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Issue No. 178, Volume III •

Market Indicators

AS OF 5:57 PM MAR. 18, 2013 (Monday)

FOREX

PHISIX

US$1 = P40.70

6,813.95 points

X

19.82 points

Briefly

X

8 cents

Power problem

HOUSE Deputy Speaker for Mindanao Rep. Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar is pushing to commission a technical working group (TWG) to study the options and remedies presented by the Department of Energy (DoE) to address the worsening power crisis in this southern port city. Among the options presented by Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla is for the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco) to buy power from Independent Power Producers (IPP) and “if the consumers are willing to pay the price as what some areas are doing.” Salazar, who is this city’s first district congresswoman, said the TWG will carefully and transparently study and evaluate all options available citing “it is not power at any cost, but power at reasonable cost beneficial to all stakeholders.” The TWG that she is pushing to commission should composed of people trained for issues on energy to include her legal consultant on energy, Lawyer Johnny de Castro, who has a doctorate on energy law acquired from the University of California in Berkeley.

Cagayan de Oro City

SOON

March 20-21, 2013

As Mindanao supply dwindles:

P15.00

2 power barges operate to meet rising demand By NELSON V. CONSTANTINO Editor-in-Chief

T

WO diesel-fired power barges moored in strategic areas in Mindanao are now in full and extended operation to save the island from widespread outages as supply to various electric cooperatives dwindles to alarming level.

In a statement released on Monday, Aboitiz Power Corp. said the two power barges by its subsidiary Therma Marine, Inc. are now running 24/7 amid the region’s thinning power supply and the rising demand for electricity in the island. Therma Marine’s chief operating officer Jovy P. Batiquin said the two barges, moored in Nasipit, Agusan OPERATE/PAGE 7

PLANTING RICE. How do you plant rice in the scorching midafternoon sun in the middle of summer? With an umbrella, of course, as these women in Oroquieta City in Misamis Occidental did on Saturday, 16 March 2013. mindanews photo by bobby timonera

Normin tops tourist Villaw vows to help empower women arrivals in Mindanao

Job loss

DAVAO City -- The Department of Labor and Employment in Region XI (DOLE-XI) has allayed fears of job loss among domestic workers with the passage of RA 10361 or the Kasambahay Law. One of the provisions of RA 10361 is the setting of minimum wages for domestic workers pegged at workers at P2,500 for the National Capital Region; P2,000- for chartered cities and P1,500 for municipalities. Other responsibilities for employers of domestic workers are the requirement of having employment contract, requirement of pay slips and entitlement to social benefits.

Wednesday-Thursday

WE’RE GOING

chan

NORTHERN Mindanao remains as the island’s main attraction for foreign and do-

mestic travellers as it posted 16.84% increase in tourist arrivals in 2011. Department of Tourism-10 director Catalino V. Chan said the region registered 1,709,752 foreign and domestic travellers for the year, compared to the 1,463,378 visitors recorded in the previous year. During the inaugural launching of BusinessWeek Mindanao’s weekly News Conference (NewsCon) TOURIST/PAGE 7

J.P. RIZAL - CRUZ TAAL STS., (NEAR SHANGHAI BAKERY) DIVISORIA, CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY

TEAM PNoy senatorial candidate Cynthia Villar assured to help empower Filipino women because 50 percent of our population are women and more than 50 percent of our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are also women. Speaking during the celebration of the Women’s Month in Pampanga, Villar said that 95 percent of the OFWs who were provided assistance by the Villar Foundation’s Sagip-OFW were women.

villar

Villar, known as “Mrs. Hanep Buhay,” is the managing director of the Villar

Foundation, which has been helping OFWs from VILLAR/PAGE 7

Why is Zamboanga City, not Davao or CdO, suffering from brownouts? ZAMBOANGA City -- Why are the cities Davao and Cagayan de Oro not suffering from brownouts like Zamboanga? Mayor Celso Lobregat said these areas have spare power in the form of embedded plants operated by private companies, which

charge higher rates. “In fact if you look at the rates in the different parts of the country, Zamboanga pays the lowest rate. So we have to make a choice. Do we want power when we need power? Then we have to bite the bullet. We need

spare tires, these are the questions that need to be answered and decided,” the mayor said. Based on past experiences, the mayor said, Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco) has encountered BROWNOUTS/PAGE 7

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Power crisis starts affecting business in Pagadian City PAGADIAN City -– The power crisis hitting Mindanao is starting to affect some business establishments here in this city, which is the regional center of Zamboanga Peninsula. This, as this city and 20 of the 26 municipalities in the province being served by the Zamboanga del Sur Electric Cooperative-I (Zamsureco-I) have been experiencing eightto ten-hour daily rotational blackout the past few weeks. Haris Saez, owner of internet shop in Barangay Balangasan here, said his business has been affected by four-to five-hour twice

a day rotational blackout. Saez said he plans to suspend business operation after incurring substantial losses brought about by the daily rotational blackout. Zamsureco-I Information Officer Levi Cabatcha ex pla ined t hey have to implement daily rotational blackout since the power supply they receive from the National Power Corporation (Napocor) is 35 percent lower than the cooperative’s demand. Cabatcha said the insufficiency in power supply was due to repairs and maintenance of Agus Hydroelectric

Plant in Lanao and Pulangui IV Hydroelectric Plant in Bukidnon couple with the inadequate water level in Lake Lanao that also serve as Napocor’s source of energy. Cabatcha said that Zamsureco-I is only receiving power supply of 14 megawatts (MW) which is only half of its demand pegged at 28 MW. The Napocor provides nine of the 14 MW while the remaining five is being supplied by the Therma Marine, Inc. (TIM), an Independent Power Producer (IPP), he added.lore all possible measures to address the power crisis. (PNA)

GenSan tops PH’s fish landings 0917-7154399 088-856-8562/63

AMENITIES : ZORBIT * ATV * TREE TOP ADVENTURE BUGGY * BUNGEE * PICNIC GROUNDS PLAYGROUND * CAFE * LUGE * MINI GOLF ROOM ACCOMODATIONS

GEN ER A L Sa ntos Cit y -- This southern port city has regained its status as the country’s premier fish producer after it narrowly edged the Navotas Fishing Port Complex in total volume of fish landing last year. A total of 139,613 metric tons (MT) of fish were landed at the General Santos City Fishing Port Complex in 2012, topping Navotas’ total landings of 137,651 (MT) for the same period, a report released by the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority said. It said the city seized the edge over Navotas for two years in the running, from 2009 and 2010, when it landed 143,316 MT and 143,139 MT, respectively, when compa red to t he 118,453 MT and 131,936 MT produced by the latter. The city’s 2009 fish landings were the highest in the decade. More than 92 percent (132,211 MT) of the total 2009 f ish landings here were yellowfin and tunalike species.

Tuna landings dropped slightly in 2010 at 91.6 percent (131,127MT). In 2011, however, Navotas led all fishing port complex nationwide with a total landed catch of 124,929 metric tons. During the same year, the local fish landing was only 112,997 MT. Tuna landings likewise dropped in 2011 at mere 97,013 MT, or 86.7 percent of the total landed catch at the fish port. Iloilo City was ranked distant third as the country’s largest producer last year with a total of 25,033 MT while fourth was Lucena City with 20,352 MT. The country’s 7 largest fishport complexes had a combined landings of 331,898 MT in 2012. The other fishing port complexes are in the cities of Davao, Zamboanga and in Sual, Pangasinan. Total fish landings in these fishing ports however are only 6.8 percent of the total 4,858,097 MT of fish production in the country in 2012.

