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FORBES: HENRY SY MOVES UP, STILL WEALTHIEST FILIPINO; VILLAR ENTERS IN LIST OF BILLIONAIRES


INQUIRER FILE PHOTO: Eleven Filipinos are included in Forbes’ 2015 list of richest people in the world. Filipino-Chinese tycoon Henry Sy Sr. continues to be the wealthiest man in the Philippines. The 90-year-old SM supermalls, banking and property tycoon ranked 73rd among the world’s richest with an increased net worth of $14.2 billion from $11.4 billion last year. CONTINUE READING...

ALSO: Businessman Henry Sy crashes into Forbes’ 100 richest people in the world; Bill Gates still world's richest


SY: MANILA, Philippines—As the Philippines gained the bragging rights as Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing economy, 10 of its tycoons led by SM group founder Henry Sy made it to Forbes magazine’s 2014 list of wealthiest people on the planet. In the latest annual ranking of global billionaires published on March 3, the net worth of Sy and family was estimated at $11.4 billion, lower than last year’s $13.2 billion. But it was enough to enable him to keep his ranking as the country’s richest man and to be among the world’s top 100 billionaires. READ MORE...

ALSO: Investment pledges down 32% in 2014; Locals outpace commitments of foreign firms


INQUIRER FILE: Investment pledges by foreign firms slid by almost a third in 2014 to P186.9 billion, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported Monday.  This was despite the numerous trade missions in the past and the government’s declaration that foreign investors were coming in following the strengthening of the economy and the investment-grade ratings from international agencies. The amount of foreign investments approved last year by seven investment promotion agencies (IPAs)—Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan, Board of Investments, BOI-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, Clark Development Corp., Philippine Economic Zone Authority and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority—was lower by 31.8 percent than the P274 billion committed by foreigners in 2013, National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) documents showed. IPAs offer tax and other incentives to attract investors. READ MORE...

ALSO: Higher Food Prices, Typhoon Worsen Poverty in Philippines


Philippine rice prices rose 11.9 per cent in the first half of 2014 as supplies tightened due to lean harvests and lower imports.
MANILA, Philippines — Poverty worsened in the Philippines in the first half of 2014 due to government restrictions on rice imports and the lingering effects of a killer typhoon, an official said Friday.  Socio-economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said poverty incidence among Filipinos rose 1.2 percentage points to 25.8 percent in the first half of last year from the same period in 2013.  Higher food prices, particularly of the staple rice, and effects of Typhoon Haiyan that devastated the central Philippines in 2013, wiped out gains in per capita income, he said. Baliscan said the increase in poverty could have been avoided by better management of food supplies nationally, particularly rice which accounts for 20 percent of the budget of low income families. He called for a review of the government's rice self-sufficiency policy which involves restricting rice imports to encourage domestic production. READ MORE...

ALSO: BSP closes Rural Bank of Magsingal, Ilocos Sur bank


Rang-ay Bank Magsingal started its operations last July 17, 2008. It is manned by four staff headed by Ms. Jeanette R. Aquino as the Branch Head. Ms. Aquino, the former bookkeeper of Vigan Branch, is a B.S. Accountancy graduate from the University of Northern Philippines and hails from the Heritage City of Vigan. PHOTO COURTESY OF RANG-AY BANK   MANILA, Philippines - Another rural bank has been ordered closed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. said in a statement yesterday. The Rural Bank of Magsingal (Ilocos Sur) Inc., a single-unit firm with its head office located in San Vicente, Magsingal, Ilocos Sur, was placed under the receivership of the PDIC on March 5.  The PDIC said latest available records on the bank showed it had 458 accounts with deposits amounting to P17.4 million as of end-2014. All of these deposits were insured, the state deposit insurer added.   “All bank records shall be gathered, verified and validated… All valid deposits shall be paid up to the maximum deposit insurance coverage of P500,000,” the PDIC stressed.  READ MORE...

