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CDP’s Rodriguez scores perfect attendance in 15th Congress

NSCB: Indicators point to strong growth

Banker sees ASEAN integration a threat; RP firms not ready

PNB scouts new M&A deals

Sun Cellular receives Gawad Mapag-unlak Award from the PCMC Blood Center

BusinessDaily Corporate World

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Congress Watch

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Volume III, No. 263

Market Indicators

As of 5:54 pm july 24, 2013 (Wednesday)

FOREX

PHISIX

US$1 = P43.32

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Briefly Robust economy BUTUAN City -- The head of the Chamber of Commerce here expressed optimistic outlook during a business forum on Thursday that “Butuan can potentially be another Cebu in the next 10 years,” as center of commerce, trade, and tourism in Caraga Region. Butuan Business Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc. (BCCFI) President Joseph Omar O. Andaya said, “Butuan City has a big potential to become another Cebu City in 2023.” “Butuan City has a very big potential to become another Cebu City in the next 10 years, not only because of its people, its natural resources, and the fact that it is the regional center of the whole Caraga Region,” Andaya said in an interview.

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Aboitiz Group holds nationwide simultaneous tree-planting

THE Aboit iz Group on Saturday (July 20) enjoined their thousands of employees and volunteer groups in an annual simultaneous tree planting activity in numerous locations nationwide. In one day, more than 61, 0 0 0 s e e d l i n g s we r e planted by different Aboitiz volunteers from as north as Benguet, Subic, Pampanga and Tarlac, to Cebu and Las

Pinas. In Mindanao, thousands of Aboitiz volunteers had tree plantings in Bukidnon, Sibulan in Sta. Cruz, Talomo and Marilog in Davao City, in Dimapatoy Watershed in Cotabato, Iligan City, Nasipit Agusan del Norte as well as Maco Compostela Valley. The participating companies in Mindanao TREE-PLANTING. Hedcor volunteers joining Aboitiz Group’s nationwide tree planting Aboitiz/PAGE 11 activity in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon last Saturday.

Govt pushes more RE investments in M’nao T

By IRENE DOMINGO, Reporter

HE Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) is currently conducting an inventory of renewable energy investment prospects in the island to ensure these interests would level up to on the ground investments, MinDA public affairs director Romeo Montenegro said.

Irrigation dev’t OROQUIETA City– A total of 68,265 hectares (has.) of irrigable land have been developed in region 10, during the first quarter of the year. Considering the region’s total potential irrigable area of 121,432 has., the level of irrigation development (LID) in the region have been placed at 56.2 percent with 53,167 has. remaining area left to be irrigated, as of the period. This is 10,246 has. or 17.7 percent higher compared to 58,019 has. developed in the same period of 2012, Engr. Felix M. Razo, Regional Manager of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), region 10, said. Razo said the province of Misamis Occidental with 3,505 has., was the biggest area served by the irrigation facilities of NIA, during the period, followed by Bukidnon, 3,412 has., Misamis Oriental, 2,975 has., Camiguin, 270 has., and Lanao del Norte, 84 has.

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I n a n i nter v ie w, he said MinDA has recorded about 100 applications for renewable energy projects in Mindanao. All of these investments if pursued would cause power generation of about 700 megawatts, which would apparently help ease

CROPS DIVERSIFICATION. In order to gain more profit, non-rice farmers in northern Mindanao are encouraged to diversify their crops. photo courtesy of carl cesar rebuta

Non-rice farmers told to diversify crops By BUTCH D. ENERIO, Correspondent

TH E Depa r t ment of A g r ic u lt u re (DA) h a s encouraged non-rice farmers in northern Mindanao to be more productive and diversif y their crops to avoid over supply of their

traditional crops and gain profitability. Department of Agriculture (DA) Assistant Secretary Salvador Salacup, sa id t hat t he ent i re agricultural community

i n t he cou nt r y shou ld maximize productivity in time of the Association of South East Asian Nation (A SE A N) e conom ic integration. diversify/PAGE 11

Mindanao power supply problem. “We’re doing an inventory now because we want that t he se appl ic at ions w i l l graduate from indicative to actual constructions,” Montenegro said. pushes/PAGE 11

Lifestyle District opens; targets young professionals By IRENE DOMINGO, Reporter and IRENE JOY B. DAYO of Mindanao Daily

A NEW all-in-one establishment has arrived in Cagayan de Oro City giving upkeeps for the city’s booming developments. Lifestyle District has opened its commercial spaces to city’s various businesses Sunday, July 20.

Lifestyle District is a future leisure abode which is considered as a revolutionary concept in the city. This establishment was brought in CDO because of the latter’s necessity for an establishment where a convergence of opens/PAGE 11

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Economy

LEI points to positive outlook for economy

ZamboEcozone MDP up for review

By Kristyn Nika M. Lazo

THE latest Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) points to “a positive outlook for the country’s economy,” ac cord i ng to Nat iona l Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB). T he NS C B re ve a le d t hat composite L EI for third quarter was at 0.152, compared to the 0.064 of the second quarter. “The latest LEI computat ions show t he index in positive territory signifying firmly well for the domestic economy,” it said. The data also stated that LEI stood at 0.029 in the third quarter of 2012, and compared to this year, the indicator quadrupled, noting the robust development in the country’s economy. Some 11 indicators were considered, eight of which contributed positive results whi le on ly t hree ended negatively. The positive indicators include: total merchandise imports; visitor arrivals; money supply; electric energy consumption; terms of trade index; hotel occupancy rate; outlook/PAGE 11

P6.86-M poverty-reduction projs in SulKud completed COTABATO CITY— The D e p a r t m e nt o f S o c i a l Welfare and Development i n Reg ion-12 yesterd ay announced the completion of P6.86 million of various com mu n it y projec t s i n Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat. Gemma Rivera, DSWD12 assista nt reg iona l director, said three school

buildings and a water system projects were completed in different remote villages of Ba g u mbaya n, wh ich primarily aims at reducing poverty of the beneficiary communities. “The newly completed community projects have benef ited at least 1,754 projs/PAGE 10

Z A M B OA NG A C I T Y— Newly-installed Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone and Free Port Authority (ZamboEcozone) Chairman Christopher Arnuco announced that he will review the master development plan (MDP) of the ZamboEcozone to see how the facility can benefit this city and the region. Arnuco took over as the new chairman replacing Georg i na Yu i n si mple ceremonies held Monday at the ZamboEcozone office in Sitio San Ramon, Barangay Talisayan, 26 kilometers west of this city. Arnuco said there is a need to review the MDP of mdp/PAGE 11

Electrification program to hasten econ activities MANILA—Noting that energizing communities is one of the key requirements for economic activities, the government yesterday said it will energize before the end of this year at least 10,394 sitios in order to meet Aquino administration’s target of 33,000 sitios before 2015. Data from the National Electrification Administration (NEA) showed that only 898 sitios, which make up the barangay—the smallest unit of society—have been energized so far this year. Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said the implementation of the government’s energization program is being hampered by the failure of electric cooperatives (ECs) to meet the requirements set by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), like the submission of program of works.

“DBM can give more funds if the ECs can implement faster. So we are looking at a scheme of bidding it out short of awarding,” he said. Petilla said there was lower accomplishment in the first half of this year because of the election ban. In order to fast track its implementation and meet the target, the program’s fund was increased to P6.5 billion from the original budget of P4 billion. This means that average project cost per sitio is P650,000. There are about 105,000 sitios in the Philippines and 80 percent of these have electricity. For next year, the electrification target is 7,107 sitios, and 7,257 for 2015, NEA data shows. (from PNA)


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BSP warns public of fake checks

THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has warned the public against buying fake checks being passed off as issued by the central bank. In a statement, the BSP sa id t he sc a m i nvolves people claiming represent the central bank and offering checks that are suposedly worth millions of pesos. It however didn’t say whether it had come across any fake check or the people behind the scam. The BSP said it doesn’t issue or guarantee checks and other commercial documents in the name of individuals and groups, adding that it transacts only with banks and other financial institutions that it regulates.

BDO lends P4B for coal plant project in Iloilo THE joint venture putting up a coal-fed power plant in Iloilo have borrowed P4 billion from BDO Unibank, completing the financing required to build the facility. In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, A Brown Co Inc (ABCI) said Palm Concepcion Power Corp (PCPC) signed a P4billion term loan facility bdo/PAGE 10

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NSCB: Indicators point to strong growth THE economy is seen to remain robust in the second and third quarters of this year, according to an index of 11 key data collated by t he Nat iona l Stat ist ica l Coordination Board (NSCB). In a repor t released Tuesday, the NSCB said the composite leading economic indicator (LEI)—a short-term forecasting tool made up of data tracking the expansion the economy—increased to 0.152 in the third quarter from an upwardly revised 0.064 in the second quarter. The LEI “continued its upward trend in the third

quarter of 2013, indicating a positive outlook for the

country’s economy,” said the NSCB.

