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BusinessMirror A broader look at today’s business

n Monday, April 15, 2019 Vol. 14 No. 187

Gaps in power supply data spark alarm, probe L

By Lenie Lectura


AST week’s widespread rotational brownouts raised grave concern over the country’s power supply and reserves, fears of collusion among power producers and doubts on the capabilities of the government agencies whose mandate, among others, is to ensure a stable, reliable and affordable energy. As of April 13, five power plants, with a combined capacity of 1,437 megawatts (MW), are still out.  But two power plants—Limay unit 2 of SMC Consolidated Power Corp.  (150 MW) and Pagbilao unit 3 of Pagbilao Energy Corp.

(420 MW)—are expected to be back online on April 16. Another power plant—Sual unit 1 of Team Energy Corp. (67 MW)—is expected to supply power to the grid on April 18. Meanwhile, the 150-MW unit 2

of Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corp. in Calaca is scheduled to deliver power on April 21. However, the fifth power plant—Limay A1 of Panasia Energy Inc.—that is still on unscheduled outage has yet to declare when it would be back online.

“The brownouts felt by our constituents in Luzon these past few days is totally unacceptable. Definitely, heads must roll this time. We owe it to the power consumers to give them accurate information on the power situation in the country. It seems the DOE overestimated the available capacity of our power.”—Gatchalian

The Luzon grid was placed on red alert notice for three consecutive days last week mainly because many power plants, mostly very old ones, conked out. An even older plant such as Malaya unit 1, and SEM-Calaca Power Corp.’s 300-MW unit 2 plant in Calaca, Batangas, was derated by 150 MW and 100 MW, respectively. See “Power,” A2



S the country awaits the President’s decision on whether to sign or veto the long-delayed 2019 budget, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has already released the memorandum detailing the top budget priorities of the Duterte administration for 2020. The total cash-based budget next year approved by the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) is P4.1 trillion, 9.1 percent higher, or P343 billion more than the proposed P3.757-trillion national budget for 2019. The P4.1-trillion cash-based budget for 2020 is equivalent to 19.4 percent of the country’s GDP, which amounts to P21.17 trillion. Around 44.9 percent, or P1.843 trillion is provided for the Tier 1 or the ongoing programs/activities/ projects of the different agencies. Meanwhile, automatic appropriations, such as internal revenue allotment and net lending and special purpose funds will account for 32.8 percent of the budget or P1.346 trillion. To cover Tier 2 or the expanded and new programs and projects, 22.2 percent or P911.7 billion will be set aside out of the total



ANILA is hoping for a speedy resolution to its concerns over Tokyo’s stringent food safety rules on Philippine bananas to avert further losses as Filipino exporters could miss out on Japan’s weeklong holiday. Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said they are targeting to lift the mandatory testing for chemical residue on Philippine bananas by Japan before its Golden Week, which runs from April 28 to May 6. Because if not, supply of Philippine bananas in the Japan during the weeklong festivity could be limited or totally not available as Tokyo shipment inspectors would not be available during the period, banana exports earlier warned.

Amount set aside out of the total cash-based budget ceiling to cover Tier 2 or the expanded and new programs and projects for 2020. This is 22.2 percent of the total for next year’s outlay

See “Budget,” A12


“We are hoping it would happen before their Golden Holiday. We’re hoping for the best. I’m not even looking at a worse-case scenario,” Piñol told the BusinessM irror on Sunday. Piñol added that Japan’s Ministry for Health, Labour, and Welfare is well aware of the issues being raised by the Philippines over Tokyo’s 100-percent testing for Fipronil residue on locally grown bananas. Furthermore, the agriculture chief committed to Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association Inc. (PBGEA) to “personally” handle the issue and persuade Japanese officials that Philippine exports are compliant with Tokyo standards for maximum residue limit (MRL). “I have talked with officials of PBGEA to assure them that I will personally handle efforts to resolve the issue,” Piñol said. See “Banana,” A12

PHL credit upgrade tied to tax bills, EODB


cash-based budget ceiling. “The Duterte administration will prioritize the acceleration of infrastructure, anti-poverty and pro-employment spending through strategic infrastructure projects, and by supporting the implementation of recent game-changing laws such as rice liberalization, universal health care and Bangsamoro autonomy,” read the National Budget Memorandum 132, or the Budget Priorities Framework for the preparation of FY 2020 agency budget proposals under Tier 2 signed by DBM Officer in Charge Janet B. Abuel. In a bid to guide agencies in crafting their own budgets, the DBM is releasing annually an updated budget priorities framework, which sets the budget priorities and stipulates the macroeconomic


P25.00 nationwide | 5 sections 30 pages | 7 DAYS A WEEK

Priorities for ₧4.1-T outlay for 2020 set, as budget’s fate for 2019 is awaited By Bernadette D. Nicolas


By Rea Cu



Africa, said every country needs to be ready to address issues involving financial stability “with all available tools.” Many nations were jolted last year when stock markets went into a nosedive, reversed only when major central banks, including the Federal Reserve, halted efforts to tighten credit policies.

HE Department of Finance (DOF) is optimistic the Philippines will get a credit upgrade within a year, if the remaining tax-reform packages are passed and the ease of doing business (EODB) law is finally, completely rolled out. Addressing the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines (Ejap) and San Miguel Corp. (SMC) seminar in Baguio City on Saturday, Finance Undersecretary Gil S. Beltran said, “One year. It’s possible we get it in one year [the investment grade upgrade]. Especially if we get the four tax reforms in place...The market is the real thing. They’re the ones who actually buy the bonds. They invest in the Philippines, and if they’re giving us more credit to the credit-rating agencies do, then that’s the best of all worlds, I think,” Beltran said. Apart from the passage of the remaining tax-reform packages, Beltran explained that the country’s assessment under institutional strength is ranked low by the credit-rating agencies because of the issues bugging implementation of the EODB, especially the delay in the

See “Tensions,” A12

See “Credit upgrade,” A2

INTERNATIONAL Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde speaks with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during the IMF Governors group photo at the World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings in Washington on Saturday, April 13, 2019. AP PHOTO/JOSE LUIS MAGANA

Tensions rife as finance chiefs vow cooperation


ASHINGTON—Global finance officials are pledging closer cooperation in efforts to lift the world economy out of its current slowdown, but tensions persist between the United States and other nations over trade and other issues. Officials wrapped up the spring meetings of the 189-nation International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank on Saturday, expressing hope the

slowdown that began last year will be followed by stronger growth in the second half of this year and into 2020. The IMF’s steering committee said all members, in order to protect the current economic expansion, would “act promptly to shore up growth for the benefit of all.” At a closing news conference, the committee chairman, Lesetja Kganyago, head of the central bank of South

n JAPAN 0.4644 n UK 67.7057 n HK 6.6114 n CHINA 7.7169 n SINGAPORE 38.2403 n AUSTRALIA 36.9328 n EU 58.3572 n SAUDI ARABIA 13.8255

Source: BSP (12 April 2019 )



A2 Monday, April 15, 2019

Gordon to govt: Develop, take over Hanjin site


By Butch Fernandez


HE Duterte administration was asked to facilitate the takeover and fast-track development of Hanjin Heavy Industries Corp.’s (HHICPhil) facility at the former US base in Subic Bay to continue providing jobs and ensure protection of the country’s territory and sovereignty.

Credit upgrade. . . Continued from A1

implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) 11032, which was enacted in 2018. “If we pass all the tax reforms, and then we implement the EODB as indicated in the law, then there’s a big possibility we will get it. We are very low in EODB,” he added. This is why the implementation of the EODB law is seen to also help the country get an upgrade from the the top 3 agencies—Fitch Ratings (Fitch), Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings (S&P) and Moody’s Investor Service (Moody’s). “The three major credit-rating agencies gave us a credit rating starting 2010; we have been rated investment grade since then, and all of them rate us on the second notch of investment grade we are one notch above the minimum level for investment grade,” he said. In April 2018, the credit outlook of the Philippines

Power. . .

Continued from A1

A red alert notice means the projected demand exceeds available power generating capacity. There is zero contingency reserve.  Normally, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) implements Manual Load Dropping (MLD) or rotational brownout during red alert to maintain the integrity of the power system. And power outages did happen. According to CitizenWatch Philippines, the issuance of three consecutive red alerts was more than those issued in previous years. In 2018, the Luzon grid was not placed under any red alert status while in 2015 and 2017, only one red alert was announced, said Atty. Hannah Viola, convenor of CitizenWatch Philippines.  


VIOLA said accountability and transparency for power interruptions and outages should be in force. “This especially holds true on the part of the generation companies as their generation charges comprise a large chunk of what the consumers pay for in their electricity bills,” Viola said. The Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira) dictates the obligation of power producers: Generation of electric power shall be competitive and open. This provision means that abuse of market power should be avoided and its anticompetitive behavior should always be observed. “This obligation is underscored now more than ever as electricity rates are set to increase this month. This price hike is attributable to higher charges from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market from the tight supply in the Luzon grid and the weakening of the peso against US dollar,” Viola pointed out.


A DEPARTMENT of Energy (DOE) official said in an interview that the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) would be in a better position to determine if the power-generation firms whose power plants went on forced outage last week can be penalized.

was upgraded to positive by S&P, while affirming the country’s current credit rating at “BBB.” Beltran said, “For S&P, we are rated positive which means we can get an upgrade within one year.” In July 2018, Moody’s affirmed the Philippines’s rating at Baa2 and maintained the outlook at stable. “For Moody’s, we have to do more to get an upgrade because after being stable for a year you can get upgraded to positive. If you do well, that positive rating will become an upgrade; it will become BBB+ after we get an A. We have to hurdle two notches to be able to achieve the minimum notch for investment grade,” he said. Fitch also maintained the Philippines’s investment grade credit rating of BBB with a “stable” outlook in December of 2018. “For Fitch, we are stable, which means we have to do more to be able to get an upgrade,” Beltran added. Asked when the Philippines is seen to have an A investment grade, Beltran said such may come first

DOE Director for Electric Power Industry Management Bureau Mario Marasigan said the agency determines the causes of outages and, most important, the expected dates of the power plants to be online.“ERC can determine which rules have been broken and corresponding penalties, if there is any, as regulator,” said Marasigan in an interview. He also clarified that the DOE did not directly issue show-cause letters to the power-generation firms.“Rather, we invited the officials of the power plants—SLGPC, South Luzon Thermal Energy Corp., Team Energy, Aboitiz Power Renewables Inc. and Semirara-Calaca Power Corp.,”added Marasigan. Sought for comment, ERC Spokesman lawyer Rexie Digal said the regulator has already started its probe of the power plants concerned. The commission is responsible for validating the reasons that power firms claim for the outage. However, she could not say when the agency will be able to conclude the investigation. “We need to evaluate the reports that our inspection team will submit to determine whether there were violations committed. It’s not because they were inspected [that] there will be findings of violation. Penalties may be fines.  As to timelines on evaluation, it will depend on the findings,” said Digal. Asked if the ERC has sanctioned any power firms involved in past incidents of forced plant shutdown, Digal said, “I can’t remember any recent violation.”


CITIZENWATCH Philippines also noted that the cartellike collusion by power generators should be thoroughly investigated as historical data indicate a correlation between the decrease of supply and increase of electricity prices. “Having a stable supply of power is a matter that is imbued with public interest and general welfare. As the confidence of the electricity consumers and the integrity of electricity market largely depend on the transparency of data, measures should be made to ensure transparency through an energy platform,” said Viola. The Senate committee on energy chaired by Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian intends to ask the DOE and the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) to look into possible collusion among the power producers because of

from credit-rating agencies in Asia, rather than the big three agencies. “You know, we can get an A from the Asian creditrating agencies faster, Japan credit-rating agency, RAM [Ratings] and China, I forgot the name. We can get it first from them, and then these big ones will follow,” he added. He explained that to get an upgrade, the Philippines needs to increase its rating by two more counts. Coming from a stable rating, the country needs to be graded a positive outlook and then comes an upgrade by one notch. “We expect that the credit ratings will improve, although we expect also that the market perceives us better than the credit rating agencies.... Given the strength of the economy right now and given the trust by the market on our issuances, we have very low premiums on the debt issues that we offer the market, and that is a strong indication that they trust us and have confidence in us. And we will continue to have these credit ratings improve over time; we will just have to wait,” he said.

the price spike on the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM). “We will ask the DOE and also PCC to look for possible collusion,” he said earlier.

Spike in WESM rates

IN March, when the Luzon grid was placed on a series of yellow alerts, the Load Weighted Average Prices (LWAPs) in the spot market reached as high as P12 per kWh,” Meralco utility economics head Lawrence Fernandez said in an e-mail reply. Citing WESM data, Fernandez said the LWAPs for March 4 and 5 were at their highest so far for the year. “It was P12.698/kWh in March 4 and P11.685 per kWh in March 5,” he said. In the absence of a yellow alert, the LWAPs normally reached about P7 per kWh. “In the immediately preceding week, the highest daily LWAP was only P7.327 per kWh. The highest daily LWAP was only P7.48 per kWh,” said Fernandez. Meralco partly sources its power requirements from the WESM. Any adjustment in the cost of power purchased by Meralco is reflected in the generation component of an electric bill. Whenever a yellow or alert is issued, this has an impact on WESM prices.  Separately, the  Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines Inc. (IEMOP), operator of WESM, cited indications that the secondary price cap was exceeded at 7.01AM on April 12, when the Luzon grid was placed on red alert for 13 hours.   However, because several intervals were affected by “market intervention” and “pricing errors,” the breaching of the secondary cap is still subject to verification.

‘We are transparent’

THE Philippine Independent Power Producers Association Inc. (Pippa) denied there was collusion among its members. “All our member generators, especially those who are encountering technical difficulties, are fully transparent and in constant coordination with the lead agencies with the submission of real-time data and updates in order for these agencies to predict and come up with an adequate energy supply and reserve,” it said on Sunday.  Power firms with forced outages are trying to address the problems and are committed to be fully functional as

Sen. Richard J. Gordon suggested over the weekend that apart from a built-in base for the Philippine Navy, the sprawling former US military base could be converted into a revenueraising industrial park, apart from a full-service civilian ship yard and shipbuilding facility. “Mas maganda kung magawa na natin ang Hanjin para makapasok dito ng trabaho. Dapat gamitin natin ’yan para sa seguridad ng bayan; lagyan natin ng Philippine Navy base diyan [It would be good if we can get Hanjin up and running right away so the jobs can come in. We should use it for national security. Let’s put a Philippine Navy base there],” the senator suggested. Besides the Navy facility, Gordon said the government should put a ship repair or shipbuilding facility “so we have the opportunity to build our own boats. The rest of the area can be turned into an industrial park.” Gordon pointed out that since the Hanjin site is “complete,” it would be easy to reconfigure it for various economic purposes. At the same time, the senator is also pushing a proposal to “put up a naval engineering school or naval architecture school in the vast facility to step up Filipinos’ shipbuilding capacity.” He said the government should move fast to develop the country’s potential in the shipbuilding industry. “We must involve ourselves in designing vessels. Step soon as their issues are resolved in compliance with the directive and mandate of the DOE, the group added. “Pippa members are prepared to answer any and all inquiries as to the status of their plants. In the meantime, we would like to request for the public’s patience and trust that these technical difficulties will be fixed in the soonest possible time,” it said. AboitizPower Chief Operating Officer Emmanuel Rubio, in a text message, said on Sunday the power situation will “ease up” as demand decreases toward Easter Week and a number of plants on outage are getting back to the grid.  He was referring to unit 1 of TVI, which was placed on commercial operations last week; GNDP unit 1, which will enter the grid later this year; and Therma Mobile Inc.  “A portion of TMO’s capacity will be available before the end of April and will remain embedded in the Meralco franchise,” he said. South Luzon Thermal Energy Corp. (SLTEC), which restored online its unit 1 on April 13, said it will take measures to ensure the continued availability of both units 1 and 2 during the critical election period. “We exerted all our efforts to ensure that the necessary repairs and other corrective works be performed quickly and efficiently as possible so we can bring back unit 1 online,” said SLTEC President Vergilio Francisco. 

‘Fake news’

THE Senate Energy panel will investigate the unexpected brownouts given that the DOE had given assurances of ample supply of electricity reserve throughout the dry season. Gatchalian noted the DOE’s inaccurate electricity forecast throughout the summer season, noting that it does not include unplanned outages. He said the forecast includes the committed capacities in their available capacity, thus making the projection less realistic. Comparing DOE forecast with the NGCP projections, Gatchalian said the projected available capacity of DOE is way above the level of the projected capacity of the NGCP. To illustrate, Gatchalian pointed out that on April 11, the DOE forecast at least 1,085-MW gross reserve, indicating enough supply of electricity for Luzon. In contrast, the NGCP forecast showed that the gross reserve for April 11


Hanjin’s (Subic) outstanding loans, as noted by Senator Gordon—$400 million from Philippine banks and $900 million from South Korean lenders up our capabilities in naval architectural design. We are an archipelagic country; we must be able to build ships,” Gordon said. On Sunday, the senator recaled President Duterte himself had signaled being receptive to a government takeover of the Subic shipyard of the cash-strapped South Korean shipbuilder, which sought receivership status for its inability to pay more than $400 million owed to five leading Philippine banks. Gordon noted that  HHIC-Phil itself earlier revealed that it has a total of $1.3-billion outstanding loans—$400 million from Philippine banks and $900 million from South Korean lenders.  “It has asked the Philippine government for rehabilitation, because it was having cash flow problems,” the senator added. Gordon disclosed that the Korean shipbuilder “also sought help from the government in finding investors that can take over the operation of its shipyard as well as to help its employees, who have taken the brunt of the company’s financial woes.” was only 236 MW. This, according to the lawmaker, was thin and below the required regulating reserve. Moreover, on April 12, Gatchalian said DOE gave a forecast that there was still 1,006-MW gross reserve that was enough to power the Luzon grid. However, the NGCP sounded the alarm bells and issued a red alert status after it forecast a gross reserve of only 21 MW for the same day, lower and way below the sum of the required regulating reserve. “Our power consumers deserve nothing but accurate information. Ang DOE ang pangunahing ahensya na dapat nagbibigay ng wasto at sapat na inpormasyon upang makapaghanda ang ating mga kababayan. Kaso mukhang na fake news tayo ng DOE sa pagkakataon na ito [The DOE is the prime agency that should give accurate and enough information so the public is ready for outages. But it seems we were the victims of ‘fake news’ by DOE in this case],” he said. CitizenWatch Philippines said that, while DOE’s efforts to provide up-to-date online information on the supply situation are commendable, its pronouncements may not truly reflect the current situation as power interruptions hit Luzon. “What is actually alarming is the disconnect about what is being publicly disclosed and what is really happening,” the group said.

‘Heads must roll’

AT least seven provinces along with 40 cities and towns have so far been affected by the rotating brownouts last week due to the forced and unplanned outages of five generators in Luzon. “The brownouts felt by our constituents in Luzon these past few days is totally unacceptable. Definitely, heads must roll this time. We owe it to the power consumers to give them accurate information on the power situation in the country. It seems the DOE overestimated the available capacity of our power,” said Gatchalian in a mix of English and Filipino. He noted how the DOE even gave assurances before the start of summer that there will be enough power supply in the country. “If there’s enough power supply, then how come there are towns and provinces in Luzon that are experiencing rotational brownouts,” the senator wondered aloud.

The Nation BusinessMirror

Editor: Vittorio V. Vitug • Monday, April 15, 2019 A3

Govt ready vs repeat of 2016 data attack By Elijah Felice E. Rosales



AGUIO CITY—The government is bracing for a possible repeat of the data attack in 2016 that leaked personal information and put a risk the privacy of 55 million registered Filipino voters. Privacy Commissioner Raymund E. Liboro said the government is closely monitoring the lead-up to the midterm elections in May, with data protection as one of the major

concerns. Privacy and security officials last week had a high-level meeting to craft the government’s response should a repeat of the 2016 data attack occur, he disclosed.

“Definitely, it [data security] has always been [a concern],” Liboro said in an interview with reporters over the weekend here. “This time, if I may just assure everyone, it is being considered as high priority the security of the upcoming elections. That is why [the National Security Council] called a conference, a meeting just for that.” During the meeting, National Security Adviser Hermogenes C. Esperon Jr. reiterated lessons from the past data attack, and checked with relevant agencies their measures to prevent 2016 from happening all over again. Liboro claimed authorities are on the same page in prioritizing the data security of the May polls under the supervision of the

Commission on Elections (Comelec). “The preventive steps have been in place, [and now] it is really a matter of checking there whether it is being implemented as planned,” Liboro said. However, the privacy chief did not confirm nor deny if there are potential threats to the cyber security of the elections. He just said the government is ready to thwart any attack yet again on the personal information of voters. Less then a month before the 2016 presidential elections, hacker groups Anonymous Philippines and LulzSec Pilipinas infiltrated the web site of Comelec. Between them, the attack orchestrated by LulzSec was considered

the more grave and damaging, as it illegally accessed and downloaded 340 gigabytes of data from the poll body. The group harvested the personal information of over 55 million registered Filipino voters, including those of 1.3 million citizens residing or working overseas. LulzSec made things worse when it released the stolen haul of data online, giving everyone on the Internet maximum accessibility. The Comelec played down the impact of the data attack, and claimed the compromised database was accessible to the public anyway and no sensitive personal information were leaked. Apparently, the hackers only managed to obtain a list of nothing more but names and addresses.

Before 2016 ended, the National Privacy Commission issued directives to the Comelec in its resolution to the data leakage. The Comelec was instructed to designate a data protection officer within one month; conduct a privacy impact assessment within two months; craft a privacy management program within three months; and create a breach management procedure within three months, as well as run breach drills. Further, the poll body was tasked to implement organizational, physical and technical security measures in line with the implementing rules and regulations of the Data Privacy Act of 2012 and circulars related to data protection.

Besides Filipinos, Americans, there were Czech heroes who fought in Bataan


HER E’S a footnote to the va liant defense of Bataan that got its proper recog nition at the last Apr il 9 obser vance of A raw ng K ag itingan (Day of Va lor). T he representatives of Czech Embassy in Manila commemorated the braver y and the dedication bestowed by soldiers a nd c iv i l i a ns who fought du r ing t he Second World War. On April 9, or 77 years ago, Bataan, the last fortress that became the remaining stronghold of Allied forces in the region, fell into the hands of the Japanese forces. Unbeknownst to many, this period in Philippine history is in fact one of the crucial aspects in the long and deeply ingrained relations between the Philippines and the Czech Republic

COLLAGED photos of some of the Czechoslovak veterans who volunteered to fight with the Filipino and American soldiers during the Second World War. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CZECH EMBASSY

(then Czechoslovakia, which split in the Czech Republic and Slovakia only in 1993). Little did the Filipinos know that alongside their compatriots and the Americans who were fighting for the Philippines, 14 Czechoslovak nationals were battling with them and defending the freedom of the country that was not theirs. The Czechoslovak nationals who volunteered were mostly employees of the Bata Shoe Co., the first Czech investment in the Philippines, before the outbreak of the war in the country. K arel Aster, the last Czech defender of Bataan who passed on 2017, said in

one of his letters on sufferings during the war: “ The conditions were so terrible it is hard for me to describe them.” His letters also revealed the motivation to join the A llied forces: “Fighting for the Philippines at that time was like fighting for the liberty of Czechoslovakia, which became the German protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia during the war.” The shrine dedicated to the self less and valiant commitment of the Czechoslovak nationals, specifically those who died in the war—Dr. Paul Fuchs, Jan Bzoch, Leo Herman, Fred Lenk, Josef Varak, Antonin Volny and Jaroslav Hrdina—stands beside the Philippine Scouts and the US Memorials. Apart from the Philippines and the American soldiers and civilians, there is no other nationality represented.

A4 Monday, April 15, 2019 • Editor: Vittorio V. Vitug

Economy BusinessMirror

DTI’s product certification goes online


By Elijah Felice E. Rosales


S part of efforts to streamline government transactions, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has started processing applications for product standards through an online portal. Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said his agency made it easier for businesses to get their products certified by the government

with the launch of the Product Certification Information Management System. The PCIMS is aimed at facilitating ease of do-

ing business through streamlining and automation of frontline service transactions. The PCIMS features an end to end online and paperless processing of Import Commodity Clearance and Philippine Standard Safety and Quality Certification Mark License, as well as an inventory management of security papers and ICC stickers. “[The] DTI has made it easy for entrepreneurs and the business community to process certifications and avail of frontline services in the comforts of your home or anywhere. [There is] no need to be present at any DTI office,” Lopez

said in a statement on Sunday. The Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS) last year began utilizing the PCIMS in its ICC processing, and in January ceased its manual applications for the certification. The online portal also features first in, first out processing; realtime tracking of transaction status; automatic e-mail of statement of account, notice of nonconformance and show-cause orders; and automatic reminder of surveillance schedules and license expiration. However, businesses still need to go to a DTI office to pay the fees and claim the certificates. On top of facilitating ease, the

PCIMS reduces the cost of doing business, Lopez added. “Businesses w il l definitely benefit with this shift to online transactions. Apart from the convenience and less time spent on application, it is also cost efficient. We have estimated about P3,600 in savings per application, from P4,170 spent per application down to P557. That is big savings for businesses,” he said. Further, the DTI is shifting its ICC sticker confirmation through a mobile application intended to assist enforcement officers during market monitoring and consumers in the verification of a product.

The mobile software will allow users to check the legitimacy of ICC stickers through the QR code printed on it. The BPS last year started issuing ICC stickers with QR codes. The DTI is testing the mobile software and is targeting to launch it within the month. “However, we want to assure you that this does not end here. This will be a continuing process of reform and automation. We will continue to review and streamline processes in [the] BPS, as well as in other bureaus. The ultimate ease of doing business is enabling people to do things and all transactions online,” the trade chief said.

Major Luzon ports record lower yard utilization rate Govt seizes, destroys ₧1.8M By Rea Cu

fake cigarettes and watches



HE Bureau of Customs (BOC) said the yard utilization rate for two of the major ports in Luzon has been reduced due to efforts undertaken by the bureau and the private sector. The BOC said the Manila International Container Port (MICP) reported a yard utilization of 70percent, while the Port of Manila (POM) reported a rate of 69 percent for April this year. “The continuous decrease in the level of yard utilization at the two major ports is a clear manifestation of the commitment of the officials and personnel of the bureau to address trade challenges,” Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero said in a statement. The yard utilization rate for April of both the MICP and the POM showed decreases coming from the January level of 90 percent and 95 percent, respectively. The BOC said that policies, measures, and collaborative efforts with the private sector were done by the bureau to address the problem of high utilization at POM and MICP. Guerrero added that the robust relationship between the government and the private sector, particularly the port operators, Asian Terminal Inc. (ATI) and the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) has helped the BOC address the problem on yard utilization. At the POM, overstaying laden containers were shipped out to the ATI yard in Santa Clara, Batangas, to free up space at the port. “About 400 staying containers had been transferred from the POM to the ATI facility, the removal of the remaining containers is ongo-


A TRAILER truck arrives at the Manila International Container Terminal in this file photo.

ing,” said POM District Collector Rhea M. Gregorio. She added that there was also “a huge decline on the number of vessels at queue from as high as 21 vessels in February to zero vessels in March,” based on their strict monitoring at the port. Under the POM’s monitoring efforts, the return and load out of empty containers are being ensured as well as faster processing of transactions for the release of shipments which resulted in fewer delays in the berthing of vessels and unloading of shipping containers at the yard. A similar strategy has also been implemented at the MICP as

overstaying containers are transferred to the Laguna Gateway Inland Terminal. The port recorded that more empty containers are loaded out every week. “We have been closely coordinating with international shipping lines on the return of empty containers, and the higher rate of empty container load out has freed up space in the container yard,” said MICP District Collector Erastus Sandino B. Austria. Earlier, the MICP held consultative dialogue meetings with the international shipping lines and ICTSI, wherein shipping lines agreed to load more empty containers on to their vessels by taking

advantage of the downtime at the yard on weekends and holidays. “As part of the solutions discussed during the consultative meetings, ICTSI has also adapted measures to encourage the pull out of containers during the holidays,” Austria added. ICTSI has been offering waived fees, rebates and other perks to encourage importers to claim their laden containers on days where transactions and port activity are typically down. The MICP has decided to make Saturday as part of its operating days to also encourage importers, and brokers to process their shipments. It also deploys skeletal forces on holidays.

Barangays, NGOs told to tap P1-B ‘survival fund’ for rainwater collection facilities


ITH 61 percent of the country, including Metro Manila, reeling from the ill effects of El Niño, a lawmaker on Sunday urged barangays and nongovernment organizations (NGOs) to tap the P1-billion “survival fund” to hoard rainwater. Under Republic Act 10174, which reinforced the Climate Change Act of 2009, Makati City Rep. Luis N. Campos Jr. said barangays and NGO may avail themselves the People’s Survival Fund (PSF) so they can put up functional rainwater collectors in their communities. According to Campos, the PSF never runs out of money because it is guaranteed a replenishable balance of at least P1 billion every year under the law. “The PSF is a special annual fund in the National Treasury that provides subsidy to climate change adaptation and natural disaster resilience strategies, including the installation of practical rainwater harvesters,” Campos, a deputy minority leader, said. He said the fund was established by law to supplement the yearly money set aside by national agencies, as well as local govern-

ments for programs and projects meant to build up the capability of communities to cope with harsh weather conditions. “We all have to get used to stockpiling rainwater during the wet season so that everybody can have access to extra freshwater supplies during dry conditions,” Campos said. The fund is administered by the PSF Board, composed of the heads of the Department of Finance, Department of Budget and Management, Department of the Interior and Local Government, National Economic and Development Authority and the Philippine Commission on Women, along with the vice chairman of the Climate Change Commission, and one representative each from the scientific community, the business sector and nongovernment organizations.


CITING the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and A stronomical Ser vices Administration (Pagasa), Campos said El Niño conditions are likely to worsen this April, with 61 percent of the countr y enduring drought and the other 39 percent

undergoing a dry spell. He added that the national weather and climate authority also warned that “most dams and lakes that supply drinking, as well as irrigation water will likely experience way below normal rainfall conditions this April.” Pagasa defines drought as three consecutive months of greater than 60 percent reduction from average rainfall, or five consecutive months of 21 to 60 percent reduction from average rainfall. A dry spell means three consecutive months of 21 to 60 percent reduction from average rainfall, or two consecutive months of greater than 60 percent reduction from average rainfall.

‘Urgent’ bill

BAGONG Henerasyon Party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy on Sunday reiterated her call to the Senate to approve on final reading Senate Bill (SB) 1754 which gives a longawaited legal definition of a public utility to address ongoing water shortages, as well as brownouts, and telecoms service interruptions. “The House did its part way back September 2017 when it sent House

Bill (HB) 5828 to the Senate. The Senate’s committee report containing SB 1754 has not yet advanced to second reading and third reading since March 2018,” she said. “It is our hope that with the ongoing water shortages, brownouts, and telecoms service interruptions, SB 1754 will gain urgency and momentum, so that when Congress resumes session after the May 13 elections, SB 1754 will be ready for House concurrence,” the House assistant majority leader said. She explained that with SB 1754 already incorporating provisions of HB 5828, there would be no need for a bicameral conference committee. Herrera-Dy said the bill could still be passed when session resumes on May 20. The bill provides a clear definition of public utility that covers three sectors: distribution of electricity system, transmission of electricity system and water pipeline distribution system or sewerage pipeline system. Herrera-Dy said public utility status for the water concessionaires will mean their ability to charge their customers can be reasonably limited. Jovee Marie N. Dela Cruz

HE Bureau of Customs (BOC) said it has turned over seized counterfeit goods worth P1.8 million to the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) last week, in line with its efforts to stop the proliferation of fake goods in the country. The BOC-Intellectual Property Rights Division said the fake products were destroyed in line with Republic Act 8293, or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines. The importation of fake goods is prohibited under RA 8293. The various counterfeit goods destroyed were fake shoes, watches, and soaps which were seized by the BOC from various areas and ports as a result of its continuing efforts to secure the country’s borders. Also destroyed were fake cigarettes, bags, wa l lets, phones, phone accessories, shirts, belts, as well as CDs and money chips. “The BOC will remain steadfast in securing our borders and in protecting the local consumers against fake and hazardous goods,” Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero said in a statement. The Ceremonial Destruction of Counterfeit and Pirated Goods was hosted by the IPOPHL-National Com-

mittee on Intellectual Property Rights. Last week, the BOC-Port of Zamboanga reported that it was able to seize smuggled cigarettes worth P35 million—the biggest in the history of the port. The seizure was made through the combined efforts of the Port of Zambonga, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG). “The seizure of the smuggled cigarettes, which were found in the vicinity of the waters off Lower Calarian, Zamboanga, is the biggest successful operation in the history of the port,” the BOC said. On April 9, the Philippine Navy intercepted watercraft MJ Andrea I containing 1,159 cases of smuggled cigarettes from Indonesia for delivery to Lower Calarian, Zamboanga City. The shipment will be subjected to the issuance of Warrant of Seizure and Detention in the absence of the National Tobacco Administration permit and for violation of Executive Order 245, or the Amended Rules and Regulations Governing the Exportation and Importation of Tobacco and Tobacco Products, as well as in violation of RA 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act of 2016. Rea Cu

Bill awaiting Duterte’s signature seen spurring investments in PHL start-ups By Jovee Marie N. Dela Cruz @joveemarie


MEMBER of the House Committee on Economic Affairs on Sunday said government agencies will soon look into a fresh package of incentives for the development of innovative start-up businesses in the country. Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr. made the statement as the proposed Innovative Startup Act is now up for President Duterte’s signature. The proposed law was ratified by both houses of Congress before it went on a break for the midterm elections this May. A start-up is defined under the proposed law as a registered business entity operating for no longer than 60 months in the country, and whose core business function involves an innovative process, product or business model. Villafuerte said, however, the success of the measure will depend in large part, on the successful implementation of another law which he had coauthored—the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Act. According to the lawmaker, the DTI and the newly formed Anti-Red Tape Authority (Arta) had failed to submit the EODB law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR) to Malacañang the first time around in October last year. Villafuerte said this delay has set back efforts by the government to cut red tape and improve the Philippines’s competitiveness in attracting investors.

Lead agencies

UNDER the proposed Innovative Startup Act he had authored in the House of Representatives, Villafuerte said the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will be tapped as the lead agencies to assess, monitor, develop and expand the proposed Philippine Startup Development Program under the measure. Villafuerte said the Philippine Startup Development Program is tasked to develop and unify programs, as well as the benefits and incentives for start-ups and start-up enablers. These include streamlining business procedures for start-ups, providing them tax perks and relaxed immigration procedures to help start-ups gain support from overseas investors. The lawmaker said the DOST, DICT and DTI will each be provided with a start-up grant fund for initial and supplemental grants-in-aid to start-ups and start-up enablers. These three lead agencies will coordinate with the Board of Investments (BOI) in creating a development plan to come up with initiatives for short, medium, and long-term strategies to spur investments that will promote the growth and development of start-up and start-up enablers in the country, he added. The proposal said the BOI will also assist in training personnel tasked to assist current and prospective startups and start-up enablers to access and maximize benefits and incentives.

Summer A BusinessMirror Special Feature

Monday, April 15, 2019





a former PBA star and coach, personally oversees the training composed of 10 days with two hours each session, significantly focused on strengthening skills like shooting, dribbling, ball handling, to name a few. Equipped with a degree in education psychology, Cholo worked as guidance counselor and special-education coordinator first before establishing Cholo Camp, with much success in teaching kids to be good leaders and followers, and for them to be able to control their emotions in winning and losing games. On hand to assist Cholo is his team of professional coaches, licensed PE teachers, therapists and varsity players. For more information, visit the official Cholo Camp Facebook page.


