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Microsoft buys gaming firm ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion

Software giant Microsoft on Monday announced would acquire ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion, marking a major expansion into video gaming that will give it ownership of several best-selling franchises......»»

Category: techSource: thestandard thestandardSep 22nd, 2020

PSC vows no job layoffs despite financial woes amid pandemic

While unemployment has risen to an alarming rate amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Philippine Sports Commission assured its employees that there will no layoffs in the agency. Appearing on Tuesday’s online session of the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum, chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez said that despite a meager budget with nothing more to spare, the PSC will continue to carry out its day-to-day operations. Even under these very difficult times, the PSC puts priority on the welfare of its workers Ramirez stressed.   “Even before COVID, we have communicated with Malacanang that we will let go of some contractual employees,” said Ramirez, adding that it would have taken effect on Aug. 31. But the global pandemic made the PSC change its mind. “We in the PSC board made a collective decision that it will not happen. We will not remove anyone from the PSC unless there is cause. We are in very difficult times,” said Ramirez. The PSC has 250 regular employees and more than 250 contractuals. “Sa kahirapan ngayon, ano ang kakainin nila?” said Ramirez, currently staying with his wife at the athletes’ quarters at the PhilSports Complex (formerly ULTRA) in Pasig City. The agency months ago implemented belt-tightening measures, including a 50 percent ‘equity reduction’ on the allowances of the national athletes and coaches. But despite the financial difficulties, athletes and coaches continue to receive their allowances, and can expect to get their regular stipends once the situation improves or when the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) resumes its monthly remittances of close to P100 million to the PSC. Ramirez also added government sports agency is thinking beyond sports, and talked about “fortitude and sacrifice" during the Forum presented by San Miguel Corp., Go For Gold, Milo, PAGCOR, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, and powered by Smart, with Upstream Media as official webcast partner. At the height of the lockdown, the national government channeled P1 billion of PSC money for COVID-19 purposes. The PSC has also allowed the use of its facilities like the Rizal Coliseum and Ninoy Aquino Stadium in the fight against the deadly virus. The PSC has also donated 350 beds and close to 500 laptops that were used during last year’s Southeast East Asian Games to various government offices during the pandemic. “The PSC is not only focused on sports now. We are adapting to the new environment,” said Ramirez......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 18th, 2020

