business

Cebu Landmasters brings back virtual homefest with exclusive deals and promos for homebuyers

August 13, 2021

Exclusive promos and incentives await buyers who want to embrace their dream homes as leading developer in VisMin Cebu Landmasters, Inc. (CLI) is set to launch the second edition of its much-anticipated CLI Homefest from August 18 to October 18.      After a successful run early this year, the CLI Homefest returns for the second time around to help future homeowners avail of their dream homes by enjoying extraordinary perks and comfortable payment terms.      The CLI Homefest is a virtual sales event that showcases the listed company’s safe and secure residential developments that are up for grabs in all of its 15 key cities in Visayas and Mindanao. This includes projects currently available in CLI’s inventory, featuring three of its coveted residential segments, Casa Mira, Garden Series, and Premier Masters.      Participating residential brands across Vismin include Casa Mira, Velmiro Heights, One Paragon Place, Terranza Residences, Mandtra Residences, One Astra Place, Base Line Prestige, Citadines Paragon Davao and 38 Park Avenue.      CLI further elevates this buyer journey with an exclusive buyer-seller raffle promo that offers customers and partner sellers with an array of incentives for every reserved unit, such as hotel accommodations, appliances, gadgets, gift certificates and more.      Buyers who reserve a unit during the homefest are entitled to promo discounts on selected projects and a P50,000 worth of appliance gift certificate, which will be given upon turnover of the unit. Some projects also offer stretched equity payment of up to 48 months to ensure buyers enjoy comfortable payment terms amid the pandemic.      Qualified for the raffle and promo are closed reservations made from August 18 to October 18, 2021.      “Our sales performance has always been outstanding and this is clearly driven by a sustained housing demand in VisMin. Cebu Landmasters will continue to satisfy this need by making our developments conveniently accessible to our buyers and partner sellers,” says CLI Vice-president for Sales, Rose Yulo.      Cebu Landmasters recently achieved record high reservation sales of P8.5 billion in the first half of the year, a 14 percent increase from the previous year. In addition, the company remains on target to help fill the Vismin housing backlog in the Philippines, as reported by Leechiu Property Consultants.      The CLI homefest is one of the various initiatives of CLI, as it amplifies its digital presence to streamline growing buyer inquiries by digitizing end-to-end transactions through various channels.      “Through the CLI Homefest, it’s also high time we give back to our patrons, especially those who are looking for safe and secure homes in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Yulo.      To know more about the CLI Homefest, visit the Cebu Landmasters Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cebulandmastersOFFICIAL

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Telco sees increased demand for fiber connection in SME sector

August 13, 2021

CONVERGE ICT Solutions Inc. announced on Thursday it has completed the initial phases of its domestic subsea cable network to the Visayas and Mindanao regions, bringing improved internet connectivity down to the barangay level.       Seeing signs of recovery of the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector in the second quarter of the year, Converge’s SME customer base grew significantly in the second quarter of the year, arising from innovative product launches and improved sales and marketing initiatives.      “This was a pleasant surprise to us as we are really just focused on delivering our commitment to reach the underserved and unserved areas in the country with world-class pure fiber broadband connectivity,” Converge chief executive officer Dennis Anthony Uy reported in a virtual media briefing on Thursday.       Uy said over 11,800 kilometers of fiber optic cable were added in April to June period, expanding the firm’s backbone and distribution network to almost 76,500 kilometers from about 64,600 kilometers laid down last quarter.      By July 2021, Converge’s fiber backbone had reached 80,500 kilometers, he said.       With the network expansion, the telecommunications firm was able to extend its coverage to an additional 53 cities and municipalities during the second quarter of 2021, extending its services this quarter to new provinces, including Ilocos Norte, Cebu, and Davao, among others.       The Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines and the Department of Science and Technology-Information and Communications Technology Office have recognized Cebu and Davao as centers of excellence for the development of the information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) industry.      As of June 30, 2021, the company’s network has now reached over 400 cities and municipalities nationwide.      Uy said the telecommunication company has already signed on thousands of subscribers and established partnerships with SME clients here.       Converge is also set to start the construction of a data center in Cebu as it prepares to serve the surge in the data requirements in Visayas and Mindanao amid its aggressive expansion in central and southern Philippines.       The rise of a new state-of-the-art data center in Cebu supports the recently unveiled strategic framework of the Department of Information and Communications Technology for the country’s full and inclusive participation in the global digital economy which it called CHIP -Connect, Harness, Innovate and Protect– that would also serve as the driver of the Philippines’ digital transformation. (PNA)

