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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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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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Cebu’s IT-BPM sector ‘more resilient’ amid pandemic

July 14, 2021

CEBU City -- Cebu’s information technology-business process management (IT-BPM) industry has proven itself to be among the resilient sectors here even as the economy continues to reel from the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.      Such observation was shared by Aseem Roy, country head of Wipro Philippines, during the opening of the four-day virtual 2021 Transformation Summit on Monday, organized by the Cebu IT BPM.Organization (CIB.O).      “The pandemic was a litmus test to what Cebu City and Cebu province have to contribute and how well we cope with adapting to some global trends,” the top official of the Indian BPO company told the virtual conference.      The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed a lot of industries, pushing the IT-BPM sector in particular to widely adopt flexibility as to how it operates.       A number of BPO companies have since allowed their employees to work from home and offer more flexible work arrangements, as the pandemic has significantly changed how industries operate.      Despite the challenges, the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) said the outsourcing sector still posted employment growth in 2020 of about 23,000 people, bringing the total to 1.32 million.      This was primarily due to more jobs created by resilient industries such as e-commerce and healthcare, in Metro Manila as well as Cebu, according to property consultancy firm Colliers International Philippines.      In Cebu, the IT-BPM industry employed about 180,000 to 190,000 workforce as of last year, up from 170,000 two years ago, according to estimates earlier disclosed by CIB.O president Pert Cabataña.       Wipro’s Roy said they are “fairly confident” that Cebu has the capability to outshine with the top outsourcing hubs in the world.      “The Cebu IT-BPM industry has become stronger and more resilient,” he said.      Roy said that Cebu, being the country’s key top IT-BPM investment destination outside Metro Manila, has the “capability to transform and lead” as the stakeholders bring collective efforts to further push the industry forward.   Cebu’s advantage      According to Colliers, Cebu remains a preferred business destination outside Metro Manila due to its competitiveness in terms of manpower, infrastructure, and cost of doing business.      Based on the results of Tholons’ 2021 survey, three of the 100 most attractive outsourcing sites in the world, Cebu ranked 52nd.      Among Tholons’ criteria are talent, skill and quality, business catalyst, cost and infrastructure, and innovation and capital.      “In our view, Metro Cebu will likely remain a viable destination for firms looking to open space outside of Metro Manila beyond this Covid-affected period, even for higher-value outsourcing services such as healthcare and technology firms,” said Joey Bondoc, associate director for research at Colliers Philippines, when sought for comment.      Among the firms operating knowledge process outsourcing in Metro Cebu are Google, Tech Mahindra, and Kuehne+Nagel.      In the first quarter of 2021, Cebu recorded notable office deals, which came from outsourcing and traditional companies including 24/7 InTouch Philippines, Aldesa BPO, Nokia and the Philippines Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, based on data from Colliers.      The bulk of these transactions were in Cebu Business Park in Cebu City. (PNA)

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Globe 1st PH company to set science-based goals for climate action

July 12, 2021

Stepping up its advocacy for climate action, Globe became the first and only Philippine company listed by the Science-Based Target initiative (SBTi) to commit to Business Ambition for 1.5 and has officially joined as a participant of the Race to Zero. The company has been a supporter of the #RacetoZero global campaign, spearheaded by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and COP26 Presidency, and the GSMA, an international mobile industry body, since its launch in 2020.      Globe’s commitment to establish science based targets and net-zero emissions by 2050 are in line with the Paris Agreement and #RacetoZero Campaign. The Paris agreement aims to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. Race to Zero is the UN-backed global campaign rallying non-state actors – including companies, cities, regions, financial and educational institutions – to take rigorous and immediate action to halve global emissions by 2030 and deliver a healthier, fairer zero carbon world by 2050.      All members are committed to the same overarching goal of reducing emissions across all scopes swiftly and fairly in line with the Paris Agreement, with transparent action plans and robust near-term targets. Led by the High-Level Climate Champions for Climate Action – Nigel Topping and Gonzalo Muñoz – Race To Zero mobilizes actors outside of national governments to join the Climate Ambition Alliance, which was launched at the UNSG’s Climate Action Summit 2019 by the President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera.      Its sibling campaign – Race to Resilience – was launched at the 2021 Climate Adaptation Summit. It is the UN-backed global campaign to catalyse a step-change in global ambition for climate resilience, putting people and nature first in pursuit of a resilient world where we don’t just survive climate shocks and stresses, but thrive in spite of them.      “We recognize the critical need to take action now to counter climate change. The imminent crisis is already threatening people, businesses, and economies worldwide. Companies like ours have a vital role to play, utilizing innovations, technologies, and expertise to decarbonize our operations and serve as a guidepost for other organizations to follow,” said Ernest L Cu, Globe President and CEO.      Over the next 24 months, Globe will set verifiable science-based targets through SBTi, which will independently assess the company’s direct and indirect emissions reduction targets. SBTi enables private companies to set science-based emission reduction targets. It is a partnership between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI), and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).  Direct emissions include fuel combustion on-site from owned vehicles and generator sets, while indirect emissions cover electricity purchases and use of the organization.      Paul Simpson, CEO of CDP, one of SBTi’s partners, said: “The science is clear: to limit the catastrophic impacts of climate change, we must ensure warming does not exceed 1.5°C. The ambition is high, but it’s achievable — and science-based targets give companies a roadmap for getting there. Corporations worldwide have an unprecedented opportunity to be at the very forefront of the transition to a net-zero economy — and there is no time to lose.”      Globe has been making significant inroads towards its sustainability goals in recent years. Since 2019, the company has shifted to buying energy directly from power plants producing renewable energy. Today, its headquarters in Taguig, together with six offices and facilities in Makati, Quezon City, Tarlac, and Cebu, are powered by renewables. More locations are scheduled to start running on alternative sources of energy.      Likewise, the company has deployed over 7,400 Green Network Solutions such as hybrid generators, free cooling systems, and lithium-ion batteries to reduce its carbon footprint while opting for renewable energy solutions like solar panels and fuel cells at its cell sites.      These initiatives complement the company’s continued implementation of the internationally-recognized Environmental Management System (ISO 14001:2015) under the Integrated Management Systems (IMS). IMS also covers process quality and occupational health and safety across the organization.      To ensure best-in-class sustainability practices, Globe, early this year, announced its support of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) which forms the foundation of the company’s climate change strategy moving forward.      “Business as usual is no longer an option. Setting and working towards science-based targets will help protect our consumers and us against future disruptions. The zero-carbon transformation of Globe’s business is already unlocking many economic opportunities, enhancing competitiveness, creating jobs, and sustainable growth. Doing good makes good business sense,” Cu added.      From waste management to electronic SIM cards to cashless transactions, the company’s wide range of sustainability programs make operations more efficient and produce new revenue streams.      This commitment coincides with the Philippine Environment month. In line with this celebration, Globe is encouraging Filipinos to take part in climate action by properly disposing of electronic waste (e-waste). Globe At Home rewards its customers who swap their existing devices in exchange for new, advanced WiFi units with its “Swap and Save” campaign. Customers will receive a 500-peso discount for Globe MyFi LTE-Advanced and Home Prepaid WiFi LTE-Advanced devices when they drop-off their existing prepaid Globe MyFi, WiFi stick or Home Prepaid WiFi at any of the 48 participating Globe Stores on or before August 21 this year.      Globe’s SBTi commitment supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG), specifically UN SDG No. 13 calling for urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.      To learn more about how to create a Globe of Good and make a difference visit https://www.globe.com.ph/about-us/sustainability.html.

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