By Leony R. Garcia

UMMER in the Philippines spells sun, sea and sand. For some, it's going to the boondocks to hike and reach the sky. For the less adventurous, a day in the theme park is all they want to experience rides and see various attractions. The “Agila” is a must-see place at the Enchanted Kingdom in Santa Rosa, Laguna.

by the team of Sun Cruises Inc. At the island, learn about the role the Philippines played and explore the barrack ruins, historic relics, the Pacific War Memorial and secret passageways. Then relive history at the Malinta Tunnel Light and Sound Show, which chronicles the events that shaped the center of American operations in the war. Admire views of Manila Bay and the surrounding islands atop the Spanish lighthouse. For more information, visit: https://

‘Tayo na sa Antipolo’ A highly “edutainment” experience, participants feel the exhilarating fly with the Philippine eagle as it travels all over the archipelago. For some, sightseeing is the name of the game. For others, malling to make themselves cool and while away their time is all they need. Indeed, summer is here, and there are many ways to spend it whether at or away from home. With the Piso and promo fares by the Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and AirAsia, every Filipino can now afford to travel and become tourist of his own country with 7,107 islands ready for exploration. The top tourist destinations in the country in the hot months of April and May include the cooler places of Baguio City and Tagaytay, and the beach perfect islands of Boracay, Palawan, Cebu, Siargao and Bohol.

Summer all year in Samar, Leyte

IN recent years Samar and Leyte are becoming famous with various attractions getting the attention both by local and foreign tourists. The best way to enjoy Samar and Leyte is travel by land from Calbayog. First stop should be at the Tarrangban Falls at San Joaquin. It can be reached by 30 minutes uphill trekking, some 940 meters away from the takeoff point. The challenging rough road walk and all the sweat, after all, are worthy upon seeing the majestic falls. From Calbayog, traverse the San Juanico bridge connecting the two provinces. View the Yolanda memorial at the SantaRita municipality and visit

the newly renovated Oriental Hotel, which was badly hit by the infamous typhoon; and revisit history with the ‘I shall return’ monument of General Douglas McArthur. The list of beautiful destinations in Samar is endless. Guests can try the traditional art of mat weaving, which Basey is known for at the Saob Cave. Marvel at the 841-hectare Sohoton natural bridge and national park in the municipality of Basey, with its rich flora and fauna, geological wonders at the Panhulugan Caves I and II, and the natural stone bridge that connects two mountain ridges. From the cave, the natural bridge, the magnificent stone bridge connecting two mountain ridges can be reached through kayaking. Underneath the bridge flows the Sohoton River, which allows one to go swimming, spelunking, nature tripping and boating, and Instagrammable photography, among others. The Kalanggaman Island in Palompon, Leyte—the island for a day, a limited number of people reserving seats within the day—is famous for its white sand and sandbar at low tide. Then the island is gone at high tide. Guests have to make the most of their time in the island, to be there from lunchtime until 4 p.m. For a well-organized tour, visit the official Philtoa Facebook page for details.

Revisit history

JUST over an hour ferry ride from Manila is Corregidor Island, the last bastion of Filipino and American forces against the Japanese in the Second World War. A well-guided tour is made

FOR those who have tight budget, a stone’s throw away from Metro Manila is the town of Antipolo, which offers a spontaneous escape away from the urban jungle’s heat, noise, pollution and bustle. Head to Cloud 9’s 360-view tower, climb the hanging bridge, shout to the excitement of heights, feel the fresh, cool breeze of Antipolo and see the night view of Rizal and Manila. Drop by the Antipolo Cathedral and buy the famous suman, kasuy and mangga within the vicinity. A fifteen-minutes drive from the church is Loreland Farm Resort It boasts of zipline, restaurant, food stalls, mini playground, chapel, sports and recreations, and lots of swimming pools especially kiddie pools. Loreland also offers function rooms, cottages for day outing and private rooms for overnight accommodations.

Sports clinic

SUMMER is also the best time for outdoor sports. Learn a skill or two by enrolling in swimming, basketball or contact/mixed martial arts, such as karate, judo taekwondo or muay thai. Over at Colegio San Agustin in Dasmarinas Village, Makati City, is the now popular Cholo Camp for the basketball enthusiasts. Kids as young as three years old up to 18, both boys and girls, have benefited not just to become ballers, but equipped with basic and competitive, basketball IQ, manners and class. Now on its fifth year, highly experienced head coach Cholo Villanueva, who is also

Jump-start the fun with ‘Student Ka-Summer EKstravaganza’


CHOOL’S out and that can only mean one thing—summer’s finally here! Spend the sunny days in the best way possible—chill out with your squad at Enchanted Kingdom, the country’s first and only world-class theme park. To help you beat the heat, we’re offering a special P750 regular day-pass

rate bundled with a free cup of Ice Monster to students upon presentation of their valid school ID. Our Student Ka-Summer EKstravaganza promo is open to all students as they present their valid school ID. They can avail only one regular day pass per ID, per day. This promo runs from March 31 to May 26 only.

Tickets may be purchased at the front-gate ticket booths, and Santa Rosa and Makati City group sales office. All tickets cannot be rebooked nor be used in conjunction with any other promos and discounts. Visit to see the park schedule and plan your trip to Enchanted Kingdom! See you there!

The World

A6 Monday, April 15, 2019 • Editor: Angel R. Calso


Brexit reveals British Parliament’s flaws


ONDON—As a symbol of the woes of Britain’s Brexit-era democracy, it could hardly be bettered. Lawmakers had to be sent home in mid-debate last week when water from a burst pipe began gushing into the House of Commons chamber. The image perfectly illustrates Parliament’s problem as it tries to solve the puzzle that is Brexit. On the outside, the UK institution is resplendent, a world-famous symbol of democracy sitting majestically on the River Thames. On the inside, it’s decrepit and increasingly unfit for use. The hidden flaws in Britain’s political system have been laid bare— and televised worldwide—since voters chose, almost three years ago, to leave the European Union. Decision-making has ground to a standstill, even as business leaders and residents alike cry out for certainty. Many Britons feel a mix of frustration, fascination and shame at the ongoing political chaos. So do politicians on both sides of the Brexit divide. “I am ashamed to be a member of this Parliament,” said pro-EU Liberal Democrat lawmaker Norman Lamb after lawmakers once again failed to find a way forward on Brexit.

Bill Cash, a pro-Brexit Conservative, said this week that Britain had been “humiliated” by failing to leave the EU on time. The last few months in Parliament, as lawmakers repeatedly tried and failed to agree on a road map for Britain’s departure, have produced close votes, late nights and high drama. It’s a political soap opera that has sent the viewership of Parliament’s live-streaming web site soaring and made an international celebrity of House of Commons Speaker John Bercow, with his bellowing cries of “Orderrrrr” and “The ayes have it!” But all the sound and fury signifies — not much. Britain is no further out the EU door or clearer about its post-Brexit direction than it was at the start of the year. A divorce agreement struck between Prime Minister Theresa May’s government and EU late in 2018 lays out the terms of an orderly UK departure and promising close future

IN this handout photo provided by the UK Parliament, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May delivers her statement in the House of Commons in London, on April 11. Granted a Brexit reprieve by the European Union, May is urging lawmakers to pause, reflect on the need for compromise and then fulfill their “national duty” to approve a Brexit deal and take Britain out of the EU. But there was little sign the UK’s divided and exhausted lawmakers had heeded the EU’s plea not to waste the six months of extra time. AP

ties. Since January, Parliament has rejected it three times. Pro-Brexit lawmakers won’t vote for it because they favor a more definitive break with the bloc. Pro-EU politicians reject it because they think it’s a poor substitute for EU membership. Parliament has also voted on other options including leaving without a deal and holding a new referendum on Britain’s EU membership. And twice lawmakers have rejected them all. To avoid a chaotic no-deal departure that could devastate an economy already weighed down by Brexit uncertainty, May has twice gone to the EU asking for more time.

Despite the bloc’s increasing exasperation at Britain, it has twice agreed, delaying Brexit Day first from March 29 to April 12, and then again until October 31. British businesses breathed a sigh of relief, but feared the respite would be temporary unless politicians can resolve a political crisis that been building since the surprise result of the 2016 Brexit referendum. Amid widespread mistrust in politicians, a feeling that had been growing for years, voters opted to leave the EU against the advice of the government, most economists and major business groups. Britain’s political system has proven itself ill-equipped to implement the demand.

May’s Conservative minority government does not have a majority of seats in Parliament—a rare occurrence in Britain—and struggles to deliver its policies. The country’s two main parties, Conservatives and the opposition Labour Party, are both internally divided over Brexit and have begun to fray, with more than a dozen lawmakers quitting in recent months to sit as independents. Pro-EU backbench lawmakers have gone to war with the government, seizing control of the parliamentary timetable to hold debates and votes on Brexit. Pro-Brexit Conservatives have demanded that May resign for failing to take Britain out of the EU. In this environment, Parliament’s

stressed, exhausted politicians and their staff are frankly relieved at the 10-day Easter break that began on Friday. The prime minister has implored them to relax, reflect and come back ready to strike a Brexit compromise. In the meantime, May’s government is still holding talks with Labour in hopes of finding common ground. But there are few signs of any emerging consensus. Brexiteers in the Conservative Party are still plotting to remove May and replace her with a more strongly pro-Brexit leader, such as former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Pro-EU politicians are still hoping to secure a new referendum on Brexit that could deliver a mandate for Britain to stay in the bloc. Labour craves a national election, despite the risk that voters could decide to punish all politicians amid exasperation over the Brexit debacle. There is no end in sight to the Brexit drama, which has left observers around the world scratching their heads—and sometimes chuckling — at Britain’s plight. Richard Ashworth, a British member of the European parliament, told EU colleagues that Brexit had had produced “a sad nation, divided like never before, and a House of Commons in crisis.” “Let Brexit stand as a cautionary tale to the people of Europe,” he warned. But some observers feel sympathy as Britain so publicly struggles with deep, divisive questions about its values and place in the world— questions that are not confined to the UK. AP

Mnuchin: US open to facing penalties in China trade deal


HE US is open to facing “repercussions” if it doesn’t live up to its commitments in a potential trade deal with China, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, in a sign that the two sides are edging closer to an accord. “There are certain commitments that the United States is making in this agreement, and there are certain commitments that China is making,” Mnuchin told reporters on Saturday at the IMF meetings in Washington.

“I would expect that the enforcement mechanism works in both directions, that we expect to honor our commitments, and if we don’t, there should be certain repercussions, and the same way in the other direction,” he said. Mnuchin said the two countries are making progress in talks to end their nine-month trade and tariff war, which has cast a cloud over global growth and financial markets. Under the pact being discussed, the US and China would each establish

an “enforcement office” to monitor compliance, he said. The US and China are discussing whether to hold more in-person meetings, Mnuchin said, after talks in Beijing and then Washington in recent weeks. “We’re hopefully getting very close to the final round of these issues,” he said. The IMF cited trade tensions as a risk this week as cut its outlook for global growth to the lowest since the financial crisis a decade ago. Bloomberg News

ECB’s Draghi, in a rare move, sounds concern over US Fed’s independence


UROPEAN Central Bank President Mario Draghi took the rare step of weighing in on the hot debate over whether President Donald J. Trump is undermining the independence of the Federal Reserve. Speaking to reporters at the International Monetary Fund meetings in Washington, Draghi said on Saturday he was “certainly worried about central bank independence” and especially “in the most important jurisdiction in the world.” Draghi’s intervention is notable given central bankers are usually loath to comment on politics or events in economies other than their own. He was later seen in conversation in the IMF’s headquarters with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, who Trump has frequently accused of not doing enough to stoke the US economy. How free central banks are from political meddling has been a key theme on the sidelines of the IMF talks, which took place as Trump looks to nominate two political loyalists to the Fed’s Board of Governors: former pizza executive Herman Cain and Stephen Moore, a fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

Politicians from Turkey to India have also been accused of seeking to sway their monetary policy-makers in the hope they will act to spur demand. The risk is investors begin to doubt the dedication of such authorities to fighting inflation, pushing up market interest rates and potentially sapping the growth that the governments want to see. “If the central bank is not independent then people may well think that monetary-policy decisions follow political advice rather than objective assessment of the economic outlook,” Draghi said. “Central banks ought to be left free to choose what is the best way to comply with” their mandates. Also on Saturday, when asked at a press briefing about the Fed candidates and other pressures on central banks, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said that for such institutions, “independence has served them well over the course of time and hopefully will continue to do so.” South African Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago and Swiss National Bank President Thomas Jordan both made the point that

central banks are already held accountable by virtue of the goals they are set by legislatures. “The clearer the mandate of a central bank, the easier it is to hold a central bank accountable,” Kganyago said. Jordan said that “central bank independence is extremely important” and that he’s “convinced that central banks should stick to a relatively narrow mandate. Both go together.” Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz argued that too much is expected of central banks after they successfully defeated the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent global recession. “Somehow we got to a point where people think central banks can do just about anything, which is not actually true,” Poloz said in Washington. “It’s a very imprecise business.” Asked about Cain on Saturday, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters that he looked “forward to the Senate” reviewing the candidate. He noted Trump knew Cain “quite well” and that Moore had “made significant contributions” to the president’s tax plan. Bloomberg News

The World BusinessMirror

Monday, April 15, 2019 A7

Kim open to another summit with Trump, with conditions


YONGYANG, North Korea— North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he is open to a third summit with President Donald J. Trump, but set the year’s end as a deadline for Washington to offer mutually acceptable terms for an agreement to salvage the high-stakes nuclear diplomacy, the North’s state-run media said on Saturday. Kim made the comments during a speech on Friday at a session of North Korea’s rubber stamp parliament, which made a slew of personnel changes that bolstered his diplomatic lineup amid stalemated negotiations with the United States. His speech came hours after Trump and visiting South Korean President Moon Jae-in met in Washington and agreed on the importance of nuclear talks with North Korea. “We of course place importance on resolving problems through dialogue and negotiations. But USstyle dialogue of unilaterally pushing its demands doesn’t fit us, and we have no interest in it,” Kim said during the speech. According to the Korean Central News Agency, or KCNA, Kim blamed the collapse of his summit with Trump in February on what he described as unilateral demands by the

United States, which he said raised questions over whether Washington has genuine willingness to improve relations. But Kim said his personal relationship with Trump remains good and that they could exchange letters at “any time.” Trump responded to the remarks by saying he agreed with Kim about their relationship, and also expressed a desire for another summit. “I agree with Kim Jong Un of North Korea that our personal relationship remains very good, perhaps the term excellent would be even more accurate, and that a third Summit would be good in that we fully understand where we each stand,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “North Korea has tremendous potential for...extraordinary growth, economic success and riches under the leadership of Chairman Kim. I look forward to the day, which could

Trump’s sanctuary city idea could help migrants stay in US


HOENIX—An idea floated by President Donald J. Trump to send immigrants from the border to “sanctuary cities” to exact revenge on Democratic foes could end up doing the migrants a favor by placing them in locations that make it easier to put down roots and stay in the country. The plan would put thousands of immigrants in cities that are not only welcoming to them, but also more likely to rebuff federal officials carrying out deportation orders. Many of these locations have more resources to help immigrants make their legal cases to stay in the United States than smaller cities, with some of the nation’s biggest immigration advocacy groups based in places like San Francisco, New York City and Chicago. The downside for the immigrants would be a high cost of living in the cities. The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University announced this week that an analysis found that immigrants in sanctuary cities such as New York and Los Angeles are 20 percent less likely to be arrested out in the community than in cities without such policies. “With immigrants being less likely to commit crimes than the US-born population, and with sanctuary jurisdictions being safer and more productive than non-sanctuary jurisdictions, the data damns this proposal as a politically motivated stunt that seeks to play politics with peoples’ lives,” said George Gascon, district attorney for San Francisco. Trump has grown increasingly frustrated over the situation at the border, where tens of thousands of immigrant families are crossing each month, many to claim asylum. His administration has attempted several efforts to stop the flow, and he recently shook up the top ranks of the Department of Homeland Security. The idea to ship immigrants to Democratic strongholds was considered twice in recent months, but the White House and Department of Homeland Security said the plan had been rejected. But Trump said on Friday he was still considering the idea. “Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only,” Trump tweeted. He added that, “The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy—so this should make them very happy!” Wilson Romero is an immigrant from Honduras who chose to settle in the San Francisco Bay Area. Romero, 27, was separated from his daughter, now 7, by federal authorities at the US border at El Paso, Texas, last year and jailed for three months before being released and making his way to live with his mother in San Jose, California. There he was reunited with his daughter, who attends public kindergarten. Romero says he goes about daily errands in public without worry of discrimination. His daughter has made friends and has playdates with the children of Mexican American families. It’s a far cry from his hometown in the violence-plagued outskirts of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, that he fled after his brother-in-law was killed. To him, the biggest problem with being in the Bay Area is the high cost of living. The former textile factory worker relies on his mother’s income from waitressing for food and clothing, and he’s started thinking about asking legal permission to move to North Carolina, where an uncle resides and says it’s cheaper to live and work. “To tell the truth, it’s a little tight now, financially speaking,” said Romero, a former textile factory worker, who said he doesn’t know of any charities that may be willing to help. AP

IN this image made from a video taken on Friday, April 12, 2019, by North Korean broadcaster KRT, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un delivers his speech at parliament in Pyongyang, North Korea. Kim said he is open to a third summit with President Donald Trump, but set the year’s end as a deadline for Washington to offer mutually acceptable terms for an agreement to salvage the high-stakes nuclear diplomacy, the state-run media said on Saturday. KRT VIA AP

be soon, when Nuclear Weapons and Sanctions can be removed, and then watching North Korea become one of the most successful nations of the World!” he tweeted. In his speech, Kim repeated earlier claims that North Korea’s crippled economy would persevere through heavy international sanctions imposed over its nuclear weapons program and that he wouldn’t “obsess over summitry with the United States out of thirst for sanctions relief.” The United States has said the summit in Vietnam broke down because of the North’s excessive demands for sanctions relief in return

for limited disarmament measures. In their first summit last June in Singapore, Trump and Kim issued a vague statement calling for a nuclearfree Korean Peninsula without describing when or how it would occur. Kim said the United States has been refusing to withdraw what the North perceives as “hostile policies” while sticking to “mistaken judgment that we would succumb to maximum pressure.” He said the North would not compromise on the “fundamental interests of our country and people, even by a speck,” and blamed the United States for arriving in Hanoi with “completely unrealizable plans.”

“If the United States approaches us with the right manner and offers to hold a third North KoreaUS leaders’ summit on the condition of finding solutions we could mutually accept, then we do have a willingness to give it one more try,” Kim added. “We will wait with patience until the end of the year for the United States to come up with a courageous decision. But it will clearly be difficult for a good opportunity like last time to come up.” Kim also during the speech made a nationalistic call for South Korea to support the North’s positions more strongly and criticized Seoul for acting like an “overstepping mediator” between Washington and Pyongyang. Kim held three summits last year with Moon, who lobbied hard to revive the nuclear talks between the United States and North Korea. Following the collapse of the TrumpKim summit, the North had been urging the South to break away from Washington and proceed with interKorean economic projects that are currently held back by US-led sanctions against the North. “The South should not act as an ‘overstepping mediator’ or a ‘facilitator’ and should rather get its mind straight as a member of the [Korean] nation and boldly speak up for the interest of the nation,” Kim said. When asked about Kim’s comments, South Korea’s presidential office said Seoul is committed toward keeping the atmosphere of dialogue alive and helping negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang resume at an early date.

On Friday KCNA reported that Kim was reelected as chairman of the State Affairs Commission, the nation’s most important decisionmaking body, during a session of the Supreme People’s Assembly that praised his “outstanding ideological and theoretical wisdom and experienced and seasoned leadership.” Experts say the new appointments may be a sign of Kim’s desire to keep recent months of up-and-down nuclear diplomacy alive rather than returning to the threats and weapons tests that characterized 2017, when many feared war on the Korean Peninsula. But the lack of substantial disarmament commitments from the North and the deepening impasse in nuclear negotiations have fueled doubts over whether Kim would ever voluntarily relinquish an arsenal he may see as his strongest guarantee of survival. Some experts say it’s becoming clear the North intends to turn the talks with the United States into a bilateral arms-reduction negotiation between two nuclear states, rather than a unilateral process of surrendering its arsenal. Kim has signed vague statements calling for the “complete denuclearization” of the peninsula in his meetings with Trump and Moon. But North Korea for decades has been pushing a concept of denuclearization that bears no resemblance to the American definition, with Pyongyang vowing to pursue nuclear development until the United States removes its troops and the nuclear umbrella defending South Korea and Japan. AP



Monday, April 15, 2019 • Editor: Jennifer A. Ng


‘PHL must shoot for 95% rice sufficiency’


By Jasper Emmanuel Y. Arcalas @jearcalas

he Philippines should target a 95-percent rice selfsufficiency rate to ensure that it will have adequate supply of the staple and allow a “viable supply space” for cheap imports under the new trade regime, a former agriculture chief said.

Former Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said the government should not be contented with a 93-percent rice self-sufficiency ratio (SSR) as climate change is threatening the country’s farm productivity. “Should we maintain that level and be complacent? No. We need that level to be better and improve the productivity of farmers and even reach 95 percent because of climate change,” Dar said in his speech during the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines-San Miguel Corp. seminar held in Baguio City on Saturday.

Dar said the country’s rice supply would be more stable at 95-percent SSR as it would have to source only 5 percent from the world market. At present the Philippines purchases about 6 to 7 percent of its rice requirements from other countries. This is equivalent to 2 million metric tons to 2.5 MMT, according to Dar. He also said it is time for the government to abandon its goal of attaining 100 percent rice SSR as it is “an unachievable and ambitious target.” Dar said previous administra-

A farmer in Barangay San Mateo in Arayat, Pampanga, is plowing his rice field in preparation for the second cropping season. Arayat’s fertile land allows farmers to plant and harvest rice thrice a year. Former Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said the government must target 95-percent rice self-sufficiency in view of the threat of climate change to food production. LAILA AUSTRIA

tions have tried to achieve the feat “at all costs,” which have resulted in higher rice prices at times due to the high cost of producing paddy.

Duterte urged to lift ban on export of coconuts T

he Department of Agriculture (DA) has asked President Duterte to lift the export ban on mature coconuts to ease oversupply and boost the farm-gate price of local copra. A g r icu lture Secretar y Emmanuel F. Piño said he made the recommendation to the President last week as the government continues to grapple with the sinking farm-gate price of copra due mainly to the collapse of world vegetable oil prices. The DA said it is in discussion with a Hainan, China-based group which is keen on sourcing mature coconuts from the Philippines for the manufacture of activated carbon or charcoal. The group could buy some 1,500 metric tons (MT) of mature coconuts annually, Piñol said. In November 2018, the Philippine Coconut Authority’s (PCA) Governing Board, which Piñol chairs, approved a resolution that would request the interagency committee on Executive Order (EO) 1016 to lift the ban on mature coconut exports. “The board approved the resolution asking the interagency committee on EO 1016 to consider lifting the ban on the export of mature coconuts,” Piñol said in a news briefing after the PCA board

meeting on November 8. “This EO was signed by thenPresident Ferdinand Marcos in 1985 and this has effectively prevented the export of mature coconuts. Although there are reports of ongoing smuggling activities,” he added. EO 1016 mandated the creation of an interagency committee which will annually update the list of prohibited products for export being implemented by the Bureau of Customs. Matured coconuts and coconut seedlings are some of the products that are not allowed for export. Piñol said several countries, including China, have expressed interest in importing mature coconuts from the Philippines. He added that the resolution would be submitted to the interagency as soon as possible. “[The export of mature coconuts] will relieve greatly the oversupply of copra in the market,” he said.

‘Official energy drink’

Piñol also announced that buko juice would be the “official energy drink” of the Palarong Pambansa set in the last week of April in Davao City. The partnership, Piñol added, would promote coconut juice as a

health and energy drink. It is also expected to hike local sales of buko and provide farmers additional income amid the decline in copra prices. “With low prices of coconut oil in the world market and an oversupply of copra locally, farmers have complained of very little income from their coconuts. The entry of buko or coconut water in the sports scene could boost the sale of young coconuts,” Piñol said in a statement on Sunday. “If only half of 108 million population would drink coconut water once a week, the coconut industry could sell at least 2.6 billion young coconuts every year,” he added. The DA and the PCA have been promoting “coconut water” and buko as a health drink and food as part of the program to provide additional income to coconut farmers all over the country, Piñol said. “All DA offices now serve coconut water during its meetings and gatherings and PC A Regional Offices, including the PC A Central Office, have established outlets for buko sale,” he added. The Philippines produces around 15 billion coconuts annually, Piñol said. Jasper Emmanuel Y. Arcalas

The former agriculture chief, who is also president of nongovernment organization InangLupa Movement Inc., said the 95-percent

Investment in agriculture, infra projects to cut poverty–Angara


he government should pay serious attention to developing agriculture and infrastructure in the provinces if it wants to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, according to Sen. Juan Edgardo M. Angara. The lawmaker from Aurora noted that the majority of the poor and undernourished people live in rural areas, where small-scale farming forms the backbone of their local economy. “The government needs to make a substantial investment in rural areas and in agriculture if it is serious about reducing poverty and hunger and promoting inclusive growth,” Angara said in a statement. He said the agriculture sector is home to 60 percent of the nation’s poorest. Latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that the poverty incidence among Filipinos was at 21 percent, or about 23.1 million people, based on the country’s population of 110 million as of first semester of 2018. Angara said the agriculture sector would require a much-bigger budget to strengthen support services for farmers in the form of better irrigation system, postharvest facilities and other farm subsidies that would enable them to produce enough food to feed the country’s growing population. “The government must increase budget and support to the agriculture sector not only to ensure that the country will have enough food

Don Carlos, Bukidnon receives farm-to-mill road projects


he Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is implementing two farm-to-mill road (FMR) projects that are seen to benefit sugarcane farmers in the municipality of Don Carlos, Province of Bukidnon. Public Works Secretary Mark A. Villar said that DPWH Bukidnon Second District Engineering Office (DEO), in coordination with the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA), is paving a total of 3.23 kilometers of barangay road in the villages of Bocboc-Kiara and Maraymaray. “With funding allocation of P60.9 million coming from the SRA, we are concreting 2.24 kilometers of bumpy gravel road in Barangay Bocboc-Kiara

and 985 linear meters in Barangay Maraymaray to improved productivity of sugarcane industry workers,” Villar said in a statement. “The improvement of these FMRS and other local roads in the country is among the priorities of our Department as these projects bring significant impact in the economy of rural areas and create a conducive environment for inclusive growth and social mobility,” he added. District Engineer Liberato S. Tan Jr. of DPWH Bukidnon Second DEO said the FMRs in Don Carlos, which started in February, are planned for completion before the end of the year. Bukidnon Provincial Board Member

rice SSR can be achieved in the remaining three years of the Duterte administration. He said this will be made possible by the P10-billion

fund for the rice sector under the new rice trade liberalization law. “Sustaining rice productivity while liberalizing the industry to allow more imports to have lower inflation is possible. They can go together,” he added. Due to the expected influx of rice imports under the new trade regime, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said it will no longer pursue its 100-percent rice self-sufficiency target. A g r icu lture Secretar y Emmanuel F. Piñol argued that the increase in imported rice supply will “depress” farm-gate prices and discourage farmers from planting the staple. “It would be foolish for us to still target the 100-percent [self-sufficiency rate]. It will be foolish to continue encouraging our farmers to reach that goal when we know that cheap imported rice will be coming in,” Piñol said. “We might just be contented with where we are right now, which is at 93 percent. The inflow of imported rice may affect prices and further dampen the buying price of palay,” he added. The DA is targeting to produce 20 MMT this year, nearly 5 percent higher than the 19.06 MMT produced in 2018.


but also to help the rural poor get out of poverty,” he said. During the past few years, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has been receiving a measly share of the national budget, getting only less than 2 percent of the total budgetary pie. For 2017 and 2018, the DA’s budget was P45 billion and P53 billion, respectively. This year, the DA is getting P49 billion under the P3.7trillion General Appropriations Bill that is awaiting President Duterte’s signature. Angara said that a “well-planned and well-targeted investment” in agriculture could help the country achieve inclusive growth and food security. He also said the agriculture sector still holds the potential to create

jobs and build stronger rural communities. “Agricultural and rural development can create jobs and livelihoods for small farmers and the landless, while producing food and raw materials for the urban economy,” he said. Based on the results of the January 2019 Labor Force Survey conducted by the PSA, the agriculture sector suffered 1.7 million job losses, which primarily contributed to the decline in the actual number of employed Filipinos in January this year compared to the same period last year. The survey showed that the total registered employment decreased by 0.9 percent to 41.1 million in January, or equivalent to 387,000 fewer workers, compared to the previous year. Angara believes that the lack of support services from the government to farmers has led to the poor state of agriculture in the country, which makes the industry unappealing to pursue a career. The PSA said the agriculture sector currently employs 9.158 million individuals. The average daily wage of agriculture workers is P265, according to a study by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies. Meanwhile, government records show that the agriculture’s relative contribution to GDP had been declining over the years. From 1998 to 2009, the sector accounted for 13 to 14 percent of the total GDP. This steadily declined to 10 percent in 2017.

Most trafficked mammal at risk of extinction

S DPWH Photo

Nemesio Beltran said the province of Bukidnon accounts for 72 percent of the sugarcane area and 75 percent of sugar production of Mindanao. Beltran said the Bukidnon sugar milling district covers the towns of Damulog, Cabanglasan, Dangcagan,

Don Carlos, Quezon, Kibawe, Impasugong, Kadingilan, Maramag, Kitaotao, Lantapan, Pangantucan and the city of Malaybalay. It has a combined total of 11,395 sugarcane farmers, about 72.4 percent of whom are farming less than 5 hectares.

ingapore seized its biggestever haul of pangolin scales in a sign that the endangered animal is being hunted to the brink of extinction. About 26 tons of scales worth $77 million were seized, more than what is generally caught globally every year and the potential result of the killings of more than 40,000 of the endangered animals. Inspectors found a container carrying 12.9 tons of pangolin scales packed in 230 bags and marked “frozen beef ” on April 3, according to a joint statement by the National Parks Board and Singapore Customs. Five days later, a shipment with 12.7 tons of scales was seized from a container supposed to be

carrying cassia seeds. Before the recent seizures, Singapore had caught just a total of 440 kilograms of the mammal’s scales in 2015 and 2016. The massive haul, more than twoand-a-half years after 180 countries signed a treaty to end all legal trade of pangolins to protect the species from extinction, indicates growing risks for the shy, nocturnal animal found across Asia and Africa. The world’s most trafficked mammal is killed for its meat, which is considered a delicacy in countries like China and Vietnam. The animal’s body parts are used in traditional medicines and folk remedies, according to the Washington D.C.-based World Wildlife Fund. Bloomberg News



Editor: Dennis D. Estopace • Monday, April 15, 2019 A9

ComVal orders construction of kitchens in remote schools By Manuel T. Cayon


@awimailbox Mindanao Bureau Chief

AVAO CITY—The Compostela Valley provincial government has ordered the construction of mini-kitchens in public schools located in geographically isolated and depressed areas to ensure wider coverage of its new program on universal feeding. These remote schools have been categorized as special cases by the provincial government. According to the head of the program, Mark Vincent B. Tenio, the mini-kitchen would ensure daily regular and timely feeding intervention of nutritious and vitamin-rich meals to children where malnutrition is also common in hard-toreach and depressed areas. The provincial government has begun

delivering the construction materials to these schools to be used during a preschool opening activity preparing the classrooms and school buildings for the next ten months of use. The provincial government started in January this year the “Universal Feeding” project with a daily regular free lunch to all elementary school students in five public elementary-schools in Compostela Valley: Liboac in Barangay

Group demands release of ‘Tañon Strait’ protectors


HE militant Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) in Negros on Sunday appealed for immediate and unconditional release of two fishermen who were arrested in Escalante City, Negros Occidental, on April 5. The group said the arrests of 54-year-old Francisco Laza and 55-year-old Bienvenido Jipitulan in Sitio Lawis, Barangay Langub, Escalante City, in Negros Occidental was illegal. Pamalakaya alleged that the arrest of Laza, chairman of the Danao River Fishermen Association (Darifa), and Jipitulan was based on fabricated charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives. The two were arrested by elements of the 79th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army (IBPA) on the morning of April 5. According to Pamalakaya, the soldiers raided Laza’s and Jipitulan’s houses without a court order. The two are currently detained in Escalante City Jail for alleged illegal possession of .38 caliber handgun and grenades. In a statement, Vincent Fernandez, spokesman of Pamalakaya-Negros, condemned the arrest and filing of cases against innocent civilians.

Fernandez claimed that Laza and Jipitulan are active leaders in their community who led campaigns for the protection of the Tañon Strait, a protected seascape separating the island of Negros and Cebu, against overexploitation of commercial fishing vessels and other forms of destructive fishing. “Negros has seriously reached the highest level of impunity and irony that even the protectors of the marine environment are being arrested on the basis of fabricated charges,” Fernandez was quoted in the statement as saying. “We find no other reason or justification for the arrests of Laza and Jipitulan other than being a competent leader and active member of a local organization that safeguards the marine mammal-rich Tañon Strait from the destructive fishing and overexploitation of large-scale commercial fishing fleets.” “The arrests of Laza and Jipitulan were clearly overkill; imagine a company-size number of soldiers trooped into a peaceful fishing community and arrested two innocent fishermen sans court-mandated orders in their possession. We denounce the 79th IBPA for violating the basic liberty and freedom of these fishermen,” Fernandez added. JonathanL.Mayuga

Victorias City receives assets through grant aid for Japanese NGO projects

IN this photo courtesy of the Victorias City local government, unidentified men simulate a rescue exercise using emergency vehicles and equipment donated by the City of Nanjo in Okinawa, Japan, through the “Grant Assistance for Japanese NGO Projects” of the government of Japan.


ECOND Secretary Shintaro Ichiki attended on April 10 the ceremony for the turnover of emergency vehicles and equipment from the City of Nanjo in Okinawa, Japan, to the City of Victorias in Negros Occidental. The donation project amounting to approximately P1.6 million (¥3,398,502) is funded through the “Grant Assistance for Japanese NGO Projects” of the government of Japan. It has been implemented through the nonprofit organization Lequio Wings of Okinawa Prefecture where the donated vehicles and equipment originated from. Given the limited capacity of the hospitals in Victorias City, which can provide intensive emergency medical care, this project will benefit patients in need of transportation to other hospitals

in neighboring cities, approximately more than 20 kilometers away. The project also includes firstaid training for the emergency response staff of Victorias City. It is hoped that this will improve its emergency rescue and relief systems, particularly in the mountainous areas. The Grant Assistance for Japanese NGO Projects started in the Philippines in 2002. Since then, the Japanese government has made contracts for 50 projects in the Philippines under this scheme amounting to approximately ¥1.2 billion in total. Japan believes that this project will not only strengthen the friendship between the peoples of Japan and the Philippines but will also bolster the existing strategic partnership between the two countries.

Elizalde, Maco town; Anagase in Monkayo town; Lono-Lono in Mawab town; and Lorenzo Sarmiento and Bayanihan, both of Laac town. Meanwhile, the indigenous peoples’ representatives in the provincial board and municipal town councils have also begun discussion on a possible term rotation among the different tribes in the government legislative bodies in the province. The topic was part of the 1-day workshop on “National and Local IPMR [indigenous peoples’ mandatory representatives] Selection Guidelines” attended by more than 60 regular members of the Provincial Tribal Council. The provincial information office said the municipal tribal chieftains, municipal IPMR, municipal IP youth president and the ancestral domain managers in the 11 municipalities, including 15 representatives of the Kagan tribe, and the municipal women president, all sit as members of either the Provincial Tribal Council or Municipal Tribal Council (MTC).

