BFAR declares open fishing season for sardines

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has officially declared the fishing season for sardines, herring and mackerel in a portion of the Visayan Sea now open. BFAR 6, citing the latest data from the National Stock Assessment Program, announced the successful implementation of the closed season on sardines and other pelagic fish species. “There is a significant decrease in the landings of the protected species during the closed season,” the agency said in a statement. The agency sees the closed season as a concrete way of addressing the decreasing supply of galunggong thereby lowering its price in the market. As a result of the previous closed season in the Visayan Sea, BFAR noted there has also been an increase in the catch of galunggong in the area.

February 20, 2017 17:42 UTC

PH payments deficit narrows to $9M in Jan

THE country’s balance of payments (BoP) position remained in negative territory in January, but the gap narrowed significantly than the year-earlier and December figures, central bank data on Monday showed. The BoP yielded a deficit of $9 million last month, from an $813-million gap a year earlier and $214 million in December 2016. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said the payments deficit in January carried over carryover the negative sentiment from December. “The BoP has shifted from a surplus of $2.6 billion in 2015 to a modest deficit of $420 million in 2016. “A key concern is that the value of electronics exports, which account for around half of the merchandise exports of the Philippines, has remained stagnant.

February 20, 2017 17:42 UTC

PH regulates imported corn syrup

In Sugar Order No.3, SRA Administrator Anna Rosario Paner said import release certificates will now be issued to accredited traders and importers to prevent the influx of imported HFCS and chemically pure fructose in whatever intensity or form. Paner said only importers or consignees of imported HFCS, duly-registered with the SRA at the time of the clearance application, will be allowed to import sugar starting next month. Applicants for the release of imported HFCS and chemically pure fructose must also submit to the SRA regulation department various requirements before the application can be accepted for processing. Those who violate the order face penalties provided under Sugar Order No. 10, series of 2009-2010, as amended by Sugar Order No.

February 20, 2017 17:37 UTC

Tetangco bags FinanceAsia 2016 Outstanding Achievement Award

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. has won the 2016 Outstanding Achievement Award by FinanceAsia, a Hong Kong-based publication that covers investment banking, capital markets and strategic corporate finance in Asia Pacific. Tetangco was chosen for his contributions to Philippine economic development and to the improvement of central banking standards in the region, according to the announcement issued by the BSP over the weekend. FinanceAsia editor Matthew Thomas was quoted by the BSP statement as saying, “Amando Tetangco Jr. . FinanceAsia annually recognizes the region’s most significant transactions, the financial institutions that advised on them, as well as outstanding individuals in the field of finance. Philippine Monetary Board Member lawyer Juan de Zuniga Jr. received the award on behalf of Tetangco at an awards dinner held at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong on February 16, 2017.

February 20, 2017 17:15 UTC

Tadeco welcomes review of joint venture with govt

The joint venture between the government and Tadeco covers 5,308 hectares of the Davao Prison and Penal Farm reservation. “Our relationship with the Bureau of Corrections (Bucor) is a joint venture, not a lease agreement,” Valoria clarified. The call for a review of the government’s joint venture agreement with Tadeco stemmed from a recent news report that said the agreement was more beneficial to Tadeco than to Bucor. This joint venture management committee that meets every quarter, oversees implementation of the agreement and is tasked with addressing concerns. As an example, a year after the 2003 renewal of the joint venture agreement, the values of guaranteed income and profit sharing were increased as indicated in the amendment to the joint venture agreement dated November 27, 2004.

February 20, 2017 17:15 UTC

Banks, finance leaders vow to comply with PH data privacy code

Philippine banking and finance leaders have pledged support to the country’s data privacy laws by committing to comply with the relevant issuances by the National Privacy Commission (NPC). They convened the meeting primarily to form a banking and finance sector council that will draft an industry-specific data privacy code, the BAP said. The Philippines has one the most stringent data privacy laws in the region, Privacy Commissioner and Chairman Raymund Enriquez Liboro said. BAP President Nestor Tan said compliance with data privacy laws will ensure that clients, regardless of nationality are protected from identity and data theft, and that their deposits and related banking activities remain secure. “Compliance will also make the Philippine banking industry competitive with foreign banks,” he added.

February 20, 2017 17:15 UTC

Japan returns to trade deficit in January

TOKYO: Japan logged its first trade deficit in five months in January, official data showed Monday, as higher energy prices overwhelmed slower growth in exports due to the lunar new year. The country routinely falls into deficit in January due to the lunar new year celebrations in key trade partners such as China, which sees an extended holiday. For January, the trade deficit came to 1.08 trillion yen ($9.6 billion), expanding 67.8 percent from the same month a year ago. Imports from China, meanwhile, rose 7.2 percent, resulting in Japan recording its 59th straight monthly deficit against Asia’s largest economy. Asia-bound exports rose 6.0 percent, led by steel, ships and auto parts.

February 20, 2017 17:14 UTC

Eurozone ministers seek Greece debt breakthrough

BRUSSELS: Eurozone finance ministers will on Monday seek the outline of a deal to unblock bailout cash for Greece before fraught elections across Europe endanger a quick fix. Greece’s eurozone and IMF creditors remain locked in a tense stalemate over debt relief and budget targets, spooking financial markets with fears of a return of the “Grexit” crisis. Greece said last week that it hoped for a “political agreement in principle” at the meeting of the Eurogroup of 19 eurozone finance ministers in Brussels. The Europeans remain at loggerheads with the IMF over the Washington-based lender’s demands for easier budget targets and for debt relief for Athens. Meanwhile eurozone hardliners led by Germany refuse to backdown on the IMF’s call for debt relief, while insisting at the same time that the IMF stays on board the bailout.

