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@akosistellaBM Special to the BusinessMirror


HE Department of Tourism (DOT) is retaining its foreign tourist targets, after all. Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat confirmed this after Malacañang on Friday announced that the government is targeting the arrival of some 8.2 million foreign visitors this year. Last year some 7.1 million foreigners visited the country. In a Viber exchange with the BusinessMirror, the DOT chief said the




targets for foreign visitor arrivals will be “retained” for 2019 to 2022, as originally stated in the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) of 2016-2022. Earlier, she had said the arrivals goals would likely be scaled down in anticipation of missing the 7.4-millon target in 2018, due to the closure of Boracay Island. (See, “Boracay closure prompts DOT to rework tourism goals,” in the BusinessMirror, December 3, 2018.) Under the NTDP, the DOT is eyeing the arrival of 12 million foreign tourists by 2020, the end of President Duterte’s term. The NTDP is currently undergoing review and the DOT recently met with

private tourism stakeholders to consult with them on possible revisions in the master plan. But Romulo Puyat added that the targets for domestic travelers will definitely be revised. “We haven’t discussed it yet. But we have to [revise these numbers] because we’ve already exceeded our targets,” she stressed. Under the NTDP, the DOT has targeted domestic travelers to reach 89.2 million by 2022, from 76.3 million in 2018. But as of November 2018, domestic travelers were already at 97 million. One of the major reasons the DOT is retaining its foreign visitors goals, she

BusinessMirror A broader look at today’s business


Tuesday, February 12, 2019 Vol. 14 No. 125

By Bianca Cuaresma



OREIGN direct investments (FDI) to the Philippines declined in the first 11 months of 2018 due to a substantial decline in investments in equity capital during the period, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported on Monday.  

FDI is the type of investment that is often more coveted, as it stays longer in the economy and creates job opportunities for locals. It is also not easily pulled out of the market unlike its shorterterm counterpart, the foreign

portfolio investments. FDI to the Philippines dropped 3.2 percent in the January-to-November period last year compared to the invesments made in the same 11-month period in 2017. FDI registered $9.1-billion net inflows

in January to November 2018, from the $9.4 billion seen in the previous year. This was traced to the 28.3-percent decline in net investments of equity capital during the period.   The drop in net investments of

equity capital came largely from investors outside Asia, with investors from New Zealand and Australia posting a 12,246-percent drop in investments during the period resulting to a net outflow of $148.14 million during the period.   Investments from players in Europe also declined during the period by 79.86 percent, while North America—comprising the United States and Canada—posted a 71.42-percent decline in equity capital investments. Central America’s equity capital investments also declined 4.4 percent during the period.  The exodus from the country of long-term equity capital investments of Western countries could have been more damaging to the Philippines’s overall net FDI numbers, if not for the investments

placed by Asian players. Those dubbed Asia’s Newly Industrialized Economies (ANIEs) —South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan—posted the largest growth in their equity capital placements to the Philippines during the period, growing by 136.24 percent.  The rest of Asia followed with a 91.78-percent growth during the period.  The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), meanwhile, also posted growth during the period, jumping by 72.27 percent from the previous year’s level of investments.  The top five country investors for the period were also mostly Asian: Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, China and the United States.  Equ it y capit a l pl acements See “FDI,” A2

Gordon bill proposes revised tax regime for Clark and Subic By Butch Fernandez @butchfBM

EN. Richard Gordon on Monday moved to update the 27-year-old law that transformed the former Clark Air Base and Subic Naval Base into economic zones following the expiration of US bases treaty in 1991. Looking to revitalize the special economic zones in Subic and Clark, Gordon filed Senate Bill 2207 expanding the territories of the Subic Special Economic Zone and the Clark Special Economic Zone, increasing their powers and revising the allocation of income on taxes earned.  The senator added the remedial legislation will also “entail creation of a new tax regime” for the two economic zones, to be finalized in the upcoming plenary deliberations on the bill. In sponsoring the enabling measure, Gordon projects that early enactment into law of the remedial legislation  amending the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA)  will “revitalize and spread the blessings of the Subic experience to neighboring communities who are willing to share the same culture

of hard work, the same vision of prosperity and development, and the same willingness to work hard to make it happen.” Moreover, he added that the proposed amendment,likewise, aims to “further strengthen Subic’s equally successful neighbor, Clark Special Economic Zone, by expanding its scope and fine-tuning policies that will further its growth.” Endorsed for early enactment under Committee Report 653, Senate Bill 2207, once passed into law, shall be known as “An Act Revitalizing The Bases Conversion Development, Amending For The Purpose Republic Act No. 7227, Otherwise Known As The ‘Bases Conversion And Development Act of 1992,’ As Amended.” Soon after its enactment, the proposed law provides that Subic Special Economic Zone will be developed into a “self-sustaining industrial, commercial, financial and investment center to generate employment opportunities in and around the zone, and to attract and promote not only productive foreign investments, but domestic investments, as well.” In addition, Gordon’s bill will also  expand the Subic Special See “Gordon,” A2




P25.00 nationwide | 4 sections 20 pages | 7 DAYS A WEEK

11-month FDI down on drop in equity capital investments F


Continued on A2

UNIFORMED MEN’S DISCOUNT The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and the Department of Transportation have signed a memorandum of agreement with bus companies for the grant of a 20-percent discount to all men and women in uniform riding public utility buses. In photo, LTFRB Chairman Atty. Martin B. Delgra III (left) and Mark Richmund M. de Leon, OIC-assistant secretary for Road Transport Infrastructure of the DOTr, show the copy of the MOA at the signing ceremony in Quezon City on February 11. NONOY LACZA

Congress can defeat vetoed budget items, says Diokno ₧75 billion The alleged “insertion” to the budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways, which Diokno said was part of the “final adjustments” in their commitment to disburse the equivalent of 5 percent of GDP for infrastructure spending By Bernadette D. Nicolas @BNicolasBM


UDGET Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno on Monday debunked accusations that he is in cahoots with Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei B. Nograles to make President Duterte veto the General Appropriations Bill to restore the P75 billion he allegedly inserted. Calling the allegations of House Appropriations Commitee Chairman Rep. Rolando G. Andaya Jr. “baseless,” “premature” and “irresponsible,” Diokno said they have yet to receive the enrolled copy of the budget bill, which was ratified by both Houses of Congress on Friday after a twomonth delay.  “Our job is to provide the President the facts and options so he can exercise his constitutional duty to act on the budget bill once it arrives on his desk, including the option to exercise his line-item veto power,” he said in a statement.  While Diokno said that Congress has the authority to override the President’s veto with two-thirds vote, he also thinks it is “irresponsible for a legislator to threaten the President with a suit in the exercise of his power to line-item veto some objectionable amendments made by Congress.” Andaya on Sunday said he will Continued on A2

Solons alarmed by 22 Manila Bay reclamation projects By Jovee Marie N. dela Cruz



T least 22 proposed reclamation projects in Manila Bay are awaiting the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’s (DENR) approval, the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) on Monday said, sparking alarm from lawmakers

that the bay’s rehabilitation might be for naught.   During the hearing of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, PRA Assistant General Manager Joselito Gonzales said the 22 reclamation projects cover a 20,000-hectare pipeline. “ They [reclamation project proponents] have complied with

all the mandatory requirements,” Gonzales told lawmakers. All 22 reclamation projects will cover at least 10 percent of the 199,000-hectare Manila Bay— stretching from Cavite to Navotas. According to Gonzales, the implementation of the projects will be gradual. Party-list Rep. Ariel Casilaoof Anakpawis said this confirmation

from the PR A is a threat to the genuine rehabilitation of Manila Bay. “This must be stopped, as it is threatening the genuine essence of the Manila Bay cleanup. The reclamation should be opposed,” the lawmaker added. Last week the Makabayan bloc filed House Bill 9067 declaring See “Manila Bay,” A2

n JAPAN 0.4755 n UK 67.5433 n HK 6.6475 n CHINA 7.7459 n SINGAPORE 38.4668 n AUSTRALIA 36.9665 n EU 59.0619 n SAUDI ARABIA 13.9103

Source: BSP (11 February 2019 )



A2 Tuesday, February 12, 2019

IC to firms: Give clients time to read policy


By Rea Cu


HE Insurance Commission (IC) has issued two circular letters instructing local insurance companies and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) to give ample time for clients to decide on the policy. Under IC Circular Letters 201865 and 2018-66, local insurance companies and HMOs are instructed by the commission to provide a 15-day free-look period for health insurance policies and health main-

tenance contracts with a duration of more than six months, as well as a five-day free-look period if the duration is six months or less. “A free-look period protects a customer if he or she feels that the

DOT retains foreign visitors goal but likely to adjust local tourism figures amid upswing Continued from A1

explained, is the reopening of Boracay Island. “The crown jewel of Philippine tourism has reopened. And as we move towards completing the second and third phases of Boracay’s rehabilitation, we anticipate more tourists from abroad who are eager to see the many changes we have accomplished there.” She added the launching of the “refreshed” brand campaign with the slogan It’s More Fun in the Philippines “will further raise the awareness on our beautiful islands in our key international markets.” Lastly, Romulo Puyat said, in their consultations with the private tourism stakeholders, “They have expressed full support to the programs of the DOT. They are all geared up to attend the many travel and tourism fairs abroad, and enthusiastic to sell the Philippines to their foreign clients. The refreshed brand campaign will make it easier for them to do so.” In a separate interview, DOT Undersecretary for Tourism Development Planning Benito C. Bengzon Jr. said, during the recent consultation meeting with the private sector regarding the NTDP, that “no one actua l ly brought up revising the targets.”

He said the tourism stakeholders were more concerned about the tourism products that the Philippines should be offering. Both DOT officials are currently in Tel Aviv to attend the 25th International Mediterranean Tourism Market on February 12 and 13, the largest annual professional tourism fair in the Eastern Mediterranean. Some 25,000 tourism and travel executives regularly participate in the IMTM. On Sunday, the Philippines hosted a reception for Israeli tourism stakeholders, which included a B2B (business-to-business meeting) with their counterparts from the Philippines. The DOT has been developing Israel as a major source of tourists because of its strong historical ties with the Philippines. President Manuel L. Quezon gave Jewish refugees from Europe, who were being persecuted by the Nazi regime, sanctuary in the Philippines. Last year arrivals from Israel grew by 16.6 percent to 20,343. DOT officials believe these numbers will increase significantly with the launching of direct flights between Manila and Tel Aviv by Philippine Airlines possibly this year.

Congress can defeat vetoed budget items, says Diokno Continued from A1

be joining Senator Panfilo Lacson Sr. and Senate Majority Leader Franklin Drilon in questioning the veto message before the Supreme Court. Malacañang, however, said it is within the right of Congress to question anything that they feel should be subject to petition before the Supreme Court.  “That’s their right and, in fact, that’s their duty if they feel that they are correct. Let the Supreme Court decide,” said Presidential Spokesman and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador S. Panelo in a Palace briefing on Monday.  He also said the lawmakers don’t need to go to the Supreme Court should they have a problem with the veto message of the President.  “What they [lawmakers] can do under the Constitution is to override the veto.  You don’t have to go to the Supreme Court. The President vetoes the measure, Congress can override the veto by the required number of votes,” he added.  But the budget chief said they will scrutinize the budget as submitted by Congress, line by line, as the DBM will prepare a Statement of Difference to compare it with the President’s budget.  “We do not claim monopoly

of fiscal wisdom. Hence, we will provide the President the option to veto or accept the amendment. If the congressional amendment is an improvement over the President’s proposal, we will propose adoption; other w ise, we w i l l propose line-item veto. Congress has done its constitutional duty to review, amend and finally authorize the budget. Now, it’s the duty of the President to approve, approve with line-item veto, or veto altogether the whole budget,” he added. The BusinessMirror sought the comment of Nograles on Andaya’s new allegation but he has yet to respond, as of press time.  Prior to his appointment as Cabinet secretary, Nograles was the chairman of the same House committee now chaired by Andaya. Last week Nograles assured the public that the 2019 national budget will be pork-free despite the issues surrounding it.  Diokno has since denied calling the P75 billion an “insertion” to the budget of the DPWH as this was just part of the budget process. He said it was not an insertion as this was just part of the “final adjustments” since they found out that they are still short in their commitment to disburse the equivalent of 5 percent of GDP for infrastructure spending. 

policy document is not what the person signed up for and protects the insuring public from dangers of misselling,” Insurance Commissioner Dennis B. Funa said. According to the IC, a free-look period refers to the period of time in which a new health insurance policy owner can terminate or cancel the insurance contract, which is for the benefit of a policyholder since it allows for the review of the policy to make sure it meets the needs of the insured. Funa pointed out that a free-look period allows the policyholder to decide whether or not to continue with the contract, and if he or she decides to cancel it for whatever

reasons, the policyholder can demand the cancellation thereof. “If the insured for any reason does not want to accept the coverage or cancel the policy, he or she may demand for the cancellation or termination of the contracts,” he added. Furthermore, the IC said that the free-look period begins once a policyholder receives the new health insurance policy or contract. If the policyholder decides to cancel or surrender the policy within the free-look period, he or she shall be entitled to the return of all premiums paid. “For group contracts, the freelook period is not mandatory;

however, the parties to such group contract may agree on the inclusion of the free-look provision. It is understood that the group contract holders who negotiated

and accepted the group contracts in behalf of its members or employees have full knowledge and understanding of its contents,” the circular letter read.

If the insured for any reason does not want to accept the coverage or cancel the policy, he or she may demand for the cancellation or termination of the contracts.” —Insurance Commissioner Dennis B. Funa

ADB urges Asian govts to allot more play spaces By Cai U. Ordinario



SIAN cities need play spaces to improve health and employability of individuals, according to experts from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). In an Asian Development Blog, ADB Senior Youth Regional Project Manager Shruti Mehta and Southeast Asia Regional Department Senior Urban Development Specialist Joris van Etten said play spaces, such as parks and community squares, are now missing in Asian cities.  Play spaces encourage physical activity in communities, improving the health and well-being of its members. It also enhances the employability of community members because sport-based approaches in employment training, entrepreneurship and enterprise have emerged. 

Manila Bay. . .

“With the huge pressure to provide space for living, working and public infrastructure, public spaces—including parks and community squares—have largely disappeared from the cities of Asia and the Pacific,” the authors said. “Play is something that provides us a retreat from everyday hardships and brings happiness. It should be something that everyone has access to—if only there are the suitable spaces,” they added.  These public spaces also increased social inclusion. In Rio, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) invested in a public spaces project that allowed more community members to participate in sporting activities.  The authors said around 4,000 disadvantaged children and youth in Rio’s favelas became involved in sports programs. They also said parks and community squares can improve health

Continued from A1

and build life skills. They cited a UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and Philippine Muay Thai Association project in Malabon that encouraged physical activity. T he communit y space was turned into a multipurpose sporting ground, allowing youth to play basketball and practice muay thai. The authors said the project was led by the community. The authors said a 2017 ADB Institute study found that weight issues, including obesity, cost Asian countries 0.78 percent of their annual GDP, or $166 billion.  “The study calls for urban planners to consider building parks and amenities that encourage physical activity, since play and sport build key life skills and improve mental health,” the authors said. The authors said community involvement, particularly for the youth, are crucial in the design and

AES transmission. . .

of the “trusted build” for the transmission source code on Monday. “It has already undergone a source code review and they found no malicious programs or insertion,” Casquejo said.   The transmission source or script serves as the “meet-meroom” for various telecommunication companies for the purpose of transmitting results to ensure that the key servers  receive the same results.2   THE children and the birds return to frolick at the Manila Bay along Roxas Boulevard in Manila, amid the bay’s ongoing cleaning and rehabilitation efforts. NONIE REYES

Manila Bay as a reclamation-free zone.

Failure of regulators–Atienza

SENIOR Deputy Minority Leader Lito Atienza of the Buhay partylist hit the PRA for its failure to effectively regulate the numerous reclamation projects all over the country. “How many reclamation projects in the Manila Bay area are in the pipeline? How many reclamation projects in the whole country? What is the total area of all of these projects? Would these reclamation

FDI. . .

Continued from A1

during the period were invested mainly in manufacturing, financial and insurance, real estate, arts, entertainment and recreation, and electricity, gas, steam and air-conditioning supply activities.   In November alone, FDI to the Philippines took a beating with a 45.9-percent decline in recorded net inflows for the yea—hitting just $531 million during the month from the $982 million in the same month in 2017. 

projects have adverse effects on the environment?” Atienza asked the PRA. “You have just admitted that in the Manila Bay area alone, there are 22 reclamation projects poised to commence, and over 100 more in different parts of the country. You are aware that there would indeed be effects on the environment, and yet you would still let these projects proceed simply because the developers were instituting so-called systems to mitigate these effects?” added Atienza.    In a recent research note, HSBC observed a significant improvement in FDI flows to Southeast Asia after the global financial crisis, but “the lion’s share has gone to Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia—not to countries like Thailand, Indonesia or the Philippines, where supply chains are expected to grow in future. “The levers to attract investment to Asean more widely are clear: reasonable production costs, stable institutions, improved technological innovation, lowering tariffs and import barriers for production inputs, and increasing labor skills,” HSBC said. 

implementation of urban projects. These will be part of the discussions as the ADB finalizes its Livable Cities 2019-2024 Operational Priority Plan. The ADB intends to transform Asian cities into competitive, equitable and environmentally sustainable urban region or livable cities. Asia’s cities will become home to another 1.1 billion people in the next two decades, as the poor continue to be drawn to better opportunities, the ADB had noted. Further, many cities are already struggling with environmental degradation, traffic congestion, inadequate urban infrastructure and a lack of basic services, such as water supply, sanitation, and waste management.   Maintaining vital economic growth while creating sustainable livable cities for all is the biggest urban challenge facing Asia, the ADB said.

New protocol

CASQUEJO said they will also be implementing their new protocol, which will ban the removal of the Secure Digital (SD) cards from the Vote Counting Machines (VCM) in case the latter fail to transmit. “One contingency in the event the voting center fails to transmit [the election results], [is] they will go directly to the nearest voting center with a strong signal so that we could send the results directly from the VCM to the CCS and the transparency server,” Casquejo said.   During such a scenario, the VCMs will be guarded by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and must be conducted in the presence of poll watchers.   Prior to the new protocol, he

Gordon. . .

Continued from A1

Economic Zone by extending its territory to include the whole or part of the territory of the municipality of San Antonio in Zambales and the municipalities of Morong, Hermosa and Dinalupihan, upon resolution of their respective Sanggunian, for a period of not less than 50 years.

Continued from A8

said the SD cards were removed from the VCMs, which puts it at risk of possible tampering, to be manually brought to other voting areas for transmission.   Casquejo, however, noted the relocation of the VCM is only their last resort if the satellitebased  Broadband Global Area Network they will distribute in isolated areas will not function as intended.   

Better transmission

THE Comelec said it is a targeting an over 97 percent transmission rate in the 2019 polls as it improves its partnership with telecommunication firms and Smartmatic, the company that won the contract for the transmission service.   “We would like to achieve a [transmission rate] of 97 percent to 99 percent. That is our target with more preparations and training for our electoral boards,” Casquejo said.  In previous automated elections, the Comelec recorded the following transmission rates: 91 percent in 2010; 76 percent in 2013; and almost 97 percent in 2016.     He said they will also continue their coordination with the PNP and AFP to monitor any attempt to sabotage transmission signal during the elections. Meanwhile, Clark Special Economic Zone’s free-port zone will be increased from 4,400 hectares to 35,400 hectares. It also mandates that the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority board of directors shall provide a master plan for the phased expansion of the free-port zone every two years in the municipality of Olongapo, Zambales, and in the municipalities of Dinalupihan, Hermosa and Morong, Bataan.

The Nation BusinessMirror

‘Taho’ splashing scene leads to filing of raps vs Chinese woman By Joel R. San Juan @jrsanjuan1573


CRIMINAL complaint was formally filed before the Office of the City Prosecutor of Mandaluyong City against the Chinese woman who splashed a glassful of taho, or sweetened soy pudding, at a policeman assigned at the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT 3) station in Mandaluyong City last Saturday. Chinese national Jiale Zhang, 23, was specifically charged by Police Officer William Cristobal with unjust vexation, disobedience to an agent of person in authority and direct assault. A copy of the complaint was furnished to the Department of Justice (DOJ). Zhang, a fashion student, was arrested by police officers after she refused to heed their request not to bring her cup of taho inside the station as part of the security measures being implemented by the authorities against possible terrorist attacks in light of the recent twin bombing at the Jolo cathedral allegedly perpetrated by suicide bombers. The MRT 3 management has been implementing a no-liquid policy inside the station and train premises as part of the security measures. Instead of complying with the measure, Zhang argued with the authorities and when Cristobal approached her to explain the policy she threw her cup of taho at the latter. The incident which was even caught on video, which went viral on social media resulted in the arrest of the Chinese woman.

DOH reports 70 deaths due to measles


By Claudeth Mocon-Ciriaco | Correspondent

EALTH Secretary Francisco T. Duque III on Monday appealed to the public to “rebuild your trust and confidence in vaccines” as the country reels from a deadly measles outbreak that had claimed the lives of at least 70 persons in the past weeks. The health chief admitted that vaccine hesitancy, or the reluctance or even outright refusal, of parents to have their children vaccinated, as one of the main reasons for the recent measles outbreak in some regions of the country. Duque said that the causes of measles outbreak involved a num-

ber of factors or elements. The fear stirred by the Dengvaxia vaccine mess also contributed to the fear of parents. The Department of Health (DOH) said that the loss of public confidence and trust in vaccines in the immunization program brought about by the Dengvaxia

controversy has been documented as one of many factors that contributed to vaccine hesitancy in the country. This refers to mothers who became hesitant to have their children vaccinated with vaccines that were long proven to be effective, he added. “And I am quite sure that all of us sometime in our lives have been recipients of these vaccines which had protected us from various diseases,” Duque added. Validated data from different regions of the country by the Epidemiology Bureau of the health department revealed that from January 1 to February 9 alone this year, a total of 4,302 measles cases have been reported, with 70 deaths. Ages of cases ranged from one month up to 75 years old with one to four years old (34 percent) followed by less than nine months old (27 percent) as the most affected

age groups. Sixty-six percent of them had no history of vaccination against measles. Of the total deaths, ages ranged from one month to 31 years old. Notably, 79 percent of those who died had no history of vaccination. Regions with high reported cases are in the National Capital Region, or NCR, (1,296 cases and 18 deaths) Region 6A (1,086 cases and 25 deaths), Central Luzon (481 cases with three deaths), Western Visayas (212 cases and four deaths) and Northern Mindanao (189 cases and five deaths). Eastern Visayas, Region 6B, Region 6A, Central Visayas and Bicol are regions that have shown increasing trend as to reported cases for this week.   In October 2018, the World Health Organization conducted a study in selected areas in Metro Manila to identify reasons for not bring-

ing their children for immunization. The top reasons are the following: fear due to Dengvaxia, and the lack of time among households. Moreover, results of the vaccine confidence project in 2015 against 2018 by London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine on the respondents’ views that vaccines are important decreased from 93 percent to 32 percent; safe and effective from 82 percent down to 21 percent and vaccine confidence dropped from 93 to 32 percent, respectively. The DOH has been conducting vaccination activities against measles such as Outbreak Immunization Responses in several regions. This was followed by a nationwide Supplemental Immunization Activity (SIA) for six to 59 months old, which was conducted in two phases—in April 2018 (NCR and Mindanao) and in September 2018 (other parts of Luzon and the Visayas).  

NEA chief, Zambo electric DILG holds forum with mayors, board face environment officers for bay rehab cooperative charges over IMC award


O gain the support and cooperation of local government units (LGUs) in its effort to rehabilitate Manila Bay, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) convened on Monday 178 city and municipal mayors within the Manila Bay region. Aside from local chief executives or their representatives, city and/or municipal environment and natural resource officers and representatives from the so-called mandamus agencies were, likewise, invited to attend the forum. The Local Chief Executives’ Forum on the Manila Bay Cleanup,

Rehabilitation, and Preservation Program aims to keep the city and municipal mayors abreast on their critical roles and responsibilities in the rehabilitation of Manila Bay under the Supreme Court’s continuing mandamus. “Local government units should be at the forefront of efforts to clean up, rehabilitate and preserve the waters of Manila Bay. They should, therefore, be more proactive in encouraging the support and cooperation of their constituents and other stakeholders to bring back the glory of Manila Bay,” Interior Secretary Eduardo M. Año said in

a news statement. A Supreme Court decision dated December 18, 2008, and Resolution dated February 15, 2011, GR 171947-48, mandate the DILG and 12 other national government agencies to clean, rehabilitate and preserve the Manila Bay in order to prevent the continuous cycle of man-made pollution. To ensure compliance to the SC mandamus, the DILG is banking on the full support and cooperation of concerned local chief executives, particularly in relocating squatter families within their respective jurisdictions. Jonathan L. Mayuga

Palace declares Feb. 13 as special nonworking day in Parañaque City By Roderick L. Abad Contributor


ALACAÑAN Palace has declared, through Proclamation 665, February 13, as a special nonworking day in Parañaque City as the local government marks its 21st cityhood anniversary. “It is but fitting and proper that the City of Parañaque be given full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies,” said Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea, who signed the proclamation on behalf of President Duterte. According to Mayor Edwin L. Olivarez, several activities are lined up to observe the occasion with an ecumenical service, medical and dental missions, the Sunduaneexhibit, run and Zumba, Lambat Festival and fireworks display at SM City Sucat. T he activ ities also include Drum and Lyre competition, Interpretative Dance contest, Street Dance Kids challenge and pageant night of Gandang Mamita and BB Parañaque 2019. The local chief executive will deliver his sixth State of the City Address (Soca) on February 12, highlighting the present financial status of the city government. His Soca is expected to include the city government’s settlement this year of the P1-billion loans to the Land Bank of the Philippines incurred by the previous administration.   For the first time in Parañaque’s history, the city coffer has now cash in bank amounting P1.1 billion under the general fund.

Editor: Vittorio V. Vitug • Tuesday, February 12, 2019 A3


Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista (second from right) oversees the recent turnover of some 300 body cameras and 3,000 handcuffs to the Quezon City local government. The body cameras and the handcuffs are expected to boost the crime-fighting capabilities of the Quezon City Police District. NONOY LACZA

EWAs top concern for PNP as campaign for senatorial, party-list polls start today By Rene Acosta



HE Philippine National Police (PNP) is all set to take its election duties, including law enforcement and security operations, as the official campaign period starts today, Tuesday, for those running for senatorial and party-list positions. “Well, we are very much ready for our security preparations, and our coordination with the Commission on Elections [Comelec] and with the Armed Forces of the Philippines [AFP] is continuing,” PNP chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde said on Monday. “With regards to preparations, I think we are prepared, even with the deployment of our troops, we are just clearing their names. But with

regards to preparations, of course, we are very much prepared,” he added. Albayaldeadmittedthatoneoftheir concerns for the upcoming elections was the existence of hot spot areas or “election watch list of areas” or EWAs, and which they are dealing jointly with the poll body and the military. Based on its earlier record, the PNP has categorized 19 areas as EWAs, or those areas characterized by a track record of political violence and presence or existence of heated political rivalry, insurgents and other threat groups. The provinces were these EWAs exists are in La Union, Isabela, Batangas, Oriental Mindoro, Masbate, Albay, Zamboanga del Sur, Misamis Oriental, Basilan, Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao.

Specifically, these hot spot areas are Sudipen and Balaoan in La Union; Jones in Isabela; Lemery in Batangas; Roxas in Oriental Mindoro; Balud and Dimasalang in Masbate; Daraga in Albay; Pagadian City in Zamboanga del Sur, Cagayan de Oro City; Hadji Mohammad Ajul, Lantawan, Tipo-Tipo in Basilan; Marawi City in Lanao del Sur; and Sultan Dumalundong, Mamasapano, Shariff Aguak, Shariff Saydona Mustapha and Datu Unsay in Maguindanao. However, Albayalde said that the list has increased although he did not identify the area as this is still undergoing thorough validation. “Actually, there is an addition to the list. We are validating a new one based on the parameters that were given to us by the Comelec,” he said.

