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Monthly Archives: December 2019



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Body doubles

Sunod is unusually sophisticated for the Filipino horror genre. Its terrors subtly operate along several levels.

Southern discomfort

MMFF Movie Review Mindanao Directed by Brillante Ma. Mendoza Mindanao, Brillante Ma Mendoza’s latest Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry, humanizes as well as mythologizes the second...

CPA Australia designation: A passport to the future

The Professional Regulatory Board of Accountancy (BOA), Philippines Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA), and CPA Australia are collaborating to advance the interests of...

CPA Australia: Helping Filipinos build exceptional finance careers

As CFO of California Fitness and Yoga Co. Ltd since May 2011, Filipino Rowell Donato Ng Tan CPA (Aust.), who has been working in...

CCP President Lizaso appointed as new NCCA Chairperson

Malacañang has appointed Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) President Arsenio “Nick” Lizaso as the new chairperson of the National Commission for Culture and...

Troubled Mindanao bags top Metro Manila Film Fest prizes

Brillante Ma. Mendoza’s Mindanao may have taken the lion’s share of awards at the recently held Metro Manila Film Festival Awards Night including the...
Salvador S. Panelo

PHL threatens to change visa rule for US citizens

THE PHILIPPINE government on Friday announced it will remove the visa-on-arrival privilege for American citizens if their government fully enforces the provision banning the entry to the United States of Filipino officials supposedly involved in the detainment of Senator Leila M. De Lima.

Typhoon death toll rises to 28, agri damage over P600M

THE DEATH toll from typhoon Ursula (international name: Phanfone) has risen to 28 as authorities continue to take stock of the devastation in central areas of the Philippines.

Majority of Filipinos welcoming 2020 ‘with hope’

MAJORITY OF Filipino adults are entering 2020 “with hope rather than with fear,” according to the Fourth Quarter 2019 Social Weather Survey.
Grab to launch new services in Cebu

House resolution filed to investigate Grab charges

A LEGISLATOR has filed a resolution seeking to conduct an investigation on the alleged illegal charges being imposed by car-hailing firm Grab on customers.
Bureau of Immigration (BI)

More than half of over 2,000 arrested illegal aliens in 2019 are Chinese

MORE THAN 2,000 illegal aliens were arrested by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) in 2019, a majority of them Chinese nationals involved in unlicensed gaming operations and other illegitimate activities.

Duterte orders probe on deaths due to coconut wine

PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte has ordered an investigation on the recent mass poisoning due to coconut wine, locally called lambanog, according to Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra.

Tiu’s ANI eyes JV with BuCor for Palawan property

AgriNurture, Inc. (ANI) is seeking to forge a joint venture with the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) to develop the latter’s 2,000 hectare property in Palawan into an agri-tourism corn plantation.

DoE allows Semirara mine to resume operations

THE Department of Energy (DoE) has lifted the suspension order imposed on Semirara Mining and Power Corp’s (SMPC) coal mining operations in Semirara Island in Antique province.

Boracay Airport continues operations after typhoon

THE Boracay (Godofredo P. Ramos) Airport in Caticlan continues to operate amid widespread damage in the Visayas region caused by typhoon Ursula, according to San Miguel Corporation’s (SMC) infrastructure unit.
BSP

Inflation seen quickening in December

THE overall rise in commodity prices likely accelerated in December on the back of an uptick in electricity rates and oil prices as well as price pressures on certain food items due to weather-related incidents, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said.

DTI no longer pursuing safeguard duties on ceramic tile imports

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will no longer apply safeguard measures on ceramic floor and wall tile imports, Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez told reporters last Friday.
DPWH logo

DPWH orders faster construction of two projects

THE DEPARTMENT of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has ordered the faster completion of two big ticket projects under the government’s Build, Build, Build, program in Central Luzon.

DOTr TWG on motorcycle taxis releases total number of authorized drivers

THE TECHNICAL working group of the Department of Transportation (DoTr) has released the actual number of authorized drivers submitted by motorcycle taxi service providers.

General government debt share in GDP up at end-June

THE COUNTRY’S general government (GG) debt as a share of the economy rose in the first half, the Department of Finance (DoF) reported Friday.

DTI assists more than 100,000 micro-entrepreneurs via P3 program

THE DEPARTMENT of Trade and Industry (DTI) has assisted over 110,000 micro-entrepreneurs after releasing P5.1 billion worth of loans through its Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) program.

Banks’ FCDU loans rise in Q3

FOREIGN CURRENCY loans disbursed by local banks inched up in the third quarter backed by borrowing firms’ higher working capital requirements paired with lower interest rates.

Peso ends 2019 higher

THE PESO strengthened versus the dollar on the last trading day of 2019 as remittance inflows continued to surge for the holidays and amid risk-on sentiment due to positive news on the US-China trade deal.

PSE index slips on last trading day of 2019

LOCAL shares continued its sluggish performance on the last trading day of 2019, on as investors took profits ahead of the long holiday.

SM Mall of Asia to celebrate the New Year with Grand Mascot Parade 2020

#ComeToMallofAsia and join us as we start the new year with the biggest and merriest giant balloon and mascot parade - The MOA Grand Mascot...

Typhoon Phanfone kills 24 in central Philippines

AT LEAST 24 people died and almost a hundred were injured after Typhoon Phanfone battered central Philippines on Christmas Day, police said on Thursday.
Bureau of the Treasury logo

Gov’t borrowing more in Q1 2020

THE GOVERNMENT plans to raise P420 billion from the local market next quarter via short- and long-term debt papers, nearly double the borrowing program it set this quarter.

