CREDIT rater S&P Global Ratings maintained its 6.4-percent growth forecast for the Philippines, noting that the second-quarter expansion is in line with its expectation. “GDP [gross domestic product]growth remained strong at 6.5 percent in Q2, in line with our estimate of potential growth,” it said in a report released on Tuesday. S&P’s 2017 forecast fell short of the government’s 6.5-percent to 7.5-percent target, representing a slowdown from last year’s actual GDP growth of 6.9 percent. The Philippine economy grew by 6.5 percent in the second quarter of the year, down from 7.1 percent a year earlier but firmer than the 6.4 percent recorded in the first three months of 2017. MAYVELIN U. CARABALLO
August 22, 2017 05:15 UTC
THE water level in Marikina River has reached the second alarm due to the monsoon rains enhanced by tropical storm “Isang”, according to the city government’s public information office. Under a three-level alarm system, Level 2 means that the water is 16 meters above sea level and that residents in affected areas should “prepare” for evacuation. Alarm level 1 is raised as a “warning” when the water is 15 meters above sea level while Level 3 means affected residents should “evacuate” as the water is 17 meters above sea level. As of posting time, the city government has not ordered an evacuation. JOVILAND RITA
August 22, 2017 03:45 UTC
OUTGOING Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon said President Rodrigo Duterte’s acceptance of his resignation was best for the country in the midst of the controversy and public uproar over the P6.4 billion “shabu” shipment that slipped past the Customs zone. “My relief from my post is the best for our country. I urge everyone to continue to support the reform agenda and the development programs of the President,” Faeldon said in a statement on Tuesday. “I thank everyone who has supported the Bureau of Customs during my stay and I appeal to the BOC employees and to the public to support the new commissioner.”Duterte named Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Isidro Lapeña to replace Faeldon. READ: Lapena to replace Faeldon at CustomsFaeldon was first called to step down by Rep.
August 22, 2017 03:33 UTC
THE Senate blue ribbon committee has resumed its investigation on the illegal entry of P6.4 billion “shabu” (Methamphetamine hydrochloride) shipment but without Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon who resigned. READ: Lapena to replace Faeldon at CustomsSenator Richard Gordon, chairman of the committee, started the hearing by questioning some customs personnel who were named by fly-by-night broker Mark Taguba as among those who allegedly accepted payoffs. The committee, upon the request of Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th, invited Nilo “Small” Abellera, a councilor of Davao City; Nanie Koh, chief of auction cargo disposal monitoring division of the Bureau of Customs (BOC); and Lourdes Rosario from the BOC’s imports and assessment service section. Faeldon resigned amid allegations of his alleged involvement in smuggling the illegal drugs that bypassed Customs inspection. Faeldon had offered to resign but President Rodrigo Duterte stalled him, expressing his confidence in the embattled Customs chief.
August 22, 2017 03:11 UTC
Embattled Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon skipped Tuesday’s Senate hearing, in connection with the P6.4-billion shabu shipment, barely a day after President Rodrigo Duterte accepted his courtesy resignation. At a late press conference on Monday, the President announced that he will replace Faeldon, who sought to be replaced thrice at the BOC. ADVERTISEMENTDuterte tapped former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director Isidro Lapeña to take over the BOC leadership. Faeldon on Tuesday said his resignation from his post is “the best for our country.”READ: Faeldon: Relief from Customs is ‘best for country’“I thank everyone who has supported the Bureau of Customs during my stay and I appeal to the BOC employees and to the public to support the new commissioner. Thank you very much,” Faeldon said.
August 22, 2017 02:48 UTC
The additional funding will allow Filipino diplomats, particularly in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to better serve distressed Filipinos working in these countries. In her consultation with some foreign service posts in the Middle East, Arriola said she was told that they could not effectively respond to ATN cases because of budget constraints. Cayetano said the additional funding could address the limitations being faced by ambassadors and consul generals as they would be provided more resources to serve Filipinos in their respective areas. Arriola, for her part, said the increase in ATN funding, would enable the DFA to fund not just the usual rescues and repatriations but also to open new shelters, hire more translators, interpreters and other personnel and purchase equipment needed by various Philippine posts. “Our ATN budget will be utilized to the fullest to allow our posts to respond more quickly and more effectively,” Arriola added.
August 22, 2017 02:37 UTC
Trump warned that the approach would now be more pragmatic than idealistic. “We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting,” he said. The Trump administration had originally promised a new Afghan plan by mid-July, but Trump was said to be dissatisfied by initial proposals to deploy a few thousand more troops. More than 2,500 Afghan police and troops have been killed already this year. One of the main voices arguing for withdrawal, Trump’s nationalistic chief strategist Steve Bannon, was removed from his post on Friday.
