Saturday, September 23, 2017

Philippine House Bill 4982

Press Release - - - Aside from the proposed Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity or Expression (SOGIE) Equality Act or House Bill 4982, which the House of Representatives just approved on 3rd and final reading, there are four other bills concerning the LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders) sector of our country.
 
These five bills are clear proof that human rights are on the agenda of the 17th Congress. We in Congress firmly believe LGBT rights are human rights.
 
The SOGIE Equality Bill is also clear indication that Congress values the work and legacy of then Akbayan Party-list Rep. Loretta Ann Rosales, former Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights. 
 
I see here an historic opportunity for the LGBT community to gather momentum. After the SOGIE Bill hurdles the House, the Senate is the next battleground, and after that, the bill goes to Malacanang. If the LGBT advocates have a good strategy, now may be the time for them to make that work.
 
We are aware the LGBT rights groups have other items on their legislative agenda. It is now time for them to rethink how they will push for those issues. Success in pushing for laws usually involves small victories over time. Incremental but progressive.
 
Property rights are important. Many LGBTs are in co-habitation situations. That involves property rights, which are also human rights protected by the 1987 Constitution. After SOGIE, property rights for the LGBT are the natural next step. After that, the major hurdle is civil unions.
 
Culture change happens gradually over time. The LGBT have been patient. They have endurance. (END)

Saturday, September 9, 2017

COA Report on the PNA reveals discrepancies with the 2017 GAA

COA Report on the PNA reveals discrepancies with the 2017 GAA

About the repeated mishaps at the Philippines News Agency (PNA), now is the time for Secretary Martin Andanar and Undersecretary Joel Egco of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) to investigate.
 
I urge them to file appropriate administrative and disciplinary cases.
 
Let due process run its course. The mishaps at the PNA have now reached the level of several too many. It is now time for some order amid the chaos.
 
Our understanding is Undersecretary Joel Egco now has the unenviable task of cleaning up the PNA. Given what we have seen ever since late 2016, he has a lot of house cleaning to do.
 
Sec. Andanar and Usec. Egco clearly need to enforce discipline and professionalism at the PNA. They should apply the civil service rules on administrative cases.  Have administrative cases been filed?
 
It is reasonable to conclude that such administrative cases would have charges ranging from simple neglect of duty to gross neglect of duty, to dishonesty.  The penalties for these vary from suspension of at least one month to the maximum of dismissal.
 
The 2017 GAA and the 2016 COA report
 
Searching for the PNA in the 2017 General Appropriations Act is not an easy task, unless you know where to look.
 
The PNA is not even mentioned by name in the GAA because it is a part of a little-known agency called the News and Information Bureau or NIB.
 
This year, NIB has a budget of P124.765 million. For 2018, the administration is asking for a P129.125 million budget for the NIB, including the PNA.
 
According to the proposed 2018 GAA, NIB has 266 authorized positions and 169 filled positions.
 
According to the latest Commission on Audit (COA) report on the NIB, the NIB is headed by Director Virginia R. Arcilla-Agtay. The COA report says she is there in an acting capacity.
 
The COA report further says the PNA is a division of the NIB.
 
The state news agency of the entire Philippine Government is a mere division in the entire bureaucracy.
 
The COA report also says the PNA has 99 permanent positions filled and 30 job orders (contractual employees) for a total of 129 civil servants.
 
The 2016 COA report says NIB has 81 job orders in total. That includes the 30 job orders at PNA. We note that in the 2017 GAA for the NIB, the job orders are not counted in the staffing summary.
 
I want to know as committee chair: Who are the PCOO editors, reporters, IT personnel and PNA bureau personnel who hold plantilla positions and who are mere job orders?
 
The COA report says the NIB has 241 authorized plantilla positions but the GAA says the NIB has 266 authorized positions.
 
Which is which? There is a difference of 15 plantilla positions.
 
I also take this opportunity to ask Sec. Andanar and Usec. Egco to count and list all the job orders there in the PNA, NIB, and all of the PCOO.

PCSO Desk in Philippine Hospitals

NURSE NA SOLON INIHIRIT ANG PAGKAKAROON NG DAGDAG NA PCSO DESKS SA MGA OSPITAL

 

Nananawagan si Assistant Minority Leader at AANGAT Tayo Party-list Congressman Harlin Neil Abayon, III na dapat ay dagdagan ng Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) ang mga desks nito sa mga ospital sa buong Pilipinas para mas makapaghatid ng tulong sa mga mahihirap na pasyente.

 

Sa ngayon kasi, meron lamang 45 na PCSO desks sa buong Pilipinas – 16 sa mga government hospitals sa Metro-Manila, 5 lamang sa mga probinsya, at 24 sa mga pribadong ospital.

 

"Nakakaawang makita na yung mga pasyenteng nangangailangan ng tulong ay kelangan pang magsadya at pumila sa tanggapan ng PCSO sa Shaw Blvd, Mandaluyong para lang makakuha ng tulong. Dapat gawing mas accessible ng PCSO ang ayuda nito sa mga mahihirap sa pamamagitan ng dagdag na PCSO desks," giit ni Abayon na isa ring registered nurse.


Sinabihan ni Abayon ang PCSO na magsumite sa Kongreso ng plano kung paano mas mapapabilis at mapapabisa ang implementasyon ng "At Source Ang Processing (ASAP)" Project ng PCSO para magkaroon na ng PCSO desks sa lahat ng 64 medical facilities ng Department of Health na binubuo ng 8 special hospitals, 24 medical centers, 18 regional hospitals, 6 district hospitals, and 8 sanitaria. 