Meantime, aquaculture remains the biggest contributor to the country’s total fish production output in 2012 at 2,541,965 MT, which accounted for 52 percent. C om merc ia l f i sh i ng contributed 21 percent at 1,035,213 MT while the rest comes from municipal fishing (1,280,917 or 27 percent) Region 12, where the General Santos City fish port is located, is tops in the country in commercial fish production with 209,899 MT followed closely by Region 9 with 209,494 MT. This city is home to six of the country’s seven tuna caning plants while Region 9 hosts 11 of the sardine production. The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao is still the country’s top producer of aquaculture products at 638,552 MT. The vast Liguasan March and Buluan Lake in Maguindanao are home to fish cages and fish pens that produce tilapias, catfishes and mudfishes. (PNA)

Davao Norte wood processing companies pour P4.2-M for seedlings production, plantation DAVAO City -- A total of 18 wood processing plants (WPPs) in Davao del Norte will pour in some P4.2 million for seedling production and establishment of 210 hectares of commercial tree plantations in the province in support of the National Greening Program (NGP). The project is being implemented following an agreement with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)Davao. DENR executive director Joselin Marcus E. Fragada said the 18 WPPs inked an agreement with the DENR for the project to be imple-

mented in the upland areas of Barangays Sta. Ana, and El Salvador in New Corella, and in Barangay Mamacao in Kapalong, Davao del Norte. Based on the project’s work and financial plan prepared by the WPPs and concerned people’s organizations (Pos), with technical guidance from the DENR’s provincial and community offices, at least P20,000 per hectare has been set aside for seedling production, plantation establishment, maintenance, and protection for the first two years. “Building partnership with other sectors such as wood processing plants is

one strategy that the DENR has adopted to meet the goal of the National Greening Program to plant 1.5 million hectares until 2016 but also to engage local communities in the maintenance of the new plantations,” Fragada said in a statement. She said the commercial planting will be undertaken by the WPPs, in partnership with three POs under DENR’s Community-based Forest Management (CBFM) program. Under the agreement, the WPPs will provide financial assistance to the establishment of nursery, production DAVAO NORTE/PAGE 10


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Motoring

Wednesday - Thursday I Mar. 20-21, 2013

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BPI Family launches first online auto madness Isuzu Cagayan de Oro (Cebu Southern Motors, Inc.) once again bagged the prestigious 2012 Dealer of the Year Award during the recent Isuzu Philippines Corp. 2012 Dealer of the Year Awards Night last January 25 at the Marriot Hotel Manila.

Isuzu’s Cagayan de Oro dealership tops in 2012 ISUZU CAGAYAN DE ORO grabbed the much coveted 2012 Dealer of the Year (DoYA) Award during ceremonies held recently at the Marriott Hotel in Pasay City. Janelle Sola of Isuzu EDSA, meanwhile, won as Sales Executive of the Year while Isuzu Iloilo was named Sales Team of the Year. Isu zu Cagaya n de Oro a lso emerged as best in Par ts Operations, Service Operat ion s a nd Mos t I m-

proved Dea lership, whi le Isuzu A laba ng was best in Sales Operations and Isuzu Iloilo was best in Customer Service Operations. The w in by t he Cagayan de Oro dealership marked the 4th time since the 10 years of the Isuzu DoYA that a provincial dealership won. Isuzu Alabang was s e c ond b e s t ove r a l l while 2011 DoYA winner Isuzu Davao was third.

BPI Family Savings Bank—a subsidiary of the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and one of the top leading commercial banks in the country today—recently unveiled its first-ever online auto madness through its official website, bpiautomadness.com, at the Glorietta Activity Center in Makati City. The online auto madness, which runs from March 7 to 31, features special low rates, free insurance with acts of nature coverage and convenience of buying a car online 24/7 with the use of a comprehensive digital car buyer’s guide. BPI Family Savings Bank President Teodoro Limcaoco said, “This is a perfect time for us to launch this first-ever online auto madness campaign. BPI Family is truly supportive of the evolving needs of the market. We understand that almost everything is now available online and we wish to bring this convenience to our clients.” Limcaoco added, “We would also like to take advantage of the positive performance of our economy and ensure that our clients get more out of the optimism of the banking sector. The online auto madness is a groundbreaking tool that will help our clients access our

Hyundai, Kia expect slow profit growth in 2013 SOUTH Korea’s top automaker Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. are expected to post the weakest growth in operating profits among global carmakers this year due to escalating competition from Japanese rivals, a report showed Tuesday. According to the report from local analysts, the operating profit of Hyundai and Kia is expected to grow 7 percent and 5.7 percent on average, respectively, during the 2012-2014 period. The figures are the lowest among global automakers with the operating profit of French automaker Renault SA expected to grow at the fastest rate of 28.9 percent over the cited period. The analysts said such a low profit growth of the South Korean automakers

results mainly from growing competition from Japanese carmakers, who recently regained their price competitiveness on the continued depreciation of the Japanese yen against the U.S. dollar. Earlier reports said the Japanese currency traded at 95.25 yen per dollar on Friday, down 21.5 percent from 78.38 yen quoted on Sept. 19 while its value against the Korean won tumbled 23.5 percent as of end-February from early June last year. Consequently, the operating profits of all major Japanese automakers are expected to grow at a double-digit rate this year with those of Toyota Motor Corp. estimated to grow 27.9 percent and Honda Motors Co. to expand 23.7 percent, the report said. The report also showed shares of Hyundai and Kia

remained significantly undervalued when compared with those of other global automakers. The price-earnings ratio (PER) of Hyundai and Kia were 6.15 and 5.6, respectively, while those of their Japanese competitors Toyota and Honda were 12 and 11.3, the highest among global automakers. The average PER of all major global automakers was 9.1. “Previously, undervaluation (of Hyundai and Kia stocks) only made them more attractive, but it no longer has the same effect as their low valuation is caused by their low growth outlooks,” said Kang Sang-min, a Seoulbased auto analyst. “To overcome such a difficulty, the companies must work to grow in both quality and quantity.”

BMW Malaysia unveils new motorbikes BMW Group Malaysia today unveiled its new BMW F 700 GS and enhanced BMW F 800 GS enduros by BMW Motorrad to further reinforce its position as the country’s number one selling premium automotive company in the country. BMW Group Malaysia Chief Executive Officer Dr. Gerhard Pils said last year BMW Motorrad recorded a

21 percent growth in business over the previous year, delivering 362 motorcycles. “This was a strong contribution to the overall performance of BMW Group Malaysia which saw 2012 as our strongest performing year ever, with a total of 7,021 BMW, Mini and Motorrad vehicles delivered,” he added. In a statement today, BMW Group Malaysia said

the BMW F 700 GS caters for aspirational off-road riders and delivers practical all-round capabilities for everyday use while the BMW F 800 GS combines touring capability with superior offroad qualities. It said both models, available at all authorized BMW Motorrad dealerships nationwide from March 22, deliver exceptional fuel savings.

special offers and make it possible for them to acquire their brand-new dream cars.” During the press briefing, Limcaoco explained, “Everyone is going online. The strong presence of online [marketing] is now growing. Convenience is one of the most important reasons why people shift to online transactions. We believe that this online promo will bring car ownership closer to Filipinos.” Limcaoco also said, “BPI has been doing the auto madness promo in malls nationwide over the years, but the online campaign is the first in the country that offers convenience in buying a car and getting a

fast loan 24/7 online.” Senior Vice President and head of Auto Loans Division of BPI Family Savings Bank David Sarmiento also said, “We believe that this is the best time for Filipinos to take advantage of our offerings and acquire their brand-new cars. “All they need to do is to visit the website and experience the simple and user-friendly way of availing themselves of their first car plan. Once they log onto our website, they can choose a car from the list and compute for the down payment and monthly amortization. In just three to eight hours, applicants can get their loan approval,” added Sarmiento.

The BPI online auto madness can be done in three simple ways and easy steps. First, log onto www.bpiautomadness. com and choose a car from the Car Buyer’s Guide where all car brands and models in the Philippines are listed. Then, compute for the down payment and monthly amortization that best suits you. Finally, car buyers should fill out and submit a simple application form to complete the process. The unveiling of the online auto madness shows how convenient it is to shop for a brand-new car using the online platform. Limcaoco spearheaded the launching with Sarmiento and Vice President for Loan Products marketing head Ramon Noel Altamirano. BPI Family Savings Bank prides itself in having the perfect loan products that help families get started on their dreams. The bank aids and strives to raise the auto industry and make car purchase affordable and easy for the consumers by coming up with pioneering real thrills and offers such as the free insurance with acts of nature promo, as well as trailblazing initiatives such as nationwide auto madness and social responsibility advocacies like the Safe Drive campaign.


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Wednesday - Thursday I Mar. 20-21, 2013

Corporate . World

Petron profits plummets OIL REFINER and retailer Petron Corp. saw its net income drop by more than 70% last year, weighed by its loss in the second quarter, the company said in a statement attached to a disclosure Monday. Petron’s full-year consolidated net income slumped by 72.94% to P2.3 billion last year from P8.5 billion in 2011. The company said that it “achieved a modest income” for the entire year despite the P2.1-billion loss it reported in the second quarter as a result of volatility in prices of crude oil and petroleum products. T he compa ny s aw a 55% increase in its sales revenues to P424.8 bi llion from P274 billion as a result of consolidation of its operations in Malaysia starting the second quarter and increase in domestic

sales volumes. Domestic sales volumes increased by nearly 8% annually to 44.5 million barrels in 2012 on back of strong demand from the key reseller, industrial, and liquefied petroleum gas sectors. Petron added that it ended last year with over 2,000 service stations, claiming it had “the largest retail network in the industry” with a market share of almost 39%. “Despite the challenging business environment, the company remained focused on completing its major capital programs aimed at taking it to the next level of

profitability and growth,” the statement read. The company said its $2-billion Refinery Master Plan 2 (R MP-2) remains on schedule, and was over halfway completed as of the end of the year. RMP-2 is expected to be completed by mid-2014 and targeted to be operational by the fourth quarter of the same year. “ R M P-2 a l l o w s t h e conversion of all negative margin fuel into highervalue fuel products such as gasoline, diesel, and various petrochemicals,” the statement read, noting that it will also improve supply security in the country and will enable Petron to produce more environment-friendly, superior fuels. Petron Corp. has so far raised $750 million from the issuance of dollar-denominated securities to finance the upgrade of its refinery in Limay, Bataan. In terms of operations in Malaysia, the company said it had rebranded almost 100 service stations barely a year after it acquired the downstream business from ExxonMobil Corp. in April last year. “Despite the volatility in international oil markets, we continued to be on investment mode and forged ahead with our game-changing initiatives that will give Petron a decisive edge over its competitors in the long term,” the statement quoted Petron Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ramon S. Ang as saying. “We are keen on completing our major projects that will not only benefit the company but the entire country as well.” Company officials were not immediately available when sought for further details.

