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Hillary Clinton is calling on voters to reject Donald Trump’s “dark and divisive” vision. She says there’s no reason “America’s best days are not ahead of us.” She’s closing out her campaign with a rally early Tuesday in Raleigh, North Carolina, featuring Lady Gaga and Jon Bon Jovi. Clinton told cheering supporters that “work will be just beginning” after Election Day. AP

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Donald Trump is channeling Hollywood, as he kicks off the final rally of his unconventional presidential campaign. “Today is our Independence Day,” Trump declares at a rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the early hours on Tuesday. He says, “Today the American working class is going to strike back.” Trump says he doesn’t need superstars like Jay Z, Beyoncé or Lady Gaga to draw crowds like his rival Hillary Clinton. He says, “All we need is great ideas to make America great again.” AP

“It is our sincerest hope that this will lead the nation toward healing,” former Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said, after a 9-5 Supreme Court decision allowing former Philippine dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos to be buried at a heroes’ cemetery. Opponents say the ruling rolled back the democratic triumph when Filipinos ousted the strongman in a “people power” revolt three decades ago. AP


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A broader look at today’s business


Wednesday, November 9, 2016 Vol. 12 No. 28

PHL growth to remain regional outlier in H2


By Bianca Cuaresma


rowth across the $292billion economy will be as strong as the expansion seen in the first semester, even if the spur of economic activities triggered by the May national elections has already waned.



pets at work may help atmosphere— but bring their own risks

pet corner

Yolanda memories: Hope amid despair d2

‘Power of an individual’





AKLAND, California — Stephen Curry set an National Basketball Association (NBA) record with 13 three-pointers—one game after missing all his long-range attempts for the first time in two years— helping the Golden State Warriors beat the winless New Orleans Pelicans, 116-106, on Monday night. Curry finished with 46 points, three days after his league-record streak of 157 games with at least one triple was snapped when he went zero for 10 on three-point tries in a 117-97 road loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. This time, the two-time reigning NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) shot 13 of 17 from beyond the arc in his seventh-career game with double-digit three’s. He went 16 for 26 overall. When he broke the mark with 2:23 to go, Curry raised his right arm and pounded his chest.


| Wednesday, november 9, 2016 Editor: Jun Lomibao Asst. Editor: Joel Orellana

Democratic presidential candidate hillary clinton applauds cleveland cavaliers star leBron James during a campaign rally at cleveland public hall in cleveland. AP

The star guard shared the previous record of 12 with Kobe Bryant and Donyell Marshall. It was Curry’s first 40-point performance this season after he led the NBA with 13 such games last season. Fans chanted “M-V-P! M-V-P!” Klay Thompson added 24 points as the Splash Brothers looked far more in sync from long range at last. Kevin Durant added 22 for the Warriors. Anthony Davis had 33 points and 13 rebounds for New Orleans (07), which, along with the 76ers (0-6), are the NBA’s lone teams still without a victory. Thompson—two for 10 against the Lakers from three-point range, a combined zero of 13 against Phoenix and Portland, and nine of 46 overall (19.6 percent) this season coming in—missed his first three attempts before hitting from the baseline late in the second quarter as the sellout crowd went crazy.

The Clippers had a season-high 13 three-pointers in a 114-80 win over the Pistons, their 11th consecutive victory over Detroit. Chris Paul scored 24 points, including five threepointers, and J.J. Redick added 20 points, including three three-pointers. Andre Drummond had 15 points and 13 rebounds to lead Detroit, which shot 37 percent and made just four-of-12 three-point attempts in its worst loss of the young season. In other NBA games, the Rockets beat the Wizards, 114106, the Hornets had a 122-100 win over the Pacers, the Utah Jazz beat the winless 76ers, 109-84, the Oaklahoma City Thunder beat Miami heat, 97-85, and the Bulls were too good for the Magic, winning 1112-80 in Chicago. At Washington, the James Harden set aside a rough first quarter to finish with 32 points and 15 assists to lead the Rockets. Washington’s John Wall broke the franchise record for career assists before getting ejected in the final minute. This was his fourth consecutive game with at least 30 points and 10 assists for Harden, who entered the day leading the NBA in assists at 12.3 per game and fourth in scoring average at 31.5 points. Kemba Walker had 24 points and 10 assists against Indiana to help Charlotte to their best start in franchise history. The Hornets (5-1) scored on their first 12 possessions and led by as many as 21 points in the first quarter. Charlotte tied a 23-year franchise record with 75 points in the first half on 56.5 percent shooting. AP

This cropped landscape photo shows the devastation of Supertyphoon Yolanda (international code name Haiyan) in Tacloban. Jesse Estrella By Fil V. Elefante


golDen state Warriors’ stephen curry (30) celebrates a score against the new orleans pelicans. curry set a new nBa record from beyond the arc with 13 triples. AP

For pro athletes, voting can require extra eFFort



The Associated Press

ORONTO Raptors Coach Dwane Casey grew up in Kentucky in the 1960s, a child during the civil-rights movement who witnessed the efforts of those in power to disenfranchise people of color and slow their push for equality. So every two years, when election time arrives in the United States, Casey drives home to his players the importance of participating in the voting process. “I tell my players ‘Get your absentee ballots and vote,’” Casey said. “I remember my grandparents talking about when AfricanAmericans couldn’t vote. Or they tried to make it hard for them to vote. “So that is a privilege a lot of people fought for, you went to jail for. Everyone should vote.” Casey has been particularly insistent since he started coaching the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) only Canadian team. The Raptors employ a bunch of American players far removed from their local polling place, and Casey encourages them to think ahead so the grind of the NBA season doesn’t cost them their say in the election.

“That’s your way of showing power as an individual,” Casey said. “We can protest, but the only way you fight stuff like that is through voting. Using your right to vote.” Many athletes have to rely on absentee ballots, either because they reside permanently in a different state than their team or because they are on the road during Election Day. Several teams have taken steps to help. The National Football League’s Minnesota Vikings roll out a voter-education program every two years to ensure players, coaches and staff members understand voting practices in Minnesota. “It’s a right and everybody needs to exercise their rights,” said Lester Bagley, Vikings executive vice president of legal affairs and stadium development. “Make it as easy as possible, answer the questions, get them the resources, connect them. It’s every two years and it’s a direct message to all staff, all players to participate and here’s how to do it.” The Vikings also joined with the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office in a public service announcement to encourage fans to vote on Tuesday, a local campaign similar to the national one put on by the NBA Players’ Association featuring superstars LeBron James,

Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul. James has endorsed Hillary Clinton and appeared at a rally for her this week. But the PSA featuring James only encouraged people to exercise their right to vote and didn’t advocate for a particular candidate. That’s the same approach the Vikings take. Executive Director of Player Development Les Pico began the voter-education program when he arrived with the franchise in 2005. This year the team e-mailed players three times to encourage them to register, placed forms in their lockers reminding them to get an absentee ballot and offered help in assisting them to register in their home states. Retired NBA star Baron Davis wrote a piece for The Players’ Tribune reminding athletes to vote. He said it can be easy for athletes to skip the practice, believing their votes will not influence the outcome of an election enough to take time away from their hectic schedules. “At this time in our country, it’s easy to feel like things haven’t been working for us,” Davis wrote. “But the solution is not to just say, I won’t do anything about it. The solution is to take what we know about improving— whether it be in sports, or in your life—and apply it to our problems.”





CCORDING to the government’s Foreign Aid Transparency Hub, the national government had received P17.2 billion worth of assistance from foreign governments and organizations. Most of this assistance came from non-gover nmenta l organi zat ions

PESO exchange rates n US 48.5450

abroad. Pledges amounted to about P73 billion. Individually, the efforts of these groups were essentially drops in the bucket. But every little drop counted. Collectively, their efforts made an impact in helping communities get back on their feet. Among the foreign organizations that joined this effort was the Gift of the Givers, the largest civilian aid organization in South Africa. Its story was typical of

The voice Teddy Locsin Jr.

free fire


N unexpectedly brief but clarifying remarks before businessmen in Tokyo, President Duterte did not use a single cuss word. While he alluded to what the interpreter called, “Senah-torh De-rimah,” no harm was done. It didn’t sound like anyone we know. Something had changed in the President. Back in Manila, he said he heard a voice during the flight: God telling him not to curse again, or the plane would crash.

Moody’s Analytics’s projected GDP growth in the second half

See “PHL growth,” A2

the efforts made by foreign medical personnel who had rushed to Leyte and Samar to provide medical assistance. The founder of the organization, physician Imtiaz Sooliman, brought a team of trauma nurses and medical specialists to Leyte. They were among the hundreds of small teams of foreign medical volunteers who went to the isolated villages of Leyte and Samar.

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Moody’s Analytics, the research arm of the credit-rating firm Moody’s Investors Service, told the BusinessMirror  that its models currently

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Continued on A10

SC: While Marcos was not all good, he was not all evil either  

By Joel R. San Juan



HE Supreme Court (SC), in a vote of 9-5-1, on Tuesday paved the way for the burial of the late strongman Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) in Taguig City, 27 years after his death. SC Spokesman Theodore O. Te said the majority of the justices found no grave abuse of discretion on the part of President Duterte in granting the plea of the Marcos family to bury the late dictator at the LNMB. The Court denied all the seven petitions earlier filed questioning the legality of Duterte’s order allowing Marcos’s burial at the LNMB. Te announced that the Court also lifted the status quo ante order (SQA) it earlier issued to stop Duterte from ordering the remains of Marcos to be buried at the LNMB. Te explained that the SC found that the President committed no grave abuse of discretion in ordering the remains of the former President be buried in the LNMB, because this was done in the exercise of his mandate under Article VII, Section 17 of the 1987 Constitution. “At bar, President Duterte, through the public respondents, acted within the bounds of law and jurisprudence. Notwithstanding the call of human-rights advocates, the Court must uphold what is legal and jus.... And not to deny Marcos his rightful place at the LNMB,” the Court said in a decision written by Associate Justice Diosdado M. Peralta. See “SC,” A2

Continued on A2

n japan 0.4646 n UK 60.2201 n HK 6.2596 n CHINA 7.1633 n singapore 34.9446 n australia 37.4573 n EU 53.6180 n SAUDI arabia 12.9450

Source: BSP (8 November 2016 )

BMReports BusinessMirror

A2 Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Yolanda memories: Hope amid despair Continued from A1

Sooliman’s group focused on the area around Palompon. Aside from providing basic medical services to the survivors of Yolanda, this South African team put the provincial hospital there back into operation. They also donated several millions of pesos worth of medical equipment and supplies. Through their efforts, they restored the hospital’s entire second floor, including the ward, nursery and the operating rooms.

Crew from Africa

JOHN Ray Ramos, a historian and heritageconservation advocate who volunteered to join the South African mission, narrated how they arrived in Leyte from Cebu. Ramos recalled that it was on November 18 when that team arrived in Cebu and arranged for an airlift to Ormoc with a C-130 aircraft. But that afternoon, all humanitarian flights were grounded at the Mactan Air Base. After two days, the team chartered two pump boats to transport the team members and their equipment. The first trip proved to be eventful, as the boat’s engine conked out three times, according to Ramos. The other boat carr ying 2 tons of equipment and medical supplies struggled against strong waves. Palompon Mayor Ramon C. Oñate said nobody usually sails to Palompon from Cebu using a pump boat. “ Those are shark-infested waters,” Ramos said. A local official recalled the timely arrival of the South African team. “November 8 was a sad day for us,” Palompon Vice Mayor Maria Georgia Arevalo said. “It was the longest six hours of our lives. For several days, no help came. We felt alone.” And then the South Africans came.

Spic and span

AREVALO, who is also a physician, said they

didn’t expect help would arrive from South Africa. “We thought we were going to be forced to close down the hospital.” Corazon Grace Fernandez, Palompon hospital chief, recalled the struggle to provide medical services to the survivors and her gratitude for her staff. “Despite the situation, all my staff stayed to save our patients when Yolanda hit,” Fernandez said. “I am very grateful to them.” She added, the nurses and doctors “all had their own families to look after but they still did their jobs despite the meager resources.” For one week, Fernandez and her staff were “all alone in the hospital, until personnel from Regional Health Unit 8 arrived and set up their medical tent.” “We had to work with whatever was left,” she added. Until the South African team arrived, medical services were provided through that tent and the lobby of the badly damaged hospital. Sooliman was impressed with the attitude of the local medical personnel. “The nurses at the provincial hospital all lost something to the storm,” he said. “But they still reported for work spic and span. They are an amazing people. These nurses are among the greatest people I’ve ever met.” Slowly, a semblance of order and normalcy was returning in the areas adversely affected by Yolanda.

The judiciary

ASIDE from restoring medical ser vices, the judiciary was also getting its act back together. Rona Dionzon, clerk of court for the Municipal Trial Court in Palampon, recalled how things were two weeks after the massive typhoon left. “We were never able to send a report for November 2013, because all our reports are coursed through Tacloban and the postal service there was down,” the lawyer told

SC. . .

the BusinessM irror. “Judge Mario Quinit had to go to Manila to give a full verbal report to the Supreme Court about the full effect of Yolanda on the court.” According to Dionzon, the first thing the judge recommended to the Supreme Court was for repair of almost everything. “We needed time to dry the court’s records,” she said. “All the records were soaking wet. We have to account for each document. We still have the records, but we no longer had a court room.” Dionzon said they began looking for a place to rent to conduct court hearings. “I know the judges in Leyte have been in touch with each other to come up with a feasible plan to get the judiciary in Leyte back on its feet,” she said.

