money matters

Personal Remittances Reach US$5.3 Billion for the First Two Months of 2019

April 15, 2019

Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) amounted to US$2.56 billion in February 2019, higher by 1.2 percent from US$2.53 billion in February 2018. This brought the cumulative remittances for the first two months of the year to US$5.30 billion, representing a 2.3 percent year-on-year growth, BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno announced today.1Personal remittances from sea-based and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year rose by 8.5 percent to US$0.57 billion in February 2019 from US$0.53 billion in February 2018. This compensated for the 0.43 percent decline in the personal remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more, to US$1.93 billion from US$1.94 billion. Meanwhile, cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks posted a 1.5 percent growth to US$2.30 billion in February 2019 from US$2.27 billion last year. For the first tw o months of 2019, cash remittances amounted to US$4.78 billion, an increase of 3.0 percent compared to the US$4.65 billion level in the same period last year. This growth was supported by the increase in remittances from both land-based (US$3.73 billion) and sea-based (US$1.06 billion) workers, which rose by 1.0 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively. By country source, the United States registered the highest share of overall remittances for the period at 35.5 percent. It was followed by Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Canada, Qatar, Hong Kong, and Germany.2 The combined remittances from these countries accounted for 77.3 percent of total cash remittances for January to February 2019.

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Boost personal savings for retirement, Pinoys told

April 8, 2019

Filipinos are encouraged to start saving and investing now to prepare for their retirement plans. Melissa Henson, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Manulife Philippines, said they should set up a retirement financial plan “sooner”. “How much money I am making? How much I am spending? How much I am saving? Of the amount that I am saving, where I am putting it and how quickly it is growing? Will it grow fast enough to give me enough for the years that I expect to live beyond my retirement or do I need to either save more or maybe diversify my investment plans so that I can put some money longer term and some instruments that will give me higher returns?,” she said in an interview on Friday. Henson gave this advice following release of a survey indicating that Filipinos have the lowest personal income saved for retirement across key Asian markets, and majority of them are looking into continuing working after leaving their employment. The 2018 Manulife Investor Sentiment Index (MISI) revealed that Filipino investors only have personal income equivalent to 3.6 months set aside for their retirement, lower than the average 2.9 years for other Asian investors. Investors in Taiwan have the highest retirement savings, with personal income set aside good for 4.5 years. They are followed by investors in China and Indonesia who both have retirement savings that can last for 4.1 years. The survey underscored the huge gap between Filipino investors’ current and ideal retirement savings. They also believe that savings equivalent to 2.1 years’ worth of personal income is enough, remarkably low compared with the regional average of 12 years. Henson said MISI results indicate that neighbor countries are “more active and more aware in terms of preparing for their retirement.” “What we found in the surveys that we done over the years is that Filipinos are really more optimistic in terms of their attitude towards investment and finances,” she said. “We are always happier about the results of our investments or the returns, we are always more optimistic even we are falling behind our savings goals, (thinking that) we can catch up. That optimism actually I think makes us maybe a little bit too confident that we can achieve the same goals within less time,” she explained. The MISI further revealed that as much as 84 percent of Filipino investors are looking into continuing working after retirement, either on a full-time or part-time basis. Top reasons for active retirement across age groups include keeping busy and occupied (66 percent), physical and mental health (65 percent), pursuing interests and enjoying life (63 percent), as well as financial considerations such as maintaining or improving living standards (59 percent), and saving additional money for the future (56 percent). According to MISI, there is strong interest among those 50 years old and above to pursue digital work, either on a full-time or part-time basis. More Filipinos participate in digital jobs compared to most parts of Asia, it added. Freelance work and e-commerce top the list of prevalent digital jobs in the country, accounting for 71 percent and 55 percent, respectively, of full-time digital jobs. MISI is a proprietary survey measuring and tracking investors’ views across eight markets in the region on their attitudes towards key asset classes and issues related to personal financial planning. It is based on 4,011 online interviews in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Respondents are middle class to affluent investors aged 25 years and above who are the primary decision maker of financial matters in the household, and currently have investment products. (PNA)

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Security Bank Foundation trains Math, Science teachers nationwide

