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ISLATEL Consortium—the group led by Davao-based businessman Dennis A. Uy and state-owned China Telecom Corp. Ltd.—was declared as the provisional third telco player in the Philippines, after submitting the only compliant bid on Wednesday’s much-awaited selection process for the new major player in the local telco industry. Based on its bid, it committed to provide 37.03 percent of the total Philippine population with an average Internet speed of 27 Mbps through a P150billion investment for the first year of its operation. 




A year after, another 13.99 percent of the Philippines will be covered, this time, with Internet connection that averages at a speed of 55 Mbps through a P27-billion investment. By the third, fourth and fifth years, Mislatel should have covered another 18.99 percent, 10 percent and 4 percent of the population, respectively, with the same speed of 55 Mbps and the same level of capital and operating expenses at P27 billion. At the end of its fifth year, it should have covered 84.01 percent of the total Philippine population. The group would have spent a total of P408 billion by the end of its commitment period, offering Internet services with an average speed of 55 Mbps.  See “China telecom,” A2

BusinessMirror A broader look at today’s business

Thursday, November 8, 2018 Vol. 14 No. 29


Trade gap grows 124% to $3.93B in September $9.753B T By Cai U. Ordinario

due to the 2.6-percent contraction of exports to $5.827 billion and imports growth of 26.1 percent to $9.753 billion, the highest since July 2018. “This shows that we are an import-dependent country, we are

P25.00 nationwide | 6 sections 40 pages | 7 DAYS A WEEK

Trade union demands: Unchanged from 1987 to present

dependent on [imported] steel, construction materials, machinery,” Rene Ofreneo, a professor of labor economics and industrial relations at the University of the Philippines, said. “The DTI [Department of Trade

Imports for September 2018, a growth of 26.1 percent over September last year; and the highest figure since July 2018

Rene E. Ofreneo



and Industry] should give details about the causes of the deficit and then use it as a basis for a policy review,” added Ofreneo, who writes a weekly column for BusinessMirror. He added that while some economists would push for the country’s inclusion and greater participation in the Global Value Chains (GVCs), it was important

SENATORIABLE requested this writer to supply him a list of labor issues he can expound in his campaign sorties. Promptly, I quickly reviewed my compilation of trade union materials. As a result, I stumbled on an old publication, Labor’s Legislative Agenda, a book published by the UP School of Labor and Industrial Relations (Solair) in 1987, or three decades ago. The book has a long list of labor legislative reform proposals that were formulated by members of the Labor Advisory Consultative Council in partnership with the academe. The proposals were based on the results of a series of LACC-Solair brainstorming workshops that culminated in a big National Conference on Labor’s Legislative Agenda (LLA) in May 1987.

Continued on A3

Continued on A7

Typhoons disrupt Q3 farm production By Jasper Emmanuel Y. Arcalas



FTER expanding for over a year and a half, the countr y’s farm output contracted by 0.83 percent in the third quarter, as erratic weather conditions battered the sector’s main driver: crops. The country’s agricultural output, at constant prices, in the July-to-September period reached P78.118 billion, compared to the P81.068 billion recorded in the same period last year, according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). “For the first nine months of 2018, agriculture posted a 0.15-percent increase in output,” the PSA said in its quarterly report, titled “Performance of Philippine Agriculture,”

published on Wednesday. This is the first time that farm output declined after expanding for six consecutive quarters since the first quarter of last year. The last time agriculture production posted a decline was in the fourth quarter of 2016. The crops subsector, which accounted for 45.58 percent of the total output, posted a 3.64-percent drop in production. From January to September, the subsector’s output went down by 1.38 percent. “Palay and corn production dropped by 5.70 percent and 14.83 percent, respectively,” the PSA added. The PSA attributed the decrease to the damages caused by various typhoons in provinces regarded as major producers of rice, corn and vegetables in Northern Luzon. See “Typhoons,” A8




HE slump in the country’s export performance and ballooning of the trade deficit should go beyond being a wake-up call for improving competitiveness, but also spur a trade policy review in government, analysts said on Wednesday as the latest trade data came in.

The country’s trade deficit grew 124.1 percent to $3.927 billion in September 2018, from $1.752 billion in September 2017. This was also higher than the $3.494 billion in August 2018. The trade deficit was largely


DOF sees Q3 GDP growth hitting 6.5%; Q2 now 6.2% By Rea Cu



OFFICIALS of Udenna and China Telecom hug and shake hands after their Mislatel consortium was declared late Wednesday as the provisional third telco. See story above, “Consortium of Davao’s Dennis Uy, China Telecom declared 3rd telco.” LORENZ S. MARASIGAN

HE Depar tment of Finance (DOF) sees the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the third quarter to hit 6.5 percent, due to growth in expenditures, among others. Based on a text message sent by Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III to reporters quoting Undersecretary Gil S. Beltran, the DOF expects the country’s GDP for the third quarter to hit 6.5 percent, higher than the 6 percent recorded in the second quarter and the 6.4 percent revised growth for the first half of the year.

n JAPAN 0.4684 n UK 69.6226 n HK 6.7865 n CHINA 7.6828 n SINGAPORE 38.6918 n AUSTRALIA 38.3934 n EU 60.6832 n SAUDI ARABIA 14.1691

See “GDP,” A8

Source: BSP (7 November 2018 )



A2 Thursday, November 8, 2018

Gunmen slay human-rights lawyer in Negros Occidental


By Rene Acosta @reneacostaBM & Claudeth Mocon-Ciriaco | Correspondent

HUMAN-RIGHTS lawyer who assisted farmers after the massacre of nine sugar cane workers on October 20 was shot and killed on Tuesday by two motorcycleriding gunmen in Negros Occidental, drawing condemnation from different groups, including the Philippine National Police (PNP). Chief Supt. John Bulalacao, director of the Police Regional Office 6, said the suspects shot lawyer Benjamin Ramos Jr. at around 10:30 p.m. while he was talking to an owner of a sari-sari store along Rojas Street, Barangay 5, Kabankalan, Negros Occidental. Ramos, 56, and a resident of Barangay Binicuil in the same city, sustained three gunshot wounds in the chest and was rushed to the Holy Mother Mercy Hospital in Kabankalan City but was pronounced dead on arrival.

“We condemn the shooting to the death of Atty. Benjamin Tarug Ramos Jr., 56 years old, resident of Barangay Binicuil, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, at about 10:30 p.m. on November 6, 2018, in Rojas Street, Barangay 5, Kabankalan City,” said Bulalacao in a news statement. “I have already ordered for the immediate conduct of investigation to resolve this incident,” he said. Bu la lacao said R amos is a founding member of the National

Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), a group of human-rights defenders in the country providing free legal support to Filipinos. “We assure the family of the victim of a thorough investigation to ensure the immediate arrest of the perpetrators so that justice will be served to the victim and his family,” Bulalacao said. At the time of his death, Ramos was NUPL’s secretary-general in Negros Occidental and was assisting the Negros Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) following the killing of its members. The massacre, which occurred at Hacienda Nene in Sagay, Negros Occidental, was blamed by the police to the New People’s Army, which the rebel group has denied. The PNP has already filed multiple murder charges against seven members of the NFSW over the carnage. T he NUPL condemned the killing of Ramos, saying it was “shocked, devastated and enraged at the premeditated cold-blooded murder” of its officer. “The passionate, dedicated and articulate yet amiable and jolly Ben, was a founding member of NUPL. Despite limitations, he was for the longest time the ‘go-to’ pro-bono lawyer of peasants, environmentalists, activists, political

prisoners and mass organizations in Negros,” it also said in a statement issued through its president, lawyer Edre Olalia. Olalia said Ramos was the 34th lawyer killed under the twoyear administration of President Duterte. “Excluding judges and prosecutors, he is the 24th member of the profession killed and the eighth in the Visayas,” he said. “These beastly attacks by treacherous cowards cannot go on. Not a few of our members have been attacked and killed before while literally practicing their profession and advocacies in the courts, in ral-

lies, in picket lines, in urban poor communities and in fact-finding missions,” Olalia said. Olalia revealed that members of the NUPL have been receiving death threats of late for handling cases of “political prisoners, suspected rebels, environmentalists and suspected poor drug users.” He also said that the NUPL and its key officers have themselves been “increasingly labeled and branded pejoratively by the police, military, vigilantes, some bigoted columnists, and online trolls, in open contempt of basic principles of the role of lawyers in society.”

The passionate, dedicated and articulate yet amiable and jolly Ben, was a founding member of NUPL. Despite limitations, he was for the longest time the ‘goto’ pro-bono lawyer of peasants, environmentalists, activists, political prisoners and mass organizations in Negros.”—NUPL

‘Only OFWs themselves can claim unrefunded terminal fees’

By Recto Mercene @rectomercene


HE Manila International Airport Authority (Miaa) clarified on Wednesday that unrefunded terminal fee collection amounting to almost P300 million is intact and deposited in a trust fund. “The amount is kept by Miaa in

a trust account and is distinct and separate from the agency’s corporate funds,” General Manager Ed V. Monreal said. He added: “The money does not belong to Miaa. It will remain in the trust account until fully refunded to the passengers who own them.”    He added that only overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), can

China Telecom. . . Beauty contest

MISLATEL garnered a total score of 456.8 points, based on the terms of reference for the third telco selection. The government is basing its decision on naming the official new major player through a socalled beauty contest, wherein contenders will get points for exceeding the minimum for the following categories: speed, coverage and financial capability. The consortium is composed of Udenna Corp., Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp. and China Telecom Corp. Ltd. The first two Filipino companies are owned and controlled by Uy, known to be a close associate of President Duterte. It used the congressional franchise of Mindanao Islamic Telephone Co. Inc. to qualify to bid.  According to Udenna Spokesman Adel A. Tamano, whose group has a prepared printed press statement, should it be declared the winning bidder, the consortium is thankful for the “fair and transparent process.”  “We are humbled to be chosen, and once we are confirmed as the new major player, we promise to work very hard to give Filipinos the best telecommunications services that Filipinos have been aspiring for,” he said in a chance interview. (Related story, “With 3rd player, Poe sees telecom reforms” in Companies section, page B1.) Udenna’s win didn’t come smoothly, though. Two other parties that submitted their bids—Sear Telecommunications Inc. of politician Luis Chavit C. Singson and Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corp.—were disqualified from the process, after submitting incomplete bid documents. Sear, corporate vehicle for TierOne Communications International Inc., Fujian Torch Electron Technology Co. Ltd., Miller Pte. Ltd. Southeast Asia Telecom (Cambodia) Co. Ltd. and LCS Holdings Inc. of Singson.,

Continued from A1

was disqualified from the selection process after it failed to submit the P700-million participation security, a form bid bond, which should be in the form of “cash, check, draft, or irrevocable letter of credit issued by a universal or commercial bank in the Philippines.” PT&T was also taken out of the bidding process after its failure to include the certification of technical capability in its bid. Only three parties submitted bids for the third telco spot. Together they represent 4 out of the 10 parties that bought bid documents earlier this quarter. The others have backed out due to issues on economic viability and legal tussles, among others. 


CITING the bidding rules on objection, Selection Committee Chairman Ella Blanca B. Lopez of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) said the parties may exercise a relief option of filing for a P10million motion for reconsideration. “They have three calendar days to file, and we have three days to act upon it,” she said. The two groups manifested that they will be filing for separate motions of reconsideration, with PT&T President James G. Velasquez also citing their company’s pending case before a Makati local court for a declaratory relief.  Tuesday saw the listed company filing for declaratory relief from a local court to allow its bid to be accepted given alleged discrepancies on the definition of one of the auction’s top requirements—a proven track record of providing telco services on a national scale.   “We are still hoping that our bid will be considered. The court has asked the oral arguments tomorrow [Thursday],” he said. 

claim their unrefunded terminal fee, anytime. Monreal made the clarification after Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III was reported to have written the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap) to remit the unrefunded fee to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.  The Miaa chief said domestic terminal fees remitted to Miaa

amounted to P172,333,700. This amount came from Cebu Pacific Air and CebGo. Monreal added that P105,320,679 was remitted to Miaa by 18 international carriers representing the unrefunded international fees from OFWs and non-OFW passengers.   “ The total amount remitted to Miaa by all air carriers is

P277,654,379 as of November 6, 2018. [The amount obviously doesn’t tally with] the P500-million [figure] which came out in news reports earlier this week,” Monreal pointed out. “OFWs only need to present their copy of their Overseas Employment Certificate and ticket among others, to avail of their refund,” he said.

Mislatel bid illegal–Sear

bought bid documents were: Mobitel Holdings Gmbh, European telco Telenor, Now Corp., Converge ICT Solutions Inc., Ama Telecommunications Inc., and an unknown group. Juan Miguel M. Honorico-Lopez, who heads the investor relations division of Now Corp., said his group decided to back out of the bidding because of its outstanding case against the telco regulator.  The injunction case, which was denied by a local court in Manila, involved the questioning of certain provisions of the terms of reference for the selection process, specifically the following financial provisions: the P700-million participation security, the P14 billion to P24 billion performance security, and the P10-million nonrefundable appeal fee. “We are withdrawing from the new major player bidding due to our case with the NTC,” Lopez said. “We are choosing to elevate this to the Court of Appeals.” He explained that if it submitted a bid for the third telco spot, it could “potentially affect the case,” hence its withdrawal.  For its part, Converge ICT Solutions Inc. and partners KT Corp. and Teltech Group, pulled out of the bidding after noting a discrepancy in the playing field that is already dominated by incumbents Globe Telecom Inc. and Smart Communications Inc.  “It’s not a level playing field because the existing players right now were not asked to do what we’re being asked to do,” Aristoteles Z. Elviña, special assistant to the president of Converge, said in a chance interview. “What is demanded from the bidders today were not asked from the dominant players before.” Unlike the two existing players, the third telco has been required by the government to exceed the minimum thresholds for speed, coverage and capital.  Elviña also alluded to the participation

of a “state-owned” company as another issue in the bidding. “If one of the bidders won, it’s a state-owned company. Can they now go against the state if they do not fulfill the requirements? Can we file charges or go against them? I don’t think so. Because even what they did with the South China Sea, we didn’t do anything,” he said. It was an apparent reference to Mislatel’s partner China Telecom.

THE winningest bidder should not celebrate too soon, as it may soon face court cases, according to officials from Sear. Raoul C. Creencia, a managing partner at Creencia Carillo and Velasco law firm, which represented Sear, said his group will file legal cases against Mislatel for allegedly allowing other parties to use its franchise despite having an outstanding agreement with his group’s partner, Digiphil Technology Inc. “Mislatel cannot allow and is not allowed to have its franchise and permits used by somebody else without a prior official consent of Digiphil. In other words, Digiphil has the right of first refusal,” he said. Creencia noted that the “prohibition is not absolute.”  “For as long as we get the consent of Digiphil, Mislatel can actually consort and partner with someone else but they did not,” he explained.  He added: “If Mislatel will be adjudged to have breached the contract, it is, therefore, not eligible to partner with, so there’s no congressional franchise for Mislatel Consortium—that’s a fatal flaw.”  The case being eyed might be filed either in a Makati or Pasig court, Creencia said. 

‘Generally satisfied’

DESPITE all the legal tussles, amid the somewhat-subtle shouting here and there, and the disqualification of 2 out of 3 parties, Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr. said he is “generally satisfied” with the turnout. “I just wished that there were more parties that submitted their bids,” he said.  There were 10 parties that bought selection documents throughout a onemonth buying period for the P1-million selection papers.   Aside from Udenna, China Telecom, TierOne and PT&T, the other groups that

‘Start of reforms’

MARY GRACE MIRANDILLA-SANTOS, who sat as the representative of Freedom for Media Alternatives, a consumer group that was appointed as an observer in the process, said the whole selection exercise was transparent. “Generally, we find the section process to be very transparent from the start. I think this is one of a kind because the public has been involved from the drafting of the memorandum circular to the opening and evaluation,” she said in an interview.  Santos added that this could be the starting line for the reforms in the local telco industry, which has been tagged as one of the worst in terms of Internet quality in the Asean region by different third-party and independent organizations.  “We hope that this is just the start. We also need reforms in terms of spectrum management. We need open access, and we also need our telcos to follow these new standards set during the third telco bidding,” she said.  The third telco player is seen to spur competition in a market dominated by two large corporations, potentially bringing price down and service levels up.  Rio said barring all other delays, the official third telco player will be named sometime this month. It could start offering its services by the first half of 2019.

New import tack unlikely to spoil 500,000 MT rice tender, NFA says By Jasper Emmanuel Y. Arcalas @jearcalas


HE National Food Aut hor it y ( N FA) on Wednesday ex pressed confidence that bidders are unlikely to back out from the open tender for the supply of some 500,000 metric tons (MT) of rice via open tender, amid some traders’ concerns over import regulations. Some 13 Asian firms have already signified interest to participate in the NFA’s open tender bidd i ng a f ter t he y bought bid documents priced at P75,000 each set. However, some of the possible rice suppliers are worried about the changes in the terms of reference (TOR) for the open tender bidding during the prebidding conference on November 7. At least two participants questioned why the NFA imposed a penalty on short-delivery and short-landed shipments with one seeking to delete the provision.  Others questioned the specified guidelines over fumigation, citing possible internal problems that would make it difficult for them to comply with the rules. The concerns of the traders were also some of the worries of Hanoi and Bangkok during the 203,000 MT bidding via government-to-government mode on November 6. The concerns forced Vietnam and Thailand to shun the tender. However, NFA Spokesman Angel G. Imperial Jr. said he doesn’t see pr ivate traders backing out of the race to supply the NFA with its buffer stock due to some questions over the TOR. Imperial explained that the TOR used in the open tender is just the same with the previous ones and the NFA just specified some of the provisions for better language and understanding. “We don’t think so,” Imperial said in an interview with reporters on Wednesday when asked if traders may not participate in the open tender just like what Bangkok and Hanoi did. Furthermore, Imperial said, the NFA maintained that the TOR provisions are acceptable and doesn’t need any review to meet the demands of the traders. “We cannot remove the provisions on the short-landed. We have to protect the interest of the government,” he said. “There’s no tightening of regulations. We [are] just spelling out what they should do. Basically it is just the same TOR,” he added. NFA OIC-Administrator Tomas R. Escarez told reporters that the food agency decided to impose penalty for short shipment, citing “abuse” by some suppliers. “Before there was no penalty and we did not pay attention to it. But they abuse[d] the deliveries, wherein for example shipments lack 1,000 bags or 2,000 bags,” he said. “So, the tendency is that we expect this amount of inventory but it would not fully arrive.” Furthermore, Escarez explained that the TOR has specified guidelines to ensure the food safety of the rice imports, particularly to avoid the issues of weevil infestation that happened in the past. 

Economy BusinessMirror

Editor: Vittorio V. Vitug • Thursday, November 8, 2018 A3

Jan to Oct FDI jumped 156% to ₧39.3 billion–DTI


By Elijah Felice E. Rosales


OREIGN direct investments (FDI) from January to October improved 156 percent to P39.3 billion, a development attributed by the country’s trade chief to the Duterte administration’s business reforms. In a report on Wednesday, the Board of Investments (BOI) said approved FDI after 10 months went up 156 percent to P39.3 billion, from P15 billion during the same period last year. Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said this is proof

of the country’s good standing with foreign businesses, as they direct large sums of capital in spite of rising inflation and tempered gross domestic product growth. On the other hand, investment pledges registered with the BOI

from January to October accelerated 26.2 percent to P515.9 billion, from P408.8 billion. The growth is seen to boost the BOI’s chances at hitting its P680-billion target for this year. “The latest BOI investment figure is a concrete testament to the continued confidence of the international investing community on the strong fundamentals of the Philippine economy and the policy reforms and infrastructure development under President Duterte’s administration,” said Lopez, who also sits as BOI chairman. “Investments continue to drive growth, based on FDI and the latest BOI numbers, as investors see the political will of the current administration to institute reforms,

such as the recently passed ease of doing business law, as well as other factors, such as policies leading to further liberalization of more sectors to allow greater foreign equity and reap the potential of demographic dividends, such as the growing middle class in a 106 million Philippine market size economy and the young professionals with greater purchasing power,” he added. The country’s top sources of FDI are Indonesia at P6.4 billion, Malaysia at P2.9 billion, Japan at P2.8 billion, Australia at P1.1 billion, China at P1.1 billion and the United States at P612 million. This was followed by Italy at P485.7 billion, Singapore at P404.1 million and Switzerland at P357.7 billion.

The top 5 industries that significantly made up the BOI figures are energy; manufacturing; transportation and storage; construction and public-private partnership projects; and real estate. The manufacturing industry grew 271.32 percent to P142.86 billion, from P38.47 billion last year. “We are pleased with the remarkable increase in manufacturing investments. With the strong domestic demand being serviced by merchandise imports, additional investments [are] needed to boost our manufacturing base that will also expand our capacity to export and address the perennial structural issue of our trade deficit for the past many decades,” Lopez stated.

Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo Jr., for his part, said he is confident that the agency will hit its P680billion target for this year. He said investment officials are just taking it slow and steady in approving commitments, as they want to grant incentives to the right projects. “After the record-breaking investment approval figure of P617 billion in 2017, the agency is working hard to breach its investment target of P680 billion for this year. The rest of the year should be pretty exciting,” Rodolfo said. “There are several big-ticket projects undergoing strict evaluation process, to ensure that incentives are needed to realize their strategic impact,” he added.

group slams Robredo, Panelo, Ceza inks maglev train manufacturing Labor lawmaker over wage-hike statement agreement with two China companies T W By Samuel P. Medenilla @sam_medenilla

HE Philippines may soon see its first manufacturing hub for magnetic levitation (maglev) trains, considered as the world’s fastest and most advanced commuter train, after the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (Ceza) entered into an agreement with two Chinese firms to put up the facility. In a news statement issued on Wednesday, Ceza said it has signed a tripartite memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Eminova Asset Management Ltd. and Hunan Goke Maglev Technology Development Ltd. for the establishment of a research and development center

for production and training in Santa Ana, Cagayan. The project, if it pushes through, will be the first in the country. Eminova will take the lead in the joint venture, as it will be primarily responsible for the financing of the start-up phase of the project. Hunan Goke, on the other hand, will be in charge of geological exploration, line track system design, power supply system design, operation control design system, design and production of vehicle systems, among others. It will also establish research and development for training and production center, as well as

ensure transfer of technology. It was also stipulated under the MOU that the venture would generate local employment. Ceza Administrator and Chief Executive Officer Raul L. Lambino said the initial project cost is around $1 billion. This will be for the research and production models of maglev trains that are known to run on low noise and without friction and vibration. “We need to be aggressive and innovative in promoting our competitive edge in the free port, [as] we have relatively cheap labor, highly skilled workers, vast tracts of unused lands

and attractive fiscal incentives,” Lambino added. The maglev production line in Cagayan is penciled to roll out light rail vehicles, as well as medium- and high-speed trains that can travel at 200 km to 400 km per hour. It will be supplied to Southeast Asian economies, including the Philippines. Eminova is a Hong Kong-based independent investment fund managing Australian and European finances. On the other hand, Hunan Goke is the second but now the largest maglev line builder in the world. Elijah Felice E. Rosales

PES to host Asian economists conference on Nov. 9 and 10


HE Philippine Economic Society (PES) is set to host the Federation of Asean Economic Associations (FAEA) conference on “Growing Asean: Cooperation and Competition Amidst Disruption” at Novotel Manila, Quezon City, on Friday and Saturday. The two-day conference, a news statement said, will bring together top economists in Asia to discuss the impact of disruptive elements, such as disruptive technologies and the resurgence of protectionism, on Southeast Asian countries and the country-level and regional responses of these countries as they work toward creating a highly integrated, competitive, resilient and inclusive economy.

On the first day of the conference, Asian Development Bank chief economist Yasuyuki Sawada will deliver the keynote address on “Technology and Inclusion.” His lecture will be followed by a plenary discussion featuring Philippine Competition Commission Chairman Arsenio Balisacan, Ayala Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala II, Nanyang Technological University professor Euston Quah and Asian Institute of Management professor Erika Fille Lagare.   The second day’s keynote remarks on “Principled Populism: The Road from Disruption to Cooperation” will be given by Dr. James Roumasset, professor of economics emeritus at the

University of Hawaii. The ensuing plenary discussion includes Waseda University professor Toshi Arimura, Bank of Thailand Board Member Suthad Setboonsarng, Competition Consulting Asia Head Ian Mcewin and university professor Emmanuel de Dios.   In addition to the plenary sessions, parallel sessions spread over the twoday conference will cover a wide range of economic topics, including economics of disaster, migration and social protection, population aging, aviation industry issues, environmental and energy policies, women’s economic well-being and participation, institutions, trade and technology, and rice technology and market power.

Ahead of this regional conference, the PES will hold its annual meeting and conference on November 8 on the theme “Towards a High Growth Economy in the Asean: Managing Expectations, Creating Policy Spaces and Sustaining Reforms.” Australian National University professor Hal Hill will deliver the keynote address.   PES annual conferences are held every second week of November as part of its observation of the Economic and Financial Literacy Week, which is mandated under Republic Act 10922. PES is expected to lead private-sector efforts in improving the level of economic and financial understanding of the Filipino public.

Trade gap grows 124% to $3.93B in September. . . to remember that GVCs are now under fire because of the US-China trade conflict. This is on top of the challenges posed by automation, artificial intelligence and robotization on the growth and stability of the Philippine economy, according to Ofreneo.  The labor economist noted that investing in the Philippines can be the way forward. Data released by the Board of Investment (BOI) showed direct investmentsincreased156percent in the January-to-October period.  “In BOI, investors realize that the Philippines is a big market, so they are taking advantage of the domestic market, and that’s an opportunity for the government to look inward,” Ofreneo said. Meanwhile, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said boosting domestic demand is crucial at this time given the weakness in global demand.  Pernia said the country can attract more foreign and local investments through the implementation of the Ease of Doing Business Act and enactment of the 11th Regular Foreign Investment Negative List.  “Given the weak global demand, the country must really pump up domestic demand. We need to encour-

age expansion of domestic firms, and also encourage foreign investment in domestic market-oriented firms,” Pernia said. The Philippines’s importation of rice and oil as well as the government’s “Build, Build, Build” program, contributed significantly to increasing the country’s trade deficit in September. The National Economic and Development Authority said shipments of capital goods increased the country’s import bill in September.  Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed imports of capital goods reached $2.95 billion or 30.2 percent of imports in September 2018. It grew 25.4 percent from the September 2017 import value of $2.35 billion. “The growth in import of capital goods could indicate that firms are making long-term investments. The import of raw materials and intermediate goods could also indicate the vibrancy of the manufacturing sector as it is expected to sustain its positive growth in the remaining months of the 2018,” Pernia said. “Philippine import payments are seen to remain elevated until 2019, primarily due to imports of capital goods and raw materials to sustain

the government’s Build, Build, Build infrastructure and manufacturing resurgence programs,” he added.

Import bill

MEANWHILE, the Philippines’s import bill from the top 10 countries amounted to $7.47 billion, or a share of 76.6 percent of the total imports in September 2018. People’s Republic of China was the country’s biggest supplier of imports, with a 19-percent share worth $1.86 billion in September. This was followed by Republic of Korea with 11.2 percent, or an import value of $1.09 billion; and Japan, with an import value of $858.44 million in September 2018 or a share of 8.8 percent. In terms of total exports, PSA data showed receipts from the country’s top 10 market destinations for September 2018 reached $4.73 billion, accounting for 81.2 percent of the total exports. The United States ranked first with exports valued at $966.35 million, or 16.6 percent of the total exports for September 2018. This was followed by Hong Kong with an export value of $822.7 million, or a share of 14.1 percent of total exports in September

continued from a1

2018; and Japan, including Okinawa, came third with export shipments valued at $749.38 million, or a share of 12.9 percent.

ALK the talk. So saying, the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) on Wednesday called on politicians, who defended the P25 wage hike in Metro Manila, to try living by with only the existing minimum wage to spend. BMP Chairman Leody de Guzman issued the challenge to Vice President Maria Leonor G. Robredo, Presidential Spokesman and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador S. Panelo and Kabayan Party-list Rep. Ron P. Salo for suggesting workers should just accept the wage increase.  Instead of such empathy-laden statements, de Guzman called for more “proactive” and “concrete” actions from the said officials to help minimum-wage earners in the National Capital Region (NCR) cope with rising cost of living.  “Come down from your ivory towers and end your lip service of being pro-poor. If you truly believe that P25 is better than nothing, take the minimum-wage challenge or join us in the streets to demand our fair share of the social wealth we created,” de Guzman said in a news statement.  Labor groups unanimously rejected the P25 wage hike approved by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board-NCR (RTWPB-

NCR) since they claimed it is less than the amount needed by workers to offset the effect of rising inflation in Metro Manila.   Based from the study of IBON Foundation, the new wage rate in NCR is still below the needed income of a family of five in NCR to survive.  “The P537 minimum wage is P488 or 47.6 percent short of the P1,025 family living wage or the amount that a family of five needs for decent living as of October 2018,” the independent research group said in a separate statement.  Citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, IBON Foundation also noted establishments in NCR could afford to increase daily minimum wage to P750 if they are generous enough to endure a reduction in profits.  “NCR firms with 20 or more employees had combined profits of P903 billion in 2015 and gave an average daily basic pay of P530...P750 will cost just P132 billion or 14.6 percent of employers’ profits,” IBON said.  Labor officials earlier said the approval of the RTWPB-NCR for a P25 wage hike was primarily determined by that capacity of employers to afford it.   To address the issue, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines said it is now planning to file another wage petition at the regional wage board.

