INFLATION HITS HIGHEST LEVEL IN ALMOST 3 YEARS 

The price of goods and services in the country hit its highest in almost three years after the inflation rate settled at 4.9 percent in July, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Tuesday. PSA said the high inflation rate since November 2011's 4.7 percent was mainly due to an uptick in the heavily weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages index. "Contributing also to the uptrend were the faster annual hikes in the indices of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels; health; transport; recreation and culture; and education," PSA said. Core inflation stood at 3 percent from the 2.8 percent posted the previous month and 2.3 percent a year ago. Inflation in the National Capital Region (NCR) jumped to 3.9 percent from 3.6 percent in June and 1 percent a year ago, while inflation in areas outside NCR soared to 5.1 percent from 4.7 percent the previous month and 2.9 percent in July 2013. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Provide more jobs to reduce poverty, IMF tells Phl 

The government should work on increasing job opportunities in the country to take advantage of the growing labor force and pull down poverty incidence, the International Monetary Fund said. “Favorable demographics are a missed opportunity if the economy cannot effectively absorb the growing working-age population,” the IMF said in a statement. “Better domestic job opportunities would reduce poverty, thereby curtailing outward migration and the accompanying social hardships and sustained remittance inflows that can complicate macroeconomic management in the absence of compensating productivity gains,” the Fund said. Government officials have been trumpeting the country’s entry into a “demographic sweet spot” by 2015, which is seen driving economic growth to new highs as domestic consumption further climbs and more investments flow in. Latest data showed that the unemployment rate improved to seven percent in April this year, from 7.6 percent in the same period last year. This reflects 1.7 million additional employed persons in April. Latest available data also showed the poverty incidence in the country fell to 24.9 percent in the first half of 2013 from 27.9 percent in the same period in 2012. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Gov’t to transfer shipping containers to Batangas, Laguna 

In a bid to decongest Manila’s two major ports, the Aquino administration’s Cabinet cluster for port congestion announced yesterday that cargo cleared by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and those still unclaimed will be transferred to the Batangas Port or to a private facility in Laguna. Juan Sta. Ana, general manager of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), which is part of the Cabinet cluster, said the government will transfer BOC-cleared and overstaying cargo from the Manila International Container Port (MICP) and the Port of Manila (POM), which have been burdened by the backlogs caused by the day-time truck ban implemented in Manila since February. “With the congestion, we have no choice but to come up with the best available ways to clear our ports,” he said. At present, there are some 20,000 containers at the Manila ports, a combination of cleared, uncleared and cargo that have not been claimed 60 days after their owners have been notified. Not included in the transfer are rice shipments and questionable cargo. Sta. Ana said shipping containers will be moved to the Batangas Port or to the 21-hectare International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) facility in Cabuyao, Laguna. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Parañaque tops ‘economic dynamism’ list, thanks to hotel-casino hub 

Parañaque has been cited as the city with the most dynamic economy in an annual evaluation of local governments nationwide, an achievement that its leaders attribute to the hotels and casinos it hosts. The city ranked high in the 2014 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index, which is drawn up by the National Competitiveness Council in partnership with United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The 136 cities and 399 municipalities covered by the index were ranked based on three categories: economic dynamism, government efficiency, and infrastructure.
According to the NCC, Parañaque topped the list of cities in terms of economic dynamism. On a separate list that factored in all three categories, it emerged No. 10, while the No. 1, 2 and 3 spots went to Makati City, Cagayan de Oro City, and Naga City, respectively. Among municipalities, Tanza in Cavite province was adjudged most economically dynamic, while Daet in Camarines Norte was ranked No. 1 overall or in all three categories. *READ MORE...

ALSO: Video game vs poverty 

PHOTO: Spent- an online game that places participants in impoverished conditions and asks them to make critical life decisions with access to limited personal finances. Manila-based advertising agency Digital FCB Manila is following through on its award-winning concept in Cannes Chimera by developing a video game that takes on poverty. The game called “Gamers vs Poverty” primarily aims to get gamers involved in fighting poverty by linking society’s important issues with in-game content. Digital FCB Manila is looking to turn the idea into a social gaming application with casual gamers in mind. “Through Gamers vs. Poverty, we want gamers to feel that they can be heroes outside the game world as well as in it. By providing in-game content, we are able to inform the audience in the most native way possible,” Digital FCB Manila chief creative officer James Bernardo said. By giving gamers the opportunity to know more about pressing issues in society and being part of the solution, Bernardo said that the game may be able change the pervading idea of video games as triggers of violent tendencies. “Video games can be more than just a form of entertainment or escape; they can also change your view of the world,” Bernardo added. Digital FCB Manila is the first Filipino advertising agency to win a Cannes Chimera, beating more than 900 entrants from different countries to join the top eight awardees. Cannes Chimera is an initiative by the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that uses the creativity of communication professionals around the world to help solve global problems. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS:

Inflation hits highest level in almost 3 years

MANILA, AUGUST 11, 2014 (PHILSTAR) By Jovan Cerda - The price of goods and services in the country hit its highest in almost three years after the inflation rate settled at 4.9 percent in July, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Tuesday.