Mandaluyong raising business tax and fees

MANDALUYONG CITY is increasing its business tax, mayor’s permit and other fees by around five percent next year after keeping rates unchanged for eight years.

Competition watchdog cautions on provisions of bill opening up retail trade

REDUCING the portion of locally manufactured products carried by foreign retailers, as proposed in a Senate bill that seeks to further open up retail trade in the country, may prevent “fair competition,” the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) said in a position paper.

The Netflix decade: How one company changed the way we watch TV

IN THE not-so-distant past, TV viewers were forced to wait a week for the next installment of their favorite shows, parceled out by networks in half-hour or hour-long increments.

Tears (and laughs) amidst the tinsel

THIS FILIPINO remake of the beloved 2013 Korean hit by Lee Hwan-kyung is just what we need for Christmas. Of course, it’s mostly fantasy, with its cuddly convicts improbably getting along in their still livable cells — a distant alternative reality from the usual hellish scenes in most Philippine penitentiaries where sweaty, scabies-ridden bodies pile on top of each other, and violence is the norm. The prison setting resonates as we have an inordinate number of low budget movies set in prisons, to judge from the daily morning lineup on a major network’s free movie channel. We’ve had at least four presidents who were in prison at some point in their lives. Here is a very different kind of prison from what the movies usually bring us. Escapist entertainment, indeed, but then we all need a break.

Disturbing scenes mar action-comedy

3POL TROBOL: Huli Ka Balbon is an action-comedy film and the second feature from Rodel Nacianceno or more popularly known as Coco Martin.

MPCALA seeks TRB go-signal to collect toll fees

MPCALA Holdings Inc. (MPHI), a unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), is hoping to start collecting initial toll fees for the newly opened 10-kilometer Mamplasan Interchange-Sta. Rosa segment of the Cavite-Laguna-Expressway (CALAx) by February at the latest.

HK kicks off 2020 with lightshow

THE iconic Victoria Harbor will take center stage again when Hong Kong ushers in 2020 with an enhanced edition of one of the world’s largest light and music shows — A Symphony of Lights. A live satellite feed of the entire 10-minute show, a kaleidoscope of lighting effects that will highlight Hong Kong’s skyline, will be provided to media organizations worldwide so that the international audience can share the festivities.

Metro Manilans have lowest view of their state of wellness

A SURVEY by Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) PhilhealthCare, Inc. (PhilCare) indicates that Metro Manila residents assign a low financial priority for medical emergencies despite being the most financially capable of all the regions.

Telcos form JV for mobile number portability

THE country’s telecommunications companies have formed a joint venture (JV) that will bring them closer to implementing the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) Act.

Recyclable Skywalker

FINALLY, the last installment of this third trilogy that George Lucas a long time ago in an era that feels far far away once cobbled together, from Flash Gordon serials, The Adventures of Robin Hood, World War 2 fighter plane footage (particularly The Dam Busters) and, most of all, Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress (with a brief callback to Yojimbo). The capstone to his grand edifice of a fantasy* franchise if you like.

Agencies gearing up for automation-driven workplace disruption

THE Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) will be teaming up with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to prepare industries and the labor force for the disruption brought about by automation.

Aboitiz unit to supply power to Batangas electric cooperative

ABOITIZ Power Corp. has signed up the country’s largest electric cooperative to 3 megawatts (MW) of power supply, adding the Batangas distribution utility to the list of customers under its clean energy brand.

Term deposit yields inch higher as bids decline

TERM DEPOSIT yields were marginally higher on Thursday amid lower bids during the holiday season and following the release of official data which showed a wider budget deficit in November.

Island girls

AT ANY TIME, not just during the Christmas season when Filipino audiences expect to be entertained, Culion would be a daring enterprise. First it is a period piece, and Filipinos notoriously lack a sense of history, whether ours or the world’s. The events portrayed span 1937 to 1941, which is why the prominence given to the obviously anachronistic Hollywood type sign in cast white concrete letters, spelling out “Culion” and its government insignia, on the side of a mountain, is perplexing. That sign was probably circa 2006 when Culion had its centenary. After so much effort devoted by the production design guys to attempting period authenticity, what with the kerosene lamps and the nearly uniform women cast members’ attire of earth-toned baro at camisa, couldn’t they have erased the damn thing through CGI?

US activist investors post strong gains as needling companies pays off in 2019

BOSTON -- Activist investors who are shaking up Corporate America with calls for operational fixes, refreshed boards and even sales of a company are delivering their best returns in six years with double-digit gains for 2019 after big losses in 2018.

Sta. Lucia ventures into Davao hospitality sector

STA. LUCIA Land, Inc. (SLI) is venturing into the hospitality sector in Davao City, with the introduction of the SotoGrande Hotel brand.

Utility payments, remittance transactions still done manually despite digital platforms

UTILITY PAYMENTS and remittance transactions are still done manually by majority of Filipinos, according to a study by Better Than Cash Alliance which recommended an interoperable platform to streamline these inflows.

More of the usual

VIC SOTTO teams up once again with some of his Eat Bulaga! co-hosts and director Michael Tuviera (who directed the 2018 Metro Manila Film Festival entry Jack, Em, Popoy: The Puliscredibles) for another action comedy — Mission Unstapabol: The Don Identity .