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CTA rejects bulk of SM Investments’ tax refund claim

THE Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) partially granted SM Investments Corp.’s tax refund claim from 2013, but drastically reduced the initial claim of over P1 billion to just P179.3 million.

FEU beats AdU in 5 sets

THE Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws dodged a major upset on Sunday, surviving a gritty effort from the tailending Adamson Lady Falcons in five sets, 30-32, 25-20, 23-25, 25-20 and 15-13, in University Athletic Association of the Philippines action at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

PHISGOC allays fears of 2019 Southeast Asian Games not pushing through

AMID reports that the Philippines is in danger of losing the rights to host the 2019 Southeast Asian Games later this year over “problems” regarding the budget and in-government disagreements that have delayed the country’s preparation, officials of the local organizing committee moved to allay such fears and said the Games’ hosting is still a go and that they are on top of things.

Sison: Duterte ‘best recruiter’ of NPA rebels

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte is the “best recruiter” of the New People’s Army for driving people to “fight” his “evil” regime, Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria C. Sison said in a statement on late Saturday evening, March 23.

Iloilo health officials step up chickenpox monitoring

THE ILOILO Provincial Health Office (PHO) is stepping up the monitoring of chickenpox cases after 35 students in one primary school were recorded to have been infected since January.

Embracing the light

It’s summer 2019 and the sun is beating down hard on the equator. Draught and dying crops are littering the Philippine landscape. Physical but especially mental activity is a hard slog. In the Serengeti Wildlife Reserve in Equatorial Africa, lion prides ignore prey to doze off in the shade for hours. The lions are not being lazy; they are just obeying the rule of efficient energy use. Under the harsh midday sun, the endotherms’ most energy-efficient posture is supine and asleep under the shade.

Eating my frustrations away

We’ve been worn down by a lot of bad news lately. The long drawn-out impasse between the Senate and the House over the General Appropriations Act is the most worrisome of all. Unresolved, it could mean a deceleration of the economy from 6.5% growth to just 4.2% this year. Add to this the water crisis, the country’s withdrawal from the International Criminal Court and the inclusion of two convicted plunderers in the senate’s magic 12. For those who don’t know any better, it’s easy to assume that the country is rowing in the wrong direction, economically and politically.

SEC drafts rules on perpetual corporate existence

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is seeking comments from the investing public for its proposed guidelines on the perpetual existence of corporations.

No more hearings on water situation — GMA

HOUSE Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said on Friday that she is planning to cancel any further congressional meetings on the water situation and would rather focus on addressing Metro Manila’s water supply rather than discuss the idea that Manila Water Company, Inc.’s customers not be billed this month.

Duterte EO bans junkets

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has issued an executive order prohibiting “all forms” of junkets for government officials and employees, and the conduct of planning workshops and team building activities abroad.

ERC seeks comments for new draft of rules on power supply...

THE ENERGY Regulatory Commission (ERC) is asking for the industry’s comments on the third draft of the proposed rules governing the procurement, execution, and evaluation of power supply agreements (PSAs) entered into by distribution utilities for the supply of electricity to their captive market.

DA suspends bulb onion importations

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) ordered the suspension of imports of bulb onions until the investigation on cartel operations that allegedly manipulate the prices of locally-produced onions concludes.

Century Properties Group’s retail bonds get SEC go-ahead

CENTURY Properties Group, Inc. (CPG) has secured approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to issue up to P3 billion in fixed-rate retail bonds.

Philex delays copper-gold mine start by 4 years

MANILA — Philippine copper and gold producer Philex Mining Corp. on Friday said the start of output at its Silangan mine in the south of the country would be delayed by four years until 2022, hit by a national ban on new open-pit mining.

Peso surges as BSP keeps policy settings steady

THE PESO surged versus the dollar on Friday, boosted by the central bank’s decision to keep both interest rates and bank reserve levels steady during this week’s meeting.

Price hikes slip to 5% in Feb. for poor families

INFLATION for low-income families softened further in February even as it stayed in five-percent territory, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Thursday.

PHL bond market growth fastest in E. Asia

THE PHILIPPINES recorded the fastest bond market growth in emerging East Asia in the last three months of 2018 as regulators relaxed rules for capital raising, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said.

Universal Robina completes P1-B Davao flour mill expansion

DAVAO CITY — Universal Robina Corp. (URC), the food and beverage unit of JG Summit Holdings, Inc., has completed the P1-billion expansion of its flour milling plant here, increasing production threefold for export to Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand, company officials said Thursday.

MacroAsia, PTC Holdings open aviation school in Subic

FIRST AVIATION Academy, Inc. (FAA), the aviation school established by the joint venture of MacroAsia Corp. and PTC Holdings Corp., officially opened on Thursday.

Lav Diaz’ Halimaw leads FAMAS race with 9 nods

LAV DIAZ’ rock opera, Panahon ng Halimaw, leads this year’s nominations for the annual Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) Awards with nine nominations including Best Picture, Best Director, and four Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role nominations for Shaina Magdayao, Bituin Escalante, Pinky Amador, and Hazel Orencio.

Open that door? Netflix explores choose-your-own horror, romance

LOS ANGELES — A Netflix, Inc. experiment that began with viewers picking a movie character’s breakfast cereal may expand to letting the audience choose the best on-screen date or the safest path to escape an ax murderer.

Microsoft finds AI adoption rate of less than half at PHL...