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APC Distributor of the Year Award for 2012

(L-R) Jeff De Sousa, vice president for IT Business, APC by Schneider Electric; Cherry L. Centeno, AVP, commercial group, MSI-ECS Phils Inc.; and Jimmy D. Go, president/CEO, MSI-ECS Phils. Inc. during the APC by Schneider Electric Business Partner Kick-off 2013. MSI-ECS markets and distributes the complete portfolio of APC by Schneider Electric products ranging from AC and DC-based back-up power products and services, surge suppressors, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), power conditioning equipment, power management software, and DC power systems, cabling solutions as well as precision cooling equipment, and professional and consulting services.

Cebu Pacific seeks green light for India flights BUDGET CARRIER Cebu Pacific has asked the government for clearance for its planned operations to India, according to a notice from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB). “Notice is hereby given that Cebu Air, Inc. (Cebu Pacific operator) has filed with the CAB an application for designation as an official Philippine carrier to India in accordance to the existing Confidential Memorandum of Understanding entered into on July 21, 2005,” read the notice, dated March 14. Candice A. Iyog, the airline’s vice-president for marketing and distribution, refused to give additional details. “Cebu Pacific has filed a petition to be des-

ignated Philippine carrier to India,” Ms. Iyog said in a text message yesterday. “We are still studying our options and cannot disclose any details for now.” CAB Hearing and Examiners Division Chief Ma. Elben S.L. Moro explained that an airline should “be designated first” as an official Philippine carrier for a particular route before it could ask for entitlements. “If an airline is a designated carrier, that means it can offer services under a particular air service agreement,” she said in an interview yesterday, adding that application for such designation and entitlements may be filed simultaneously or separately. The July 2005 air service

agreement gave the Philippines has seven flights per week to India, all of which were allocated to Philippine Airlines (PAL). PAL currently flies thrice a week between Manila and New Delhi. “Cebu Pacific needs to wait for air talks or directly ask extra bilateral rights (additional f lights) from the Indian government,” Ms. Moro explained. “They (Cebu Pacific) can also ask the Philippine Air [Negotiating] Panel to set air talks with India.” Last year, CAB granted Cebu Pacific daily f light entitlements to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. It will start flying to Dubai by Oct. 7. CEBU PACIFIC/PAGE 8

Design study on power plant for Sagittarius mine starts GENERAL SANTOS -- Design and engineering studies on the planned $806-million coal-fired plant that will supply the needs of the $5.9-billion copper-gold project of Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI) have begun, an executive of the power firm concerned said earlier this month. Oscar Benedict E. Contreras III, Alsons Power Business Unit manager for communications and stakeholder relations, said in a phone interview that, besides the study, Alsons Energy Development Corp. “will be holding a public consultation within the year” on the planned 400-megawatt (MW) power plant. Mr. Contreras said Alsons Energy and Sagittarius Mines had reached an agreement for the construction of a new

power plant dedicated solely for the planned mining operation of the latter. Under the agreement, Sagittarius Mines that will secure community and local government approval for the power project. Mr. Contreras said construction of the power plant may start in the second half of next year. It w i l l be bui lt in a 35.4-hectare area in the Kamanga Agro-Industrial Economic Zone in Maasim, Sarangani that is administered by Kamanga Agro-Industrial Ecozone Development Corp., another unit of the Alsons Group. Alsons Group, through Sarangani Energy Corp., is currently building a 210-MW coal-fired power plant that will serve the needs of this city, Sarangani province and

neighboring areas. The project, located near a diving spot, is opposed by local church groups and Greenpeace. The Alsons Group has a stake in SMI’s copper-gold project through the Australian firm Indophil Resources NL, where the Filipino conglomerate holds a 19.99% stake. SMI’s 40% controlling stake is held by a joint venture of Australia-based Xstrata Copper (62.5%) and Indophil (37.5%). The remaining 60% is held by Tampakan Mining Corp. and Southcot Mining Corp. The $5.9-billion project covers 9,605 hectares straddling Tampakan, South Cotabato; Malungon, Sarangani; Columbio, Sultan Kudarat; and Kiblawan, Davao del Sur. The project last month secured a provisional envi-

ronmental compliance certificate (ECC), which requires Sagittarius Mines to, among others, secure the consent of all local governments concerned. South Cotabato’s ban since mid-2010 on open-pit mining -- the miner’s chosen extraction method -- was one of the factors that prompted the company to announce on Dec. 12 last year that it had deferred planned commercial production at the site by three years to 2019. After securing the ECC, the company has said it is keeping that time table. The project is expected to produce 375,000 metric tons of copper and 360,000 ounces of gold a year, worth $37 billion over its 20-year mine life, according to data from both the Environment department and Sagittarius Mines.


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Banking & Finance

Merger of PSE-PDEx pushed THE GOVERNMENT is pushing for the merger of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) and the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp. (PDEx) to create stronger and more efficient capital markets. “We are encouraging the PSE and the PDEx to see it to their commercial interest to merge,” said Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima at the launch of the Asian Development Bank’s Asia Bond Monitor report yesterday. “The Philippine market is growing rapidly, but still it is not big enough to have two exchanges at this point. Both from a skill and governance standpoint, a merger of the two would be desirable,” he continued. “A more efficient structure will be required for a stock exchange with deeper volumes. We would like to see the merger happening within the administration of President Benigno S.C. Aquino III.”

While a merger between the two exchanges is possible, PSE President and Chief Executive Officer Hans B. Sicat cautioned that “operational issues” could arise. He did not elaborate on what the issues were, but he assured that they were already under study. “We are studying the merger. What Sec. Purisima said was quite logical,” Mr. Sicat said, adding that it was possible to complete the merger by the end of the Aquino administration in 2016. Officials of the Philippine Dealing System Holdings Corp. -- the holding company of PDEx -- could not be reached for comment. PDEx operates the trading

infrastructure of the secondary market, which covers fixed income securities and foreign exchange. A total of P277.53 billion in corporate debts and government-guaranteed notes was listed on PDEx in 2012, 40.90% higher than the P196.97 billion the previous year. PSE, Inc., meanwhile, runs the local bourse. It listed

in 2003 by way of introduction, and it has two subsidiaries: the Securities and Clearing Corporation of the Philippines -- its clearance and settlement unit -- and the Capital Markets Integrity Corp., which is an independent audit, surveillance and compliance unit. As of February, the bourse had 254 listed firms and 134 active trading participants in its roster. Moreover, the government has been undertaking various measures to develop the country’s capital markets, the Finance chief said. These include the unification of the taxable and tax-exempt market segments, which will allow institutional investors to participate in secondary bond market trading. The government is also looking to set benchmarks across the yield curve to aid price discovery.

Purisima: Government to source borrowing requirements locally THE government plans to borrow almost 100 percent of its borrowing requirements from the local capital market, which should help develop the bond market further, according to Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima. At the Asian Development Bank’s Asia Bond Monitor forum, Purisima said he has discussed the matter with National Treasurer Rosalia V. de Leon, adding that she will be in charge of executing the borrowing plan for the government. He made it clear that the

plan to source the government’s entire borrowing requirements locally may change should an opportunity to do liability management arises. The plan’s disclosure came as the Bureau of Treasury (BTr) targets to raise at least P150 billion from the auction of Treasury bonds (T-bonds) and Treasury bills (T-bills) in the second quarter of 2013. Based on the auction schedule posted on its web site, the BTr is looking to raise at least P60 billion from the issuance of T-bills and P90 billion from the issuance of T-bonds.

