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Six months into pandemic, MSMEs still hurting – ADB

Six months into the pandemic, almost half of the country’s micro, small and medium enterprises still suffer from diminished revenues and capital shortage, according to an assessment of the Asian Development Bank......»»

Category: financeSource: philstar philstarOct 30th, 2020

Coke PH expands Balik Pinas program for repatriated OFWs

Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Inc. (CCBPI)—the bottling arm of Coca-Cola in the country—has expanded its Balik Pinas program to national scale to reach more repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and help them start their own business at home. Gareth McGeown, CCBPI President and CEO. “Coca-Cola’s commitment to Filipinos has only grown stronger, in weathering this crisis together,” said Gareth McGeown, CCBPI President and CEO. “We will help and support where we can. Through Balik Pinas, our goal is to help repatriated OFWs who have lost their livelihood abroad to start anew, via owning and operating their own business and be successful here, at home, with their families.” With the help of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), CCBPI aims to reach more OFWs who are interested to start their own business through Balik Pinas. Data from the Department of Foreign Affairs show that as of September 2020, over 190,000 overseas Filipino workers have been repatriated. Balik Pinas gives opportunities to OFWs to be part of the Coca-Cola family as a distributor, wholesaler, or a community reseller. Balik Pinas is a journey that the company and new entrepreneurs take together at every step—from setting up the business, to sustaining it, to ensuring growth. Coca-Cola assists former OFWs in choosing a suitable business model for their area, helps in managing their cash flow and inventory, and sees to it that they are given proper guidance and training until they are fully ready and equipped to operate on their own—all in all, a sustainable and profitable business founded on practical support from a global beverage brand. According to Carlos Rivera, CCBPI Territory Sales Team in Naga City, the Balik Pinas Program started as a small-scale initiative in Naga City to help former OFWs. Just a couple of months after returning home, Carlos Manzano and his family was able to set up their business as Coca-Cola distributor through the Balik Pinas Program, which Carlos said has reshaped his life and outlook forever. IN PHOTO: Carlos and their family’s multi-cab routing unit with the Coca-Cola Naga Sales team. When the program’s pilot rollout started, the Manzanos—brothers Carlos and Jazz, and their father Lito—were among the pioneer members. Carlos and Jazz had both been working for several years in Qatar until the COVID-19 pandemic shook the trajectory of their career and, consequently, the well-being of their families. Together with their father, Lito, who also used to be an overseas worker, they set up a beverage distribution business in their hometown Naga City. Their optimism, as with any new business venture, was tempered with anxiety over how it would all turn out—especially with the considerable challenge of launching during such tenuous times until Rivera offered them membership to the Balik Pinas Program of Coca-Cola. Now, the Manzanos are running a profitable business as Coca-Cola distributors. “Even when I had to leave Qatar suddenly because of the lay-offs, I always envisioned that I would head back to work there when things settle. But with Coca-Cola’s Balik Pinas, I have a livelihood that doesn’t take me away from my family as being an OFW had,” said Carlos.  Lito can still remember his first order of 60 cases of Coke products. Now, the Manzano  family business has grown to an average of 4,000 cases a month, just five months after they started—a feat magnified for it being in the middle of a pandemic and strict quarantine measures. The Manzanos have also since invested in routing units to augment their business’s capabilities—a multicab and a tricycle. Since starting his business in 2019, Billy Belleza (left), is now one of the prominent Coca-Cola distributors in his area and has added another mini truck to serve more routes and deliveries. Billy is one of the pioneers of Coca-Cola’s Balik Pinas program. Another Balik Pinas program pioneer member is Billy Belleza who decided to return to the country after working for 20 years in Brunei. “I am really thankful that Coca-Cola reached out to me to be a part of this. They have never failed to present opportunities for me and my business to grow since I decided to take part in the Balik Pinas Program. My sales actually soared this year,” said Belleza, who is also based in Naga City. According to Rivera, Balik Pinas Program was really designed for returning OFWs like Billy, Carlos, and Jazz and their families to set up and run a viable business at home. “With their success and in light of current events, this program was expanded to operate on a national scale, so the company can lend assistance to repatriated OFWs and their families as they weather through new challenges brought on by the pandemic,” Rivera said. Coca-Cola has consistently sought to create programs to support MSMEs, more so now with the COVID-19 pandemic having disrupted countless lives and livelihoods. With programs like Balik Pinas, Coca-Cola remains firm in their commitment to help local communities, contributing to the restart of the national economy—by way of reaching out to Filipinos.  To know more about the program, you may reach Coca-Cola’s contact center at (02)-8813-COKE (2653). For SMART/PLDT users: toll-free number: 1800-1888-COKE (2653); and for GLOBE users: toll-free number: 1800-8888-COKE (2653). You may also contact 0919-160-COKE (2653) via SMS......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 24th, 2020

