at any port, embassies in Beijing and an end to bans on selling opium in the Chinese mainland.

One tactic the British used to further their influence was registering the ships of Chinese traders they dealt with as British ships.

The pretext for the second Opium War is comical in its absurdity. In October 1856, Chinese authorities seized a former pirate ship, the Arrow, with a Chinese crew and with an expired British registration. The captain told British authorities that the Chinese police had taken down the flag of a British ship.

The British demanded the Chinese governor release the crew. When only nine of the 14 returned, the British began a bombardment of the Chinese forts around Canton and eventually blasted open the city walls…. Read more at Nationalinterest.org


hilippine President Rodrigo Duterte has described European lawmakers as

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has described European lawmakers as "crazies" in a salty-tongued rebuttal to criticism of his deadly drug war, while vowing again that all traffickers will be killed. PHOTO: REUTERS


Duterte to EU: Stop meddling in Philippine affairs 


President Rodrigo Duterte once again hit back at the European Union (EU) for meddling with the issues of the Philippines.

"Why are you trying to impose on us?" he said in a speech Sunday at a meeting with the Filipino community in Myanmar, where he was on a two-day official visit.

"Why won't you mind your own business," he added.

Duterte's statements come after the European Parliament on Friday issued a joint resolution calling for the release of Senator Leila De Lima, who was arrested on February 24 on drug charges.

The President also responded to the body's suggestion that the ongoing drug war must go hand-in-hand with measures for prevention and detoxification, including the opening of new rehabilitation centers.

"This EU Parliament, prinopose nila lahat na lang na addicts, bigyan nalang," Duterte said. "Kung shabu, bigyan ng shabu. Kung cocaine, bigyan ka ng cocaine. Magpunta ka lang sa center."

[Translation: This EU Parliament is proposing that we just give drugs to addicts. If they're addicted to shabu, we should give them shabu. If they're addicted to cocaine, we should give them cocaine. They just need to go to the center.]

The government has moved into the second phase of its war on drugs by shifting towards reforming drug dependents by building more rehabilitation centers, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in October 2016.

Duterte and the EU


Duterte has chastised the EU since it criticized the war on drugs he launched in July 2016.

In September 2016, he challenged the United Nations and EU lawyers to come to the Philippines to prove their claims of alleged extrajudicial killings related to the drug war.

The President said he should be given the opportunity to be heard by them.

"In keeping with the time-honored principle of the right to be heard, matapos nila akong tanungin, tatanungin ko sila. Iisa-isahin ko sila," he said. "Manood kayo. Tignan niyo kung paano ko lampasuhin yang mga yawa na 'yan."

[Translation: In keeping with the time-honored principle of the right to be heard, I will ask them. Each one of them. You watch. Watch me discredit those idiots.]

In October 2016, Duterte challenged the United States and the EU to pull out their aid to the Philippines.

"If you think it is high time for you guys to withdraw your assistance, go ahead," he said. "We will not beg for it," Duterte said.

Meanwhile, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said at the ASEAN Economic Ministers' EU Trade Consultations earlier this month that the Philippines's human-rights record — from the war on drugs to the proposed reimposition of the death penalty — could be a sticking point in free-trade agreements between Philippines and the EU.

"The European Parliament and member-states have some concerns about this development," she said."We are discussing this with our partners in the Philippines."

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said if the EU doesn't budge on its allegations of alleged extrajudicial killings, the Philippines would not be swayed by conditions imposed on it by international bodies.

"If this drug war, the death penalty, are the best ways to respond to criminality, then that is what we must pursue," Lopez said. - With reports from The National Interest and CNN Philippines

Philippines to Build First Operational 100 Megawatt Nuclear Power Plant in Sulu this Year

Modern Nuclear Power Plant Diagraml
Modern Nuclear Power Plant Diagram

Department of Energy considering Sulu as site for nuclear plant this year


Sulu Archipelago in western Mindanao is non-typhoon and non-earthquake prone areas with almost Zero fault line an is among the areas being eyed for a modular nuclear power plant as the Department of Energy (DOE) targets to complete a nuclear energy program within the year.

The Nuclear Energy Program Implementing Organization (NEPIO) is currently studying the nuclear program of the country and has scheduled scientific visits and capacitating programs to come up with a national policy, Energy Undersecretary Donato Marcos said.

“Within this year, we will come up with a comprehensive report. Of course it will be presented to the Office of the President,” Marcos said.

NEPIO was created by the DOE to unify the conduct of various studies and research on nuclear energy development in the country.

It was designed to work in three phases, starting with a comprehensive study on the overview of the country’s energy needs which will lead to forming a policy decision on nuclear.

Phase 2 calls for the preparatory work for the construction of a nuclear power plant while Phase 3 pertains to the activities to implement the said power facility.

The study is expected to undergo a long process to iron out every detail for the country’s nuclear program, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said.

“What makes it longer is process because of course, a due process for everybody…So we have to go through the process every step of it. Unlike when you have a country that is willing or a host province that would be willing to do it, then the process will be faster,” he said.

Cusi said there is still a lot of opposition to  the operation of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP), which has been mothballed since the 1980s.

$2.3 Billion USD Dollar Mothballed Nuclear Power Plant in Bataan
$2.3 Billion USD Dollar Mothballed Nuclear Power Plant in Bataan. Bataan Nuclear Power Plant is a nuclear power plant, completed but never fueled, on Bataan Peninsula, 100 kilometers west of Manila in the Philippines. It is located on a 3.57 square kilometre government reservation at Napot Point in Morong, Bataan. 

