DOF insists inflation to stay manageable despite higher fuel tax

While higher fuel taxes under House Bill (HB) 4774 or the proposed Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act are inflationary, its impact on consumer prices will be manageable, the Department of Finance (DOF) said on Wednesday. “There are many concerns that this tax reform may increase prices. “This is still low and sustainable,” the DOF official said. “Today, we are proposing a far more moderate increase, a 10 percent increase in the excise tax. So we think that this is manageable, the economy can absorb, we have a strong economy, and the central bank can also manage inflation quite well,” he said.

January 18, 2017 17:06 UTC

PH offers 25-yr global bonds for $2B

The Philippines on Wednesday announced the launch of its global bond sale to raise as much as $2 billion to finance the government’s P3.35 trillion national budget this year. The US dollar-denominated notes have obtained a ‘BBB’ long-term issue rating from Standard & Poor’s (S&P), an expected rating of ‘BBB-(EXP) from Fitch and a (P)Baa2 rating from Moody’s. “The Philippines’ Baa2 government bond rating incorporates sound economic and fiscal fundamentals,” Moody’s added. The government has hired Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Standard Chartered and UBS to serve as joint global coordinators and bookrunners for the new bond offering. In January last year, the Philippines successfully raised $2 billion from its 25-year US dollar-denominated global bonds as part of the liability management transactions of the government.

January 18, 2017 17:06 UTC

Govt expects P206B net revenue from tax reform

Equivalent to 7% of P2.9T revenue target for 2018The government expects to generate P206.8 billion in net revenue equivalent to 7 percent of its P2.91 trillion revenue target next year, once the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act is implemented. The estate tax, a tax imposed on the privilege of transmitting properties upon the death of the owner, will also be reduced from the current maximum rate of 20 percent to 6 percent under the revised tax reform plan. Along with P44.3 billion in revenue from the legislated tax administration reform, Chua said the government can raise a net revenue P206.8 billion next year. Based on the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) program, the P206 billion net revenue from tax policy and administration reforms is equivalent to 7 percent of the P2.93 trillion revenue estimates for 2018. The estimated proceeds from the tax reform package will fund the government’s big-ticket development projects, particularly the infrastructure program, the DBCC said.

January 18, 2017 17:06 UTC

PH alliance with China to boost real estate growth

The international partnerships of the Philippines with other countries, particularly China is seen to accelerate the growth of the country’s real estate sector, a real estate services firm said. The real estate services firm noted that with new sources of funds such as China will accelerate the growth of the real estate industry especially in the residential and industrial side. “Santos Knight Frank aims to leverage on Knight Frank’s strong residential presence in China to further expand the real estate industry in the Philippines,” the company said. “Sustained investor interest, growing investments from OFWs, robust BPO sector, inflow of millennial workforce will further bolster the residential sector,” Santos Knight Frank said. Moreover, Santos expressed his overall optimism for the entire Philippine real estate market.

January 18, 2017 17:06 UTC

Asean+6 in talks on consolidating $22-T GDP

The Asean population is estimated to account for over 47 percent of the world’s population. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Cooperation (RCEP) negotiations are ongoing to consolidate the Asean+6 free trade agreements (FTAs), with 16 negotiating rounds already complete. The RCEP is an economic partnership between the 10-member Asean, plus Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea. According to Asean, the key to forming an Asean+6 economic partnership may be the moves made by India, which has a large population and tremendous growth potential. Within the Asean+6 framework, not just governments but also the private sector must extend cooperation in human resource development and infrastructure.

January 18, 2017 17:06 UTC

PH eyes 40-50% tariff on rice after QR expires

8178, or the Agricultural Tariffication Act of 1996, which had kept the QR on rice importation in place. The Asean Free Trade Agreement (AFTA), for example, gives rice exporting countries like Vietnam and Thailand a much lower duty of 35 percent. “Right now, we are working under a concession with these countries, including the 35 percent tariff. Sombilla said prices of locally grown rice will actually be lower compared to the landed cost of imported rice. “But as of now, the rate that NEDA is looking at is 40-50 percent on all rice imports,” she said.

January 18, 2017 17:06 UTC

America’s Dim Mak point 3: Dollar vulnerability

A run on the US dollar, for instance, which would cause a dollar free-fall, can bring the country’s entire economy toppling down. What is frightening for the US is that China, Russia and Iran possess the power to cause a run on the dollar and force its collapse. Meanwhile, Russia and Iran are among the top oil and gas producers in the world, along with Saudi Arabia and the US. Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, is important in this equation because the Saudis hold the key to the petrodollar. This will be followed by Russia, Iran and perhaps, even Saudi Arabia, announcing that henceforth, they will not accept the dollar for oil and gas transactions.

January 18, 2017 16:47 UTC

RH push overshadowed by Sotto, Leni condom talk

This TRO still stands, one of many roadblocks to the full implementation of RH, based on petitions filed by pro-life groups. But alas, she already has, and what a terrible thing to be on the same side, and spewing the same words, as Senator Sotto. And because he is Senator Sotto, he had to prove how unreasonable he is by asking: “Are we saying that sex with an underage person is now allowed and even encouraged because of the program? As Secretary Pernia says: “<Pro-life groups> keep saying that contraception or family planning or the reproductive health law is abortifacient, it’s anti-life. Take that, Senator Sotto (and you too, VP Leni)!