“The latest LEI computat ions show t he index in positive territory signifying firmly well for the domestic economy,” it added. For the third quarter, eight of the 11 indicators, which accou nt for 82 .4 percent of the total from 71.9 percent in the second quarter, contributed positively. Starting with the largest positive contributor, these are: (1) total merchandise imports, (2) visitor arrivals, (3) money supply, (4) electric energ y consumption, (5) terms of trade index, (6)

hotel occupancy rate, (7) number of new businesses, and (8) stock price index. Negative contributors, beginning with the largest negative contributor, were: (1) foreign exchange rate, (2) wholesale price index, and (3) consumer price index. Sought for comment, University of Asia and the Pacific School of Economics dea n Peter U sa id in a telephone interview, “Factors are looking positive for the Philippines.” U said he is “unsure if the Philippines can sustain nscb/PAGE 10

Forex reserves resumed climb in July, BSP says THE Philippines’ foreign exchange reser ves likely resumed their increase this month with the appreciation of the US dollar, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) G ove r nor A m a nd o M . Tetangco Jr. said today. “It’s because of the foreign e x c h a n g e o p e r a t i o n s ,” Tetangco said, adding that the appreciation of the US dollar against other currencies such as the Japanese yen and euro also supported the rise in the Philippines’ gross international reserves (GIR). The country’s hoard of US dollars accounts for 60 percent of its foreign

exchange reserves. “It could to the extent that you have non-dollar reserves – such as yen and euro. If the value of US dollar went up against these currencies, it would have an effect in the dollar value of the GIR but it would be small,” Tetangco said. He said the BSP would cont i nue to look for opportunities to diversify its reserves, adding that the Chinese yuan can become a candidate if it becomes a convertible currency. “There are certain criteria for a currency to be part of reserve. This is based on

the International Monetary Fund (IMF) definition of international reserve, which is that the currency should be convertible,” Tetangco said. The Philippines’ GIR stood at $81.6 billion at endJune, or $0.4 billion lower than the $82 billion at endMay. At this level, reserves remain adequate to cover 11.8 months worth of imports of goods and payments of services and income. Alternatively, the reserves would allow the country to pay 8.3 times over its shortterm external debt based on original maturity and

six times based on residual maturity, which includes portions of the principal maturing in the next 12 months. T he sl ig ht decl i ne

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in reserves last June was due mainly to revaluation adjustments on the BSP’s gold holdings arising from the decrease in the price of forex/PAGE 10


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exec sees DEATH ‘Dragon slayer’ vows to shepherd CBCP stalking 16th Congress nat’l land use policy in Congress By BONG D. FABE

DINAGAT Rep. Arlene “Kaka” Bag-ao yesterday vowed to shepherd the passage in the present 16th Congress of the proposed National Land Use Policy she authored and successfully steered through the last 15th Congress. Bag-ao, known as the “Dragon Slayer” for defeating a scion of the well-entrenched religious and political Ecleo clan by a margin of 3,246 votes in the last election in Dinagat Islands, said that she is optimistic that President Aquino will once again certify the bill as urgent. Aquino had certified as urgent during the 15th Congress HB 6545, which Bag-ao authored. The President’s certification enabled the proposed law to pass the Lower House of Congress. It, or its counterpart bill, Senate Bill 3091, however, failed to pass muster.

3 more partylist groups join House THE Commission on Elections has proclaimed three more winning partyList groups in the May 13 polls, bringing to 41 the total number of those proclaimed so far. The Comelec en banc sitting as the National Board of Canvassers proclaimed Ang National Coalition of Indigenous Peoples Action Na (A NAC-IP), Agbia g Timpuyog Iloca no, Inc. (AGBIAG), and Append, Inc. (APPEND) based on its NBOC Resolution 0020-13 promulgated on July 19. The resolution stated that the NBOC has completed counting and tabulating 44 of the 49 clustered precincts “as three clustered precincts are involved in election protest while the two others held no elections.” APPEND w i l l be represented by Pablo Nava III, a member of the Tollways Regulatory Board; AGBIAG, by Patricio Antonio, first district congressman of Cagayan; and, ANAC-IP by Jose Panganiban Jr.,former president of t he Isabela chapter of the League of Municipalities. Five of the 58 partylist seats remain vacant after the Supreme Court prevented the Comelec from completing the proclamation of winners in partylist/PAGE 10

Rep. Kaka Bag-ao marching with the Sumilao Farmers from Bukidnon to Malacanang to press for land. contributed photo

HB 6545, which was a consolidation of other similar measures in the 15th Congress. Bag-ao first came into the political limelight when she, along with other young

alternative lawyers in Mindanao, guided the successful fight for land of the Sumilao farmers, especially during the gruelling vows/PAGE 10

CDP’s Rodriguez scores perfect attendance in 15th Congress CEN TR IST Democrat ic Pa r t y (CDP) P re sident Rep. Rufus Rodriguez of the Second Congressional Dist r ic t of Cagaya n de Oro City is among the 21 congressmen who scored perfect attendances during the 15th Congress. According to the records of the House of Representatives, only a measly seven percent or 21 of the 290 lawmakers, registered perfect attendances during the 168 session days of the last Congress from July 26, 2010 to June 6, 2013. Lower House records showed that the aside from Rodriguez, the following House members also scored perfect attendances: Giorgidi Aggabao (Isabela); Emmeline Aglipay (DIWA party-list); Diosdado Arroyo (Camarines Sur); Jorge Banal (Quezon Cit y); Leopoldo Bataoi l (P a n g a s i n a n); S p e a k e r Fel ic i a no B el monte Jr. (Quezon City); Winston C a stelo (Quez on Cit y); Rachel del Mar (Cebu); Salvio Fortuno (Camarines Sur); Roilo Golez (Paranaque); Nepta li Gonza les II (Mandaluyong); Bernadette Herrera-Dy (Bagong Henerasyon party-list); David Kho (Senior Citizens partylist); Edcel Lagman (Albay); Florencio Noel (An Waray

party-list); Reena Obillo (Ang Pamilya party-list); Angelo Palmones (AGHAM party-list); Roberto Puno (Antipolo); Romero Federico Quimbo (Marikina City); and Rene Relampagos (Bohol). Under Section 70 of the House Rules of the 15th Congress, the following are deemed present: (a) members attending committee meetings as authorized by the committee on rules, upon written notification to the Secretary General by t he secreta r y of t he concerned committee; (b) members attending meetings of t he C om m is sion on Appointments; (c) members attending meetings of the House of Representatives E lec tora l Tr ibu na l; (d) members attending meetings of the bicameral conference committee; and (e) members on official missions approved by the Speaker.

T he House records also showed that Negros O c c i d e nt a l R e p. Ju l i o Ledesma IV and Saranggani Rep. Manny Pacquiao racked up t he mos t abs enc e s , attending only 108 session days. They were followed as the most absentee congressmen/ women by Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (present only for 111 session days); Ang Galing Pinoy party-list Rep. Juan Miguel Arroyo (112); Pampanga Rep. Carmelo Lazatin (115); Laguna Rep. Maria Evita Arago (116); and, Iloilo Rep. Augusto Syjuco (117). The former president has been detained at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City for most of the 15th Congress because of plunder charges filed against her. The Of f ice of t he rodriguez/PAGE 10

WITH staunch administration a llies Senate President Frank lin Drilon and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte leading the 16th Congress, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) sees DEATH looming on the horizon. DEATH stands for divorce, euthanasia, abortion, total reproductive health and homosexuality, issues that the Church vehemently oppose. CBCP Secretary General Msgr. Joselito Asis said there is a big chance that legislation supporting DEATH will get prioritized under the present administration. “Hopefully, the bills they will push for are not anti-life bills because if there will be any, it will surely be hastened,” Asis said. “We can only hope that they (lawmakers) will not be pushing for the anti-life bills,” he said. Asis is banking on the support pro-life legislators to fight DEATH bills. “Our task is to remind them of their promises and then air them in Congress, cbcp/PAGE 10

Makabayan reps bolt majority bloc THE seven-member Makabayan bloc at the House of Representatives has deserted the majority and decided to join the minority “to sharpen our opposition against the anti-Filipino and anti-people policies and program of the Aquino administration.” Makabayan is comprised of the following: Party-list Representatives Neri Colmenares and Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna; Luz Ilagan and Emmi de Jesus of Gabriela; Antonio Tinio of ACT Teachers; Fernando Hicap of Anakpawis; and Terry Ridon of Kabataan. The bloc said there has been no meaningful change in the three years that President Aquino led the nation, with the people continuing to “suffer from massive poverty, social injustice, human-rights violations and foreign oppression.” By casting its lot with the minority, the bloc said it would oppose the legislative agenda and policies of the administration that favor foreign banks and corporations, big businesses, landlords and corrupt bureaucrats. “We will press for meaningful economic, political and socials reforms as we perform our duty as members of the minority,” it added. They voted for Puwersa ng Masang Pilipino Rep. Ronaldo Zamora of San Juan as minority leader. “We find common ground with Congressman Zamora in opposing the conditional-cash transfer, privatization of public hospitals, violent demolitions of informal settlers and in pressing for national industrialization, modernization of agriculture, the release of all political prisoners and the resumption of peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front,” the bloc added. “We have experienced working with Representative Zamora as minority leader in the 14th Congress. We’ve been together in the many battles to oust and hold accountable the illegitimate regime of Gloria MacapagalArroyo. We are confident that we can again work with him as he recognizes and respects our independence and principled stand on peoples’ issues,” Makabayan also said. (BM)

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ONB net income surge by 31% in 1Q ONE Network Bank’s (ONB) strong momentum in 2012 carried over into the first quarter of 2013 as the rural banking leader achieved a net operating income of P136 million. The net income level is 31% higher than the P104 million level recorded in the same period last year. If annualized, this translates to a 30% return on average private equity and a 3% return on average assets. Propelling this strong gain is the bank’s healthy performance in lending. Interest income on loans and receivables posted an increase of 31% year-on-year to P349 million. Fee based income driven primarily by service fees on loans also rose by 84% to P231 million. Through servicing a number of 98,205 borrowers, the bank succeeded in expanding its loan portfolio to P15.56 billion which is 41% better compared to first quarter of 2012. Loan expansion was reinforced by the bank’s deposit base which grew by 37% to P15.23 billion. ONB’s nonperforming loans (NPL) ratio dropped to 2% as the bank also maintained its risk based capital adequacy ratio at 18%. ONB’s equity also reached P3.26 billion as of end March. The bank also closed the first quarter with total resources of P21 billion, registering a 30% percent increment from 2012. For 2013, ONB is focused on increasing its presence further in unbanked and underbanked growth areas in both Mindanao and in the island of Panay. In addition to its present network of 90 branches in Mindanao plus a branch in Makati City, ONB also now operates a 5-branch network in key areas in Iloilo resulting from its merger with Rural Bank of San Enrique, Inc. (RBSEI). The countryside is poised for growth as ONB makes its innovative and affordable banking platforms and solutions easily accessible to more unserved and underserved communities. Following the successful launch of its online banking facility for corporate clients last year, ONB has more e-banking services for countryside clients lined up in 2013 including the most awaited Personal Internet Banking.

Banker sees ASEAN integration a threat; RP firms not ready By Chino S. Leyco

THE Philippines is not yet ready for full Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) economic integration by 2015, president of the country’s largest bank said yesterday. Nestor V. Ta n, BDO Unibank Inc. president, said that most of the Philippine compa n ie s a re not yet prepared to compete with their ASEAN competitors, thus an economic integration is more of a threat than an opportunity for the country. “I’m not one of those

who are looking forward to ASEAN and ready to embrace it because, honestly, I don’t think our industries are prepared. I honestly don’t know yet how we’re going to compete when our borders opened up,” Tan said at the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP)

PNB scouts new M&A deals PHL banks’ By Lee C. Chipongian

TYCOON Lucio Tan is looking to acquire another bank after merger talks between his Philippine National Bank (PNB) and Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) collapsed earlier this year due to price valuation issues. Tan said that he is no longer pursuing the PNB-BPI merger deals and has in fact changed his mind about selling PNB which has absorbed the entire assets and liabilities of his other wholly-owned bank, Allied Banking Corp. last February. When asked of his next plans for his banking business, Tan readily disclosed that they are planning another acquisition. “We will buy (another bank),” he said. Tan declined to give details of any ongoing negotiations and with which bank or when the merger and acquisition (M&A) deals will occur but he did say they are willing to talk with any bank that is prepared to sell majority shares to his group. PNB President and CEO Omar Mier said the bank is still integrating operations with Allied Bank. “We are focused mainly on the integration of PNB and Allied Bank,” he said. On M&A talks, Mier said there are no active negotiations that are ongoing. “(We)

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have no time for getting another bank now.” PNB, the sixth largest bank with assets of P323.84 billion as of end-2012 before the merger, has moved up to fifth place when it folded in Allied Bank and its P172.82 scouts/PAGE 10

asset quality still strong

SINGAPORE—The credit quality of banks in the Asia Pacific has likely hit a cyclical peak and many of the region’s lenders will suffer a drop in asset quality over the next 1-2 years as interest rates rise, Moody’s Investors Service warned. Moody’s said it continues to have a stable outlook on the banking systems of most countries that make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), although it noted ‘’moderate weakening’’ in the asset quality of Malaysian banks. Jean-Francois Tremblay, associate managing director of Moody’s Asia Pacif ic financial institutions group, also f lagged longer-term concerns about asset quality strong/PAGE 11

forum. “The Philippines is a very attractive market and I think our companies—not all of them though—are prepared to protect their turf,” he added. The ASEAN is currently pursuing regional market integration through the

progress of t he ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) initiatives, which are targeted to be accomplished by the year 2015. The AEC covers areas such as lowering of trade barriers, mutual recognition of professional standards, and threat/PAGE 10

RCBC microfinance arm grows loans by 79% in 1H By Maricel E. Burgonio

MANILA—After four years, the microfinance arm of Yuchengco-owned Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC) expects to break even in the first quarter of next year, its chief executive said, citing rising demand for small loans in rural areas. In a press briefing, Ma. Lourdes S. Pineda, Rizal Microbank president, said the bank disbursed a total of 3,800 micro loans as of June this year. Loan amounts range from P50,000300,000 and carry an interest rate of 2.7 percent a month. Its loan disbursements increased by 79 percent to P157 million in the first half of the year from P88 million in the same period last year. Pineda said the bank’s network is expanding and plans to open four more branches in Mindanao. It already has 10 branches in Luzon and four in Mindanao. “By then (first quarter), we will have more branches, but the volumes they will deliver will be hitting two years of operations,” Pineda said. “Most of our branches in Mindanao are breaking even. Its Luzon branches that have to catch up,” she said. Sixty-two percent of Rizal Microbank’s clients are in wholesale and retail trade, while another 15 percent are in services like repair shops. At end-June, the bank’s deposits reached P300 million, while its assets, P900 million. It employs 156 people. (Interaksyon.com)

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Upgrade your computer

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THINK

hink a minute…You know that a brand new computer A Minute today will be outdated and old By Jhan Tiafau Hurst in just a few months. I recently replaced my 7-year old computer when my friends told me I was using a horse to race against rockets. To compete and succeed in this world we have to keep up with the technology, which means continually upgrading our computer. Yet none of these impressive inventions comes even close to the power of the human mind. In fact, our mind’s computer already has all the upgrades we’ll ever need. So since we’re the ones who control the world’s most powerful computer, we must keep learning and upgrading it every day. Someone said: “Your mind is like a parachute—it’s not much good unless it’s open.” And if we want to change our life, we have to change our mind first. Computers, however, can also be dangerous. That’s why we need an anti-virus program to protect our computer from viruses that can infect and damage it. These protective programs even update themselves regularly against new viruses that can attack. So since we go to all that trouble for a machine that’s so quickly outdated and useless, how much more important is it to protect the computer of our own mind! Everyday we face dangerous, deadly viruses like pornography and sex outside of marriage, temptations to lie or steal, commit suicide, gossip, lose our temper, and other kinds of wrong thinking that can ruin our character, our marriage and children, our job, our whole life. hurst/PAGE 7

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CLIFFORD SANTILLAN RONALD B. MASTAIL

Metro criminals now very bold

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IFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful…” (Joshua 1:8, the Holy Bible). -ooo METRO CRIMINALS NOW VERY BOLD: DZRH anchors Deo Macalma ang Ruth Abao on Wednesday, July 24, 2013, correctly expressed their collective fear that criminals in the Metro Manila area have become so bold and brash that they now carry out their crimes, particularly kidnapping and abductions of young boys and girls, in broad daylight, in full view of the public, and near police authorities yet. The two cited the case of a 15-year old girl who was just waiting for a ride at a very busy intersection in Pasay City the other day when, out of the blue, a taxi named “El Pueblo” stopped near her. Two burly men came out of the vehicle and, without any word, slapped the girl several times, punched her in her abdomen, and then loaded her into the back compartment of the car. The girl was then brought to a motel in Pasig City, where she was repeatedly raped by her kidnappers, including the taxi driver. Luckily for the girl, however, she was not killed by the criminals. She was left near a funeral parlor where she managed to call her relatives and ask for help. A police operation led to the arrest of two of the criminals subsequently. -ooo HOW CAN WE ASSURE THE SAFETY OF OUR