Sa ngayon, binubusisi sa House of Representatives ang budget ng bawat sangay ng gobyerno para sa taong 2018.

 

Bilin ni Abayon na dapat ang nakalagay na sa isusumiteng report ng PCSO ang mga bagong plantilla items, equipment, furniture, internet, at iba pang maintenance and operating expenses para matiyak na magkakaroon ng silbi at gagana nang mahusay ang mga ilalagay na PCSO desks sa mga ospital.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

PH showcases top ASEAN food brands


PH showcases top ASEAN food brands. ASEAN Director General for Operations Ambassador Marciano Paynor Jr., (4th from left) with DTI Undersecretary for Trade and Investments Promotion Group and ASEAN Committee on Business and Investments Promotion Chairperson Nora K. Terrado (3rd from left) led the ribbon cutting ceremonies of the TASTE ASEAN exhibit at International Food Exhibition Philippines held at the World Trade Center in Pasay City last 19 May. Also in photo (L-R): Department of Agriculture Assistant Secretary Leandro Gazmin, European Union Ambassador Franz Jessen, Singapore Ambassador Kok Li Peng and CITEM Executive Director Clayton Tugonon.

Philippines highlights ASEAN food brands at int’l food expo

Philippines highlights ASEAN food brands at int'l food expo

Philippines, through its Department of Trade and Industry's Center for International Exhibition and Mission (DTI-CITEM), highlighted top ASEAN food brands during the International Food Exhibition Philippines (IFEX) at the World Trade Center and Philippine Trade Training Center in Pasay City last 19-21 May.

Dubbed as TASTE ASEAN, the 11th edition of IFEX Philippines highlighted the leading food products and ingredients from 10 ASEAN countries with their dynamic and visually enticing food presentations of native and iconic delicacies. The exhibit also featured the contribution of South East Asia to the vibrant global food market.

With ASEAN's focus on inclusive growth, DTI noted the Philippines efforts' in helping micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in accessing global markets through trade exhibitions such as IFEX Philippines.

"More than just a trade show, IFEX served as a trade platform for MSMEs to meet with trade buyers and potential partners. We also aim to further position the Philippines as part of a region that produces high quality food products for consumers around the world," said DTI Undersecretary for Trade and Investments Promotion and ASEAN Committee on Business and Investment Promotion Chairperson Nora K. Terrado.

Set at the exhibition's International Hall, TASTE ASEAN with its 21 exhibitors featured tropical fruits, vegetables, fresh and processed seafood, sauces and condiments, and other food products that continue to bring ASEAN brands to the global market.

Aside from the 10 ASEAN member states, partners and exhibitors from the European Union, China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey also participated in the said event.

Tagged as Asia's ethnic food and ingredients show, TASTE ASEAN@IFEX is among the business events developed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) under the ASEAN Committee on Business and Investment Promotion (ASEAN CBIP), an inter-agency committee created to assist the ASEAN-National Organizing Council (NOC). It developed events and activities that complement and reinforce the country's priority deliverables for ASEAN 2017 highlighting the promotion of inclusive, innovation-led growth.

APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in November 2017

DTI CHIEF LOPEZ PUSHES FOR MSME AGENDA IN THE APEC TRADE MINISTERS MEET. Top trade officials from the member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) refined themes and priorities to be discussed at the APEC Economic Leaders' Week in November 2017.  Representing the Philippines at the 23rd APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting (MRT 23) in Hanoi on 20-21 May 2017, Philippine Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez (5th from L; back) presented the importance of APEC's sustainable and inclusive growth strategy, citing the Philippine government's thrust to include the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the value chain of bigger companies. APEC complements the trade agenda not only of the Philippines, but also of ASEAN. As a driving force of regional economic growth, APEC, together with its top trade leaders aimed at realizing a sustainable, inclusive and transparent trading system in the region. Major discussions of MRT 23 touched on the development of cross-border e-commerce or digital trade, the strengthening of industry initiatives, innovation and the review of action plans on economic and financial matters, as well as human resources development and social equity/inclusion. 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano

ON APPOINTMENT OF CAYETANO TO DFA, OUTGOING AFP CHIEF TO DILG

 

 

President Duterte has been grooming them for their new posts, which means his confidence in them is high.

 

President Duterte wants to be sure his agenda is done the way he wants it done. In his mind he is certain they are the men he needs for the mission.

 

The new secretaries need to make sure their agencies' priorities are funded well in the 2018 budget.

DepEd muling binuksan ang SHS Voucher Program online application

DepEd muling binuksan ang SHS Voucher Program online application para sa mga Grade 10 completers

 

PASIG CITY, May 9, 2017 – Bilang paghahanda sa darating na pasukan sa Hunyo, muling binuksan ng Kagawaran ng Edukasyon ang Senior High School Voucher Program (SHS VP) online application para sa Grade 10 completers na nagnanais mag-enroll sa mga pribadong paaralan.

 

Ayon sa Kagawaran, ang programa ay naglalayong matulungan ang mga estudyante na makapag-aral ng Senior High School sa mga pribadong eskwelahan sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng tulong pinansyal para sa matrikula.

 

Ang online application ay mula Mayo 1-15 lamang at ang resulta ay ilalabas sa Mayo 30. Ito ay upang bigyan ng pagkakataon ang mga Grade 10 completers na hindi nakapag-apply noong unang application period na mula Nobyembre 2016 hanggang Pebrero 2017.