“We are going in to the process of resolving all the concerns that are being raised against it,” he said.

Sulu province has been very aggressive in pitching to host a nuclear power facility, Marcos said.

“They usually visit the secretary and proposing that they will be hosting a SMR, a small modular reactor, so they can finally have stable, secured, predictable and reasonably priced electricity in the region,” Marcos said.

Since it’s modular, it can have a capacity of 100 megawatts (MW) at most, the DOE undersecretary said.

Putting up a nuclear modular reactor in other provinces is also part of the study.

“As long as the provinces are willing. That’s why were forming a national policy… Once it is in place, and there is a host province, we can do it,” Cusi said.

If materialized, Sulu, Mindanao could be the first province in the Philippines to have the operational nuclear powerplant after the mothballed Nuclear Powerplant in Morong, Bataan in Northern Luzon.

Western countries are promoting the Nuclear Power Plant as clean, cheapest and safest renewable source of energy.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Solar Philippines Breakground $150 Million USD Solar Farm in Tarlac

Solar Philippines Breakground 150 Megawatt Solar Farm in Tarlac, Philippines
At the ceremonial groundbreaking of the 150-MW Tarlac solar farm, with the first ‘Made in the Philippines’ panels by Solar Philippines are (from left): Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, Solar Philippines president Leandro Leviste, Tarlac Governor Susan Yap and Concepcion Mayor Andy Lacson Photo: PhilSTAR

Solar pioneer starts 150-MW Tarlac solar farm


Solar Philippines has kicked off the construction of its 150-megawatt (MW) solar farm with battery storage here, its largest solar power project to-date, which can provide the province’s requirements in six months time, its top official said yesterday.

The whole solar farm will start operating as a merchant plant in the third quarter of the year, Solar Philippines president Leandro Leviste said during the ceremonial groundbreaking of the project.

“The output of the 150 MW plant that will be operating here by the second half of 2017 will be able to power the entire Tarlac province with cheap renewable energy,” he said.

The company official said this will heed Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi’s call to put up more merchant power plants – or those generating facilities selling their output to the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) – to further spur competition in the electricity spot market.

“What we want is to make this fast…(because) solar is now cheaper than coal and therefore get this online within 2017. And that’s why even without the contract finally approved by regulators, we’re doing this for most of the plant’s capacity,” Leviste said.

The Concepcion solar farm will comprise close to 450,000 solar panels and over 150 hectares, with room to expand as demand for solar with batteries increases.

Leviste said the cost to put up the solar farm is equivalent to $1 million per megawatt, or roughly $150 million for the entire project.

“With the battery… it can be an additional 20-50 percent of the cost of the project. But we’re not doing all the batteries all at once, it’s going to be phased incrementally,” he said.

Solar Philippines is the developer, investor, contractor and supplier for its projects – a strategy which the company believes is the key to making solar cost-competitive.

“Why do we expect lower price? One is vertical integration, by doing solar panel manufacturing in-house as well as the construction. the development, the financing will definitely lower the cost. Second is the economies of scale,” Leviste said.

Once completed, the power plant will have many firsts in its name - philSTAR

Friday, March 17, 2017

Former U.N. General Assembly Hits Leni Robredo “IMPEACHABLE ACT”: Betraying Public Trust & Economic Sabotage

U.N. General Assembly Hits Leni Robredo “IMPEACHABLE ACT”
A former delegate to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has assailed Vice President Leni Robredo for “misrepresenting” millions of Filipinos when she addressed the 60th annual meeting of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs via a video message that highlights alleged rights abuses in President Rodrigo Duterte’s so-called war on drugs. (Photo: Asian Journal )

Former UNGA delegate hits VP Robredo for ‘misrepresenting’ Filipinos


A former delegate to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has assailed Vice President Leni Robredo for “misrepresenting” millions of Filipinos when she addressed the 60th annual meeting of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs via a video message that highlights alleged rights abuses in President Rodrigo Duterte’s so-called war on drugs.

“I am making this urgent appeal on behalf of each and every Filipino grossly misrepresented by our Vice President in the said video message, in reporting to the world what she failed to report to Philippine authorities,” said Michael Francis Acebedo Lopez, a Filipino and a former delegate to the UNGA.

Lopez noted that Vice President Robredo, whose own mandate has been called into question, with the country’s highest electoral tribunal considering the election protest against her win to be sufficient in both form and substance, “wantonly painted an impossibly grim image of the Philippine situation if only to attract international attention and action with unfounded claims and unsubstantiated allegations”.

Assuming there are actual reports received by the Office of the Vice President, Lopez said Robredo “has not only embarrassed our country, she has betrayed the public trust and committed economic sabotage, both punishable under Philippine laws”.

In the video, Robredo references the more than 7,000 people killed since the drug war began on July 1, 2016. The death toll has reportedly increased to 8,000.

“Our people have fought long for our rights and freedoms. We are not about to back down now,” she said.

Robredo also details in her video message other supposed human rights abuses occurring under the present administration — people beaten for requesting search warrants, and police detaining relatives in lieu of absconded drug suspects.

She also questions inconsistent figures on drug addiction reported by President Duterte.

Rather than a problem to be solved with bullets, Robredo said drug abuse “must be regarded as it truly is — a complex public health issue linked intimately with poverty and social inequality”.

In reporting to the world what the Vice President failed to report to Philippine authorities, Lopez said she “has not only embarrassed our country, she has betrayed the public trust and committed economic sabotage, both punishable under Philippine laws”.