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LOVED ONES? Maca lma akampi and Abao then asked a police Mo A ng Batas official from Pasay City as to By Atty. Batas Mauricio what young children should do to avoid being victimized in a similar manner. The pol icema n sa id ch i ld ren should never ride taxis alone and should endeavor jot down the plate number and the name of the driver and text these data to their relatives right away. But then, these pieces of advice really will not solve the problem. The question really is, how can parents be assured that their children could be safe once they get out of their houses? Technically, there is nothing that the parents can do anymore to help their children, once they go out of their houses and go to their schools or to some other places. Except, of course, to bring them up to the care and protection of God which, by the way, is the only thing that parents can really do for their children nowadays. The times have become so bad that criminality lurks in every corner of the metropolis, and it is clear that police and other government authorities can no longer do anything to protect anyone. The only way therefore is to place all our loved ones under God’s protection. batas/PAGE 7

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A time to celebrate, save

he whole Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) was in a festive mood last Wednesday (July 3) during the celebration of the institution’s 20th anniversary. In a rare opportunity, members of team BSP were able to spend some time off from work to mark the milestone together. The highlight of the celebration was the anniversary program, which featured a theatrical performance by BSP’s homegrown talents. Using the music of the classic Queen song “Bohemian Rhapsody,” they sang about inf lation, remittances, and monetary policy tools. It was a light and fun approach to economics that ordinary Filipinos would enjoy and appreciate. And by no means was it an easy task. In fact, explaining and imparting banking and economic concepts to non-economists can be quite challenging. This is why BSP puts extra effort and creativity in promoting financial literacy among Filipinos. Through seminars, trainings, and exhibits organized by BSP’s Corporate Affairs Office and Economic and Financial Learning Center, many Filipinos have been educated about basic financial activities such as spending, saving, and investing. However, the leadership of BSP believes that financial knowledge should be imparted to the public as early as possible in their lives. They should be taught these lessons in school, while they are still developing “money habits.”

Crystaline pino ATTY. MARIO T. JUNI

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SPEAKING

The BSP is already doing this through a partnership O ut w it h t he Depa r t ment of By Ignacio Bunye Education (DepEd). The two government institutions have come up with a f inancial education program, which incorporates in the elementary curriculum lessons on money m a n a g e m e nt a n d b a s i c economics. Last week, the BSP and DepEd released a joint message in celebration of the National Savings Consciousness Week. This was published in newspapers, posted in social media, and read aloud to all public and private elementary and secondary schools during the f lag ceremony. The message served as a reminder to the children about the importance of saving. It told the students not to spend all the money they receive. Instead, they should keep a portion of it so that they have money to spend in the future, if ever they need or want to buy something. BSP Gov. Tetangco and DepEd Sec. Bro. Armin Luistro also offered the children two options in saving. First, they bunye/PAGE 7

Labeling and branding

HE practice of labeling and branding is a fact of life. But I personally don’t quite like it, especially when applied to people, precisely because it tends to confine and stereotype us. We are persons, not things, not animals. As such, we are intelligent beings and free spirits that could not and should not be reduced and straitjacketed to a set image or type. There may be something permanent in us, or characteristics that are stable, but we should never forget that we also change, and in fact in certain aspects, we need to change. We have to learn to grapple and blend these two facets. It’s no easy task, and given their ticklish linkage and the profuse confusion around, we really need to have the appropriate understanding and skills to carry it out. Of the permanent category would be our nature as rational beings, as persons with intelligence and will, and as beings subject not only to reason but also to faith. We also are social beings, and not just individuals. These should always be a given, and continually reinforced. But alas, nowadays and especially in some supposedly thinking circles, a few of these permanent features are doubted and questioned. Categories that used to be traditionally or culturally obvious and taken for granted are now put in reservation. Our more stable characteristics would be in the area of our character, personality, social background, IQ, physical and biological constitution, etc. In our dealings with one another we should also consider all these to at-

tain greater propriety in our relations. and Traces But there are many things By Fr. Roy Cimagala that change. Flux dominates our physical and affective life. And this is more so in our ideas, thoughts, desires and plans. And yet in this f low, certain steady traits can be noted, giving rise to the need for labeling and branding. This is where we have to be most careful. This practice of classifying, pigeonholing and packaging shou ld be pursued with the constant awareness that there are elements in us that change, or are capable of changing and should change. This needs frequent self-checking and self-renewals. Especially in our social life, and in politics to be more specific, this unavoidable business of labeling and branding has to be pursued with extreme care. Now that our politics is entering a more intriguing phase, especially in the more developed countries like the US where politics is increasingly ref lecting a culture war, we need to be most charitable. There, it is common to brand people as either conservative or liberal, right-wing or left-wing, etc. While there are valid reasons to do so, we should not allow cimagala/PAGE 7

HINTS


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City gov’t to look into plight of senior citizens

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By BUTCH D. ENERIO, Correspondent

T H E c it y gover n ment said it will look into the concerns of t he senior citizens (SC) here who claimed that they have been neglected by the past administration. The Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (Osca), sa id t hat a mong t hei r concerns are: the survivors of the more than 500 of its members since in 2008 to 2011 have not received the P5,000 burial benefit due them; and their office that the law created, has not been allocated funding for two years already from city hall. Arcadio Poliquit, SC chapter president of the Cagayan de Oro Federation of Senior Citizens Association (Cafesca), in barangay Canitoan, said that despite the absence of logistics his organization, through volunteerism, is able run t he Osca and accommodate their members in administrative matters. He said that former cou nci lor a nd Ca fesca President, Alfonso Goking, extends some financial help for Osca to be operational. The of f ice of t he City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD), said that the city’s present administration is doing its best to find answers to the woes of Osca and the Cafesca members. Teddy Sabugaa, CSWD officers said that they are in the process of doing some overhauling of the

administration of Osca, for it to be more responsive to the members and become independent in crafting pol ic ie s ba sed on t he Magna Carta for Senior Citizens and not succumb to political maneuvering. S a bu g a a , s a id t h at while Cafesca is waiting for the office of Mayor Oscar Moreno to act on their concerns, the CSWD has an ongoing medical assistance to the senior citizens - Cafesca members a nd non-members a re given free screening on secondary elective surgery cases such as cata rac t and other eye problems, including cyst removal, hemorrhoid (almoranas), hernia, gall bladder stone, myoma, ovarian tumor, goiter, cleft lip, prosthesis, and pterygium. The activity is part of Mayor Oscar S. Moreno’s Eye Care and Surgicare Program that aims to help poor patients, special the senior citizens, who can’t afford the expenses on minor surgical operations. Cafesca has 108 chapters with about 5,000 members. On their other hand, Osca a nd Ca fesca is hoping that all indigent senior citizens in the city would be given a monthly financial help or pension, and not only limited to 25 indigent SC per city as mandated. Cafesca, said that there are more than 900 indigent senior citizens in Cagayan de Oro.

Hurst...

Batas...

That’s why we’ve got to be careful what we allow to come into our mind. “Garbage in, garbage out.” So every day, we need a good brain-washing. A nd no one ’s more qualified to keep our mind clean than God our Maker. That’s why He gave us the Bible as our manual for life, to show us how to maintain and keep improving our mind. The Bible is your own a nt i-v i r u s pr o g r a m t o protect your mind from wrong thinking that can destroy you. You see, God k nows that the person who doesn’t control his thoughts will lose control of his life. So why don’t you decide to spend some time every day reading your Bible and talking with God? Get involved in a Bibleteaching church. It will raise your level of t hin k i ng a nd liv ing, and protect you from all the dangerous viruses that threaten your mind every day. Just Think a Minute…

-ooo LISTEN TO, AND OBEY, GOD: But, how do we do t hat? Pray i ng is si mply not enough. In fact, Jesus Christ, our God and Savior, is emphatic that not everyone who calls on Him, “Lord, Lord” will be saved. And just having faith is not enough either, for the Holy Bible is clear that “faith without works is dead…” and that this kind of a dead faith “is useless” and will not mean anything. So, what must we do? The admonitions are quite clear. In Proverbs 3:1-2, we are told to commit all of God’s commands in our hearts, so that we will have everything we need, and our lives would be protected all throughout. In Deuteronomy 28:1-4, we are told to listen to God and obey His commands, and God shall allow us to overcome all evil and curses. Jesus Christ Himself said that we must seek first the kingdom of God and live in righteousness, and all of the things we need shall be given to us. He told us in Matthew 7:24-25 that we should listen to His Word

from page 6

from page 6

Turnover of Project in Gusa-Cong. Rufus B. Rodriguez shakes hand with Gusa Barangay Kagawad Perry Abrio, during the ground breaking ceremony for the expansion of the Barangay Hall that cost P500,000. Also in photo are Cong. Maxie Rodriguez Jr. of Abante Mindanao Party List, City Councilors Teodulfo Lao, Enrico Salcedo and DPWH ADE Cesar Hipona Jr., and Crispin Cajarte.

Govt seeks bids for Agus 6 capacity upgrade THE government has begun seeking bidders T he w i nni ng bidder down simultaneously,” he for the uprating of the Agus 6 hydroelectric will also be tasked with the said. removal, dismantling and The uprating project power facility in Lanao del Norte. In an invitation to bid, state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp (Psalm) said the contract involves increasing t he capacity of Agus 6’s generating units 1 and 2. The project would cost P2.6 billion. “Bids received in excess of t he approved budget

for the contract] shall be automatically rejected at bid opening,” Psalm said. Bids would be opened on August 30. The project involves the uprating of the two generating units’ turbines and blades from 25 megawatts each to 34.5 megawatts.

replacement of necessary elec t r ica l equ ipment, materials and devices. Emmanuel R. Ledesma, Jr., Psalm president, told InterAksyon.com that the winning bidder has 900 days upon receiving the notice of award to complete the project. “But on a staggered basis. The two units will not be shut

aims to increase Mindanao’s elec t r icit y supply. T he region has been suffering from outages as a result of insufficient power generating capacity. Agus 6 is part of the AgusPulangi hydroelectric power complex, which generates over half of Mindanao’s power supply.

EGCO B.V.I.’s share in CHC, ACR will own 100% of the power holding company,” A lsons has noted in its disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange. The cost of the buyout

was not made public, but the Alcantara firm stated that such acquisition will be “increasing (its) net income attributable to the parent in ACR’s earnings.” alsons/PAGE 11

k now ing t hat trut h a nd charity cannot and should not be separated. We have to go beyond top- of-m i nd responses , and learn to process and deliberate our reactions. We have to be good-mannered always, seeing to it that our emotions, while allowed to show always, should be under control. O u r a r g u me nt s a nd reasons should be crafted with clear orientation to t he c om mon go o d . We have to learn to listen to one a not her, a nd to be magna nimous. We have to purify our discussions of

any accumulating traces of resentment and bitterness. The forcefulness with which we infuse our views, if we know, can be done with affection. It can even be given with a dash of humor. The result will always be a smashing hit that gladdens ever yone, including our opponents. What is more, discussions under t hese conditions facilitate t he search for more fruitful and useful findings. They also foster solidarity among ourselves so we can attain our common good more easily.

Alsons acquires Thai partner’s stake By MYRNA M. VELASCO, Contribiutor

PUBLICLY-listed Alsons Consolidated Resources Inc. (ACR) has purchased the 40-percent equity held by its Thai partner EGCO International in its subsidiary

Conal Holdings Corporation (CHC), the holding firm of the Alcantara group’s ventures into the power sector. “With the acquisition of

and obey them, for then we shall be considered “wise”, and would not be devastated or harmed even if the storms of life will come our way. We should try God now, and taste His good and pleasing will all our lives. -ooo REACTIONS? Please call me at 0917 984 24 68, 0918 574 0193, 0922 833 43 96. Email: batasmauricio@yahoo.com, mmauriciojr111@gmail.com.

productive and responsible participant in the country’s economy. When this finally happens , t hen t he rea l celebration begins. Note: My book, Central Banking for Every Juan and Maria is now available in ma in bra nches of Fu l ly B o ok e d , Powe r B o ok s , National Book Store, and University of the Philippines Press.

Bunye... from page 6

can use an old box or can as a coin bank, which they have to keep in a safe place. Or, they can ask their parents to open a bank savings account under their name. Saving in banks is more advisable as the money is not only kept in a safer place, but is also earning through interest. To i n s pi re t he k id s further, they also reminded t he ch i ld ren about t he success of the “Tulong Barya para sa Eskwela” campaign, which did not only teach children to value coins but also raised funds for the building of new classrooms. T hroug h ef for ts li ke these, the BSP is able to inch closer to its objective of making each Filipino a

Cimagala... from page 6

this labeling to deteriorate into name-calling, i n su lt i ng , c a r pi ng a nd things like those. We need to continually remind ourselves in our political discussions that we are dealing with persons, a nd not ju s t a fac ele s s crowd, a mob that can be treated without attention to refinement and charity, or mere points. We are all brot hers and sisters, a ll children of God. O u r d i f ferenc e s a nd conf licts should not undermine t his basic re qu i rement . T hu s ou r Lord put it as t he acme of charit y to “ love your enemy.” We just have to find a way to resolve our differences with patience,


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Lifebit : capturing life’s moments via mobile

“ We m a ke d o c u m e nt i n g l ife add icti ng.” W ith th i s simple statement, Eric Clark Su sums up what new mobile a p p l i c a t i o n L i fe b i t i s a l l about. Eric, the co-founder and CEO of Twidle, Inc. which developed Lifebit, wants an exciting and extraordinar y mobile diary that is a far cry from the usual tedious type which contributes to about 95 percent of online journals being abandoned in the first four months of use. Lifebit makes journaling a delight through a gamelike system of scoreboards, creative editors, and quests that levels up passion badges. “ We b o i l e d d o w n t h e essence of the best games, injected it into the old boring journal and came up with an experience – a sor t of game layer on top of one’s life. We can capture life’s moments freely th rough photos, doodles, text, and later on, even through video a n d l i n k t h e m to Tw i t te r, F a c e b o o k , a n d Tu m b l e r wherever we may be,” said Davao-based Eric who leads a 13 -man team. He added that Lifebit users are also given badges on

Lifebit founder Eric Clark Su demonstrates how the new mobile diary app works

various life aspects by doing to n s of rea l - wo r l d q ues t s such as bungee jumping, scuba diving, sand boarding, among others. Through the various activities in Lifebit, members gain points that put one on top of the scoreboard and make him or her a mini celebrity in social media.

Lifebit does not compete with Facebook and other social net wo r k ing sites a s i t s et s i t s eye s o n t h e journaling space where there is no dominant player yet. Although Lifebit has a lofty dream of conquer ing the wo r l d, E r i c b e l i eve s t h a t having a massive community

in the Philippines, and later on in other Southeast Asian countries, should be done first before anything else. This is where incubator-accelerator Kickstart Ventures, Inc. steps in. K i ck s ta r t, a w ho l l yowned subsidiary of leading telecommunications company Globe Telecom, not only provides mentoring and capital assistance but a l so ex poses it s po r t fo l i o companies to various markets fo r fu r the r fund i ng and experience. “In the Philippine context, i t ’s h a r d to g et e n o u g h funding to star t, or to find people to wor k with; and large established companies a re not conf igu red to do commercial deals with small firms with no track record and thin capitalization. Kickstart d eve l o p s t r u s te d m e nto r and business relationships -bridges to help the startups sign and execute commercial relationships across the region. We have the network a n d m a r ket a cce s s f ro m our Kickstart, Globe, SingTel a n d Aya l a re l a t i o n s h i p s , coupled with an authentic partnership with our portfolio com pany founde r s,” sa id

Minette Navarrete, President of Kickstar t. N a va r rete a d d e d t h at l oca l s ta r t u ps a re fa ci n g similar challenges that globally-recognized startup founders would have faced in the early days. “If we help build out this more supportive business ecosystem -- bridges a l l ove r the wo r l d - - w hy would the next great young i n n ovato r, t h e n ex t La r r y Page or Mark Zuckerberg, not come from the Philippines?” she said. The Lifebit team which will visit Silicon Valley next month a s p r i ze f ro m a p rev i o u s pitch i ng com petition has already made the mobile app ava i lab le fo r i Phone and android. Although still in Alpha stage, it is expected to smoothen out all the rough spots by next year. “ We a l l h a ve a s i n g l e unique life to live. So we b u i lt L i feb it fo r eve r yo n e to consistently capture this ra re s to r y a n d p re s e nt i t bea utifu l l y a s day ca rd s. At Lifebit, we are actually a communit y of people t h a t h a ve c h o s e n to b e proactive about enjoying life,” Eric said.