MICROSOFT CORP said one of its studies has found that most employers believe Artificial Intelligence (AI) will have a positive effect on productivity, though less than half have started to plan for the more widespread use of AI.

OFW’s photos champion migrant workers

IN NOVEMBER 1996, Georgia left her home while the children were sleeping one evening. With only P20 (about four US cents) she traveled with her husband to the airport. She was scheduled to take a flight to Singapore to become a domestic worker.

PBB to raise P10 billion via bond issuance

PHILIPPINE BUSINESS Bank (PBB) is set to raise P10 billion through peso-denominated bonds to fund its business operations.

Integrity is forever

In the last episode of the Game of Thrones’ penultimate season, Cersei demands that Jon Snow remains neutral between the queens, but Jon affirms he has already sworn himself to Daenerys. This led to initial collapse of the talks. Jon was asked why he could not lie to achieve the negotiation’s objective. And Jon Snow responds about the importance of honesty and integrity.

NFA nearly done on last batch of rice imports

THE National Food Authority (NFA) said its warehouses have received 457,747.577 metric tons (MT) worth of imported rice out of the 500,000 MT authorized in the agency’s last year of import operations, consisting of the 25% broken grade of well-milled long grain white rice.

MWSS, Manila Water to discuss customer compensation for March

THE Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) will meet with Manila Water Co., Inc. on Monday to discuss measures to compensate the company’s 6.8 million east zone customers for the water shortage that started on March 6.

MORE electricity supply in East Asia

Continuing the Market-Oriented Reforms for Efficiency (MORE) series in this column, we tackle the importance of more electricity production in the development of Asia-Pacific economies.

Beyond the bottom line

On a practical level, people need essential things to survive: clean air, potable water, food, clothing, shelter, and the means to buy the basic things.

New panel to lead localized peace negotiations

A NEW PANEL will be created to pursue localized peace talks with members of the communist movement, particularly those fighting on the ground, in line with the government’s new whole-of-nation approach to end the 50-year armed struggle, Malacañang announced on Thursday.

Palace, Senate offer Misuari new peace talks

CONGRESS would not be pressured to push for the passage of federalism despite a threat of war by Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chairman Nur Misuari, said Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III on Thursday.

Lady Warriors still have much to fight for in Season 81

WHILE an appearance in the Final Four in Season 81 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines is still a proposition that remains to be seen, the University of the East Lady Warriors are undeterred by it, believing that there is still much to fight for in the ongoing tournament.

Belingon ready for Fernandes in rematch in Japan

IN the aftermath of his conquest of the ONE Championship world bantamweight title last November, Filipino Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon knew that he had not seen the last of erstwhile champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes of Brazil; that their paths would cross anew.

House clears 2019 budget hurdle

THE LEGISLATIVE DEADLOCK over the P3.757-trillion national budget for 2019 appears finally headed for resolution, with the House of Representatives “physically retrieving” on Wednesday the copy it transmitted to the Senate on March 11.

Growth seen hinging largely on domestic demand

THE PHILIPPINES will have to rely on domestic activity to boost growth at a time of a global economic slowdown, but a foreign consultancy flagged that the current deadlock on 2019’s national budget will likely weigh on the country’s economic prospects.

Asian Terminals income up 16%

ASIAN TERMINALS, Inc. (ATI) reported a 15.8% increase in net income to P2.9 billion for 2018, fueled by record-high cargo volume handled at its Manila and Batangas ports.

PAL suspends launch of New Delhi flights

PHILIPPINE Airlines (PAL) is postponing the reopening of its direct flights from Manila to New Delhi due to the ongoing tension between India and Pakistan.

Shunned by purists, hybrid wines are now ready for your glass

THANKS to a crop of renegade, pioneering wine makers making stellar wines in New York, Vermont, Minnesota, famously frigid Quebec, and even Portugal, hybrid grapes are beginning to get the respect they deserve.

Coffee for poetry

IN CELEBRATION of World Poetry Day, the 80-year-old Kamuning Bakery and Café in Quezon City is offering coffee in exchange for original poetry in any language or dialect on March 21.

US gov’t, Intel aiming for nation’s fastest computer

A US government-led group is working with chipmaker Intel Corp. and Cray Inc. to develop and build the nation’s fastest computer by 2021 for conducting nuclear weapons and other research, officials said on Monday.

Foreign investors turned net buyers of Asian bonds

FOREIGNERS TURNED net buyers of Asian bonds in February, however the flows were uneven as political uncertainty in parts of the region dampened optimism that the United States and China were inching toward a trade deal.

Campaign seeks to reduce firms’ use of pirated software

A GLOBAL organization of software advocates is knocking on the Philippines to be part of a regional movement to reduce the rate of usage of unlicensed software assets in the ASEAN.

Study shows Filipinos trust banks with personal data

FILIPINOS GENERALLY trust banks with their personal data but security remains their top concern for financial firms, according to a recent report by Unisys.

El Niño crop damage tops P1.3 billion

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) said it now estimates El Niño-related crop damage at P1.33 billion, with an estimated volume of 78,348 metric tons (MT) worth of farm output lost to the weather phenomenon, which has caused severe drought across the country.

ERC dismisses 8-year-old petition on system loss rules for power system

THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has dismissed for being moot and academic a joint petition seeking incentives for companies that manage to bring systems losses below a set level, which was filed by power operators and distribution utilities.