“For her to say that ‘our people feel both hopeless and helpless’ is a brazen lie,” he said. “Confidence in the presidency is at an all-time high (while the same cannot be said of the vice president whose approval ratings continue to plummet). As a people, we feel hopeful and empowered like we’ve never felt before.”

“When the Vice President says 7,000 people have been killed in the President’s war on drugs, she fails to mention that this is set against the backdrop of around 700,000 to one million successful arrests and surrenders. So the figure she presents to you is not even 1 percent. And surely with the sheer number of those involved in the illicit drug trade, some police operations see suspects resisting arrest and fighting back and the police having to defend themselves resulting in casualties,” he noted.

“Every war has casualties. It is not a perfect war and I’m certain there have been abuses along the way, and these need to be looked into and those responsible must be brought to justice. But exaggerating things does not help at all.”

In responding to the call of the Vice President, Lopez said the international community “must tread carefully, lest it encroaches on our very sovereignty and our right to self-determination. And as a sovereign state, we have determined to wage an internal war (not a war against another nation) against the evils of drugs, a direction affirmed by our democratic processes when President Duterte, who included the war on drugs as one of his main programs of action, received an overwhelming mandate during the May 2016 Presidential Election. In short, the war on drugs, by extension, has the people’s mandate.”

“Any effort to disturb our democracy and sovereignty as a response to the Vice President’s irresponsible and unfounded claims will subvert the will of the Filipino people and violate our Human Right of Suffrage enshrined in both the Philippine Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 21 of the international covenant),” he stressed.

Lopez reiterated his appeal to members of the UN Body “to disregard the Philippine Vice President’s statement which is, I reiterate, a grave misrepresentation of the prevailing sentiments of our people and a gross perversion of the facts surrounding the war on drugs”.

“To my fellow Filipinos, let us remain vigilant in the face of threats to our democracy by the very people who claim to defend it,” he added. - By Lilybeth G. Ison of  Philippine Canadian Inquirer

Thursday, March 16, 2017

China: We respect Philippines' rights over Benham Rise

Null
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said that China has no intention of challenging the Philippines' rights over Benham Rise. FMPRC/Released

Beijing clarified that it fully respects the Philippines' rights over the continental shelf in Benham Rise following reports about Chinese survey ships cruising near the region.

"I wish to reiterate that China fully respects the Philippines' rights over the continental shelf in the 'Benham Rise' and there is no such thing of China challenging those rights," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a press briefing Tuesday.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana had described China's latest move as "very concerning" and ordered the Navy to drive away the service ships.

President Rodrigo Duterte, on the other hand, said that those were just research vessels and have not intruded the country's territorial waters.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry welcomed the remarks of Duterte and stressed that China and the Philippines had a "friend exchange of views" on the matter.

Hua stressed that under international law, China can enjoy freedom of navigation in the region.

"But the basic principle of international law says that the [exclusive economic zone] and the continental shelf do not equate with territories, and a littoral state's exercise of rights over the continental shelf should not hamper such rights as freedom of navigation enjoyed by other countries under international law," Hua said.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry noted that the bilateral relationship between the Philippines and China is developing with "sound momentum and practical cooperation."

"From China's point of view, we attach great importance to the good neighborly and friendly partnership with the Philippines, and stand ready to work with the Philippines to implement the two Presidents' consensus of 'upholding good neighborly and friendly cooperation, appropriately handling differences, and pursuing common development,' bear in mind the larger picture of bilateral relations, continue to enhance mutual understanding and mutual trust, deepen friendly cooperation, and strive for the continued, sound and steady development of bilateral relations," Hua said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang earlier said that the Philippines cannot claim Benham Rise as its own territory despite the award of the United Nations (UN).

READ: China: Philippines can't claim Benham Rise

In 2012, the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf approved the submission of the Philippines with respect to the limits of its continental shelf in the Benham Rise region.

A large part of the Benham Rise is within the 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of the Philippines. An additional area of seabed extending around 150 nautical miles was claimed by the country as its extended continental shelf.

University of the Philippines Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea Director Jay Batongbacal said that the region may not be in the same sense as a land territory, but is a territory for the purposes of the country's laws and regulations over natural resources.

"The 1987 Constitution considers as legally part of the National Territory all areas over which the Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction; Benham Rise falls squarely within this definition," Batongbacal said in a Facebook post. - philSTAR

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

LEAKED: COMELEC Chair Baustista Admitted to Duterte Won for 21 Million Votes, 16 Million Votes counted, 5 Million went to Roxas

Leaked- Rumors exposed Mar. 14, 2017 Duterte Got 21 Million Votes but 5 Million were deducted and moved to Roxas
Leaked- Rumors exposed Mar. 14, 2017 Duterte Got 21 Million Votes but 5 Million were deducted and moved to Roxas

By: Ramon Tulfo - @inquirerdotnetPhilippine Daily Inquirer / 12:01 AM March 14, 2017

My sources in Malacañang say Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair Andy Bautista visited the Palace recently and talked with President Digong.

What did Bautista want from the President since the elections are over and done with?

Hmm.

Did the conversation Bautista have with the President touch on rumors—allegedly spread by disgruntled Comelec insiders—that candidate Rodrigo Duterte garnered 21 million votes instead of 16 million?

Yes, the rumors are no longer important or worth discussing since Digong won anyway.

But they should not be disregarded for the sake of clean and honest elections in the future.

If the rumors that Digong got 21 million votes, instead of 16 million, have a grain of truth, then Bongbong Marcos probably won the vice presidency instead of Leni Robredo.

