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Bills to protect banks, strengthen AMLA certified urgent

President Rodrigo Duterte has certified to Congress as urgent measures those that would aid financial institutions during the coronavirus pandemic and strengthen the anti-money laundering law......»»

Category: newsSource: thestandard thestandardOct 17th, 2020

Duterte certifies as ‘urgent’ bills on banks, laundering

A pending bill in the Senate that would allow banks to offload bad loans has been certified by the President as an urgent measure, along with amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering law, it was learned yesterday......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 17th, 2020

Duterte certifies as urgent bills on aid to financial institutions, anti-money laundering

President Rodrigo Duterte certified as urgent measures that would aid financial institutions during the coronavirus pandemic and strengthen the anti-money laundering law......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 17th, 2020

New-look House leadership off to a good start, say solons

House members can’t help but notice a sense of synergy between Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and Majority Leader Martin Romualdez in just their first few days of working together. Case in point, according to Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr., San Jose del Monte City Rep. Florida Robes, and Ang Probinsyano Party-list Rep. Alfred delos Santos, were the two important bills that the House leadership was able to deliver without a hitch during the conduct of special sessions this past week. The Majority Bloc solons were referring to the passage on third and final reading of measures House Bill (HB) No.7727, or the P4.506-trillion General Appropriations Bill (GAB) of 2021; and HB No.7884, or the proposed Act authorizing the President to expedite the processing and issuance of national and local permits, licenses and certifications. “The performance of the new leadership during special session was very commendable. This is a very encouraging sign in our mission to approve the legislative agenda of President Duterte,” Barzaga said. “The Velasco-Romualdez leadership (is) off to a good start,” added the veteran congressman and former Dasmariñas mayor. For her part, Robes said she is “extremely delighted that the leadership impasse in the House of Representatives had been resolved peacefully and amicably by our two honorable leaders, Lord Alan Velasco and former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.” “I look forward to a renewed, more united and inclusive leadership at the House of Representatives led by Speaker Velasco with Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez. I believe that Speaker Velasco and Majority Leader Romualdez are both righteous and committed to steer the House of Representatives to new heights to become a more effective and responsive institution to serve the Filipino people especially in these trying times,” she stressed. On the other hand, Delos Santos believes that the new-look leadership of the Lower Chamber will continue to work beyond 2020 even as he praised his colleagues for passing next year’s budget bill. “We are very happy that it (GAB) already finished the third reading. Our goal is always to fast-track the process to help out fellow Filipinos. These are not normal times, and gusto po nating matugunan agad yung mga pangangailangan ng mga kababayan natin (we want to quickly address the needs of our people),” Delos Santos said. “We want to assure government agencies (will have enough) resources for them to be able to function in the new normal,” he added. The passage of HB No.7884 or the Anti-Red Tape Bill followed soon after the chamber gave its final nod to the 2021 GAB. Both had been certified as urgent by President Duterte......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