August 22, 2017 02:26 UTC
TROPICAL storm “Isang” (international name: Hato) will continue to enhance the southwest monsoon that will bring up to heavy rains over Luzon, particularly in the western section of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), the state weather bureau said on Tuesday. 2 is still up over the Batanes Group of Islands with possible storm surge in the coastal areas while Signal No. Cloudy skies with light to moderate rains and possible occasionally heavy rains, gusty winds and lightning due to thunderstorm will be experienced over the regions of Bicol, Eastern and Western Visayas, CARAGA and Davao. Partly cloudy to cloudy skies except for isolated light to occasionally heavy rains, gusty winds and lightning will prevail over the rest of the country. Meanwhile, the weather bureau added that moderate to strong winds blowing from the southwest would prevail over the rest of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
August 22, 2017 02:26 UTC
The Senate will begin on Thursday an investigation of the recent upsurge in drug killings by the police, including that of 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos. Lacson said that on Thursday’s hearing, he would invite Delos Santos’ father and witnesses now under the custody of Sen. Risa Hontiveros. Delos Santos was then shot,” the resolution said. ADVERTISEMENTNo controlSen. Antonio Trillanes IV said the majority resolution showed that President Duterte no longer had control over the Senate. Sen. Grace Poe said Mr. Duterte’s campaign should not turn into a competition among police stations for the most drug kills.
August 21, 2017 23:26 UTC
ZAMBOANGA CITY — Nine people, including a 13-year-old boy, were killed after Abu Sayyaf bandits attacked a village in Maluso town in Basilan province on Monday morning, police said. John Cundo, Maluso police chief, said the armed men attacked Barangay Tubigan at 5 a.m. and started burning at least four houses and the barangay health center. Maluso Mayor Hanie Bud told the Inquirer that 10 persons were also wounded in the attack that displaced about 100 families. ADVERTISEMENT“While everyone was asleep, the Abu Sayyaf stormed Tubigan,” Bud told the Inquirer by phone. He said about 70 bandits raided the village, the second attack since 2010.
August 21, 2017 21:00 UTC
The Bango Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is keeping an eye on activities such crowdfunding and peer-to-peer (P2P) lending and could issue regulations governing such if needed. We are currently monitoring industry developments on crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending,” central bank Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said. Increased online activities have also boosted P2P lending, a method of debt financing where individuals or companies borrow and lend money without the use of an official financial institution as an intermediary. Since the crowdfunding industry is still nascent in the Philippines, Espenilla said it may be not yet be the time to issue regulations. “But we continue to monitor the crowdfunding industry and we’ll take regulatory action when the time comes when necessary,” he said.
August 21, 2017 17:04 UTC
The peso’s recent movements are consistent with monetary policies aimed at fostering sustained economic growth, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said. Some commentators, Espenilla noted, are judging the state of the Philippine economy merely on the basis of the peso’s depreciation. “However, the BSP is very mindful that such adjustment may create market uncertainty if not well explained. In any case, the peso has now sufficiently adjusted and can be expected to regain relative stability going forward, he added. “This soft landing is reinforced by effective discipline in fiscal management and a well-designed and well-executed public investment program,” Espenilla said.
August 21, 2017 17:04 UTC
Plans to reinvent the iconic jeepney are getting a lift from the Department of Energy (DoE). The DoE is looking at launching “green” jeepneys to boost the earning capacities of drivers and operators, lower carbon emissions, and pave the way for a cleaner transport system in the country. After the House appropriations committee approved next year’s proposed P2.65-billion budget for the department, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said on Thursday that they were working on a program to launch e-jeepneys. As the cost of converting legacy jeepneys into electric ones is huge, the DoE is approaching different institutions including Asian Development Bank and World Bank for help in shouldering the expense. Jeepneys are a popular means of public transportation in the country, originally consisting of remodelled military vehicles left by US Armed Forces after World War II.
State-owned Land Bank of the Philippines expects to soon complete the acquisition Philippine Postal Savings Bank (PostalBank), which it wants to rebrand as a remittance arm catering to Filipinos working abroad. LandBank President Alex Buenaventura that the lender’s board had approved approved a zero-value purchase. In June, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd said Postal Bank had a negative value of P580 million. “We will rename it as Overseas Filipino Bank (OFW Bank) and transform it as the remittance marketing arm of Landbank. The bank president said a pilot test would be conducted in Dubai in January, to followed by Bahrain, most likely by April next year.
LISTED holding firm SOCResources, Inc. saw a net loss of P8.1 million for the first half of the year from a net income of P7.8 million last year as costs and expenses, although smaller than the previous period, outpaced sharply lower revenues. It currently has a wholly-owned subsidiary, SOC Land Development Corp. (SOC Land), which is engaged in the real estate business. SOC Land has two projects — Anuva Residences in Parañaque City and Althea Residences in Biñan City, Laguna. Unit SOC Land booked a net loss of P7.9 million in the first half, reversing the net income of P10.8 million in the same period last year, as Anala posted sharply lower sales of P13.3 million, down 85 percent from last year’s P92.9 million. Althea’s sales also shrank to P3 million from 2016’s P8 million, or a decrease of 62.5 percent year-on-year.