What about another rumor—still coming from inside the Comelec—that Bautista wants out as Comelec chair and is seeking another government post?

If this is true, was it taken up during Bautista’s secret and recent visit to the Palace?

A poster in one of the government offices I once visited reads:

Rules of the house.

Rule No. 1: The Boss is always right.

Rule No. 2: When in doubt, (whether he is right or wrong) refer to Rule No. 1.

Members of President Digong’s Cabinet should read the “rules of the house” over and over again until these are ingrained in their minds.

If memory serves me right, then President Joseph “Erap” Estrada once scolded a close adviser for insisting that he was wrong in one of his public pronouncements.

Erap told his adviser: “Mag-presidente ka muna bago mo pilitin na mali ako (You should become President first before you insist that I am wrong).”

And yet, the adviser didn’t announce to the public that Erap was wrong; he just told the President in private.

Contrary to what many think or believe, President Duterte listens to advice. But it must be given in a manner that neither humiliates nor embarrasses him in public. Otherwise, one risks stirring a hornet’s nest. To paraphrase Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield, advice is seldom welcome because those who are perceived to need it the most like it the least.

The words above are not mine. They were written by Assistant Executive Jesus Melchor V. Quitain in his View from the Palace column in this paper’s opinion page yesterday.

Some more excerpts from Quitain’s column:

“At the risk of being repetitious, I say that advice must be given with care so that it does not irritate the President.

“The President need not be told twice. He listens, he remembers and he acts accordingly and appropriately. In rare instances, it may take some time for him to act, but act he will.

“That has always been his norm of conduct during the almost 16 years that I was privileged to work as a public official in Davao City under his leadership.”

I have reprinted some of Quitain’s words so people who missed his column yesterday would be able to read parts of it now. -Source:  Inquirer

Seven Japanese trading houses investing $3.9b in Philippines

Null
Sumitomo Farming Technology

Seven major Japanese trading houses are looking at investing up to $3.9 billion (198.5 billion) in different industries in the Philippines.

After his recent trip to Tokyo, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) secretary Ramon Lopez disclosed on Monday (March 13) that the Japanese companies who made the commitment (to invest in the country) were Mitsubishi Corp, Mitsui and Co Ltd, Sumitomo Corp, Itochu Corp, Marubeni Corp, Toyota Tsusho, and Sojitz.

Others present in the dialogue were Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, and Philippine ambassador-designate Jose Laurel — who got together with representatives of Japanese companies with a broad range of business activities.

Lopez noted Marubeni is willing to invest in additional coal power plants worth ₱75 billion over the medium term; Itochu and Sumitomo (through Philippines subsidiaries Dole and Sumifru respectively) willing to invest an additional ₱12.9 billion through 2018 to expand their integrated farming projects in Mindanao; Sumitomo, Sojitz, and Mitsui jointly invested in Coral Bay Nickle Corp and Taganito High Pressure Acid Leaching (THPAL) Nickle Corp in Surigao and Palawan, at a cost of ₱80 billion.

Mitsubishi, Sojitz, Mitsui, and Toyota Tsusho, and, all the seven trading houses are supporting the Philippines’ Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program created in 2015 to attract new investments, stimulate demand and effectively implement industry regulations that will revitalize the Philippine automotive industry, and develop the country as a regional automotive manufacturing hub.

All the Japanese firms also expressed interest in the Philippines’ so called “Golden Age of Infrastructure,” like the railway and subway projects, the Clark Green City project, the Expanded Port and RoRo Building programs, and the Airport Development projects.

The Japanese trading houses were also encouraged to use their expansive business systems to help in planning an efficient set of economic infrastructure, such as farm-to-market roads, bridges, seaports, airports, railways for cargo, passengers and RORO vessels, and service providers.

“The fundamentals are there in terms of a fast-growing economy, a 109-million population base, standing trade agreements, and a young, talented, and dedicated work force,” Lopez said. - Tomas S. Noda III of Deal Street Asia

Monday, March 13, 2017

Philippines to Attract Billion Dollars FDI with Halal Industry Road Map

Halal certified Logo Philippines

Halal food processing to help attract investments from Qatar to Philippines


Developing the halal market, including the agro-industrial and food processing sectors, could further stimulate FDI inflow into the Philippines, particularly Qatari investments, a Qatari entrepreneur has said.

The Philippine government wants to tap opportunities in the halal market, touted as a growing billion-dollar global industry, and is currently building a roadmap for its halal industry.

To do this, the Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry is working with other agencies like the Mindanao Development Authority (MDA), National Commission for Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), and the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Qatari businessman Farhan al-Sayed lauded the Philippine government’s plans to develop the southern island of Mindanao, which, he said, “has a huge, untapped potential.”

“Halal is a very interesting market… in the case of Malaysia and Indonesia, they are already making billions of dollars from the industry. As their Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) neighbour, the Philippines should also benefit from this.

“And I think Mindanao would be the ideal location to setup these businesses and this is going to help the growth of the region, which is eight times larger than Qatar and it’s going to settle and bring up not just businesses but also peace and order in the area,” al-Sayed told Gulf Times.

Aside from the halal industry, al-Sayed said Mindanao would be “an ideal location” to develop agro-industrial and food processing facilities, which could help attract Qatari investments to the country.
Following his state visit to Brunei Darussalam last year, Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said the trip would benefit the country’s halal industry. He said Brunei has expressed its commitment to help develop Mindanao’s halal industry in the areas of certification and capacity building.

Aside from grooming Mindanao into a production and export hub for halal-certified products, Duterte also underlined the island’s potential as a potential producer of tuna, sardines, banana, coconut, fruits, and poultry and livestock products. In the recently-held ‘Philippine Investments Conference’ in Doha by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza), Mindanao Development Authority (MDA) chief of staff Abdul Alonto also underlined Mindanao’s capability to export processed halal meat.

During the event, Philippine Business Council-Qatar (PBC-Q) chairman Greg Loayon also cited other investment opportunities in the Philippines aside from the halal market.

“Other than economic zones, manufacturing, tourism, furniture export, and healthcare are other investment opportunities that Qatari investors can look into the Philippines both from an outbound and inbound perspective such as Qatari investments in the Philippines or business opportunities in the Philippines that can be brought to Qatar,” he said. - Gulf Times

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Malaysian Eyes to Construct 23 Buildings: $2.4 Billion USD For New Federal Government Capital Offices in Clark

Putrajaya Luxury Residence
Putrajaya Luxury Residence. Photo:worldarchitecturenews.com

AlloyMtd eyes RM11bil Philippine ‘Putrajaya’ job

AlloyMtd Group has submitted a bid to build a new administrative centre for the Philippines Government at an estimated project development cost of $2.4 Billion US Dollars.

Located in the city of Clark, approximately 96 kilometres from Manila, the proposed 1,000-hectare Clark Administrative City project will house the executive, legislative and judicial bodies of the Philippines federal government.

It replicates Malaysia’s Putrajaya and will serve as the centralised site for the national government.
Under AlloyMtd’s proposal, the project will consist of 23 buildings encompassing some 273,000 square meters. The estimated project cost will be around US$2.4bil (RM10.62bil).

Speaking to reporters during the inauguration of the Palayan City Government Centre and Central Business Hub in Nueva Ecija province, AlloyMtd president and chief executive officer Tan Sri Azmil Khalid (pic) said the proposal represented a gigantic leap for the company, which has had a substantial presence in the Philippines over the past 11 years.

“We have had success in creating ‘mini Putrajayas’ in the country, or new centralised administrative and business centres to spur growth. But with a project of this magnitude, we can build a ‘real Putrajaya’ for the Philippines government,” he said.

The proposal to relocate and centralise the country’s Government entities has been mooted for a long time.

The consolidation of national Government offices away from the congested Metro Manila city centre will enhance efficiency, while at the same time the new location would also become a new centre of operations in times of natural disasters.

The project would be overseen by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), a Government agency created to manage the conversion of former military bases into income-generating facilities.

AlloyMtd was invited by the BCDA to submit the proposal for the development of the project. A presentation of the master development plan was made to the BCDA chairman and board executives on Feb 2.

Azmil added that funding for the project would likely come from a sukuk issuance in Malaysia.
“We are seeking the backing of the Philippines Government in regards to the sukuk so the terms are more favourable for investors,” he said.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, who was the guest of honour at the Palayan City project inauguration, lauded the proposal as it is wholly supportive of the Malaysian Government’s intention to boost economic and business relationships with its Filipino counterparts.

AlloyMtd has a track record in creating centralised business and administrative centres for local Governments in the country. Its projects include the Calabarzon Regional Government Centre and the ongoing Palayan City project, as well as the Bataan Government Centre.

The Malaysian conglomerate, which has a presence in 16 countries, has an entrenched presence in the Philippines in the infrastructure, institutional facilities and property development segments.

Building on the success of its RM1bil South Luzon Expressway project, the company is preparing for another major undertaking, as it had submitted an unsolicited bid for the Manila Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Line 8 project last month.

The project, which was submitted by a consortium comprising AlloyMtd and East-West Rail Corp, spans about nine kilometres of elevated and depressed guideways with 11 stations along the route.
It runs from Quezon City to Lerma St. in Manila and the estimated project cost for the venture is around US$1bil (RM4.4bil).

The proposal is currently under review by the Philippines Department of Transportation and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

The MRT project is also the first project proposal from the private sector that was resubmitted to NEDA under the new Duterte administration, Azmil confirmed. - The Star Online

Philippines' hits $7.93 Billion USD Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in 2016

Philippines' hits $7.93 Billion USD Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in 2016
Philippines' hits $7.93 Billion USD Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in 2016

Philippines’ FDI inflow hits record high in 2016

THE PHILIPPINES received a record $7.93 billion in actual foreign direct investment (FDI) last year, as sound macroeconomic fundamentals overshadowed the uncertainties brought about by leadership changes within and outside the country.
The net inflow of foreign direct investments (FDIs) soared 40.7% above the $5.64 billion recorded for 2015, according to preliminary data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Friday.

The yearend result surpassed by 18.4% the $6.7 billion projected by the central bank. The forecast represented a new high in itself.

Intercompany borrowings accounted for more than 65% of last year’s net inflow, as foreign firms placed $5.19 billion -- 68.6% over the $3.08 billion recorded in 2015 -- in debt instruments of Philippine subsidiaries and affiliates.

Equity and investment fund shares accounted for $2.75 billion, a 7.1% increase from the $2.56 billion booked in 2015. Net equity infusion rose 12% to $2.04 billion from $1.82 billion, making up for the 4.9% decrease in reinvestment of earnings to $710 million from $747 million.

In December alone, the net FDI inflow more than doubled to $669 million from the $272 million registered in the comparable 2015 period.

More than half or $415 million of the net inflow in December came from placements in debt instruments. Lending to Philippine subsidiaries or affiliates almost tripled from the $139 million reported a year earlier.