Finding bodies

WITH the arrival of aid, ordinary folk were beginning to put their lives back together. In a small village in Leyte, a fisherman explained how his community coped with the disaster three weeks after Yolanda left the country. “You want to make a bet?” he said in Tagalog. “We’ve fixed the roof. We also obtained a generator. We’re happy. This is the first cockfight we’re holding since the typhoon left.” Even as the cockfight aficionados from this village rejoiced, there was still a lot to do in Tacloban. “We still find bodies,” said a member of a crew tasked with restoring the supply of potable water in the city. “We place them in makeshift body bags. Then we leave them by the side of the road for pickup by retrieval teams later.” “Some of the water system has been restored,” he added. “Some pipes are running. But there are still a lot of areas where people have to walk a couple of kilometers just to get some fresh water.” This was just 10 days after Yolanda made landfall in Guiuan.

Continued from A1

Concurring with the decision were Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco, Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Arturo Brion, Lucas Bersamin, Mariano del Castillo, Jose Perez, Jose Mendoza and Estela PerlasBernabe. Those who dissented from the majority decision were Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, Francis Jardeleza and Alfredo Benjamin Caguiao. Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes recused from the case. Te said the justices did not say if the ruling was immediately executory, and said the petitioners may still file a motion for reconsideration. In addition, the SC explained that Duterte is not bound by the 1992 agreement entered into by former President Fidel V. Ramos and the Marcos family to have the remains interred in Batac, Ilocos Norte. The Court pointed out that as incumbent President, Duterte has the right “to amend, revoke, or rescind political agreements entered into by his predecessor” and to come up with policies that he thinks will be effective in fulfilling his mandate. Likewise, the Court  recognized the President’s power under the Administrative Code to reserve for public use and for any specific public purpose any of the lands of the public domain. “The majority found that the allotment of a cemetery plot at the LNMB for former president Marcos as a former president and commander in chief, a legislator, a secretary of National Defense, a military personnel, a veteran and a Medal of Valor awardee, whether recognizing his contributions or simply his status

PHL growth. . . Continued from A1

predict a 6.9-percent growth in the July-to-December period. This forecast means growth is expected to match the regional outlier growth rate of the Philippines from January to June this year at an average of 6.9 percent—where growth in the first quarter was at 6.8 percent and 7 percent in the second quarter.  “We expect GDP growth in the second half of 2016 to match the first…this will primarily be driven by private consumption, investment and government spending,” Moody’s Analytics associate economist Jack Chambers. Chambers also earlier said this foreseen strong growth in private consumption is expected to feed the manufacturing industry —which thrives on the domestic demand and shields it from the weak external developments affecting the manufacturing sectors of other jurisdictions in the region.  “Rapid growth in domestic investment and consumption has been the main driver [of the Philippine industrial production growth],” Chambers said.   “Also providing a boost is the agriculture sector, which has passed the negative effects of 2015’s El Niño climate pattern,” he added.  Chambers’s analysis of the local manufacturing-sector strength—which is expected to add to the local economy’s overall growth —echoes data earlier released by Nikkei Philippines, where the country’s Purchasing

DOT. . .

Continued from A12

This recent award is on top of the other awards, including the Appies, the Asian Marketing Effectiveness and the Asia-Pacific Tambuli Awards. It also won the WARC Asia Strategy Grand Prix and was named The World’s Smartest Campaign—No. 1 in Asia and No. 3 in the world. In a separate news statement, David Guerrero, creative chairman of BBDO Guerrero, said of the Spikes award: “Effectiveness is at the core of what we do. So we are thrilled with this recognition. We aim to deliver long-term creative platforms that provide for profitable growth for our clients.”

as such, satisfies the public-use requirement,” Te said. The Court also held that the petitioners failed to back their claims that Duterte was motivated by debt of gratitude and payback to the Marcoses for their support in the last elections in allowing the late strongman’s burial at the LNMB. “As the purpose is not self-evident, petitioners have the burden of proof to establish the factual basis of their claim. They failed. Even so, this Court cannot take cognizance of factual issues since we are not a trier of facts,” the Court ruled. “While petitioners  may disregard Marcos as President and Commander in Chief owing to his human-rights abuses, the Court said he cannot be denied the right to be acknowledged as a legislator, a secretary of National Defense, a military personnel, a war veteran and a Medal Valor awardee. We agree with the proposition that Marcos should be viewed and judged in his totality as a person. While he was not all good, he was not pure evil either. Certainly, just a human who erred like us,” the Court added. The Court also did not give credence to the arguments of the petitioners that Marcos was disqualified from burial at the LNMB, because he had been convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude. In fact, the Court noted Marcos was not convicted by final judgment of any offense involving moral turpitude. While the petitioners cited various cases that were decided with finality by local and foreign courts, the SC said these have no bearing on the issue, since these cases were merely civil in nature and do not establish moral turpitude. The seven petitions that were junked were filed by groups of martial-law victims, led by former Party-list Rep. Satur Ocampo of Bahay Muna, Liberal Party Rep. Edcel Lagman of Albay and former Commission on Human Rights Chairman Loretta Ann Rosales; a group led by former Sen. Heherson Alvarez; a group of University of the Philippines students; and former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Commission on Human Rights Chairman Algamar Latiph; and Sen. Leila de Lima. In a nutshell, petitioners argued that the

Managers’ Index (PMI) continued to buck the regional trend of industrial contraction in October. The country’s PMI hit an overall index of 56.5 during the month due to “improved manufacturing conditions” and “solid domestic demand.”    The PMI is a composite index, calculated as a weighted average of five individual subcomponents, including new orders, output, employment, suppliers’ delivery times and stocks of purchases. Readings above 50 signal an expansion of the manufacturing sector, while readings below 50 show deterioration. On the inflation front, however, Chambers said the growth rate of consumer prices in the local scene is seen to trend on the upside over the coming months.  In particular, Chambers told the BusinessMirror inflation could push toward 3 percent, driven by the rebound in commodity prices, which will elevate energy and transportation costs.  At present, the inflation average for the first 10 months of the year is at 1.6 percent— below the government’s target range of 2 percent to 4 percent for full-year 2016. Monthly inflation has been consistently below annual target since May 2015 and was only able to cling back to the lower end of the target band in September and October this year, both at 2.3 percent.  The country’s growth rate for July to September will be released by the Philippine Statistics Authority on November 17. Meanwhile, the breakfast forum at the Philippine Embassy in London was also attended by Philippine lawmakers. Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez of Leyte, suggested an improvement in tourism packaging, “and making the tourism experience memorable to make them want to come back again and again.” For her part, Sen. Nancy Binay stressed that tourism stakeholders should also address safety and security concerns by being vigilant to address such incidents, instead of just leaving these issues to be dealt with by the police and the military. Part of the star-rating system by the DOT of Philippine hotels, resorts and other accommodations includes an emphasis on providing adequate security to their respective properties and the guests.

planned burial of the late dictator is “illegal and contrary to law, public policy, morals and justice.” Former Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., son of the late strongman, immediately welcomed the SC ruling, describing it as “a magnanimous act to uphold the rule of law.” “We also would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte, as his unwavering commitment to this issue sustained us these past several months. Our family will forever be thankful for his kind gesture,” Marcos Jr. said. “It is our sincerest hope that this will lead the nation toward healing, as we endeavor to move the country forward to give every Filipino a better life,” he added. Lawmakers, meanwhile, welcomed the SC decision allowing the burial of Marcos at the LNMB. Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, PDPLaban Rep. Alfredo Benitez of Negros Occidental, Lakas Rep. Danilo Suarez of Quezon, Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza of Buhay and United Nationalist Alliance Rep. Toby Tiangco of Navotas City in separate statements, said it is time for the nation to move on and set aside animosities caused by the Marcos burial issue. “The rule of law prevailed over partisan emotions,” Alvarez said. For his part, Visayan bloc leader Benitez said, “Let’s move on. Let history be the judge of the person not the place of burial.” House Minority Leader Suarez said, “It’s about time that we allow the burial of former President Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Let us bury emotions, once and for all.” Atienza asked the public to respect the Court’s decision. “Now that the SC has spoken, we hope everyone respects the decision. It’s about time we bury Marcos wherever the family want him to be buried,” he added. Tiangco said, “I have always been consistent in saying that we should always respect the wisdom of the ruling of the Supreme Court at all times.” For his part, House Appropriations Committee Chairman and National Unity Party Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles of Davao City said the SC’s 9-5 decision favoring the burial of Marcos should put to rest all legal questions pertaining to his burial at the LNMB and allow time to heal the wounds that divided so many people because of the Marcos issue. Nograles said the time has come for Filipinos to set aside personal feelings regarding the Marcos burial issue and work together in nation-building. “We should stop wallowing in the past and start looking forward to our future. The Supreme Court has spoken about the Marcos burial issue, and we should accept its decision. The President was found not to have committed any grave abuse of discretion, but was only inspired by national unity and reconciliation. No law prohibits the Marcos burial in LNMB. As the President has always said, ‘Let us all just follow the law’”, Nograles added. “This pro-Marcos and anti-Marcos political division should now be a thing of the past. What we need to do is to rally behind our present government to ensure the success of this growing national movement to create a better and more independent Philippines,” Nograles said. Lagman, however, said he is set to file motions for reconsideration for a reversal of the SC decision. “While I respect the decision of the Supreme Court, I am puzzled to no end why the majority of the Court would allow the burial of a judicially and historically confirmed despot, plunderer and transgressor of human rights in the Libingan ng mga Bayani,” he said. “Pending resolution of the motions for reconsideration, the Supreme Court needs to reissue or extend the status quo ante order against the Marcos burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani to prevent the case from being rendered academic by a precipitate Marcos internment and to accord due respect to the final decision of the Supreme Court,” he added. Jovee Marie N. dela Cruz


BusinessMirror Editors: Vittorio V. Vitug and Max V. de Leon • Wednesday, November 9, 2016 A3

IFC sees investment ‘deluge’ for PHL after climate deal By Cai U. Ordinario



he global agreement on climate change has turned the Philippines into one of the countries with a huge climate-smart investment potential in the world, according to the International Finance Corp. (IFC). In a mews statement, the IFC said the climate-change agreement signed last year opened up as much as $23 trillion in emerging-market opportunities. Around $16 trillion of this amount can be made in climatesmart investments in East Asia and the Pacific, where China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam show the largest potentials. “There has never been a better time than now for climate-smart investing,” IFC Executive Vice President Philippe Le Houérou said. “This reflects the dramatic reduction in the price of clean technologies and the rise of smart policies that are driving businesses to invest.” Le Houérou added that the increase in climate-smart opportunities has also convinced them to increase its climate investments to $3.5 billion a year by 2020. He added that the IFC also plans to catalyze $13 billion through other investors. The IFC also said that a salient point in the report’s findings is the role of governments in unlock-

ing the full potential of climatesmart investments. “[The report] recommends that governments integrate national climate commitments into their development strategies and budget processes, strengthen the investment climate for climate-smart industries and deploy public funds strategically to mobilize private capital—by reducing risk and providing project support, for example,” the IFC said. Since the Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015, a total of 189 countries have submitted national plans that target aggressive growth in climate solutions. These include renewable energy, low-carbon cities, energy efficiency, sustainable forest management and climate-smart agriculture. IFC said these plans offer a clear road map for investments that will target climate-resilient infrastructure and offset higher upfront costs through efficiency gains and fuel savings. IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. It has worked with 2,000 businesses worldwide in the past six decades. In fiscal year 2016, IFC’s longterm investments in developing countries rose to nearly $19 billion to help the private sector end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.

‘Probe Noynoy’s complicity into Yolanda funds misuse’ By Jovee Marie N. dela Cruz



lawmaker has urged President Duterte to order the investigation on how the multibillion-peso funds allotted for Supertyphoon Yolanda rehabilitation and reconstruction were spent during the term of former President Benigno “Noynoy” S. Aquino III.

During the third year commemoration of Yolanda’s devastation on November 8, 2013, Party-list Rep. Ariel B. Casilao of Anakpawis said the aftermath of the Category 5 typhoon prompted the then-Aquino administration to release funds supposedly to aid survivors. “The government response on Yolanda is criminal negligence right in front of our faces and contempt on the thousands of victims. The Duterte presidency should take this seriously and hold those primarily responsible answerable to the people. The President should ensure the

culpability of Aquino and his cohorts who cold-bloodedly pillaged the public funds indented for the Yolanda victims,” Casilao said. At least 6,300 died, as reported by the government, mostly from Leyte and Samar provinces, while damage to infrastructure and other sectors amounted to more than P89 billion. To address this, Casilao said the Aquino administration has proposed the Yolanda Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan (CRRP), the national government’s commitment to implement over 25,000 disaster rehabilitation- and recovery-specific

projects, programs and activities. “But during the implementation, irregularities were reported, such as the rotting relief packs in warehouses of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, absence or delayed distribution of Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) and over-priced bunkhouses,” he added. “Last week Social Welfare Secretary [Judy M.] Taguiwalo bared that there are only P30 million left on the billions of pesos in the combined government and private donations. Last year the then-Aquino [administration] released P90 billion for Yolanda aid, but despite the massive fund flow, the welfare agency is seeking additional fund ostensibly to be given to 200,000 ESA-beneficiaries,” Casilao said. The lawmaker, citing the policy guidelines of the National Economic and Development Authority’s (Neda) Reconstruction Assistance for Yolanda, said the CRRP has a total funding requirement of more than P167 billion. Of this, Casilao said the budget department reported that almost P52 billion were released to fund the typhoon relief, rehabilitation and recovery efforts. He also expressed disappoint-

ment on the slow construction of permanent shelter for ty phoon victims. “With the comprehensive plan targeting 205,000 housing units for the typhoon victims, a tiny 1 percent, or 25,000 units were completed,” the lawmaker said, citing figures from the office of Vice President and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council chief Maria Leonor G. Robredo. The lawmaker said in Tacloban out of 14,162 permanent houses, which the National Housing Authority (NHA) has promised to build, a dismal 572 were completed. On the other hand, he said nongovernmental organizations constructed 556 out of its planned 2,169 permanent housing. Casilao added the NHA also admitted that only 5,767 had been completed as of mid-February, a far cry from its 13,928 housing units target in end-2016. “The NHA is constructing 8,161 houses in 19 sites located at the northern villages of Leyte. But despite the completion of thousands of units, around 200 houses are occupied by families from high-risk zones due to the absence of a permanent water supply and electricity,” he said.

