Today's Top Stories

  • Bongao island learners receive School-in-a-Bag, Infocast from PLDT-Smart, PayMaya Philippines

    Bongao island learners receive School-in-a-Bag, Infocast from PLDT-Smart, PayMaya Philippines

    The coastal municipality of Bongao of the island province of Tawi-Tawi received School-in-a-Bag portable digital classrooms, as well as an Infocast SMS solution, as incentives for bagging the prestigious Seal of Good Education Governance presented by Synergeia Foundation and USAID Philippines.      During a turnover ceremony held in Zamboanga City last August 1, 2019, Bongao Mayor Jimuel Que emphasized how their local government recognizes education’s crucial role in their community, which is why they uphold good governance in education.      “We hope for continuous sustainable partnerships to strengthen more educational programs in our area,” Mayor Que said.      For Bongao, one School-in-a-Bag unit was jointly donated by digital services provider PLDT and its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications (Smart). A second learning package was funded by PayMaya Philippines through their #PayMayaItForward corporate social responsibility initiative.      The municipality also received an Infocast web-based SMS solution for sending out important announcements.      Intended for remote schools and communities such as Bongao and other islands in Tawi-Tawi, specifically areas with limited electricity and internet connection, a School-in-a-Bag comes in a water-resistant backpack that generally contains a solar panel and battery, teacher's laptop and tablet, Smart pocket WiFi, projector, DVD player, TV, and student tablets.      “We are very much thankful for the continuous support of USAID Philippines, Synergeia Foundation, Smart Communications, Inc. and PayMaya," the mayor said.      The devices carried in every School-in-a-Bag backpack are pre-installed with educational content that include award-winning Learn Smart literacy apps developed by Smart in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) and academic institutions nationwide. To-date, Smart has launched nine #LearnSmart literacy applications: Bahay Kubo (Filipino), Kaalam (Cebuano), Ta’allam and Tahderiyyah (Arabic), Matisalug (Matigsalug indigenous peoples Tribe of Davao and Bukidnon), Kaaram (Waray), Katao (Inabaknon), Singsing (Kapampangan), and Sanut (Ilokano).      Since the program’s launch in 2016, over 160 School-in-a-Bag packages have been donated to various learning institutions nationwide. To date, the Program has benefitted more than thirty thousand students and over a thousand teachers in communities all over the Philippines.      Those interested in School-in-a-Bag may send an email to learnsmart@smart.com.ph.

    August 20, 2019

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  • Escape boredom, ditch the pressure with easy, affordable travel courtesy of RedDoorz

    Escape boredom, ditch the pressure with easy, affordable travel courtesy of RedDoorz

    It’s that season between vacay-happy Summer and the coming ‘Ber months. Traffic, too much work, piled up tasks and pressure can likely get you down.      There’s one word that will lift you up. Escape. The very thought of it is the ultimate adventure, whether just around the city or in destinations around the Philippines. According to the still ongoing Framingham Heart Study, men and women who travel often are less likely to get heart disease. It also found that because travel relieves stress, it improves mental health, boosts the immune system and promotes fitness.      The good news is, it’s so easy to travel these days. Affordable hotels with quality accommodations like RedDoorz have 150+ properties in 10+ cities all over the Philippines. The RedDoorz travel app, downloadable from the Apple store or Google Play Store, puts staycations or out of town trips literally at one’s fingertips.      You can escape anytime you want and find an affordable RedDoorz hotel from north to south. Here are 6 Escape ideas you can easily pull off when the spirit moves you:      1.  Do a Staycation. Treat the family to a fun weekend. Or just disappear for a day or two watching streamed movies all day. You can choose from boutique hotels, inns, apartels or condotels that are part of the RedDoorz partner chain. It won’t cost much, but the experience is priceless.      2.   Go Out of Town. You can easily book a room using the RedDoorz app and find your desired accommodation in Baguio, Pampanga, Metro Manila, Tagaytay, Palawan, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod or  Davao. Just leave the world behind even for just a weekend. Even for just a day.      3.  Try a Couple Getaway. The pressure of work and the day to day grind of housekeeping can really be straining. Grab some time off with your special someone for some peace and quiet and rediscover the joy of each other’s company.      4.   Reward yourself. Pat yourself on the back for that promotion or the exam that you just passed. Celebrate your accomplishments and be kind to No. 1. Effortless travel is the best gift you can give yourself. A weekend in Palawan or Davao would be a really good choice!      5.  Celebrate a Special Occasion. Blow your birthday candles in the private cocoon of a RedDoorz hotel room. Toast one another on your special anniversary. You can even invent holidays and celebrate the victory of your winning team. It all feels extra good when you don’t have to wash the dishes yourself.      6.  Get some Me Time. Ultimately, the most important person is you. Discover the fun and adventure of solo travel and feel relaxed, recharged and rejuvenated.      This August, RedDoorz released its biggest sale ever! Just P499 per night on rooms anywhere in the Philippines till August 31. You can paint the town red. In any RedDoorz town you want.

    August 20, 2019

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  • Cebu Pacific pins growth hopes on cargo business