Investments in equity and investment fund shares nearly doubled to $254 million from $133 million. Net equity capital infusion surged 2.7 times to $206 million from $77 million, offsetting the 16.1% drop in reinvestment of earnings to $47 million from $56 million.

Investors from Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, the United States and Taiwan made most of the equity infusions largely to financial and insurance; arts, entertainment and recreation; manufacturing; real estate; and construction activities.

“FDI inflows remained robust, supported by strong investors’ confidence in the country’s solid macroeconomic fundamentals,” the BSP noted in a statement accompanying the data.

“NO FLUKE”

In separate e-mail interviews, economists noted how the growth story of the domestic economy cancelled out concerns over possible changes in policy direction both in the Philippines and its major trading partner, the US.

“It is clear that the Philippine economic growth story is intact despite all the uncertainties of US policies and the continuous noise of domestic politics,” Ruben Carlo O. Asuncion, chief economist of the Union Bank of the Philippines, noted in an e-mailed correspondence.

Mr. Asuncion had expected net FDIs to the Philippines to grow slower and reach at least $7 billion toward the yearend.

“This significant growth, I believe, is on the back of solid macroeconomic fundamentals for the past 18 years or 72 quarters. This clearly means that the Philippines’ growth story is no fluke. Foreign investors recognize this observation with the 40.7% FDI growth for 2016,” Mr. Asuncion said.

Guian Angelo S. Dumalagan, market economist at Land Bank of the Philippines, cited the bright prospects for the Philippine economy as well.

“Last year, FDI inflows were affected by the country’s political transition and the US presidential election. These factors, however, were not enough to overshadow the country’s strong economic prospects,” Mr. Dumalagan said.

Foreign investors have nevertheless raised concerns over inefficient government bureaucracy, inadequate supply of infrastructure, corruption and tax regulations last year, another economist noted, citing The Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017 of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

“I also cite infrastructure as one of the most compelling reasons why it’s difficult to commit to investing in the Philippines,” the economist said.

“Imagine setting up a manufacturing plant here only to find out we have one of the most expensive and unreliable electricity, highways are bogged down in traffic, airports have only 1.5 runways and flooding is a problem in the region’s worst port system,” the economist added.

The economist further noted the retreat of the Philippines by 10 notches in the Global Competitiveness Index, ranking 57th out of 138 economies covered in the report released by the WEF three months after President Rodrigo R. Duterte took office in end-June 2016.

“Investors now have a stark concern about the level of institutions in the country going forward. This moves hand in hand with the upholding of the rule of law, which can get foreign players a little bit concerned,” the economist said.

Landbank’s Mr. Dumalagan, however, expects the Philippines to continue registering net FDI inflows this year on the sustained strength of the domestic economy along with the improving economic conditions abroad.

“Japan and the US, two of the country’s major sources of FDIs, are expected to show stronger growth this year, suggesting potentially ample investable funds from these economic giants despite possibly lesser monetary accommodation from the Bank of Japan and the US Federal Reserve,” Mr. Dumalagan said.

“The protectionist stance of the new US administration, however, poses a risk, as it could potentially reduce the amount of capital inflows from the US.”

FDIs in the Philippines, by Reuters’ reckoning, are minuscule compared with that in regional peers due to poor infrastructure, high power costs and foreign ownership restrictions in key industries. - Business World Online

China- Philippines Exchange Statements Over Benham Rise Excursion

Benham Rise in the North-eastern of Luzon Island of the northern Philippines
Benham Rise in the North-eastern of Luzon Island of the northern Philippines

PH, China exchange statements over ships spotted in Benham Rise

Chinese survey ships were reportedly spotted in Benham Rise, one of the Philippines' resource-rich territories recognized by the United Nations, said Defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

Lorenzana, as well as Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella, said the government is concerned about the presence of Chinese ships in the area.

The Defense secretary said some of the ships stay on the Benham Rise "as if doing nothing, but actually, they are surveying the seafloor, the seabed."

Abella said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has already been notified on the matter, so they could "continue to assert our sovereignty over our territory."

Lorenzana said the DFA has already sent 12 diplomatic protests to China since August 2016, but allegations are either ignored or denied.

Benham Rise Sketch
Benham Rise Sketch - Rappler.com

He added the Chinese may have been looking for a submarine platform, and is looking into the territory.

National Institute of Geological Sciences Director Mario Aurelio said the Benham Rise is a suitable prospect for this cause due to its shallow waters.

China said its research ships indeed passed through Philippine waters, but there should be no cause for alarm.

"But this is purely carrying out normal freedom of navigation and right of innocent passage, and there were no so-called other activities or operations," China's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, said in a press briefing on Friday, according to a Reuters report.

"Comments from individuals in the Philippines on this do not accord with the facts," he added.

Resource-rich

Spanning 13 million hectares, the Benham Rise is an undersea plateau wider than Luzon located 135 miles off the coast of Aurora.

Aurelio said research findings in the area revealed it is rich in coral reefs and schools of fish.

He added several groups are already conducting fishing activities in its waters.

Adding to the Benham Rise's resources, Aurelio said research suggested the area may be rich in natural gas, oil, and minerals such as cobalt and manganese.

Resources in Benham Rise
Resources in Benham Rise - moderntribune.info

The United Nations already recognized the Philippines' claim to the undersea plateau as part of the exclusive economic zone in 2012.

Due to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, no other country is currently laying claims on the Benham Rise.

