‘Peso broadly stable’ – BSP

THE Philippine peso remains broadly stable despite the strength of the greenback, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said on Tuesday, noting remittances and other dollar-earning sectors will continue to support the local currency. “We have seen that kind of volatility from the Philippine peso in recent periods,” he said. The peso depreciated back to the P50:$1 on February 17 and is currently trading at around P50.18. We can see the peso has been broadly stable and has maintained its broad competitiveness over the medium-term,” Tetangco pointed out. In January this year, personal remittances rose by 8.5 percent to $2.39 billion from $2.20 billion a year earlier.

March 28, 2017 17:37 UTC

MICC agrees on framework for choosing expert reviewers

The multi-stakeholder Mineral Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) on Tuesday agreed that a framework needs to be formulated as basis for choosing experts for the technical review teams (TRTs). Under the organizational framework, these five TRTs will review the compliance of the 28 mine sites with applicable agreements, submissions, laws and regulations and impact of their operations. Agabin said the review is pursuant to Executive Order 79 which requires that the MICC review mining operations in the country every two years. The results of the review will be submitted to the MICC’s multi-stakeholder TWG, which will verify the technical report before the final presentation to the MICC. The MICC will present the findings and submit its recommendations to the Office of the President for a final decision on the DENR’s closure and suspension orders.

March 28, 2017 17:37 UTC

Govt raises P70B from 3-yr retail bonds

The national government was able to raise P70 billion at its price setting auction for three-year retail treasury bonds (RTBs) on Tuesday, in line with the government’s aim to promote financial literacy and inclusion in the country. The amount sold in the second RTB issuance under the Duterte administration was more than double the P30 billion initially offered, the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) said. The RTB auction was oversubscribed with tenders for the 2020 bonds reaching P86.2 billion, more than two times the initial offer. The coupon rate of the three-year RTB stood at 4.25 percent, 32 basis points higher than the secondary market rate of 3.93 percent for the same tenor. Retail treasury bonds offer an opportunity for the investing public to access affordable and higher-yielding instruments compared to regular time deposits, the bureau said in a statement.

March 28, 2017 17:37 UTC

CebuPac taps Air France to service A320 fleet

PHILIPPINE low-cost airline Cebu Pacific (CEB) inked a pact with Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance for component support of its Airbus A320 fleet. CEB currently has a fleet of 59 aircraft, comprised of four Airbus A319, 36 Airbus A320ceo, seven Airbus A330, eight ATR 72-500, and four ATR 72-600 aircraft. The said agreement is the first component support contract in the Philippines by AFI KLM E&M. Meanwhile, CEB said that it will increase its fleet to 85 by the year 2021. It expects delivery of 45 brand-new aircraft as part of its fleet renewal program.

March 28, 2017 17:26 UTC

For leaders and the bubbles we are in

If only the owner knows about this, he sighs… The owner has been making himself scarce at the barbershop these days. The guest for this episode is Hal Gregersen, a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and his topic, entitled “Bursting the CEO Bubble,” is about CEOs, or any leader, being trapped oftentimes in their own bubbles. Problems such as these arise because leaders sometimes create, whether intentional or not, a cocoon that isolates them from everything other than the good news. Oftentimes, this bubble prevents leaders from identifying unanticipated risks or the “unknown unknowns” (a term made famous by former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld). Yes, the owner might already have an idea that his barbers do not agree with the new policies.

March 28, 2017 17:03 UTC

PH, China to craft sea row mechanism

“He (Zhao) conveyed that China looks forward to the convening in May 2017 of the first meeting of the bilateral mechanism set up to properly handle the SCS [South China Sea] issue,” Abella told reporters. In his meeting with Duterte, Zhao reiterated China’s “determination” to cooperate with Asean to tackle the completion of the code of conduct, Abella said. “Zhao expressed China’s determination to work with Asean member states in finalizing the Code of Conduct Framework on the South China Sea middle of this year,” he said. Despite fears on China’s militarization at the South China Sea, Duterte had doggedly refused confront China about its construction activities in some disputed islands, saying he will discuss the matter at an auspicious time. For civilian useChina also denied militarizing the disputed South China Sea, insisting that defense equipment Beijing has installed on artificial islands is “primarily” for civilian use.

March 28, 2017 16:52 UTC

Robredo accepts Duterte dinner invitation

Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo has agreed to have a friendly dinner with President Rodrigo Duterte. Robredo confirmed in a radio interview that the President extended the dinner invitation when they met during the graduation rites of the Philippine National Police Academy in Silang, Cavite last weekend. When the program was almost over, he asked, why don’t we have a dinner?” Robredo said. We have been given a mandate to serve our country and it is our obligation to find (a) common ground,” the vice president explained. Still, Robredo said that if she will be given the chance to talk with Duterte, she will inform his about her fears on certain policies of the government.