PURISIMA

Purisima earlier hinted that the government may not resort to tapping foreign borrowers this year, and that it plans to continue lengthening its maturities, reduce foreign components and take advantage of lower interest rates. “If we are not [going] to borrow internationally to support the BSP [Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas], then we will do that. There is enough liquidity in the market, and these decisions depend on market conditions,” Purisima said. “If you look at our track record over the past three years, we tend to overshoot in terms of the local mix. We started out with 75-25 and ended up with more than that,” he added. “We are in a very good situation. Our external debt is much lesser than our total reservers. Our growth is at 6.6 percent, and we are building a broad based platform for growth,” the finance secretary said. Earlier, de Leon told reporters that the BTr might end borrowing more from domestic lenders as the gov-

ernment targets to maintain lower exposure on foreigndenominated debts. “We have yet to decide if we would increase domestic borrowing. We might even shift to tapping more from domestic lenders,” de Leon said. She made it clear, however, that the plan to source 80 percent from local lenders and the rest from foreign lenders remains unchanged. She said her bureau will still have to see if there is an opportunity to borrow and if it is favorable. “It’s not immediately needed, though. And the borrowing could actually take place some time in the second half of the year,” de Leon said. According to her, the BSP’s decision to cut special deposit account (SDA) rates to 3 percent will benefit her agency’s offerings such as T-bills and T-bonds. “Certainly, they will have to fish for higher yield. At the same time, they might also go in to the longer tenor of the government securities, because if they can get higher than 3 percent, that will be good for us,” the BTr chief said.

Metrobank board approves capital hike METROBANK on Monday announced that its board has approved the increase in its authorized capital stock from P50 billion to P100 billion. In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the bank said the proposed increase “gives Metrobank flexibility to issue Basel III compliant Tier-2 notes in the future.” “The Basel III guidelines issued by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on Jan. 15, 2013 requires that Tier-2

notes have a provision for the instrument to either be written off or converted to common equity upon occurrence of certain trigger events,” Metrobank said. The BSP circular stipulated that banks must make the necessary amendments to its Articles of Incorporation to accommodate such a conversion. Metroba nk a lso said its board has approved the amendment to its Articles of Incorporation to increase

its authorized capital stock. Aside from these, Metrobank ’s board has also approved the declaration of 30-percent stock dividends, subject to stockholders and regulatory approvals. Metrobank said this was equivalent to approximately P12.7 billion, representing more than 633 million common shares at par value. “The stock dividends will be issued out of the increase in authorized capital stock. The increase will be divided

into 1.5 billion common shares and 1.0 billion preferred shares, each with a par value of P20 per share. The preferred shares shall be nonvoting except as provided by law and shall have preference over common shares in the distribution of dividends,” the bank said. It added other specific terms and conditions of the preferred shares shall be determined at the time the bank decides to issue the said shares.

Wednesday - Thursday I Mar. 20-21, 2013

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BIR collection for Feb. up by P5.82B FOR t he mont h of Febr u a r y 2 01 3 , t h e B I R collected P74.52 billion i n t a x revenues , P5.82 Bi l l ion or 8.4 8 percent more t ha n col lec t ions made in February 2012. This is P2.598 Billion or 3.37 percent less than the goal for February of Ph P 77.12 Bi l l ion. For Febr u a r y 2 013, c o l l e c t i o n s f r o m BI R operations amounted to P72 .4 2 Bi l l ion, P11.0 6 Billion or 18.03 percent more t ha n col lec t ions made in Februar y 2013. Or, P1.22 Billion or 1.65 p e rc e nt le s s t h a n t he goa l set for BIR operations for Februar y 2013 of P73.6 4 Bi l l ion. However, collections f r om n on-BI R o p e r ations amounted to only

P2.1 Bi l lion, P5.24 Bi llion or 71.39 percent less t ha n col lec t ions made i n Febr u a r y 2012 . Collections by t he Regiona l Of f ices a mou nted to PhP 27.13 Billion, or Php 4.74 Bill i o n o r 21.17 p e rc e nt more t ha n t he col lections made in Februar y 2012 , cont i nu i ng w it h the previous year’s trend of double d ig it g row t h re g i s t e re d by t he R e g iona l Of f ices. Col lect ions by t he Large Ta xpayer Ser v ice a mou nted to Ph P45. 29 B i l l i o n , Ph P 6 . 32 B i l l i o n o r 16 . 2 2 % m o r e than collections made in Aug ust 2011, a ma rked i mprovement over t he pre v iou s ye a r’s si ng le digit growth rate. (PNA)

PDIC declares rebidding of ExportBank a failure THE Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. on Tuesday has declared the re-bidding of the rehabilitation for shuttered Export and Industry Bank (ExportBank) a failure after it received no letters of interest. “[N]o strategic third party investor submitted a letter of interest or pre-bid documentary requirements as of 5:00 p.m., March 18, the deadline for the submission [of these],” PDIC said in a statement. ExportBank was placed under the receivership of the PDIC after it was closed in April last year. The original bidding for the rehabilitation of the bank failed late last year, but PDIC scheduled for

another auction this week. However, due to no interested parties submitted pre-bid documents before the deadline lapsed on Monday, PDIC General Counsel Romeo M. Mendoza Jr. said the bidding slated for March 20 will no longer push through. “The PDIC vigorously exerted efforts to facilitate the rehabilitation of EIB in order to help maximize the potential recovery of the closed bank’s depositors and creditors. With this development, the task at hand is for PDIC to make a final determination on whether EIB may be rehabilitated, then submit its report to the Monetary Board,” Mendoza said in the statement.

BPI launches card BPI FAMILY Savings Bank has launched its first credit card, boasting of the lowest finance charge in the market today to target young professionals. “We are pleased to offer a product that leverages on our established low-price platform,” BPI Family Savings Bank President Jose Teodoro K. Limcaoco said. The BPI Family credit card, created in partnership with Mastercard, Inc., is positioned as a “low-rate, no-frills a lternative to cash,” Mr. Limcaoco said. Clients with minimum income of P15,000 can apply for the credit card, subject to an annual fee of P1,000. The f inance charge -- the monthly fee for balances on the credit card -- is at an industry

low of 2%. Other banks, he noted, typically charge 3%-3.5%. “The card is meant for young professionals, early nesters, families that are starting out,” Mr. Limcaoco said. “Even if they can pay for their daily expenses, there are big purchases and emergencies where they will need to stretch their payments to two to three paydays.” He added t he ba n k hopes to attract “those who need to move their balances from one credit card to another since the 2% is much, much lighter.” “The credit card acts as our fourth pillar, along with auto loans, mortgage loans and SME (small and medium enterprises) loans,” Mr. Limcaoco said.


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Wednesday-Thursday I Mar. 20-21, 2013

Opinion

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Our weak institutions

HARRY TAMBUATCO

ITS leaders appointed or purchased cannot maintain or regulate control for fear of Malacanang. The leaders in general for the national government are slow and too cautious to a point where indecision or a dead “no” is assumed as in most cases. It is obvious all decision making requires approvals from the master so much so indecision and or no action derails pertinent issues to fail. It is a “COA” strategy meaning “cover your ass”. What gives and how has the countries institutions come to be this way? We have been told that the Marcos era ushered in the di-professionalization of the AFP and the PNP. The financial institutions did not improve as well other than to promote the rich to get richer only to be strict to visionaries and micro-finance. Credit is extended openly to moneyed rich with poor to no credit to entrepreneurs. Our politicians require

THINK a minute… What’s the difference between the best and second best? Between average and excellent? The difference between a good sports team and a great one? It’s the hard work, training and discipline. You can only get out of something what you put into it. “The enemy of the best is second best.” Successful people sweat the small stuff and work hard at the details. That’s what makes them successful. But many of us just can’t be bothered to do our very

multiple mandates making their extended stay a lifetime career not being able to achieve in six years what they promise to improve. Unfortunately we’re smack in the middle of another election with re-electionists still wishing a fresh mandate. It seems a six year term is not enough for these characters to succeed in any endeavor. This time around their extended families have come to play as well. While Filipino’s are being purged in Malaysia by its military force, many are fleeing only to be subjected to legal incarcerations having to stand up to what they believe is historically theirs. Their honor is no justification and our president hell bent on utilizing the very same Malaysian government to broker a peace pact with their Muslin brothers; ironically as it sounds… and for what – a novel peace prize? Media is on a frenzy exacerbating the elections with its frenetic strategic presentation of candidates scolding each other for prime time content and news to the detriment of the people who succumb to its cheap presentation to guide them towards who best gets the new mandate. The Comelec is under suspicion by its very watch dogs out to protect the institutions but are scoffed at by its appointees only to be dismissed outright with no answers on hand. And we thought we were “boss?” TAMBUATCO/PAGE 7

best work. We look for shortcuts and the easier way to do things. Our problem is we just want to “get by” with work that is acceptable, but not work that is our very best. There’s a story about a builder who went on a trip overseas, so he put his manager in charge of building a new house. He told his manager to use only the best materials and not to take any shortcuts to save money or time. The boss wanted this new house to be excellent and the very best.