    Cebu Pacific pins growth hopes on cargo business

    CEBU PACIFIC operator Cebu Air, Inc. is looking to ramp up the expansion of its cargo business, banking on the continued growth of the logistics industry.      “The business plan is for the cargo side to grow faster than the overall passenger side. If we succeed in that, then of course, by definition, we will grow (cargo) to a bigger portion of the total (revenue) pie,” Alex B. Reyes, vice-president of Cebu Pacific’s cargo division, told reporters in the launch of its first all-cargo freighter Wednesday.      “We’re just responding to the demand in the market place. If we can supply it, then we’ll grow along with the demand in the market place,” he added.      The Gokongwei-led budget carrier draws its profits from three business segments: passenger, cargo and ancillary services. In the first half, revenues from the passenger segment grew 18% to P33.35 billion, from ancillary services by 23.8% to P8.52 billion, and from cargo by 7% to P2.84 billion.      Mr. Reyes said Cebu Pacific is optimistic on its cargo business, noting that the 7% revenue increase in the past six months shows its growth potential in the region.      He said despite the 5.4% decline in Asia-Pacific demand for air freight as of June — based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) — Cebu Pacific was able to maintain its growth momentum during the period.      The company’s cargo business is still largely supported by the belly capacity of its Airbus fleet, but it is now exploring more opportunities, starting with all-cargo planes.      Cebu Pacific took delivery of its first all-cargo aircraft, a reconfigured passenger ATR 72-500, which it will start deploying next month. The next one is expected to arrive before yearend.      “The ATRs are supposed to supplement the total capacity that we have. But they’re still relatively small compared to the total network capacity,” Mr. Reyes said.      “The freighter is brand new to us in terms of operations. We don’t have experience yet operating an all-cargo aircraft. But this is the first step in that direction,” he added.      The ATRs will initially operate domestically, but the company aims to fly them within the region someday.      Cebu Pacific Vice-President for Commercial Planning Alexander G. Lao said the arrival of more Airbus planes and the operational launch of the ATRs in the remainder of the year prepares the company well for cargo expansion.      “The main portion of our cargo revenue business continues to be driven from the Airbus fleet, because that’s really a higher capacity aircraft in terms of both weight (and) volume, and the associated revenue with it,” he said.      “We believe that by the second half, we’ll actually grow much faster in terms of total seats and total flights than we did in the first half,” he added.      The new ATR freighter will fly out of Manila when it starts operations in September, but will be moved to the Sangley air base once it opens in November.      Cebu Air booked a net income of P7.14 billion in the first half of the year, up 116% due to an increased passenger volume and higher average fares.

    August 20, 2019

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  • Cebu Landmasters books P256-million profit in Q2

    Cebu Landmasters books P256-million profit in Q2

    CEBU Landmasters, Inc. (CLI) booked a 6% decline in attributable profit for the second quarter of 2019, as most of the projects completed for the period were part of joint ventures.      In a regulatory filing, the Cebu-based property developer reported a net income attributable to the parent of P255.8 million in the April to June period. This came on the back of a 20% increase in revenues to P1.63 billion.      “That’s a result of the percentage of completion. Most that have been completed in the first half is mostly for joint ventures, that’s why it’s slower,” CLI Chief Finance Officer Beuregard Grant L. Cheng said in a media and analysts’ briefing in Taguig yesterday.      For the first half, net income attributable to the parent climbed 13% to P854.34 million following a 34% uptick in revenues to P3.495 billion.      The listed company said it remains on track to hit an attributable profit of P2 billion for full year 2019, as unrecognized revenues totaled P12.9 billion by end-June.      “Internally, we’re pretty much on track and we’re pretty confident of hitting our guidance numbers,” Mr. Cheng said.      The company attributed its growth in the first half to high-end projects such as 38 Park Avenue in Cebu City, as well as the on-time construction of its projects that allows it to quickly turn over the units.      Reservation sales for the period stood at P5.26 billion, driven by the sales of its newly launched residential project called One Paragon Place in Davao City which is now 78% sold out.      CLI also benefited from its growing leasable portfolio, as it generated a 16% increase in revenues to P27.7 million. The company ended the first half with 11,815.15 square meters (sq.m.) in gross leasable area, with another 69,234 sq.m. under construction. It targets to have 200,000 sq.m under its network by 2023.

    August 20, 2019

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Del Monte Pacific shuts facilities in 4 US locations

August 23, 2019

Corporate

By: , DEL MONTE Pacific Limited (DMPL) is shutting several factories in the United States as part of a restructuring program that seeks to bring down costs.      In a statement posted on its website, the canned fruit manufacturer said it is closing facilities in four locations owned by US subsidiary Del Monte Foods, Inc.      The facilities include those in Sleepy Eye in Minnesota and Mendota in Illinois, which will stop production at the end of the current peak season. The company will also divest from its facilities in Cambria, Wisconsin and from its manufacturing assets in Crystal City, Texas.      DMPL will transfer production in these locations to other facilities within the US. The company looks to fully utilize the capacity of its existing plants after the divestment.      “This decision has been difficult and has come after careful consideration. This restructuring is a necessary step for us to remain competitive in a rapidly changing marketplace,” DMPL Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Joselito D. Campos, Jr said in a statement.      “Our asset-light strategy will lead to more efficient and lower cost operations,” he added.      The facilities are part of Del Monte Foods’ 10 plants in the US, which sells products under brands Fruit Naturals, Orchard Select, SunFresh, and Fruit Refreshers. The company also has two plants in Mexico.      In the Philippines, DMPL operates a 26,000-hectare pineapple plantation in Mindanao, dubbed as the largest fully integrated pineapple operation in the world. It also has a beverage bottling plant and frozen fruit processing facility in the country.      DMPL earlier postponed the P17.5-billion initial public offering of local unit Del Monte Philippines, Inc., due to market volatility. The company sought to raise money to prepay or repay the group’s existing debt.      In its fiscal year ending April 2019, DMPL reported a net profit attributable to the parent of $20.32 million, versus an attributable loss of $36.49 million the year before. Revenues, however, slipped 11% to $1.95 billion.      DMPL is listed on both the main board of the Singapore Stock Exchange and the Philippine Stock Exchange.

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Cebu Pacific pins growth hopes on cargo business

August 20, 2019

Corporate

By: , CEBU PACIFIC operator Cebu Air, Inc. is looking to ramp up the expansion of its cargo business, banking on the continued growth of the logistics industry.      “The business plan is for the cargo side to grow faster than the overall passenger side. If we succeed in that, then of course, by definition, we will grow (cargo) to a bigger portion of the total (revenue) pie,” Alex B. Reyes, vice-president of Cebu Pacific’s cargo division, told reporters in the launch of its first all-cargo freighter Wednesday.      “We’re just responding to the demand in the market place. If we can supply it, then we’ll grow along with the demand in the market place,” he added.      The Gokongwei-led budget carrier draws its profits from three business segments: passenger, cargo and ancillary services. In the first half, revenues from the passenger segment grew 18% to P33.35 billion, from ancillary services by 23.8% to P8.52 billion, and from cargo by 7% to P2.84 billion.      Mr. Reyes said Cebu Pacific is optimistic on its cargo business, noting that the 7% revenue increase in the past six months shows its growth potential in the region.      He said despite the 5.4% decline in Asia-Pacific demand for air freight as of June — based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) — Cebu Pacific was able to maintain its growth momentum during the period.      The company’s cargo business is still largely supported by the belly capacity of its Airbus fleet, but it is now exploring more opportunities, starting with all-cargo planes.      Cebu Pacific took delivery of its first all-cargo aircraft, a reconfigured passenger ATR 72-500, which it will start deploying next month. The next one is expected to arrive before yearend.      “The ATRs are supposed to supplement the total capacity that we have. But they’re still relatively small compared to the total network capacity,” Mr. Reyes said.      “The freighter is brand new to us in terms of operations. We don’t have experience yet operating an all-cargo aircraft. But this is the first step in that direction,” he added.      The ATRs will initially operate domestically, but the company aims to fly them within the region someday.      Cebu Pacific Vice-President for Commercial Planning Alexander G. Lao said the arrival of more Airbus planes and the operational launch of the ATRs in the remainder of the year prepares the company well for cargo expansion.      “The main portion of our cargo revenue business continues to be driven from the Airbus fleet, because that’s really a higher capacity aircraft in terms of both weight (and) volume, and the associated revenue with it,” he said.      “We believe that by the second half, we’ll actually grow much faster in terms of total seats and total flights than we did in the first half,” he added.      The new ATR freighter will fly out of Manila when it starts operations in September, but will be moved to the Sangley air base once it opens in November.      Cebu Air booked a net income of P7.14 billion in the first half of the year, up 116% due to an increased passenger volume and higher average fares.

