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Roxas Holdings reverses to net profit

ROXAS Holdings Inc. (RHI) reported a net income of P4 million during the first quarter of its fiscal year ending in December, reversing losses of P197 million in the same period in 2018.

Grab in-car recording suspended on privacy concerns

GRAB Philippines has suspended its pilot selfie verification and in-vehicle video and photo recording processes after the National Privacy Commission (NPC) raised objections over passenger privacy protections.

Quarantine for cargo ships from any port lifted

THE BUREAU of Quarantine (BoQ) has exempted all cargo ships from the required 14-day quarantine amid the novel coronavirus (nCoV) threat in consideration of the country’s supply chain, Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago said on Wednesday.

GDP growth could slow on outbreak

PHILIPPINE economic growth could slow this quarter as factory closures in China, which is battling a coronavirus outbreak that has killed hundreds and sickened thousands more, hit the global supply chain, according to Mitsubishi UFJ Group (MUFG) Global Research.

8 insurers, NHMFC charged for anti-competitive deals

THE Philippine Competition Commission’s Enforcement Office (PCC) has charged a pool of insurers and state-led secondary mortgagor for entering into anti-competitive agreements that cornered a type of insurance offered to borrowers for nearly four decades.

TechnoFarm planning P1-billion cold storage for farm imports

AGRI-LOGISTICS company TechnoFarm plans to open an estimated P1-billion cold storage facility for its agricultural imports.

Transport safety agency seen improving confidence in travel, boosting tourism

AN ADVOCACY GROUP is lobbying for the passage of a pending measure creating a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to improve confidence in the transportation industry and encourage more tourism.

Tourism industry starts counting cost of China virus outbreak

THE TOURISM INDUSTRY expects P20 billion in revenue losses as tourist arrivals from China plunge after the new coronavirus outbreak, Tourism Congress of the Philippines President Jose C. Clemente III said on Monday.

Real Steel ties up with Italian firm for Pampanga rolling mill

REAL STEEL Corp. is partnering with an Italian steel equipment manufacturer to build the Philippines’ first high-speed rolling mill in Pampanga.

Global face mask market tightens amid dwindling domestic supply — Trade...

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it is encountering difficulties in sourcing 5 million face masks from overseas with domestic inventories running out.

PCC renews call to review foreign equity limit in public services

THE Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) is renewing its recommendation to amend the law that limits foreign equity in public services.

Trade dep’t proposes new deals, terms for NDC lands

THE properties of state firm National Development Co. (NDC), including those leased out at supposed disadvantageous terms, will not be sold but repackaged through long-term leases or joint ventures, the Trade secretary said on Wednesday.

US free trade talks seen as casualty of visa/VFA spat

TRADE SECRETARY Ramon M. Lopez said that negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) with the US could be hampered by the mood in the US Congress, which backed sanctions against Philippine officials, leading Malacañang to threaten to withdraw from the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

Imported car firms report slight sales drop in 2019

IMPORTED vehicle sales steadied in 2019 as the number of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles sold dipped only slightly compared with the previous year, according to the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors, Inc. (AVID).

New hybrid rice program to focus on 100-hectare consolidated farm

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) is launching a pilot test program which subsidizes the process of consolidating farms for planting to hybrid rice, DA adviser for hybrid rice program Frisco M. Malabanan told reporters Tuesday.

Shares decline further as investor concerns persist

PHILIPPINE SHARES continued their decline on Tuesday as investor concerns over the coronavirus outbreak from China persist.

Firms in Taal area urged to step up emergency, contingency planning

TRADE OFFICIALS urged industries at risk from Taal Volcano to firm up their contingency planning, with provisions for relocating operations and evacuating staff if necessary.

Bohol delegation undertakes Japan investment mission

THE Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Tokyo organized a business mission to attract Japanese investment in sustainable tourism in Bohol, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

18 shops fined for overpricing face masks

THE Trade department has fined 18 stores for overpricing face masks amid Taal Volcano’s eruption, it said in a statement on Monday.

Higher FDI seen with CITIRA in place

FOREIGN INVESTORS could pour in more than $10 billion in the Philippines once a measure that seeks to lower corporate income tax is enacted, central bank Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said last week.

Philippines delisted from EU’s counterfeit watchlist

THE European Union (EU) removed the Philippines from its “priority” counterfeit watchlist, even if it noted that intellectual property (IP) protection in the country has not improved.

DoE and NDRRMC coordinating power needs in volcano-affected areas

THE Department of Energy (DoE) is coordinating with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council on controlling the electricity supply in the immediate vicinity of Taal volcano in case of a hazardous eruption.