April 3, 2019

SECURITY BANK  Foundation, in partnership with the Ateneo Center for Educational Development (ACED), conducted a three-day teachers’ training focused on strategies and tools in teaching Mathematics and Science subjects in Quezon City, Cebu City and Davao City. The annual teachers’ training programwas a major component of Security Bank Foundation’s “Build a School, Build a Nation: The Classrooms Project”. The training was attended by 301 Elementary, Junior High School and Senior High School teachers from the Foundation’s beneficiary schools nationwide. The training introduced different teaching strategies that will help the teachers engage the learners and encourage their active participation in class. Mentors from ACED shared various teaching approaches like drawing on past experiences and existing knowledge to discover new things and asking questions to enrich inquisitiveness.      The training emphasized the need to make learning collaborative, fun and interactive. Mentors introduced digital learning applications that teachers can customize to test students on their understanding of the lessons through gameplay.  They also provided online resources where teachers can download videos and other visual materials for presentation in class.  Teachers were asked to do Science experiments to highlight the importance of hands-on activities in sparking students’ interest, curiosity and critical thinking. Visualization was introduced as a tool in teaching Mathematics where students see first the concept before solving mathematical abstracts. The training was filled with simulations of different kinds of group activities that encourage creativity, collaboration and communication among students.      The teachers also attended a financial wellness learning session conducted byElsa De Gracia,Security Bank Wellness Coach, where they learned about managing their finances and growing their fundsthrough investments.       Since 2014, Security Bank Foundation has trained 1,003 teachers in Araling Panlipunan, English, Mathematics and Science teaching strategies.      Here are testimonials from some of the teachers who participated in the training:      “The training gave me ideas on how to enhance my teaching with the use of technology – applications that can make learning exciting and interesting.”      - Jovy Jane Casiple, Junior High School Science Teacher of Emiliano Lizares National High School (Bacolod City, Negros Occidental)      “The training challenged me as a teacher to do the best that I can for my students to like and love mathematics.”      - Marilyn Bucog, Junior High School Mathematics Teacher of Jagobiao National High School (Mandaue City, Cebu)      “The training made us realize that there are a lot of techniques on how the teaching and learning process can be made enjoyable and motivating for students to ensure productive learning. Now is the right time to start re-exploring.”      - Angelina Besa, Junior High School Science Teacher of Leyte National High School (Tacloban City, Leyte)      “Learners must have experiential learning from the very beginning of the class. That way, they will enjoy learning.”      - Brian Baluca, Elementary Science Teacher of Tagbilaran City Central Elementary School (Tagbilaran City, Bohol)      “The training opened my mind that Science should not only be taught because of the content itself. It should be taught for the learners to discover things. Teachers should deal more on how the learners will uphold the lesson and use it in the future.”      - Wilson Panes, Jr. Elementary Science Teacher of Inzo Arnaldo Village Integrated School (Roxas City, Capiz)      “To be honest, if the strategies I have learned from this seminar were already introduced during my elementary days, I know that I would have been very participative, excited and enthusiastic. As a teacher, I will let my pupils experience what I had experienced from this seminar.”      - Rolando Fuego, Elementary Science Teacher of Cugman Elementary School (Cagayan De Oro City, Misamis Oriental)      “The teachers’ training made us realize the importance of engaging learners in learning subjects such as physics, chemistry and research. These subjects sure are tough but one can make them exciting and interactive for our learners throughvaried learning activities.”      - Rowell Tuquib, Senior High School Science Teacher of Banisil National High School (General Santos City, South Cotabato)

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Security Bank Wins Big at The Asset Benchmark Research Awards

December 21, 2017

Since 2014, Security Bank Corporation has been consistent in winning this distinction, recognizingits potential for investors in the region. Security Bank Corporation (PSE: SECB) recently bagged three accolades from the prestigious Asset Benchmark Research Awards at the Conrad Centennial Hotel in Singapore. Lauded by local and regional financial institutions, Security Bank was recognized as “Top Bank for Government Bonds”, “Top Bank for Corporate Bonds” and “Top Investment House in the Philippines by the said body. The Asset uses the Asian Local Currency Bond Benchmark Review in determining the winners of the said award. The review is conducted annually with respondents from various investors in Asia using different methods to give subscribers detailed, actionable results. “We are deeply humbled by the awards we have received from The Asset. These achievements further inspire us to continue providing the best in market banking services that we offer to our loyal investors and banking clients,” says Security Bank Corporation President & CEO Alfonso Salcedo, Jr. “Fulfilling our BetterBanking promise, these awards prove that Security Bank is one of Asia’s most competitive banks in the region,” he concludes. Security Bank officers were also recognized on the same awards night: Ramon M. Arriola, Jr., Dino Aquino and Nicolo Cruz were recognized as Most Astute Investors; Carlyn Dulay and Angeline Sia-Uy were lauded for being Best Individuals in Sales while Rossanna Refuerzo was awarded as the Best Individual in Trading. More than 300 industrial fixed income investors across 11 Asian markets were surveyed to rate the best banks or securities companies using a strict criteria. Security Bank was deemed as one of the best banks and financial service institutions by investors. The Asset Benchmark Research Awards has produced peer-generated rankings of best individuals and most astute investors in Asian local currency and Asian G3 bonds for more than a decade. The Asset only awards the best financial institutions that vetted premium financial services to its investors.