By Lenie Lectura



HE National Electrification Administration (NEA) and the former Board of Directors of the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative Inc. (Zamcelco) are facing graft charges before the Office of the Ombudsman. The National Association of Electricity Consumers for Reforms Inc. (Nasecore)-Zamboanga City Chapter, together with two homeowners associations of Zamboanga City, have filed a complaint against the NEA and Zamcelco officials for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act in the alleged anomalous procurement of the Investment Management Contract (IMC) approved by the NEA.   In a 14 page consolidated complaint-affidavit filed on February 6, Nasecore Zamboanga City Chapter President Marissa E. Aizon, together with W.S. Mountain View Homeowners Association Inc., represented by its president, Ma. Cecilia C. Fernandez, and Josephine C. Bensali, president of the Capok Village Homeowners Association Inc., alleged that the NEA approved the award of the IMC to bidder Crown Holdings despite their knowledge of irregularities in the bidding process that violate NEA rules and issuances.

The case was filed against NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong, NEA board members Rene M. Gonzales, Alipio Cirilo Badelles, Department of Energy Undersecretary and NEA alternate chairman, Felix William B. Fuentebella and the Zamcelco Board.   Complainants a l leged that despite their knowledge of the irregularities committed by the Zamcelco Board of Directors in the bidding process, the NEA Board still approved the IMC, thus, giving undue advantage and preference to the declared bidder to the prejudice of the memberconsumers of the electric cooperative (EC).   The complaint also charged the NEA officials with gross misconduct for their blatant disregard of their duties as regulators of ECs by refusing to ensure that all transactions and actions of ECs are aboveboard and in accordance with law, regulations and issuances.   Aizon also charged Masongsong for alleged violation of Republic Act 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees for refusing to act on her letter-request.   NEA officials and Fuentebella said they have yet to receive a copy of the complaint.

Comelec starts crackdown on illegal election propaganda By Samuel P. Medenilla @sam_medenilla


ARGE billboards with the names and faces of 2019 election candidates will be torn down as the Commission on Elections (Comelec) starts on Tuesday its nationwide crackdown against illegal election propaganda. This comes with the start of the national campaign period, which will trigger the effectivity of Comelec Resolution (CR) 10429, which lists so-called prohibited acts for the May 13 polls. “Prohibited forms of election propaganda included those that are posted outside of common poster areas, in public places or in private properties without the consent of the owner,” Comelec Spokesman James B. Jimenez said in a notice to all 2019 candidates.    Candidates were instructed to remove their prohibited election paraphernalia or risk facing sanctions candidates, as they may be,” Jimenez said.  T he Come le c w i l l now b e closely monitoring the contributions received by candidates,

as well as their expenditures, to ensure these will comply with their respective spending limits based on Republic Act 7166. Each candidate will be required to state these in their Statements of Contributions and Expenditures.   Other prohibited acts stated in CR  10429 is giving donations or gifts in cash or in kind; and appointment or use of special policemen, confidential agents and the like.  The issuance also bans the campaigning on Holy Thursday, March 28, 2019, and Good Friday on March 29, 2019.     In time for the start of the national campaign, some archdiocese of the Catholic Church already issued their respective guidelines.   Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos said he already issued a pastoral directive prohibiting the posting of political tarpaulins in Church patios and fences.  The issuance also instructs people with positions in parishes and working for a political candidate to take a leave of absence from their church duties for the duration. Last, it bans political candidates from making offertory processions. 

Economy BusinessMirror

A4 Tuesday, February 12, 2019 • Editor: Vittorio V. Vitug

Canberra just a ‘small’ market for Philippine banana produce


By Jasper Emmanuel Y. Arcalas


HE possible opening of the Australian market to homegrown bananas would only have a slight effect on the country’s overall export of the fruit as Canberra remains a “small” market for the local produce, the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) said. “[It would have] very minimal effect [on our exports],” PBGEA Executive Director Stephen A. Antig told the BusinessMirror in an interview. “Australia is a small market considering they have banana plantations also and export it, too,” Antig added. Nonetheless, Antig said, the Philippines’s competitive advantage is that locally produced bananas are cheaper than those grown in Australia. Last year, the Philippines and Australia held another round of agricultural talks in Canberra, which focused comprehensively on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) concerns of Canberra over Manila’s bananas. Following the results of the meeting, Agriculture Undersecretary Ar-

iel T. Cayanan expressed optimism on that homegrown banana fruits would finally enter the Australian market this year. Cayanan said the Philippines explained extensively to Australia the current SPS measures undertaken by local banana growers and exporters to address various diseases during the fourth Australia-Philippines Agriculture forum held on November 28 in Canberra. Cayanan pointed out that the Philippines currently employ superior banana technologies to address SPS problems compared to Australia. Among these technologies, according to Cayanan, banana growers eradicate the infestation and spread of black sigatoka disease through plant tissues.

ADB ‘repackages’ $500-M Metro transport devt plan By Cai U. Ordinario



HE Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it is preparing new rail-based projects for Metro Manila, as well as bridges, among others, to address congestion in the megacity. In an e-mail to the BusinessMirror on Monday, ADB Southeast Asia Department Director for Transportation and Communications Hiroaki Yamaguchi said these efforts will replace the $500-million Metro Manila Transport Project Phase 1.  Based on the ADB web site, the Metro Manila Transport Project Phase 1 was classified as “dropped/terminated.” However, Yamaguchi clarified that the project has not been dropped or terminated at all as indicated in the web site but has instead been split into several projects.  “The urban transport problem in Manila requires several approaches/projects continuously. There will never be one project to resolve the problem,” Yamaguchi said.  “Technical assistance is also being provided to [the] DOTr [Department of Transportation] to support with identifying solutions to Metro Manila traffic,” he added.  The decision to split the Metro Manila Transport Project came on the heels of ADB’s aim to ease traffic congestion in the National Capital Region (NCR) and promote livable cities.  Yamaguchi said in this regard, two Metro Manila transport projects are scheduled for delivery in 2019. This includes the Metro Manila bridges, as well as a series of elevated pedestrian greenways along Edsa, to create modern and safe walkways.  “ADB is also continuing discussions with the government on additional projects to assist with decongesting Metro Manila,” Yamaguchi said.  The Metro Manila Transport Project Phase 1 was initially aimed to address the key issue of high cost of transport across Manila and more specifically on the major transport corridor of the Edsa by reducing travel time and increasing passenger throughput. The project aimed to improve connectivity between different transport modes and the surroundings areas, as well as the ability of the government to manage and operate the various transport systems that run along Edsa in a more efficient and effective way. The $500-million loan amount earmarked by ADB for the project was initially allocated for the improvement of major transport modes along Edsa.  This includes the Metro Rail Transit Line 3, buses and private vehicles, as well as to improve pedestrian facilities.

“Their primarily concern is the entry of sigatoka disease, and they are saying that the remedial measures is having five leaves, eight leaves,” he told the BusinessMirror in an interview in December. “But we are doing the roots. If we see something wrong with the roots, we address it immediately and the plant will not grow anymore,” he added. The Philippines, through the Bureau of the Plant Industry (BPI) and the PBGEA, would submit the technical documents covering the comprehensive SPS measures undertaken by the country to Australia within the month, according to Cayanan. Cayanan mentioned that the meeting has set a six-month time frame—which would be from January to June—for Australia to evaluate the documents on whether it would pass their SPS and quarantine standards. Cayanan said they are optimistic that the Philippines would now overcome the SPS concerns set by Australia for the entry of locally grown banana fruits, and even sees the conclusion of Australia’s evaluation earlier than June next year. “I think we were able to inculcate and to impress on them that we are doing things right,” he said. “We didn’t just accelerate the talks but we have made it timebounded, technology and sciencebased. The negotiations were very

good and we are very very happy on how the negotiations went,” he added. Manila is set to host the fifth Philippine-Australia agriculture forum in 2020. The Philippines reclaimed its position as the second-largest exporter of bananas in the world last year on the back of higher supplies due to better planting conditions. However, PBGEA urged the government to provide more support to local growers to maintain the stature as competition with South American producers tightens. In its preliminary market review report, the United Nations’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimated that Philippine banana exports last year expanded by 77.34 percent to an all-time high of 2.95 million metric tons, from a recorded volume of 1.663 MMT in 2017. “Banana production in the Philippines had been affected by a series of adverse conditions between 2015 and 2017, in response to which significant investments were made in area expansion, new technologies and improved inputs,” FAO said in the report published recently. “Thanks to the strong performance in 2018, the Philippines regained its place as second-largest supplier of bananas behind Ecuador, at a volume share of 16 percent of global shipments,” it added.

PHL, Japan slate 7th high-level meeting in Osaka this month By Manuel T. Cayon

@awimailbox Mindanao Bureau Chief


AVAO CITY—The next high-level meeting, actually the seventh, between the Philippines and Japan, would be held in Osaka, Japan, to strengthen the two country’s bilateral cooperation, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said on late Sunday. In his opening statement before his meeting here with Japan Foreign Minister Taro Kono, Dominguez said the next meeting would follow through on the gains of the six other high-level discussions, of which, he described the last two years of accomplishment as “unprecedented.”   The finance chief said there were already nine loan agreements signed since this city’s former Mayor Rodrigo Duterte became President in June 2016, and the six high-level meetings happened since 2017. “With frequent coordination meetings, our accomplishments in the last two years are unprecedented,” Dominguez said.   “I would like to begin by thanking Japan for their generous and continuous support to the Philippine Government especially in providing us positive impact to our major infrastructure projects and sectoral cooperation,” Dominguez said.     Over the years, Japan remained to be the Philippines’s top official development assistance or ODA partner, he added, citing Japan’s “steadfast commitment” to jump-start the administration’s ambitious “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program.   He said it was by adapting a “fast and sure” approach in processing loan approvals that it was able to approve them in an average of three to four months.   “This demonstrates our shared commitment to work closely to ensure that the Filipino people get to benefit from these projects at reasonable costs and at the soonest possible time,” he said.

Dominguez was joined by Jose C. Laurel V, Philippine ambassador to Japan, and Finance Undersecretary Mark Dennis Joven.   Kono, for his part, assured Japan’s continued support to its development efforts as he congratulated the Duterte administration for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which gave the legal framework for the establishment of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). He also expressed his country’s condolences to the victims of the recent bombing of a Catholic cathedral in Jolo, Sulu, which killed 23 churchgoers, Army soldiers and wounded 95 others. He expressed the same assurance when he met earlier on Saturday night with President Duterte at the Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao. After meeting with Dominguez, he also met Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chairman Murad Ebrahim, which allowed reporters a brief photo-shoot session while in discussions. Overheard were Murad’s conversation with Kono that the plebiscite was “just the initial political exercise and we need partners to start the real development efforts.” Murad was smiling when he came out of the room and told reporters that he was elated with the result of the discussion. He said Kono assured him of Japan’s continued support to the MILF’s reining in of the BARMM “through the Bangsamoro Transition Authority” or BTA. The BTA would serve as the administration unit of the BARMM during the current transition from the ARMM to BARMM. Japan has been an active contributor to the World Bank-initiated Mindanao Trust Fund, a pool fund to support the development projects while the peace negotiation was still going on. It has also fielded a member to the Malaysian-led International Monitoring Team, which was assigned to the socioeconomic work of the IMT.

Over 59,000 data breaches reported to GDPR regulators

By Henry J. Schumacher


VER 59,000 data-breach notifications have been reported across the European Economic Area by public and private organizations since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force on May 25, 2018, according to the DLA Piper’s GDPR Data Breach survey. The Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom topped the table in the report with approximately 15,400, 12,600 and 10,600 reported breaches, respectively. The lowest numbers of reported breaches were made in Liechtenstein, Iceland and Cyprus with 15, 25 and 35 reported breaches, respectively. The Netherlands, with 89.8 reported breaches per 100,000 people, topped the list when the number of notifications were weighted against country populations, followed by Ireland and Denmark. Of the 26 European countries where breach notification data is available, the UK, Germany and France ranked 10th, 11th and 21st, respectively, on a reported fine per-capita basis. Greece, Italy and Romania reported the fewest number of breaches per capita. According to Ross McKean, a partner at DLA Piper specializing in cyber and data protection: “The GDPR completely changes the compliance risk for organizations, which suffer a personal data breach due to revenuebased fines and the potential for US style group litigation claims for compensation. As we saw in the US when mandatory breach notification laws came into force, backed up by tough

sanctions for not notifying, the GDPR is driving personal data breaches out into the open. Our report confirms this with more than 59,000 data breaches notified across Europe in the first eight months since the GDPR came into force.” To date, 91 fines have been reported. Not all of these relate to personal data breaches and several relate to other infringements of GDPR. The highest GDPR fine imposed to date is €50 million, which was made against Google on January 21, 2019. This was a French decision in relation to the processing of personal data for advertising purposes without valid authorization, rather than a personal data breach. Also commenting on the report, Sam Millar, a partner at DLA Piper specializing in cyber and large-scale investigations; said: “The regulators have already started to flex their muscles with 91 GDPR fines imposed to date, but the fine against Google is a landmark moment and is notable partly because it is not related to personal data breaches. We anticipate that regulators will treat data breaches more harshly by imposing higher fines given the more acute risk of harm to individuals. We can expect more fines to follow over the coming year as the regulators clear the backlog of notifications.” And the big question is: What happened in the Philippines? How many data breach notifications have been sent to the National Privacy Commission since early 2018? I do not believe that there were less data breaches on a pro-rata basis in the Philippines. If we divide 59,000 breach notifications in 26 European countries, the Philippines should have at least 2,270 notifications. We have seen a number of major breaches in the Philippines (Commission on Elections, Wendy’s, Jollibee, BPI, Cebuana Lhuillier, ABSCBN, Globe, Department of Foreign Affairs, COL Financial Group, Marriott, Cathay Pacific) to name a few only, but data on the total number of breach reports are not publicly available. Feedback is welcome; e-mail me at

DENR: 2-month ‘tawilis’ fishing prohibition won’t hurt that much


HE two-month moratorium on catching the diminishing tawilis population will not severely affect the income and livelihood of fishermen and other stakeholders of Taal Lake in Luzon. This was underscored by Jose Elmer C. Bascos, the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources officer of Batangas, saying Taal Lake, the country’s third largest lake after Laguna de Bay in Luzon and Lanao Lake in Mindanao, is home to other commercially viable fish like carp, tilapia and bangus. Starting on March 1 until the end of April this year, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Agriculture

(DA) through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and concerned local government units (LGUs) will ban the fishing of tawilis to allow the rare freshwater sardine to reproduce and replenish the lake with new stocks. “It is just for two months. They [fishermen] can still go fishing in the lake and there are other fish that are more commercially viable than tawilis,” Bascos told the BusinessMirror in a telephone interview. He added that for the fishermen’s persona l consumption, catching tawilis will still be allowed.  “What is not allowed is fishing by huge volume,” he stressed in Filipino. Jonathan L. Mayuga 

‘Liberalization’ will kill industry, sugar workers’ group insists By Jonathan L. Mayuga @jonlmayuga


FEDERATION of sugar workers on Monday rejected a proposal to “liberalize” the sugar industry, saying it will only lead to the industry’s untimely demise. John Milton Lozande, secretary- general of the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW), said in a news statement that

most of the sugar produced in the Philippines goes to the domestic market. The group issued the statement as the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) held a two-day Sugarcane Stakeholders’ Summit, which kicked off on Monday at the Bureau of Soils and Water Management in Quezon City Hall. Joining the NFSW, members of KAISAHAN-Batangas expressed their strong opposition to the proposal to remove fees

for importing sugar and stopping the SRA from regulating shipments, hence, further opening up the Philippine market for sugar by-products like sweeteners. They likened the proposal to the liberalization of the rice industry wherein there will be no limit to imported rice with the imposition of higher tariffs. If the sugar industry is liberalized, nobody in the country would dare engage in agriculture for the local market as the

government would rather import cheaper agricultural products while, at the same time, promoting export crops such as palm oil, cavendish bananas, pineapples and the like for the global market. In effect, Philippine agriculture would only cater to large foreign and local corporations that produce the above export crops and control its markets. The country would thus never achieve food security and sovereignty, said Lozande.

The World BusinessMirror

Editor: Angel R. Calso • Tuesday, February 12, 2019 A5

Trump-Kim summit to focus on N. Korea nuclear complex, important US concessions


EOUL, South Korea—When President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un first met in Singapore last year, there was pomp, there was circumstance, but there wasn’t much substance. Before they meet again in Vietnam on February 27 and 28, there’s growing pressure that they forge a deal that puts them closer to ending the North Korean nuclear weapons threat.

But what could that look like?

KIM may be willing to dismantle his main nuclear complex. The US may be willing to cough up concessions, maybe remove some sanctions. The question, however, is whether what’s on offer will be enough for the other side. Here’s a look at what each side could be looking for as Trump and Kim try to settle a problem that has bedeviled generations of policymakers.

Destroying a nuke complex

THE North’s Yongbyon (sometimes spelled Nyongbyon) nuclear complex, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of Pyongyang, has facilities that produce plutonium and uranium, two key ingredients in nuclear weapons. North Korea’s state media have called the complex of a reported 390 buildings “the heart of our nuclear program.” After a September meeting with Kim, South Korean President Moon Jae-in told reporters that Kim promised to dismantle the complex if the United States takes unspecified corresponding steps. Stephen Biegun, the US special representative for North Korea, recently said that Kim also committed to the dismantlement and destruction of North Ko-

rea’s plutonium and uranium enrichment facilities when he met visiting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last October. Since fresh diplomatic efforts began last year, the North has suspended nuclear and missile tests and dismantled its nuclear testing site and parts of its long-range rocket launch facility. But destroying the Yongbyon complex would be Kim’s biggest disarmament step yet and would signal his resolve to move forward in negotiations with Trump. There is worry among some, however, that the complex’s destruction won’t completely dispel widespread skepticism about North Korea denuclearization commitments. It would still have an estimated arsenal of as many as 70 nuclear weapons and more than 1,000 ballistic missiles. North Korea is also believed to be running multiple undisclosed uranium-enrichment facilities. “We could call [Yongbyon’s destruction] a half-deal or a smalldeal,” said Nam Sung-wook, a professor at Korea University and a former president of the Institute for National Security Strategy, a think tank affiliated with South Korea’s main spy agency. “It’s really an incomplete denuclearization step” that matches past tactics meant to slow disarmament steps so it can win a series of concessions.

US rewards

TO get the North to commit to destroying the Yongbyon complex,

for the impoverished North.

A breakthrough?

IN this June 27, 2008, file photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, the cooling tower of the Yongbyon nuclear complex is demolished in Yongbyon, North Korea, in a sign of its commitment to stop making plutonium for atomic bombs. When US President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un first met in Singapore in 2018, there was pomp, there was circumstance, but there wasn’t much substance. As they get ready to sit down again in Vietnam on February 27 and 28, 2019, there’s growing pressure that they forge a deal that puts them closer to ending the North Korean nuclear weapons threat. GAO HAORONG,/XINHUA VIA AP

some experts say Trump needs to make important concessions. Those would likely need to include jointly declaring an end of the 1950-1953 Korean War, opening a liaison office in Pyongyang, allowing North Korea to restart some economic projects w ith South Korea and possibly easing some sanctions on the North. Kim may most want sanctions relief to revive his country’s dilapidated economy and bolster his family’s dynastic rule. “For North Korea, abandoning the Yongbyon complex is a fairly big [negotiating] the North will likely try to win some economic benefits,” said Chon Hyun-joon, president of the Institute of Northeast Asia Peace Co-

operation Studies in South Korea. At the Singapore summit, Kim and Trump agreed to establish new relations between their countries and build a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula. But they didn’t elaborate on how to pursue those goals. North Korea has since complained about the lack of action by the United States, saying it already took disarmament steps, and returned American detainees and the remains of American war dead. The US for its part suspended some of its military drills with South Korea, a concession to North Korea, which calls the exercises dress rehearsal for invasion. Kim and Moon agreed at the first of their three summits in 2018 to settle an end-of-war declaration.

World stocks rise ahead of new round of US-China talks


INGAPORE—World markets generally climbed on Monday as traders kept a lookout for developments ahead of a new round of trade talks between American and Chinese officials in Beijing this week.

Keeping score

IN Europe, France’s CAC 40 rose 0.9 percent to 5,004.79 and Germany’s DAX was up 0.8 percent at 10,993.48. Britain’s FTSE 100 index gained 0.9 percent to 7,134.72. Wall Street was set for a flat open. Dow futures added 0.1 percent to 25,093.00. The broader S&P 500 futures gained 0.1 percent to 2,709.80.

US-China talks

OFFICIALS from the United States

and China are to meet in Beijing for talks on Thursday and Friday. US Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will lead the American delegation at the talks, which are aimed at bringing the two sides closer to resolving deepseated issues such as disagreements over Beijing’s technology policy. Lower-level negotiations were set to begin on Monday, but a resolution isn’t expected before a truce on tariffs expires in early March. An agreement before then, or a simple extension of the truce, will be viewed as positive for markets. If not, the US is expected to more than double import taxes on $200 billion in Chinese goods.

“After the worst December and best January in years, it appears that we are back at inflection point across various asset classes, waiting for direction yet again,” Jingyi Pan of IG said in a market commentary.

The day in Asia

M AR K ETS in China and Taiwan, reopening after a weeklong Lunar New Year break, posted broad gains. The Shanghai Composite index jumped 1.4 percent to 2,653.90. The Kospi in South Korea advanced 0.2 percent to 2,180.73 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.7 percent to 28,143.84. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 was 0.2 percent lower at 6,060.80. Stocks

rose in Taiwan but fell in Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.


US crude lost 44 cents to $52.28 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 8 cents to settle at $52.72 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 17 cents to $61.93 per barrel. It added 47 cents to close at $62.10 per barrel in London.


THE dollar rose to ¥110.03 from ¥109.73 late Friday. The euro eased to $1.1316 from $1.1324. AP

Malaysian ex-PM Najib Razak combative ahead of 1MDB graft trial


UALA LUMPUR, Malaysia— From appearing in an R&B music video and trolling social media to vilify the new government, former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has been combative before the start of his graft trial, linked to the multibillion-dollar looting of the 1MDB state investment fund that has battered the country’s standing abroad. The trial starting on Tuesday comes nine months after Najib’s spectacular election defeat, spurred by voters’ furor over the 1MDB scandal that is being investigated in the US and several other countries for alleged cross-border money laundering and embezzlement. US investigators say more than $4.5 billion was stolen from 1MDB

by associates of Najib between 2009 and 2014 and the ill-gotten gains were laundered through layers of bank accounts in the US and other countries to finance Hollywood films and buy hotels, a luxury yacht, art works, jewelry and other extravagances. Some $700 million from the fund that Najib set up for Malaysia’s economic development allegedly landed in his own bank account. One of only a few Southeast Asian leaders to be arraigned after losing office, Najib has denied any wrongdoing. He is charged with 42 counts of criminal breach of trust, graft, abuse of power and money laundering in one of Malaysia’s biggest criminal trials. His wife Rosmah Mansor also has been charged with money laundering

and tax evasion linked to 1MDB. She has pleaded not guilty and her trial has not been set. The first of Najib’s multiple criminal trials begins on Tuesday but instead of lying low, Najib has fought back with a political makeover on social media that aims to transform his image from an out-of-touch elitist to a leader for the working class. A Malay-language catchphrase translating to “ W hat’s to be ashamed about, my boss?” was coined while he was campaigning in a by-election last month and has become his new rally cry. Expensive tailored suits have been replaced by hoodies and jeans. A picture Najib posted on social media showing himself posing on a Yamaha motorcycle with his new “’no-shame” meme

resonated with many Malay youths disenchanted by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s new government. In another offbeat music video that he uploaded on social media, Najib slammed the new government as “liars” and crooned about the “slander and revenge” against him in a Malay-language rendition of the 1970’s R&B soul hit “Kiss and Say Goodbye” by the American group, the Manhattans. He posts a dozen messages daily on social media, mostly mocking the new government and its policies, and touching on the plight of the needy. Last month while visiting vendors at a wet market, Najib jeered government leaders on Facebook: “Let the ministers sleep on this Saturday morning.” AP

Moon said last month it could ease mutual hostility between Washington and Pyongyang, and accelerate North Korea’s denuclearization. But some worry that a declaration ending the Korean War, which was stopped by an armistice and has yet to be replaced with a peace treaty, might provide North Korea with a stronger basis to call for the withdrawal of 28,500 US troops in South Korea. In his New Year’s address, Kim also said he was ready to resume operations at a jointly run factory park in the North Korean border town of Kaesong and restart South Korean tours to the North’s Diamond Mountain resort. Those are two of the now-dormant interKorean projects that supplied badly needed foreign currency

TO make the Vietnam summit a blockbuster, Trump will likely need more than Yongbyon. A bigger deal would see a detailed accounting of North Korea’s nuclear assets, and possibly shipping some North Korean nuclear bombs or longrange missiles out of the country for disabling. That would be costly. North Korea would likely demand a drastic easing of sanctions and a resumption of exports of coal and other mineral resources. A North Korean declaration of its nuclear program would provide invaluable information, if verified by US intelligence, to Washington and others. It would offer looks at hidden nuclear fuel facilities and missile deployments, which is why Pyongyang has been reluctant to provide it. According to South Korean and other assessments, Yongbyon alone is estimated to have 50 kilograms (110 pounds) of weaponized plutonium, enough for six to 10 bombs, and a highly enriched uranium inventory of 250 to 500 kilograms (550 to 1,100 pounds), sufficient for 25 to 30 nuclear devices. Undisclosed uranium enrichment facilities would up the stockpile. Because of the difficulty involved, Trump may want to focus on the North’s long-range missiles, which could, when perfected, pose a direct threat to the US mainland. But such a partial deal would rattle many in South Korea and Japan, which are well within striking distance of North Korea’s short- and mediumrange missiles. If lower level officials can’t lay the ground for a bigger deal ahead of the summit, the Kim-Trump meeting could be canceled, said Lim Eul Chul, a professor at South Korea’s Kyungnam University who has advised the Moon government on North Korearelated policies. AP

Oil keeps falling on growth fear after worst weekly loss


IL fell toward the lowest level in almost two weeks as global growth concerns continued to damp the demand outlook, with investors hoping for positive news from high-level US-China trade talks this week. Futures dropped as much as 1.6 percent in New York, following a 4.6-percent decline last week that was the biggest this year. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are heading to Beijing for discussions before a March 1 deadline set by the US to more than double tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods. Hedge funds plowed back into bearish bets on Brent crude in the week through February 5. West Texas Intermediate oil has reversed course after the best January on record as a lack of progress on the trade war and growth warnings from Europe, Asia and elsewhere depressed the demand outlook. In more bearish news, American drillers added seven working oil rigs last week, bolstering concern that record US production will undermine efforts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies to curb a global glut. “We’ll see oil trading in a range between $50 and $55 a barrel in the short term as uncertainties linger over the US-China trade negotiations, as well as over wider economic growth,” said Vincent Hwang, a commodities analyst at NH Investment & Securities Co. in

Seoul. Crude is likely to recover to near $60 a barrel in the longer term once the macroeconomic concerns ease, he said. West Texas Intermediate oil for March delivery dropped 60 cents to $52.12 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 7:53 a.m. in London after falling as much as 82 cents earlier. The contract closed 8 cents higher at $52.72 on Friday. Brent for April settlement lost 30 cents to $61.80 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract climbed 47 cents to $62.10 on Friday. The global benchmark crude was at a $9.29 premium to WTI for the same month, the highest in more than seven weeks. Investors are hoping that the world’s two biggest economies can get their trade talks back on track after US President Donald J. Trump said last week that he’s unlikely to meet with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, before the end of the 90-day truce on March 1. Fears are intensifying a deal won’t be reached, which could spur a titfor-tat escalation that would make an already shaky global growth outlook even worse. Short-sellers boosted wagers by 28 percent, the most since October, that Brent crude prices would fall, according to data released on Friday by ICE Futures Europe Exchange. Net-longs— the difference between bets on a Brent increase and wagers on a decline—nudged up by less than 1 percent. Bloomberg News

A6 Tuesday, February 12, 2019 • Editor: Angel R. Calso

Opinion BusinessMirror




E know of a top company executive who regularly takes a point-to-point (P2P) bus to get to his office, one from a terminal based in Eastwood in Libis, Quezon City, and another from Nuvali in Santa Rosa, Laguna. He swears by the convenience, safety and efficiency provided by these P2P buses and does not mind at all ditching his car if public transport services can be this efficient. An initiative of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), P2P buses are somewhat similar to shuttle buses, or the type of bus service intended to shuttle passengers between two points. In this case, P2P buses often connect Metro Manila’s busiest business districts, thus making commutes between them more streamlined and convenient. There are demands for more routes though, even ones that extend beyond the metropolis. For instance, there is a P2P bus route that connects Clark International Airport and Manila. We do not know exactly how many P2P bus routes are currently operational. There were at least 22 at the start of 2018 but more have certainly been added—and being added still—a testament to the bus service’s popularity and success. We welcome and commend this initiative of the DOTr. These P2P buses not only make commuting easier but also help ease the traffic gridlock in Metro Manila. While P2Ps do not have a dedicated corridor similar to a train, which is what the proposed bus rapid transit (BRT) system for Metro Manila and Cebu would have (a subject of a previous editorial, Don’t give up on the BRT, July 3, 2018), they nonetheless are able to overcome the common problems of bus travel in Metro Manila and other urban centers. P2P buses ply direct routes to and from specific locations. They leave on time, regardless of the number of passengers. They do not pick up and drop off passengers along the route. Aside from their reliable timetable and a service that does not depend on the volume of passengers, they also have fixed and very convenient terminals located in malls and commercial centers. P2Ps show that with clever planning and targeted investment, buses can play a key role in public transport. If only all bus services in our cities can offer the same efficiency and convenience. Unfortunately, this is not the case. For example, there are still buses that operate in Metro Manila without terminals. These buses illegally park on roads and inner city streets, waiting for passengers, with their engines idling, polluting the air in otherwise tranquil residential areas. Their drivers use the sidewalks as their comfort rooms and throw their garbage on the streets. City buses often ignore dedicated bus lanes and specific loading and unloading zones. They show no road discipline. They operate like jeepneys. They weave in and out of traffic, not caring about the bottlenecks they cause. No wonder, many of them are involved in deadly accidents. There are hardly any bus stops, or if there are, nobody really waits there, and the buses don’t stop there. And there are no fixed bus schedules. A lot of these buses are smoke belchers, too. They must have passed the Land Transportation Office’s supposedly strict emissions testing of motor vehicles by the power of grease money. In a nutshell, city buses operate without rules. On the contrary, P2Ps show what a few rules can do for people who use buses. If we had more efficient bus systems like the P2Ps, more people would not mind ditching their cars to take these buses, like the top executive we earlier pointed out. Since 2005

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HE rehabilitation of Manila Bay is one major legacy that President Duterte can proudly leave to the nation. It is a gargantuan task but I believe the government can do it.