After the boss left, however, his manager did not follow those instructions. Instead he cheated and kept his boss’ money for himself. He used the cheapest, junk building materials. He did everything the cheap, easy way, thinking his boss would never know. After his boss returned and saw the new house, he told his manager: “Only you and your family deserve to live in this beautiful house. I’m giving this house to you! It’s your new home!” So how about you? Are

Think a minute

JHAN TIAFAU HURST

you doing your very best in life? At your job? At home? At school? Are you working HURST/PAGE 7

The use of copied software

Hints and traces

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The Very Best

FR. ROY CIMAGALA Over the past few years, a number of people, usually friends involved one way or another in IT, have asked me about the morality of the use of unlicensed copies of computer software. This is, of course, something new to me, because even if I use computer programs for personal use only and not for profit, I don’t anymore bother to check whether the software is to be paid for or not each time I use it. It’s like reading a book that I may find in some common place. I can just pick it up, browse and read part or all of it, without having to check if it has to be paid for or not. Obviously, if it’s a friend’s book that I would

The Financial Doctor

DR. ADONIS AGCOPRA, MBA, RFC®

EARL Nightingale once said: “Before you can achieve the kind of life you want, you must think, act, talk and conduct yourself in all of your affairs as would the person you wish to become.” In the psycholog y of money, t he behav ior of spending is no exception. Your money mindset is what you become.

like to take home for a time, then I should ask permission. But usually, no payment is asked. We need to clarify the issue more thoroughly. I discovered that the first law that entitled computer software developers some intellectual property rights was the 1980 Computer Software Amendment Act of the United States. Similar laws in other places soon followed. But these laws at times were too one-sided as they favored the developers of these products without considering many other factors that really need to be given due attention and relief. Like, when new versions come and the users of the previous versions that now become obsolete and may not be sold anymore suffer some economic or professional damage because they may have to abandon a database they have created with the previous versions. These users should be given some relief. Or when a developer of a software gains a dominant position in the market and creates a monopoly, commanding exorbitant prices,

in a field that has become a basic channel for information and communication. There obviously is a kind of unfairness here, but this is hardly being addressed up to now. For sure, we need to distinguish between professional programs used by banks, big corporations, architectural firms, and non-professional programs used by students, householders, etc. Since some of the latter programs are priced too high due perhaps to the fact that the developer has become a monopolist, some people may not consider it illicit to make copies for a friend who would use it not for some lucrative business but for some personal purpose. We also can distinguish between the new versions and the old ones. Making copies of the old ones that generally are not sold anymore should not be a big problem. Anyway, many of these developers make software with planned or built-in obsolescence for their products. They should not worry too much if their old products are copied. Also, we can consider

the usual attitude of the police and other authorities with respect to this issue. They usually are after those who commit massive frauds, rather than those who make copies that a single user might give to a friend for personal use. In all these and given the fact that the whole matter still does not enjoy very clear and authoritative ethical rules, we should be careful not to fuss excessively about it, imposing casuistic rules that often are meant to favor the developers or to confuse and unnecessarily bother the users. We have to acknowledge that people have different sensitivities, and the questions in this field should be raised and tackled in a way that is respectful of this variety. If someone feels uncomfortable because he is using programs of unknown origin, then he can remove such programs. But he should not impose that rule on the others who feel differently. This, of course, should not be taken to mean that we are promoting pure subCIMAGALA/PAGE 7

What is your money behavior? People are generally classified into three equations of behavioral spending patterns. Equation A: INCOME – EXPENSE = SAVINGS. Most individuals belong to this group. What is left of their income after all the expenses have been deducted becomes their savings. For most, it usually doesn’t amount to much since the discipline of strict budgeting and forced saving is dearth and in need of significant improvement. Emphasis is less on savings but more on expenses. At the very least, they are a bit better off than those who never even have meager savings to start with. Equation B: EXPENSES – INCOME = DEBT. People in this group are those who don’t pay much particular attention to what their

spending levels are. They think of spending first, often exceeding their budget at the month’s end only to realize that when the salary arrives, it is not even enough to pay off what was spent! The net deficit becomes a debt that often grows out of proportion in due time. This is your usual impulsive credit card shopaholic whose motto is “shop-till-you-drop.” Credit card expenses steadily pile up and balloon out of proportion. And not a few are forced to find themselves in personal bankruptcy! Equation C: INCOME – SAVINGS = EXPENSE. This group consists of the true savers. They “pay themselves first,” regularly allocating a specific amount or percentage of their income as forced savings. Savings is seriously prioritized and

what’s left after savings has been allocated becomes their budgeted expense. They live strictly within their means, though are consciously seeking ways to continuously increase their means. They often become your millionaires next door.” Ask yourself these questions today: “In which of the three personal behavioral spending patterns do I belong? Which one do I intend to become?” Get the proper money mindset. Act now! *** (Dr. Adonis Agcopra, MBA, CIS, RFC® is with the IARFC and is portfolio director of AFIC Meridian Consultants. URL: w w w. aficfinancialconsultants. c om . E m a i l : a f ic f i na ncialconsultants@outlook. com.)


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Operate... from page 1

del Norte and in Compostela Valley with a combined capacity of 200 megawatts, are now running on extended hours because of insufficient supply from governmentowned power plants in the region. “The traditional role of peaking plants like Therma Marine is to provide backup and anciliary power to the grid. But with no other capacity left to help the electric cooperatives, we are now running almost like a baseload power plant,” he said. Baseload plants are power facilities that are run daily because they can provide bulk supply at low prices, such as coal and geothermal ones. Peaking plants, on the other hand, are used only when demand for electricity spikes and are generally more expensive to operate than their counterpart. The company official said the power barges currently supply power to 23 electric cooperatives and distribution utilities, to complement supply coming from National Power Corp. The state-owned firm supplies majority of the electricity supply to all the power cooperatives and utilities in Mindanao through the AgusPulangi hydroelectric power complex, whose operations are dependent on weather and reservoir conditions. However, with Napocor supply not enough to meet the demands of Mindanao, cooperatives run more and more to Therma Marine to lessen the power curtailments and shorten the brownouts in some areas. “Unfortunately, Therma Marine is already fully-contracted and we could no longer produce more and supply more power to electric cooperatives despite many requests for additional capacity,” Batiquin said. The extended running hours, Batqiuin said takes a lot of challenge for the facility’s manpower as well as on maintenance and spare parts. “We have been on our toes since 2010 and we expect to work doubly hard this year and next year until major power plants come in by 2015,” Batiquin said. “Our team is proud to say that we are one of the most efficient and cost-effective peaking plant in the region. And ninety percent of our rate is on fuel which is a pass through rate. The remaining 10 percent goes to us for salaries, maintenance, spare parts and capital recovery.”

Tourist... from page 1

held at the BWM Media Center on Monday, Chan said Northern Mindanao topped other regions in Mindanao, including Davao, which posted only an increase of 5.32 percent. Nor t hern Minda nao, which includes the provinces of Misamis Orien-

tal, Camiguin, Bukidnon, Misamis Occidental and Lanao del Norte, had 86,089 foreign visitors, 44,436 overseas Filipinos, and 1,579,227 domestic travellers in 2011. Chan also said that last year’s accommodation capacity survey showed the region has 453 establishments (hotels, resorts, lodging inns) with a total room capacity of 8,188. Chan said the region’s big advantage is because Cagayan de Oro City, as a strategic gateway of the region, is nearer to famous destinations like Bohol, Cebu, and Boracay. “It has good connectivity. Very ideal and hazzle free,” added Chan. “Aside from Cagayan de Oro City, we have equally world class destinations like Camiguin, Bukidnon, and Iligan. While Lanao del Norte and Misamis Occidental are near to emerging destinations like Dakak and Dapitan,” Director Chan noted. “Camiguin is now connected to Cebu and Bohol with fastcraft and RORO vessels are now ser v ing Jagna-Camiguin-Cagayan de Oro five times a week,” Chan added. Chan also cited the region’s main icons such as the Dahilayan Adventure Park, Mt. Kitanglad, Camiguin Eco-Tourism destinations, Misamis Occidental Aqua Marine Park, Lasang Adventure Park, Gardens of Malasag Ecotourism Village, Makahambus Adventure, Lake Apo in Bukidnon, Christmas Symbolsin Tangub City, Hoyohoy PARK IN Misamis Occidental, and the whole-year round Whitewater Rafting Adventure in this city. Chan likewise noted that with the near opening of the Laguindingan International Airport, the region is also to accommodate more tourist arrivals. He said Cagayan de Oro City, as a service center, has almost complete facilities compared to other destinations in Mindanao. “Local government units, national leaders and private, civic organizations are very supportive to the development of tourism in our region.” Chan added.