EU welcomes establishment of Angeles City Justice Zone


HE European Union said it welcomes the establishment of the Angeles City Justice Zone (JZ) by the Justice Sector Coordinating Council (JSCC) on April 12 in support of justice-sector reform in the Philippines. The JSCC, jointly headed by the Supreme Court, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior and Local Government, launched Angeles City as a JZ on the basis of Joint Resolution 01-2019 signed on March 7 in Manila. The EU explained that a JZ is an area where local justice-sector agencies, such as the police, the prosecutors, judges, public attorneys and managers of detentions facilities, identify problems and arrive at common solutions to address them. “Through an agreed structure and twoway communication with the JSCC, piloting of new activities takes place within the [JZ],” the statement said. During the work planning of the ACJZ, the members have proposed to improve institutional case management by strengthening communication, coordination and cooperation within and among criminal justice sector agencies, to enhance the capacity of criminal justice sector agencies through improved human resources, facilities and equipment, and to improve jail conditions, through, among others, the paralegal program of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology. Collectively, they have committed to move forward with reforms. Angeles City is the fourth JZ under the JSCC supported by the European Union. It has been selected because it has already pioneered justice-sector reforms in the region. It is home to pilot projects such as eCourt, automated hearing, eSubpoena and e-Notice and is the site of a model Hall of Justice. The first JZ was launched in Quezon City in 2014 and continues to be an effective mechanism among justice-sector agencies in the area, according to the EU. The EU, likewise, said it supported the establishment of the Cebu City JZ last year and Davao City in March through its “Governance in Justice [Gojust] Programme.” The EU remains committed to the Philippine Development Plan by supporting the JSCC at the national level and the JZ at the local level, EU Ambassador Franz Jessen was quoted in the statement as saying. “We are confident that this event will spur similar efforts in other parts of the country on local justice coordination.” The establishment of the new JZ is supported by the 42-month Gojust program, which supports the JSCC at the national level and the rollout of the JZ concept at the local level as an important mechanism for sustainable and long-term reforms.

A10 Monday, April 15, 2019 • Editor: Angel R. Calso

Opinion BusinessMirror


Does ‘religion’ make you poor?


ISCOVERED in 1963, Göbekli Tepe is an archaeological site in Southeastern Turkey. It is purportedly the oldest religious site in the world, dating back over 10,000 years.

Written history is only around 5,000 years old, but religion, in some form, has probably been around since the origins of mankind. Archaeologists have found bull and cow motifs, which are sacred animals in Hinduism, dating back to around 7,000 BC during a time when an ancient civilization inhabited the area near the Indus River. Judaism traces its roots back 4,000 years, and Zoroastrianism is nearly as old. Shinto, Jainism and Buddhism were all being formally practiced 3,000 years ago. For the first time, “No Religion” has topped a survey of Americans’ religious identity, according to a new analysis. The nonreligious edged out Catholics and Protestant evangelicals with a survey finding that 23 percent of Americans now claim to have no religion. China is the world’s least religious country, according to a survey by WIN/Gallup International. Only 9 percent of the country considers itself religious, while 67 percent claims to be atheist—more than twice the amount of any other country. Sweden, the Czech Republic and the UK are the next least religious countries. In Sweden, 55 percent are nonreligious, while the Czech Republic is 47-percent nonreligious. In the UK, 58 percent are nonreligious. Globally, though, 62 percent of those surveyed classed themselves as religious with Thailand (98 percent), Nigeria (97 percent) and Kosovo, India, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Papua New Guinea (all 94 percent) the most religious countries. The 10 most religious countries on the 2012 WIN-Gallup International Religiosity and Atheism Index all had 85 percent or more of respondents identifying as “a religious person,” and all were countries with a per-capita income of less than $14,100. As of 2017, the average per-capita income of all countries was $17,300. Gregory Paul is an American researcher and paleontologist. His “Successful Societies Scale” compared 25 socioeconomic indicators against statistics on religious belief and practice in 17 developed nations and concluded in a 2009 study, “religion is most able to thrive in seriously dysfunctional societies.” “There’s no situation where you have a really highly religious nation that’s highly successful socially.” Some sociologists have argued that the social benefits of religion take on greater importance; the fewer resources and the less control people have over their own lives. From the 2004 book Sacred and Secular: Religion and Politics Worldwide: “Religion becomes less central as people’s lives become less vulnerable to the constant threat of death, disease and misfortune.” However, even the researchers know that “no religion means more wealth” may have correlation, but causation is impossible to prove. While the decline in religious belief in richer countries is beyond doubt, the US is the most conspicuous outlier among wealthy nations. Eighty percent of Americans believe in God, a higher percentage of the population than in any other affluent nation polled. It may be that it is not so much what you believe but how it is manifested in your life. Religious people can be rich and successful also. Since 2005

BusinessMirror A broader look at today’s business

A very interesting week Atty. Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II



OR Catholics, the Holy Week begins, and it’s a sacred time spent to reflect and pray. The faithful still spend this time fasting, going to church, visiting churches on Holy Thursday, attending the pasyon (Passion of Christ) pabasa, the salubong, and the processions like the Via Dolorosa. Many spend the week in relative silence, reading the Bible, praying and reflecting on their lives. There are those who would rather stay in Manila because there is no traffic gridlock and there are less people. They would either stay at home or stay in local hotels for a night or two with friends and family—check out the Holy Week staycation deals that most hotels are offering. For those who are planning to do some shopping, it would be good to know that most malls are closed on Thursday and Friday, and some malls have also slightly altered the schedules on the other days of the week. There are a handful of malls, however, that are

open even on Good Friday and Holy Thursday, like Fisher Mall. Still for those who are staying in Manila, here is a short list of churches that you can visit on Holy Thursday: Quiapo Church, the church inside the University of Santo Tomas (Santissimo Rosario), the Manila Cathedral, Santo Domingo Church on Quezon Avenue, Santa Cruz Church near Escolta, Binondo Church or the Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz, Lourdes Church in Quezon City and San Sebastian Church, among many others.


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Do not miss the Via Crucis (The Way of the Cross) on Good Friday. It follows the journey of Jesus Christ through the different stations and culminates in His crucifixion. There are other church events that are likewise good to catch, like the Washing of the Feet and the salubong on Easter Sunday. Now for those who really want to go away but don’t want to venture very far, there’s Pampanga, Bulacan, Laguna, Baguio and Tagaytay. Pampanga has plenty of old churches that you can visit, plus popular reenactments of Christ’s crucifixion. It wouldn’t hurt to stop by restaurants, those that are open anyway,

Philippine Red Cross: A humanitarian organization like no other

✝ Ambassador Antonio L. Cabangon Chua Publisher

In Manila, here’s a short list of churches that you can visit on Holy Thursday: Quiapo Church, the church inside the University of Santo Tomas, the Manila Cathedral, Santo Domingo Church, Santa Cruz Church near Escolta, Binondo Church or the Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz, Lourdes Church in Quezon City and San Sebastian Church, among others.


HE Philippine Red Cross is celebrating its 72nd founding anniversary this year. From its humble beginning as a group of Filipino women who attended to the sick and wounded during the war, it has now become the premier humanitarian organization in the country—in services provided and number of people served. PRC is now the front liner during disasters, natural and man-made emergencies, the principal institution in terms of voluntary blood donation and provision of safe blood products, and the preferred organization of volunteers and stakeholders. Unknown to many, PRC is not only backed up by an impressive track record of humanitarian responses and a lineup of notable leaders, but more important PRC functions with a legal basis. The Philippine Red Cross is an organization enacted into law by virtue of Republic Act 10072, also known as the Philippine Red Cross Act of 2009, giving PRC autonomy and independence, and tasking it with supporting the Philippine government in humanitarian tasks. RA 10072 also exempts the organization from certain tax obligations to the Philippine government in order for it to fully

adhere to the Geneva Conventions and International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movements. However, it should be made clear that PRC is neither a government nor nongovernment organization. In the Supreme Court decision for Gordon v. Liban, et al., it was mentioned that “as a National Society of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, can neither be classified as an instrumentality of the State, so as not to lose its character of neutrality, as well as its independence, nor strictly as a private corporation, since it is regulated by international humanitarian

law and is treated as an auxiliary of the State.” Studying the “personality” of PRC would show that there is none like it—not just in terms of structure, but in the aspects of history, public service and official status given to it by the state and the international society, as well. Its nature is often termed as sui generis (Latin translation for “of its own kind”) on several occasions. Although all national societies function as an auxiliary to the public authorities of their respective countries during humanitarian responses, a line should always be drawn so as not to confuse PRC as being part of the government. However, following the Red Cross Movement’s fundamental principle of voluntary service, PRC must be distinguished from private and profit-making entities. Its character follows that of any Red Cross National Society, which is “not inspired by the desire for financial gain but by individual commitment and devotion to a humanitarian purpose freely chosen or accepted as part of the service that National Societies render to the community through volunteers and/ or members.” The Philippine Red Cross enjoys a unique and special status as it is mandated to be an important partner and auxiliary of the government in discharging humanitarian services

for some seafood, vegetable dishes or a simple merienda. Pampanga is, after all, a popular food hub.   Bulacan, on the other hand, offers numerous historical churches for those going on Visita Iglesia. It is the same for the old province of Laguna. In Bulacan, for example, there is the Church of Santiago Apostol, Santa Monica Church and the Barasoain Church. The Good Friday processions in Baliuag, Bulacan, is also something to look forward to, as the town really goes all out in the design and quantity of floats joining the very long procession. Laguna has very old churches in almost every town, from Santa Maria and Nagcarlan to Luisiana and Majayjay. And if you’re interested in watching penitents flogging themselves as a form of sacrifice, then you can go to Pakil or Luisiana where self-flagellation is still being practiced. Whether you choose to remain in the city or head off to a nearby province, you can make this sacred week fun and interesting while remaining contemplative or prayerful. There are many options for the lone traveler and for those spending the week with friends or family. Have a meaningful, blessed week, dear readers.

in accordance with its obligations under international law. The Philippine Red Cross’s independence also entails that it does not receive funding from the government. This organization is purely volunteer-driven. However, this does not limit the Philippine Red Cross from being on the first line of response during disasters and emergencies. In fact, its independence allowed the organization to respond and come up with life-saving solutions even before any other institution acts. As the Philippine Red Cross rises above the changing and challenging times, it is appropriate to take time to understand the nature of an organization that exists to be Always First, Always Ready and Always There for the most vulnerable. Indeed, PRC is one of a kind not only because of its unparalleled humanitarian efforts but also because of its very character, which enables it to reach further and do more in alleviating human suffering whenever and wherever it may be found. I have been part of the Philippine Red Cross as governor of the National Board of Governors for more than two decades, and I salute all the men and women who have tirelessly served humanity through all these many years! Congratulations, and may your tribe increase!

Opinion BusinessMirror

Great opportunities and challenges

Dirk Siegfred Bueno Mison, Esq.


Joel L. Tan-Torres



RE you aware of the latest developments in the Securities Exchange Commission that provide opportunites, as well as challeges, for all Certified Public Accountants (CPAs)? These are the newly passed Revised Corporation Code of the Philippines (RCCP) with the signing by President Duterte of Republic Act 11232 on February 20, 2019, and the release by the SEC on February 15, 2019, of its Memorandum Circular 4-2019 on the sustainability reporting guidelines for publicly listed companies. With the promulgation of these two measures, CPAs should be aware of the revisions and new provisions that impact their engagements with their stakeholders. The CPAs who would be impacted include those who are employed by businesses, engaged in practice and consultancy, teaching in academe or are in the government regulating their constitutents. The RCCP replaces the old Corporation Code, which has been in effect since 1980. This antiquated law has been in place for about 40 years. The requirements of both the local and global communities over the changing times mandate the overhaul of the corporate law. The SEC said that the RCCP is directed toward “encouraging entrepreneurship and the formation of new businesses, improving the ease of doing business in the country, promoting good corporate governance, increasing protection afforded to corporations and stockholders, and deterring corporate abuses and fraud.” Among the notable features of the RCCP is the grant of a perpetual corporate term for existing corporations and those to be formed. This provision will eliminate the situation of legitimate and productive businesses prematurely closing down only because these failed to renew their term beyond the previous limit of 50 years. This will also foster a sense of longevity that can translate to longterm and sustainable enterprises. Under the RCCP, there is no provision anymore for minimum capital investments or payments. The previous requirement of 25-percent payment of 25 percent of the authorized capital stock has been dropped in the RCCP. The RCCP also allows for the formation of one-person corporation. This OPC is a corporation with a

single stockholder and without a minimum authorized capital stock required to allow for more flexibility in pursuing business because the single stockholder can make decisions without having to seek board consensus. The OPC shall also provide to individuals an alternative business organizational vehicle other than the sole proprietorship or partnership modes. Under the OPC structure, individuals will now be more protected from personal financial risks, since their liabilities are now limited to what have been invested in the OPC. It is to be noted that with the OPC, there will be more opportunities for tax planning and investment structuring. There are more changes in the corporate law and rules. For information on the comparative changes, you can refer to uploads/2019/03/2019Legislation_ Revised-Corporation-Code-Comparative-Matrix.pdf. It is to be noted that the RCCP becomes effective immediately upon publication on February 23, 2019. To all CPAs, it is time to start learning what opportunities and challenges are in store with the enactment of the RCCP. To be continued Joel L. Tan-Torres is a Certified Public Accountant who placed No. 1 in the May 1979 CPA Board Examinations. He was the former commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue from 2009 to 2010 and the chairman of the Professional Regulatory Board of Accountancy from 2014 to August 2018. He is a partner of Reyes Tacandong & Co. This column accepts contributions from accountants, especially articles that are of interest to the accountancy profession, in particular, and to the business community, in general. These can be e-mailed to

SNB’s Jordan says option to lower rates remains on table By Tony Czuczka Bloomberg Opinion


HE Swiss National Bank (SNB) could reduce its already ultralow interest rates again if the situation warrants, President Thomas Jordan said. With a deposit rate of minus 0.75 percent, the SNB has already enacted the lowest interest rate of any major central bank. That tool is designed to keep pressure off the franc, which is regarded as a safe haven at times of market uncertainty. Still, the Swiss currency hit a 20-month high against the euro at the end of March, and a no-deal Brexit or political turmoil in Italy could intensify appreciation pressure. “We always stress the point that we have room to lower interest rates still further” and intervene in foreign exchange markets, Jordan said in Washington on Saturday. “So we have the policy space to use both instruments, but of course, they have to be a reaction to the economic situation.” Jordan was in Washington to attend the spring meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which this week cut its growth outlook for the global economy in 2019 to the weakest since

the financial crisis. Switzerland is expected to expand about 1.5 percent this year, a forecast Jordan confirmed on Saturday. “Both instruments are highly effective at this moment, and they will remain key parameters of our monetary policy for the time being,” he said. While Switzerland’s negative rates are softened by a tiering system, the country’s banks still blame the policy for crimping profitability. Jordan said the SNB’s stance on tiering was appropriate. Meanwhile, in the euro area, where the European Central Bank committed to keeping rates low for longer to grease the wheels for the economy, President Mario Draghi has said his institution will look into ways to mitigate the impact of subzero rates. Some officials voiced concerns about their side effects, with Austrian central bank chief Ewald Nowotny citing the Swiss model as an alternative. “What is probably a reality is that we have a situation for the time being where the neutral level of interest is lower than it used to be before the financial crisis,” Jordan said. “It is also clear that, in our view, negative rates are not something that is the new normal.”


ATIONAL Basketball Association player Dirk Nowitzki has won an NBA championship ring, a Most Valuable Player Award, an NBA Finals MVP, and has been voted as an NBA All-Star numerous times. He is now the 6th all-time leading scorer in NBA history! But of the numerous accolades he has received, I think the fact that he played for only one NBA franchise in his entire 21-year career in basketball stands out. He was once enticed to join another team so he can win another championship, but he declined out of loyalty to his NBA team, the Dallas Mavericks. Dirk was not only loyal but also reliable. After all, he has been the top scorer of his team in almost all of his 21 years in the NBA. I have seen quite a few loyal employees in Philippine Airlines. Vicky Caringal experienced no other employment except in PAL, having joined the company fresh from college and retiring this year only upon reaching the mandatory age of 65. Vicky rose from the ranks. Those around her say that she is like a doting Mother Goose as she constantly reminds her coworkers to remain loyal to PAL, as it genuinely takes care of its employees and their families. In her case, when her husband suffered two cerebrovascular accidents, PAL

shouldered all medical expenses, just like any parent would do. There is a need to emphasize the difference between loyalty to the organization and loyalty to those running it. In Philippine politics, a Dirk or a Vicky is an endangered species as only a handful of politicians can be considered as loyal and reliable to one political party. Switching political affiliations is normal and quite expected every time there is a change in the leadership. There seems to be a natural inclination for people to gravitate toward their

Monday, April 15, 2019 A11

superior. Whether in the public or private sector, blind or even fanatical obedience is expected in a bata-bata system where people are rewarded, not by merit, but by being a brown nose or an ass-kisser! As a result, the organization ends up being cliquish. There is no one team but several. In my own personal experience, I have seen coworkers ostracized, as a form of penalty, by those who are loyal to another. In the Bible, Proverbs 20:6 tells us, “Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is truly reliable?” Loyalty will always be defined in relation to something—a person, a cause, a product. Loyal comes from the Old French word loial, which means something like “legal” in relation to a set of laws. Loyalty implies following another, as the sovereign requires it. But true loyalty comes from the heart, not from an obligation. Laws and policies can change as much as leaders change. I have encountered some people who pledge allegiance to a company. But, in reality, they are only loyal to those who can influence their career advancement. This is especially prevalent when I was in the government, where employees are branded as bata of one or the other. Workers associated to the past leadership are almost always seen as disloyal to the incoming leadership. I think people with faith-based

relationships or godly friendship at the workplace are more inclined to follow a higher purpose than an immediate superior. Some people show loyalty only when they gain something out of it. This is not the kind of loyalty believers are expected to display. Those who follow Christ are not supposed to manipulate or exploit others. They are in fact supposed to put others before themselves, like a true servant leader. They follow the example of one Great Shepherd. In the Bible, Proverbs 4:25-26 tells us, “Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.” True loyalty is what all organizations need these days. It naturally flows whenever we remain content in what we are given and choose to have an eternal perspective. In her 40 plus years in PAL, Vicky has endured quite a few leadership changes. She may have been tempted to work elsewhere during PAL’s hard times. But she opted to remain loyal to her work and to the PAL. Like Dirk, Vicky Caringal will end her productive career in only one organization. Like Dirk, she is not only loyal but also reliable. After all, she was voted as the 2018 PAL Manager of the Year. For questions and comments, please e-mail me at

Germany’s economy operates on low wages

S the German economy reverts to a slow and steady growth trend after a short-lived boom, it can rely on an unusual resource that helps to protect it from declines: A bigger low-paid work force than even most economists realize.

Low-wage jobs make up 30 percent of primary jobs held by people with a migration background—immigrants or children of immigrants—and 33 percent of the total in Germany’s post-communist eastern states. The earning power of both immigrants and easterners is comparable to that of workers in some developing nations.

Last week, Markus Grabka and Carsten Schroeder of the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin reported on this phenomenon. They noted that in 2017, when the country reported nearfull employment, about 9 million German workers were on low-wage contracts—that is, they earned less than two-thirds of the median hourly wage. That was 24.5 percent  of all jobs, significantly more than the 18.9-percent share of low-wage workers reported by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for 2016.  The share of low-wage workers, according to Grabka and Schroeder, has not declined since 2008. The percentage doesn’t include self-employed people, apprentices, trainees and people in military or alternative civilian service programs, and it means the German economic engine essentially runs on what is, for Western Europe, cheap labor.  The median hourly wage the re-

other wealthy European nations. It also helps fuel the country’s export dominance and huge trade surplus. Upward mobility is low. People are stuck in the low-wage economy without much of a chance at advancement. For 27.9 percent of women, the primary job was lowwage, compared with 17 percent of men. In recent years, Germany’s leftist political parties worked to improve the lot of the worst-paid workers. The introduction of a minimum wage in 2015, pushed through by the Social Democratic Party, the junior partner in the last two governing coalitions,  increased the incomes of the poorest workers, but it hasn’t reduced the share of low-paid jobs in the economy. Reacting to the export boom that lasted through 2017 and started deflating in the second half of 2018, the Social Democrats have demanded further improvements, calling for an end to the Hartz reforms. But the center-left

Leonid Bershidsky



searchers used was €15 ($16.9) in 2017—less than in 2003 but more than in 2013. The drop is largely explained by the Hartz labor reforms of the early 2000s, which were intended to get the long-term unemployed off government support and make them look for jobs. Excluding secondary employment from the calculation, the low-wage workers in Germany take in about €10.80 an hour; based on 35 hours a week, that’s €19,656 a year—less than the average wage in any OECD country except Mexico.  Low-wage jobs make up 30 percent of primary jobs held by people with a migration background—immigrants or children of immigrants —and 33 percent of the total in Germany’s post-communist eastern states. The earning power of both immigrants and easterners is comparable to that of workers in some developing nations. That, to a large extent, is what makes Germany more affordable to live in than

party, as well as the Greens and the far-left Die Linke, which also oppose Hartz, are out of sync with the economic cycle. Germany cannot afford a less flexible labor market. And more government-decreed generosity to workers would be harmful when factory orders are shrinking and export demand is threatened by external factors such as China’s trade war with the US and the Trump administration’s threats of protectionist tariffs against European goods. It will take some time for German workers to realize that the window for a wage structure like those of  France, Austria or the Nordic countries  is closing. The threat to growth reflected in the current, dismal economic data—a 3.9-percent decline in industrial output since the  May  2018 peak and a 13-percent drop in foreign orders since December—means it would be dangerous to make lasting adjustments to labor protections. During the boom, the reports of increasing national prosperity made workers hungry for change. According to the Hans Boeckler Foundation, which tracks labor protests in Germany, in 2018, more than 1 million working days were lost to strikes, up from 238,000 days in 2017, and the number of strike participants has increased to 1.2 million from 131,000. The increased activity is likely to continue until it sinks in that the good times didn’t last and companies aren’t hogging cash at workers’ expense.

We’re not even close to the next great recession


By Daniel Moss | Bloomberg Opinion

HAT’S all the fuss about? Maybe the world economy isn’t in such terrible shape after all. New projections from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), published on Tuesday, show that expansion still has some legs. Growth will be a not-too-shabby 3.3 percent this year. That’s down from a previous forecast of 3.5 percent. So, yes, it’s a cut. But not a dramatic one. These numbers are a ways from one IMF definition of recession, 2.5 percent, and miles from the contraction recorded in 2009. Superlatives about the lowest growth since the Great Recession are misleading.  These updates from the IMF also make you wonder where all the drama—so prevalent in headlines—is coming from. A bounce in US job growth last month, signs of a

partial recovery in China and a dovish pivot from big central banks give some comfort. Let’s not get too giddy, though. A recession in, say, the US is inevitable at some point. The current expansion will this year become the longest ever. Germany is flirting with recession, and China is on a long-term trajectory of slower growth. On the surface, the IMF numbers don’t say anything dire. Their direction does make an impression— this was the third time the lender

has marked down its numbers in six months. You have to give them credit for staying current. Is the IMF’s track record perfect? Far from it. (I’m writing this column from Indonesia, scene of one of the IMF’s most contentious programs). Private-sector doomsayers deserve equal scrutiny. Next time you see a survey showing recession odds, question why and how far it deviates from consensus. Same with the hagiographies accorded some individual investors whose prognostications just glide by without review. I’m all for putting the IMF under the microscope; let’s do the same for others. The list of risks outlined by the IMF in its World Economic Outlook could use a little refreshing. Trade wars? Check. Brexit? Sigh. What else you got? IMF chief Christine Lagarde calls

this a “delicate moment” for the world economy. Central banks have a role to play as well, in the US, Europe and Asia. As I wrote late last month, the idea of interest-rate cuts from the Federal Reserve was a fringe theory that’s now come into the mainstream, even if it’s not quite consensus. If cuts do come to pass, it won’t be because the Oval Office wants it. It will be because of reasoned analysis that inflation is too low, or at risk of being so, and that risk management requires the Fed to take out some insurance.  It’s entirely possible the world economy muddles through this year. It might be messy, and there will be regional divergences aplenty. The economy may not feel great, particularly depending on where you are. That doesn’t mean it’s terrible.

2nd Front Page BusinessMirror

A12 Monday, April 15, 2019

Asean urged to share moves to clip financing of terrorism


By Rea Cu


HE Department of Finance (DOF) has called on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to share their initiatives in fighting money-laundering schemes—pointed to as among the primary tools used to fund international terrorist activities. Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, who represented the Philippines during the 23rd Asean Finance Ministers Meeting in Chiang Rai, Thailand, said: “The Philippines is currently extending efforts to stifle the occurrence of illicit trade activity. Regardless, illicit trade activity continues to pose a high risk to the country. Moreover, money laundering contributes to terrorism financing, the threat of which has been categorized as high risk. The Asean member-states can thus share their efforts and initiatives

Banana. . .

Continued from A1

The Philippines reclaimed last year its position as the second-largest exporter of bananas in the world with an estimated total shipment of 2.95 million metric tons. Japan is considered one of the country’s key markets as it is the No. 1 buyer of Filipino bananas. In 2018, the Philippines’s total banana exports to Japan expanded by 33 percent from 821,391 MT in 2017 to 1.092 MMT, with a value of $561.804 million.


TOKYO tightened its food-safety rules on

“The Philippines is currently extending efforts to stifle the occurrence of illicit trade activity. Regardless, illicit trade activity continues to pose a high risk to the country. Moreover, money laundering contributes to terrorism financing, the threat of which has been categorized as high risk. The Asean member-states can thus share their efforts and initiatives in deterring this problem.”—Dominguez

in deterring this problem.” The finance chief explained that the Philippines’s enactment of Republic Act (RA) 10168, or the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012, represents the country’s firm commitment to fight global terrorism and its financing. He pointed out that criminalizing terrorism financing under R A 10168 has strengthened the Philippines’s efforts to trace and freeze funds used or being planned to be used to carry out terrorist attacks.

“Close cooperation with relevant intelligence and law-enforcement agencies is essential in order to trace, seize and forfeit funds used or about to be used for terrorism financing and hurdle impediments, such as bank-secrecy laws, to ensure the successful prosecution [of these crimes],” he explained in line with the Philippine setting. Among the Asean members, the Philippines is considered one of the countries with the lowest moneylaundering risk, although illicit revenue flows remain a problem.

Philippine bananas after a local shipment in August was detected to contain Fipronil insecticide beyond its MRL or allowable level deemed safe for human consumption. Japan reduced its MRL on Fipronil from 0.01 parts per million to 0.005 ppm, which is still compliant with the Codex Alimentarius International Food Standards, based on research of the B usiness M irror. Stephen A. Antig, PBGEA executive director, said Japan has required the 100-percent mandatory testing of Philippine bananas since the August incident, consequently delaying the release of the Philippine bananas to the markets in Japan. PBGEA members export 50 percent of their produce to Japan.

Documents seen by the B usiness M irror showed that the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA), an attached agency of the DA, has already banned the use of Fipronil on banana plantations since December 2018, following the August 2018 shipment incident. “To prevent recurrence/s of the same issue, the registration of Fipronil for use in banana is hereby revoked, effective immediately,” FPA Executive Director Wilfredo C. Roldan said in Memorandum Circular No. 29. The FPA has ordered companies manufacturing Fipronil to amend their labels accordingly reflecting the cancellation of its use on bananas.


Furthermore, Dominguez said that legislative amendments to support the legal and administrative framework for the automatic exchange of information with other foreign tax authorities is currently pending in the Philippine Congress. In April 2018, the country’s AntiMoney Laundering Council (AMLC) reported that the Philippines had agreed to undergo the third round of mutual evaluations (ME) last year to gauge its level of compliance with international anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) standards. The Philippines, along with 12 other jurisdictions, is a founding member of the Asia Pacific Group (APG) on Money Laundering, created in 1997 in Bangkok, Thailand. It currently has 41 members to date. The country’s financial intelligence unit (FIU) is tasked as the lead agency for the 2018 ME and has enjoined all departments and agencies to be identified by the AMLC to actively participate and extend the necessary assistance in the conduct of the ME.

Tensions. . . Continued from A1

Separately, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters that both the United States and China were moving closer to an agreement on trade. The trade war between the world’s two biggest economies and the punitive tariffs each nation has imposed on the other raised widespread concerns during the talks. But Chen Yulu, deputy governor of People’s Bank of China, struck a less positive stance in his remarks to the IMF policy committee, contending that rising trade protectionism in the form of punitive tariffs had already begun to disrupt global supply changes. “The protectionism of some countries has harmed mutual trust among countries, limited the scope for multilateral cooperation and impeded the willingness to achieve it,” he said. The US and China have imposed tariffs on $350 billion worth of each other’s goods. They are battling over US allegations that China deploys predatory tactics—including cyber theft and forcing foreign firms to hand over trade secrets—in a sharp-elbowed effort to challenge American technological dominance. In his meeting with reporters, Mnuchin said he had told the other finance officials that the US-China negotiations were making progress, but he would not disclose a timeframe for when they might be wrapped up. He said both sides had conducted phone discussions over the past week, but he wasn’t certain whether more face-to-face meetings would be needed. “If we are able to conclude this, it will be the most significant change in 20 years” in the economic relations between the two nations, Mnuchin said. He said that the proposed agreement the two sides are working on has seven chapters and includes language that will allow both countries to set up enforcement offices to make sure the deal is followed. In remarks to the World Bank’s steering committee on Saturday, Mnuchin said the US was encouraged that the bank’s privatesector lending operation wanted to step up support for nations “affected by fragility, conflict and violence.” But he said World Bank officials must ensure such support is aimed at boosting effective private investments in poor countries. David Malpass, a longtime World Bank critic, took over as president of the bank on Tuesday with the backing of the administration. Reviewing the meetings this week, Malpass said that the challenges facing the World Bank were more urgent than ever with over 700 million people around the globe still living in extreme poverty. “It is critically important that we work tirelessly to foster broad-based growth, raise median incomes, create jobs and fully incorporate women and young people in economies,” Malpass said in a statement. AP




HE military really needs to beef up its capability—as recently underscored by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin Jr.—in order to secure the country’s territory and fully perform its constitutional duty as protector of its people, a ranking AFP official acknowledged at the weekend “Yes, that is much desired to better capacitate and equip your Armed Forces of the Philippines [AFP]. Those are among the priorities if you are to ask our Navy,” said military spokesman and AFP assistant deputy chief of staff for civil-military operations Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo. Arevalo’s comment was sought following Locsin’s tweet last week suggesting the military be armed with warships and missiles, principally in order to defend itself. “It is time we get warships and missiles. It is time we stopped whining about natural disasters and doing something about national defense,” Locsin tweeted as the country reckoned with the so-called “swarming” by hundreds of Chinese fishing vessels near Pag-Asa Island, the largest of the Kalayaan Island Group that is a municipality of Palawan. “I believe in nuclear deterrence by small states who need it the most. If the small cannot be safe in the world, then the world should not survive them,”Locsin added, following a suggestion that the country pursue a “nuclear strike capability.” Arevalo said the AFP is building up its capability under the AFP modernization program, which officials said should modestly equip the military with brand-new assets and equipment needed to secure

Budget. . .

Continued from A1

assumptions and fiscal parameters for the proposed budget. It also contains the guidelines, procedures and prescribed forms in formulating budget proposals. The government is using a twotiered budget-preparation system to separate the consideration of funding requirements for activities and projects that have already been approved and those that require new or expanded funding.

Flagship projects

IN terms of infrastructure development, budget support shall be prioritized for the 75 flagship infrastructure projects under the government’s “Build, Build, Build” program and those which have successfully passed the Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) by March 31, 2019, and will undergo loan negotiation in 2019 and 2020, to ensure sufficient funding and timely implementation of projects. The budget department also vowed to fund the government’s critical programs such as the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act, which automatically enrolls all Filipinos in the National Health Insurance Program of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth). Funds to implement the UHC law will be sourced from the incremental “sin” tax collections, income from the Philippine Amusement Gaming Corporation, which will now be earmarked for UHC, the Charity Fund of the Philippine Charity and Sweepstakes Office, and premium contributions of members, which will fund annual appropriations of the Department of Health and the government subsidy to PhilHealth.

its vast maritime territories and its stakes in the South China Sea, which Beijing claims in almost all its entirety. “Our Navy is expecting the delivery of two brand-new frigates from Korea by year 2020 and the other by year 2021 to bolster our fleet. Two anti-submarine helicopters are also expected before the year-end,” Arevalo said. “Other capabilities are also in various stages of acquisition under the Revised AFP Modernization Program for Horizons 2 and 3,” he added, referring to the military’s capability upgrade in phases. While the AFP is already in the process of acquiring warships and missiles, it is its earnest dream to fully equip all of its major armed services with state-of-the art weapons, planes, ships and other armaments, partly in order to put up a credible defense posture. The Air Force has already entered the “jet age” with its use of a squadron of FA-50s, but wanted to acquire an additional squadron of such planes while the Navy has already put forward a plan to acquire submarines. Arevalo said the country needed a strong Navy, not only for the country’s territorial defense but to secure its internal waters against domestic enemies and threat groups. “Ours is the fourth-longest coastline in the world. Our southern backdoor is vast and porous, that serves as ingress and egress of foreign terrorists and other transnational criminals,” he said. “Along with our Southeast Asian neighbors, we aspire for regional peace and stability amidst a changing global environment. And needless to say, we need a strong navy to perform for our constitutional mandate,” he added.

Besides the UHC law, the DBM also noted other significant laws on improving health and nutrition, which may also need funding. These include the Mental Health Act, Masustansiyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act, First 1000 Days Act, Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act and 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Act. Also expected to reduce the country’s poverty rate is the Implementation Plan for the National Program on Family Planning approved by President Duterte last month. The Rice Trade Liberalization Law, which converted quantitative restrictions on rice into tariffs, mandates an annual appropriation of P10 billion for the next six years for the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) to support the rice industry alongside existing government rice programs. Billed as the government’s national poverty-reduction strategy, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is also set to be institutionalized, as the measure will lapse into law by April 21, 2019. The bill provides for increased education cash grants, as well as health and nutrition cash grants for eligible household beneficiaries. The operation of the new Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development is also on the list of priority expenditures of the government as this agency will be crucial in addressing the concerns of the housing sector. Other priority programs to be funded under the 2020 budget include the monitoring of the K-12 program and the technical vocation program, financial sustainability of Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education, implementation of Unconditional Cash Transfer and coastal resource management.

Editor: Efleda P. Campos

Companies BusinessMirror

Monday, April 15, 2019


PAL trims 2018 losses by 38% to ₧2.8 billion


By Lorenz S. Marasigan


AL Holdings Inc., the operators of legacy carrier Philippine Airlines, managed to trim down losses by more than a third in 2018 as the increase in its revenues cushioned the impact of another spike in its expenses.

Based on a filing to the stock exchange, the company booked a net loss of P2.8 billion in 2018, a 38.3-percent decline compared to its total comprehensive loss of P4.6 billion in 2017. Its revenues—buoyed by increases in ticket sales, cargo and ancillary earnings—stood at P150.4 billion, a 16.2-percent increase from last year’s P129.5 billion. This growth in earnings cushioned the impact of a 17.8-percent increase in expenses to P155.7 billion in 2018, mainly due to increases in fuel cost and lease charges. 

Fuel alone accounted for P52.3 billion, as jet fuel prices rose from an average price of $75.59 per barrel in 2017 to $94.38 per barrel in 2018. Currently, PAL flies to 43 international and 35 domestic destinations. It has a fleet of 98 planes, consisting of five Airbus A350-900 XWB, 10 Boeing 777-300ER, two Airbus A340-313, 15 Airbus A330-343, 24 Airbus A321-231, six Airbus A321-271neo, seven Airbus A320-214, 12 Airbus A320-214, three Bombardier Q400, 10 Bombardier Q400 NG and four Bombardier Q300. 