The Nation

A4 Wednesday, November 9, 2016 • Editors: Vittorio V. Vitug and Max V. de Leon


Commuters’ group: P8-T emergency power projects reek of corruption


N umbrella network of road users has been allowed by the Commission on Appointments (CA) to present its case against the confirmation of Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade.

Road Users Protection Advocates (Rupa) Chairman Ray Junia said Tugade’s dismal performance, along with his questionable emergency-powers package of P8-trillion projects that will no longer undergo public bidding, will only worsen the traffic situation while enriching the Department of Transportation (DOTr) officials who stand to benefit from negotiated contracts. “Rupa wishes to express its gratitude to the Commission on Appointments, especially to One Cebu Rep. Benhur Salimbangon for its assurance that it will be heard on its opposition to the confirmation of Secretary Tugade. Rupa is urging the Congress and the CA to go beyond cursory look into the background of Secretary Tugade and his motives in hiring officials whose intentions are suspect, given their history in taking the side of service providers on big projects under the then-Department of Transportation and Communica-

tions,” Junia said. “Consumers have all the reasons to fear that the emergency powers being sought. It is nothing but a grand scheme to commit more corruption,” he added. He said Rupa will take the opportunity to prove its claim that Tugade is not only unfit for the job, but his confirmation will serve only the interest of oligarchs whom President Duterte has vowed to fight. He said the worsening traffic situation in Metro Manila and in other urban areas has already reached the level of a “crime against the people.” “The thoughts fo Sen. Grace Poe, whose committee is hearing the request for emergency powers to solve traffic crisis, are deeply disturbing. The Senate is reported to be alarmed at the incompetence of the DOTr on its justification for the emergency powers,” Junia said. Junia was referring to Poe’s statement that the DOTr proposal to ad-

dress the worsening traffic congestion problem was “incoherent and grandiose” and that the projects proposed by Tugade and his team “are unlikely to be implemented due to lack of clear plans and funding.” He said stakeholders are also concerned over conflict of interest and loyalty issues raised by leaders of the House of Representatives against the incumbent DOTr officials. “Congress leaders pointed out probable conflict of interest in the exercise of official functions of DOTr officials. Consumers have every reason to fear that the DOTr leadership will not be able to serve the interests of the people,” Junia said. “Rupa, as a consumers’ advocate group, strongly suspects that the reason behind the emergency powers being sought is more on exempting the procurement from regular controls against corruption, such as regular bidding procedures. In all likelihood, the emergency powers will not actually solve the traffic problem, but will be a license for officials of the DOTr to enrich themselves from big-ticket contracts and grandiose projects,” Junia added. In previous hearings at the House of Representatives, Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez and Minority Leader Danilo Suarez noted that Tugade and his men had conflicts of interest, having been in the transport sector before joining the government.

Tugade’s family is engaged in the transport and logistics business; Undersecretary for Railway Noel Kintanar was a former assistant vice president of Ayala Corp., which has acquired rail projects under the previous administration; Undersecretary for Air Operations Bobby Lim was a former country manager of the International Air Transport Association; while Undersecretary for Maritime Affairs Felipe Judan is in the shipping and logistics business. Junia earlier appealed to Duterte not to reappoint Tugade after the latter was bypassed by the Commission on Appointments. He said the CA’s decision to bypass Tugade was already a “vote of no confidence” from both the House of Representatives and the Senate, especially in light of the flawed emergency-powers package proposal that the DOTr is seeking. In his previous letter to the CA, Junia recalled how Tugade boasted that he will solve the traffic crisis within 100 days after he assumes office. Tugade even dared Duterte on national television to fire him if he could not deliver on his promise. He also scored Tugade for coming out with “incredible and fantastic solutions that elicited laughter and sneer from the public and [transportation] experts” in a bid to wiggle out of his own 100-day ultimatum. Jovee Marie N. dela Cruz

Marcos: I will have my own ‘Resurgence’ Radioman


ORMER Sen. Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. early this week declared that people should watch out for the next chapter of his political career, saying he will have his own version of “Resurgence.” In his Keynote Address at the 80th Anniversary celebration of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Manila, Marcos said just like the fight of Sen. Manny Pacquiao with Jessie Vargas on Sunday and the “never-say-die” mantra of basketball team Ginebra, he will come back stronger since he has a lot more to offer. “[K]umbaga sa Ginebra, ‘neversay die’ dapat! ‘Ika nga po ng tema ng laban ni Sen. Manny Pacquiao: resurgence. Babalik po tayo. Babangon at babawing muli tayo. Marami pa tayong ibubuga. Pansamantala lamang po ito. Abangan ang susunod na kabanata,” he said to a thunderous applause of those in attendance. He said that, despite his pending election protest and his status as a private citizen, he has decided to go around the country to personally thank those who supported him in the last elections. “And so, I roam around and personally convey my appreciation of their trust in me. Kahit ako ay ‘off-duty’ nang pansamantala, ito ay

MARCOS: “And so, I roam around and personally convey my appreciation of their trust in me.”

aking ginagawa dahil kailangan kong tumanaw ng utang na loob sa sambayanang Pilipino. Maraming salamat po sa inyo,” he said. He then thanked the NBI and its director, Dante Gierran, for inviting him to grace the affair, which also coincided with the opening of the agency’s art exhibit and painting contest for the benefit of the Children’s Joy Foundation. “I am truly honored to be here. I would like to thank the leadership, Director Dante Gierran, and the entire family of the NBI for seeking me out and inviting me to partake in the festivities of your 80th founding anniversary. Nakakataba po ng puso na ako ay inanyayahan ninyo rito,” he said. He then lauded the NBI for its years of committed service to the Filipino people. He said the art exhibit in the NBI should be viewed as also a kind or resurgence and revitalization of the agency.

“According to the philosopher Baumgarten, art appreciation is an exercise in aesthetics and sensory perception. When we engage in this, we come to understand and appreciate beauty, which is the perfection of sensory perception. In turn, aesthetics is the “younger sister of logic.” The perfection of logic is truth—and the pursuit of truth is the very mandate of the NBI,” he said. He added that the midst of attempts to destabilize and defeat the good intentions of the current leadership, the NBI needs to be reinvigorated and recharged in its public service. “Kailangang-kailangan po natin ang NBI, lalo na sa ating panahon ngayon na napakaraming banta sa lipunan. Maraming nanggugulo ngayon at naghahasik ng lagim sa lipunan. Gustong takutin at guluhin ang isipan ng taumbayan upang mawalan ng tiwala sa ating pamahalaan,” he said. He added, “[k]apag kaagapay natin ang NBI, na sukdulan ang galing sa paghahanap ng katotohanan at katarungan, hindi matatakot ang taumbayan at mananatili ang tiwala sa ating pamahalaan. Magkakaisa ang lahat sa pagpuksa sa mga masasamang elemento sa lipunan,” Joel R. San Juan

wounded in ambush


RADIO commentator from Pangasinan was wounded on Tuesday when he was shot by armed men riding in tandem on a motorcycle. The victim was identified as Virgilio Maganes, 59, a commentator of radio station dwPR, whose studio is in Dagupan City. Supt. Jack Candelario, spokesman for the Pangasinan police command, said the ambush happened at around 5:40 a.m. on the Villasis-Asingan Road at Barangay Poblacion, Villasis, Pangasinan. Candelario said Maganes, who lives in Barangay San Blas, Villasis, was on his way to work onboard a tricycle when two men on a motorcycle shot him. The victim sustained a gunshot wound in the right armpit and was taken to the Dr. Marcelo M. Chan Hospital in the nearby town of Rosales for treatment. He is reportedly in stable condition. Candelario said investigators are looking into all angles in the ambush. He refused to speculate that the attempted killing was work-related. Rene Acosta

Labor arbiter junks complaint vs TV network By Claudeth Mocon-Ciriaco Correspondent


LABOR arbiter in Cebu City has junked a complaint filed against a broadcast company by its former employees. The complainants, Nemesio B. Veliganio Jr., Ronald F. Rellin, Joel Boider Pantino, Urestedes S. Gulleban, Marlon B. Marquez, Vicente Montejo Jr. and Mark Anthony Flores Bautista, alleged that they were illegally dismissed from their respective positions in the GMA Cebu Station. This, after the complainants were included on the list of employees to be dismissed as a result of a network-wide redundancy program that was being implemented in order to streamline regional operations at that time. The complainants were formerly assigned in local programs Buena Mano Balita and Let’s Fiesta, which had already been shelved owing to the

shows’ history of losses and redundant nature. In her 14-page decision, Labor Arbiter Jermelina Pasignajen-Ay-Ad ruled that there were valid grounds for the implementation of the redundancy program and, therefore, the complainants were legally declared redundant and validly dismissed from employment. It was found that, considering the fact that the notice and reportorial requirements were met, as well as the separation packages that were paid to the complainants, their termination owing to redundancy was in accordance with Article 283 (now 298) of the Labor Code, as amended. Pasignajen-Ay-Ad said the implementation of said redundancy program was “not done in haste and not without proper basis” and that a “reasonable criteria were, indeed, established in determining what positions would be declared as redundant and who would be affected.”

Thousands gather in Tacloban to remember Yolanda victims By Marvyn N. Benaning Correspondent


ACLOBA N CIT Y—T housands of survivors of Typhoon Yolanda that hit this city and other parts of the country three years ago, gathered here to remember the dead and demand that big corporate polluters be punished for causing climate change and disasters. “Three years have passed since Yolanda, and while the country is still trying to overcome challenges in rebuilding lives for communities adversely affected by previous devastation, supertyphoons continue to hit us every year. It has become the new normal. We cannot just continue asking for assistance and relying on our people’s ‘resilience’, we, instead, need commitment from those most responsible that they will not cause further harm to the climate and people. We owe it to the communities on the frontline of climate change around the world and to future generations,” said Naderev Saño, executive director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia. Big polluters are companies that account for the lion’s share of fossil- fuel products that have been manufactured, marketed and sold since the industrial revolution, Saño said. They are responsible for record levels of carbon emissions globally that adversely affect vulnerable countries, like the Philippines, he added. Studies conducted in the US showed that carbon emissions surged by 1,988 percent, consistent with record-level production of oil products and byproduct. Earlier this year, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) ordered several corporations to respond to a petition from Yolanda survivors and supporting organizations, including Greenpeace Southeast Asia-Philippines, about their role in potential human-rights abuses owing to climate change. This is unprecedented, Saño said, and it marks the first time that a national human-rights institution is officially taking steps to address the impacts of climate change and investigating the role played by companies headquartered outside the country. Yolanda anniversary activities will be held for several days, culminating in a candle-lighting ceremony that survivors, their families and their friends hope sparks not just memories of devastation, but messages of remembrance, hope and solidarity toward the global protection of frontline affected communi-

ties and a better future for the next generation. “We are very grateful for the help and the sympathy we received from all over the world. We also appreciate being seen as a resilient people, but no one deserves to experience what we experienced during Typhoon Yolanda. No one. Fundamental change is needed to give us a chance of avoiding future Yolandas. But, how [do we ensure that]?” asked Jeff Manibay of One Tacloban, one of the groups spearheading the commemorations in Leyte. Taclobanons have used the annual event to send a message of gratitude to all those who helped in the immediate aftermath of Yolanda and the subsequent rehabilitation. However, as the people of Leyte remember their dead and continue to grapple with the challenges of rebuilding their lives three years on, the people of Northern Luzon are struggling to recover from the devastation of back-to-back typhoons Karen and Lawin, which hit at the end of October. The damage to agriculture and fisheries wrought by the two t y phoons has been placed at P20.2 billion. Nor t he r n L u z o n’s f a me d , centuries-old Ifugao Rice Terraces, which employs ingenious farming technology, is also collapsing from continued exposure to ever-worsening droughts and stronger typhoons. This shows that climate impacts affect not just the economy and everyday life, but also devastate a culture’s heritage and will change ways of life forever. “Extreme weather events are exacerbating other development issues. Regardless of preparations that local governments try to make, increasingly extreme weather events make resources for surviving almost impossible for communities on the frontlines of climate change,” Saño added. “The fossil-fuel companies and respective governments should not waste time to take bold steps in reducing emissions. Lives, livelihoods and ways of life are at stake. You cannot continue with business as usual. This has become a matter of justice and human rights,” Saño said. The petition pending at the CHR is among a global wave of climate justice-related cases being brought against governments and fossilfuel companies. People have filed actions in countries, including Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and the Philippines.