TheBroa PHL navigates rough waters A4


Thursday, November 8, 2018


By Bernadette D. Nicolas


HE Philippines is blessed with thousands of beautiful islands. This is a blessing that comes at a huge cost: the cost of moving.

Pundits have pointed out that one of the factors attributed to the Philippines having the highest logistics cost among the members of regional bloc Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) is the fact that the country is an archipelago. It also doesn’t help that this disadvantage is coupled with the country’s long-overdue infrastructure gap and regulations that were deemed inconsistent and burdensome. In the Philippines, logistical costs account for 24 percent to 53 percent of wholesale prices. Shipping costs and port-handling costs cover 8 percent to 30 percent relative to the routes used to transport and roughly 5 percent of the retail price of goods, according to a separate report by the Department of Trade and Industry. Despite this, the country jumped 11 notches to 60th out of 168 countries in a 2018 ranking by the World Bank. Called Logistics Performance Index (LPI), the world’s biggest lender claims it created the LPI as an interactive benchmarking tool to help countries identify the challenges and opportunities faced in trade logistics. In 2016, the country ranked 71st among 160 countries. However, compared to its Asean neighbors, the Philippines ranked in the middle as it placed sixth out of 10 member-states.

Low competitiveness

ALTHOUGH there was a significant improvement in the country’s LPI, experts agree more still needs to be done to remove the roadblocks for the Philippines to have a robust logistics market. One of these is Australianbased logistics expert Jose L. Tongzon. He told the BusinessMirror that nowadays companies compete not just in product quality but also in logistics cost and efficiency as consumers increasingly buy online. Tongzon also warned that slow and expensive logistics because of delays or bureaucratic red tape could lead to much higher transaction cost and lower competitiveness. “Overall, logistics flows because of trade. If there is a lack of exports or shortage of exports or we can’t export as much as we like, well, we don’t have the competitiveness because, you see, logistics now is the source of competitiveness,” said Tongzon, who is also a logistics professor at an established branch of Inha University in Tashkent. “So if we don’t have that [logistics], our trade will decline.” Worse, local logistics providers may soon be out of business if the Philippines cannot become competitive in providing efficient logistics services, he added. “Because our logistics performance is poor, definitely we need to improve logistics in order to export more,” Tongzon explained. He added that improving logistics is “definitely a crucial part” of how the country can benefit from the Asean integration.

Overall results

HOWEVER, everything is easier said than done in this case as the Philippines is not alone in ensuring the seamless flow of transport of goods. While the country embarks on massive infrastructure projects through the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” pro-

gram, other Asean member-states such as Thailand and Vietnam are also working double time to enhance theirs. Thailand and Vietnam jumped to the top two and three spots, respectively, among Asean members based on the latest overall LPI results. The Philippines’ LPI is low “because our infrastructure is not progressing as much as we like and so definitely infrastructure is something that we want to improve,” Tongzon said. “In addition to infrastructure, we also need to improve our regulatory framework, the quality of these regulations, [and] we need to introduce more competition in our coastal shipping.” Among the six LPI components measured by the World Bank, the Philippines recorded its highest score in international shipments, where it placed 37th. Timeliness was, however, the country’s weakest link—it ranked 100th in this category. In infrastructure, the Philippines ranked 67th, while it placed 69th in logistics quality and competence. Other components include tracking and tracing (57th) and customs (85th).

Good ideas

BASED on World Bank data, Vietnam lagged behind in 2010 and in 2012 compared to the Philippines in overall LPI. However, starting in 2014 and up to 2018, Vietnam has already outperformed the Philippines in overall LPI. Aside from better port infrastructure, Vietnam now also boasts of a regulatory framework, owing to its move to fully liberalize foreign ownership of up to 100 percent, especially for logistics companies, Tongzon noted. Meanwhile, through the years Thailand has since exceeded the country’s logistics performance since the index started in 2007. The Thais have also continuously improved their infrastructure, such as building railways that helped them solve the problem of congestion, said Tongzon. The latest results of the World Bank LPI came as the Philippines’ ports still cannot handle bigger ships, prompting the country to rely on transshipment to other ports in the regions. This adds up to the logistics cost and also affects the timeliness of the delivery of goods, Tongzon noted. “If we can attract bigger ships to our port then it will lead to sure lower cost and lower lead time, transit time,” he added. “And that would be good for exporters and importers.” Moreover, a lot of shipping lines also complain of the difficulty of getting permits, so he said it is a good idea for the government to streamline regulatory procedures.


TONGZON said the efficiency in logistics services was also affected by the lack of competition in the market, which he attributed to the foreign-ownership restriction in the Constitution. According to the Charter, foreign ownership of public utilities, which include shipping, is limited to a maximum 40-percent foreign equity. Thus, bills seeking to amend the Public Service Act to open up the competition for public services were filed and are still up for scru-

tiny by lawmakers. The measure also aims to give a clear definition of public utility and public services. House Bill 5828 was approved on third reading by the lower chamber and was transmitted to the Senate in September last year. Several bills were also lodged in the upper chamber. In theory, infusing more competition in the market, such as logistics, should bring down prices, said Enrico L. Basilio, an assistant professor of Public Administration at the University of the Phil-

ippines-National College of Public Administration and Governance. Basilio was also appointed in 2010 as Alternate Philippine Representative to the Asean High Level Task Force on Connectivity. The Task Force was behind the Asean Master Plan on Connectivity that identified the Asean RoRo network as one of its 10 flagship projects.

Intermodal transport

AS one of the prime movers of the roll-on roll-off (RoRo) policy, which

provided an alternative mode of transport that has been emulated across Asean, Basilio still believes that most of the logistic bottlenecks are in infrastructure. To connect the country’s many islands, Basilio pointed out that the government must focus on improving intermodal transport to transport goods. Aside from investments being hindered by policy constraints, Basilio lamented that several regulatory offices are also conflicted in their interest since they serve both

sides of the fence for being both a regulator and operator. He explained that regulatory agencies, like the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., cannot wear two hats at the same time since it is inevitable that they will tend to benefit from their own regulation. “It is not surprising, therefore, why PPA always approves petitions for increase even when there are no petitioners, no public hear-



Editor: Dennis D. Estopace | Thursday, November 8, 2018


s of Asean logistics industry shipping network aside from the Davao-General Santos-Bitung link. The latter was launched by President Duterte and Indonesian President Joko Widodo in April 2017.

Trade bloc

THE Davao-General Santos-Bitung link began at the tail end of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s term and was carried over to the next administration. This was supposed to be the country’s first RoRo link with Indonesia. However, operations for this RoRo link have since been temporarily stopped. A report said it only had two trips after its launch. According to Lowell Elim, business development manager of Asian Marine Transport Corp., the operations were suspended since May or June last year because there were no real cargo. Elim said this reflects low trade levels. He said the issue lies with the Indonesian government not issuing a permit for particular cargo coming from the Philippines. These include animal feeds, flour and steel products that will be entering Indonesia. Since the operations were suspended, it remains a mystery why Indonesia took this option, according to Elim. He added the company’s 55 containers are still at the Bitung port. “[The containers are still there] until now, because we are hoping that it [Davao-General Santos-Bitung link] will still continue but, sad to say, it seemed like we have waited for so long. For us, there is no problem, we will still serve as long as there will be real cargo within that route,” he said. “That’s why our problem is if it will not push through, what will happen to our containers? That’s our risk there.”


Indonesia issue

ings conducted and/or no financial statements evaluated to ascertain the economic or financial justification for the rate increase,” read the separate research paper written by Basilio in 2003. That year he was still director of Transport and Logistics Center for Research and Communication at the University of Asia and the Pacific.


ASKED if there were bills being filed to address conflicts of interest, Basilio cited House Bill 8005

filed by Rep. Arthur C. Yap (Third District of Bohol). It is still pending in the lower chamber. The measure proposes that PPA’s regulatory functions be transferred to the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) while its operator functions could be handled by a new agency called the Philippine Ports Corp. Basilio noted such initiatives as proof that the government is also doing something to solve the problem of overall infrastructure. This was his reaction to the drop

in ranking for such category— one notch to 113th place—at the Global Competitiveness Index 2017-2018 of the World Economic Forum. Basilio said the government’s action of addressing the infrastructure bottleneck is like hitting two birds with one stone because cargoes are also in the bellies of planes used to transport passengers. In fact, he said the country is launching two more Asean RoRo links under the Asean RoRo

ELIM said they have already reached out to the government about their concern, “but all we got as response is, they will look into it.” Nonetheless, he said they remain optimistic the Davao-General Santos-Bitung link operations would be revived. Elim added the company is also open to operate in future Asean connection routes. Basilio said the Mindanao Development Authority is already in discussions with officials representing the BIMP-Eaga (Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-MalaysiaPhilippines East Asean Growth Area) as well as their Indonesian counterparts regarding the matter. “Our Philippine representatives to the Asean Business Advisory Council are also taking up the matter during the meetings,” he said. Amid this hiccup, Basilio said he is still optimistic the DavaoGeneral Santos-Bitung link will be operational again and soon. He added more international shipping routes will also soon be opened by the government to connect the Philippines in the global value chain. Basilio added the Transportation department is working on the launch of the second Asean RoRo link between the Philippines and Malaysia via the Buliluyan (Palawan)-Kudat route. Moreover, Filipino proponents have also expressed their interest to establish the Batangas (Philippines)-Humen (China)-Da Nang (Vietnam) RoRo link after a proposal has been made.

Consistent inconsistence

BASILIO noted an inconsistency with what is happening on the ground and the Duterte administration’s pronouncement of more public-private partnerships (PPP) for the infrastructure program as stated on its 10-point socioeconomic agenda. In a separate paper on his assessment of Duterte’s second year in office, Basilio said a cur-

sory look at the 61 “Build, Build, Build” projects indicated that only 17 will be implemented through PPP modalities. “As mentioned earlier, five airport O&M [operation and maintenance] projects were taken out of the PPP list in 2017, leaving the actual PPP projects under the BBB Program to only 12 projects [20 percent],” he said. Basilio said almost all of the existing PPP projects (expressways like Calax and Tplex, Light/Metro Rail Transits like MRT 7 and LRT 1 South Extension) were already there before Duterte assumed the presidency nearly three years ago. “There is hardly any new PPP project in the market.” Meanwhile, official development assistance (ODA) loan availments have gone up by $1.47 billion in 2017 from $10.8 billion. “Leading the country’s ODA sources are Japan (Jica), World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB). Other foreign ODA lenders include France, South Korea and the AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank),” he said in the paper. Basilio noted that PPP would have been the key for improvements in the logistics performance of the Philippines since the government may be able to seek help from the private sector for its infrastructure projects to solve the bottlenecks and challenges that have hounded the country for years. “Therefore PPP is one good avenue because you are now mobilizing not only the expertise of the private sector in nation building especially for development but also their resources,” Basilio said.

Slower PPP

BUDGET Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno demurred, saying the government is still doing many projects under PPP financing mode. Still, Diokno conceded the latter takes too much time compared to tapping ODA. “Realization of projects through PPP is slower and, besides, the previous administration didn’t have ODA before because they were not in good terms with China before,” Diokno told the BusinessMirror in Filipino. “But the President has been pushing for more agreements with Japan, China and Korea.” Diokno gave assurances the government is doing its part to improve the country’s competitiveness in its logistics performance by focusing on airports and seaports. He agrees that Filipinos should not be happy where the Philippines is right now in terms of its logistics performance. “[The Philippines is] not that competitive in logistics,” he said. “We can stand more improvement.”

Handed down

OF course, having more PPP is not a one-size-fits-all solution as there are more challenges in terms of alleged “excessive” international shipping charges imposed by foreign shipping companies. Basilio said this costs the Philippine economy an estimated $2 billion to $5 billion in losses a year. The issue was also the same subject of the joint study he coauthored as chairman of the joint committees on Transport and Logistics of the Export Development Council and the National Competitiveness Council. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has already asked the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) to specifically look into the “questionable” destination and origin charges imposed on local importers and exporters. In the case of imports, freight accounts for an average of only 39 percent of the total amount paid to international shipping lines, while the “destination charges” levied on Philippine imports by the carriers account for 61 percent, the document noted.

For exports, freight costs account for an average of 25 percent of the total amount paid to international shipping lines, while the “origin charges” imposed on Philippine exporters account for 75 percent. With this scheme, local importers who get their raw materials abroad to export their products suffer two times as much compared to foreign importers in other countries. Therefore, this may cause importers to later on pass the excess shipping costs to their consumers. “Because if you are an importer, then you export; that’s a double whammy because you already paid for a destination charge then you still need to pay origin charge. If you are an importer [of materials] for local manufacture, consumers will be affected because what you paid there will be passed to them,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino. “If you import finished products for consumption, then it’s the same, you will still pass it to them. The SMEs [small and medium enterprises] are at a disadvantage.”

Under study

PENDING results of the PCC study, Basilio hopes the issue would be sorted out as soon as possible for them to know what course of action they will take. But first, they want to know the nature and purpose of these charges and if these are reasonably imposed. “You have to tell me what is the nature of the cost and then if they determined that it’s valid, then my next question is, if it is reasonable or if the weight is correct. I’m questioning; we are making them explain. Then that is what PCC is trying to do now,” he said. But for former Tariff Commissioner George N. Manzano, the Philippines is better compared to lower developing countries except on the timeliness of delivery of goods as there is still congestion in the airports and seaports leading to higher cost. “If you are not going to deliver on time, then the next country that depends on your intermediate goods will not be able to operate. If you are part of that network, you have to guarantee that you know you are able to be on time, otherwise, the whole system will suffer and if you are not dependable, then you will be cut off from the trade of goods,” he said. “In this way, you can’t take advantage of opportunities.”

Boosting confidence

NEVERTHELESS, Manzano expressed support for the government’s initiative to mainly improve infrastructure; however, he noted that both the hardware and the software side of logistics should be addressed. “Many times infrastructure takes time to build, and there are many issues involved like right of way, so maybe that is something that has hampered Philippine competitiveness,” he added. No matter how uncertain the country will go as far as logistics is concerned for now, Manzano said this does not mean that the country is not ready yet to participate in the Asean integration or in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the proposed free-trade agreement among 16 nations in the Asia-Pacific region, including the 10 Asean membercountries. The country can simultaneously tread the path toward improvement of its logistics performance, as well as actively do its part in Asean integration. Though the archipelagic nature of the Philippines may come as a challenge, this gives the government more reason to work harder and be more efficient in its logistics performance. “We cannot connect one island to the other, so we need to be more efficient and be more creative,” he said.

A6 Thursday, November 8, 2018 • Editor: Angel R. Calso

Opinion BusinessMirror


Joy to the world of Philippine telco


PIPE dream”. That was how nonbelievers called the huge expectations that the Duterte administration would name a third telco player in 2018. But thanks to the untiring efforts of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), the entry of a new major player in the telecommunications industry is now assured. We commend these agencies for their efficiency in performing their respective roles to help make the pipe dream a reality. On December 19, 2017, President Duterte directed the DICT and the NTC to ensure the entry of a new major player in the telecommunications industry that will provide the best possible services at reasonably accessible prices. In less than a year, after surmounting various oppositions and stumbling blocks, the two agencies have done a good job of evaluating the qualifications of a third telco player that will challenge the existing major players PLDT-Smart and Globe Telecom. President Duterte, as he promised earlier, will officially announce the third telco player before Christmas. The Chief Executive is also seen announcing the awarding of frequencies, permits and licenses for the new telco to operate and rollout its infrastructure and services nationwide. Acting DICT Secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr.’s decision to stick to the deadline for the submission and opening of bids on November 7 is commendable. Otherwise, deadline extensions will have no end. Rio said he did not see any point in delaying the selection process as most of the prospective bidders for the new major telco player have already studied the guidelines during its deliberations and assessed their capability to provide communication services. NTC chief Gamaliel Cordoba said expectations from the new telco player seem huge and the stakes are quite high as the new major player is required to follow a strict set of rules over a five-year period. He said: “On its very first year, the third telco should be able to service 15 percent of the population—that is, 25 percent of cities, as well as 10 percent of first- and second-class municipalities and 5 percent of third- and fourth-class municipalities.” It was not all-smooth sailing for the DICT and NTC. Less than a month before the opening of bids, Now Telecom, a third telco contender, petitioned the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) to issue a writ of preliminary injunction against NTC alleging that the provisions in the terms of reference were not taken up during a series of public consultations, particularly the P700-million participation security, and the P24-billion performance security. It said the P10-million nonrefundable appeal fee serves as barrier to entry and a “money-making scheme” imposed against the third telco. The DICT has stressed that these provisions will ensure that contenders have the financial and technical capability to deliver telco services in the country in competition with the existing duopoly. The RTC, however, junked the petition saying Now Telecom has no legal right to be entitled to a writ of preliminary injunction as the company has participated in the selection process only through the purchase of bidding documents. On Wednesday NTC’s Selection Committee declared Mislatel with Udenna Corp., Chelsea Holdings and China Telecom as the provisional new major player. The consortium will be subjected to Document Verification Phase. We hope that the ending of the so-called Philippine telcoserye will bring joy to a lot of people. Since 2005

BusinessMirror A broader look at today’s business ✝ Ambassador Antonio L. Cabangon Chua Founder Publisher Editor in Chief Associate Editor News Editor Senior Editors



OST people’s understating of inflation is about the same as a six-year-old child’s understanding of where babies come from. It is easier to tell the small child that babies come from “mommy’s tummy.” However, we all have a vested interest in making sure the next generation knows how to procreate. Otherwise, the human race dies off and the dinosaurs take over again. But when it comes to inflation, it seems that there is an effort to limit reproof to: “It’s the government’s fault,” “The rich oligarchs are to blame,” and “Inflation is just a part of modern economies.” If you notice, most “inflation information” comes from the government and its academic cronies. Both treat “We the People” as “intellectually challenged.” While it is a fact that long-term inflation trends are virtually always the result of misguided government policy, our response should really be “Who cares?” It is not the fact that we experience typhoons. It is how we

respond to the storm. Inflation eats into purchasing power, forcing money to seek a return high enough to offset the inflation. But this is a double-edged sword. If you own apartments, you raise the rents to make more money. But your tenants—because of inflation—may not be able to pay the higher rent. The landlord wants both full-occupancy and higher rents, which may not be possible. Conventional wisdom says that higher inflation reduces stock prices but in practice that applies most specifically to issues bought for dividend yield. If a stock is paying a 4-percent dividend and inflation is 10 percent, the stock price may go down so that the dividend yield goes higher. From an investment standpoint, stocks are like all other commodities

Cecilio T. Arillo


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Conventional wisdom says that higher inflation reduces stock prices but in practice that applies most specifically to issues bought for dividend yield. If a stock is paying a 4-percent dividend and inflation is 10 percent, the stock price may go down so that the dividend yield goes higher.

and if the price of condos, rice, and movie tickets are going higher, stock prices can also. Venezuela’s hyperinflation brought “hyperinflation” to its stock market. From the middle of 2017 to 2018, the VEN stock market was up 73,000 percent—that is not a typo error. Of course inflation put prices 400,000 percent higher. Studies of inflation’s effect on stock prices are almost worthless. From a review on several long-term research papers: “Most studies conclude that expected inflation can either positively or negatively impact stocks.” Not much help but the key word is “expected.” “Unexpected inflation” showed more conclusive findings and that was, it all depended on where the economy was in the boom/bust economic cycle. During the period from 1990 to 2018, the correlation of local stock prices and inflation was fairly clear: inflation up, stock market mostly

down. However, a higher rate of inflation did not impact stock prices significantly over time. Conversely though, decreasing inflation over time did “move” prices higher. It is still a market of stocks. Therefore, the strategy should be that higher inflation means a more cautious approach. Certain issues will be less affected and others will react more negatively. Be selective. However, if the inflation rate is going down, then a more aggressive approach is worth it. Flat to decreasing inflation after 2010 was obviously not the reason prices moved higher. But the more favorable inflation rate did not pour cold water on investor buying like higher inflation has in 2018. If inflation has peaked—and I think it already has although one month does not make a trend—we may see stock prices move higher. Two things must be added to the equation. First, the peso must continue to strengthen—which I think it will because the recent US election will push the dollar lower. Second, the economy must continue to show strength. E-mail me at Visit my web site at Follow me on Twitter @mangunonmarkets. PSE stockmarket information and technical analysis tools provided by the COL Financial Group Inc.

Martial law, human rights and other stark issues

Lourdes M. Fernandez

Ruben M. Cruz Jr. Angel R. Calso


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T. Anthony C. Cabangon

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Stock Market 015: The market and inflation


The widow’s wrath


ORAZON COJUANGCO-AQUINO had used the term “reconciliation” so much, people began to believe in its possibility. But the reconciliation she had in mind did not quite tell its dictionary meaning. It was peculiar, in that it would be pursued strictly on her terms. In her vindictiveness against the Marcoses, President Aquino committed a far graver injury: she compromised Philippine sovereignty. She not only allowed, but encouraged, a foreign government to try a Philippine national in its courts, for alleged violations of Philippine laws against fellow Filipinos on Philippine soil. It was a waiver of Philippine judicial sovereignty, which she consummated only by junking the 1973 Constitution and, later, by disregarding her own 1987 Constitution. The most authoritative book on the subject of the Marcoses’ trials

in America, The Two Billion Dollar Human Rights Uproar, noted: “In effect, all the parties in the cases waived the Philippine sovereignty, except the Marcoses. This in itself was an anomaly. The rule is, only Congress can waive the state’s immunity from suit, but not even Congress—much less the Executive– can waive sovereignty. “Very clearly, sovereignty has not been vested by the Constitution in either the Executive or the Legislative. Sovereignty, as the Constitution declares, ‘resides in the people’ [Article II, Section 1]; the very preamble

Cory’s obsession to damn and stigmatize the Marcoses was not just an inordinate waste of energy and resources: It also kept the nation divided. Laurel noted that “her policy of vengeance and retribution fueled a power struggle that would last beyond the end of her term.”

of the Constitution thus starts: ‘We, the sovereign Filipino people...’ “As to the Americans...they cannot to this day explain why the Marcoses had to be tried in America. Perhaps, because it was the first time that they had been pressed to accept a nation’s waiver of sovereignty, they were at a loss for words. Political accommodation and publicity mileage for some politicians were obviously among the reasons, but these could hardly be offered as honorable justification. Many Americans, indeed, were scandalized by their government’s judicial imperialism.” The situation eventually got out of hand. When PCGG Chairman David Castro on June 19, 1992—11 days from the end of Cory’s tenure— wrote US officials for the transfer to Philippine courts of cases

pending against the Marcoses, he was disregarded. There was no respect left for Philippine sovereignty. In Hawaii, the human-rights class suit against the Marcos estate continued to be tried until Judge Manuel Real reached a decision on January 27, 1995. It may be recalled that President Marcos had reestablished Philippine sovereignty over the US military bases in the Philippines in 1979. In her hatred for the Marcoses, Cory trifled with sovereignty, as if to undo or belittle what he had done. This cheered not just the bounty hunters, who would go to any depth to get their hands on the assets of the Marcoses. Equally elated were the false nationalists of the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Party and their National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) who cheered US judicial imperialism. The Truth and Justice Foundation (TJF) said: “The NDFP rejoiced this stinging slap to Philippine sovereignty, as if only the Philippine government, and not the Filipino people themselves, suffered the humiliation. Jubilantly, they claimed Judge Manuel Real’s verdict as their own. See “Arillo,” A7

Opinion BusinessMirror

Energy World’s LNG project left out in Cusi’s list

Unselfish love and generosity Msgr. Sabino A. Vengco Jr.


Val A. Villanueva



NERGY Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi says he wants the Philippines to become a liquefied natural gas (LNG) hub in Southeast Asia because of its strategic location.

Based on the Philippine Downstream Natural Gas Rules, any corporate entity that is qualified can participate, but only one will be chosen. Cusi recently said that the Department of Energy (DOE) will award the project to the winning consortium within the month, and announced three serious proponents from among others: the state-run Philippine National Oil Co., China National Offshore Oil Corp. and Tokyo Gas. I don’t know if Cusi is just experiencing a “senior moment” or he deliberately left out the LNG project in Pagbilao, Quezon, of Australianbased Energy World Corp. (EWC), which is now 90-percent complete. EWC’s Hub Receiving Terminal, a 650-megawatt (MW) combined cycle gas-fired power plant, is set to become a hub of LNG distribution around the country once it becomes fully operational. The only problem it has—through no fault of its own—is that it has not yet been allowed to tap into a distribution grid. It defies logic how Cusi could have forgotten that EWC’s project has already been given the green light by the Energy Regulatory Commission to develop a point-to-point transmission facility to connect its 650-MW combined cycle gas plant to the power grid. The government regulatory agency allowed EWC to develop the P694-million transmission facility to connect its power plant to the new Pagbilao Station of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines. The project has also been screened in several Senate hearings in full view of the public.  Cusi’s action—deliberate or not—could spark negative repercussions among foreign investors. The unwanted delay experienced by EWC’s project has already piqued Australian investors, some of whom have written to BusinessWise to express their disgust at how the government unfairly treats foreign investors in the country. EWC is a publicly listed company in the Australian stock exchange. Perhaps Cusi should be reminded that the project has already reached an advanced stage of construction for both the LNG Hub Terminal and the Power Station. The LNG Hub Terminal, the first of its kind in the Philippines, can process 3 million tons of LNG per annum, which is sufficient enough to generate up to 3,000 MW of gas-fired power plants, and, with the second tank currently being constructed, up to 6,000 MW of power. The project costs over $750 million of direct investment in the Philippines, and has created over 800 direct jobs during the construction period. The project represents an investment of over $750 mil-

Arillo . . .

continued from A6

“So enthused were the communists and the NDFP by Judge Real’s verdict that they opposed its review by any Philippine court. Communist Party [founding] Chairman and NDFP Chief Political Consultant Jose Maria Sison has attacked as “utterly wrong and unjust” the idea of subjecting the enforcement of the judgment “to court proceedings in the Philippines and to reporting by the Philippine government.” “This unprincipled volte-face by the ultra-nationalists of yesteryears was precipitated by greed. The NDFP

lion, of which EWC has already invested approximately $600 million of its own funds, with the balance of $150 million being financed by Philippine banks. EWC has also provided a full corporate guarantee under the loan facility covering repayment of the loan and interest to lenders on time and in full, even if the project faces unplanned delays. EWC signed the loan financing for its Power Station in September 2015 with the Development Bank of the Philippines, Land Bank of the Philippines and Asia United Bank. There were 49 condition precedents to satisfy in order for lenders to release loan funds. EWC says it has now satisfied 48 condition precedents, except for the last, which involves EWC tapping transmission to the grid. This project is for real, while the three companies—from which one will bag the LNG project—are just “serious proponents,” as Cusi himself announced. The other interested companies are Lloyds Energy, PhilLNG Lte. Ptd., BKB consortium, Cleanway Energy Development Corp., First Gen Corp., Tokyo Gas Corp., China National Offshore Oil Corp., Philippine National Oil Co., Vires Energy Corp. and SK E&S Co. Ltd., Transformation Ltd., Carmine Energy PTE Ltd., Atlantic Gulf & Pacific of Manila, Jera Co. Inc., Limay LNG Power Corp., Kepco E&C and Osaka Gas Co. Ltd. Interestingly, at the start of Cusi’s stint as DOE chief, one of the first things he did was to visit the EWC Pagbilao LNG Hub. How the existence of the project now escapes his memory is beyond me. Before the country could even protest our poor ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business, the government should first look at itself in the mirror. Consider this: India moved up in ranking from 130 (2017) to 100 (2018). It ranked below us in 2017 (the Philippines was ranked 113 in 2017), but India is now at 100th place, and our country is at 124. That’s a huge drop of seven places for us, while India leapfrogged by 30! The country couldn’t even stick to its contractual obligations with foreign investors, often changing rules in midstream. Just take a look at the Malampaya tax dispute (that is another story) and the suspicious delay of the EWC Pagbilao LNG Hub. The Philippines keeps on shooting itself in the foot. It has failed to embark on a strong reform agenda to improve business climate, and does not even seem to have a consistent rule book for investors to follow.

Thursday, November 8, 2018 A7


HE most important double commandment of wholehearted love of God and of neighbor is doable to the extent that the believer is purified of self-centeredness and is willing to offer himself/herself no less. Jesus, in His integrity of life points out to us the discrepancy manifested in the egoism of some religious professionals and on the other hand the heroic example in unselfish giving by a widow (Mark 12:38-44).