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Cebu Landmasters books P256-million profit in Q2

August 20, 2019

Corporate

By: , CEBU Landmasters, Inc. (CLI) booked a 6% decline in attributable profit for the second quarter of 2019, as most of the projects completed for the period were part of joint ventures.      In a regulatory filing, the Cebu-based property developer reported a net income attributable to the parent of P255.8 million in the April to June period. This came on the back of a 20% increase in revenues to P1.63 billion.      “That’s a result of the percentage of completion. Most that have been completed in the first half is mostly for joint ventures, that’s why it’s slower,” CLI Chief Finance Officer Beuregard Grant L. Cheng said in a media and analysts’ briefing in Taguig yesterday.      For the first half, net income attributable to the parent climbed 13% to P854.34 million following a 34% uptick in revenues to P3.495 billion.      The listed company said it remains on track to hit an attributable profit of P2 billion for full year 2019, as unrecognized revenues totaled P12.9 billion by end-June.      “Internally, we’re pretty much on track and we’re pretty confident of hitting our guidance numbers,” Mr. Cheng said.      The company attributed its growth in the first half to high-end projects such as 38 Park Avenue in Cebu City, as well as the on-time construction of its projects that allows it to quickly turn over the units.      Reservation sales for the period stood at P5.26 billion, driven by the sales of its newly launched residential project called One Paragon Place in Davao City which is now 78% sold out.      CLI also benefited from its growing leasable portfolio, as it generated a 16% increase in revenues to P27.7 million. The company ended the first half with 11,815.15 square meters (sq.m.) in gross leasable area, with another 69,234 sq.m. under construction. It targets to have 200,000 sq.m under its network by 2023.

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Auto sales sustain uptrend in July

August 16, 2019

Corporate

By: , MOTOR vehicle sales continued inching up with 205,945 units sold as of July or a modest 3.16 percent increase against 199,628 units sold in the same period last year boosting confidence that the domestic motor vehicle industry would be able to exceed last year’s sales by the end of this year.      A joint report by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) showed encouraging growth indicators.      Notably, the report showed Suzuki Philippines, Inc. now placing fourth largest from fifth place last month in terms of sales with 13,119 units or 18.3 percent growth from 11,086 units last year. Suzuki now accounts for 6.37 percent market share among 25 members of CAMPI and TMA.      Among the positive indicators was the July sales which posted a double-digit growth of 13.5 percent with 31,810 units from 28,038 units recorded in the same period a year ago. On a month-on-month basis, sales performance is slower by measly 0.4 percent against 31,950 units recorded in the previous month.      CAMPI President Rommel R. Gutierrez expressed optimism the industry would finally exceed last year’s sales, which floundered following the imposition of higher taxes under the TRAIN Law.      “We are optimistic that if we are able to sustain this growth trend, we will be able to exceed our sales performance of last year,” said Gutierrez.      He noted of positive factors such as continued and strong sales campaigns and stable supply of units have outweighed the unfavorable effects of the off-peak season to the overall sales growth. Historically, July is also considered as one of the lean months of the industry.      Of the overall seven-month sales, commercial vehicle sales grew 5.5 percent to 144,130 units from 136,669 units while the passenger car segment was still in the negative 1.8 percent to 61,815 units from 62,959 units last year.      Industry leader Toyota Motor Philippines still continued with a runaway market share of 42.28 percent to 87,574 units from 84,401 units in the same period last year.      Mitsubishi Motors Philippines followed with 19.4 percent market share with 35,977 units sold from 38,827 units last. Nissan Philippines, Inc. cemented its hold on the third spot with 53.6 percent growth in sales to 24,711 units from 16,091 units.      Completing the top five is Ford Motor Company Philippines, Inc. with 13,095 units, but a 10.8 percent decline from the same period last year of 14,685 units last year.

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SSS benefit, pension disbursements up

August 23, 2019

Banking & Finance

By: , THE SOCIAL Security System (SSS) has released benefits and pensions worth P95.71 billion in the first six months to its 3.19 million members, with the bulk going to retirement funds.      In a statement on Tuesday, the state pension fund said it disbursed P55.7 billion worth of retirement benefits to 1.57 million pensioners from January to June, 8.6% higher than the P51.28 billion released in the same period last year.      Payouts for death claims by one million beneficiaries saw an increase of 4.8% to P28.63 billion in the first half from P27.32 billion a year ago.      Disbursements for disability and funeral benefits in the January-June period respectively totalled P3.59 billion, up 7.8% year-on-year, and P2.14 billion, up 9.7%, and went to 208,863 recipients.      Sickness benefits also climbed 14.9% to P1.51 billion in the first semester from the P1.32 billion logged in the same period last year, and went to 235,000 members.      SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora C. Ignacio said in the statement that the growth in beneficiaries and claims may be attributed to the implementation of the Republic Act (RA) 11220 Expanded Maternity Leave Law in May and RA 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018 signed into law last February.      RA 11220 increased the paid maternity leave to 105 days from 60 days, with an additional 15 days for solo mothers.      Meanwhile, RA 11199 adjusted SSS’ contribution rate to 12% from 11% and the monthly salary credits of its members to a minimum of P2,000 and P20,000 maximum.      “In the first half of 2019 alone, the number of beneficiaries and claims have already posted significant growth since the implementation of new laws and policies of the administration,” Ms. Ignacio said.      Meanwhile, total revenues of the state pension fund increased to P115.53 billion in the first half, up 20.9% from last year’s P95.55 billion, SSS said in the statement.      Broken down, contribution collections and investments and other income stood at P99.08 billion and P16.45 billion, respectively, in the first half, which SSS said climbed due to the higher contribution rate and monthly salary credit.      “Further, our investment and other income bounced back this period driven by strong and favorable market conditions,” Ms. Ignacio added.      SSS’ assets stood at P542.27 billion at end-June, 6% higher than the P511.47 billion booked in the comparable year-ago period.      “With our strong financial performance this semester, we are hoping to further strengthen the fund and ensure the continued service and providing for more and more members in the future until perpetuity,” Ms. Ignacio said.