EU higher-education institutions to visit Cebu on November 11


RINGING the European Higher Education Fair (Ehef) outside Manila for the first time, the European Union delegation to the Philippines, the EU member-states embassies and cultural institutes will conduct a networking meeting between European higher-education institutions and their counterparts on the morning of November 11 at the Cebu Normal University in Cebu City. The event in Cebu will held a day after the Ehef at a hotel in Makati City. Students, faculty members, academicians and researchers are invited to the information sessions, 1:30 to 4 p.m., from the institutions from Czech Republic, France, Spain and the Erasmus+ Program. “The European Higher Education Fair is not only a platform to showcase education offerings, distinctions and coverage, but a venue where we would want to engage in dialogue with our Filipino partners to exchange the techniques and best practices, as well as information on higher-education opportunities,” said Mattias Lentz, minis-

ter counsellor of the EU delegation to the Philippines. The networking meeting will bring together 11 EU higher learning institutions in Cebu, along with their Visayan counterparts under one roof. The participating universities are from the Czech Republic: the University of Pardubice, Technical University of Liberec, University of Hradec Kralove, the BRNO University of Technology and Masaryk University; from Spain—the Spanish Service for Internationalization of Education; from France, Universite Catholique de l’Ouest, Network “n+i” Engineering Institutes, Le Cordon Bleu and the IESEG School Management; and from Spain, Spanish Service for Internationalization of Education. The meeting will explore the prospects of cooperation and partnerships between EU and universities from Visayan and Mindanao regions. Ehef is supported by the BusinessMirror, an FM radio station and the web site of a Manila daily newspaper.

AseanWednesday BusinessMirror

Editor: Max V. de Leon • Wednesday, November 9, 2016 A5

Popularity becomes curse for ringgit, rupiah Vietnam, Ireland boost education, energy cooperation


ietnam and Ireland agreed to increase their cooperation in education, renewable energy, information technology and health care during a visit to the Southeast Asian country by Irish President Michael Higgins. Higgins said he and Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang discussed how the two countries can serve as a bridge for developing relations with the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean). “We discussed the changes in the economic circumstances of both of our countries in recent times and how Ireland and Vietnam can cooperate on being both bridges on the one hand to the European Union and on the other, a bridge to the 600 million people of the Asean community,” Higgins told reporters at a joint news conference with Quang. They also discussed climate change and sustainable development and how the two countries can meet their obligations under the Paris climate agreement, Higgins said. Quang said the two countries have much more to offer in boosting their cooperation. “We are pleased to see very positive development in Vietnam-Ireland relations, and the two countries still have much potential to promote cooperation in areas of mutual interests such as trade, investment, education, green technology, agriculture, health care and sustainable development,” Quang said. Among agreements signed on Monday and witnessed by Higgins and Quang were three wind power projects in southern Vietnam with a total investment of $2.2 billion. Energy consumption in Vietnam has seen an annual increase of more than 10 percent over the past decade and is expected to continue to increase to meet growing demand in the country of 93 million. AP


he popularity of Malaysia’s ringgit and Indonesia’s rupiah among global investors has made them Southeast Asia’s most volatile currencies, just as the region heads for troubled waters.

Already reeling from a commodity slump, debt in the two nations is seen by strategists as the most vulnerable to concerns surrounding the US presidential election and the Federal Reserve’s next interest-rate increase. One-month implied volatility in the ringgit, a measure of expected moves in the exchange rate used to price options, is the highest in Southeast Asia at 8.9 percent, while the rupiah is second at 7.3 percent. “Because so many foreign investors are already long Malaysian and Indonesian local-currency government bonds, these risk positions will be reduced, mostly through currency hedging,” said Maximillian Lin, a currency strategist at UBS Group AG in Singapore. “The rush to hedge under such circumstances usually sees further pressure for a currency to weaken.” Overseas ownership of Malaysian debt has climbed four times over in the past decade to 36 percent, and Indonesia’s has tripled to 38 percent. While that would typically be seen as a vote of confidence, the situation is less desirable in times of financial-market stress, such as when funds stampeded out of Asia during the 1997 regional financial crisis.

Due to high foreign investment in government bonds, external shocks impact Indonesia and Malaysia more.” —Natixis SA Foreign ownership of the two nations’ bonds is the highest among five Asian economies tracked by the Manila-based Asian Development Bank. Global funds hold a 10th of Japanese and South Korean debt and 15 percent of Thai securities. The ringgit sank to the weakest level since February last month, while the rupiah touched an one-month low last week, as a recovery in commodity markets faltered. The two Southeast Asian economies depend on exports of raw materials, such as coal, rubber and palm oil. The ringgit has dropped 4 percent in

the past three months to trade at 4.2035 per dollar at 12:41 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur, while the rupiah has risen 0.3 percent to 13,085 per dollar. While the volatility of the two currencies has eased this year, they are still above that of the Philippine peso at 6 percent and Thai baht at 5.7 percent. “Due to high foreign investment in government bonds, external shocks impact Indonesia and Malaysia more,” said Trinh Nguyen, a senior economist at Natixis SA in Hong Kong. “Another factor is their linkages to the commodity cycle.”

Yield hunt

Despite declines in oil and agricultural products beyond the control of both countries, global funds have boosted holdings of ringgit and rupiah bonds this year amid a hunt for returns, as $10 trillion of debt around the world has a negative yield. Indonesia’s 10-year bonds pay 7.33 percent, the highest in Asia, while similar-maturity Malaysian securities yield 3.62 percent. Overseas investors have bought more than $8 billion of rupiah-denominated government bonds this year and their holdings are just below last month’s record 686 trillion rupiah ($52 billion). Malaysian notes have drawn inflows in 12 of the past 13 months and foreign ownership climbed to an all-time high of 214.8 billion ringgit ($51 billion) in October. “High foreign ownership of bonds is a potential for high volatility,” said Vishnu Varathan, a senior economist at Mizuho Bank Ltd. in Singapore. “Very volatile energy prices exacerbate the vulnerabilities and implied volatility.” Bloomberg News

Laos pursues contentious Mekong dam


ao PDR has notified its Southeast Asian neighbors that it’s moving ahead with a third contentious hydro dam on the Mekong River’s mainstream. The Mekong River Commission, an organization that groups together Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand for joint management of the river, said in a statement it has received notice from Laos that it will undertake a process of consultation about the Pak Beng dam. In the previous consultation cases for the Xayaburi and Don Sahong dams, Laos pressed forward with the projects, despite vociferous objections from the other countries, scientists and conservationists. It has already begun preparatory work for the 912 megawatt Pak Beng dam in the northern province of Oudomxay Critics of the dams say they will damage wild fisheries and a rice bowl delta that support 60 million people in the region. The river basin is already under pressure from dozens of dams already built on Mekong tributaries. The commission’s relevance as a transboundary organization has been undermined by Laos, as well as its own internal failings. Foreign donors have cut financial assistance and the commission’s staff numbers have been slashed. AP


The World

Wednesday, November 9, 2016 • Editor: Lyn Resurreccion


Parts of street collapse in Japan city; no injuries

TOKYO—Parts of a main street collapsed in the heart of a major city in southern Japan on Tuesday, creating a massive sinkhole and cutting off power, water and gas supplies to parts of the city. Authorities said no injuries were repor ted f rom the presunrise collapse in downtown Fukuoka, which created a sinkhole more than half the size of an Olympic pool in the middle of the business district. The cause of the collapse is under investigation, Fukuoka officials said, but they linked it to ongoing subway construction nearby. A smaller sinkhole occurred in Fukuoka in 2014 at another location of the subway construction. Fukuoka, a city of more than 1.5 million people, is about 1,000 kilometers southwest of Tokyo. The massive cave-in appeared in the city’s bustling Hakata district, a major business and entertainment center, with muddy underground water flowing into the hole. AP

Pitt-Jolie children remain in actress’s care

LOS ANGELES—Angelina JoliePitt will continue to have sole custody of her six children with Brad Pitt in a joint agreement reached by the actors, a representative for the actress said on Monday. The voluntary agreement calls for the former couple’s six children, who range in ages from 8 to 15, to continue to have “therapeutic visits” with Pitt for the time being. It is unclear what therapeutic visits entailed, and Jolie-Pitt’s representatives said they could not provide additional details. A representative for Pitt declined comment. Jolie-Pitt filed for divorce in September, days after Pitt was involved in a disturbance during a private flight with his family. She cited irreconcilable differences as the reason for the breakup, and an attorney said at the time she filed for divorce “for the health of the family.” AP

India trying to fix hacked web sites of 7 of its embassies

NEW DELHI—Indian officials were trying on Tuesday to restore the web sites of seven Indian embassies in Europe and Africa that were hacked and had data dumped online. The security of the web sites of Indian embassies in Italy, Switzerland, South Africa, Libya, Malawi, Mali and Romania was breached by hackers who identified themselves to the media as Kaputsky and Kasimierz L. “We are aware of the problem and are trying to fix it,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesman Vikas Swarup told reporters. Attempts were being made to track the IP addresses of the hackers, who posted online the names, e-mail addresses, phone numbers and passport numbers of some embassy staff members. AP


Talks on Paris climate deal begin in Morocco M

ARRAKESH, Morocco— The landmark climate accord reached in Paris last December was ratified with uncommon speed, entering into force last week after it was approved by countries accounting for nearly twothirds of planet-warming emissions. But world leaders acknowledge that much remains to be fleshed out if countries are to achieve the stated goal of limiting global temperature increases to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and as close to 1.5 degrees Celsius as possible. Negotiators hope to make a start at an 11-day conference that opened on Monday in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh. The blistering pace at which the accord became international law underscores the urgency of the task at hand, UN climate chief Patricia Espinosa said in opening remarks. “Achieving the aims and ambitions of the Paris agreement is not a given,” she warned. “We have embarked on an effort to change the course of two centuries of carbon-intense development. The peaking of global emissions is urgent, as is attaining far more climate-resilient societies.” Morocco’s foreign minister, Salaheddine Mezouar, who is leading the talks, said the next two weeks should “give tangible meaning to the ideas and proposals” contained in the accord. T he st a kes a re h igh: L a st year was the hottest on record, and 2016 is on track to eclipse it. Countries are already feeling the effects of rising sea levels, prolonged drought and extreme storms and flooding. Many people are suffering d a i ly a nd “wonder i ng about their future, even their ver y existence,” Mezouar said. “It is, therefore, up to all of us to be up to this global challenge and not disappoint the expectations of vulnerable populations.” Casting doubt over the talks is a contentious US election that has raised questions about the commitment of one of the world’s biggest polluters to the agreement. The Obama administration played a key role in bringing more than 20 years of difficult climate negotiations to a

11 The number of days negotiators would flesh out the climate deal in Marrakesh, Morocco

successful conclusion in Paris and has pledged to reduce US greenhouse-gas emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, supports President Barack Obama’s climate goals. But there is concern among world leaders that the US could ignore its commitments under the deal, or pull out entirely, if Donald Trump becomes president. The Republican nominee has repeatedly questioned climate science and said he would “cancel” the agreement if elected. That is one of the reasons countries were in such a hurry to complete the approval process. Once the deal took effect on Friday, the rules require at least four years to pass before the US could withdraw. US climate envoy Jonathan Pershing told reporters last week that he didn’t think such a move was likely, in part because of the investment opportunities in renewable energy. “My sense,” he said, “is that there are going to be huge domestic advantages to staying in this agreement and to doing the work that we’ve agreed to do.” The accord relies on countries to set their own targets to slash emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses that

Morocco’s Foreign Affairs Minister Salaheddine Mezouar addresses the opening ceremony of Conference of Parties 22 on Monday in Marrakech, Morocco. Xinhua/Sipa USA/TNS

scientists say are the major cause of global warming. Even if implemented in f u l l, the emission reductions current ly on the table won’t be sufficient to hold temperatures to an increase of less than 2 ˚C, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, the threshold at which scientists believe many of the most d a m ag i ng ef fec ts of c l i m ate change can be averted. An analysis released last week by the United Nations Env ironment Program found that the world is on course to war m by 2.9˚C to 3.4˚C this centur y. That’s why the deal calls on countr ies to rev iew prog ress every five years and ratchet up their commitments. But li ke many aspects of the deal, the details were left vague. It does not specify, for example, how parties should measure and report on their emissions. In Marrakesh delegates will begin work on a “rule book” that Espinosa has said should be completed by 2018 to ensure “that everyone is involved in the effort and is delivering to the best of their abilities.”

White elephants, mahouts pay respects to late Thai king


ANGKOK—While tens of thousands of mourners have paid their respects to Thailand’s late king at Bangkok’s Grand Palace, where his body is being kept before cremation, a different kind of visitor appeared in front of the palace gates on Tuesday. Some 200 mahouts leading nine especially chosen white elephants and two white-painted elephants arrived at the palace from around the country. The tusked giants and their riders kneeled in front of the palace gates in a sign of respect for King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died at age 88 after reigning for 70 years, while the royal anthem was played on a lone trumpet. Mourners waiting to enter the palace cried as they witnessed the elephants’ prostrating.