 

Ang maaari lamang mag-apply ay ang mga Grade 10 completers sa pribadong paaralan na hindi kabilang sa Educational Service Contracting(ESC). Samantalang ang mga Grade 10 completers na galing sa pampublikong paaralan at ESC grantees ng pribadong paaralan ay awtomatikong kwalipikado na sa programa.

 

Sa ilalim ng programa, ang mga Grade 10 completers mula sa pampublikong paaralan ay mayroong P22,500 halaga ng voucher kung sila ay mag-aaral sa pribadong paaralan na nasa National Capital Region (NCR); samantalang  P18,000 naman para sa mga Grade 10 completers mula pribadong paaralan.  Ang mga Grade 10 completers mula sa pampubliko at pribadong paaralan na nais mag-enrol sa State at Local Universities at Colleges ay may P11,250 halaga ng voucher.

 

Mayroon ding nakalaan ang programa para sa mga estudyanteng nasa labas ng Metro Manila o nasa Highly-Urbanized Cities. Ang halaga ng voucher ay P20,000 para sa mga Grade 10 completers mula sa pampublikong paaralan; at P16,000 naman para sa mga Grade 10 completersmula sa pribadong eskwelahan. Para sa mga nag-nanais na mag-enrol sa State at Local Universities at Colleges, ang halaga ng voucher ay P10,000.

 

Ang programa ay may nakalaan din para sa mga mag-aaral sa malalayong siyudad at munisipalidad. Ang halaga ng voucher para sa mga Grade 10 completers mula sa pampublikong paaralan ay P17,500; samantalang P14,000 para sa nagmula sa pribadong paaralan; at P8,750 para sa mga nagnanais na mag-enrol sa State at Local Universities at Colleges.

 

Binigyang-diin ng DepEd na walang bayad at pamantayang grado upang makapag-apply sa Voucher Program. Ang mga interesado ay dapat lamang mag-apply sa pamamagitan ng http://ovap.deped.gov.phOnline application lamang ang muling binuksan at hindi tatanggapin ang manual applications.

 

Ang SHS Voucher Program at ESC ay bahagi ng Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE) ng pamahalaan na naglalayong mapalawak ang pagbibigay sa mga kabataang Pilipino ng oportunidad na makapag-aral sa pamamagitan ng pinansiyal na ayuda.

 

Kaugnay nito, nais linawin ng Kagawaran: Ang voucher ay hindi tseke o salapi na matatanggap ng mga estudyanteng kwalipikado. Ang halaga ng voucher ay direktang ibinabayad ng Kagawaran sa mga pribadong paaralan kung saan mage-enroll ang mga estudyanteng kabilang sa programa.

 

Para sa detalyadong impormasyon, maaaring bisitahin ang website na http://deped.gov.ph; Facebook: DepEd Philippines; at Twitter: DepEd_PH.

Philippines to draft Philippine Human Rights Plan for next 5 years

Philippines to draft Philippine Human Rights Plan for next 5 years

A Philippine Human Rights Action Plan under the Duterte administration for the next five years is already being prepared. 

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano reported this in his opening statement during the 3rd cycle of the Universal Periodic Review last May 8. 

In line with the administration's commitment to uphold the rule of law and protect the human right of all Filipinos, Cayetano said the government is in the process of drafting a five-year human rights plan that will adopt "a culture-sensitive perspective, gender-sensitive paradigm, and human rights-based approach in public service."

The plan seeks to mainstream the government's human rights agenda in its development initiatives to protect all, especially the most vulnerable sectors, including but not limited to, the indigenous people, children, women, migrant workers, the elderly, domestic workers, persons with disabilities, farmers, laborers, and members of the LGBT community. 

It should be recalled that the Human Rights Plan of the past administration was crafted in 2012. 

Cayetano cited the President's statement  during his first State of the Nation Address in July 2016: "There can never be real, tangible and felt development without making our people feel secure."

The senator also highlighted the Duterte administration's effort to augment the budget of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) from P439 million to P724 million. This year's budget of CHR is the highest since 2005. 

"The provision of additional resources for CHR, the President's most outspoken critic, shows that this administration supports human rights programs and initiatives," Cayetano explained

Additionally, Cayetano stressed that the issuance of an Executive Order institutionalizing the Freedom of Information in the executive branch as well as the installation of a direct complaint hotline - 8888 - to the Office of the President are clear proofs that President Rodrigo Duterte is for accountability in government.

He also noted the government's efforts in encouraging private sector participation in ensuring a more effective and sustainable rehabilitation and reintegration program for self-confessed drug users and pushers who surrendered.   

"The Philippine Government under President Duterte is committed to real change, to peace and development and to addressing the problems of poverty and inequality… We are committed to Change. We are committed to the rule of Law. We are committed to upholding human rights," Cayetano concluded.

Marikina Shoe Industry

TRADE CHIEF, JAPANESE SENATOR EXPLORE WAYS TO REVIVE MARIKINA SHOE INDUSTRY. Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez (right) recently (2 May) discussed with Japanese Senator Teruhiko Mashiko (left) more possible ventures for trade and investment cooperation between the Philippines and Japan. Specifically, as Senator Mashiko talked about prospects in the shoe manufacturing industry in the Philippines, Sec. Lopez mentioned opportunity for Japanese investors to touch base with the stakeholders of Marikina City, the shoe capital of the Philippines. Also discussed were the complementary demographics between the two sides with Japan having silvering populace and with the Philippines enjoying a sweet spot of younger workforce. In view of its human capital advantage, the Philippines has become one of the most attractive markets for human resources globally. According to Sec. Lopez, President Rodrigo Duterte is very keen in bringing back the glory of Marikina's robust shoe making industry.

