Today's Top Stories

  • Goodbye Cardo...Solons voted to deny Abs Cbn's new franchise

    Goodbye Cardo...Solons voted to deny Abs Cbn's new franchise

    METRO MANILA, Philippines (MDN national news) It would be a very sad and heart-warming goodbyes for the avid fans of Ricardo Dalisay, as the giant TV network Abs Cbn was denied Friday its petition for a  fresh franchise. In an overwhelming vote of 70 against 11, allies of President Rodrigo Duterte in the Lower House denied the petition of the television network to have another 25 years franchise, affirming its full support of the President. This, after a total of 12 hearings, wherein the members of the committee on franchises grilled the network's top executives on issues about the president emeritus dual citizenship, biases of the TV network, illegal termination of employees and non-regularization of employees, among other issues. From the 85 members of the committee, 70 voted to deny abs cbn network, 11 voted to a fresh 25-year franchise and two also decided to inhibit, while another one has abstained. "The shutdown has deprived more than 69 million Filipinos of the kind of information, analysis and commentary, and public service provided by ABS-CBN News. It has cut off our reach such that two out of three viewers are unable to watch our news programmes," the TV network's news department chief Ging Reyes said.     Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, the president's chosen House Speaker said it was not "press freedom" that's actually at stake but it was a question of the media protecting only its business interests. Rep Cayetano, Pres Duterte's tandem during the 2016 elections had earlier accused the TV network of alleged 'biased' reporting. But Abs Cbn refuted this allegations of Cayetano, saying they've been doing its best to fair, impartial and professional in its coverages and daily news reporting. Reyes said at the final hearing that ABS-CBN has been attacked by the president's allies on the network's reporting standards. But Reyes defended the channel's news reporting standards. But asked by the media to comment on Abs-Cbn closure, the TV network's News Head says she does not believe that it is the end of the road for the network.  

    July 11, 2020

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  • New NSC rising

    New NSC rising

    Iligan City — A new, state-of-the-art fully integrated steel mill is poised to rise again in this once touted as the industrial city of the south. Iligan City Mayor Celso Regencia has acknowledged last week the intent of a foreign-funded consortium in the amount of 4B euros for the rebirth of the new National Steel Corporation. The development came as a big surprise after a series of failed investment proposals — mostly from Chinese groups — were presented before the pandemic to Mayor Regencia for the plan to rebuild the defunct NSC. Mayor Regencia had expressed optimism the latest investment proposal would push through as it were considering the seriousness of the consortium to proceed amid the growing threat of Covid-19. “We are bullish with the development to re-construct the mothballed NSC as this would place Iligan City once again in the country’s industrial map”, Regencia said. The reconstruction phase is set to start late this year by a European supplier of equipment and physical plants to the metal industry. The 400-hectare property of the old NSC is now owned by the city government of Iligan after undergoing a series of legal battles with bank liquidators. Settlement for the buy-out of the property is now in the last ditch of negotiations with the consortium group. As a driver of economic growth, the new NSC is expected to generate thousands of jobs to the people of Iligan and the rest of the region. The country has lost its presence in the steel industry sector after the old NSC had experienced a series of downfalls, latest of which was in the hands of Global Steel, a Malaysian manufacturing group. With the revival of the old NSC into a modern steel making plant, the economy of Iligan City and the rest of Mindanao will definitely shoot up to an unprecented level of progress, Regencia added.

    July 11, 2020

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Mindanao Daily News

Toyota Motor Philippines Online E-Sports program – GR Supra GT Cup Asia – Philippines

June 15, 2020

Motoring

By: , This move was brought about by the latest situation where safety is of highest concern to everyone and mass gatherings like physical races are foreseen to be limited in the coming months. “Safety of our customers, employees, and fans are always at the top of our priority,” expressed TMP President Atsuhiro Okamoto.  “But we also recognize the value of waku-doki spirit in everyone!  This is a great way to sustain the excitement of motorsports program in the Philippines in a safe environment.” The GR Supra GT Cup Asia – Philippines, an e-racing event under Toyota’s Gazoo Racing motorsports program, will be fully held online and will be open to the public, ages 18 and above.  “Finally, Toyota fans can participate in our sports program at the comfort and safety of their own homes.  We also expect this activity to reach a wider and younger audience, based on the profile of gamers.”  The online e-race, using Toyota’s legendary sports car icon, the GR Supra, is expected to start in July 2020.  Winners of the e-race will get a chance to participate in the regional finals, the GR Supra GT Cup – Asia. E-Sports in the Philippines have grown in popularity over the years. The addition of E-sports programs in various international competitions, producing Filipino medalists, have further legitimized the sport. The GR Supra GT Cup Asia – Philippines is Toyota’s fun and safe alternative to holding the country’s number one motorsports program, The Vios Racing Festival. Usually held in 3 legs from the second to the fourth quarter, the current situation makes it very challenging for Toyota, the racings teams, the drivers, and public spectators to do this physical event. “We look forward to a better 2021 Vios Racing Festival Season where we can go back to the tracks again and feel the heat and excitement.  But for now, we invite everyone to join the GR Supra GT Cup Asia E-Sports Program,” Okamoto concluded. More details of the GR Supra GT Cup Asia – Philippines will be announced soon.  Stay tuned at Toyota.com.ph and facebook/ToyotaMotorPhilippines to get updates.