In Thailand the white elephant is regarded as sacred and a symbol of royal power, according to the Thai Elephant Conservation Center. The white elephant was on Thailand’s national flag until 1917, but the symbol is still found on the ensign of the Royal Thai Navy. Historically, the statuses of kings were evaluated by the number of white elephants in their possession. Ittipan K aolamai, manager of the Royal Elephant Kraal and Village in Ayutthaya province, said nine elephants in Tuesday’s procession were white and two were painted, presumably to maintain conformity. He said one of the two spraypainted elephants carried a portrait of Bhumibol on its back and the other carried a drummer. AP

Mahouts lead a procession of 11 white elephants past the Grand Palace in honor of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej in Bangkok, Thailand, on Tuesday. King Bhumibol died on October 13 after reigning for 70 years, plunging the country into grief and extended mourning. The official mourning period is one year. AP/Mark Baker

Only countries that have ratified the agreement can vote on the rules, and the deal’s proponents are hoping this will spur more of the nearly 200 signatories to do so. Just over half have ratified so far. Other issues that need to be ironed out include how the world’s economies will phase out the use of coal, oil and other fossil fuels that provide the bulk of their energy needs, and how to scale up financing to help poor countries make the shift to cleaner energy sources and cope with the effects of climate change. Wealthy nations have pledged to mobilize no less than $100 billion a year by 2020 in so-called climate finance. But much of the money is expected to be in the form of loans or to come from the private sector, said Joe Thwaites, a finance expert at the World Resources Institute, a Washington think tank. This does not sit well with developing nations, which have long argued that the countries that got rich using fossil fuels should shoulder the burden themselves. Los Angeles Times/TNS

Iraqi Kurdish forces advance as mass grave found near Mosul


EA R BA SHIQA , Iraq— Iraqi Kurdish fighters exchanged heavy fire with militants on Monday as they entered a town held by the Islamic State (IS) group east of Mosul, while troops advancing south of the city discovered a mass grave containing some 100 decapitated bodies. The offensive to reclaim the town of Bashiqa is part of the broader push to drive IS out of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, relieving those living under its occupation from the type of brutality, such as mass killings, that the group has committed. IS militants have carried out a series of massacres since seizing large swaths of southern and central Iraq in the summer of 2014, often documenting them with photos and videos circulated online. On Monday Iraqi soldiers advancing into the town of Hamam al-Alil, south of Mosul, discovered a pit containing dozens of decapitated skeletal remains, the military’s Joint Military Command said. The offensive to retake Bashiqa began at dawn with a Kurdish barrage of heavy artillery, Katyusha rockets and mortar rounds slamming into IS positions, providing cover for the advance of armored columns. Smoke rose from the town throughout the day, with large explosions sending dark clouds into the sky. “We have the coordinates of their bases and tunnels, and we are targeting them from here in order to weaken them so that our forces can reach their targets more easily,” Iraqi Kurdish commander Brig. Gen. Iskander Khalil Gardi said. Bashiqa, which is believed to be largely deserted, except for dozens of IS fighters, is about 13 kilometers northeast of Mosul’s outskirts and about 20 kilometers from the city center. Iraqi government and Kurdish forces, backed by a US-led coalition and joined by government-sanctioned militias, are fighting to drive IS out of those surrounding areas and open additional fronts to attack Mosul itself. Bashiqa has been surrounded by Kurdish forces, known as peshmerga, for weeks, but Monday’s push appeared to be the most serious yet to drive IS from the town. Kurdish forces launched mortar rounds and fired heavy artillery into the town on Sunday in advance of the offensive. More artillery and air strikes hit the town early Monday, as the Kurdish forces’ advance got under way. On Mosul ’s southern front, meanwhile, Iraqi soldiers advancing into Hamam al-Alil, some 20 kilometers from the city center, discovered a mass grave late on Monday containing some 100 decapitated bodies near the town’s agricultural college. Most were reduced to skeletons, said Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool, the spokesman for the Joint Military Command. He said a forensics team from Baghdad would investigate the site on Tuesday. Earlier on Monday, army spokesman Brig. Firas Bashar said Iraqi forces had retaken the town and images broadcast by the Lebanon-based Al-Mayadeen network showed soldiers hoisting the Iraqi flag on a rooftop in the town. Other reports, however, said fighting still continued and that IS fighters remained in several areas. Iraqi special forces entered Mosul last week and have made some progress in gaining a foothold on the city’s eastern edges. But progress inside the city has been slowed as troops push into more densely populated areas. The troops are suffering casualties as the militants target them with suicide car bombs and booby traps in close-quarters fighting along the city’s narrow streets. IS still holds territory to the north, south and west of  Mosul, its last major urban stronghold in Iraq. AP

The World BusinessMirror

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


China’s exports dropped for 7th month


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures as he walks off the stage following a campaign rally late on Saturday in Denver. AP/David Zalubowski

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton takes the stage and waves with President Barack Obama during a campaign event at Independence Mall on Monday in Philadelphia. AP/Matt Slocum

Clinton, Trump wait on results of most volatile US election


reserve the US political establishment or blow it up? That’s the question facing 226 million Americans eligible to vote for president on Wednesday, with as many as 50 million having done so already. The winner inherits leadership of the world’s largest economy and a nation perhaps irreconcilably divided over immigration, trade and its role in the world. Democrat Hillary Clinton, the first female nominee of a major party in US history, held a narrow lead in most preelection polls. The 69-year-old former first lady, New York senator and secretary of state may have a solid résumé, but she’s been dogged by federal probes into her handling of classified e-mails, questions about her family’s foundation and public doubts about her trustworthiness. Her rival, Republican real-estate magnate and reality television star Donald Trump, defeated 16 primary opponents and promises to “drain the swamp” of Washington corruption. Yet, Trump, 70, has faced withering criticism for his treatment of women and denunciations of immigrants. At times, he fought with fellow Republicans as much as Democrats. The campaigns drew very different visions of the US: Clinton cast herself as an optimist and unifier who will build on the economic growth of President Barack Obama’s administration. Trump, meanwhile, portrayed himself as the savior of a nation

226M The number of Americans eligible to vote for president

hobbled by bad trade deals, declining manufacturing and beset by illegal immigration and terrorist threats. He promises to “make America great again.” Most polling stations on the US east coast start opening at 7 a.m. EST. The key battleground states of Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida will be among the first to close. And despite the divided political climate in America, the candidates will be near each other on election eve: both campaigns plan victory parties in Manhattan. Unlike previous years, when major news outlets held off on publishing results until polls closed, this election could see forecasts of the results coming out from start-up companies while voters are still casting their ballots. Along with Florida and Pennsylvania, key

states to watch include New Hampshire, Ohio and Nevada. Clinton and Trump spent the final days of the campaign barnstorming battleground states as polls showed the race had tightened. Even so, state-by-state surveys suggest Clinton holds a narrow lead and remains favored to reach the 270 Electoral College votes she needs to claim victory. “The choice in this election could not be clearer—it really is between division and unity, between strong and steady leadership and a loose cannon,” Clinton said at a rally on Monday in Pittsburgh before flying on to Michigan. “We don’t have to accept a dark and divisive vision for America. Tomorrow you can vote for a hopeful, inclusive, bighearted America.”

‘Winning again’

Trump also sought to shore up his support with a succession of rallies, repeating his promises to build a wall on the border with Mexico, slash taxes and repeal the Affordable Care Act, Obama’s health-care law. To chants of “President Trump,” he said he didn’t see a path for Clinton to win. “Do not let this opportunity slip away,” he told supporters on Monday in Sarasota, Florida. “It will be the most important vote you have ever cast because we don’t win anymore. We don’t win anymore. We will start winning again and winning like you have never seen before.” This year’s race has been the most volatile in decades, beset not just by gaffes on the trail or during debates, but by the specter of state-sponsored hacking and a federal probe—opened, then closed, then opened again and closed yet again—into Clinton’s use of a pri-

vate e-mail server while secretary of state. After reviewing a new batch of e-mails found in an unrelated investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation chief this weekend said the bureau stood by a July decision not to recommend charges against Clinton.

Leaked e-mails

Hacking became a fixture of the race, plaguing Clinton’s campaign and Democratic Party leaders for months as stolen e-mails and internal documents were continually published by sites, such as WikiLeaks. After months of investigations, the US intelligence community concluded that Russia was behind the hacks, an accusation Moscow repeatedly rejected. Experts said worries that hackers could alter the counting of votes are probably overblown: vote-counting machines aren’t connected to the Internet, though hackers could try to manipulate voter registration rolls, which are. Throughout the campaign, the vitriol between the candidates, who have known each other for decades, was always close to the surface. Trump called his rival “Crooked Hillary,” while Clinton derided her opponent as unfit for the presidency. On the stump, Trump repeatedly raised the possibility of a “rigged” election, saying he was fighting an uphill battle against the media and the Washington political establishment. He urged his supporters to monitor polling stations for signs of fraud, singling out cities with large African-American populations, like Philadelphia and Saint Louis.

Jobs report

The Justice Department will deploy 500 personnel to polling stations in 28 states on Election Day

to protect voters against discrimination and fraud. That’s down from about 780 who were sent out in 2012, the result of a Supreme Court decision that limited federal oversight in some jurisdictions. Clinton was buoyed on Friday by the latest employment data, which showed the US added 161,000 jobs in October, the unemployment rate fell to 4.9 percent and average hourly wages rose 2.8 percent. Trump says economic growth under Obama has been too slow. He said he’d tear up accords, including the North American Free Trade Agreement and a pending deal with Asian nations, while weighing sanctions on companies that send jobs overseas. While the national race will come down to Clinton or Trump, the winner in some states could depend on how much support turns out for third party candidates. Former Govs. Gary Johnson of New Mexico and William Weld of Massachusetts lead the Libertarian Party ticket, sometimes garnering 10 percent in some polls. Jill Stein had single-digit support nationally with the Green Party. And independent candidate Evan McMullin vied for leadership in some polls in Utah, where his Mormon background was a draw to voters in a state pioneered by the religion’s founders. And as much as Americans have longed for the campaign to just be over, they learned in the contested 2000 race between George W. Bush and Al Gore that Election Day isn’t necessarily the conclusion of the presidential race. Both major parties have been “lawyering up” for weeks now in case the results are close enough to contest or there are credible reports of irregularities. Bloomberg News

hina’s exports fell for a seventh month, leaving policy-makers reliant on domestic growth engines to hit their economic expansion goals. Overseas shipments dropped 7.3 percent from a year earlier in October in dollar terms. Imports slipped 1.4 percent. Trade surplus widened to $49.1 billion A depreciation of about 9 percent in the yuan since August 2015 has cushioned the blow from tepid global demand, but failed to give shipments a sustained boost. Rising input costs and surging wages have f lattened exporter profit margins to the point where many can no longer discount and may raise prices, according to interviews at the Canton Fair last month. With global demand tepid, policy-makers are relying on infrastructure investment and a property led pick up in local demand to reach their expansion goal of at least 6.5 percent this year. “External demand remains sluggish across the board,” said Julia Wang, an economist at HSBC Holdings Plc. in Hong Kong. “On the import side, commodities demand is still holding up well, suggesting that domestic infrastructure investment likely remains strong.” “Trade’s contribution to China’s economy is now diminishing as the economy increasingly depends on domestic demand,” said Zhu Qibing, chief macroeconomy analyst at BOCI International (China) Ltd. in Beijing. “With both global and domestic growth unlikely to accelerate much further, the mediumterm outlook for Chinese trade remains challenging,” said Julian Evans-Pritchard, an economist at Capital Economics in Singapore. “The ongoing cyclical rebound in China’s economy should support imports for another quarter or two but is unlikely to last.” “The mismatch between shrinking overseas sales, a weaker yuan and resilient global demand is a puzzle, and might indicate deeper problems with the export sector,” Fielding Chen and Tom Orlik, economists at Bloomberg Intelligence, wrote in a report. “The latest data will add to expectations for yuan weakness, though the pattern in the last few months has remained stability on a tradeweighted basis.” Exports to US slipped 5.6 percent in October and fell 8.7 percent to EU. Imports from the US fell 6.9 percent. Exports slipped less when measured in yuan as depreciation cushioned impact of tepid global demand. Crude imports fell from a record. Coal imports decreased for a second month. Copper imports drop to lowest since February 2015 as domestic output climbed. Bloomberg News

China’s red line on Hong Kong signals greater tensions ahead H ong Kong was still digesting China’s ouster of t wo pro-independence lawmakers on Monday when the city’s leader raised the prospect of an even more controversial move: the revival of a long-dormant national security law. The sweeping legislation, which would outlaw treason, sedition and other national threats, has been on hold since half a million people flooded the streets in opposition in 2003. Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said the emergence of a local independence movement demonstrated a need to address the matter. Previously, he’s said it wasn’t urgent. “We have not seen anyone advocating independence in the past, but now we see it,” Leung told reporters. “This, indeed, deserves our attention.” While Leung gave no timetable

or details for reintroducing the bill, the suggestion alone showed the potential fallout from China’s decision to draw a red line against the advocacy of independence— one of the biggest interventions since the former British colony’s return in 1997. An attempt to pass the security legislation risks hardening views between Leung’s Beijing-backed government and pro-democracy camps. Article 23 of the Basic Law— a “mini- Constitution” negotiated in consultation with the British—requires Hong Kong to “enact laws on its own” to protect national security. Besides secession and subversion, the section also cites theft of state secrets and activities of foreign political organizations as areas requiring legislation. No such laws have been implemented, a lt hough

several colonial-era provisions referring to the “Crown” and “Her Majesty” remain on the books. “The radicalized opposition has given Beijing plenty of excuse to justify tighter control,” said Jason Y. Ng, a lawyer who wrote Umbrellas in Bloom, a chronicle of the mass Occupy protests in 2014. “The reintroduction of Article 23 is a perfect example of this vicious circle of control and resistance.” Both sides seemed “willing to raise the stakes I suppose at the expense of the city at large,” Ng said. China’s top legislative body on Monday issued a rare interpretation of Hong Kong law, saying those who voice separatist views can’t hold public office. The ruling effectively blocked two elected “ localists”—Sixtus “Bag g io” Leung, 30, and Yau Wa i- c h i ng , 25 — f rom t a k i ng

their seats in the legislature. T housands of demonstrators gathered outside Hong Kong’s h ig hest cou r t on Su nd ay to prot e s t t he e x p e c t e d mo ve. A smaller group later held a standoff with the police outside China’s Liaison Office that stretched into the early morning and resulted in four arrests. Local law yers planned a “silent march ” to the court on on Tuesday to show their concern about China’s inter vention.