CEB’s new campaign to entice 6M foreign tourists to ‘fun’ PHL By Ma. Stella F. Arnaldo

Special to the BusinessMirror

F Geri reaches ₧1.7-B record income in 2018 G By VG Cabuag


LOBAL-ESTATE Resorts Inc. (Geri), a unit of Megaworld Corp., said its income grew 14 percent to a record P1.7 billion last year, up 14 percent from the previous year’s P1.5 billion. Real-estate sales grew 21 percent to P6.4 billion last year, from P5.3 billion in 2017. The company launched more resi-

dential inventories in Twin Lakes and Boracay Newcoast, as well as in its Renaissance property in Pasig City last year. The Pasig project called The Fifth is a two-tower condominium development expected to raise at least P8 billion in residential sales. “At the heart of Geri’s continuous growth since being consolidated under the Megaworld Group is its expansive land bank, which the compa-

ny has utilized to develop townships and integrated lifestyle communities centered on tourism and leisure. To date, we still have more land to develop, allowing us to explore new opportunities in tourism developments,” said Monica Salomon, the company’s president. Revenues from the company’s rental businesses grew more than double to P427 million from the previous year’s P161 million.

For the first time, Geri was able to see full-year revenues from its biggest mall to date, Southwoods Mall, in its 561-hectare Southwoods City township in Biñan, Laguna. It also opened its first two office towers in Southwoods City last year. Besides the Southwoods City township, Geri has four other tourism estates and two integrated communities across the country covering more than 3,000 hectares of land.

FVR lauds SMC mega flagship projects


ORMER President Fidel V. Ramos has cited San Miguel Corp. (SMC) President Ramon S. Ang for the various onstream projects the business tycoon is spearheading. In a statement, Ramos described the business tycoon as a visionary, patriotic and strategic thinker, citing SMC’s projects such as the Bulacan International Airport, water and power, to the extension of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx) all the way to Laoag, Ilocos Norte. The former President made the statement during Ang’s courtesy call on Friday at the Ramos Peace and Development (RPDEV) Foundation office in Makati in the presence of MWSS Administrator Reynaldo V. Velasco, who was FVR’s first Special Action Force (SAF) commander, new National Tobacco Administration Director Gen. Wilson Victorio, Engr. Alfredo Reyes, Freddie Jalasco and Ramos family biographer Melandrew T. Velasco. “Continue with the noble task of nation-building with the various f lagship projects you are pushing for the country and our people. It’s seldom that we find a great Filipino and an alumnus of the Far Eastern University like you,” Ramos was quoted as telling Ang in the statement. Ang hailed Ramos as a living Korean War and Edsa hero who fought Marcos and defended democracy from coups nine times during the Cory Aquino presidency. He said the milestone achievements Ramos made in his six years as President continue to benefit today’s generation. “Sir, you are one of kind who comes only once in our lifetime, and we Filipinos are fortunate to have a leader and a statesman like you, who continues to guide this nation,” Ang told FVR. An upbeat Ang briefed FVR, unveiling his plan on the Bulacan International Airport, an unsolicited public-private partnership (PPP) proposal from the SMC to construct, operate and maintain the

airport on a 2,500-hectare land in Bulakan, Bulacan. “The project, estimated at $15 billion, will be undertaken over a period of five years to seven years to full completion,” Ang said. He added the Bulacan airport will have four parallel runways [expandable to six], and will be equipped with modern and worldclass facilities. Ang told FVR that the new airport will create some 1 million jobs once construction starts, and by the time it’s completed, millions more of new tourism jobs will be created,” “Travel will be much easier and more comfortable for our air passengers, for overseas Filipino workers and foreign tourists. Access will also be very easy with multiple expressways that will bring the airport within 30 minutes or shorter from anywhere in Metro Manila,” he added. Ang said the airport is expected to accommodate 100 million passengers a year—a huge improvement compared to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s current capacity of just about 31 million passengers annually. He envisioned the Philippines will attract more tourists in the coming years once the SMC airport will be completed in six years. “In 2018, the Philippines only attracted 7.1 million tourists, compared to our neighboring countries like Thailand with 35.4 million; Malaysia, 25.9 million; Singapore, 13.9 million; Japan, 28.6 million; and Indonesia, 14.4 million,” Ang said. Meanwhile, Ang has thrown his full support behind the construction of new water-supply sources projects under the New Water Security Roadmap crafted by MWSS Administrator Rey Velasco. In anticipation of the burgeoning population and expansion of the Bulacan Bulk Water Supply including the Bulacan airport, MWSS has identified the ABC Projects as part of its short- and medium-term water-supply projects tailor-made for Bulacan Bulk Water. Jonathan L. Mayuga

HANDOVER AT NISSAN Ramesh Narasimhan (left), outgoing Nissan Philippines Inc.

president and managing director, offers a replica of a symbolic Nissan Key to Atsushi Najima, incoming Nissan Philippines Inc. president and managing director, during the ceremonial handover held on Thursday, April 11, at the Shangri-La Hotel in Bonifacio Global City. NONOY LACZA

LAG carrier Cebu Pacific (CEB) is targeting to fly in roughly 6 million international passengers this year on its 23rd anniversary, as it launches a new campaign to encourage more foreign tourists to visit the Philippines. New details of the campaign, dubbed “Fly to More Fun,” was revealed by Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat at the Kapihan sa Manila Bay on Wednesday. “The private sector is a vital partner in our tourism efforts, and Cebu Pacific is a prime example of how a company can align with the government to deliver sustainable and responsible tourism,” she said. “The Fly to More Fun campaign of Cebu Pacific amplifies our own efforts to bring joy to visitors and stakeholders as they delve into the unique sights, experiences and people that the Philippines has to offer,” she said. “This goes well with their sustainable and responsible tourism campaign, Juan Effect,” she added. Juan Effect was launched last October in time with the reopening of Boracay Island. Fly to More Fun reaches out to foreigners in key Cebu Pacific markets to share with them the great experiences and attractions the Philippines has to offer and how easy it is to get to these places with the airline, said Candice Iyog, vice president for Marketing and Distribution at Cebu Pacific. The campaign kicked off with a special video that showcased some of the Philippines’s best destinations, such as Boracay, Cebu, Siargao and Palawan, highlighting the feel and experience of a great vacation in the Philippines. Iyog underscored that CEB flies to 36 Philippine destinations and close to 100 routes that will allow tourists to get around the country faster and much easier. “We celebrate our 23rd anniversary with an invitation to experience the Philippines, especially at its prime during the summer months from March to June,” she said in an interview with the BusinessMirror. “As we aim to fly 200 million passengers by 2020, we are rolling out compelling and exciting deals and treats for our customers, and intend to expand our route network to connect more international

destinations to the Philippines.” The Philippines boasts of pristine beaches, diverse flora and fauna, and some of the world’s best islands that are acclaimed in top international travel publications and web sites. With hotels and accommodation that cater to a wide variety of tourist preferences, the Philippines offers luxury island resorts to budget-friendly bed-and-breakfast lodges, all imbued with the warmth, great service and friendliness that Filipinos are known for. The country offers great value for money in terms of transportation, eating out or even shopping—with something to satisfy high-end flashpackers and even bargain-hunters. Iyog underscored that even on a limited budget, travelers can enjoy local attractions other than just white-sand beaches. “There’s island-hopping; trekking mountains or volcanoes; getting the adrenaline rush through water sports or canyoneering at waterfalls; or traveling back in time visiting ruins of the Philippines’s past as a Spanish colony.” The carrier’s Fly to More Fun campaign supports the refreshed “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” brand push of the DOT. The cornerstone of the DOT’s own campaign is sustainable travel through authentic, crowd-sourced photos and videos from actual tourists to the country. At the Kapihan sa Manila Bay, Romulo Puyat noted the annual budget of the DOT is about P3.2 billion, “and even if they give us a higher budget, it will still be no match for the budgets of other countries.” Thus, she expressed gratitude to the private sector for helping promote the Philippines in markets abroad. Aside from CEB, other private firms that have lent a hand to the promotional efforts of the tourism department are Bench, Hertz, Potato Corner, Philippine Airlines, and Jollibee. She also revealed that snack-food brand Oishi, of the Liwayway Marketing Group, and the group of business tycoon Manuel V. Pangilinan “have also offered to help promote the Philippines.” Under its National Tourism Development Plan, the Duterte administration is targeting to attract 8.2 million foreign visitors this year. Data from the DOT showed a 6-percent increase in foreign tourists to 1.49 million, and visitor receipts up 13.63 percent to $1.75 billion (P91.32 billion).


Companies BusinessMirror

Monday, April 15, 2019


April 12, 2019


58.5 131.6 81.5 26.6 12.06 77.9 13.7 56.6 57.25 25.85 175.9 60.9 1.29 2.18 18.5 4.48 1.39 0.45 184

58.65 132 81.6 26.7 12.1 77.95 13.78 56.65 57.7 26.35 176 61 1.3 2.25 18.56 4.5 1.43 0.465 187

58.6 132.4 83.5 27.1 12.1 78.9 13.7 56.6 57.6 25.9 180 61 1.3 2.2 18.4 4.5 1.39 0.465 188

58.65 132.4 83.55 27.1 12.14 79 13.72 57.5 57.8 26.05 180.5 62 1.3 2.26 18.5 4.57 1.39 0.465 188.1

58 131.2 81.5 26.6 12.04 77.9 13.7 56.5 57.6 25.8 175.5 60.9 1.29 2.18 18.4 4.49 1.39 0.465 184

58.65 132 81.5 26.6 12.1 77.9 13.72 56.65 57.8 25.85 176 60.9 1.3 2.26 18.5 4.56 1.39 0.465 184

6560 520530 2147750 312400 268900 3955180 130100 83780 270 20700 71800 5350 119000 329000 14700 7000 3000 10000 2230

383978 68572284 176457678.5 8355610 3249384 309621258 1782372 4757161.5 15584 536850 12755612 326661 154460 721690 270558 31820 4170 4650 415943


1.43 36.2 0.242 21.8 82.15 378.4 23.2 6.42 4.3 1.62 11.64 45.95 7.5 16 89.45 14.86 15.68 5.86 11.6 7.28 112 0.97 29.8 310 10.28 15 1.4 12.72 1.69 2.25 0.129 157 1.7 2.5 60.2 1.94 5.25 15.74 9.78 11 21 9.03 1.02 1.2 1.95 5.15 46.25 2.8 13 1.78 6.01 28.85


0.54 19.6 912.5 58.85 15.38 6.4 0.77 1.44 1.44 7.67 12.08 15.08 0.233 868 6.82 62.35 0.5 5.21 16.06 0.55 4.6 0.039 2.93 1.12 1.32 569 941 181.4 0.93 2.39 268 0.244 0.365

1.44 36.3 0.244 21.85 82.25 381 23.3 6.47 4.42 1.63 11.98 46.1 7.55 16.1 97.35 15.92 15.7 5.99 11.64 7.3 112.1 0.98 30 312 10.56 15.02 1.41 12.8 1.7 2.3 0.13 157.5 1.75 2.66 87 1.95 5.4 15.96 9.79 11.04 21.1 9.38 1.03 1.21 1.96 5.21 48 2.81 13.06 1.8 6.3 29.4

1.4 36.4 0.247 21.85 79.95 382 23.25 6.47 4.2 1.62 11.98 46.15 7.5 16.02 89.25 15.96 15.84 6 11.66 7.27 109 0.96 30 318 10.26 15.24 1.4 13 1.72 2.28 0.13 157.3 1.74 2.5 87 1.99 5.25 15.8 9.7 10.92 21.1 9.4 1.01 1.23 1.96 5.22 48 2.78 13 1.78 6.35 29.35

1.44 36.55 0.248 22 82.75 382.8 23.4 6.5 4.4 1.67 12 46.15 7.65 16.2 97.35 15.96 15.84 6 11.66 7.3 112 0.97 30.1 319.8 10.3 15.3 1.4 13 1.72 2.28 0.13 157.8 1.75 2.51 87 2.02 5.25 15.98 9.79 11.12 21.7 9.4 1.03 1.24 1.96 5.22 48.9 2.82 13.1 1.8 6.35 29.4

1.4 36.2 0.242 21.5 79.95 378.4 23.2 6.42 4.2 1.59 11.98 45.7 7.5 16 89.25 15.9 15.7 5.85 11.6 7.25 108.8 0.95 29.4 310 10.24 14.7 1.38 12.8 1.69 2.26 0.13 155.8 1.7 2.5 87 1.94 5.25 15.74 9.64 10.88 20.9 9.01 1.01 1.2 1.94 5.2 46 2.75 12.9 1.78 6 28.85

1.43 36.3 0.244 21.8 82.25 378.4 23.25 6.42 4.4 1.62 11.98 45.95 7.5 16.1 97.35 15.94 15.7 6 11.6 7.28 112 0.97 29.8 310 10.28 15.02 1.4 12.8 1.69 2.26 0.13 157 1.75 2.5 87 1.94 5.25 15.96 9.78 11 21 9.03 1.03 1.21 1.95 5.2 46.25 2.81 13.06 1.8 6.3 29.4

774000 1281900 1430000 916500 210210 363840 4745300 1825400 2965000 28640000 13100 173400 147600 210300 140 2000 1880000 32000 2462900 33400 898490 1308000 26300 1671610 10400 1113400 2483000 168000 44000 23000 110000 1156160 2192000 43000 1000 22156000 2000 263500 665700 2151100 7986500 19600 236000 1215000 248000 115600 5700 7311000 317300 368000 390000 42100

1107590 46634580 352670 19916390 17179364 137858754 110550065 11792498 12460850 46484740 157030 7969535 1111118 3384924 12576 31852 29688362 187640 28641486 243110 99255412 1257080 785320 526382822 106746 16620954 3456540 2159558 74770 52110 14300 181603426 3762990 107520 87000 43787240 10500 4199620 6459472 23678704 169525995 180994 240050 1472460 484140 601153 268575 20413590 4120792 662270 2375129 1235280

HOLDING & FRIMS 0.55 20 913 59 15.4 6.5 0.79 1.45 1.45 7.68 12.12 15.12 0.242 870 6.9 62.5 0.52 5.25 16.3 0.58 4.62 0.04 2.94 1.15 1.35 570 943 181.5 0.94 2.44 269 0.245 0.37

0.55 20 915 59.2 15.7 6.5 0.78 1.44 1.45 7.74 12.16 15.12 0.233 873 6.9 64.05 0.52 5.15 16.6 0.55 4.69 0.039 3.07 1.13 1.32 498 959 178.9 0.95 2.39 266.2 0.245 0.375

0.57 20.25 917 59.75 15.7 6.5 0.79 1.46 1.46 7.77 12.42 15.12 0.242 882.5 6.95 64.9 0.52 5.25 16.6 0.55 4.7 0.039 3.12 1.13 1.36 574 960 182 0.96 2.39 268 0.248 0.375

0.54 19.6 909 58.95 15.38 6.4 0.77 1.44 1.44 7.66 12.08 15.08 0.233 866 6.9 62.1 0.5 5.14 16 0.55 4.6 0.039 2.93 1.12 1.32 450.2 943 178.5 0.93 2.39 260.6 0.24 0.365

0.54 19.6 913 59 15.4 6.5 0.79 1.44 1.46 7.67 12.08 15.08 0.242 870 6.95 62.35 0.52 5.25 16.3 0.55 4.6 0.039 2.93 1.12 1.36 569 943 181.4 0.93 2.39 268 0.245 0.365

3133000 52400 276360 171170 8040500 122100 189000 7307000 329000 690900 5635300 320100 260000 45720 42000 753010 120000 594500 1573800 20000 16220000 4500000 3091000 75000 6000 4290 223640 1226320 2730000 1000 3510 1990000 3470000

1713200 1038651 252038090 10151682 124756122 791150 147200 10584450 476960 5324529 69396418 4833394 60670 39852320 291472 47297261.5 62220 3094977 25671622 11000 74844420 175500 9361780 84180 7960 2367490 211978055 221498868 2552070 2390 938030 487840 1280250

374071 2169304 -42412741 -6284365 -921300 -273608735 2235894.5 -158480 -2825 -37822 -94000 -27464170 123860 6538160 -631219.5 -78716998 -543690 -1516563 296740 1751140 -101255 -645718 -10374154 -175715 1157806 -50816 12966647 -156193864 5220806 1803550.0003 30598343 31120 97500 -18270 -18445530 -268382 -4815300 -5219206 10747065 2060 363000 -225193 -717860 -485308 -64450 -169400 -6676730 347327.5 501346 227000 -777076 -3263446 -4091668 -25419985 277672 1289899.5 500 -251346 -7337646 10450 -50237120 -31200 1516380 -56179.9999 756575 19743935 49090951 -10600 -


ARTHALAND CORP 0.76 0.78 0.77 0.79 0.75 0.78 258000 197710 ANCHOR LAND 11.32 11.74 11.82 11.82 11.8 11.8 1100 12984 -2364 AYALA LAND 46.55 46.6 46.7 46.75 46.4 46.6 14220900 662430315 61141020 ARANETA PROP 1.92 1.96 1.93 1.93 1.92 1.92 50000 96030 BELLE CORP 2.47 2.48 2.43 2.47 2.42 2.47 28166000 68195920 81380 A BROWN 0.76 0.78 0.76 0.78 0.76 0.78 338000 259570 CITYLAND DEVT 0.88 0.9 0.9 0.9 0.9 0.9 11000 9900 CROWN EQUITIES 0.241 0.244 0.24 0.241 0.24 0.241 5310000 1274900 CEBU HLDG 6.3 6.5 6.49 6.5 6.3 6.5 20600 130248 CEB LANDMASTERS 4.3 4.31 4.24 4.34 4.24 4.31 2283000 9753430 -668049.9998 CENTURY PROP 0.52 0.53 0.54 0.54 0.52 0.53 9867000 5183790 -3180 CYBER BAY 0.39 0.395 0.395 0.395 0.385 0.395 2330000 909650 DOUBLEDRAGON 23.25 23.5 23.5 24 23.25 23.25 301800 7102620 449350 DM WENCESLAO 11.68 11.7 11.5 11.7 11.4 11.7 525100 6096396 1091286 EMPIRE EAST 0.51 0.52 0.5 0.52 0.5 0.52 1302000 663850 FILINVEST LAND 1.52 1.53 1.53 1.53 1.52 1.53 3218000 4897110 -2695430 GLOBAL ESTATE 1.38 1.39 1.39 1.39 1.38 1.38 619000 855430 8990 HLDG 12.9 12.96 12.96 13 12.88 12.96 224500 2902480 -540172 PHIL INFRADEV 1.79 1.8 1.86 1.86 1.79 1.8 1970000 3580950 36400 KEPPEL PROP 4.4 4.82 4.82 4.83 4.82 4.82 100000 482290 CITY AND LAND 0.84 0.85 0.85 0.85 0.85 0.85 145000 123250 MEGAWORLD 5.77 5.78 5.81 5.82 5.71 5.77 10823800 62502159 -3916776 MRC ALLIED 0.355 0.36 0.36 0.36 0.355 0.36 5690000 2030500 -323050 PHIL ESTATES 0.52 0.53 0.5 0.55 0.5 0.53 24260000 12821620 -5400 PRIMEX CORP 2.49 2.5 2.5 2.58 2.49 2.5 1320000 3316280 7649.9999 ROBINSONS LAND 23.7 24.25 24.05 24.5 23.7 23.7 1196200 28657020 7297150 PHIL REALTY 0.42 0.435 0.435 0.44 0.42 0.42 140000 60100 ROCKWELL 1.97 2 2 2 1.99 1.99 32000 63690 -2000 SHANG PROP 2.99 3.05 3.05 3.05 3 3 74000 222350 STA LUCIA LAND 1.65 1.66 1.66 1.66 1.65 1.66 549000 909920 -36520 SM PRIME HLDG 39 39.2 39.6 39.65 38.85 39 6895000 269862180 -72496770 STARMALLS 6.81 6.85 6.98 6.98 6.75 6.85 220300 1512222 SUNTRUST HOME 0.73 0.76 0.73 0.73 0.73 0.73 19000 13870 PTFC REDEV CORP 45.3 52.95 47.9 47.9 45.3 45.3 600 27450 VISTA LAND 7.2 7.25 7.2 7.25 7.17 7.25 1928500 13941644 -1914224 SERVICES ABS CBN 19.96 19.98 19.98 20.35 19.98 19.98 180100 3613579 GMA NETWORK 5.79 5.8 5.82 5.82 5.8 5.8 3492100 20284091 MANILA BULLETIN 0.66 0.67 0.64 0.67 0.64 0.67 2318000 1510500 GLOBE TELECOM 1890 1910 1894 1920 1890 1890 19140 36313690 -9009870 PLDT 1179 1180 1163 1180 1162 1179 156820 184434495 -18798665 APOLLO GLOBAL 0.041 0.042 0.04 0.041 0.04 0.041 1200000 49100 DFNN INC 6.8 6.9 6.75 6.8 6.73 6.8 30300 204840 ISLAND INFO 0.127 0.13 0.13 0.13 0.127 0.13 180000 23070 ISM COMM 5.02 5.06 5.16 5.16 5.02 5.02 1227000 6196229 -26116 JACKSTONES 2.98 3.04 2.98 2.98 2.98 2.98 1000 2980 NOW CORP 2.42 2.43 2.44 2.46 2.4 2.42 837000 2037330 -4760 TRANSPACIFIC BR 0.385 0.39 0.4 0.4 0.385 0.385 4900000 1919200 354900 PHILWEB 2.93 2.95 2.93 2.98 2.93 2.95 469000 1385420 146780 2GO GROUP 12.3 12.8 12.5 12.8 12.3 12.7 25900 326586 -12700 ASIAN TERMINALS 14.76 16.66 16.66 16.66 16.66 16.66 200 3332 CHELSEA 5.3 5.31 5.45 5.45 5.31 5.31 326300 1749318 CEBU AIR 84 85 86.95 87 84 84 426760 36750103 -9052330.5 INTL CONTAINER 127 127.3 131 131.2 125.8 127.3 2476700 315688664 40796813 LBC EXPRESS 15.4 15.74 15.4 15.78 15.4 15.78 8400 130652 47340 LORENZO SHIPPNG 0.91 0.93 0.93 0.94 0.91 0.91 988000 913710 MACROASIA 21.7 22 22.7 22.75 21.6 22 1171900 25776305 1103285 METROALLIANCE A 1.69 1.74 1.68 1.75 1.68 1.75 15000 25270 PAL HLDG 10.12 10.14 10.24 10.24 10.14 10.14 4600 46814 HARBOR STAR 2.93 2.94 2.93 3 2.93 2.94 362000 1070980 ACESITE HOTEL 1.31 1.36 1.29 1.35 1.29 1.35 36000 48220 BOULEVARD HLDG 0.071 0.072 0.072 0.073 0.071 0.071 18130000 1297000 -56799.9999 WATERFRONT 0.71 0.72 0.72 0.72 0.71 0.71 1164000 826740 FAR EASTERN U 890 895 890.5 890.5 890 890 100 89030 53430 IPEOPLE 11.02 11.76 11 11.78 11 11.04 29500 324618 STI HLDG 0.68 0.69 0.68 0.69 0.67 0.69 1672000 1127910 206760 BERJAYA 2.41 2.43 2.44 2.44 2.41 2.41 98000 237680 -31380 BLOOMBERRY 12.42 12.46 12.84 12.88 12.4 12.42 9313300 117396520 715058 PACIFIC ONLINE 4.36 4.45 4.48 4.5 4.33 4.46 91000 397880 LEISURE AND RES 3.68 3.7 3.68 3.8 3.65 3.7 641000 2374400 -63820 PH RESORTS GRP 4.42 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.45 4.5 30000 134950 PREMIUM LEISURE 0.85 0.86 0.86 0.87 0.85 0.86 1827000 1572250 -307020 PHIL RACING 7.11 8.45 7.11 7.11 7.11 7.11 300 2133 TRAVELLERS 5.66 5.67 5.67 5.67 5.66 5.66 245900 1393586 -240694 METRO RETAIL 3.5 3.51 3.52 3.52 3.42 3.5 1622000 5626250 106770 PUREGOLD 47.7 48.1 49.1 49.5 47.55 47.7 3290900 158516375 -14948285 ROBINSONS RTL 79.9 80 80 80 79.9 79.9 38450 3073029 911684.5 PHIL SEVEN CORP 119.5 119.6 119.6 119.8 119.6 119.6 27130 3244750 16744 SSI GROUP 2.5 2.51 2.5 2.51 2.49 2.51 4963000 12415660 -449840.0002 WILCON DEPOT 16 16.04 15.86 16.28 15.86 16 3413100 54877880 20194910 APC GROUP 0.425 0.43 0.425 0.425 0.425 0.425 1580000 671500 EASYCALL 10.38 10.46 10.78 10.96 10.36 10.36 96300 1016116 10360 GOLDEN BRIA 390 399.6 389.8 399.8 389.8 399.6 1710 683252 IPM HLDG 7.05 7.06 7.08 7.08 7.06 7.06 11500 81325 PRMIERE HORIZON 1.01 1.02 1.05 1.06 0.99 1.02 41215000 42294570 -3321670 SBS PHIL CORP 8.74 8.99 8.7 8.7 8.7 8.7 1000 8700 MINING & OIL ATOK 11.02 12.3 12.88 12.88 12.88 12.88 100 1288 APEX MINING 1.3 1.31 1.32 1.32 1.29 1.3 2202000 2878570 -1583860 ABRA MINING 0.002 0.0021 0.002 0.002 0.0019 0.002 20000000 39400 ATLAS MINING 2.87 2.99 2.87 2.9 2.87 2.87 12000 34540 BENGUET A 1.29 1.42 1.28 1.29 1.28 1.29 87000 112190 BENGUET B 1.25 1.59 1.3 1.3 1.3 1.3 15000 19500 CENTURY PEAK 2.69 2.7 2.69 2.7 2.69 2.69 579000 1561190 DIZON MINES 8.03 8.18 8.01 8.17 8.01 8.17 2700 21862 FERRONICKEL 1.48 1.49 1.55 1.55 1.48 1.49 8920000 13421770 1229800 GEOGRACE 0.265 0.27 0.27 0.28 0.265 0.27 4120000 1123300 LEPANTO A 0.117 0.119 0.117 0.117 0.116 0.117 670000 78250 MARCVENTURES 1.08 1.09 1.1 1.11 1.09 1.09 87000 95320 NIHAO 1 1.04 1.03 1.06 1 1.04 104000 106380 NICKEL ASIA 2.42 2.45 2.56 2.6 2.39 2.42 5022000 12505330 -7765590 OMICO CORP 0.59 0.62 0.58 0.62 0.58 0.62 50000 29040 ORNTL PENINSULA 0.9 0.92 0.9 0.92 0.9 0.9 38000 34240 PX MINING 3.35 3.43 3.44 3.44 3.35 3.35 1020000 3459010 -2124890 SEMIRARA MINING 23.25 23.35 23.3 23.45 23 23.35 1706700 39683375 23165270 UNITED PARAGON 0.007 0.0075 0.007 0.007 0.007 0.007 38000000 266000 ORNTL PETROL A 0.012 0.013 0.012 0.012 0.012 0.012 200000 2400 PHILODRILL 0.011 0.012 0.011 0.011 0.011 0.011 60000000 660000 PHINMA PETRO 3.04 3.14 3.03 3.13 3.03 3.13 2000 6160 PXP ENERGY 7.62 7.7 8 8.3 7.62 7.62 5515100 44005904 -2670841 PREFFERED HOUSE PREF A 93.05 94.95 94.95 95 91 91 1860 174269.5 AC PREF B1 466.2 467 477 477 467 467 1120 523746 AC PREF B2 486 497 490 497 490 497 6500 3228308 ALCO PREF B 90 101.8 98.1 98.1 97 97 10000 973630 DD PREF 96.1 98 98 98 96 98 5150 496554 SMC FB PREF 2 980 982 980 980 980 980 50 49000 FGEN PREF G 101 103 103 103 103 103 45020 4637060 FPH PREF C 451 474.8 451 451 451 451 740 333740 GTCAP PREF A 880 934 900 900 880 880 1000 882000 LR PREF 0.99 1.01 1.01 1.01 1.01 1.01 1000 1010 PNX PREF 3B 104 106 104 104 104 104 500 52000 20800 PCOR PREF 2A 973 1000 990 990 990 990 500 495000 SMC PREF 2C 75.75 75.8 75.8 75.8 75.75 75.8 4100 310610 SMC PREF 2D 72 72.5 73 73 72.5 72.5 17000 1239500 SMC PREF 2E 72.65 73.9 72.65 72.65 72.65 72.65 4800 348720 SMC PREF 2F 74.15 74.7 74.5 74.5 74 74 16330 1209434.5 SMC PREF 2H 72.4 73.75 73.75 73.75 72.25 72.25 1100 80825 -


18.98 5.62

19.76 5.68

19.4 5.68

19.4 5.68

19 5.68

19 5.68

344800 313500

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4.74 1.21

4.75 1.25

4.76 1.26

4.7 1.18

4.72 1.2

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6,379,515.9999) -









Metro Retail Stores opens its 54th store in Visayas


ONTINUING its expansion in the Visayas, Cebu retailer Metro Retail Stores Group Inc. (MRSGI) recently opened the Metro Supermarket and Department Store at Ayala Capitol Central in Bacolod City. Metro Ayala Capitol Supermarket and Department Store, MRSGI’s 54th store, strengthens its presence in the region and underscores its commitment to grow through operational excellence and quality customer service.

MRSGI Chairman and CEO Frank Gaisano said, “We’re giving the people of Bacolod more reasons to smile as we open Metro Ayala Capitol Supermarket and Department Store. I can easily see that our stores will fast become your

go-to store as we give you greater access to an extensive assortment of premium quality products, from groceries to fresh produce, daily basic necessities to essential musthaves and premium gift items at affordable prices.“ MRSGI President and COO Manuel Alberto also said, “The grand launch of Metro Ayala Capitol Supermarket and Department Store celebrates our solid partnership with Ayala Land Inc. through the years. I am delighted that as we continue to merge resources and work mutually, we will be able to respond to the needs and aspirations of our customers in Bacolod.”

The opening was supported by the Bacolod City local government led by City Mayor Evelio Leonardia, Rep. Greg Gasataya and Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo G. Marañon, who all welcomed MRSGI and acknowledged that the retailer’s presence in the region will contribute to the region’s business growth and employment opportunities. Serving Filipino consumers for 37 years now, MRSGI has built a wide store network in Central and South Luzon, as well as in Central, Western and Eastern Visayas. Currently, it operates three store formats—department store, supermarket and hypermarket.

Naga City mayor to be guest of honor at Eternal Gardens Awards Night


AGA CITY Mayor John G. Bongat will be the guest of honor at the Grand Annual Awards Night of Eternal Gardens on Wednesday, April 24, at the Manila Grand Opera Hotel on D. Jose Street, Santa Cruz, Manila. The Grand Annual Awards Night is a company tradition in keeping with the policy of leading memorial park developer Eternal Gardens to recognize its most outstanding sales producers for the previous year. The theme of its celebration for marketing year 2018 is “One Amazing Performance” in praise of its top salespeople’s accomplishments.

Top company executives, headed by Chairman and CEO D. Edgard A. Cabangon, will welcome Mayor Bongat, as well as the awardees from the eight marketing branches of the company and special guests to the event. Eternal Gardens was founded by the late Ambassador Antonio L. Cabangon Chua in 1976. It currently has 11 branches, including the maiden park in Baesa, Caloocan City; and subsequent other parks in the cities of Dagupan, Biñan, Batangas (in barangay Balagtas and Concepcion), Lipa, Naga, Cabanatuan, Santa Rosa, Cagayan de Oro and Cabuyao in Laguna province.


SHARE prices barely moved last week as investors turned to overseas markets for guidance of their trade. The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index gained 7.64 points to close at 7,880.82 points. The main index was up during the first two trading days of the four-day work week, even rising more than 1 percent on Wednesday, but gave up most of the gains during the last two days of the week. Foreign investors were net buyers at P2.85 billion, while average daily trading for the week was at P6.27 billion. Other subindices ended mixed with the broader All Shares gaining 16.16 points to 4,863.15 points; the Financials index fell 8.93 to 1,733.24; the Industrial index was up 16.45 to 11,757.43; the Holding Firms index was down 68.57 to 7,664.29; the Property index climbed 59.30 to 4,134.37; the Services index rose 13.13 to 1,604.6; and the Mining and Oil index shed 65.41 to 7,668.88. Losers edged gainers 121 to 89 and 37 shares were unchanged. Top gainers were Synergy Grid and Development Phils. Inc., Oriental Petroleum and Minerals Corp. B, Philippine Estates Corp., Anchor Land Holdings Inc., Acesite (Phils.) Hotel Corp. and Philippine Infradev Holdings Inc. Top losers were PXP Energy Corp., Philippine Racing Club Inc., SOC Resources Inc., Da Vinci Capital Holdings Inc., Benguet Corp. A and Metro Alliance Holdings and Equities Corp. B.


SHARE prices are expected to trade the range this week, shortened trading days in observance of the Holy Week. There will be no trading on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. “With the current momentum, it could go either way. It could not break above the heavy resistance at the 8,000 key-level. Economic fundamentals like inflation have improved drastically, and with the passing of the 2019 budget President Duterte is expected to sign on Monday, it may give the market the boost it needs,” said Christopher Mangun, research head, at Eagle Equities Inc. Broker 2TradeAsia said sessions this week may be limited during the Lenten break, as many investors are in a holiday mood. “Moving forward, attention could switch to upcoming shareholders’ meeting, where preliminary indications might be given on the first-quarter results. It would help validate the strength of corporate earnings growth—an integral component to justify valuations,” the broker said.


