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Monthly Archives: December 2019

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Behind Samsung’s $116-billion bid for new semiconductor mart

TECHNOLOGY giants are increasingly designing their own semiconductors to optimize everything from artificial intelligence tasks to server performance and mobile battery life. Google has the Tensor Processing Unit, Apple Inc. has the A13 Bionic and Amazon.com Inc. has the Graviton2. What the titans all lack, however, is a factory to build the new chips they are dreaming up.

Monetary Board approves rules for Islamic banking framework

THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) is set to issue the implementing rules for the country’s Islamic banking law after the Monetary Board (MB) approved two circulars outlining the licensing framework and discussing Shari’ah governance principles, a senior official said.

The Great British Bake Off can win any Culture War

IT IS A PLACE where heritage and culture stand proud, enriched but not diluted by the traditions of immigrants. Some of its denizens roam the world, exploring foreign cultures; others stick close to home; neither invites scorn. An island of confident identity in a fractured and contentious world, it celebrates cosmopolitan curiosity and deep-rooted traditions, local custom and diverse origins. It is a big tent — quite literally.
Grand Land Logo

Gaisano firm to add BPO building to Davao project

DAVAO CITY — Gaisano-owned Grand Land, Inc. is adding a business process outsourcing (BPO) building at its flagship project in the city — the Amani Grand Citygate.

Caring from far away: a robot that transmits touch

TOKYO -- Can robots help solve the problem of an aging population in growing need of physical help but lacking the money and carers to provide it?
SEC-building-main office

SEC OK’s Grepalife’s voluntary revocation of security business

THE SECURITIES and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved Grepalife Dollar Bond Fund Corp.’s application for the voluntary revocation of its registration of securities and certificate to sell securities.

Everything that top US chefs and bartenders hated in 2019

IN LATE AUGUST, when Popeyes was selling about 1,000 sandwiches per store per day, it didn’t seem like there were more than three words — “fried chicken sandwich” — in America’s culinary lexicon.

PHirst earmarks P550M for Batangas project

PHIRST PARK Homes, Inc. (PPHI) is earmarking P550 million for its planned project in Nasugbu, Batangas, as the developer expands its footprint in the...

Google fined $167 million in France amid crackdown on online ads

GOOGLE was fined €150 million ($167 million) in a French antitrust case involving online advertising as regulators throughout Europe criticize the tech giant’s business practices.

CIMB Philippines eyes e-commerce, new tie-ups

CIMB BANK Philippines, Inc. is looking to continue building partnerships from different industries as part of their strategy to build a customer base through platforms users are already familiar with.

Fashion designer Ungaro, 86

PARIS — Designer Emanuel Ungaro, who trained with Spanish maestro Cristobal Balenciaga before becoming a fixture of the Paris fashion scene for four decades, died at the age of 86, French media reported on Sunday.

Sta. Lucia targets OFW market

STA. LUCIA Land, Inc. (SLI) is targeting overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) for its residential projects, with the establishment of sales offices in key cities with significant Filipino communities.

Netflix price cuts are heating up India’s streaming war

NETFLIX Inc. and its rivals are facing a price war in India as a jump in the cost of watching video on mobile phones threatens to slow demand in what is shaping up as a key growth market globally for streaming.

BPI Family Savings Bank targets to grow loan portfolio by 10-15%

BPI FAMILY SAVINGS Bank (BFSB) is looking to expand its credit portfolio by 10-15% next year on expectations of strong demand for housing and auto loans.

Grab eyes more incentives for drivers

GRAB Philippines is looking to give its drivers more incentives to encourage them to operate during rush hours as the shortage of available drivers pushes fares higher.

Do the Right Thing’s Aiello, 86

DANNY AIELLO, a veteran stage and film actor remembered for his roles in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, Woody Allen’s The Purple Rose of Cairo, and dozens of other movies, died at age 86, his publicist and agent said on Friday.

Economists divided over unorthodox RBA

ECONOMISTS ARE divided over the likelihood of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) deploying unorthodox policy next year once it runs out of conventional ammunition — though a majority expect it will exhaust interest-rate cuts.

US government study finds racial bias in facial recognition tools

MANY facial recognition systems misidentify people of color more often than white people, according to a US government study released on Thursday that is likely to increase skepticism of technology widely used by law enforcement agencies.

How PSEi member stocks performed — December 23, 2019

Here’s a quick glance at how PSEi stocks fared on Monday, December 23, 2019.

Stocks seen climbing further on window dressing

LOCAL SHARES are seen to sustain their upward momentum on Thursday backed by the continued recovery of water stocks, window dressing, and expectations of a better year ahead.

Peso likely to rise on holiday spending

THE PESO will likely strengthen further on the back of remittances for holiday spending and as US President Donald J. Trump said they are close to signing the phase one of Washington’s trade deal with Beijing.

Foreign work permits exceed 100,000 in 2019, led by POGOs

THE Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) said the number of foreign work permits it issued this year is nearly five times the 2018 total, with the influx of workers for Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) accounting for much of the growth.