Go urges BFP to push modernization efforts

Senator Christopher ‘’Bong’’ Go on Friday urged the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) to continue its efforts to modernize and enhance its ranks by acquiring more fire trucks and equipment especially for the  remote areas in the country. Sen. Bong Go (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) Go issued the statement after attending yesterday the ceremonial turnover at the Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City of the recently procured equipment of the BFP, including 84 units of 1,000 gallons capacity fire trucks, five units of aerial ladder, and three units of rescue trucks to be distributed by BFP to various local government units around the country.  “All over the country po ito ipapamahagi. Natutuwa po ako dahil ang gusto naman po natin ay mabigyan ng sapat na kagamitan laban sa sunog ang mga iba’t ibang lugar — hopefully sa lahat ng sulok po ng bansa ay handa po tayo,” Go said. (These will be distributed all over the country. I am happy because we want to give the appropriate fire-fighting equipment to different parts of the country.)    Go said there are many municipalities that have no financial capabilities to buy such an equipment. “Hopefully, patuloy pa ang pag-acquire nila ng mga panibagong equipment. Kinausap ko rin po si Dir. Embang na ikonsidera rin nila ‘yung mga maliliit na fire trucks na puwedeng pumasok sa mga liblib o masisikip na lugar kasi doon po madalas nagkakasunog,” Go said, referring to BFP Chief Jose Embang, Jr. (Hopefully, their acquisition of fire-fighting equipment will continue. I told Director Embang that BFP should consider buying small fire trucks that can enter narrow roads and congested areas where fires usually originate from.) Last February 11, 2020, Go joined President Duterte in witnessing the turnover of 74 fire trucks. The Senator also continues to provide aid to fire victims in different parts of the country.  “Mahirap po mawalan ng bahay at kagamitan dahil sa sunog at iba pang sakuna. Kaya po patuloy akong nagbibigay ng tulong sa mga biktima at nag-iiwan ng ngiti sa oras ng kanilang pagdadalamhati,” Go said. (It is hard to lose a house and personal belongings due to fires. That is why I continue to extend help to fire victims and give them a reason to smile during a time of grief.) “Bilang isang Senador at public servant, patuloy po akong magseserbisyo, lalo na sa mga mahihirap at nangangailangan na apektado ng krisis tulad ng sunog. Kasabay nito ay pagsisikapan ko bilang mambabatas na mas palakasin pa ang ating fire prevention and protection measures,” he added. (As a senator and a public servant, I continue to be of service, particularly to victims of crises like fires. As a lawmaker, I continue to help to strengthen our fire prevention and protection measures.)     As vice-chairman of the Senate Committee on Peace and Order and as a main advocate of fire protection modernization initiatives, one of Go’s priority bills is Senate Bill 204 which is now consolidated under Committee Report No. 111, otherwise known as BFP Modernization Act of 2020.  The measure is currently undergoing the period of interpellation in the Senate. The bill aims to ensure the hiring of more personnel, acquisition of modern fire equipment, and the conduct of training for firefighters of the BFP.  The bill will also empower local communities in preventing fire incidents by mandating the BFP to conduct monthly fire prevention campaigns and information drives in all local government units (LGUs), especially in vulnerable areas.  Go said President Duterte fully supports the modernization efforts of the BFP. “Ang sabi ng Pangulo, sabihin mo sa kanila huwag na nila ako unahin, ‘yung kagamitan ng mga sundalo at kapulisan at bumbero ang unahin natin,” he said. (The President said the equipment of soldiers, policemen, and firemen should come first.) During the event, Go expressed his and Duterte’s full support for the country’s fire personnel, citing the government’s recent effort to increase the salaries and promote the welfare of the military and uniformed personnel.  “Full support po kami sa inyo. Unang-una po, ‘yung pangako niya pagkaupo pa lang niya bilang Pangulo, tinupad niya agad ang pangako niya,” Go said, referring to the increase in salaries provided to uniformed personnel, including firefighters. (We give our full support to you. The President fulfills his promises when he took over the presidency in 2016.) Go also said that he supports the President’s position of arming BFP personnel so they can help in the fight against criminality.  “We are currently studying this added measure of arming firefighters. Nabanggit na rin ito ng Pangulo. Makakatulong din sila sa paglaban ng kriminalidad at para rin maproteksyunan ang kanilang mga sarili. Pati sa kampanya laban sa droga, makakatulong din sila,” Go said. (This was mentioned by the President. They can help fight criminality and also protect themselves. They can also help in containing the spread of dangerous drugs.)    In addition to fire trucks and other modern equipment, Go also said that he is coordinating with BFP officials, government finance managers, and concerned agencies on how to also provide additional ambulance units to the BFP.  He said that providing ambulances will make the BFP more responsive in fulfilling its mandate and will be useful, especially in times of national emergencies given that their personnel are well-trained frontliners.  “Kapag mayroon nang vaccine kontra COVID-19, pwede pong tumulong ang BFP para mabakunahan ang mga tao. Nagtutulungan po lahat ng ating uniformed personnel, mula military, pulis, bumbero, at iba pa para maprotektahan ang kapakanan ng ating mga kababayan,” Go explained. (Our firemen can also help in the vaccination of our countrymen to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Our uniformed personnel, from the military, policemen, firemen and others can help in protecting the interests of Filipinos.)  Go thanked officials for their efforts to modernize the BFP and for their continuing service, especially during the pandemic, specifically Department of the Interior and Local Government officials led by Secretary Eduardo Año and BFP officials led by Embang, Jr.  Go also acknowledged local officials and district representatives who were present, including Congressman Onyx Crisologo of the 1st District of Quezon City, Congresswoman Angel Amante-Matba of the 2nd District of Agusan del Norte, Mayor Marcy Teodoro of Marikina City, and Mayor Judy Amante of Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte and thanked them for their support to the national government in the bayanihan efforts to overcome the pandemic.  “Dahil mahirap ang panahon ngayon, we have to adjust to the new normal pero konting tiis lang po. Alam kong hirap po kayo. Kami ni Pangulong Duterte, hindi kami nawawalan ng pag-asa, magtulungan lang po tayo. Sino pa ba ang magtutulungan kundi tayong kapwa Pilipino,” he said, (Because times are hard, we have to adjust to the new normal. Please bear with us. I know you are suffering. I and President Go have not lost hope. We should help one another.).....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 16th, 2020