Beware! IF Jesus could gladly tell a scribe, who echoed His teaching on the greatest commandment, that He is not far from the kingdom of God, Jesus is also unerring in our first gospel scene in exposing the discordant behavior of many of the religious elite. Though these scribes clearly know the summons of the One God to Israel and the law of love of neighbor (Deuteronomy 6:4; Leviticus 19:18), they have not all taken them to heart, instead they have been carrying on in hypocrisy and pious pretensions. In fact, there are those whose ostentatious piety

simply cloaks their exploitation of the vulnerable. The contradiction is obvious when scribes as the experts of the law are driven not by the love of the law and the obedience to the law, but by the external perks connected with the law. Some continue to wear in public the long robe worn at prayer in the synagogue, to display that one is prayerful and be admired for it. There is addiction to treatments of deference and the enjoyment of privileges. Public acclaim is so vital, outward displays are deemed essential; the ego feeds on adulation. Alas, self-love has substituted for the love

of God and has replaced the love of neighbor. The neighbor, the needy widows praying for help, is exploited in the name of religion. Severe condemnation follows such a scheming contradiction to God who is “Father of orphans and protector of widows” (Psalm 68:5).

Total giving

IN the second gospel scene, Jesus, sitting opposite the temple treasury, indicates His critical position on the entire money-business pervading the area. The sound of money rolling down the trumpet-shaped containers for the donations for the temple upkeep must have been clearly announcing the generosity of donors. It is a public affair where large sums make an unmistakable sound and are intended to be noted, while the smallest coin like the two dropped in by the poor widow hardly make a noise and is barely noticed. Jesus was not evaluating the amount of the contributions, but the source of the offerings. Jesus is not concerned with the rich donors, who give to the temple out of their surplus and give what they do not need. The rich take care of themselves and are not exploited like the little ones. Jesus is struck by the genuine generosity of the

poor widow who donated the little that she had, giving what she herself needed. Reaching deep into herself, she stripped herself of her material hold in life, and out of her poverty she put in everything she had. The widow’s unselfish giving indicates absolute trust in God. Unlike those who display what good they do in order to reap acclaim, the widow in her true generosity did not look for recognition and reward, as she simply carried out her responsibility and placed the rest in the hands of God. Alálaong bagá, if Jesus is the way to enter the kingdom of God, it is because His life is the kind of life that truly means communion of life and love with God. It is a life of absolute love of God to whom He offered Himself totally. It is a life of self-emptying as He gave himself up in expiation for our sins and for our benefits. And he now stands before God as our mediator, interceding for all and bringing salvation to those who believe in Him. Jesus is truly the ultimate example of unselfish love and generosity who has set a standard we need to imitate. Join me in meditating on the Word of God every Sunday, from 5 to 6 a.m. on DWIZ 882, or by audio streaming on

Trade union demands: Unchanged from 1987 to present

For comments and suggestions, e-mail me at

More important, the Aquino administration came up with a New Constitution that was seen by the unions as “pro-labor.” Under Section 5, Article II, the Charter mandates the State to promote “social justice to insure the well-being and economic security of all the people.” Under Section 1, Article III, the Charter also guarantees the right of the people “to form associations or societies not contrary to law.” As if these are not enough, the 1987 Constitution has provisions (under Section 3, Article XIII) that are quite explicit and emphatic on the various rights of the workers. The said Section provides for the following: “The State shall afford full protection to labor, local and overseas, organized and unorganized, and promote full employment and equality of employment opportunities for all. “It shall guarantee the rights of all workers to self-organization, collective bargaining and negotiations, and peaceful concerted

activities, including the right to strike in accordance with law. They shall be entitled to security of tenure, humane conditions of work and a living wage. They shall also participate in policy and decision-making processes affecting their rights and benefits as may be provided by law. “The State shall promote the principle of shared responsibility between workers and employers and the preferential use of voluntary modes in settling disputes, including conciliation, and shall enforce their mutual compliance therewith to foster industrial peace.” (underscoring supplied) Given the foregoing historical backdrop, the LACC-affiliated unions were encouraged to develop a full-blown Labor Agenda that could give life to the above provisions of the Constitution. The Labor Agenda covers three areas: labor relations, employment and economic policies, and human rights and social justice. A cursory review of the 1987 Labor Agenda is eerily shocking to

this writer. Many of the proposals advanced by the unions then (1987) are still the same demands being aired or articulated, sometimes angrily, by the unions today (2018). Key 1987 proposals worth citing here as follows: In the area of labor relations— the Labor Code should “provide that workers, without distinction whatsoever as to their status or tenure, should have the right to establish and…join organizations of their own choosing.” Today, the trade union movement covers a miniscule percentage of the labor force because unionism is considered the right of only the regular employees, who constitute a minority in the formal labor market because of widespread short-term hiring practices (project, contractual, endo). The legislative proposal recognizing the right of workers in the informal sector (which accounts for the bulk of the labor force) to form their own associations has been languishing in Congress. On labor relations in the public sector, the Corazon Aquino administration allowed the revival of public-sector unionism. However, the enabling law on public-sector industrial relations, as proposed by the LACC and the late Dean Froilan Bacungan of the UP College of Law, has not been acted upon. Hence, labor relations in the public sector is sometimes compared to purgatory because the rules governing union-agency relations are not firmly established. In the area of employment and economic policy, the LACC’s position was dramatically opposite to the Neda program of trade and economic liberalization. The LACC’s proposal: comprehensive nationalist industrialization that promotes the development of local industries and the domestic market, as well as the participation of labor. Also, the LACC’s demands include stricter rules, with penal sanctions, against “illegal”

salivated at the $2 billion that the US court adjudicated as damages for the claimants,” said the TJF. Cory’s obsession to damn and stigmatize the Marcoses was not just an inordinate waste of energy and resources: It also kept the nation divided. Laurel noted that “her policy of vengeance and retribution fueled a power struggle that would last beyond the end of her term.” The TJF asked: Was Cory vindictive? She made efforts to shed the label, using the rhetorical eraser, the TJF said, quoting Cory: “The politics of revenge has had its day.... I want to encourage people to seek redress in the law, despite the inconvenience, rather than in

vindictiveness, which has no end.” She was apparently no stranger to vindictiveness. She knew it well enough to discern that “it has no end.” In telling Congress during her State of the Nation Address on July 22, 1991, that the politics of revenge has had its day, she did not categorically deny having engaged in such politics earlier. As to the implied guarantee that there would be no more politics of revenge, subsequent events would establish that this was not matched by practice. Rare became the writers who clung to the belief that Cory was not vindictive. One of these was Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz who wrote in 1998: “There is no trace of anger,

regret or bitterness in Cory Aquino, even though the mastermind...behind Ninoy’s murder remains unidentified. It is an open secret that Cory’s serenity comes from a deep spirituality.” If the Filipino people and not just the Marcoses suffered concentrated misery during the Cory years, it was as much the fault of those who were beguiled into supporting her as a candidate and those who installed her in power after she had lost the snap elections. Laurel provided this postscript regarding Cory’s ascent to power: “Cory was catapulted to power not because of personal merit but because she was the widow of a martyr. It was enough for the

voters to believe that she was ‘not a politician’ and, therefore, blindly presumed that she would not know how to ‘steal or cheat.’ They did not bother to find out what else she did not know. All they wanted was— anyone but Marcos.” It took less than a year of Cory for the people to discover their tragic mistake. The first anniversary rites of the Edsa revolt (1987) provided ample proof that instead of national unity through reconciliation, what the Aquino regime had managed to accomplish was the alienation of its one-time allies and supporters. Because of this, Enrile and the RAM stayed away from the celebration. Concerned, the late Cardinal

Dr. Rene E. Ofreneo

LABOREM EXERCENS Continued from A1


HY the need for an LLA or Labor Agenda in 1987? A brief historical backgrounder is in order. The unions were euphoric and in a celebratory mood in the years 1986 and 1987. The 1986 People Power Revolt, which brought down the authoritarian Marcos regime, was seen by most unions as emancipatory. On the instance of then-Labor Minister Augusto Sanchez, the different competing labor federations formed a unified LACC so that labor would have one powerful voice in society. The Corazon Aquino administration also eased some of the restrictions on union formation and registration, as well as the rules on the conduct of strike.

subcontracting arrangements, which are better known today as “laboronly contracting,” or LOC. The LOC problem has remained despite the various department orders clarifying the rules on what are the permissible and what are the prohibited practices in the outsourcing of work. A major economic-policy proposal of organized labor then was the repudiation of the fraudulent foreign debt bequeathed by the Marcos regime. As is well known, the Corazon Aquino and the succeeding administrations fully respected the Marcosian debt legacy, allocating annually huge budgetary outlays to service the debt and imposing new tax measures, such as the VAT, to be able to pay the debt. The huge debt burden was one reason for the sluggish growth of the economy in the 1980s up to the mid-2000s. These were lost decades for the country in terms of growth and development. One major outcome for the workers: chronic unemployment, underemployment and poverty. In the area of social justice and human rights, the main issues then were the rise of “vigilante” groups and the absence of agrarian and urban land reform. The LACC proposals: outlawing of the vigilante groups and the implementation of genuine land reform. Today, the vigilante groups have been replaced by the DDS and other shadowy groups prowling the streets in the name of an antidrug crusade, while various farmers’ organizations lament the weaknesses of the CARP program, which has failed to deliver redemption of the farmers from poverty. Rereading the 1987 Labor Agenda makes one weep. The LACC is no more because the federations went back to their separate ways. But the saddest thing: Not much has changed in the labor, economic and human-rights landscape of the country—in over three decades. Sin in his homily urged the people to make national reconciliation possible by rejecting selfishness, arrogance and all forms of division. Sin warned: “Let us not enchain ourselves again by our stupid and useless efforts to enshrine ourselves and seek our own selfish ends.... Only one selfseeking Filipino is enough to destroy a beautiful dream.” The Archbishop of Manila proved prophetic, but tragically, too late. For the masses and for most others, the Cory era, briefly a dream, became an extended national nightmare. To reach the writer, e-mail cecilio.arillo@

2nd Front Page BusinessMirror

A8 Thursday, November 8, 2018

PHL dollar reserves decline anew in October


By Bianca Cuaresma


FTER dropping to a sevenyear low in September, the country’s dollar reserves against potential external balances again declined in October, according to the latest data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Data released by the BSP on Wednesday showed that the country’s gross international teserves as of end-October fell to $74.77 billion, from $74.94 billion recorded in September. The GIR in September was the lowest since July 2011, when it dropped to $71.88 billion. The BSP announcement came on the same day the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that the country’s trade deficit jumped by 124.1 percent to $3.927 billion in September 2018, from last year’s $1.752 billion. (See banner story, “Trade gap grows 124% to $3.93B

in September,”page A1). Despite the decline, the BSP maintains that the $74.77 billion GIR in October is still enough to cover for the country’s dollar needs. “The end-October 2018 level of GIR continues to serve as an ample external liquidity buffer,” BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. said in a statement. According to the BSP, the current GIR level is equivalent to 6.8 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income. It is also equivalent to 5.7 times the country’s short-

term external debt based on original maturity and 3.9 times based on residual maturity. The BSP attributed the dip in the October GIR to outflows arising from the payments made by the national government for its foreignexchange obligations, national government’s net foreign-currency withdrawals, and foreign- exchange operations of the BSP. Across subcomponents, all sectors of the GIR went up except for its foreign-exchange inflows, which dropped to $5.4 billion in October, from $5.8 billion in September.

The BSP earlier vowed to keep its presence in the foreign-exchange market to smoothen out any volatility that may be detrimental to the economy. For October, the peso averaged at 54.009 to a dollar, posting further deterioration from the 53.942 to a dollar in the previous month. The BSP said the decline in the GIR was partially tempered by the revaluation adjustments on its gold holdings resulting from the increase in the price of gold in the international market and its income from its investments abroad.

Meralco raises Nov rates due to expensive natural gas Survey: Most PHL firms By Lenie Lectura @llectura


LECTRICITY rates this month will go up by P0.1135 per kilowatthour, bringing overall power rates of the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) to P10.0901 per kWh. The increase comes after Meralco slashed power rates for two consecutive months. The reduction in September and October amounted to P0.25 per kWh. October power rates stood at P9.9766 per kWh. The P0.1135-per-kWh rate adjustment will mean an increase of around P23 in the total bill of a typical household consuming 200 kWh. Meralco said the slight upward adjustment was mainly due to higher

Typhoons. . . Continued from A1

Both the livestock and poultry subsectors sustained growth during the period, with output expanding by 2.15 percent and 5.45 percent, respectively, according to the PSA.

WESM (Wholesale Electricity Spot Market) charges following an uptick in demand and an increase in Malampaya gas prices for the period. From P5.1908 per kWh last month, the generation charge for November went up to P5.2725 per kWh, an increase of P0.0817 per kWh. The increase in the generation charge is mainly the result of a P1.3545per-kWh increase in charges from the WESM. WESM charges went up as warmer weather in October caused a surge in power demand in Luzon. The share of WESM purchases to Meralco’s total requirement this month was 16.6 percent. Meanwhile, the cost of power from independent power producers (IPPs)

and power supply agreements (PSAs) fell by P0.1450 per kWh and P0.5611 per kWh, respectively. A stronger peso offset an increase due to higher Malampaya natural gas prices as a result of the quarterly repricing to reflect the recent movement of crude oil prices in the world market. Power plants using Malampaya natural gas—First Gas-Santa Rita, First Gas-San Lorenzo, First NatGas-San Gabriel, and South Premiere-Ilijan—provided 61 percent of Meralco’s supply needs. The share of IPP and PSA purchases to Meralco’s total requirement this month was 42.6 percent and 40.8 percent, respectively. Transmission charge of residential customers increased by P0.0021 per

kWh due to an increase in the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines’s (NGCP) ancillary service charges. Taxes and other charges went up by P0.0297 per kWh this month. Meralco’s distribution, supply, and metering charges, meanwhile, have remained unchanged for 40 months, after these registered reductions in July 2015. The company reiterated that it does not earn from the pass-through charges, such as the generation and transmission charges. Payment for the generation charge goes to the power suppliers, while payment for the transmission charge goes to the NGCP. Taxes and other public policy charges like the feed-in-tariff allowance rate are remitted to the government.

The PSA said the poultry subsector contributed 18.44 percent of the total farm production. Output gains were observed in chicken meat, chicken eggs and duck eggs. The PSA attributed the increase in output in the two subsectors to the expansion of farms to meet the Filipinos’ growing demand for

meat. Production in the fisheries subsector was slashed by 2.64 percent as erratic weather conditions limited the fishermen’s fishing days and trips.

that climate change is now the “biggest” challenge for Philippine agriculture due to its detrimental effect on crops. To cope with the ill effects of climate change, Piñol said the Department of Agriculture, in coordination with the local government units, and other agencies, will review the planting calendar. “[For] fisheries, [we] will have to focus more [on] aqua and mariculture,” he said. Economist Rolando T. Dy said the decline in farm output was expected following the series of typhoons that hit the country during the third quarter. “My earlier forecast was negative 1 to 2 percent,” Dy, the executive director of the University of Asia and the Pacific’s Center for Food and Agri-business, told the BusinessMirror. Dy supported Piñol’s comments and added that the government should have a scope “for geographic crop planning and value chain corridors” due to different climatic conditions. “For example, don’t just rely on the Cordillera Administrative Region for highland veggies for the National Capital Region [NCR]. [The government should look at] Quezon, Rizal and Laguna,” he said. Dy also noted that the government’s focus on aquaculture has been “long overdue” as the country is already “far behind” in such department against Southeast Asian neighbors like Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. The government must “diversify” the supply base of various crops if it wants the farm sector to recover immediately, according to Dy. “For instance, diversify the supply base of vegetables. Why not Eastern Rizal to supply East NCR like Quezon City and Marikina?” he said. As for long-term measures, Dy said there should be stakeholderdriven road maps with details on “value chain corridors” for the country’s commodities. “Coconut fertilization, intercropping and hybrid replanting are prime examples.” Following the third quarter performance of the farm sector, Dy said full-year expansion will be flat at best, “with a very high likelihood of going south.”

Climate change

AGRICULTURE Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol told the BusinessMirror

have no clear policy vs gender discrimination By Elijah Felice E. Rosales



OMESTIC firms got failing grades in the first gender diversity and inclusiveness index, as 83 percent of companies were found to have no clear policy against discrimination. Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) are vulnerable to various forms of discrimination in the workplace, according to a study by the Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Only 17 percent of firms interviewed in the survey have policies in place against gender-based discrimination. These companies, the study added, were all either from the business-process outsourcing (BPO) industry or were foreignheadquartered. None of the 56 responding Philippine firms and government agencies have an antidiscrimination policy. The survey reviewed the table of organization of 100 companies that employ a total of 267,231 workers. It reported 56 percent of the respondents are local firms and public agencies, while the other 44 percent are BPO firms and foreign companies. “Only 17 percent have antidiscrimination policies that explicitly reference ‘sexual orientation,’ ‘gender identity’ and/or ‘gender expression.’” These companies are all from the BPO sector or are foreignheadquartered,” the report read. “Less than half of these companies, however, have policies that reference specific behaviors and actions against LGBT employees that are discouraged or not per-

GDP. . .

Continued from A1

“We expect GDP growth in the third quarter to be higher than the firsthalf revised growth of 6.4 percent, at least 6.5 percent, due to the 30-percent growth in national government expenditures and the 8.8-percent real growth in manufacturing production. We also expect growth to be investment-led due to the 47 percent rise in national government capital outlays,” Beltran said.

Q2 growth higher THE Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Wednesday reported a revised second-quarter GDP rate of 6.2 percent, higher than the initial estimate of 6 percent. This now placed the firstsemester growth at 6.4 percent instead of the initial estimate of 6.3 percent. “Major contributors to the upward revision were Other Services; Real Estate, Renting and Business Activity; and Mining and Quarrying,” the PSA said.  The PSA also said Net Primary Income (NPI) from the Rest of the World (ROW) was revised downward to 4.1 percent from 4.7 percent.  However, this did not negatively affect Gross National Income, which

mitted. Examples of these include the use of slurs, catcalling, ‘outing’ [in which one discloses an LGBT’s sexual orientation or gender identity without that person’s consent] and misgendering,” it added. On the other hand, 14 percent have broadly phrased policies on discrimination and equal opportunities. However, the larger 57 percent have no inclusive policies and benefits in place, while the remaining 12 percent could not say if they have one. Further, companies with no LGBT-inclusive policies and benefits did not express interest in creating one in the next five years. For the chamber’s head, this should serve as a wake-up call to senators to pass the measure prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity of expression. “The results of this study are a wake-up call to all of us, not just businesses or professionals, but also our senators who are impeding the passage of Senate Bill 1271, or the Anti-Discrimination Bill,” said Brian Tenorio, chairman of the LGBT chamber. The measure is pending second reading in the Senate. “Our fellow LGBT professionals must be guaranteed their protection in the workplace, so they can positively contribute to their respective companies, without fear of prejudice or discrimination,” Tenorio added. The study was conducted in partnership with Cogencia Consulting Inc., and with the support of the Embassy of the Netherlands in the Philippines. was revised upward to 5.9 percent from 5.8 percent. The PSA revises the GDP estimates based on its approved revision policy stated in PSA Board Resolution 1, Series of 2017-053. The resolution is consistent with international standard practices on national accounts revisions. The government will release the country’s third-quarter economic performance on Thursday.

Confident LAST month, it was reported that First Metro Investment Corp.-University of Asia and the Pacific (FMIC-UA&P) Capital Market Research remained confident the economy will post growth of above 6 percent in the third quarter. In its Market Call report, FMIC-UA&P said investments and government spending will boost economic growth, amid the weakness in consumer spending due to high inflation. FMIC-UA&P Capital Market Research said capital goods imports increased by 39 percent in July, while government spending on infrastructure grew 28.7 percent in August. It also projects inflation to average 6.1 percent in November and 6.2 percent in December.

With a report by Cai U. Ordinario

Editor: Efleda P. Campos

Companies BusinessMirror

With 3rd player, Poe sees telecom reforms


By Butch Fernandez


HE chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Services expects the entry of a third major telecommunications service provider competing with the existing GlobeSmart duopoly to benefit consumers. Sen. Grace Poe on Wednesday affirmed her optimism the entry of another telco provider will “bring far-reaching reforms amid consumers’ woes of slow Internet, excessive fees for inferior service and disappearing load.” This, as she confirmed plans to convene another Senate hearing of the Public Services Committee soon as regular sessions resume on November 12, with the expectation that the Duterte government would have announced the third telco “by this month.” The senator said she remains “fully supportive of efforts to break the telco duopoly and was in fact encouraging more players to bid for the country’s telco providers.” In a speech before a crowd of about 15,000 at a local government event in San Jose Del Monte City in Bulacan, Poe said, “That is one of our advocacies...that there be competition not just between Globe and Smart, in order to have faster and cheaper service to telco users.” Bringing in a third telco player, she stressed, would give consumers “more choices for better and

SMIC income jumps 10% to ₧26.2B in 9 mos


M Investments Corp. (SMIC), the holding firm of billionaire Henry Sy Sr., said its consolidated net income rose 10 percent to P26.2 billion in nine months of the year ending September. Consolidated revenues also grew 12 percent to P307.4 billion, from P274.6 billion last year. “The results of the first nine months have been reassuring with the resilient performance of property, banking and retail. Our financial results reflect the ongoing strength of consumer sentiment, even as we continue to monitor inflationary pressures,” SM President Frederic C. DyBuncio said in a statement. For the first nine months, property accounted for 43 percent of SMIC’s net earnings, followed by banks at 36 percent and retail at 21 percent.  SM Retail Inc., which comprises both food business, such as the supermarket and nonfood, the department store and specialty retail, said its total revenues grew 11 percent to P227 billion in the first nine months of the year, while net income rose to P7.9 billion, from P7.7 billion. Revenues from Specialty Retail grew 16 percent. The department-store segment opened three stores in Urdaneta, Telabastagan and Legazpi during the nine-monthperiod.Totalgrosssellingareaofall62department stores stood at over 792,000 square meters. The food retail group added 13 Savemore, four SM Supermarkets, three SM Hypermarkets and six WalterMart stores for a total of 26 new stores to date. Alfamart added 135 stores. At end-September, SM Retail had a total of 2,212 stores comprising 62 department stores, 1,315 specialty retail stores, 56 supermarkets, 50 hypermarkets, 194 Savemore, 52 WalterMart and 483 Alfamart stores.  Shopping-mall operator SM Prime Holdings Inc. reported net income growth of 17 percent for the period to P23.4 billion. BDO Unibank Inc., the country’s largest lender, posted a net income of P21.5 billion, up 6 percent from last year. Net interest income grew 20 percent to P71.5 billion, supported by a 17-percent increase in gross customer loans to almost P2.0 trillion and a 12-percent growth in total deposits to P2.3 trillion. VG Cabuag

efficient service for the Filipinos, who are among the world’s top Internet users.” The senator recalled that the Department of Information and Com mu n ic at ions Tec h nolog y and the National Telecommunications Commission earlier announced they will push through with the bidding of the third telco on Wednesday, November 7, and subsequently announce a “provisional” third telco player. According to Poe, they expect to see awaited reforms in the telco sector, long dominated by the Ayala-owned Globe Telecom a nd Sma r t Commu nications of the Manny V. Pangilinan group. “Maraming mga bagay ang dapat mangyari, katulad ng pagkakaroon ng mas mabilis na Internet.… Hindi ba minsan, ang cell phone, parang ang bilis maubos ng load [Many reforms must take place, for example, having a faster Internet.... Sometimes, it’s the load that disappears quickly],” said Poe. She said the report that  the Ph i l ippi nes h a s “one of t he highest mobile data and Internet rates and among the slow-

est Internet speed globally is quite ironic, considering that the country is the social-networking capital of the world.” In a statement issued later by her office, Poe voiced hopes that “this [third] consortium will live up to the expectations of the people and the mandatory quality standards for Internet connectivity and mobile services.” She reminded all concerned that “this third telco was allowed to come in because the paying subscribers have been longing for service commensurate to what they have paid for.” She noted that millions of Filipinos have been using the Internet, and expressed hope they can soon find relief from “choppy lines, dropped calls and turtlepaced connection.” The senator added: “Having said that, the Department of Information and Communications Technology should be transparent and lay out the considerations that qualified the bidder.” At the same time, she recalled that there were security concerns earlier raised over the participation of a foreign firm, and these should not be sidestepped. “The Armed Forces of the Philippines and other intelligence agencies should weigh in on the qualifications,” Poe added, apparently referencing the state-owned China Telecom’s tie-up with the Udenna group, the only entity among three bidders that was not disqualified. It was declared the “provisional” third telco late Wednesday after tension-filled proceedings by the DICT.

Thursday, November 8, 2018


AgriNurture signs $37.6-M deal with China’s Sinochem By Jasper Emmanuel Y. Arcalas @jearcalas


MISLATEL Consortium is composed of Udenna Corp., Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp., China Telecom Corp. Ltd. and Mindanao Islamic Telephone Co. Inc. Udenna Corp. is the holding company of Davao-based businessman Dennis A. Uy, a close associate of President Duterte. Earlier, Uy bought 45 percent of ISM Communications Corp., a listed company that used to control Eastern Telecommunications Philippines Inc. before it was bought out by San Miguel Corp. Chelsea Logistics Corp. is also a company owned by Uy. It has holdings in logistics and shipping. China Telecom Corp. Ltd. is a state-owned Chinese telco that has subsidiaries in the United States and Europe. Mindanao Islamic Telephone Co. Inc. holds a congressional franchise to construct, establish, install, maintain and operate wire and/or wireless telecommunications systems in the Philippines.

n Sear

SEAR Telecommunications Inc. is the corporate vehicle for the group of politician Luis “Chavit" C. Singson for the third telco bid. It is composed of TierOne Communications International Inc., Fujian Torch Electron Technology Co. Ltd., Miller Pte. Ltd., Southeast Asia Telecom (Cambodia) Co. Ltd., and LCS Holdings Inc. TierOne is based in Davao del Norte with operations that involve the “bandwidth to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, where broadband has been identified as a key driver of growth." Fujian Torch Electron Technology Co. Ltd. is a Chinese company primarily engaged in the research, development, manufacture, sale and testing of capacitors that are used for different sectors—aviation, warfare, medicine and telecommunications, among others. Miller Pte. Ltd. is a Singaporean company involved in the sale of electricity, electronics, equipment and other related supplies. Southeast Asia Telecom (Cambodia) Co. Ltd. is a Cambodian telco whose parent company is headquartered in Singapore. In Cambodia, the company claims to be a “comprehensive telecommunication operator whose business includes mobile telecommunication and Internet services.” LCS Holdings Inc. is the holding company of Singson’s mining, transport and power companies.

n PT&T

PHILIPPINE Telegraph and Telephone Corp. was a cash-strapped company until after its rehab. It currently offers broadband services in Luzon through its 10,000-kilometer pure fiber cable network.

AboitizPower 9-month net income rises 6% By Lenie Lectura @llectura


B OI T I Z Po w e r C o r p. (AboitizPower) on Wednesday reported a 25-percent jump in its net income in the third quarter of the year to P7.6 billion, bringing its nine-month income to P16.7 billion, up by 6 percent from P15.7 billion in the same period last year. Consolidated earnings before interest, depreciation, taxes and amortization (Ebitda) at end-September stood at P39.1 billion, an 11-percent increase from the P35.4 billion recorded in the previous year. “Our strong financial performance in the first nine months of 2018 was driven by the continuously increasing demand for reliable, affordable and sustainable power supply. “We were able to take advantage of this demand by growing our capacity and our balanced mix portfolio of renewable and thermal assets,” said the company’s chief operating

officer, Emmanuel Rubio. He added they hope to “sustain this steady growth momentum as we march to our 4,000-MW [megawatt] net attributable target in 2020, allowing us to continue advancing business and communities by providing power supply that is reliable, reasonably priced and responsibly produced.” The company’s generation and retail electricity supply businesses recorded a consolidated Ebitda of P33.0 billion as of end-September, 11 percent higher than the P29.8 billion during the same period in 2017. The increase was primarily due to contributions from Pagbilao Energy Corp. and Hedcor Bukidnon Inc. Capacity sold during the period under review was flat year-on-year, from 3,158 MW to 3,162 MW. The company’s distribution business recorded consolidated Ebitda of P6.2 billion, 11 percent higher than the P5.6 billion recorded during the same period last year. AboitizPower saw energy sales

increase to 4,136 gigawatt-hours, which was 5 percent higher than the 3,924 GWh recorded for the corresponding period in 2017. This was the result of increased consumption levels across all customer segments. “We aim to be a supplier of choice by optimizing our facilities to maximize efficiency and reliability and ensure that we can fully support the energy requirements of our customers,” Rubio said.