BROKER Regina Capital and Development Corp. recommended to trade the range on the stock of Ayala Land Inc. after its stock price broke out of its resistance at P45.76 per share last week. “Conversely, this converts the previous resistance to a new support, which might come handy for the rest of the trading days. Next stable support can also be found at P45.01,” the broker said. “Anticipate some quick lock-in of gains for day traders in the next sessions to the next nearest stable price floor,” it said. Shares of Ayala Land closed on Friday at P46.60 apiece. Shares of Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. may have been down during last week’s trade, but the broker said this remains within the general trend of its share price, as this is the second dip from the shares’ failure to breach the P79.97 level. “But in the last few months, as long as Metrobank sustains a viable support, it can regain momentum for another attempt and eventual breakout. Similar to what happened in the beginning of March. Indicators at this point reflect more of a sideways, as the support continues to get reinforced,” it said. Metrobank shares closed last week at P77.90 per share. VG Cabuag


April 12, 2019

NAV ONE YEAR THREE YEAR FIVE YEAR Y-T-D PER SHARE RETURN* RETURN STOCK FUNDS ALFM ALFM GROWTH FUND, INC. -A 265.09  -2.02%  1.34%  1.51%  5.1%  ATRAM ALPHA OPPORTUNITY FUND, INC. -A   1.6321  1.07%  9.88%  3.98%  13.28%  ATRAM PHILIPPINE EQUITY OPPORTUNITY FUND, INC. -A   4.1306  -3.82%  1.61%  0.52%  5.83%  CLIMBS SHARE CAPITAL EQUITY INVESTMENT FUND CORP. -A   0.9508  0.91%  N.A.  N.A.  6.77%  FIRST METRO CONSUMER FUND ON MSCI PHILS. IMI, INC. -A   0.8707  N.A.  N.A.  N.A.  6.09%  FIRST METRO SAVE AND LEARN EQUITY FUND,INC. -A   5.5327  -0.61%  1.41%  1.38%  4.96%  MBG EQUITY INVESTMENT FUND, INC. -A   127.52  8.38%  N.A.  N.A.  9.5%  ONE WEALTHY NATION FUND, INC. -A   0.8823  -2.96%  -3.96%  N.A.  5.99%  PAMI EQUITY INDEX FUND, INC. -A   52.3988  0.09%  2.24%  N.A.  6.49%  PHILAM STRATEGIC GROWTH FUND, INC. -A   546.27  -0.27%  1.2%  1.26%  6.13%  PHILEQUITY DIVIDEND YIELD FUND, INC. -A   1.3192  0.74%  2.83%  4.29%  5.2%  PHILEQUITY FUND, INC. -A   38.9805  0.74%  3.73%  3.64%  6.41%  PHILEQUITY MSCI PHILIPPINE INDEX FUND, INC. -A,3   1.0424  N.A.  N.A.  N.A.  N.A.  PHILEQUITY PSE INDEX FUND INC. -A   5.3057  0.53%  3.15%  3.66%  7%  PHILIPPINE STOCK INDEX FUND CORP. -A   885.64  0.65%  2.84%  3.59%  6.9%  SOLDIVO STRATEGIC GROWTH FUND, INC. -A   0.9319  2.2%  1.89%  N.A.  8.21%  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY PHILIPPINE EQUITY FUND, INC. -A   4.3445  1.54%  3.17%  2.59%  7.04%  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY PHILIPPINE STOCK INDEX FUND, INC. -A   1.0182  0.15%  2.83%  N.A.  6.7%  UNITED FUND, INC. -A   3.7361  2.13%  4.88%  3.59%  6.72%      EXCHANGE TRADED FUND FIRST METRO PHIL. EQUITY EXCHANGE TRADED FUND, INC. -A,C,2   118.4774  1.03%  3.91%  4.68%  6.98%  ATRAM ASIAPLUS EQUITY FUND, INC. -B   $1.0466  -6.45%  8.03%  1.83%  12.65%  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY WORLD VOYAGER FUND, INC. -A   $1.2861  1.22%  N.A.  N.A.  16.38%  BALANCED FUNDS     PRIMARILY INVESTED IN PESO SECURITIES ATRAM DYNAMIC ALLOCATION FUND, INC. -A   1.7278  -1.59%  -0.39%  -1.14%  4.64%  ATRAM PHILIPPINE BALANCED FUND, INC. -A   2.3217  -1.26%  1.25%  0.99%  5.09%  FIRST METRO SAVE AND LEARN BALANCED FUND INC. -A   2.6532  0.03%  -0.45%  -1%  4.3%  GREPALIFE BALANCED FUND CORPORATION -A   1.3571  -2.16%  N.A.  N.A.  4.05%  NCM MUTUAL FUND OF THE PHILS., INC. -A   1.9211  1.19%  1.33%  1.49%  4.23%  PAMI HORIZON FUND, INC. -A   3.686  -0.73%  0.1%  0.61%  4.44%  PHILAM FUND, INC. -A   16.6324  0.15%  0.3%  0.65%  4.56%  SOLIDARITAS FUND, INC. -A   2.1494  0.43%  1.69%  2.26%  3.72%  SUN LIFE OF CANADA PROSPERITY BALANCED FUND, INC. -A   3.8635  1.53%  1.58%  1.68%  5.81%  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY ACHIEVER FUND 2028, INC. -A,D,4   1.0016  N.A.  N.A.  N.A.  N.A.  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY ACHIEVER FUND 2038, INC. -A,D,4   1.0026  N.A.  N.A.  N.A.  N.A.  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY ACHIEVER FUND 2048, INC. -A,D,4   1.0008  N.A.  N.A.  N.A.  N.A.  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY DYNAMIC FUND, INC. -A   0.9849  1.86%  1.5%  N.A.  6.86%      PRIMARILY INVESTED IN FOREIGN CURRENCY SECURITIES COCOLIFE DOLLAR FUND BUILDER, INC. -A   $0.03596  1.58%  0.36%  1.55%  2.01%  PAMI ASIA BALANCED FUND, INC. -A   $1.006  -5.3%  4.35%  -0.08%  7.46%  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY DOLLAR ADVANTAGE FUND, INC. -A   $3.705  1.07%  6.39%  2.86%  11.99%  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY DOLLAR WELLSPRING FUND, INC. -A   $1.0904  0.05%  N.A.  N.A.  7.96%  BOND FUNDS     PRIMARILY INVESTED IN PESO SECURITIES ALFM PESO BOND FUND, INC. -A   347.57  2.83%  2.15%  2.11%  1.22%  ATRAM CORPORATE BOND FUND, INC. -A,1   1.8819  0.67%  -0.21%  -0.25%  1.22%  COCOLIFE FIXED INCOME FUND, INC. -A   3.0131  5.49%  5.26%  5.3%  1.42%  EKKLESIA MUTUAL FUND INC. -A   2.1569  2.37%  1.3%  1.8%  1.24%  FIRST METRO SAVE AND LEARN FIXED INCOME FUND,INC. -A   2.2557  1.82%  0.41%  0.91%  2.1%  GREPALIFE FIXED INCOME FUND CORP. -A   P 1.6024  0.2%  -0.37%  0.3%  2.43%  PHILAM BOND FUND, INC. -A   4.0224  1.28%  -0.29%  0.77%  2.62%  PHILEQUITY PESO BOND FUND, INC. -A   3.5991  3.01%  1.46%  1.19%  2.33%  SOLDIVO BOND FUND, INC. -A   0.918  1.05%  -0.71%  N.A.  2.85%  SUN LIFE OF CANADA PROSPERITY BOND FUND, INC. -A   2.8809  3.95%  1.72%  1.8%  4.16%  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY GS FUND, INC. -A 1.5981  3.48%  0.91%  1.31%  3.78%      PRIMARILY INVESTED IN FOREIGN CURRENCY SECURITIES ALFM DOLLAR BOND FUND, INC. -A   $453.91  2.41%  1.74%  2.85%  1.26%  ALFM EURO BOND FUND, INC. -A   Є216  1.36%  1.38%  1.59%  1.58%  ATRAM TOTAL RETURN DOLLAR BOND FUND, INC. -B   $1.1659  4.27%  1.51%  2.26%  3.56%  FIRST METRO SAVE AND LEARN DOLLAR BOND FUND, INC. -A   $0.0252  1.61%  0.67%  N.A.  1.61%  GREPALIFE DOLLAR BOND FUND CORP. -A   $1.7131  -1.07%  -1.45%  0.9%  1.35%  MAA PRIVILEGE DOLLAR FIXED INCOME FUND, INC.   N.S.  N.S.  N.S.  N.S.  N.S.  MAA PRIVILEGE EURO FIXED INCOME FUND, INC.   ЄN.S.  N.S.  N.S.  N.S.  N.S.  PAMI GLOBAL BOND FUND, INC -A   $1.063  1.57%  -0.73%  -2.29%  2.45%  PHILAM DOLLAR BOND FUND, INC. -A   $2.2552  2.74%  0.25%  2.78%  3.87%  PHILEQUITY DOLLAR INCOME FUND INC. -A   $0.0580966  2.11%  1.14%  1.71%  1.96%  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY DOLLAR ABUNDANCE FUND, INC. -A   $2.9771  1.13%  -0.27%  2.12%  3.66%  MONEY MARKET FUNDS     PRIMARILY INVESTED IN PESO SECURITIES ALFM MONEY MARKET FUND, INC. -A   122.29  3.4%  2.16%  1.76%  1.2%  FIRST METRO SAVE AND LEARN MONEY MARKET FUND, INC. -A,5   1.0074  N.A.  N.A.  N.A.  N.A.  PHILAM MANAGED INCOME FUND, INC. -A   1.195  2.69%  1.13%  0.75%  1.11%  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY MONEY MARKET FUND, INC. -A   1.2332  3.23%  2.48%  1.84%  1.16%      PRIMARILY INVESTED IN FOREIGN CURRENCY SECURITIES SUN LIFE PROSPERITY DOLLAR STARTER FUND, INC. -A   $1.023  2.07%  N.A.  N.A.  0.7%         * - NAVPS AS OF THE PREVIOUS BANKING DAY   ** - NAVPS AS OF TWO BANKING DAYS AGO   *** - LISTED IN THE PSE. **** - RE-CLASSIFIED INTO A BALANCED FUND STARTING JANUARY 1, 2017 (FORMERLY GREPALIFE BOND FUND CORP.). ***** - LAUNCH DATE IS NOVEMBER 6, 2017     ****** - LAUNCH DATE IS JANUARY 08, 2018     ******** - RENAMING OF THE FUND WAS APPROVED BY THE SEC LAST APRIL 13, 2018. ********* - BECAME A MEMBER SINCE APRIL 20, 2018.     ******* - ADJUSTED DUE TO CASH DIVIDEND ISSUANCE LAST JANUARY 29, 2018

Banking&Finance BusinessMirror

BSP gives banks more time before applying new reporting rules


ANKS were given more time to fix their books before the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) starts implementing new rules on loan and deposit reportage. In a statement over the weekend, the Central Bank announced that the monetary board approved the extension of transitory period of the amended report on bank interest rates on loans and deposits.  T he transitor y per iod was moved from end-February of this year to end-December of this year, making the actual implementation of the new reporting rules to January 1, 2020.  “This extension provides more time for banks to assess their compliance with the enhanced reporting structure prior to full implementation,” the BSP said.  Failure to comply with the revised reports, or submitting erroneous or delayed reports on the interest rates on loans and deposits will result to banking penalties, according to the BSP.  Among the salient points of the

new reporting system include the required reportage of the volume, as well as the weighted average interest rates of deposits and loans. As such, all head offices of universal and commercial banks shall report to the BSP weekly data on volume of transactions and weighted average interest rates on deposits received and loans granted with relevant details as to maturity, size and product category or type. They are also asked to provide a monthly report on the weighted average interest rate on outstanding loans and deposits by product category or type. T he BSP implemented the amended reporting templates on bank interest rates on loans and deposits under Circular 1029 dated January 25, 2019, covering all universal and commercial banks.  “ The enhanced and simplified reporting templates seek to capture relevant granularity for effective monitoring and transparency requirement,” the BSP said. Bianca Cuaresma

China to maintain prudent monetary-policy stance this year–PBOC’s Chen


H I N A w i l l m a i nt a i n a prudent monetary-policy stance this year and keep the yuan in line with fundamentals as it uses fiscal tools to spur growth, according to central bank Deputy Governor Chen Yulu. The Chinese economy has been “generally stable,” Chen said in a statement to the International Monetary and Financial Committee, which was posted on the IMF’s web site. Authorities will further open up the financial sector and level the playing field between local and foreign-funded institutions to strengthen the industry, he said. “Prudent monetary policy will be neutral in general,” the deputy governor said. “China will pursue a proactive fiscal policy with greater intensity and enhance its performance, focusing on cutting taxes and fees on a larger scale.” Policy-makers in Beijing have been trying to stimulate growth without causing a debt blowout as trade tensions complicate the outlook for an economy that’s already slowed moderately because of a domestic financial cleanup. The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that the US-China trade deal may include penalties if the latter manipulates its currency to


Climate vulnerability of PHL, 19 other nations costs $62B more


By Cai U. Ordinario


LIMATE vulnerability of V20 or the Vulnerable Group of 20, which includes the Philippines, is costing these countries over $60 billion in additional external interest payments, according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). In a report, titled “Climate Change and the Cost of Capital in Developing Countries,” UNEP said climate change is costing the V20 an additional $62 billion in interest payments alone, including $40 billion in additional interest payments on government debt paid over the past 10 years. The UNEP said their model estimated that the incremental debt cost for the V20 countries was almost $9 billion in 2016 alone. The report said countries with the higher degrees of climate vulnerability face higher sovereign borrowing costs.  “Our analysis confirms that countries with higher vulnerability to climate-change risk bear an incremental cost on government-issued debt. These costs are above and beyond the rates attributable to macroeconomic and fiscal fundamentals,” the UNEP said.  “Recognizing climate vulnerability in investment decision-making

will help direct financial resources more effectively. Further strengthening of national adaption capacity and resilience is an appropriate response to climate-related fiscal impacts,” it added. Based on the assessments made by UNEP, the Philippines is one of the most vulnerable to climate change. It ranked third overall in the Climate Risk Index and scored 20.2, where the lower CRI score indicates a higher level of exposure and vulnerability to extreme events. Between 1997 and 2016, an average of 860 Filipinos die every year due to extreme weather-related phenomena. This translates to one death for every 100,000 population.  The country incurred economic losses worth $2.89 billion annually and this accounted for 0.6 percent of GDP during the period.  “These payments are separate from economic losses directly suffered from climate change, which

compound the issue by reducing countries’ ability to invest in climatechange mitigation and adaptation measures. For every $10 paid in interest by V20 countries, an additional dollar will be spent due to climate vulnerability.” Last week, Finance Ministers from V20 Group of vulnerable economies announced new financial instruments in collaboration with international partners at the Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund to ensure continued global economic growth in the face of increasing threats from climate change.  The group aims to lower the cost of capital and unlock large capital inflows to climate-proof the economic development of at least 1 billion people living in some of the fastestgrowing regions, but are exposed to severe climate impacts. The V20 has proposed the Accelerated Financing Mechanism (AFM) for Maximal Resilience and a 100-percent “renewable-energy transition” to upscale existing risk mitigation tools, guarantees and blended finance facilities, and a new menu of instruments within multilateral development banks and other development banks for adaptation, resilience and renewable-energy projects. Another V20 instrument, the Sustainable Insurance Facility (SIF), intends to promote private-sector insurance uptake to address climate risks and promote low-carbon development. The V20 sees the SIF as a tool that

can crowd in investments in risk reduction, enhance credit access and better manage public contingent liabilities related to infrastructure and social resilience. “The need to accelerate adaptation to make the world more resilient to the realities of climate change is ever more urgent. There are solutions to tackle this global crisis, and there is concerted action taking place right now to prepare for our future climate reality,” Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation and managing partner of the V20, said. “But these efforts must increase and accelerate, and key actors—governments, companies and institutions—must join forces to make a positive difference.” Formed in 2015, the V20 Group of Finance Ministers is a dedicated cooperation initiative of economies systemically vulnerable to climate change. It is currently chaired by the Republic of Marshall Islands. The V20 membership stands at 48 economies. Apart from the Philippines, these include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Fiji, The Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Kiribati, Lebanon, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Senegal, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Vietnam and Yemen.

Insurance co-op’s assets hits ₧2.57 billion

1 CHINA’S central bank Deputy Governor Chen Yulu speaks during the opening session of the National People’s Congress. BLOOMBERG NEWS

boost exports. China will continue to “improve the exchange rate mechanism and keep the RMB exchange rate in line with fundamentals at an adaptive equilibrium level,” Chen said. The potential for foreign portfolio investment inflows is growing, the central bank official said, pointing to the inclusion of yuan-denominated assets into global indexes as a reason. Such inflows hit a record $120 billion last year, he said. Bloomberg News

A call to honesty


WIDELY publicized comment by a well-known politician that honesty is not an issue in elections because all politicians are liars, has elicited a lot of reactions, publicly and privately expressed. And so, should we all react in disagreement to this trivialization of honesty. As a virtue, honesty is so intrinsically important and basic in every aspect of our lives. One useful definition of honesty, expressed as a personal code of conduct, is: “I shall not lie, cheat or steal.” That’s as good, clear and simple a guideline as can be. And why is honesty important? In relationships, family or business or political or whatever, if you are dishonest or known to be dishonest, you cannot be trusted. You have no credibility. So how can I deal with you with any reasonable assurance that I can rely on your promise or representation or commitment? Honesty is the foundation of trust. And trust is the foundation

Monday, April 15, 2019


Santiago F. Dumlao Jr. of any meaningful relationship. And trust must be absolute. For example, will you trust yourself to ride a boat that almost floats? Or a parachute that will almost open? No, I don’t think so. You want a boat that will absolutely float, and a parachute that will absolutely open. In business, would you enter into a business partnership with someone you do not absolutely trust? Would you keep an employee who is not absolutely honest with you? Who is honest sometimes, but not all the time? In politics, how can you rely on a politician’s promises to serve you

COOPERATIVE Insurance System of the Philippines (1CISP) reported a record-high growth in total assets last year on the back of favorable business environment in the local insurance industry and their aggressive pursuit of new projects and programs. 1CISP President Roy S. Miclat said in a news briefing on Friday the co-op’s assets as of end last year has aggregated to P2.57 billion, or P1.02 billion higher than the recorded P1.55 billion in 2017. “The industry is growing about 16 percent to 18 percent [and] we grew by 65 percent; that’s about four times the industry,” Miclat said. He added that 1CISP generated high revenues as of December 31, 2018, with gross premiums earned on insurance products amounting to P779 million, from P553 million the previous year.  “Our net would be about P746 million [last year],” Miclat said citing the P535 million they reported in 2017.

well if you cannot trust him, because he is dishonest? But, you might say, how can you demand absolute trust from anyone? You’re asking the impossible! But, really? Let me share an exhortation I have applied on myself. This was written by me to accompany an Honesty Campaign I launched as a Rotary Club of Manila project at the height of the euphoria over the Edsa 1 Revolution that ended a most dishonest government regime. It was a project other Rotary Clubs could copy without much cost. I said: BE HONEST Even if others are not. Even if others cannot. Even if others will not. A Reminder from the Rotary Club of Manila I was then president of United Pulp and Paper Co. that produced brown paper for cement bags. We had some paper retazos we could spare for use as paper posters. Printing the honesty message would cost

This included hikes in their net insurance premiums year-on-year (YoY) from P517.4 million to P703.5 million, interest income from P15.3 million to P38.8 million, and other income from P2.3 million to P3.8 million. “These contributed a lot in terms of our generation of revenues,” Miclat said of 1CISP’s performance amid challenges besetting the insurance sector last year, including inflation. “1CISP managed to earn. We were not affected by these challenges, and it shows resiliency for the organization.” Net income or surplus of the company rose by 35 percent from P160 million to P216 million during the two periods in review, according to him.  It was distributed to membercooperatives accordingly: a dividend rate of 12 percent and an experience refund of 7.19 percent, which is further broken down into a patronage and experience rates of 2.40 percent

minimally. We produced many of these posters which were displayed everywhere by Rotary Clubs who joined the project. The message was posted on company premises, stores, palengkes, airports, government offices, transportation terminals and other public places. The wife of a Rotarian, in one of those honesty campaign forums, announced she had the honesty poster framed in their bedroom, as a reminder to her husband (And to her too, I suppose.) The campaign faded out of public attention but, most commendably, it is the brotherhood of Christian businessmen and professionals, through Bobby Laviña of Phinma, that has taken up the challenge to continue the campaign in several novel ways. God bless them. It is time to renew this honesty campaign. And perhaps the Rotary Club of Manila, on its 100th anniversary this year 2019, can take the initiative. But, really, this is everybody’s project, Any takers?

and 4.79 percent, respectively. Like most insurers in the country, 1CISP has maintained its liquidity to cover all its liabilities, with cash and cash equivalents plus shortterm investments reaching about P1.4 billion in 2018 from P1.04 billion in 2017.

“So it’s about 70 percent of our assets,” Miclat pointed out. “That is where we are looked at on the basis if we can take our liabilities.” Last year’s liabilities of the company averaged about P858 million compared to P483 million two years ago.

Green Monday BusinessMirror

B4 Monday, April 15, 2019 • Editor: Lyn Resurreccion

High hopes for Manila Bay: Sturdy corals survive


By Jonathan L. Mayuga @jonlmayuga

ray of hope shines upon the polluted Manila Bay with the discovery of sturdy coral species, remnants of what was once considered the vast tropical rainforest of the sea.

The corals managed to survive the odds, despite the poor living conditions caused by decades of environmental degradation that continue to kill marine life and other organisms in the pollution-challenged water body. This development was documented by a team of from the Ecosystems Research Development Bureau (ERDB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) that was sent out to conduct a vulnerability assessment of coral reefs in Manila Bay last month. The discovery adds more reasons for the conduct of a more comprehensive environmental impact assessment relevant to the various Manila Bay development projects to ensure that a sciencebased policy on how to best rehabilitate—and manage—the still undiscovered biodiversity sitting beneath the waters of Manila Bay is put in place.


Initial findings of a team of the ERDB-DENR revealed that even under the worst conditions when and where others perish, several sturdy coral species manage to survive by adapting to even the poorest living conditions. T h e r e s e a rc h a r m o f t h e DENR, the ERDB is currently gathering data to assess the vulnerability of the bay to climatechange impacts.

The project is being implemented by a team of science practitioners of various disciplines seeking significant, research-driven information on the factors influencing the present state of the bay and its vulnerability to different hazards. The project components include terrestrial, coastal, freshwater, air and water quality, social and solidwaste management.

Ridge-to-reef study

In a news statement released in the first week of April to highlight the vulnerability assessment being conducted by the ERDB, Director Sofio B. Quintana said the coverage of the research encompasses terrestrial and marine ecosystems. “In this ridge-to-reef research on the Manila Bay Area, we are seeking for a definite connection among risk factors. Right now, we are trying to explore more data on informal-settler families, air and water quality, and habitat to make scientific studies relevant for future projects.” According to Quintana, the bureau is trying to come up with a unified framework for these projects. Consolidated properly, these could make an inference on the status of the Manila Bay area.

Major threats

According to the DENR, a total of 17 major river systems in nearby cities and provinces drain to Manila Bay.

Global warming shrinking glaciers faster than thought

Tourists walk past waterfalls at the Franz Josef Glacier in New Zealand in this February 7, 2016, photo. The Fox and Franz Josef glaciers have been melting at such a rapid rate that it has become too dangerous for tourists to hike onto them from the valley floor, ending a tradition that dates back a century. AP/Nick Perry


ASHINGTON— Earth’s glaciers are melting much faster than scientists thought. A new study shows they are losing 369 billion tons of snow and ice each year, more than half of that in North America. The most comprehensive mea su rement of g l ac iers worldwide found that thousands of inland masses of snow compressed into ice are shrinking 18-percent faster than an international panel of scientists calculated in 2013. The world ’s glaciers are shrinking five times faster now than they were in the 1960s. Their melt is accelerating due to global warming, and

adding more water to already rising seas, the study found. “Over 30 years, suddenly, almost all regions started losing mass at the same time,” said lead author Michael Zemp, director of the World Glacier Monitoring Service at the University of Zurich. “That’s clearly climate change if you look at the global picture.” The glaciers shrinking fastest are in central Europe, the Caucasus region, western Canada, the US lower 48 states, New Zealand and near the tropics. Glaciers in these places on average are losing more than 1 percent of their mass each year, according to a study in journal Nature last week. AP

Anemonefish or clownfish among corals

Incidentally, most of the wastes from households and industries from these estuaries pose the most apparent threat to the bay. The DENR data showed that only 15 percent, or an estimate of 2.4 million out of 16.3 million, of the water-served population of the National Capital Region, are connected to a sewerage system. Also, the poor solid-waste management remains a bigger challenge as aftermaths of strong typhoons would later reveal the tons of uncollected garbage washed back along the shores of Manila Bay every now and then. The Manila Bay area is also v ulnerable to the dangers of noise pollution, the presence of invasive species brought by international cargo ships and illegal fishing activities.

Coral inventory

As part of the coastal component, a team led by ERDB’s Supervising Science Research Specialist Jose Isidro Michael T. Padin conducted an inventory of coral communities in the provinces of Bataan and Cavite. Of the Manila Bay’s total reef area of 293.68 hectares, nearly 72 percent are found in Cavite. Padin reported that the reef sites in Maragondon, Cav ite, and few stations on Corregidor in Bataan and Caballo Islands in Manila Bay had fair to good live coral cover. However, he said the reefs are continually threatened by sedimentation, nutrient contamination, reduced water clarity and high fishing pressure. According to Padin, runoff of sediments and nutrients had been documented to cause coral mortality by smothering and burial, low coral recruitment, reduced coral diversity, change in community structure, macroalgal abundance, reduced calcification and reduced live coral cover in many reef ecosystems around the world.  

Adapting to worse conditions

In a telephone interview with the BusinessMirror on April 8, Padin expressed amazement on how corals managed to survive under such poor living conditions. In terms of diversity, Padin said the corals they found are not as diverse as in other areas, because those that remain are the sturdy corals.

Corals were found by research teams from the Ecosystems Research Development Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources during the conduct of vulnerability assessment in Cavite. Dr. Jose Isidro Michael Padin

“The community of corals has changed. There is a shift in the type of corals there [Manila Bay]. The form and the morphology are different from the corals that can be found in Batangas or other areas,” he said. He said it could be concluded that the corals found in the Manila Bay area, particularly in the study sites they visited, are adapting to survive their current environment. “When we conducted the dive, there was poor visibility. I can’t even see my own body. The water quality is no longer good,” he said in mixed English and Filipino. He explained that it was caused by the altered water circulation because of sedimentation and siltation that occur in estuaries and in some portion of the bay.

Lifeline: Good water circulation

Despite the high level of pollution that threatens living organisms in Manila Bay, relatively good water circulation keeps hope alive. “The remaining reefs in the bay are located proximate or near to the mouth of Manila Bay, where water circulation is relatively strong. Strong water current can reduce stress on corals by limiting sediment deposition at the bottom and on coral colonies,” he explained

Good water circulation facilitates transport of fresh supply of plankton and improves water clarity by flushing land-based materials out of the bay, he added. Moreover, he explained that corals filter organisms in the water as they feed on plankton. “Corals also need light to support the photosynthetic activity of symbiotic algae living in their tissues,” he said. According to Padin, land-reclamation projects should be backed by an environmental impact study (EIS) as mandated by law, to ensure that the impact to the coastal and marine ecosystem or the area targeted by the project, would be minimal. The EIS, he said, would help determine what kind of intervention is best for an area to be rehabilitated. “Whether the intervention requires soft engineering or hard engineering, it should be determined by a study and conduct of EIS,” he said. Moreover, he said dredging to remove silts and allow the free flow of water from rivers would positively impact and help revive Manila Bay. More importantly, however, a ridge-to-reef approach to rehabilitation, where everything starts from the upland areas—the

watershed areas down to rivers down and the reefs—should be observed.

New discovery, a new hope

According to Padin, surprisingly, corals have been discovered in areas where there is no previous record of corals, referring to two seagrass sites where corals were sighted by the team. Based on the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (Namria) coastal resource map, in Cavite, Corregidor and Caballo, the reef area spans to 293.68 hectares.   The reef in Mariveles, Bataan, is not yet included, since the Namria map has no record of corals there, he said.   However, Padin said that when the team checked two of the purported seagrass sites using scuba gears, some corals were surprisingly spotted. In the end, both Padin and Quintana said there is always hope in saving Manila Bay. “What we only see from above is the surface of another living world underneath us. People should understand that Manila Bay is home to other life forms. Despite its rapid deterioration, there remains hope in Manila Bay. It is not yet too late to revive the life out of its troubled waters,” Quintana said. 

Biodiversity Monday BusinessMirror

Asean Champions of Biodiversity Media Category 2014

Monday, April 15, 2019

Editor: Lyn Resurreccion •


Protecting biodiversity toward Mission:PHL Envoys&Expats Awards a healthy Asean community


ood, water and shelter. These compose the traditional list of basic needs that humans need to survive. However, with emerging concerns that affect daily life, the list has become longer. One basic need that has been added is health care. The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that millions from the world’s population still have no access to health care, and that these people are faced with the difficult decision on whether they should prioritize health care over other basic needs. This is the main reason the WHO chose “Universal Health Coverage” as the theme for this year’s World Health Day on April 7. Universal Health Coverage, as stated by the WHO, means that all people have access to the quality health services they need, when and where they need them, without financial hardship. However, the solution to this long-standing concern has always been available to everyone in all parts of the world. Biodiversity, comprising of all living things and their habitats, has a significant impact on health. The Asean region alone, which hosts almost 20 percent of all known plant and animal species, is teeming with sources of raw materials for medicine. Apart from this, biodiversity also protects communities from natural disasters, such as how mangroves, sea grass beds and healthy coral reefs provide natural defence against storm surges. Also, forest ecosystems and their biodiversity contribute to human health and safety by regulating climate and disease proliferation, purifying air and water, and preventing soil erosion. This is why the Asean Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), with support

from its development partners, has taken up efforts to demonstrate the importance of biodiversity to the health of the citizens of the Asean region. In November 2018, the ACB, in cooperation with the WHO, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat, and the United Nation University’s Institute for International Global Health, hosted the Regional Workshop to Address Inter-linkages between Human Health and Biodiversity in the Asean region. Held in Manila, the event gathered experts from the Ministries of Environment and Health in the Asean member-states to discuss national experiences and best practices on integrating biodiversity and human health. “What we do to our environment has definite consequences to human health,” said Dr. Theresa Mundita S. Lim, executive director of the ACB. “Human health ultimately depends on ecosystems ser v ices that are made possible by biodiversity and its products,” she added. Health Secretary Dr. Francisco T. Duque III, in his keynote address during the workshop, cited three areas where biodiversity affects human health: food security, pharmaceutical development and traditional medicine, and the emergence and spread of infectious diseases in animals, plants and humans. Wit h t he ACB’s ef for ts to mainstream biodiversity both in the regional and global scale, it will not be long before everyone understands and appreciates the importance of biodiversity in human health. Strengthening collaboration between the health and biodiversity sectors is an important step in making sure that biodiversity is protected toward a healthy Asean community.

UNDP bags Development Aid Partner Award for Biodiversity


he United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) bagged the “Development Aid Partner Award for Biodiversity” at the Mission:PHL Envoys&Expats Awards on April 4 at the SM Aura Premier in Taguig City. UNDP Deputy Resident Rep. Enr ico Gaveglia received the award in a ceremony attended by members of the diplomatic community, bilateral and multilateral aid agencies, government officials and the media. Gaveglia dedicated the award to the local communities UNDP is working with, and encouraged the attendees to “commit to a common purpose of pursuing sustainable progress not at the expense of future generations.” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. also conveyed his heartfelt gratitude to the diplomatic corps and multilateral and bilateral aid agencies in the Philippines. He added that “development cooperation is a shared responsibility and vision with the desire to uplift the lives of people in the most effective and efficient way.” Most of the biodiversity focused projects implemented by the UNDP is done with DENRBiodiversity Management Bureau w it h suppor t f rom t he Global Environment Facility. One of UNDP’s commendable

projects is the Philippine ICCA Project, which aims to strengthen the conservation, protection, and management of biodiversity sites in the Philippines by institutionalizing ICCAs, or the I nd i ge nou s a nd C om mu n it y Conserved Areas, as a sustainable addition to the national protected areas estate. Si nce it s l au nc h i n 2016, the project has mapped more than 150,000 hectares of forest and marine ecosystems with high biodiversity values in its 10 -partner indigenous people (IP) communities, inventoried the f lora and fauna contained therein, documented the traditional resource management practices of the IPs, and suppor ted biod iversit y f r iend ly

Conrad Bravante (from left) of DENR-Foreign-Assisted and Special Projects Service, UNDP Deputy Resident Rep. Enrico Gaveglia, Grace Tena of UNDP-Inclusive and Sustainable Development Unit, and Garie Rigor and Sam Pedragosa of the Philippine ICCA Project pose for a photo after UNDP receives the BusinessMirror’s Mission:PHL “Development Aid Partner Award for Biodiversity.”

l i v e l i h o o d s t h at b e n e f it t e d 50,000 individuals, 46 percent of whom are women. It has also successfully lobbied for the inclusion of IP-responsive provisions in the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System (E-Nipas) Act of 2018 and trained different government personnel on ICCA Documentation and Cultural Appreciation. Organized by the BusinessM i r r or , M i s s io n :PH L c e l e -

brates the role of nations and development aid par tners in helping the Philippine government improve the lives and future of the Filipino people. It is the first and only recognition awards of its kind in the country today. Apart from the Biodiversity Award, the BusinessMirror also bestowed recognitions to projects in different sectors from agriculture, trade, technology, education and tourism.

hunt the animal, he added. Paul Thomson, an official at the Pangolin Specialist Group, said it looks like the pangolin poaching has increased but figures were difficult to ascertain. “The illegal trade in pangolin parts has been going on for decades. However, pangolins have typically been overlooked in terms of concerted conservation attention and action,” Thomson told The Associated Press. “This is changing thanks to growing awareness of pangolins. And this awareness has partly been driven by the high volumes of trafficking seen today.” In February, Malaysian officials seized 30 tons of pangolin and pangolin products. This included live and frozen pangolins and 361 kilograms (795 pounds) of their scales. Earlier that month, Hong Kong

said it had seized ivory tusks and 8.3 tons of pangolin scales belonging to as many as 13,000 pangolins. The shipment, which originated in Nigeria, was bound for Vietnam. Singapore made two markedly smaller pangolin scale busts in 2015 and 2016 amounting to 440 kilograms (970 pounds). Those found to have illegally imported, exported or reexported wildlife, including their parts, face a maximum punishment of two years in prison and a fine of Singapore $500,000 ($367,000). “There has never been a more opportune moment for full and thorough international investigations and collaborations to take place to find out who has perpetrated these criminal acts and bring those behind them to face justice,” Thomas said. AP

Study documents benefit-sharing schemes of forest communities Record Singapore bust puts scrutiny on pangolin trafficking


study on existing benefitsharing mechanisms in the Philippine communitybased forest management is under way to look into how CBFMPeople’s Organizations (CBFMPOs) manage the distribution of benefits as influenced by community characteristics and social structures, among others.

The research project is financed by the Asean Working Group on Social Forestry (AWG-SF) Strategic Response Fund (ASRF), which is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and administered by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (Searca). The Philippine government adopted CBFM as the national strategy to achieve sustainable forest management, biodiversity conservation and social equity. A key component in the design and implementation of CBFM is the provision of socioeconomic benefits to community members—such as employment, dividends from project profits, capacity building and strengthening of social networks. Implemented by the Forest Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the project examines the relationship among local government institutions, communities and CBFM programs on benefit-sharing mechanisms. The project is expected to develop policy recommendations consisting of a menu of benefitsharing mechanisms that CBFM-POs may adopt. It will also serve as guide for DENR Field Office personnel to effectively assist CBFM-POs. Nine CBFM-POs are being documented by the project. Three are in Luzon: Tao Kalikasan Foundation of the Philippines in Labo, Camarines

Norte; LBN Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Vintar, Ilocos Norte; and Caunayan Multipurpose Cooperative in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. Two are in the Visayas: Nalundan United Farmers Association Inc. in Bindoy, Negros Oriental, and Katilingban sang Pumuluyo nga naga-Atipan sang Watershed sa Maasin in Maasin, Iloilo. The rest are in Mindanao: San Isidro Upland Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative in Santiago, Agusan del Norte; Limatong Dalumangkom Bual Farmers Multipurpose Association in Pigcawayan, North Cotabato; Malakiba People’s Improvement Multipurpose Cooperative in Davao City; and Imbayao Communitybased Forest Management People’s Organization in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon. A technical working group has been created for the project. Documentation tools that include key informant interview guide as well as guide questions for focus group discussion and video documentation, as well as a stakeholder-friendly primer on benefit-sharing have been developed. Field documentation was already conducted in the two Visayas sites and the Davao City site. The results of the field documentation will be packaged into a set of policy recommendations through a series of consultation meetings and workshops. The output of the Searca-ASRF project will be presented in a national workshop to further draw inputs and recommendations from CBFM-POs regional representatives, regional CBFM coordinators, and other CBFM stakeholders or practitioners, such as civil-society organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and academe, among others.