No Philippine president has succeeded in cleaning up Manila Bay, but Mr. Duterte can rely on his high trust rating to finish the job, just as he successfully implemented the rehabilitation of Boracay Island. The Boracay cleanup has emboldened local government officials to implement environmental laws, especially the observance of the 30-meter easement from the shoreline. The paradise island in no time was significantly rehabilitated, with foreign and local tourists now finding Boracay a much cleaner destination. The Manila Bay rehabilitation, meanwhile, will be more expansive because it requires the cooperation of several local government units and provinces. The job will require an integrated effort due to the number of people and companies that contribute to the filthy water of Manila Bay. Laguna de Bay, several rivers,

tributaries and smaller waterways all empty their filth into Manila Bay, while many commercial establishments that operate near or along these bodies of water are allegedly contributing to the pollution. Metro Manila and the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, Pampanga and Bataan must also contribute to the rehabilitation efforts. Cleaning up Manila Bay will open many job opportunities along its coastal areas that stretch from Cavite and Metro Manila to the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga and Bataan. A clean Manila Bay will certainly boost the lot of fishermen along its shoreline and maximize the tourism potential of the area. Hotels and other establishments along the coastline can serve more tourists who want to enjoy the sight of the Manila Bay sunset.

Is the US in a bubble?

Lourdes M. Fernandez

John Mangun

Jennifer A. Ng Vittorio V. Vitug Lorenzo M. Lomibao Jr., Gerard S. Ramos Lyn B. Resurreccion, Efleda P. Campos Dennis D. Estopace Ruben M. Cruz Jr. Angel R. Calso

Creative Director Chief Photographer

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Clean Manila Bay a Duterte legacy



HE word “bubble” as applied to an asset class or economy is the most misused, ill defined and misunderstood term of the 21st century. But then again, there is a lot of that going around. We also have “settled science” and “gender fluid.” And like those two, “bubble” forms the mantra of its own modern religious belief. Listening to the “bubble-heads” you would get the idea that a price bubble is some sort of bacteria that is antibiotic-resistant, ready to cause death and destruction. The common example is the “Tulip Mania” of the 1600s in what is now The Netherlands. The flower came from Turkey and was able to withstand harsh northern winters. It became popular among the wealthy Dutch, which, incidentally, was the richest economy in Europe back then. Amsterdam merchants were used to large profits as financing a single voyage to the East Indies could

easily yield a 400-percent return. The point is prices kept going up to a peak level and then started going down when people stopped buying tulips. Once upon a time Justin Bieber t-shirts cost P1,000 when everyone was in love with the singer. Then the “bubble” burst the price down to P100—“Buy one, Take one.” No big deal. That is the way free market pricing works. In the early 2000s, banks in the US and Europe loaned money to anyone who could sign their name on a loan contract to buy a house or two. Demand for houses made the prices go

Secretary Roy Cimatu of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources concedes that the task is enormous because it will involve the relocation of thousands of informal settlers along Pasig River, esteros and canals. “We need to find out where the outfalls come from individually, because in just one estero we can find lots of outfalls,” said Cimatu. According to the DENR chief, the quality of water at Manila Bay known for its famous sunset is “330 million times” dirtier than the waters of Boracay Island. Mr. Duterte was firm in his directive in early January to rehabilitate Manila Bay and warned establishments along the bay that he would not hesitate to order their closure if they challenge his call. “Whether they like it or not, all of them, including the hotels, must put water treatment there for the waste discharge or else I will shut them down,” said the President. “Do not challenge me. If we do not have tourists, so be it. We are not going to die without them. You do something about your waste there, or we will have you closed down. That’s for sure,” he added. Tourism may suffer a slight dent if the government will close down some business establishments and hotels found to be contributing to Manila Bay’s pollution. But the

impact may not be worse as feared. Foreign tourist arrivals still reached a record 7.12 million in 2018, up 7.6 percent from 6.62 million in 2017, despite the six-month closure of Boracay Island. The government may have missed the target to attract at least 7.4 million foreign tourists in 2018 because of the Boracay shutdown, but the figure will likely rebound in 2019 with a healthier and much-cleaner Boracay. Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat remains upbeat in the aftermath of Boracay’s closure. The Boracay shutdown, according to her, evidently became a blessing in disguise for secondary tourism spots to have a share of the limelight and attention they truly deserve. “It shows that turning off the faucet when the water is unclear can bring a fresher flow in just an unexpected period of time,” said Romulo Puyat. Foreign and local tourists flocked to Siargao, Iloilo, Palawan, La Union, Romblon and Siquijor while Boracay was resolving its environmental issues. The rehabilitation of Manila Bay may take a longer time than Boracay’s cleanup. But it is an investment that will yield a long-term reward for the nation as a whole.

up. When the banks stopped providing this “free” money, demand died and housing prices collapsed. Again, no big deal, except to the borrowers and lenders. Yes, it is correctly called a “debt bubble” to the extent that everyone went crazy borrowing—and loaning—money just like they did buying Bieber t-shirts. When the Bieber t-shirt price collapsed, manufacturers of those shirts went out of business. When the property loan market collapsed, the banks “went out of business.” Unfortunately, banks are more important to an economy than the companies that make t-shirts. The situation when prices go up, peak out, and then go down is a normal part of the business cycle. That is why shopping malls have three-day sales. Maybe the best way to understand it is the illegal-drugs market. Every so often someone comes up with a designer drug that everyone wants to try. Prices skyrocket. Then a whole bunch of people start overdosing and dying. Sales stop, prices fall, and eventually the sellers are out of business. The problem occurs when the free market is manipulated. Governments, central banks and politicians are like drug dealers. Pushers want to keep the

users happy and what better way to keep “The People” happy than to give them the ability to buy a new car or house. So, cheap money has been made available for the past 40 years almost everywhere, except in “Third World Basket Cases” like the Philippines. Like I said, another name for this money pushing is debt-bubble. Is the US in a bubble, more specifically a debt-bubble? Of course. The western governments have fine-tuned the practice just like drug dealers. The dealer wants the drugs strong enough to make the user happy but not enough to kill him or her. The price must be high enough to make the dealer a profit but not too high to stop sales. But obviously there will be instances of a deadly overdose like what happened a few years ago in Greece and nearly happened in Spain and Portugal. Not to worry. The US has got at least five more years until the debt abuse finally catches up with that economy again.

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Opinion BusinessMirror

Do the opposite, be counterintuitive

‘War by algebra’ Cecilio T. Arillo


Siegfred Bueno Mison, Esq.



N his book, 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, author and inspirational speaker John Maxwell declares that, because of their intuition, leaders evaluate everything with a leadership bias. Intuition is the gut feeling leaders get when they know something is right or wrong. And based on this knowledge, leaders react based on a bias, which, according to Maxwell, is cultivated by technical competence and constant interaction with their people and the environment. Great leadership intuition is a combination of natural ability (we are born with it) and instinct (we develop it). Although facts are important, Maxwell posits that the Law of Intuition goes beyond facts as other intangible factors allow leaders to evaluate everything, instinctively, by reading situations, trends, resources, people and, most important, themselves. Intuitive leaders can capture details that elude others and they never lose sight of the forest for the trees. Further, intuitive leaders do not think in terms of what they can do; they see every situation in terms of all resources available, particularly the people around them. National Football League quarterbacks often change play calls in pressure situations. Since they memorized multiple plays for every possible defensive formation, they can almost automatically make the best intuitive call, especially when the game is on the line. The most successful NFL quarterback in recent years is Tom Brady of the New England Patriots, who recently won his sixth Super Bowl Ring. Brady’s arm strength may be above average and his scrambling ability to avoid pass rushes pales in comparison to others. I think Brady’s success comes from his leadership, foremost of which is what Maxwell calls the Law of Intuition. But from time to time, Brady does something counterintuitive that sets him apart from other athletes. Whenever we claim to be counterintuitive, we are exactly doing the opposite of our intuition, far different from what our instinct tells us to do. A few years ago, my friends JO and ER suspected their respective wives cheating on them. By intuition, JO confronted the third party involved, threatened him and his family, and almost engaged the services of a hired gun to kill him. On the other hand, ER never sought violence but merely resorted to counselling and lots of prayers to help his wife turn away from the third party. While both JO and ER are still struggling in their respective marriages, I think ER, owing to his well-founded Christian values, has better managed the situation. ER deeply believes that he alone cannot change what his wife wants and thinks; only God can. So, he did and still does the opposite of what any typical spouse-victim would do. Another set of friends, JU and PBF, were both mistreated by their respective companies. Despite his loyal and productive service to the organization, JU was never promoted. An associate, way junior than him in age and experience, was given the promotion and even designated as head of the department. As expected, JU left the company with utter disbelief and,

in anger, took as much clients away from the company. In contrast, when PBF was removed from his seniorlevel position, he simply accepted his fate knowing that God is in full control of things around him. With his head held high, PBF boldly faced his detractors and those responsible for his removal. PBF simply did the opposite of what others would do in his situation. The Bible has many counterintuitive stories, which teach us that sinful tax collectors, among others, are given preference over the most righteous Pharisees. While lessons like Jesus’ response to the sinful tax collector Zacchaeus and Job’s unyielding faith despite the struggles sent his way seem counterintuitive and contrary to human nature, we must understand that it is never easy to be godly in this human world. One of the most compelling set of counterintuitive commands in the Bible is found in Chapter 5 of Matthew, better known as The Beatitudes. In my case, the most incomprehensible and counterintuitive directive is found in Matthew 5:43-44 when Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” In the best-selling book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, author Mark Manson discussed five counterintuitive yet life-changing values that we can all adopt for a happier life. Of the five, I was taken aback by Manson’s first value, that is, we should all take responsibility for everything that happens in our lives, regardless of who is at fault. Manson says, “We don’t always control what happens to us. But we always control how we interpret what happens to us, as well as how we respond.” Others might get a shorter end of the stick, but we all get the same amount in the responsibility equation. In the case of my friends, JO and ER, as well as JU and PBF, they reacted differently given similar tragic circumstances. I always believed that, in life as in poker, we all have to play the cards we are dealt with. Luck or even fate does not dictate the longterm results. But the choices we make in response to events will impact our well-being. Uncle Ben in the SpiderMan movie once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Manson offers a different version— “With great responsibility comes great power.” We become more powerful by responsibly choosing to do the opposite and be counterintuitive. For questions and comments, please e-mail me at


HILE the United States could field over 300,000 aircraft, Germany and Japan combined have less than 200,000. On the naval front, the US had about 350 destroyers compared to Japan’s 63, while on the land-war front, the US had over 70,000 tanks compared to less than 45,000 for Germany. While it’s true that the brave American soldiers, sailors and flyers at the frontlines brought World War II victory, they were backed by heartland factories that could churn out tanks and planes and ships at rates far greater than the enemy could destroy them—definitive proof of the winning ways of what the great Prussian strategist Carl von Clausewitz once aptly referred to as “war by algebra.” Today, however, many of those factories that won World War II for America have been shuttered and moved to cities with names like Chengdu, Chongqing and Shenzhen. As for the Soviet Union, its fate as a fallen empire may be particularly apropos to the current trajectory of US-China military relations. Just consider: Back in the Cold War days of the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan adopted a highly aggressive “star wars” strategy to vanquish the Soviet Union based on his Strategic Defense Initiative.

“What ‘the Gipper’ had in mind, however,” said Peter Navarro, in his best-selling book, Crouching Tiger, “was not decisively defeating the Soviet Union on the battlefield. Rather, Reagan wanted to lure the Soviets into an expensive arms race in the hopes of breaking the ‘evil empire’s’ economic bank in the process.” Navarro said: “As US defense expenditures [and budget deficits!] dramatically rose during the 1980s, Reagan was repeatedly criticized for his hawkish gambit. However, the Gipper’s strategy wound up succeeding beyond even the Reaganites’ wildest dreams; looking back at the statistics on GDP growth and military expenditures during the period, we now know why.” “To wit, in order to play such military spending poker with Reagan, the Soviets had to devote a far larger share of their GDP to defense—some analysts cite a figure as high as 40 percent! It was this crushing defense burden along with the

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 A7

The Chinese are pursuing the inverse strategy. They are plugging themselves into the world economy and into the world technological and scientific systems as deeply as they possibly can. And that’s a far smarter strategy and it’s enabling them to move forward much more rapidly. collateral neglect of the other sectors of its economy that ultimately bankrupted the Soviet Union and led to its economic surrender and breakup,” Navarro explained. In comparing this Soviet fall to China’s rise, Princeton professor Aaron Friedberg notes: China is a very different kind of military competitor than the Soviet Union was. The Soviet Union for ideological reasons cut itself off from the international trading system, cut itself off to a considerable degree from the global technological system and tried to do everything on its own. The Chinese are pursuing the inverse strategy. They are plugging themselves into the world economy and into the world technological and scientific systems as deeply as they possibly can. And that’s a far smarter strategy and it’s enabling them to move forward much more rapidly. Echoing this “China is not the Soviet Union” theme, Brookings scholar Michael O’Hanlon adds: “While China’s growth may slow down to a

Bloomberg Opinion


RESIDENT Donald J. Trump is expected to sign an executive order on Monday that will direct the US government to prioritize artificial intelligence (AI) in its research and development spending, according to a White House official. The order, which comes amid concerns about China’s ambitions to dominate the sector and the

likelihood of disruption for workers as the technology automates millions of jobs, doesn’t outline specific funding goals, said the official, who asked not to be named discussing future plans. It does, however, aim to ensure that AI develops in a manner that reflects US values and to push training for the future work force. The move occurs less than a week after Trump’s State of the Union address, when he said investments in “cutting-edge industries of the

To reach the writer, e-mail cecilio.arillo@

Requests for BIR rulings, is it worth the wait? Atty. Rodel C. Unciano



N one of his recent Cabinet meetings, President Duterte reportedly walked out from the meeting in frustration of a report that some project applications have been pending before the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) for 25 years. Indeed, despite the President’s call for speedy processing of transactions in the government, we still experience delays in many of our government transactions, including delays in the processing of business permits, implementation of government infrastructure projects and delays in the resolutions of court cases, among others. In tax practice, we also encounter delays in many transactions with the Bureau of Internal Revenue, foremost of which are the processing of requests for BIR rulings, execution of court decisions, and issuance of Certificate Authorizing Registration (CAR) on sale of real properties and shares of stocks. In the processing of CAR, particularly on sale, exchange, or donation of properties, Revenue Memorandum Circular (RMC) 48-2018 requires the issuance of CAR within a maximum period of 20 working days from the submission of complete documentary requirements. Despite this, there are still applications for CAR that are pending for years. In the execution of court decisions, unacted refund claims still abound despite the finality of court

decisions granting the taxpayerclaimant’s request for refund. One factor that delays the BIR’s processing of refund claims is the production of inter-office certification on the existence of the taxpayer-claimant’s outstanding tax liabilities. Under Revenue Memorandum Order 292014, the certification is valid only for one month from date of issue, so that the moment the certification reaches the requesting office, the one-month validity period has already lapsed, thus, delaying the processing of the claim. The process will have to be repeated again and again until such time that, by chance or by luck, the certification would reach the requesting office prior to the expiry of its one-month validity period. Hopefully, though, RMO 422018 and RMC 16-2019 will address this concern, where validity of the inter-office certification has been extended to six months. In the request for rulings, both at the BIR’s International Tax Affairs Division (ITAD) and at the Law Division, it is not uncommon to receive a feedback that the request for ruling is still far from the queue, despite the fact that the request has been

Notwithstanding these rules, various requests for rulings remain unacted upon. Has there been faithful compliance with these rules? Why do these delays continue to burden our taxpayers despite a number of rules set in place to arrest these delays? Is the BIR really undermanned?

pending for years. It is laudable that there are measures put in place to avoid these delays. Under RMO 72-2010, the ruling must be available for release after 60 working days from the date of receipt of the application or from the date the complete documentary requirements are received by ITAD, whichever comes later. As for matters without issue on income characterization, the same RMO 72-2010 requires that the ruling must be available for release after 30 working days from the date of receipt of the application or from the date the complete documentary requirements are received by ITAD, whichever comes earlier. Of the said period, the ITAD shall have 40 or 20 working days, as the case may be, to process and evaluate the said application, while the Legal Service/Legal Inspection Group shall have 20 or 10 working days, respectively. Notwithstanding these rules, various requests for rulings remain unacted upon. Has there been faithful compliance with these rules? Why do these delays continue to burden our taxpayers despite a number of rules set in place to arrest these delays? Is the BIR really undermanned? It is fortunate that, as you are now

Trump expected to sign order prioritizing AI research spending By Ben Brody

7- or 6-percent rate, it’s still the fastest-growing economy in the world and the No. 1 world manufacturing economy. And that trend is not slowing in the slightest. So the idea that we could somehow just ramp up our efforts and beat the Chinese at producing war ships and fighter jets, I think, is at best a short-term partial fix.” “This sobering assessment brings to mind the advice of hockey great Wayne Gretzky to always skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it is. To mix metaphors here, China appears to be moving on the global supremacy chessboard to a place where, if left unchecked, the US may eventually be forced to turn over its king, at least in the Asian theater,” Navarro said. Our next question therefore must be: Just what might China’s strategy look like over the next several decades to achieve its goals? In thinking historically about the strategic implications of China’s rise and growing size, consider this: At the start of World War II, the combined economies of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan were only half the size of the United States. “If for no other reason than the sheer weight of its factories and work force, America thereby held the strategic high ground. In fact, the statistical correspondence between economic power and military might in World War II is startling,” Navarro said.

future” as part of a broader infrastructure package were “a necessity.” The White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy said in a statement during the speech on February 5 that AI was among the industries Trump was referring to, alongside 5G broadband, advanced manufacturing and others. Tech leaders have also been pressing the administration for additional R&D funding and a more focused education strategy. In December, top tech chief

executives—including Google’s Sundar Pichai, International Business Machines Corp.’s Ginni Rometty and Microsoft Corp.’s Satya Nadella—met with White House officials, including Ivanka Trump, on similar topics. In May, a top White House technology official, Michael Kratsios, assured participants from more than 100 companies across several sectors of the economy that the administration would pursue a hands-off regulatory approach to AI to allow it to

grow unfettered. Monday’s order does envision regulatory guidance to ensure the technology is trustworthy, said the White House official. The administration’s action occurs against a backdrop of aggressive moves by China, stoking fears that a country seen by the US as having little respect for privacy will overtake it and establish dominance in a technology with tremendous implications for national security.

aware, tax treaty relief applications for interests, dividends and royalties payments are no longer mandatory, although, in lieu of the TTRA, filing of Certificate of Residence for Tax Treaty Relief is still required. The good thing is that, preferential treaty rates for dividends, interests and royalties shall already be applied and used outright by the withholding agents upon submission of CORTT, without waiting for a confirmatory ruling from the BIR. However, for income other than dividends, interest and royalties, the provisions contained in and the procedures required in RMO 72-2010 shall continue to apply, and obtaining ruling shall continue to be required. Delays in government transactions need immediate attention if only we want to keep pace with the fast-moving time. We expect the BIR to adhere to all of these issuances and to craft even more reasonable rules to address swift resolution of all transactions the BIR is mandated to implement. We call on all concerned to take part in the process in line with the President’s directives to expedite processing of transactions in all government offices and to align our government transactions with international standards. The author is a partner of Du-Baladad and Associates Law Offices (BDB Law), a member-firm of WTS Global. The article is for general information only and is not intended, nor should be construed as a substitute for tax, legal or financial advice on any specific matter. Applicability of this article to any actual or particular tax or legal issue should be supported therefore by a professional study or advice. If you have any comments or questions concerning the article, you may e-mail the author at rodel.unciano@ or call 403-2001 local 140.

The Chinese government has made a tenfold increase in AI output a national priority for coming years, and many companies there are deploying machine-learning systems to update banking services, identify faces in crowds, and control drones. The order will not cover intellectual-property protections or export controls, which the administration has sought to use to constrain China in other areas, the official said, but aims to open markets for US companies.

2nd Front Page BusinessMirror

A8 Tuesday, February 12, 2019

US, Japan vow to help PHL fight terrorism


By Bernadette D. Nicolas


OTH the United States and Japan have expressed commitment to help the Philippine government fight terrorism, Malacañang said.   Presidential Spokesman and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador S. Panelo announced on Monday that the US government pledged to give over P300 million in intelligence aid to the Philippines, while Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said they will “assist” the Philippines in combatting the scourge of terrorism.  This development comes in the wake of the blasts and terrorism incidents in Mindanao.  “ We w e l c o m e t h e U n it e d States’s commitment in fighting terrorism. This shows that

our military alliance with the United States remains strong,” Panelo said. “Terrorism knows no boundaries, politics, religion and creed. It is the new evil in the world that strikes at every countr y and ever y continent. We need all the help as every member-country in the United Nations needs the assistance and cooperation of each other to combat and crush terrorism.” Meanwhile, Kono also conveyed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “grave concern” and condemnation of the twin explosions

in Jolo, Sulu, during his meeting with President Duterte in Davao City last Saturday. While the Japanese government did not specify in detail how it will assist the Philippine government in its fight against terrorism, Panelo said the Philippines will be accepting all kinds of help.  “As I said, all nations of the world must unite to combat terrorism,” he said. During the hourlong meeting between Kono and Duterte, Kono also reiterated Japan’s sustained support for the Philippines’s quest for just and lasting peace and development in Mindanao.  Despite the bombings, Kono also congratulated the Philippine government for its success in holding the Bangsamoro Organic Law plebiscite.   

Commitment to projects

HE also expressed Japan’s comm it ment to rehabi l it ate a nd reconst r uc t Ma raw i a nd de velop the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, including the funding of the Road

Network Development Plan for the region. Nonetheless, Malacañang gave assurances that the Armed Forces are relentlessly pursuing the mass murderers, as even some of them have been criminally charged and presently detained. “We assure the nation that security for our people have been enhanced. We call our people to be vigilant and report to the authorities any suspicious act by any person or group of persons in their communities that may tend to endanger their lives, limbs and properties,” Panelo said.  The Palace spokesman added the President has expressed his desire to meet with Abe again to discuss developments in bilateral ties and assess ways of moving forward together and shared concerns.  This, as Duterte emphasized the need to continue strengthening the strategic partnership, particularly in addressing transnational crimes and conventional and emerging regional threats.  Moreover, Kono also recognized

the Philippines’s contribution to the socioeconomic development of Japan and conveyed their plan to open up Japan’s labor market for qualified Filipinos. The President thanked Kono for the visit and lauded the inauguration of Japan’s Consulate General in Davao, which he described as “significantly expanding Japan’s presence and ties in the Southern

Philippines.” Duterte also described Japan as a true friend and proven partner for its involvement in the country’s “Build, Build, Build” program, as he highlighted the quality of the infrastructure projects and the transfer of technology and training embedded in the projects that would benefit Filipino practitioners and experts.

Terrorism knows no boundaries, politics, religion and creed. It is the new evil in the world that strikes at every country and every continent. We need all the help as every membercountry in the United Nations needs the assistance and cooperation of each other to combat and crush terrorism.” —Panelo

SC affirms UCPB at fault in Lucena land case T

HE Supreme Court recently affirmed its 2017 decision that found United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) at fault over the questionable handling of a 44- hectare mortgaged property in Ilayang Dupay, Lucena City. In a 23-page resolution released on January 23, 2019, the SC Third Division, through Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin, said allowing the bank’s actions to go unchecked in the case of the property that became the subject of a double mortgage would constitute “unjust enrichment” to the detriment of the property owner-couple. The court also denied allegations of

irregularity on the part of the justices in coming out with the decision. Federation of Philippine Industries Chairman Jesus Arranza earlier claimed that three justices —now Ombudsman Samuel Martires, now retired Noel Tijam and Alexander Gesmundo—voted to concur with the decision issued on August 16, 2017, even though they were designated to the Third Division only two to three days before the ruling was issued. He said based on the SC’s internal rules,  the writer of the decision is required to prepare the draft decision and send to the other justices at least seven days before voting. 

NORTHEAST MONSOON AFFECTING LUZON as of 4:00 pm - February 11, 2019

Arranza also sought the inhibition of the members of the Third Division from handling the case. However, the SC’s Third Division denied UCPB’s motion for reconsideration of its August 2017 decision, as well as its motion to reassign the case to another division by raffle and its urgent motion to refer the case to  the Court en banc. UCPB was joined by Asset Pool A, Revere Realty Corp. and Jose Go in filing the motion for reconsideration and motion for inhibition of the Third Division.  

Speculative claim “THEIR insistence that Justice Martires and

Justice Gesmundo had not studied the case prior to the deliberations and voting held on August 16, 2017, was speculative, if not outrightly false. The truth is that the four deciding members of the Third Division deliberated and unanimously voted on the result.The fifth member, Justice [Alfredo Benjamin] Caguioa, was absent because he was on leave, but his absence did not render the deliberation and voting irregular,” resolution read.  The SC noted that  there is no legal basis to call for the inhibition of the members of the Third Division and there is no valid reason to elevate the case to the en banc, pointing out that decisions and resolutions of a Division cannot be construed as inferior as compared to the decision of the Court en banc. “In short, the Court en banc is not appellate in respect in Divisions, for each Division is like the Court en banc itself, not the inferior to the Court en banc,” Bersamin stressed. The controversy stemmed when the SC’s  Third Division issued a decision in August 2017 that reversed the Court of Appeals (CA) decision favoring UCPB on the controversy involving the mortgage of Revere Realty and Development Corp. owned by businessman Jose Go in  UCPB  over properties in Lucena City belonging to spouses Felix and Carmen Chua, with  whom he had a joint venture that did not materialize. Specifically, the  Third  Division reversed the CA ruling that affirmed the  UCPB  mortgage of Revere over the property of the Chua couple. 

