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Daily Archives: January 6, 2020 | 10:18 pm

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P4.1-trillion budget expected to sustain infrastructure push

THE P4.1-trillion national budget for 2020 missed its targeted enactment date by a few days but is expected to sustain the government’s flagship infrastructure projects, the chairman of the Senate finance committee said Monday.

Investment priority eyed for nickel processing plants

DAVAO CITY -- The Philippine Nickel Industry Association (PNIA) is undertaking preparations to gain investment priority status for domestic processing plants, which will allow miners to capture more value-added than the current practice of exporting ore.

Gov’t monitoring oil prices as new round of fuel excise taxes take effect

THE economic team is monitoring possible consequences of higher oil prices due to the Iran crisis, which broke at a time when the government is due to impose new fuel excise taxes, presenting a threat to inflation and growth assumptions.

DoF expects double-taxation deal with Cambodia soon

NEGOTIATIONS for a double-taxation agreement (DTA) are expected to conclude soon with both sides in substantial agreement on many points, the Department of Finance (DoF) said.

Farmers ask DTI to help boost their attractiveness to banks

THE Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food, Inc. (PCAFI) is urging the trade department to assist farmers in developing business plans to make them more attractive loan clients for banks.

Government looking to offer Premyo bonds yearly

THE government is looking to offer its Premyo bonds annually following the strong reception seen for its first issuance last year, where the Treasury raised nearly P5 billion via the one-year securities.

M&A scene vibrant amid confidence in economic momentum — ING Bank

THE business sector is bullish on mergers and acquisitions (M&A) across a range of sectors because it is confident in continued growth, making transport, utilities and telecoms particularly attractive, ING Bank N.V. said.

Senate bill seeking to make overtime pay tax-exempt

SENATE President Pro Tempore Ralph G. Recto has filed a measure amending the tax code to shield overtime pay from taxation.

Calabarzon towns seek JV partner for bulk water project

THE water districts of Dolores, Quezon and San Pablo City, Laguna are seeking a joint venture (JV) partner to implement the Lumbo Spring Bulk Water Supply Project, the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center said Monday.

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A clear 2020 vision: New Year requirements

Many things can happen in a year. We realize our dreams, reach our goals, make mistakes, and meet new people; the most important thing is that we learn from experience. The same thing can be said from a business perspective, where we, as stakeholders, learn that each new year brings numerous challenges in complying with government requirements as part of continuing operations in the coming year. Listed below are some of the requirements -- so mark your calendars to plan your activities this January.

Local shares decline on geopolitical tensions

SHARES failed to sustain their gains on Monday as geopolitical issues caused investors to be more cautious.

Peso rebounds ahead of December inflation data

THE PESO bounced back on Monday after two days of decline against the greenback on profit taking ahead of the release of data showing likely faster inflation in December.

US senators see PH justice system differently from PH officials

US President Donald Trump’s approval of the Fiscal Year 2020 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill which included a provision prohibiting the entry of Philippine government officials found to be involved in the “wrongful imprisonment” of Sen. Leila de Lima drew various comments from key Philippine officials. Here are some of them.
power lines electricity

Top 10 energy news stories of 2019

Here is my modest list of important global and national stories in the energy sector.

Challenges as Opportunities: The transnationalization of Philippine higher education

The passage of the Transnational Higher Education Act (RA 11448) in August 2019 signals the Philippine government’s openness to a shift from a focus on student and academic mobility to the mobility of programs and of educational providers in its educational internationalization strategy.

Will oil become a weapon of choice for Iran?

EVENTS IN 2019 served as a reminder for just how vulnerable the world’s oil supply is, and Iran was usually blamed as the culprit for attacks on ships, pipelines, and processing plants in the Middle East. But the knock-on effects blew over quickly in a world that appeared oblivious to the geopolitics of oil. Now in the wake of the US killing of Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian general who led the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds force, the big question hanging over the market is whether Iran will target oil in its response.

Let the PBA Finals begin

AFTER a two-week break for the holidays, the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup resumes action today with Game One of the best-of-seven finals series between the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings and the Meralco Bolts.

NFL: Vikings stun Saints; Seahawks defeat Eagles

L0S ANGELES -- Russell Wilson guided the Seattle Seahawks past the depleted Philadelphia Eagles 17-9 and the Minnesota Vikings stunned the New Orleans Saints 26-20 in overtime in NFC wildcard victories on Sunday.

Duterte’s deadly drug war a failure, Robredo says

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte’s deadly war on drugs has failed, with authorities having seized only 1% of the contraband since he assumed office almost four years ago, according to the country’s opposition leader.

LA Clippers shake off slow start to down NY Knicks

LOS ANGELES -- Montrezl Harrell scored 34 points, and Paul George had 32, allowing the Los Angeles Clippers to earn a 135-132 victory over the visiting New York Knicks on Sunday.

Duterte wants standby fund for OFWs in Middle East

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte wants to set up a standby fund for the return of Filipino workers in the Middle East in case tensions escalate between the United States and Iran.

Book narrates recent rise of the UP men’s basketball team

ONE of the bigger stories in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) of late, the rise of the UP men’s basketball team from perennial league whipping boys to title contenders is being chronicled in a soon-to-be-released book.

Carlsen is Rapid Champion

In the January 2010 FIDE Rating List Magnus Carlsen, still only a teenager (born Nov. 30, 1990) opened the decade by becoming the highest rated player in the world with 2810 ELO rating points, overtaking Veselin Topalov on 2805. This also made Magnus the youngest no. 1 rated player in chess history. It was another three years before Magnus became world champion but even back in 2010 it was expected that Magnus would have a rather long tenure at no. 1.