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DOF to withdraw regulation imposing 12% VAT on exporter inputs

July 26, 2021

THE Department of Finance (DOF) and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) have agreed to suspend the implementation of Revenue Regulation (RR) 9-2021, which imposed 12-percent value-added tax (VAT) on certain exporter transactions that were previously taxed at 0 percent, a House leader announced.       The suspension of the BIR regulation comes after a briefing facilitated by the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday with concerned government agencies and stakeholders.       Albay Representative Joey Salceda, committee chair, expressed gratitude to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III for this decision as it will help the country's export industry "get the breather it needs" to recover.       “The DOF and the BIR held talks with me over the weekend. We were supposed to have a hearing on Monday, but we deferred the briefing to Wednesday out of deference to the Secretary, whose decision was to suspend the regulation first pending corrective legislation,” Salceda said.       RR No. 9-2021 was issued pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act (RA) No. 10963 or the Tax Reform and Acceleration and Inclusion Act (TRAIN), which provide that certain transactions previously considered zero-rated shall be subject to 12 percent VAT.      This upon satisfaction of two conditions: the successful establishment and implementation of an enhanced VAT refund system, and that all pending VAT refund claims as of Dec. 31, 2017 shall be fully paid in cash by Dec. 31, 2019.       With the decision to suspend, the following transactions will revert to their zero-rated status:      Sale of raw materials or packaging materials to a non-resident buyer for delivery to a local export-oriented enterprise;      Sale of raw materials or packaging materials to export-oriented enterprise whose export sales exceed 70 percent of total annual production;      Those considered export sales under Executive Order (EO) No. 226, or the Omnibus Investment Code of 1987, and other special laws (Section 106 (A) (2) (a) (5) of the Tax Code, as amended);      Processing, manufacturing, or repacking goods for other persons doing business outside the Philippines which goods are subsequently exported; and      Services performed by subcontractors and/or contractors in processing, converting, or manufacturing goods for an enterprise whose export sales exceed 70 percent of total annual production.       Salceda said the DOF will implement the provision of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) law, which allows exporters to enjoy VAT zero rating on local purchases of goods and services directly and exclusively used in its registered project or activity.      “CREATE hopes to ease the operations of exporters, enhance the country’s competitiveness, and encourage sourcing of materials from local suppliers. That’s the spirit of the legislation. That’s why it insists on the zero-rating for local inputs, on top of enhanced deductions for them," he said.       Salceda also said he will continue to work with BIR and DOF to write “corrective legislation” to address small exporter concerns on the refund system and on audits.      “The DOF says one issue with the audit system, that forces them to audit everyone who seeks a refund, is that the Commission on Audit is also very strict with the refund system. So, my proposal is to relax the rules a bit for small de minimis claims, since it’s really not worth the time of tax administration,” he added.       Salceda said the practice of risk-based auditing is already the norm in most advanced tax jurisdictions.       "You go to Japan or Singapore to purchase some goods as a tourist, and at the airport, you can get your VAT refund over the counter. Ideally, that’s a system you want here as well,” Salceda said. “The DOF seems intent on modernizing our tax administration and closing down loopholes."       He said Congress is ready to work with the Executive to draft the necessary legislation to improve the system. (PNA)

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BSP's accommodative stance to boost PH recovery