PSA said the high inflation rate since November 2011's 4.7 percent was mainly due to an uptick in the heavily weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages index.

"Contributing also to the uptrend were the faster annual hikes in the indices of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels; health; transport; recreation and culture; and education," PSA said.

Core inflation stood at 3 percent from the 2.8 percent posted the previous month and 2.3 percent a year ago.

Inflation in the National Capital Region (NCR) jumped to 3.9 percent from 3.6 percent in June and 1 percent a year ago, while inflation in areas outside NCR soared to 5.1 percent from 4.7 percent the previous month and 2.9 percent in July 2013.

* The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said the July inflation is still within government's target of 3 to 5 percent for 2014.

"NEDA still expects that the country’s headline inflation rate for the full year 2014 will average around 4.4 percent,” said NEDA Director-General Arsenio Balisacan. He added that the move of the central bank's Monetary Board to hike interest rates was meant to temper price pressures.

“The monetary authorities’ move to hike the policy rate was also in accordance with the BSP’s appreciation of the external environment, particularly monetary policy in advanced economies,” he added.

Balisacan said short term interventions may focus on ensuring supply adequacy by allowing sufficient levels of imports to augment local production of rice and other key commodities.

Provide more jobs to reduce poverty, IMF tells Phl By Kathleen A. Martin (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 11, 2014 - 12:00am 0 2 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - The government should work on increasing job opportunities in the country to take advantage of the growing labor force and pull down poverty incidence, the International Monetary Fund said.

“Favorable demographics are a missed opportunity if the economy cannot effectively absorb the growing working-age population,” the IMF said in a statement.

“Better domestic job opportunities would reduce poverty, thereby curtailing outward migration and the accompanying social hardships and sustained remittance inflows that can complicate macroeconomic management in the absence of compensating productivity gains,” the Fund said.

Government officials have been trumpeting the country’s entry into a “demographic sweet spot” by 2015, which is seen driving economic growth to new highs as domestic consumption further climbs and more investments flow in.

Latest data showed that the unemployment rate improved to seven percent in April this year, from 7.6 percent in the same period last year. This reflects 1.7 million additional employed persons in April.

Latest available data also showed the poverty incidence in the country fell to 24.9 percent in the first half of 2013 from 27.9 percent in the same period in 2012.

* The economy grew by 7.2 percent last year, sustaining the 6.8-percent growth posted in 2012. The IMF said that the domestic economy remains strong and even equipped with financial sector and external buffers to shield it from shocks.

“The challenge is to deliver high-quality growth. Better realizing the Philippines’ potential for rapid, sustained and more inclusive growth calls for further reducing bottlenecks to investment and formal sector employment that may be discouraging broad-based business activities,” the IMF said.

“A more diversified production structure would strengthen resilience to economic shocks, which unduly impact the poor,” it added.

The economy grew by a lower-than-expected 5.7 percent in the first quarter but the government kept its 6.5-to 7.5-percent growth target for the full year.

But risks to the rosy prospects of the Philippine economy remain, the IMF cautioned.

“Abrupt exit from exceptionally loose monetary policies abroad, a sharp slowdown in China or other emerging markets, or a major geopolitical incident could impact global or regional trade and capital flows and adversely affect the Philippine economy,” the IMF said.

“On the domestic front, rapid credit growth or a disproportionate flow of resources to the property sector could boost short-term growth but heighten volatility thereafter, impacting over leveraged households and corporates,” it added.

Gov’t to transfer shipping containers to Batangas, Laguna By Evelyn Macairan and Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 6, 2014 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Shipping containers are stacked at the Manila International Container Port in a photo taken last May. EDD GUMBAN

MANILA, Philippines - In a bid to decongest Manila’s two major ports, the Aquino administration’s Cabinet cluster for port congestion announced yesterday that cargo cleared by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and those still unclaimed will be transferred to the Batangas Port or to a private facility in Laguna.

Juan Sta. Ana, general manager of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), which is part of the Cabinet cluster, said the government will transfer BOC-cleared and overstaying cargo from the Manila International Container Port (MICP) and the Port of Manila (POM), which have been burdened by the backlogs caused by the day-time truck ban implemented in Manila since February.

“With the congestion, we have no choice but to come up with the best available ways to clear our ports,” he said.