Duterte approves higher excise tax for tobacco products

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the bill raising excise tax for tobacco products, a measure he certified as urgent  last May. "To address the urgent need to protect the right to health of the Filipino people and to maintain a broader ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 25th, 2019

‘No time for ROTC, other urgent measures’

enate President Vicente Sotto III clarified yesterday that the 17th Congress is not likely to hold a special session to pass bills President Duterte had certified as urgent, including the measure seeking to revive the mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program for senior high school students......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 4th, 2019

Rice farmers seek bigger financial aid

The one-time financial assistance that the Senate directed the Department of Agriculture (DA) to provide to rice farmers amid the declining prices of palay would not be enough, a group of rice farmers said. (MB file, Keith Bacongco) Federation of Free Farmers (FFF) National Manager Raul Montemayor said rice farmers have lost an average of P10,000 per hectare in the ongoing cropping season due to severely depressed palay prices.   This was his response to the joint resolution recently passed by the Senate Committees on Agriculture and Agrarian Reform, which ordered the DA to appropriate some P3 billion in tariffs from rice imports through the 2021 national budget for cash aid to rice farmers. Under the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL), which allowed unlimited rice importation in the Philippines, tariff collections in excess of P10 billion per year can be used for additional support to farmers, including cash transfers. FFF, however, noted that the proposed appropriation would only provide P5,000 per farmer if distributed to some 600,000 farmers tilling one hectare or less.   If the actual number of qualified farmers is raised to 1.1 million, the subsidy would only amount to about P2,700 per farmer. Either proposal will be unfair to equally affected rice farmers tilling larger areas, the farmers’ group said.   Instead, Montemayor said the government could keep palay prices stable by temporarily imposing safeguard duties or additional tariffs on imported rice. “The government allowed unlimited rice imports, resulting in low palay prices.  Now, it will spend P3 billion to partially offset farmers’ losses. If it had instead imposed additional duties on imports, palay prices would not have dropped too much, there would have been no need for cash aid to farmers, and the government might have even earned extra revenues from the safeguard duties,” said Montemayor. Under the Section 10 of RTL or Republic Act (RA) 11203, in order to protect the Philippine rice industry from sudden or extreme price fluctuations, a special safeguard duty on rice shall be imposed in accordance with Safeguard Measures Act.   R.A. 8800 or the Safeguard Measures Act, on the other hand, allows additional safeguard duties on top of regular tariffs in case an import surge is shown to be harmful to local farmers.   “Safeguard duties will not be inflationary as claimed by the DA, because they will be applied only when there is already a proven oversupply in the market.  They can be removed once the situation stabilizes,” said Montemayor. Agriculture Secretary William Dar is not keen on slapping additional tariff on rice imports, and has repeatedly appealed for public understanding about the “short-term” effects of RTL to palay prices. However, he promised to look for other solutions to the plea of the farmers like asking the National Food Authority (NFA), which buys palay at P19 per kilogram (/kg) to boost the government’s buffer stock, to intensify its palay procurement.   Instead of cash aid, the FFF proposed that existing funds from the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) and extra tariff collections be re-focused to address current problems of farmers.   It noted that half of farmers receiving free seeds under the RCEF had already been using certified seeds in the past, and that many were seeking other types of support that were not available under RCEF.   Numerous farmers have also questioned the DA’s promotion of seed varieties like NSIC Rc222, which is of poor quality and are being shunned by traders. “Also, the P5 billion annual fund for mechanization is not moving well, and it might be more practical at this time to preserve job opportunities for farm laborers instead of displacing them with machines,” Montemayor said.   “Moreover, the P1 billion budget for extension and training could be realigned, considering that farmers cannot attend training activities due to COVID-related restrictions. The P1 billion for credit could be better used for interest rate subsidies or loan guarantee programs, instead of direct loans which will benefit only 20,000 farmers,” he added......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 19th, 2020