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BSP posts P29.88-B net income in H1

August 23, 2019

Banking & Finance

By: , THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) had a net income of P29.88 billion in the first six months of 2019, almost unchanged from same time last year of P29.45 billion, partly due to modest foreign exchange (FX) rate gains.      The BSP registered FX rate gains – which are realized gains from FX rate fluctuations – of P9 billion end-June this year versus P21.51 billion same period in 2018.      Based on the BSP’s latest unaudited statement of income and expense, revenues were up significantly by 76.2 percent year-on-year to P65.32 billion from P37.08 billion, while expenses also increased by 42.3 percent to P41.43 billion from P29.12 billion.      Interest income from its international reserves and domestic securities, for the first six months, was up by 48.3 percent to P53.22 billion from P35.88 billion end-June 2018. Miscellaneous income which includes trading gains, fees, penalties and other operating income, increased to P12.10 billion from just P1.19 billion last year.      Interest expenses for the first six months also went up by 65 percent to P21.49 billion from P13.02 billion. Other expenses totaled P19.94 billion which was also higher by 23.85 percent from the previous year’s P16.10 billion.      As of end-June, the BSP’s assets reached P5.107 trillion, up 8.1 percent from P4.726 trillion same time in 2018. Total liabilities also rose by 7.9 percent year-on-year to P4.963 trillion from P4.616 trillion.      Last year, the BSP reported a net income of P39.85 billion which was higher by 69.50 percent from P23.51 billion in 2017. Its FX rate gains was at P53.13 billion from only P15.48 billion in 2017. The central bank’s amended law or Republic Act 11211 (“An Act Amending Republic Act No. 7653, Otherwise Known as the ‘New Central Bank Act’, and for Other Purposes”) has allowed the BSP to increase its capitalization by P150 billion, or from P50 billion to P200 billion. This will be funded solely from the declared dividends of the BSP.

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Economists forecast at least 25 bps cut in BSP rates

August 12, 2019

Banking & Finance

By: , ECONOMISTS are expecting at least a 25 basis point cut in the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) key rates on Thursday on the back of slower inflation in July 2019.      The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Tuesday reported that rate of price increases decelerated anew to 2.4 percent, reminiscent of the July 2017 figure, from last June’s 2.7 percent, thanks to the lower annual rate registered by the heavily-weighted food index.      Average inflation to date is 3.3 percent while inflation rate in July 2018 is higher at 5.7 percent.      Also, core inflation, which excludes volatiles food and oil items registered slower rate of 3.2 percent from month-ago’s 3.3 percent, resulting to an average of 3.6 percent to date.      Standard Chartered Bank Asia economist Chidu Narayanan, in a report, said the slowdown of domestic inflation rate provides the BSP’s policy-making Monetary Board (MB) a leeway to slash the central bank’s key policy rates when it meets on Thursday, August 8.      “Today’s lower inflation, combined with a likely lower Q2 GDP growth of 5.9 percent, may cause BSP to deliver a 25bps rate cut when it meets on Thursday. We expect another 50bps from BSP this year, following the likely 25bps cut later this week,” he said.       The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is scheduled to report the domestic economy’s second quarter performance, as measured by gross domestic product (GPD), on Thursday.      In the first three months this year, the domestic economy posted a slowdown to 5.6 percent from quarter-ago’s 6.3 percent, which economic managers pointed to the impact of the delay in the approval of this year’s national budget.      Authorities said the government was not able to spend as programmed because spending was hampered by the limitations under the re-enacted budget.      Economic managers, however, assured the public that a spending catch-up plan has been put in place to lift government spending and, in turn, help boost domestic growth.      With regards to the inflation rate, Narayanan forecasts this to fall below two percent in August to September and this, he said, is seen to bring average inflation this year to about 2.7 percent.      “A combination of lower food prices, lower oil prices, and a high base effect will help contain inflation,” he said.      The slowdown in inflation rate, which peaked at 6.7 percent in September and October last year, was the driving force behind the 25 basis points reduction the BSP rates last May.      The MB also boosted domestic liquidity through the total of 200 basis points slash in major banks’ reserve requirement ratio (RRR) from May to July this year. Authorities said a 100 basis points cut in RRR releases about P90 billion into the system.      Despite these cuts, Narayanan said “monetary conditions in the Philippines continue to remain tight.”      He said the bank’s Monetary Conditions Index (MCI) for the Philippines “indicates conditions are still at their tightest in three years on a stronger REER (real effective exchange rate), higher real interest rates and softer credit growth.”      “The likely further drop in inflation below 2 percent is likely to cause conditions to tighten much further,” he added.      Relatively, ING Bank Manila senior economist Nicholas Mapa, in a report, said deceleration of inflation last July increased expectations for a rate cut on Thursday, especially following the cut in the Federal Reserve’s key rates last week.      He cited Philippine monetary officials’ statement that they remain data-dependent vis-à-vis their policy decisions but also noted that BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno has hinted of additional 50 basis rate cut for the remaining months of the year after last May’s reduction.      “We believe we will see at least a 25 bps rate cut (with door open for 50 bps) all the more given that 2Q GDP is likely to settle below the six percent handle,” he added.      ANZ Research, in its report, said effects of elevated inflation rate last year along with weaker demand pressures may result in the decline of inflation below two percent in the next few months.      “Today’s data support the view that inflation remains on a clear downtrend and so we expect the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to cut its policy rate by 25bps at its meeting this Thursday,” it added.      Also, UnionBank chief economist Ruben Carlo O. Asuncion, in his report, said the inflation outturn last July is a big factor in the possible cut in the BSP’s key rates this week. “This, however, will also depend on Q2 output results,” he said, projecting second quarter GDP to be around 5.9 percent. (PNA)