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Hino Reopens Dealerships Nationwide

June 15, 2020

Motoring

By: , Hino Motors Philippines, the exclusive distributor of Hino trucks and buses in the country, recently reopened its doors to Filipinos as the national quarantine guidelines eased up. All of Hino’s 21 dealerships nationwide are back in operations. With the majority of the country now in General Community Quarantine (GCQ), Modified GCQ (MGCQ) and many business establishments are already reopening, Hino resumes operations to help the economy recuperate from the hit it took from the COVID-19 pandemic. Hino’s reopening of its dealerships is in line with the provisions and guidelines of community quarantine on each area. To ensure the health and safety of its customers, workers and partners, Hino observes strict cleanliness and health protocols such as the regular checking of temperature. All dealerships nationwide will undergo regular and thorough sanitization to maintain a safe and clean environment. Those entering the dealerships are required to hand sanitize with alcohol and to keep their face masks on during their entire stay inside. In compliance with physical distancing guidelines, only a limited number of customers will be allowed at a time. Hino will also be stringent in limiting human contact for all customer transactions. Hino has 21 3S dealerships across Metro Manila and key provincial cities. Below is the list of operational Hino 3S dealerships: NCR: Hino Balintawak Hino J. Abad Santos Hino U.N. Avenue Hino Pasig Hino Paranaque Luzon: Hino Isabela Hino Nueva Ecija Hino Pampanga Hino Carmona Hino Laguna Hino Batangas Hino Naga   Visayas: Hino Leyte Hino Panay Hino Negros Hino Cebu Hino Mandaue   Mindanao: Hino Butuan Hino Cagayan de Oro Hino Davao Hino Gen. Santos To access Hino’s full list of dealership centers and contact numbers, customers may refer to this link. More announcements are updated in Hino’s official website and social media pages on Facebook and Twitter.

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The New Normal of Personal Mobility

June 15, 2020

Motoring

By: , The COVID-19 Pandemic has disrupted almost every aspect in people’s lives, as well as, the global economy.  With that, a “new normal” that requires maintaining physical distancing and safe hygienic practices has been established by the government. Although the Philippines was placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine since March 17, the government recently announced new guidelines to gradually ease the lockdown and slowly open up the economy starting May 16, moving the NCR to a Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ).  With the shift in status, still, mobility will remain limited, particularly public transportation, due to government measures to limit the virus from further spreading. According to an article by Moovit, the world experienced a decline in public transportation from about 70 percent to 90 percent among commuters from January to April this year. Another study also said that the greatest risk for a person to get ill is exposure to mass gatherings, particularly public transportation, because of exposure to crowds or contact with surfaces touched by people such as handrails and door handles. This reinforces the importance of not only physical distancing but minimized travel aside from staying at home. So when you can finally go out, it will be important to consider clever ways of commuting. One such way will be investing in motorcycles as a means of solo transportation. Motorcycles can become a reliable and convenient mode of transportation, especially during these trying times that commuters need to remain safe from crowds along with the added protection of full-face helmets and face masks. Honda Philippines, Inc. (HPI) joins the country as it works to meet the challenges posed by the global health crisis through promoting physical distancing and providing a safe and convenient mode of mobility. “This pandemic is expected to remain with us throughout the year. So, we must ensure the safety of Filipinos by providing the possible transportation solutions that will allow mobility at a reasonable price, yet keep them safe,” said Susumu Mitsuishi, President of HPI. The array of cutting-edge motorcycles busy on the streets, such as the Honda BeAT, Genio, CLICK, and the PCX150 is an indication that Honda’s AT bikes are becoming predominant.  This signifies that the company has been true to its “ONE DREAM” campaign, which is helping fulfill people’s dreams while experiencing the joy of mobility. And in today’s reality, provide a safer way for people staying home to still access badly needed necessities and return to work for their living. “It brings us great fulfillment that our motorcycles are of great importance especially during these days, bringing safety for people against the dangerous virus,” Mitsuishi said.

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MG Philippines Implements Safety and Hygiene Protocols in Dealerships Nationwide