‘Great disadvantage’

The decision by the National Pe o p l e ’s C o n g r e s s St a n d i n g Committee was only its second unilateral interpretation of local law since Hong Kong’s return under a “one country, two systems” framework that guaranteed a capitalist financial system and

independent courts for 50 years. The move upended a court battle over the two localists, who had their oaths voided after insulting China and unfurling banners proclaiming “Hong Kong is not China.” The interpretation affirmed the Hong Kong government’s argument that advocating independence violates the Basic Law, which declares the city an “inalienable part” of China. It said that officials bear legal responsibility for false oaths or activities that violate that pledge, adding that “no arrangement shall be made for retaking the oath.” “You can see from all these localist, self-determination and pro-independence movements that it’s a great disadvantage to the central government to be without Article 23,” Zou Pingxue,

director of Shenzhen University’s Hong Kong and Macau Basic Law Research Center. “It’s not as simple as political dissent, or freedom of speech that’s protected by the Basic Law. There is no freedom of speech regarding sovereignty issues.”

High stakes

The security bill proposed in 2002 was criticized by banks, publishers and other businesses that were concerned it would limit their freedom to operate, with lawyers and academics warning that news stories and research reports could be swept up in a ban on the publication of “unauthorized” information. Ultimately, thenChief Executive Tung Chee-hwa decided to drop the proposal. The blow contributed to his resignation two years later. Bloomberg News


A8 Wednesday, November 9, 2016 • Editor: Efleda P. Campos


DTI-EMB conducts ‘Doing Business with the US’ seminars

Of patterns and linkages

By Dita A. Mathay

Foreign Trade Service Corps Department of Trade and Industry



RADE and investment in the new global economic order have become inextricably linked forces. How does a foreign trade officer draw an effective strategy along this reality, in consultation with the capital? While the process of charting this course is unique to the individual, the singularity of purpose to achieve the desired collective result is what drives confidence.

NICHOLAS JOHNSON, president and CEO of Asia Etc., discusses the benefits of knowing the US marketplace—what to sell and how to present and package products, among others—during a seminar on “Doing Business with the US” held on November 7 at the DTI Building along Gil J. Puyat Avenue in Makati City. Georgina Verdeflor


HE Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is holding a series of seminars on “Doing Business with the US” this month in Manila (November 7), Bacolod City (November 8) and Legazpi City (November 10), as part of its Doing Business in Free Trade Areas (DBFTA) program.

The DBFTA is an initiative that aims to increase the awareness of businesspeople regarding the benefits of freetrade agreements (FTAs) and generalized schemes of preferences (GSPs). Participants, most of whom were representatives of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), attended the seminar to learn more about exporting to the US mainstream market and the benefits of the US GSP. Rudolph Jay Velasco of the EMB’s Market Innovation Division discussed the Philippines-US bilateral trade relations and the US GSP. Export opportunities were discussed by Nicholas Johnson, president and CEO of Asia Etc. Established in 1996, Asia Etc. is a marketing com-

pany specializing in sourcing producers and manufacturers of food products in Asia and introducing them in the US marketplace. The company sells to mainstream retail, food service, as well as the ethnic food markets in the US. Johnson stressed the importance of knowing the US market. He advised exporters to invest in improving product packaging, consider online selling or retailing, like Amazon or Kroger, ensure product standards and safety, and never give up and keep on trying. A one-on-one consultation with Johnson followed the info session to give interested exporters a chance to seek specific advice on exporting to the US. Georgina A. Verdeflor

DTI-EMB’s QBO Innovation Hub is starting place for start-ups’ networking By Angelica Faye R. Tolosa Special to the BusinessMirror


VERY Tuesday evening since August 8, start-up entrepreneurs and like-minded people gather at the QBO Innovation Hub along Gil J. Puyat Avenue in Makati City to listen to people who started out much like them and made it. QBO Philippines—a public-private partnership between the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Department of Science and Technology, IdeaSpace and JP Morgan—hosts every Tuesday evening an open house to bring together people interested in putting up a start-up company and those who have already launched theirs. QBO, under the leadership of its President Butch Meily, invites speakers to share how they made it work. On October 18 Commune café owner and CEO Rosario Juan gave a talk on “Social Media: Strategy, Community and Brand Identity,” sharing how she used social media to her business’s advantage. Juan said “it’s easier to find like-minded people in social media” and that, if used to a person’s advantage, “it increases your network.” Juan added, “You have to have a social-media strategy…you don’t just make a Facebook account…or an Instagram account and say, ‘Okay, let’s post whatever picture we have,’ just for the sake of being on social media. When you do it that way…yes, okay, you’re searchable, but it’s not really working to your advantage. But if you really think of how to make social-networking sites work for you, then it’s going to perform better.” Juan said being online is not just

for promotion, but for communitybuilding, too. “How are you going to not just promote your business online, but also build a community online?” She, however, explained socialmedia marketing alone cannot work for you. “Social-media marketing works best when it works hand in hand with all your marketing efforts,” Juan said. “Social media is meant to amplify your message.” Juan gave five notes to make sure social media would work for a start-up entrepreneur. Have a good product. “A good marketing strategy starts with a good product,” Juan said, adding if a brand has a good product, it would be easier to strategize social-media marketing. It is easier to talk about a good product, especially since people who are online can now easily give reviews. The power to build or destroy a brand is now right at the fingertips of the customers. If the customers are satisfied with a product, they would willingly give good reviews online, which will eventually become word-of-mouth advertising. Have a voice. “How does your product sound online? Your brand has to have a voice. Your product has to be like a real person with a real personality. If your brand is a person, what kind of person would it be? Is this a girl, in her 30s, commuting? You can even be as specific as what she does when she wakes up. What does she eat for breakfast? Where does this person go after work? Create a voice for your brand because that’s what you’re going to sound like online.” Listen. It is not only having a voice that will make your brand known, but also through listening. “Social me-

dia allows you to listen. This is something important that people usually forget. When you are in social media, it’s like you have a megaphone, right? Right away, I can talk to these people and send a word. And there’s always the temptation to just tell them what you want them to hear. ‘We’re on sale on these dates. Visit our store.’ We sell, sell, sell. But the beauty of social media is that we can have a two-way conversation. You can now know what people are saying. When people have something to say about your brand, you listen, because that’s how you know what your customers think about you.” Converse. It is also important, Juan added, “that you converse with your followers. We, at Commune, as much as possible, try to reply to the comments on our social-media accounts. If people are satisfied, we thank them. If they have complaints, we try to contact them by replying to their comment and directly messaging them to ask them about the details. This way, we can make them feel important. As a customer, I would feel like I matter if the page would talk to me or contact me through DM [direct message].” Juan also shared an experience when one customer tweeted that she wanted to have cupcakes sold at Commune but wasn’t sure if there are stocks. Using the Twitter account of Commune, Juan replied they will check whether it is available. Few tweets later, the cupcakes have been reserved and the satisfied customer picked them up and went home with a box of cupcakes. Create a community. Juan shared that her café once had to close for a few months to move to a new place.

Since the social-media accounts of Commune have an established following, they made it a social-media campaign, in order not to lose the customers who frequent the café. They called it #CommuneMoves. For months, they didn’t have a brick-and-mortar café, but their followers stayed and even anticipated their comeback. “It started with this Instagram post,” she fondly recalled, showing the Instagram post where they announced that Commune is “closing.” “We got overwhelmed with the reaction of our followers. We felt, ‘Aw, they love us.’ People who personally knew me texted me. My niece called to tell me that my post would make me lose my followers. But we saw otherwise. We saw that this is an opportunity to keep our community, even while our café is moving.” Then, they posted another one announcing that they’re just going to be gone for a while to move. “For months, our only connection with our customers was our social-media accounts. And because we have established our community, they were there until we opened Commune in its new location.” Juan said in the end, “What we are trying to achieve is return on investment. But not only that, we also want to build relationships. Because after all, social media is not about what we sell; it’s all about people.” Juan is the sixth resource speaker QBO had. To attend the QBO Open House, visit QBO Facebook page at QBO Open House happens every Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the QBO Innovation Hub on the ground floor of the DTI International Building, 375 Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenue, Makati City.

First of two parts Every posting carries with it the opportunity of immersion into a new environment. Soon after, the officer goes through the iron-in-the-fire process of empirically unraveling the significance of the myriad stimuli, to home-based needs and aspirations. Then we each face the challenge of defining our work space via the submission of an annual work program, have this approved by capital while remaining mindful of the prudent use of government resources. To illustrate, more than 15 years ago, when valiant forces, both overseas (East Coast Philippine International Trade Centers) and at home (Board of Investments), worked determinedly to exploit North America’s appetite to outsource CRM processes to the Philippines, which led to the contact center boom and the placement of the Philippines as No. 1 in the world map for voice business-processing outsourcing (BPO), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Silicon Valley was quietly looking at the prospects of another side of information-technology outsourcing—software development. In the West Coast the active synergies between public- and private-sector forces led to decisions by a major California-based retail giant to establish a development center and a think tank to set up shop in the Philippines. It also set the stage for the early interface with DTI, of a promising wholly owned Filipino software and application development company. We are happy to see how the company has blossomed into what it is today, a multiawarded company holding its own beside foreign giants in the highly competitive space for IT-BPM. But then again, like life, everything was not always coming up roses. In Silicon Valley the dream then was to forge a tripartite alliance between academe, industry and government to strengthen the science, technology and math curriculum and link this to industry, find ways to foster a culture of innovation and create an enabling environment for engineers and techno-entrepreneurs to thrive and grow. Save for occasional pockets of success here and there, we remain in active pursuit of this goal. In the processed food-promotion front, the earlier outbound trade missions, which centered on B2B events and in-store promotion projects in oriental supermarkets in Southern California, have expanded (through the work of subsequent officers), to include DTI’s now institutionalized participation in

one of the biggest international trade exhibitions for specialty food—the San Francisco-based Winter Fancy Food Show and, less I forget, the rise in popularity of Philippine coconut water as the health drink of choice for celebrities. In succeeding postings, other patterns of threes, trade-investment/industry-agriculture linkages were mostly evident. In Taiwan the term “3C” alludes to computer, communication and consumer electronics. The DTI endeavors were thus focused on attracting Taiwanese investments from these sectors to fill up gaps in the supply chain—a program that continues to generate solid results to this day. While earlier efforts to woo the world’s largest contract manufacturer into the nation now looms favorably in the horizon, the plan to put up an ITRI-like entity in the Philippines, where government and industry support for research and development leads to products with high-commercialization potential, remains encumbered by a host of issues. In addition, forays to connect Taiwanese and Filipinos either via equity, resource and technology sharing in agribusiness and aquaculture, resulted in projects that enhance productivity and valueadded processing in the regions. In Japan we work in cadence with the mantra, “For growth to be sustainable, the economy must walk on two legs—industry and service.” While the country has already established a firm foothold on BPO and related services, the DTI has seized the bull by its horns via its Manufacturing Resurgence Program—a positive signal of the administration’s drive to make products that will ultimately become an integral component of the global production network and value chain. Under this strategy, the CARS Program was launched last year. Toyota and Mitsubishi Motors have registered and pledged to infuse requisite investments in desired operations, such as stamping, and contribute to the program’s bid for localization via partnerships between local and Japanese accredited suppliers, in new and expanded investment projects and technical agreements. While all this is chugging along, we watch with excitement, the next moves of companies, like IMI, the sixth-largest automotive electronics manufacturing service provider in the world, to concretize its vision to build the car of the future, hopefully recruiting home-grown engineering talent along the way. (To be concluded)

upcoming events Compiled by Louise Kaye G. Mendoza | DTI-EMB Knowledge Processing Division


Event: Doing Business with the US for Food Products Info Session Venue: Legazpi City

NOV 7-23

Event: Outbound Business Mission to the Middle East

Attended by: AD Agnes Legaspi and Gina Yap

Venue: UAE, Qatar and KSA

NOV 15

Time: 6 to 9 p.m. Event: QBO Open House Venue: DTI International Building, 375 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City

{ { Business News Source of the Year }

BusinessMirror 2016 economic journalists association of the philippines journalism awards

A10 Wednesday, November 9, 2016 • Editor: Angel R. Calso

Opinion BusinessMirror


Beware the noneconomic risks


mong policy-makers, so-called noneconomic risks count just as much and sometimes even more than their economic counterparts. On Tuesday one more noneconomic risk surfaced in the form of a Supreme Court decision and quite a number of Filipinos, especially of a particular age, were either enraged or have become despondent. We are 100-percent certain the Supreme Court decision will divide the $292-billion economy into those who laud the eight justices for making an equitable decision and those who condemn it for desecrating hallowed ground and spitting in the face of justice. We are also quite certain the financial markets will move, particularly the foreign-exchange market where more than $2 billion worth of trades are executed in a single day at times just like today, when Filipinos agonize over something they wish they have more control of. The local currency the peso has become more volatile, averaging 46.46 per dollar one month, but quickly swinging lower to 47.42 per dollar the following month, and has even trended still lower this month to 48.45, from 48.34 in October. Markets hate wild swings simply because they don’t allow for the participants to plan accordingly. Markets hate uncertainties. So do the regulators, like the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). Time and again BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. has to step up and give assurance that, while they guarantee that the exchange rate will always be broadly determined by the ebb and flow of markets, the central bank will, as and when necessary, step in whenever the gyrations are excessive. He recently said: “As for the exchange rate, I am sure you have seen that the peso has been under some pressure of late. And pundits attribute this to current events that hog the media. Without doubt, the foreignexchange market is driven by sentiment. But negative sentiment toward the regional currencies, including the peso, has really also been largely affected by the market views on the actions of the advance economy central banks, especially the Fed [the Federal Reserve], so externally induced. It is difficult to precisely dissect how much of the foreignexchange movements is due to the global environment and how much is idiosyncratic. Nevertheless, the BSP policy on the exchange rate remains the same. As we have said in the past, we will allow the exchange rate to be broadly determined by the market, but we will step in when, in our view, the moves are excessive. Markets must remember that the country’s underlying fundamentals are sound and, therefore, it would serve market players well if they do not allow themselves to be driven by sentiment alone.” We quote Tetangco for the assurance he gave only in September to remind those market players who are quick to exploit periods of uncertainty for their own personal or corporate gain that someone is closely watching over their every move. Right now, markets, both global and domestic, are up against so-called headwinds that could push the Philippines, for instance, off a path that has positively expanded for some 70 consecutive quarters already. Tetangco would loathe the prospect of the Philippines pushing steadily onward only to be stymied by the machinations of a few opportunistic market players. We similarly take the view that there is nothing fundamentally weak about the Philippines in the economic sense, but that yes, market sentiment sparked by political divisions or dissent could easily wreck what reform-driven successes have been achieved thus far. Things like low and stable inflation of under 2 percent, which is lower than the 2-percent to 4-percent government target, and local output expansion averaging 7 percent in the April-to-June quarter, among others. Since 2005

BusinessMirror A broader look at today’s business ✝ Ambassador Antonio L. Cabangon Chua

The voice Teddy Locsin Jr.