ALSO: DOST launched Herbal drug campaign


Properties • Plant is considered anti-inflammatory, astringent, antibacterial, antifungal, analgesic, alterant, depurative, rejuvenating, stomachic. • Roots considered tonic, febrifuge, antirheumatic, diuretic and expectorant. • Leaves and seeds considered vulnerary. • Leaves are considered aromatic, bitter, anti-inflammatory, bronchial smooth muscle relaxant, lactagogue, emmenagogue, insecticide, and vermifuge. • Flowers are astringent, carminative, hepatoprotective, digestive, vermifuge and febrifuge. • Fruit is considered nervine, cephalic, aphrodisiac, emmenagogue and vermifuge. SOURCE  The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will pursue a massive herbal drug discovery program this year. Science Secretary Mario Montejo said that the program may be funded from P50 million up to P100 million, and will involve the setting up of several herbal research and development (R&D) laboratories equipped with the latest tools. This, he said, will allow Filipino scientists and researchers to do testing and laboratory work on thousands of indigenous plants and herbs found in the Philippines, and test them for their medicinal use and efficacy. Montejo said the program hopes to follow up on the Philippines’ successful R&D work on the lagundi plant as a herbal medicine for coughs and asthma. The lagundi R&D effort had been funded by the DOST Philippine Council for Health Research and Development. READ MORE...

ALSO INQUIRER BIZ TRIVIA: Boxing great Mayweather buys $400k Rolls-Royce for his 14-year old daughter


rolls-royce-wraith  
Boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, listed by Forbes as 2014’s top-earning athlete, has bought his 14-year old daughter one heck of a school ride: a Rolls-Royce Wraith coupe. Mayweather bought the Rolls-Royce Wraith, with two rear-hinged ‘suicide’ doors, for a reported $400,000. According to celebrity website TMZ, the boxer who uses the moniker “Money” bought the car from his usual purveyor, Fusion Luxury Motors in Los Angeles. Fusion Luxury Motors describes itself on its website as “the most unique Independent Luxury Exotic Automobile Dealership on the west coast located in Los Angeles California.”   The car is apparently loaded with options, including a Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament that can be lit up, and an interior headliner that includes multiple lights to simulate a starlit night. CONTINUE READING WHY MAYWEATHER DID THIS....MEET HER DAUGHTER IN PHOTO......


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Sy moves up, still wealthiest Filipino; Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires


PHILSTAR FILE PHOTO:

MANILA, MARCH 9, 2015 (PHILSTAR) By Charmie Pagulong and Richmond Mercurio - Eleven Filipinos are included in Forbes’ 2015 list of richest people in the world.

Filipino-Chinese tycoon Henry Sy Sr. continues to be the wealthiest man in the Philippines.

The 90-year-old SM supermalls, banking and property tycoon ranked 73rd among the world’s richest with an increased net worth of $14.2 billion from $11.4 billion last year.

Sy’s net worth was attributed to the continued growth of his SM Investments Corp. and his more recent venture, the City of Dreams Manila resort and casino, which opened in December 2014.

JG Summit Holdings Inc. founder John Gokongwei Jr. landed on 254th spot in Forbes’ list of world’s billionaires with $5.8 billion net worth.

According to Forbes, JGSHI stock skyrocketed on strong venue growth, which operations include airlines, telecoms, property development, banking, hotels and power.

Gaming mogul Enrique Razon Jr. placed 291st with $5.2 billion in net worth. He is chairman of Bloomberry Resorts Corp., developer of the Solaire Resort and Casino, which opened in 2013. He also owns the largest port operator in the Philippines, the International Container Terminal Services Inc.

Losing third spot and sliding to fourth in country rankings was tycoon Andrew Tan with $4.8 billion. Globally, Tan, who is behind conglomerate Alliance Global Inc., dropped 11 notches to 330th from 319th last year.