June 13, 2020

Motoring

By: , The Covenant Car Company, Inc. (TCCCI) — MG Philippines — In light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, MG Philippines has taken special action to place the safety of its clients at the forefront of the business. More stringent safety protocols involving unit disinfection and sanitization have been put in place with regards to the pre-delivery inspection (PDI) of each brand new MG unit, while MG dealerships nationwide heighten the levels of their existing safety and hygiene practices. During PDI, each brand new MG unit will undergo a disinfection treatment system, where an atomized anti-bacterial solution fumigates and deeply penetrates areas of the car’s cabin such as the ventilation system, carpets, cushions, and beddings to kill bacteria in hard to reach places. It will also target, in particular, the air conditioning system of each car, removing bacteria, spores, mold, and micro-organisms. This treatment offers non-toxic, long-term protection against the regeneration of germs and microbes. Existing MG clients may likewise bring their already-purchased MG units to select dealerships nationwide to avail of these services for a minimal fee. Aside from the disinfection of MG units, each MG dealership in the Philippines heightened its existing hygiene and sanitization protocols. This will lessen the chances of dealership structures—including the showroom floor, service bays, and admin offices—being affected by viral traces, bacteria, and contaminants. MG dealership personnel have also been fully briefed on the do’s and don’ts with regard to stopping the spread of the COVID-19 virus and will put these into practice when while dealing with clients and among themselves at the workplace, and also in their homes with their families. The following enhanced safety measures are progressively put in place at MG Philippine dealerships nationwide: *Foot pad disinfectants at showroom main entrance and service workshop entrance *Hand sanitizer dispensers available around the showroom floor and in the admin offices *Body temperature scanning for all who enter the dealership premises *Scheduled vehicle and parts delivery (with disinfection) *Appointment-based service transactions *Sanitized consultation areas for clients *Scheduled daily and weekly sanitization of all areas in dealership facility These dealerships strictly follow the new health guidelines enumerated above, while also encouraging social distancing and limiting the number of clients and vehicles being serviced each day. Each dealership also encourages clients to call ahead or use the My MG mobile app to schedule an appointment before making a visit, as this will ensure that the needs of each client are fulfilled while adhering to the recommendation to practice safe social distancing and limiting the amount of people in the dealership at any given time. “In light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, it is our duty to provide solutions that safeguard our clients and all who work in our dealerships, our warehouses, and everyone else affiliated with the MG brand,” says Atty. Alberto B. Arcilla, President and CEO of MG Philippines. “We are also focused on delivering each brand new MG with the assurance that these vehicles are thoroughly sanitized and will not pose a health risk to anyone who rides in them.” MG Philippines’ aftersales complements also address the need for social distancing and limiting interaction with crowds. The Mobile Garage service sends a certified MG technician to addresses any major technical and mechanical issues you may have with your MG. The My MG App, on the other hand, allows you to schedule a PMS from your smartphone, saving you trips to and from the dealership. The My MG App also allows you to check parts and make reservations for these, and allows you to locate the dealership nearest to you using your smartphone’s built-in GPS. You can also talk to one of our capable operators through the 24/7 MG Hotline (+632-5328-4664) and make inquiries about MG products, promos, and sales, and also schedule aftersales services. MG Philippines encourages everyone to engage in pro-active health and hygiene practices, especially with regard to their cars. Left unchecked, cars can become a breeding ground for disease. Simple things like regularly wiping down high-contact areas like your steering wheel, doors, and dashboard; regularly changing your air filter (or hosing it down if you have a washable type); and disinfecting your seats will go a long way in the fight against the spread of germs and bacteria.

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Italpinas Dev’t Corp. Boosted An Increase Of Sales Reservation for May 2020

June 22, 2020

Corporate

By: , Eco-friendly Real Estate developer Italpinas Development Corporation, through its Cagayan de Oro Branch Office at Uptown Cagayan de Oro,  recorded a 467% increase in sales reservations last May 2020 (compared to the same month last year). This was another record high for the company, achieved despite the on-going pandemic.       “The first semester continues to be encouraging. We are not seeing any kind of reduction in terms of the demand in the market. The market remains quite healthy. We want to thank our valued clients and our committed sales force for showing their support throughout.” said Ms. Gladys M. Echano, IDC- Sales Director      The coronavirus pandemic has been, to say the least, grim for businesses. Widespread layoffs and furloughs have prompted about 17 percent of the country’s unemployment rate. But during this upheaval, Cagayan de Oro IDC Sales Office has been thriving because of dramatic shifts in consumer behavior on green building’s health benefits and investment purposes.      IDC said its property sales have been “encouraging” in the first semester of the year, giving the company confidence that it can at least match last year’s growth. The company believes in times like this IDC’s environmentally friendly developments are more relevant than ever. IDC will focus on optimizing its existing portfolio of investment properties namely Primavera City at Uptown Cagayan de Oro.       The company currently has two major projects.  Primavera City in Cagayan de Oro is a cluster of seven buildings to be developed in four phases. Miramonti Green Residences, on the other hand, is located inside Light and Industry Science Park in Santo Tomas, Batangas, and will be developed in two phases.      Citta Bella, the second phase at Primavera City, is the newest building. It is the next eco-friendly building that will rise at Primavera City’s Uptown Cagayan de Oro location, along the junction of P.N Roa Ave. and Masterson Ave.  The first phase at Primavera City, (called Citta Verde) is in ongoing construction, with completion targetted before the end of this year. Phase 3 is Citta Grande, which is now in permitting stages. The last Phase (Phase 4) will be Citta Alta.  With its unique design philosophy, IDC™ is committed to sustainable developments in harmony with the environment to bring value to investors, end-users, and the community. Being first movers in this field, IDC™ has proven its concept with the success of its projects.

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SEC fires news warning against bitcoin revolution

