Fitch Ratings cuts PH growth forecasthome/Business/Top Business/Fitch Ratings cuts PH growth forecastFitch Ratings has slashed its 2019 Philippine growth forecast, tagging the delayed approval of the national budget and outside circumstances as reasons for the adjustment. “Fitch has revised down its GDP (gross domestic product) growth forecast for 2019 to 6.2 percent from 6.6 percent previously, as it expects the recent budget delay and external factors to weigh on growth,” the debt watcher said in a report released on Wednesday. The projection matches last year’s actual growth and falls near the lower end of the government’s downwardly-revised 6.0-7.0 percent target. The government’s decision to lower this year’s GDP growth goal to 6.0-7.0 percent, from 7.0-8.0 percent previously, was primarily based on expectations that the budget delay would extend to April. Lastly, Fitch also trimmed its 2019 government revenue-to-GDP estimate to 16.2 percent from 16.5 percent in line with the lower growth forecast.
April 24, 2019 16:30 UTC
This is what is called by elite intellectuals the likes of Randy David and John Nery as “Dutertismo,” except that they deploy the label to malign an organic ideology by focusing only on its dark side. It is the same logic that makes people suspend their politics in exchange for some comfort over a President they trust will bring change. What the elite intellectuals who coined “Dutertismo” are guilty of is when they appropriated scholarly logic into what is obviously a partisan agenda. Thus, the ideology that is Duterte is sustained by a blindly loyal base of support and an equally blindly partisan base of criticism. There are very few scholars, artists and academics who can navigate the challenge of understanding Duterte as ideology from a purely academic enterprise.
April 24, 2019 16:29 UTC
SWS POLLRobredo’s net satisfaction rating up 15 pointsBy RALPH VILLANUEVAhome/News/Top Stories/Robredo’s net satisfaction rating up 15 pointsTHE NET satisfaction rating of Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo saw a significant 15-point hike in the first quarter of 2019, according to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey. Robredo’s satisfaction rating saw significant hikes in rural and urban areas. He, however, obtained “very good” net satisfaction ratings in all basic sociodemographics. Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s net satisfaction rating stayed “poor” for the first quarter of 2019 at -17, from the -21 recorded in December 2018. Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin, meanwhile, had a +14 net satisfaction rating, almost identical to his +11 rating in December 2018.
Draft estate tax amnesty rules releasedhome/Business/Top Business/Draft estate tax amnesty rules releasedDraft rules for an estate tax amnesty have been released by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), which expects to collect some P6.28 billion once the program is implemented. Also excluded from the estate tax amnesty are properties involved in pending cases under the jurisdiction of the Presidential Commission of Good Government, the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and Plunder Law, Anti-Money Laundering Act, National Internal Revenue Code and the Revised Penal Code. In general, the estate’s value will be based on the fair market rate at the time of the decedent’s death. Delinquent taxpayers who wish to avail of the amnesty will be given two years to file their applications. The estate tax amnesty was among the provisions retained by President Rodrigo Duterte when he partially vetoed Republic Act 11213 or the Tax Amnesty law earlier this year.
‘Be attentive’ to China’s rebalancingPolicymakers in the East Asia and Pacific region should be mindful of China’s bid to make its economy more dependent on consumption instead of debt-led spending, a World Bank economist said on Wednesday. “It will be important for policymakers to be attentive to China’s efforts to rebalance its economy as a related shift will present both new opportunities and challenges,” acting East Asia and Pacific chief economist Andrew Mason told reporters in a briefing. Policy reforms in the service sector are also necessary, Mason said, as it remains “remain very restrictive compared to goods sector”. Gross domestic product (GDP) growth is expected to pick up to 6.5 percent next year. “Continued uncertainty stems from several factors including further deceleration in advanced economies, the possibility of a faster-than-expected slowdown in China, and unresolved trade tensions.
Another Petron-F2 Logistics finals showdown loomsBy THE MANILA TIMEShome/Sports/Top Sports/Another Petron-F2 Logistics finals showdown loomsBitter rivals Petron and F2 Logistics seek to book another finals duel while Cignal and PLDT Home Fibr fight for survival in Game 2 of their Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix best-of-three semifinal series today at the Filoil Flying V Centre. “She got frustrated in the second set,” said F2 Logistics coach Ramil de Jesus. It woke her up and she started to play well in the third set.”But all eyes will be on Petron. After suffering their second set loss of the season, the Blaze Spikers displayed their ability to bounce back as imports Katherine Bell and Stephanie Niemer caught fire in the second set en route to an impressive 20-25, 25-14, 25-13, 25–18 win. The HD Spikers are also raring to stay alive and stretch the game to a rubber match on Saturday.
Manila Water fined P1.1Bhome/News/Headlines/Manila Water fined P1.1BTHE METROPOLITAN Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) has penalized Ayala-led Manila Water Co. Inc. more than P1 billion for the water shortage its consumers experienced in March, the first time the agency fined one of its two concessionaires. The publicly listed Manila Water said it would comply with the decision, but blamed the MWSS for not ensuring adequate water supply. Velasco said the MWSS was putting together a “realistic and doable” water security roadmap to ensure enough water supply. “Our inability to provide our usual 24/7 water supply to some of our consumers is because Manila Water’s allocated water supply from Angat Dam is no longer sufficient for the total demand of the East Zone consumers,” he added. De la Cruz said Manila Water was focusing its efforts to address water supply issues of those residing in the elevated and farthest areas of its concession.