COA questions ‘validity and propriety’ of Land Titling Computerization Project

The Commission on Audit has questioned the “validity and propriety” of the Land Titling Computerization Project (LTCP) of the Land Registration Authority (LRA)that lacked approval of the President and allegedly deprived the government an estimated P3.12 billion in possible income. COA has questioned the  Build-Own-Operate Agreement  (BOO) for the implementation of the LTCP that has so far earned for the private partner of the LRA some P21 billion in just 10 years. The audit agency’s observations are contained in the recently-released  2019 LRA annual audit report submitted to LRA Administrator Renato Bermejo by COA Director Michael Bacani. The LTCP introduced the automation of the functions and processes and standardization of the registration procedure for land registration in the country. COA said the BOO between the LRA and the Land Registration Systems Inc. (LARES) lacked the mandatory approval of the President as required under Republic Act 77198. “Other necessary documentary requirements were likewise not submitted to the Office of the Auditor, thus, validity and propriety of both the BOO and the corresponding IT service fees collected and released by LRA to Lares, Inc. amounting to more or less P20 billioin out of the P21 billion, as doubtful,” COA stated. The BOO was originally entered into by LRA with the Stradec FF Cruz and CONFAC (SUFC) Consortium, now LARES), in 2000 for the implementation of the agency’s Information Technology Network and Database Infrastructure Project. In a special audit on the contract that was conducted by COA from 2004 to 2005, the audit agency concluded that the LTCP “was not efficiently and effectively implemented and the interest of the government and the public was not adequately protected” due to the delay in its implementation. In the 2015 annual audit report, COA observed that various documents covering the BOO were not certified true copies, including the presidential approval of the agreement through then Executive Secretary Ronaldo Zamora. In 2019, COA sought confirmation of the presidential imprimatur of the agreement but Malacanang was not “able to provide positive confirmation on the authenticity of the presidential approval dated July 31, 2000” that was ostensibly signed by Zamora. Originally costing just P3.483 billion, the project was able to earn P21 billion, P20 billion of which was released to LARES. The LRA management took exception to COA’s doubts on the validity and propriety of the BOO agreement is”without factual and legal basis”. Officials of the agency also pointed out that all BOO Contracts are presented to the president through the National Economic Development Authority. “Since the President chairs the NEDA Board, NEDA Board approval already carries with it the president’s approval,” the LRA argued. In the same audit report, COA disclosed that the LRA has failed to incorporate amendments to the agreement with LARES for the provisions of reasonable rate of return (ROI) to ensure that “no unwarranted benefit is given to the LARES” at the expense of the public.” “Likewise the absence of a revenue sharing arrangement deprived Government of more or less P3.12 billion of possible income,” the state audit agency noted. Audit examiners stressed that LRA has continuously failed to assess the “extent of recoupment of the investment” relative to the total IT services fee imposed and collected.  They said this is”detrimental to the paying public which the government ought to protect.” COA also assailed LRA for allowing the use of 12 “outdated” network switches, “causing security vulnerability and possible performance defect due to bugs.” Further, only two out of 10 software licenses were used for the project. Among the outdated software installed was the Kaspersky Security version 10.0.0.485......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

Banks told to strengthen cybersecurity protocols

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has ordered banks and financial institutions to strengthen their cybersecurity protocols by shifting to “zero-trust” operational model amid the rise in cybercrimes......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 11th, 2020

Palace eyes signed budget bill by yearend

Malacañang hopes the proposed P4.506-trillion 2021 national budget bill will be signed  before the year ends, after President Rodrigo Duterte certified the measure as urgent......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 11th, 2020