June 19, 2020

Corporate

By: , The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued another warning against Bitcoin Revolution, which presents itself as a cryptocurrency trading program purportedly endorsed by government officials, businessmen and celebrities.  In an advisory dated June 16, the Commission urged the public to avoid or stop investing in schemes offered by Bitcoin Revolution or any other entities engaged in digital asset trading and promising ridiculous rates of return with little or no risk.  The SEC issued the warning after finding that Bitcoin Revolution continues to solicit investments from the public using the domain “the-bitcoinrevolution.com” without the necessary license.  Under the scheme, investors could supposedly earn as much as $1,000 from a minimum investment of $250 within a day, a 300% return on investment per day or a total of 9,000% per month.  Bitcoin Revolution also claims that some of its traders managed to become millionaires in less than two months by simply investing in its scheme that purportedly offers a unique automated trading system or platform with a success rate of as high as 99% per transaction.  The scheme involves the offering and sale of securities, in the form of investment contracts, because investors need not exert any effort other than to invest or place money in Bitcoin Revolution in order to derive income, according to the SEC.  As such, the investment contracts must have been duly registered with the Commission while Bitcoin Revolution and its agents must have secured the corresponding license to offer securities for sale to the public, as required under Republic Act No. 8799, or The Securities Regulation Code.  Aside from the missing registration and licenses, the quick and unrealistically high return promised by Bitcoin Revolution presents a red flag for a Ponzi scheme, an investment scam where investors are paid using funds contributed by the succeeding investors, according to the SEC.  The SEC has flagged the unauthorized activities of Bitcoin Revolution before in an advisory dated March 30, 2020.  Bitcoin Revolution remains unregistered with and unauthorized to solicit and accept investments or placements from the public nor to issue investment contracts and other forms of securities, the Commission emphasized.  The group also continues to manage its digital exchange platform without the proper registration with the SEC, in violation of the prohibition on the use of unregistered exchange under The Securities Regulation Code.  In addition, Bitcoin Revolution still does not appear in the list of entities registered with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in accordance with BSP Circular No. 944, Series of 2017, which provides for the Guidelines for Virtual Currency Exchanges.  Fake endorsements  An unregulated entity with unknown operators, Bitcoin Revolution is notorious for using fake endorsements from the likes of Senator Manny Pacquiao, former Senator and House Speaker Manny Villar, and television host Boy Abunda.  Only recently, the Department of Finance (DOF) alerted the public about false and fraudulent information about the Secretary of Finance supposedly promoting Bitcoin Revolution.  The DOF also took note of similar investment schemes fraudulently using the names of key Treasury and Finance officials in other countries to encourage potential investors to buy into their programs.  On May 19, the DOF issued a similar warning against another cryptocurrency scam, which alleged in an article that the government created a platform called Bitcoin Lifestyle and that the President was urging Filipinos to support it.  The SEC has been advising the public to take caution when presented with investment opportunities in cryptocurrencies and other new technologies, which unscrupulous individuals and groups have used to disguise their predatory investment schemes.  “The public must be mindful that cryptocurrencies are very volatile and the process of digital asset trading is highly speculative and involves a higher degree of risk and that the operations of such unregulated entities engaged in digital asset trading are completely unaccountable,” the SEC noted.  “Nevertheless, the Commission assures the public that it continuously monitors and oversees such entities and their activities in a way that it sees as proper in order to prevent the proliferation of scams and/or any other unauthorized or illegal schemes in the country.”  Strict penalties  The SEC warned all individuals and groups engaged in fraud of the strict penalties awaiting them for violating the laws, rules and regulations it enforces.  Those who act as salesmen, brokers, dealers or agents of fraudulent investment schemes, for instance, may face a maximum fine of P5 million or imprisonment of 21 years or both under The Securities Regulation Code.  Those who invite or recruit others to join or invest in such ventures may likewise incur criminal liability or be sanctioned or penalized in accordance with the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of SEC vs. Oudine Santos (G.R. No. 195542, 19 March 2014).  Moreover, Republic Act No. 11469, or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act, penalizes those participating in cyber incidents that make use or take advantage of the COVID-19 crisis to prey on the public through scams, phishing, fraudulent emails, or other similar acts with two-month imprisonment or a maximum fine of P1 million or both.  “[T]he above laws are not aimed to hinder or pose significant risk to businesses and cryptocurrency projects but are intended for the protection of both the registered entities and the investing public from any anomalies and/or irregularities which tend to result from any unlawful or unauthorized operations,” the SEC noted.  The Commission encourages the public to visit the SEC website to see the advisories it issues regularly and to report unauthorized investment solicitation activities to the SEC Enforcement and Investor Protection Department through email at epd@sec.gov.ph.  

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Safe and potable water comes to sitio Tipolohon

June 19, 2020

Corporate

By: , For years, residents of Sitio Tipolohon in Barangay Camaman-an have relied on either the pump-operated shallow well, the supply from Barangay Indahag, or water peddlers for their water needs. They purchase water at P7.00 per container or P350.00 for 5 drums. Piped water for their homes has therefore been a longtime wish for this populace.  But now, with Cagayan de Oro Bulk Water Incorporated’s (COBI) East Transmission Line in place and with the construction of a 200mm uPVC Distribution Line already complete, the waiting is finally over. With a total cost of P1,826,448.49, this water supply system project under the Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB) Program commenced last November 6, 2019 and is partially funded by the LGU (P1,000,000.00) with the rest of the budget jointly subsidized by COWD and Vitens Evides International.  Aside from the 540-meter long distribution line, the project includes seventeen (17) units of 500mmꝊ meter stub-outs. As of date, with 86.29% of the project already completed, 7 meter stub-outs have already been installed.  This means that residents living along the areas where these stub-outs are located may now apply for their individual water connections. Once the installation of the additional 10 meter stub-outs will be completed, a total of 500 households will benefit from this water supply project.     Other completed projects include: ·         75mmꝊ pipeline extension with 4 units 50mmꝊ meter stub-outs at the Lutheran Relocation Site in Canitoan which is intended to serve the water needs of 60 relocated families from Barangay 36; and ·         100mmꝊ pipeline extension with 10 units 50mmꝊ meter stub-outs at Zone 8, Cugman intended to improve existing water pressure in the area. which can accommodate around 200 water connections.  These service expansion projects are aimed at providing more and more people with access to safe and clean water for their hygiene and sanitation needs.