Lady Spikers blast through UEhome/Sports/Top Sports/Lady Spikers blast through UEDe La Salle University was assured of at least a playoff for a Final Four twice-to-beat advantage after a 25-17, 25-16, 25-19, demolition of University of the East (UE), in Season 81 University Athletic Association of the Philippines women’s volleyball on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City. The four-peat seeking Lady Spikers banked on a balanced attack as they moved a win away from one of the semifinal incentives with an improved 10-3 record. Rookie spiker Jolina Dela Cruz and veteran hitter Aduke Ogunsanya led the Lady Spikers’ offense with 10 points apiece. Judith Abil led UE with a game-high 16 points but was the only player in double-digit scoring. The Green Spikers and the Maroon Spikers fell to 4-9 and 1-12, respectively.
Rescuers still looking for quake survivorsBy DEMPSEY REYEShome/News/Top Stories/Rescuers still looking for quake survivorsRESCUE teams remain hopeful they would find more survivors from a collapsed supermarket building in Porac, Pampanga, as the toll from the 6.1-magnitude earthquake that struck Luzon on Monday stayed at 16 dead. Jalad said rescuers were drilling a hole into the flooring to retrieve two dozens of people trapped in the supermarket. Gen. Rowen Tolentino, commander of the Philippine Army’s 703rd Infantry Brigade, said nine survivors were recovered from the supermarket. Roads remain passable and no major damage has been reported so far following the earthquake that struck San Julian in Eastern Samar. “We would like to extend our sincere condolences to the families of the deceased and express our sympathies to all those afflicted by the recent earthquakes in Luzon and Eastern Samar.
Lillard buzzer-beater seals Blazers thriller to knock out Thunderhome/Sports/Top Sports/Lillard buzzer-beater seals Blazers thriller to knock out ThunderLOS ANGELES: Damian Lillard sank a three-pointer on the buzzer to cap a 50-point display as the Portland Trail Blazers completed a late fightback to send Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder crashing out of the NBA playoffs on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila). His first-half exploits appeared to have caught up with him as the Blazers flagged in the third period. But the Portland talisman led a mesmerizing late rally to finish with 50 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Paul George led the Thunder scoring with 36 points, adding nine rebounds and three assists in a losing effort. The Sixers sealed a 4-1 series win after routing the Brooklyn Nets 122-100 while the Raptors swept to an emphatic 115-96 dismissal of the Orlando Magic to also win their series 4-1.
Trade remedies as a protective measureBy MARK ANTHONY TAMAYOhome/Business/Business Columns/Trade remedies as a protective measure(Last of three parts)In last week’s article, we briefly discussed Republic Act (RA) No. 8751 (Countervailing Duty Act) as trade protection instruments, which can be used against unfair trade practices. Such measures are needed to protect the domestic industry, pending the final resolution of the investigation. The Bureau of Customs then takes charge of the imposition of dumping duty. The bottom lineTrade remedy measures, as a safety net to domestic industry, stemmed from the principle that free trade should be accompanied by free trade practices.
Jack Ma and his inconveniently big mouthhome/Business/Business Columns/Jack Ma and his inconveniently big mouthJACK Ma, the unfortunate-looking tycoon behind the online commerce giant Alibaba, recently sparked an outpouring of existential angst in the social media realm by declaring that anyone not willing to work at least 72 hours a week was not welcome in his company, and would probably be a failure due to lack of commitment in any endeavor. That sort of thinking is offensive to Western sensibilities, and especially the unambitious working style that prevails in this culture. That is the thing about Jack Ma that makes others uncomfortable and defensive: He is unpleasant and says provocative things, but he cannot be simply ignored because the man is, after all, as rich as Croesus. What really gets under people’s skin is that, upon reflection, Jack Ma’s most obnoxious observations are for the most part correct. Whether or not reality is right or wrong, Jack Ma and his big mouth serve as a reminder that, if one wants to get ahead, this is the way of things.
Eton Properties’ income from serviced apartments and property management services also contributed to the net increase in revenue for 2018. “Evidently, the global companies that have made our offices the site of their Philippine operations have seen how the strategic location of Eton Properties’ developments, combined with the well-thought-out facilities in each of these buildings, have contributed to their operational productivity,” said Eton Properties president Lucio Tan Jr. He said Eton Properties would continue to maintain an optimal portfolio mix that balances recurring income and real estate sales. In 2018, Eton Properties completed the construction of Eton Square Ortigas in San Juan City. The company also carried out construction activities for Cyberpod Five in Eton Centris in Quezon City, Eton WestEnd Square in Makati City and Eton City Square in Sta.
April 24, 2019 16:07 UTC
Brunei seeks tolerance, craft of apologies, Aquino’s silenceBy YEN MAKABENTAFirst wordIT seems the only explanation on Mamasapano and DAP that the nation will ever get from Benigno Aquino 3rd is stony silence. His state has come out publicly to seek tolerance and understanding of its new Sharia penal law from other states. In an attempt to reconcile Sharia law with Western standards, the letter demands that MEPs consider diversity and tolerance when judging the penal code. The letter then asserts that the new Sharia criminal law aims to “rehabilitate” and “nurture” rather than punish. “The Shariah criminal law system focuses more on prevention than punishment.
April 24, 2019 16:07 UTC
UN: US killed more civilians in AfghanistanKABUL: Afghan civilians are for the first time being killed in greater numbers by US and pro-government forces than by the Taliban and other insurgent groups, a United Nations (UN) report released Wednesday revealed. The bloody milestone comes as the US steps up its air campaign in Afghanistan while pushing for a peace deal with the Taliban, who now control or influence more parts of the country than at any time since they were ousted in 2001. During the first three months of 2019, international and pro-government forces were responsible for the deaths of 305 civilians, whereas insurgent groups killed 227 people, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said in a quarterly report.
April 24, 2019 16:07 UTC