AEV net income up 9%

MEANWHILE, on a year-to-date basis, Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc.’s (AEV’s) net income for the first nine months of 2018 was P17.3 billion, 9 percent higher than the P15.9 billion recorded last year, while core net income stood at P17.7 billion, up 4 percent, from P17.1 billion last year. AEV is the public holding company of the Aboitiz Group with major investments in power, banking and financial services, food, infrastructure and land. Gains from AEV’s Power, Food and Land strategic busi-

ness units (SBUs) contributed to the increase. “We welcome the gains posted by our strategic business units for the first nine months of the year. This reflects the strength of a focused growth strategy that endeavors to do well by doing good in advancing business and communities,” Erramon I. Aboitiz, AEV president and chief executive officer. “We remain on the lookout for opportunities that not only help accelerate the country’s economic growth but, more important, become catalysts of positive change through our products and services,” Aboitiz added. Power accounted for 72 percent of total income contributions from AEV’s SBUs, followed by Banking and Financial Services, Food, Land, and Infrastructure at 17 percent, 8 percent, 2 percent and 1 percent, respectively. AboitizPower’s net income contribution to AEV increased by 6 percent year-on-year to P12.8 billion, from P12.1 billion.

Strong income from terminals, lower net loss from JV projects push up ICTSI 9-month profits


ORT operator International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) saw profits inching up by 3 percent to $153.3 million in the first nine months of 2018, from $149.3 million, thanks to strong operating income from organic terminals and a decrease in net loss from joint-venture (JV) projects. In the same comparative periods, its gross revenues grew by 10 percent

to $1 billion, from $918.3 million, as it handled higher consolidated volumes that reached 7.15 million twenty-foot equivalent units, or 5 percent more than the 6.84 million handled the year prior. “The increase in volume was primarily due to improvement in trade activities at most of the company’s terminal locations and the contribution of new terminals in Lae and

Motukea in Papua New Guinea, and Melbourne, Australia,” a statement read. Its consolidated cash operating expenses, meanwhile, rose by 16 percent to $398 million, from $343.4 million, due to the cost contribution of the new terminals in Australasia and higher fuel consumption and external yard rentals, among others. 

Consolidated financing charges and other expenses for the first three quarters also grew by 3 percent from $86.9 million in 2017 to $89.2 million this year primarily due to lower capitalized borrowing cost on qualifying assets. So far, the company has used up 52 percent or about $196.4 million of its $380-million capital expenditures budget for 2018. Lorenz S. Marasigan


ISTED agriculture firm AgriNurture Inc. (ANI) said it has recently signed a $37.6-million fertilizer and chemical supply deal with Beijing-owned Sinochem Group Co. Ltd. in its bid to boost its position in the local farm sector. The deal was signed on November 6 at the first-ever China International Import Expo by ANI President and CEO Antonio Tiu and Sinochem General Manager Cui Yan. “The deal would provide muchneeded support to Philippine farmers and growers and boost the country’s market access to China,” Tiu said in a news release on Wednesday. “Sinochem would also enable ANI to have a more efficient ecosystem with its commitment to supply more affordable fertilizers,” he added. Under the deal, Sinochem will provide ANI with “affordable” fertilizers and committed to purchase the produce of the latter’s contract growers, according to Tiu. “Specifically, Sinochem has committed to purchase for the next three years tropical fruits from the Philippines sold through ANI’s contract growers,” he said. Sinochem, founded in 1950, is one of the China’s four largest state-owned oil companies and the country’s leading chemical service provider and biggest agricultural inputs company. ANI’s newest business venture comes a few months after it announced that it would be importing as much as 2 million metric tons of rice annually following its $1-billion supply deal with Hanoi-run Vietnam Southern Food Corp. II. 

MGen hopes for A1E contract OK


ERALCO PowerGen Corporation (MGen), the power-generation arm of Meralco, remains hopeful that regulators will soon approve the power-supply agreement of the 2x600 megawatt Atimonan One Energy (A1E) plant in Quezon after the energy department certified it as an Energy Project of National Significance (EPNS). “We do not see any reason for further delays, especially with the expected increase in demand and load growth that comes with the government’s massive infrastructure projects under the “Build, Build, Build” program,” said MGen President Rogelio Singson. He said the Department of Energy’s recent recognition of A1E’s status as an EPNS is a major factor that will impact positively on the project development.  Under Executive Order 30 signed by President Duterte, projects declared as EPNS shall be acted upon within a 30-day period. EO 30 was signed so that identified EPNS projects are prioritized to avoid unnecessary delays in the implementation of the government’s Philippine Energy Plan.  A1E, once approved, will provide highly efficient baseload supply in the country.  “The A1E PSA was legally filed in accordance with the rules and regulations of ERC [Emergy Regulatory Commission]. It was subjected to very stringent evaluation process and scrutiny by many consumer groups, and underwent many public hearings in compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. This was done with the objective of ensuring adequate and reliable power supply at least cost to Meralco’s customers, thus we find strong merit in positively acting on this agreement,” Singson said. Lenie Lectura


Companies BusinessMirror

Thursday, November 8, 2018

MPIC income higher in Q3 despite lower volumes


By VG Cabuag


ETRO Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) said its core net income rose 8 percent during the first nine months of the year to P12.2 billion, from last year’s P11.3 billion, but it warned it will have a flat growth in the last quarter of the year. David J. Nicol, the company’s chief finance officer, said the company’s core income may end the year at P15 billion, or slightly higher than last year’s P14.1 billion. “We think that the fourth quarter will

be flat on a year ago,” Nicol said in a briefing. Jose Ma. K. Lim, the company’s president and CEO, said increasing funding costs are likely to be a drag on MPIC’s fourth-quarter core in-

come, which would continue through next year. He said the company’s volume growth for most of its businesses in the third quarter slowed due to a combination of rising inflation and unusually damp and cool weather, “to which our residential customers in the power sector are especially sensitive.” “I expect volumes to recover to more normalized levels in the last three months of the year, but more fundamentally, our extensive investment program is leading to rising finance costs,” he said. “It will be some time before our new road, water and logistics projects are completed, and able to make a contribution to earnings. In the meantime, the immediate debt costs incurred to support these in-

vestments during their completion period would likely have an effect on near-term profit outlook,” he said. Power accounted for P8.5 billion, or 55 percent, of net operating income; toll roads contributed P3.3 billion, or 21 percent; water contributed P3 billion, or 20 percent; the hospitals group provided P586 million, or 4 percent; and the rail, logistics and systems group delivered P26 million. MPIC Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said volumes in the succeeding quarters should be better than in the third quarter. “I expect minimal growth in fourth-quarter core net income compared with the same quarter last year. We are working hard but constructively with the government to resolve pending issues involving tariffs and rights of way,” he said.

Emperador income recovers in Q3 on higher sales


RANDY maker Emperador Inc. on Wednesday said its net income grew 18 percent to P5.2 billion, from last year’s P4.4 billion, as its revenues started to recover. That level of income was on a par with its profits in 2016. Revenues grew 11 percent to P30.5 billion, from last year’s P26.97 billion, as margins were higher, partly contributing to faster earnings growth than revenue growth. “Our performance is brought about by the sustained growth in international expansion. The premium Scotch whiskey business continues to show robust growth led by Dalmore single malt whiskey and innovations,” company president Winston Co said. He said the company is expanding the international presence of the brand portfolio in Asia, Europe, North America and Latin America. “The brandy business continues to perform as well with greater penetration into North and Latin

America. Our products are available in more than 100 countries and more than 350 cities in the world. Emperador brandy is now sold in the USA like New York, Chicago, LA, San Francisco, Hawaii and Las Vegas. Early next year, we are to start the export of Emperador Hotshot, a cinnamon brandy, to the US market to capitalize on the growing popularity of cinnamon whiskey,” he said Emperador Spain Managing Director Jorge Domecq said the company fortified the brandy portfolio to sustain its No. 1 position in Spain, Mexico, Colombia and the Philippines. “We are focused on reinventing the local liquor space with initiatives geared toward increasing profitability,” Co said. The company has an ongoing buyback of shares of up to P5 billion over a 24-month period that began in May 2017. The company said that, to date, roughly 211 million shares have been bought back amounting to around P1.5 billion. VG Cabuag

Vista Land income jumps 16% in Q3


ROPERTY developer Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc. said its net income for the three quarters of the year grew 16 percent to P8.3 billion, from last year’s P7.14 billion, as the company said it is on track in achieving its full-year target. For the third quarter of the year alone, the company said its income grew 16 percent to P3.06 billion, from last year’s P2.65 billion. Consolidated revenues for the nine-month period also grew 16 percent to P31 billion, from last year’s P26.9 billion. Real-estate sales registered also posted a 16-percent increase to P24.2 billion, from last year’s P20.8 billion. “We are well poised to achieve our revised growth targets for the year,” Vista Land Chairman Manuel Villar said. The company is expecting to grow its income by between 15 and 17 percent for the year. “Vista Land continues to deliver solid results, fueled by the strong performance of our core housing business, in addition to our continued expansion in our commercial assets,” he said. Leasing income grew 19 percent to P5.2 billion, from P4.3 billion last year. “Our reservations sales grew 17 percent during the period to P57 billion, which outpaced our 12-percent sales growth guidance for 2018. We remain optimistic for the industry given the strong and improving demand in our residential business, as well as the continued growth of our leasing business propelled by the steady growth in Filipinos’ disposable income, overseas Filipino remittances and continued infrastructure development around the country, especially in areas outside Metro Manila, where we have a competitive advantage given our geographic reach,” Manuel Paolo Villar, the company’s president and CEO, said. VG Cabuag


November 7, 2018

NAV ONE YEAR THREE YEAR FIVE YEAR Y-T-D PER SHARE RETURN* RETURN STOCK FUNDS ALFM GROWTH FUND, INC * 244.31  -16.48%  -1.24%  0.24%  -16.67%  ATRAM ALPHA OPPORTUNITY FUND, INC.*  1.3818  -14.39%  2.72%  1.59%  -13.46%  ATRAM PHILIPPINE EQUITY OPPORTUNITY FUND, INC.*  3.7844  -17.16%  -0.82%  -0.71%  -17.6%  CLIMBS SHARE CAPITAL EQUITY INVESTMENT FUND CORP.*  0.8701  -14.04%  N.A.  N.A.  -14.44%  FIRST METRO CONSUMER FUND ON MSCI PHILS. IMI, INC. * *********  0.8008  N.A.  N.A.  N.A.  N.A.  FIRST METRO SAVE AND LEARN EQUITY FUND,INC.*  5.0122  -16.12%  -3.29%  -0.41%  -16.64%  MBG EQUITY INVESTMENT FUND, INC. * ******  109.48  N.A.  N.A.  N.A.  N.A.  ONE WEALTHY NATION FUND, INC.*  0.8011  -17.33%  N.A.  N.A.  -19.3%  PAMI EQUITY INDEX FUND, INC.*  47.4271  -15.28%  -0.37%  N.A.  -15.9%  PHILAM STRATEGIC GROWTH FUND, INC.*   493.69  -15.8%  -1.76%  -0.63%  -16.1%  PHILEQUITY DIVIDEND YIELD FUND, INC.*  1.2191  -13.34%  0.37%  N.A.  -13.19%  PHILEQUITY FUND, INC.*  35.4899  -13.31%  0.73%  2.25%  -13.64%  PHILEQUITY PSE INDEX FUND INC.*  4.7716  -15.61%  0.33%  2.25%  -15.91%  PHILIPPINE STOCK INDEX FUND CORP.*  796.8  -15.49%  0.08%  2.01%  -15.75%  SOLDIVO STRATEGIC GROWTH FUND, INC. *  0.8283  -14.1%  -2.19%  N.A.  -14.35%  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY PHILIPPINE EQUITY FUND, INC.*  3.9328  -13.89%  -0.04%  0.66%  -14.13%  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY PHILIPPINE STOCK INDEX FUND, INC.*  0.9185  -15.74%  0.15%  N.A.  -15.99%  UNITED FUND, INC.*  3.3731  -12.34%  1.07%  0.85%  -13.38%      EXCHANGE TRADED FUND FIRST METRO PHIL. EQUITY EXCHANGE TRADED FUND, INC.* ***106.5179  -15.1%  1.24%  N.A.  -15.43%  ATRAM ASIAPLUS EQUITY FUND, INC.**   $0.9523  -13.17%  1.2%  -0.44%  -14.08%  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY WORLD VOYAGER FUND, INC.*  $1.2047  -2.41%  N.A.  N.A.  -4.78%  BALANCED FUNDS     PRIMARILY INVESTED IN PESO SECURITIES ATRAM DYNAMIC ALLOCATION FUND, INC.*  1.6201  -12.86%  -3.06%  -2.28%  -13.06%  ATRAM PHILIPPINE BALANCED FUND, INC.*  2.1638  -11.76%  -0.89%  -0.19%  -11.93%  FIRST METRO SAVE AND LEARN BALANCED FUND INC.*  2.4568  -11.2%  -4.13%  -2.84%  -11.3%  GREPALIFE BALANCED FUND CORPORATION* ****  1.2769  -12.63%  N.A.  N.A.  -12.23%  NCM MUTUAL FUND OF THE PHILS., INC*  1.802  -9.19%  -0.27%  -0.06%  -9.56%  PAMI HORIZON FUND, INC.*  3.4161  -12.87%  -2.17%  -1.14%  -12.81%  PHILAM FUND, INC.*  15.3667  -12.6%  -2.07%  -1.19%  -12.48%  SOLIDARITAS FUND, INC.* ********  2.0229  -9.89%  -0.19%  1.35%  -9.78%  SUN LIFE OF CANADA PROSPERITY BALANCED FUND, INC.*  3.5632  -10.65%  -0.95%  -0.36%  -10.84%  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY DYNAMIC FUND, INC.*  0.9038  -10.83%  -1.4%  N.A.  -11.42%      PRIMARILY INVESTED IN FOREIGN CURRENCY SECURITIES COCOLIFE DOLLAR FUND BUILDER, INC.*  $0.03462  -4.21%  -0.78%  1.62%  -4.1%  PAMI ASIA BALANCED FUND, INC.*  $0.9406  -10.05%  0.86%  -1.67%  -10.16%  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY DOLLAR ADVANTAGE FUND, INC.*  $3.5023  -2.25%  3.34%  2.27%  -4.11%  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY DOLLAR WELLSPRING FUND, INC.*  $1.041  -5.56%  N.A.  N.A.  -6.4%  BOND FUNDS     PRIMARILY INVESTED IN PESO SECURITIES ALFM PESO BOND FUND, INC.*  341.77  1.61%  1.83%  1.6%  1.38%  ATRAM CORPORATE BOND FUND, INC.* *******  1.8479  -2.85%  -1.23%  -0.78%  -2.35%  COCOLIFE FIXED INCOME FUND, INC.*  2.9515  5.5%  5.33%  5.24%  4.59%  EKKLESIA MUTUAL FUND INC.*  2.1215  0.36%  1.09%  0.96%  0.92%  FIRST METRO SAVE AND LEARN FIXED INCOME FUND,INC.*  2.2131  -0.17%  -0.05%  0.23%  -0.14%  GREPALIFE FIXED INCOME FUND CORP.*  P 1.5612  -3.28%  -1.23%  -1.61%  -3%  PHILAM BOND FUND, INC.*  3.8026  -6.74%  -1.96%  -1.31%  -6.11%  PHILEQUITY PESO BOND FUND, INC.*  3.4611  -1.06%  -0.51%  -0.43%  -1.25%  SOLDIVO BOND FUND, INC. *  0.8748  -5.87%  -2.12%  N.A.  -5.24%  SUN LIFE OF CANADA PROSPERITY BOND FUND, INC.*  2.7396  -1.47%  -0.05%  -0.07%  -1.35%  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY GS FUND, INC.*  1.5217  -1.98%  -0.59%  -0.43%  -1.81%      PRIMARILY INVESTED IN FOREIGN CURRENCY SECURITIES ALFM DOLLAR BOND FUND, INC. *  $446.21  0.27%  2.2%  2.95%  0.06%  ALFM EURO BOND FUND, INC. *  Є213.05  -0.19%  1.16%  1.56%  -0.31%  ATRAM TOTAL RETURN DOLLAR BOND FUND, INC.**  $1.1213  -1.15%  0.75%  1.69%  -1.13%  FIRST METRO SAVE AND LEARN DOLLAR BOND FUND, INC.*  $0.0248  -0.8%  0.54%  N.A.  -0.8%  GREPALIFE DOLLAR BOND FUND CORP.*   $1.6881  -4.86%  -0.61%  1.14%  -4.71%  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*  $1.0207  -5.67%  -1.12%  -2.78%  -4.92%  PHILAM DOLLAR BOND FUND, INC.*  $2.13  -5.16%  0.08%  2.35%  -5.38%  PHILEQUITY DOLLAR INCOME FUND INC.*   $0.0568715  -1.1%  0.8%  1.79%  -0.57%  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY DOLLAR ABUNDANCE FUND, INC.*  $2.8729  -4.62%  0.37%  1.67%  -4.64%  MONEY MARKET FUNDS     PRIMARILY INVESTED IN PESO SECURITIES ALFM MONEY MARKET FUND, INC.*  120.16  2.4%  1.72%  1.47%  2.17%  PHILAM MANAGED INCOME FUND, INC.*  1.1745  1.68%  0.36%  0.38%  1.48%  SUN LIFE PROSPERITY MONEY MARKET FUND, INC.*  1.2126  2.48%  2.18%  1.46%  2.29%      PRIMARILY INVESTED IN FOREIGN CURRENCY SECURITIES SUN LIFE PROSPERITY DOLLAR STARTER FUND, INC.* *****  $1.0132  1.31%  N.A.  N.A.  1.45%                        * - 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

Editor: Efleda P. Campos


November 7, 2018

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

ASIA UNITED 59.5 59.6 59.5 59.5 59.5 59.5 5000 297500 BDO UNIBANK 118.9 119 121 121 118.5 119 803640 95704187 BANK PH ISLANDS 82.25 82.6 82.65 82.9 81.4 82.6 1247750 102516315.5 CHINABANK 27.8 27.85 28.1 28.15 27.85 27.85 368300 10294945 CITYSTATE BANK 7.5 7.6 4.32 7.6 4.32 7.6 200 1192 EAST WEST BANK 10.98 11 11.26 11.26 10.92 11 1001900 11118228 METROBANK 65 65.35 66.25 66.3 65 65 1606870 105141945.5 PB BANK 11 11.42 10.84 11.42 10.84 11.42 16800 183890 PBCOM 15.24 19.98 19.98 19.98 16.9 16.9 1200 20964 PHIL NATL BANK 39.3 39.4 39.4 40 39.3 39.3 28900 1137965 PHILTRUST 106.7 119.9 106.7 106.8 106.7 106.7 240 25616 RCBC 28 28.3 27.95 28.3 27.85 28 46300 1294960 SECURITY BANK 141.9 144.3 146 146.2 140.8 144.3 471510 67308941 UNION BANK 66 67 65.9 66 65.9 66 7370 485728 BRIGHT KINDLE 1.34 1.4 1.35 1.4 1.34 1.4 107000 143500 BDO LEASING 2.3 2.39 2.4 2.42 2.31 2.31 8000 18760 COL FINANCIAL 15.5 15.6 15.7 15.7 15.7 15.7 600 9420 FERRONOUX HLDG 3.9 3.95 4 4 3.81 3.95 23000 88760 IREMIT 1.48 1.54 1.5 1.5 1.49 1.49 43000 64250 MEDCO HLDG 0.46 0.47 0.465 0.48 0.46 0.47 1230000 579700 MANULIFE 825 835 830 830 830 830 300 249000 NTL REINSURANCE 0.83 0.85 0.85 0.88 0.83 0.83 416000 349140 PHIL STOCK EXCH 185 188 188 190 184.1 185 1560 288642 VANTAGE 1.16 1.22 1.21 1.22 1.16 1.16 42000 49800 INDUSTRIAL ALSONS CONS 1.23 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.23 1.23 1024000 1271560 ABOITIZ POWER 32.95 33.2 34.05 34.05 32.7 33.2 729200 24224005 BASIC ENERGY 0.208 0.211 0.211 0.211 0.209 0.209 1900000 398360 FIRST GEN 16.38 16.4 16.18 16.5 16.18 16.38 1103300 17979728 FIRST PHIL HLDG 63.75 64.45 64.45 64.45 63.75 64.45 21860 1398978 PHIL H2O 4.21 4.45 4.4 4.46 4.2 4.45 287000 1228570 MERALCO 362.8 363 365.2 365.2 362 363 193020 70138460 MANILA WATER 25.75 25.8 25.85 25.9 25.05 25.8 586400 15095725 PETRON 8.17 8.2 8.23 8.25 8.13 8.17 394600 3224868 PETROENERGY 3.97 4.01 4.05 4.19 3.91 4.01 105000 414420 PHINMA ENERGY 0.99 1 0.98 0.99 0.95 0.99 586000 574050 PHX PETROLEUM 10.5 10.78 10.98 10.98 10.5 10.5 102000 1080736 PILIPINAS SHELL 49.5 49.6 49.5 50.05 49.5 49.5 316200 15710365 SPC POWER 5.19 5.2 5.2 5.22 5.19 5.2 776900 4038786 AGRINURTURE 17.12 17.6 17.7 17.98 17.1 17.6 544400 9578612 BOGO MEDELLIN 94 106.9 90.05 94 90 94 630 56964.5 CNTRL AZUCARERA 15.1 16 16.1 16.1 15 16 11300 172454 CENTURY FOOD 13.2 13.5 13.1 13.3 13.1 13.3 1892900 24894920 DEL MONTE 6.51 7.08 6.8 6.8 6.5 6.5 25200 164890 DNL INDUS 10.8 10.82 11.16 11.16 10.7 10.8 2207000 23896022 EMPERADOR 6.95 6.96 6.95 6.96 6.94 6.96 129400 899583 SMC FOODANDBEV 84 84.5 84 84.5 82 84.5 783560 65628733.5 ALLIANCE SELECT 0.93 0.94 1.03 1.04 0.9 0.93 14306000 13724080 GINEBRA 23.7 24.5 24 25 24 24.5 15500 375805 JOLLIBEE 273.2 280 278.6 280 270.8 280 569150 157640510 LIBERTY FLOUR 38.05 53 35 50 35 50 10330 516130.5 MACAY HLDG 6.71 13 12.98 13 12.98 13 1000 12994 MAXS GROUP 10.44 10.48 10.66 10.66 10.4 10.44 94900 994728 MG HLDG 0.162 0.174 0.173 0.173 0.161 0.162 2110000 354740 PEPSI COLA 1.59 1.64 1.67 1.67 1.59 1.59 413000 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356200 6725558 DM WENCESLAO 7.9 7.91 7.99 7.99 7.85 7.91 160400 1269433 EMPIRE EAST 0.51 0.52 0.51 0.52 0.51 0.52 86000 43880 EVER GOTESCO 0.104 0.115 0.104 0.104 0.104 0.104 170000 17680 FILINVEST LAND 1.43 1.44 1.46 1.46 1.42 1.44 1798000 2569510 GLOBAL ESTATE 0.99 1.01 1.01 1.01 0.98 0.99 3948000 3923790 8990 HLDG 7.35 7.38 7.35 7.38 7.25 7.38 411300 3010558 IRC PROP 2.27 2.28 2.36 2.38 2.18 2.27 33272000 75082930 CITY AND LAND 0.91 0.94 0.91 0.91 0.91 0.91 71000 64610 MEGAWORLD 4.4 4.41 4.47 4.47 4.32 4.4 9955000 43610860 MRC ALLIED 0.355 0.36 0.43 0.435 0.285 0.355 340880000 119430800 PHIL ESTATES 0.415 0.42 0.435 0.435 0.42 0.42 1180000 503500 PRIMEX CORP 3.7 3.72 3.63 3.74 3.57 3.74 1533000 5561890 ROBINSONS LAND 21 21.1 21.25 21.3 20.5 21 2311100 48442925 PHIL REALTY 0.36 0.385 0.405 0.41 0.33 0.36 2210000 835950 ROCKWELL 1.9 1.94 1.93 1.94 1.9 1.9 247000 474040 SHANG PROP 3.12 3.17 3.18 3.18 3.12 3.12 22000 68880 STA LUCIA LAND 1.1 1.13 1.16 1.16 1.1 1.13 162000 184750 SM 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23444 | Editor: Angel R. Calso

The World

Dems seize House control, but GOP retains Senate


ASHINGTON—Democrats seized the House majority from President Donald J. Trump’s Republican Party on Tuesday in a suburban revolt that threatened what’s left of the president’s governing agenda. But the GOP gained ground in the Senate and preserved key governorships, beating back a “blue wave” that never fully materialized. The mixed verdict in the first nationwide election of Trump’s young presidenc y underscored the limits of his hard line immigration rhetoric in America’s evolv ing pol it ica l l andscape, where col lege-educated voters in the nation’s suburbs rejected his war nings of a migrant “ invasion.” Blue-collar voters and rural America embraced his aggression. Still, a new Democratic House majority would end the Republican Party’s dominance in Washington for the final two years of Trump’s first term with major questions looming about health care, immigration and government spending. The president’s party will maintain control of the executive and judicial branches of US government, in addition to the Senate, but Democrats suddenly have a foothold that gives them subpoena power to probe deep into Trump’s personal and professional missteps—and his long-withheld tax returns. “Tomorrow will be a new day in America,” declared House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who would be in line to become the next House speaker. There were signs of extraordinary turnout in several states, including Georgia, where voters waited hours in the rain to vote in some cases, and in Nevada, where the last voters cast their ballots nearly three hours after polls were scheduled to close. It could have been a much-bigger night for Democrats, who suffered stinging losses with 2020 implications in Ohio and in Florida, where Trump-backed Republican Ron DeSantis ended Democrat Andrew Gillum’s bid to become the state’s first African-American governor. “I want to encourage you to stick to the fight,” Gillum, thought to be a rising star with national ambitions, told dejected supporters. Yet, Democrats celebrated a handful of victories in their “blue wall” Midwestern states, electing or reelecting governors in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and in Wisconsin, where Scott Walker was defeated by state education chief Tony Evers. The road to a House majority ran through two-dozen suburban districts Hillary Clinton won in 2016. Democrats flipped seats in suburban districts outside of Washington, Philadelphia, Miami, Chicago and Denver. The results were more mixed deeper into Trump country.  In Kansas, Democrat Sharice Davids beat a GOP incumbent to become the first gay Native American woman elected to the House. But in Kentucky, one of the top Democratic recruits, retired Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath, lost her bid to oust to three-term Rep. Andy Barr. Trump sought to take credit for retaining the GOP’s Senate majority, even as the party’s foothold in the more competitive House battlefield appeared to be slipping. “Tremendous success tonight. Thank you to all!” Trump tweeted. History was working against the president in the Senate: 2002 was the only midterm election in the past three decades when the party holding the White House gained Senate seats. Democrats’ d rea ms of t he Senate major it y, which was a lways unlikely, were shattered after losses in many of the top Senate battlegrounds: Indiana,

M i s sou r i , Te n ne s s e e, Nor t h Da kota and Texas. Trump encouraged voters to view the 2018 midterms as a referendum on his leadership, pointing proudly to the surging economy at recent rallies. Nearly 40 percent of voters cast their ballots to express opposition to the president, according to AP VoteCast, the national survey of the electorate, while one-in-four said they voted to express support for Trump. Overall, six in 10 voters said the country was headed in the wrong direction, but roughly that same number described the national economy as excellent or good. Twenty-five percent described health care and immigration as the most important issues in the election. Nearly two-thirds said Trump was a reason for their vote. The president bet big on a xenophobic closing message, warning of an immigrant “invasion” that promised to spread violent crime and drugs across the nation. Several television networks, including the president’s favorite Fox News Channel, yanked a Trump campaign advertisement off the air on the eve of the election, determining that its portrayal of a murderous immigrant went too far. One of Trump’s most vocal defenders on immigration, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, lost his bid for governor. Kobach had built a national profile as an advocate of tough immigration policies and strict voter photo ID laws. He served as vice chairman of Trump’s now-defunct commission on voter fraud. The president found partial success despite his current job approval, set at 40 percent by Gallup, the lowest at this point of any first-term president in the modern era. Both Barack Obama’s and Bill Clinton’s numbers were five points higher, and both suffered major midterm losses of 63 and 54 House seats, respectively. Democrats, whose very relevance in the Trump era depended on winning at least one chamber of Congress, were laser-focused on health care as they poured hundreds of millions of dollars onto surging anti-Trump energy to break up the GOP’s monopoly in Washington and state governments. While Democratic losses were expected, particularly in the Senate, some hurt worse than others. In Texas, Sen. Ted Cruz staved off a tough challenge from Democrat Beto O’Rourke, whose recordsmashing fund-raising and celebrity have set off buzz he could be a credible 2020 White House contender. Democrats’ fate in highprofile governorships in Georgia and Wisconsin were at risk, as well. In Indiana, Trump-backed businessman Mike Braun defeated Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly. In Missouri, Josh Hawley knocked off Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. And in Tennessee, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn defeated former Gov. Phil Bredesen, a top Democratic recruit. Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin in West Virginia and Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin won reelection. And in New Jersey, Democrats reelected embattled Sen. Bob Menendez, who, less than a year ago, stood trial for federal corruption charges. The Justice Department dropped the charges after his trial ended in a hung jury. Meanwhile, several 2020 presidential prospects easily won reelection, including Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Tuesday’s elections also tested the strength of a Trump-era political realignment defined by evolving divisions among voters by race, gender and especially education. AP


Thursday, November 8, 2018


Heads of World Bank, IMF say risks of trade tensions growing


EIJING—Leaders of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other global financial organizations warned on Tuesday that trade tensions pose a growing risk for emerging economies. With the United States and China embroiled in their worst trade conf lict in decades, global growth has “plateaued and some downside risks have materialized,” the leaders said in a joint statement issued after a meeting in Beijing.