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NGCP donates testing booths, 10,000 rapid test kits to QC LGU

June 19, 2020

Corporate

By: , To aid frontliners in the battle against COVID-19, NGCP turned over 50 units of testing booths and 10,000 rapid test kits to the Quezon City local government, led by Mayor Joy Belmonte, on Thursday, 18 June 2020.  The testing booths and rapid test kits, including test administration and results interpretation, are part of the company’s continuing initiatives to support the national and local government’s COVID-19 response efforts.  As of 16 June 2020, the Department of Health has recorded the most number of COVID-19 cases in Quezon City with 2,689 confirmed cases, 953 of which are considered active or recovering.  “NGCP understands that this will be a long and hard-fought battle. We want to make sure that our donations will help ease the burden on LGUs and that our support will translate to direct results such as identification of COVID-19 cases. In this way, the process from identification to response and treatment will be expedited,” stated NGCP.  Barring unforeseen circumstances, testing will begin on Monday, 22 June 2020.  NGCP’s COVID-19 donations include a PhP 1 Billion donation of grocery items to over 1,000 LGUs and medical equipment to more than 300 hospitals and city/municipal/rural health units. The medical equipment donation includes ambulances turned over to UP-PGH, Philippine Orthopedic Center, Quirino Memorial Center, Philippine Heart Center, and Biñan Doctors Hospital. PCR machines, SteraMist disinfection/decontamination units, and closed suction systems were also turned over to various hospitals.  NGCP will also be constructing donning and doffing chambers, which are sterile holding areas used by medical frontliners to equip themselves with PPEs prior to entering isolation wards, within the hospital facilities of Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, Rizal Medical Center, and East Avenue Medical Center.  Isolation rooms with negative pressure will also be constructed for Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center. Three (3) Class N isolation rooms and two (2) Class Q isolation rooms with negative pressure will be used for mild and severe COVID-19 cases, respectively.  Other earlier NGCP donations are the Meals on Wheels feeding program for indigent communities; a PhP5 million donation to Project Ugnayan which distributes supermarket vouchers to economically displaced families in Metro Manila; and earlier distribution of face masks and other PPEs to LGUs and medical frontliners.  NGCP is a Filipino-led, privately owned company in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s power grid, led by majority shareholders Henry Sy, Jr. and Robert Coyiuto, Jr.

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SEC reminds Normin, Caraga corporations to submit audited financial statement before June 30

June 9, 2020

Money Matters

By: PR, THE Securities and Exchange Commission – Cagayan de Oro Extension Office (SEC-CDOEO) reminds all corporations for the submission of Audited Financial Statements (AFS) which is due this June 30, 2020. The Northern Mindanao and Caraga Regions’ Stock and Non-Stock corporations whose fiscal year ends November 30, 2019 and December 31, 2019 are obliged to submit their AFS together with the General Information Sheet (GIS) otherwise corresponding penalties will incur.       Atty. Renato V. Egypto, Director for SEC-CDOEO in a statement reminds all corporations to file and submit their reports “For all corporations, it is best to file early as now for us to avoid crowd or mass gathering. The SEC-CDOEO has been open to accept submissions since the occurrence of pandemic in the region”.       SEC-CDOEO accepts walk-in submissions from Monday to Friday (8:00AM – 5:00PM). Preemptive measures are observed in the office and thus, clients are directed to follow.       For areas with travel restrictions, clients may send their reports via courier with mailing address: SEC Bldg., Tomas Saco Del Lara Sts., Macasandig, Cagayan de Oro City.       Sending through e-mail (soft copies) is also accepted however will be deemed as partial submission considering that hard copies will complete the requirements. With this, electronic signatures, and unnotarized documents are temporarily allowed. Reports have to be submitted through reports_cdo@sec.gov.ph.       This submission is in pursuance to the Revised Corporation Code, under Sec. 177 (a) which requires all corporations to submit their annual financial statements to be audited by an independent Certified Public Accountant, however, if total assets or total liabilities of the corporation are less than Six Hundred Thousand Pesos (Php 600, 000.00), the financial statements shall be certified under oath by the Corporation’s treasurer or chief financial officer.       The reportorial requirements shall be submitted annually and within such period as may be prescribed by the Commission.       The AFS other than the consolidated financial statements, shall have the stamped “received” by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) or its authorized banks, unless the BIR allows an alternative proof of submission for its authorized banks (e.g. bank slips).       Late filings shall have corresponding penalties as imposed by the Commission guidelines, and/or may place the Corporation under delinquent status in case of failure to submit the reportorial requirements three (3) times, consecutively or intermittently, within a period of five (5) years. The Commission shall give reasonable notice to and coordinate with the appropriate regulatory agency prior to placing under delinquent status companies under their special regulatory jurisdiction.