Internet speed in the time of COVID-19 is everything

Time flies by so fast, and yet, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought our lives to a screeching halt. Nearly seven months into the quarantined life, we have experienced a day that already feels like a week, a week that feels like a month, and with quarantine guidelines restricting us from being with our loved ones, the only way for us to really connect is through the internet. The question now is, how connected are we to be virtually together? In these trying times with everyone cooped up at home, Internet speed has become indispensable. Apart from speed, having a backup is a necessity, what with every family member hogging the bandwidth for Google Hangouts and/or Zoom calls used for either school or work. This is where PLDT Home comes in, thanks to their newly-launched device: the PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid Advance modem. Internet speed is king — even for a backup modem I got to experience firsthand the newest device that PLDT Home recently launched. Having had my fair share of experience with the PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid, the newly improved Advance modem is a definite game-changer. How was it? It was not bad — at all. The LTE-Advance experience The PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid Advance modem is a plug-and-play device, so installing it is very easy. To put it to the test, I used the device for an entire day, not just as backup, but as my main source of Internet connection. I put it near the window, which is always the advice given for modems to get better Internet connection. The PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid Advance modem features carrier aggregation that is a combination of frequency channels to power LTE to deliver at faster speeds. This enabled me to connect three devices all at once, without having to sacrifice the quality of my Wifi connectivity. The PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid Advance is powered by Smart LTE, the fastest mobile network in the Philippines as certified by Ookla. There are also two LAN ports found at the back that allow users to have wired connection for two devices. This is perfect for families with parents working from home and children taking online classes. The verdict Absolutely no jokes were meant when I mentioned above that the PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid Advance modem is a game-changer. This is the device that families need at home to better equip them while working from and/or studying at home while also being practical with their internet spending. Because it’s prepaid, families need not worry about adding up to their monthly bills and they can easily load the device when they need it. The modem is a powerful device because of the reliable and stronger Internet connection it can provide to the entire family. PLDT Home really did step up their game with this device, and I repeat — it’s a necessity in households today. Be it for virtual conference calls for work, online classes, or catch up sessions with your loved ones, the PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid modem is a device anyone can depend on. Prepaid packages for the family To match the much improved PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid Advance modem, PLDT Home provided new and affordable FamLoad packages that cater to the Internet needs of families at home. For students, the FamLoad Study 599 comes with 57 GB with 3 GB/day for learning tools like Canvas, Schoology, Gabay Guro, Microsoft 365, and NEO. Those who are film and TV series geeks will also enjoy using the PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid Advance modem, with its FamLoad Video 599 equipped with 40 GB for open access data and 15 GB of YouTube, or the FamLoad Video Plus 599 with 45 GB for all sites and apps or 3 GB of videos daily for 15 days. The new PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid Advance modem is now available via the PLDT Home website and can be delivered fast via Grab delivery. The unit also comes with free 10GB data that’s ready for use and it’s convenient to reload through GrabApp using the GrabPay wallet, Paymaya, myPLDT Smart app, or PLDT Home and Smart’s retailers nationwide. In these trying times, the need to stay online as we opt to do things virtually is at an all-time high, and PLDT Home may just have provided the very device that is now a truly relevant and essential part of the modern new normal home......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020

Duterte calls special session on October 13-16

President Duterte has called for a special session of Congress from Oct. 13 to 16 next week to get lawmakers to approve on time the 2021 national budget, which he also certified as urgent last night......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020

Rody calls Congress to special session

President Rodrigo Duterte called on the House of Representatives on Friday to special session next week to resume the congressional deliberations on the proposed P4.5-trillion national budget for 2021 which he also certified as urgent. Duterte’s spokesperson Harry Roque said the Chief Executive urged lawmakers to tackle on 13 to 16 October the government’s spending […] The post Rody calls Congress to special session appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020

Romualdezes: Raise teachers& rsquo; pay, allowance

Tingog party-list Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez, along with her husband House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, on Sunday urged the urgent passage of two bills seeking to increase the teaching supplies allowance for public teachers and create a private education fund to increase the salary of educators in the private schools as the country celebrates World Teacher’s Day today, Monday......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 5th, 2020

Mandaue Council set to deliberate on ‘urgent’ bike ordinance

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Mandaue City Council is set to begin deliberations this afternoon, September 23, 2020, on a proposed ordinance that will set the rules and regulations for the establishment of a bicycle system in the highly urbanized city. The proposed Comprehensive Bicycle Ordinance authored by Councilor Jimmy Lumapas has been certified as […] The post Mandaue Council set to deliberate on ‘urgent’ bike ordinance appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 23rd, 2020