January 18, 2017 16:47 UTC

Once more, no more political dynasties

TWO years ago, in a different column for another paper, I wrote my objections to political dynasties as they have evolved in the country. []Some social scientists, including political scientists, work on their theoretical constructs and argue that they can make equal cases for political dynasties being a force for social good, even as others make a case for these being social evils. However, we need to deal with our current realities and our experiences with the phenomenon of Filipino political dynasties. The Marcos-Romualdez alliance developed the first of the deep dynasties – family members holding appointive positions in many sectors and elective positions in many layers of government. They got either appointed or elected into positions of power and influence from where they built their political, social and economic networks.

January 18, 2017 16:40 UTC

Robredo trolls declaring war armed only with their anonymous cowardice

And ranged against us are the Robredo trolls unleashed by that command from her office, which was revealed in #LeniLeaks and has effectively damned her. That is the problem with Leni Robredo. She has to rely on her paid social media operators to save her failing image. Her office instructed her paid trolls, whose anonymous sites appear to be well-funded, to declare open war on all of us her critics. Sometimes, I pity Leni Robredo.

January 18, 2017 16:40 UTC

Home of Philippine eagle celebrates harvest

Nueva Ecija: Environmental group Haribon Foundation will join the Gulayan Festival in Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija – home of the Mt. The Municipality of Gabaldon is celebrating the town’s sustained bountiful produce in its 6th annual harvest fest dubbed the Gulayan Festival from January 21 to 25. Started in 2012, the good harvest festival exhibits the rich cultural traditions and natural resources of Gabaldon. The participation of Gab-E in the Gulayan Fest also hopes to drumbeat Haribon’s bigger awareness campaign on the Philippine Eagle in June. The Gulayan Festival is made possible by local governments, the Department of Education, barangays, churches, the police and other supporting organizations.

January 18, 2017 16:36 UTC

Liberty Media shareholders approve Formula One acquisition plan

WASHINGTON: Liberty Media’s takeover of Formula One moved a further step forward on Tuesday as stockholders greenlighted a bid that values the world’s premier motor racing brand at $8 billion. US billionaire John Malone’s Liberty announced in September it had struck an agreement to buy out Formula One’s parent company from CVC Capital, and had already acquired a minority stake of 18.7 percent. Formula One-branded merchandise also brings in millions, but some F1 teams are plagued by financial problems and the sport has limited activity in the social and digital media platforms crucial to courting the next generation of fans. In September Liberty said it would keep longtime Formula One mastermind Bernie Ecclestone, 86, but it also said it would install 21st Century Fox vice chairman Chase Carey as the sport’s new chairman. The 20-race 2017 Formula One season gets underway in Australia on March 26 and ends in Abu Dhabi on November 26.

January 18, 2017 16:36 UTC

Stuttering to defend the king’s speech

* * *Posted last July 2016 by GMA News:Malacañang: “PHL govt won’t spend a single centavo to host Miss Universe pageant in 2017.”Really? * * *On the Zubiri-Trillanes verbal tussle at the Senate: Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III moved that the “unpleasant” words uttered by Zubiri and Trillanes be stricken off the Senate record. * * *I really wish the holding of the 2017 Miss Universe beauty pageant here will be a success. * * *Miss Universe Governor’s Ball dinner cost P250,000 per table. Good work, good deeds and good faith to all.

January 18, 2017 16:28 UTC

Year of Rooster a good one for Duterte

The coming Year of the Fire Rooster promises to be a stellar one for President Rodrigo Duterte — and consequently the Philippines — and he can thank all five of his lucky stars. Right decisionsADVERTISEMENTFor Mr. Duterte, the presence of the intelligence star means he will have easy access to research and right information that he needs to make right decisions. With the Nobleman’s star, Mr. Duterte will attract people who will help him fulfill his duty as President, while the Duke’s Arrival star means he will likely become more popular, which he can use to serve other people. The charm is still there,” said Yap, who concluded that given the elements on the chart of Mr. Duterte, 2017 will be a good year for the Philippines. The majority will feel that 2017 will be a good year for them,” he added.

January 18, 2017 16:27 UTC

Protecting yourself from debit card fraud

Debit cards are considered by most to be a fine alternative to credit cards in that they can be used similarly without the ability to buy items on installment. The biggest difference between a credit card and a debit card is that the latter can only be used if there are funds on it. Most banks carry ATM cards that also function as debit cards, allowing you to go shopping without taking large amounts of cash with you while being able to limit your spending to the amount in the account linked to the debit card. One of the major failings of a debit card is that, should the card be compromised, the account can be completely drained within seconds in the instance of fraud. How debit card fraud happensDebit card fraud usually happens in several manners, the most common of which is the use of equipment being set up within a business to steal your card’s information.

January 18, 2017 16:22 UTC

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