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Posted on January 19, 2012

Koreans keen to invest

KOREAN BUSINESSES are keen on investing in Philippine information technology (IT) owing to the government’s effort in developing the industry as a globally competitive sector, officials said yesterday on the sidelines of a business matching session. The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (Kotra) hosted the two-day e-Smart World Asia 2012, an information and communications technology (ICT) forum where officials from 100 local companies met with 30 Southeast Asian and 12 Korean businessmen on IT products and services aimed at improving e-government, terminal, medical, and educational services. Private-public partnerships (PPP) in the Philippines are also seen to benefit from such investments and IT solutions as the national government prepares to roll out infrastructure and public service modernization projects this year.

Seaweed project set

THE AGRICULTURE department is planning to allocate P150 million to P200 million to provide planting material and chopping and drying equipment to support seaweed farmers in the country this year, a Cabinet official said yesterday. Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala told reporters on the sidelines of the Bureau of Plant Industry’s 82nd anniversary that the department was still working on the details of the seaweed development program. “This is for the whole country and we are still finalizing our plans,” he said. Mr. Alcala said that under the program, seaweed farmers will be organized into cooperatives. The department is initially looking to implement the program in Basilan, Sulu and Palawan.

Farm data delayed

THE COUNTRY’S farm output data will be released next week, instead of today (Thursday), agriculture officials said yesterday. “It will be released on Jan. 24,” Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala told reporters when asked when full-year farm output data will be given. He said last week that a press conference will be held today to announce the 2011 agriculture performance data. Mr. Alcala said yesterday that the date of the data release was moved to Tuesday as Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) Director Romeo S. Recide would be on an official trip today. “I want the data to be official and since Director Recide is not around, I do not want to release the data without him,” he said.

E-trike contest launched

THE ENERGY department is looking at an initial $100 million for its electric tricycle program from the clean technology fund of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), an official told reporters yesterday. The department, however, stated the amount needed for the whole project could change once designs for the electric vehicles are finalized. “The amount is floating because it would depend on the local government units which would order the tricycles,” said Energy Secretary Jose Rene D. Almendras in an interview at the launch of the E-trike Design Contest. The tricycles are part of a $1-billion project with the ADB.