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Landbank eyes 15% annual growth for agricultural loans

August 12, 2019

Banking & Finance

By: , OFFICIALS of state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) are targeting to grow agriculture-focused loans by 15 percent annually to help about three million farmers by the end of the Duterte administration in 2022.      Landbank President and CEO Cecilia Borromeo said they target agriculture loans to reach P265 billion by 2020, up from the P231.25 billion target this year, wherein they target to help one million farmers.      “It’s a consistent growth so by 2022, the portfolio of the bank to the agriculture sector will reached P350 billion and we should be able to assist at least three million farmers by then,” she said.      This, as President Rodrigo Duterte directed Landbank officials to extend more aid to farmers since this is among the bank’s mandate.      Borromeo said they currently have 44 lending centers around the country and they aim to increase this to 50 centers by 2020.      She explained that the bank’s Board of Directors has approved the opening of new lending centers in Lanao del Norte, Quirino Province and in Antique.      She stressed that the bank is very compliant with the Agri-Agra law, with 27 percent of the total loans amounting to P222 billion currently allocated to the agriculture sector.      “We will, at the very least, maintain that share in the agriculture sector. It can be more depending on the economy,” she said.      Under Agri-Agra law, banks are required to allocate 10 percent of their funds for agrarian reform credit (Agra) and 15 percent for other agricultural credit (Agri).      The Landbank chief added that “if there will be a slowdown in other sectors, then the share of the agriculture sectors will increase.”      In the first half of the year, the bank extended P744.5 billion worth of loans to the priority sector, about 93.1 percent of total loans.      Loans extended to small farmers amounted to 42.31 billion, while P14 billion was extended to small fishers and their associations.      Loans extended for the support of the agriculture and fisheries sector totaled to P177.32 billion while loans that support the national government’s priority programs, including infrastructure projects, reached P524.86 billion. (PNA)

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DOLE-X accredits 166 PhilJobNet private companies; boosts net job search

August 5, 2019

Economy

By: , CAGAYAN de Oro City--The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-X) through its Cagayan de Oro City Field Office (CDO FO) accredited 166 companies in the private sector during the first half of the year under the PhilJobnet - the official job-search portal of the government.      This move will boost increased job vacancies through net search.      DOLE-X CDO FO Chief Ebba B. Acosta said the realization is in collaboration with various establishments’ human resource development agenda and provision of platforms that would promote effective matching of the available jobs with the right people.       Acosta said the FO made sure that partner companies registered under the Department’s Rule 1020 or the Registration of Establishment shall also join the PhilJobNet. Likewise, the same rule was applied to companies joining the DOLE’s job facilitation program or the Job Fair.      Registration at PhilJobNet is free for both job seekers and employers.  In order for an employer to be accredited, they only need to submit/upload their BIR Registration Certificate (2303), SEC/DTI Registration Certificate, POEA License (for Overseas Recruitment Agency), DOLE License (for Local Recruitment Agency and Department Order No. 174 for Contractors/Subcontractors).      As an accredited establishment, they are free to upload at least ten job posts monthly; top banner for every job post; office location map; report pages; and synced interview calendar.        Premium services like unlimited job posting; email information and SMS/text blast to all registered job seekers; resume search; and priority jobs;  company name display at the topmost page are available for a fee.        PhilJobNet is an internet-based job and applicant matching system which aims to fast track jobseekers’ search job and employers for manpower requirements.  It provides job seekers with a listing of job vacancies posted by accredited government and private employers as well as by local and overseas manpower recruitment.      For mobile services, PhilJobnet application is available at Google Play Store for free. (DOLE10/PIA10)

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PPA inaugurates PH Biggest Port Terminal Bldg in CDO Today

