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Monthly Archives: March 2019

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Chicago mayor demands answers after Smollett hoax charges dropped

CHICAGO MAYOR Rahm Emanuel said on Wednesday he wanted to “find out what happened” to cause prosecutors to abruptly drop charges against Empire actor Jussie Smollett, who was accused of staging a hoax hate crime to boost his career.

TV show on growing passion for tigers

IN 2017, Academy award-winning documentary director Ross Kauffman (Born in Brothels, 2004) and his team worked through extremes of temperature — -27° Celsius in Far East Russia and 35° C in India — on a very different kind of project. For the first time in his career, Mr. Kauffman was filming a documentary about animals — specifically, tigers — a break from telling stories about people and their struggles. The documentary, Tigerland, is meant to raise awareness of a project to create preserves for the rapidly dwindling population of great cat.

BoI approves tax incentives for Holcim Philippines’ new cement line

HOLCIM Philippines, Inc. has secured tax incentives for its new cement line in Bulacan, it told the stock exchange on Thursday.

Manila Water taps additional deep wells to address shortage

MANILA WATER Co., Inc. has started operating an additional 13 deep wells in its concession area to address the water shortage.

Earth Hour focuses on plastics

PULLING the plug when devices are not in use, avoiding the use of disposable utensils, and recycling and upcycling materials are only a few of the many ways to practice sustainable living.

Filipinos preferred under Japan’s new special worker program

THE Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) said Filipino workers covered by a new bilateral agreement with Japan for workers with specialized skills are assured of better pay because of Japan has decided to extend preferential treatment for workers from the Philippines.

A payments app backed by Jack Ma that’s mimicking Ant Financial

MYNT, the Philippine payments app backed by billionaire Jack Ma’s Ant Financial, plans to roll out insurance products en route to becoming a sprawling financial services platform in its Chinese ally’s image.

Breaking bad

STEVE MCQUEEN’s Widows is a sketch of urban corruption, a low-key indictment of racism and (a touch louder) misogyny, a rich character study. It’s also a hell of a crime pic.
Cho Yang-ho

‘Nut rage’ fallout: Korean Air chief exec ousted from board

SEOUL -- Korean Air Lines Co Ltd shareholders removed chief executive Cho Yang-ho from its board in a landmark vote on Wednesday, making him the first founding family member of any South Korean corporate giant to be forced off a board.

Dami Im at Salon de Ning

X-FACTOR Australia winner (and 2nd placer at thes 2016 Eurovision Song Contest) Dami Im will perform live at Salon de Ning of The Peninsula Manila on April 3 at 9 p.m. Manila-based R&B/soul singer Bea Lorenzo as her front act.

GERI eyes P900M from 4th Twin Lakes condo

GLOBAL-ESTATE Resorts, Inc. (GERI) is expecting to generate P900 million from its fourth residential condominium within the 1,200-hectare Twin Lakes in Laurel, Batangas.
Martin Zielke

Commerzbank management pay cuts contrast with Deutsche Bank

FRANKFURT -- Commerzbank’s chief executive was paid 32 percent less in 2018, contrasting with sharp rises for the top management at its potential merger partner Deutsche Bank.

UnionBank sets up private bank for ultra-high net worth clients

UNIONBANK OF THE Philippines, Inc. launched its private banking services to offer wealth management for ultra-high net worth individuals and families.

What to see this week

6 films to see on the week of March 29 — April 4, 2019

Anhui Conch, Taiheiyo said among Holcim PHL bidders

CHINA’S Anhui Conch Cement Co. and Japan’s Taiheiyo Cement Corp. have been invited to the next round of bidding for LafargeHolcim Ltd.’s listed Philippines unit, people familiar with the matter said.
monster employment index

Online recruiting picks up in January, February — Monster

MONSTER.COM said online recruiting in the Philippines grew 16% year-on-year in January with growth slowing to 11% in February, with hospitality and health care jobs in greatest demand.

TransUnion exploring cross-border credit data sharing

GLOBAL REMITTANCE FIRM TransUnion is exploring cross-border sharing of credit data, a tool seen to improve access to credit for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Your Weekend Guide (March 29, 2019)

SHANGRI-LA Plaza rounds off celebrations for International Women’s Month with the INSPIRE | WOMEN photo exhibit, which marks the 11th anniversary of fashion photographer Rxandy Capinpin, and his latest collaboration with clothier Levenson Rodriguez.

Perjury case vs Okada junked

THE PERJURY case against embattled gaming tycoon Kazuo Okada has been dismissed by the Manila City Prosecutors Office due to lack of evidence.

2019 macro outlook

IN OUR Philippine National Bank board meeting last week, we asked PNB bank economist Jun Trinidad on his economic macro outlook. What are the positive developments? And what can cause concern?

Hiring and retaining the brightest managers

Hiring people and losing them in a short period of time is always an expensive situation for any organization. In our case, it’s almost 50%-50% for those who resigned voluntarily and involuntarily within their first year of employment. Knowing this, what are the best strategies to reduce the chance of the wrong people being hired? How do we screen and hire the best and the brightest who will stick to our organization? -- Water Lily.

How PSEi member stocks performed — March 28, 2019

Here’s a quick glance at how PSEi stocks fared on Thursday, March 28, 2019.
water containers crisis

Ex-DPWH head backs creation of water department

PAST and present government officials are supporting the creation a Department of Water to serve as the one entity to oversee the operations of various agencies, a former Cabinet official said.
Panfilo Lacson

Lacson confident Palace will partly veto budget

SENATOR Panfilo M. Lacson said Thursday that he is confident that President Rodrigo R. Duterte will veto parts of the P3.757-trillion 2019 budget now awaiting his signature, especially allegedly unauthorized items inserted after the bicameral conference committee approved the spending plan.
pedestrians people

WHO finds broad gender disparities in health care top management

WOMEN hold a quarter of senior positions in health care globally despite accounting for about 70% of the total health work force, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported.
palm oil

PHL asks Malaysia, Indonesia to moderate their palm oil exports

THE agriculture ministries of Malaysia and Indonesia have agreed to form a technical working group with the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) to address the issue of the oversupply of palm oil in the Philippines, to the detriment of the coconut industry.
toll booth

Regulator approves toll adjustments for SCTEx, MCX

THE TOLL Regulatory Board (TRB) said it approved toll adjustments for Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) and Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway (MCX) this week.
rice farmer

Agriculture trade deficit widens in 4th quarter

A DEFICIT in the trade of agricultural products widened in the fourth quarter of 2018, with import growth outstripping exports, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said Thursday.
Chico River groundbreaking

Makabayan to ask Supreme Court to order withdrawal from Chico River China loan deal

THE MAKABAYAN BLOC of legislators said it will file on April 3 a petition before the Supreme Court to order the government to withdraw from the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project loan agreement, over questions about its constitutionality.
Supreme Court

SC dismisses challenge to bundling process for auctioning airport projects

THE Supreme Court (SC) dismissed a petition questioning the constitutionality of “bundling” of airport development projects in five provinces, ruling that the matter must first be tested in a lower court.
C5 South Link

C5 South Link phase 1 to open in 2nd quarter

METRO Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) said a portion of the C5 South Link Expressway is scheduled to open by the second quarter, which will connect C5 road to Merville in Parañaque City.
Sherwin T. Gatchalian

Foreign Investments Act amendments being rushed

SENATOR Sherwin T. Gatchalian said Thursday that he intends to present to the plenary a bill amending the Foreign Investments Act (FIA) of 1991 to improve the country’s standing as a foreign investment destination in Southeast Asia.
500 peso bills

National government debt declines month-on-month in February

THE government’s total outstanding debt declined slightly from a month earlier in February due to redemptions of domestic bonds, the repayment of foreign loans, and a stronger peso, the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) said.
Debt/GDP ration, in percent

MORE debt reduction please

How dangerous or non-dangerous are China loans to the Philippine economy?
What’s the DFA good for?

What’s the DFA good for?

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is expected to promote international understanding and defend Philippine sovereignty. It is also tasked with protecting Filipinos abroad. In its dealings with other countries, it is of course assumed that the DFA will enhance and defend Philippine interests through diplomatic means. But equally important is its affirmation in word and deed of the value and need for the country to honor its international commitments to human, civil and political rights.


There are various types of obsessions and fixations. They apply to objects, people and situations. When one is focused on and fascinated with a beautiful subject, this could lead to a desire to possess it at all costs. When it is unattainable, it becomes an obsession.
Time to end disrespectful student activism

Time to end disrespectful student activism

There’s this interesting scene in the movie Too Big To Fail, which is about the 2008 financial crisis that almost brought down the entire global economy. The setting was after US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson (played by William Hurt) asked the CEOs of the world’s biggest financial institutions to work through the weekend and try coming up with solutions to avert the crisis.
Why the 1987 Constitution has endured for 32 years without amendment

Why the 1987 Constitution has endured for 32 years without amendment

And yet another plausible, even fundamental, reason why the Philippine charter has remained unamended for 32 years lies in the nation’s tradition of judicial review, specifically the power of the judiciary, i.e. the Supreme Court, to interpret the Constitution.
Peso Dollar

Peso declines vs dollar on global growth fears

THE PESO declined further against the dollar on Thursday, dragged by dovish remarks from the European Central Bank (ECB).

PSE index inches higher on net foreign buying

THE MAIN INDEX firmed up on Thursday, albeit ending on a flattish note, as investors remained on the sidelines due to lack of leads.
Rodrigo R. Duterte

Duterte disavows ICC complaint to Chinese minister

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte on Wednesday disavowed complaint filed against Chinese President Xi Jinping and others before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in connection with the reported harassment of Filipino fishermen at the West Philippine Sea.

Lawmaker mulls negligence case against MWSS

THE BOARD of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) may face an administrative complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman for gross negligence over the water crisis in Metro Manila.

NDF consultant charged

By Vann Marlo M. Villegas, Reporter THE DEPARTMENT of Justice (DoJ) has indicted National Democratic Front (NDF) consultant Renante M. Gamara for illegal possession of...

Prayers for the birthday of a president critical of the church

PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte, who has professed belief in God but not in institutional religion and has repeatedly lashed at the Catholic church, received prayers from both friends and foe on his 74th birthday on March 28.

CA orders NBI to present justification on alleged Abu Sayyaf member’s arrest

THE Court of Appeals (CA) directed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to present and justify before the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) executive judge the arrest and detention of an alleged Abu Sayyaf Group member.