Court stands by ruling vs Binay on Makati school

THE COURT of Appeals (CA) stood by its decision to bar former Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. Binay, Jr. from holding public office after he was found to have approved the purchase of materials for the building of an overpriced school.

Health dep’t extends polio vaccine drive

THE HEALTH department will extend the March deadline of its polio vaccination campaign to ensure no child is missed, two decades since the Philippines was declared free of the debilitating illness.

Eyeing top four

The Clippers didn’t at all sound like title favorites in the aftermath of a demoralizing loss to the Grizzlies the other day. It wasn’t simply that they absorbed a setback against opponents with far less talent than theirs and in clear rebuild mode. It was that they did so at home, and by a whopping 26 points. Never mind that All-Star Paul George and defensive demon Patrick Beverley were sidelined due to injury. That they were on the wrong end of the final score for the second time in four matches since their Christmas Day victory against the rival Lakers, and for half of their last 10 outings, speak volumes on the state of their competitiveness -- or, to be more precise, lack thereof.

Cebu gov’t resorts to JO offer for provincial hospital doctors

WITH NO applicants through an outsourcing company, the Cebu provincial government is now trying to hire medical doctors for its 16 hospitals on a job order (JO) basis.

Better roads in Biliran

THE rehabilitation of two major roads in the island province of Biliran have been completed, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) reported on Monday.

Court rejects appeal on same-sex marriage

THE Supreme Court has stood by its ruling rejecting a plea to allow same-sex marriage in the country.

2 shipping firms consider new routes with recently opened port in Villaba, Leyte

TWO COMPANIES, 2Go Travel and Roble Shipping Inc., have expressed interest to open new transport routes with the opening of the Villaba Port in Leyte, according to the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA).

288 rescued off Plaridel after ship runs aground

ALL 271 passengers and 17 crew members on board a fastcraft were rescued after the vessel ran aground just 1.5 kilometers off the Plaridel Port in Misamis Occidental on Jan. 6, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported.

Chinese kidnap victim rescued in Batangas

A CHINESE kidnap victim was rescued after his captors left him in Lobo, Batangas on Saturday, police said.

Nationwide round-up

JUSTICE SECRETARY Menardo I. Guevarra said the department will welcome legal questions against the implementation of the revised rules on early release of convicts based on good conduct, following the dismissal of petitions before the Supreme Court (SC).

Inflation likely extended uptrend

INFLATION likely continued to pick up in December due to seasonal demand amid the holidays, as well as diminishing base effects from 2018’s highs, according to analysts.

Businesses prepare to deal with worker shortage

BUSINESS GROUPS are preparing to deal with the looming shortage of construction workers, as the government continues to implement several big-ticket infrastructure projects this year.

Inflation target at risk if oil reaches $90 a barrel — Diokno

BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas estimates oil prices will have to surge and persist at $90 a barrel for it to impact the central bank’s inflation forecast, Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said.

PHL eyes demographic dividend with slowing population growth

VICKY MARIANO, 46, stretches her P12,000 monthly income from cleaning, washing clothes and cooking for another household as she tries to raise six children, all below 15 years old. She is always on the lookout for other income sources such as selling snacks.

Analysts’ December inflation rate estimates

INFLATION likely continued to pick up in December due to seasonal demand amid the holidays, as well as diminishing base effects from 2018’s highs,...

5 cars to wait for this 2020: Plus 5 cars to wish for

THE YEAR 2019 was a banner year for Filipino car enthusiasts -- not just sports car lovers but even for those who prefer sport sedans, crossovers, SUVs, or even hybrids and electric vehicles (EVs). Aside from the spectacular Toyota Supra GR, we had several unique models like the Hyundai Ioniq and Kona electric cars, the stunning Kia Stinger luxury sports sedan, the sensuously stylish all-new Mazda CX-30 and CX-8 crossovers, and nearly a dozen new Audis, BMWs and Mercedes-Benzes. We even got a mainstream hybrid vehicle in the all-new Toyota Corolla Altis Hybrid.

Audi Q8 adds to its top IIHS safety score a 5-star rating from Euro...

AFTER HAVING scored a Top Safety Pick award in the U.S.A. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the all-new Audi Q8 now earns for itself a maximum five-star rating in the 2019 European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP).

Agriculture damage in Western Visayas estimated at P265M

DAMAGE to the agriculture sector of Western Visayas due to typhoon Ursula (international name: Phanfone) has exceeded P265 million as of Jan. 3 with more than half accounted for by rice crops and facilities, according to the assessment of the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office 6 (DA-RFO).

Waze partners with DoT to bring the Wonders of the Philippines closer to Filipinos

WAZE, the platform that brings communities together on and off the road, and the Philippines’ Department of Tourism (DoT), have teamed up to promote the cultural and natural wonders of the Philippines with the launch of the “100 Days in the Philippines” campaign.

China approves two new GM crops from US for import, renews 10 others

BEIJING -- China approved two new genetically modified (GM) crops for import on Monday that could boost agricultural purchases from the United States, while renewing permits for 10 others, the Chinese agriculture ministry said.

Coco product maker Axelum expects P5.5-billion revenue

COCONUT product manufacturer Axelum Resources Corp. is estimating its 2019 revenues to hit about P5.5 billion and projecting its 2020 top line to grow double digits.