July 15, 2019

Economy

By: Mike Baños, “The construction of this brand new building will greatly strengthen the region as the global gateway to Mindanao. Once we inaugurate this on July 15, we are opening Cagayan De Oro to the nation and to the rest of the world as we pursue progress for our seaports,” said PPA General Manager Jay Santiago in a statement. Santiago said the new P 276.705 million facility would boost opportunities for economic growth and tourism, not only in the city or in the province of Misamis Oriental, but for the entire Northern Mindanao. Through the expansion project, the new PTB can now accommodate up to 3,000 sea passengers daily, triple its previous passenger capacity of 1,000. The only port in the country managed and operated by the Philippine Ports Authority with such a facility, the 18,150.50 sq.m. Passenger Terminal Complex houses three (3) major structures: the 2-Storey Passenger Terminal Building, the ground floor of which has a 1,176 passenger seating-capacity and the second floor of which has a 1,221 passenger-seating capacity; Waiting Area for arriving passengers; and the Security Checkpoint Facility 1 for embarking passengers. The Complex also has a queuing area for Taxis/PUVs; a designated area for ticketing outlets; covered walkways; open spaces for parking with carbon sink areas containing mature trees and some plants. The Passenger Terminal Building contains facilities and GAD amenities for the safety, security, comfort and convenience of the passengers including Security Checkpoint 2 with X- Ray scanner for luggage/baggage, body scanner, CCTVs; Security Office; Office for PTC Personnel; Ballistics and Ammunitions Office; Passenger Boarding Stations; Collector’s Booth; Public Assistance and “Malasakit” Help Desks; Offices for passenger-related agencies such as Tourism, Quarantine, City Tourist Police and Coast Guard; waiting areas; a designated green area with plant boxes; and storage room for equipment and housekeeping, among others. GAD amenities include Play Area for children; Child Care Station for breastfeeding and diaper changing; Ecumenical Prayer Rooms; Special Boarding Lane for Senior Citizens, PWDS, Pregnant Women and Women travelling with children below 2 years old; drinking fountains; separate toilet facilities for PWDs, Female and Male; a Medical Urgent Care Need Room; and Concessionaires Area for food stalls, coffee shops and pasalubong centers, among others. Relatedly, PPA Administrative Order No. 04-2019 which takes effect today, July 15, 2019 grants Exemption from Payment of Passenger Terminal Fee to Embarking Passengers in all PPA Ports, particularly Students, Senior Citizens, Persons with Disability and Selected Uniformed Personnel ie. AFP, PNP and the PCG in active service. PPA have remained steadfast in giving “malasakit” and service to the Filipino people as it celebrated its 45 th Founding Anniversary on July 11, 2019 with the theme “Apatnapu’t limang taon na Malasakit at Serbisyo”. PPA GM Santiago explained that “Malasakit at Serbisyo” will be the mantra of PPA in the next 365 days with the end goal of providing “malasakit” to the Filipino people through improved port services and towards a comfortable travel experience. Besides the new PTB, the PPA will also be inaugurating its new port in Opol, Misamis Oriental and the 6-lane electronic multi-gate system. Together with the ongoing extension of wharf and expansion back- up area, these three projects are part of the Port Management Office for Misamis Oriental and Cagayan de Oro program to beef up its operational capability under its 7 Pillars of Development infrastructure program. Developed in consultation with the Philippine Liners Shipping Association (PLSA), the long- term program is geared towards sustaining the Northern Mindanao’s growth over the following decades. Metro Cagayan de Oro is envisioned to become the Philippines 4 th Metropolitan Center by 2025 along with Manila, Cebu and Davao, based on the National Spatial Strategy proposed network of settlements under the 2017-2025 edition of the Philippine Development Plan, As a Metropolitan Center, Cagayan de Oro would serve as a center of commercial, financial, and administrative activities and a primary international gateway. Beyond the immediate port area, the Port Management Office-Misamis Oriental-Cagayan de Oro will also alleviate road congestion in its entry/exit points through the Opol port zone delineation and development project to address congestion in the West coast highways by handling all incoming cargo from the Western Misamis Oriental and Iligan City. “The development and construction of Opol Port will decongest Cagayan de Oro Port with the diversion of tramping vessels to Luyong Bonbon, Opol, Misamis Oriental, thereby relieving the arterial roads to the port of the truck traffic and the port itself of these types of vessels” said Engr. Samuel Claro P. Fontanilla, PMO MisOr CDO engineering services division manager.   “As part of the seven pillars program to transform the Port of Cagayan de Oro into a purely containerized port, the Port of Opol will serve as the alternate port for domestic tramping vessels to ease berth congestion at the Port of Cagayan de Oro to bring it up to UNCTAD standard,” he added. The P264-million Opol port project will reduce standby time, shifting of vessels and optimize berth utilization at the CDO Port. Relatedly, the 6-Lane, ISPS compliant Electronic Gate Complex through Gate 3 leading to Arcadia Valenzuela Avenue in Lapasan will relieve traffic congestion at Gate No. 2 by providing 6 lane electronic controlled access to port users and eliminate long queues at the entry point. This facility will be fully equipped with CCTV cameras, weigh bridges for cargoes, electronic gates, payment booths. The Electronic Permit System (EPS) and Electronic Payment System (ePayment) will be eventually embedded and complemented by the LTO’s Motor Vehicle Recognition System through the use of the RFID. (as part of system (RFID). Expected to grace the inauguration of the three key facilities is DOTr Secretary Arthur P. Tugade. The DOTr Chief Executive commended the PPA for its efforts in completing the massive port project for the people of Cagayan de Oro. “I am thankful to GM Jay Santiago, and to the men and women of PPA, for realizing the dream of building the biggest Passenger Terminal Building in the country. This is a huge step towards giving the people of Cagayan de Oro a comfortable life through enhanced connectivity, a legacy promised by President Rodrigo Duterte,”Tugade said. “Moreover, it will strengthen the region as the global gateway to Mindanao and gives much impact on our tourism industry where we are able to showcase and afford to both local and foreign tourists the comfort, convenience, accessibility of home, safety and security they deserved in their travel experience,” said Engr. Isidro V. Butaslac, Jr., PMO MisorCDO Port Manager. Since Butaslac assumed the stewardship of PPA’s PMO MisOr CDO in November 2014, they have attained significant milestones, foremost among of which was CDO Port’s recognition as one of the APSN Green Port Award System (GPAS) winners for 2018 among candidate ports from 18 member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). Butaslac received the Certificate of Recognition, ASPN Green Port Badge, and flag banners from the APEC Port Services Network (APSN) during the annual awarding ceremony held 15 November 2018 in Singapore.   Barely a month later, the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) cited the PMO- MOC as a Best Practice for its environmental protection and conservation during the 2018 Government Best Practice Recognition (GBPR). The PPA Head Office endorsed the PMO MOC’s entry dubbed, “Philippine Ports Authority—Port Management Office of Misamis Oriental/Cagayan de Oro (PMO MOC): Fostering a Green Culture for Port Operations and Management,” highlighted its initiatives for environmental protection, conservation, and sustainability through the employment of technology; issuance and compliance with environmental policies and mandates; and inculcating environmental awareness among port stakeholders. Operationally, the PMO has addressed berthing congestion (already over 100% eight years ago) by segregating berths according to type of cargo of the berthing vessel: Berths 1 to 6 for break bulk; 8,9, and 10 for containerized; and bulk liquids, solids at the end 12 & 13 for deep draft vessels. In addition, the port is undertaking dredging to a uniform depth of 13 meters to meet international standards. As a complement to the berthing classification, the PMO has also proposed for consideration as a high-impact project, the provision of a break bulk receiving facility at area “A” to enhance palletizing operations, ensure and improve safe and healthy working conditions for dockworkers and other port users, and preserve or protect perishable cargoes from environmental hazards and exposure to extreme weather. The project is situated about 200 meters from where Mediterranean type vessels carrying cargoes to be palletized are berthed. Trucks will no longer enter the port area so as not to congest its operational yard and port roads. Security, yard congestion, entry of irrelevant personnel, and safety concerns are expected to be attained since cargo trucks will no longer have to enter the port operational area. On top of segregating the berths, the quay which has never been extended during the last six years until 2015 was extended by another 150 meters, to be eventually lengthened up to 700 meters over the next 20 years. Not the least, the PMO replace its lighting system using solar powered LED lighting to significantly reduce power costs and pilferage of power cable wires.