July 26, 2021

BANGKO Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno has highlighted the need to keep the central bank’s accommodative stance to boost economic recovery, after citing the improvement in domestic activities as the government eases movement restrictions.       In a virtual briefing for the 2021 second quarter inflation report, Diokno said average inflation in April to June, although still above the government’s 2 percent to 4 percent target band, decelerated to 4.3 percent from the previous three months’ 4.5 percent.       He attributed this to the impact of non-monetary interventions to address domestic supply constraints on pork, among others, which was hit by the African swine fever.       Diokno said this development is expected to result in a within-target average inflation rate this year, which monetary authorities forecast to be around 4 percent.      He said the smaller growth contraction in the first quarter of this year, at -4.2 percent from quarter-ago’s -8.3 percent, may be traced to the “government’s calibrated approach in mitigating the transmission of the virus.”      “Higher frequency indicators of domestic demand also suggest a recovery in economic activity with the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions,” he said, but added that risks remain because of the emergence of more transmission variants of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).       Diokno thus stressed the need to keep the current monetary policy stance “in order for the economic recovery to gain more traction.”       “Keeping an accommodative stance shall also help counteract risk aversion among banks, which continues to temper lending activity despite ample liquidity in the financial system,” he added. (PNA)

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Banks still open to loan restructuring amid pandemic

July 26, 2021

BANKS continue to understand the plight of their borrowers amid the pandemic, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno said, citing resolutions on complaints filed with the central bank.       In a virtual briefing on Friday, Diokno said while requests for debt collection and restructuring of credit card loans accounted for only 3 percent of the nearly 12,000 consumer complaints in the first half of the year, almost one-third, or 31 percent, “were resolved in favor of the consumer.”       He said 32 percent of the total “are still for evaluation and coordination with the clients while 21 percent are still awaiting action or reply from the concerned financial institutions.”       Complaints that were not resolved in favor of the consumers were about 13 percent, he added.       Diokno said these numbers show that banks and the borrowers “do their direct coordination, (and) find common ground in negotiating their obligations.”      He said banks are “largely open for consideration.”      “Even with the current difficulties experienced by their clients, concessions given by banks to their clients include waiver or reduction on fees, interest, and penalties; implementing a more favorable payment scheme; providing options, especially for payments made through post-dated checks and auto-debit or auto-deduct arrangements; and granting extensions or adjustments of loan maturity,” he added. (PNA)

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A Brown files shelf registration of 50-M shares

July 23, 2021

A BROWN Co., Inc. has filed for the shelf registration of 50 million cumulative, nonvoting, non-participating, and nonconvertible peso-denominated perpetual preferred shares, along with an offer supplement for its initial P1.5-billion offering.      The company on Wednesday said it submitted a registration statement to the Securities and Exchange (SEC) on Monday. It is subjected for the commission’s review and approval.      The 50 million offer shares will be sold in tranches within three years from the effectivity of its registration statement.      For its first tranche, the company will sell 10 million preferred shares for P100 each, with an oversubscription option of up to five million preferred shares to raise as much as P1.5 billion.      A Brown aims to use proceeds from the first tranche to support the development of its real estate projects in the pipeline, landbanking activities, funding for subsidiary Irradiation Solutions, Inc., and for other general corporate purposes.      “It is in a position to venture into pockets of growth areas as seen in the current thrust to supply the necessary housing inventory to address the backlog in the economic and socialized segments,” A Brown said in a statement.      The company is planning to allocate as much as P600 million for its property developments in Tanay in Rizal, Bukidnon, Butuan City, Misamis Oriental, and Cagayan de Oro.      It added that it has eight ongoing projects in Cagayan de Oro and Butuan City, with 17 more in the pipeline covering 400 hectares.      Meanwhile, up to P400 million will be spent on landbanking initiatives in Tanay, Rizal, Cagayan de Oro City, Butuan City, and Bukidnon.      “Landbanking is focused on areas where the company has local presence and a competitive advantage. Properties adjacent completed and ongoing projects will support expansion phases,” A Brown said in its offer supplement.      “The company is also looking into new areas where it can consolidate sizable portions to come up with integrated mixed-use developments,” it added.      The company currently has 293 hectares in its land bank.      Should the company need additional capital to fund land acquisitions, it plans to tap internally generated funds and credit lines from local banks.      Around P350 million from the proceeds will be allocated for the funding requirements of Irradiation Solutions, A Brown said. The subsidiary is developing its Tanay Multipurpose Irradiation Facility Project, which is aimed to be the first commercial E-Beam irradiation facility in the country.      The company assigned PNB Capital and Investment Corp. as the sole issue manager, lead underwriter, and sole bookrunner for the transaction.

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