money matters

Online hiring in PH continues to experience positive uptrend

April 30, 2019

ONLINE hiring in the Philippines witnessed a positive year-on-year growth of 13% between March 2018 and 2019, according to data from the latest Monster Employment Index (MEI). The Healthcare industry recorded the highest demand growth with a 25% year-on-year rise in March. This was closely followed by the Consumer Goods / FMCG and Hospitality industry, both of which recorded a 24% year-on-year growth. Other industries monitored by the index recorded significant positive growth, as well, with the exception of the Education sector, which witnessed an 11% decline between March 2018 and March 2019. The Monster Employment Index (MEI) is a gauge of online job posting activity compiled monthly by Monster.com. It records the industries and occupations that show the highest and lowest growth in recruitment activity locally. When looking at specific job roles, all of the 10 occupations monitored by the Index recorded positive growth in March. Purchase/Logistics/Supply Chain professionals witnessed the highest spike in demand with a remarkable 23% year-on-year growth for the month of March, followed by Finance & Accounts talent with a 20% year-on-year growth in demand. Other occupations that experienced an impressive rise were Healthcare and HR & Admin, which saw 19% and 18% growth, respectively, between March 2018 and 2019. “Online hiring sentiment in the Philippines has been consistently rising, and much of this growth can be attributed to the government’s infrastructural reforms, together with the push for greater foreign investment,” said Abhijeet Mukherjee, CEO of Monster.com – APAC and Middle East. “Finance Secretary Dominguez recently dubbed the Philippines as the region’s next economic powerhouse, and urged American businesses to invest in the local economy. This would be a huge step forward in bringing lasting positive changes to the economy, and would be  bound to inject further growth in the local job market,” he added. The Monster Employment Index is a monthly gauge of online job posting activity, based on a real-time review of millions of employer job opportunities culled from a large representative selection of career websites and online job listings across the Philippines. The Index does not reflect the trend of any one advertiser or source, but is an aggregate measure of the change in job listings across the industry.

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Labor official fights back says govt indicators dispel IBON claim on infra project

April 30, 2019

AN official of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said excess demand for workers and improvement of wages mean that the “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) flagship program of the government is effective. Labor Undersecretary Ciriaco Lagunzad made this comment after Ibon Foundation took a swipe at the government’s infrastructure program, calling it an ineffective platform for job creation. Lagunzad said the employment surplus of workers and an increase in their salaries in the construction sector are indicators that President Rodrigo Duterte’s program is successful. “Objective indicator is if the workers’ salary increased in sub sector, construction. Remember that is economics, if there is an excess demand for workers for BBB, I’m talking of carpenters, plumbers, electricians, masons, etc,” he said in an interview on Monday. “If there is excess demand and that the wages tend to go up, that means it is effective in that sense.” Lagunzad noted that the surplus in the demand for workers has been reported by other sectors, including the manufacturing sector. “What are the other indicators? Manufacturing companies are already looking for workers in other regions because they cannot get workers here. They have to go to as far as Bicol as the labor here are hired in BBB and some go abroad. So, objectively you’re already looking, you’re seeing already the effects of an excess demand for workers in that sub sector,” he said. “Obviously, the billions and billions that go into construction will necessarily produce demand for more workers, more investments, more demand for labor so that is as far as labor market is concerned,” the DOLE official added. On the criticism that construction jobs under the project is seasonal, Lagunzad explained that those who benefited from projects, which have been completed, are not left alone since it is a continuous cycle. “Hindi naman ganun yun eh, it’s a continuous cycle. Halimbawa, ang mga backward linkages. ‘Yung negosyo ng hardware, pako, bakal, cement hindi ba lumalago ‘yun dahil nga may nagko-construct? So, dito sa backward link ang daming demand n’yan so nagke-create ng trabaho (It’s not like that. It’s a continuous cycle. For instance, backward linkages. The hardware industry, nails, metals, cement -- aren’t they growing because there’s construction? In this backward link, there’s a huge demand which helps create jobs),” he said. Backward linkage is an industry or business that supports another industry or business. “Kapag natapos na mga projects (infrastructure projects such trains, highways etc.) may maintenance ‘yan e. So in other words, these are cycles and that is the economic, the workings of the economy. Hindi ‘yung one time titingnan mo dito hindi ganun ang pag-analyze (When projects are finished, there’ maintenance. So in other words these are cycles and that is the economic, the workings of the economy. You don’t just look at it in a one-time perspective, that’s not how you analyze),” Lagunzad added. With this, he noted that there’s a side effect in the excess demand for workers, where people will find it hard to find carpenters or plumbers or they charge too much to help fix their houses. “Ang danger nga dyan, ‘yung household, mahal na ‘yung karpintero, wala ka ng makuha, mahal ang tubero. That’s the side effect (The danger here is carpenters’ rate become expensive, you can’t find one, plumbers’ rates are also expensive), the DOLE official added. Ibon Foundation earlier said the BBB program of the government is not an effective job-creating program, saying the annual job-creation rate under the Duterte administration is the lowest over the last six administrations. (PNA)

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BDO posts P32.7 Bn income in 2018; 1Q19 Core Earnings up 21%

April 23, 2019

BDO Unibank, Inc. (BDO) reported at its stockholders meeting today its full year 2018 results, with net income hitting P32.7 billion, representing a 17 per cent growth, and beating the P31.0 billion full-year guidance. The bank likewise capped another milestone as the first Philippine bank to surpass the P3 trillion mark in total assets.      The bank attributed its solid performance to strong recurring earnings from its core businesses, with sustained loan and deposit expansion on the bank’s continued branch build out in key growth areas and new markets, particularly the underserved sectors. 1Q19 Results      The bank sustained its growth momentum through the first quarter of this year, with net income advancing to P9.8 billion. This achievement was due to the continued expansion of its core banking operations, recovery of trading gains to normal levels, and strong results from bank fees and life insurance premiums.      Net interest income was a major earnings driver, rising to P27.7 billion on the continued growth in customer loans and CASA expansion, resulting in higher net interest margins. Meanwhile, non-interest income went up to P14.9 billion, led by banking fees and insurance premiums. Trading and FX gains normalized to P2.2 billion from just P24 million a year-ago, given adverse market conditions during 1Q 2018 when the market declined by 7 per cent. Excluding the increase in trading gains, core net income would have risen by 21 per cent.        Operating expenses rose by 22 per cent to P28.3 billion. Exclusive of policy reserves and volume-related expenses, Opex growth would have been 13 per cent due primarily to continuing business and branch expansion as well as investments in IT upgrades implemented early this year. Meanwhile, the Bank set aside P1.3 billion in provisions, with gross non-performing loan (NPL) ratio steady at 1.2 per cent, and NPL cover higher at 163 per cent from 156 per cent in the 1Q 2018. Return on Common Equity (ROCE) however, stood at 11.8%, still below regional peers.      The Bank’s capital base increased to P338.4 billion, with Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) and Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) at 14.0 per cent and 12.4 per cent, respectively.      BDO set its earnings guidance at P38.5 billion for the full-year 2019, as the Bank leverages on its strong business franchise and extensive distribution network while executing its strategy to expand across high-growth areas and underserved segments.

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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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