Free fire Continued from A1


earless about losing his own life, he may have thought of the other passengers. When he landed, he announced his mystic experience.

The stupid failed to consider that it was tongue-in-cheek but still a serious expression of firm resolve. T he wear y wondered if he would keep his word after landing safely.

The wise considered he would fly again and never alone. He insists on commercial flights only. He may never curse for the sake of the other passengers. So he may keep his word—even if it is only his word to himself.

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The smarter will consider that he may have seen the declining marginal utility of cursing. He didn’t curse once when he said so eloquently in Tokyo that being insulted as mayor was fine with him. But as President, he wore on his shoulder like a chip the

sovereignty of our country. Insult to him is insult to country. But he may have recalled that Barack Obama commented negatively and unhelpfully on the Philippine drug problem while he, Duterte, had never commented previously on America’s indiscriminate violence at home and abroad. But he, Duterte, was the first to throw a cuss word at Obama. Didn’t Obama wear a sovereign chip on his shoulder, as well? This may have been the real basis for Duterte’s mystic promise never to curse again. He started going down that road. So what was it? Just a figure of speech? Monsignor Gerry last Sunday, in one of the most beautiful homilies I’ve heard, said that Vatican 2 called our conscience the voice of God.

6 easy ways to reduce traffic amid Christmas rush Michael Makabenta Alunan

on the contrary


S we rejoice with the approaching Christmas season of bonuses and merry-making, expect a monstrous traffic nightmare with more people swarming the big city for shopping, coupled by the pressures from expected sales of 370,000 units of four-wheeled vehicles this year.



The stupid failed to consider that it was tongue-in-cheek but still a serious expression of firm resolve. The weary wondered if he would keep his word after landing safely. The wise considered he would fly again and never alone. He insists on commercial flights only. He may never curse for the sake of the other passengers. So he may keep his word—even if it is only his word to himself.

Unless innovative solutions are implemented, there is no way traffic will improve much if we do the same palliative measures, like the stricter highway patrol group in charge of Edsa, clearing of sidewalks and parked cars, less corrupt traffic enforcers, etc., although they may help a bit. No one sees the elephant in the room? It is ironic that nobody seems to see the proverbial “big elephant” in the middle of the room, even our so-called experts and planners from National Economic and Development Authority’s Philippine Institute of Development Studies (PIDS) could not see the problem in broad daylight and even blame the traffic on the buses. Even the Department of Transportation (DOTr) got Secretary Arthur P. Tugade to ban a few months back public autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Express vans on Edsa, only to retract his order. When this happened, commuters like my daughter got stranded almost an hour longer than usual. In contrast, ordinary drivers exposed to the stark reality on the streets see more problem. They see the sheer volume of cars as their competitors for road space and the main culprit behind the traffic. Even DOTr’s studies say private cars carry an average of only 1.2 passengers per car and account for 80 percent of total vehicles on major roads.

Buses with five seats to a row carry about 60 seated passengers, and 20 more jam-packed along the aisles. This means one bus is equivalent to over 50 cars of road space, or even more owing to the space intervals in-between cars. AUV vans carry at least 20 passengers. Neither the railways and Rapid Bus Transit (RBT) systems, which take years to build, nor Tugade’s request for emergency powers, will help solve traffic immediately. n Cut car volume by 50% on rush hours. So why not apply simple principles on spatial management to solve the traffic that is costing P2.4 billion a day in losses, according to a Japan International Cooperation Agency study. Solution No. 1 is imposing an odd-even scheme, only during rush hours, say from 6 to 8 a.m. for plates ending in odd numbers, and 8 to 10 a.m. for even plates. The same goes in the evening rush. In either period, only half of cars are on the road with the other half in the succeeding period. This must be applied only to private cars, while public transport be exempted over public roads in compliance with constitutional principles of giving priority to the general welfare. n ‘Standing policy’ for buses. Solution No. 2 is to remove bus seats only for Metro Manila, but keep a few for elderly, handicapped and pregnant

women. With this literal “standing policy” more passengers served from the original 60 seated, based on five seats to a row, plus about 20 standing along the aisles, to over 100 to 120 passengers. If Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit passengers are made to stand, why not bus passengers. If Singapore with its smaller population makes its bus passengers stand, why not do the same here. Wider aisles will allow faster unloading and loading, and lesser time at bus stops, which means lesser traffic buildups, faster and more turnovers owing to time savings by 20 percent or more. This also encourages car owners banned at the odd-even hours to take the bus. n Distribute trucks over 24 hours. The truck ban aimed to ease traffic has actually done more harm. For one, it is causing more traffic owing to their massive build up at the outskirts of the city while the ban is in place, but suddenly flood in mass when the ban is lifted. Secondly, the truck ban is antibusiness and penalizes the entire economy as flow of goods is constricted, thus affecting supply and prices. There are over 400,000 registered trucks nationwide, the bulk of which pass through Metro Manila. Solution No. 3, therefore, is to lift the truck ban, but program and spread out truck deliveries over 24 hours. After all, deliveries at night will not matter to international trade. Incentives and penalties can be adopted to implement this. n More U-turns. Many traffic buildups happen around u-turn slots as a one-lane or two-lane slot is suddenly choked in a bottleneck by three to four lines of vehicles, thus causing traffic jams behind them. Solution No. 4 again applies the same spatial management principle of distributing volume to avoid clogging and bottlenecks. Construction of more U-turn slots can be done at night.

n Fewer MRT stops on rush hours. On the same principle of increasing riding capacity, given the same limited number of coaches through faster turnovers, my friend Dave Garcia says this can be done by limiting the MRT stops only during rush hours. MRT stops can be reduced to three or four from North to Pasay South in the morning rush, and vice-versa South to North in the early evening rush, but allowing train passengers to commute backward in the opposite direction, where traffic is lighter, until they reach their intended destinations. The aim is to allow faster turnarounds to avoid the one-way buildup of commuters, whose resulting long queues spill over for a mad scramble for bus rides on Edsa. Many may complain to the adjustments and feel deprived, but this Solution No. 5 can easily be done through a simple management decision. n Slap high car parking fees. Another measure, which may not be immediate as it may entail local legislation, although commercial establishments can be encouraged to immediately make unilateral decisions, is increasing massively car parking fees at least this Christmas season. Car-park fees are the most effective form of road congestion pricing. They can discourage motorists from bringing their cars. Singapore alone collects about $6 billion in car-park fees, which can also be done here. Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III can consider this as a revenue measure that does not affect the poor. And because public roads were built by public funds from people’s money, priority must be given to public transport, not cars, which must be made to pay fat parking fees. With lesser cars on the road, more buses will be needed, contrary to the recommendation of experts. All bus colorums can even be legalized and thus stop the corruption on them.


Opinion BusinessMirror

Wednesday, November 9, 2016 A11

Legacy of Supertyphoon What is unfair claims settlement? Yolanda for global Atty. Dennis B. Funa humanitarian response Nature and recourse

when claims are presented; and 4) refusing to pay claims without an investigation.


Dr. Gwen Pang


eijing, China—Three years on, the humanitarian response orchestrated by the Red Cross Red Crescent movement in the wake of the devastation left by Supertyphoon Haiyan (local code name Yolanda) can serve as a model for delivering emergency aid and coordinating rehabilitation efforts for large-scale disasters anywhere in the globe. The outpouring of support and generosity shown by the world in the aftermath of Haiyan, which was most especially demonstrated by private-sector partners and individual donors who answered the cry for help of Filipinos in November 2013, has allowed millions of desperate survivors a second chance at life and enabled them to move on from the heartbreaking disaster.  With the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) leading the way forward on all major initiatives, and with the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Movement Partners, Philippine and other foreign governments, sociocivic organizations and multinational and local corporations, tens of thousands  of families in the central Philippines have been provided with shelter, livelihood support, water, sanitation, health and education programs since the storm hit in 2013.  This was done after a vigorous emergency response was executed by the PRC in the immediate aftermath of Haiyan, and in close coordination with the above-mentioned organizations, together with various National Societies of the Red Cross who sent their personnel to the Philippines to help out in the gargantuan task that lay ahead in rebuilding from the rubble that they were confronted with at that time. On the ground, the cumulative expertise and passion of these humanitarians, when melded to the generosity of everyone who supported the Red Cross during this crisis, made a tremendous difference in the lives of the survivors of Haiyan.  As a result, in a short span of time during the relief phase of the Red Cross operations, about 1.3 million survivors were reached with emergency assistance, including 90,000 families who were given cash to address their most pressing needs.  Even as that was happening, plans were already being drawn for an unprecedented scale of rehabilitation effort across the vast area affected by Haiyan, which was at a level that the PRC has never done before. In retrospect, I can confidently say that the leadership of PRC Chairman Richard J. Gordon, and the cooperation between partners and stakeholders, were responsible for the success of what happened next.  As the secretary-general of the PRC then, I oversaw the rehabilitation efforts on the ground, coordinating various programs from the National Headquarters of the PRC, the most important of which was our shelter program.  In three years, the Red Cross Red Crescent movement was able to build or repair more than 75,973 homes in nine affected provinces.  Our livelihood program restored the ability of the survivors to fend for themselves by providing at least 63,221 households with cash support, enabling families to earn a living by putting up small businesses, or purchasing equipment to market their skills or practice their craft.  Singling out the youth for critical attention, we implemented training courses for more than a thousand young survivors, qualifying them for jobs in the housekeeping, welding

and automotive industries. In addition to that, the Red Cross also embarked on livelihood projects, like rice mills, water-refilling stations and organic farming. And the Red Cross did all it could for the children, who are the most vulnerable members of the affected communities. Together with its partners, the PRC reconstructed and rehabilitated 490 classrooms, benefiting 39,165 schoolchildren.  Sanitation and education facilities for 32 schools were also improved, while 38 health facilities have been repaired and reconstructed, reaching 65,295 families and 29,273 students with hygiene promotions and sanitation.  The sheer scale of these operations boggles the mind even now, and they certainly stretched the capacity of PRC at the time.  I am now currently on leave as PRC secretary-general, as I am serving as the head of Country Cluster Support Team of the IFRC, overseeing Red Cross operations in the Republic of Korea, Mongolia, China and Japan, but I recall with special fondness the people who served alongside me during these operations.  Because while these operations were being done, throughout the sleepless nights, the worry and anxiety and care to get all of these things done right and in the soonest possible time, the Red Cross operated as a single unit, from its leaders, to its officers, to the volunteers. It was hard, but it had to be done, and so it was.  What began as the worst natural disaster ever to hit the Philippines, now serves as a testament to the great resilience of the Filipino people, and the bottomless capacity of humanity’s ability to display compassion, aid and support for the most vulnerable of our society.  The legacy of Haiyan can also be felt in the more pronounced coverage in the media about natural disasters, and the increased responsiveness of the populace to the government’s warning and advisories about impending typhoons. That is a good thing, and shows that we, as a country, have learned our collective lesson. And the world can certainly profit from learning how the Red Cross Red Crescent movement coordinated and executed vital lifesaving programs with so many moving parts, amid great challenges and time constraints. Haiyan left death and destruction in its wake, but it also brought out the best in everyone and showed the world just how vital the role of the humanitarian community can be during the most desperate times.  So now, even as Haiyan quietly recedes into the mists of memory and history, and we strive hard to move on, we can say with pride that, even though we were severely tested, we did not break.  And that we are better as a country and a people for having gone through the worst and survived, even as we continue to grieve the loss of life and remember the trauma of that day in November 2013, when the most powerful storm in history broke our hearts.  The author is the head of the International Federation of the Red Cross Country Cluster Support Team.


nfair claims-settlement practices is defined through an enumeration of five acts committed by the insurer in Section 247 of the Amended Insurance Code. These five acts are: 1) knowingly misrepresenting to claimants pertinent facts or policy provisions relating to coverage at issue; 2) failing to acknowledge with reasonable promptness pertinent communications with respect to claims arising under its policies; 3) failing to adopt and implement reasonable standards for the prompt investigation of claims arising under its policies; 4) not attempting in good faith to effectuate prompt, fair and equitable settlement of claims submitted in which liability has become reasonably clear (although the first sentence of Section 247 already states refusal, without just cause, to pay or settle claims); or 5) compelling policyholders to institute suits to recover amount due under its policies by offering without justifiable reason substantially less than the amounts ultimately recovered in suits brought by them. Note that the commission of these acts is qualified by the phrase “without just cause and performed with such frequency as to indicate a general business practice”. Thus, failing to make prompt payment of claims may be excused for just reasons. Unfair claims-settlement practices may be proven by the number, meaning frequency, and types of valid complaints, as well as a comparison of complaint experience

with other insurance companies writing similar lines of insurance (Section 247 [b]). The US National Association of Insurance Commissioners classified these unfair claims-settlement practices into four basic categories: 1) misrepresentation of insurance policy provisions; 2) failing to adopt and implement reasonable standards for the prompt investigation of claims; 3) failing to acknowledge or to act reasonably and promptly

Under the Insurance Code, the insurance commissioner is an administrative agency vested with twofold powers, regulatory (nonquasijudicial) and adjudicatory (quasijudicial) powers. Section 437 of the Amended Insurance Code specifies the authority to which a decision of the insurance commissioner, in the exercise of its regulatory function, may be appealed. A dispute on unfair claims settlement is exclusively in the exercise of administrative and regulatory (nonquasijudicial duty) duties and functions of the insurance commission, i.e., the authority to revoke or suspend an insurer’s certificate of authority, and thus, should be appealed to the Office of the Secretary of Finance. Should a party dispute the decision of the insurance commissioner on this matter, the case is properly appealable to the secretary of finance after a denial of a motion of reconsideration. A party would have no direct recourse through a petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court, and thus, would have no jurisdiction over the case (Almendras Mining Corp. v Office of the Insurance Commissioner, et al., GR 72878, April 15, 1988). However, under Section 439 of the Amended Insurance Code, appeals from a final decision of the

insurance commissioner rendered in the exercise of his adjudicatory authority falls within the exclusive appellate jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals.