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Unemployed persons in R10 rise to 236,000 as of April 2020

June 9, 2020

Money Matters

By: PSA PR, RESULTS of the April 2020 Labor Force Survey shows that unemployment rate in the region registered at 11.1 percent. This is the highest recorded unemployment rate since 2005. Unemployment rate in January 2020 was reported at 3.2 percent while April 2019 unemployment rate posted at 5.0 percent.   In terms of magnitude, the total number of unemployed individuals as of April 2020 reached to 236,000, higher than the recorded unemployed persons in April 2019 at 121,000. In other words, there are 115,000 more individuals who are unemployed as of April 2020 as compared to the same period in the previous year which reflects the impact of CoVID-19 economic shutdown to the labor market.   The region's unemployment rate is lower than the national average of unemployment rate at 17.7 percent. The region also posted the lowest unemployment rate among the 17 regions.   Employment rate in the region fell to 88.9 percent in April 2020 from 96.8 percent in January 2020. In April 2019, employment rate registered at 95.0 percent. This translates to a decrease in the employed persons by around 400 thousand, that is, from 2.3 million employed persons in April 2019 to 1.9 million persons in April 2020.   The region, however, recorded the highest employment rate among the 17 regions of the country.

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PSBank Q1 net income: P646.2m

May 7, 2020

Money Matters

By: , THE Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank), the consumer banking arm of the Metrobank Group, recorded a net income of PhP646.2 million for the first quarter of 2020. Net interest income grew 21.8% to PhP3.2 billion versus the same period last year while net service fees reached PhP458.1 million. Net Income for the first quarter of 2020 is lower by 5.1% on increased credit provisioning. Total loan portfolio as of the first quarter of this year grew by 3.6% to PhP165.0 billion coming from the strong demand in the first two months of this year prior to the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) period. This contributed to total assets growth of 1.8% year-on-year to PhP240.3 billion. Low-cost deposits improved by 10.2% reaching PhP60.6 billion. Gross non-performing loans is stable at 3.7%. PSBank’s balance sheet remains strong with capital of PhP34.8 billion. The Bank’s total Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of 17.2% is well above the regulatory minimum of 10%. “PSBank has a strong balance sheet and capital position coming into this unprecedented situation. Cognizant of the potential impact of the pandemic to the economy, we decided to exercise prudence by increasing provisions to 150% versus previous year. During the quarantine period, the Bank continued to operate 80% of its branches while keeping in place precautionary measures to ensure that our customers and employees are safe. Both customer and IT support were further strengthened to keep our online banking services available 24/7, this being the alternative banking channel during these times,” PSBank President Jose Vicente Alde said. To assist customers during this period, the Bank put together an easy-to-use ‘Quick Customer Enquiries’ module in its website which shows information on daily branch schedules, fraud protection tips, loan payment grace periods, and how-to guides on banking services. PSBank ensured the availability of safe and convenient digital banking services for customers to still do their banking transactions: Check deposit using the PSBank Mobile Check Deposit facility launched in September 2019; Mobile and Online fund transfers via InstaPay and PESONet;  PaSend for mobile cash remittances withdrawable from over 1,000 combined PSBank and Metrobank ATMs nationwide; payment of bills via mobile or online; and 24/7 cash availability in PSBank ATMs. PSBank likewise made it easy for customers to reach the bank through various communication platforms: Chatbot “ISSA” via FB Messenger (Interactive, Speedy & Simpleng Assistant) for quick queries; “LiveChat” if customers wish to interact with our Customer Associates; and our 24/7 Customer Experience Hotline for phone-in concerns. (PR)

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PH seen losing $4.5B in cash remittances due to pandemic in ‘best-case scenario’

April 19, 2020

Money Matters

By: , The Philippines, in a best-case scenario, will likely lose some $4.5 billion (P228 billion) in cash remittance inflows from migrant Filipino workers this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACTS-OFW Coalition of Organizations said on Sunday. “Without the pandemic, we would have expected the aggregate incoming cash transfers from Filipinos overseas to grow by $1.5 billion (or by five percent) this year,” said ACTS-OFW chairman Aniceto Bertiz III. “However, on account of the severe global economic devastation caused by the pandemic, we now project total remittances to reach only $27 billion this year, or down by $3 billion from $30 billion in 2019, assuming the best possible outcome,” Bertiz, a former member of Congress, said. Bertiz said migrant Filipino workers in the following sectors around the world are bearing the brunt of the economic destruction and job losses: ·      Shipping (both merchant and cruise operations) and shipping-related support services; ·      Aviation and aviation-related support services (including crewing operations, aircraft maintenance and catering); ·      Travel and tour operations; ·      Hotels, resorts and restaurants; ·      Gaming; and ·      Oil, gas and energy exploration and development (including related construction). “The foreign labor markets for Filipino workers – except for medical professionals and technicians – will shrink considerably this year, as the global economy declines,” Bertiz said. The collapse of crude oil prices to $20-$25 per barrel is foreseen dampening to a large extent the demand for Filipino workers – from engineers to construction workers – in the Middle East, Bertiz said. The kingdoms in the region heavily dependent oil and gas income are anticipated to spend less aggressively on new public infrastructure, according to Bertiz. “The global economic recession will also reduce the demand for Filipinos sailors as shipping traffic sinks,” Bertiz said. The Philippines is the world’s second-largest supplier of licensed ship officers and the top provider of unlicensed ship ratings or non-officer crew. Some 450,000 Filipino sailors serve on ocean-going bulk carriers, container ships, oil, gas, chemical and other product tankers, general cargo ships, pure car carriers and tugboats around the world. Global ports operator International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICSTI) earlier reported that shipping container volumes across its terminals in 20 countries fell by 10-15 percent in March alone, and are expected to decline further in April. Meanwhile, Bertiz said ACTS-OFW is counting on the government to provide financial assistance to Filipino workers overseas who have lost income under the “no work, now pay policy” of their employers. The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration last week began accepting online applications for the $200 (P10,000) cash aid for Filipino workers abroad “who have experienced job displacement due to the host country’s imposition of a lockdown or community quarantine.”

