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Monday, May 22, 2017
Part One WHILE possible shortage on chicken- meat production first comes to mind whenever an outbreak of avian influenza is detected, the effect is also felt by a little known but equally lucrative industry—breeding of African lovebirds. Owing to its tropical climate, the Philippines is an ideal breeding ground for the...
The Duterte administration need not rush into joint exploration arrangements with China before Beijing first acknowledges Philippines’s sovereignty over its resource-rich territories in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), Sen.  Richard J. Gordon said over the weekend. “Joint explorations should come after clarifying where we stand,” Gordon asserted in a radio...
Legislative leaders beat the gong of optimism last Friday that the $292-billion economy should soon receive another credit upgrade following earnest assurances the multibillion-peso Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Program  would muster Congress basically intact and on time. Majority Leader and PDP-Laban Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas of Ilocos Norte...
By Catherine N. Pillas By Elijah Felice E. Rosales President Duterte is scheduled to depart for Moscow on Monday for a four-day official visit to Russia, where he is expected to discuss matters on defense and trade with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. In a recent Malacañang news...

Subic Bay reloaded

Text & photos by Henry Empeño  | Correspondent SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—With its deep water, sheltered port and strategic location, this former military base is poised to be another springboard for the country’s campaign for a bigger economic role in the Southeast Asian region. And as the Philippines seeks to increase...

Bicol ‘gold rush’

Small-scale miners continue to literally reap gold from this highly lucrative trade, and there’s no stopping the so-called gold rush in known mineral-rich areas, like Aroroy and Paracale, in the Bicol region. Miners have barely scratched the surface of the huge gold deposit in the Bicol region, an official of...
The House of Representatives is now seriously considering the passage of proposals imposing “sin” taxes on salty products and adjusting the current excise taxes on alcoholic beverages. Nationalist People’s Coalition Rep. Scott Davies S. Lanete of Masbate and Deputy Speaker Sharon S. Garin of AAMBIS-OWA said their House Bills (HBs) 3719...
China and the 10 countries in the Asean have agreed on the rough outline of a legally binding code of conduct designed to prevent clashes in the strategic South China Sea, officials said. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin was quoted in state media on Friday as saying the agreement laid a...
Melco Crown Philippines Resorts Corp. is the best-performing casino stock in the world this year. To punters playing baccarat at the company’s City of Dreams venue in Manila, that’s no surprise. “Foreign players have multiplied and they’re mostly Chinese,” said Fernando, 49, a Filipino supply manager who has been gambling at...
Subpar local output growth numbers on Thursday strengthened the likelihood for the monetary authorities to keep the rate at which they borrow from or lend to banks steady when they next meet on June 22. This became more certain as local output measured as the GDP slowed to only 6.4...
The 6.4-percent GDP growth in the first quarter may have fallen below expectations, but the Philippine economy showed signs of resiliency in expanding by more than 6 percent for seven straight quarters. The government on Thursday released the official GDP data, which showed that growth in the first quarter of...
After months of delay, Malacañang on Thursday announced President Duterte has signed an executive order (EO) outlawing smoking in public areas, transforming a former Davao City ordinance into a national policy. Presidential Spokesman Ernesto C. Abella said  Duterte signed EO 26, which prohibits smoking in public places and public vehicles,...
The decision of President Duterte to reject grants from the European Union (EU) also put at risk the future of Philippine companies that depend on the tariff-free privilege they are enjoying in exporting to Europe. Senate sources familiar with the issue told the BusinessMirror that the danger from Manila’s abrupt decision...
Some key economic managers were apparently not consulted by President Duterte when he decided to reject future grant amounting to about $278.8 million from the European Union (EU) for “interfering” with Philippine government affairs, particularly the bloody war against illegal drugs. Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia, for one, admitted...
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III may have benefited from his pro-mining stance that undermines the crackdown on irresponsible mining operations launched by former Environment Secretary Regina Paz L. Lopez. This was stressed on Thursday by environmental group Kalikasan-People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan-PNE), as the group urged President Duterte to look...
Populist provisions in the Duterte administration’s tax-reform bill—dubbed as the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN)—remain as hurdles to its passage, as some lawmakers have expressed reservations about its “contentious” provisions. But House leaders have expressed confidence that the Department of Finance (DOF)-backed tax package will reach plenary on...
The number of online-gaming operators in the country could balloon to as much as 86 in the coming months, raising the confidence of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) that it would hit its P65-billion revenue target for the year. Jose S. Tria Jr., Pagcor special assistant to the...
Sugar planters and millers belonging to the Sugar Alliance of the Philippines (SAP) are seeking a six-year delay in the implementation of the proposed additional P10 per liter excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs)—part of the revenue-offsetting measures of the tax-reform bill—as it could result in lower sugar production. SAP...
The National Food Authority Council (NFAC) is asking Congress to fast-track the amendment of the National Food Authority (NFA) charter to remove its trading functions in light of the impending expiration of the quantitative restriction (QR) on rice. Cabinet Secretary Leoncio B. Evasco Jr., who sits as the NFAC’s chairman,...
The Senate is poised to look into the terms of a loan agreement with China that the Duterte administration intends to tap to bankroll its $167-billion infrastructure program. In pressing for the Senate inquiry, Sen. Leila M. de Lima said the congressional review was “necessary”, amid concerns that the loan...
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