Double mortgage RECORDS showed that in 1997, Go and the Chuas had entered into a joint venture to develop the 44-hectare property in Ilayang Dupay into a subdivision but it did not push through.   Despite this, several deeds of absolute sale were executed, putting the lands in Revere’s name to hold in trust for the Chuas. In the meantime, the Chuas executed a mortgage with UCPB to secure their personal loans and corporate obligations for the Lucena Grand Central Terminal Inc. Unknown to the Chuas, Go and Revere also took out a mortgage over the properties.  When the land was foreclosed, the Chuas were prompted to ask  UCPB  to apply the proceeds only to their obligations and not Go’s, but the bank did not heed their request. This prompted the Chuas to seek redress from the courts. In reversing the CA decision, the SC Third Division  reinstated the ruling of the Regional Trial Court in Lucena City declaring that the  loan obligations of the Chuas were fully paid and asking for more from the Chuas would result in “unjust enrichment.”

ALIW MEDIA GROUP RADIO STATION IN TACLOBAN D. Edgard A. Cabangon (seated, right), Aliw Media Group chairman, and Dr. Nicomedes Abia (seated, left) of Lamrag Radio Network jointly sign an agreement for the launch and inaugural of radio 89.9 DYAW, provincial station of Karambola and radio station DWIZ in Tacloban City. Behind them are Cholo Baviera, Braggy Braganza, Ely Aligora, Tito Encarnacion and Eugene Castro. RUDY ESPERAS

Oil firms raise gas, diesel, kerosene pump prices today By Lenie Lectura @llectura


UEL prices are on the rise again. Oil firms on Monday announced they are going to implement a price increase in gasoline by P0.90 per liter, diesel by P0.55 per liter and kerosene by P0.85 per liter. The oil-price hike takes effect at 6 a.m. today, Tuesday, February 12. Seaoil Philippines, Pilipinas Shell, Petro Gazz, Phoenix Petroleum, PTT Philippines, Eastern Petroleum, Jetti and Unioil made their separate announcements on Monday afternoon. Other oil firms are expected to follow suit. This week’s price hike reflects movements in the international

oil market, particularly that of the Means of Platts Singapore (MOPS) and foreign-exchange rate. The Oil Industry Management Bureau of the energy department explained that Philippine retail prices are based on the average prices based on MOPS. This refers to the prices of finished products, which include gasoline and diesel sold at pumping stations. Most local oil firms adjust their prices every Tuesday morning. Last week a price rollback of P0.60 per liter in gasoline, P0.35 per liter in diesel and P0.20 per liter in kerosene took effect. This was the first oil-price rollback for the year. The price rollback comes after four consecutive price increases since the start of the year.

With key AES transmission reforms, credible polls seen By Samuel P. Medenilla



HE Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday said it is eyeing more credible results for the 2019 midterm polls, as it implements reforms in the transmission process of its Automated Election System (AES). During a press conference, Comelec Commissioner Marlon S. Casquejo said the source code for the transmission will no longer re-

cord election results upon its use, which may be used by unscrupulous individuals. They had the feature removed since election outcomes should only be stored in the servers of the Consolidated Canvassing System (CCS), transparency server and their central server, he explained.  “Transmission router, as I have said, should only function as a gateway,” Casquejo said. He made the statement during the creation See “AES transmission,” A2

Editor: Efleda P. Campos

Companies BusinessMirror

Tuesday, February 12, 2019


SM Prime income grows 17% to ₧32.2B in 2018


By VG Cabuag


HOPPING-MALL operator SM Prime Holdings Inc. on Monday said its consolidated net income grew 17 percent last year to P32.2 billion from the previous year’s P27.6 billion. Revenues grew by 14 percent to P104.1 billion from last year’s P90.9 billion, while consolidated overall operating income improved by 19 percent to P48.3 billion from P40.6 billion the previous year. For the fourth quarter alone, income grew 16 percent to P8.7 billion from P7.5 billion in 2017, while revenues grew 13 percent to P29.5 billion from P26.2 billion the prior year. “The successes and achievements we are reaping today are the hard work, strategy and partnerships we built five years ago when we consolidated all the key property companies of SM Group under SM Prime. Driven by our goal to deliver more innovative and sustainable lifestyle cities, SM Prime is aiming

SMC to advance payment for lands used in TPLEx construction


AN Miguel Corp. (SMC) will advance the payment for unpaid properties acquired by the government for the construction of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx), a problem that state officials said stemmed from incomplete documents submitted by claimants. Ramon S. Ang, the company’s president, said his group’s move comes as it wants to move forward with the issue, noting the company aims “to remedy the situation as soon as possible.” “We will advance the payment for the government. We understand the plight of the landowners, and also recognize the position of the government. But we would like to assure them we are ready to resolve this issue and expedite payment,” he said. The payments will be made through its subsidiary, Private Infra Development Corp. . Ang added his company “is working with the Department of Public Works and Highways [DPWH] “to quickly resolve all issues and help them deliver on their commitment so that claimants are finally compensated.” The company is no stranger to advancing payments for right-of-way acquisition. It paid the mandated partial payment to landowners for the construction of the TPLEx. However, the government has yet to make the full payment to property owners, as documentary requirements submitted by claimants were deemed incomplete. Lorenz S. Marasigan

AAA Securities set to launch ‘game changer’ online platform

to sustain this growth trajectory in the coming years,” SM Prime President Jeffrey Lim said. Mall revenues rose by 11 percent to P59.3 billion last year from P53.2 billion in 2017. Mall-rental income grew by 11 percent to P50.5 billion from P45.3 billion the previous year. The increase in revenue was due to the rising contribution of rentals from new and expanded malls launched mostly in the developing provincial areas of the Philippines from 2017 to 2018, such as SM Cagayan de Oro Downtown Premier, S Maison, SM City Puerto Princesa, SM Center Tuguegarao Downtown, SM City Urdaneta Central, SM City Telabastagan, SM City Legazpi and SM Center Ormoc. Same-mall sales

AAA Equities President and General Manager William Matthew Cabangon stands before a sign at their office at Ayala Tower One in Makati City. The stockbrokerage firm is introducing a “gamechanging” online trading platform, the first of its kind in the Philippines. NONIE REYES JEFFREY LIM

growth was at 8 percent across all mature malls. SM Prime cinema and eventticket sales improved by 9 percent to P5.2 billion, from P4.8 billion in 2017. Revenues from amusement and merchandise sales also increased by 14 percent to P3.6 billion, from P3.1 billion in 2017. The revenue growth came from additional outlets opened in new malls. SM Prime has 72 malls in the Philippines offering 8.3 million square meters of gross floor area and seven malls in China with 1.3 million sq m of GFA as of end 2018. The company is set to launch four new malls in 2019, namely SM Center

Dagupan, SM City Olongapo Central, SM City Butuan and SM Mindpro Citimall in Zamboanga. Residential group SM Development Corp. reported a revenue growth of 22 percent to P36.5 billion from P30 billion in 2017. Operating income improved by 38 percent to P12.3 billion from P8.9 billion. “The growth is due to the higher construction accomplishments of projects launched from 2015 to 2017, namely Shore 2 Residences, Coast Residences, Shore 3 Residences and S Residences in Pasay City, Fame Residences in Mandaluyong City and Spring Residences in Parañaque City,” it said.

Govt to pilot-run motorcycle taxis By Jovee Marie N. Dela Cruz @joveemarie


HE House of Representatives and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Monday agreed to a pilot run for motorcycle ride-hailing services in the country. During a hearing of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, DOTr Undersecretary Mark de Leon said the proposed pilot run of Angkas to assess the viability of motorcycle taxis as public-utility vehicles. De Leon told lawmakers this pilot run will test the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) that the technical working group (TWG) is drafting. “The technical working group has met twice already and we are planning for a third meeting to finalize the IRR and the proposal to have the pilot run,” de Leon said. The TWG is composed of representat ives f rom t he DOTr,

L a nd Tra nspor t at ion Of f ice, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, the Senate, the House of Representatives, commuter-welfare groups, road- safety advocates, motorcycle manufacturers, motorcycle organizations and law schools. House Committee on Metro Manila Development Chairman Winston Castelo, meanwhile, said the provisional authority to operate is needed immediately to help commuters and to allow 27,000 Angkas biker-partners to resume their livelihood. Although these are pending in Congress, Castelo said the government still needs to give Angkas the provisional authority to operate. “The pilot run will also allow Angkas biker-partners to resume the operations which was suspended when the Supreme Court filed

a temporary restraining order last December,” he added. Castelo said there are pending bills filed in Congress now that would legalize motorcycles for hire, “but this would take a lot of time because of the long legislative process. There are other ways to legalize it, to expedite its operations, especially now that we are suffering from traffic congestion.” Republic Act (RA) 4136, or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code provided that two-wheel vehicles are banned from being used for hire. Last week, the House of Representatives endorsed for Senate approval a bill seeking to allow the use of motorcycles as an alternative public-utility vehicle. House Bill 8959 will amend RA 4136 to address the tremendous daily suffering of commuters because of traffic congestion. The bill will allow ride application Angkas and habal-habal to operate.


ROKERAGE firm AAA Equities Inc. is venturing into the online stock-brokerage business, offering a new feature for investors that allows an automatic execution of trades, such as cutting losses and buying during breakouts, while they are away. William Matthew M. Cabangon, the company’s president, said the new feature is a game changer in the industry as no other online broker in the country offers such a feature. There are about 22 online brokers in the country, most of them, like AAA Securities, have existing brokerage firms. “This is game changing for traders, who previously had to watch the market’s every move, or else risk losing money by missing key buy-and-sell targets,” Cabangon said. Cabangon said they would use the feature with the proprietary system developed by Dubai-partner Direct FN. “For example, traders will be able to automatically send a sell order for a stock at P100 if the stock ever goes below that price in real-time,” Cabangon said. “For sophist icated traders who are familiar with technical analysis, A A A Equities offers unprecedented control over their trade execution. The automation of their strategy enables them to generate and send orders faster than they previously could, giving them a big speed edge in the hyper-competitive market,” he said. He said the feature is allowed by regulators since the investors

Siam Cement eyes 10% revenue hike in 2019 from PHL govt’s booming infrastructure program

T Cebu Pacific sees Clark as launch center for new routes to Japan By Lorenz S. Marasigan @lorenzmarasigan


ITH slot constraints in Manila, Cebu Pacific is looking at Clark International Airport to further develop its Japanese route network, as Japan continues to prove to be a very viable market for the lowcost carrier. Cebu Pacific Japan General Manager Tomohiko Matsumoto said that aside from Cebu, his group is looking at developing a Japanese route network out of Clark, given that the future expansion of the company lies in other ports due to capacity constraints in Manila.

“Manila is full. So for us to grow further, we need to have more hub points to fly in. I think another one is Clark because that is another international point. The company is also looking at the possibility of opening routes to Japan [from Clark],” he said in an interview. Clark is seen as an alternative airport to Manila. Currently, the government is developing the airport to expand its capacity. It will soon be operated by a consortium composed of JG Summit Holdings Inc., Filinvest Development Corp. and Changi Airports Philippines Pte. Ltd. JG Summit is the partner company of Cebu Pacific. Asked if the company can launch

flights to Japan from Clark within 2019, Matsumoto said “it is not impossible” to do so. However, the proposition of flying out of Clark to a port in Japan will be directly hinged on aircraft delivery. “Those plans have to be fit with the aircraft deliveries. We are, of course, eyeing those new routes and destinations, but those depend on deliveries,” he said. Cebu Pacific is set to receive 12 brand-new aircraft in 2019—six Airbus A321neos, five A320 neos, and one ATR 72-600. Through 2022, the company will engage in a massive refleeting program that will upgrade old aircraft and add more fuel-efficient ones to end 2022 with 83 jets.

themselves will manually input the key data such as the floor and ceiling prices. Cabangon said the feature would be useful for investors who balance trading with their professional career. “It allows them to set their strategy before the trading day begins with ‘off-hours order.’ These orders are sent to the exchange automatically once the market opens,” he said. Cabangon said this positions AAA Equities in the future of the stockbrokerage industry, particularly with just 1 percent of the population investing in the stock market. AAA Equities’s online trading platform will be formally unveiled on March 1. The 1 percent of the population that invests in the stock market is far behind that of their top 5 Southeast Asian peers like Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand, Cabangon said. The Philippine Stock Exchange said online stock-market accounts rose 28 percent in 2017, while trading activity from the segment slightly improved. Citing its Stock Market Investor Profile Report 2017, online stockmarket accounts rose to 388,864 from 302,516 in 2016. Trading activity from these accounts, however, only accounted for 11 percent of total trading value in 2017, a slight increase from 9 percent during the previous year. Value turnover from online accounts rose by 13 percent to P372.06 billion from P329.64 billion in 2016. VG Cabuag

HAILAND-BASED Siam Cement Group (SCG) is banking on the government’s infrastructure program to boost its revenue by 10 percent this year from sales on construction materials. Country Director Anuvat Chalermchai on Monday said SCG is expecting revenue to grow 10 percent this year on the back of stronger sales demand brought about by the government’s “Build, Build, Build” program. The firm’s revenue for the whole of last year grew 26 percent to P18.53 billion. Sales of cement and building materials alone were at P7.5 billion, of which 51.6 percent was contributed by local partner and ceramic tile producer Mariwasa. Chalermchai said SCG is banking on the infrastructure binge to spur demand for construction materials. He added SCG will also ride on the strong macroeconomic fundamentals of the Philippines and the heavy spending during the

election period. However, he identified the trade conflict between the United States and China and the unstable world crude oil prices as possible impediments to hitting their growth target. “The Philippines has always been a strategic country for SCG due to its dynamic market. I am [looking] forward to develop better collaboration with our partners seamlessly bringing SCG’s products, services and solutions to more Filipinos with better convenience,” Chalermchai said. Further, he discounted any possibility SCG will see its sales on cement reduced with the import tax in place, as the country is not a strong landing market of SCG cement. SCG is the largest and oldest cement producer in Thailand and in the entire Southeast Asia. In 2016, it was named the second-largest firm in Thailand and the 604thlargest public company across the world. Elijah Felice E. Rosales


Companies BusinessMirror

Tuesday, February 12, 2019


February 11, 2019

Net Foreign Stocks Bid Ask Open High Low Close Volume Value Trade (Peso) Buy (Sell) FINANCIALS

ASIA UNITED 59 59.4 59 59 59 59 4500 265500 BDO UNIBANK 137.8 138 139.9 140.5 138 138 3545890 489952417 BANK PH ISLANDS 90.65 91.5 92 92.7 90.65 90.65 1832810 167439546 CHINABANK 27.95 28 28 28.2 27.75 28 82500 2310440 CITYSTATE BANK 6.54 7.58 7.59 7.59 7.59 7.59 600 4554 EAST WEST BANK 13.32 13.46 13.56 13.6 13.28 13.46 780700 10527498 METROBANK 82.2 82.3 83.8 83.8 82.2 82.3 1585070 130632635 PHIL NATL BANK 48.95 49 48.9 49.25 48.85 49 263300 12898200 PSBANK 58.8 59 59.4 59.5 58 59.5 3820 225660 RCBC 26.35 26.5 26.1 26.5 26.1 26.35 51300 1354335 SECURITY BANK 179 180 179 182.1 178.6 180 567670 102280966 UNION BANK 63.9 64 63.8 64 63.8 64 41030 2624769 BRIGHT KINDLE 1.46 1.51 1.53 1.55 1.46 1.51 162000 242050 BDO LEASING 2.26 2.28 2.28 2.28 2.26 2.26 38000 85950 COL FINANCIAL 17.1 17.18 17 17.1 17 17.1 13700 233160 FERRONOUX HLDG 4.7 4.74 4.8 4.8 4.68 4.74 294000 1390120 IREMIT 1.41 1.5 1.44 1.44 1.44 1.44 3000 4320 MEDCO HLDG 0.48 0.49 0.475 0.485 0.475 0.485 400000 192350 NTL REINSURANCE 1.21 1.22 1.21 1.22 1.21 1.22 4746000 5783860 PHIL STOCK EXCH 186 186.2 186.8 186.8 185.5 186 1300 242156 SUN LIFE 1795 1798 1795 1795 1795 1795 45 80775 INDUSTRIAL ALSONS CONS 1.39 1.4 1.39 1.41 1.39 1.41 1103000 1545210 ABOITIZ POWER 37.55 37.65 37.9 38 37.1 37.55 763000 28656935 BASIC ENERGY 0.25 0.255 0.255 0.265 0.247 0.255 7920000 2001240 FIRST GEN 21.15 21.2 20.75 21.4 20.75 21.2 3969900 84009905 FIRST PHIL HLDG 72.9 73 73.1 73.45 72.9 73 92790 6774036 MERALCO 360 365 367.2 367.6 360 360 191920 69539786 MANILA WATER 27.3 27.35 27.35 27.5 27.25 27.3 1298100 35550300 PETRON 6.75 6.77 7.2 7.2 6.75 6.75 33112400 228312231 PETROENERGY 3.73 3.76 3.73 3.73 3.73 3.73 76000 283480 PHINMA ENERGY 1.32 1.33 1.33 1.34 1.31 1.32 12300000 16248510 PHX PETROLEUM 11.02 11.24 11.18 11.3 10.92 11.3 338200 3720622 PILIPINAS SHELL 46.95 47 47.85 48.25 46.25 47 793700 37373430 SPC POWER 6.31 6.39 6.3 6.4 6.26 6.4 35100 220866 AGRINURTURE 16.32 16.48 16.5 16.6 16.34 16.48 411100 6783900 BOGO MEDELLIN 85.15 96.45 97 97 82.6 96.5 630 58150 CNTRL AZUCARERA 16.44 16.8 17 17 16.4 16.8 7900 131136 CENTURY FOOD 16.5 16.52 16.44 16.54 16.3 16.52 662600 10937290 DEL MONTE 6.75 6.85 6.74 6.95 6.7 6.85 34400 232526 DNL INDUS 11.7 11.76 11.74 11.76 11.7 11.7 3601700 42231986 EMPERADOR 7.66 7.67 7.63 7.78 7.63 7.67 76000 587207 SMC FOODANDBEV 93.9 95.5 95.5 95.5 93.15 95.5 181180 17126566.5 ALLIANCE SELECT 1.11 1.12 1.07 1.14 1.06 1.11 19153000 21103650 GINEBRA 26.85 27.35 26.85 27.35 26.85 27.35 8100 219035 JOLLIBEE 314.8 316.4 317 320 314.8 314.8 434150 137217084 LIBERTY FLOUR 40 58 28.3 28.3 28.3 28.3 100 2830 MACAY HLDG 16.22 16.3 20.05 22.8 15.02 16.3 1470100 28696442 MAXS GROUP 12.74 12.78 12.74 12.86 12.74 12.78 4216200 53854380 MG HLDG 0.235 0.242 0.22 0.27 0.217 0.235 41390000 10018400 PEPSI COLA 1.46 1.47 1.55 1.57 1.46 1.46 22060000 33318840 SHAKEYS PIZZA 13 13.02 13 13 12.9 13 162800 2111858 ROXAS AND CO 2.13 2.15 2.15 2.15 2.1 2.13 375000 794980 SWIFT FOODS 0.135 0.139 0.132 0.14 0.132 0.139 2900000 398830 UNIV ROBINA 146.9 147 146.3 148.5 146.2 147 975470 143910779 VITARICH 1.78 1.79 1.75 1.79 1.75 1.78 3502000 6203870 VICTORIAS 2.6 2.63 2.58 2.63 2.58 2.63 75000 194350 CONCRETE A 65 70 72.1 72.1 64 70 5190 348467.5 CONCRETE B 76 80 88 88.45 72 80 1550 117623 CEMEX HLDG 2.39 2.4 2.48 2.54 2.38 2.4 26390000 64392130 DAVINCI CAPITAL 6.16 6.38 6.1 6.38 6.1 6.38 1200 7600 EAGLE CEMENT 16 16.08 16.14 16.14 15.82 16 801900 12834846 EEI CORP 8.44 8.45 8.32 8.6 8.25 8.45 383000 3232368 HOLCIM 9.68 9.69 9.8 9.8 9.6 9.68 1499800 14540100 MEGAWIDE 18.38 18.4 18.44 18.48 18.3 18.4 4683900 85791424 PHINMA 8.85 9.36 9 9.36 9 9.36 33900 307260 TKC METALS 0.99 1.02 1 1.03 1 1.02 126000 128360 VULCAN INDL 1.39 1.4 1.4 1.43 1.38 1.39 2211000 3094090 CHEMPHIL 126.8 137.6 138.3 138.3 126.8 137.6 170 22483 CROWN ASIA 1.91 1.92 1.85 1.94 1.83 1.91 3155000 5957390 EUROMED 1.66 1.84 1.58 1.92 1.58 1.66 129000 228190 MABUHAY VINYL 3.24 3.29 3.26 3.26 3.24 3.24 15000 48700 PRYCE CORP 6.01 6.13 6 6 6 6 2000 12000 CONCEPCION 41.5 42 41.5 41.5 41.5 41.5 2100 87150 GREENERGY 3.18 3.19 3.21 3.27 3.16 3.19 15237000 48769930 INTEGRATED MICR 12.6 12.62 12.88 13.3 12.5 12.6 1306800 16655908 IONICS 1.87 1.88 1.78 1.88 1.78 1.88 2055000 3819410 PANASONIC 6.18 6.2 6.15 6.18 6.15 6.18 3200 19725 SFA SEMICON 1.4 1.42 1.42 1.44 1.4 1.41 159000 225600 CIRTEK HLDG 29.8 29.85 30 30 29.85 29.85 121200 3624180 HOLDING & FRIMS ABACORE CAPITAL 0.81 0.82 0.86 0.87 0.81 0.82 44362000 36701480 ASIABEST GROUP 24.55 24.6 26.3 26.8 24.6 24.6 399500 10038325 AYALA CORP 929 935 932 943 928 929 166620 156051490 ABOITIZ EQUITY 63.95 64 63 64.5 62.5 64 864930 55181420.5 ALLIANCE GLOBAL 13.92 13.96 13.78 14.2 13.78 13.96 4567600 63808732 ANSCOR 6.5 6.59 6.5 6.5 6.5 6.5 13000 84500 ANGLO PHIL HLDG 0.8 0.84 0.8 0.85 0.8 0.85 9000 7300 ATN HLDG A 1.43 1.44 1.44 1.45 1.43 1.44 4292000 6172280 ATN HLDG B 1.43 1.44 1.44 1.45 1.43 1.43 746000 1072730 COSCO CAPITAL 7.53 7.55 7.5 7.57 7.45 7.53 650500 4904146 DMCI HLDG 12.28 12.3 12.4 12.46 12.26 12.3 5534100 68185616 FILINVEST DEV 12.9 12.98 12.98 13 12.8 12.98 604800 7815686 FJ PRINCE A 4.98 5.99 4.98 4.99 4.98 4.99 7000 34920 FORUM PACIFIC 0.232 0.24 0.236 0.24 0.232 0.24 810000 189110 GT CAPITAL 1090 1091 1095 1095 1080 1090 32420 35265990 HOUSE OF INV 6.05 6.14 6.18 6.19 6.03 6.03 21500 131445 JG SUMMIT 65.6 66.1 65.7 66.1 65.4 66.1 856290 56536847 KEPPEL HLDG A 5.4 5.42 5.49 5.5 5.1 5.4 7100 37563 LODESTAR 0.62 0.63 0.66 0.66 0.62 0.63 1536000 968690 LOPEZ HLDG 5.36 5.38 5.4 5.47 5.37 5.38 561500 3029628 LT GROUP 15.68 15.7 15.62 15.88 15.42 15.7 1368400 21413298 MABUHAY HLDG 0.58 0.59 0.57 0.6 0.57 0.58 772000 455810 METRO PAC INV 4.93 4.95 4.95 4.96 4.91 4.93 10199000 50296640 PACIFICA 0.039 0.041 0.04 0.041 0.039 0.041 3200000 127900 PRIME ORION 2.77 2.79 2.8 2.83 2.77 2.77 1053000 2934340 PRIME MEDIA 1.16 1.18 1.18 1.19 1.18 1.18 132000 155780 SOLID GROUP 1.37 1.39 1.37 1.39 1.36 1.39 125000 170830 SYNERGY GRID 480 499.8 500 500 441.4 442 70 32834 SM INVESTMENTS 1000 1004 1010 1010 999.5 1000 80380 80472450 SAN MIGUEL CORP 163.8 166 165 166 163.1 166 209100 34626711 SOC RESOURCES 0.76 0.77 0.77 0.77 0.77 0.77 8000 6160 TOP FRONTIER 271.2 279.8 275 280 273 280 1780 494986 WELLEX INDUS 0.255 0.26 0.265 0.265 0.255 0.26 4360000 1123150 ZEUS HLDG 0.35 0.355 0.34 0.365 0.33 0.35 35130000 12293250 PROPERTY ARTHALAND CORP 0.91 0.92 0.9 0.93 0.89 0.92 2860000 2611790 ANCHOR LAND 10.64 11.08 11.08 11.08 11.08 11.08 2700 29916 AYALA LAND 44.8 44.9 45 45.2 44.8 44.9 5238400 235709890 ARANETA PROP 1.8 1.84 1.84 1.84 1.79 1.84 258000 464710 BELLE CORP 2.51 2.52 2.54 2.57 2.5 2.5 700000 1775370 A BROWN 0.78 0.79 0.81 0.82 0.79 0.79 3540000 2827280 CITYLAND DEVT 0.89 0.9 0.9 0.9 0.89 0.89 12000 10700 CROWN EQUITIES 0.25 0.255 0.248 0.255 0.248 0.25 2980000 746400 CEBU HLDG 6.2 6.42 6.4 6.42 6.4 6.42 8100 51852 CEB LANDMASTERS 4.1 4.2 4.1 4.2 4.08 4.2 542000 2247030 CENTURY PROP 0.52 0.53 0.48 0.52 0.475 0.52 57370000 29006500 CYBER BAY 0.415 0.42 0.405 0.425 0.4 0.415 1160000 479500 DOUBLEDRAGON 23 23.1 23.9 24.15 23 23 1167200 27473200 DM WENCESLAO 10.2 10.24 10.1 10.34 10.1 10.2 376100 3849556 EMPIRE EAST 0.5 0.52 0.52 0.52 0.5 0.5 249000 124840 EVER GOTESCO 0.129 0.136 0.129 0.129 0.129 0.129 80000 10320 FILINVEST LAND 1.56 1.57 1.58 1.61 1.56 1.56 15555000 24516560 GLOBAL ESTATE 1.25 1.26 1.26 1.27 1.25 1.26 1242000 1565670 8990 HLDG 10.98 11 10.5 11.26 10.48 11 3395400 37049462 PHIL INFRADEV 2.29 2.3 2.26 2.33 2.26 2.3 7210000 16542050 CITY AND LAND 0.82 0.84 0.86 0.86 0.86 0.86 2000 1720 MEGAWORLD 5.23 5.27 5.29 5.29 5.23 5.23 10552600 55580075 MRC ALLIED 0.43 0.435 0.435 0.445 0.43 0.435 15070000 6551400 PHIL ESTATES 0.445 0.455 0.45 0.455 0.445 0.455 1320000 596300 PRIMEX CORP 3.11 3.16 3.09 3.21 3.08 3.16 538000 1688920 ROBINSONS LAND 22.75 23 21.75 23 21.75 23 2818400 63963935 PHIL REALTY 0.465 0.47 0.47 0.475 0.46 0.465 390000 182000 ROCKWELL 2.01 2.02 2.02 2.03 2.01 2.01 286000 578280 SHANG PROP 3.14 3.15 3.13 3.15 3.13 3.15 505000 1584870 STA LUCIA LAND 1.39 1.42 1.4 1.46 1.4 1.4 2975000 4196160 SM PRIME HLDG 39.3 39.35 39 39.4 38.95 39.3 5017300 196994585 STARMALLS 6.18 6.22 6.17 6.45 6.12 6.22 1332500 8387469 SUNTRUST HOME 0.71 0.74 0.71 0.71 0.71 0.71 20000 14200 VISTA LAND 6.37 6.39 6.48 6.48 6.38 6.39 4970400 31809051 SERVICES ABS CBN 23.2 23.85 23.95 24.05 23.2 23.2 150000 3537525 GMA NETWORK 5.76 5.79 5.81 5.82 5.76 5.76 224100 1295432 MANILA BULLETIN 0.54 - 0.37 0.54 0.37 0.54 15360000 7898500 GLOBE TELECOM 1980 1999 2020 2040 1980 1980 36970 73848505 PLDT 1215 1216 1240 1247 1210 1216 92985 113367150 APOLLO GLOBAL 0.041 0.043 0.042 0.043 0.041 0.043 16700000 694100 DFNN INC 7.6 7.7 7.7 7.7 7.57 7.57 50000 384120 IMPERIAL 1.96 1.98 1.91 1.99 1.91 1.99 56000 109690 ISLAND INFO 0.134 0.135 0.129 0.135 0.127 0.135 5090000 665060 ISM COMM 6.38 6.39 6.52 6.62 6.35 6.38 7200300 46366411 JACKSTONES 3.12 3.2 3.13 3.27 3.11 3.2 63000 198330 NOW CORP 3.24 3.25 3.31 3.35 3.2 3.24 2135000 7011950 TRANSPACIFIC BR 0.445 0.45 0.45 0.46 0.445 0.45 18860000 8517600 PHILWEB 3.14 3.15 3.18 3.19 3.05 3.14 2159000 6675950 2GO GROUP 13.34 13.8 13.4 13.8 13.34 13.34 50800 682744 ASIAN TERMINALS 15 15.74 15.28 15.74 15 15 7400 112782 CEBU AIR 86 86.65 91 91 86 86 136960 12052008.5 CHELSEA 6.55 6.56 6.8 6.8 6.54 6.56 1439100 9509815 INTL CONTAINER 114.7 115 113 117.7 113 114.7 2271840 261537770 LBC EXPRESS 15.02 16 15.7 16.5 15.02 15.02 22700 358916 LORENZO SHIPPNG 0.8 0.82 0.81 0.81 0.8 0.8 35000 28020 MACROASIA 19.04 19.24 19.48 19.5 19.04 19.04 1638600 31531942 METROALLIANCE A 2.08 2.11 2.11 2.15 2.08 2.08 298000 627050 METROALLIANCE B 2.09 2.28 2.09 2.09 2.09 2.09 2000 4180 PAL HLDG 13.1 13.12 12.8 13.5 12.7 13.1 347600 4550428 HARBOR STAR 2.84 2.85 2.85 2.87 2.84 2.85 562000 1604750 ACESITE HOTEL 1.32 1.35 1.35 1.35 1.31 1.31 53000 69990 BOULEVARD HLDG 0.065 0.066 0.065 0.068 0.065 0.065 51020000 3370820 DISCOVERY WORLD 2.07 2.16 2.05 2.05 2.05 2.05 40000 82000 GRAND PLAZA 11.12 12.48 11.12 12.48 11.12 12.48 1200 14000 WATERFRONT 0.75 0.77 0.77 0.78 0.74 0.77 12568000 9531990 CENTRO ESCOLAR 7.7 8.39 8.39 8.39 8.39 8.39 100 839 FAR EASTERN U 890 945 893 896 890 896 70 62510 IPEOPLE 10.82 11.2 11.2 11.3 10.82 10.82 5000 55720 STI HLDG 0.77 0.78 0.78 0.8 0.76 0.77 15912000 12310050 BERJAYA 3.07 3.1 3.22 3.22 3.03 3.07 2209000 6850510 BLOOMBERRY 11.98 12 12.2 12.2 11.76 12 22252500 266049802 PACIFIC ONLINE 9.28 9.48 9.38 9.38 9.3 9.3 46900 437015 LEISURE AND RES 3.28 3.38 3.35 3.38 3.26 3.37 804000 2665040 PH RESORTS GRP 6.25 6.32 6.22 6.32 6.2 6.32 213500 1334708 PREMIUM LEISURE 1.01 1.02 1.01 1.03 1 1.01 11468000 11606300 TRAVELLERS 5.55 5.58 5.56 5.56 5.52 5.55 218400 1210413 METRO RETAIL 2.77 2.79 2.75 2.87 2.72 2.79 5410000 15198450 PUREGOLD 48 48.1 48.25 48.25 47.95 48 562500 27058510 ROBINSONS RTL 86 87 88 89.4 86 86 26950 2372720 PHIL SEVEN CORP 131 133 132.1 133 130.1 133 2620 343909 SSI GROUP 2.39 2.4 2.39 2.45 2.37 2.4 13152000 31524180 WILCON DEPOT 14.6 14.62 14.62 14.66 14.5 14.62 3468600 50731566 APC GROUP 0.47 0.485 0.485 0.485 0.465 0.48 5320000 2528050 EASYCALL 15.5 15.56 16.14 16.14 15 15.58 351000 5393314 GOLDEN BRIA 345 359 350 359 343.4 359 6280 2207242 IPM HLDG 7.15 7.2 7.21 7.21 7 7.2 17100 121230 PAXYS 3.33 3.49 3.55 3.55 3.4 3.49 140000 476710 PRMIERE HORIZON 1.47 1.48 1.28 1.48 1.28 1.47 192159000 267234440 SBS PHIL CORP 8.35 8.52 8.25 8.55 8.23 8.52 1187900 10027825 MINING & OIL ATOK 13.1 13.48 13 13.5 13 13.48 2800 37544 APEX MINING 1.55 1.56 1.55 1.56 1.55 1.56 1746000 2712050 ABRA MINING 0.0022 0.0023 0.0022 0.0023 0.0021 0.0023 2187000000 4822700 ATLAS MINING 2.96 3.01 3.1 3.1 2.96 3.01 80000 239280 BENGUET A 1.31 1.45 1.45 1.45 1.45 1.45 15000 21750 COAL ASIA HLDG 0.3 0.31 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 300000 90000 CENTURY PEAK 2.1 2.11 2.12 2.12 2.1 2.11 279000 588820 DIZON MINES 8.15 8.37 8.23 8.5 8.21 8.37 5300 44125 FERRONICKEL 1.47 1.48 1.52 1.52 1.48 1.48 1862000 2772330 GEOGRACE 0.31 0.32 0.32 0.335 0.31 0.31 7280000 2316550 LEPANTO A 0.129 0.13 0.128 0.13 0.127 0.129 1540000 198190 LEPANTO B 0.132 0.136 0.13 0.132 0.13 0.132 190000 24800 MANILA MINING A 0.0082 0.0087 0.0083 0.0083 0.0082 0.0082 3000000 24800 MARCVENTURES 1.11 1.14 1.15 1.2 1.08 1.14 1185000 1367840 NIHAO 1.1 1.14 1.15 1.15 1.1 1.14 415000 464000 NICKEL ASIA 2.69 2.7 2.85 2.85 2.68 2.7 10623000 29153690 OMICO CORP 0.78 0.8 0.69 0.79 0.69 0.78 2599000 2017380 ORNTL PENINSULA 1.01 1.02 1.01 1.03 1.01 1.02 389000 397770 PX MINING 4.29 4.3 4.42 4.46 4.26 4.29 5476000 23765470 SEMIRARA MINING 23.55 23.65 23.6 23.7 23.5 23.55 768100 18102505 UNITED PARAGON 0.0079 0.0084 0.0078 0.0084 0.0078 0.0079 27000000 217800 ORNTL PETROL A 0.012 0.013 0.013 0.013 0.012 0.013 3400000 43700 PHILODRILL 0.012 0.013 0.013 0.013 0.012 0.012 40100000 481300 PHINMA PETRO 3.5 3.62 3.6 3.6 3.5 3.5 145000 510400 PXP ENERGY 14.02 14.06 14.06 14.2 14 14.02 599000 8409584