March 28, 2017 16:41 UTC

‘EU should watch child porn’ – DSWD exec

AN official of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) lashed out at the European Union (EU) for criticizing President Rodrigo Duterte, saying EU officials should watch child porn videos instead. “Those EU members should just engage in online child porn. Since that’s what you are all good at,” Assistant Secretary Lorraine Marie Badoy said in a post in social media. The EU has continuously criticized the Duterte administration over its bloody campaign against illegal drugs and the passage of the death penalty at the House of Representatives. “President Rodrigo Duterte’s love affair with the Filipino people is like a jet plane that’s just taken off,” Badoy said in her post.

March 28, 2017 16:30 UTC

4,000 martial law victims to get partial compensation

The Human Rights Victims Claims Board (HRVCB) has approved the release of partial compensation for 4,000 martial law victims, Malacañang announced on Tuesday. President Ernesto Abella said the claims board requested P300 million as reparation for the victims. “HRVCB sped up the process of evaluating and releasing of claims of Martial Law victims as part of its commitment to President Rodrigo Duterte’s goal to expedite the release of the claims,” Abella told reporters. Of the 4,000 names submitted, 2,661 are “conclusively presumed victims” while 1,339 are new applicants. There are around 75,000 martial law victims, according to Selda.

March 28, 2017 16:30 UTC

After 22 years, Hungary opens embassy in PH

Hungary opened its embassy in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City on Tuesday after 22 years of absence in the country. We see that as a mistake, after 22 years we want to make up and resume our relationship,” Szijjárto said. He said Hungary is finalizing negotiations on the export of meat products, agricultural machines and technology, as well as water anti-pollutant machines. Economic pactSzijjarto and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez signed the Philippines-Hungarian Economic Cooperation Agreement that aims to creating a Joint Economic Commission for both sides to serve as a platform to discuss trade,investments, economic cooperation and other related matters. “Cooperation activities include exchange of information, participation in trade and investment-related activities and promotion of economic cooperation among institutions,” Lopez said.

March 28, 2017 16:30 UTC

US reaffirms support to Mindanao devt

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said Kim met Duterte in Davao City. At a luncheon meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce Mindanao, Kim conveyed the US government’s wholehearted support to the Philippine economy, as well as its commitment to development in Mindanao. This accomplishment will help US and Philippine businesses operating in Mindanao increase their exports at great savings. The ambassador said US clients generate an estimated 40,000 well-paying BPO jobs in Mindanao. Cargill, a US agricultural corporation, exports P7.5 billion of coconut oil every year, much of which comes from Mindanao, Kim said.

March 28, 2017 16:18 UTC

Duterte, Misuari reaffirm commitment to peace

President Rodrigo Duterte and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chairman Nur Misuari reaffirmed their commitment to bring “just and lasting” peace in Mindanao, a Palace official said on Tuesday. Duterte met with Misuari at the presidential guest house in Panacan, Davao City on Monday. In a press conference, Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said Duterte had a “warm, cordial and positive” meeting with Misuari. The Palace official said he was not privy to the issues discussed during the meeting. Duterte has been negotiating with Misuari in a bid to end the armed conflict in Mindanao.

March 28, 2017 16:18 UTC

Why impeachment is not a solution

But after Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano filed an impeachment complaint against DU30 over the drug killings, and the President called on his sycophants in Congress not to threaten Vice President Leni Robredo with possible impeachment, the congressmen decided, according to Secretary of Justice Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd, to proceed nevertheless, saying impeachment is a congressional prerogative, rather than the call of the President. In the case of Estrada’s impeachment trial, the media had succeeded in creating a very strong bias against the respondent. In a Robredo impeachment trial, the bias could be in favor of the respondent. The prosecution could submit any number of articles of impeachment just to initiate trial, then whittle them down to the barest minimum for lack of evidence, as happened during the Corona impeachment trial. It is quite obvious therefore that Robredo’s impeachment is not the solution to DU30’s perceived problems about his succession.

March 28, 2017 16:18 UTC

Don’t be a victim

You check the travel agent’s social media account, but you find that it has been deactivated. Not only have you fallen victim to a scammer, the trip with the whole family has been ruined. As netizens take to social media sites hunting for good travel deals, they forget to be mindful of possible dangers that await. This is one of the traps that netizen-victims fall into – you don’t really know who is on the keyboard at the other end. If you don’t know how to clean up your cookies, then ask a friend who knows how to do it.

March 28, 2017 16:18 UTC

Alerts from cool Britain

All in all, it was another close call, reminiscent of a recent action movie about the terrorist takeover of London. The terrorist incidents aside, Britain has of course been saddled with many perhaps more mundane but certainly no less important socio-economic concerns in recent days. But then even the British parliament duly voted for Brexit, demonstrating the overall British resolve to detach itself from EU. And the EU understandably does not look upon Brexit too kindly, Britain being the first country to try to exit the Union. Britain is of course no stranger to terrorist attacks even from the days way before the 911 tragedy.

March 28, 2017 16:18 UTC

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