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4 ASEAN countries sign deal on free movement of investment advisors

MALAYSIA, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to facilitate cross-border movement of investment advisers which would give regional investors greater access to professional services, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said on Friday.

Bargain hunt makes PSEi bounce back above 7,000

THE MAIN INDEX clawed its way back above the 7,000 mark on Friday from Thursday’s worst year-to-date finish on bargain hunting and signs that Sino-US trade tensions could ease.

159 Boracay establishments cleared for operation

THE Department of Environmental and Natural Resources announced on Friday that it has already issued Certificates of Conditional Approval (CCAs) to 159 establishments in Boracay.

DENR’s Boracay inspectors to be equipped with US-backed technology

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said it will adopt a US-funded system to track the activities of environmental inspectors on the resort island of Boracay.

Japanese firm evaluating possible new applications for Philippine banana fiber

THE Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA) said it will deliver a trial shipment of banana fiber to a Japanese company looking to order as much as 2,000 metric tons from the Philippines.

McDonald’s PHL allots P3-billion capex for 2019

MCDONALD’S Philippines is increasing its capital expenditure (capex) to P3 billion for 2019, as it opens new stores and upgrades existing ones with self-paying kiosks.

Failure to win PHL orders dampens Vietnam rice prices

PRICES of unmilled rice fell further in Vietnam after it failed to obtain a government-to-government order from the Philippines in the second half of May and increased China import tariffs in July, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

Rice and corn mix to be introduced by yearend

THE National Food Authority (NFA) Council has agreed to introduce a rice and corn mix as staples in NFA outlets by the end of 2018.

Impact of illegal fishing flagged to LGUs

THE PHILIPPINES can achieve fish sufficiency after President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s term ends, with the protection of the 24 major fishing grounds as well as promotion of aquaculture and maintenance of 60% local fish production, according to Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources National Director Eduardo B. Gongona.

African Swine Fever prompts stepped up ban on pork products

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) ordered a temporary ban on importation of domestic and wild pigs including pork meat and semen from Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Moldova, South Africa and Zambia due to reported cases of African Swine Fever (ASF).

Retailers can import up to 350,000 tons of rice

THE National Food Authority (NFA) on Monday approved the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) proposal to allow major retailers to directly import up to 350,000 tons of rice.

SRP for rice expected to be in place by late Oct.

GOVERNMENT agencies will implement a suggested retail price (SRP) for all varieties of rice starting the last week of October, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said on Monday.

Fisheries bureau partly lifts ban on collecting seaweed

FISHERIES Administrative Order (FAO) 250-2 will allow individual fishermen to collect, sell, trade, and transport Sargassum, a type of brown seaweed, subject to seasonal restrictions and permit requirements.

Pre-bid conference for rice importation draws 12 companies

TWELVE companies participated in the pre-bid conference for the importation 250,000 metric tons of 25% broken well-milled long grain white rice for the National Food Authority on Friday.

ALQC to donate land for relocation site of landslide victims

APO LAND and Quarry Corp (ALQC) said on Thursday that it will donate a parcel of land to serve as a relocation site in Naga City, Cebu as well as set up a care fund to rebuild houses for the victims of a landslide near its operations site.

NFA Council approves three rice importations at 2-week intervals

THE National Food Authority (NFA) Council has decided to authorize private-sector imports of 750,000 metric tons (MT) of rice in three batches of 250,000 MT each, arriving every two weeks starting Nov. 30.

House signals plan to add P20 billion to Agri dep’t budget...

AGRICULTURE SECRETARY Emmanuel F. Piñol said on Wednesday that key legislators have signalled their intention to raise the Department of Agriculture’s 2019 budget by about P20 billion, amid concern in the House about the adequacy of its proposed budget of P55 billion.

European chamber considering SME partnering project extension

THE European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines said that it plans to extend its five-year project, known as the EU-Philippines Business Network, which partners small and medium enterprises from Europe with domestic companies.

SRA authorizes sugar imports of 150,000 MT

THE Sugar Regulatory Administration has ordered the importation of 150,000 metric tons of raw or refined sugar to address rising prices for the commodity, with delivery expected not later than Dec. 31.

Piñol signals plans to reshuffle NFA leadership

AGRICULTURE Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said that he plans to reorganize the National Food Authority (NFA) in consultation with President Rodrigo R. Duterte and incoming NFA Administrator Rolando Joselito D. Bautista.

Agri dep’t outlines port-of-origin inspection regime for rice imports

AGRICULTURE Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said the more permissive system for private rice imports will still require sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) import clearances with inspectors to assess shipments at the port of origin.