95.35 458.2 482 98.2 991.5 103.1 899 1 970 75.1 76 75 73 73.5


20.7 5.55 1.94



43580 -50160 -2069770 -10541560 -99620 84500 798930 -534429 8575106 822082 37785 21323647 -641390 646190 14510300 3610850 -40000 -142290 -10000 -11043727.5 -4270783 -264479.9999 -375400 178480 15565965 101900 5670 -654950 9380610 -60780 -11610350 365300 -363618 -620600 19371116 -152200 6424970 23000 -2009.9999 3140 98000 133866025 10096 -2927583 -24660295 -21132940 -6625528 -91540 -209300 24720 9380 -5430711 -1620580 -24000594 -62800 2572976.0001 38400 10480 20400 -514360 1572820 -35240 27404554 215550 69000 -544263 1608990 9669490 1625744 269976 62510 22414922 66626 27520 10260 -9371370 395170 220000 60000 302440 6300 1481870 -1851230 -11377955 -1276770

96 474.8 498 98.4 990 104.5 900 0.99 971 75.45 76 75 73 73.5

96.1 475 498 98.4 991 104.5 900 0.99 971 75.5 76.3 75 74 73.5

96 474.8 498 98.4 990 104.5 900 0.98 971 75.45 76 75 73 73.5

96 475 498 98.4 991 104.5 900 0.98 971 75.5 76.3 75 73.5 73.5

5950 430 220 100 1980 950 140 1000000 50 600 1880 3700 32050 9170

571206 204244 109560 9840 1960680 99275 126000 988160 48550 45276.5 142956 277500 2350150 673995

19800 -

20.75 5.8

20.6 5.7

20.85 5.8

20.6 5.7

20.75 5.8

69700 65000

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4.5 2.31

4.63 1.84

4.65 2.33

4.48 1.81

4.49 2.3

836000 128162000

3778230 268581770



-5722350 4129005 95864.9997 -47276730 -24295975 -41991480 -29840 -827540 -19606465 -10846 76088 4186686 6165 -23487644 409609 -84734.5 -254950 -49756210 -302710 -1394140 -47100 -5720890 1769546 2710 34650560.0001 -54800 -5807100 5203484 -352130 5985310 2626220 56160 -186700 18400 -12000 87150 1644530.0003 -68024 7050 -253905

96.95 475 496 98.4 994 104 900 1.01 990 75.5 76.3 75.15 73.5 74.25


12613876 -60438164.5 -566000 -91576 1095964.5 -733690 5905 49465 7607344 -998203 6780 1710 13068 -









Editor: Efleda P. Campos

DOE keenly watching NGCP’s MVIP project


By Lenie Lectura


HE Department of Energy (DOE) is closely monitoring the progress of the multibillion peso Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection Project (MVIP) of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP). “We are monitoring NGCP because they gave their own deadline that by December 2020, the MVIP will be completed. We want a more reliable and a more secured transmission system. The interconnection project will provide us a sense of security,” Energy Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella said. The NGCP project, regional transmission planning manager Christian Ereno said, is currently in the procurement stage. “In parallel, we are continuing to

secure the endorsement of the local government unit and the environmental permits. Right-of-way acquisition is also being conducted so that as soon as construction starts, it will not be interrupted,” Ereno said. The MVIP is NGCP’s latest project that aims to connect the Mindanao grid to the Visayas grid, and will ultimately lead to a single, unified national grid by the time of its completion in 2020. With a unified national grid, power-transmission services in

₧68-M estafa suit filed vs domestic Okada contractor


INMAT International Resources Inc., one of the major contractors of Okada Philippines, faces a lawsuit after construction supplier Golden Mile Enterprises (GME) filed a case before a Regional Trial Court in Pasig City for nonfulfillment of its obligations. The latter accused Finmat owner Reynaldo de Jesus, with office address at Caniogan, Pasig City, for failing to settle the sum of P68,237,818.80 as the total amount of building materials it ordered during the construction of the integrated entertainment resort and casino facility located in The Entertainment City in Parañaque. Per a 21-page complaint, Finmat tapped the services of GME for the supply and application of the epoxy-injection project worth P2.7 million in May 2016. Several other projects followed in 2017, with an amount reaching over P60 million. Under the contract, the contractor would pay the construction supplier upon the completion of the proj-

ect while payment would be made once the first party, Okada, settled its obligation to Finmat. Faithful to the agreement, GME supplied the needed materials and performed the necessary works. It also made extra works not specified in the contract. W hen t he project wa s completed, GME demanded pay ment for the finished contract. Finmat Operation Manager Robert Tayag asked for a “little more time” to pay. Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio, who represented GME, gave in to the request of Finmat since it was “a reputable firm.” On September 3, 2018, the GME again demanded full payment for the completion of the project. Finmat refused anew to settle its dues on the pretext that its collection from Okada remained unpaid. It was found out, however, that the hotel and gaming firm already paid its contractor, and yet did not pay GME of its unsettled obligation. Roderick L. Abad

ABS-CBN ties up with Smart, Globe for iWant platform


BS-CBN Corp. has partnered with telcos Smart C o m mu n i c at io n s a nd Globe Telecom Inc. to expand the reach of its digital-television content platform iWant, allowing subscribers to stream its original shows and movies through existing promos. Under the deal, Smart, TNT, Sun and Globe subscribers can stream video content on iWant via different promos starting at P29. The

partnership covers both prepaid and postpaid subscribers of the two telcos. iWant is a streaming application developed by the Lopez-led multimedia conglomerate that allows users to stream video content for free. These include original movies and shows, documentaries, Asian television drama, music and live feeds on different ABS-CBN channels. It currently has about 11.3 million users. Lorenz S. Marasigan

the country will be more reliable as there will be less power interruptions nationwide due to the sharing of local energy resources. Reliable electricity transmission, in turn, could help boost investments, infrastructure development and commerce in the country, the NGCP said. In November last year, the NGCP said it broke ground on the new cable terminal stations, which serve as a major component of the MVIP. The cable terminal stations will be located in Santander, Cebu, and Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte. These will serve as the landing points of the two 92-kilometer submarine cables that will carry around 450 megawatts (MW) of power from the Visayas and Mindanao, and vice versa. The NGCP assures the completion of the MVIP in 2020. The MVIP, provisionally approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission in 2017, is considered the big-


gest power infrastructure project in the history of the country. Apart from the submarine cables and cable terminal stations, the P52-billion project also entails the installation of 526 circuit-kilometers of overhead transmission lines, high-voltage direct current converter stations and various upgrades to substations in both regions. In May 2018, the DOE also certified the MVIP as an Energy Project of National Significance, in order to streamline and expedite the needed documents for the construction and completion of the project. Since 2009, the NGCP has built 2,472 circuit-kilometers of transmission lines and 10,134 megavolt amperes of substation capacity. The NGCP is a Filipino-led, privately owned company in charge of operating, maintaining and developing the country’s power grid, led by majority shareholders Henry Sy Jr. and Robert Coyiuto Jr.

February 11, 2019

NAV ONE YEAR THREE YEAR FIVE YEAR Y-T-D PER SHARE RETURN* RETURN STOCK FUNDS ALFM GROWTH FUND, INC. -A 269.7  -7.9%  4.57%  3.96%  6.93%  ATRAM ALPHA OPPORTUNITY FUND, INC. -A   1.5861  -2.68%  14.84%  5.22%  10.08%  ATRAM PHILIPPINE EQUITY OPPORTUNITY FUND, INC. -A   4.1978  -9.06%  6.56%  2.49%  7.55%  CLIMBS SHARE CAPITAL EQUITY INVESTMENT FUND CORP. -A   0.9572  -4.06%  N.A.  N.A.  7.49%  FIRST METRO CONSUMER FUND ON MSCI PHILS. IMI, INC. -A   0.8826  N.A.  N.A.  N.A.  7.54%  FIRST METRO SAVE AND LEARN EQUITY FUND,INC. -A   5.6215  -6.31%  4.42%  3.36%  6.65%  MBG EQUITY INVESTMENT FUND, INC. -A   122.17  4.19%  N.A.  N.A.  4.9%  ONE WEALTHY NATION FUND, INC. -A   0.8948  -9.49%  -2.88%  N.A.  7.5%  PAMI EQUITY INDEX FUND, INC. -A   53.0193  -6.71%  5.87%  N.A.  7.75%  PHILAM STRATEGIC GROWTH FUND, INC. -A   551.69  -6.87%  4.4%  3.28%  7.18%  PHILEQUITY DIVIDEND YIELD FUND, INC. -A   1.3346  -4.82%  6.01%  6.64%  6.43%  PHILEQUITY FUND, INC. -A   39.2372  -5.16%  6.95%  5.86%  7.11%  PHILEQUITY MSCI PHILIPPINE INDEX FUND, INC. -A,3 1.051  N.A.  N.A.  N.A.  N.A.  PHILEQUITY PSE INDEX FUND INC. -A   5.3555  -6.39%  6.75%  5.86%  8%  PHILIPPINE STOCK INDEX FUND CORP. -A   894.67  -6.16%  6.59%  5.91%  7.99%  SOLDIVO STRATEGIC GROWTH FUND, INC. -A   0.9165  -6.1%  3.99%  N.A.  6.42%  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY PHILIPPINE EQUITY FUND, INC. -A   4.3518  -5.85%  6.43%  4.4%  7.22%  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY PHILIPPINE STOCK INDEX FUND, INC. -A   1.0297  -6.56%  6.48%  N.A.  7.9%  UNITED FUND, INC. -A   3.74  -3.31%  7.88%  5.04%  6.83%      EXCHANGE TRADED FUND FIRST METRO PHIL. EQUITY EXCHANGE TRADED FUND, INC. -A,C,2   119.6363  -5.85%  7.75%  7.03%  8.03%  ATRAM ASIAPLUS EQUITY FUND, INC. -B   $0.9908  -10.08%  8.46%  1.67%  6.64%  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY WORLD VOYAGER FUND, INC. -A   $1.2096  -5.27%  N.A.  N.A.  9.46%  BALANCED FUNDS     PRIMARILY INVESTED IN PESO SECURITIES ATRAM DYNAMIC ALLOCATION FUND, INC. -A   1.7386  -6.26%  1.22%  0.05%  5.29%  ATRAM PHILIPPINE BALANCED FUND, INC. -A   2.3278  -5.2%  3.86%  2.05%  5.37%  FIRST METRO SAVE AND LEARN BALANCED FUND INC. -A   2.679  -3.61%  1.78%  -0.06%  5.31%  GREPALIFE BALANCED FUND CORPORATION -A   1.3684  -6.4%  N.A.  N.A.  4.91%  NCM MUTUAL FUND OF THE PHILS., INC. -A   1.9221  -3.5%  3.09%  2.9%  4.29%  PAMI HORIZON FUND, INC. -A   3.6612  -6.5%  1.6%  1.94%  3.74%  PHILAM FUND, INC. -A   16.5741  -5.55%  1.94%  1.98%  4.19%  SOLIDARITAS FUND, INC. -A   2.1657  -3.58%  3.39%  3.68%  4.51%  SUN LIFE OF CANADA PROSPERITY BALANCED FUND, INC. -A   3.8483  -4.56%  3.24%  2.79%  5.39%  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY ACHIEVER FUND 2028, INC. -A,D,4   1.0017  N.A.  N.A.  N.A.  N.A.  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY ACHIEVER FUND 2038, INC. -A,D,4   0.9998  N.A.  N.A.  N.A.  N.A.  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY ACHIEVER FUND 2048, INC. -A,D,4   0.9995  N.A.  N.A.  N.A.  N.A.  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY DYNAMIC FUND, INC. -A   0.9735  -4.93%  2.82%  N.A.  5.62%      PRIMARILY INVESTED IN FOREIGN CURRENCY SECURITIES COCOLIFE DOLLAR FUND BUILDER, INC. -A   $0.03568  0.82%  0.28%  1.83%  1.22%  PAMI ASIA BALANCED FUND, INC. -A   $0.9734  -7.73%  5.18%  0.16%  3.97%  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY DOLLAR ADVANTAGE FUND, INC. -A   $3.536  -3.86%  7.11%  2.18%  6.88%  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY DOLLAR WELLSPRING FUND, INC. -A   $1.0564  -5.39%  N.A.  N.A.  4.59%  BOND FUNDS     PRIMARILY INVESTED IN PESO SECURITIES ALFM PESO BOND FUND, INC. -A   345.16  2.33%  2.1%  2.13%  0.52%  ATRAM CORPORATE BOND FUND, INC. -A,1   1.872  -0.47%  -0.25%  -0.15%  0.69%  COCOLIFE FIXED INCOME FUND, INC. -A   2.9875  5.43%  5.3%  5.27%  0.56%  EKKLESIA MUTUAL FUND INC. -A   2.1449  1.8%  1.44%  1.92%  0.68%  FIRST METRO SAVE AND LEARN FIXED INCOME FUND,INC. -A   2.2299  0.63%  0.38%  0.83%  0.93%  GREPALIFE FIXED INCOME FUND CORP. -A   P 1.5969  -1.22%  -0.55%  0.55%  2.08%  PHILAM BOND FUND, INC. -A   3.9208  -2.28%  -0.83%  0.59%  0.03%  PHILEQUITY PESO BOND FUND, INC. -A   3.5775  2.46%  0.88%  1.3%  1.72%  SOLDIVO BOND FUND, INC. -A   0.9104  -0.25%  -0.5%  N.A.  1.99%  SUN LIFE OF CANADA PROSPERITY BOND FUND, INC. -A   2.8295  1.33%  1.25%  1.71%  2.3%  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY GS FUND, INC. -A   1.5738  1.05%  0.87%  1.21%  2.2%      PRIMARILY INVESTED IN FOREIGN CURRENCY SECURITIES ALFM DOLLAR BOND FUND, INC. -A   $450.61  1.67%  2.11%  3.05%  0.52%  ALFM EURO BOND FUND, INC. -A   Є214.22  0.51%  1.35%  1.57%  0.74%  ATRAM TOTAL RETURN DOLLAR BOND FUND, INC. -B   $1.1437  1.84%  1.2%  2.18%  1.59%  FIRST METRO SAVE AND LEARN DOLLAR BOND FUND, INC. -A   $0.025  0.81%  0.95%  N.A.  0.81%  GREPALIFE DOLLAR BOND FUND CORP. -A   $1.6974  -2.45%  -0.94%  1.1%  0.43%  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   $1.0473  -0.62%  -1.34%  -2.32%  0.93%  PHILAM DOLLAR BOND FUND, INC. -A   $2.2172  0.97%  0.83%  2.98%  2.12%  PHILEQUITY DOLLAR INCOME FUND INC. -A   $0.0573202  0.87%  0.99%  1.88%  0.6%  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY DOLLAR ABUNDANCE FUND, INC. -A   $2.9209  -1.38%  0.13%  2.01%  1.7%  MONEY MARKET FUNDS     PRIMARILY INVESTED IN PESO SECURITIES ALFM MONEY MARKET FUND, INC. -A   121.55  3.16%  2.01%  1.67%  0.59%  FIRST METRO SAVE AND LEARN MONEY MARKET FUND, INC. -A,5   1.0011  N.A.  N.A.  N.A.  N.A.  PHILAM MANAGED INCOME FUND, INC. -A   1.1857  2.2%  0.84%  0.59%  0.32%  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY MONEY MARKET FUND, INC. -A   1.224  2.82%  2.34%  1.68%  0.41%      PRIMARILY INVESTED IN FOREIGN CURRENCY SECURITIES SUN LIFE PROSPERITY DOLLAR STARTER FUND, INC. -A   $1.0185  1.9%  N.A.  N.A.  0.26%                                         * - 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

Govt troops seize P11M worth of smuggled imported cigarettes


OME P11 million worth of imported smuggled cigarettes were seized over the weekend by government troops at the international port in Zamboanga City. The seizure of the tobacco products in different brands came as naval forces in Western Mindanao intensified their law-enforcement operations, including smuggling, in coordination with other lawenforcement agencies, according to Rear Adm. Rene Medina, commander of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao. Confiscated during the operations were 12,640 rims of imported cigarettes in different brands worth P11 million. Medina said the smuggled items

were seized aboard watercraft MV Kristel Jane 3, a passenger vessel that came from Jolo, Sulu, by members of the Field Station Zamboanga; Naval Intelligence and Security Group-Western Mindanao; Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Region 9; Intelligence Service, Armed Forces of Philippines; Port Police; Marine Battalion Landing Team-11; Wing 2 of the Air Force; Coast Guard Station Zamboanga; and Bureau of Customs. “The successful foiling of the illegal transport of smuggled imported cigarettes is a result of an intensified and focused maritime patrol and operation of the Philippine Navy in collaboration with other law-enforcement agencies Medina said. Rene Acosta

Deciphering the DuPont Identity


ID it ever cross your mind if there was a way to measure if the value of your stock investments is giving you sufficient returns? Or a way to assess a company’s ability to generate a profit to help you gain the upper hand to make informed choices? Two of the most important matters an investor looks into is a good return and an effective exit strategy. The Return on Equity (ROE) is a financial ratio that measures the profitability of a company, and generally, this should be high to send a signal to market participants that the company is capable of generating the level of profit to keep the investors happy and sleep at night. Fret no more because the a n s we r to t he a b o ve - me n tioned questions is called the DuPont Analysis, also known as DuPont Identity. This technique is a more g ranu l ated analysis of ROE using three financial ratios. The first ratio examines the profit of a company, after all operating expenses, interest and taxes have been deducted from the company’s gross revenue, which is called the Net Profit Margin Ratio. The second ratio is the Asset Turnover Ratio, which measures the efficiency of the company to convert its capital investments or assets into monetary terms. Last is the Financial Leverage Ratio, also known as the equity multiplier, where it exposes a company’s capital structure or how much of its capital is owned by creditors and the shareholders. The formula for the DuPont Analysis would be Net Profit Margin multiplied by the Asset Turnover Ratio, then multiplied to the Financial Leverage Ratio. 1. Net Profit Margin Ratio (NPMR). To get this ratio, you need to divide the net income against net sales. For example, Company A reported a net sale of P500 million and a net income of 37 million. The NPMR would be 7.4 percent, which means that Company A managed to convert 7.4 percent of its sales into net income. In order for you to know if the percentage is appealing, you need to compare the rate against its peers who are in the same business, similar size and more or less the same product line, as well. 2. Asset Turnover Ratio. A high ATR would signify that a company can generate more sales with fewer assets, and this is a positive signal to in-

vestors because it gives an impression of efficiency on the u se of compa ny a ssets a nd strong pricing strategy or solid marketing efforts. Using the same company, Company A reported a total asset of P225 million at the start of the year and closed a total asset value of P300 million. To get the total average assets you would need to add the beginning value of the company’s total assets and the ending value then divide the sum by 2 to give you an amount of P262.5 million. The net sales of P500 million shall be divided to the total average asset, which would result in an ATR value of 1.9, which means that for every peso worth of an asset, it can generate 1.9-worth of sale. This ratio needs to be cross-checked with its peers and also understand the industry because there are industries where the company keeps their total asset low, which then pushes the average ATR high. 3. Financial Leverage Ratio (FLR). This ratio gives you an understanding of the company’s financing strategy based on the kind of capital the company uses heavily to generate profits. Debt is much cheaper compared to equity, but a company with weak core business and no consistent flow of income makes debt detrimental due to the fixed interest payments that the company is obliged to fulfill. To get this ratio, you need to divide the total assets to the total shareholder’s equity of the company. Company A had a total average asset of P262.5 million and a total equity value of P100 million, which results to an FLR of 2.6. This means that the capital structure of the company is highly reliant to debt, where 61.5 percent is in a form of debt and 38.5 percent in equity. In a nutshell, the technique gives you an insight into what influences the rise and fall of a company’s ROE financial metric. Earl Pagatpat is a registered financial planner of RFP Philippines. To lear n more about personal financial planning, attend the 75th R FP prog ram this March 2019. To inquire, e-mail or text <name><e-mail><RFP> at 0917-9689774.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019


Strong demand prompts full award of Treasury bills


By Rea Cu


HE Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) has fully awarded all tenors during the Treasury bills (T-bills) auction on Monday with a total of P20 billion as demand for the government paper was seen to be strong. National Treasurer Rosalia V. de Leon told reporters that the auction committee saw strong demand for the T-bills as tenders for all tenors amounted to a combined P30.316 billion, higher than the P20 billion on offer. “We had a full award. We also [had] a very strong demand with the bid-to-cover ratio, almost twice on the 91-day, and then 1.5 times for the 182-days and 364days,” de Leon said. “So we hope that this would continue given the very dovish remarks coming from the Fed [Federal Reserve System]. And of course the BSP [Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas] put on hold the rate during the last policy meeting last Thursday.”