Service sector gains 4 million jobs between 2012 and 2018

SERVICE SECTOR jobs increased by more than four million between 2012 and 2018, led by professional scientific and administrative support workers, the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) said.
power lines

Energy dep’t to require more firm contracts for reserve power

THE Department of Energy (DoE) has issued a circular that will require half of the supply contracted as reserve power to be on a “firm” basis in which the grid operator has a binding agreement to source its requirement from a power generation plant.
windmill renewables

DoE warns of risks of holding onto RE certificates

THE Department of Energy (DoE) has warned holders of renewable energy (RE) certificates not to hold on these tradable instruments once the trading market starts to operate next year as their life is limited only to three years.
Ramon M. Lopez

Trade Secretary Lopez studying Recto tax bill

TRADE SECRETARY Ramon M. Lopez is studying an exporter-supported bill proposing to immediately reduce corporate income tax from 30%.

Senate panel approves bamboo industry dev’t bill

THE Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship has approved a bill institutionalizing the development of the Bamboo industry, a measure backed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Wrapping up the year right

December is indeed the most festive period of the year. For most, it is an opportunity to take a much-needed break from work and spend some quality time with loved ones to celebrate Christmas and New Year. However, for us accountants, this marks the start of the busy season as yearend approaches. And so, before taxpayers all go on hiatus this holiday season, here are a few important reminders to ponder in areas of tax and payroll compliance.

The impersonal age

As I wrote this on Christmas Day, I couldn’t help but think about how technological advances particularly in communication have changed many of us, socially. I went simply by the number of Christmas greetings I had received these past few days: no greetings via telephone call or via e-mail; and, only one Christmas card via regular post/mail.

The politics of institutionalizing national memory

These past few years, we have witnessed a renewed and resurging interest in Filipino history and heroism. This is most evident in popular culture, with the release of semi-autobiographical films such as Heneral Luna and Goyo, and works that depict the tumultuous 1970s and ’80s, such as Liway, ML, and Respeto. In many universities, theater productions such as Dekada ’70, Desaparesidos, Nana Rosa, and The Kundiman Party invite audiences to reflect and revisit our wellspring of memory as a nation.

Culion in Christmas

Imagine these four cases of emotional hardships and social stigma in one island in the Philippines in the late 1930s.

Deflating a bubble before it busts would be huge

ECONOMISTS MAY be finally closing in on the reason for asset bubbles. How to pop them before they grow too large, however, is a much harder problem.

Here’s to Your Health: A decade of drug breakthroughs

FOR ALL the flak the pharmaceutical industry has taken for its exorbitant pricing practices, there’s no getting around the fact that it’s been a pretty stunning decade for medical progress.

Kings, Bolts in a finals clash for the third time

FOR the third time in the last four years the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings and Meralco Bolts dispute the title for the season-ending Philippine Basketball Association tournament Governors’ Cup.

NBA on Christmas Day 2019 By-The-Numbers

THE 72nd edition of the National Basketball Association on Christmas Day will feature five games televised across ESPN and ABC in the United States and streamed on the ESPN App. The annual tradition will reach fans in 215 countries and territories in 46 languages.

Australian Open prize pool jumps to $49M

MELBOURNE -- The prize pool for the 2020 Australian Open has been boosted by 14% to A$71 million ($49.1 million), organizers said on Tuesday, with the biggest gains for players exiting in the early rounds.

Filipino fighters to see action at Brave CF 33

BRAVE Combat Federation returns to Saudi Arabia this weekend for “Brave CF 33” which has Filipino fighters part of the card.

Barcelona best-paid sports team in the world — study

BARCELONA HAS RETAINED its position as the world’s best-paid professional sports team while National Basketball Association (NBA) sides took seven out of the top 10 places this year, a study by research body Sporting Intelligence revealed.

Huge savings, international ranking await junior players at DreamBig tennis camp and tournament

FILIPINO JUNIOR Tennis players who join the DreamBig Gold Series Tennis Camp and Tournament at the Manila Polo Club on Jan. 9 to 12, 2020 will be able to take advantage of huge savings while being mentored by top collegiate tennis coaches from Division 1 colleges in the United States.

Big win for Nepom

A quick recap of the rules. This is a Grand Prix event, a KO tournament with 16 players at the start. At each round of the tournament players compete a best-of-2 game KO match under classical time controls (90 minutes for the 1st 40 moves, then an additional 30 minutes play-to-finish with 30 seconds added to your clock after every move starting move 1).

Battle of Los Angeles

Make no mistake. When the Lakers face the Clippers today, they will be complete. It isn’t simply because they’re bent on arresting the only losing streak they’ve had since the start of the 2019--20 season; precisely because of their championship aspirations, they can’t be too happy they’re mired in a three-game skein that’s as much a reflection of bad timing as of their intrinsic deficiencies. More importantly, it’s due to their desire to make a statement at the expense of their fellow Staples Center tenants. And so they will “host” the set-to with All-Stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis on tap, ailments that make them legitimate candidates for load management notwithstanding.
TPLEx road highway

Gov’t to open another TPLEx segment in 1H

THE government expects to cut travel time to Baguio City by another 30 minutes with the opening of another segment of the Tarlac–Pangasinan–La Union Expressway (TPLEx) in the first half (1H) of 2020.

Train set for LRT-1 Cavite extension to arrive next July

THE government expects the first train set for the P64.9-billion Cavite extension of the Light Rail Transit Line 1 to arrive from Spain by July.

Typhoon Ursula maintains strength after battering eastern, central parts of Visayas

TYPHOON URSULA (international name: Phanfone) swept through the Eastern and Central Visayas regions over the Christmas holidays, leaving several towns flooded and houses damaged, and has maintained its strength while traversing the northern tip of Aklan and Antique provinces in Western Visayas, weather bureau PAGASA reported on Wednesday.