Airline and tobacco magnate Lucio Tan was this year’s biggest loser among Filipinos who remained in the list, as his fortunes declined to $4.4 billion from $6.1 billion in the 2014 Forbes list.

Tan ranked 227th in the world and second in the Philippines last year and finished this year as 369th globally and fifth locally.

Metrobank Group’s George Ty was tied with Tan as the 369th richest man in the world and fifth in the country. Ty ranked 764th in global rankings last year.

Other Filipinos who made it in the elite list are David Consunji (405th) with $4.1 billion, Jollibee’s Tony Tan Caktiong (690th) with $2.7 billion, Puregold’s husband and wife tandem of Lucio and Susan Co (810th) with $2.3 billion, insurance businessman Robert Coyuito Jr. (1,054th) with $1.8 billion, and former Senate president Manuel Villar (1,190th) with $1.6 billion.


Manny Villar owns the Philippines' largest homebuilder, the Vista Land & Lifescapes company. Vista Land built condominiums and subdivision projects in over 50 cities and municipalities in the Philippines. It generated PhP13.5 billion sales revenues and P3.5 billion net income in 2011. It has five distinct subsidiaries (all are real estate developers) catering to different market segments: 1.Brittany 2.Crown Asia 3.Camella Homes 4.Vista Residences, Inc. 5.Communities Philippines  Manny Villar values hard work, perseverance and persistence. It earned him the title "Mr. Sipag at Tiyaga". As the richest senator in the Philippines, he knows the true value of giving. Through his Villar Foundation, he shares his blessings by initiating useful projects in improving the lives of many people.

This is the first time that Villar is included in the global list of billionaires.

Sy and 10 other Filipino billionaires together raked a combined fortune worth $51.9 billion or about P2.28 trillion – a little less than the Philippine government’s P2.6 trillion national budget this year.

Filinvest Group’s Andrew Gotianun, who was 1,565th in last year’s rankings, is not in this year’s list.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates is the world’s richest with a wealth of $79.2 billion, while Mexican telecommunications tycoon Carlos Slim Helú took the second spot with a net worth of $77.1 billion.

“Despite some global economic turmoil – plummeting oil prices, weakened euros, ruinous rubles – it was still a pretty good year for billionaires overall,” Forbes said.

Forbes’ global wealth team found 1,826 billionaires posting an aggregate net worth of $7.05 trillion, up from $6.4 trillion a year ago.

“The jump is driven in part by 290 newcomers, our biggest ever freshman class, which helps push the total number of billionaires in the world to 1,826,” Forbes said. ..


INQUIRER

Businessman Henry Sy crashes into Forbes’ 100 richest people in the world; Bill Gates still world's richest Doris C. Dumlao @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 6:07 AM | Wednesday, March 5th, 2014


HENRY SY

MANILA, Philippines—As the Philippines gained the bragging rights as Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing economy, 10 of its tycoons led by SM group founder Henry Sy made it to Forbes magazine’s 2014 list of wealthiest people on the planet.

In the latest annual ranking of global billionaires published on March 3, the net worth of Sy and family was estimated at $11.4 billion, lower than last year’s $13.2 billion. But it was enough to enable him to keep his ranking as the country’s richest man and to be among the world’s top 100 billionaires.

The 89-year-old Sy, whose SM group dominates the local banking, retailing and property development scene, ranked 97th globally, down from last year’s 68th.

The magazine said its estimates were a snapshot of wealth on Feb. 12, when it locked in stock prices and exchange rates from around the world.

Stock prices in the Philippines have pulled back from record highs seen last year as large global funds pulled out of emerging markets since May last year when the US Federal Reserve announced a tapering of the monetary stimulus that boosted financial markets in the last few years.

Worth of $6.4T

A total of 1,645 billionaires made it to the global list this year with a combined net worth of $6.4 trillion, up from $5.4 trillion a year ago.

The ranks of the world’s billionaires continued to scale new heights and expand to new corners of the world, according to Forbes.