The 91-day T-bill was awarded the full P6 billion with tenders for the security amounting to P7.344 billion. The average annual rate for the security settled at 5.550 percent, posting a 6.60-basis-point increase from the previous rate of 5.484 percent. Bids for the 182-day tenor amounted to P11.569 billion with the auction committee awarding the full P6 billion on offer. The rate for the tenor bucket settled at 5.933 percent, also showing a 6.60-basis-point increase from the previous rate of 5.867 percent. For the 364-day T-bill, it was awarded P8 billion as tenders to-

taled P11.403 billion. The rate for the security rose to 5.983 percent, expanding by 5.90 basis points from the rate during the previous auction at 5.924 percent. The demand for government paper prompted t he auc t ion committee to open its over-thecounter window facility for tax exempt government-owned and -controlled corporations. De Leon pointed out that a driver for the slight uptick in rates for the security may be because of news of a retail Treasury bond (RTB) issuance. “ We l l , of f h a nd , b e c au s e there’s news that we are going to have an RTB. That’s anticipated by the market given that we have a P70-billion maturity on February 19,” she added. “But for now, given that we still have a very strong cash position, that’s still something that we still have to confirm whether to move on ahead. And also, take into consideration other things before we confirm that we are going to have the RTB sale because of that huge maturity.” Before any issuance of RTB this year, de Leon said the BTr would be considering the rate environment and the demand for the gov-

British lenders, Wall Street rivals seen to be divided on Brexit ties

BOC, BIR streamline rules to cut red tape, decongest ports


GENERAL views of Canary Wharf, London. The United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union is seen to deeply divide UK and US banks. BLOOMBERG


ITH just seven weeks to go before Brexit, it’s not just UK politicians who are bitterly divided over the country’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU)—large banks are also at loggerheads. British lenders and their Wall Street rivals are pushing widely different views on Brexit, a clash that was highlighted at a meeting last week with UK government officials, people with knowledge of the situation said. While US banks want Britain to maintain the closest possible ties with the EU after Brexit, UK banks and insurers are anxious they don’t become beholden to new laws made by Brussels, two of the people said. Representatives from eight finance and insurance trade groups met on Tuesday with the Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen, who is working on the government’s “global financial partnership” strategy that seeks to boost London’s ties with financial trading hubs after Brexit.

The plan is expected to be announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond after next month’s update on public finances, according to another person familiar with the matter. British banks have had to lower their expectations for how they’ll do business with the EU after Brexit. The UK government dropped its initial demand that they retain easy access to the single market. Instead, the country’s financial industry will have to make do with the same framework available to other nonEU countries, an arrangement known as regulatory “equivalence.” Under the Norway-style Brexit deal that some politicians are advocating, the UK would be subject to a number of rules, such as the General Data Protection Regulations that cover companies holding EU residents’ personal data. British banks would be required to adhere to any changes in the rules even though UK politicians would no longer have a say in how they evolved. Bloomberg News

BDO unit buys Bulacan bank


DO Unibank Inc. (BDO) and subsidiary One Network Bank Inc. (ONB) announced on Monday that it has signed an agreement with Rural Bank of Pandi Inc. (RBPI) for the acquisition of the latter’s banking business in Bulacan. “The transaction is seen to provide ONB a stronger presence in the province and fast-track its expansion in Central Luzon, one of the most progressive areas in the country,” BDO said in a statement released on February 12. “The Andres and Santos families founded RBPI in 1967, and with their dedication and perseverance, established RBPI into one of the best-performing rural banks with a strong SME presence in the province of Bulacan, where it currently has 12 branches,” BDO said.

The transaction is still subject to closing conditions and applicable regulatory approvals. According to RBPI’s web site, the town of Pandi is approximately 40 kilometers away from Manila and is composed of 22 barangays or barrios, with a total population of more or less 60,000 people and a total land area of 3,290 hectares, mostly agricultural areas. RBPI was established on September 20, 1967, with an initial capitalization of P200,000 and with counterpart capital from the Philippine government of P50,000. The bank said in 2018, its 51st year of operation, that its total paid-up capital (common stock) is P200 million. As of June 30, 2018, RBPI total assets is P1,309,256,737.13, total loans is P775,684,967.64 and total deposits is P1,047,855,615.47.

ernment security, among others. “Obviously, it will not really be on the long end of the curve. If ever we proceed, [we are] looking at the belly of the curve,” she said. “Usually, we set for the auction at P30 billion, and then we upsize it depending on the volume, also depending on the rate, and once we see that there is a very strong demand during the public offering itself. That’s why we a lways reach around P100 billion.” In June 2018, the government was able to raise around P121 billion in its RTB issuance with a tenor of three years with a coupon rate of 4.875 percent. Last week, the BSP’s Monetary Board decided to keep the overnight reverse repurchase facility unchanged at 4.75 percent, as well as all its monetarypolicy levers, during its first monetary-policy meeting of the year as inflation pressures start to dissipate. Central Bank Deputy Governor Diwa C. Guinigundo said the Monetary Board’s decision is based on its assessment of a more manageable inflation environment for 2019, with risks to this inflation outlook remaining evenly balanced for the time being.

HE Bureau of Customs (BOC) has issued Customs Memorandum Circular (CMC) 34-2019 in line with streamlining the procedures for the issuance of the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) Authority to Release Imported Goods (Atrig). The move is part of a slew of directives by relevant agencies to cut red tape and unclog congestion at the ports, among others. Under CMC 34-2019, signed last week by Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero, the agency was instructed to align its procedures in terms of the issuance of the BIR’s Atrigs. The BIR’s Atrig is necessary prior to the release of imported goods from the BOC. It clears the release of imported goods from the ports upon payment of rightful duties and taxes. The CMC prescribes the use of BIR form 1918 for processing Atrigs, and designates the Revenue District Office with jurisdiction over the port of entry of the goods as the “appropriate office to receive and process all applications for Atrigs.” Furthermore, it designates Marina C. de Guzman, regional director of Revenue Region 6, Manila, as the authorized signatory of Atrig covering imported items that enter the Port of Manila. The issuance of CMC 34-2019 is in line with the BIR’s Revenue Memorandum Order (RMO) 35-2002, calling for a uniform procedure for the processing and issuance of Atrigs to eliminate backlogs, among others. In 2016, the BIR issued RMO 1-2016 mandating all importers of excisable products in the country to apply for Atrig only with the BIR head office in Quezon City. Former Customs Commissioner Alberto D. Lina issued Customs Memorandum Order 7-2016 to support the BIR’s RMO 1-206. The Department of Trade and Industry said in early February the government will issue a joint administrative order (JAO) overhauling the rules on customs fees and charges in a move seen to reduce operating costs and improve logistics efficiency. Under the JAO, the BOC will regulate and monitor all fees on empty container returns and charges of shipping lines. Shipping lines will also be prohibited from imposing fees in the Philippines. All charges will instead be listed under their freight and other origin charges. Rea Cu

B4 Tuesday, February 12, 2019



MERALCO QUEZON CITY FACILITY UPGRADED Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) continues to upgrade its electric-distribution facilities to ensure uninterrupted electric service. Seen in the photo are Meralco Networks crews upgrading the primary lines along Katarungan Street, Commonwealth, Quezon City. This is part of Meralco’s continuing thrust to strengthen its electric-distribution system to ensure safe, adequate and reliable electric service to its customers. For updates on maintenance schedules, follow the Meralco Facebook and Twitter pages or call the Meralco 24/7 hotline 16211.

N collaboration with the International Chamber of Commerce to educate the business community and the general public, the Center for Global Best Practices (CGBP) will have a rerun of the program “Inconterms: Revised International Rules in the Interpretation of Trade Terms” on March 7 at Marriott Hotel. Visit for a complete list of International Trade programs. T hese re v i se d set of international commercial terms used in shipping goods on land, air and sea (Inconterms) is more concise and more relevant to business transactions and cargo-security issues, which are now at the forefront of the transportation agenda of all countries and governments. Understanding these revised rules and incorporating their use in sales contracts will eliminate uncertainties, errors and costly mistakes in the interpretations created in trade transactions. This special program will feature Singapore-based expert Victor Tan, an authority in the

field of trading and banking, and with 15 years of banking experience covering areas of international trade finance, remittances, guarantees, import and export. He has worked with various international banks since 1977, starting with the Standard Chartered Bank, Amsterdam-Rotterdam Bank, Bangkok Bank, Royal Trust Merchant Bank and Barclays Bank, where he was Deputy Head, Trade Finance. Interested participants are encouraged to avail themselves of the early-bird and group discounts for three or more attendees. Seats are limited and preregistration is required. Registration is open to the general public. The 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 sector, based on Department of Budget and Management Circular 563 dated April 22, 2016.


HE BDO Foundation is launching on February 19 a literacy program for the army with top officers of the Philippine Army in Camp Aguinaldo. BDO Foundation President Mario Deriquito said the program was requested by the higher authorities of the Philippine Army itself. The program will come in the form of video presentation on the importance of savings and investments in assuring a decent life for the Filipino soldiers and their families, by encouraging them to set aside a portion of their salaries for savings and investments, and for their families to do the same, as well. Also to be launched this February is the financial literacy program for the country’s overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), in cooperation with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration. The program comes in three stages: predeparture, upon arrival at host country and postarrival (or during their work-stay) in that country. Eventually, the program is envisioned to teach the OFWs to save in banks, how and where to invest their

money, how to budget their finances and eventually become entrepreneurs themselves. As this developed, the foundation is letting no stones unturned as it expects the massive rolldown of the financial inclusion program it developed for public-school learners and teachers.  Launched last May, the financial literacy program for school developed by BDO, in partnership with the Department of Education and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, came in videos and various teaching aids that is meant to be integrated into the current K-to-12 curriculum. As many as 24 million students and 700,000 teachers are expected to benefit from the program, which is BDO Foundation’s flagship corporate-citizenship initiative, under its financial-inclusion advocacy.   BDO’s program also includes the deployment of the financial-literacy videos to more than 47,000 public schools nationwide. Deriquito and his team has been rounding the Philippines to make sure to reach even the far-flung areas for the program. 



UT-OF-TOWN date trips are not overrated, and so is a date at Enchanted Kingdom (EK)! Give your date a twist and spend one magical (and romantic!) day at the first and only world-class theme park in the Philippines. If you’re wondering where you’ll get the opportunity to hold their hand, take them on a thrilling adventure! Space Shuttle, EKstreme Tower, Anchor’s Away and more will make the both of you scream your hearts out but, hey, it’s the perfect time for you to put on your knight-in-shining-armor front, so they’ll feel safe! If you’re a couple who’s into dancing and singing, you’ve gone to the right place! Be serenaded with EK’s very own Victoria’s Way and Kingsmen, and catch special performances by the EK’s circle of artists all around the park. You and your date will surely get on your feet, and keep the beat going! Going the extra mile for your date doesn’t sound like a bad idea. Take them to the most breathtaking tourist destinations in the Philippines without breaking any sweat! Just take their hand and let Agila: The EKsperience do the rest. With just one ticket, you’ll see the wonders of the country with your own wonderful date by your side. Grand gestures are so overrated, but the Grand Carousel surely isn’t! Relive your childhood memories and bring back the joy from the past to the present. After all, isn’t the present moment the best gift of all? The most special of all, the only way to end the perfect date is to witness the Sky Wizardry. The fireworks won’t be

the only sparks flying that night. These are just a few tips, and we guarantee you there’s more for you and your date to discover! Log on to and plan your trip to the most magical place in the country, and remember the magic of love!



ERVICIO Filipino Inc., a leading work-force provider in the Philippines; and its subsidiary SFI Career Center teams up to with ACT Inc., one of the world’s leading assessment and work-force development organizations based in Iowa City. The partnership hopes to take the lead when it comes to work-force development with regard to job and skills matching, improving the skills of students in the academe and trainees entering the work force, and the existing labor force itself to help build the country’s human capital and make it globally competitive in line with 21st-Century skills. According to the results of the annual survey of the Swissbased business school International Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Competitiveness Center’s “World Talent Ranking 2018,” the country ranked 55th out of 63 economies, down by 10 from last year’s 45th ranking. The drop was attributed to the country’s ability to develop, attract and retain highly skilled professionals, which worsened because of a “persistent job-skills mismatch.” The study also noted the sharp drop in terms of readiness to No. 37 from the previous year’s No. 11. The center revealed that Philippine labor force “is not as equipped with skills that firms are looking for.” “We entered into this partnership precisely, because we noticed already the alarming skills mismatch based on the efficacy study we conducted in Bataan. Through this partnership and, together with the government, we hope to implement this on a nationwide scale,” declares Luis Anastacio II, president and chief executive officer of SFI Group of Companies, the parent company of Servicio Filipino Inc. Aside from the ACT WorkKeys assessments, ACT’s KeyTrain Curriculum and Career Ready 101 courses, and the Philippine international career-readiness certification, will also be introduced. The ACT WorkKeys assessments, the cornerstone of the ACT work-force solutions, is a skills-assessment system that helps employers select, hire, train, develop and retain quality work force. Target users for the

system include employers, individuals, educators, work-force developers, industry associations and advocacy organizations. It also helps measure foundational and soft skills, and can be used to learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of employees; and gain a valid way to demonstrate abilities to employers, and take the guesswork out of determining student, applicant and employee qualifications. Leveraging on the power of technology, the ACT WorkKeys assessments can be taken online or on paper. A successful completion of WorkKeys assessments can result in the ACT WorkKeys national career readiness certificate (NCRC), which is issued at four levels, namely, Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze; and measures and certifies the essential work skills needed for success in jobs across industries and occupations. In the United States more than 16,000 employers have already accepted the ACT WorkKeys NCRC as a reliable way to verify individuals’ work readiness, with more than 3.8 million WorkKeys NCRCs issued across the US, while 30 states issue the WorkKeys NCRC regionally. For more information, visit For programs of the SFI Career Center, visit For inquiries on ACT Inc., visit Shown in photo are (from left) Gina Jusay, managing director and career coach, SFI Career Center; Anastacio II; Simmy Ziv-el, vice president for global business development, ACT Inc.; and Pawan Adhikari, regional business development director for Asia, ACT Inc.



By Doug Ferguson  The Associated Press

EBBLE BEACH, California—Phil Mickelson put himself on the brink of a fifth victory in the AT&T Pebble Beach pro-am by turning a three-shot deficit into a three-shot lead when a wild day of weather kept him from finishing on Sunday. Mickelson was bogey-free with six birdies, and he made his big run starting with a 9-iron to a foot behind the cup on the par-4 ninth. That was start of a five-hole stretch when Mickelson made three birdies and Paul Casey had two bogeys. About the only thing that didn’t go Mickelson’s way was the timing. The final round started an hour late because of rain, and then it was delayed two more hours when sunshine gave way to a hail storm in a matter of minutes, covering the putting greens in a sheet of white. Mickelson was at 18-under par through 16 holes. Casey had a 3-foot par putt on the same hole when Mickelson tried to lobby for them to finish, even in the dark. “I can see fine,” Mickelson told a rules official. “I don’t want to put Paul in a bad spot.” Mickelson will have to return at 8 a.m. on Monday to play the last two holes. Casey was at 15 under, tied with Scott Stallings, who closed with a 66. Along with an outside chance at forcing a playoff, finishing alone in second instead of a tie is a difference of $152,000, along with world ranking points and FedEx Cup points. Casey and FedEx executive Don Colleran had a oneshot lead in the pro-am. “I don’t see how we can finish,” Casey said as they walked up the 16th fairway. “We can’t finish two holes in six minutes. I’d like to.” Mickelson was standing on the 17th tee when he heard the horn sound to stop play, and he shook his head. The rest of his day was far better than the weather. Mickelson is on the verge of winning for the 44th time in his career, and matching Mark O’Meara with five victories at a tournament he first played in 1995. It also would be his first victory on American soil since the Phoenix Open six years ago. He won the British Open that summer in Scotland, and the Mexico

Sports BusinessMirror


| Tuesday, February 12, 2019 Editor: Jun Lomibao

Championship last year. His brilliant play still shared the stage with weather that was bizarre even by Pebble standards. Mickelson and Casey were waiting to tee off when clouds moved in quickly moved in, and rain turned into hail that pounded umbrellas, many of them held sideways to account for the wind. Greens quickly were covered by the tiny white pellets, and workers went from using squeegees for excess water to power blowers to remove the hail. Sam Saunders, whose grandfather Arnold Palmer was among the Pebble Beach owners, scooped up hail and tossed it like a snowball. Patrick Reed’s brother laid on his back and tried to make a snow angel. There was never a reasonable chance to finish in his pro-am format, with mostly foursomes across the golf course. Casey has never won in three previous times he had a 54-hole lead on the Professional Golfers’ Association Tour, all of them by two shots or more, and he was holding his own against the relentless pursuit of Mickelson, who missed three straight birdie putts from the 12-foot range by the slimmest margins. Casey had great par saves, and then Mickelson took off. After his 9-iron into a foot at No. 9 to get within one shot, Mickelson holed a 12-foot birdie on the 10th with a drive that hugged the right side of the fairway and likely would have bounced into the ocean if not for conditions so soft from rain that balls plugged where they landed. Casey blinked first with a bogey on the 11th hole, and another on the par-3 12th when his tee shot came up short and into the bunker. Mickelson poured it on, showing his skills have not deteriorated a bit at age 48, controlling spin beautifully to back pin positions. He just didn’t want to stay another day. “I get where Paul is coming from,” Mickelson said. “We’re going to have a good chance to come out on fresh greens. I have good vision, I can see fine and I wanted to continue. In all honesty, it’s a good thing to play the last two holes in fresh conditions.” Some players finished in the dark with no chance of winning, but showed the effect of playing without light. Scott Piercy had a 15-foot putt that was slightly uphill, and he still ran it 7 feet by the hole and threeputted for bogey. Jason Day closed with a 68 and was tied for fourth at 13-under 175 with Si Woo Kim (68).



PHIL MICKELSON (top photo) talks with reporters on the 17th green after play was stopped due to darkness as Scott Langley (above, center) talks with a rules official and walks off the course in a hailstorm on the second green during the final round on Sunday. AP

Rio 2016 debts rise more than 3x to $113 million


HE amount of debt incurred by the organizing committee of the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro has risen sharply to over three times the last disclosed figure, a report in Brazil has revealed. According to the Jornal Noroeste, Rio 2016 is now around R$420 million (£87 million/$113 million/€99 million) in debt. The number marks a steep increase since the figure released in December 2016, which stood at R$120 million (£25 million/$32 million/€28 million).

The revelation represents another troubling development for the organizing committee, which has appealed to the Brazilian government for help in settling its debts. In 2017, Rio 2016 also called on the International Olympic Committee for assistance, but they refused. The majority of the overdue money is owed to suppliers, including GL Events, which helped construct some of the temporary venues used at the Games. The Brazilian Olympic Committee is

one of other creditors and is reportedly owed R$15 million (£3 million/$4 million/€3.5 million). Labor debts, ticket dues and ongoing issues with the return of sporting facilities are other concerns still faced by Rio 2016. The Rio 2016 organizing committee is currently made up of seven employees and has still not been dissolved two-anda-half years since the conclusion of the Games. It is thought the organizing

OCA RATON, Florida—Bernhard Langer made himself right at home in the Oasis Championship. Playing 10 minutes from his house, the 61-year-old German star closed with a seven-under 65 on Sunday in windy condition at The Old Course at Broken Sound for a five-stroke victory. Langer finished at a tournament-record 19-under 197 for his 39th victory on the 50-and-over circuit and earned $255,000 to break Hale Irwin’s tour career record with $27,196,504. “There’s many things to celebrate,” Langer said. “It means a great deal to win in front of your home crowd, your family, your friends. Winning at home is always extremely special, no doubt about it. It made it more special having my first win with my daughter Jackie, who’s only caddied three times for me.” Langer moved within six of Irwin’s tour victory record and won in his 13th straight season to extend his record. “The key to success is a lot of things,” Langer said. “You’ve got to be healthy, otherwise you can’t play, and a lot of guys at age 61 aren’t healthy anymore. They had this operation or that operation or a knee replacement or a hip replacement or whatever it may be. So I’ve been fortunate enough not to have any major surgeries so far besides my thumb in 2011, so that’s key.” Langer birdied five of the first seven holes in a bogey-free round. “One of my best starts ever, probably,” Langer said. “And in these conditions, as windy as it was today, it was really, really good. I was very pleased with the way my short game held up. I putted really good, because sometimes with the long putter it’s even harder in windy conditions. But I read the greens well, my speed was good, and I was fortunate enough to make a whole bunch of them.” He also won the 2010 event and finished second last year. Marco Dawson was second after a 69. Bob Estes shot a 68 to finish third at 13 under, and David Toms was another stroke back after a 70. Scott McCarron (67), Gene Sauers (69) and Woody Austin (70) were 11 under, and Fred Couples (70) and Ken Tanigawa (70) followed at 10 under. Retief Goosen (72) tied for 24th at six under in his senior debut. Gary Nicklaus, also making his first tour start, had a 73 to tie for 51st at one over. The 50-year-old son of Jack Nicklaus played on a sponsor exemption. AP

committee is unable to be wound down, as numerous lawsuits for compensation from Rio 2016 are ongoing. Jornal Noroeste reported there are 258 civil lawsuits and 325 labor lawsuits. Former Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes had last year denied there were any debts left over from the Olympics and Paralympics in the Brazilian city. Rio 2016 officials have also stressed supposed legacy benefits from hosting the Games. A new study concluded last month that the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro had positive economic impacts on both the host city and its wider metropolitan area. AP



C2 Tuesday, February 12, 2019


PANIARD Francisco Mancebo Perez rode with veteran smarts on Monday to solidly protect his grip of the general classification (GC) lead—and virtually snare the title—in the LBC Ronda Pilipinas that started and ended at the El Pueblo in Roxas City. Mancebo Perez, 42 and the 2005 Tour de France fourth-placer riding for Matrix Powertag Japan, stuck with the GC riders that were mostly Filipinos during the 146.9-kilometer Stage Four and finished with the peloton at 42 seconds behind stage winner Jamalidin Novardianto of PGN Road Cycling Team (3:37:53). With the Spaniard in the main bunch were defending champion Ronald Oranza of Navy-Standard Insurance and Dominic Perez of 7Eleven Cliqq-Air 21 by Roadbike Philippines. After the uneventful stage, Mancebo Perez kept his 3:52 lead over Oranza and 3:55 over Perez. Rounding up the top 10 were Navy-Standard Insurance’s Jan Paul Morales (4:35 behind), Matrix’s Sano Junya (4:53), Korail Korea’s Joo Dae-yeong (4:58), 7Eleven’s Irish Valenzuela (5:20), Army-Bicycology’s Mark Julius Bordeos (5:20) and 7Eleven’s Rustom Lim and Arjay Peralta (6:13). Peralta was the biggest gainer after he wound up third in the first of two intermediate sprints and second in the mountain classification. From No. 17 in the GC, he is now No. 10 and relegated teammate Marcelo Felipe to No. 13. With the final stage on Tuesday, a mere 148.90 kms over a route that hardly poses a challenge from Roxas City to Pandan in Antique, Mancebo Perez could be preemptively declared champion. But the Spaniard is not taking any chances. “The last stage will be like today [Stage Four], everybody will want to take the red jersey from me,” said Mancebo, whose victory in the Iloilo-Iloilo Stage One on Friday was enough to keep him perched atop the GC. “I’m a little bit tired, there’s one more stage to go and we’ll try to keep the jersey. I feel good but you’ll never know, we have to be careful,” he added. While Mancebo Perez’s lead looked comfortable, his team’s gap over 7Eleven and Navy didn’t appear that safe. After four stages, Matrix saw a three-minute lead from the other day trimmed by a little over a minute over 7Eleven and Navy. Stage Four marked the first time in the five-stage race that no Filipino made the podium. Mohd Shahrul Mat Amin of Terengganu and Korail Korea’s Joo Kangeun checked in second and third, respectively.

JAMALIDIN NOVARDIANTO of PGN Road Cycling Team raises his hands in victory.

DURANT, COUSINS DELIVER FOR GSW O AKLAND, California—A lackluster start for Golden State turned into a frantic finish and another win thanks to a big shooting night from Kevin Durant. Durant hit a game-tying three-pointer in the final minute as part of a 39-point night and DeMarcus Cousins

made two free throws with 5.4 seconds to play that helped the Warriors cap a comeback from a 19-point deficit in the first quarter to beat the Miami Heat, 120118, on Sunday. “We started off sluggish,” Durant said. “They made shots, they were excited to play against us. We treated it like it was a Sunday walk in the park.... After a while we just locked in.” Durant was a big reason why, scoring 11 straight points for Golden State down the stretch before finally missing a late three-pointer that Cousins corralled for a rebound and drew a foul on the put-back attempt that gave the Warriors their 11th double-digit comeback of the season, and second straight after rallying from 17 points down in the first quarter on Friday in Phoenix. The Heat were upset because they believed Durant doubledribbled before that late attempt and that there was a 28-8 free throw disparity in Golden State’s favor. “Those are tough calls to make, but everybody saw it. It’s right there in front of everybody,” Heat Coach Eric Spoelstra said of Durant losing the handle and starting to dribble again. “That should be a violation and you can’t miss those calls. But we had our chances, it was back and forth.” Miami overcame an eightpoint deficit in the fourth quarter to tie the game on a three-pointer by Justise Winslow. Josh Richardson and Dwyane Wade then had backto-back steals and layups to put the Heat up 118-115 with 51.5 seconds to play. In Philadelphia, Joel Embiid had 37 points and 14 rebounds, Tobias Harris scored 22 points in his second game with Philadelphia and the new-look 76ers beat LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, 143-120 also on Sunday. JJ Redick added 21 points and Jimmy Butler finished with 15 points in front of a packed crowd that brought a playoff-like feel to the nationally televised game. The 76ers have won two straight after acquiring Harris and four others at Thursday’s trade deadline. Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers with 39 points, and James had 18 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. AP


The Philippines’s Reymart Gaballo knocks out Japan’s Yuya Nakamura in the second round of their ESPN’s Boxing Night duel at the Midas Hotel in Manila. STEPHANIE TUMAMPOS

MPBL features fight for survival


WO teams fight for survival while two others are looking to improve their records ahead of the playoffs in Tuesday’s double header of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Datu Cup at the Valenzuela Astrodome. Bataan battles Mandaluyong at 7 p.m. while Valenzuela faces Bulacan at 9 p.m. For the Zetapro-backed Risers, getting their 20th win in 22 games will not only solidify their hold of the No. 1 spot in the tough northern division of the tournament put up by Sen. Manny Pacquiao with Kenneth Duremdes as commissioner. With teams like Manila and Makati breathing down its neck, Bataan must beat Mandaluyong to gain more cushion. Manila is currently in second spot with a 19-4 won-lost record while Makati carries an 18-4 card and on the crest of an amazing 12-game winning run. Getting the No.1 spot at the end of the elimination round would guarantee Coach Jojo Lastimosa home-court

THE Warriors’ DeMarcus Cousins shoots against the Heat’s Bam Adebayo. AP

NBA RESULTS Dallas 102, Portland 101 Philadelphia 143, LA Lakers 120 Sacramento 117, Phoenix 104 Orlando 124, Atlanta 108 Golden State 120, Miami 118

advantage in all of the phases of the playoffs.         Survival will be the name of the game for the El Tigre of Mandaluyong. With an 8-13 card, Mandaluyong is in ninth spot and a win can push the squad further and put it back in strong contention for a top eight berth.