Cebu Pacific Air inks lease agreements GT Cosmetics signs up as Ms. RP-USA sponsor for 5th and 6th A330 aircraft The Philippines’ largest national flag carrier, Cebu Pacific Air (PSE: CEB) recently signed operating lease agreements on two brand-new Airbus A330300 aircraft with Intrepid Aviation, a US-based commercial aircraft lessor to passenger and freight airline operators worldwide. CEB’s additional Airbus A330-300 aircraft will be delivered from 2014 to 2015, and will be powered by RollsRoyce Trent 772B engines. By 2015, CEB will operate a total of six brand-new Airbus A330-300 aircraft. CEB earlier announced it will launch its long-haul operations with direct daily Manila-Dubai services on October 7, 2013. The Airbus A330-300 aircraft will allow it

to fly to farther destinations, beyond the range of CEB’s Airbus A320 fleet. “Wit h our A330 f leet strengthened by this lease agreement, we will continue exploring other regions we can serve, such as the Middle East, Australia, parts of Europe and the US. These additional widebody aircraft will allow us to offer Cebu Pacific’s trademark lowest fares to even more passengers,” said CEB General

Manager for the Long-Haul Division Alex Reyes. Since its inception in 1996, CEB has flown over 75 million passengers. It also posted a good track record in stimulating shorthaul travel of passengers around Asia, with an 11% system-wide passenger growth in 2012. CEB currently offers 22 international destinations, namely Ba li, Bangkok,

B eiji ng , Br u nei, Bu s a n, Dubai, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong, Incheon (Seoul), Jakarta, Kota K i naba lu, Kua la Lu mpu r, Mac au , Osa k a , Phu ket , Sha ng ha i, Siem Reap, Singapore, Taipei and X iamen. It a lso operates the most extensive network in the Philippines with 34 domestic destinations and hubs in Manila, Cebu, Clark, Kalibo, Iloilo and Davao.

Sun Cellular receives Gawad Mapag-unlak Award from the PCMC Blood Center As a perennial partner and advocate of blood d r ive programs, mobile service innovator Sun Cellular has received the “Gawad Mapagu n la k ” Awa rd f rom t he Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) Blood Center during its recent 14th year awarding and recognition ceremonies held recently in Quezon City. “Beyond the usual mobile services that we offer our customers, Su n Cellula r has always been keen on promoting a culture of service and volunteerism among its employees,” shares Reuben Pangan, official spokesman of Sun Cellular. “ For t he p a s t ye a r s , this culture of service has

translated to several employee volunteer programs like blood donation drives, which have been primarily supporting the pediatric cancer patients and beneficiaries of the PCMC,” he adds. Ac c o r d i ng t o P C MC Pe d i a t r ic Blo o d C e nt e r Assist ant Head Son ny Domasian, Sun Cellular was able to bring in over a hundred employee volunteers for 2012, and this has substantially increased the bloodbank’s n e t wo r k of d o n o r s a n d contributed a considerable supply of viable blood for its regular beneficiaries. “Sun Cellular has always b e e n s u p p or t ive of ou r advocacy and we are grateful that they have been continually

choosing the PCMC to be the recipient of their companywide blood drive programs,” shares Domasian. Sun Cellular is a member of the PLDT Group.

Corporate Communications Manager April Kagaoan (middle) receives the Gawad Mapag-unlak Award for Sun Cellular from PCMC Hospital Support Services Deputy Director Jara Corazon Ehera (lef t) and PCMC Pathology Division Chief Dr. Raymundo Lo (right).

DEMAND for GT Cosmetics has reached the United States and this Philippine-made product makes its official debut on American soil in the Miss Philippines USA 2013 beauty pageant on Aug. 18 at the La Mirada Theater of Performing Arts in La Mirada, California. This much-needed break by GT Cosmetics Manufacturing came after the Liloan, Cebubased company agreed to sponsor this year’s search for Miss Philippines USA. Looking for the r ight opportunity and means to introduce GT Cosmetics to a wider American public, GT founder Engr. Leonora B. Salvane never had any second thoughts and signed the contract in a New York minute when pageant organizers sought GT’s sponsorship. “ I got exc it e d wh e n Michael (Farnum) told me about the sponsorship deal,” Salvane said. “I was praying for such a break, so I told him to go right ahead.” Michael Farnum is the chief executive off icer of Elegantly Pure, the exclusive distributor of GT Cosmetics in the United States. Salvane said GT Cosmetics’ big break in the U.S. was made possible by Farnum, “and I’m very grateful for all his efforts.” The Miss Philippines USA 2013 pageant is a celebration of the beauty, grace, elegance, and conf idence of young Filipino-American women in the United States. During the pageant, GT Cosmetics will showcase its products which come in a different packaging for the U.S. market. The GT Carrot, Papaya, and Anti-

Aging soap variants have been repackaged to bring the American consumers’ focus on the products’ essential values. “It’s the substance that counts, not the product’s name or form. Our products have spoken for themselves. Our products are good just the way they are. Otherwise, we would never have come this far,” Salvane said. Since it was founded in 1994, GT Cosmetics has slowly captured its market initially by word of mouth and lately through social media – or “peer to peer” marketing – that miraculously made its products among the soughtafter brands in the Philippines today. GT Cosmetics will also be conducting an online voting for Miss GT Philippines USA at the pageant’s Facebook page. Just like Miss Philippines USA, Salvane said Miss GT is expected to represent the rich and beautiful culture of the Philippines and be a role model for the Fil-Am communities in the U.S. as well. In the U.S. so far, GT products are available at the New Asia Market and Pearl Marketing in Connecticut and at the Chinese-American Mi n i Market i n R hode Island. In the Philippines, GT products are sold in about 200 retail outlets and all leading d r ugstores nationwide, including Watsons Personal C a r e s t o r e s , Ro bi n s o n s super ma rket s, SM malls and supermarkets, Savemore supermarkets, Gaisano Metro chain of stores, and in other leading malls, department stores, and supermarkets.


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the first quarter growth, but I wou ldn’t discount a possibi l it y of br isker grow th.” The economist projected “at least 7 percent growth for the year.” Philippine output expanded by 7.8 percent in t he f irst quar ter, t he fastest in Southeast Asia, compared to a revised fullyear 2012 gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 6.8 percent. Increased remittance i n f l ow s s t o k i n g r e t a i l spending as well as i mprov i ng i nve st ment s will be the main factors for growth this year, U said.

gold in the international market. Also pulling down GIR were pay ments for maturing foreign exchange obligations of the national government. The BSP forecast reserves hitting $86 billion by yearend, up from last year’s $83.8 billion. An ample GIR helps prop up the peso and keep domestic inflation at bay. The country’s economic managers last week revised their exchange rate forecast to a range of P41-43 for ever y dollar, lower than their previous estimate of P43-45. The peso yesterday settled at 43.23 against the greenback. Inf lation has averaged 2.9 percent in the first six months of the year, or below the lower end of the BSP’s full-year target range of 3-5 percent.

from page 3

from page 3

BDO... from page 3

agreement. This comes one the heels of a P6-billion loan granted by Asia United Bank and China Bank. PCPC is a joint venture b e t we en A BC I a nd Ji n Nav itas Resource Inc, a unit of the Rebisco Group. P C P C i s bu i ld i n g a 135-megawatt coa l-f ired power plant in Concepcion, Iloilo at a cost of P12.5 bi l l ion. T he compa ny will put up the balance of P2.5 billion to finance the project. PCPC aims to have the plant operational by mid2016.

Vows... from page 4

months of walking 1,700 kilometers from Bukidnon to Malacanang to press their claim over the 144 hectares of land in Sumilao, Bukidnon. She expla ined t hat t he prop o s e d me a s u re prov ides for a rationa l, holistic and just allocation, utilization, management and development of the country’s land and water resources so

that their use is consistent with the principles of equity, social justice, environmental integrity and sustainable development for the common good. I n de ter m i n i ng a nd d e f i n i n g t he n at ion a l , regiona l and prov incia l f ra mework pla ns a nd Categories of Land Uses for Planning Purposes (CLUPs), the bill provides that land uses shall be grouped into four major functional uses as follows: Protection Land Use; Production Land Use; Settlements and Institutional Land Use; and Infrastructure Land Use, she added. Bag-ao also said that she will closely work with other congressmen/women who are also seeking the establishment of a national land use policy. The absence of a national land use policy is one of the factors why the Philippines is unable to move forward because there is no policy that will guide the national, holistic and just allocation and utilization, management and development of t he country’s vast land resources. “The proposed National L a nd Use Ac t seek t he institutiona lization of a judicious and effective land use through appropriate mechanisms and strategies that will help the country at t a i n su s t a i na ble a nd meaningful development,” she said.

CBCP... from page 4

which is the rightful forum,” he said. The Church-backed White Vote Movement supported several senatorial candidates in the May elections because of their pro-life and profamily commitment. Among them are Senators JV Ejercito Estrada, Koko Pimentel, A nton io Tr i l la ne s 4t h, Gregorio Honasan, Nancy Binay and Cynthia Villar, who eventually won. (MT)

Partylist...

from page 4 the party list race, pending t h e p e t it ion s f i l e d by Coalition of Associations of Senior Citizens in the Philippines, Inc. (Senior Citizens). T he c ou r t i s s u e d a t e mp or a r y r e s t r a i n i n g order in response to Senior Citizens’ appeal after it was disqualified by the Comelec for illegal term sharing. Senior Citizens ranked number 10 in the race with 677,642 votes as of the 10th canvass report dated May 28.