Armed Forces of the Philippines Public Affairs Office Chief Marine Col. Edgard Arevalo said they are still looking into reports of their senior leaders to determine their course of actions. - CNN PHILIPPINES

Taiwan-Philippines fishery meeting sees agreement on proposals

Taiwan's Representative to the Philippines Gary Lin (second right) shakes hands with Manila Economic and Cultural Office director Cesar Drilon Jr. in a fishery meeting in Manila Friday.
Taiwan's Representative to the Philippines Gary Lin (second right) shakes hands with Manila Economic and Cultural Office director Cesar Drilon Jr. in a fishery meeting in Manila Friday. Photo: Focus Taiwan

Taiwan and the Philippines reached agreement on several fishery cooperation proposals during a meeting held Thursday in Manila, according to Taiwan's representative to the Philippines, Gary Lin (林松煥).

In the third Taiwan-Philippines technical meeting on fishery affairs, representatives from Manila answered a request by Taipei, promising efforts to push for the legislation of a "sea-land passage bill" that would allow innocent passage by fishing boats from Taiwan or other countries through waterways between Philippines-controlled archipelagos, Lin said Friday.

Such a bill would help to reduce fishing disputes, Lin said, adding that the fishery meetings have helped boost relations between Taiwan and the Philippines and their cooperation in law enforcement efforts related to fishing.

Thanks to the meetings, which began in 2015 under the principle that at least one meeting is held each year, the two countries have gradually established mutual trust in law enforcement aimed at protecting fishermen's rights and interests, and have seen their friendship deepened, Lin said.

During Thursday's meeting, the Taiwanese and Philippine delegates reached agreement on proposals to promote the enforcement of fishery regulations, deepen and complete the mutual reporting mechanism, and establish a communication hotline.

They also agreed that Taiwanese fishing boats will receive assistance if they seek passage through Philippines territorial waters, and that the two countries will share fishery information and jointly crack down on illegal fishing, according to Lin.

Taiwan and the Philippines signed a fishery agreement in 2015, two years after a Taiwanese fisherman was killed in May 2013 when a Philippine Coast Guard vessel strafed his family's fishing boat in waters that both countries consider part of their exclusive economic zones.

The shooting triggered a diplomatic row, but eventually led to negotiations over how to avoid similar incidents in the future.

Under the pact, the two sides organized their own technical working panels, which hold at least one meeting each year to discuss the execution of fishery law enforcement. The first meeting was held in Taipei in November 2015, and the second of its kind took place in March 2016, also in Taipei. - Focus Taiwan

Finance Minister Dominguez III Asks Jack Ma to Remove Faked Tax Stamps from Alibaba

Finance Minister Dominguez III Asks Jack Ma to Remove fake Tax Stamps from Alibaba
Fake BIR Stamps pre-printed by MEIKEI Printing Co., LTD in China for cigarette boxes sold online. The same case as the Mighty Corporation with pre-printed BIR Tax Stamps. Source: https://sc01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1yKS.NXXXXXatXVXXq6xXFXXXl/Customized-OEM-cigar-label.jpg an image stored at Alibaba server aliccdn.com 

Philippines asks Jack Ma to remove fake tax stamps from Alibaba

Finance Secretary Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez III wrote a letter to Jack Ma, asking the latter to remove fake Philippine tax stamps on the Alibaba website.

“If you go to Alibaba.com, you can see there an item [option] to buy fake Philippine cigarette stamps,” Dominguez said during a tax reform forum in Metro Manila’s Makati City on Friday.

“I wrote a letter to Jack Ma to ask him to remove it from his website because that [online sale] is hurting the Philippine interests,” said Dominguez, adding he has started a campaign telling people not to buy the fake Philippine tax stamps online.

The Philippine government has been investigating Alexander Wong Chu King, president of Mighty Corporation, for allegedly using fake tax stamps worth P1.5 billion (Dh109 million) to avoid paying taxes. It is not yet known if he bought the fake Philippine tax stamps online or he had them printed in Manila.

>Screen captured of zoom image of faked BIR Stamp taxed pre-printed in China. If BIR will examine these stamps would realy turned not exists in their databased because these are pre-printed
Screen captured of zoom image of faked BIR Stamp taxed pre-printed in China. If BIR will examine these stamps would realy turned not exists in their databased because these are pre-printed. Source website address as appeared in the photo. ( https://goo.gl/Pzvw43 )

Dominguez asked Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to “move fast”for the lifting of a temporary restraining order issued by a lower court in Manila on Monday which prevented the Bureau of Customs (BOC) from raiding and inspecting the warehouses of Mighty Corporation.

The TRO would be good for 20 days, from March 3 to 23, 2017.

Packs of cigarettes with fake tax stamps were also seized from Mighty Corp’s container vans in ports in Tacloban City, central Philippines; in a warehouse in Pampanga, central Luzon; and in General Santos and Zamboanga cities in southern Philippines, the BOC said.

Letter of Philippine Finance Minister (Secretary) to Jack Ma regarding the faked BIR Tax Stamps appearing in his Alibaba online store
Letter of Philippine Finance Minister (Secretary) to Jack Ma regarding the faked BIR Tax Stamps appearing in his Alibaba online store

Forged stamps found in King’s warehouse in Pampanga alone could amount to P1 billion in revenue losses for the government, said Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) chief Caesar Dulay.

Earlier, President Rodrigo asked King to double to ₱3 billion its tax liability of ₱1.5 billion in a compromised settlement, adding the money will be used for the repair of two public hospitals in the southern Philippines and one in Metro Manila.