Villar... from page 1

different countries in the past 20 years. Some of these OFWs, Villar said, were maltreated by their employers, and worse, sexually abused and raped. Because of this, Villar vowed she would not stop helping women and empowering them to become productive members of the society. She remains thankful to Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda and other local officials for inviting her to the momentous event to recognize the important role being played by women. “The women is the sector closest to my heart being a woman and a public servant,”

stressed Villar. She said it is always a pleasure for her to interact and be with her fellow women. “As you know, I personally advocate for the empowerment of women across all sectors. It is my belief that women play an important role in nation-building,” she said. “And I am happy that the leadership of Pampanga under Gov. Pineda share my love for women,” she further said. She said the country needs more empowered women because when “we empower women, we empower families and generations of people”. She related that when she was congresswoman of the lone district of Las Pinas from 2001- 2010, she prioritized legislations that uphold the welfare of women and family. Among these pieces of legislations were the Magna Carta of Women and the Anti-Violence against Women and Anti-Trafficking against Women and Children Law. And as managing director of the Villar Foundation, Villar said she has been pursuing programs that would redound to the benefit of women. Her “Hanep Buhay” campaign slogan promises job opportunities for women through her livelihood projects. “Nanininawala kasi ako na hanep ang buhay pag may hanapbuhay,” pointed out by “Mrs. Hanep Buhay.”

Brownouts... from page 1

difficulties in finalizing contracts for power sale due to opposition from some sectors. “This is our problem: every time there are contracts, there are sectors that object. So if you are to object then bring out your complaints to the ERC,” he said. “Do not delay the process, go to the ERC that’s the way to do it,” he reiterated. Be decisive At the same time, he challenged all stakeholders to pick a solution from the options presented by the Department of Energy as soon as possible so that the power blackouts in this city may be solved. The mayor said if the stakeholders delay the decision once more, Zamboanga will be left with no choice but to take only what is available and suffer prolonged outtages. He made these statements during Friday’s Zamboanga Power Forum, which the local government initiated with the support of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) and the DoE at the Centro Latino in Paseo del Mar this city. Lobregat said that aside from the five megawatts (MW) that is forthcoming on the third week of April from Mapalad Power Corporation based on a contract with Zamcelco, an additional five MW - which will cost the same as the previous contract with Mapalad - is also com-

ing based on an arrangement that the DoE, Zamcelco, the power generator, and other concerned agencies worked out prior to the forum. He said another 5MW is available from the SPPC company willing to sell power to Zamcelco for as long as the ERC would approve it. “If we don’t get it, we will lose it. We have to decide now. There is no more time to procrastinate,” Lobregat said.

Cimagala... from page 6

jectivism here. It’s just that we have to recognize that people have different levels of knowledge and experience that should also be taken into consideration when assessing the morality of the use of unlicensed software. Obviously, sorting out all the aspects of this issue is still a work in progress. We need to closely monitor the developments and controversial situations generated by this issue, and try to resolve them as promptly and as best we could. All relevant parties should join hands in this endeavor. As a tentative final word, we can say that we should not burden the conscience of those who copy non-professional programs with no intention of making a profit. Also, it might be a good idea to inform people on open source software, since they help restrain monopolistic tendencies of some developers. *** Email: roycimagala@gmail. com

Hursts... from page 6

hard to be the best father and husband you can be? Are you trying to be the best mother and wife you can be? Remember, God gave us His very best: His one and only Son, Jesus Christ. So He hopes that we will give back to Him our very best—not just our second best. Does he deserve anything less? After all, He created you to enjoy His very best. So why not ask Jesus Christ to forgive you for not living the way you k now you shou ld. Then ask Him to take charge of your character and give you His help. Then you can start disciplining yourself to always be your best, and never again have to settle for second best. Just think a minute…

Tambuatco... from page 6

Meanwhile, we spend the national budget with frugality as if to save monies that do not necessarily belong to these leaders but to the country who require services from the government. Government shouldn’t be in the business of making money nor should it be there to save it but to spend it for the people to improve infrastructure and for required services. As for the elections, to win one needs to spend a

7

lot of money so the people will at the least have some recall. Government a nd t he Comelec are inutile in delivering the messages of new candidates who are willing to take on the cudgels for legislation or administration subjecting these new comers to mutate into the monsters they are trying to replace. Surely there are strategies in reducing if not regulating election expenses to nil with government radio and TV – or what we used to have the “Comelec hour” (which I believe is still in their budgets but refusing to spend). Are there no visionaries with our leaders or appointees who readily accept positions but have no ideas at hand? We seem to have copy-cats but most are almost always busted by media even before they begin (pun intended). The UP Manila student tragedy requires some retribution before redemption with gross administrative mismanagement. In this country when you are poor and striving for an education, suicide is the answer. Go and address that UP Chancellor Manuel Aguado. You have blood on your hands. It is also expected that many a politician jump in to issue statements on the tragedy considering it is election time but do nothing over years of representation while in office.


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DA declares war vs rice smuggling

SECRETARY Proceso J. Alcala of the Department of Agriculture (DA) has urged rice-industry stakeholders to wage war against rice smuggling, saying it distorts fair trade, depresses prices of palay (unhusked rice) and discourages farmers from planting the crop. “Malaking pinsala ang smuggling sa ating industriya ng bigas. Pinapatay nito ang patas na kalakaran na nagbubunga din ng pagbaba ng presyo ng ating mga palay. Nahihirapan at nawawalan ng gana tuloy ang ating mga magsasaka,” Alcala told attendees of the Second AgriPinoy Rice Achievers’ Awards at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on Friday. The agriculture chief described smuggling as a form of economic sabotage, and called on all rice players and the public to join a renewed campaign against rice smuggling, so that the country can attain rice sufficiency this year. His call came after Luzonbased farmer-leaders, rice millers, traders and retailers signed a covenant against rice smuggling on February 22 that was witnessed by Alcala and National Food Authority Administrator Orlan Calayag. The call also came after the agriculture chief said last week that the country

would import only 187,000 metric tons (MT) of rice this year to serve as buffer stock. The figure is part of the minimum 350,000 MT allowed by the Philippines under an agreement with other member-countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Manila has greatly reduced its rice imports—from 2.45 million MT (MMT) in 2010, 860,000 MT in 2011 and 500,000 MT last year—as the Aquino administration increased palay production as a result of increasing infrastructure investments and a higher annual DA budget. National palay harvest steadily grew from 15.77 MMT in 2010 and 16.68 MMT in 2011 to 18.03 MMT last year. The DA targets to produce more than 20 MMT this year, which would make the

country 100-percent selfsufficient in rice. Alcala also urged farmers, local officials and stakeholders to sustain and strengthen their efforts to export premium, aromatic rice. He also asked farmers to further reduce the cost of producing palay by using quality seeds, modern yet sustainable inputs and technologies, and postharvest facilities. According to him, this will enable them to compete with their Thai and Vietnamese counterparts once the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Free Trade Agreement commences in 2015. The agriculture secretary also asked rice players and the public to be responsible rice consumers, and consider eating other staples like white corn, cassava, sweet potato and saba.

Department of Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and Asst. Sec. Dante de Lima congratulate Opol Mayor Dexter B. Yasay for the honor given during the 2nd Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers’ Awards 2013. The awarding ceremony was held at the Philippine International Convention Center last Friday. Opol won P1-million worth of project grants. PHOTO BY: GERRY L. GORIT

Opol gets 10th agri award By GERRY LEE GORIT, Reporter

MISAMIS ORIENTAL - For the 10th time under the administration of Mayor Dexter B. Yasay, the local government unit of Opol in Misamis Oriental has received another prestigious recognition. Mayor Yasay on Friday received the 2nd Agr-Pinoy Rice Achievers’ Award 2013 from the Department of Agriculture during formal rites held at the Philippine International Convention Center. Opol was the only municipality in Misamis Oriental to receive the award. Ten provinces and 48 cities and towns were the country’s top rice achievers for 2012. A P1-million financial award for project grants came with the recognition. Yasay sa id t he eig ht presidents of the farmers’

associations in Opol will deliberate on how to use the financial grant, noting that it would be allotted for their livelihood. He thanked Vice Mayor Chizarina Ortigoza, the municipal council and the people of Opol for supporting the LGU’s programs and projects. Yasay a lso expressed gratitude to Misamis Orienta l 2nd District Rep. Yevgeny “Bambi” Emano for the congressman’s help in establishing the irrigation system in Opol. He said Congressman Emano and his father Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Vicente Y. Emano have championed the farmers of Misamis Oriental, considering that 70% of the land in the province is devoted to agriculture. “Our farmers are our partners in development,”

he said, adding that they were elated by the award despite the small-scale type of farming in Opol. Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala and DA Assistant Secretary Dante S. De Lima handed over the awards to the governors and city/municipal mayors. The awardees were chosen based on, among other criteria, the “incremental increases in rice harvest and average yield per hectare, anount of budget, number of farmer beneficiaries, and quality of seed utilization. Yasay said the LGU of Opol now has 9 national awards and 1 international award under his administration. “Thanks to the support of all sectors, we have achieved impressive progress despite being just a small town,” he said.