“We are concerned about a further escalation of trade tensions, and the spillover effects on vulnerable emerging markets,” the statement said, specifically mentioning employment as a concern. The leaders said they were “very strongly concerned” about

protect ionism and one-sided measures and urged support for broader efforts such as the World Trade Organization. Conf l ic t s over tec h nolog y policies and other trade issues have led the US to impose tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of Chinese exports. China has responded in kind. The disruptions to trade as companies adapt and prices rise are adding to pressures on China’s leadership as the economy slows due to longer-term factors. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said the IMF forecasts that China’s economy will grow at a 6.6-percent annual rate this year, slowing to 6.2 percent next year.

But she gave Beijing credit for tackling some key troubles. “Significant progress has been made in rebalancing the economy, slowing credit growth, addressing risks in financial sector and government off-budget borrowing, and continuing to open up the economy,” she said in an address to the meeting. A l s o at t e n d i n g Tu e s d a y ’s meeting was World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, WTO Head Roberto Azevedo, leader of the Organisation for Economic Coo p e r at ion a nd D e ve lo pme nt Angel Gurria, Financial Stability Board Chairman Mark Carney and International Labour Organization Deputy Director General Deborah Greenfield. AP

Oil prices drop after Iran sanction carve-outs

N IN this November 6, 2018, file photo, China’s new-generation stealth unmanned combat aircraft prototype, the CH-7, is displayed during the 12th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, also known as Airshow China 2018, in Zhuhai City, south China’s Guangdong province. AP/KIN CHEUNG



HUHAI, China—A Chinese state-owned company says it is developing a stealth combat drone in the latest sign of the country’s growing aerospace prowess. The CH-7 unmanned aerial vehicle a l s o u n d e r s c o r e s C h i n a’s g r o w i n g c o m p e t i t i ve n e s s i n t h e e x p a n d i n g global market for drones. China has won sales in the Middle East and elsewhere by offering drones at lower prices and without the political conditions attached by the United States. The CH-7’s chief designer Shi Wen said the aircraft can “fly long hours, scout and strike the target when necessary.” “Very soon, I believe, in the next one to two years, [we] can see the CH-7 flying in the blue skies, gradually being a practical and usable product in the future,” Shi told The Associated Press. S h i s a i d m a n u f a c t u re r C h i n e s e Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. plans to test fly the drone next year and begin mass production by 2022. He said the drone will likely be sold abroad but had no information on potential clients. A model of the aircraft is being displayed at this week’s Zhuhai air show in southern China, a biannual event that showcases China’s latest advancements in military and civilian aviation. With a wingspan of 22 meters (72 feet) and a length of 10 meters (33 feet), the swept-wing CH-7 is the size of a combat aircraft and its single engine can propel it at roughly the speed of a commercial jet airliner. The US, Russia and France are also developing stealth drones, while Israel has long been a leader in the UAV field. However, low prices and a willingness to transfer technology have endowed China with a “strong position,” in the UAV market, said Phil Finnegan, director of corporate analysis at the Teal Group Corp. in Fairfax, Virginia. The US has been extremely cautious about selling its higher-end unmanned system, even to Nato member-states, opening up an opportunity to China in the export market, said Justin Bronk, an export on such technologies at the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies in London. “ I t wo u l d re p re s e n t a n a re a o f Chinese arms expor t offerings which

no other countr y offers,” Bronk said. Alongside its development of stealth fighters and commercial passenger jets, China has advanced rapidly in the development of UAVs, which have a relatively lower technological entr y cost. Sales have also been boosted by the fact that China is not a signator y to the Missile Technology Control Regime that restricts expor ts of missiles and other unmanned weapons systems. The numbers of drone programs unveiled in China in recent years has been “dizzying,” said Sam Roggeveen, director of the international security program at Australia’s Lowy Institute. While the CH-7’s ultimate effectiveness remains to be determined, if exported, it would “mark another step-change for China, which has traditionally not offered its cutting-edge technology to foreign customers,” Roggeveen said. Across the Middle East, countries locked out of purchasing US -made drones due to rules over excessive civilian casualties are being wooed by Chinese arms dealers, now the world’s main distributor of armed drones. The sales are helping expand Chinese influence across a region crucial to American security interests and bolstering Beijing’s ambitions to lead in high-tech arms sales. While the US still holds a technology advantage, China wins on price. The fact it is willing to sell the CH-7 abroad could indicate the technology is less than cutting edge, given China’s desire to guard its technological edge in such areas, said Ron Huisken, a regional security expert at Australian National University. China’s exports also underscore the growing per vasiveness of drones in modern warfare, even without strong international agreements on where and how they can be used. “One wonders what nasty surprises are in store as countries more casual about how they use drones and less strict about training standards get their hands on them,” said Huisken. Also appearing again at this year’s Zhuhai show was China’s homebuilt J-20 stealth fighter, which outwardly resembles the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor in service with the US military. AP

E W YOR K— C r ude oi l prices briefly dipped into a bear market after President Donald J. Trump carved out some countries from US-imposed sanctions on Iran. The price of West Texas Intermediate crude reached a low of $61.31 a barrel on Tuesday. That was down about 20 percent, from October 3 when oil was trading at $76.41 per barrel at the market close. Trump reimposed sanctions on

Iran on Monday, and in the leadup to the announcement analysts feared global oil prices could spike. But Trump carved out exemptions for China, Japan, South Korea, India and Taiwan in Asia, as well as Greece, Italy and Turkey in Europe. The sanctions aim to cut Iran’s oil industry off from international sales. The penalties also cover hundreds of Iranian and Iran-linked individuals, entities and aircraft. AP

B4 Thursday, November 8, 2018




CI.ENAV, an experienced integrated marketing-communication team, is the second Philippine acquisition of Hakuhodo, Japan’s second-largest advertising conglomerate, further consolidating its position and commitment to the country. BCI.eNav is the amalgamation of Beginnings Communication Inc. (BCI), a brand agency; and eNav, an events and activations company. These two entities are fueled by the same thrust for experiential marketing, whether it be through brand communications or customer engagement.   For more than two decades BCI.eNav has been growing its business at an enviable rate. Gemma Alcantara, founder, and BCI.eNav’s managing director, shared their path to success. “It begins and ends with our team-driven culture of empathy and reciprocity. We have acquired clients and sustained our relationships because we truly listen and respond fast with effective solutions. We operate in an atmosphere of authentic partnership.” This relationship is palpably manifested in the market achievements of its partner clients. Jobert Dumlao, marketing director of Danone Universal Robina Beverages Inc. (DURBI), says this as a result of their work on B’lue, an innovative millennial water-based drink. “BCI.eNav is a valued partner in building our brand. They bring to the table a strong entrepreneurial spirit—agile and solutions-oriented—with a passion for ideas and execution. There is a creative simplicity in the way they work and think that makes it easy to move forward with every initiative.”

When most client-agency interactions are either transactional or globally aligned, one cannot help admire the solid, long-haul relationships this unassuming but formidable agency has cultivated. The team has the dynamic energy of youth, with a diverse group of talent that deftly sponges on mainstream and fringe culture, keeping their heads and hearts open to unmet human needs. BCI.eNav’s humancentered work is further strengthened by their growing expertise in data-driven marketing. Cofounder Michelle Casal, former creative director turned group account director, shares her excitement over the BCI.eNAV and Hakuhodo alliance. “I see this as the coming together of different strengths to deliver data-driven decisions that inform the customer [of] experiences we create and curate,” referring to Hakuhodo’s infusion of digital and data competencies into their online and offline communications, and onground capacities. Through Hakuhodo’s proprietary digital-media platforms, BCI.eNav’s integrated communications offering is reinforced by a robust data-analytics backbone. Truly, the partnership with Hakuhodo is a strategic move between two like-minded agencies dedicated to inventing the future. The Hakuhodo Group buying into its second agency in the Philippines is a clear and confident step toward expanding its marketing services across Asia, furthering their ambition to provide sei-katsu-sha insight-based marketing knowledge to Japanese, local and global companies worldwide.

N October 27 writers, illustrators, educators, students and children’s literature enthusiasts gathered to attend the first Pista! Pambansang Komperensiya sa Panitikang Pambata. Sponsored by Lampara Publishing House Inc., the conference was directed by writer-teacher China Patria de Vera and award-winning author Dr. Eugene Y. Evasco. Plenary speakers were Dr. Rosario Torres-Yu, who talked about regional children’s literature; Segundo Matias Jr., who discussed his young-adult novel Mga Batang Poz; and award-winning author Wilfredo Pascual, who discussed the children’s literature in Asia and Africa. There were four parallel sessions attended by 17 speakers who talked about regional children’s literature, gender-based stories, sexuality and the importance of reading to children. Five masterclasses were also opened to the participants—Illustrating Children’s Books by Prof. Ruben de Jesus, Writing Children’s Book by award-winning writer Becky Bravo and Creating Comics with

Black Ink artists Jake Vicente and Herbs Navasca. A masterclass on Writing Young Adult stories was also opened and graced by rebel-fiction writer Luna King and Steno Padilla, the very first winner of Lampara Prize young-adult story-writing contest. The masterclass was completed by LGBT-

themed story writers Leonna and Nina Satomi from Pride Lit. True to its name, Pista! Pambansang Komperensiya sa Panitikang Pambata was a feast. The day was filled with new learning, knowledge and awareness concerning children’s literature and reading.



ALAYAN Insurance Co. Inc. has once again secured its position as the leader in the Philippine nonlife-insurance industry based on 2017 data from the Insurance Commission (IC). According to industr y fig ures released by the IC, Malayan Insurance is ranked as the No. 1 nonlife insurer in terms of gross premiums written (GPW) and assets. The rankings are based on the annual reports and financial statements submitted by nonlife- and generalinsurance companies operating in the Philippines. In 2017 Malayan Insurance produced GPW amounting to P9.60 billion, 6

percent higher than in 2016. With a significant lead over the next insurer, Malayan Insurance has been the dominant nonlife insurer of Philippine businesses and families for 48 years. The company also registered a total of P38.81 billion in assets in 2017. This marks a year-on-year gain of P19.76 billion, or 103.73 percent, compared to P19.05 billion in 2016. Ma l ay a n Insu ra nce h a s been introducing new products and services into the Philippine nonlife-insurance market with the launch this year of its Travelite budget-travel insurance; and Motomax motorcycle insurance, an affordable total-loss-only cover for the growing motorcycle market.

Malayan Insurance is the only Philippine nonlife-insurance company rated by AM Best, a global rating authority for the insurance industry. The company retained its title of Most Stable Nonlife Insurer in 2018 from AM Best. It affirmed the rating of Malayan Insurance with Financial Strength Rating: B++ (Good), Insurer Credit Rating bbb+ and Outlook for both (Stable). Founded in 1930, Malayan Insurance is a member of the Yuchengco Group of Companies (YGC). YGC is one of the largest conglomerates in the Philippines with core businesses in financial services, banking, investments, construction, education, energy and information technology.



HRISTMAS means giving and making meaningful memories. Save the Children Philippines fulfills both through its Christmas campaign #LahatDapat with the tagline “This Christmas, lahat dapat kasali.” The Christmas campaign is an extraordinarychancetocelebrateChristmas by making a difference in children’s lives and fulfill lifelong dreams to see your solo picture, with family and friends on LED billboards across the metropolitan area. The press launch on October 25 at 1:30 p.m. was held at Ascott in Makati City. Lawyer Albert Muyot, chief executive officer of Save the Children Philippines, said that for many Filipinos, Christmas is

for children. This event gives everyone an opportunitytomakeadifferencetothelivesof children, particularly those in disadvantaged communities in the Philippines. There are around 3.3 million children in the country who are stunted and 800,000 more are malnourished. The Philippines ranks ninth among 10 countries in the world with worst cases of stunting and malnutrition of children. “Malnutrition is a silent killer,” Muyot said. Every day at least 95 children die of preventable diseases related to malnutrition. “Inflation hits the more than eight million food-poor families in the Philippines,” he said. An estimated 1.5 million Filipino children go to sleep hungry

every night, not having eaten a meal all day. Save the Children Philippines launched early this year Project Nutrition among Urban Poor Through Unified Response (Nurture) that aims to reduce the number of deaths of children under 5 years old in identified areas in Navotas City. The project implements a nutritionspecific and -sensitive intervention focusing on the first 1,000 days of life to prevent stunting and wasting among children under 5 years old, and improve maternal nutrition, particularly among pregnant and lactating mothers. Miss World 2018 Katarina Rodriguez is supporting Save the Children Philippines by being one of the campaign influencers.



LANDERS Agricultural Marketing Board (VLAM) brought together five major Belgian fries exporters to exhibit as a group at the Wofex Manila from August 1 to 4. The five companies—Agristo, Bart’s Potato Co., Clarebout Potatoes, Ecofrost and Mydibel—participated at the trade show under the “Belgian Fries” banner to widen their networks; increase their share in the Philippine growing market for processed potato products; and heighten awareness of Belgian fries in the Philippines and the region. This was the first time that the delicious Belgian fries are being presented in the Philippines at such a scale. These five companies represented the five biggest family-owned businesses in the industry in Belgium offering a wide range of potato products and specialties that are exported to over 100 countries worldwide. The companies are all halal-certified. Their participation in Wofex Manila was part of a five-nation

promotion campaign in Southeast Asia; coordinated by VLAM and Belgapom, the association for the Belgian potato trade and processing industry. “Hot on the heels of exhibiting in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam, we are pleased to bring Belgian fries to the Philippines, this time around, as part of our plan to increase our presence in the Southeast Asian region. There is an existing market in this region for our products, but we see an even bigger opportunity to expand exports and heighten appreciation for our national delicacy. Southeast Asia is one of the largest fast-growing regions of the world, with a rising middle class, rapid urbanization and an overall young population. These trends, together with Belgium’s high food standards and innovation, will continue to drive demand in the region and beyond, and our industry is ready to reply to this in an original way, since our Belgian fries are truly different

from those from other countries,” Romain Cools from Belgapom said. “The Philippines is well-known as a food lover’s paradise, and Philippine consumers really know and love good food. Belgian fries are still relatively unknown in the Philippines, so we are excited about this opportunity to share one of Belgium’s most beloved national dishes with the Philippines. Golden yellow and crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, Belgian fries, or frites as we call them, are a true Belgian delicacy that is delicious, either as a side served with steak or as an appetizing snack with a mayonnaise-based sauce!” Belgium is the largest exporter of frozen fries in the world, with 90 percent of its production freighted to the global market. In 2016 Belgian fries exports rose 14.3 percent to 1.68 million tons in 2016 from a year earlier, with an increasing share going to countries outside the European Union.



By Doug Ferguson

| Thursday, November 8, 2018 Editor: Jun Lomibao

PROFESSIONAL Golfers’ Association rules official Slugger White (left) looks on as Ryan Palmer drops his ball after hitting in the hazard during the first playoff hole of the Byron Nelson Championship in Irving, Texas, in May 2011. AP



LUGGER WHITE spent three weeks in Asia as the lead rules official for Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Tour events. He is officiating in Mexico this week at the Mayakoba Classic, and then he heads to Australia the week of Thanksgiving for his final event of the year, the World Cup. And then? He has four weeks to get up to speed on the largest overhaul of rules in golf history. White is among hundreds of rules officials worldwide who face a crash course on the modernized Rules of Golf that take effect on January 1. The modernized rules, which took more than five years to develop, were announced in early-March. But the majority of officials did not get a head start on studying the changes for fear they might rely on 2019 rules at 2018 tournaments. “There’s so many differences,” White said on Tuesday from Mexico. “We’ve kind of tugged along on little things, but on a weekly basis, we don’t want to confuse ourselves. The embedded ball is going to be different next year. It’s one club length. Now it’s drop as near as you can.” Tour officials typically go to USGA rules workshops in the fall, and they’ve had half-day seminars every four years to go over any changes to the Rules of Golf. Now, however, officials from various tours plan an intensive two-day session with the USGA the second week in December. White said the USGA would be at five PGA Tour events to start next year. The modernized rules were developed to make them easier to understand and to apply. Among the more drastic changes are penalty drops from knee-high height (instead of shoulder height) and eliminating penalties for balls that move accidentally on the green or clubs that touch the ground in a hazard. Also, players will be allowed to leave the pin in the hole while on the green and repair spike marks. Missy Jones on the Ladies PGA (LPGA) Tour finished up the qualifying series last week and, like White, said she didn’t study the new rules sooner because “it’s hard to look at those and officiate under 2018 rules.” She recalled one instance when a player removed a boundary stake that was impeding her swing. “I was thinking that next year she would have a chance to put it back [before hitting her shot],” Jones said. In this case, the player was docked two shots. The toughest aspect for rules official is adapting

to 24 rules instead of 36. They could recite rules by numbers, and that will make it particularly difficult on someone like White, who has been a rules official for 37 years. “An unplayable ball is no longer [Rule] 28,” White said. Next year that falls under Rule 19. Jones said recreational golfers won’t have to worry about citing numbers, and the modernized rules will be easier to understand. “For us, it’s erase the hard drive and start over,” she said. And it’s not just them. Jones said she handed out a 16-page booklet with highlights of the major changes to players in the scoring area at the LPGA qualifying series last week. The PGA Tour plans to distribute information and videos to players after its year ends on November 18 at the RSM Classic.


JUSTIN ROSE had reason to celebrate his second time reaching No. 1 in the world because he got there by winning the Turkish Airlines Open. But the celebration is short. Brooks Koepka replaces him at No. 1 next week with neither of them playing. And thus continues what amounts to musical chairs atop the world ranking in 2018, the most volatile—for now—since 1997. Rose, Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas have taken turns at No. 1 this year, the most since Greg Norman, Tom Lehman, Tiger Woods and Ernie Els each got to No. 1 during 1997. There were eight changes at the top in 1997, and next week will be the eighth change in 2018. There could be more. Koepka has one more tournament this year. He defends his title in the Dunlop Phoenix on the Japan Golf Tour from November 15 to 18. Rose is expected to play two more events, the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas the week after Thanksgiving and his title defense in the Indonesia Masters in Jakarta from December 13 to 16. They are the only two who can reach No. 1 the rest of the year. Johnson is not expected to play again until Kapalua, and Thomas would appear to be too far back even if he wins his final event of the year in the Bahamas.


THANKS to the change in the PGA Tour schedule,

players now can qualify for the US Open in four countries. There already was a 36-hole sectional qualifier in England for European Tour players and in Japan for players from various Asian tours. Because the Canadian Open is the week before the US Open next year, the USGA is scouting golf courses near the Toronto area to have a 36-hole qualifier on the Monday ahead of the Canadian Open. Previously, that qualifier was held in Memphis, Tennessee, ahead of the FedEx Saint Jude Classic, which next year becomes a World Golf Championship in late-July.


JIM FURYK’S father is the only coach he has ever had. Mike Furyk now gets to be his partner. Furyk is among four newcomers to the PNC Father-Son Challenge, which will be held on December 15 and 16 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Florida. Others playing for the first time are Darren Clarke and David Toms with their sons, and Matt Kuchar with his father. Players must have won a major or The Players Championship to be eligible, and their partner must not hold a PGA Tour card. Davis Love III is playing with his son, Dru, who has played 11 times on the PGA Tour on sponsor exemptions as he starts his career. “My entire golf career has been a family affair and my dad has been there every step of the way,” Furyk said. “He has taught me so many lessons about life and my golf swing, so to have this opportunity to team up with him is nothing short of a dream come true.” Angel Cabrera and his son, Angel Jr., are the defending champions. Jack Nicklaus returns with this grandson, GT, who in April gave his grandfather one of his greatest thrills by making a hole-in-one during the Par-3 Tournament at the Masters. They also played as a team last year. The 20-team field features 11 players in the Hall of Fame, including Retief Goosen, who will be inducted in June. AP

The Associated Press

WO moments of discrimination took place 1,000 miles and worlds apart, neither pointing to Suzy Whaley making history this week at the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) of America. Whaley was just getting hooked on golf in Syracuse, New York, and she was good enough to compete in tournaments when her name was scratched off the entry list of a junior tournament for boys because she was a girl. “And now I’ve played in a PGA Tour event,” said Whaley, who at the 2003 Greater Hartford Open became the first woman in 58 years to qualify for a PGA Tour event. “Look how far we’ve gone. It’s not where we need to be, but we’re making progress. And that makes me smile.” Around the time Whaley had her first whiff of discrimination as a young girl, Barrie Naismith Jeffcoat was working at a golf club in Atlanta as a 29-year-old woman who was giving lessons and going nowhere. She hired young men to handle the carts and pick up golf balls from the range. Some of them went on to become PGA professionals and got jobs at other clubs. She couldn’t join the PGA as a certified pro because she was a woman. “Something was wrong with this picture,” Naismith Jeffcoat said in a telephone interview on Monday from her home in Virginia. “At the time I was giving lessons to Superior Court Judge [Joel] Fryer. He gave me the name of his attorney. The attorney advised me to call the PGA. I got a lawyer on the phone with the PGA and he told me, ‘You can call Jimmy Carter, but it won’t do you any good.’” Instead of calling the president, she filed a lawsuit against the PGA in 1978. By the end of the year, the PGA signed the Naismith Consent Degree, giving women equal rights to become PGA professionals. Naismith became the first female member on February 1, 1979. She stayed with the PGA a few more years, yet the impact will be felt strongest this week at the PGA of America’s annual meeting in California. Whaley is set to become the first female president in its 102-year history. “I’m so thrilled she’ll have a high profile,” said Naismith Jeffcoat, who has never met Whaley. “There will be a lot of young women that will take up the game and want to be involved. It’s very exciting to me to see it come to fruition.” Whaley is a consensus-builder, perhaps her greatest asset. She is foremost a golf professional, still giving private lessons at Suzy Whaley Golf, the course she owns in Cromwell, Connecticut, and serving as PGA director of instruction at the Country Club of Mirasol in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, during the winter months. Her husband, Bill, was her first golf coach. Both her daughters played in college. “My strength would be that I love the game of golf. I want to get clubs in people’s hands,” said Whaley, recently certified as a master professional. “My vision for the membership is to help enhance their careers. How can we get them resources and tools to go where they want to go?” She also recognizes the historic occasion of the annual meeting on Friday, and she doesn’t take it lightly. “It’s definitely historic, and I’m honored and completely grateful the membership has that faith and trust,” she said. “I look at myself as a PGA professional first. Obviously, I’m a woman. I understand the moniker. There are women who have paved the way before me.” One was Renee Powell, who last year was inducted into the PGA of America Hall of Fame. Another was Sue Fiscoe, who ran unsuccessfully for national office at the PGA in 2012, which motivated Whaley to run herself two years later. Whaley rose to national prominence when she won the Connecticut PGA section in 2002, earning a spot in the Greater Hartford Open. That’s what inspired Annika Sorenstam to say she would accept an invitation to a PGA Tour event, which she received within weeks at the Colonial. Sorenstam played two months before Whaley. Her name recognition might have received a boost when weeks before Whaley’s election as secretary in 2014, Ted Bishop was ousted as PGA president for calling Ian Poulter a “Lil girl” during a social-media rant. But, while Naismith Jeffcoat caused consternation in some circles—after she joined the PGA of America, two men threatened to sue to join the LPGA—Whaley received 53 percent of the votes from PGA delegates, only three of whom were women, and won election by 19 percentage points. After two years as secretary and two years as vice president, it’s time for the 51-year-old Whaley to lead the 29,000 men and women at the PGA of America. She didn’t want to be president because she’s a woman. She still understands the moment in front of her. “I wanted to have a seat at the table, a voice in the room,” she said. “I didn’t look at it as male or female. I felt I had something to contribute. That doesn’t mean it’s not difficult. It’s an enormous opportunity for equality, and to showcase to women what they can do. Golf is an $84-billion industry we want to contribute to.”

SUZY WHALEY is set to become the first female president in the Professional Golfers’ Association’s 102year history. AP



C2 Thursday, November 8, 2018

NBA RESULTS Charlotte 113, Atlanta 102 Dallas 119, Washington 100 Brooklyn 104, Phoenix 82 Portland 118, Milwaukee 103

BLAZERS TORCH BUCKS PORTLAND’S CJ McCollum drives against Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton during the second half of their game on Tuesday. AP

Retirement-bound Tiu delivers for RoS


AIN or Shine (ROS) veteran guard Chris Tiu exploded for a new career high in what could possibly be his final game as a pro en route to capturing the CignalPhilippine Basketball Association (PBA) Press Corps Player of the Week in the 2018 Governors’ Cup. The 5-foot-11 guard out of Ateneo fired 17 of his 30 points in the second half for a new career high, leading Rain or Shine past NLEX, 107-101, last Saturday to close the Elasto Painters’ season on a winning note. The 33-year-old Tiu went 9-of-22 from the floor, lacing his game with three triples that went along five assists, four rebounds, a steal and a block in more than 32 minutes of action. Tiu has yet to formally announce his retirement after playing for six seasons in the PBA.  But he cited family and some of his personal commitments as reasons why he contemplates of hanging up his jersey. The sweet-shooting guard though intends to sit down with ROS management and hear them out before making an official announcement. Selected seventh overall by Rain or Shine in 2012, Tiu played a vital cog in the team’s consistent showing in the league, culminating with ROS’s second PBA championship in franchise history during the 2016 Commissioner’s Cup. According to PBA chief statistician Fidel Mangonon, Tiu concluded the PBA’s Season 43 with averages of 10.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.97 assists in 35 games—all career-high numbers. Tiu bested Meralco forward Reynel Hugnatan, Phoenix’s Calvin Abueva and Matthew Wright, as well as Ginebra slotman Greg Slaughter for the weekly citation for the period of October 29 to November 4. 


By Ramon Rafael Bonilla

INGAPORE—Filipino Kevin Belingon speaks a volume of vindications as he seeks revenge and in the process unify the ONE Championship bantamweight belt against Brazilian legend Bibiano Fernandes on Friday at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. “I’m very excited to be here and I want to thank ONE for this opportunity,” Belingon, a stalwart of Benguet’s Team Lakay, said on

Wednesday in a press conference at the Marina Sands Bay Convention Centre. The 31-year-old Belingon challenged Fernandes in January 2016, but the Brazilian submitted the Filipino in the first round via a kimura for his fourth successful defense. Since then, Belingon had won six straight and claimed the interim bantamweight belt over Martin Nguyen in Manila last July. “I waited for so long to fight Bibiano again. I’m 100-percent confident for this fight. I trained hard for this,” said Belingon, who owns a record of 19 wins against five losses.

FVR leads cast in 4th Plaridel Golf Cup


ORMER President Fidel V. Ramos will lead the ceremonial tee-off of the Fourth Plaridel Golf Cup Tournament slated on Friday at the Villamor Air Base Golf Club. Tee-off time starts at 7 a.m. This year’s tournament, organized by the Association of Philippine Journalists Samahang Plaridel Foundation Inc., is being sponsored by

CHRIS TIU is contemplating retirement after six seasons as a pro.

Oriental Group, Philippine Airlines, Liwayway Marketing Corp., Pagcor, GMA Network, Ayala Land Inc., Steel Asia, San Miguel Corp., Agila ng Bayan, Cong. Edgar Erice, Manila Water and Asia Brewery. Samahang Plaridel President Rolando Estabillo said the 18-hole event seeks to foster goodwill and camaraderie among golfing journalists and their friends.

The pride of the north is sure to have his hands full as Fernandes enters the cage undefeated in 14 fights. Considered as one of the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, he also looked optimistic that he can retain the title. “For me it’s an honor to come here. I fought him in the past. I finished him, and I’ll finish him again,” Fernandes (22-3) said. The battle of the bantamweight kings was elevated as the main event after Angela Lee pulled out because of back injury she suffered in training. She was supposed to take on China’s Xiong Jing Nan for the strawweight crown.