DOF seeks swift passage of 2021 budget, economic measures

The Department of Finance (DOF) has sought the swift enactment by Congress of the proposed national budget for next year along with the economic priority measures to rebuild the economy and decisively defeat coronavirus. Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III ( MB FILE, Albert Garcia) During a briefing for the Senate finance committee, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said the timely enactment of the P4.506 trillion 2021 national budget is a key component of the government’s comprehensive program under its economic bounce-back plan. On top of the budget, Dominguez also said that a “timely and decisive” passage of several economic priority measures are needed to accelerate economic recovery. The priority measures, now pending in Congress, include the Financial Institutions’ Strategic Transfer (FIST) Act, and the Government Financial Institutions’  Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery (GUIDE) bill. FIST allows banks to dispose of bad loans and non-performing assets through asset management companies, while GUIDE seeks to allow state-run banks to form a special holding company that will infuse equity, with strict conditions, into strategically important companies facing insolvency.  Likewise, the finance chief urged the Senate to pass the proposed Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act (CREATE), which will  immediately lower the corporate income tax (CIT) rate from 30 percent to 25 percent. “The swift enactment of CREATE, FIST, GUIDE and the 2021 budget will serve to accelerate our economic recovery. We should not delay providing urgent and necessary relief to our people,” Dominguez said during the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) briefing. The DBCC is composed of the heads of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), DOF, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP); and a senior representative from the Office of the President (OP). “We are committed to working closely with you on the recovery measures so that these can be enacted in a timely, decisive, and responsible manner,” Dominguez told members of the panel chaired by Senator Juan Edgardo Angara. He said the Duterte administration will continue to work with the legislature in passing the remaining packages of the comprehensive tax reform program (CTRP) that will, among others, institute reforms in property valuation and in the taxation of the financial sector. Dominguez said economic recovery also rests on sustaining President Duterte’s signature program “Build, Build, Build,” as sound infrastructure investments provide the largest multiplier effect on the economy in the form of more jobs creation,  increased consumption, and the generation of additional productive activities......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsSep 9th, 2020

Government urged to protect welfare of Filipinos in crisis situations abroad

Sen. Bong Go sees the need to streamline public service delivery for Filipinos abroad as their needs are becoming more complex, urgent and complicated......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 9th, 2020

Pandemic hammers HSBC profits in H1

HONG KONG (AFP) – HSBC on Monday said profits for the first half of 2020 plunged by 69 percent on year as the banking giant was hammered by the coronavirus pandemic and spiralling China-US tensions. The lender reported post-tax profits of $3.1 billion while pre-tax profit was $4.3 billion, a 64 percent drop on the same period last year. Reported revenue was down nine percent at $26.7 billion. Chief executive Noel Quinn described the first six months of the year as ”some of the most challenging in living memory”. ”Our first-half performance was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, falling interest rates, increased geopolitical risk and heightened levels of market volatility,” he said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange, Even by the standards of the current economic maelstrom engulfing global banks, HSBC has had a torrid year. Before the coronavirus crisis it was beset by disappointing profit growth, ground down by US-China trade war uncertainties and Britain’s departure from the European Union. The Asia-focused lender embarked on a huge cost-cutting initiative at the start of the year, including plans to slash some 35,000 jobs as well as trimming fat from less profitable divisions, primarily in the United States and Europe. The coronavirus upended some of that cost-cutting drive with banks hammered by market volatility and the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic. But HSBC has a further headache — geopolitical tensions via its status as a major business conduit between China and the West. HSBC makes 90 percent of its profit in Asia, with China and Hong Kong being the major drivers of growth.  Caught in crossfire As a result it has found itself more vulnerable than most to the crossfire caused by the increasingly bellicose relationship between Beijing and Washington. The bank has tried to stay in Beijing’s good graces. It vocally backed a draconian national security law that Beijing imposed on Hong Kong in June to end a year of unrest and pro-democracy protests. The move sparked criticism in Washington and London but analysts saw it as an attempt to protect its access to China, which has a track record of punishing businesses that do not toe Beijing’s line. But that has not shielded it from Beijing’s wrath. Last month the bank was a subject of multiple reports in China’s state-run media claiming that it had helped to provide the evidence that led to the arrest in Canada of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on a US arrest warrant. HSBC released a statement on its Chinese Weibo accounts saying it had not ”framed” telecom giant Huawei or ”fabricated evidence” that led to the arrest of Meng. China’s internet censors blocked access to HSBC’s statement within hours of publication, without offering an explanation. Quinn referenced the bank’s growing political vulnerability in Monday’s statement. ”Current tensions between China and the US inevitably create challenging situations for an organization with HSBC’s footprint,” he said. ”However, the need for a bank capable of bridging the economies of East and West is acute, and we are well placed to fulfill this role,” he added. The bank’s Asia operations continued to show ”good resilience”, Quinn said, with profit before tax of $7.4 billion. Earlier this year Quinn put some of the job cuts on hold as the pandemic struck. But in Monday’s statement he vowed to press ahead with the cost-cutting. ”As we seek to accelerate our transformation in the second half of the year, I am mindful of the impact it will have for some of our people, particularly those leaving us,” he said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 3rd, 2020