Christmas 2020 for workers and farmers

HOTSPOT Tonyo Cruz Two things workers are looking forward to at the end of each year are the 13th month pay and the Christmas bonus. And it seems about two million workers may not get any 13th month pay at all, if the Duterte government would have its way. The reason? Because of the pandemic. In reaction, Kilusang Mayo Uno chairperson Elmer Labog  issued his shortest statement yet this year, unable to hide labor’s frustration: “It is the government’s responsibility to bail out MSMEs in times of emergencies.” Indeed, it is the state’s obligation to support and prop up micro, small and medium-scale enterprises especially now in the time of pandemic. By saying MSMEs could dispense with the 13th month pay, the government is practically passing on its responsibility to MSMEs. Workers continue to give their share through the cheap, underpaid and overstressed labor power that makes sure MSMEs continue to function and perform their role as main engines of the economy. The government must do its job: Bail out the MSMEs. It is quite surprising that the Duterte government seems disinterested in bailing out MSMEs, considering the avalanche of news about the borrowings here and there. According to Sonny Africa, executive director of the think-tank Ibon Foundation, the borrowings has reached a historic high: “It took 118 years for the country’s debt to reach P6.1-trillion in 2016. President Duterte is taking just six years to more than than double that to P13.7-trillion in 2022.” Again, the reason for the borrowing has been “because of the pandemic.” Regardless of where the money goes, and whether or not MSMEs and workers received only a drop from it, they would pay the entire debt through more and higher taxes for years to come. Workers are not asking for something they have not earned through hard work. They earned that 13th month pay. It is not an optional thing. It is part of the law. The pandemic should oblige the state to bail out our MSMEs to enable them to fully function, and to give the workers’ their due under the law. Workers have given and lost a lot because of the pandemic. Workers have not asked for free rides to work, but the government fails to provide adequate and safe mass transport. Workers have asked for free mass testing in their companies and communities, but the government has other ideas. Workers and their families would have fared better with unemployment benefits amid the dismal pandemic response of government, but it seems the same government wishes to push them instead to pawnshops and loan sharks. We haven’t even factored in the laid-off, underemployed and unemployed workers, as well as the undetermined number of overseas Filipino healthcare workers stranded in the country since April. They all don’t wish to be “patay-gutom” and “pala-asa”.  They don’t wish to stay unemployed and be dependent on aid. They are ready to work and earn their keep. But since the president made policy decisions affecting their ability to obtain work, it is the government’s obligation to bail them out as well. The situation of our nation’s farmers is no different. For instance, rice farmers continue to produce our national staple. The pandemic made even worse the effects on them of the combined power of policies such as rice tarrification, the stranglehold of Big Landlords, the vast influence of rice cartels, and the continued operation of illegal rice importers. Price monitoring by Bantay Bigas and the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas reveals the outrageously low palay prices nationwide, which means ruin to our nation’s rice farmers: Negros Occidental and Bicol region P10; Capiz P10-P11; Caraga P11; Tarlac P11-12; Ilocos Sur and Nueva Ecija P11-13; Camarines Sur P11.50-14; Bulacan and Mindoro P12; Isabela P12-P13.50; Pangasinan P12-P12.30; Antique P12.50; Agusan del Sur P13; Davao de Oro P13.14; Davao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and South Cotabato P13.50; North Cotabato P14; and Lanao del Norte P15. If you look at it, plantitos and plantitas today pay 20 to 50 times more for ornamental plants, compared to the prices traders and the NFA offer to our farmers. According to Bantay Bigas and KMP, the government procures way less than 20 percent of the produce of rice farmers.  And then we hear that the NFA would rather import rice from other countries, at pandemic-affected prices at that. Without any state intervention, by way of NFA buying rice farmers’ produce at P20 per kilo, and providing loans to farmers, there could be worse rural poverty in the coming months and years. Between our workers and farmers, their families have been made to sacrifice a lot since March, with prices of basic goods spiking, with new and higher expenses arising from online classes for the children. There cannot be no aid for them.  Neither should workers and farmers shoulder the burden of the failure or refusal of government to provide funding for bailouts sorely needed by MSMEs, and be forced to accept new national debts to pay for policies such as rice tarrification and importation. The government knows the scale of the problem. The Department of Labor and Employment says 13,127 companies have either laid off workers or permanently closed. The response cannot be “pass the burden to workers”. The answer should be: “the state must do everything to rescue the companies and the workers.” OFWs across the world should be familiar with bailouts and economic protections because of the pandemic. Many countries that host OFWs enacted huge bailouts and stimulus to their economies, partly so that migrant labor could continue to be employed. They enjoy health insurance, and special COVID19 coverage. Governments handed out checks to both citizens and companies. Is it too much to ask that the same be done in our own country? Or do Filipinos have to go abroad to experience such social and economic protections?.....»»