The country’s second-richest man is still Lucio Tan, with an estimated net worth of $6.1 billion, ranking 227th globally. The 79-year-old Tan, who has interests in tobacco and beverage manufacturing, banking, property development and aviation, saw his net worth rise from last year’s $5 billion.

Ranked third-richest in the Philippines this year is Megaworld and Alliance Global Group founder Andrew Tan, 61, with an estimated net worth of $4.7 billion, rising from last year’s $3.95 billion.

He was followed by Enrique Razon Jr., chief of global port operator International Container Terminal Services Inc. and Bloomberry Resorts Corp., with a net worth of $4.2 billion. At 54, Razon is the youngest among Philippine billionaires.

Joining this year’s list and ranking fifth among the country’s wealthiest is JG Summit founder John Gokongwei Jr., 86, with an estimated net worth of $3.9 billion.

Completing the local roster are construction magnate David Consunji (net worth: $3.3 billion), Metrobank group and GT Capital founder George Ty and family ($2.3 billion), Jollibee group founder Tony Tan Caktiong ($1.7 billion), stockbroker, insurance and car dealership magnate Robert Coyiuto Jr. ($1.5 billion) and Filinvest group founder Andrew Gotianun ($1 billion).

Except for Gokongwei, all these billionaires were also on the 2013 list.

Two names that were part of Forbes’ 2013 global list but are no longer on this year’s roster are retailer Lucio and Susan Co, founder of fast-growing retailing chain Puregold and Cosco Capital as well as Alphaland and Philweb chair Roberto V. Ongpin, who complained about being included on the list.

Bill Gates world’s richest

Globally, Microsoft founder Bill Gates is back on top, toppling telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helu of Mexico, who had topped the list the past four years.

Spanish clothing retailer Amancio Ortega, best known for the Zara fashion chain, retained the No. 3 spot for the second year in a row, extending his lead over legendary American investment guru Warren Buffett, who is again at No. 4.

The magazine said roughly two-thirds of the billionaires had built their own fortunes, 13 percent inherited them and 21 percent had been adding on to fortunes they received.

Other notable newcomers include World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Vince McMahon, fashion king Michael Kors and Denise Coates of UK online betting firm Bet365.

This is the 28th year for the Forbes billionaires list.

To compile net worths, the magazine valued individuals’ assets—including stakes in public and private companies, real estate, yachts, art and cash—and take into account estimates of debt.

“We attempt to vet these numbers with all billionaires. Some cooperate; others don’t. We also consult an array of outside experts in various fields,” the magazine said.

Dictators, royalty excluded

The Forbes billionaires list ranks individuals rather than large, multigenerational families who share large fortunes. The list neither includes dictators who derive their fortunes entirely as a result of their positions of power nor royalty who, often with large families, control the riches in trust for their nation, the magazine said.

Because of the technology boom and strong stock market, the United States once again has the biggest number of billionaires (492).

Zuckerberg

The year’s biggest gainer was Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, 29, whose fortune jumped by $15.2 billion to $28.5 billion as shares of his social network skyrocketed.

The United States was followed by China (152) and Russia (111) as the countries with the biggest concentration of billionaires.

But Forbes also noted that wealth was spreading to new places. New billionaires have been discovered in Algeria, Lithuania, Tanzania and Uganda.

The magazine said that for the first time, an African, Aliko Dangote of Nigeria, broke into the Top 25 with a net worth of $25 billion.

Originally posted at 11:03 am | Tuesday, March 4, 2014


INQUIRER

Investment pledges down 32% in 2014; Locals outpace commitments of foreign firms Ben O. de Vera @BenArnolddeVera Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:15 AM | Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Investment pledges by foreign firms slid by almost a third in 2014 to P186.9 billion, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported Monday.

This was despite the numerous trade missions in the past and the Aquino government’s declaration that foreign investors were coming in following the strengthening of the economy and the investment-grade ratings from international agencies.