Senator Cayetano proposes to change mandatory retirement age for uniformed personnel

Cayetano proposes to change mandatory retirement age for uniformed personnel 

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano is proposing to adjust the compulsory retirement age for the country's uniformed men and women from fifty-six (56) to sixty (60) years old.

Cayetano recently filed a measure seeking to adjust the compulsory retirement age for officers and enlisted men of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), members of the Philippine National Police (PNP), uniformed officers and non-officers of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and members/officers of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).

"We need more competent and dedicated uniformed personnel to assist our government pursue its programs to ensure peaceful, orderly, and safe communities," Cayetano said as he filed Senate Bill No. 1436 last May 4.

Cayetano pointed out that the tasks performed by the personnel of the PNP, BJMP, the Philippine Coast Guard, and the BFP require long years of training and experience. 

He said he is confident that at age 56, these personnel can still fulfill the physical, mental, and psychological demands and rigors of their position.

Under existing laws, civilian government employees are compulsorily retired at the age of sixty-five (65), while the retirement age for uniformed personnel is pegged at fifty-six (56). 

Currently, uniformed personnel who have accumulated thirty years of satisfactory service or who have reached the age of 56 are compulsorily retired. 

"Recognizing their indispensable role as protectors of the State and its citizens, the government has heavily invested in the training and development of the officers and members of these agencies," the senator stressed.

"We need to maximize their years of experience and wealth of knowledge, harness their leadership skills and professional competence until the age of 60," he added. 

Cayetano hopes that extending the years of service would also increase the number of qualified personnel in these respective offices. 

He noted that the long-term goal is to keep hardworking and dedicated uniformed personnel longer in service and to remove corrupt officials and scalawags who are destroying the image of the institutions that they serve.

"The senior officials are in the best position to help our administration to lead the reforms in their respective agencies," Cayetano noted.

"Additional years in service would also allow these officers to have more opportunities for career advancement," he added.

CONQUERING MALNUTRITION IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS


CONQUERING MALNUTRITION IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

 

Properly and effectively implemented, the National School Feeding Program envisioned in House Bill 5269 will significantly reduce the number of malnourished children nationwide, particularly in the poorest localities.

 

Lower malnutrition will not be the only long-term impact. Healthier kids, means improved overall academic performance in school and more productive citizens, which contributes to economic growth and social progress.

 

HB 5269 was recently approved on third and final reading at the House of Representatives. HB 5269 will await its Senate Counterpart during the bicameral conference phase of the legislative process. 

 

Last July, I filed HB 1438 entitled "An Act Establishing a Nutrition Program for All Public Elementary Schools in the Country and Appropriating Funds Therefor." It was then consolidated with 12 other bills into HB 5269.

Pondo para sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso

DTI, PAWN BROKERS CHAMBER DISCUSS POSSIBLE PARTNERSHIP FOR THE P3 MICRO-FINANCING PROGRAM. Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez (top: 4th from L) recently (9 May) discussed with the Chamber of Pawn Brokers of the Philippines (CPPI) possible opportunities to strengthen the distribution network of President Rodrigo Duterte's Pondo para sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) Program. According to CPPI President Jean Henri Lhuillier (top: 5th from R), the Chamber is interested in supporting the P3 program by partnering as conduits. Sec. Lopez, on the other hand, expressed optimism on the partnership, which can further expand the program's network through pawnshops across the country. Small Business Corporation (SBCorp) President Brillo Reynes (top: leftmost) said that the P3 program is on-track, distributing P60 million funds in Mindoro alone. P3 is a microfinancing program that aims to end the usurious "5-6" scheme and help the micro, small and medium enterprises get easier access to financing services, providing non-collateral loan with small interest rate of 2.5% every month. Payments are also made easy and flexible as individuals can pay either weekly or monthly. Trade Undersecretary for Regional Operations Zenaida Maglaya (bottom: rightmost) and CPPI board members and officers were also present in the meeting. 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Philippine IMMIGRATION BILL NEEDS URGENT ACTION

IMMIGRATION BILL NEEDS URGENT ACTION

 

I urge my colleagues on the House Committee on Justice to urgently tackle, as soon as the summer break is over, the five pending bills seeking either to create a Commission on Immigration or update the immigration law of our country.

 

The stop gap measures for the current immigration personnel woes at the NAIA are temporary in nature, but the long-overdue updating of the immigration legal infrastructure can address those overtime pay problems, which are symptomatic of or linked to the many ailments of the Bureau of Immigration and the immigration system.

 

As my colleague Representative Maximo B. Rodriguez, Jr. properly noted in his House Bill 1697, Congress has tried since the Fourteenth Congress to update our immigration law.

 

This cannot go on for long. The Seventeenth Congress ought to pass a new immigration law and send it to President Duterte for either signing or lapsing into law.

 

When the Committee of Justice approves the consolidated bill, I ask President Duterte to certify it as urgent. I also ask Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to recommend the consolidated bill for certification as urgent, so it could be approved in time for implementation before the end of 2017 and allow the Justice Department time to approve the implementing rules and regulations.