House panel to probe PhilHealth anomalies Wednesday

The House Committee on Public Accounts is investigating the alleged irregularities and “systemic” corruption in the State-owned Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) on Wednesday. (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) Anakalusugan partylist Rep. MIchael “Mike” Defensor, chairman of the panel, said the investigation was initially scheduled on Monday but they decided to reschedule it to Wednesday to ensure that invitations have been sent out to resource persons. “Sa Wednesday tayo (We will conduct the hearing on Wednesday), kasi dapat nga bukas talaga itong hearing (the hearing was initially scheduled tomorrow) pero (but) nakiusap sila (they appealed) na Wednesday na isagawa (that it be conducted on Wednesday) dahil sa kailangan ng oras sa imbitasyon (because more time is needed to send out invitations),” Defensor said. He said among those who are expected to attend the hearing are PhilHealth president and chief executive officer Ricardo Morales and former PhilHealth anti-fraud legal officer Thorrsson Keith who claimed that top agency officials are involved in the corruption. In a statement, Defensor said they are expecting Keith to shed light more on his allegations that millions of overseas Filipino workers should not be burdened to pay for the “spillages” of the agency as stated in his resignation letter. “Mr. Keith should explain what these spillages are, what are the instances of corruption in the State health insurance firm, and who are the officials and personnel involved,” he said. Keith’s resignation letter was circulated on social media. In that letter, he stated that his salary has not been given on time since he started investigating PhilHealth officers allegedly involved in the corruption. “It should be noted that the PhilHealth has had its share of corruption issues in the past,” Defensor said He recalled that in June this year, Malacañang called out the PhilHealth for its supposed inaction to look into the missing P154-billion funds within the agency through “fraudulent schemes.” The House leader cited that in August 2019, the Commission on Audit (CoA) also called out PhilHealth for the surge in the number of cases and reimbursement claims of members, particularly those from Rizal and Metro Manila for pneumonia, urinary tract infection, acute gastroenteritis, sepsis, and other diseases. He attributed that tens of billion in “overpayments” to the prevailing all-case rates (ACR) payment mechanism. “The case-rate system, under which there is a fixed cost for the treatment of certain diseases and for procedures, is really a loophole that is resulting in billions of losses on the part of PhilHealth. It is not surprising that it maybe a source of corruption,” he said. According to him, under the ACR payment mechanism, PhilHealth pays the hospital the “case rate even if the cost incurred by a member is much, much less.” “For instance, the case package for mild pneumonia is about P44,000. A hospital could declare that it treated a PhilHealth member for pneumonia even if he had only colds and fever,” he said. He laments that in some instances, a simple eye procedure was claimed as a cataract operation. Defensor said the PhilHealth should bill the actual cost of treatment or procedure, and that the case rates be declared as cost limits. He asked the PhilHealth officials to look into numerous claims for payment or reimbursement for the same or similar diseases or procedures, and involving the same doctors, clinics, or hospitals. “This has happened with pneumonia, eye problems, and dialysis and kidney ailments. They should have learned their lesson. It cannot continue to happen, unless some officials and personnel are involved in corruption,” he said. Defensor had filed House Resolution No. 1069 seeking motu proprio investigation on the corruption issues hounding PhilHealth that led to the resignation of several personalities. “When there seems to be a pattern of alleged abuses where loopholes can be taken advantage of by the unscrupulous, a systemic change needs to be done to overhaul the present set up,” he said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2020

Viva eyes P4B market debut in Q3

Viva Communications, Inc. is targeting to raise P4 billion from its planned market debut around the third quarter this year, as it looks to cash in on the growing demand for content in online streaming platforms. The premier multi-media firm is reviving its initial public offering (IPO), originally slated in 2007, on the back of […] The post Viva eyes P4B market debut in Q3 appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMar 6th, 2020

Rescued Taiwanese worker tags a Michael Yang as POGO protector in gov t

MANILA, Philippines – A Taiwanese worker, whose passport was confiscated as she was made to work at a  Philippine offshore gaming operations  firm, alleged that the POGO was protected by a certain "Michael Yang." On Wednesday, February 12, rescued POGO worker Lai Yu Cian, 23, appeared before the media at the Senate with Senator ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsFeb 12th, 2020

LVMH firm buys Tiffany for $16.2B

PARIS: Luxury behemoth LVMH said on Monday it had clinched a deal to buy the storied US jeweller Tiffany in a $16.2-billion deal, its biggest acquisition ever, making the French firm a power player in fine gems just as demand is soaring worldwide. The deal comes after LVMH, already the top luxury firm overall, spent […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsNov 26th, 2019

BIR lifts closure order on online gambling firm

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)  lifted its closure order against Great Empire Gaming and Amusement Corporation (GEGAC)  just days after being shut down for being unable to pay the right taxes. In an issuance dated September 27 but made available to media on Tuesday, October 1, the BIR said GEGAC was ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsOct 1st, 2019

FB, YouTube execs summoned over ‘Bikoy’

Government prosecutors summoned the country heads of social media giants Facebook and YouTube to answer the P1-billion damage suit filed by the owner of Misibis Bay Resort in Albay over the viral “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos that had linked the firm to the illegal drug trade......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 6th, 2019

AC buys back P3B of its shares from Mitsubishi

AYALA CORP. (AC) has bought back P3.19 billion worth of common shares from Mitsubishi Corp., completing the Japanese firm’s portfolio rebalancing exercise for its investments in the country’s oldest conglomerate......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsMay 23rd, 2019

Pagcor remits record P16.17 B dividends

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) said yesterday it has remitted P16.17 billion in dividends to the national government for the year 2018, the highest ever given by the state-run firm since 2011......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 15th, 2019