O for Gold-College of Saint Benilde Coach Charles Tiu knows that the ascent back to the top of the Philippine Basketball Association D-League mountain is going to be harder the second time around. “It will be a tough climb for us to win the championship again,” Tiu admitted. The Scratchers won the Foundation Cup last year with just six teams in the running. This time, 20 teams make up the field, making Go for Gold’s title retention dreams all the more difficult. Tiu said preparation for the coming season hasn’t been the most smooth-sailing with players going down with illnesses and injuries ahead of the February 14 curtain-raiser. “We’ve been getting injured a lot, players are getting sick and it hurt our preparation,” he said. Despite the hardships, the young mentor remains optimistic about their campaign, knowing that Go for Gold knows what it takes to hoist the crown once again. “The fact that we have a whole team intact, I think that’s a huge advantage. We’re

looking at this as a stepping stone for the NCAA [National Collegiate Athletic Association],” he said. Justin Gutang banners the squad made up of the core from the Saint Benilde Blazers, while also bringing in sweetshooting Fil-Am Roosevelt Adams in the fray. “I think it’s going to be a big challenge for him,” said Tiu of Gutang, who will be the heart and soul of the Scratchers. “Before, nobody knew him. Now, he’s been scouted and he’s a marked man. It’s going to be a real test for him. Hopefully, we improved his skills. I think he’ll be even better, but he has to mature also as a person and as a player.” Tiu, however, emphasized that the pressure to deliver will be shared by the whole team as it tries to make it to the top 4 of the Aspirants’ Cup. “I know a lot of teams are counting us out and don’t even expect us to be playoff contenders, but we’re going to do our best,” he said.  Go for Gold opens its campaign against CignalAteneo on Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City. Dave Coros



Tuesday, February 12, 2019


‘Show me the money’ SPORTS WITHOUT BORDERS VINCENT JUICO | @VJuico Instagram vpjp_j,


AVE for intense volleyball action, drama is also set to unfold when the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix fires off this Saturday at the Ynares Arena in Pasig City. Former Petron reinforcement Lindsay Stalzer crossed enemy lines and will suit up for the Blaze Spikers’ main rival—F2 Logistics—in the women’s club tournament bankrolled by Asics, Mikasa, Mueller, Senoh, Team Rebel Sports, Bizooku, UCPB Gen, Hotel Sogo and Data Project. The comely American is one of the best imports the league has ever seen. After leading Cignal, she led Foton to back-toback titles before teaming up with Hillary Hurley in Petron in 2017. The Blaze Spikers fell short of the crown as Maria Jose Perez of Venezuela and Kennedy Bryan of the United States powered F2 Logistics to a dramatic come-from-behind victory in their bestof-three title showdown. The following year, Stalzer joined Katherine Bell in dethroning the Cargo Movers in a very convincing fashion. But with Petron reaching an agreement with Bell and power-hitting Stephanie Niemer in the off-season, Stalzer was unsigned, prompting the Cargo Movers to tap her as reinforcement together with ItalianAmerican Becky Perry. And it sets the stage for another blockbuster and dramatic battle between two of the best club teams in the country today. Petron and F2 Logistics clash on March 7 at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan. “If I’m not mistaken, this is her sixth time to play in the league,” said F2 Logistics’s Captain Cha Cruz during the press conference on Sunday at the Sta. Lucia Grand East Mall in Cainta. “She always gives her best to the team she plays for. So we’re expecting nothing but the best performance from her as well from her partner, Becky Perry. We have high hopes coming into the PSL Grand Prix.” F2 Logistics isn’t the only team that could give the reigning champion a run for its money. United Volleyball Club (UVC), Generika-Ayala, Foton and Sta. Lucia are also coming in with high expectations following a massive buildup in the offseason of this battle that also has ESPN5 and 5Plus as official broadcast partner. UVC will be parading a rock-solid core of FilipinoHawaiian stalwarts Kalei Mau and Alohi Robins-Hardy, Kiwi Amy Ahomiro, libero Bang Pineda and imports Tai Manu-Olevao and Yasmeen Bedart-Ghani, while the Lifesavers will be resting its fate on Brazilian Nikolle del Rio and Azerbaijani Kseniya Kocyigit. Not to be outdone, the Tornadoes are bringing in former Turkish national team member Selime Ilyasoglu and American Courtney Felinski while the Lady Realtors will have a new coach in Babes Castillo, as well as imports Molly Lohman and Casey Schoenlein. PLDT Fibr and Cignal are also tipped to come up with a strong performance with Grace Lazard and Kendra Dahlke, and Anastasia Artemeva and Erica Wilson serving as reinforcements, respectively.

Men’s volleyball up in PSA Forum


OLLEYBALL takes the spotlight in Tuesday’s session of the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Tapa King Restaurant at the Farmers Plaza in Cubao, Quezon City. Larong Volleyball Sa Pilipinas (LVPI) President Peter Cayco will grace the 11 a.m. session along with Rod Roque, director in-charge of the men’s national team. They will discuss the recent men’s national team tryouts for the 30th Southeast Asian Games. Far Eastern University (FEU) Coach George Pascua is also appearing in the weekly forum presented by San Miguel Corp., Tapa King and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. Pascua will talk about the Lady Tamaraws’ campaign in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines volleyball tournament that kicks off this Saturday. FEU was runner-up to De La Salle last season.



THE Lady Altas don’t expect a breeze of a Game Three against a dangerous Lady Chiefs side.



NIVERSITY of Perpetual Help System Dalta goes for the remaining piece of hardware to complete a sweep of all three National Collegiate Athletic Association volleyball titles only two other teams have accomplished in the past. But standing in the way of the Lady Altas are the Arellano University Lady Chiefs, who forced a knockout Game Three for the women’s tiara. “We’re looking at history unfolding and it’s really up to us to complete it,” Perpetual Help Coach Macky Carino said. Perpetual Help is hoping to join two schools who completed a sweep—former member Ateneo in 1984 and San Sebastian College in a record six times in 1984, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996 and 2002. The Lady Altas are also seeking to regain the crown they won for three straight years, the last coming five seasons ago. The no-tomorrow match that would cap action in Season 94 is set at 4 p.m. at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.

Perpetual Help missed winning it all on Friday when Arellano University leveled the raceto-two women’s series with a 23-25, 25-9, 25-18, 22-25, 15-12 thriller in Game Two—numbers that underscored how closely fought the duel has become with the Lady Altas needing four sets to gain a head start, 21-25, 25-17, 25-21, 25-20, in Game One. Perpetual Help brought home to Las Pinas the first two pieces of hardware. The Altas beat the College of Saint Benilde Blazers, 23-25, 25-17, 25-17, 25-23, in their own series to complete an 11-game sweep of the men’s division and snare their 12th title overall—two shy of the league-best 14 titles Letran owns. The Junior Altas, on the other hand, turned back the Letran Squires, 25-19, 30-28, 25-17, to also sweep their way to a fifth straight title and 11th overall—four crowns behind San Sebastian’s league-best 15 championships. Arellano University is no pushover in

Slam-bang duel in amateur golf


HE cream of the men’s amateur crop slug it out in what promises to be a slam-bang duel as the W Express RVF Cup Amateur Golf Championship crown unwraps on Tuesday at the Canlubang Golf and Country Club’s North Course in Laguna. Rupert Zaragosa, Aidric Chan, Carl Corpus, Paolo Wong, Kristoffer Arevalo and Sean Ramos banner the stellar cast that also includes Don Petil, Jolo Magcalayo, Pierre Ticzon, Leandro Bagtas, Weiyu Gao, David Guangco, Jonas Magcalayo and Josh Jorge. Apo Golf’s Alex Bisera and Elee Bisera, and Lloyd Labrador along with Del Monte’s Rolando Bregente Jr. are also in the roster, ready to mix it up with the fancied bets as members of the National Golf Association of the Philippines’s grassroots program. Five Koreans—Jung Jae Hyun, Kim Sang Jin, Kim Tae Soo, Rho Hyun Ho and Lee Sang Min—also set out to keep the crown which compatriot and now pro Kim Joo Hyung took in convincing fashion last year. But focus will be on the local aces, the four-day championship staged in honor of the late National Golf Association of the Philippines

(NGAP) President and golf patron Rod Feliciano being held as part of the selection process for the team vying in the Southeast Games that the country is hosting later this year. Keen competition is also seen in the ladies side with Nicole Abelar, Sunshine Baraquiel, Laia Barro, Sophia Blanco, Sofia Chabon, Samantha Dizon and young Laurea Duque tipped to dispute the crown along with Junia Gabasa, Weifang Gao, Missy Legaspi, Jona Magcalayo, Rianne Malixi, Kayla Nocum, Rafaela Singson, Eagle Ace Superal and Arnie Taguines. Marie Miñoza, another member of the NGAP’s youth program, also hopes to spring a surprise in the event sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation, Cignal, Metro Pacific and Cangolf, and held as part of the PLDT Group National Amateur Tour along with Koerans Kang Da Yun, Kim Seo Yun and Kwon Tae Yon. Also on tap is the 36-hole Special Division for boys and girls featuring the likes of Mikhaela Constantino, Sophia Abarcas, Jody Castillo and Precious Zaragosa, and Koreans Jeong Yeah Eu and Kwon Min Seo along with Joshua de Guzman, Shinichi Suzuki, Dylan Castillo, Zach Villaroman and Kim Tae-won of South Korea.

Milo Philippines launches recently its Summer Sports Clinics—an annual program that offers a wide array of sports activities that kids could participate in throughout the summer and driven by the “Get Your Child Into Sports” campaign. Shown above are (from left) Milo Sports Executive Lester Castillo and Business Unit Manager Willy de Ocampo, Department of Education Undersecretary Tonisito Umali, taekwondo champion Japoy Lizardo, parent Igor Mella, KidZania COO Tourino Dilaga, and Milo Sports Executive Luigi Pumaren and Consumer Marketing Manager Robbie de Vera.

NCAA volleyball with the Lady Chiefs aiming for their third straight title and fourth overall in the last five seasons. Reigning Most Valuable Player Nicole Ebuen keyed Arellano University’s Game Two win, leading the attack with 18 hits and helping in defense with 18 digs. Princess Bello, Carla Donato and Regine Arocha were also instrumental with 18, 13 and 12 points, respectively, for the Lady Chiefs. Expected to carry much of the load anew for Perpetual Help is Cindy Imbo, the heroin in Game One and the team’s best performer in Game Two with 18 points.

“SHOW me the money” is a line from my all-time favorite, the 1996 movie Jerry Maguire, which had Tom Cruise in the lead role. It was directed by Cameron Crowe. In the movie, Cruise plays Jerry Maguire who works as a sports agent who grows a conscience after his client, a professional hockey player, suffers his third concussion. Anyway, before I totally deviate and digress from what I’m supposed to discuss, which is on student athletes being represented by or having agents managers or handlers or athlete representatives. Student athletes should have and should be represented with some limitations and qualifications. For example, one qualification could be that the agent has to have at least a college degree. Another one perhaps can be that he or she is a lawyer with extensive experience and knowledge on obligations and contracts. In the Philippines, in my humble opinion, I think sports management or sports agents should be accredited by even the University Athletic Association of the Philippines. In the Philippine Basketball Association, all operators are accredited by the basketball association and the Games and Amusements Board. Students athletes here, as a matter of fact, get the same kind of representation as early as in high school especially if the student athlete is “elite” and if he or she is a minor. Representation is limited and confined to obligations, contracts and product endorsements, and anything else is between the young adult and his or her parents.  In the US NCAA, I have learned from reports that “the NCAA [National Collegiate Athletic Association] plans new rules for the sport it says will minimize corruption—among them, allowing agents the association certifies to represent college players. The NCAA approved new rules for men’s

basketball recently, aimed at eliminating corruption in the sport plagued most recently by an alleged kickback scheme. While the NCAA presented the reforms as sweeping and substantive, some athletics experts said they feel the changes, despite being positive, are relatively minimal. Among the most significant changes are allowing college players to be represented by agents that the NCAA deems legitimate, and permitting athletes to remain eligible for college play if they enter the professional draft but decide to return to college. On Agents: The NCAA will allow agents, effective immediately, to represent college players who are both National Basketball Association- and NCAA-certified (by no later than August 2020 for the NCAA certification). What NCAA certification means has yet to be shared. Athletes would also need to request an evaluation from the NBA’s Undergraduate Advisory Committee, in which NBA executives tell potential draftees the likelihood of their draft position. Agents would be allowed to cover only limited expenses such as meals and transportation, and the contract with them would need to be terminated if the athlete went back to college. Such relationships with agents have traditionally been forbidden for players, an attempt by the NCAA to preserve the concept of amateurism in college athletics. Critics say “this has led to a shadowy market springing up in which players receive money from agents under the table.” Many critics of the US NCAA think these sweeping rule changes should’ve been implemented many years ago. Reportedly, this is a result of the league being reactive rather than proactive. Next week, we look at what are the advantages and disadvantages of student athletes having agents.

Sports BusinessMirror


| Tuesday, February 12, 2019 Editor: Jun Lomibao

FOREVER A STAR! A RE, Sweden—Lindsey Vonn walked off with her career haul of medals in her right hand, the gold, silver and bronze clinking together almost weighing her down. Or was it the bulging knee braces and metal support rods inside her vast array of broken bones? Whatever it was, the sound was a reminder of what Vonn has come to symbolize—an athlete who battled back from one major injury after another throughout her career to win more ski races than any other woman. Add one more—final—comeback to the list. Five days after crashing in super-G—a fall that knocked the wind out of her and left her with a black eye and a bruised rib—and three months after tearing a ligament in her left knee, Vonn won the bronze medal in the world championship downhill on Sunday in the final race of her career. She’s shed so many tears that there are none left—just like she no longer has any cartilage in her knees. “I’m literally tapped out, I can’t cry anymore,” Vonn said. “I want to cry but it’s dry.... It’s not an easy thing to feel your bones hitting together and continue to push through it. “Of course I’m sore. Even before the crash I was sore. So I’m just sore on top of sore. My neck is killing me,” Vonn said. “But at the end of the day no one cares if my neck hurts; they only care if I win.... I knew that I was capable of pushing through the pain one last time and I did that.... Every athlete has their own obstacles and I faced mine head on today and I conquered them.” Vonn had been planning on retiring in December but she recently moved up her plans due to persistent pain in both of her surgically repaired knees. Then came the super-G crash, when she straddled a gate in

LINDSEY VONN celebrates with dog Lucy after the flower ceremony of the women downhill race on Sunday. AP

midair, flew face first down the mountain and slammed into the safety nets. “She has been business as usual this whole week, saying I’m racing to win,” Karin Kildow, Vonn’s sister, told The Associated Press. “I was like, ‘Just maybe make it down and maybe stand up.’ But she was like, ‘No, I’m going full out’. She was definitely in the mindset to push it and she really did.” It’s a medal that brings Vonn full circle:

the American’s two silvers at the 2007 worlds on the same course in Are were the first two major championship medals of her career. “I was weighing in my mind the risk of putting it all out there, crashing and getting injured again, as opposed to finishing where I wanted to,” Vonn said. “It was an internal battle.” As soon as she exited the finish area, Vonn embraced Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark,

the only skier to win more World Cup races than she did—86 to 82. “I basically begged him to come here via text, in all caps, many exclamation points,” Vonn said. “He’s an icon and a legend in our sport and he doesn’t really like the spotlight but he deserves to have it. I was just so grateful that he was there. Honestly, it’s a perfect ending to my career.” The third skier on the course, Vonn had a

big smile on her face when she came down with the fastest run to that point. She waved and bowed to the crowd. Eventually, Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia beat Vonn and took gold, defending her title from the 2017 worlds. Stuhec finished 0.23 seconds ahead of silver medalist Corinne Suter of Switzerland and 0.49 ahead of Vonn. “Not many were counting on [Vonn] to

Push to honor Ashe comes in face of blackface scandal R ICHMOND, Virginia—A movement to rename a Richmond, Virginia, thoroughfare for groundbreaking black tennis player Arthur Ashe Jr. is cresting just as the state finds itself in turmoil over a blackface scandal involving the governor and attorney general. The man behind the street renaming says the confluence of the two unrelated developments involving race and history could become an opportunity to start a conversation about race at a pivotal time. “If we can rename the Boulevard after him, it would be a huge cultural step forward. This is where we can start with reconciliation and we can start talking about the issues,” says Ashe’s nephew, David Harris Jr. “It would be an opportunity for the City Council to be leaders on this. We know what’s going on down the street at the state Capitol. This would be a way for the City Council to say, ‘We want to show you the way.’” Ashe’s once-segregated hometown boasts an athletic center named after him, and a bronze sculpture of Ashe sits among Richmond’s many Confederate statues. But a proposal to rename a

THE Australians pose for a photo with Billie Jean King (center back). AP



OMANIA upset defending champion Czech Republic, 3-2, to advance to the semifinals of the Fed Cup on Sunday, along with France, Belarus and Australia. Romania reached the semifinals for the first time after its first victory against the Czechs, who won six titles in the last eight years. Irina-Camelia Begu and Monica Niculescu teamed up to clinch the best-of-five contest with a 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-4 win over Czech pair Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova in the doubles. Romania took a 2-1 lead on an indoor

hard-court in Ostrava after Simona Halep beat Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 in a reverse singles featuring two former top-ranked players. Halep improved her record against Pliskova to 7-2 to put Romania one win from advancing. Siniakova, the star of last year’s final victory against the United States, made it 2-2 with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Mihaela Burzanescu, leaving the result hinging on the doubles. It was a similar finish in Australia’s 3-2 win over the US in North Carolina, with Ash Barty and Priscilla Hon beating Danielle Collins and Nicole Melichar, 6-4, 7-5, in the

deciding doubles. Earlier, Barty beat Madison Keys 6-4, 6-1 to give Australia a 2-1 lead. Collins, who reached her first Grand Slam semifinal at the Australian Open last month, made it 2-2 after a 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 victory over Daria Gavrilova. The Australians will next play Belarus, which lost the 2017 final to the US, in April. Belarus dominated at Braunschweig, with Aryna Sabalenka cruising past Laura Siegemund 6-1, 6-1 to give her country an insurmountable 3-0 lead over host Germany on an indoor hard court. The ninth-ranked Sabalenka hit 18 winners compared with five for her opponent to help Belarus avenge losing to Germany, 3-2, last year in Minsk. AP

historic street for Ashe has been defeated twice since his death in 1993. A third proposal comes before the City Council for a vote on Monday amid the blackface scandal. Leaders throughout Virginia’s political structure have called on Gov. Ralph Northam to resign after a racist photo on his 1984 medical school yearbook page surfaced recently. Northam apologized, initially saying he appeared in a photo showing one man in blackface and another wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe. Northam did not say which costume he wore. The next day he said he no longer believed he was in the photo but acknowledged wearing blackface the same year to look like Michael Jackson in a dance contest. Days after Northam’s admission, Attorney General Mark Herring was forced to acknowledge that he, too, wore blackface in the 1980s while trying to look like a rapper at a college party. Meanwhile, for all of Richmond’s hometown pride in Ashe, repeated attempts to rename a city street after him have failed. Harris initially resurrected the idea of renaming the street after his uncle last year.

get the medal in her last race, which makes it even more special,” Stuhec said. “She has won everything.” Vonn became the first female skier to win medals at six different world championships. It’s also her fifth downhill medal at a worlds, matching the record established by Annemarie Moser-Proell and Christel Cranz. “Thank You Lindsey: Forever A Star,” read one sign positioned by the side of the course. Four US flags were in the grandstand when Vonn came down and there were quite a few cheers when she started her run wearing a suit with blue-and-yellow trim—Sweden’s colors—to honor Stenmark. “She really deserves this send-off from her great career,” said Eleanor Bodin, a 21-year-old fan from Sweden who was holding up a sign saying “Thank You Lindsey.” “She has been my favorite skier since 2008 when I saw her winning on television,” Bodin said. “I was a little girl sitting on the sofa. I just thought what a great skier and inspiration.” At 34, Vonn eclipsed her own record from two years ago for oldest woman to win a medal at a worlds. Fog and wind forced organizers to shorten the course to the second reserve start, which favored Vonn because it reduced the strain on her knees. Now she can finally let her body heel and move onto the next phase of her life— possibly acting, having children, starting a business. “I’m looking forward to just chilling out a bit and recovering everything, including my mind,” Vonn said. “It’s been a lot to process. “The nice thing is that, in the real world I’m actually pretty young. I have felt really old for a long time, because I’m racing with girls that are like 15 years younger than me. So now, in the real world, I’m normal. Thirty is the new 20 so I’m super young. I’ve got a lot to look forward to.” AP Called simply “Boulevard,” it’s a busy 2.4-mile (3.9-kilometer) stretch dotted with restaurants, museums and stately homes. Modeled after grand European boulevards in the late 19th century, Boulevard was designated as a state and national historic landmark in 1986. At one end sits Byrd Park, with tennis courts where Ashe was denied access during his childhood because of segregation. The athletic center named for Ashe is also on Boulevard. City Council member Kim Gray, whose district covers a portion of Boulevard, has sponsored the Ashe renaming ordinance. Some residents and business owners say they don’t want to change the historic name. Others cite the inconvenience and expense of officially changing their address, including getting new letterhead and signs. Harris and Gray say they understand those concerns but also believe racism may underlie some of the opposition. “I find it hard to believe that people get that angry over stationery,” said Gray, who said she’s received racist e-mails over the proposal. Longtime residents insist they have nothing but admiration for Ashe but believe there are better ways to honor him than legally changing the name of their street. A group called the Boulevard Coalition wants the Richmond History and Culture Commission to hold citywide community discussions about how to honor Ashe and then make a recommendation to the City Council. The controversy comes at a time when Richmond, a one-time capital of the Confederacy, has been grappling with calls to remove Confederate statues. Richmond’s Monument Avenue features statues of five Confederate figures, including Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. Ashe’s statue was erected among those rebel icons in 1996, but only after rancorous debate. Harris said renaming Boulevard after Ashe would give Richmond a chance to shed its past image and show it has become a progressive city. Ashe was the first black player selected to the US Davis Cup team and the only black man to ever win the singles title at the US Open, Wimbledon and the Australian Open. He was also well-known for promoting education and civil rights, opposing apartheid in South Africa and raising awareness about AIDS, the disease that eventually killed him. AP DAVID HARRIS JR. (left), nephew of Arthur Ashe Jr., and Richmond City Council member Kim Gray are attempting to get the Boulevard renamed for tennis great Arthur Ashe. AP


God of the living

EAR God, You are full of mercy to all who call upon You. In trust we pray: Hear and answer us, oh God. Expand Your Church’s teaching on vocation and help us to support young people to discern their call to discipleship. Give us courage to seek out the lost, the least, the youth at risk, to advocate for the poor and to incline our ear to Wisdom. Watch over incarcerated persons while they are in prison and through the months following their release. May God strengthen us for every good work and sustain us by the working of the Holy Spirit. Amen. GIVE US THIS DAY SHARED BY LUISA LACSON, HFL Word&Life Publications •

Editor: Gerard S. Ramos •

ANOTHER kitchen project by interior designer Michael Wood in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood, where Wood integrated charging stations and a pet feeding zone into the island. Islands are usually the heart of the home.




Tuesday, February 12, 2019



A KITCHEN project by interior designer Michael Wood in New York’s West Village, in which he used butcher block, soapstone and Corian on the island. Mixed materials are a popular trend for today’s kitchen islands.

❷ SOME of the Siglo-managed units at Century City.


SLATE Design’s gray washed wood island with shelves and a cubby, which turns even a city-sized galley kitchen into a more useable space. There’s a longer white lacquered version as well; both come with marble top.

❹ WEST Elm’s

Linear fixture which marries walnut wood finish with slim suspension and powerful LEDs that provide warm lighting. This low-profile style is a good option in a minimalist kitchen or where ceilings may be especially low.

Kitchen islands evolve to meet today’s needs P

By kiM Cook The Associated Press

REP surface. Gathering spot. Storage solution. The kitchen island is one of those home elements that seems to have known its purpose from its inception: a utilitarian divider between kitchen and family zones, the heart of the home. Over the years, the kitchen island has come to offer far more than counter space. It might include a cooktop, bookshelves, drop-down bar, sink and acres of granite. Today’s islands come in all shapes and sizes, and have been tailored for all kinds of purposes. One important addition is connectivity: Designers and architects are integrating plugs, ports and other tech features into the kitchen island. For one project, New York City designer Michael Wood integrated a system of USB ports and outlets into a kitchen island that also included ample storage, good seating and a clever pet-feeding nook. “The result is a family hub of activity,” he says. Granite has given ground to more performancefriendly countertops. Engineered materials like

Dekton, Silestone, Corian and others are heat-, scratch- and stain-resistant. Designers are using real and faux woods, too. And there’s a trend toward combining different types of surfaces. In another project, Wood used soapstone, butcher block and Corian on the kitchen island. “An island is a great place to be creative,” says Chicago kitchen designer Mick de Giulio. “I often combine materials and use them to define various functions.” For instance, he has used a thick chunk of handscraped wenge wood, for example, as a breakfast countertop: “I like the warmer, softer surface to rest your arms and elbows.” Then he might use polished stainless steel as a joinery or accent element. In a tight galley kitchen, an island might replace a wall, giving a renovated kitchen more breathing room, more light and more work space. Cabinetry and shelving on the island can hold kids’ craft gear, books or barware. Built-in microwaves, ovens and deep, pullout drawers offer efficiency. In a larger home, the island can serve even more purposes, including breakfast bar, entertainment zone or home office. Look for seating that complements the room: Sturdy bases and backrests

make for safe, comfy places to settle in, while lowprofile stools that slide out of sight might be all you need for occasional use. Pick pieces with easily cleaned performance fabrics, or go with plastic, steel or wood if you’ve got messy eaters. Spend some time on the lighting, Wood advises. If the kitchen is a work center, put in task lighting. “For others who never cook, lighting is almost a decorative element,” he says. Wood recommends under-cabinet LED lights and directional sconces, all dimmable. Pendants are popular, but if you’ve got a low ceiling, be mindful of their positioning. Minimalist horizontal fixtures that sit just slightly below the ceiling might work better; for instance, Lightology’s Essence fixture, a barely there sliver of brass or nickel, casts a warm glow but doesn’t loom over the island. West Elm has the Linear pendant with a walnut finish that’s slim and stylish. If you just need an island work zone, consider Slate Design’s freestanding ones designed by Mark Daniel, and available at CB2. There’s a high-gloss, whitelacquered version with a cubby, open shelving and a white marble top, or a somewhat shorter one in a graywashed wood with marble top. n

Bask in love at The Alpha Suites THE newest serviced residences in Makati, The Alpha Suites Luxury Serviced Residences is celebrating love this month with their ultimate staycation packages for Valentine’s Day. A romantic suite setup awaits guests on February 14 and 15 when they book The Alpha Suites’s How Suite It Is staycation package. This offer, which starts at P8,010+, is perfect for lovebirds who want to spend a memorable Valentine getaway without leaving the Metro. Couples can also dine in style with the special Valentine’s Day menus at A Taste of France restaurant and Mark’s Prime Rib from February 13 to 17 where they can enjoy an intimate, four-course dinner in a private, romantic setting for only P1,650+ per person. If French or steakhouse food isn’t what you

fancy, there are plenty of other restaurants to choose from: Italian, Spanish, Greek, Japanese, Thai, Chinese and Filipino. Even though it’s the busiest night of the year for restaurants, the dining outlets (which are the same as the acclaimed restaurants in The Alpha Suites’s sister company, Balesin Island Club) are exclusive to The City Club members and The Alpha Suites guests. The staycation package comes with a complimentary breakfast buffet, high-speed Wi-Fi, parking, and access to the 500 square meter gym, lagoon-style swimming pool, and indoor and outdoor playgrounds. On top of these special package, The Alpha Suites also caters to various lifestyle needs with its long list of amenities, such

as indoor basketball, badminton, tennis, and squash courts; boxing and martial arts arena, billiards, a high-definition virtual golf simulator, private screening room, and Wii game room, as well as The Shops at Alphaland Makati Place which houses more restaurants, a café, Rustan’s Supermarket and more. Aegle Wellness Center, a state-ofthe-art integrative health and wellness center, and Top of the Alpha by Louie Y, Manila’s most exciting new jazz bar and lounge, are also in the same building complex. With its luxurious suites, upscale facilities, and five-star service, The Alpha Suites guarantees that guests will welcome and embrace the season of love with a staycation experience like no other.

TAKING care of your property investment or future retirement home can be taxing, especially if you are unable to manage it personally. As an owner who wants to lease out a condominium unit, you want to know how to make the property highly marketable and ensure that improvement works are completed. Especially for those based abroad, relying on an asset management service to do this for you is the best option. Century Properties addresses such customer pain points through Siglo Suites, the first and exclusive specialty management and leasing service created to help its unit owners take care of their investment. Siglo helps lease out condominium units to short-, medium- and long-term guests and tenants. It takes property management a notch higher by not only handling the day-to-day maintenance of the units but also in advising property owners on what needs to be done to keep the unit in excellent condition. “Siglo Suites is a unique organization as its services are comprehensive. We make sure that everything is in order so that the owners, our Siglo Partners, need not worry. Essentially, we do what owners would to for their unit,” says Jaime Navarro, Siglo Suites’s head of sales unit management and marketing. Once a unit owner registers his unit into Siglo, “we take care of the rest—from setting up and furnishing the home above the mandatory furnishing required when leasing out a unit, management of bills and all mails for the owners, to repairs and other required maintenance of the unit,” Navarro adds. Siglo makes sure that the guest is well taken care of and has access to services 24/7. Established in 2016 by Century Properties, Siglo Suites ( aims to be the best partner of owners and give the best “Century home experience” that guests can have once they book their stay. It offers serviced stays at The Gramercy Residences, The Milano Residences and Knightsbridge Residences in Century City, Makati; Azure Urban Resort Residences in Parañaque City; Acqua Private Residences in Mandaluyong City; and Commonwealth by Century in Quezon City. “Our partners are both the unit owners as well as the tenants or guests. As part of Century Properties, we give our guests the best experience they can get anywhere they choose to book from among the Century projects where Siglo Suites operates.” Siglo is accredited by the Department of Tourism and is a member of the Philippine Tour Operations Association Inc.