THE Philippines has reduced its rice imports to 187,000 metric tons (MT) this year to serve as buffer stock during the lean season, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said on Thursday. According to Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, the decision to reduce imports was reached during the latest meeting of the National Food Authority (NFA) Council, which said the manner of procurement should be through a government-togovernment deal. He said the NFA would start the bidding among qualified countries this month. “The latest date for the bidding would be April. The rice should be arriving before June 30, in time for the lean season,” Alcala told reporters at the sidelines of the Mag-AGRI Tayo! Forum in Quezon City. The lean season runs from June to August.

Only Vietnam and Thailand have existing rice-purchase agreements with the Philippines. According to the agriculture chief, the total volume of rice to be imported by the NFA already covers the omnibus minimum access volume (MAV) for rice under the World Trade Organization (WTO). MAV refers to the minimum volume of farm produce allowed to enter the Philippines at reduced tariffs, while shipments outside MAV pay higher rates. “The volume we are now importing will be within the MAV, which, in turn, will limit the volume of rice arriving in the country. The remainder of the MAV to be allowed to enter the country is only the in-quota volume,” Alcala said. Under an agreement with the WTO, the Philippines has committed to a MAV

of about 350,000 MT for rice, with a tariff rate of 50 percent. Manila has reduced imports by more than half this year as lean months become shorter as a result of the early cropping scheme implemented by the DA’s National Rice Program. “Due to our early cropping scheme, we were able to break tradition so we can now expect harvests by June. In other words, we have shortened our lean months. So, we may no longer need to import [rice] that much this year,” Alcala said. In 2012 the Philippines imported only 500,000 MT of rice. Of the total, 120,000 MT was purchased by the NFA to serve as buffer stock. The year before, the country imported 860,000 MT of the staple; the private sector, 600,000 MT; farmers’ groups, 60,000 MT; and the NFA, 200,000 MT.

Govt cuts rice imports REG’L. MGT. COMMITTEE MEETING. Bent in apprising the attached bureaus and agency heads of the department on slated initiatives for the year 2013 with a total budget amounting to P1.186 billion, the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Northern Mindanao, headed by Regional Executive Director Lealyn A. Ramos (inset) recently convened with the various directors, managers and center chiefs of its umbrella offices during the 1st Quarter Regional Management Committee meeting. The assembly tackled on updating of the activities being undertaken by the different attached bureaus and agencies, including its head office in the region; accomplishments for 2012; and their respective plans and programs for the current year. According to Dir. Ramos, the gathering was also necessary so as to become a unified DA team who can better work in the pursuit of seeing the agriculture and fisheries sector prosper. Likewise, she imparted this year’s celebration on the National Year of Rice which seeks to attain rice self-sufficiency starting 2013 and onwards through intensive information campaign on responsible rice consumption and adoption of efficient production technologies. # (Joanne L. Olson, DA-10)

Cebu Pacific... from page 4

Cebu Pacific last Saturday launched f lights to Bali, its second destination in Indonesia and its 20t h route abroad. It now a lso f l ie s to Bangkok, Beijing, Brunei, Busan, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong, Seoul, Jakarta, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Macau, Osaka, Shanghai,

Siem Reap, Si ngapore, Taipei and Xiamen, the company said last week. The company on March 7 received a new Airbus A320, bringing the number of its aircraft to 43. The airline’s international passenger traffic went up by 10.98% to 2.73 mi l lion last yea r f rom 2.46 million in 2011, CAB data showed. Cebu Air’s net income

slid by 1.38% to P3.57 billion last year from P3.62 billion in 2011 as higher expenses eroded a revenue i ncrease, accord i ng to consolidated statements of comprehensive income it submitted to the Philippine Stock Exchange last week. Its revenues rose by 11.67% to P37.90 billion from P33.94 billion, while expenses jumped by 15.16% to P35.24 billion from P30.60 billion.


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Obesity, breast cancer HARVARD Medical School discovered that being overweight or obese during adolescence reduces a woman’s chance of getting breast cancer. But the study also states that younger women could not just eat chocolates and fast food always and be overly complacent about one’s diet. A recent study by Karin B. Michels and her colleagues lend a new view on the relationship between adult weight change and premenopausal breast cancer among women. The authors also concluded that a woman’s weight at age 18 gives a stronger possibility of breast cancer risk. This risk is calculated by a height-toweight comparison or body mass index (BMI). Obesity is on the rise all over the world since 1980, especially in urban areas, according to a cancer organization report. The results of the study by Michel’s group show that BMI at age 18 is a predictor of breast cancer in younger women. Over 116,000 participants in Brigham and Women’s Nurses Health study were asked about their age, height, weight, menstrual cycles, family history of breast cancer, and fertility status, among others. Researchers found out that there are more than 40 percent lower incidence of premenopausal breast cancer among women with a BMI of 27.5 at age 18 compared to a BMI of between 20 and 22.4. Researchers said that the link to age of decreased premenopausal breast cancer risk may be explained by hormones that are responsible in ovulation. The

theory on premenopausal women’s estrogen level is yet to be solved. Weight gain since early adulthood and since menopausal has been associated with an increase in postmenopausal breast cancer, while weight loss after menopause may reduce the risk. Many cohort studies also support the present study stating that greater body weight is associated with a decrease in premenopausal breast cancer risk and an increase in postmenopausal breast cancer risk. A number of hypotheses discuss that obesity leads to a wider exposure to estrogen and other hormonal changes that might affect breast cancer risk. Har vard researchers, however, noted that data on the effect of weight change on breast cancer incidence a mong premenop au s a l women are sparse. Body weight is one of the few breast cancer risk factors women have control over. Program coordinator of Eduardo J. Aboitiz Cancer Center (EJACC) of Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) Ronald delos Reyes said that a well-balanced diet is always a good investment. “A healthy body does not only promote good health but also protects us from diseases like cancer. Healthy lifestyle always tops the list of breast cancer prevention,” delos Reyes added. Every woman and man should seriously consider investing their time and effort to maintain their ideal body weight. Having a healthy lifestyle and body should be an everyday priority all the time,” he added. (RAFI/ PIA-Caraga)

Officers and Members of the Joint Surgical Mission of Operation Blessing, Phil-Am Ass’n of Connecticut (PAAC), Share Foundation and CU Medical City pose for posterity with local media partners following a press conference at CUMC, 18 March 2012.

Volunteer groups join hands in CU Medical City surgical mission A THREE-DAY surgical mission in Cagayan de Oro City for poor Filipinos with serious health problems is now being conducted at the CU Medical City by Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines, Inc. (OB Philippines) in partnership with Tulong sa Kapwa-Philippine-American Association of Connecticut (PAAC), SHARE Foundation and CUMC. Twenty two medical pro- desperate for surgeries that fessionals including anaesthe- can help them live better siologists, electrophysiologist, lives but cannot afford,” said pediatric ophthalmologist, Dr. Kim April Pascual, OB cardiac surgeon, OB/GYN, Philippines’ Executive Vice orthopedic surgeon and regis- President and Chief Operattered nurses from the US are ing Officer. “We are deeply performing open-heart sur- appreciate the enthusiasm, geries, pacemaker insertion, dedication, and commitment orthopedic and gynaecologic showed by the doctors and procedures, and pediatric and volunteers who are joining adult strabismus repair for this event,” she added. indigent patients who cannot PAAC is also thankful afford the expensive medical for the opportunity to lend operations. a helping hand and to offer “Our partnership with their medical expertise to PAAC and Capitol University ailing Filipinos. Medical Center will surely “This is the first time give hope to our kababayans that PAAC joins Operation who have life-threatening Blessing in a major event medical conditions and are such as this. It is extremely

rewarding to help our needy kababayans, most especially in rural areas where there is little access to this kind of treatment,” said Dr. Gino Ang, M.D., chairman of PAAC. Organized over four decades ago, PAAC has contributed to disaster relief efforts following Typhoon Katrina in the US and in the Philippines. Its charity arm, Tulong sa Kapwa, extends assistance to indigent beneficiaries through scholarships and medical/surgical missions. It established the Paaralang Pilipino, an summer-long educational instruction of the Filipino language, culture and arts. It continues to support Camp Mabuhay North, a weekend camp for American families with adopted children from the Philippines. PAAC began its part-

nership with OB in the Philippines three years ago through a shared mission to facilitate and coordinate humanitarian efforts to and in the country. The Tulong sa Kapwa 2013 surgical mission is the first partnership that promotes and facilitates the leveraging of medical and surgical missions in the Philippines. OB Philippines is a nonprofit organization and the humanitarian arm of CBN Asia Inc., producer of weeknight inspirational TV program The 700 Club Asia which airs weekdays over GMA News TV. OB Philippines welcomes partnerships and linkages with reputable local and international organizations, whether public or private, to make quality healthcare service readily available to those who need it the most.