 

We need to ascertain and solve the problems that have kept Congress from approving this legislation critical to our national security, mass transport system, and the administration of justice. (END)

QBO launches hub for startup programs

QBO launches hub for startup programs
 
QBO Innovation Hub, an established partnership between the public and private sector including the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), IdeaSpace Foundation, and J.P. Morgan, opened its startup enablement programs to help speed up growth and learning for Philippine startups and entrepreneurs.
 
"We are excited to create success stories that will inspire Filipinos to start their own companies instead of pursuing opportunities overseas," said QBO and IdeaSpace President Butch Meily.
 
QBO will start offering programs and services to startups including access to QBO's networking events such as classes, workshops, mentorship, feedback sessions, and use of its co-working space.
 
Available services also include professional consultations on legal, accounting, marketing and design, corporate and government partner resources referrals, incorporation assistance, business registration, intellectual property filing, and investors and potential partners pitching.
 
"DTI hopes that with our partners from industry, academe, and other government agencies such as DOST and DICT, our initiatives will help advance the development of our local startup ecosystem and increase the number of high-growth oriented enterprises that will bring the Philippine brand in a global scale," emphasized DTI Trade and Investments Promotions Group Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado.
 
Through QBO, startups will also have an opportunity to join J.P. Morgan's Incubation Program, a stage agnostic module that will be available to select and high-potential startups all year round. It initially plans to enroll 15 startups by the end of 2017.
 
"As one of the world's leading financial institutions, J.P. Morgan celebrates new ideas and we are committed to supporting entrepreneurs in the country, especially those with underserved backgrounds. Engaging with Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) at their early stages is critical and we are excited about the tremendous opportunities they will bring to developing sectors and generating jobs, which are both vital in promoting prosperous and thriving communities," said Roberto L. Panlilio, Senior Country Officer, J.P. Morgan Philippines.
 
To avail the said services, startups need to have an initial interview with the QBO team and undergo initial assessment. Through this, a customized plan will be designed to match with the resources needed by the startup.
 
QBO was launched in 2016 with DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez and PLDT Group Chair Manny V. Pangilinan. It aims to link innovators, explorers, investors, academic institutions, start-up mentors, funders and enablers as well as a broad spectrum of partners and stakeholders from both public and private sectors to convene in constructive interaction.
 
"The Philippine startup ecosystem is growing incredibly quickly, fueled by a young population engaged in the internet and digital, and more importantly, by entrepreneurs that demonstrate incredible determination and commitment. By continuing to develop ideas into innovative products and technologies, startups can evolve to become great companies that positively impact the future of the Philippines" said DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development, Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara.
 
QBO is the first innovation hub in the country, pioneering the first public-private effort to establish an innovation ecosystem in the Philippines following success stories of Silicon Valley in the United States, BLK 71 in Singapore, and MaGIC in Malaysia.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc.

SME Nation conquers Davao
By Mai Gevera
Davao City (1 July) -- Realizing the need for small and medium businesses to go digital, the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. and the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) finally partnered to help SMEs develop business through the right access to information and communication technology.

DCCCII President Simeon Marfori bared that businesses in Davao need to be introduced with the latest innovations in technology especially on voice solution, internet broadband, and wireless solution.

"These are services that are not yet offered to and used by our SMEs. This is why we have partnered with PLDT as we share the same goal of making these innovations to Davao businesses and would later redound to binging in more investments in Davao City," Marfori said.

PLDT, on the other hand, has been roaming around the provinces to engage SMEs in taking advantage of simple, scalable, nurturing and enabling end-to-end solutions fitted for their respective businesses.

PLDT SME Group Head Katrina Luna-Abelarde attended the Memorandum of Understanding Signing held at the Apo View Hotel together with DCCCII executive director Conrado Hernaez, PLDT Small and Medium Enterprise for VisMin Business head Nilo Bantilan, and DCCCII President Simeon Marfori.

Abelarde claimed that Philippine SMEs suffer a poor rating on ICT that showed only 10 to 20 percent of the SMEs have stable internet access while 2 to 5 percent have websites of their own.

"How can we go global with this poor appreciation and usage of ICT?" she said.
Thus, PLDT SME Nation partners with different business organizations where they offer tailor-fit solutions such as broadband connectivity, business-enabling devices like computers, wireless access points, wireless card payment terminals, software applications, and contents like sales inventory management software and on-line website builders.

Abelarde explained that inorder to benefit various SMEs, PLDT has transformed its services from cost items into wise investments.

"We are not yet talking about the details of this partnership but definitely we are to bring cheaper technology services to our SMEs since we have partnered with PLDT," said Marfori.

SME Nation wishes to inculcate in the minds of SMEs the importance and value of the digital marketplace.

One amazing offering for SMEs is the PLDT MyDSL Biz where one can instantly launch his virtual outlets worldwide - all of which proudly promote and showcase one's wares. Through this product, one can also accept and respond to inquiries and capture sales from an increasing number of online customers.

Davao business chamber sees growth of ICT, SME sector

Davao chamber sees growth of ICT, SME sector
Davao City (1 July) -- Chamber of Commerce and Industries Inc. (DCCCII) President Simeon Marfori II sees the expansion and growth of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between PLDT and the Chamber on the offering of a wide range of ICT services to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises members of DCCII.

The MOU was signed by Marfori and PLDT SME Group head Katrina C. Luna Abelarde last July 27 at the Apo View Hotel Davao. The MOU is the first in the country where PLDT hopes to help SMEs foster connectivity and access to the latest innovations on ICT.