The amount of foreign investments approved last year by seven investment promotion agencies (IPAs)—Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan, Board of Investments, BOI-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, Clark Development Corp., Philippine Economic Zone Authority and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority—was lower by 31.8 percent than the P274 billion committed by foreigners in 2013, National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) documents showed. IPAs offer tax and other incentives to attract investors.

In the fourth quarter of 2014, foreign investments registered by the seven IPAs also dropped 27.9 percent to P95.2 billion from the P132 billion generated during the last three months of 2013.

The fourth-quarter haul was nonetheless higher than the approvals during the first three quarters combined totaling P91.7 billion. IPAs attracted foreign investment commitments worth P37.4 billion in the first quarter, P36 billion in the second quarter, and P18.3 billion in the third quarter.

During the fourth quarter, P54.4 billion or 57.2 percent of the foreign investment pledges were in the manufacturing sector. Foreigners’ commitments to invest in administrative and support services totaled P18.8 billion, while construction projects amounted P7.6 billion.

During the October-to-December period, Netherlands was the biggest source of foreign investments with P23 billion or almost a fourth of the total, followed by Japan (P20.9 billion) and the United States (P9.7 billion)

When combined with investment commitments of Filipino companies, the seven IPAs approved a total of P231.2 billion during the fourth quarter of last year, down 1.9 percent from P235.7 billion in the same period of 2013.

The amount of Filipino-led investments in the fourth quarter—at P136 billion—outpaced those by foreigners.

The local- and foreign-led projects approved by IPAs between October and December would generate 61,424 jobs, up 30.7 percent from the 46,997 jobs to be created by approvals made during the fourth quarter of 2013.

While the value of approved foreign investments in the fourth quarter was lower, these would create 43,638 jobs or 71 percent of the total.

NSCB defines “foreign investments” as “investments made to acquire a lasting interest by a resident entity in one economy in an enterprise resident in another economy” wherein “[t]he purpose of the investor is to have a significant influence, an effective voice in the management of the enterprise.”


ABC WORLD NEWS

Higher Food Prices, Typhoon Worsen Poverty in Philippines Mar 6, 2015, 2:48 AM ET Associated Press


Philippine rice prices rose 11.9 per cent in the first half of 2014 as supplies tightened due to lean harvests and lower imports.

MANILA, Philippines — Poverty worsened in the Philippines in the first half of 2014 due to government restrictions on rice imports and the lingering effects of a killer typhoon, an official said Friday.

Socio-economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said poverty incidence among Filipinos rose 1.2 percentage points to 25.8 percent in the first half of last year from the same period in 2013.

Higher food prices, particularly of the staple rice, and effects of Typhoon Haiyan that devastated the central Philippines in 2013, wiped out gains in per capita income, he said.

Baliscan said the increase in poverty could have been avoided by better management of food supplies nationally, particularly rice which accounts for 20 percent of the budget of low income families.

He called for a review of the government's rice self-sufficiency policy which involves restricting rice imports to encourage domestic production.

"Just at the time when the world price of rice was declining, the domestic price of rice was skyrocketing," said Baliscan.

Philippine rice prices rose 11.9 percent in the first half of 2014 as supplies tightened due to lean harvests and lower imports.

Poverty worsened despite 6.1 percent economic growth last year that was the second fastest in Asia after China.

Balisacan said data in 2014 showed the government's income redistribution program and policies to attract investment benefited the poor, but the higher inflation eroded incomes.

EARLIER REPORT FROM BUSINESS WORLD ONLINE January 7, 2015 at 17:18 Posted on December 28, 2014 10:18:00 PM By Imee Charlee C. Delavin, Reporter

2014 self-rated poverty worst in 8 years

As usual, the year that just ended was very eventful and controversial.

The effects of super-typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan, which struck in November 2013), continued into 2014. How much have the people suffered? How satisfied are they with the relief efforts? What are their hopes for recovery? How confident are they in the government's capacity to cope with future super-typhoons?