A finding of unfair claims settlement is sanctionable with the suspension or revocation of the company’s certificate of authority (Secretary 247 [c]). Note that, in addition to the revocation or suspension of license (although not expressly stated in Section 247), the insurance commissioner also has the discretion to impose upon the erring insurance companies and its directors, officers and agents, fines and penalties, as set out under Section 438.

Concurrence of proceedings

Oftentimes a claimant would file both a claims case and an administrative case against a company at the same time. In such instances, as stated in Go v Office of the Ombudsman, Commissioner Eduardo Malinis, et al., both proceedings may continue at the same time independently, and apparently conflicting decisions would be of no moment. The claims case may be filed in either the Insurance Commission or the regular courts, depending on the amount of the claim. Dennis B. Funa is currently the deputy insurance commissioner for Legal Services of the Insurance Commission. E-mail:

Why China doesn’t understand Hong Kong By Adam Minter BloombergView


obody would ever mistake the Chinese Communist Party for a fleet-footed, democratic organization responsive to public opinion. But over the decades, it’s shown a capacity to recognize when political winds are shifting and has been willing to accept outside advice and solutions. That’s changing under President Xi Jinping. China’s leadership has grown increasingly isolated and distant from citizens, calling into question whether it can truly identify with the needs of a young and dynamic population. The political consequences are stark and not confined to the mainland. Monday’s decision to  bar  two young Hong Kong pro-independence politicians from the autonomous citystate’s legislative assembly is just the most recent example. The act precipitating the decision was juvenile, the equivalent of a high-school prank: The newly elected legislators made a  mockery  of their oath-takings in mid-October. Rather than treat the incident as marginal behavior, leaders in Beijing misread the stunt as a threat to China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Their intervention has sparked protests and a deepening political crisis. Had leaders paid closer attention to the split reaction to the oath-taking within Hong Kong, they

might’ve acted more proportionally. There are two reasons that China’s leadership has become so isolated in its decision-making in recent years. The first is a problem identified as far back as the mid-1980s: a widening generation gap. Aging Chinese leaders pose a striking contrast to a youthful population braced by vast technological, demographic and economic changes. In 1985 Deng Xiaoping spearheaded a campaign to convince China’s elderly cadres to step aside for younger blood. Deng himself was 80 and the average age of the six-member, allpowerful Standing Committee was 76.5 years old. Some joked that, due to age and infirmity, Standing Committee was a misnomer. Deng believed younger leaders were more likely to engineer the kind of changes he envisioned for China. “I was 45 at the time of liberation,” he noted of the founding of modern China in 1949. “And many were even younger.” While Deng did his best to purge the elderly, it fell to Jiang Zemin in 2002 to assert what’s now known as the “seven up, eight down” rule. Under it, any leader over the age of 68 was automatically excluded from membership on the seven-member Standing Committee. The impact was notable. Between 1982 and 2002, the average age of Standing Committee members dropped from 72 to 60 years old. But

since then, it’s been ticking upward. Today, the average age of a Standing Committee member is 67.4 years— more than a generation removed from anyone who grew up using the Internet, struggling with China’s spiraling housing prices or looking for a job in a stagnating economy. Meanwhile, the gap continues to widen between the top echelon of leaders and their subordinates. Two steps down from the Politburo, the 205-member Central Committee’s average age increased only slightly between 2002 and 2012— from 55.4 to 56.1 years old. Though the funnel to top power has always been narrow in China, age is clearly making it more so. The second factor is even more crippling. Under Xi Jinping, China’s Communist Party has become openly hostile to ideas and values perceived as threatening to the party’s grip on power, and has purged them (and the people who hold them) from government,  universities and—soon—primary schools. Sources of information that might contribute to well-calibrated decision-making, such as social media, are limited on the mainland, while a free press—long restricted in China—is under attack in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, Xi’s ongoing  centralization of power ensures that many policy experts who know better, or might have better ideas, are simply shut out.

Earlier generations of Chinese leadership weren’t so closed off. In the 1980s, China’s top leaders invited foreign economists to advise them on reforms (something that would be well-nigh impossible in today’s xenophobic climate). And during the 1990s the regime slowly but surely expanded the scope of personal freedoms (from religious expression to sexual freedom) available to Chinese, in part as a response to the 1989 student protests in Tiananmen Square. There’s little evidence that Xi’s government has the same capacity to recognize its limitations, much less to compensate for them with pragmatic policy. In fact, the evidence suggests just the opposite. Only last week, a senior party functionary claimed that Jiang’s mandatory retirement rules were “folklore,” strongly suggesting that China’s current regime is soon to become more deeply entrenched, older and out of touch. That’s the wrong direction for China and for Hong Kong. If Xi aspires to restore his government’s damaged image among the city’s youth, he needs to look back to earlier leaders, like Deng, who were open to outside opinions and willing to shake up an aging gerontocracy. Only then will the Chinese government have the capacity to understand and respond to the concerns of the Chinese people, whether in Hong Kong or elsewhere.

IC clarifies issues raised by Steel Corp. of the PHL official MAIL

Please e-mail your letters to the editor to oped@businessmirror. Letters chosen for publication in this section are edited for brevity and clarity. Conclusion IN another article, titled “Trader Claims Makati Judge Sought P15M via Middleman”, published in the August 24, 2016, issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Mr. Abeto Uy himself alleged that he employed a certain Mr. Rolando L. Palad to serve as a

middleman between him and Judge Subia. Quoted below is the full text of the said article: “A businessman has filed an administrative complaint in the Supreme Court alleging that a Makati City judge— through a middleman— asked for P15 million in exchange for a favorable ruling in connection with his company’s insurance claim. “Abeto Uy, chairman of the Batangas-based Steel Corp. of the Philippines [SCP], filed a complaint for extortion and grave misconduct against Judge Josefino Subia of Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 138. “Received by the Office of the Court Administrator on July 20, the complaint arose from SCP’s civil case for an insurance claim after the firm incurred a $41.9-million loss because of a fire that hit the cold rolling mill of its Balayan steel plant on December 9, 2009. “The Inquirer tried to get Subia’s comment, but a staff member said

he was unavailable for an interview at press time. “The insurance firms—Philippine Charter Insurance Corp. [now known as Charter Ping An], Asia Insurance Philippines Corp., Malayan Insurance Co. Inc., New India Assurance Co. Ltd. and Mapfre Insular Insurance Corp.—earlier filed a motion to dismiss the civil case. “Uy claimed that Rolando L. Palad, who was employed by SCP as an insurance consultant, served as a middleman between him and the judge, as Palad’s wife was supposedly related to Subia. “Palad supposedly told him that the judge would deny the motion to dismiss the insurance claim in exchange for P15 million. “Uy said he negotiated through Palad to first give P7 million in downpayment and agreed to pay the balance once the motion is denied. Allegedly as instructed by the judge, Uy delivered the P7 million

to Palad while in a car driven by Subia’s nephew. “On January 26, 2016, Subia denied the insurance firms’ bid to have the case dismissed. The firms appealed that order while seeking Subia’s inhibition from the case— but both motions were later denied by the judge, as well. On April 26, however, the judge reversed his stance regarding his inhibition and recused himself from the case. In the complaint, Uy claimed that Palad sent him apologetic text messages and later resigned from his work for SCP. “It is apparent from the chain of events and the text messages of Mr. Palad that Judge Subia extorted money from me in exchange for denying the motion to dismiss filed by the insurance companies. Judge Subia’s actuation undeniably undermines the people’s faith in the judiciary and should not be allowed to continue to sit as a judge,’ Uy said in his complaint.”

2nd Front Page BusinessMirror


DOT chief asks UK-based Pinoys to be tourism envoys By Ma. Stella F. Arnaldo

@akosistellaBM Special to the BusinessMirror


E tourism ambassadors. That’s what Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon T. Teo told Filipinos living in the United Kingdom, an appeal to help boost visitor arrivals in the Philippines. Teo is in London to attend the World Travel Market 2016, one of the biggest travel and trade shows in the world, ongoing until November 9 (November 10 in the Philippines). She made the appeal to Filipinos in the UK at the breakfast forum “Kapihan sa Pasuguan” hosted by the Philippines Deputy Chief of Mission Ambassador Gilbert Asuque last Sunday at the Philippine Embassy in London. Filipino civic leaders and UK-based Filipino media practitioners attended the breakfast forum. “Many of your British colleagues, employers, friends and extended families have come to know more about the friendly and hospitable Filipino people, and the beauty of our country through your good representation here,” the DOT chief was quoted in an agency news statement from London. “You could be our tourism frontliners, especially through word-of-mouth promotions and responsible use of social media,” she added. Teo directed the Department of Tourism (DOT) London office to launch a “special tourism-promotion program, which will maximize

the strong network of influence of our overseas Filipinos in UK.” There are over 200,000 Filipinos living and working in the UK. The DOT is projecting a 15-percent increase in visitor arrivals from the UK this year, or about 178,000, and a 15-percent to 20-percent growth in 2017. In 2015 some 155,000 visitors from the UK arrived in the Philippines. During the open forum, the DOT secretary, likewise, assured that the new tourism slogan, which launched during the Miss Universe 2016 beauty pageant in January 2017, will be “better than the present one.” The “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” brand campaign and slogan was created by the DOT in cooperation with the advertising firm BBDO Guerrero/Proximity and has been widely recognized and awarded by many award-giving bodies in the advertising and marketing industries. Just in September, for instance, BBDO’s campaign received the Creative Effectiveness Spike at the 2016 Spikes Asia held in Suntec Singapore. It is one of only three awards given in this category. The award recognized the sustained success of the tourism campaign—driving increased tourism arrivals and revenues for the country. Apart from proving more effective than previous Philippine tourism campaigns, it also exceeded regional and global benchmarks for growth. See “DOT,” A2

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Beijing also screening own firms in $24-B megadeals


By Catherine N. Pillas


oth the Philippines and China have committed to be on guard against dubious deals on joint investments through transparency in the process of implementing the projects included in the $24-billion ventures signed during President Duterte’s state visit to Beijing. 

At the Management Association of the Philippines General Membership Meeting on Tuesday, the Philippines’s Ambassador-designate to China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana said “lessons were learned” in the past dealings between the Philippines and China.  “On the past experience of China and the Philippines, like in the North Rail project, the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking and the NBN-ZTE deal, the lessons were the lack in transparency and violations of government procurement rules. The challenge really is how to avoid the same mistake, especially now that billions of dollars are involved,” Sta. Romana told

the business sector. Avoiding these “past mistakes” in carrying out the investment projects and the economic cooperation, Sta. Romana said, is particularly pivotal now that the Philippines is reframing its relations with China through economic and trade cooperation.   To this end, the government is doing its part by putting in checks and balances, with the Department of Finance reportedly trying to devise an “accreditation system” for Filipino firms engaging in the projects committed during the state visit to China. According to Sta. Romana, China is also

undertaking a similar monitoring scheme on its own firms. The North Rail project, started in the previous administration, was supposed to be contracted with a China state-owned agency, but did not push through because the contract was said to be anomalous.  Reportedly, after the Philippines and China “disengaged” from the project, Beijing called for the payment of a portion of the $ 500-million loan intended to finance the project, coinciding with the heightening of tensions over the Scarborough Shoal.  Sta. Romana reiterated, however, that the deals concluded between the Philippines and China during the state visit are only at the nascent stage, with feasibility studies still to be carried out. Due diligence, he added, should be practiced in the conduct of fleshing out the agreements.   The government official added that the Philippines’s contentious issues should be separated from the noncontentious ones—essentially intending to move forward on economic cooperation issues, but without allowing its territorial spat to get in the way.  “Disputes should not be at the front and center of our relations. We want to proceed with noncontentious issues, like economics, finance, culture, education and sports, but discuss contentious issues one by one with use of quiet diplomacy,” he said. 

Businessmirror november 09, 2016  
Businessmirror november 09, 2016