Caraga ready for Oplan Semana Santa BUTUAN City -- The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Caraga Region is heightening security in all seaports, airports, and bus terminals starting March 25 up to April 1, an official said. Accord i ng to DOTC chief of operations, Engr. Eugene Ru la, to have a meaningful and to ensure a safe celebration of the “Semana Santa” or Holy Week 2013, their office will again

activate its “Oplan Semana Santa” helpdesk in all public places in the region. Rula said, their office will deploy law enforces, inspectors, and personnel to different terminals of public utility buses, vans, jeepneys, and other public places to assist passengers, inspect franchises and road worthiness of vehicles traveling to different locations of the region. The Oplan Ka lu luwa

helpdesk will be activated from 8 a.m. up to 5 p.m. Rula also said that prior to the activation of the helpdesk, their office will conduct seminars to drivers and operators of buses, vans, and jeepneys on Thursday and Friday, March 20 and 21 in Butuan City. Ru la a lso ca l led a nd warned the public to be vigilant when riding vehicles and going to crowded public places especially that

shoplifters/hold uppers are active during this time. Their office also coordinated with different motor pools like that of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Department of Health, Philippine Red Cross, and local government units to ensure and have an assurance that any untoward road incidents will be given immediate actions by the concerned units.

Davao Norte...

Mea nwh i le, t he POs will be responsible for putting up the nursery and in raising the seedlings, site preparation, and establishing t he tree plantations following the prescribed planting design and specification. T hey w i l l a lso apply appropriate silvicultural practices or the practice of controlling the establishment, growth, composition, health, and quality of forests to meet diverse needs and values, in coordination

with the DENR, to ensure maximum production and good quality timber yield. Fragada said after two years of establishing the new plantations, the maintenance and protection of the new plantations will now be solely undertaken by the POs. The DENR, on the other hand, will spearhead the survey, mapping and planning of the identified sites and shall lead the identification of appropriate areas for commercial tree

plantation establishment inside CBFM areas. It will also provide the POs with technical support, guidance on nursery establishment and seedling production, among others. T he pa r t nership was forged in pursuit of the goals of the National Greening Program to not only enhance the country’s forest cover but also to provide alternative livelihood for the people in the uplands, the regional director said. (PNA)

from page 2

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of seedlings and the establishment of commercial tree plantations within the areas of people’s organization-beneficiaries. These plants will also participate in the preparation of work and financial plans and to purchase timber yield from the established plantations to sustain their milling operation in accordance with the prevailing market price.


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Memorias de Ayer:

BPI Zamboanga Lifestyle Museum (antes Casa de Barrios)

T

por MIKE BAÑOS

he BPI-Zamboanga main branch at N.S. Valderrosa Street in the heart of the old Zamboanga poblacion was where I had my first job as a sundries clerk sometime in March 1978. I had earlier passed the written exam and interview conducted by branch officers Jun de Leon, Jun Solis and Romy Javier. Little did I know that my job there was very similar to what led Gen. John “Black Jack” Pershing to persuade the Bank of the Philippine Islands to open its second provincial branch here after Iloilo on February 23, 1912. The nadir of my nascent banking career came every 15 days when overseas Filipino workers with Moran-Brown and other Saudi Arabian based construction companies remitted their salaries to their families. A telex message a meter long filled with the names of the workers and their salaries would promptly arrive at my table and all day long their wives would wait on my table while I issued them receipts one at a time. So I was tickled pink to find out that a similar dilemma faced the esteemed Gen. Pershing when faced with the need for an agent to handle the salaries of US soldiers stationed at nearby Pettit Barracks. Pershing had been using the house as his official residence when he was assigned Military Governor of the Moro Province from 1909-1913. He invited the BPI to set up a branch below his residence for this purpose and BPI celebrated

the Cientocelebrations of that event together with the grand opening of the BPI Zamboanga Lifestyle Museum on August 17, 2012. To support its operations, the government designated it as the depository bank for operating funds of the “Moro” Province and of the Zamboanga Custom House. The Zamboanga branch also acted as agent for the International Banking Corporation like the Iloilo Branch. The Barrios house today remains much like it was in the early 1900s and continues to serve as the main bank branch of BPI in Zamboanga. Built in the 1860s, this house, a de cal y canto structure with meter-thick walls of lime mortar and broken coral (argamasa) for its ground floor and hardwood for its second floor is the last Spanishera residence left in Zamboanga City. Purchased by BPI in 1928, it later served as the official residence of all its managers even up to the time of the late Jun de Leon when I first worked there. It has continuously served the people of Zamboanga and now its second floor has been converted into a lifestyle museum with the assistance of BPI local historical researcher (and my grade school classmate!) Ma. Icelle Durano Borja, whom we had the good fortune to have as our guide for the tour. Ms. Borja has also loaned cultural artifacts and artworks, costumes, antique jars and planters, and woven Yakan cloth to the museum.

BPI Museum in Zamboanga City

NHI Marker

Steph on the front azotea

The National Historical Commission has recognized the Barrios House as a historical landmark and a bronze marker was unveiled last year during its inauguration. An interesting sidelight to the Zamboanga Main Branch anniversary was installation of the long-lost crown of the miraculous Nuestra Senora La Virgen del Pilar (Our Lady of the Pillar) who has been revered by Zamboanguenos for protecting them from pirates and natural calamities. Misplaced for over 50 years, it was found last year in safe deposit box of the BPI main branch and properly restored to Zamboanga patroness during a mass held at the Fort Pilar during the centennial celebration last year. Tourism and airline officials have organized trips by travel writers from Cagayan de Oro and Zamboanga to benchmark the new air route between the two cities established by Cebu Pacific Air. The first group of travel journalists from Zamboanga visited Cagayan de Oro last

BPI Museum Sala

Tour Guide Icelle Bor ja describes the salient features of the Pershing Room

Icelle related to us how the house had been originally built by the Mandarin trader Shio (later christened Francisco B a r r i o s ) o n a p ro p e r t y w h e r e h e constructed the Pantalan de Barrios which served as Zamboanga’s pier until the late 1920s. The house also served as the Aduana (Customs House) and the Chinese Consular Office for Barrios who was appointed honorary Chinese consul. The “mandarin square” on the front transom of the front veranda doors and window reflect the status of the owner. The museum comprises of an ante-sale or caida leading to a grand sala which leads to four rooms (the Pershing Room, Managers Room, Women’s and Children’s Room, Weapons and Music Room). The caida also leads to a dining hall and a kitchen. One end of the sala leads to a veranda that overlooks N.S. Valderrosa Street. The other end is a back veranda which in older times faced the Pantalan

November 27-29, 2012 while Kagay-anon travel writers returned the favor last Feb. 12-14, 2013. “To further promote inter-regional travel, DOT Northern Mindanao plans to hold its annual month-long Pasundayag sa Northern Mindanao cultural festival in Iloilo and Bacolod instead of Metro Manila as it has traditionally been done in the past,” noted Catalino Chan III, region 10 tourism director. Besides Zamboanga, CEB has now linked Cagayan de Oro to other regional destinations like Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod and Davao, which is unprecedented in the history of its civil aviation. Cebu Pacific flies from Cagayan de Oro to Zamboanga three times a week every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. At present, CEB operates 60 domestic and 31 international routes. Two international routes will commence later this year: Manila-Bali on March 16, 2013 and Manila-Dubai on October 7, 2013.

de Barrios. The house has been continuously renovated through the years and retains its large scale architectural elements of late Spanish colonial plantation and merchant houses: high ceiling on the ground floor once serving as stores and a bodega and an airy second floor residence lined with balustered ventanillas, which makes it a green building (by today’s standards) that conserves energy by using natural wind for ventilation. BPI manager Carlos Dominguez Sr. added an azotea at the back with black and white machuca floor tiles around 1935 which still exist today. Period furniture and household wares have been brought in to replicate the colonial character of the house, a gentle reminder of the times when it was but a common domicile, one of many that dotted the town center of Zamboanga as it ebbed and flowed with changing colonial masters.

Exploring the Weapons and Music Room


DOT Director Catalino “Butch” Chan III Special Guest at BWM Newscon launching


BWM March 20-21, 2013