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

Masungi Georeserve reopens to tourists

MANILA – The Masungi Georeserve, a premier eco-tourism destination in Rizal province, formally reopened on Wednesday (November 25) after months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. Guests are required to book their reservations at Masungi’s website, with the number per group limited to five to eight persons to observe minimum health protocols. The entrance […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  balitaRelated NewsNov 27th, 2020

Budget deficit surged 170% to P940.6b in 1st& nbsp;10 months

The government’s budget deficit increased 24.6 percent in October to P61.4 billion from the P49.3-billion shortfall a year ago, on double-digit decline in revenue collections and single-digit drop in spending amid the pandemic......»»

Category: financeSource:  thestandardRelated NewsNov 25th, 2020

BOI confident of recording P1-t investments this year

The Board of Investments said Tuesday it is optimistic about achieving its target of P1 trillion in approved investments this year as pledges already reached P826 billion in the first 10 months despite the threat of the pandemic......»»

Category: financeSource:  thestandardRelated NewsNov 24th, 2020

DTI CAR reports continuing support to Cordillera MSMEs

BAGUIO CITY, Nov. 23 (PIA) - - The Department of Trade and Industry affirms continuing support to Cordillera Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in this time of Coronavirus pandemic and cal.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsNov 24th, 2020

PEZA out to prevent third straight year of investment slump

PEZA out to prevent third straight year of investment slump MANILA, Philippines — The country’s largest economic zone operator is looking to halt a two-year drop in investment pledges this year, a daunting task amid investor aversion to uncertainties brought by pandemic and legislation to reduce tax perks. With only 2 months left into the year, […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  balitaRelated NewsNov 23rd, 2020

First OTOP Hub in Region 8 sheds light to MSMEs disrupted by the pandemic

Eastern Visayas’ first One Town One Product (OTOP) Hub has opened at the midst of the pandemic bringing light to local producers of the region as their products will be marketed through the hub......»»

Category: newsSource:  samarnewsRelated NewsNov 23rd, 2020

Robinsons Bank earnings jump 70% in 9 months

The earnings of Gokongwei-led Robinsons Bank Corp. jumped by 70 percent to P786.22 billion from January to September compared to P461.28 million in the same period last year despite a surge in provision for potential loan losses due to uncertainties brought about by the pandemic......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 22nd, 2020

How to Overcome “Pandemic Fatigue”

After enduring almost eight months into the country’s COVID-19 lockdown and bearing the more restrictive Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) to General Community Quarantine (GCQ), most people have adapted to the situation of wearing masks and face shields, limiting social gatherings, and finding creative ways to connect with others to keep ........»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 20th, 2020

EDITORIAL - Sustainable sanitation

With vaccines against coronavirus disease 2019 now set to be rolled out for emergency use in the United States, hopes are high that the pandemic can come to an end within several months......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 20th, 2020

DTI, SM launch Christmas bazaar for MSMEs

The Department of Trade and Industry and SM Supermalls have launched a Christmas bazaar to help micro, small and medium enterprises affected by the pandemic by providing free spaces in malls......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 20th, 2020

Job applicants increase five-fold amid pandemic

The number of jobseekers increased five-fold in recent months to as many as 300 to 400 per opening as available positions and salary offer fell by nearly half amid the pandemic and quarantine restrictions that limited the capacity of many companies, online hiring portal Jobstreet.com said Tuesday......»»

Category: financeSource:  thestandardRelated NewsNov 18th, 2020

Apex Mining earns record high P991 million

Apex Mining Co. Inc. recorded a record-high income in the nine months to September as prices in the global market continue to skyrocket despite the pandemic......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 17th, 2020

Vista Land net income down 39% in Jan-Sep

VILLAR-LED Vista Land and Lifescapes Inc. saw its consolidated net income slump by 39 percent to P5.5 billion in the first nine months of the year as the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic continued to affect its operations. The property developer’s consolidated revenues likewise dropped 25 percent to P25.7 billion during the period. Despite the […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsNov 17th, 2020

Vista Land books P5.5-b net income

Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc., the integrated real estate arm of the Villar Group, said Monday net income in the first nine months declined 39 percent to P5.5 billion from a year ago, as the pandemic affected residential sales......»»

Category: financeSource:  thestandardRelated NewsNov 17th, 2020

September remittances rose by 9.3% to $2.601b

Remittances rose 9.3 percent in September from a year ago, the fastest growth in 29 months, as the economies hosting overseas Filipino workers gradually recovered from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas show on Monday......»»

Category: financeSource:  thestandardRelated NewsNov 17th, 2020

ATI net income down 31% in 9 mos.

Asian Terminals Inc. registered lower net income in the nine months ending September as revenues fall on the back of lower container volumes resulting from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 16th, 2020

CLI income falls 9% to P1.5 billion

Visayas and Mindanao property developer Cebu Landmasters Inc. reported a nine percent drop in income in the first nine months to P1.5 billion as revenues were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 16th, 2020

Positive news

For a world battered by the COVID-19 pandemic for many months now, news of success in coming up with a vaccine, by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, is welcome indeed......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsNov 16th, 2020