At present, there are some 20,000 containers at the Manila ports, a combination of cleared, uncleared and cargo that have not been claimed 60 days after their owners have been notified. Not included in the transfer are rice shipments and questionable cargo.

Sta. Ana said shipping containers will be moved to the Batangas Port or to the 21-hectare International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) facility in Cabuyao, Laguna.

Encouragement

* If the cargo owners decide to keep their shipment at the MICP or POM, they would have to face stiffer penalties, he said. This would encourage owners to take out the containers within the time prescribed by laws and regulations.

A common practice by cargo owners is to leave the containers at the two ports even due to the limited capacity of their existing depots. The PPA has a free five-day storage at the ports, with a fine for each calendar day beyond this period.

The Customs and Tariff Code of the Philippines allows importers to clear their cargo within 30 days upon arrival, plus a 15-day grace period provided the importer files a request before the end of the 30-day period.

Sta. Ana said he will write officials of the two ports to inform the owners of overstaying and cleared cargo that they have five days after receiving notices to get their cargo, “otherwise it will be shipped out of Manila. Bringing their cargo back to Manila will be at their own expense.”

Officials said port congestion has eased up, with yard utilization at the MICP and POM down to 89 percent. Last June, the ports hit an all-time high yard utilization of 110 percent.

Both ports estimated that utilization would be reduced by one to two percent weekly or about three to four months before reaching the optimum yard utilization level of 70 to 80 percent.

The number of ships waiting at anchorage has also been reduced to nine from a high of 14, recorded also in June.

Officials said they hope that by Aug. 15, port operations have drastically improved.

FROM THE INQUIRER

Parañaque tops ‘economic dynamism’ list, thanks to hotel-casino hub Philippine Daily Inquirer5:21 am | Friday, August 8th, 2014


The City of Dreams hotel-casino being built in Parañaque City’s Entertainment City PHOTO BY RICK ALBERTO

MANILA, Philippines–Parañaque has been cited as the city with the most dynamic economy in an annual evaluation of local governments nationwide, an achievement that its leaders attribute to the hotels and casinos it hosts.

The city ranked high in the 2014 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index, which is drawn up by the National Competitiveness Council in partnership with United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The 136 cities and 399 municipalities covered by the index were ranked based on three categories: economic dynamism, government efficiency, and infrastructure.

According to the NCC, Parañaque topped the list of cities in terms of economic dynamism. On a separate list that factored in all three categories, it emerged No. 10, while the No. 1, 2 and 3 spots went to Makati City, Cagayan de Oro City, and Naga City, respectively.

Among municipalities, Tanza in Cavite province was adjudged most economically dynamic, while Daet in Camarines Norte was ranked No. 1 overall or in all three categories.

* In a statement Thursday, Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez said the distinction earned by the city was “not only a great honor but also a huge challenge.”

He said Parañaque’s “economic surge” was “mostly in part due to the huge developments in Entertainment City,” a strip of casinos, hotels, shopping and leisure destinations facing Manila Bay.

Olivarez said the developments there had been attracting investors eager to take advantage of the increasing traffic of domestic and international tourists.

Parañaque also plays host to the country’s premier airport, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the mayor noted.

According to the 2014 Index, Parañaque ranked 93rd in government efficiency and 13th in infrastructure.–Kristine Felisse Mangunay

Video game vs poverty (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 11, 2014 - 12:00am
0 0 googleplus0 0


Spent- an online game that places participants in impoverished conditions and asks them to make critical life decisions with access to limited personal finances. COURTESY OF PSFK.

MANILA, Philippines - Manila-based advertising agency Digital FCB Manila is following through on its award-winning concept in Cannes Chimera by developing a video game that takes on poverty.

The game called “Gamers vs Poverty” primarily aims to get gamers involved in fighting poverty by linking society’s important issues with in-game content. Digital FCB Manila is looking to turn the idea into a social gaming application with casual gamers in mind.

“Through Gamers vs. Poverty, we want gamers to feel that they can be heroes outside the game world as well as in it. By providing in-game content, we are able to inform the audience in the most native way possible,” Digital FCB Manila chief creative officer James Bernardo said.


Cannes Chimera is an initiative by the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that uses the creativity of communication professionals around the world to help solve global problems. http://www.canneschimera.com/

By giving gamers the opportunity to know more about pressing issues in society and being part of the solution, Bernardo said that the game may be able change the pervading idea of video games as triggers of violent tendencies.

“Video games can be more than just a form of entertainment or escape; they can also change your view of the world,” Bernardo added. Digital FCB Manila is the first Filipino advertising agency to win a Cannes Chimera, beating more than 900 entrants from different countries to join the top eight awardees.

Cannes Chimera is an initiative by the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that uses the creativity of communication professionals around the world to help solve global problems.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2014 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE