COLUMN: NOT-SO SECRET OBSESSION

MANILA
, May 18 , 2004
 (STAR)
NOT BUSINESS AS USUAL By Margaret Jao-Grey  -  Sigh. The Philippines not only remains in the list of non-cooperative nations of the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force but also in the United States’ Special 301 watchlist of intellectual property violators.

Being in the first list means banking transactions to and from the Philippines will be subject to, uh, delays because of closer monitoring for possible money laundering.

Being in the second list means the possible withdrawal – considering we’ve been in the list for three straight years – of General System of Preference privileges.

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Binondo is clearly interested in the future plans of Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. vice-president Francis Chua.

Mr. Chua, who represents the federation in the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (why, he’s the current president of the PCCI Foundation), has been making official-sounding statements on behalf of the federation.

While the most junior among the federation officers, Mr. Chua is the most articulate in English.

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Bank notes 1: Not many know that Banco de Oro Capital (the former Philippine office of Spanish-owned Banco Santander purchased by Banco de Oro Universal Bank) president Josefina Tan put up a beauty salon for a very practical reason other than generating cash.

You see, Josie Tan used to have a hairdresser from her favorite salon come to her home to fix her hair during working days. Eventually, she thought it made more sense to just set up the hairdresser.

Ms. Tan met Banco de Oro chairman Teresita Sy-Coson at Far East Bank and Trust Co. (which has been acquired and merged with Bank of the Philippine Islands). Ms. Tan was executive vice-president and Ms. Sy-Coson’s family was a significant stockholder.

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Bank notes 2: Of course, United Coconut Planters Bank director (and former Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. president) Norberto Nazareno is both happy and sad that his son – the one who works in Citibank-Makati – has been given a "special-skilled migrant" status by the United Kingdom.

Boy Nazareno and his wife dote on their grandson.

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Philippine Franchise Association president Alegria Sibal-Limjoco is off to China to firm up the participation of its Chinese counterpart in the 12th Philippine International Franchise Conference and Expo middle of July.

While there, Bing Sibal-Limjoco will also be looking for franchise opportunities – to and from China – for the Philippine operation of global franchising consultant, Francorp.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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