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OCD-10 urges LGUs to be ready for disasters

June 24, 2019

Economy

By: GERRY LEE GORIT, MAMBAJAO, Camiguin – To ensure the safety of residents during earthquakes, the local government units must see to it that they are prepared for any disaster that might occur in their area, the Office of Civil Defense-10 (OCD-10) said. Aside from regular earthquake drills that would remind people how to react in case there is a tremor, OCD-10 regional director Rosauro Arnel Gonzales Jr. said the LGUs must also put in place disaster management mechanism, most especially in the training and deployment of responders and procurement of equipment. He said residents might have already been trained on the basic duck-hold-cover move, but to save lives, the local officials must also be equipped to handle disaster response.“The community might tell us that, ‘we are ready,’ but how secure is the government in responding to disasters, especially if there are people affected or there are casualties?” Gonzales told the participants of the regional level of the National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) held at Mambajao town, Camiguin Thursday afternoon, June 20. “In this drill, we’d like to showcase the various responses of the government, from the local chief executives up to the barangay, and the different agencies who provided the necessary responders,” he said. During the drill, different scenarios resulting from an earthquake were being played out by both actual responders such as the provincial and municipal disaster risk reduction and management personnel, Bureau of Fire Protection firefighters and the Department of Health medical staff to community members acting as displaced residents and victims of tsunami, fire, and collapsed buildings. Mambajao mayor and Camiguin governor-elect Jurdin Jesus Romualdo said he sees the need for an exercise like the NSED to constantly raise the people’s awareness since the island-province, which had its share of volcanic eruptions in the past decades, is prone to floods, landslides, earthquakes, and tsunamis.  The eruptions that caused earthquake and other calamities in Camiguin occurred in 1871 to 1875 and in 1948 to 1951. Romualdo also recalled how in 2001 Typhoon Nanang devastated the province causing a massive landslide in Barangay Hubangon, Mahinog town that left 64 villagers dead and 117 more missing. He said the typhoon isolated the island for about two weeks as government agencies and even the Armed Forces and the National Police responders could not land at Camiguin due to bad weather. “We were on our own and the heavy rains, inclement weather made it difficult for help to come,” he added. He said it was local government’s initiative that the people’s cooperation that Camiguin was able to withstand the calamity that struck them. Romualdo described Typhoon Nanang as “the worst crisis that we had in Camiguin in recent history.” He said Camiguin should be ready for any eventuality at all times, and in fact, the local government has published a handbook on disaster management that will guide the Camiguingnons in the event of calamities. Col. Surki Sereñas, police regional spokesperson who was also one of the NSED evaluators, said the simulation was very organized with responders acting quickly to tend to the affected persons. Based on the OCD-10 data, about 3,000 persons participated in the regional NSED held in this province, many of them students, community members, and local government workers.

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Mindanao’s youth IP leaders vow support for EO 70

June 19, 2019

Economy

By: , YOUNG indigenous peoples (IP) leaders from across Mindanao threw their support behind the implementation of the Duterte Administration’s “Whole-Of-Nation” Approach under Executive Order No. 70 creating the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC). The more than 200 participants to the Mindanao Indigenous Peoples’ Youth Assembly committed to helping the national government implement the initiative which primarily aims to address the decades-long communist rebellion in the country. “We, the representatives of this assembly, declare our full and unequivocal support to the national government’s Whole-Of-Nation Approach, which is a centerpiece of the Duterte Administration’s Peace and Development Agenda,” the delegates said in a resolution passed on June 15. “We believe that this approach is the best solution to the communist insurgency that has ravaged our communities, and provide us, the youth, the opportunity to work hand in hand with the government to achieve this goal.” They pledged not to be used and abused by the communist insurgents, and will utilize our voices to speak out and convince members of our communities not to support the organization’s distorted ideology,” the resolution added. President Rodrigo Duterte has formed NTF ELCAC to work out a mechanism to help end the decades-old communist insurgency, and institutionalize a “whole-of-nation approach” in attaining an “inclusive and sustainable peace." The Whole-Of-Nation Approach mandates all concerned agencies of government to work in a holistic and integrated manner to deliver much-needed services to underdeveloped, conflict-affected communities. Through its Sectoral Unification, Capacity Building and Empowerment Cluster with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) as a member, the NTF-ELCAC has started to engage various peace stakeholders to jumpstart the process. The approach will utilize localized peace engagements wherein local government units and other community members situated in conflict-affected areas will take the lead in providing solutions to best resolve the nation’s insurgency problem. In the same resolution, the youth leaders also urged President Duterte to declare the full implementation of RA 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Acts (IPRA) as part of the national government’s policy agenda in his upcoming State of the Nation Address (SONA). “Through this declaration, we envision the IPRA’s full implementation to significantly impact on the lives of our indigenous peoples, specifically by allowing us to completely enjoy the four bundle of rights as stated in the IPRA,” the resolution said. According to Dante Tumanding, political officer of the Mindanao Indigenous Peoples Youth Organization (MIPYO), they can contribute a lot to the Whole-Of-Nation approach. “We are the frontlines and are the first ones affected whenever there is armed conflict in our communities,” Tumanding said. This is the reason, Tumanding said, why the conduct of the peace assembly, organized by OPAPP in collaboration with MIPYO, is both timely and relevant. “We wanted to equip our youth IP leaders across Mindanao with the skills and knowledge they will need to support the implementation of EO 70,” he said. (OPAPRU PR) 

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TMP Inaugurates New P1-billion Press Line

August 16, 2019

Motoring

By: , Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation (TMP) recently inaugurated its new P1-billion high-technology press line, which includes a 1600-ton servo-type press machine with automated sheet feeder and unloader robot. This marks the start of local production for side member panels – TMP’s single largest localization project under the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program.       Side member panels are the largest body shell parts, and require high level of accuracy and quality forming because of its many contact points with other parts of the vehicle body. Investments in servo press technology was necessary to enable localization of side member panels. Compared to mechanical press currently used for metal stamping, servo-type press offers high level of accuracy, better formability and improved repeatability. TMP is the first to utilize this kind of press technology in the local automotive industry.      “Today, we mark another milestone not only for TMP but for the Philippine automotive manufacturing industry as well. We now have the capability to produce the largest body shell part with high productivity, better energy efficiency and lower maintenance costs,” TMP President Satoru Suzuki said during the inaugural ceremony of the press line.      The operationalization of the servo press line beefs up TMP’s in-house parts production capability. The new line has an annual production capacity of 66,000 units and complements TMP’s existing mechanical press line and out-house press parts production. With the localization of side member panels, TMP has achieved 58% localization of total body shell weight for the New Vios, which is more than the CARS requirement of 50%.      Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo graced the inaugural ceremony at TMP’s manufacturing plant. “I’m very happy that after three (3) years, as part of the CARS program, it’s now being produced in the Philippines,” Rodolfo said as he recalled how side member localization was just an aspiration for TMP in 2016. “I’m very happy that you even surpassed the localization target of 50% so that now we are at 58%. That would not have been possible, first, without the partnership between Toyota [in] Japan and of course the Metrobank Group here in the Philippines, and most especially the hard work of the men and women, the staff, the skilled workers, the administrative personnel that we have here, the Filipinos and Japanese who are working under Toyota Motor Philippines,” he added.      TMP also established a P700-million resin injection molding facility in 2017 to support its localization for CARS. This facility has an annual production capacity of 66,000 units and currently produces bumpers and instrument panels for the New Vios.      TMP’s CARS investments already reached P 5.38-billion as of May 2019. Its participating model, the New Vios, remains the best-selling passenger car in the country.