Audiowav Media eyes P2.66-B IPO

MANILA, Philippines – Tecnology firm Audiowav Media Inc. is planning to raise up to P2.66 billion from an initial public offering targeted in November......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 31st, 2016

Tech firm Audiowav planning P2.66-B IPO

AUDIOWAV Media, Inc. is seeking to debut next on the equities market with an initial public offering (IPO) for as much as P2.66 billion......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsAug 31st, 2016

AREIT buys P5.1-B office mall

AREIT Inc., the real estate investment trust sponsored by Ayala Land Inc., has acquired a mall and office development in Pasig City from the real estate giant for P5.1 billion.                 In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, AREIT said it is buying The 30th, a 76,000 square meter commercial development located along Meralco Avenue in Pasig City. “The asset will increase AREIT’s portfolio to 246,000 square meters of GLA from 170,000 square meters and will contribute to its net income and dividends in 2021,” AREIT said. The 30th is a commercial development that was planned and developed by Ayala Land and completed in 2017. The office building is fully occupied predominantly by BPO companies. The 30th includes an amenity retail podium which will be operated and leased by Ayala Land from AREIT. Simultaneous to the acquisition of the building by AREIT, ALI will assign the long-term land lease to AREIT. AREIT wil lease office spaces to tenants, and the retail podium to Ayala Land under a fixed lease as operator of the retail spaces. The acquisition will be funded through debt. It will be a cash purchase with the installment schedule to be agreed by the parties. Currently, AREIT has no debt thereby allowing it to acquire assets that are yeld accretive through leverage. “This demonstrates AREIT’s ability to grow its portfolio and add value to its shareholders while its Sponsor, Ayala Land, Inc. can recycle the capital for its real estate projects in the Philippines,” AREIT said......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 24th, 2020

AREIT buys Ayala Malls The 30th, raises funds for more buyouts

Apart from Ayala Malls The 30th, AREIT also now owns the building host to Teleperformance Cebu, a business process firm, as well as three office buildings in Makati City namely Solaris One, Ayala North Exchange and McKinley Exchange. .....»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 23rd, 2020

Belle reports 96% drop in net profit

Belle Corp. said Thursday net income fell 96 percent first nine months to P93 million from P2.56 billion in the same period last year on lower revenues from gaming and real estate businesses......»»

Category: financeSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 23rd, 2020

I smell a rat

During the Senate hearing of the P5.795-billion budget of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority two weeks ago, the Senate brought up the finding of the Commission on Audit that the BCDA’s deal with a Malaysian firm, MTD Capital Berhad, was prejudicial to the interests of the government......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 20th, 2020

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

PH Resorts Group delays listing of FOO shares

PH Resorts Group Holdings Inc., the listed gaming and hospitality company of Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy, has moved the listing date for P1.125 billion worth of shares to Nov. 5 from Nov. 3......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 14th, 2020

‘DTI firm fails to deliver P3.27 billion fire stations, equipment’

At least 242 towns have no fire stations or fire trucks, but a Department of Trade and Industry-attached corporation whose task is to import goods has not been able to complete even one of the 98 fire stations it was contracted to build for P892 million, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto lamented yesterday......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 12th, 2020

Gwen: No monopoly in new North Bus terminal

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Provincial Government of Cebu assured that there would be no monopoly in the new Cebu North Bus Terminal (CNBT). The Capitol, in a report from their media arm Sugbo News, denied the unofficial reports circulating among bus drivers and operators that a large bus firm had been seeking to have […] The post Gwen: No monopoly in new North Bus terminal appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 10th, 2020

Uy firm inks P10-B Dito tower, cable deal

Beijing-backed Dito Telecommunity Corp. has tapped a sister company in a P10-billion deal to hasten its network rollout. In a statement on Wednesday, that company, Udenna Infrastructure Corp. (UIC), said it was added by the government-chosen third telecommunications player to its list of infrastructure partners ahead of the planned launch of its commercial operations in […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020