Political passions have been stirring. A number of high officials have been detained due to pork barrel scams. Serious allegations of corruption face the second highest official of the country. Who are the people looking to for future leadership?

At the same time, there are serious external threats to the country's territory and the health of its people.

On the other hand, political controversy marks government progress in ongoing process towards achieving peace in Mindanao.

Where do the Filipino people stand on these issues? How are they faring, in social, economic, and political terms?

Since 1985, the Social Weather Surveys have been constantly tracking the people's quality of life, and ascertaining their attitudes and opinions on important public issues.

Since 2001, a summary of the SWS survey findings has been presented to the public early each year.

The 2015 SWS Survey Review, organized in cooperation with the Asian Institute of Management Policy Center with support from Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, will be presented by Dr. Mahar Mangahas, SWS President, on January 21, 2015, Wednesday, from 8:30 to 11:30 AM, at Function Rooms 1-4, G/F AIM Conference Center, Makati City.

FEWER FILIPINOS consider themselves poor as 2014 comes to a close, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) said in a new report, although the annualized average of self-rated poverty turned out to be the worst in eight years.

Results of a Nov. 27-Dec. 1 survey conducted among 1,800 adults nationwide — with sampling error margins of ±2% for national percentages; ±6% each for Metro Manila, “Balance Luzon” and Mindanao; and ±3% for the Visayas — showed self-rated poverty in these last three months of 2014 at its lowest in five quarters.

The latest survey found 52% — equivalent to an estimated 11.4 million households — considering themselves poor, down three points from the third quarter’s 55% (or an estimated 12.1 million people).

But that three-point dip in nationwide self-rated poverty rate, SWS noted, was due to a seven-point drop in “Balance Luzon” as the rate was steady elsewhere.

Moreover, this quarter’s nationwide result brings 2014’s full-year average to 54% — the worst in this administration and since the same average seen in 2006.

‘FOOD-POOR’

The poll also had 41% (an estimated 9.1 million families) considering the type of food they eat as “mahirap” or poor, down just slightly from the 43% seen three months earlier.

This year’s average self-rated food poverty rate, also at 41%, is worse than 2013’s 39% and the same as 2012’s rate.

By geographic area, self-rated poverty fell seven points in “Balance Luzon” to 45% in December 2014 from the 52% in the third quarter. This, SWS noted, brings the 2014 average self-rated poverty rate in Luzon areas outside Metro Manila to 48%, similar to the 2013 average for the same area.

In Metro Manila, it maintained the 43% seen last quarter, bringing the 2014 average self-rated poverty to 40% — the lowest in seven years or since 2007’s 39%.

It stayed at 65% in the Visayas, bringing the 2014 average for this area to 67% — the worst in three years or since 2011’s 57%.

In Mindanao, self-rated poverty came in at 60% this quarter, barely changed from the September survey’s 61% for the island.

This, SWS noted, brings Mindanao’s average self-rated poverty rate for 2014 to 62%, seven points above 2013’s 55% but five points better than 2012’s 67%.

IMPROVEMENT NEGLIGIBLE

The negligible improvement in self-rated food poverty this quarter, meanwhile, was due to a fall in Metro Manila and a slip in the Visayas, combined with steady rates in “Balance Luzon” and Mindanao.

Self-rated food poverty fell six points in Metro Manila to 24% this quarter from 30% three months earlier. This led to an average Metro Manila self-rated food poverty rate of 27% this year, two points below 2013’s 29%.

In the Visayas, the rate slipped to 51% this quarter from 53% in the preceding three months, bringing the 2014 average rate in the area to 51% — the worst in 11 years or since 2003’s 62%.

In “Balance Luzon”, it stayed at 37% this quarter, bringing the 2014 average to 36%, flat from 2013.

In Mindanao, it remained at 52% from last quarter. This brings the 2014 average rate to 50%, six points above the 2013 average of 44% for the island.