DCCII will provide the venue, linkage and technical skills to SMEs while PLDT will provide affordable, practical, scalable and managed solutions to these SMEs.
Marfori said that these are the elements needed for the growth of a sector (ICT) which along with agriculture, tourism sectors is where the Chamber will be focusing on for this year.

"The more SME users of ICT the better it will be for the industry as it will be used to increase productivity and efficient allocation of resources.

Marfori said that he hopes to enter into another agreement with another company. He said the DCCCII is looking into IBM which could provide the server, which could be used by the SMEs.

Luna-Abelarde said that the PLDT SME Nation Group was formed in January this year to help provide SMEs and IT platform. She said that of the 300,000 SMEs only 10-20% are connected to the internet of which 2 to 5% have websites of their own.

She said that among the packages offered to SMEs include Voice solutions which include a full PABX solutions package comprising of the switch and line. Also offered are Broadband package and applications for business operations. (PIA/RG Alama)

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Associated Marine Officers' and Seamen's Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP)

PGMA lauds AMOSUP on health initiatives
by T. Villavert
Iloilo City (30 June) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo lauded the Associated Marine Officers' and Seamen's Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP) for putting up a hospital that directly impact on the needs of the AMOSUP's members and dependents in Western Visayas.

The President during the inauguration of the Seamen's Hospital Iloilo yesterday (June 30) was happy to note that "our seafarers and their families are well taken care of by the private sector, people's organizations and by the government as well."

The three-storey Seamen's Hospital is a 40-bed capacity hospital constructed at a cost of P42 million and occupying 3,300 square meters in Mandurriao, Iloilo City.

AMOSUP President, Captain Gregorio Oca led President Arroyo to the various departments of the three-storey hospital. This is now the third satellite facility of the AMOSUP throughout the country, who count about 55,000 members.

During the activity, President Arroyo that OWWA's scholarship program for the Seafarers' families will soon start on a mass scale.

She said that the program of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) will now be "backed up by the national government funds coming from the reforms we made in the phase one of our economic agenda."

"With additional revenues", the President said, "we can now fund programs that directly impact on the people including the welfare of the seafarers and their families."

President Arroyo counts on the seafarers to takepart in the economic upliftment of the country, as well as urges them to bring the great quality of the Filipino seafarers through out the world. (PIA)

Philippines to push ASEAN’s bid to engage Japan on innovation and MSME inclusivity

PH to push ASEAN's bid to engage Japan

on innovation and MSME inclusivity—Lopez

MAKATI—As the Philippines chairs the ASEAN Economic Ministers' Meeting (AEM) and Related Meetings for this year, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez is determined to advance ASEAN's objective to engage Japan on innovation and inclusivity of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs),  during the AEM Roadshow to Japan from 6 to 8 April 2017.   

 

ASEAN economic ministers will also call on Japan's top leaders and government officials in a consistent bid to strengthen bilateral relations between ASEAN and Japan. The AEM Roadshow will include site visits to some Japanese companies in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Wakayama.

 

"ASEAN is keen to engage with Japan on the theme of innovation and on how this can strengthen not only industries but MSMEs," said Sec. Lopez, chair of AEM, whose domestic advocacy on developing MSMEs through innovation aligns with ASEAN's intention.

 

The ASEAN delegation with ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh is set to meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Minister Hiroshige Seko of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), as well as some public officials.

 

"Given Japan's stature as one of ASEAN's worthy trading partners and the continually growing trade between the two, we cannot stress enough the importance of this Roadshow in further strengthening relations between ASEAN and Japan," he added.

 

The trade chief also noted that during the first Roadshow in 2016, ASEAN economic ministers were impressed at what they witnessed in the showcase of Japanese resilience and human resource development.

 

Likewise, the ASEAN Member States (AMS) gained a deeper understanding of the importance of regional efforts on disaster resiliency, according to him.

 

"Japan is regarded as a leader in innovation for the past 50 years and is home to widely-recognized companies. Economic ministers are eager to see this innovation at work in Japan not only to gain new perspectives to be applied in their respective countries, but also to better implement the AEM priority on inclusive, innovation-led growth towards shared prosperity for the region," explained Sec. Lopez.  

 

ASEAN will also discuss with the Japanese side ways to strengthen ASEAN-Japan economic relations, as well as the ongoing negotiations with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). ASEAN is confident that with the support of Japan, the negotiations on the basic RCEP parameters will be concluded within the year.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

DOF eyes March 2017 Philippine inflation rate at 3.6%

DOF eyes March 2017 Philippine inflation rate at 3.6%
By Joann S. Villanueva

MANILA, April 4 (PNA) -- Faster rate of price increases of food and oil in general are seen to further push domestic inflation rate in the Philippines to 3.6 percent in March, a Department of Finance (DOF) official said.

Finance Undersecretary and chief economist Gil Beltran, in his report to DOF Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, said normalization of oil prices from its record-low levels last year is the main factor for the uptick in domestic inflation rate this year.

In February, the country's inflation rose to 3.3 percent from January's 2.7 percent, bringing the average in the first two months this year to three percent, the middle of the central bank's inflation target range of 2 to 4 percent.

Oil prices went down to around USD40 per barrel in the early 2016 due to oversupply but it has so far gone up to a little over USD50 per barrel as major oil producers cut supply to address the low oil price environment.

This development made Beltran consider the faster inflation rate in the third month of 2016, with the food and non-alcoholic beverages sub-index seen to rise to 4.5 percent from 4.1 percent last February. Year-ago level for his index is 1.6 percent.

Housing, utilities and fuels index is also seen to register an increase to 4.1 percent from month-ago's 2.9 percent.