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PH exports expand by 11%

December 18, 2017

The Department of Trade and Industry through its Export Marketing Bureau sees solid growth for Philippine merchandise exports this year as it continues to expand by 11.68% with total sales of $53.11 billion for the period January-October 2017 compared to the same period last year with total $47.55 billion of export sales. For ten straight months, the value of merchandise exports in the review period was shared almost evenly by electronics and non-electronics at 50.78% and 49.22%, respectively. In a preliminary report from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Year-On-Year (YOY) growth for October 2017 showed the country’s total export sales increased by 6.6% from $5.04 billion last year to $5.37 billion this year supported by the double-digit growths of six out of top ten major Philippine exports including fresh bananas.   Six gainers for October 2017 exports sales include gold (297%), electronic equipment and parts (43.3%), metal components (21.9%), fresh bananas (20.8%), other mineral products (19.6%), and electronic products (13.8%). Receipts for top ten major exports for October 2017 reached $4.25 billion with a total share of 79.2% of the total export receipts. Electronic products led the top ten commodities with total export sales of $2.86 billion, accounting for 53.2% of the total exports revenue for the month of October 2017. “Export sector is a big employment generator and we welcome these positive developments as this will translate to more job opportunities,” said DTI Undersecretary for Trade and Investments Promotion Group Nora K. Terrado. Japan remains as the top export destination for October 2017 with total exports receipt of $871.36 million and a share of 16.2% in total exports. “Japan is a significant trading partner for the Philippines. We are maximizing good relations that we have with them by introducing and increasing awareness of various design-driven products and services that we can export. We are also seeking new markets while we continue to expand our exports to existing trading partners. DTI continues to apply new approaches and strategies based on trends and changing consumer landscape,” explained Terrado. Meanwhile, the leading destination of PH merchandise exports for the first ten months of the year was still the combined markets of PROC (China) and HK SAR (Hong Kong). Shipments to this combined markets, with a share of 24.31%, increased by 22.10% in value. By regional bloc, East Asia remains the top regional export destination for Philippine merchandise exports comprising for 51% share in total exports sales while ASEAN ranked second with 16% share for the month of October 2017. Exports to European Union remain rosy with total sales of $677.94, an increase from $549.20 million in October 2016. Recently, DTI unveiled the Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy or i3s that aims to grow and develop globally competitive and innovative industries. With this, DTI aims to increase production capacity of the country’s industries as well as introduce and develop innovative and creative products and services viable for exports.

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Advance release of the 5-Piso new generation currency coins

December 1, 2017

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) today announced that of the New Generation Currency (NGC) Coin Series, it will release in advance of the other denominations, the 5-piso NGC legal tender coin for circulation, starting December 2017. The 5-piso NGC coin features on the obverse, Gat. Andres Bonifacio. The BSP’s advance release of the 5-piso NGC coin highlights the 120th death anniversary of the Filipino patriot this year and his 154th birthday on November 30. Widely regarded as one of the Philippines’ greatest heroes, Bonifacio was a fearless leader who founded the Katipunan, the secret society that ignited the flames of the revolution which finally led to the declaration of Philippine independence in 1898. Bonifacio died on 10 May 1897. Thus, considered as the Father of the Philippine revolution, Bonifacio’s portrait is etched on the obverse of the coin, along with the markings, “ANDRES BONIFACIO”, “5-PISO” and “REPUBLIKA NG PILIPINAS” in bold font and in microprints, and the mint mark. The reverse side, meanwhile, features the Tayabak, a Philippine endemic plant that climbs tall forest trees, the BSP logo and “Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas” in microprint. The 5-piso NGC coin is 25-millimeters in diameter and weighs approximately 7.4 grams. The NGC Coin Series adopts the latest technology in minting coins. The security features of the NGC Coin Series are enhanced to deter counterfeiting, improve wear and corrosion resistance capabilities, saves the BSP minting costs, avoids risks arising from unexpected volatile swings in metal prices, and also deters the illegal hoarding of coins for melting and shipment to other countries. Coins in the NGC Series will feature the BSP logo, national heroes and endemic flora, consistent with the design of the NGC Banknote Series, launched in 2010, which also highlights Philippine fauna. The rest of the denominations of the NGC Coin Series will be released by the BSP for circulation in January 2018.

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