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PMI releases first Integrated Report on performance and headways in its smoke-free future vision

July 6, 2020

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By: , Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) has published its first Integrated Report, a comprehensive overview of the company’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance and its progress toward delivering a smoke-free future—including the company’s ambition to switch more than 40 million adult smokers to its smoke-free products by 2025.  PMI said its Integrated Report 2019 demonstrates the role of the organization's strategy, governance, and performance in the creation of value over the short, medium, and long terms. The report further shows PMI’s approach and important progress in various ESG areas, while setting new and ambitious targets for 2025 that complement the company’s prior aspirations.  “Clarity of purpose is essential for the internal alignment of any company. Since we announced our smoke-free commitment in 2016, we have made enormous progress in terms of organizational capabilities, the integration of sustainability into every aspect of our transformation, and our business,” said André Calantzopoulos, PMI Chief Executive Officer. “PMI’s Statement of Purpose reaffirms our commitment to deliver a smoke-free future for the benefit of people who would otherwise continue to smoke and, hence, to global public health. It is clear to all of us at PMI that the biggest positive impact our company can have on society is to replace cigarettes with less harmful alternatives; this is at the very core of our corporate strategy and sits atop our sustainability priorities while we are progressing well on all others,” Calantzopoulos added.  The report cited PMI’s Philippine affiliate, PMFTC Inc., for its strong commitment to the development and growth of local communities. In particular, the company’s corporate social responsibility program Embrace, which involves charitable giving, social contributions and community investments that focused on access to education, women empowerment, economic opportunity, and most especially disaster preparedness and relief efforts. “As a leader in the tobacco industry and a top taxpayer in the Philippines, PMFTC has a responsible role to play in spurring economic development, empowering communities and sustaining our environment,” PMFTC President Denis Gorkun said. “We are proud of our company’s caring and giving culture. We are equally proud of our employees who champion the values of social responsibility as can be most recently seen in our societal response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gorkun added. In the report, PMFTC was cited as being in the forefront in providing relief assistance during disasters like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, typhoons and floods. More than 25,000 individuals received help in the past earthquake incidences in Batanes and Mindanao; and another 7,384 families benefited from relief items during the Taal volcano eruption in January this year. In these community efforts, “PMFTC employees were at the core of relief operations.” mentioning the company employees “spirit of volunteerism and compassion for the community.”   On top of helping communities, PMFTC has placed the safety and protection of its own employees a priority. Some 150 displaced employees were provided immediate assistance in the recent Taal volcano eruption. The Integrated Report 2019 also demonstrates how PMI is focusing its resources on developing, scientifically substantiating, and responsibly commercializing smoke-free products that are a better choice than continued smoking, with the aim of completely replacing cigarettes as soon as possible. The company believes that, with the right regulatory encouragement and support from civil society, cigarette sales can end within 10 to 15 years in many countries.  It also highlights the company’s most material sustainability topics, including the health impacts of the company’s products, an aspect often not captured by external ESG assessments.  The report focuses on this key area, and describes how the company is working to reduce the harm caused by tobacco use by replacing combustible products with scientifically substantiated reduced-risk alternatives.  From the previous sustainability reporting, PMI’s evolution to integrated reporting helps investors make the connection between the product-focused sustainability initiatives, which form the core of the ESG strategy, and the financial performance over time. The report also enables the company’s stakeholders to better evaluate the company’s progress in achieving its purpose. PMI’s Statement of Purpose, adopted by the company’s Board of Directors earlier this year and published in its 2020 proxy statement, is also available in the Integrated Report.

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Rotary Club of Cagayan de Oro provides food

June 17, 2020

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By: Mark Francisco, CIVIC groups are now assisting the government in alleviating the hassles experienced by locally stranded individuals (LSIs) at a holding facility in Cagayan de Oro City.   The spacious gym at the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) - known within the campus as the Dr. Ricardo E. Rotoras Memorial Hall - has been transformed as a drop zone for LSIs coming from Laguindingan airport and the Port of Cagayan de Oro where local government units (LGUs) from all over including as far as Digos City would fetch them home.   The phenomenal influx of arriving LSIs was attributed to Cagayan de Oro being the gateway to Mindanao for passengers from virus-hit Luzon and Visayas.   Thus, PPA Port of Cagayan de Oro manager Isidro Butaslac Jr. conceived a plan along with the USTP management for DRERM Hall to be transformed into a holding facility.   Butaslac then rallied fellow Rotarians to redirect their civic-mindedness to help the LSIs.   Since June 12, the mother Rotary Club of Cagayan de Oro has distributed 900 food packs to the LSIs.   "We also provided 10 gallons of purified drinking water which will be replenished when they are all consumed. We have coordinated with Pepsi Cola Philippines Cag de Oro Plant under GM Bob Flores for the installation of a dispenser for Lipton Ice Tea and Gatorade for the LSIs free consumption," remarked RC Cagayan de Oro past president and project director Cris Parojinog. "Del Monte Philippines also assisted us with pack fruit cocktails for our LSIs."   Mindanao’s biggest club, also recognized as The Mother Club, was organized on April 22, 1948. From a small group 17 charter members, it has constantly grown over the years.   The Rotary Club of Cagayan de Oro is made up of distinguished professionals, business and community leaders who share the common passion of serving the community selflessly. It is a non-religious, culturally diverse and non-political club that strives to promote equality and high ethical standards among men through project and activities that cater to various sectors of society advocating the importance of education, health improvement, and poverty alleviation are prioritized and regularly carried out by the club and its members.