“We hope media golfers can gather for a friendly round of golf to unwind from our stressful day at the job,” Estabillo said. Registration is still ongoing. Trophies await winners in two divisions— media and guest—while surprise merchandise items will be up for the traditional raffle. For details, call the Samahang Plaridel Secretariat through Nelly Lumbaca 09209286498 or 785-6020 or send an e-mail at

PSC solidifies grassroots program in DepEd deal


HE Department of Education (DepEd) and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) embarked on a comprehensive collaboration through the two-day National Sports Planning Workshop that concluded on Wednesday at the Pinnacle Hotel and Suites in Davao City. DepEd Assistant Secretary Revsee Escobedo lauded the PSC for its effort to unify the country’s grassroots sports development program. “This collaboration is a brainchild of our Chairman [William “Butch” Ramirez] and Secretary [Leonor] Briones. We welcome this major step and development in our grassroots program especially for the benefit of our

athletes of the DepEd,” Escobedo said. Escobedo also said that through the partnership, the PSC will help the DepEd develop and train its athletes and coaches. “This will raise the level of standards and capabilities of the athletes and coaches not just for national competitions but in the international stage, as well,” he said. Ramirez thanked Briones, saying that the DepEd-PSC collaboration was conceived during the Philippine National Games opening ceremonies in Cebu last summer. “This is a milestone development, for we believe without the DepEd, there will be no grassroots sports program,” Ramirez said. The collaboration among the DepEd and

local government units (LGUs), according to Ramirez, will be vital in pushing for a genuine grassroots sports development program. He proposed that both government agencies agree on focus sports that are in the Olympics and Asian Games program. “The DepEd-PSC collaboration has started. Hopefully a good result will come out of this convergence for the betterment and development of sports in the country,” PSC Commissioner Celia Kiram said. With a potential pool of talented studentathletes who will be scientifically trained, Kiram said the elusive Olympic gold medal could be achieved soon.

Tactical, Survival and Arms Expo unwraps at BGC


OLLOWING the success of the first Tactical and Survival Expo last year, a more comprehensive TACS EXPO in 2018 will be staged with its new name “Tactical, Survival and Arms Expo.” With a theme “Defense, Security and Survival

Show for Sustainable Living,” the expo aims to address global issues on environment, economic uncertainty and security threats, among others. “It is high time that a unique show such as this will be held in the country. TACS Expo, which focuses involvement of various

manufacturers and their representatives, will be an avenue to reach out to everyone and create awareness on how to prepare for emergency and life-threatening situations. And of course.... Admission to the expo is free with online or on-site registration,” Severo “Conkoy” Tuason,

PHILIPPINE Sports Commission Chairman William Ramirez (second from left) joins PSC Commissioner Celia Kiram, Department of Education Assistant Secretary Revsee Escobedo, PSC Commissioner Charles Maxey and Deputy Executive Director Simeon Rivera for a unity handshake.

Armscor’s chairman of the board, said. TACS Expo will showcase traditional weapons, survival gear and prepper stuff along with firearms and its accessories. It will also be an ideal venue for product launches and B2B arrangements, as well as a learning experience for the entire family. TACS Expo is a very well-timed exposition to respond to concerns and queries on how to

best prepare and manage circumstances such as disasters and home invasions among others. It also aims to encourage the young and old to become enthusiasts of self-sufficiency and preparedness. The opening ceremonies will be at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday at the SMX Convention Center (Third Level) of the SM Aura Premier at the Bonifacio Global City. The show will run until Sunday.


ORTLAND, Oregon—In search of his jump shot, CJ McCollum watched every single three-pointer he took last season looking for what he lost. Fortunately for the Portland Trail Blazers, he found it. McCollum scored 40 points and Portland beat Milwaukee, 118-103, on Tuesday night to hand the Bucks their second loss in 10 games this season. “Whether I play well or not, I know how much time I spend preparing,” McCollum said. “The only thing I saw was I had a lot of in-andouts and I was shooting with a dead wrist. That was the only thing I noticed. I wasn’t locking my wrist out, so I just tried to lock my wrist out.” The result was a dazzling performance against one of the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) best teams early this season. “A lot of credit to CJ. He had a heck of a night,” Bucks Coach Mike Budenholzer said. “Any time we made a bit of a run or felt like the momentum might be changing, McCollum hit a big shot.” McCollum, who entered shooting well below his career averages, went 17 for 26 from the field and added six assists. “It was tough,” Milwaukee big man Brook Lopez said. “He made some huge plays and some tough shots that definitely were contested.” Evan Turner had 16 points and 11 rebounds off the bench for the Blazers (8-3). Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 23 points and nine rebounds. Lopez shot six for 10 from three-point range and finished with 22 points. In the third quarter, McCollum put on a show. He scored 19 points and made Bucks rookie guard Donte DiVincenzo fall down on a crossover move before hitting a basket, sending the crowd into a frenzy. “Welcome to the league,” Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic said. “It can be hard some nights. Put some ice and you’ll be fine.” Portland led by 14 after three. Play began at a fast pace that carried on throughout in a meeting between two of the top five offenses in the NBA. With only 16 foul shots combined, the game took less than two hours. Portland outscored the Bucks 33-31 in the first quarter as both teams shot better than 50 percent from the floor and the three-point line. AP

Paragames unfurl in Cagayan de Oro


HE Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is conducting the third and final leg of the 2018 “Differently-Abled Sports 4 LIFE” Paragames at the Xavier University—Ateneo de Cagayan in Cagayan de Oro City. PSC Commissioner Arnold Agustin said the agency hopes to motivate, inspire and stimulate the marginalized kids into becoming regional, Asian and even world champions someday in the likes of Para Games swimmer Ernie Gawilan, chess wizard Sander Severino and table tennis ace Josephine Medina. “Our para athletes will play on six different sports, such as athletics, swimming, badminton, table tennis, bocce and goalball,” DAS4LIFE Assistant Project Director Jan Facundo said. Around 200 differently-abled students will participate in various games and fun activities serving as a grassroots development program of the PSC held in coordination with the Department of Education Division of Cagayan de Oro. Agustin will also attend the turnover ceremony of sports equipment to the local government of Cagayan de Oro City, headed by Mayor Oscar Moreno. “Starting next year, the games will adopt more events from the Paralympics and will provide seminars for coaches and technical officials with the help of various national sports associations as part of preparation for the country’s hosting of the Asean Para Games in 2020,” Agustin said.




Thursday, November 8, 2018


INNA BABANTO powered De La Salle to its second title in three years on Tuesday night in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 81 poomsae tournament at the Blue Eagle Gym. Babanto capped her collegiate career in spectacular fashion, winning the gold in the individual female and mixed pair events that helped the Green Jins bring the crown back to Taft Avenue. A former world champion, Babanto tallied 8.180 to best her fellow Asian Games bronze medalists Nikki Oliva (8.100) of University of the Philippines and Juvenile Faye Crisostomo (7.900) of Far Eastern University. Babanto then teamed up with Patrick Perez in annexing the mixed pair gold with 8.235, topping University of Santo Tomas’s Jerel Dalida and Cyrinne Abenir (8.200) and UP’s Jayboy Buenavista and Pat Jubelag (8.015). De La Salle completed gold medal sweep of individual events courtesy of Perez, who emerged victorious in the men’s category with 8.305. UST’s Adrian Ang bagged the silver with 8.150, while

National University’s Kier Macalino took the bronze with 8.035. Babanto got the sweet exit that she deserves by becoming the league’s first-ever poomsae MVP, while Perez bagged the Rookie of the Year honors. “Oh my God, hindi ko po ini-expect. Sobra,” said an elated Babanto, the Cebuana who is currently the face of poomsae. The Green Jins’ poomsae program is in good hands with Babanto passing the torch to Perez. “He is very passionate and hardworking person I know. Sobrang gustung-gusto niya na magkapagcontribute sa team. I believe in him 100 percent in the next competition. I expect more medals,” said Babanto of Perez. The Growling Tigers, last season’s champion who topped the team male event, finished second with a 1-3-0 medal haul, while the Fighting Maroons, who ruled the team female category, captured third spot (1-1-2). In juniors taekwondo, UST bested University of the East and National University to remain in the throne.


ADAMSON University’s Sean Manganti (1) is confronted by University of Santo Tomas’s Joshua Marcos (7) and Garmy Mahinay (26). NONOY LACZA


DAMSON University bolted out from a tight first half by fending off the repeated rallies of a young University of Santo Tomas (UST) side to score a 96-83 victory and barge to the Final Four in Season 81 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball tournament on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Jerrick Ahanmisi towed the Soaring Falcons to a blistering third-quarter assault, while his fellow veteran Sean Manganti provided the finishing kick in the fourth quarter as the team joined the defending champion Ateneo Blue Eagles in the semifinals with a second-best 9-3 win-loss record. Manganti registered 22 points, seven rebounds and four assists, and Simon Camacho added 15 points for the

Soaring Falcons. Ahanmisi sank eight of his 13 points in the crucial third period where the Soaring Falcons created distance from the Tigers. “We’re happy reaching the Final Four, but I don’t want to sound so hypocritical,” Soaring Falcons Head Coach Franz Pumaren said as they secured the school’s third straight semifinals appearance. “Of course, reaching the Final Four is an achievement, but we’ve been doing that for the last two years. Hopefully we can improve our finish for this year,” he added. Adamson University finished third in the elimination last season but were booted out in the semifinals by No. 2 seed De La Salle. The same thing happened in Season 79 when the eventual champion Green Archers hunted down the fourth seed Soaring Falcons in the Final Four. Anchored by Manganti and Ahanmisi,

Adamson University put order in the second half as UST kept them at bay in the first 20 minutes that had several lead changes. With Henri Subido and Marvin Lee finding their marks in the first two periods, the main guns of the Soaring Falcons took turns in taming down the Tigers. Ahanmisi’s triple with 8:27 minutes left in the game gave his team its biggest lead at 75-58. But then came UST rookie CJ Cansino, who hit two triples that capped a 11-2 run to make it 69-77 midway the final quarter. However, Manganti and Camacho hit back-to-back perimeter shots to calm the Tigers down. Subido led UST with 21 points and five assists, while Lee had 18 points and four assists as the Tigers fell further away from the Final Four race with a 5-7 card.

Ramon Rafael Bonilla

MEMBERS of the Ateneo de Manila swimming team hope to achieve another golden double in Season 81 action, which kicks off on Thursday at the Rizal Memorial Swimming Pool. The Blue Eagles have won the past four titles, while the women regained the throne last year. Two-time Olympian and three-time Most Valuable Player winner Jessie Khing Lacuna hopes to end his collegiate career as a winner.

De La Salle, UST gals book contrasting wins

D Smart tries to sustain hot start


MART is out to prove that its first win was no fluke when it battles reigning champion Petron in another explosive triple-header in the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference on Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Centre. Action is set at 7 p.m. with the Giga Hitters looking to sustain their sizzling start in the women’s club tournament bankrolled by Isuzu, Sogo, Senoh, Asics, Mikasa, Mueller, UCPB Gen and Bizooku with Genius Sports as technical partner. Also looking for their third win are F2 Logistics and Foton. The Cargo Movers tackle Cocolife at 2 p.m., while the Tornadoes clash with Sta. Lucia in the 4:15 p.m. second game. Bannered by Gretchel Soltones, Aiko Urdas, Jasmine Nabor and the core of the squad that ruled the Open Conference of the rival league last year, the Giga Hitters are

tipped to take the league by storm due to its chemistry, cohesion, airtight defense and attacking prowess. In their first game, the Giga Hitters delivered a glimpse of their strength as they dominated the Lady Realtors, 2520, 25-19, 25-23, with Soltones leading the way. Soltones, a member of the team that campaigned in the Asian Volleyball Confederation Asian Women’s Cup last month in Thailand, delivered 17 points and provided the spark that allowed Smart to shatter the 19-all deadlock en route to the impressive victory. But Smart will get its hands full against Petron, arguably one of the league’s best teams in the past couple of years. In their previous game late Tuesday, the Blaze Spikers flexed their muscles as they dominated Generika-Ayala, 25-18, 25-22,

25-13, to tally their second win that serves as a fitting follow up to their sorry loss to the Lifesavers that thwarted their plan of claiming the title in the recent Invitational Conference. The Blaze Spikers were on fire on all cylinders as they dominated the blocking department, 13-6, and service category, 4-0, while notching fewer errors, 11-27. “We really wanted to get this win,” said Coach Shaq de los Santos, the architect of the Blaze Spikers’ conquest of the previous All-Filipino.

E LA Salle and University of Santo Tomas (UST) forced a three-way tie for third place after posting contrasting victories on Wednesday in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 81 women’s basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Camille Claro had 16 points as the Lady Archers rallied past the Adamson University Lady Falcons, 66-64, while Ana Mae Tacatac shot 31 points as the Tigresses routed the

Ateneo Lady Eagles, 82-60. The Lady Falcons, who drew 33 points from Nathalie Prado, failed to nab solo hold of the No. 3 spot as they squandered a 16-point lead. Instead, Adamson University fell in a tie with De La Salle and UST at 7-5, muddling further the semifinals race. The Lady Eagles, who were led by Jollina Go’s 11 points, bowed out of the Final Four race with their eighth loss in 12 contests.

and Khin halved the point with secondseed FM Oleg Rinas of Kazakhstan to stay in contention for the top prize of  $500 out of the total prize of $3,000 from the  Asian Chess Federation. Comebacking IM Angelo Young and Stewart Manaog agreed to a draw in a battle between former national junior champions to lead a seven-way tie for eighth to 14th places with 2.5 points.     Three-time women’s champion Helen Milliganof New Zealand drew with FM Muhammad Novian Siregar of Indonesia to remain as the top female performer with 1.5 points.

5150 CHAMP Australian Mitch



EFENDING champion Grandmaster Eugene Torre agreed to a draw with International Master Petronio Roca in a keenly watched all-Filipino showdown, while IM Chito Garma and National Master (NM) Cesar Caturla booked decisive victories in the fourth round of the Ninth Asian Seniors Chess Championship at the Tagaytay International Convention Center in Tagaytay City on Tuesday. Facing his biggest challenge yet, Torre worked harder than usual to force the draw with Roca in 31 moves of a Queen’s Indian Defense and share of the lead with

Garma and Caturla with 3.5 points out of a possible four. The 67-year-old Filipino champion, who swept the tournament in Auckland, New Zealand, last year, and Roca each had a queen, bishop and six pawns when the game was drawn. Roca claimed he had a slight edge when the game was drawn. “I was threatening to win his c-pawn. His bishop is bad, but I had only 20 minutes left to reach move 40,” Roca said. Sharing the limelight in the  34-player,  nine-nation tournament hosted by the Tagaytay City government

through Seventh District Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino Jr. and Tagaytay City Mayor Agnes Tolentino were Garma, who defeated NM Carlo Lorena in 36 moves of a Sicilian, and Caturla, who trounced NM Rolzon Roullo in 54 moves of another Sicilian. Fide Master Adrian Pacis outclassed Angelito Camer of Australia to post his second straight win and lead three other players—FM Syarif Mahmud of Indonesia and  Than Khin of Myanmar and Roca—in fourth to seventh places with 3.0 points.     Mahmud dumped Iraj Sabah of Iran,

Robins (fourth from left) holds his trophy and a replica of his check worth $2,000 after winning the inaugural Black Arrow Express 5150 triathlon in Subic last Sunday. With him are (from left) Sunrise Events Inc. founder Wilfred Uytengsu, fourth placer Tim Linn of the United States, runner-up Sam Betten of Australia, third placer Czech Jakub Langhammer, fifth placer Aussie Dan Brown, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Director Chito Lahom and Black Arrow Express President and CEO Allan Brizuela.




Pinoy power THIS weekend, ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon will be the only Filipino fighting in ONE: Heart of the Lion in Singapore. He is going up against reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes in a much-awaited tell-all fight that could catapult another proud Igorot warrior to global fame and glory. Belingon, the fiercest, fastest mixed martial arts fighter in the cage of late has long dreamed of being in this position. After masterfully besting Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen in their July encounter in Manila, Belingon has set his sights on challenging the eminent Fernandes, who will certainly not give up his crown or position so easily. In Manila Belingon has the entire stadium behind him. Shrieking, screaming, whooping fans adore him at every move, strike and takedown. There too, he has his Team Lakay brothers sprinkled evenly through various cards, providing him a strong support system throughout. But in Singapore, the Filipino warrior will not have any emotional support from other Filipinos in the supporting cards. But the proud and fearless Pinoy is not worried. His secret? He is expecting a massive turnout from Filipino fans when he takes on “Bibiano” on Friday evening. Home to thousands of overseas Filipino workers, the Singapore Indoor Stadium has enjoyed a huge Filipino crowd whenever ONE Championship hosts an event in the country known as “The Lion City.” When Eduard Folayang challenged then-ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya Aoki in November 2016, the stadium exploded from the screams of Filipino fans that filled every section of the state-of-the-art showground to support the beloved Filipino mixed martial arts superstar. “Fighting in Singapore is almost like fighting in Manila. Thousands of Filipinos are based there, and they never fail to show support when their fellow Filipino is scheduled to compete at a ONE Championship event,” Belingon said. “I was there when Eduard Folayang pulled off the unexpected against Shinya Aoki to capture the ONE Lightweight World Title in 2016. Filipino fans were cheering for Eduard from start to finish, and the stadium erupted from the chants of countless Filipinos when he was officially crowned as the new ONE Lightweight World Champion,” he added. Now more than ever, Belingon is banking on crowd support when he takes on Fernandes in their highly-anticipated rematch. “I expect the same support, and hopefully an even bigger turnout from Filipino fans when I challenge Bibiano Fernandes for the ONE Bantamweight World Title. Our country is known for its passionate and knowledgeable fans who never fail to show massive support for one of their own,” he said. Should the usual massive Filipino crowd show up, Belingon feels that it would help him muster an inspired performance to get crowned as the undisputed ONE bantamweight world champion. “I know how big a following ONE Championship has from Filipino fans. I’m confident that they will flock to the stadium and show support in what would be the biggest and most important bout of my career. A huge Filipino crowd will surely help bring out an inspired performance from me as I attempt to bring the goldplated belt back to the Philippines,” he ended. Meanwhile, the ONE cage moves to Manila on Friday, November 23 when reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera of the Philippines defends his title against challenger Mauro “The Hammer” Cerilli of Italy. In the co-main event, former lightweight titleholder Eduard “Landslide” Folayang of the Philippines battles top contender Amir Khan of Singapore for the vacant ONE Lightweight World Championship. Brandon Vera, the undisputed champ with a 15-7, 1NC professional record is a devastating striker known for his thunderous leg kicks as well as his well-rounded skills. Vera captured the ONE Heavyweight World Championship with a stunning knockout victory over Paul Cheng in December of 2015. In his last bout, Vera dominated Japanese challenger Hideki “Shrek” Sekine to win via technical knockout in the first round, successfully defending his title. Now Vera will defend his ONE Heavyweight World Championship  against Mauro Cerilli, a mixed martial artist with a 12-2 professional record. Cerilli is a Cage Warriors Heavyweight Champion and a certified finisher known for his knockout power and submission skills. He is riding a five-bout win streak, with four of those wins ending with emphatic knockouts. In his latest outing, Cerilli stopped Karl Moore of Ireland in just 15 seconds. Also in ONE Conquest of Champions is the return of former lightweight titleholder Eduard “Landslide” Folayang of Baguio City, an alumni of the Philippine Wushu Team with 11 medals won in SEA Games past, three of them gold. The quiet and often philosophical Folayang is regarded as a national hero, thanks to his Philippine team achievements and his thunderous defeat of Japanese legend Shinya Aoki, followed by the successful defense of his title against Ev Ting of Malaysia in April 2017. But a shocking defeat from Martin Nguyen in January 2018 sent Folayang back to the drawing boards. Since then he has worked his way back by defeating various opponents in succeeding fights. Now, he is set to tangle with Amir Khan, who recently defeated fellow Lakay Honorio Banario, for a chance to capture the vacant ONE Lightweight World Championship. Folayang will celebrate his 35th birthday on November 22, a day before his scheduled five-round championship clash with Khan in the main event of ONE: Conquest of Champions at the Mall of Asia Arena. “There’s no greater gift I can receive on my 35th birthday other than winning the ONE Lightweight Word Title back,’’ he expressed. “And there’s no better place to do it but in front of my countrymen.” Both Lakay Brothers—Belingon and Folayang, as well as Brandon Vera himself—draw their strength from their bastion of Filipino support. And they won’t be disappointed.


By Stephen Wade The Associated Press

OKYO— Attention Simone Biles: They’re building a venue in Tokyo where you can add to the four Olympic gold medals you won as a star in Rio de Janeiro. The new Tokyo 2020 Olympic gymnastics venue is halfway completed and should be finished by this time next year. On Wednesday engineers raised a massive timber roof section, one of five, curved sections that will top out the ¥20.5-billion ($180-million) building, which designers describe as being shaped like a wooden bowl. “Japan’s wood culture will be communicated through the venue,” architect Hidemichi Takahashi said through an interpreter. Wood has been traditionally used in Japanese housing, and religious shrines and temples. Each of the five wooden sections weights 200 metric tons, or 200,000 kilograms (440,000 pounds) and stretches 88.8 meters (290 feet). Officials said the wood used in the roof is larch, a conifer in the pine family. The section raised on Wednesday was lifted from the ground at a glacial pace of about 9 centimeters (3.5 inches) per minute, so trying to see the movement was like watching clock hands barely move. “By using wood instead of steel, the weight of the roof is cut in half,”Takahashi said. The venue will also have timber seating “to give fans the feel of the warmth of wood,” Takahashi added. Officials said all the wood in the venue is Japanese. There has been some controversy about the origin of wood used in the new Olympic stadium, which is under construction in central Tokyo. The gymnastics venue will seat about 12,000 and will be used for 10 years after the Olympics as a convention center by the Tokyo metropolitan government. After this, plans call for the building to be razed. The venue is located in the Tokyo Bay region in an area known as Ariake. The area will also have Olympic venues for tennis, volleyball, BMX and skateboarding. Located close by in the bay region are also venues for triathlon, marathon swimming, beach volleyball, swimming, water polo, archery, 3x3 basketball, sport climbing, hockey, equestrian, canoeing and rowing. Olympic organizers and the International Olympic Committee have been criticized for leaving behind empty, unused venues in Rio de Janeiro—where US gymnast Biles was among the stars of the games—and earlier this year at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Tokyo organizers are using a mix of new, old and temporary venues, hoping to avoid the stigma of creating white elephants.

Sports BusinessMirror


| Thursday, November 8, 2018 Editor: Jun Lomibao

WORK is ongoing for the main wooden roof section for the Olympic Gymnastic Centre in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. AP

Ex-world champ banned 4 years

R ROH TAE-KANG (right), South Korea’s vice minister of culture and sports, shakes hands with his North Korean counterpart Won Kil U while posing for a photo during a meeting at the inter-Korean liaison office in Kaesong, North Korea, recently. AP

KOREAS EYE 2032 GAMES EOUL—North and South Korea on Friday agreed to officially inform the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of their intent to cohost the 2032 Summer Olympics as they continued with reconciliation efforts. Korean sports officials after meeting at the North Korean border town of Kaesong also agreed to send a combined team to the world handball championships in January, according to a statement. The rivals vowed to “actively participate” in international sports events hosted by each other and organize more friendly competitions between them. “The plan is to organize friendly competitions marking meaningful anniversaries between the South and North, for example the first anniversaries of the (April) inter-Korean summit and the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics,” said South Korean Vice Sports


Minister Roh Tae-kang, according to a pool report. North Korean officials at the meeting were led by a counterpart, Won Kil U. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in during a summit in September agreed to pursue a joint bid for the 2032 Olympics and send combined teams to the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games and other major sports events. It would be extremely difficult to host the Olympics in North Korea under heavy US-led sanctions, which are unlikely to be removed until the North takes concrete steps to relinquish its nuclear arsenal. There continues to be doubts whether Kim will ever give up his arsenal he may see as his strongest guarantee of survival. There’s also declining public support among South Koreans for hosting mega sports events due to worries over huge costs.



HREE high-profile Olympic and Paralympic athletes are incensed over a proposed age minimum that would eliminate their choice to be the next president of the World AntiDoping Agency (Wada). A list of guidelines under consideration includes a requirement that any candidate to replace Craig Reedie be at least 45. Reedie’s term expires next year. That would eliminate 41-year-old Linda Helleland of Norway, who has emerged as a favorite among athletes who want to see radical change in Wada following the agency’s muchcriticized decision to reinstate Russia’s anti-doping operation. NORWAY’S Linda Helleland, at 41, is out of the race. AP

For many South Koreans, it’s mind-boggling that the Koreas are even talking about sharing the Olympics. North Korea boycotted the 1986 Asian Games and the 1988 Summer Olympics, both held in Seoul, and relations dramatically worsened on the eve of the Seoul Olympics with the North’s bombing of a South Korean passenger jet that killed all 115 aboard in December 1987. The Koreas have often used sports to facilitate diplomacy. North Korea sent hundreds of people to the Winter Olympics in South Korea’s Pyeongchang in February, including Kim’s sister who conveyed his desire for an inter-Korean summit after tensions created by North Korean nuclear and missile tests. South Korea’s enthusiasm for engagement with its rival has created unease in Washington, which has called for allies to maintain pressure until Pyongyang denuclearizes. South Korea last month walked back on a proposal to lift some of its unilateral sanctions against North Korea following President Donald Trump’s blunt retort that Seoul could “do nothing” without Washington’s approval. AP

Members of Athletes for Clean Sport, Sebastian Samuelsson, Callum Skinner and Ali Jawad, released a statement this week calling the proposal “totally unacceptable.” “Given the recent direction of Wada and the lack of transparency that we have witnessed, is it merely a coincidence that just weeks before the athlete-minded candidate Linda Helleland would begin her campaign to be the next president, Wada could allow rules to be pushed through that would render Linda’s campaign ineligible?” they wrote. The proposal will be discussed at Wada’s board meeting next week. Wada officials say the proposal came not from their leadership, but from representatives of the international governments that provide half the agency’s funding. “Neither Wada’s leadership nor its management was involved or consulted in any way in the drafting

OME—Two-time swimming world champion Filippo Magnini has been banned for four years for doping. Italy’s anti-doping agency issued the verdict for the retired swimmer on Tuesday, and gave the same sentence to Magnini’s relay teammate, Michele Santucci. Both were found guilty of using and attempting to use banned substances. The swimmers were linked to nutritionist Guido Porcellini, who was banned for 30 years for distributing illegal drugs. Magnini, who won the 100-meter freestyle at

the 2005 and 2007 world championships and a relay bronze at the 2004 Olympics, has never tested positive and maintains that he never doped. He was an outspoken critic of doping throughout his career, having taken part in an “I am doping free” initiative. Magnini says, “I didn’t do anything. This sentence is ridiculous.” The anti-doping prosecutor was seeking an eightyear ban for Magnini. Santucci teamed with Magnini when Italy won bronze in the 4x100-meter relay at the 2015 worlds. AP

FILIPPO MAGNINI has been punished for doping. AP

of this document,” spokesman James Fitzgerald said. “Any suggestion to the contrary is simply untrue.” Fitzgerald said the document is not an agenda item for either the executive committee or the foundation board at next week’s meetings, but will be discussed by representatives of the governments, who asked for the Wada office’s help in distributing the information. Wada will discuss its recently formulated proposals for governance reform, which have been criticized by athletes for not going far enough to bring their voices into the decision-making process. Those proposals include nothing about age limits for the president. Helleland, who currently serves as Wada vice president, cast one of two dissenting votes when the Wada executive committee voted to reinstate Russia. She has been an outspoken critic of Wada’s

leadership and has presented herself as a candidate who would put athletes front and center in the Wada process. The athletes said regardless of who came up with the idea, it represents a shifting of the goal posts as the campaign begins. “Whether this move was initiated by Wada leadership or management, or whether it was initiated by members of Wada’s Boards, this is irrelevant,” they wrote. “It is Wada’s duty to lead, and leadership requires having a finger on the pulse of public and athlete opinion.” US Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart called it “an obvious attempt to rig the election so the reform candidates can’t run.” “It’s ludicrous,” he said. “Joan of Arc turned a war around at 17 and Queen Elizabeth became queen at 25, but to be Wada president, you need to be 45? Wow. Only in IOC/ Wada world does this occur.” AP


Mighty God

IGHTY God, You are our rock and fortress. In hope, we pray: Hear the groaning of the troubled. Give perseverance and strength to those who labor for justice and truth. Lead women in crisis pregnancies to find the health care and support they need. Support efforts to provide just wages, safe working conditions and meaningful work for those seeking employment. May God strengthen us to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God, by the power and encouragement of the Holy Spirit. Amen. GIVE US THIS DAY, SHARED BY LUISA LACSON, HFL Word&Life Publications •

Editor: Gerard S. Ramos •

Life BusinessMirror


Thursday, November 8, 2018




No more detours: Cathay Pacific Group links Davao and HK with direct �lights


By Jt niSay

AVAO CITY—Passengers in Davao and Mindanao can now travel to Hong Kong without having to go to Manila or Cebu. On a recent Sunday afternoon, Flight number KA347 of Cathay Pacific Group’s regional airline, Cathay Dragon, landed slightly ahead of time to a water canon salute at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport here from Hong Kong International Airport, marking the birth of the first nonstop flight service between Davao and Hong Kong. “Davao has been on our radar for quite some time, and I’m so glad that this time has come,” said Cathay Pacific Director for Commercial and Cargo Ronald Lam, one of the passengers aboard the full, maiden flight, during the press conference at the boarding area following their arrival. Cathay Dragon flies four times a week between Davao and Hong Kong, a flight frequency aligned with the company’s operating model for new routes. However, Lam said that the advanced booking statistics for their new flight service has been so encouraging that they have added eight more flights for December and January to accommodate peakseason demand. According to Rob Bradshaw, Cathay Pacific country manager, overseas Filipino workers returning home for Christmas was indeed one of the reasons for mounting the extra flights. “The ease and convenience of not having to go to a hub like Manila and Cebu make it attractive for those people who just want to get home to their families in

Davao and Mindanao,” he said. “They got one holiday a year, and they want to maximize the time home.” Meanwhile, the flight between Davao and Hong Kong is not just about those two destinations, according to Lam. He said passengers flying to Hong Kong could use it as a gateway to Cathay Pacific Group’s network of 200 destinations, which continues to grow. In fact, Lam called 2018 a “record year” for Hong Kong’s flagship carrier in terms of destination expansion. Flights to Nanning and Jinan were introduced earlier in the year, boosting the group’s network in Mainland China. Also launched were routes to Brussels, Copenhagen, Dublin, Cape Town and Washington D.C., plus flights to Medan in Indonesia, and, of course, Davao. The new Davao-HK route via Cathay Dragon adds to the robust profile of Cathay Pacific Group in the country as the largest international carrier between the Philippines and Hong Kong, with over 70 flights both ways. The group flies to Manila seven times a day, to Cebu twice a day and to Clark four times a week. Bradshaw said the Philippines has always been integral—historical, even—to the company and vice versa. He cited legend that the group founder, Roy Farrell, together with foreign correspondents, came up with the name “Cathay Pacific” at a bar in The Manila Hotel in the 1940s. Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said the opening of the new international route is a manifestation that Davao City is one of the emerging destinations in Southeast Asia. “May this route lead to the opening of other

direct international flights to Davao City, as we fly higher toward the attainment of being a prime tourism and economic hub in Mindanao and in the Philippines,” Duterte-Carpio said in a statement relayed during the press conference by Davao City Vice Mayor Bernard Al-ag. Ironically, the launch of the new international route in Davao coincided with the end of another, as a low-budget carrier pulled out on the same day. Bradshaw stressed Cathay Pacific Group is confident with its network’s capability to support the new Davao-Hong Kong route, and emphasized that both the demand and supply sides remain healthy. For example, the group’s fleet is in position for upgrade with 32 new aircraft, the Airbus A320neo family, set to add to and replace the 23 old models. “We have been in this market since 1946, or for 72 years. We are committed to the Philippines, and we want to grow here,” Bradshaw said. “We have been looking at Davao for a long time, and we wouldn’t have started if we didn’t believe in it. But of course, we have to work very hard to make it happen and make it work.” Asked whether the President being from Davao had a sway in the airline’s decision to pursue the new route, Bradshaw said that wasn’t necessarily the case. More than anything, he said what led them to Davao is the economic activity and dynamism spurred by investments to the province. “If the next president comes from Iloilo, it’s not like we’re automatically flying to Iloilo,” he said. “But undoubtedly, the investment boom from the attention that Mindanao and Davao have been getting was a factor.” n

Palau to ban sunscreen as it tries to save its coral reefs WELLINGTON, New Zealand—In an attempt to protect the coral reefs that divers so admire they have dubbed them the underwater Serengeti, the Pacific nation of Palau will soon ban many types of sunscreen. President Tommy Remengesau Jr. last week signed legislation that bans “reef-toxic” sunscreen from 2020. Banned sunscreens will be confiscated from tourists who carry them into the country, and merchants selling the banned products will be fined up to $1,000. Remengesau said in a statement that the penalties find the right balance between

“educating tourists and scaring them away.” The law defines reef-toxic sunscreen as containing any one of 10 chemicals, including oxybenzone, and states that other chemicals may also be banned. The legislation also requires tour operators to start providing customers with reusable cups, straws and food containers. Remengesau said a big impetus for the ban was a 2017 report, which found that sunscreen products were widespread in Palau’s famed Jellyfish Lake, which was closed for more than a year due to declining jellyfish numbers before being recently reopened.