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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Holocaust scholar surveys rising tide of anti-Semitism By Ann Levin The Associated Press


EBORAH E. LIPSTADT was surprised at how hard it was to write her latest book. A leading authority on the Holocaust, she was used to “skulking in the sewers of antisemitism and genocide.” But that was history. What made her latest work so challenging—documenting the recent resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe and America, on the right and the left—was that it was happening now. The end result was well worth it. Antisemitism: Here and Now (Schocken Books) is an indispensable guide to contextualizing activities as diverse as the neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign, also known as BDS. And it’s about as even-handed as it could be, given the disturbing subject matter and the fact that Lipstadt’s strong self-identification as a Jew made the topic intensely personal for her. The book is structured as a series of letters between a Jewish student of hers named Abigail and a colleague named Joe at the law school at Emory University, where Lipstadt is on the faculty. They are fictional characters who are composites of many people she’s had discussions with over the past few years. The letter format gives the book


an urgency that might, otherwise, be lacking in a scholarly work, although at times, it can seem a little contrived. Lipstadt is best known for being sued for libel by David Irving after calling him a Holocaust denier. She won the case, which was later made into the 2016 film Denial starring Rachel Weisz. At the outset, Lipstadt expresses her hope that both sides of the political divide will be discomfited by her analysis and conclusions, and they probably will. For instance, she classifies both Donald J. Trump and Jeremy Corbyn, the head of Britain’s Labour Party, as “anti-semitic enablers”—Trump for failing to call out the white supremacists, racists and anti-Semites who support him, and Corbyn for tolerating the antiSemitism of his political allies. “While Trump is probably not an anti-semite,” she says, “enabling anti-semites is itself an anti-semitic act that causes as much damage as something that comes from an ideological anti-semite.” Lipstadt wrapped up the manuscript in August 2018 after noting that pace of anti-Jewish incidents and rhetoric had made it almost impossible to finish. Sadly, she was right. Just weeks after penning her note to readers, a man gunned down 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue in the deadliest attack on Jews in US history. The suspect had a history of posting anti-Semitic vitriol online. n

‘Out of the Dark’ is a great thriller EVAN SMOAK was trained to be Orphan X, and his first assignment over 20 years ago seemed to be successful. Now the other elite team members of that mission have been eliminated one by one. Evan investigates and realizes that the man who started the program that turned him into an assassin is cleaning up and having the other orphans killed, as well. Rather than wait for the inevitable, he decides to go on the defensive and take out the man who started the orphan program. Why is his former superior now taking out these operatives? Nonetheless, it will take more than meticulous planning and skill to succeed, since this man is the most heavily guarded person in the world: the president of the United States. The president knows he has to fight back, so he pulls his very first recruit, Orphan A, out of a federal penitentiary. Orphan A has no moral values, and his first job is to murder all potential witnesses before he kills Orphan X. With the help of two fellow inmates who find pleasure in inflicting pain on others, Orphan A knows exactly how to get Orphan X once and for all. Evan always tries to do the right thing, and he goes out of his way to help others who are dealing with insurmountable odds. He usually levels the playing field by his skill set, but this time he might be outmatched. Out of the Dark: An Orphan X Novel (Minotaur) by Gregg Hurwitz takes the reader on a journey that covers a wide range of emotions from potential love to outright terror. The relentless action and detailed mission planning make the tale both clever and smart. Hurwitz continues to profile this stellar character and

improve with each new installment. It’s only the end of January, but this novel will be remembered as one of the best thrillers of the year. AP

Today’s Horoscope By Eugenia Last

CELEBRITIES BORN ON THIS DAY: Christina Ricci, 39; Darren Aronofsky, 50; Josh Brolin, 51; Arsenio Hall, 63. HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Pay attention to what you can accomplish, not what you cannot. Your aim should be to make the most progress, not pursue a dead end. Don’t let emotions take over or cause you to make poor decisions. Use your intelligence and charm to find out what you need to know to move forward without risk or damage to important relationships. Your lucky numbers are 3, 11, 16, 21, 28, 33, 42.


ARIES (March 21-April 19): Look for an opening or a new beginning, or take it upon yourself to learn something that will help you advance. If you want change, it’s up to you to do the groundwork necessary to achieve the goal you set. HHH


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Speak from the heart. What you say to others will make a difference if you are trying to get the support you need to bring about positive change. Ask for help, but find out what’s expected in return. HHH


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Look at the big picture and analyze what others do, say and respond. Weed out anyone who appears suspicious or who is offering the impossible. You can move forward only if you build your ideas and plans on solid ground. HHH


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Your charm will win over even your toughest critic. Use your creative imagination to dazzle those you want to impress. Your relationships will improve if you show compassion and offer help. Love and romance will enhance your personal life. HHHH


LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Make changes if that’s what you want. Don’t sit around waiting for someone else to step in and take over. If you’d like things done your way, do them yourself. A partnership should be based on equality. HHH


VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): You’ll have an interesting view of what’s going on around you. Observe and make decisions based on what you see and hear. A steady pace and strategic input will help you get what you want within your budget. HHHHH

NEW NOVEL BY CLAIRE ADAM TELLS HAUNTING FAMILY TALE By Rasha Madkour The Associated Press A NEW novel set in Trinidad spins the tale of an absorbing family drama that ultimately explores the tension between individualism and utilitarianism. Claire Adam’s debut novel, Golden Child (SJP for Hogarth), is a page-turner not by dint of cliff-hangers but because a reader becomes invested in the well-developed story and richly drawn characters, heightened by a baseline tension established in the first pages. Adam creates a strong sense of place to fully transport a reader to the sights, smells and sounds of rural Trinidad. The story begins with the unknown whereabouts of Paul, the younger twin son of the Deyalsingh family and the one historically to cause much of the parental heartache. The older twin, Peter, is the titular golden child—pegged at an early age as a genius. Shifting back and forth in time, the story pieces come together like a puzzle. When the narrative shifts to Paul’s perspective, a third of the way in, this character who is much discussed and dissected suddenly has a chance to show readers how he really is and the effect is jarring and tragic. By the end, it becomes hard not to question well-meaning characters and their resolute adherence to their guiding principles—prioritizing family, emphasizing education— which are seemingly uncontroversial but ultimately contribute to the central crisis that the family faces. Golden Child is a beautiful and haunting tale, one that leaves readers thinking long after the last page has been turned.


LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Take better care of your health and well-being. Refuse to let anyone upset you or cause unnecessary stress. Deal with demanding people directly if you want to avoid stewing over something that may or may not happen. Take control. HHH


SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Use your creativity, imagination and desire to be unique to your advantage. How you approach others will make a difference in the outcome of what you are trying to accomplish. A personal change will draw compliments. HHH


SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Trust in yourself and your ability to get things done on your own. If you count on someone else, you will be disappointed. What someone tells you and what he or she does will not coincide. HHH


CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Accept the inevitable and do your own thing. The changes that come about will turn out better than anticipated. Focus on home, family and stability. Refuse to let someone’s unexpected reaction dictate how you feel or how you move forward. HHHHH


AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): A secretive approach will be in your best interest. If you are too emotional or vocal about the way you feel or what you are doing, someone will take advantage of you. A poker face is favored. HH


PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Offer to lend a helping hand. You will gain respect and build the resources you need to increase your chance to advance. A personal change will draw compliments and interest. HHHH BIRTHDAY BABY: You are determined, ambitious and proactive. You are unpredictable and secretive.

‘healthy mix’ BY ANDREW ZHOU The Universal Crossword/Edited by David Steinberg

ACROSS 1 School meeting grp. 4 Palindromic “Hang tight” text 7 *End date 13 “You’ve got mail” company 14 Wide street: Abbr. 15 Exclusive group 16 Game related to Sorry! 18 Tie the knot again 19 *Henry VII’s dynasty 21 Pianist Rubinstein 22 Trendy New York neighborhood 25 Sauce brand 27 *Bite-sized cake 31 “The Iceman ___” 33 Break a fast 34 Support financially 35 Kimono sash 36 *2007 buddy cop film 39 Sony record label 40 Rum named for a Cervantes hero 42 “...cup ___ cone?” 43 Supermarket passages 45 *TV dinner brand

8 Dudes 4 49 Soup recipe direction 50 Thanksgiving corn 52 Vegan breakfast option, or a hint to four letters in each starred answer 58 Goes “Achoo!” 61 Leading power 62 Pascal’s “thoughts” 63 Subj. with vocab 64 Twisted, as humor 65 *Foldable beds 66 Marina del ___, California 67 Current location? DOWN 1 Hiking trail 2 Spanish for “bull” 3 Baseball’s Moises 4 Early Red Sox legend 5 Where mobile homes park 6 Fortify 7 Unlike Smith College 8 Greatest extent 9 Detach, as a paper slip 10 Bruins great Bobby

1 Cone producer 1 12 Comedian Tina 15 Vineyard designation 17 Utility bill figure 20 Christmas 11-Down suppliers 23 Every 60 minutes 24 Pint parts 25 Mechanical beings 26 Defensive comeback 28 Greek T 29 Mexico’s Chichen ___ 30 Food label stats 31 UPS payment methods 32 Horseshoe’s place 37 Numero after due 38 Full of sharp turns 41 “Indeed” 44 Sarcastic litigious retort 46 Not just refrigerated 47 Torte type (anagram of “arches”) 51 2011 “I” hurricane 53 Lawyers’ charges 54 ___ Constitution (iconic ship) 55 Audi alternatives

6 Ancient tales 5 57 One-named Irish singer 58 Coppertone initials 59 Old’s opposite, in German 60 Congestion doc

Solution to yesterday’s puzzle:

Show BusinessMirror

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

‘The Lego Movie 2’ opens No. 1 but everything is not awesome

NICOLE KIDMAN (left) and Meryl Streep participate in the Big Little Lies panel during the HBO portion of the TCA Winter Press Tour on February 8 in Pasadena, California. AP

‘Big Little Lies’ adds superfan Meryl Streep in new season By Lynn Elber The Associated Press


By Jake Coyle The Associated Press

EW YORK—The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part was easily the top ticket-seller in theaters over the weekend, but the film’s $35 million opening failed to stack up to its expected haul, according to studio estimates on Sunday. The animated sequel had been forecast to draw around $50 million. Instead, it debuted with half the $69 million the 2014 original did, despite good reviews and an “A-”CinemaScore. With about a $100-million budget, Warner Bros.’ The Lego Movie 2 had been pegged as a dependable, star-studded franchise release sure to kick-start a moribund box office. But after record ticket sales last year, Hollywood’s 2019 has gotten off to such a bad beginning that the movie’s tagline of “Everything is not awesome” is looking more like accurate industry analysis. “The expectations were certainly much higher for The Lego Movie 2 considering the success of the first installment,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore. “We were all hoping that this would be the weekend that got the momentum of the box office going in the right direction. We’re still waiting.” Every weekend this year has been down from the same weekend a year ago. That’s a streak sure to continue. Next weekend, the new releases include Happy Death Day 2U and Alita: Battle Angel. What opened the same weekend last year? Black Panther. “Momentum is everything at the box office,” Dergarabedian said. “And we’ve sort of lost that.” Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Will Ferrell and others reprise their voice roles in The Lego Movie 2, while Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph join the cast. Mike Mitchell directs the movie written by original writer-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Oversaturation could be to blame. Since the 2014 original, which grossed $469 million worldwide, Warner Bros. released two spinoffs: The Lego Batman Movie in 2017 and The Lego Ninjago Movie later the same year. Distribution executives for Warner Bros. declined to comment on the weekend’s results. Until now, 2019’s sluggish box office was partly blamed on lack of quality releases, with only a handful of highly promoted films from major studios. This weekend saw a relatively robust slate of releases, including Taraji P. Henson’s What Men Want and the Liam Neeson thriller Cold Pursuit. Both did solid if not spectacular business. Paramount’s What Men Want, a loose remake of the 2000 Mel Gibson comedy, debuted with $19 million. Henson plays a sports agent with the ability to hear

WHAT Men Want, a loose remake of the 2000 Mel Gibson comedy, debuted with $19 million at the North American box office. While the film got poor reviews (47 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes), audiences gave it an “A-” CinemaScore.

men’s thoughts in Adam Shankman’s film, a kind of gender flip from the original. The film got poor reviews (47 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes), but audiences gave it an “A-”CinemaScore. Lionsgate’s Cold Pursuit debuted with $10.8 million, a result in line with expectations despite the controversy that surrounded its star in the week leading up to release. Neeson drew heavy criticism after he acknowledged in an interview published on Monday that he wanted to kill a random black person when a close friend told him she had been raped by a black man. Neeson later appeared on Good Morning America to say he’s not a racist. Organizers for the New York premiere of Cold Pursuit canceled the film’s red carpet. Orion Pictures’s horror thriller The Prodigy also debuted, with $6 million. China’s first big-budget space-movie spectacle The Wandering Earth bowed in China over the Chinese New Year holiday weekend with a staggering $172.7 million Friday to Sunday, and nearly $300 million since opening on Tuesday. Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at US and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. 1. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, $35 million ($18.1

million international) 2. What Men Want, $19 million 3. Cold Pursuit, $10.8 million ($2.8 million international) 4. The Upside, $7.2 million 5. Glass, $6.4 million ($6.6 million international) 6. The Prodigy, $6 million ($1.1 million international) 7. Green Book, $3.6 million ($11.4 million international) 8. Aquaman, $3.3 million ($6 million international) 9. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, $3 million 10. Miss Bala, $2.7 million. Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the US and Canada), according to comScore. 1. The Wandering Earth, $172.7 million 2. Crazy Alien, $77.7 million 3. Pegasus, $52.4 million 4. How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, $38.2 million 5. Alita: Battle Angel, $32 million 6. Boonie Bears: Blast Into The Past, $27.8 million 7. Extreme Job, $18.2 million 8. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, $18.1 million 9. The New King Of Comedy, $14.9 million 10. Green Book, $11.4 million. n

PASADENA, California—Meryl Streep’s self-claimed addiction to Big Little Lies had the bonus of turning the Oscar-winning actress into a star of the HBO drama’s second season. “I loved this show. I was addicted to it. I thought it was an amazing exercise in what we know and don’t know about people—about family, about friends, about how we flirted with the mystery of things,” Streep said on Friday. “I wanted to do it, to be in that world. The world they created was amazing.” In the seven-episode season beginning in June, Streep plays Mary Louise Wright, mother-in-law to Nicole Kidman’s Celeste, whose abusive husband Perry died at the end of season one. David E. Kelley, who wrote both seasons, joked that the much-acclaimed Streep had to pass muster to get the role. “We looked at Meryl’s demo reel,” Kelley told a TV critics meeting. He noted that the character of Mary Louise was created by Liane Moriarty, whose novel Big Little Lies was adapted for the original season. Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon return as executive producers and stars of the drama set in Monterey, California. Returning costars Laura Dern, Zoe Kravitz and Shailene Woodley comprise the so-called Monterey Five circle, joined together by dark secrets. “We had such a good time doing it and the desire to spend more time together had a lot to do with it,” said Kidman, explaining the drama’s return. “Also, there was an enormous demand from the audience.... It was generated by the audience, and the desire to see these people still in existence.” She noted the rarity of a series with so many female leads—let alone produced by and, this season, directed by a woman, Andrea Arnold—and the cast said the camaraderie they enjoyed last season was repeated. Asked who proved the best storyteller in their off-camera moments, Streep’s costars chorused, “Meryl!” Streep modestly waved off the compliment, then added: “What happens in Monterey, stays in Monterey.” Kelley, asked about the possibility of more Big Little Lies, said this season’s satisfying closure means “that will probably be it,” he said. “That’s what you said last time,” a smiling Witherspoon replied. The new season addresses unresolved issues, such the affair that Witherspoon’s character Madeline engaged in. As Kelley put it, “we don’t so much go broader as we go deeper” as the drama explores territory beyond that of Moriarty’s novel. It also pays more attention to Kravitz’s character, Bonnie, who was more prominent in the book than she was in the first season of Big Little Lies. Bonnie is part of a group that has its conflicts but must contend with Perry’s death, Kravitz said, this “thing that binds us together. So watching us all kind of do this dance together because of this lie that we all hold, is kind of an interesting thing to see.” For Dern’s abrasive Renata, being ushered into the circle opens up a new world. The actress won an Emmy for the role. “It’s thrilling for Renata to have any friends,” said Dern, drawing laughs from her costars.

Who’s who at Wanderland Festival 2019 GET ready to witness the magic of the country’s premier music and arts festival. Globe and Karpos Multimedia is bringing yet again one of the best musical extravaganzas with both international and local flavors—the Wanderland Music and Arts Festival. To celebrate its seventh year, Wanderland is going to be even bigger, now growing into a two-day activity full of good music, creative people and eye-popping artistic creations. This year’s #GlobeWanderland features a magic-centric theme, with 14 foreign artists and eight homegrown local music icons who will take the stage at the Filinvest City Event Grounds in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, on March 9 and 10. The lineup of artists include: n TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB. No need to wait for “Next Year” as Irish indie rock band Two Door Cinema Club is headlining this year’s Wanderland. With genres ranging from indie rock and pop to dance punk and postpunk revival, TDCC hit the charts with their songs “Undercover Martyn” and “Are We Ready.” Their tracks “What You Know” and “You’re Not Stubborn” were featured in the hit series Vampire Diaries and Grey’s Anatomy, respectively. n THE KOOKS. “Listen” and rock out to

coheadliners The Kooks as they heat up the stage. Formed in 2004, this English indie rock band has already released five albums with tracks including “Always Where I Need to Be,” “Naive” and “She Moves in Her Own Way.” Interestingly enough, they were also featured in a Forbes article as “the most popular band you don’t know.’’ n HONNE. English electronic music duo. Honne will also join in. Consisting of James Hatcher and Andy Clutterbuck, the duo writes, records, and produces their own music and released their first two EPs in 2014, Warm on a Cold Night and All in the Value. n MASEGO. To give the audience a taste of jazz, house, contemporary R&B and funk fusion, Wanderland is bringing Masego to serenade the crowd with his hits “Navajo” and “Tadow.” n JMSN, SG LEWIS AND MAC AYRES. Also featured is American musician JMSN (pronounced Jameson) who sang “Talking is Cheap”; British electronic artist SG Lewis who created dance music, such as “Warm” and “Better”; and American R&B/soul artist Mac Ayres who is known for his hits “Easy” and “Stay.” n ALINA BARAZ, GABRIELLE APLIN AND CLAIRO. This trio is set to bring girl power to the


festival this year. American R&B singer Alina Baraz will perform her hits including “Fantasy” and “Buzzin.” British indie folk artist Gabrielle Aplin will serenade the crowd with songs like “The Power of Love” and “Home,” while American electro-pop artist Clairo will get festival-goers jumping with “Pretty Girl” and “Diary 001.” n JOAN AND PREP. Rising indie pop duo from Arkansas, joan is set to create a name


for themselves in the pop scene with their songs “Take Me On” and “Love Somebody Like You.” Meanwhile UK R&B quartet PREP will be performing songs from their latest EP Cold Fire, such as “Don’t Bring Me Down” and “Rachel.” The rest of the lineup include: Asian artists Charlie Lim and Adoy, plus local artists Sandwich; Unique Salonga, former lead singer of IV of Spades; Reese Lansangan;

Clara Benin; indie-alternative rock band Autotelic; and Dayaw. To make Wanderland a magical experience for everyone, be sure to observe proper festival etiquette. Smoke in designated areas only, throw and segregate your trash properly, don’t bring any illegal drugs or pills, and keep track of the performance schedules. Stay updated on the different ticket promos at




Tuesday, February 12, 2019


AN unidentified person walks behind The Incomplete Truth by artist Damien Hirst that is on display at The Goss-Michael Foundation in Dallas. Artworks collected by George Michael before his death in 2016 are going up for auction. AP

BERLIN—Five watercolors attributed to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler from his early days as a struggling artist have failed to sell at auction in the southern German city of Nuremberg, possibly over fears they could be fakes. The Nurnberger Nachrichten newspaper reported on Sunday that no bids were received on the paintings, which had starting prices of between €19,000 ($21,500) and €45,000 ($50,900). Three days before Saturday’s auction, prosecutors seized 63 other paintings attributed to Hitler from the auction house to investigate allegations they were fakes. In Berlin last month, prosecutors seized three other Hitler watercolors after receiving a complaint questioning their authenticity. As a young man, Hitler is thought to have painted some 2,000 pictures as he unsuccessfully struggled to succeed as an artist in Vienna before World War I. AP


THE Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP, www. takes part in the centennial celebration of National Artist for Visual Arts Francisco V. Coching via the exhibition Nasaan Ka Na, Mara-Bini: Tracing Liberation and Empowerment in the Stories of F.V. Coching’s Rebel Daughters. The exhibit opened on the late artist’s 100th birthday, January 29, and may be viewed for free by the public until April 7 at the CCP’s Pasilyo Vicente Manansala (second floor, Hallway Gallery). The exhibition is presented in cooperation with the Coching Family and independent curator Alice Sarmiento. The curator writes: “A rich variety of characters and stories runs through Coching’s work, granting the reader a look into Coching’s ideas of where women belonged when it came to the everyday struggles he portrayed in his komiks. While often possessing stereotypically feminine traits—softness, compassion, empathy—Coching’s female characters also allowed agency and even militancy in choosing their battles. By asking Nasaan ka na, Marabini? in light of not only Coching’s women but also the rebel daughters of today, can we possibly trace an arc from Mara-bini’s first appearance as a potential pop-culture icon in 1941, to the leaders of contemporary feminist movements? Declarations of “The future is female!” as well as hashtags like #BabaeAko and #IamEveryWoman can definitely find a safe space within the frames Coching drew, in which women lifted men up with little effort, commanded armies and, most important, led movements.” Nasaan Ka Na, Mara-Bini will also be a part of the CCP’s Women’s Month celebration in March, and its upcoming Performatura Festival in April. Exhibit viewing hours are from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm, and until 10 pm on days with evening performances at the CCP Main Theater.

George Michael’s art collection up for auction at Christie’s



THE young generation of today is said to be an expressive bunch. What is running in their mind is quickly reflected on different social-media outlets as each attempt to catch people’s attention and share their insights to friends and the public. A different story goes for Nadine Ibay: a 21-year-old painter who decided to channel her inner ramblings and feelings onto canvas which she showcases in her very own art gallery. This is how this young woman of Antipolo makes a bigger statement. Recently, Nadine officially opened to the public the NMI Gallery in Antipolo to showcase some of her best works. Apart from showing her soul through this little home for her art, this gallery is also symbolic of the young and vibrant soul that the woman possesses. At a very young age, her family has seen her talent and decided to bank on it, hone it, so she can someday enjoy this passion for her own self-expression. Her ideas are often captured on canvas through paint, with a splash of color that adds flavor and inspiration to white space. As you look at the paintings, it will be obvious how the artist extends a bit of herself on her brush to make an abstract creation worlds of reality. The materials she uses include acrylic and spray paints, mineral pigments, gold leafs and textured canvasses to add to the flavor of creativity of each piece. Apart from painting, Nadine also collects crystals and antique pieces which give a lot of people an impression that hers is an old soul seeking for satisfaction in the current reality. While today’s young generation is good at expressing themselves through more accessible platforms, individuals like Nadine Ibay are born in order to break the norm. It is young talents like her that provide depth and meaning to a generation that is sometimes carried away by the superficial. Catch her Venus Retrograde exhibit until March 31 at NMI Art Gallery ( in Antipolo City.

By Jill Lawless The Associated Press

ONDON—George Michael left a rich legacy of music—and of visual art. The musician’s collection of works by some of Britain’s most famous contemporary artists is going up for auction in London next month, auctioneer Christie’s announced on Friday. The sale includes pieces by Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas and other members of the “Young British Artists” generation who, like Michael, shook up Britain’s creative scene in the 1980s and 1990s. Cristian Albu, cohead of postwar and contemporary art at Christie’s, said the collection is “a portrait of Britain in the 1990s.” He said Michael wanted “to celebrate a time in which new life was breathed into London,” and began buying works by artists who became personal friends. “He was introduced to Tracey Emin and from then

everything is history,” Albu said. “Tracey introduced him to the whole gang.... He was going to their studios and they were coming to his concerts.” More than 200 works will go under the hammer, including Hirst’s The Incomplete Truth, a glass case enclosing a dove preserved in formaldehyde, which has an estimated price of £1 million to £1.5 million ($1,280,000 to $1,920,000). Also up for sale is one of Emin’s self-revealing works, Drunk to the Bottom of My Soul, an embroidered blanket with an estimate of £180,000 to £250,000 ($230,400 to $320,000). The collection includes several pieces by Young British Artists mentor Michael Craig-Martin, including a pop art-style portrait of Michael, commissioned by the musician and estimated at £60,000 to £80,000 ($76,800 to $102,400). Albu said the collection also reveals Michael’s sense of humor. In 1998, the singer was arrested by an undercover

police officer in Los Angeles for lewd conduct in a public toilet. He satirized the potentially careerthreatening moment in the song and video “Outside.” He also acquired three works by Craig-Martin: one emblazoned “Sex”; one, called “God,” depicting a urinal; and one of handcuffs. “He took that moment and he turned it into a joke, and he turned that joke into art,” Albu said. Christie’s plans to tour the collection internationally before the sale in London on March 14, with stops in New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Some lots will also be sold in an online auction running from March 8 to 15. Michael’s trustees say proceeds will go to continue his philanthropic work. Michael burst to fame in the 1980s with pop duo Wham! and went on to sell more than 100 million albums around the world. He died on December 25, 2016, aged 53, from heart disease and a build-up of fat in his liver. n

Extraordinary bookshelf portraits by Nikulas Lebajo ON his 30th year anniversary as a visual artist, Nikulas Lebajo has tried a new way of presenting his objects on canvas—his own rendition of bookshelf portraits. Once the books are an image on canvas, they are shut forever and can never be read. In a painting, they are purely objects like the others he has already painted, and you are forced to judge them by their covers. It is a different way to do a portrait because the decisions people make about the books they choose to buy, keep and display reveals a lot about them. It offers a deeper insight into their interests and occupations. Nikulas got the inspiration from the bookshelves of his relatives and friends who are into law books, medicine, art and fashion design. It is quite interesting how these objects can be given a refreshing interpretation besides being a regular fixture inside the house. His painstaking attention to detail and clean strokes are evident in his new paintings. Also on display are images of old jars that have a trompe l’oeil quality that makes them seem to be leaping out from their frames. Instead of letting it drift into space, each figure is further boxed within the painting. The artist is known for his repeated pattern of images, two-dimensional compositional devices that generate strong visual impact, and builtin frame. Nikulas took up Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines, where he first gained recognition for his glassware creations. He was one of the favorite

artists of National Artist Arturo Luz, who gave him the break to exhibit several times at the then The Luz Gallery in the early ‘90s. He had more than 20 solo and 35 group exhibitions both here and abroad. At 17, he won the grand prize in the 22nd Shell National Student Art Competition, a victory that paved the way to a steady career in the arts. He comes from a family of artists, foremost of which is his father, Raul Lebajo, a master surrealist and respected

figure in the Philippine art scene. “Let the viewers see the beauty in my painting. One person’s aesthetic sensibilities may differ from another,” he says. Definitely, the artist will continue to shine through his masterpieces. Watch out for his other exhibitions this year in celebration of his 30th year of visual artistry. Nikulas’ latest works were on exhibit recently at Gallery Nine in SM Megamall.

Profile for BusinessMirror

BusinessMirror February 12, 2019  

BusinessMirror February 12, 2019