Seed program eyed for Tamayuan tree to supplement wood supply

THE GOVERNMENT hopes to offer seed for the Tamayuan tree (Strombosia philippinensis) to reduce slash-and-burn agriculture and to supply wood to the construction industry, the Ecosystems Research & Development Bureau (ERDB) said on Sunday.

ORCA set to open cold storage facilities in Taguig, Caloocan in...

ISOC Holdings, Inc. said its subsidiary ORCA Cold Chain Solutions is scheduled to open cold storage facilities in Taguig and Caloocan in the first half of 2019, as part of the expansion of its food storage business.

PLDT expands deal with Amdocs

PLDT Inc. said on Friday it signed a new agreement with US-based Amdocs to manage and automate the telecommunications giant’s information technology (IT) operations.

Aboitiz bags original proponent status for Bohol airport

THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) granted original proponent status to Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc. (AIC) for the operations, maintenance, and future expansion of the New Bohol International Airport in Panglao, the company said on Friday.

Apo Land open to independent investigation of landslide

APO LAND and Quarry Corp. (ALQC) said on Friday it is allowing geologists and experts to conduct independent investigation of the landslide in Naga, Cebu, a day after Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said the company’s quarry operations will remain suspended.

Ex-NEDA head Habito says pursuit of rice self-sufficiency raises prices

STRIVING for rice self-sufficiency is expected to drive prices for the grain even higher, according to economist and Ateneo de Manila University professor Cielito F. Habito.

US water technology company keen on local projects

US-based water technology company Xylem, Inc. aims to boost its presence in the Philippines by participating in a number of projects, including those in the mining sector, to help them become responsible stewards of water, company officials said.

NIA completes irrigation project in Davao region

THE National Irrigation (NIA) Authority said it inaugurated the newly-rehabilitated and Japan-funded P104.294 million Mal River Irrigation System (Mal RIS) in Davao del Sur.

DENR backs House legislation to prohibit open-pit mining

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources supports a proposal by Speaker Gloria M. Arroyo to ban open-pit mining, Undersecretary Jonas R. Leones said on Tuesday.

Bukidnon vegetable supply line may be made permanent

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) is planning to make its emergency shipments of low-cost vegetables from Bukidnon to Metro Manila more permanent but needs to work out the logistics bottlenecks, Undersecretary Jose Gabriel M. La Viña said.

NFA Council approves further rice imports of 500,000 MT

THE National Food Authority (NFA) Council has approved the importation of an additional 500,000 metric tons (MT) of rice this year and a standby volume of 1 million metric tons for 2019, according to agriculture secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol.

Laguna de Bay bangus industry calls for more restrictive pollution controls

THE Bangus Industry Stakeholders & Dealers Alliance (BISDA) said the government needs to impose tougher pollution controls on industry and households to ensure the sustainability of the Laguna de Bay fishery, as prices of bangus, or milkfish, become prohibitive for consumers.

MICC to submit review of 26 suspended mines by end-Sept.

THE Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) is expected to come up with its full review of the 26 mining firms ordered closed by former environment secretary Regina Paz L. Lopez by the end of this month, which will be then submitted to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Benguet Corp. backs small miners in Itogon

BENGUET Corp. wants to legitimize small-scale miners in Itogon by donating to the government its patented property in the Antamok site as a “Minahang Bayan” while providing other livelihood such as ecotourism to the community.

NFA transfer to Agriculture dep’t to improve timing of rice imports

THE National Food Authority said on Thursday that its transfer to the control of the Department of Agriculture will help the two agencies better coordinate rice procurement and imports.

Vegetables to arrive by air from Mindanao by Thursday

AGRICULTURE Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said a planeload of fresh vegetables from Mindanao is expected to arrive by Thursday and will sell in the markets for about half the usual Metro Manila price.

DENR preparing to declare 2 CAR sites ‘Minahang Bayan’

TWO areas in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) may be declared “Minahang Bayan” for use by small-scale miners this year, out of 60 to 65 pending applications being considered by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

NFA, other agencies placed under DA

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte signed Executive Order No. 62 on Wednesday, placing the National Food Authority (NFA), Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), and Fertilizer and Pesticides Authority (FPA) under the Department of Agriculture (DA), its chief, Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol announced.

Police to monitor hoarding, profiteering in typhoon Ompong areas; death toll...

THE POLICE will monitor and take action against those who will be caught violating fair trade rules in the aftermath of typhoon Ompong (international name: Mangkhut) as part of its post-disaster functions.