INGAPORE—Singapore has seized more than 28 tons of pangolin scales belonging to around 38,000 of the endangered mammals over the past week, a global record that spurred calls for more protection for pangolins. The scales, which were found in shipping containers, have been linked to four species of pangolins native to Africa. Officials found a record 14.2 tons of the scales hidden among packets of frozen beef last week. Five days later, they found 14 more tons in 474 bags in another container. The National Parks Board, Singapore Customs and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority said in a statement on Wednesday that the cargo was declared as cassia seeds. Both shipments were en route from Nigeria to Vietnam. “The sheer size of these two latest seizures is unprecedented and will undoubtedly prove a major setback to the traffickers concerned,” said Richard Thomas of monitoring network Traffic. He warned that the seizures themselves won’t put the traffickers out of business. “The quantities of pangolins involved point to sourcing, processing and distribution on an industrial scale,” he added. The pangolin, also known as scaly anteater, is said to be the most widely trafficked mammal in the world. Pangolin scales are made of keratin, the same material in human fingernails. Its scales are in high demand in Asia for use in traditional Chinese medicine. Their meat is also considered a delicacy in China and other Asian countries. Wildlife groups are concerned

A pangolin carries its baby at a Bali zoo in Bali, Indonesia, in this 2014 photo. AP/Firdia Lisnawati

that the busts point to a jump in poaching of pangolins. “The World Health Organization recently endorsed traditional medicine and the industry appears keen to grow this market, outside of China, Vietnam and beyond,” said Neil D’Cruze, the global wildlife adviser at the World Animal Protection. “This is an alarming move for some wildlife species such as pangolins, as it poses a real conservation and animal welfare threat.” Pangolins are an extremely lucrative catch, he said. In rural communities where they’re hunted, poachers can make up to the equivalent of a full year’s salary from catching just one pangolin. Feeding “the insatiable demand” are middlemen traffickers who also profit from the trade that’s reaching more remote communities to

B6 Monday, April 15, 2019



V ER 6,000 residents from A lbay a nd C a m a r i nes Su r were given access to clean drinking water through the Land Bank of the Philippines’s (LandBank) Gawad Kaakibat na Tulong sa Bayan sa Inumung Kailangan (Katubigan). In March LandBank successfully turned over 60 water-filtration units to Bicolanos devastated by Tropical Depression Usman, a natural disaster that hit the country late last year, with Albay and Camarines Sur among those heavily affected. LandBank First Vice President

for Southeast Luzon Branches Group Marilou Villafranca also turned over LandBank ’s donation of P1.2 million as financial aid to the provinces of Camarines Sur and Albay. This will benefit 16 cities/municipalities. The Gawad Katubigan is the bank’s way to reach out to more Filipinos in remote areas who do not have access or have limited access to potable water. Implemented in partnership w ith W4W Philippines, Gawad Katubigan is one of the bank ’s corporate social responsibilities, which started as a sma ll disaster-response project

in 2015. Its aims to provide waterfiltration systems to ty phoon-hit areas and hard-to-reach communities that need access to clean and safe drinking water. T he project has since been expanded into a full-blown program with three components: A disasterresponse component through which water-filter systems are provided to calamity-stricken areas; a disasterpre pa re d nes s comp one nt , wh ic h provides rain-catchment systems and disaster-preparedness training to communities in disaster-prone areas; and a needs-based component wherein LandBank, upon the endorsement of its branches nationwide, provides r a i n - c a t c h m e nt a n d - f i l t r a t i o n systems to far-f lung communities with limited or no access to clean drinking water. Camarines Sur provincial administrator Fortunato Peña and Villafranca led the turnover of waterfiltration kits to Usman-hit areas in Albay and Camarines Sur. They were joined by LandBank Tabaco branch manager Emmanuel Hizola, Ir iga branc h manager Emmanuel Avengoza, Sipocot branch manager Ma. Cristina Jusi and Pili branch manager Marivic Oliva.


HARP Philippines Corp. has already been a household name known for the durability and quality of its washingmachine products, which is why Filipino families trust Sharp as their laundry partner for so many years now. In the recent awarding ceremony held on April 2 at the Marco Polo Ortigas Manila Hotel, Sharp was once again awarded with the Ultimate Seal of Consumer Approval as one of the Most Trusted Brands for Household Products for the Washing Machine category at the Reader’s Digest Asia’s Trusted Brand 2019 Awards. The Reader’s Digest Asia Trusted Brands has established

a solid reputation as the premier consumer-based survey in Asia, providing a credible and reliable reference for consumers throughout the region. With this Sharp Philippines is truly honored to receive this recognition and is genuinely thankful to everyone who trusted their brand and voted in this category. Sharp has released a variety of washing-machine products fit for everyone’s different needs, from washer, dryer, twin tub, fully automatic to their newest front-load inverter washing machine. Sharp continuously strive to develop engineered products that can make consumer’s life more convenient and comfortable.



N May 18, 1986, Marilou Labuguen-Lazo was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). In order to survive, she had two choices: Undergo periodic dialysis or have a kidney transplant. Her nephrologist informed her that having kidney transplant is considered the treatment of choice for many ESRD patients. Quality of life and survival are better in kidney-transplant recipients than in patients who are treated with dialysis. Thirty-three years later Lazo stood before fellow kidney-transplant recipients and advocates to share her inspiring story and launch her book Infrangible, which is a testimony to her courage, strength, perseverance, hope, love and faith in the Almighty.  “After my kidney transplant, each day has been a blessing. When people ask me what my secret is that enabled me to survive and thrive as a kidney-transplant patient for more than 30 years, I tell them there is no secret formula,” she said. “The key to success is to be a compliant patient, huwag matigas ang ulo. Follow your doctors’ orders regarding maintenance medications, diet and lifestyle, and do everything in moderation.”  Getting a kidney donor remains a challenge in the Philippines. “Each kidney-transplant patient has his or her unique story to tell. Tootsie’s story is a great inspiration to patients afflicted with kidney disease. Her more than 30 years of extended life after [her] kidney transplant is a miracle of life....” said Dr. Rosemarie R. Liquete, executive director of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI).  Fortunately, Maribel Lazo-Newton decided to give the

gift of life by donating one of her kidneys to her sister. On November 18, 1986, Marilou underwent a kidney transplant.  “...What is life without giving and sharing? I encourage all Filipinos to share the gift of life by becoming organ donors.” Maribel said. The two sisters spoke at the “One to Care, One to Share” patient-testimonial road show and book launch organized by Novartis Healthcare Philippines, in line with the celebration of World Kidney Day 2019.   Through the advocacy, Novartis aims to foster a culture of caring and sharing among Filipinos in order to encourage them to become organ donors, according to Christine Fajardo, corporate affairs head of Novartis Healthcare Philippines. “As Christians observe the Lenten season, let us remember that all major organized religions support organ donation, typically considering it a generous act that is the individual’s choice. If you donate your organs after you die, you could save and improve the lives of many Filipinos, especially those with kidney failure.”  Lazo is a passionate and accomplished kidney-transplant advocate. In the United States, she worked as clinical research coordinator for the Academic Medical Research Institute and peer educator of the Saint Vincent Medical Center dialysis unit, both facilities in Los Angeles. In the Philippines she served as NKTI transplant coordinator for 15 years. She is one of the pioneers of the Kidney Transplant Association of the Philippines, where she served as the president of the organization for four consecutive years, and spearheaded projects and advocacies on organ donation and transplant. 



ERE is an exerpt from the Asia 2019 SME summit held at Marriott Hotel on April 10: Good afternoon, every one! I hope you all had a good lunch, and I’d like to thank Richard and Rebecca for inviting me to share with you my SME journey. Just like Rebecca, I came from a very humble background, having been born poor and experiencing poverty at an early age. Not many know this, but my father was a taxi driver in Bacolod City and my mother was a housewife who gave birth to eight children. Fortunately, I was adopted by my mother’s middle-class sister and her banker husband who sent me to grade school at the University of Saint La Salle in Bacolod; and high school at Don Bosco Academy in Victorias, Negros Occidental. For college I went to Manila but got into an accident when I borrowed a friend’s car and wrecked it. In order to replace the damaged car, I decided to quit school and luckily landed a job as a salesman for an architectural signage company. Then by chance, I started my own billboard business at the age of 18, which was 35 years ago in 1984, after borrowing P5,000 from relatives to start the business. Nobody took me seriously at first, so I wore ungraded eyeglasses to look mature and lugged a briefcase around during client calls. Then I found this vacant grassland somewhere along North Luzon Expressway, or Nlex, and used the downpayment from my client to pay for the lease of my very first billboard site. On my second year I gave P24,000 to a building administrator as downpayment for my next site in Metro Manila, on the side of that building, but he swindled me. So I returned to my hometown Bacolod and continued my studies in La Salle when I was 20 years old. One day, I suddenly got a call from Dunkin’ Donuts offering a billboard project in Manila. So I decided to quit school again and packed my bags for the Metropolis. From then on, I was hooked on the business of billboards at a time when they were still hand-painted. Later on, neon billboards became a fad around the time I got married and formally incorporated  MacGraphics  Carra nz. We bagged the Unilever account, being the first outdooradvertising company to put up a billboard for this major multinational company.  It was in 1996 when  Uniliver’s  spectacular Close-Up billboard was unveiled by my firm Carranz beside Guadalupe

Bridge. Once, while climbing up that particular billboard leased from the San Carlos Seminary, a business idea popped into my head, and that’s how my Café Lupe restaurant venture started with the blessings of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila. We called this novel concept “dining under the signs.” Today we have evolved into a homegrown LED billboard provider through my latest enterprise Digital Outof-Home Philippines, which has grown to become one of the foremost billboard companies in the country with more than 3,700 ad platforms. The DOOH has a 34,200-square-foot billboard strategically located at the heart of Edsa Guadalupe that was once tagged by a national broadsheet as “The Mother of All Billboards”— considered the biggest and most sought-after billboard space in the Philippines and possibly in all of Southeast Asia. We recently signed a contract with the infrastructure arm of San Miguel Corp., making DOOH the exclusive operator for out-of-home advertising platforms in the South Luzon Expressway, Metro Manila Skyway, STAR Tollway and Naia Expressway. Our partnership with San Miguel grants DOOH the sole right to offer ad spaces along these major high-traffic locations frequented by millions of motorists and commuters on a daily basis. It also augments our existing portfolio of static and digital billboard spots along Nlex, Edsa, C-5, Ortigas Avenue and Shaw Boulevard. Outdoor advertising has come a long way since the days of hand-painted billboards to the current high-tech platforms, such as scrolling lightboxes, large-format photographic displays, and electronic  signages  using green technologies that allow increased visibility and environment-friendly conversion. Looking back, setting up the business was difficult but, as with any kind of work, if you love it, you won’t focus on the difficult areas, and it won’t feel like work. My golden rule is to always be honest with business partners, clients and especially to myself. In case you make a mistake, the quickest way to rectify the damage is to admit you’ve made that mistake and try to find a solution from there, because covering it up won’t work. To all the aspiring entrepreneurs here, I hope my life story will inspire you to pursue your dreams and contribute to nationbuilding in these very interesting times. Maraming salamat at mabuhay ang Pilipino!

Sports BusinessMirror


| Monday, April 15, 2019 Editor: Jun Lomibao

MOLINARI AHEAD BY ‘ONLY’ 2 SHOTS FRANCESCO MOLINARI’S strategy is working so well that he goes into the final round having gone 43 consecutive holes without a bogey. AP

By Doug Ferguson UGUSTA, Georgia—Record scores on the white boards at Augusta National. Ground-shaking roars for Tiger Woods along the back nine. Francesco Molinari blocked out the buzz on a delirious day of nine players sharing space atop the leaderboard on Saturday. He emerged with another rock-solid round that looked spectacular only on his scorecard. Molinari ran off four straight birdies on the back nine for a six-under 66 that kept Woods and everyone else at a short arm’s length going into a Sunday unlike any other at the Masters—an early start because of storms forecast for Sunday afternoon, with threesomes going off the first and 10th tees. The leaders were to tee off at 9:20 a.m. That puts Woods in the final group at the Masters for the first time in 12 years, two shots behind. Molinari played with Woods on the final day at Carnoustie last summer and outplayed the 14-time major champion amid a crowded leaderboard to win the British Open. This is different. This is Augusta National, where the gallery that cheered louder with each birdie by Woods made it clear they were aching to see the four-time champion slip a green jacket over a red shirt for the first time since 2005. “He obviously loves this place, and he’s playing great golf,” Molinari said. “So I’m aware that it’s not going to be easy tomorrow and, like I said, I can just do my best.” Woods has not played in the final group at a major since he gave up a two-shot lead to YE Yang at Hazeltine in the 2009 Professional Golfers Association (PGA) Championship He got there on Saturday with three straight birdies on the front and finished with three birdies over his last six holes for a 67, his best score at the Masters since the final round in 2011.

Joining them will be Tony Finau, playing this year on two good ankles after a self-inflicted injury a year ago. He was part of a history making on Saturday as one of three players to shoot 64. Molinari was at 13-under 203. The Italian doesn’t get excited easily, whether he’s cradling a claret jug or going 5-0 in the Ryder Cup. His strategy doesn’t change in any environment—try to hit the ball squarely, play smart, avoid bogeys. It’s working so well that Molinari goes into the final round having gone 43 consecutive holes without a bogey. “A lot of guys are playing great. I wish I only had to worry about him,” Molinari said of Woods. Another shot behind was Brooks Koepka, who has won three of the last six majors, and had a 69 despite four bogeys. Woods has won all 14 of his majors when he had, at least, a share of the lead going into the final round. He brings momentum to this major, having contended in the last two. “It’s been a while since I’ve been in contention here,” Woods said. “But then again, the last two majors count for something. I’ve been in the mix with a chance to win major championships in the last two years, and so that helps.” Molinari knows what kind of atmosphere Woods brings to a major. Woods briefly took the lead at Carnoustie last year, but the Italian never flinched, playing bogey-free to capture his first major. Augusta National might sound different than a tough links along the North Sea of Scotland. This is where Woods first captured the attention of the sporting public when he set 20 records in winning the first of his four green jackets. This is the gallery that has longed to see him recapture the past, especially after four back surgeries that only two years ago left him hobbling up the stairs, wondering if he would play again. Woods looked good as new this week, even for a 43-year-old who hasn’t won a major in nearly 11 years.

“I’m just thankful to be able to come back here and play again,” Woods said. He joined the chasing pack on a day when going neutral meant losing ground. The 65 players combined to go 80-under par, at 70.77 the second-lowest scoring average in Masters history. When he rolled in a 7-foot birdie putt on the par-three 16th, and the massive gallery rose to their feet with yet another ear-splitting roar, Woods became the ninth player who had at least a share of the lead on Saturday. Molinari, playing in the final group, kept right on rolling. “I hit the ball a little less well than yesterday,” Molinari said. “But I holed some really good putts at four and five to save par. I can only be happy about today. It will be an exciting day tomorrow.” No one figures to be as excited as Finau, who turned his ankle celebrating a hole-in-one in the par 3 contest last year. He still managed to tie for 10th in his first Masters. He nearly holed a 4-iron on the par-5 eighth on Saturday on his way to a recordtying 30 on the front nine. Because of the change in starting times, Finau gets to play alongside Woods—his golfing hero. “As a kid, I always wanted to compete against him and have the opportunity know, I’ve dreamed of playing in the final group with him in a major championship.” Webb Simpson, who also shot 64, joined Ian Poulter (68) at 9-under 207, four shots behind and very much in the picture. The group another shot back included Dustin Johnson, who only made birdies on the par 5s and bogeyed his last hole for a 70. The crowd favors Woods. The performance over the last year favors Molinari, whose British Open title is among four big tournaments he has won since last year’s Masters. Molinari sees it another way. “The favorite is probably the golf course out there waiting for us,” he said.

And Molinari stared him down in the final round to win the British Open last year, so it’s not likely he will be easily intimidated. Neither will Tony Finau, the third member of the group. Finau doesn’t have the pedigree of his playing partners but he’s watched Woods and his steely determination since he was young and learned from it. “I think there’s always still a Tiger effect because it is Tiger,” said Finau, who shot eight-under 64. “But it’s a different era, and he’s playing against a different generation.” Still, with the course there for the taking and threesomes off two different tees, chaos could ensue in a wild race to the final green. It could be anyone’s green jacket, from almost anywhere on the leaderboard. Let off the pedal for a moment, and five guys may race past. “My plan for tomorrow is to go out and do the same,” Molinari said. “But I think there’s going to be a few guys trying to mess up with my plan.”

Saturday was entertaining even before the gaggle of leaders teed off on a steamy afternoon. Phil Mickelson made sure of that by making a video as he drove up Magnolia Lane laying out his game plan for the day. “Wearing all black, being aggressive and hitting bombs,” Mickelson said. “That’s what I’m going to do today, hit bombs and attack the pin.” Unfortunately for Mickelson, a lot of other players had the same idea, except for the wearing black part. Attack was the key word of the day as players went after a golf course left without some of its best defenses from rains that softened it. Three players shot eight-under 64s, a shot off the course record and a record of its own that may stand for a long while. Finau was six under on the front nine alone, on the way to his 64. No wonder Ian Poulter could barely contain his smirk when asked if his mindset was to be aggressive in the final round. “No, I’m going to try and par every

hole,” Poulter said. Whether Augusta National proves as gettable on Sunday as it was in the third round depends in large part on how windy it gets in the morning. But no one was planning to go to bed on Saturday night with dreams of shooting even par. Woods says he will get up in the dark, 3:45 a.m. He needs that much time to prepare, even without a stop at the Waffle House. Others who might not need to stretch quite as much will sleep a little later. “I’m not working out this week so I’ve got nothing better to do in the morning,” Brooks Koepka said. Much of America can say the same thing. They’ll get up early, watch with their eggs and coffee or check their phones during church services to see if Woods can stay in the mix. It may not break his way. It may end up causing a lot of indigestion. But breakfast at the Masters will be must-see TV. AP


The Associated Press

TIGER ON THE PROWL! A UGUSTA, Georgia—Breakfast at the Masters can’t come soon enough. So get the pimento cheese sandwiches and coffee ready. Don’t forget something for all the heartburn—and all the heartache. The weatherman says a big storm is coming. In the 83rd Masters, a perfect storm is already brewing. Tiger Woods is on the prowl. Four major champions are within five shots of the lead. And none of it seems to bother the leader Francesco Molinari. The third round was so much fun that alarms across America will be set early Sunday—particularly out West—because no self-respecting golf fan would be caught sleeping for this one. No, it’s not the Masters anyone expected. But it might just be the Masters everyone remembers. “The reward for playing hard and doing all the things correctly [is] you get a nice little sleep in come Sunday,

but that’s not going to be the case,” Woods said. “We’ve got to get up early and get after it.” Blame the weather for Masters officials moving tee times up nearly six hours and putting players in threesomes off two tees on Sunday morning in a race against the storms rolling in. The decision is unprecedented in Masters history, but probably prudent because of the ominous forecast of wind and heavy thunderstorms late Sunday afternoon. But blame Woods, if you must, for putting on the kind of show that everyone will be up to watch. He thrilled the crowd with a 67 in the third round as roars echoed across the back nine, and will tee off in the final group two shots behind Molinari. “With Tiger, you don’t even have to look at the leaderboard,” Molinari said. “You hear what’s going on pretty much.” Woods has never won a major—and he’s won 14 of them—coming from behind to start the final round.

THE weatherman says a big storm is coming—could it be named Tiger Woods? AP



C2 Monday, April 15, 2019


ALAYSIA reasserted its mastery over Singapore, 3-1, on Saturday to bag the mixed team event title at the close of the Fifth Southeast Asian Cup Squash Championships at the Kerry Sports courts inside the Shangri-La at The Fort Hotel in Taguig City. Noor Ainaa Amanti Binti Ampandi slipped past Sneha Sivakumar, 9-11, 11-5, 5-11, 5-11, 11-5, 11-7, in securing the fourth match of the best-of-5 tie as the Malaysians took the last gold at stake in the tournament organized by the Philippine Squash Academy. Jessica Jia Hui Keng topped Au Yeong Wai Yhann, 11-8, 12-10, 4-11, and Muhammad Amir Amirul Bin Azhar clobbered Timothy Leung 11-8, 11-5, 11-2, for Malaysia’s other winners in the series winding up the tourney

backed by the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee. The lone consolation for Singapore was Benedict Chan, who prevailed over Muhammad Hafiz Zhafri Sharif, 11-7, 11-7, 115, in the event also backed by the MVP Sports Foundation, Meralco, Smart, PLDT, Salming and Dunlop, the official ball. Host Philippines wound up with a gold in the men’s singles from Reymark Begornia and a pair of bronze medals in the women’s singles courtesy of Yvonne Alisa Dalida and the mixed team singles in the tournament serving as a test event for the 30th Southeast Asian Games the country is hosting in December. “We would like to thank all the athletes and officials in making this competition a successful one and we hope to see you all back during the 30th Southeast Asian

Games in December,” PSA President Robert Bachmann said. Earlier in the tournament, the Philippines absorbed a stinging 2-3 setback to Singapore in the mixed team event semifinals. With the best-of-5 tie knotted at 2-all, David Pelino suddenly lost his grip to Singapore’s Benedict Chan, who fashioned a come-from-behind 8-11, 11-2, 13, 11-11-2 win in the deciding fifth and final match. It was a heart-breaking end for the Kayod Pilipinas campaigners, who had scrambled back into contention on the heroics Robert Garcia and men’s individual champion Reymark Garcia after dropping the first two women’s singles matches. The Singaporeans opened the series with Sneha Sivakumar blanking Yvonne Alyssa Dalida, 11-7, 11-5, 11-4, after which compatriot

Aue Yeong Wai Yhan took down ailing Jemyca Aribado, 11-3, 5-11, 13-11, 11-6, to give them a 2-0 lead. But Garcia kept their championship hopes alive in rallying past Timothy Leong, 12-14, 11-5, 11-3, 11-3, then Begornia outlasted Chua Man Chin, 9-11, 11-6, 118-11, 11-2, 11-4, equalizing the count at 2-all in the meet also backed by Alaska, Smart, PLDT, Meralco, Salming and Dunlop, the official ball.

the game a little bit with his physicality, his talking, everything. That’s what he brings to each team he plays on. That’s his identity,” Durant said. “For me, I know that coming into the series. I thought it was fun tonight.” Like Durant, Beverley said he had fun. “I got pushed, I got up and I got ejected. I guess the refs, I guess he saw something that I don’t know,” he said. “But that’s all right. I give them a lot of credit.” Perhaps this old, heated rivalry still has all the testiness of years past—just with new faces all around. “Pat’s going to talk, and that’s legal,” Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said. Curry shot 8 for 12 from deep to pass Ray Allen (385) for career postseason 3s with 386, had a postseason career-high 15 rebounds, seven assists and the 31st 30-point postseason performance of his career. “To be in the same category and to pass a guy like Ray Allen and all the iconic moments he’s had in playoff games and finals games, it’s pretty surreal,” Curry said. “Definitely honored and grateful for those

opportunities. I always joked, if I shoot a lot of 3s I better make a lot of them.” On one of his marvelous threes, the two-time MVP knocked one down from way back late in the third, nearly did the splits in the air and landed on his back side—still smiling all the while. These teams are meeting for just the second time in the postseason after the Clippers took a seven-game series in the first round in 2014 when the California franchises had a deep dislike for each other. Game Two is Monday night back at Oracle Arena. Draymond Green got Golden State going by making all five of his shots in the first quarter on the way to 17 points to go with seven assists and seven rebounds, while Durant scored 23 points as the Warriors ran their postseason winning streak to seven games. Montrezl Harrell scored 26 points, and fellow reserve Lou Williams contributed 25 points and nine assists as Los Angeles returned to the playoffs after missing last season

following six straight appearances. Beverley, who missed last Sunday’s 131-104 loss at Oracle because of a right hip pointer and was booed during pregame introductions, didn’t score in the first half and wound up with three points on 1-for-7 shooting, seven assists and seven rebounds. He and Durant received doubletechnicals with five minutes left before they got into it again. Also winning their playoff openers were Philadelphia over Brooklyn, 111-102; Orlando over Toronto, 104-101; and San Antonio over Denver, 101-96. AP

noncommittal on Brown’s return for a seventh season on the bench if the team did not make a deep run in the playoffs. Harris said Brown was a “great coach” but fell well short of giving him a vote of confidence. “We think he’s the right leader to take us where we need to go in the playoffs,” Harris said. “I’m focused on the Brooklyn Nets.” But wait, there were more disasters. The Sixers trailed by 17, missed 22 of 25 three-pointers and played more like the

castoffs of the early Process days under Brown than a team expected to contend for an Eastern Conference championship. Ben Simmons only took nine shots and scored nine points. JJ Redick and Tobias Harris continued the starters’ malaise with only a combined four baskets and nine points. Simmons also blasted the 20,437 Sixers fans for booing the team for most of the game. “If you’re going to boo, then stay on that side,” he said. Embiid said the voracious booing that was largely absent during the dark days of the Sixers 10-win season was tough to hear. “I love the fans. I’ve never said anything about them. They show us a lot of love,” Embiid said. “I understand why they’re booing. But the fact that it’s after every single miss when shots are not going to fall [every time]. I’m fine. I’ll play through anything.” So to recap, the Sixers lost home-court advantage, got caught using a cell phone on the bench, admonished fans for booing and refused to give the head coach a vote of confidence. And that’s a winner in Philly playoff Bingo. AP

JEMYCA ARIBADO pumps her fist after clinching her match against Thailand’s Anantana Prasertratanakul in the mixed team event last week.




AKLAND, California—Steve Kerr preached to the Golden State Warriors to not “take the bait.” The bait being Patrick Beverley. Stephen Curry scored 38 points and made eight three-pointers to give him the most in postseason history, and the top-seeded Golden State Warriors began their quest for a three-peat by running away from the frustrated Los Angeles Clippers for a 121104 victory in their playoff opener on Saturday on a night tempers flared. Kevin Durant and Beverley were ejected with 4:41 to go, just 19 seconds after they received double-technicals when Durant stripped Beverley and the Clippers guard fell into the scorer’s table. They both became enraged again and official Ed Malloy immediately sent them both to the locker room. Durant high-fived fans as he exited and the home crowd went into chants of “Beat LA!” Durant said Beverley has a “different type of grit” coming from Chicago. “You know what he’s going to bring to the table, just the physicality, mucking up


HILADELPHIA—How’s this for a blown call: Amir Johnson was busted showing Philadelphia 76ers All-Star teammate Joel Embiid his cell phone on the bench late in a Game One playoff loss. Johnson was caught by TV cameras sitting on the bench and scrolling through his phone late in the fourth quarter and the Sixers losing by double digits. Johnson showed Embiid whatever message was on the phone and then slid the device into his warm-up pants pocket. “I just looked down because he said his daughter was extremely sick and he was checking on her,” Embiid said. The Sixers made the easy call and fined Johnson an unspecified amount for conduct detrimental to the team. “It’s not something that we are about,” Sixers Coach Brett Brown said. Johnson, who averaged 3.9 points in 51 games, was inactive and apologized for his mistake. “I take full responsibility and will accept the consequences of my actions,” he said. “I also apologize to my teammates, the 76ers organization and the fans for the distraction this has caused.” Embiid scored 22 points and had 15 rebounds and was a late addition to starting

lineup because of tendinitis in his left knee that cost him most of the final month of the season. The Nets beat the Sixers, 111-102, in Game One in a game that was a disaster for the organization before the opening tip. Sixers owner Josh Harris was very

AMIR JOHNSON (right) shows Joel Embiid a message on his cell phone and then slides the device into his warm-up pants pocket.

STEPHEN CURRY scores 38 points and makes eight three-pointers to give him the most in postseason history. AP

HE Brave Combat Federation announced that Brave 23: Pride and Honor will be available for free through Brave TV.  Fans will have the chance to watch some of the most exciting fighters in the world—with athletes from 16 nations representing their flags in the global promotion in mixed martial arts. The historical fight card, set for April 19 in Amman, Jordan, will be headlined by three worldtitle fights, including the first-ever world super lightweight championship bout, plus the promotional debut of flyweight standout Jose Torres. The groundbreaking show will be available on Brave TV, and viewers will be able to live stream the event after they sign up on the promotion’s official web site. Brave TV will not be available to the USA, Middle East, North Africa, the Philippines and India. Fans from those regions will be able to watch the show through our partners at Fite TV (USA), Abu Dhabi TV (Middle East and North Africa), ESPN5 (Philippines) and MTV (India). Brave Welterweight world champion and Jordanian icon Jarrah Al-Selawe will make the first defense of his title against undefeated grappling phenom Abdoul Abdouraguimov in the main event of Brave 23. Bahrain’s Eldar Eldarov meets Mounir Lazzez, from Tunisia, for the inaugural Super Lightweight world title, while Abdul-Kareem Al-Selwady defends his Lightweight crown against Brazilian deadly striker Luan “Miau” Santiago.

Runner Calvin’s suspension lifted by French court


ARIS— European marathon silver medalist Clemence Calvin will be allowed to run the Paris marathon after a French administrative court lifted her provisional ban. Calvin was provisionally suspended by the French anti-doping agency (AFLD) on Wednesday for allegedly obstructing a doping test last month in Morocco. But France’s highest administrative court, the Council of State, issued an emergency ruling late on Friday stipulating that Calvin was not given the chance to properly defend herself by the AFLD. According to court documents, the AFLD will also have to pay Calvin €3,000. The Paris marathon takes place on Sunday. Calvin denies any wrongdoing and claims she was brutalized by testers who pretended to be police officers when she was briefly stopped in the city of Marrakech on March 27. The French anti-doping agency’s secretary-general denied Calvin’s allegations that the agents were violent and did not identify themselves as sample collectors. Calvin, who did not get tested after the altercation, has filed a lawsuit in Morocco against the testers for violence and threats. According to Le Monde newspaper, Calvin is also the target of a police investigation in the southern city of Marseille for “infringement to the legislation on doping products.” The 28-year-old athlete finished second in the marathon at the 2018 European championships in Berlin. AP

RAIN, WINDS FORECAST FOR BOSTON MARATHON B OSTON—As if the No. 1 on her Boston Marathon bib weren’t enough for them to think about, the women trying to stop Des Linden from repeating as champion can now expect to line up in Hopkinton shivering and soaking from another New England storm. Just like last year, when she splashed her way to Copley Square in the slowest race in 40 years and became the first US woman to win Boston since 1985. “Everyone’s like, ‘This is Des weather,’” Linden said last week as she prepared for Monday’s 123rd edition of the race. “If it might rattle them—’Well this is Des’s race to lose’— if that gets in people’s head, good for me. Because it doesn’t really shake me at all.” A year after temperatures dipped into

the mid-30s and runners battled a near-gale headwind that blew a pelting rain into their faces, race organizers are again preparing for the some of the foulest weather the city has to offer. Early forecasts called for conditions similar to 2018, when there was a record number of dropouts and Japan’s Yuki Kawauchi finished in two hours, 15 minutes, 58 seconds—a time that wouldn’t have been fast enough to win any race since the sweltering 1976 “Run for the Hoses.” More recent forecasts put temperatures in the 50s and 60s, a relief for Boston Athletic Association (BAA) officials concerned about mass hypothermia. But it’s still going to be pretty nasty. “I feel sorry for the masses out there.

I don’t want to put any bad wishes on them,” said Linden, who came in second by 2 seconds in 2011 but won last year in 2:39:54—more than 17 minutes slower. “But if it means another chance to break the tape, I’m good with it,” she said. “Honestly, Boston in the spring: You never know what you’re going to get. So if you weren’t a little bit prepared for this, you might have missed the last 120 some odd years here.” The BAA is prepared. Race director Dave McGillivray said organizers have adjusted some logistics, using the contingency plan they put together shortly after last year’s race. There will be heaters in the medical tents and more buses to sweep up those who drop

out along the course. The fourth wave of runners will start immediately after the third so they don’t have to stand outside for an extra 25 minutes. Handcyclists and others who could be affected by the traction have been offered a deferment into next year’s race. “We recognized that it could happen again—maybe in the next hundred years,” race director Dave McGillivray said. “And, all of a sudden, that hundred years went by really fast. Because here we are again.” Of course, not everyone’s complaining. “I’m ready to roll with it,” said Sarah Sellers, who finished second to Linden last year. “Bring it on,” said Tatyana McFadden, who won the women’s wheelchair race in 2018 for the fifth time in six years. AP

LAST year’s winners Yuki Kawauchi (left) and Desiree Linden (right) walk off the field with race sponsor John Hancock’s Rob Freidman (center) after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before the baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles in Boston on Saturday. AP




HE country’s top guns and a slew of foreign aces slug it out in what promises to be a fiery duel of power and precision as the rich International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) Luisita Championship unwraps on Monday at the Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed course in Tarlac. While the locals have dominated the last five legs of the just-concluded 2018 Philippine Golf Tour (PGT) Asia season, the foreign bidders from at least 18 nations are coming into the $100,000 championship upbeat of their chances, particularly the top finishers in the PGT Asia Qualifying Tournament last week, also held at the tight, hazard-laden layout somewhat softened by afternoon rain the past two days. That should make the kickoff leg of the third season of the region’s emerging circuit worth watching with David Gleeson of Australia hardpressed to duplicate his breakthrough victory here last year when he nipped local bet Erwin Arcillas on the third playoff hole. “The course is tough, the fairways and greens are softer with the rain. If it continues for the rest of the week, a 12-under total could win it,” Gleeson said. “I can play well, and I like the course, but the field is tough.” But this week’s 113-player roster is deep in talent, guaranteeing fierce action right on the first shot up to the last putt on Thursday with the locals vowing to extend their domination after James Ryan Lam, Joenard Rates, Jhonnel Ababa, Juvic Pagunsan and Clyde Mondilla reigned in the last five legs of the just-concluded season in the CAT Open, Summit Point, Pradera Verde, Riviera and Solaire Philippine Open, respectively. Mondilla, for sure, will be the marked man in all four days after the Del Monte ace held off a horde of pursuers to nail his first PHL Open

Monday, April 15, 2019 C3



ATIONAL University (NU) returned to the men’s throne following a 3-1 conquest of Ateneo in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 81 tennis tournament on Saturday at the Colegio de San Agustin courts in City of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.      The Bulldogs won the hotly contested best-ofthree series, 2-1, to annex their fifth crown overall.        Completing a successful comeback after missing last year’s competition, NU also repeated a golden double it last accomplished in 2016 with the Lady Bulldogs also regaining the crown also at the expense of Ateneo        Jeric Accion and Justine Prulla provided the clincher for the Bulldogs—a 6-3, 6-1 win over Julian Dayrit and Bong Gonzales in the second doubles.        Tournament Most Valuable Player Wilson Oblea beat Gab Tiamson, 7-6, 3-6, 7-6 (7), in the opening singles, while Rookie of the Year Rucel Cero and AJ Alejandre rallied past Luke Flores and Erj Gatdula, 2-6, 7-6, 7-6 (8), in the first doubles to give NU the needed cushion.        The Blue Eagles’ lone victory in the deciding tie came from Marcen Gonzales, who outlasted Allen

Former Professional Golf Association Tour campaigner Rick Gibson (second from left), Club Manager Mark Gaston (right), Club President Cesar Jalosjos (third from left) and Senior Designer John Cope during the formal launching of the Dakak Gold and Country Club at the Manila Hotel recently. The new golf club is located inside the Dakak Beach Resorts in Dapitan City. NONOY LACZA

DAVID GLEESON of Australia is hard pressed to duplicate his breakthrough victory last year.

title and clinch the PGT Asia Order of Merit (OOM) crown. “I’m confident and ready for back-toback. I really prepared well this week but with a different approach, since Luisita is tight and long. You have to hit the fairways to get a good shot at the greens and birdies,” said Mondilla, who also took notice of the depth of the field, particularly the foreign bets. Like Mondilla and the rest of the locals,

the foreign bidders from at least 18 nations are also coming into the event upbeat of their chances, particularly the top finishers in the PGT Asia Qualifying Tournament last week, also held here. But Mondilla will be as much tested as the rest of the cast with a number of Filipino aces seeking redemption following their missed cut stints in the country’s premier championship at The Country Club two weeks ago.