“The taxes that he did not pay, whether intentionally or not, can be settled or compromised. That’s the word [used] in law. The ₱1.5 billion worth of fake tax stamps that he has printed, double that amount [in paying back the government], and I’ll forget to press charges [of tax evasion against him],” explained Duterte, adding, “His [King’s initial] offer to pay ₱1.5 billion, that’s not acceptable for me. He should make it ₱3 billion.”

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, adding that King could also be charged with economic sabotage and bribery, said King sent to Duterte a package with a pile of cash.

On March 7, when Duterte ordered the arrest of King, the latter met with National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Dante Gierran and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre.

Both the BIR and the BOC have started to prepare an air-tight case against King, said Finance Secretary Dominguez. -with sources from Manila Bulletin and the Gulf News

Friday, March 10, 2017

Philippine Export Rose Up 22.5% to $5.1 Billion USD - Fastest in 3 Years

Electronics Philippine Export Rose Up 22.5% to $5.1 Billion USD - Fastest in 3 Years
Electronics Export in the Philippines Rose up 22.5% January to $5.1 Billion US Dollars

Exports from the Philippines grew at their fastest clip in three years in January as shipments of electronics took off.

Exports rose at their quickest pace in three years in January on demand for technology goods and commodities, while continuing strong imports underlined a buoyant domestic economy.

The Southeast Asian economy is one of the fastest growing in the world and strengthening global trade could complement robust domestic consumption as President Rodrigo Duterte's government aims to sustain annual growth above 7 percent during his six-year term.

Exports in January rose 22.5 percent from a year earlier, gaining for a second month in a row, while imports jumped 9.1 percent, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed on Friday.

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Country’s exports jumped 22.5 per cent year on year to $5.1bn in January, coming in above a median forecast from economists compiled by Bloomberg of 10.5 per cent growth.

Shipments of electronics, the country’s top export accounting for 46.1 per cent of total export revenue in January, increased 10.4 per cent year on year to $2.4bn.

Japan remained the Philippines’s largest export destination accounting for 17.3 per cent of total exports or $887.7m with the US its second largest market accounting for $847m.

Imports rose 9.1 percent year on year to $7.4bn, which was slightly below economists’ median estimate of a 10 per cent increase.

This resulted in the trade deficit of$2.3bn, coming in below estimates of $2.9bn and improving on the $2.56bn deficit in December.

Vishnu Varathan, senior economist at Mizuho Bank, said the spike in exports was largely in line with the strength in shipments elsewhere in Asia.

"There is a confluence of low-base effect and also seasonal uptick that went into the end of last year," he said.

Eight of the country's top 10 export products rose in January, with electronics up 10.4 percent from a year earlier. Electronics remained the country's No. 1 export, accounting for 46.1 percent of total revenue in January.

The country's biggest imports for the month were electronics, mineral fuels, transport equipment, industrial machinery, and iron and steel.

Exports to the country's top trading partners such as the United States and China increased 21.2 percent and 23.6 percent, respectively, in January from a year earlier. Shipments to Japan, the biggest export market, fell 6.6 percent.

While the Philippine economy is largely driven by domestic consumption, Varathan said it would also be buffeted by any change in external trends.

"We want to see how trade negotiations between the U.S. and China pan out and the corresponding knock-on effect that you'll see in Asia," Varathan said. With reports from Financial Times and Reuters 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

US-Asean Business Council upbeat on Philippine Economic Prospects

In Photo: Members of the US-Asean Business Council (US-ABC) hosted a roundtable for Trade Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado on February 22 in Washington, D.C.
In Photo: Members of the US-Asean Business Council (US-ABC) hosted a roundtable for Trade Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado on February 22 in Washington, D.C.Photo: Business Mirror

‘FOR the first time in three years, the Philippines made it to the worldwide list of top 20 investment destinations of multinational enterprises,” Trade Undersecretary for Industry Promotion Group Nora K. Terrado told participants in a roundtable organized by the US-Asean Business Council (US-ABC) on February 22 in Washington, D.C.

Terrado said with the country’s 6.8-percent GDP growth in 2016, the Philippines continues to be one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies, exhibiting resilience amid external shocks.

This message highlighted Terrado’s presentation about the country’s improving global competitiveness ranking.

Terrado discussed the current administration’s 10-point socio-economic agenda, which aims to sustain improvements in the Philippine investment climate, support rural development, and further enhance the country’s infrastructure, human capital and social-protection programs.

“The whole government is tasked to continue to improve the ease of doing business in the Philippines,” Terrado said.

As chair for Asean 2017 Summit, the Philippines is poised to highlight the region’s strengths by engaging the international business community, foreign governments and investors through the Asean Business and Investment Program (Abip).

As chairman for the Asean Committee on Business and Investment Promotion, Terrado urged the US-ABC and its members to participate in the business activities to be held in the Philippines, focusing on themes, such as regulatory coherence, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), women and youth entrepreneurship, and innovation.

Marc Mealy, vice president for policy of the US-ABC, expressed positive feedback after the dialogue with Terrado.

“With the Philippines serving as the current Asean chairman and having one of the highest GDP growth rates in Asia, the representatives from the 13 American multinational companies who participated were keen to receive the undersecretary’s update on current business trends in the Philippines and the economic priorities of the Duterte administration,” Mealy said. “The Council looks forward to conducting our 2017 senior executives business mission to the Philippines later this year.”

The US-ABC members that participated in the dialogue were Coca-Cola, Fluor, Citi and Philip Morris, among others. - BUSINESS MIRROR

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