The president noted legislative findings that “plastic waste, chemical pollution, resource overconsumption and climate change all continue to threaten the health of our pristine paradise.” Palau’s ban comes after Hawaii in July banned the sale of sunscreen containing the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate from 2021 in an attempt to protect its reefs. In Hawaii, however, tourists will still be able to bring the banned sunscreen with them into the state or buy it there if they have a doctor’s prescription. Scientists have found that some chemicals in sunscreen can be toxic to coral

reefs, which are a vital part of the ocean ecosystem as well as a popular draw for tourists. But some critics say there aren’t enough independent scientific studies on the issue, while others worry that people will suffer from too much sun exposure if they stop using the products. Some manufacturers, meanwhile, have already started selling “reef-friendly” sunscreen. Palau, located east of the Philippines and north of Indonesia, is home to 21,000 people and has an economy that relies on tourism and fishing. It has a compact of free association with the United States. AP

IN coordination with Haribon Foundation, the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) pioneered the implementation of the Biodiversity on Wheels program in Surigao del Sur in September, as the final leg of its Corporate Social Responsibility program for the year. The TPB volunteers reinforced the importance of biodiversity conservation and preservation to the students of Purisima National High School and Tagbina Central Elementary School through a two-day interactive teaching session. A total of 254 students participated in the sessions and also received educational materials from TPB. The Biodiversity on Wheels program aims to encourage the younger generation to take an active part in practicing simple, daily activities to address biodiversity threats, with focus in their community.


HARBOUR City is known around the world for being a haven for the best of dining in Hong Kong, housing Michelin-starred and recommended restaurants and gorgeous harbor views that complete the experience. The Ocean Terminal new extension building recently introduced a wide range of new restaurants with stunning Victoria Harbour views, allowing guests to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the bay while savoring world-class cuisine. This month Harbour City hosts the Great November Feast organized by the Hong Kong Tourism Board, with special offers throughout the duration of the festivities. Enjoy a breathtaking sunset like no other as Harbour City’s Sunset Cheers Tasting Party overlooking Victoria Harbour at the Ocean Terminal deck offers you the chance to sample fine wine selections and special cocktails curated to your taste. Put your vino discernment to the test at the Wine Sensory Station, where guests will be challenged to distinguish different wines according to their scent. For those seeking even more seafood, Harbour City’s Seafood Cheers Tasting Party features 24 restaurants putting their best fish forward, paired with select wines. Tokyo-based, Michelin-starred French restaurant à nu retrouvez-vous serves a tailor-made, eight-course Matsutake Menu with seasonal ingredients; Michelin-recommended restaurant China Tang presents a number of its signature refined Chinese offerings; Michelin-starred French restaurant Épure hosts a sommelier to select a number of wines to pair with their finest dishes, while Paper Moon welcomes their Executive Chef Giuseppe Palmieri from Milan to bring an authentic taste of Italy until November 30. The other renowned restaurants on the roster include Fu Rong, Hexa, Xihe Ya Yuan Beijing Duck Restaurant, ye shanghai, ANA Ten, Haku Curated By Hideaki Matsuo, Nishimura, Sushi Tokam, Thai Brasserie by Blue Elephant, Tsukada Nojo, Umai SushiKan, Al Molo Ristorante Italiano, Artisan De La Truffe Paris, BLT Steak, Cova Ristorante & Caffe, Cucina, Jamie’s Italian, Le Café de Joël Robuchon, La Locanda by Giancarlo Perbellini, Niji Bistro and Harbour View Restaurant. More delectable ocean offerings are also available as Happy Sunset Hour features nine restaurants at Harbour City that allow guests to choose their favorite style of seafood tapas paired with cocktails, red wine, white wine or beer basking in the glorious sunset of Victoria Harbour.


Thursday, November 8, 2018

Entertaining BusinessMirror

A master class by Chef Jereme Leung CHINA Blue’s Jereme Leung shows members of the media how to prepare a Hundred Rings Nippon Cucumber Salad with Chinese Aged Rice Vinaigrette, a delicacy unique to the northern riverlands of China.


By Pauline Joy M. Gutierrez

HE secret to not cutting yourself with a knife, according to Chinese celebrity chef and the man behind the award-winning restaurant China Blue in Conrad Manila Hotel, Jereme Leung, is by securing your hold on the blade and the bolster in one finger. He said, “Once you have your grip on the knife, you can do almost anything with it.” With swift but steady motions, he demonstrated among lifestyle journalists in the banquet kitchen of Conrad Manila how it’s done: the index finger and thumb should be opposite of each other on either side of the blade while the remaining three fingers are delicately curled around the handle. Not only does this technique lets you take full control of the knife, it also improves your cuts. The lesson seemed apt, given that the specialty dish of the master class was the Hundred Rings Nippon Cucumber Salad. The dish’s ingredients are sesame oil, dark soya sauce, black rice vinegar and basic seasonings, like pepper, garlic and sugar. The tricky part to preparing it, however, is shaping it to make it look like a slithering dragon by slicing the cucumber in rotating 90-degree and 45-degree angles. “Its origin comes from the northern part of China, but what’s special about the dish is it combines simplicity and complexity. Simplicity, because the ingredients are the things you will find in your kitchen in a normal day; and complexity, because it’s one of those things that takes a little bit of skill and patience to reproduce,” Leung explained. Leung has been with the Conrad Hotels & Resorts, the luxury flagship brand of multinational hospitality giant Hilton Worldwide, since 1983. A few years ago he established China Blue, a Hong Kong-born modern Chinese chain of restaurants which now has branches in a number of Asian cities, including Manila. The master class was part of the restaurant’s recent limited engagement offering, called Elegance of the Orient, that ran until the end of October. International gourmands recognize Leung as one of the pioneers of modern Chinese cuisine because of his extensive research in the field. He spent the most part of 1990s exploring different food materials and cooking skills in the different regions in China. Today, there are many interpretations and variations of Chinese dishes all over the globe, especially given the country’s culinary scene is being closely scrutinized by international trend observers. With this in mind, it only seemed fitting to ask the person with far more knowledge in food than most people: “What is the real measure of Chinese cuisine authenticity?”


Today’s Horoscope By Eugenia Last

CELEBRITIES BORN ON THIS DAY: Jack Osbourne, 33; Parker Posey, 50; Courtney Thorne-Smith, 51; Bonnie Raitt, 69. HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Take everything in and consider your options before you decide to make a move this year. Don’t let anyone upset you or pressure you to do something that you aren’t ready to pursue. Timing is crucial when dealing with matters of a personal nature. Know what you are up against and strategize the best way to come out on top. Your lucky numbers are 9, 17, 26, 32, 34, 40, 46.


ARIES (March 21-April 19): Be secretive about your plans. An important relationship can be taken to the next level if you are willing to make a couple of changes. Speak up and clear up any misunderstandings you might have regarding joint money, possessions or expenses. HHHHH


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Reinforce your position and your claims. Know what you want. Show interest as well as concerns. The best way to deal with situations is to be direct, fair and willing to compromise. HHH

In an exclusive interview with BusinessMirror, Leung answered this and then some more.


heavy because of its fat component.

Chinese cuisine is one of the world’s mostacclaimed culinary cultures. Can you walk us through a brief history? Chinese cuisine is one of the oldest cuisines in the world; it’s been around for more than 5,000 years. However, I think the evolvement and the difference of Chinese cuisine from the outside world is in the early days of (our) history, where there are a lot of people from the Southern part of China—Guangdong, Huizhou and the Guan Cantonese, or the early immigrants, that came to Southeast Asia. So generally, the traditional Chinese food that people now know actually has a Cantonese or southern China origin. What are the essential elements of Chinese cooking? If there’s one thing that prominently comes up in Chinese cooking, I would say it is temperature. It’s not about ingredients. Temperature is about having hot food hot and cold food cold. To give you two distinctive examples: the Hundred-Ring Nippon Cucumber will not taste right if it’s not cold. On the other hand, dim sum, siomai and pork buns— these are the kind of food that needs to be hot. The soup with duck consommé needs to be on consistent heat, as well. If I served it lukewarm, like most Western soups would be, it will become so

Chinese food, throughout the years, have been really popular with Westerners. But how is Chinese food in the US and other parts of the world, different from authentic Chinese cuisine? From a purely cooking technique perspective, Chinese cuisine is perhaps the most complicated cuisine in the world. Anywhere that you would go from steaming to stir-frying—they’re all a school to themselves. However, I think the impression of takeout food is very much an American culture during the early-1950s and 1960s when early Chinese immigrants built food trucks and ultimately, the Chinatown culture. However, most of these immigrants weren’t chefs before they traveled. Then, that part of American culture became a unique heritage for the American-Chinese, but it certainly does not represent Chinese cuisine. Has Chinese cuisine already reached its peak of influence in the Philippines? The Chinese heritage and influence is pretty prominent in Southeast Asian countries. Food is an integral part of the Filipino-Chinese community culture, and I think that there’s a part of Chinese heritage that will always stay with the country. Furthermore, in traditional Filipino cuisine, it’s not just Chinese influences; it’s a melting pot of cultures. n

Spicy Gambas, Baby Back Ribs, Pork Sisig, Fries and Nachos Frescas. Furthermore, the sandwich board has

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Discussions will help clear up a misunderstanding. Expect someone to meddle in your affairs. Take steps to keep personal information and decisions secret for the time being. A personal or professional gesture will be difficult to resist. HHH


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Review your plans and present what you would like to see happen. Open up a dialogue with someone you have worked with in the past, and they may offer interesting suggestions that will help you pursue your plans. HHH


LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Make a change and make a difference. Interact with people who share your goals. Network with people you see as leaders and self-starters. Much can be accomplished if you are sincere and passionate about what you want to see happen. HHHHH


VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Take a stance and follow through. You can bring about important change if you are willing to stand up for your beliefs. A meeting, a conference or reaching out to people who have something to offer will help your progress. HHHH


LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Don’t jeopardize your ability to get ahead or to hold on to what belongs to you. Someone will use underhanded tactics if you are too accommodating. Keep your personal information a secret, and refuse to let anyone bully you. HHH


SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Being secretive will be in your best interest. The less others know about your plans, the easier it will be to reach your goal. Arguing or dealing with excessive people should be avoided. HHH


NEW FLAVORS AT HOTEL JEN MANILA GUESTS and foodies alike will enjoy the new flavors and enticing dishes from the new menu offerings of Lobby Lounge’s and Windows by the Bay at Hotel Jen Manila ( Showcasing over 10 new dishes using the best ingredients, Lobby Lounge and Windows by the Bay aims to satisfy with classic favorites. A fun and intimate celebration was hosted for Hotel Jen Manila’s valued media partners at Lobby Lounge to formally launch the new menu offering. Billed as “Mic Challenge with a Twist,” it’s an experiential program under one of Hotel Jen’s passion points “After Hours,” which celebrates after-dark activities that guests can do. Get an appetizing get-together with your friends at the Lobby Lounge. The new menu spotlights popular dishes, such as Beef Shawarma, Sriracha Wings,

been included in the menu which features the three best sellers: Ambassador’s Burger, Jen’s Club and Toasties. Pair it with your go-

to drink and you’re in for a smashing night out with your buddies. Meanwhile, enjoy a relaxing time with the view of Manila Bay as Windows by the Bay offer a short selection of perfectly curated menu. Grab a bite of the mouthwatering signature dishes: House Cured Salmon Crostini, Tenderloin Tips Salpicao and Chicken Roll Up Quesadilla that will leave you asking for more. Complement it with Jen’s signature cocktails Tea Time in Tanglin and China Lady. Executive Chef Sonny Almandres, says “The new menu offers cuisine which goes back to the basic. It highlights not only the use of great flavors, but also the brand’s promise to let our diners sample only the best.” The Lobby Lounge is open daily from 10 am to 1 am, while Windows by the Bay is open daily from 7:30 to 11 pm.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Keep your story straight. If you get mixed up, you will give the wrong impression. Your focus should be on yourself, not others. Personal changes will lift your spirits and make you feel good. HHH


CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Don’t take anything for granted. Just when you least expect it, someone will throw you a curveball that will send you on a tailspin. Stay on top of what’s going on around you and the people you deal with daily. HHHH


AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): How you handle your finances should be changed to suit the economic climate. Don’t fret over what others are doing. Keep your personal matters separate and safe. Walk away from anyone trying to persuade you to take a risk. HH


PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Listen carefully, but do not react. Someone will try to coerce you into something you shouldn’t do. Excessive and indulgent behavior should be avoided. Focus on gaining stability, not upsetting what you’ve worked so hard to achieve. HH BIRTHDAY BABY: You are sensitive, aggressive and possessive. You are secretive and instinctual.

‘shoot from it’ BY TIMOTHY E. PARKER The Universal Crossword/Edited by Timothy E. Parker

ACROSS 1 Recipe amounts 5 Casino item 9 Private, as thoughts 14 Certain woodwind 15 Perfect, as an edge 16 Not world-wise 17 Many start Sunday at 11 20 Crossed-strips framework 21 Like many R-rated movies 22 Sky high, as prices 23 Quick kiss 24 Feudal landholder 27 Far From ___ 32 Creature of the night 35 Show with its own glasses 37 Suave of a hit song 38 Aggressive upstarts 42 Approach 43 “Same for me” 44 Word on a bill 45 Deep anxiety 48 Some water creatures 50 Put through a trial run

2 “Sri” follower 5 56 Give it another go 60 Some trucks or engines 62 Cutting a neighbor’s grass, e.g. 64 Common bookkeeper 65 “Smart” dude 66 Coastal eagle 67 Emulates a coyote 68 Deluxe, as a suite 69 Court case VIP DOWN 1 Covers for brothers 2 Sub you can’t eat 3 French door 4 Six-lined verse 5 Modernly fashionable 6 It’s optimistic 7 U-turn from outs 8 Exasperate 9 Call upon 10 Filing target 11 Pleasant 12 Not lopsided 13 Preventer of exhaustion

8 Kanye West’s genre 1 19 Able to pay any bill 23 Hang in there 25 Be imitative 26 Mathlete, not an athlete 28 Dada dada 29 Was a contender 30 Cream color 31 Mr. Potato Head feature 32 Has no need to rent 33 Quicken, as an appetite 34 Frequent fabricator 36 Poker payment 39 Not post, U-turn 40 Month-glance filler 41 Surveyed 46 Old rods 47 Feudal drudge 49 Backtalks 51 Rein, e.g. 53 Former Indian leader 54 Oscar-winner Kevin 55 “___ your instructions” 56 Like some bad decisions

7 Lingering sound effect 5 58 Be in a dither 59 Commuting payout 60 Middle’s middle 61 Advance super-slowly 63 Ventriloquism center?

Solution to yesterday’s puzzle:

Parentlife BusinessMirror

Thursday, November 8, 2018


Why not an ‘active’ Christmas list for kids...and us? Part I JACK ‘n Jill Calbee and its endorser, actress Yassi Pressman, surprised grocery shoppers with a #NAKSLevel product sampling.

CALBEE BRINGS YASSI PRESSMAN FOR A SURPRISE TO FANS JACK ‘n Jill Calbee continues to take the Filipino snacking experience to a whole new level as it gave supermarket shoppers an unforgettable treat through a sampling activity with a twist. With the help of its endorser, celebrity Yassi Pressman, Jack ‘n Jill Calbee gave consumers a surprise meet-and-greet moment with the Ang Probinsyano star. Disguised as a Jack ‘n Jill Calbee promodizer, Yassi invited supermarket customers to try the potato chip brand’s latest offerings: Honey Butter and Wasabi Potato Chips. The unsuspecting participants eagerly lined up to try free samples of Jack ‘n Jill Calbee snacks and were surprised after Yassi revealed her identity. They also received gift bags with assorted Jack ‘n Jill Calbee products. Participants couldn’t help but express their excitement after discovering that the sampler was Yassi. One Jack ‘n Jill Calbee fanatic shared, “Sobrang fan ako ng Calbee, lalo na ‘nung Honey Butter. When Yassi appeared, nagulat talaga ako kasi hindi ko siya ineexpect. It was really a fulfilling experience lalo na siya ’yung nagbigay ’nung gift pack.” “As part of our NAKSLevel campaign, which aims to take consumers’ snacking experience to a whole new level, we continue to elevate the fun by coming up with exciting activities and innovative product offerings,” shared Kate Barrios from Calbee-Universal Robina Corp.

GLOBAL CONVENIENCE STORE CHAIN ANNOUNCES HOLIDAY OFFERING THERE’S much more on offer than favorite essentials at FamilyMart ( This holiday season, consumers can get an exciting cruise for four with the convenience store’s festive Cruisemas Squad Cruise Getaway Promo. Two lucky customers will score a five-night Star Asian Cruise Package for four with Superstar Virgo, with two itineraries to choose from. Beach bums and surfers will love the Manila-Coron-Puerto PrincesaKota Kinabalu, Malaysia-Manila route, setting sail on January 3. Urban adventurers, on the other hand, will have a vibrant journey on the Manila-Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam-Nha Trang, Vietnam-Manila route, with trips taking off from December 14, 19, 24 and 29. The grand prize winner will get a five-night Dream Adventure Cruise Package for four with Genting Dream complete with round-trip airfare to Singapore. This unbelievable vacation bonanza lets you choose from three routes. The Singapore-Surabaya, Indonesia-North Bali, Indonesia-Singapore route, setting sail on January 13 or March 17; the Singapore-Penang, MalaysiaPhuket, Thailand-Lang Kawi, Malaysia-Port Klang, Malaysia-Singapore route, leaving on January 27 or March 10; and the Singapore-McCleod, MyanmarPhuket, Thailand-Singapore route, making its voyage on February 17. Get a chance to see the best of Southeast Asia with these wonderful destinations, filled with gorgeous cities, beautiful temples and stunning coastlines. From now until December 31, every P100 purchase at FamilyMart provides one entry in the raffle. Consumers can also win more bonus entries every time they buy products from the promo sponsors. To register, just text “PFM PROMO <name>/<address>/<e-mail>” to 292908. A unique bCODE will be sent to those registered, which can then be scanned at the counter with every transaction to get a raffle entry. Customers who previously registered for the Summer, Cool School and Shower of Prizes promos are automatically registered and do not need to register again.




N October 13 I was invited to my first parenting talk at Bristle Oak Academe in Cavite. I was surprised when I entered because I only expected 15 to 20 parents. Around 50 parents showed up instead. My talk was titled “Parenting for the 21st Century Learner.” The talk started on our “I” as a parent. Then I did an introduction on the skills of the 21st-century learner, as well as my own tools and tips for developing these skills. I focused on starting with the fundamentals on sensory play. I continued on with my tips on “Mindset” and “No Pressure” parenting. During the hour and a half talk, I shared a lot of “perfectly imperfect” moments at our house. I believe that raising our 21st-century learners today is not about getting A’s. It’s about creating that environment for our children that ultimately allows them to want to try more and do more. I ended the talk with a sheet of questions about “favorites”...favorite color, food, etc. I said, “Kung ang kaibigan kinikilala, ano pa kaya ang anak? Ang pagkilala at pagtanggap sa galing at kahinaan ng anak ay super important sa magiging pananaw ng anak natin sa future nila. [If we spend time to get to know a friend, what more our own child? How we know and accept the strengths and weaknesses of our children is very important to how they view their own futures.]” I was very touched by the parents’ appreciation and never realized the extent of child stress and depression. I was incredibly saddened when a mom shared about her child committing suicide last year; and another mom who shared that her daughter just attempted to overdose herself. They both shared how “disconnected” they felt with their kids and hope to apply what they learned from the talk. The issue of gadgets and social media were brought up during the talk. It made me rethink about how I could do more for the cause of “family connection.” I wanted to understand the issue more. I was lucky to read more information at #OgalalaActivePlay. I particularly liked “Play: A Key to Your Child’s Future Success,” shared by Teacher Tanya Velasco, RIE Facilitator in Training and play advocate. “In a recent study done by Dr. Honey Carandang [our national social scientist on psychology], she mentioned that the top 5 concerns of Filipino parents are: 1) daily stress [due to traffic and unpleasant news]; 2) digital addiction; 3) academic overload; 4) peer pressure; and 5) lack of emotional resilience. I cannot agree more with what she mentioned and how these concerns are my daily concerns, too, as a Filipino

mom raising two very young children. “When I look back at my childhood, I remember vividly how my parents would let us play outdoors for long hours because we didn’t have any screen media to be busy with. I made so many friends because we spent a lot of time interacting with our relatives during events. Our weekends were spent visiting parks because we really didn’t have any malls at that time. Whenever I relive these memories, I utter a silent prayer because I want my own children to also have the same experience I had even amid living in this digital age and fast-paced society. “Erica Komisar’s statement—‘The relationship between a mother and an infant...requires patience and careful attention to a baby’s cues. This kind of patience and calm waiting are not qualities our modern society teaches; on the contrary, it requires speed, obvious results, progress, not nuance and sensitivity’—clearly sends a message that we need to give our children the childhood that they deserve. I believe there’s a great pressure for us parents to hurry our children up, and so we tend to overschedule them with so many activities, and be more concerned with the product more than the process. My training as a RIE facilitator has always reminded me to take a

step back, and to focus on what really matters to my children. A child’s emotional life should be our topmost priority as parents because lasting emotional connections lay the foundation for cognitive development later on. Without this emotional foundation, your child may not be able to tolerate the frustration and mistakes necessary for learning effectively, or even the resilience in recovering from a mistake. How to do this? Start by connecting with your child through active play. Active play is a child’s natural language to actually express himself through movement and physical interaction with people and objects. Through active play, we get to observe how our kids handle different kinds of emotions, and many studies will tell us that a child’s ability to manage his emotions is one of the most important factors for long-term success: in school, work and relationships. So this holiday season, let’s make a conscious effort to connect with our kids and encourage active play with proper guidance and play tools. Together let’s choose active play that stimulates their bodies, minds and heart.” Next week, I will share more thoughts on being “active” as a family, as well as my own picks for Christmas gifts this year. n

Christmas shopping can be hassle-free By Dinna CHan VaSQuez IS shopping for Christmas gifts becoming more and more of a chore instead of something that would make you feel good? There’s traffic, which could result in you being stuck for hours on the road or in the mall. There’s also the lack of time as most of us need to go to work or school, and then attend to other responsibilities. Leading health and beauty retailer Watsons hopes to help solve this problem by being the one-stop destination for the best customized and themed gift sets for everyone in your gift list. Whether your loved one is into health, fitness, skin care, hair styling, basic essentials and so on, Watsons has a wide selection of health and beauty gift sets that will make your holiday shopping easier and more convenient. To launch its collection of holiday gift sets, Watsons hosted a shopping party for members of the press, bloggers, influencers and celebrities at its SM Mall of Asia store recently. Celebrities Bettinna Carlos, Ashley Ortega, Liezel Lopez, Lindsay Johnston and Dave Bornea of the boy group One Up got to treat a fan each to a P5,000 shopping spree at Watsons. Later on, they gave away Watsons gift cards to lucky shoppers are the store. Also present were Watsons Group Marketing Manager Sharon Presbitero-Decapia, Watsons Marketing Manager Krista Paula Tan and Watsons Marketing Manager Krisel Macatangay. Gifts at Watsons start at less than P100 for stocking stuffers like hand soap. Boxed sets start at P99 (if you get three, you pay only P279). Every year the store always has something new and different for its holiday shoppers. This year, there are gifts in reusable

GMA Artists Liezel Lopez, Ashley Ortega, Lindsay Johnston and Dave Bornea

jars and glasses. “We really wanted to make shopping time short but fun for everyone. The gifts have been carefully curated to make the recipients look good, feel great. There are gifts for everyone—from teenagers to aunts to grandparents,” said Global Own Brands and Exclusives (GOBE) Brand Manager Mishen Hernandez. Planning for the holiday collection starts as early as the first quarter of the year, said Hernandez. “We want to make everything perfect for shoppers. We want them to have more time for the other things

HOLIDAY Gift Sets at Watsons

they want to do, such as spend time with family and friends.” Watsons also makes it more affordable for shoppers by offering select exclusive gift sets for only P279 or P399 when they buy three until December 31. For Watsons Card members, shoppers can get two times their bonus points when they buy exclusive gift sets until December 26, 2018. More information is available at ph. Meanwhile, more exclusive benefits and promos are available to Watsons Card holders. Membership is free and non-expiring.

CLOCKWISE, from left: A slide from my talk, “Parenting for the 21st Century Learner,” on my tip to be gadgetfree when going out for better quality time; Bristle Oak Academe administrators, teachers and parents last month; another slide advising parents on alternative weekend activities; and a photo I used for content learning to show how to make math fun for kids by using art.


Show BusinessMirror

Thursday, November 8, 2018

THE Day Will Come is one of the offerings of Cine Europa 2018



SHE may have a reputation for being a snob but the truth is, the young actress is one of the nicest girls in the business. She’s quite shy but is sweet and genuinely concerned about other people, especially her fans. The young actress may not brag about it but her family is quite well-off, even before she joined show business. The young actress’ boyfriend, on the other hand, is an extrovert who loves talking to people. He’s actually the perfect subject for an interview because you hardly need to ask questions. He will just talk and talk about his life and you can just record it. It’s no wonder that fads come and go and this couple is still here.