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Reliable Partner on the Road – Suzuki Ciaz

August 12, 2019

Motoring

By: , SPH buckles up for continued strong growth these succeeding months with more targeted marketing strategies. Besides continuous efforts to bring the vehicles closer to the target markets through product displays and test drives, SPH reinforces its presence in the transport scene through active campaigns and promotions, including for those in the transport vehicle service (TNVS) ecosystem.      SPH makes ride sharing a more comfortable experience not just for drivers but for the commuters as well with the Suzuki Ciaz. A reliable partner on the road, the Ciaz runs on a refined K14B engine and has a lightweight and aerodynamic body for enhanced efficiency. Its roomy and ergonomically designed interior ensures a safe and comfortable ride for both the driver and passengers.      Ride sharing continues to be seen as one solution to the traffic situation in the metro. With its combined fuel efficiency, space and comfort, Suzuki’s popular subcompact sedan is sure to bring Filipinos to their destination safely and conveniently, definitely the Suzuki Way of Life!      Sleek multimedia unit and wireless connectivity make for superior entertainment while on the road. Preloaded applications such as Waze help in navigating unfamiliar routes or tracking new areas, providing accurate directions to reach the target destination much faster.      Picking up and driving for passengers with luggage and boxes is not a challenge. Suzuki Ciaz has a roomy cabin luggage capacity of 495 liters, enough to fit bags and boxes for travel or simply transporting from the mall or grocery. Danny Dimaranan, a TNVS driver for years now, can attest to these benefits as he shared, “I got high ratings because of the comfort that the Suzuki Ciaz gives.” Adding to it, “Economy wise, for this kind of job, this is really far from the fuel consumption from the other cars that I have owned before.”

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Toyota Hilux Continues to Lead Philippine Pickup Segment

August 5, 2019

Motoring

By: , Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) closes the first half of 2019 topping key market categories including the pickup segment, having sold a total of 10,554 units of its long-running top seller Toyota Hilux.      Based on sales figures from January to June this year, the Hilux bested its competitors in the pickup segment, gaining 35% increase in sales versus the first half of 2018 numbers, illustrating the growing demand for Commercial Vehicles (CV).      Toyota Hilux sales are highest in Metro Manila with 4,261 units sold year-to-date, followed by Region III with 1,219 units sold year-to-date in the Central Luzon area.      “Hilux is synonymous with Toyota. The model has been in our lineup for more than five decades, and proves itself time and again to be the prime example of Toyota’s strength as a manufacturer,” said TMP Vice President for Marketing Elijah Marcial.      “Through the years, the Hilux garnered a global reputation for its sturdiness. Its overall utility as a pickup truck, combined with high ground clearance and excellent towing power, makes for a reliable daily hauler for business and family use,” she added.      The Toyota Hilux is currently offered in 12 variants across all dealerships nationwide. Price starts at PHP 829,000.      TMP remains to be the top automotive manufacturer and distributor in the country with a total of 73,454 units sold nationwide in the first half of 2019. For the month of June 2019, TMP sold 14,568 units, a 27.8% increase from June 2018’s numbers. Toyota’s top five best-selling models from January to June 2019 are as follows: Vios, Hilux, Innova, Fortuner, and Wigo.

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Hino Leads PUV Modernization Forum at Biggest Gathering of PH Transport Cooperatives

August 5, 2019

Motoring

By: , Hino Motors Philippines (HMP), one of the pioneer supporters of the government’s Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Modernization Program, shares insights on modernizing the country’s transport system and its efforts as a modern jeepney provider at the 4th Transport Cooperative National Congress held during Philbus and Truck 2019.      The congress, which caps off the three-day expo happening at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, serves as a platform to further discuss the PUVM program. It gathers together suppliers, transport cooperatives, drivers, related government agencies and other stakeholders.      The leading exhibition of the movers and shakers in the transportation and commercial vehicles industry, Philbus and Truck 2019 encourages modern jeepney manufacturers nationwide to support the government’s call for a better transportation system in the country.      Senator Win Gatchalian expressed his optimism about the implementation and impact of the PUVM program during this talk. He noted how modernizing the Philippine transport system can lower the health risks of both commuters and drivers, normalize driver work hours, increase the drivers’ guaranteed take-home pay and reduce overall travel time by about 20 percent.      Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Martin Delgra III echoes the same, highlighting that the PUVM program will not only ensure safer and more convenient public transport but will also provide employment opportunities. One of the things he stressed is the importance of the standardization and consolidation aspects of the program. According to him, the regulation, monitoring and engagement of transport operators will result in a more efficient system.      This month officially marks the second year of Hino as a local provider of modern jeepney units. In addition to being an exclusive distributor of premium trucks and buses, Hino has expanded into modern jeepneys, manufacturing one of the first batches of PUV units in compliance with the requirements set by the Bureau of Philippine Standards. This first set of PUV units from Hino incorporates a speed limiter, safety features, GPS, CCTV, dashboard-mounted camera and Beep card system to offer both driver and passengers a more comfortable and safer riding experience. HMP Chairman Vicente Mills, Jr. shares, “We at Hino stay committed to our promise of total support by bringing modern jeepneys closer to the Filipino people. We have been working hard in our plant to address the growing need for modern PUV units. Our modern jeepneys guarantee the same quality that Hino is known for worldwide. We take pride as the only local truck and bus one-stop shop that not only provides commercial vehicles but also assembles chassis and engine using our body-building capabilities.”

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