Core inflation, which exclude volatile items namely food and oil, rose to 2.7 percent last February from month ago's 2.6 percent and year ago's 1.6 percent as oil prices continue its climb.

Other sub-indices forecast to post increases are alcoholic beverages and tobacco, from six percent last February to 6.5 percent in March; clothing and footwear, from 2.8 to 2.9 percent; and health, from 2.6 to 2.8 percent.

Beltran however, sees lower contribution of the transport index for the third month this year to 1.9 percent from last February's 2.8 percent mainly due to lower oil prices last March in particular from last February's level.

The restaurant and miscellaneous services sub-index is also seen to post a slower growth of 1.8 percent from month-ago's 2.1 percent.

Inflation of the communication index is seen to remain flat at 0.2 percent and the recreation and culture and education indices both at 1.8 percent.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is scheduled to release the March 2017 inflation report on Wednesday. (PNA)

Monday, April 3, 2017

Philippine strengthens trade and investment promotion efforts in Mexico

Philippine strengthens trade and investment promotion efforts in Mexico

Mexico City – The Department of Trade and Industry´s (DTI) Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Mexico, with support from the Philippine Embassy in Mexico, together with COMCE, the Mexican Business Council of Foreign Trade, Investment, and Technology recently discussed Philippine business opportunities in an organized roundtable on Philippine Business Opportunities in Mexico.

Participated in by over 30 Mexican businessmen from the logistics, autoparts manufacturing, business development, and agro-food products sectors, the event highlighted opportunities for trade and investments between the Philippines and Mexico.

Ambassador Eduardo Jose A. De Vega graced the event by highlighting the history of Mexico-Philippine trade relations and the importance of the current activities of the Philippine government to reactivate them.

Meanwhile, the Embassy´s Commercial Counselor and head of PTIC Mexico, DTI´s Vichael Angelo D. Roaring, presented current bilateral trade relation between the two countries and the opportunities, advantages, incentives and the optimum environment that the Philippines has developed to become a competitive destination for foreign investments and a source of exports of quality products.

"The Philippines continues to be a strategic business location in the Asia-Pacific region, being not only a 100 million market but as a gateway for over 500 million market of the ASEAN," highlighted Roaring. 

Juan Pablo Garcia, Director of Corporate Affairs of CEMEX, gave a testimonial and a case study of CEMEX´s experience of setting up and doing business in the Philippines.  With CEMEX' presence in more than 50 countries, Garcia cited the Philippines as one of its best places for doing business for its manpower and enabling business environment.  Garcia also pointed out CEMEX´s plans to venture in the low-cost housing sector in the Philippines, a preferred business sector of the DTI's Board of Investments 2017 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP). 

Jorge Barbosa of ProMexico, a trade promotion agency of Mexico, presented opportunities that Mexico offers to the Philippines in terms of investment, as well as the potential of the Philippine market for Mexican companies in the fields of processed food, beverages, frozen fruits and vegetables, auto parts, home appliances and creative industries, and the potential for investments in ports, infrastructure, auto parts, call centers and entertainment industries.

Also present to discuss the strengthening relations between the Philippines and Mexico are Ambassador Enrique Michel Santibáñez, former Ambassador of Mexico in the Philippines, and current COMCE president for the ASEAN; and Alberto Varelo of AMEXCID, a Mexican government agency for International Development Cooperation. On the other hand, Philippine Embassy Vice Consul Mikhail de Dios discussed cultural ties of the two countries.

The event served as an avenue for networking between Mexican businessmen and Philippine officials. PTIC Mexico held one-on-one consultations with the participants to work on their specific business interests with the Philippines.

World’s largest Halal event to showcase Philippine products

World's largest Halal event to showcase Philippine products
 
The Philippines, through the Department of Trade and Industry's Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) and Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) – Kuala Lumpur, is set to take part at the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) 2017 on 5-8 April in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
 
After years of absence at MIHAS, the Philippines is back with 30 Philippine companies that will showcase Halal-certified products at the Philippine Pavilion. Joining the business delegation are companies from the food (27) and non-food (3) sectors.
 
Products to be showcased will vary from food and beverage, processed meats and snacks, to cosmetics and personal care. With its Philippine Export Industry development program, Philippines' participation at the said trade show is the biggest to date. 
 
"The Philippines takes this opportunity to introduce itself as a major supplier of Halal compliant products to the world.  We are here to take part in the global Halal initiative and to bring about innovative products that will complement the global Halal ecosystem. The Philippines brings together the strong collaboration of Halal stakeholders in the Philippines with the deliberate approach under the recently passed Philippine Halal Export Promotion and Development Law (Republic Act 10817),"  said DTI EMB Director Senen M. Perlada.
 
DTI-EMB confirmed the participation of San Miguel Purefoods Company, Inc., Mega Global, Century Pacific Food Inc., and Palmstore, among others.
 
The PTIC – Kuala Lumpur has also expressed confidence in the success of the Philippine's participation, especially with the keen interest shown by businessmen in Malaysia to visit the Philippine Pavilion and meet the companies.
 
"We have gained recognition in the industry with businesses and business organizations, culinary schools, hotels, food manufacturers, and wholesalers alike, expressing excitement to  see what the Philippines can offer in terms of Halal," said PTIC Kuala Lumpur Commercial Attache Katrina Banzon.
 
Philippine Halal products to Malaysia is estimated to be around USD 86.7 Million in 2016, with a five year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.80%.
 