“Petitioner obtained a substantial number of votes such that it could materially affect the determination of the allocation of sets for the party-list representatives,” the SC said in its order. The Comelec initially proclaimed 38 party list organizations led by Buhay Hayaan Yumabong (Buhay), which garnered 1,265,992 votes. Also proclaimed were A Teacher (1, 040,898 votes), Baya n Mu na (952 ,767), 1-Care (933, 831), Akbayan (827, 407), Abono (767, 645), Ako Bicol (763,103), OFW Family (750, 743), Gabriela (713,492), Coop Natcco (641, 355), Agap (592, 069), Cibac (583, 768), Magdalo (565,883), An Waray (540,989). Abante Mindanao (465, 989 votes), ACT Teachers (453,491), Butil Farmers Party (438,601), Anak Mindanao (376, 932), ACT-CIS (376, 932), Ka linga (371,610), LPGMA (370,360), TUCP (368,883), YACAP (366,340), AGR I (365,516), Angk la (360,138), ABS (358,693), DIWA (341,443), Kabataan (3 4 0 , 5 7 3) , A n a k p a w i s (321,110), A l ay B u h ay (316,947), AAMBIS-OWA (311,725), 1 Sagip (287,060), AVE (270,159), Ating Koop ( 267,452), 1 BAP (245,237), Abakada (243, 994), AMA (243,551) and Ang Nars (242,835). Twenty eight of the 38 proclaimed groups were incumbent party list while the other ten — OFW Family, Magdalo, ACT-CIS, Agri, Angk la, 1-Sagip, 1-BAP, Abakada, Ama and Ang Nars — are all first timers. The partylist system was created by virtue of Republic Act 7941, known as the PartyList System Act, which was enacted in 1995. T he law speci f ic a l ly prov ides t hat pa r t y-list groups should represent “margina lized and underrepresented sectors” t h a t i n c lu d e l a b o r e r s , peasants, f isherfolk, the urba n poor, indigenous cultural communities, the elderly, the handicapped, women, youth, veterans, ove r s e a s work e r s , a nd professionals. (MST)

Rodriguez... from page 4

Secretary General recorded the attendance according to the sessions lawmakers were deemed present and actually present. As for the absences, the office noted the number of days when the lawmakers skipped sessions “without notice of absence” or were

in “constituency work.” Ju a n M ig uel A r royo had the most number of absences without notice with 53, followed by Ledesma with 45. (from Interaksyon.com)

Threat... from page 5

capital market integrations. The ASEAN countries include the Philippines, Singapore, Ma laysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Brunei, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and Myanmar. But Tan said that the Philippine industries, being mostly exposed to Chinese and US markets, will be alienated in ASEAN, as the country has the very limited trading with other Southeast Asian nations. “Philippine companies don’t trade actively with ASEA N. Most of our companies, particularly the middle market and small businesses, trade with China and the US. Geographically, we’re not landlocked, if you look at most of the ASEAN countries, they are in the Western side, most of them are closed to each other,” Tan explained. “We’re sort of isolated [in ASEAN],” he added. Aside from not being a major pa r t ner of t he Philippines, Tan also cited that ASEAN integration poses uncertainty in consumer protection, saying “we can control our consumers within our borders, but the moment they go outside, are they still protected?” “If integration is just a matter of time, how do we buy time so that we strengthen our institutions to be able to compete. Second, what is our vision for our industries, are we just going let the market take control of our own industries?” Tan said. From a f inancial perspective, the BDO official also said that the Philippines will only become a very small portion of the ASEAN integration. “BDO being the largest bank in the country, if you put it in an ASEAN, we’re only number 19, not significant. If you add the top three banks in the Philippines, were only going to be equivalent to that of Bangkok Bank,” Tan said. (MB)

Scouts... from page 5

assets, the 14th biggest of the 38 big banks in the country. The merger has been pending for some years because of the delays in the completion of Allied Bank’s divestment of its 28 percent

equity share in Californiabased Oceanic Bank, which was necessary before securing approval from the US Federal Reserve Board. Allied Bank owns shares in Oceanic Holding BVI which in turn owns Oceanic Bank. PNB has already initiated the integration process with Allied Bank since 2009. Since then both banks have made significant progress among others on the following: synchronization of IT systems; alignment of products and processes; HR development; branch rationalization and expansion. The cost of merg ing operations is P1.5 billion. T he ba n k i s c u r rent ly implementing a five-year integration program. (MB)

Projs... from page 2

households in four far flung villages of Bagumbayan that will help improve the quality of life of beneficiaries,” she said. Rivera said that new school buildings amounting to P2.03 million each in Daluga and Monte verde, a nd P1.93 million in South Sepaka, were put up to address classroom congestion and shortages in said communities. In the mountain village of Sto. Nino, 310 of its households, have now access to potable water with the completion recently of water system project amounting to P866,000. R ivera sa id t hat t he construction of another P3.42 million worth of solar projects in the villages of Sumilil and Kanulay are now ongoing and are set to be completed in the following months that will benefit 393 households. Hilbert Estacion, DSWD-12 spokesperson, s a id t he proje c t s were built through the one of the DSWD core-protection programs, Kapit-Bisig Laban saKahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services which aims to reduce poverty, improve local governance and empower local communities. Funded by World Bank, t he prog ra m employs community-driven development strategy, an approach that gives control of decisions and resources to community groups.(PNA)

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Outlook... from page 2

number of new businesses and stock price index. Negative indicators, on the other hand, were foreign exchange rate; wholesale price index and consumer price index. The positive indicators for the third quarter of the year accounted for 82.4 percent of the total contribution, which increased from the 71.9 percent recorded in second quarter. Further, the negative contributors registered 17.6 percent of the total contribution. NSCB said that there were also four indicators that shifted directions to positive in contribution to the third quarter, which include foreign exchange; terms of trade; hotel occupancy rate and total merchandise imports. (MT)

MDP... from page 2

ZamboEcozone to ensure it functions in accordance to its mandate. The ZamboEcozone is meant to attract local and foreign investors, generate employment opportunities, and encourage the regional d ispersa l of i ndust ries, according to Arnuco. ZamboEcozone has some 36 locators 20 years ago but they left the facility for one reason or the other. One particular locator, the Demak Industries pulled out its pla nt t wo yea rs after it opened due to the unreliability of power and poor communication facilities at the ZamboEcozone. Demak Industries which is owned by a Malaysian C on s or t iu m a s s e m ble s motorcycles for distribution in this city and in the other parts of the country. Yu has developed the facility into a tourist spot in the absence of locators. Arnuco said he wants to see the facility a s a decent ra l i z ed a nd independent agro-industrial, c om merc i a l, f i n a nc i a l, investment, tourism center and as a Freeport. (PNA)

Strong... from page 5

as wel l as f u nd ing a nd liquidity in Thailand and in the operating environment for Indonesian lenders. The exception was the Philippines, where credit quality is still at ‘’an early point of an upcycle,’’ he said, citing the relatively modest appreciation in home prices as well as household credit that is still very low relative to the size of the economy at around 5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Moody’s last month cut its outlook on Hong Kong’s banking system, citing the territory’s growing exposure to borrowers in China, where non-performing loans at Chinese banks have been rising in recent quarters. China’s growth has slowed down in nine of the last 10 quarters as weak overseas

demand weighed on output and investment. Moody’s this week lowered its outlook on Singapore’s banking system to negative from stable, citing potential risks from rapid loan growth and rising real estate prices. Its warning about the Southeast Asian city-state comes about a month after it cut its outlook on Hong Kong banks. Mo o dy ’s s a id A si a n banking systems have been operating in a favorable environment for an extended time, with low interest rates, robust economic growth and strong loan growth. ‘’However, during that period, borrowers’ leverage has increased, asset prices have materially appreciated and in the process both bor rowers a nd ba n k s may have become more susceptible to asset quality deter iorat ion,’’ Stephen Long, managing director of Moody’s Asia Pacif ic financial institutions group, said in a statement. ‘’The exit from loose monetary policies in the developed economies will test Asian banks’ asset quality during the next 2-3 years,’’ he said. Speaking later at a media briefing, Long said Chinese banks faced pressures on asset quality, profitability and liquidity management due to slowing economic growth and government efforts to rebalance the economy by putting more emphasis on consumption and relying less on exports and investments. ‘’But in our base case scenario, the banks will avoid a hard landing and will also have no problems meeting Basel III.’’ (MB)

170,000 seedlings. As of December 2012, the APARK program as a whole, accounted 2.74 million surviing tree seedlings and is poised to hit its 3 million target more than a year ahead of its schedule. “(Our) participation in this reforestation inititative will showcase the group’s shared passion for a better world, and ensure a “greener” future for generations to come,” Aboitiz said.

from page 1

from page 1

Aboitiz...