The SWS survey also found the self-rated poverty threshold — the monthly budget that poor households need for home expenses in order not to consider themselves poor in general — at a record-high in Metro Manila and the Visayas at P20,000 (from P15,000 last quarter) and P12,000 (from P8,000) respectively.

It stayed at P10,000 in Mindanao, and fell to P8,000 (from P10,000) in “Balance Luzon.”

“The minimum home budget is less than the minimum income that it (household) needs because it excludes work-related expenses like transportation,” SWS explained in its report.

“The December 2014 median self-rated poverty thresholds in Metro Manila, the Visayas and Mindanao are at the highest levels ever reached in those areas, while the latest figure of P8,000 in Balance Luzon was previously surpassed in September 2014 when it was at P10,000.”

The self-rated food poverty threshold — the monthly food budget that food-poor households need in order not to consider themselves food-poor — also saw record highs in Metro Manila and the Visayas, SWS said.

“The median food poverty threshold is the food budget that would satisfy the poorer half of food-poor households,” the report read further.

The fourth quarter median self-rated food poverty threshold came in at P9,000 in Metro Manila (from P8,000); P5,000 in the Visayas (from P3,550); and P4,000 each in “Balance Luzon” (from P5,250) and Mindanao (from P5,000).

SWS noted that the December 2014 median self-rated food poverty thresholds in Metro Manila and the Visayas are at the highest levels ever reached in those areas.

NOT ENOUGH


COLOMA

Asked to comment on the survey findings, Communications Secretary Herminio B. Coloma Jr., said the government remains committed to sustain its efforts to achieve its poverty reduction objectives.

“Improvements in these indicators need to be sustained. There are still large sections of citizenry rating themselves poor and hungry. That is why the biggest portion of the 2015 budget — or more than 37% — is allocated to poverty reduction and social protection,” Mr. Coloma said in a text message.

Political analyst Ma. Lourdes N. Tiquia — secretary general of the Association of Political Consultants in Asia and founder of PUBLiCUS Asia, Inc. — cautioned that percentages over years should be taken in the context of a growing population, meaning there are likely “more poor today” than in past years.

“Looking at the percentages may lull readers into a celebratory mood when in fact there are more poor today with our overall population total hitting 107 million Filipinos as of July 2014,” Ms. Tiquia said in an e-mail.

GOING DOWN… GENERALLY

For annualized self-rated poverty rates, she noted that “the trend was going down” across administrations beginning with former president Ferdinand E. Marcos.

“Average self-rated poverty was at its lowest in December 2009 under PGMA [former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo].


AQUINO

Though it appeared to go down under President Benigno S.C. Aquino III to 48% in 2010 and 49% in 2011, self-rated poverty has further increased to an average of 54% in… 2014,” Ms. Tiquia said.

“It would appear that the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), running in billions, is not the answer to mitigating poverty and hunger.

The CCT ensures health and education of poor kids but not work for the parents or nutritious food on the table for the household.

Since it is conditional, the Aquino administration should be able to complement the same with a long-term solution and not a palliative one, which does not address decades of poverty.”

In the 2015 national budget approved by Malacañang last week, social services got the chunk with a P62.3-billion allocation to support the government’s flagship CCT poverty-alleviation program.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development also got a P103.9-billion budget for next year, 24.6% more than the P83.4 billion it was allocated this year.

“The review of the results though shows trends holding on for decades.

The existing silos approach by the Aquino administration cannot solve the perception problem.

Only an integrated and concerted approach involving domestic investments, entrepreneurship, creation of more jobs and managing food prices for the real poor (those below the poverty threshold) should be formulated and implemented in the last two years,” Ms. Tiquia said.

Source: http://www.bworldonline.com/content.php?section=TopStory&title=2014-self-rated-poverty-worst-in-8-years&id=100155


PHILSTAR

BSP closes Rural Bank of Magsingal, Ilocos Sur bank By Kathleen A. Martin (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 7, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Another rural bank has been ordered closed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. said in a statement yesterday.