IN contrast, another young actor and his girlfriend, who is also an actress, have problems with their respective attitudes. The actor is a nightmare for members of the press who have interviewed him. He answers “yes” or “no” and has a permanent resting bitch face. The girlfriend is worse. During certain interviews, she sometimes refuses to look at the interviewers. If she does, she seems like she’s smirking. The couple refuses to have their photos taken with fans, always saying it’s not part of their obligation as celebrities.


WE wonder if the comebacking actor is regretting his words now? Now that his movie is a certified flop, perhaps he will realize that his political views should be best left to himself. This is because as an actor, he cannot mouth off words that may hurt other people. Some of his future projects have also been canceled/shelved temporarily until everything dies down—probably. As for his leading lady, who shares the same views, she is also probably regretting her words.


THE video of an actor-politician is trending because of someone/something in the background. There’s a rumor that the girl in the background is a former child actress who is not stranger to controversy or being involved with older men. It’s not clear how the former child actress got involved with the actor-politician (if this is true at all).

Alec Baldwin charged with assault in alleged parking dispute NEW YORK—Alec Baldwin was arrested on Friday and charged with assault and harassment after allegedly striking a man in the face during a dispute over a parking spot outside his New York City home, authorities said. The police said the actor claimed he had a family member holding the spot for him as he attempted to park his black Cadillac Escalade around 1:30 pm when a man driving a black Saab station wagon pulled up and took it. The police said the men were arguing and pushed each other before Baldwin, 60, got more aggressive. The driver of the station wagon told the police that Baldwin hit him with his hand, but wasn’t sure if it was a punch or a slap. The driver, 49, was taken to a hospital with jaw pain and redness in the neck area, police said. Baldwin was released from a nearby precinct in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village neighborhood about two hours after the incident. He was ordered to appear in court on November 26. Baldwin walked silently past reporters and photographers to a waiting sport-utility vehicle on Friday afternoon. His publicist did not immediately respond to a message requesting comment. Baldwin, the star of former television sitcom 30 Rock and current host of Match Game, portrays President Donald J. Trump on Saturday Night Live and recently started a talk show on ABC. An ABC spokesman had no comment about Baldwin’s arrest, other than to say his talk show will air on Sunday night as scheduled. The most recent episode, with less than 1.5 million viewers, had the smallest audience of any prime-time program on the top 4 broadcast networks over the past week, the Nielsen company said. Baldwin’s past scrapes with the law include a 2014 arrest in New York City for bicycling the wrong way on a one-way street and a 1995 arrest for allegedly slugging a paparazzi photographer in Los Angeles, one of several such run-ins. Baldwin was booted off an American Airlines flight in 2011 after allegedly getting belligerent with a flight attendant who asked him to stop playing “Words with Friends” and put his cell phone away. After the bicycle-related arrest, Baldwin told New York magazine he was ready to quit his public life and leave the city, an hour train ride from where he grew up on Long Island. “I just can’t live in New York anymore,” Baldwin said in the article. “Everything I hated about LA I’m beginning to crave. LA is a place where you live behind a gate, you get in a car, your interaction with the public is minimal. I used to hate that. But New York has changed.” AP

Hopes and chill as Cine Europa returns to Naga City REELING



RIK and Elmer are two children. Their mother gets sick and an uncle without a stable job doesn’t see himself as able to take care of his two young nephews. The two children are brought to an orphanage. The rooms are clean; the institution is managed efficiently. In another narrative, the situation is something to thank for. In this Danish film by Jasper W. Nielsen, mothers and kin are helpless when their sons are taken away from them. State takes over the family in a situation that displaces other forms of kinship. Time and immediate family become distant. Headmasters and nightwatch men become the authority from which discipline overcomes endearment. That is the only way to keep order in a place, to control children. The 1960s is coming to an end. Young men and women are exploring new roles. It’s the period when the norm is to be against the establishment. Hippie communes are sprouting all over the Western world. Even Asia, for all the West could care, is adopting this new life. In the United States, the national goal is the space—the other space. Who can send the first man to the moon? When will man colonize the moon? When does man step on the lunar surface? Elmer, young as he is, is nevertheless obsessed with the moon, with outer space. The first day, while he and his brother Erik are to be presented to the community of young boys, he makes the mistake of talking about his dream: to be an astronaut. He gets slapped. Elmer and Eric carry with them the world outside and that’s not tolerated in the orphanage. They should not stand out, they should not be noticed. They

should act like ghosts. For months, Erik and Elmer are bullied by the older boys and are punished by the teachers. Then one day, a new teacher arrives, a female teacher. She discovers something: Elmer can read well. In fact, he writes well. The teacher takes Elmer under her care. The boy with his advanced reading ability is turned into a messenger. Things seem to change for the better. The two children are now able to blend with the other boys. The place has become, more or less, acceptable to them. The film, titled The Day Will Come, tells us once more a grave fact about a punitive world. Is there something “European” about this social psychology? The notion of state as a source of order is amazingly created by The Day Will Come. This position—of the state as a wellspring of the proper and appropriate—is scary. Like the children in the orphanage, we are left to fend for ourselves and this is not even reassuring. Who shall we turn to? Who would believe us about our desire to preserve ourselves when the state is the only one that has the voice to tell the world what we can do and not do? Elmer, the boy with the clubfoot, believes it is only out there in outer space where he can walk without deformity. The moon is his obsession and his dream: to the moon, he will go because there is true happiness for children abandoned or left for some reasons by people who should be taking care of them. It is impossible to find a caring home; it’s a wild dream to look to a life with good and strong parents. On this tepid Earth, the adults are violent presences. In one country with an orphanage, children cannot have big dreams. They cannot even wish for the moon. In another country, the landing on the moon is the more important dream. No other film has ever used the metaphor of the moon landing as keen and as ironic as The Day Will Come. Helpless about not being heard by the world of adults and authorities, Elmer decides to become an astronaut and flies to the moon! This film, which provides the moon as an option to the sad Earth, is peopled by gritty characters. In

a period when corporal punishment is slowly being removed from the face of education and child-rearing, The Day Will Come is peopled by actors playing adults who do not think much about abusing, slapping, kicking children and making punching bags out of their soft bodies. As the headmaster, Lars Mikkelsen is vicious but it’s a meanness that escapes him when he is in the middle of an evil act. It’s when his remaining shades of humanity comes back that we witness a persona that is terrifying in its emotional weakness and physical might. The only female teacher is played by Sofie Gråbøl. Her kindness in a maledominated world of severity is her own violence to herself and, as it will turn out, to children that she thinks she cares for. It is her timidity that we want to disappear because she seems to be the only hope in this dreary landscape. As the brothers Erik and Elmer, two actors remind us they are actors, just that, actors, and there is no need for the appellation “child” before “actor.” They are Albert Rudbeck Lindhart and Harald Kaiser Hermann, as Erik and Elmer, respectively. Their performance terrifies us on two levels: the reel and the real. How much of the emotional bruises are left within them when the shoot is over? How much of themselves—of the child within—are in those magnificent roles? The Day Will Come opened Cine Europa 2018 in Ateneo de Naga on November 6, as the 21-year-old film festival travels once more to Bicol region. On its second year now in the city, the festival is being coordinated by the Ateneo de Naga Center for Culture and the Arts, headed by its director, Dr. Noel R. Volante, in cooperation with the European Union and SM City Naga. This writer helped in the selection and presentation of the films for the festival. The festival doesn’t only show films but also present talks related to the common concerns of the Philippines and the European Union. Cine Europa is ongoing until November 11 in the Alingal Hall of the Ateneo de Naga University and SM City Naga. Each day will show a different set of films. The festival offers free admission on a first-c0me, first-served basis. It’s significant to note that 2018 has been declared the European Year of Cultural Heritage. n

Claire Castro joins GMA Artist Center; Kyline gives early Christmas present GMA Artist Center has added Claire Castro to its roster of talents as she signed a management contract on October 30. Present in the contract signing were GMA Assistant Vice President for Talent Imaging and Marketing Simoun S. Ferrer, Senior Talent Manager Tracy Garcia and comanager Diego Castro. Castro says she has always loved acting, and looks forward to doing roles that tug at the heart of viewers. When asked what career path she would like to pursue, she cites prized GMA artist Marian Rivera. “I’ve always looked up to Marian ever since I was a kid. I remember doing her iconic Marimar role in front of the mirror, and now that I’m officially a Kapuso, I can’t wait to meet her,” the young sweetheart shares. Her father and comanager, 1990s heartthrob Diego Castro, says that he trusts Claire in showcasing her talents. “On her own, alam na niya ang gagawin. Since bata pa lang, she’s been exposed to showbiz. I

guess the best tip I can give her is humility, kasi no matter how pretty or talented you are, kung wala kang humility babagsak ka nang mabilis.” Claire admits to feeling intimidated by this latest chapter in her young life, but she is excited to try new things showbiz has to offer, “I’m still nervous, but more than that, I feel excited that I’m finally going to do what I love. I am willing to learn everything and I trust my management to guide me through it.” Meanwhile, Ferrer sees the raw talent in Claire and he is excited to witness the new phase in Claire’s life in GMA. “Definitely we will focus on honing her talent in acting. From the auditions pa lang, we have already seen how passionate she is, so we look forward to all the opportunities we can give her in the near future,” he concluded. Meanwhile, another GMA Artist Center talent Kyline Alcantara has just released an original holiday single, under GMA Records, titled “Handa Na Ba

FROM left: AVP for Talent Imaging and Marketing Simoun S. Ferrer, Claire Castro and Diego Castro

Kayo? [Merry Christmas]” with leading man Jeric Gonzales. She says the song will surely bring joy and inspiration to everyone, “It’s all about how we Filipinos prepare for Christmas. Sabi nga nila tayong mga Pinoy ang may pinakamahabang Pasko at isa sa may pinakamasayang celebration, kaya ikinuwento namin iyon through this song to add more joy and good vibes sa pagsalubong natin ng Pasko. Sana magustuhan ninyo ang

munting regalo namin.” Jeric, who performed a rap verse, shared that the catchy beat of the song will hook listeners, “Mas lalo pang sasaya ang Pasko niyo sa song na ito. Pwede ninyo itong gamitin pang-karoling or sa Christmas parties ninyo.” “Handa Na Ba Kayo? [Merry Christmas]” is now available for download and streaming on Apple Music, iTunes, Spotify and other digital stores worldwide.

Envoys&Expats BusinessMirror | Thursday, November 8, 2018 E1

Financial strength beyond borders


UALA LUMPUR-BASED Maybank has strongly established its local presence as a financial and banking forerunner in the country— proof of the institution’s Asean DNA of creating commercial success across and beyond borders.

leadership roles in banking, project management and consulting. As Maybank marks another milestone by celebrating its 21st anniversary, Choong shared that these are exciting times for the local arm, with its close collaboration with the Bangko Sentral in promoting inclusive banking and sustainable finance throughout the country, as well as its environmental, social and governance initiatives.

In February the BusinessMirror reported that Maybank Phils. Inc. “posted profits averaging far more than those by the country’s universal and commercial banks, totaling P830.9 million in the first six months [of 2017].” Its officials claimed the numbers “were pushed higher by sustained growth in core business, boosted in part by better cost and asset quality management.” The carryover of this remarkable performance has been entrusted to a banking professional of the highest caliber. Currently at the helm of the local unit of Malaysia’s largest lender is President and CEO Choong Wai Hong. Going into the interview inside the bank’s Bonifacio Global City headquarters, Choong’s presence

ENVOYS & EXPATS: What would you consider as Maybank’s differential advantage over other global banks?

commanded an aura of a regal disposition, as if embodying the sleek gait of a Malayan tiger, which happens to be portrayed as the emblem of the bank’s resplendent yellow logo. Choong earned his corporate stripes through a career spanning more than two decades in financial services that covered operations, information technology, consulting, as well as profit-and-loss management. His work has brought him into the world’s top financial centers in Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, where he handled capital markets, as well as consumer and commercial banking. Prior to his present stint at Maybank where he held various executive posts, Choong once assumed

CHOONG: On regional banking, we have a global footprint in certain areas, but our core strength has always been within Asean. Up until today, we remain to be the only bank that has a full-ground operation in the bloc. So we always go back to the fact that we should always be able to provide our customers an Asean footprint—whether it’s for business or leisure. Access to facilities in other countries is our main differentiation, and that has not changed. From our standpoint, we want to go digital, increase our online presence, be strong and efficient, and reach wider at the same time. Right now,

we can launch something digital and make it work immediately. At the end of the day, it’s really about giving better propositions to our customers and clientele.

Beyond information technology and going digital, we recently learned about Maybank’s thrust of humanizing its financial services and strategy for sustainability. Yes. That happens to be our main mission. Apart from serving as a bank or financial-services provider, we want to be at the heart of the community and contribute back. The Maybank Foundation is at the forefront of advocacies we espouse, like empowering the youth, promoting arts and culture, protecting the environment, championing healthy living, helping in disaster recovery and serving the marginalized communities. ESG, or environmental and social governance, is the overarching idea in being sustainable, both in business, as well as the communities we are operating in. In governance, we make sure we do the right thing. Glad to say we are one of the highest-rated banks on the global level, as far as the ESG index is concerned. We support the

advocacy of the Bangko Sentral in championing ESG. ESG can translate to good business as well. Sometimes, the immediate reaction is that it equates to cost, limits businesses, and so on. But in the long term, it actually reinforces businesses by being sustainable and responsible for the environment. We formulate policies around some business activities we will do by advocating measures to go digital and paperless. So we are mindful of our internal operations that cut across the day-to-day undertakings. We also ask ourselves how we can be more efficient with the practices and banking policies in place. Those are indeed very interesting initiatives. What other operational aspects do you see yourself leading Maybank Phils. into? So far, most of our strategies are working, so we keep our focus on execution, while external factors like cost go up. Being here in the Philippines for 21 years, we hope to double or triple our market share. It’s really about bringing digital platforms into place, increasingly differentiating ourselves, and bringing our regional presence to make it a

meaningful proposition. We keep leveraging on Malaysia, as we are a very capable leader there, especially in digital. I always mention to the Maybank Group that the Philippines is a very interesting market, such as, for example, the Maybank mobile app. We have this network that’s very concentrated in Asean, where the demographics are more similar in terms of the aspirational profile, so we are able to move things faster. So it’s about thinking global and acting local, and moving quickly as well. Knock it in, tweak it, make it work here, then learn about it. The Philippines’s big population— highly educated and well-versed in digital platforms—makes for a very good and ample market.

With so many things happening and planned for Maybank Philippines, and an agitated economic environment in the background, how do you plan to lead the local team? I think there’s always excitement, tempered by some degree of uncertainty in any situation. I feel we need to look beyond the short term and study the full pace of the economy. Continued on E4

Envoys& BusinessMirror

E2 Thursday, November 8, 2018


Philippines: A great expatriate destination for nurturing families, raising children


ORE than half of expats in the Philippines consider raising children in this country as affordable, while the same number said living here has brought them closer to their partners, and about 3 out of 5 foreigners have acquired local properties to enable them to retire. These were the results of the latest “Expat Explorer” survey of multinational banking and financial services holding company HSBC. Now on its 11th year, the survey was opened to adults 18 years old and above, and currently living away from their country of origin or home country. It yielded the following figures: (a) 56 percent of expats in the Philippines have brought them closer to their partner; (b) another 56 percent of expats found raising children in the Philippines as less expensive; (c) 63 percent of expats bought a property for the purpose of retiring in the Philippines; and (d) Singapore was named the best place in the world for expats to move to, for the fourth year in a row. The study was completed by 22,318 expats from 163 countries and territories through an online questionnaire in March and April 2018, conducted by YouGov and commissioned by HSBC Expat. A minimum sample of 100 respondents and at least 30 expat parents were required for a country to be included in the league tables, with 31 countries qualifying in 2018. This report was designed to explore the attitudes, opinions and experiences of people living overseas and demonstrate HSBC’s expertise in supporting these expats with their new lives. The Philippines has received 300 expat respondents this year, as they revealed some of the most interesting details from the survey.

SG: The ‘place to go to’

IF an expat is “looking for more money and a wider social circle, Singapore is the place” to go to as it was rated the best destination for the fourth year in a row, followed closely by New Zealand, Germany, Canada and Bahrain. According to respondents, the city-state “packs everything a budding expat could want into one of the world’s smallest territories, ranking third for economics, fifth for families and sixth for experience. Those who move to Singapore see their earnings increase by 29 percent on average, but with a five-and-a-half day working week common practice. Only 29 percent say their work-life balance is worse than it was at home.” Head of HSBC Expat John Goddard commented, “There are many reasons to move overseas, such as career progression, a better life for your family or just to embark on a new adventure. One thing is clear, those who do, take the leap enjoy a world of different experiences, gaining new skills and learning about themselves along the way.” In terms of work, the HSBC executive stated: “Attracting the most vibrant international talent around is vital for any modern economy, and Singapore is leading the charge again this year. Combining outstanding financial benefits, a bustling culture and top-class education system, Singapore is reaping the rewards of being the world’s most sought-after expat experience.” Goddard added, “Over here, the Philippines is becoming more and more popular as an expat destination in Southeast Asia. The Philippines has a tropical climate, an emerging economy, and an increasingly influential role in Asia and beyond, all of which make it extremely attractive to people from all around the world.” In terms of domestic life, he relayed: “The Philippines scored fairly in terms of being a great expat destination for families and raising children. [About] 43 percent even said that moving here has brought them closer to their children as well, and 42 percent claimed overall quality of life for their children is better in [this country].”

“true drivers for the world’s expats.” In the Philippines, 56 percent of expats agree to have more disposable income here, with only 20 percent saying they have less, and 24 percent with about the same. Also, 58 percent are able to save more, compared to being in their home country. Some may have more to save and invest, but “tax challenges, currency risk and different spending needs all make an expat’s money management more demanding.” The report also revealed that for expatriates, “moving abroad is a complicated operation; and relocating a family, in particular, can be very stressful. To make the transition as easy as possible, getting the basics right is fundamental. Finding accommodation, setting up childcare, arranging schooling and organizing their finances should be the top priorities when expats move to a new country.” When asked about ensuring they feel at home, Philippines-based expats considered adapting to the new culture (first), making new friends (second), getting used to the new climate (third) and adapting to the local cuisine (fourth) as most important.

Accommodations, adaptability, hospitality

SOME more findings from the survey: More than half of surveyed expats in the Philippines said it was easy finding accommodations while relocating (64 percent). As expected, the Philippines also scored well when it comes to adaptability to the local people and culture, with 69 percent of expats integrating well with the local people and culture and feeling like “family.” More than half of expats also found it easy to form new friendships (58 percent). Expats here also said that Filipinos have welcomed them, regardless of their faith, race, gender or sexual orientation—which is not a surprise, given the Filipinos’ warmth and hospitality, and the vibrant and friendly local culture. Those are just some of the elements that expats find endearing about the Philippines. A good 71 percent of them also took only less than a year to feel at home in the Philippines. The aspect of Filipino culture that values community and respect always leaves a special mark with the expats, and they truly appreciate it. Family is extremely important to Filipinos, and so is treating people with respect, especially one’s elders. These good rankings, claimed Goddard, show for expats in the Philippines the importance of getting to know and being comfortable in the territory they live in.

Best thing here

HSBC Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management for Philippines Kris Werner declared, “Expats seem to unanimously agree that the best thing about living in the Philippines is the Filipino people. I am not surprised that more [of them find the country] as a great place for families, raising children and bringing them closer to one another, given the Filipinos’ strong family ties. As an expat myself, I feel that I am part of a large family in the Philippines. The way expats feel about everyday life is what truly makes or breaks the overseas experience.” Werner went further, “Making that first step abroad requires courage, but the rewards are well worth it. If you are thinking of taking the plunge into a new life, there is a lot to consider—whether it’s your visa, bank account or where you are going to live. Planning is key so that you can focus on what really matters: meeting new people, discovering a new country and finding a new perspective.”

Gaining, managing finances

AROUND the world, the financial gain means expats feel comfortable, confident and optimistic about their financial affairs. Those things—rather than abstract numbers on a bank statement—are the

Expat Explorer Survey

The best places to find love abroad 1

Top countries for finding a long term partner as an expat

3rd Sweden

1st Philippines

2nd Argentina


Looking for love in Europe


Key findings


62% Sweden

of expats have found a long term partner abroad

61% Italy 57% Germany 56% UK


of expat couples agree that the move has brought them closer together

Countries in Europe where expats are most likely to find a long term partner


Found love abroad



Felt closer to their partner



Most likely to find love 64%




Age 18 - 34 Age 55+

Housewife / Househusband Full time employed

Retired expats Self employed

Over 14,000 expats shared their experiences of love and relationships in the Expat Explorer Survey between March and May 2015. The survey was conducted by YouGov on behalf of HSBC Expat.

HSBC infographic from a 2015 survey illustrates the possibility of expats finding love elsewhere in the world.

&Expats | Thursday, November 8, 2018 E3


France’s wine producers and exporters upbeat on growing local market


By Cesar M. Cruz Jr.

ITH the increasing demand for fine wines and spirits in the country, a business delegation of French wine producers and exporters visited Manila late in October to interact with local importers and expand the reach of their products.

A WINEMAKER lets a local connoisseur sample the products.

The growing market for wines and spirits in the Philippines, which recorded a 7-percent current growth value and reached P1.1 billion in 2017, served as impetus for the arrival of the French representatives in our shores. In terms of value (€3 million) and sixth in terms of volume (1.2 million liters), France has already been enjoying good business in the country from the sales of its alcoholic products. The European country is already the fourth-largest wine exporter here after the United States, Australia and Spain. The business expedition was a vital part of “Tastin’ France,” a series of professional winetasting events held worldwide in 65 cities set up by Business France, a national agency supporting the development and exports, and international investment. It is interesting to note that the wine world would not be what it is today if not for the immense contribution of France, as it has been a source of winemaking practices and styles for wine-producing countries, as well as its many grape varieties that have been planted throughout the world. The growing market in the Philippines is a result of the popularity of wine and spirits to the younger set, which represents a potential growth segment. Factors such as giving a premium on education, being exposed to worldwide trends via traveling and the phenomenon of evolving palates, all helped pave the way for this emerging segment of alcoholic-beverage consumers. As such, increasing numbers from the younger generation have been turning to champagne, wine and other spirits as important elements in celebrating milestones in their lives. Though the demand for wines and spirits may be bigger in other countries in the Asean region, France has kept a keen eye of the constantly growing market of local wine drinkers. During the official launch of Tastin’ FranceManila, Ambassador Nicolas Galey said, “While the Philippine market is relatively small compared to its other Asian neighbors, with growing interest for fine wines and the Filipino drinker’s evolving and more discerning palate, I am positive that the steadily growing market is ready for even more French players.” Galey added, “It is our hope that these wine, champagne and cognac makers [could] introduce more French products to the Philippine market through strong partnerships, and with the invaluable guidance [from] potential Filipino importers.” Manila was the first leg for the French wine producers, as they were also scheduled to visit Kuala Lumpur and Singapore afterward.

Australian labels featured on ‘Wine Made Our Way’


OME 15 winemakers and brand representatives from the “Land Down Under” were in town for Australia’s “Wine Made Our Way” expo to promote Australian wine to the Philippine market. The tasting showcase brought together regional, as well as iconic wine labels from some of the 65 official wine regions across Australia, all of which were sampled and savored by Filipino wine connoisseurs. The visiting wineries were, from New South Wales: Brokenwood Wines and Tempus Two (both from Hunter Valley); South Australia: Brothers in Arms (Langhorne Creek), Craneford Winery, Kaesler Wines, Thorn-Clarke, Torbreck-Clarke and Torbreck Vintners (Barossa Valley); Hickinbotham and Maxwell Wines (McLaren Vale); Millon Wines (Eden, Clare and Barossa Valley); and Thistledown Wines (McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley and Adelaide Hills). From Victoria: Fowles Wines (Strathbogie Ranges), Idyll Wines Co. (Moorabool Valley), Yering Station (Yarra Valley), and Mount Langi Ghiran (Grampians); and from Western Australia: Fishbone Wines and Xanadu Wines (both from Margaret River). Manila was the first destination in the Emerging Market Roadshow 2018 of Wine Australia, then it was off to Bangkok (Thailand), Colombo (Sri Lanka), Ho Chi Minh City and lastly, Hanoi (Vietnam). The show was an avenue for Australian wineries to showcase their produce to importers and distributors, thereby assisting Australian wine businesses to expand their reach by breaking into new territories. The Australian Embassy’s Senior Trade

AN Australian producer showcases his country’s wine offerings.

Commissioner and Counselor Elodie Journet said, “The events have raised the awareness of regional and iconic Australian wine in the Philippines. We’re looking forward to the Philippine market embracing the opportunity to expand offerings of Australian wine to [the local] industry and consumers.”

Wine Australia’s General Marketing Manager Stuart Barclay seconded, “We are seeing these markets becoming more cosmopolitan and developing a greater demand for international food and wine. This is a wonderful opportunity to highlight Australia’s thrilling wine scene.” Story and photo by Cesar M. Cruz Jr.

Envoys&Expats BusinessMirror

E4 Thursday, November 8, 2018

Mexicans in Manila honor ‘departed ones’


By Recto L. Mercene

MBASSADOR of Mexico to the Philippines Gerardo Lozano led the revival of his country’s longheld tradition of honoring the dead during the Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration, a few days prior to the Filipinos’ own Undas, which coincided with All Saints Day. The envoy and his wife Mariza decorated a room inside their residence with a three-layered altar bursting with orange and purple motif that carpeted the entire area, along with other symbolic items that were thought to please their dearly departed. The celebration was not confined in their abode, as the public witnessed a similar display through the participation and collaboration of the Ayala Museum and Miriam College some days back. The Mexican Embassy in Manila’s Myrma Ortiz said, “The students spent a week at the Lozano residence and in the Ayala Museum. [They helped] prepare the exhibits to make possible the Dia de Muertos event so we could remember our departed loved ones.” The twin showcases were de-

void of the ghoulish feelings one associates with the dead. Instead, they seem to indicate the opposite, where the living celebrates the occasion instead of grieving, with the thought that those who have left us are having a grand time of their own because we have not forsaken them.

‘Celebration of life’

THE Lozanos shared the merriment by inviting some members of the diplomatic community, friends and the local media. They all lined up before a closed door that was opened with a flourish after the introductory speech of the host. The darkened room was lit, and the altar with its panoply of food greeted the surprised guests. Ortiz shared, “The Day of the Dead is also a celebration of life. The

VARIOUS scenes at the Dia de Muertos display

major decoration is the altar that must have three layers,” she said, as if the rungs were a representation of stairways to the afterlife. The Mexican Embassy official said the first layer of the carpet of orange was made up of marigold flowers and purple crepe papers; the second layer was a display of the skulls along with various kinds of food, skeletal dolls and photographs; while the third, the main altar with the image of the Virgin Mary. “The [display in the] Ayala Museum also adopted very Filipino elements, such as [the presence of] local kakanin [foodstuff] like suman, pan

de sal and coffee. In our tradition, these are the food we partake during a wake,” Ortiz said.

Colors, symbolisms

ANOTHER representative of the embassy, Luis Gerardo Regalado Ruiz, explained that the symbolism of the orange-yellow hue of the marigolds is of Spanish origin while purple, an Aztec provenance. “Orange,” he revealed, “is not a sad color, but a vibrant [one] symbolizing life. The scent of marigold lifts the dead toward the altar and lets them come back down to earth. Then they live again through the scent of the [said flower].”

“This is an actual tradition with roots, and it means something,” Ruiz pointed out. “…That is, to show great respect to the Aztec and the Mayan cultures that came before us.” An audit of the altar showed it has painted tequila bottles, vibrant skull replicas, drawings and homages, skeleton dolls, and a basketful of pineapples, bananas, mangoes, apples, lanzones, oranges and papayas. The Dia de Muertos display is part of Lozano’s effort to keep the Mexican culture alive wherever he is posted. After all, he said, it’s just one of the elements we share with our common Spanish heritage.

Financial strength beyond borders

MAYBANK Philippines President and CEO Choong Wai Hong (second from left) leads the local team into exciting times as they mark another anniversary. NONIE REYES Continued from E1

Demographics wise, we see a growing and very young population. As such, there’s a lot we’re going after. Consumption is going up, and interest in education is on the rise. From there, efforts for inclusion will increase as well. I think a lot of positives will still

happen in the next five years. So now the question is, “How are we going to create faster innovations, be more efficient, get to the market segment, and bring the proposition that will make sense to the segment of the population we want to serve?” These remain the goals of what we want to do: to bring our offerings faster, be better and more efficient,

and focus on speed and relationships. We’re learning along the way. Your outlook on Maybank Philippines’s performance, at least for the near future? We will do better, because of our shift in strategy. We will focus more on digital technology, push more for a wider market reach with efficiency, and strengthen brand awareness.

BusinessMirror November 08, 2018  
BusinessMirror November 08, 2018