February 20, 2017 17:14 UTC

Cebu Pacific cancels 98 flights due to radar upgrade

NINETY-EIGHT flights of Cebu Pacific and Cebgo from March 6 until March 10 have been cancelled due to the temporary shutdown of the air traffic radar in Tagaytay for upgrade and maintenance, the low-cost airline said on Monday. Cebu Pacific said it received a Notice to Airmen from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) about the temporary shutdown of the air traffic radar in Tagaytay for upgrade and maintenance starting at 6:00 a.m. of March 6 until 6:00 a.m. of March 11. “CEB remains supportive of the government’s initiatives to further improve the country’s air traffic management, ensuring a safer and more reliable flying experience for our valued passengers. We will continue to operate all other services as normal,” the company said on a statement. According to the airline, passengers of the cancelled flights may either rebook their flights for travel within 30 days from the original departure date or opt for a full refund or avail of a Travel Fund, in which they can store the value of their ticket for use at a later date without penalties.

February 20, 2017 17:14 UTC

Filinvest rescinds purchase of Cebu reclaimed land

GOTIANUN-LED property firm Filinvest Land Inc. (FLI) has rescinded its purchase of a 19.2-hectare property in the 300-hectare South Road Properties (SRP) in Cebu City which it won through a public bidding in June 2015. Filinvest said the city government of Cebu failed to comply with several conditions that it was required to fulfill more than a year ago, despite ample extensions given. The company is going full blast with its projects, including the joint ventures with Cebu City and Cebu Province. Among these is the ongoing development of the 40-hectare City di Mare, a joint venture with Cebu City located in SRP,” the company added. Incorporated in 1989, FLI is the property unit of Filinvest Development Corp., which is mostly engaged in township projects..

February 20, 2017 17:14 UTC

JDVC switches to APL as backdoor listing vehicle

MINING firm JDVC Resources Corp. is switching to shell company Apollo Global Capital Inc. (APL) as its backdoor listing vehicle after a previous merger plan with Island Information and Technology Inc. (IITI) fell through. Under a deed of exchange which was executed the same day, APL also subscribed to 4.133 million common shares of JDVC, which amounts to an 83 percent stake in the private mining firm. The PSE suspended the trading of APL shares indefinitely, starting 9:00 a.m. on Monday, as the transaction is covered by the exchange’s rules on backdoor listing. IITI was the first prospect firm of JDVC to use as backdoor listing vehicle on the PSE. JDVC is a mining firm with an offshore mining agreement with the government involving 13,240 hectares of mine in Cagayan.

February 20, 2017 17:03 UTC

6 tribal chiefs oppose confirmation of Gina Lopez

Six tribal chiefs from three towns in Surigao del Sur are opposing the confirmation of Environment Secretary Gina Lopez, even as Manobo tribes in three towns in Agusan del Sur and green groups are endorsing her. ADVERTISEMENTThe Commission on Appointments’ committee on environment and natural resources has reset for March 1 the confirmation hearing for Lopez, from the earlier schedule set for Wednesday. 4 reasonsIn a letter addressed to the commission, the six tribal chiefs cited four reasons for opposing the nomination of Lopez:Lopez has a bias against mining. While mining firms are blocking the confirmation of Lopez, environmental groups are supporting her. “We also need warm bodies to bring Gina Lopez to the Senate on March 1 to convince the [Commission on Appointments] that there is a groundswell of support for Gina.

February 20, 2017 16:52 UTC

Inter-department synergy for OFWs

As the implementation of the new OWWA law looms, the various MOAs and MOUs will further strengthen the host of programs and services the agency can offer to our OFWs and their families. These “quasi-orphans” are more vulnerable to abuse and neglect, especially with the absence of the OFW mother or father. Being thousands of miles away, OFW parents know they cannot immediately respond when problems arise at home. This MOU on the protection of children of OFWs is only one among many other agreements that OWWA and its mother agency, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), have entered into to protect and promote the welfare of OFWs. After all, nothing is more important to our OFWs than to come home and see their families safe, healthy, and better off than when they left.

February 20, 2017 16:48 UTC

The real score in the De Lima-Trillanes show

And Senator Trillanes is rehashing baseless claims of sleazy bank funds. Senator Trillanes can file charges at the Office of the Ombudsman, backed by his alleged bank records. The other reason, critics contend, is his real wish for grandstanding, to erode support for the administration and project himself as graftbuster. Whatever his motives, impartial media and informed Filipinos might not indulge Senator Trillanes. That absent documentation eventually led the judge to grant Arroyo bail.

February 20, 2017 16:41 UTC

‘Enough House votes to pass death penalty bill’

A lawmaker on Monday claimed the ruling coalition has mustered enough votes to pass the death penalty bill in the House of Representatives. “As long as the criminal justice system is corrupt, we will not be able to fight effectively, criminality with death penalty,” he said. Death for plunder, treason, drugsThe proposed death penalty bill will be amended to spare convicts of drug possession from execution, House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas of Ilocos Norte said Monday. Crimes punishable by death penalty will include plunder, treason, and drug-related offenses except drug possession. The death penalty bill was abolished in 2006 during the presidency of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

February 20, 2017 16:40 UTC

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