PCC backs classification of motorcycle taxis as public transport

THE COUNTRY’S antitrust watchdog has expressed support for the classification of motorcycle taxis as a mode of public transport as it continues to call for market-driven competition.

CHED chairman welcomes review of UP-Ayala lease contract

THE Commission on Higher Education (CHED) welcomed the government’s review of Ayala Land, Inc.’s (ALI) contract to develop a property of the University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman, Quezon City.

Philippines drops in global corruption index

THE Philippines slipped 14 spots in a global corruption index released on Thursday by Transparency International, which said “a staggering number of countries are showing little to no improvement in tackling corruption.”

Start-up incubator QBO Innovation Hub plans to take in nearly 150...

QBO Innovation Hub plans to take on board nearly 150 new start-ups in 2020 to address a shortage in the number of job-generating innovators, an official of the start-up incubator said.

Exporter usage of EU’s GSP+ preferential scheme at 25%

THE Philippines’ utilization rate on its preferential trade scheme with the European Union (EU) is estimated to have remained at 25%, Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines Chargé d’ Affaires Thomas Wiersing told reporters at a press conference on Monday.

PHL slides a notch in global democracy index

THE Philippines slipped one place to No. 54 out of 167 countries in London-based think tank Economist Intelligence Unit’s democracy index for 2019, citing the Southeast Asian nation’s “flawed democracy.”

Outsourcing sector taps ad agencies to lure investors

THE Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) plans to work with advertising agencies to attract more investment in the outsourcing sector this year.

Hyundai reports 6% fall in car sales last year

HYUNDAI Asia Resources Inc. (HARI) car sales dropped 6.1% in 2019 after participating in fewer market segments.

Mondelēz invests in recyclable packaging facility

MONDELĒZ Philippines, Inc. looks to showcasing the results of its Parañaque-based recycling facility to Metro Manila local government units for possible replication.

Ecozones’ contingency plans geared for heavier Taal ashfall

ECONOMIC ZONES are evaluating their disaster preparations in the event of further activity from Taal volcano, with the industry association considering the likeliest scenario to be more ashfall.

Southeast Asia remains FDI bright spot, led by Singapore

FOREIGN direct investment (FDI) in Southeast Asia continued to grow in 2019 even as global investment flows remained flat, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Investment Trends Monitor said.

PEZA building new headquarters on Roxas Boulevard

THE Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) plans to build a new headquarters on Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City, with construction expected to take three or four years.

Government aligning tariffs with Hong Kong-China free trade deal

THE government is modifying the tariffs on products from Hong Kong, China and ASEAN member states as part of its commitments under a free trade agreement.

Company gives away 100,000 face masks

A MEDICAL mask maker is donating more than 100,000 face masks to areas affected by the Taal Volcano eruption, the Trade department said in a statement on Monday.

Filipino success still not totally based on hard work, says study

THE Philippines placed 61st among 82 nations in a report measuring social mobility, suggesting that Filipino success does not depend entirely on hard work and is likely to be affected by family and socioeconomic background.

PEZA expects higher investments if ‘investor-friendly’ CITIRA is passed

THE Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) is targeting to grow investments by 5-10% this year, amid lingering investor concern over the government’s plan to rationalize incentives.

Animation industry poised for transition from outsourcing to original content

THE 5,000 EMPLOYEES of the Philippine animation industry, though toiling in obscurity, make up part of the production line for some of Disney or Cartoon Network’s biggest hits.

BoI investment pledges hit P1.14-T

THE BOARD of Investments (BoI) approved a record P1.14 trillion in investment pledges last year, thanks to the country’s strong fundamentals and steady business and consumer confidence, the Trade department said on Thursday.

PCCI ties up with TESDA for nationwide job training

A NATIONAL business chamber is partnering with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to create a nationwide, pre-employment training system.

Climate change seen reducing outdoor work, dampening growth

EXTREME heat caused by climate change puts the Philippines at risk of losing many hours of outdoor work in industries like construction or farming, dampening economic growth, the McKinsey Global Institute said.

DTI offers loans to shops near Taal Volcano

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is offering P50 million in loans to businesses that will either rebuild structures damaged by Taal Volcano’s eruptions or relocate there.

DoH freezes prices of medical goods in Batangas calamity zone

THE Department of Health (DoH) has ordered a price freeze on 218 medicines as well as other medical goods in Batangas province, following widespread panic-buying of N95 masks, which are rated for filtering out volcanic dust.

Bamboo industry targets 19,000 hectares for new plantations

THE Philippine Bamboo Industry Council (PBIC) plans to convert at least 19,000 hectares of land into bamboo plantations this year, including 13,000 hectares in the Western Visayas.