Cleanfuel Strengthens Retail Network in Southern Manila

Now serving with the newest technologies implemented to create high-tech fuel for your vehicles, Cleanfuel, believes in the resiliency of the Filipino people that would bring and sustain solid economic recovery amid health crisis. Their recently opened retail station at Doña Soledad in Parañaque City shows a testament that the company remains upbeat in expanding their network footprints in Southern portion of Metro Manila.   “While 2020 is a challenging year, Cleanfuel has remained optimistic riding in the resiliency of Filipinos towards economic recovery. This is the reason why Cleanfuel Group of Companies continues to invest and opened more stations as a testament and commitment to its people to provide top-notch fuel to every motorist,” said Atty Bong Suntay, President of Cleanfuel. “The opening of the new station in Doña Soledad is in line with Cleanfuel’s goal to expand its reach and strengthen its customer base in the Southern part of Metro Manila,” Suntay said. Situated at the busy thoroughfare of Doña Soledad Avenue Extension at Barangay Don Bosco in Parañaque City, the new station offers a top-notch fuel and lubricants including Clean91 (Unleaded), Premium 95 gasoline, and Euro-4 diesel. It provides access to both public and private motorists from Better Living going to Moonwalk, connecting in the bustling intersection of eastern Parañaque.  In addition, the second district of Don Bosco is the primary residential Barangay of Ninoy Aquino International Airport and one of the 16 Barangays in Parañaque City. Key factors of the city’s progress include banks, shopping malls, restaurants, residential properties, and commercial manufacturing. Motorists heading towards the busy streets of Doña Soledad Avenue Extension from east-west and northern side of Parañaque can gas up to experience Cleanfuel’s brand mantra: Quality fuel for Less! Further, Cleanfuel Doña Soledad station will become a key driver of growth to more than 60,000 population of Barangay Don Bosco. As the city relies on shopping centers as part of major contributors, the company sees that the opening of Cleanfuel Doña Soledad will further strengthen and boost economic confidence. “We’re grateful and honor to inaugurate Cleanfuel Doña Soledad as our first station to open in these unprecedented times. The economy in the City of Parañaque has been growing consistently with massive projects in property and commercial manufacturing,” the company’s chief executive said.  Suntay adds that in the next coming months Cleanfuel is adding more stations not only in NCR but also in provinces to provide quality fuel for business and opportunities for others. “We intend to leverage our business aggressively and expand our retail network across the country, focusing on Mega Manila and Northern Luzon,” concludes Suntay.  Cleanfuel is expected to open more stations in coming weeks in Ortigas Avenue Extension in Pasig and mega branch in Mabalacat Pampanga as part of the long-term business expansion plan. Aside from expansion, the company has extended its support by providing fuel subsidy for the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr’s) Free Bus Ride for Health Workers Program and drive relief donations to northern provinces, which include Pangasinan (Villasis, Binalonan, Pozorrubio) and San Fernando (La Union) and other cities in Metro Manila......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsAug 1st, 2020

Bayanihan 2 will be certified as urgent — Palace

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to certify as urgent the bill that seeks to extend his emergency powers for pandemic response and to bankroll a stimulus package that will jumpstart the economy......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 23rd, 2020