Manlangit, 6-3, 1-6, 7-5, in the second singles. NU made it a sweet weekend when its women’s volleyball team booted out University of the Philippines (UP), 25-21, 26-24, 17-25, 23-25, 17-15, on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. The Lady Bulldogs showed great resolve in mangling the Lady Maroons and force them out of the Final Four race with the semifinalists now cast in stone featuring Ateneo, defending champion De La Salle, Far Eastern University and University of Santo Tomas. The victory was the fourth against nine losses for the Lady Bulldogs, while the loss was UP’s seventh in 11 matches. They missed the Final Four for the third straight year. Princess Robles had 20 points highlighted by 18 attacks, while Audrey Paran and Roselyn

Doria contributed with 15 and 12 points, respectively, for NU. Despite also missing the semifinals after losing to Ateneo earlier, NU Head Coach Norman Miguel dismissed the thought of playing the spoiler in UP’s Final Four bid. “With this result, I’m happy because we were able to show our character again. We discussed that we must end the season on a good note,” Miguel said. “Our objective was to play well in our last two games—not to oust UP. It never crossed our mind.” Nevertheless, the outcome broke the hearts of the Lady Maroons who were billed as season favorites following their massive success in preseason tournaments. Tots Carlos led UP with 18 points, while Ayel Estranero added 11.

MY BALL! Angeli Araneta chips in 21 points for Generika-Ayala, which takes a 25-15, 25-20, 24-26, 25-27, 15-12 beating at the hands of PLDT Home Fibr in a sudden-death quarterfinal match in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan over the weekend.

Japan PGA Tour campaigner Pagunsan, for one, has opted to skip the Token Homemate Cup in Nagoya also slated this week to atone for his failed bid in Asia’s oldest National Open, where he was one of the pretournament favorites following an emphatic victory at PGTA Riviera the previous week. So do Jobim Carlos, the 2018 PGT OOM winner who cut short his Open bid after sustaining an injury in the first round, four-

time PGT Asia leg winner Ababa, multi-titled Tony Lascuña and veteran Elmer Salvador, Rates and Gleeson. Lam, who broke through with a convincing victory in the CAT Open here last year, is also out to redeem himself from a poor joint 59th finish in the PHL Open, saying: “I will play a little conservative since my driving is a little bit off. I need to play it slowly and surely. If my driving won’t click, I’ll bring the game to my second shots and putting.”

Pila, Gabasa prevail in Visayas golfest


OLANDO PILA fought back from three holes down in morning play, then unleashed a strong finishing kick to turn back Harvey Sytiongsa, 2-up, while Junia Gabasa outlasted Pamela Mariano to fashion out a 5&4 triumph in the finals of the fourth MVP Sports Foundation Visayas Regional Match Play Championships at Cebu Country Club (CCC) yesterday. Pila struggled in the early going of their marathon 36-hole duel and still trailed his fellow club bet by three with only 10 holes left. But he birdied Nos. 9 and 11 to pull within, yielded another hole on the 12th but took three straight holes from No. 14 to go 1-up before birdying the last hole to complete a come-from-behind 2-up victory in men’s play. The top seeded Gabasa, on other hand,

fought it out on even terms with the No. 2 Mariano after 18 holes but won Nos. 5, 6 and 8 before winning Nos. 13 and 14 to wrap up the ladies crown in the event sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation, PLDT Group, Cignal and Metro Pacific and hosted by CCC. Earlier, Masaichi Otake birdied the 17th to force an all-square match with Aidric Chan, then parred the last to steal a 1-up victory over last week’s Philippine Junior champion in their duel for third place in the event organized and conducted by the National Golf Association of the Philippines. Grace Quintanilla, on the other hand, trounced Ashley Llena and came away with a 4&3 romp on their side of the battle for third, while Joseph Alvarez topped the Mid-Amateur division over Hugo Saurat.

Cayetano encourages youth to join Volunteers Program

Busy age-group tennis tourney unfurls in Pangasinan, Mindoro


HE Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala (PPS-PEPP) age-group tennis circuit gets busy with two tournaments held simultaneously in Pangasinan and Oriential Mindoro with both events drawing huge casts seeking top honors and ranking points. Joshua Molina, Marc Jarata, Charles Torres and Brian Oliveros, along with Eric Bajet, Prince Lim and Thomas Gabuat headline the boys’ 18- and 16-under categories with Anna de Myer and Renee Esteban together with Franchezca Malaki, Tristen Kitong and Angeline Atos the players to watch in the premier divisions in the distaff side of the Group 2 tournament presented by Dunlop, which got under way on Saturday. Jarata, Lim and Gabuat are also vying in the 14-U play with Alexi Jarata, Bernie Egipto, Adriana Cabahug and Kitong leading the cast in the girls’ section of the event put up by PPS-PEPP headed by President and CEO Bobby Castro and sanctioned by the Unified Tennis Philippines made up of PPSPEPP, Cebuana Lhuillier, Wilson, Toby’s, Dunlop, Slazenger and B-Meg as part of their nationwide, yearlong talent search. Also up for grabs are the 12-U titles in both categories and the 10-unisex diadem along with the Legends men’s doubles at the Urdaneta Tennis Club, where a free clinic will also be held. For details, call PPS-PEPP Sports Program Development director Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464. Keen competition is also seen in the PPSPEPP Gov. Alfonso Umali Cup with the likes of

Allen Rombawa, Martin Buenaventura, Drixcyn Guillano and Leyton Portin along with Althea Martirez and Lorin Idjao headlining the centerpiece 18-U division in the boys and girls’ sides. Rombawa and Guillano are also entered in the 16-U play, which also topbills Jeremian Macias IV and Benedict Santiago with Martinez and Idjao also tipped to clash for the crown in the Group I tournament sponsored by Gov. Alfonso Umali and the provincial government of Oriental Mindoro at the Bahaghari Tennis Club.

REP. Pia Cayetano (left) poses with volleyball players Fille Cainglet-Cayetano (center) and Alyssa Valdez during Friday’s launching of the Volunteers Program for the 30th Southeast Asian Games.




EN. JV Ejercito believes that the magical performance by Team Philippines in the 2005 Southeast Asian Games could happen again when the country holds the regional biennial games anew later this year. The 49-year-old legislator believes Filipino athletes would again emerge overall champions in the 30th edition of the Games the country is hosting for the fourth time after 1981, 1991 and 2005 from November 30 to December 11 in Clark/New Clark City, Subic, Tagaytay City, La Union and Metro Manila. However, playing in front of the hometown crowd has a big advantage. “Of course as host there’s pressure that we have to perform,” Ejercito, a member of the

Senate Committee on Games, Amusement and Sports, told a briefing at the Limbaga 77 Café Restaurant in Quezon City. “It’s different when you’re playing in front of your countrymen. You’re totally inspired because you get cheered. So for me, I hope for the best to our athletes,” he added. According to Ejercito, the country’s hosting of the Games is also an opportunity to boost tourism, as spectators from 10 other countries will be watching the event. “It’s always an honor to host, especially the SEA Games. Of course that will be good for us, for tourism and for the country’s image if they are able to host big events like this,” he said.

OUSE Deputy Speaker and sports advocate Pia Cayetano encouraged the Filipino youth to volunteer and take part in the Philippines’s hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. The Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc), in cooperation with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), launched its Volunteers Program on Friday to mobilize youth volunteers for the region’s premier multisport event. Cayetano said local communities play an important role in ensuring the success of the country’s hosting of the Games from November 30 to December 10. “Once the organizing committees finalize all the venues for the games, we need each community within that area to volunteer, especially the youth,” Cayetano said. “On a macro scale, the Philippines will be the host; but on a micro scale, we need to harness our local communities so that we can really win as one,” she added.

Cayetano said engaging local communities for the Games could also boost local tourism in their respective areas. She said the event opens opportunities to showcase what the Philippines has to offer to the region and the world, apart from being the home of talented athletes. “There’s a lot of time for us to invite and really organize local volunteers. Regardless of your background, there is a role for you to play in this year’s SEA Games,” Cayetano said. ”On my part, I’d like to lead by example because as a former student-athlete, I know how it feels to win, to lose, to wake up early and to put in my best efforts in making my country proud,” she added. Cayetano played for the national women’s volleyball team when she was in college. At the launch of the volunteers program, Cayetano interacted with volleyball stars Alyssa Valdez and Fille Cainglet-Cayetano, as well as national athletes and sports personalities. 



Those infamous and memorable bench scenes PHILADELPHIA 76ers player Amir Johnson was fined an undisclosed sum of money (and will probably be suspended) for bringing out a cell phone while on the bench during their Game One loss to the Brooklyn Nets last Saturday. It was a bizarre scene given that the National Basketball Association (NBA) has banned the use of such gadgets while on the bench during games. And this was during late in the match with the 76ers down by 16 at the point. Johnson has since apologized and said he was worried about his sick child. I thought of two things when I saw that scene, one, it is so wrong, and two, I thought of Kevin McHale. During one blowout by the Boston Celtics of the Indiana Pacers, McHale ordered a slice of pizza and ate it on the bench, infuriating their foes. It was taken as a sign of disrespect. But it isn’t always the opponent who is shocked. During one light practice by the Phoenix Suns, Head Coach Mike D’Antoni told his players to shoot from their designated spots during a game. Journeyman forward Paul Shirley proceeded to the bench and began taking shots—while sitting down! D’Antoni was nonplussed. “What are you doing?” he demanded to know. Shirley replied, “You told us to shoot from our spots during a game.” And the Suns squad all burst out laughing. D’Antoni wasn’t sure if he was going to be amused or pissed. Maybe it was a mixture of both. In 2016, there was this infamous fight on the bench by Phoenix Suns teammates Markieff Morris and Archie Goodwin when they got into a shoving match during a firstquarter timeout! The Suns lost that match by eight points and fell to 2-24. In the Philippines, I can recall one bench story that is absolutely hilarious. This goes back to the mid-1970s when the late Baby Dalupan was coaching the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the National Collegiate Athletic Association. This was a time when rumbles and on-court fights were routine, as were incidents of fans throwing coins, batteries, food and whatnot at players or on the court. In one game where Ateneo was sweeping an opponent off the court, some of the other team’s fans who couldn’t egg on their team to rally instead vented their ire on Dalupan. With things zinging past him and missing—Dalupan looked to his bench and called seldom-used third string center Jimmy Tioseco, who had this huge frame. “Jimmy,” he commanded. Tioseco quickly ambled over and took off his warm-up jacket excited to get into the game. “Coach,” he said, waiting for some last-minute instructions on whom to defend or what. “Tayo ka lang sa likod ko,” answered Dalupan. “Kanina pa ako binabato.” The Blue Eagles’ bench burst out into laughter. Even Tioseco wasn’t quite sure how to react. As for Dalupan? His expression didn’t change at all. He was intently watching the game. And we’ll leave you with one more vexing bench scene. During a game by this national football team, a player was subbed out by his coach early in the second half of play. That player—who will go nameless here—was unhappy. When he went to the bench, he grabbed his towel and drinking bottle and went straight—get this—to the team hotel. Crazy, isn’t it? And yes, that player is still suiting up for his national team.


Nurturing God

EAR nurturing God, You care for the poor and the needy, and You bid us to do the same. In faith and hope we pray: Strengthen us, oh God. Inscribe Your law of love upon our hearts and mind. Dispel the darkness of despair and remorse. Help us to accept change and receive new opportunities for loving service or presence to others. May God make us abundant in good works and persevering hope, through Christ our peace. Amen. GIVE US THIS DAY SHARED BY LUISA LACSON, HFL Word&Life Publications •

Editor: Gerard S. Ramos •






WESOME women, all summer-ready, sashayed down the runway at SM Megamall Fashion Hall to celebrate March Women’s Month in a fashionable way. They all personify the SM Woman, someone who can freely express herself through fashion. They are celebrity photographers (Sara Black in a bikini top, denim jeans and caftan cover-up; Shaira Luna in floral blazer, nude silk high-neck top and nude trousers), model-hosts (Joey Mead King in cowl-neck jumpsuit and dark floral print blazer; Phoemela Baranda in white dress with straps and sleeveless vest; Bubbles Paraiso in white sheer top, belted denim jacket and skinny denim jeans); beauty queens (Laura Lehmann in a striped strappy top and matching belted culottes; Katarna Rodriguez in a checkeredensemble);andcarenthusiast/entrepreneur/ LGBT icon (Angie Mead King in a black top and

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It’s summer, woman TOTA PULCHRA

❶ ONE of The

Life pants worn with botanical print kimono.) “For the ‘SM Woman Fashion Meet Up Event,’ almost all the items used in the show are already in the stores. We have been keen on following the global trends for Spring/Summer for 2019, and we just translate it to more wearable fashion,” shared Jo C. Dy Juanco, senior vice president-events, for SM Woman /SM Kids, via e-mail. Beach-bound models flaunted a floral-printed maxi dress with gartered waist, a white jumpsuit with ruffle details and bursts of sunshiny yellows, like a belted wide-strapped square-neck jumpsuit, a camisole top and an off-shoulder blouse with matching yellow trousers. SM Woman is also all about inclusivity with the SM Woman Plus line, boldly embodied by the large-and-in-charge model Kat Gumabao (wearing a flowy botanical printed caftan and matching pants) and powerful voices Bituin Escalante (in loose top and matching pants), Frenchie Dy (printed swimwear worn with denim jacket and pants) and Radha (tropical printed caftan and matching pants). “SM Woman tries to provide #FashionForEveryWoman that would fit every size, shape and body type,” said Dy Juanco. “We chose celebrities and influencers who know our brand and who use our brand. We want to keep it real and this lineup embodies the true brand of SM Woman.” It’s summer, woman! It’s summer, woman! It’s summer, woman! It’s summer, woman! n

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Monday, April 15, 2019





Monday, April 15, 2019




Today’s Horoscope By Eugenia Last

CELEBRITIES BORN ON THIS DAY: Emma Watson, 29; Seth Rogen, 37; Cooper Barnes, 40; Emma Thompson, 60. HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Rise above negativity. Look for opportunities, and make adjustments that promote what you want to achieve. A move that allows you to apply your skills in a unique way will give you a new lease on life. Spiritual and inner growth will offer insight into what’s really important and help you set your priorities straight. Strive for perfection. Your lucky numbers are 8, 19, 23, 27, 34, 38, 42.


ARIES (March 21-April 19): Don’t hide from controversy when you should address issues head-on. Taking responsible action and keeping the peace will help you avoid being blamed for what other people do. HHHHH


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You don’t have to take no for an answer; move on to someone who is more compatible to get the response you want. Working in unison with the right person will pay off and bring you the satisfaction you desire. HHHHH

A shimmering night in Dubai as Dior shows its haute couture By Aya Batrawy & Malak Harb The Associated Press


UBAI, United Arab Emirates—Under a large circus-style tent, Dior recently showcased its latest haute couture collection to a crowd of Mideast-based fashionistas, social-media figures, celebrities, buyers, designers and editors. It was the first show in Dubai for the French fashion house, which initially presented its springsummer 2019 haute couture collection in Paris in January. The presentation in Dubai, however, also included 15 entirely new creations unveiled especially for the show’s design-conscious Arab Gulf-based audience. Dubai’s exuberant displays of luxury and the city’s surreal, futuristic-looking skyline were the ideal backdrop to the show, where Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri was on hand. The emirate of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, where Bugattis and billionaires are a common sight, has a reputation for glamour and over-the-top projects like man-made palm-shaped islands, the world’s tallest tower, and a seemingly endless pipeline of new five-star hotels and spas.

The well-heeled Dubai crowd was wowed as models in sequined helmets presented the pieces inspired by Chiuri’s memory and imagination associated with the circus. Dior has a history with the big top, with the circus theme first appearing in a 1955 styled photo and reappearing under John Galliano’s creative direction. The haute couture collection included details like a “tattooed” body suit that conjured up images of Victorian-era circus performers and a tulle jumpsuit of multicolored streaks in satin bands and dramatically square shoulders. Haute couture is an artisan-based method of making clothes that dates back over 150 years. The highly expensive garments, shown in collections in Paris twice a year, are bought by a core group of no more than a few hundred rich women around the world. The exclusive pieces at the invitation-only show, which took place in a public park, reflected in many ways Dubai’s own ambitions to become a global fashion and design hub. Minna Joseph, who attended the show in a tulle skirt of her own creation, said it was amazing to witness the collection. “I mean this is the park that I grew up in, I bring



CANCER (June 21-July 22): Look at the possibilities, and start heading in a direction that makes you happy. Sitting on the sidelines or letting others control your destiny will not lead to the success and happiness you desire. HHHH


my kids in. And having something symbolic as Dior come, it’s monumental for Dubai, for all of us, for the fashion community,” she said. A more than $1-billion project called the Dubai Design District, or D3, was launched in recent years with offices dedicated to the fashion industry. The district’s modern architecture and modish cafés cater to fashion editors of magazines like Vogue Arabia, emerging designers, and local artists who can afford the steeply priced office space. Despite Dubai’s creative push, the emirate does not have a major fashion week. In a first in 2015, Chanel held a show in Dubai to unveil a cruise collection by Karl Lagerfeld. Still, Dubai is a major shopping destination, drawing tens of millions of visitors from around the world to its more than 40 malls each year. The retail and wholesale sector is the biggest single contributor to Dubai’s economy, according to the Oxford Business Group. “Today Dior is in Dubai. This is the biggest example that the UAE is making a place for itself on the fashion map,” Lebanese TV personality Annabella Hilal said.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Check your motives before you head into something that may not be in your best interest or the interest of the people you love. Consider alternatives, and discuss your choices with those affected by the decision you make. HHH

n AP Fashion Writer Thomas Adamson in Paris contributed to this report.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Don’t let someone confuse you. An emotional encounter will put you in a difficult position regarding a friendship. Do what’s right, and be fully prepared to walk away from someone trying to meddle in your affairs. HH

Glaiza de Castro signed by Ever Bilena ONE of actress Glaiza de Castro’s recent discoveries is that the blood of a Katipunero runs in her veins. “One of my ancestors from my father’s side was part of the Katipunan, but more on the music and arts side,” she shares during a shoot as the brand ambassador for EB Advance, the premium line of the country’s leading cosmetics brand Ever Bilena (www. “When I found out about it, everything suddenly clicked. I like exploring, not only in my roles and my travels, but also with my hair and makeup. I like seeing different sides of me.” Not surprisingly, Glaiza was especially chosen to be the brand’s newest endorser because of her fiery personality. “She speaks her mind. She takes on very challenging roles. She’s for women’s rights.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Be resourceful. Check facts before you get involved in a joint venture or you make a purchase that is less than adequate. Put your energy into personal improvements and gains, not someone else’s goals. HH

And with the brand being more vocal about this direction, we wanted someone who is the embodiment of that,” shares EB Advance Brand Manager Creole David. Glaiza admits her desire to standout in the entertainment industry has earned both praise and criticism from the public. “People sometimes misinterpret me, especially since I’m not good at masking my emotions. But I’ve been in this industry more than half of my life and I’ve learned to ignore criticisms that won’t help me grow as a person.” What really matters for her is to encourage women to be more fearless in expressing their individuality. “It takes a lot of guts, the right principle and mindset para sabihin mo sa sarili mo na, ‘Ah bahala kayo, gagawin ko ’to kasi alam ko eto ’yung tama.’” It is a powerful viewpoint that fits

perfectly with the message of EB Advance’s newest digital campaign featuring Glaiza ( The video also features EB Advance products, such as EB Advance Lip Define Matte Matic Lipstick, EB Advance Uncover 2 Palette, EB Advance Lash Define, EB Advance Glow Out Highlighter and EB Advance LTD Liquid Lipstick, which were used to highlight the actress’s striking features. As Glaiza, a modern Filipina, explores more makeup product choices, the campaign gives a sneak peak of new products to be anticipated from EB Advance: EB Advance Eyeconic Eyeshadow, a sixpan eyeshadow palette designed to create multiple day-to-night looks; and EB Advance BB Stick Foundation, a medium, buildable to full coverage stick base with a matte finish.


VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Emotional, financial or medical issues will surface. How you handle situations will reflect who you are and what you are capable of doing. Set a high standard, and rise above anyone trying to get more for less. Romance is on the rise. HHH


LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Take everything into consideration when dealing with a domestic issue or a family member. Look for solutions, and offer them in a positive manner to avoid resistance. An honest approach will sideline complaints and negativity. HHH


SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Get on board if there is something that interests you. The people you encounter and the information you receive will motivate you to start something new or to revisit a goal you have yet to accomplish. Love is on the rise. HHHH

i j

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Turn your idea into a reality. A financial gain is heading your way. Negotiate, invest and look at reasonable ways to cut costs so you can focus more on the endeavors you want to achieve. HHH


AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): You can help others, but don’t take over or someone will end up taking advantage of you. Offer suggestions, but put your energy to better use by making positive changes at home and to your surroundings. Start a new project. HHH


PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Your help will be appreciated, and the results you get will parlay into an interesting proposal. A change of plans will turn out to be advantageous regarding your professional goals. A favor will be granted or an old debt repaid. HHH BIRTHDAY BABY: You are industrious, charming and proactive. You are outgoing and curious.

‘picture in picture’ BY PAUL COULTER The Universal Crossword/Edited by David Steinberg

ACROSS 1 It’s often mistaken for love 5 Gym set 9 Heron habitat 14 What many wool socks do 15 Original sin garden 16 ___ Gay 17 Actress Reid 18 Puerto ___ 19 Practice piece 20 1981 running film (letters 4-6: 2011 macaw film) 23 Prosciutto, for one 24 Greek N’s 25 Downtown make-out sesh, e.g. 26 Beetle or butterfly 28 “Amen!” 33 1968 roommate film (letters 9-10: 2009 balloon film) 37 Flawless ring? 40 The Matrix hero 41 Roll call calls 42 1997 space horror film (letters 5-8: 2011 thunder god film) 47 Suez Canal’s southern end

8 Chronicles 4 52 Furry sitcom E.T. 54 Go downhill fast? 55 180 56 Two-film showings, or a hint to this puzzle’s theme 61 Space Is the Place bandleader 62 Big laugh 63 Cubs legend Sammy 64 Rose part 65 French Sudan, today 66 Straitlaced 67 Isle such as Bikini 68 Casablanca heroine 69 Rational DOWN 1 Chinese nut 2 Jazz fan? 3 Beats it 4 “___ she blows!” 5 Send another way 6 Cleans up, as writing 7 Chest muscles, briefly 8 Be a busybody 9 Hybrid on the range

0 Prefix for “perspirant” 1 11 “It’s ___ lucky day!” 12 Shoppe descriptor 13 Opec member 21 Creep (along) 22 Bank-protecting org. 27 Short jackets 29 Greg Evans comic strip 30 007, e.g. 31 Drink sold in pints 32 “Absolutely!” 34 “Walking on Thin Ice” singer Yoko 35 “___ Rosenkavalier” 36 “And how!” 37 That sow 38 Blvd. relative 39 Called the shots 43 One often ends up in hot water 44 Campus building 45 Fareed on CNN 46 “Don’t bet ___!” 49 Dawn goddess 50 Uses, as a hammock 51 Halvah ingredient 53 1938 Physics Nobelist Enrico

4 Elite Navy group 5 56 Song such as “Shallow” 57 Not deceived by 58 Russia’s ___ Mountains 59 Filly or colt 60 FedEx rival 61 Couples massage site

Solution to Friday’s puzzle:

Show BusinessMirror

Keeping both faith and passion ALL ACCESS RICKY GALLARDO


HIS season of Lent, regular television programming gives way to programs with more meaningful, more inspirational narratives. Take, for instance, CBN Asia, which produces the daily midnight show The 700 Club Asia and also the children-themed programs Oyayi and Superbook. Every Holy Week for the past 12 years, this organization has been offering television audiences special-themed drama anthologies under the program named Tanikala. For this week, Tanikala features back-to-back drama shows like Buyonero ( The Nestor Quilat Story) on Maundy Thursday, and Kublihan (The Crizalyn Macato Story) on Good Friday. Calling the shots is Icko Gonzalez, who was part of a boyband in the 1990s before destiny led him to CBN Asia. “When we disbanded, I became active in theater and TV while pursuing my fine arts degree in the university. Being on the creative side has always been a passion. I was part of Sineskwela for the ABSCBN Foundation. I also became a visual arts educator, I taught theater and was a director for 10 years before working full time for CBN Asia. I have always wanted to write and direct for film and TV, and I’m just very happy that my work now gives me the opportunity to do that.” Gonzalez is the head of Special Projects for CBN Asia. “Part of my job is overseeing Superbook in the Philippines and other Asian countries where it is being aired. I work very closely with my boss, John Valdes Tan, in conceptualizing and producing new content for CBN Asia and its sister company, Masterpiece Media. My work is a mash-up of creative and administrative functions,” he volunteered. The preparation for the annual drama specials for Holy Week is something that Gonzalez always looks forward to. He has been part of Tanikala for the past nine years, and he leads his team to look for stories of real people whose lives have been transformed and whose testimonies live on to touch and inspire others. “This year we are presenting the story of the Macato family. I chose to focus on the story from the perspective of Crizalyn, one of the daughters. After a series of unfortunate events in Cavite where her family was originally from, they moved to Tacloban hoping for a better life. But then typhoon Yolanda wreaked havoc and devastated their lives


Prince Harry, Meghan aim to keep baby arrival plans private LONDON—Prince Harry and his pregnant wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, say they have decided to keep plans around their first baby’s arrival private. Kensington Palace officials said in a statement on Thursday that Harry and Meghan “look forward” to sharing the news of their baby’s birth once they have had a chance to celebrate privately as a new family. The decision means that Harry and Meghan are not likely to pose for the world’s photographers and TV crews on the hospital steps with their newborn, a break from the royal tradition followed by Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, when she gave birth to their three children. As a future king, William is expected to help mark great occasions, while Harry—sixth in the line of succession—has more leeway. Both have in the past expressed deep misgivings about intrusive press coverage. Harry and Meghan—an American actress best known for her work on Suits—wed in May in a spectacular, internationally televised ceremony at Windsor Castle. They are expecting their first child in late April or early May. The palace press office has announced very few details about their plans, refusing to comment on unconfirmed British press reports that Meghan may opt for a home birth. Harry and Meghan say they have not learned the gender of their baby. The couple recently moved from central London to a more secluded house near their wedding venue. They recently set up an Instagram account, leading to speculation they may post the first pictures of their baby on that site. That account broke an Instagram record for quickly attracting millions of fans. They said in their statement they are grateful for the goodwill messages they have received from around the world. Harry and Meghan have asked people who want to send them baby gifts to instead donate to selected charities for children and parents in need. They mentioned several charities in particular, including The Lunchbox Fund, WellChild, Baby2Baby and Little Village, which all have different connections to the royal couple. AP


and shattered their dreams. This movie-for-TV will show Crizalyn’s eventful journey and how she and her family eventually became beneficiaries of Operation Blessing’s Community of Hope housing project in Tacloban. We have known her family for a while being beneficiaries of our humanitarian arm,” the director shared. Gonzalez is also credited as the writer for Buyonero, which stars Kristoffer Martin and Jess Mendoza. Last year, he wrote and directed Wanda’s Wonderful World with Coney Reyes, Tirso Cruz and Ricky Davao, and Gonzalez was nominated for Best Screenplay recently at the 2019 International Christian Film and Music Festival in Florida.   Writing and directing for television have become a “calling” of sorts for Gonzalez, especially when it is time for CBN Asia’s Holy Week drama special. “We keep the faith even if there are challenges. Time is

THE Atom Araullo Specials was conferred the Silver World Medal in the Social Issues category for its “No Leftovers” episode. Host Atom Araullo (from left) flew to Las Vegas with GMA Public Affairs Senior AVP and “No Leftovers” Program Manager Neil Gumban and “No Leftovers” Director Aaron “Papins” Mendoza to personally receive the award.

KARA DAVID’S I-Witness documentary “Bilanggo ng Isipan” took home the Bronze World Medal in the Health/ Medical Information category.

always something that is not on our side. As a director, I wanted to shoot more materials to enhance the storytelling. However, with time constraints and budget considerations, we have to think of strategies and work with the limitations and deadlines in mind. I’m just grateful that our cast and crew are dedicated and hardworking. And we have wonderful actors like William Lorenzo and Barbara Miguel onboard this year. It’s working like a family on set that makes the experience always worthwhile.“ Gonzalez looks forward to spreading his wings and include film to his work résumé in the future. “We have several titles and concepts lined-up. I hope and pray that these projects will materialize soon. I remain faithful that the passion will be sustained. I want to come up with materials for commercial release, films that would resonate with our viewers. Hopefully, not just entertain them but inspire them.” n

FROM left: Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho Senior Program Manager Lee Joseph Castel, Executive Producer Arianne Betita and “Salay” Segment Producer Justin Royce Baluyot

GMA wins 2 Silvers, 2 Bronzes at 2019 New York Fest LEADING broadcast company GMA Network continues to bring honor to the country, taking home four world medals and a finalist certificate at the 2019 New York Festivals “World’s Best TV and Films” awarding ceremonies held on April 9 in Las Vegas. The monthly documentary program The Atom Araullo Specials was conferred the Silver World Medal in the Social Issues category for its “No Leftovers” episode. The winning piece showed that food wastage remains a big problem in the Philippines by tracing how food is wasted from production to consumption. Atom flew to Las Vegas with GMA Public Affairs Senior AVP and “No Leftovers” Program Manager Neil Gumban to personally receive the award. Beginning on April 15, Atom will also banner the GMA News and Public Affairs’ online newscast Stand for Truth. Earning another Silver World Medal for the country was

Monday, April 15, 2019

the “Batang Maestro” episode of GMA News TV’s Reel Time, this time for the Heroes category. “Batang Maestro” featured the story of 12-year-old Dagul and his fellow volunteer “little teachers” in the province of Sorsogon who cross the river of Donsol onboard a bamboo raft just to reach children in remote areas. Receiving the award for Reel Time was Executive Producer and writer Mark Norella. The top-rating and award-winning news magazine program Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho (KMJS) adds another laurel in its cap after it was awarded the Bronze World Medal for its “Salay” feature in the Community Portraits category. The segment showed how students and teachers from Caraga, Davao Oriental, risk their lives as they cross the river using an improvised cable car made from rattan, called salay, just to go to school and buy basic needs. KMJS Program Manager LJ Castel, Executive Producer

Ariane Betita and Segment Producer Justin Baluyot were on hand to receive the medal. Meanwhile, Kara David’s I-Witness documentary “Bilanggo ng Isipan” took home the Bronze World Medal in the Health/Medical Information category. The documentary showed the current state of mental health in the Philippines. Completing this year’s list of GMA awardees is Sandra Aguinaldo’s I-Witness documentary “War Zone ER,” which received a Finalist Certificate in the Current Affairs category. Receiving the awards was I-Witness host Kara David. GMA Network holds the distinction of being the most awarded Philippine organization at the New York Festivals “World’s Best TV and Films” competition. This year’s entries from the network were all produced by GMA News and Public Affairs, home to the most internationally awarded Philippine documentary programs.

TWO legendary theater veterans, Teroy Guzman and Audie Gemora, join forces in The Dresser.


FOR the third play of its 2019 season, Repertory Philippines (Rep, takes audiences behind the curtains of the theater, exposing its vivid inner workings and hidden secrets. Running from May 3 to 26 at Onstage Theater in Greenbelt 1, The Dresser is drama at its finest, bringing together brilliant writing, directing and acting to tell a story about devoting your entire life to your craft. Rep’s production of The Dresser will star none other than legendary veterans Audie Gemora and Teroy Guzman. These two thespians’ experience with Shakespeare makes them an ideal fit for the layered script, which celebrates classical theater. Sitting in the director’s chair is Loy Arcenas, whose movie musical Ang Larawan, an adaptation of Nick Joaquin’s A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino, won Best Picture at the 43rd Metro Manila Film Festival. A critically acclaimed British play that has been staged on both West End and Broadway, The Dresser has also been adapted into a film starring Anthony Hopkins and Ian McKellen. Written by Academy Award winner Sir Ronald Harwood, the play has a strong pedigree, having been interpreted by the best actors and directors around the world. Following Sir, a troubled thespian, and his loyal dresser Norman, The Dresser takes place during a wartime production of King Lear. Sir arrives on set in a delusional state, while Norman does all he can to ensure that the show goes on, much to the disapproval of the company which has had enough of Sir’s erratic behavior. As the theater fills up and an air-raid commences, Sir steps onstage as Lear while the company crosses its fingers. Meanwhile, Norman and the other characters question whether their dedication to the theater—and even the people they love—is worth the hardship and heartbreak. Don’t miss Gemora play the gentle Norman to Guzman’s tormented Sir. Joining them in the cast are Justine Narciso as Irene, Jeremy Domingo as Oxenby, Missy Maramara as Her Ladyship, Tami Monsod as Madge and Jaime del Mundo as Geoffrey. After The Dresser’s run, catch The Quest for the Adarna in September. Perfect for kids and kids at heart, this original Rep play transforms the beloved Ibong Adarna tale into a colorful English musical. Grab season passes to watch these two plays at discounted prices. For tickets and season passes, visit

D4 Monday, April 15, 2019


Going natural AND THEN SOME DINNA CHAN VASQUEZ @dinnachanvasquez


ROWING up, I would get a lot of comments from my mother, her friends and my aunts in relation to the makeup that I wore. “You look more beautiful when you’re natural.” “Makeup makes you look cheap.” “Only fast girls wear makeup.” “Makeup will make you age faster.” “You look so mature for your age.” If I had gotten P100 for every comment like that, I would have saved a substantial amount by this time. The only adults supportive of my fascination for makeup was my dad and a friend of my mom’s. My dad bought me my first lipstick, red of course, from Mary Quant. My mom’s friend bought me my second lipstick, an old rose from Pias. I remember wanting to own a Max Factor roll-on lip gloss but it was too expensive for a student’s budget at P32. I had a lot of Bonne Bell Lip Smackers, those flavored lip balms on a stick that were all the rage in the 1970s. I was the weird kid in high school who wore blue and green eyeshadow together with pink frosted lipstick. I don’t wear makeup for other people. If I do, I wear it to impress women and other people who wear makeup because they would appreciate it. Mostly though, I wear makeup for myself. The biggest compliment for me is when a female colleague says, “I love your makeup today.” Or when another woman remarks, “Your makeup looks so natural but as someone who loves makeup, I know it’s there.”

Sadly, while that weird girl in bright eyeshadow and frosted lipstick still lives inside me, I mostly wear natural-looking makeup these days. It’s just more practical and I don’t need to wonder what people are thinking about me. So how do I achieve that? Believe it or not, natural-looking makeup is the most difficult to create. Remember that natural makeup isn’t bare. You still need a bit of coverage but definitely not a full face of makeup. The base to natural makeup is skin that’s lightly moisturized. If your skin is oily, you probably need a moisturizer with a gel texture. Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly is perfect for those with oily or combination skin. After moisturizer, you need to apply a sunscreen. This summer, I am using Bioderma Photoderm MAX Crème SPF 50+.  For summer, my face base is usually a powder. I love Make Up For Ever Matte Velvet Skin Blurring Powder Foundation because it has a natural finish. It doesn’t look cakey or has flashback, which means it’s great for taking selfies. It is a bit expensive at nearly P3,000 but it should last you several months, plus it is refillable. For the cheeks, you need a matte or satin blush although a bit of shimmer is also OK. My current favorite is MAC Prolongwear Blush in Eternal Sun, a warm copper with a luminous finish. Another blush that’s perfect for the natural look is Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Natural Blush.  A rosy red is also good for a natural look, much more than a nude lipstick. I normally opt for a plum like Burberry Oxblood and then blot it with a tissue after application. Many girls like using lip tints but I find they are too red or pink.  If my brows are groomed, I usually just comb over them with a spoolie. If they are rather wild, I use Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow in a color one shade lighter than my brows. My last step is a spritz of face mist. My favorite is the MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ but the ones from Evian and Avene will do, as well. n

LOEWE OPENS FIRST STAND-ALONE STORE IN THE COUNTRY LOCATED in one of the most prestigious malls in Manila, Shangri-La Plaza, the new stand-alone store of global fashion brand Loewe spans 68 square meter and showcases its ongoing commitment to art and design. Around these parts, Loewe is exclusively distributed by Stores Specialists Inc. Loewe Shangri-La Plaza follows the Casa Loewe concept developed by Creative Director Jonathan Anderson—first introduced in Omotesando and taken to its fullest expression with the premier of Casa Loewe Madrid. Evoking the ambience of a stately home, the boutique features stucco walls and polished Campaspero limestone flooring, giving off a chic, modern vibe, which pays homage to the brand’s European heritage. Celebrating the past and present, Loewe has carefully selected pieces of modern and traditional art to accentuate the space, including a tapestry by master weaver and knitter John Allen.