include Davao Light and Power, Cotabato Light and Power, t he hyd ropower experts Hedcor group, coal power builder Therma South, and power barge operator Therma Marine. They were joined by their colleagues from the food group, Pilmico in Iligan City. No less t han Aboitiz Group President and CEO Erramon Aboitiz rallied his teammates to the cause, called APARK or Aboitiz Passion for Agroforest and Reforest to Keep. APARK aims to plant and grow 3 million trees by 2015. The program uniquely integrates the upkeep of seed l i ngs a s it ensu res the trees that are planted are taken cared of by host community partners. “Trees play a crucial role in our sustainability efforts. A single tree reduces by about one ton the amount of carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere over a single lifetime, and cools the Earth’s temperature by cooling the surrounding air and ground area as well,” Aboitiz said in his personal message to the group. The APARK program so far this year has planted and is taking care of more than

Pushes...

from page 1 MinDA is pushing for renewable energy to balance the coming in droves of coal fired power plant investments in the region to augment power supply. T hou g h he d id not categorically say MinDA is against coal-fired power as source of energy, he pointed out the big help of renewable energy to help ease power woes in Mindanao. Montenegro said that while brownouts are expected to occur next month due to scheduled maintenance works, more power are seen in the next two months after August when the Iligan power grid operates full swing. Aside from this, more generation sets will be coming from each generation set to generation about 15 megawatts. MinDA is also banking on its Interruptible Load Progam (ILP) in which it asks Davao City’s malls and industries to run their standby generation sets and be compensated by with rates approved by the Energy Regulatory Board. MinDA is projecting ILP to generate additional 5- to 100 megawatt power supply, Montenegro said. (PNA)

Diversify...

Sa lacup who was the key note spea ker during the Mindanao Sustainable Agriculture and Cooperative Ma rket i ng For u m held here Wednesday, said that Agriculture’s gain during the 1st Quarter this year should be sustained to showcase the capability of the country in the ASEAN Free Trade Area (Afta) DA’s prepa rat ion for the Afta, which is an inter ASEAN tarif f reduction scheme, which commenced in 1993 and has been, almost fully implemented in 2010, is only the seed that germinated and grew into the concept of ASEAN community and its economic component, t h e A SE A N E c on om i c Community (AEC), which the member countries agreed to establish by 2015. T he c re at ion of t he ASEAN community is a vision of regional economic integration by 2020 agreed upon by leaders of the 10 ASEAN member-countries – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, M a l a y s i a , M y a n m a r, Singapore, Thailand, Vie t n a m, L ao Pe ople’s Democratic Republic, and t he Phi lippines- during their summit meeting in December 1997 in Kuala

Lumpur to transform ASEAN into a stable, prosperous, and highly competitive region with equitable economic development, and reduced poverty and socio-economic disparities. The ASEAN AEC was declared as goal of regional integration by 2020 along w it h ot her t wo pi l la rs: ASEAN Political-Security Community and ASEAN Socio-cultural Community. In January 2007 in Cebu City, the ASEAN leaders signed the declaration on t he Accelerat ion of t he establishment of AEC by 2015. The ASEAN economic community blue print was then adopted. This blue print serves as a coherent master plan guiding the establishment of the AEC. It identified the characteristics and elements of the AEC with clear targets and timelines for implementation of various measures as well as the pre-agreed f lexibilities to accommodate the interests of all ASEAN member states. Taking into consideration t he i mp or t a nc e of t he external trade to ASEAN and the need for ASEAN community as a whole to remain outward looking, the AEC is expected to become: sing le product ion base; highly competitive economic region; region of equitable economic development; and region of equitable economic development; and region that is fully integrated into the global economy. Under the AEC, the ASEAN region will be transformed into a region with free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labor, and freer flow of capital. An ASEAN single market and production base shall comprise five core elements that is free: flow of goods; services; investment; capital and skilled labor. Sa lacup, said t hat In addition, the single market and production base also i nclude t wo i mpor t a nt components, namely: the priority integration sectors wh ich compr i se woodbased products, rubberbased products, agro-based products, fisheries, textiles and apparels, automotives, elec t ron ic s. A i r t ravel, tourism, health care, and e-asean; and food, agriculture and forestry. “Free f low of goods is one of the principal means by which the aims of a single market and production base can be achieved. A single market for goods and services w i l l a l so fac i l it ate t he development of production networks in the region and enhance ASEAN’a capacity to serve as a global production center or as part of the global supply chain.” Salacup said. He added that tariff and non-tariff barriers must be removed , a nd t rade facilitation measures must be instituted, such as integrating customs procedures and harmonizing standards and conformance procedures, among other.

For the Philippines and the DA in particular, the role of regulatory agencies is critical in ensuring the free flow of goods through trade facilitation measures such as harmonizing standards and conformance procedures and other non-tariff measures. DA said that In the whole, the government agencies involved in AEC are: the Department of Trade and Industry, which is the lead Philippine coordinator of all AEC economic integration initiatives and cooperation issues, the DA, DENR, DOE, DOST, DOTC,DOF, DFA, DOLE, NEDA, and others, which are also involved in the implementing Philippine commitments under the AEC. In Particular the DA provides the policy directions for t he ag ricu lture a nd f isheries sector and has been greatly involved in discussions with the DTI and relevant agencies on the ASEAN matters relating to agriculture and fisheries under the various ASEAN sectoral bodies. Salacup said that the DA has also been actively supporting small farmers get required certifications by their trading partners. The agency also provides training to fa rmers, streng t hens inspection and audit systems, and increase and improve its laboratories. Recently, the DA has created a n ag r icu lt u ra l Tr ade C omp e t it ivene s s Committee and renewed the interest by the Committee on International Trade on AEC 2015 matters. The Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Product ion Sta nda rds (BAFPS), Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) Bureau of a ni ma l Indust r y (BA I), National meat Inspection Service, Bureau of fisheries a nd Aquatic Resources, Fer ti lizer a nd Pesticide A u t h o r i t y, a n d F o o d development Center and continuously working to produce certified products that will pass the international standards harmonized with the AEC. T h e DA l i k e w i s e promotes va lue add i ng enterprises; provides postharvest facilities and related infrastructure; organizes/ participates in local and international trade fairs, food and beverage exhibits and market matches and encounters; installs climate cha nge m it igat i ng a nd adaptation measures and as I have said, the DA promotes and encourages the growth of organic agriculture. “The Filipino farmers can be competitive given the challenges the agriculture sector is now facing and meet the demand for the ASEAN economic cooperat ion.” Salacup said.

Opens... from page 1

different forms of lifestyle meet. Its initial plan is to define, indulge and elevate e x p er ienc e s of hu m a n essentials of food, shelter,

11

thirst, protection and leisure to whole new levels. “The concept is a onestop shop,” said Marian Agnes I. Soloveres, Manager of MonteCarlo Realty and Development Corporation, the developing real estate company of Lifestyle District. Soloveres said that there is still no one-stop shop created in CDO and this is the reason they have decided to bring this establishment here. The establishment is a two-storey commercial complex. It’s concept of a one-stop shop is a place where a customer would find all forms of recreations such as dining, relaxing and enjoying. Few of the sections they will be putting up inside the place are spa, gym and offices. Its main target market is Lower A and B consumers that are composed of young profe ssiona ls , who a re fonder of recreations. The establishment would also be opened to family gatherings and outings. The location of Lifestyle District is uncovered across Corrales Extension, fronting Capitol University. It is set at the crossroads of different establishments and institutions and also very near on the city’s premier malls. Its site also provides sufficient parking lots and secured compound. This establishment is planned to provide an open area for dining. A spot of its premise would also be a beautifully landscaped park called the “Green Patch Park” which will have an ambient lighting, grass, greens and foliage. Kiosks would also be situated throughout the compound. The establishment has 26 affordable and well-appointed spaces which are opened for lease. Lifestyle District is also giving a free one-month renovation to their lessors.

Alsons... from page 7

In a separate statement, EGCO Group president Sahust Pratuknukul noted that the “disposal of (its) interest will allow EGCO to deploy the proceeds and its resource on new investment opportunities in the Philippines.” The Thai firm’s equity in Conal Holdings covered two power facilities and the management company Alto Power Management Corporation. The plants are the 55MW diesel facility of the Southern Philippines Power Corporation; and the 110-MW diesel plant of Western Mindanao Power Corporation. EGCO added that the sell-down was decided “considering the expiry of PPAs (power purchase agreements) of such assets is approaching and additional capital is needed for new project investment.” The Thai company has been eyeing to expand its 460-megawatt coal fired plant in Mauban, Quezon, with the intent of adding 500MW. Meanwhile, Alsons emphasized that “upon completion of the agreement, ACR will require full control of CHC.” It stressed that such buyout will enable Alsons “to consolidate its ownership and control of the Mapalad Power Corporation’s Iligan diesel power plant”, being a valuable addition to its power generation portfolio. “The agreement will give ACR the opportunity to continue pursuing the development of new projects in Mindanao and other areas,” the Alcantara firm stressed.


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