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Monthly Archives: December 2018

It takes a century to make this drink

THERE have been just a handful of “cellar masters” who have created Remy Martin’s Louis XIII, the liquor Paul-Emile Remy Martin began to make in 1874, and which was named to honor French king. Cellar masters are tasked to choose the best eaux-de-vie, or “water of life,” the selection of blends from which to create a Louis XIII. To do this, they must sift through an extensive range of choices, sampling the various eaux-de-vie produced by winegrowers and distillers around Grande Champagne in Cognac each year, and setting aside those which they deem as having the best potential for aging.

It happened one night

FILIPINOS love love stories, So it comes as no surprise that this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival had three romantic entries: Mary, Marry Me by Paul Soriano, One Great Love by Eric Quizon, and the focus of this review, The Girl in the Orange Dress by Jay Abello.
Manila Water logo

Manila Water-led group bags Nueva Ecija project

MANILA WATER Co., Inc. and its two consortium partners have been awarded a 25-year contract to develop the water district of San Jose City in Nueva Ecija, the Ayala-led listed company said on Wednesday.

An all-star cast in a film on the same old things

THIS year, Jose Marie “Vice Ganda” Viceral’s entry to the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) might have avoided the overly obvious product placements of his previous outings, but the people behind the film still made sure their film, Fantastica, would suck in all that blockbuster moolah by stuffing in as many big stars and cameos as they could in the almost two hour-long film.

Converge ICT eyes IPO in next 5 years

CONVERGE ICT Solutions, Inc. said it is looking to tap more sources of funding for its expansion plans, which includes an initial public offering (IPO) within the next five years.

Promising horror but…

A FOOLISH decision to submit to an oppressor defeats the purpose of proving one’s worth.

Thrift banks’ bad loans expand at end-October

SOURED DEBTS held by thrift banks continued to climb in October, latest central bank data showed, with reserves for possible losses enough to cover just half the amount.

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Innovation needed to combat cyber attacks via gig economy

EDUCATION AND innovation are needed in staying ahead of cyber attackers in the emerging gig economy, said content delivery network (CDN) and cloud service provider Akamai Technologies, Inc.

Co-working spaces seen to grow by 10% — Colliers report

FLEXIBLE WORKING spaces in the Philippines are seen to grow by 10% annually over the next three years, as micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), multinational companies, and outsourcing firms continue to expand, Colliers International said.

Movies outside the MMFF

IF THE Metro Manila Film Fest (MMFF) offerings leave you cold, as they do many, this year’s movie fans have choices beyond what they can find on cable or Netflix. Several of the smaller specialty theaters are showing films that are not included in the MMFF lineup.

BoJ divided over effects of easy policy — minutes

TOKYO — Bank of Japan (BoJ) policy makers disagreed on the feasibility of allowing bond yields to move more flexibly around the central bank’s zero percent target, reflecting division within the board on how to address the growing dangers of prolonged easing, minutes of their October rate review showed on Wednesday.

Facebook said to develop stablecoin for WhatsApp

FACEBOOK INC. is working on making a cryptocurrency that will let users transfer money on its WhatsApp messaging app, focusing first on the remittances market in India, according to people familiar with the matter.

Metro Pacific secures P24-billion loan for Cavite-Laguna expressway

A METRO PACIFIC group unit said it has completed the funding for the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) project and is eyeing to start commercial operations of some segments in the Laguna section as early as July next year.

‘Heads — it’s yours!’ London meat market keeps Christmas Eve auction alive

LONDON — Fresh meat was selling like hot cakes at Smithfield Market’s Christmas Eve public auction on Monday, with auctioneers running up and down makeshift catwalks and handing over turkeys and huge cuts of beef and pork in return for 20-pound notes.

After crash, dreams die hard for cryptocurrency bankers

LIMBO — that’s where to find Wall Street when it comes to cryptocurrencies.

Ofo’s dramatic fall a warning to China’s tech investors

BEIJING/SHANGHAI — On the sidewalks of Shanghai and Beijing, once bright-yellow Ofo bicycles lie in varying states of disrepair — chains unhooked, wheels buckled and paint starting to fade — reflecting the quick rise and sharp fall of the Chinese bike-sharing start-up.

AGI focuses on real estate expansion in 2019

ALLIANCE GLOBAL Group, Inc. (AGI) is pushing the expansion of its real estate business into the provinces, banking on the continued economic growth in the regions.

China Bank to open 23 new branches

CHINA BANKING Corp. (China Bank) is looking at opening 23 new branches in 2019 using licenses obtained from a bank it earlier acquired.

2019: The year of the data-driven digital ecosystem

IT’S THAT time of year — our planet has made its trip around the sun and as we close out 2018, we look ahead and think about the possibilities for 2019.And we’re closing in on the next decade of innovation that takes us into 2030, where we at Dell Technologies predict we’ll realize the next era of Human-Machine Partnerships — where we will be immersed in smart living, intelligent work, and a frictionless economy.

Magic on Ice at the Smart Araneta Coliseum adds more shows

THE RUN OF THE one-of-a-kind Christmas show that mixes magic with ice skating has been extended.

Dusit-managed Beach Club opens in Davao

DUSIT INTERNATIONAL on Wednesday said it has officially opened The Beach Club at Lubi Plantation Island, Davao Gulf.

How PSEi member stocks performed — December 26, 2018

Here’s a quick glance at how PSEi stocks fared on Wednesday, December 26, 2018.

Stocks end lower on thin trading, Wall St.’s drop

SHARES TREKKED lower on Wednesday due to thin trading, while also weighed down by the weakness of markets abroad.
rice farmers

Farm output target in doubt after flat 3 quarters

THE Department of Agriculture’s (DA) target of 2.5% growth in farm output this year is unlikely to be achieved, an economist said.

Central Luzon investment hub bill hurdles bicam

A BILL creating the Regional Investment and Infrastructure Coordinating Hub (RICH) for Central Luzon has been approved by the Bicameral Conference Committee.

Budget talks delaying passage of service incentive leave bill

A BILL increasing worker’s service incentive leave (SIL) benefit to 10 days has been set aside for the moment while the Senate concludes budget deliberations, legislators from both chambers said.
steel bars

DTI bans sale of uncertified steel bars

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it imposed new rules covering the product safety (PS) certification of certain steel bar products.

MWSS, NIA to jointly carry out key projects

THE Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and National Irrigation Administration (NIA) will share resources to better participate in the government’s infrastructure program, MWSS said.

Senate approves bill extending TIEZA power to grant incentives

THE SENATE approved on third and final reading a bill extending the authority of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) to grant incentives to tourism enterprises until Dec. 31, 2029.
Court of Tax Appeals

Tax court rejects P219-M Petron refund claim

THE Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) rejected for lack of merit Petron Corp.’s claim for a refund of P219.12 million worth of excise tax allegedly collected erroneously by the Bureau of Internal Revenue, ruling that a gasoline component imported by the company is subject to tax.

OFW regulator outlines exemptions to Iraq worker deployment ban

THE Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said it will exempt certain classes of Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) from the deployment ban to Iraq.

US citizen-based taxation: A drawback for American expats

Under the citizenship-based taxation approach, a US citizen working or enjoying retirement in any country outside the US shall continue to be subject to US income tax. This rule signifies that individuals are taxed based on their citizenship irrespective of their place of residence. In other words, if an American is outside of the US at any time during the year and earned income abroad, US Federal law requires him to file his Individual Income Tax Return or Form 1040, to report his worldwide income, and to pay taxes to the Internal Revenue Services (IRS). This makes the US one of only two countries (the other being the African nation of Eritrea) implementing this tax regime; other countries tax worldwide income of residents, but not citizens living elsewhere. For American expats, this entails recurring tax obligations on top of evaluating the tax impact in the foreign country where they are assigned to work. So even if an American expat is working in a tax-free country, he or she is still required to file income tax returns with the IRS — an obligation which, surprisingly, some Americans working overseas seem to be unaware of.

Technology’s story for 2018

IT was another momentous year for the technology industry — not necessarily in a good way. Here is Bloomberg Opinion’s assessment of the eight biggest themes in technology for 2018 and what they tell us about the industry’s future.

ARMM takes a bow, ends on a high note

BY the first quarter of 2019, the regional government we now call the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will cease to exist following a referendum in January.

The necessity of lifelong learning

TWO Thousand Eighteen, how shall I describe you? Any reflective adult would probably say, as each year of their adult life draws to an end, that it was indeed “the best of times, the worst of times.” This year closes with no difference. It has been both good and challenging.

The death of us?

I was born in the year of the First Quarter Storm. It was the same year that a 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit Luzon that killed 15 and injured 200, that Typhoon Sening left 575 dead in Camarines Sur, and that Typhoon Yoling ravaged Manila and killed 611. It was also that year that Pope Paul VI visited the Philippines and survived an assassination attempt.

US-PH friendship rings stronger in 2018

MABUHAY Pilipinas! The holiday season is a time of celebration and reflection. Looking back over the past 12 months, 2018 was a fantastic year for the US-Philippines relationship. I’m proud of all that we accomplished with our Philippine friends and partners to improve livelihoods, spur greater trade and investment opportunities, and enhance peace and security.

Palace calls 50-year-old CPP a ‘failed rebellion’

AS THE Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) celebrated its 50th founding anniversary on Wed., Dec. 26, Malacañang tagged its five decades of armed movement against government as a “failed rebellion.”

Stock for P27/kg NFA rice still good for 8 months — DA

AGRICULTURE Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said stock for the P27 per kilogram (kg) of rice from the National Food Authority (NFA) will last for eight months.

SC acquits pastor-radio anchor on 1 count of libel

THE SUPREME Court (SC) acquitted pastor and former radio program anchor Eliseo F. Soriano in one count of libel, but affirmed an indictment on another libel count filed by Jesus Miracle Crusade, International Ministry (JMCIM) leader Evangelist Wilde E. Almeda.

Tropical Depression Usman strengthens as it nears land

TROPICAL CYCLONE warning signal #1 could be raised over provinces in the Eastern Visayas and the northern part of Caraga by Wednesday evening, Dec. 26, or Thursday morning as tropical depression Usman strengthens while nearing landfall.

CHR to boost inquiry on human rights violations in drug war, Mindanao martial law

THE COMMISSION on Human Rights (CHR) aims to strengthen its investigation on human rights violation cases in relation to President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s nationwide war on drugs in 2019.

Manila subway to break ground mid-Jan.

THE DEPARTMENT of Transportation (DoTr) said the groundbreaking for the Japan-funded Metro Manila Subway project has been moved to January due to conflicts in schedule with Japanese representatives.
Bureau of Immigration (BI) logo

21 Chinese illegal workers arrested in Baclaran

THE BUREAU of Immigration (BI) arrested 21 Chinese nationals last Dec. 18 in Baclaran, Pasay City for illegally working in retail stores in the country.

Davao Oriental revenue collection up 26%

THE DAVAO Oriental provincial government collected over P255 million in revenues as of Oct. this year, 26% higher than the P203 million full-year income in 2017, based on a report from the Provincial Treasurer’s Office.