Known for his striking sense of color and ability to transpose snapshots of the British landscape into his works, the textile designer has collaborated with the brand on multiple occasions, including the Spring Summer 2015 accessories collection. Lending a modern edge to Loewe Shangri-La Plaza are the original stools and chairs designed for the Fall Winter 2018 fashion show in Paris, an Akari E Light Sculpture by Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi, as well as especially designed, handmade geometric rugs and heirloom cider presses obtained after a tireless pursuit across Spain, Portugal and the south of France. These are the finishing touches that typify the Casa Loewe experience and its harmony of the modern and the antique. A curated selection of leather goods, accessories and eyewear will be showcased in the store, which is at Level 1 of the Shangri-La Plaza East Wing in Mandaluyong City.


Monday, April 15, 2019 E1

What was missing from Zuckerberg’s call for regulation


By Joshua Gans

HEN Mark Zuckerberg penned an Op-Ed for The Washington Post urging governments to regulate Facebook and other Internet companies in four big areas, you could almost hear the eyes rolling. Of course, Facebook is a corporation, and it is acting in its self-interest. But in my view it was actually a positive move. What Facebook needs to understand that it was the winner in a

winner-take-all contest for the social-media market. Now, it is in an unassailable position and it’s eventually going to be regulated accordingly. Facebook is effectively a communications company, enabling people to

send and receive messages. The problem is that you can send and receive messages only within Facebook. If you want to leave, you can’t without taking your entire network with you. Successful regulation should address this specifically, not just break up the company for being too big. Zuckerberg proposed data portability to address this issue. Never mind that you can already take your data away from Facebook. Never mind that offering data portability is much harder for new entrants than current incumbents like Facebook. This is their proposal to deal with their monopoly. And it is as weak as it sounds because it does not take aim at the core issue: the unassailable network effects that social media generates. What we need is identity portabil-

ity so that people can leave a social network and still be able to send and receive messages to other networks. In other words, they shouldn’t have to take the network with them if they want to switch. There is a good case that this regulatory outcome is in Facebook’s longterm interests, as well. If Facebook wants to take its cues from history, it should consider Microsoft. Microsoft has to innovate much more than it once did to keep its position, but it has worked out for them. I am glad Zuckerberg is starting to discuss regulation. But if he wants to really engage, he needs to propose regulations that get to the heart of his company’s monopoly. Joshua Gans is a professor at the University of Toronto.

Companies need to prepare for the next economic downturn By Martin Reeves, Kevin Whitaker & Christian Ketels


A N Y economists are forecasting a downturn, if not a full-blown recession, over the next 12 to 24 months. Naturally, business leaders are considering how to best position themselves for harsher macroeconomic conditions. We studied all US public companies with greater than $50 million in annual sales during the last four downturns and found that nearly three-quarters of them experienced a decline in revenue growth. However, 14 percent of companies were able to not only accelerate growth but also increase profitability. The companies that weather downturns successfully tended to respond differently on a few key dimensions:

n They acted early.Companies

n De-average your response.

that proactively recognized the threat—by discussing the possibility of a downturn in their earnings calls before the economic recession that officially began in December 2007—achieved 6 percentage points better total shareholder return.

Leaders need to understand the specific environment in which each of their businesses operates and choose their resource allocation, as well as their approach to strategy, accordingly.

n They took a long-term per-

n Build resilience. Leaders

spective. Substantial competitive

need to ensure that their business can withstand many different scenarios, not only a single forecast.

n They focused on growth, not just cost-cutting. Companies

n Invest in growth. Downturns make growth more difficult in the short term, but they should not undermine the potential for long-term growth, unless leaders starve their companies of the necessary investment.

opportunities await the leaders who can also keep an eye on the long run.

need a balanced approach to performance. But the most important driver was revenue growth. By combining what we know about company performance in past downturns with the special features of the current situation, we can identify several things companies should consider in preparing for the next one:

n Don’t lose sight of your longterm agenda. As economist Paul Romer once said, “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.”

n Focus on technological competitiveness. Progress will not stop during a downturn; neither, therefore, can companies afford to put their digital-change agendas on hold.

n Contribute to common problems collaboratively. Today’s

pressing technological, economic, social and environmental risks cannot be solved without collective action. The next downturn will challenge many companies, but a few will emerge stronger, both competitively and financially. Martin Reeves is a senior partner and managing director in the Boston Consulting Group’s New York office and the director of the BCG Henderson Institute, where Kevin Whitaker is the head of strategic analytics and Christian Ketels is the chief economist.

4 ways working dads can make more time for family


By James Sudakow

IKE most of us, I think a lot about how to balance my duties at work with my responsibilities at home. I happen to be a husband and a dad raising four kids. My professional success shouldn’t come at the expense of my family, nor should being present at home compromise my ability to run a business. So what can fathers—from any

generational cohort—who want to focus on both career and family do to get the balance right? Four common themes emerged from my conversations on this topic:

good reason. But most of it can wait with no dire business consequences.

It’s actually the myriad little, day-today interactions that really matter.

n Make time for the little things.

n Set boundaries. In my book, I refer to it as “ruthless compartmentalization.” Block out half-day segments during the week that are for family and do not take work calls or check e-mail.

n Know what’s truly urgent.

n Set goals. Most families don’t

Work can be urgent, and often for

© 2019 Harvard Business School Publishing Corp. (Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate)

have performance metrics. But you

can create them for yourself to ensure that you’re a better dad to your kids and a better co-parent to your spouse. The overriding message is clear: Fathers have to make intentional decisions around work-life balance and follow through on them. James Sudakow is the author of Out of the Blur: A Delirious Dad’s Search for the Holy Grail of Work-Life Balance.

When companies cozy up to politicians, the economy suffers By Ufuk Akcigit, Salomé Baslandze & Francesca Lotti


HEN old technologies succumb to new creative ideas, competition thrives, innovation increases, the economy grows and consumers benefit. In 1942, Joseph Schumpeter referred to this as the “gale of creative destruction” and deemed it the engine of sustained economic and technological progress. However, many things impede such creative destruction. In particular, some firms can secure preferential treatment in the market, thanks in no small part to their political connections. In such a world, new, productive firms may struggle to outcompete politically connected incumbents, leading to reduced business dynamism and less innovation. In our study, we try to understand how widespread such political connections are and how they affect firm dynamics, market competition, innovation and the overall productivity of the economy. In Italy, local politicians are allowed to work in the private sector while they hold political office— such as being a mayor, council member, etc. We identify a firm as being politically connected at a point in time if the firm employs at least one local politician at that time. To better understand performance of these firms, we also match this data on firms and politicians with the firms’ balance sheet data and patent data from the European Patent Office. The nature of this data allows us to explore how political connections affect companies and the broader economy. Overall, we found that across all industries, politically connected firms account for third of total employment. Consistent with what you might

expect, we found that the more regulated the industry, the more pervasive the political connections in that industry. How do these political connections affect competition? Relative to their direct competitors, market leaders are more likely to be politically connected, but less likely to innovate, as measured by quantity and quality of patents and investment in intangible capital. Nevertheless, politically connected firms are more likely to survive in the market and to grow in terms of revenue and employment. These benefits are larger the more powerful the politician the firm employs. However, we find that this growth in size is not accompanied by the respective growth in firms’ productivity. Some of the benefits that these connected firms accrue are also shared with the politicians they employ. Employed politicians earn significant wage premiums relative to their coworkers—premiums that cannot be explained by their individual characteristics. Not surprisingly, this premium increases with the political rank of a politician. While these connections might alleviate certain market frictions, such as regulatory barriers or bureaucratic burden, and provide some benefits to connected firms, on the other hand—by giving incumbents a powerful advantage over entrants—their detrimental impact on market competition and creative destruction might outweigh the firm-specific benefits. Ufuk Akcigit is an associate professor of economics at the University of Chicago. Salomé Baslandze is an assistant professor at the Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance. Francesca Lotti is a director in the DG Economics, Statistics and Research of the Bank of Italy.

E2 Monday, April 15, 2019 • Editor: Efleda P. Campos

Education BusinessMirror

Phinma Education seals partnership with Kaizen, international investors


HINMA Education Holdings Inc., the education arm of conglomerate Phinma Corp., has partnered with private equity firm Kaizen Private Equity, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to further support its vision of making lives better through education for students from low-income families. The partnership would enable Kaizen Private Equity and ADB to collectively subscribe to a total of P1.625 billion ($32.5 million) worth of newly issued shares, equivalent to a 20.28-percent minority stake in Phinma Education. Phinma Cor p. CEO a nd President R amon del Rosario shared his excitement over the new partnership. He said, “We are grateful to have partners who believe in our mission with our continued expansion in the education services sector. It has always been about serving the marginal in society—the children of farmers, policemen, public school teachers and other government workers, of pedicab drivers, street vendors and manual laborers.”

He cited the experience of the consortium in identifying various opportunities critical to the growth and development of Phinma Education both in the Philippines and abroad. “This is clearly a boost for us in achieving our planned expansion. As we partner with these established firms, we aim to further our efforts in providing the best opportunities through accessible, quality education with our regionwide network of institutions,” del Rosario said. Phinma Corp. started investing in the education services sector in 2004 through the acquisition of Araullo University in Nueva Ecija. At present, it has expanded its presence across the country with

its network of schools including Cagayan de Oro College in Misamis Oriental, University of Pangasinan in Pangasinan, University of Iloilo in Iloilo, Southwestern University in Cebu City, and its latest acquisition, Saint Jude College in Metro Manila. It has also established its presence abroad in 2016 with its first overseas learning institution in Myanmar through the Phinma Training Center (PTC). Since its founding in 2004, Phinma Education has been among the fastest-growing network of schools in the Philippines with a total enrollment of 70,000 students and recorded revenues of P2 billion in school year 2017-2018. Kaizen Private Equity is Asia’s first and only education focused private equity fund based in India and Singapore. Its investments are scattered in emerging countries in South and Southeast Asia. Other than Singapore, Kaizen also has presence in Mumbai, Manila and Ho Chi Minh City. Sandeep Aneja, founder and managing partner of Kaizen, said, “We are excited to partner with Phinma Education. The success of Phinma in providing affordable and job-oriented education in the Philippines has been known to us for a while and today it is our honor to become part of their future journey. We believe that Phinma apart from expanding its presence in the

Philippines, will be able to extend its offerings to other countries in the region.” Michael Barrow, director general of the Private Sector Operations Department at the Asian Development Bank, added, “We are pleased to work with Phinma Education Holdings to make quality tertiary education more accessible and equitable. Such private-sector partnerships complement the government of Philippines’s long-term vision to accelerate human-capital development and improve the incomeearning potential of its people.” Earlier this year, Phinma Education also disclosed its jointventure agreement with Indonesian group Tripersada Global Manajemen to form PT Ind Phil Management with approximately $8-million total investment from both parties. IPM will manage tertiary institutions for Yayasan Triputra Persada Horizon Education in Indonesia. With Phinma Education’s entry in Indonesia, it aims to serve lowto middle-income markets with special focus on nursing education where it has a proven track record in the Philippines. The first school to be managed under IPM is Kharisma Karawang in West Java with a population of 1,200 students. Maybank ATR Kim Eng Capital Partners Inc. served as the sole financial adviser for this partnership.

AIM to hold its 100th flagship MDP batch


HE A si a n Inst it ute of Management’s (AIM) flagship Executive Education course, the Management Development Program (MDP), will hold its 100th batch from May 6 to 31, 2019, at Makati City. Due to high demand, the school has reopened limited slots for those who want to take a leap in their management careers. In a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) business landscape, organizations must accelerate business agility and embrace new leadership capabilities to achieve breakthrough levels of organizational performance. Because of this, leaders should

be equipped with the knowledge and skills not only for them to survive, but also to thrive in this rapidly changing world. Like many successful business leaders is Asia over the past 50 years, managers can prepare themselves through the AIM’s Management Development Program. The MDP is tailor fit to executives and leaders who are constantly managing change to lead, inspire, and transform a hyper-connected work force. It primes the participating executive for self-awareness, personal mastery and transformation leadership in today’s business context. Participants will experience

a full 360, nondegree mini MBA over the four weeks—aside from lectures, participants will also take part in learning teams, perform case analysis and put their knowledge and skills to the test during simulations. Topics include Leading in a VUCA World, Systems Thinking, Customer Insights Marketing, Strategic Negotiation, and Change Management, among others. Program Director Professor Albert G. Mateo will lead a strong lineup of AIM faculty and industry experts, who will serve as lecturers, mentors and consultants to the participants. Upon completion of the program, participants will be inducted

into the AIM Alumni Association, and will become a member of the alumni network and community. Over its rich history, the MDP has developed managers from the most successful companies here and abroad, such as Jollibee Foods Corp., Lopez Group of Cos., San Miguel Corp., Nestlé, Aboitiz and Meralco. The 100th Management Development Program by the Asian Institute of Management will be from May 6 to 31. To enroll or to get more information regarding the program (course syllabus and program fee discounts), please contact 02-892-4011 loc. 2804 or e-mail

City of San Juan gives Environmental CHED-CAR urges qualified students to avail of government scholarship awards to students and teachers By Claudeth Mocon-Ciriaco



O help in the awareness campaign of protecting the environment, the city government of San Juan recently bestowed awards for students and teachers in the yearly Search for the Best EnviroKid, EnviroTeen, and Enviro Teacher Coordinator. San Juan City Mayor Guia Gomez led the recent awarding rites of the city’s search for school year 2018-2019 Best EnviroKid, EnviroTeen and Enviro Teacher Coordinator during the flag-raising ceremony on April 8. Bagging the Best EnviroKid award was Grade 6 student Curby R. Francisco of N. Ibuna Elementary School, while the Best Enviro Teacher Coordinator award went to Rowena Sanchez, also of the same school. Graduating high-school student Kathleen Mae Marcos, herself a former EnviroKid at the Pinaglabanan Elementary School, won the Best EnviroTeen award. Assisting Gomez were Councilors Ariel Atad (SK), Herbert Chua (Barangay), Allen Silvano,

and Boyet Aquino and former City Councilor and now the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) Head Dante Santiago. “The home visitations revealed how the winners were actually applying the proper solid-waste management techniques taught to them by Cenro personnel throughout the year,” Gomez said. There were 10 EnviroTeen finalists who each received a medal and P2,000 cash award from Mayor Gomez. Winners Marcos, Francisco, and Sanchez each received a P5,000 cash award. Gomez and the City Government launched Enviro-Kidz project in 2011 as an organization for selected public elementary school students to increase their awareness on environmental protection and preservation.   Timely issues like waste segregation, conservation, recycling, and climate change are parts of the organization’s program. Criteria for the contest included unannounced home visitations, school activities, examination results and final interview. 


A TRINIDAD, Benguet—The Commission on Higher Education-Cordillera Administrative Region (CHED-CAR) is still accepting applications for the scholarship under the Student Financial Assistance Programs (StuFAPs) until April 30. “One of the thrusts of CHED is to provide access to quality education among financially disadvantaged but academically deserving students,” Christine Soriano, CHED-CAR StuFAPs coordinator, said on Friday. As of April 11, there are 1,143 students who applied for the StuFAPs, 614 of who are senior high-school graduates and 529 are students who earned units in college. There are three categories under the program—the State Scholarship Program (SSP), Private Education Student Financial Assistance (PESFA) and the Grant-in-Aid (GIA) or the Tulong Dunong Program (TDP). The SSP full scholarship applicants must have a general weighted average of at least 90 percent nd 85 percent for partial scholarship. PESFA applicants must be highschool graduates and those graduating in high school whose with a

general weighted average of 85 percent and the applicants for the GIA or TDP must have a passing grade in all subject. Those who qualify under the SSP will receive P30,000 assistance per academic year, P15,000 for the grantees of PESFA per academic year, and from P6,000 to P12,000 for those who qualify for the GIA or the TDP depending on the tuition and other fees prescribed by the higher education institutions (HEIs). Soriano said to qualify, the applicants will be taking a college program listed under the CHED’s priority courses; Filipino citizen; high-school graduate; the family’s annual gross income must not exceed P300,000. She said grantees can only avail themselves of one CHED scholarship. For school year 2018 to 2019, there are 7,377 students in the Cordillera who availed of the CHED’s StuFAPs scholarship program. There are 6,975 grantees who qualified for the GIA, 254 grantees who qualified under the SSP and 148 qualifier for the PESFA. Soriano said a total of 42 HEIs in the region have participated in the CHED scholarship programs.

Strong social enterprise and quality education, key to prosperity for Bukidnon IP group


HE Higaonon tribe is one of seven indigenous groups in Bukidnon, Northern Mindanao. They are nomadic mountain dwellers who have mastered the conservation of the forests they live in and long practiced peaceful resolution of community conflicts. While they have knowledge and experience in cultivating the rich environmental resources around them sustainably, their community struggles to maximize their ancestral land and put up a stable source of livelihood. They have limited access to quality basic education and health care. This perpetuates the cycle of poverty among them. With the tribal leaders from the Higaonon tribe articulating these challenges, Zero Extreme Poverty 2030 (ZEP 2030) saw an opportunity to bring aid to their community. ZEP 2030 is a movement of nonprofit institutions, corporate foundations, and advocacy groups that aim to reduce extreme poverty by 2030. They believe poverty is a multidimensional issue that requires collective action from different stakeholders. To organize their expansive network and expertise, ZEP 2030 is formed by seven clusters: Health, Livelihood, Environment, Education, Agriculture and Fisheries, Housing and Shelter, and Partnerships for Indigenous Peoples. As of 2018, it has interventions and programs in 109 cities and municipalities from 33 provinces in 15 regions across the country. For Higaonons to provide their community with easy access to health care and education, they need to build a strong social enterprise that will help them market their high-value agricultural produce like coffee, cacao, abaca, and other seasonal fruits and vegetables. Delfin Abunda, the tribal leader, expressed that, while they have the basic knowledge, they need to know more to turn this knowledge into a livelihood opportunity. “We got initial training to maximize our land. We need more help enriching our knowledge so that we can elevate the quality of our produce to meet market requirements and sell it at a fair price point,” he said in Filipino. To achieve this, Peace and Equity Foundation, Livelihood cluster lead,

and Assisi Development Foundation, Partnerships for Indigenous Peoples cluster lead, teamed up for a Family and Community Visioning workshop to identify what are the community’s present challenges, flesh out their aspirations, and map out how they reach their goals. The workshop is one of the unique methods from ZEP 2030 to help plan how they can effectively channel programs and interventions for their partner communities. Through the exercise, ZEP 2030 identified their initial phase of intervention: help the Higaonon community apply and secure their Certificate for Ancestral Domain Title, upscale and improve their coffee production to build their own social enterprise around it, and bridge them with the local government to funnel their education and health-care services to their remote communities. “We see the potential of the Higaonon community to become successful in building their own social enterprise. They are open and eager to learn how they can do this effectively. Having that initiative is a huge step closer for them to become self-sufficient. This gives us confidence and inspires us that our partnership will be fruitful,” Peace and Equity Foundation Program Officer Nikki Along said. The strength of the network of ZEP 2030 and the expertise of each cluster became easier for partner communities to benefit on the collective impact they bring in. “We have seen the difference in the effectivity of the results when we put together our efforts toward our common goal of helping out impoverished communities. We would like to see more of this convergence for a longer lasting impact against poverty,” ZEP 2030 Lead Convenor Benjamin Abadiano said. ZEP 2030 is calling for nonprofit institutions corporate foundations and advocacy groups to join their cause. ZEP 2030 is a collective movement of civil-society organizations that are working together on poverty alleviation programs nationwide. Formed in 2015, ZEP 2030 is on a mission to uplift 1 million Filipino families from extreme poverty to self-sufficiency by 2030.

Seminar on how to Win Government Contracts with Unsolicited Proposals


O you have a groundbreaking, innovative or unique idea that you want to propose as a project for the government? Don’t you wait for government’s invitation to bid. Bag that government contract with your unsolicited proposals. Be ahead of the game and learn How to Prepare Unsolicited Proposals for Government Projects on Thursday and Friday, May 16 and 17, 2019, at the Sheraton Manila Hotel, Pasay City. This two-day special training will comprehensively cover all the legal, technical, financial and environmental aspects in preparing unsolicited proposals. Know the right ingredients to a winning proposal for different kinds of infrastructure projects including land development, transport systems, water supply market redevelopment, among many others. Let your proposal standout with a step-by-step guide from technical design and evaluation, financial modeling and performance measures, to technical and environmental considerations and many more. This seminar will feature Alberto C. Agra, one of the only two in the world who is both a Certified PPP Specialist and Regulation Specialist. He drafted a proposed PPP Code/Ordinance for LGUs which to date has been adopted by more than 100 LGUs in the Philippines. He was also part of the team who developed the 2008 Neda JV Guidelines. He has conducted over 200 lectures on PPPs and JVs. He is also the author of the Proposed PPP Ordinance: Annotated and coauthor of the book, Knowing PPP, BOTs & JV: A Legal Ordinance. Currently, he holds a position as the chairman of the Philippine Reclamation Authority, and is a PPP, local government professor and Political Law Bar Reviewer at Ateneo Law School. This program will also feature other

experts on this special topic. Attending this will provide you with a wealth of valuable information that will save you millions in consulting fees in learning how to prepare those winning unsolicited proposals. This program is highly recommended for both private and government sectors who want to fully understand how unsolicited proposals should be evaluated and approved. Capture more opportunities for your organization. Registration is open to the general public. Interested participants are encouraged to avail themselves of early registration savings and group discounts for three or more registrants. Seats are limited. Preregistration is required. This pioneering program is an initiative of the Center for Global Best Practices as part of its advocacy to help spur economic growth and development in the Philippines. CGBP is accredited by the Civil Service Commission. Attendees from the government can earn points for their career advancement and are exempted from the P2,000 limit when attending training conducted by the private sectors based on DBM Circular 563 dated April 22, 2016. Check for a complete list of best practices programs including How to Joint Venture Effectively with the Government, How to Prepare Your Bidding Documents, Public-Private Partnership Certification Course, What You Must Know about the 2016 Procurement Law IRR, Certification Course for LGU Administrators, How to Prepare your SOCE and many more. You may also call landlines in Manila (+63 2) 842-7148/ 59 and (+63 2) 556-8968/ 69, in Baguio (+63 74) 423-2914, in Cebu (+63 32) 512-3106 or 07, or Legazpi City (+63 52) 736-0148.

Marketing BusinessMirror

Editor: Efleda P. Campos • Monday, April 15, 2019 E3

How the Filipino child consumes media I

PR Matters By Bong R. Osorio

N an organization, a stakeholder is a member of “groups without whose support the organization would cease to exist.” The word was first used in a 1963 internal memorandum at the Stanford Research Institute. The theory was later developed and championed by R. Edward Freeman in the 1980s. Since then, it has gained wide acceptance in business practice: PR, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility (CSR) or social impact communication. Any action taken by any organization might affect those people who are linked with them in sectors like children, parents and other publics that impact the organization’s operation. One hugely important stakeholder group for many PR programs are children, and one strategic platform that is used to reach out to them is television. Indeed, TV is a critical access point any brand, personality, or company can utilize to connect to children. To do that effectively, you need to have a full understanding of their TV habits and consumption—data that are inadequate, or if there are, would need updating.

NCCT/FEU Partnership

INSUFFICIENT data on children’s media behavior pushed the National Council for Children’s Television in partnership with the Far Eastern University (FEU) Manila to pursue a study on “The Filipino Child and Media: Media Consumption, Parental Mediation and Classroom Performance.” As media platforms continue to diversify, NCCT saw the need to explore children’s behavior not only on their interface with television, but on their social-media usage and video-gaming engagement as well; how these impact their classroom performance, and determine how parents monitor or mediate their children’s media usage. In the Philippines, watching television is a staple in most households, many of which have access to at least one television and a substantial number have more than one way to access to watch TV programs of their choice. They can connect through cable, streaming, or replays uploaded to the Internet or social networking sites. Four years ago, children were reported to spend an average of three hours during week days and an average of six hours during weekends watching television. This may not seem a large portion of the children’s daily activity, but with the continuous advancement of technology and the increasing curiosity of children in exploring other media platforms like the Internet—which can be used for online viewing, social media and video gaming—their media consumption has increased.

The issue

THE research project focused on the involvement of parents in their children’s media consumption and the influence of parental mediation relative to their classroom performance. It aimed to identify the contents of the media consumed by children, their schedule and amount of exposure for viewing and online gaming, and their motivations for consuming media; mediation styles parents use in monitoring their children’s media consumption and why do they use such styles; how media consumption influences children’s overall well-being and classroom performance; and the challenges and risks parents and children face with regards to media consumption and media content.


THE nationwide research was conducted among Grades 1 to 6 schoolchildren, ages 5 to 14 years old from public and private schools, excluding out-ofschool youth and students enrolled in the Special Education Curriculum from September to December 2018. It had a total of 2,203 respondents: 1,007 pupils, 1,007 parents and 189 teacheradvisers from Luzon, the Visayas, Mindanao and NCR. It covered both urban and rural areas with high media consumption.

Topline results

GRADES 1 to 3 pupils on average watch TV for less than an hour during weekdays and less than two hours during weekends, while Grades 4 to 6 watch TV for an average of three hours during weekdays and almost six hours

sions among children, although both positive and negative expressions can be learned through media through curse words, jargons and misuse of medical terms.

2. Psychological domain. Virtual images are associated with reality, thus inducing conditioned fear and trauma-related symptoms like as seeing the images in real life, and emotions like nightmares, and tantrums. Overexposure to gang, especially to violent games, lead to less empathy and desensitization toward violent images or scenarios. during weekends. Children still watch television on weekdays; however, usual peak time is at 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., the prime time on Philippine television. The majority of the respondents watch television as a family activity or a form of bonding. The most often types of programs they watch together are action, drama and romance, variety shows, and news. Interestingly, children watch cartoons almost always by themselves, as parents see cartoons as less harmful than teleseryes or movies. Children generally use social media for communication and socialization, most commonly with relatives and classmates. Both public and private schoolteachers encourage their students to use social media where group chats are common, and where the teachers would usually post special announcements like assignments, projects, school events and group activities.

Content of media use

ON average, Filipino schoolchildren now watch less TV and spend more hours using gadgets to watch YouTube videos, Facebook and playing video games. The types of programs parents and children usually view together contain heavy themes on violence, death, sex, extramarital affairs, drugs and revenge. Some parents expressed there are too few child-friendly programs available on free TV unlike in the past years when kids can watch educational programs in the morning or early afternoon. Parents understand that children are now being drawn to online media and video gaming. There is also an increased interest in popular YouTubers or Vloggers, which children follow, idolize and imitate. Most of the content of the famous vloggers include challenge videos, pranks, game and product reviews and tutorials. Cheat tutorials are also popular among child gamers. While parents are aware of the dangers and risks of media, majority do not orient their children, least setup online security on social networking sites. For older kids in Grades 4 to 6, the most popular type of game is RolePlaying Games (RPG) that are usually violent battle games played online and interactively with chatrooms. They allow for conversations with actual players who cuss and use foul language. A few of them also admitted playing adult-games like Summertime Saga, a sex-oriented simulation game on their mobile phones. While it is a practice for some parents to watch TV with their children, the kids are unsupervised in their use of social media and video games. The only restriction is the number of hours a child may spend on social media and video games especially during schooldays, which is one to two hours. Nonetheless, some kids reported finding ways to play for extended hours: in school during recess, and before and beyond bedtime. Kids no longer play outdoors since some parents feel that it is no longer safe. The latter feels that it is safer to play video games or watch YouTube rather than playing outdoors where they can be physically threatened or even abducted.

Motivations for media use

YOUNGER children primarily use media for entertainment and for keeping up with family members and friends. When children grow older, their range of interest in using social media widens, and many would use media as an avenue for finding new friends, keeping up to date with personalities, and even searching for potential partners. Parents would let their children use

media as a form of early “teacher” and oftentimes as a distraction especially for working parents or housewives. Some parents see media as a reward for achievement, when children do well in school or in extracurricular activities. Thus, children would see gadgets and media almost always in a positive light because it is associated with achievement.

5 Domains affected by media consumption 1. Cognitive domain. The most prominent impact of media can be seen on children’s academic performance. Media is found to have helped enrich learning via DIY tutorials, curriculum-based programs or games, and improved life skills like life hacks. Media also play a great role in the development of language and expres-

3. Behavioral domain. Children easily learn new behaviors from the television, social media and video games. Even without reinforcement, children can easily copy behaviors— positive or negative. They are, likewise, influenced by popular personalities in shaping their attitudes and reactions through simple observation. Overexposure to media, especially video games, may lead to addiction. On instances where children are restricted from playing video games, certain negative behaviors are accumulated: moodiness, destructive reactions and unresponsiveness. 4. Social domain. When children become disengaged with the real world, they become loners in real life, and are disintegrating with their relationships. They become trapped in their own virtual world, and would often not join family discussions, meals or activities.

5. Health domain. Impaired senses of sight and hearing are greatly associated with gaming addiction. When one becomes too focused on gaming, a child may become sleep deprived, and forget to eat or stay clean, leading to malnutrition and non-hygienic patterns. If intervention is not done early, this may lead to psychosomatic symptoms: tics, dizziness and seizures. Given the research results, there’s a need for digital media and information literacy for teachers, children and their recent study point at the numerous adverse impacts of video gaming and exposure to age inappropriate media content. It echoed the suggestion of children and parents to have more child-friendly media content, stricter regulation of “piso-net” Internet cafés, and engage family into more social activities like sports, outdoor activities and other bonding moments with relatives. PR Matters is a roundtable column by members of the local chapter of the United Kingdom-based International Public Relations Association (Ipra), the world’s premier organization for PR professionals around the world. Bong R. Osorio is a communications consultant of ABS-CBN Corp., SkyCable, Dentsu-Aegis Network and government projects among others, after retiring as vice president and head of the Corporate Communications Division of ABS-CBN. We are devoting a special column each month to answer our readers’ questions about public relations. Please send your questions or comments to askipraphil@

Perspective BusinessMirror

E4 Monday, April 15, 2019

Journalism or not? WikiLeaks’ status in media world complex

IN this February 24, 2011, file photo, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks to the media after his extradition hearing at Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court in London. AP/MATT DUNHAM

By David Bauder


The Associated Press

EW YORK—After the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London, his lawyer was quick to characterize it as an assault against the rights of journalists all over the world who seek to uncover secrets.

But was it quite that clear? Does WikiLeaks do journalism, or is it something else? The answer wasn’t evident when the organization burst into public consciousness at the top of this decade with the release of government documents about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It seems even less so now. Launched in 2006 as the vision of Australian computer hacker Assange, WikiLeaks produced raw data, not stories—things like Sarah Palin’s personal emails or membership rolls of neo-Nazi organizations. The thousands of memos, cables and other documents about US war efforts revealed when Assange allegedly conspired with Chelsea Manning to break into a Pentagon computer took WikiLeaks to another level. Some viewed Assange as a hero, others as a traitor. Either way, it was a heady time. WikiLeaks was considered a new type of news organization, fueled by the power of the Internet and democratization of information.

“There is a desperate need for our work,” WikiLeaks member Sarah Harrison explained in a 2016 column in The New York Times. “The world is connected by largely unaccountable networks of power that span industries and countries, political parties, corporations and institutions. WikiLeaks shines a light on these by revealing not just individual incidents, but information about entire structures of power.” The organization’s methods can be—and sometimes are—seen as a threat to journalism’s traditional gatekeepers of power. But journalism has encompassed many traditions over the decades and centuries. WikiLeaks has been an influence in two positive trends for journalism over the past decade, says Lisa Lynch, a journalism professor at Drew University who has written about the organization. It emphasized the importance of datadriven journalism, an increasingly valuable tool. Since WikiLeaks was often willing to work with traditional outlets in how it released

IN this December 16, 2010, file photo, Assange is seen outside the High Court in central London. The arrest of Assange reignites a debate with no easy answer: Is the former computer hacker and founder of WikiLeaks a journalist or not? His lawyers are quick to characterize the case against him as a threat to all journalists. STEFAN WERMUTH

data, it encouraged news organizations to cooperate more in chasing stories. The 2016 “Panama Papers” investigation that revealed the offshore financial havens of political leaders showed what can happen when journalists team up. Despite utopian ideals, though, real life is more complicated. Information isn’t always merely information; government files can reveal wartime informants and put people’s lives in danger. And information can be weaponized through decisions about what to reveal and what not to reveal. For example: Many people saw Assange’s decision to publish the private emails of Hillary Clinton’s

campaign chairman as a sign of coziness with Russia and a contributing factor in Donald Trump’s election as president. Yet some of history’s most prominent journalists have been advocates as well, and have expressed clear points of view. Upton Sinclair, a progressive “muckraker” in the early 20th century, made no secret of the fact that his exposé of the meatpacking industry, “The Jungle,” was an attempt at jump-starting reform. “I aimed at the public’s heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach,” he wrote later. Today, news outlets across the political spectrum, from The National Review to Mother

Jones, from Fox News to MSNBC, are considered to be journalism— albeit delivered from a distinct vantage point. Add into the mix the rise of blogging and social media, which permit anyone with an internet connection to use the term “journalist” and be immediately and globally amplified, and the result is ambiguity about who is a journalist and who isn’t. In that environment, Assange, too, presents an ambiguous image. “I had trouble seeing him as a journalist from the start,” said Columbia University journalism professor Todd Gitlin, a frequent writer about the media. “But he certainly was a publisher. It turns out he was not just any old publisher, he was a publisher with a distinct angle. And his angle is antidemocratic.” Certainly Assange, a prickly personality who may never be forgiven by many Democrats for WikiLeaks’ role in the 2016 election, doesn’t cut a sympathetic figure. Does that disqualify him from the mantle of journalist, though? “People feel very differently about WikiLeaks now than they did in 2010,” Lynch said. “There’s no doubt about that. I feel very differently about WikiLeaks now. But that doesn’t mean I’m not just as concerned about what happens to WikiLeaks going forward.” She added: “If we start drawing boxes around who is or isn’t a journalist in court and the conversation becomes about the way WikiLeaks used information, then we might end up with unintended

consequences.” David Boardman, dean of Temple University’s communications school and chairman of The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said one key thing sets WikiLeaks apart from news organizations: the accusations that Assange acted illegally with Manning to obtain the war documents. “I consider it something different,” said Boardman, the former executive editor of The Seattle Times. “I don’t consider it a journalistic organization.” Boardman considers the US government’s case against Assange, as it is now outlined, as narrowly based upon his actions with Manning and thus not threatening to journalists. Others consider this a narrow reading of the case—one fueled, perhaps, by a discomfort with Assange’s methods and the idea of whether he should be considered a journalist at all. Journalist Glenn Greenwald, himself no stranger to controversies about the release of information, tweeted Thursday: “If you’re a US media star who has spent two years claiming to be so concerned about press freedoms over Trump’s mean tweets about your friends, but don’t raise your voice in protest over this grave attack on press freedom, take a hard look in the mirror.” David Bauder covers media issues for The Associated Press. Follow him on Twitter at @dbauder. Follow AP’s coverage of the arrest of WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange here: https://

Profile for BusinessMirror

BusinessMirror April 15, 2019  

BusinessMirror April 15, 2019