MIHAS is considered the world's largest Halal event. It offers networking and business proposition for Halal exhibitors and buyers. According to its records, it welcomed over 22,000 trade visitors from more than 70 countries and generated record sales beyond RM1 Billion for 600 exhibitors.
 
MIHAS is hosted by Ministry International Trade and Industry, organized by Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) in association with Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) and Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM).
 
Philippines' DTI EMB and PTIC-Kuala Lumpur invite everyone to visit the Philippine Pavilion at MIHAS 2017.
 
Other participating agencies include the Department of Agriculture, Mindanao Development Authority, Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority & Freeport and DTI Regions 5 and 9.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

COMMON ERRORS OF ACCOUNTANTS IN THE FIELD OF TAXATION

COMMON ERRORS OF ACCOUNTANTS IN THE FIELD OF TAXATION
 
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VI.      Printing Of Receipts Or Commercial Or Sales Invoices
 
VII.      Machine Control Specifications Features
 
                A. For Cash Register Machines
                 B. For Pos Machines:
 
VIII.     Reporting Of Monthly Sales
 
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XII.      Minimum Corporate Income Tax
 
                A. Minimum Corporate Income Tax On 
                     Domestic Corporations
 
                          (1) Imposition Of Tax
                          (2) Carry Forward Of Excess Minimum Tax
 
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Saturday, March 25, 2017

CHARTER NEEDS UPDATING TO 21ST CENTURY REALITIES, SAYS BELARO

CHARTER NEEDS UPDATING TO 21ST CENTURY REALITIES, SAYS BELARO

 

Restricting land ownership and the practice of professions "make no sense in this century," House Assistant Majority Leader Salvador Belaro, Jr. said Friday morning as he made his case for amending the 1987 Constitution before the 16th Annual Convention of Lawyers of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP).

 

"In the 21st century the sources of wealth are no longer the traditional notion of land, labor and capital. Now land could be of little value, but paramount are capital and labor also," Belaro, 1-Ang Edukasyon Party-list Representative, said at the sidelines of the IBP convention, which tackled the role of lawyers in ASEAN integration.

 

Belaro filed House Bill 4257 calling for an ASEAN Integration Plan that will guide national efforts to interface the Philippines with its immediate regional neighbors.

 

Other speakers at the convention include President Rodrigo Duterte, Vice President Leni Robredo, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Senate President Koko Pimentel and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre.

 

Belaro said, "wealth today is generated by entrepreneurship and expertise or a combination thereof. The specific situation of our country is that we don't have capital so we must attract it."

 

He is the author of a bill (HB 4227) aiming to attract investments in education and another bill (HB 4234) on public-private partnerships in education.

 

Belaro added that, "since economics is a function of supply and demand, the Constitution should be flexible to the vicissitudes in the market."

 

At least seven sections of the Constitution are on Belaro's list for "updating to 21st Century realities."  These are: Sections 2, 7, 10, 11, 14 of Article XII on the national economy and patrimony, Section 11 of Article XVI, and Section 4 of Article XIV. (END)

DTI, Robinsons Department Store launch first Go Lokal! store for MSME dev’t


DTI, Robinsons Department Store

launch first Go Lokal! store for MSME dev't


MANILA—Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in partnership with Robinsons Department Store, launched its first Go Lokal! store in Robinsons Place Manila on March 24. 

 

Go Lokal! is a public-private collaboration between DTI and local retailer partners. Among its partners, Robinsons Department Store, an affiliate of Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc.,is the first to launch the project in a mainstream outlet. It serves as incubation, marketing, and branding platform for the best of Philippine micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) products including next generation One Town One Product (OTOP) offerings.

 

Go Lokal! stores showcase modern and indigenous quality products crafted, designed, and created by innovative Philippine MSMEs. It can be found in consumer-frequented locations as a mainstream distribution channel for world-class Filipino products while offering value for money for targeted consumers and tourists.

 

"DTI is excited to open its first mainstream Go Lokal! store with Robinsons Department Store as its dynamic partner in this effort of maximizing market access and providing exposure to our MSMEs. Go Lokal! is truly a vibrant model for MSME development and inclusive business. We are happy that committed partners like Robinsons have taken on this challenge. We look forward to opening more outlets in their malls and department stores across the country," said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.

 

The trade chief also said that aside from providing market access for MSME products, the Go Lokal! program is a platform for new entrepreneurs to test the marketability of their products without the fear of losing rental and commercial costs because their experience is free of charge.

 

The market access platform is set to revolutionize the way hard-to-find and artisanal Filipino products are sold in the local market. The design-led concept store will bring together a specially-curated line-up that ranges from food, apparel, accessories, home décor, gadgets and gift items.

 

"This is Robinsons way of featuring world-class locally-made quality products by our MSMEs. Go Lokal! supports Filipino entrepreneurs into their initial foray into more mainstream markets making them more accessible to both local and foreign consumers. The diverse product line of Go Lokal! brings together the best products that the Philippines has to offer," said Mr. Johnson Go, General Manager of Robinsons Department Store.

 

"Ultimately, it's all about accessibility and opportunity for MSMEs, both of which you need to be successful in retail. Go Lokal! is one way for DTI and Robinsons Department Store to give assurance to these business owners that they have support from both the government and the private sector so they may profit from ventures that they are passionate about," Robinsons Department Store President and COO Robina Gokongwei-Pe said.

 

Portion of Go Lokal! revenues will go to various corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects of Robinsons Department Store including the government's drug rehabilitation program.