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SMC starts delivery of donated testing booths, kits to NCR LGUs

May 16, 2020

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By: , MANILA – The San Miguel Corp. (SMC) has begun turning over its donation of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) testing booths, starting with the cities of Mandaluyong, Pasig, and Manila, fulfilling an earlier promise to help boost the testing capacities of all 17 Metro Manila local government units (LGUs).     A total of 24 testing booths were turned over to Mandaluyong Mayor Carmelita Abalos, Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto, and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.     The delivery of testing booths for other LGUs -- Quezon City, Caloocan, Malabon, Las Piñas, Parañaque, Muntinlupa, Makati, Navotas, San Juan, Taguig, Marikina, Valenzuela, Pasay, and Pateros – will continue this coming week.     Apart from the testing booths, the SMC is also donating PHP3 million worth of reverse transcription - polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests to each of the 17 LGUs, equivalent to 34,000 tests.     The company is also set to turn over an additional three sets of RT-PCR testing machines and automated RNA machines to key government hospitals.     “We are fully committed to helping all our Metro Manila LGUs increase their Covid-19 testing capabilities, in support of the national government’s expanded testing goals,” SMC president Ramon S. Ang said in a news release on Friday.     Ang said with the donations, they hope to help boost testing, particularly in “our less-fortunate communities where many underprivileged families are extra vulnerable, due to their living conditions.”     He noted the importance of carrying out expanded testing and making it accessible to more people by offering it to poor families for free.     “We need to be able to find a way to make testing accessible to all. Everyone should have equal access, not just those who have the means,” Ang said.     At the same time, he batted for the regulation of the price of testing to make it affordable to regular Filipinos and small companies that have to test their employees before returning to work.     Along this line, the SMC is working with the local government of its home city of Mandaluyong to ensure that the cost to test in the city remains affordable.     Apart from its donations to the LGUs, SMC had earlier donated five sets of the same testing machines to the Department of Health (DOH) and testing kits, which can administer up to 20,000 tests.     According to the DOH, the donation effectively doubled the country’s testing capacity. (SMC PR)

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Fintech will drive ‘new normal,’ as cash may pose risks on health safety

May 16, 2020

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By: , The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the whole world to drastically change its old ways. Most of its population went into isolation to flatten the curve. In the Philippines, Luzon has been placed under an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), which meant limited mobility and fewer options for most people since businesses were closed down.      Since everyone is affected by a general anxiety of contracting the coronavirus, private citizens have also imposed upon themselves to observe safer and more hygienic practices to avoid transmission of the disease. While these were once deemed “alternatives” before the pandemic struck, they are sure to remain in the post-COVID world as part of the new normal.     One of these practices is cashless transactions. Digital payments are not a matter of convenience anymore. Given the circumstances, it could be a matter of life and death to those who are more vulnerable to contracting COVID-19.      “Now more than ever, financial technology (fintech) will play a big part in defining a “new normal” for the Philippines in the midst of a public health crisis. We believe that digital payments should be the bedrock of digital services, as we need to limit the social interaction between people and reduce risk of contracting the virus from common surfaces such as paper money,” GCash Chief Technology and Operations Officer Pebbles Sy said.      The World Health Organization (WHO) encouraged the public to wash their hands after handling paper money. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno echoed this sentiment in the country, saying that digital transactions have advantages in the face of a pandemic.     In fact, studies state that paper money increases the risk of coronavirus transmission since it can harbor harmful bacteria and viruses for several days. Thus, many governments from around the world such as China and the United States were reportedly forced to disinfect bank notes before recirculating them back into the economy. In Europe, even bank notes are being subjected to almost two weeks of quarantine, according to the Federal Reserve.     The risks introduced by cash also apply to the use of credit and debit cards in physical transactions. Doing business in the conventional way negates the efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, since this would mean that exchanging cards and receipts would violate social distancing rules even if it is just for a matter of seconds.      GCash, the leading mobile wallet in the Philippines, provides a better alternative to cash as it offers reduced costs and efficiency of transactions, better transparency and security, offers greater convenience, and promotes financial inclusion.      “With most of the country under different levels of quarantine, digital finance is emerging as the core of services in the country. Everything from donation drives to food delivery services to public service utilities went digital. Businesses which have been forced to halt physical operations have used e-wallets like GCash to save themselves from bankruptcy,” Sy said.      GCash as a platform eliminates the issue of accessibility as well since anyone with a smartphone can easily join the growing community of people using digital finance. Its free app does not only innovate money transfer, but it also provides other services such as credit, insurance, and even investments.     Globe Fintech Innovations Inc. (Mynt), which operates GCash, is part of the portfolio companies of 917Ventures, the largest corporate incubator in the Philippines wholly-owned by Globe Telecom Inc.     GCash is available for download on the App Store and Google Play. For more information, kindly visit https://www.gcash.com/.

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