The Rural Bank of Magsingal (Ilocos Sur) Inc., a single-unit firm with its head office located in San Vicente, Magsingal, Ilocos Sur, was placed under the receivership of the PDIC on March 5.

The PDIC said latest available records on the bank showed it had 458 accounts with deposits amounting to P17.4 million as of end-2014. All of these deposits were insured, the state deposit insurer added.

“All bank records shall be gathered, verified and validated… All valid deposits shall be paid up to the maximum deposit insurance coverage of P500,000,” the PDIC stressed.

Those with deposits of P50,000 and below do not need to file deposit insurance claims unless they have outstanding loans with the bank or they have not updated their addresses in the bank records.

The PDIC said it will start mailing payments for these depositors starting next week.

Depositors have until March 10 to update their addresses with PDIC representatives at the bank premises, the state deposit insurer said.

For those required to file deposit insurance claims, claims settlement operations will commence on the third week of March, the PDIC said.

A depositors-borrowers forum has been slated for March 12 so bank clients will be informed of the procedures for filing deposit insurance claims. The PDIC will be posting the time and venue of said forum at the bank premises and at its website, www.pdic.gov.ph.

The state deposit insurer added the schedule of the claims settlement operations and requirements for filing claims will be posted at the bank premises and at the PDIC website.

The Rural Bank of Magsingal is the second bank ordered closed this year following the Community Bank (Rural Bank of Alfonso, Inc.), which was ordered closed last month. ..


PHILSTAR

Herbal drug campaign launched By Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 26, 2015 - 12:00am


Distribution - Widely distributed in the Philippines. - At low and medium altitudes, in thickets and waste places. - Flowering year round. Best propagated by use of mature, leafless stem cuttings. - Also occurs in tropical East Africa, Madagascar, India to Japan, and southward through Malaya to western Polynesia.

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will pursue a massive herbal drug discovery program this year.

Science Secretary Mario Montejo said that the program may be funded from P50 million up to P100 million, and will involve the setting up of several herbal research and development (R&D) laboratories equipped with the latest tools.

This, he said, will allow Filipino scientists and researchers to do testing and laboratory work on thousands of indigenous plants and herbs found in the Philippines, and test them for their medicinal use and efficacy.

Montejo said the program hopes to follow up on the Philippines’ successful R&D work on the lagundi plant as a herbal medicine for coughs and asthma.

The lagundi R&D effort had been funded by the DOST Philippine Council for Health Research and Development.

Sales of lagundi capsules and cough syrup by two Filipino drug companies breached the P1-billion mark in 2012, showing commercial success for companies that have adopted DOST-funded and supported research and development projects.

According to the DOST-PCHRD, the technology in developing lagundi capsules and syrup as herbal medicine is a product of more than two decades of extensive scientific research by the National Integrated Research Program of Medicinal Plants, a consortium of top academic institutions and scientists of the country.

More clinical trials further proved that lagundi is comparably effective and safer than conventional chemical-based formulations.

“Aside from the potential of coming up with new herbal medicines, this program will allow our scientists and researchers to pursue R&D and not have to go abroad,” Montejo said. ..


INQUIRER HEADLINE BIZ TRIVIA

Mayweather buys $400k Rolls-Royce for his 14-year old daughter 8:00 AM | Friday, March 6th, 2015


rolls-royce-wraith

Boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, listed by Forbes as 2014’s top-earning athlete, has bought his 14-year old daughter one heck of a school ride: a Rolls-Royce Wraith coupe.

Mayweather bought the Rolls-Royce Wraith, with two rear-hinged ‘suicide’ doors, for a reported $400,000.

According to celebrity website TMZ, the boxer who uses the moniker “Money” bought the car from his usual purveyor, Fusion Luxury Motors in Los Angeles. Fusion Luxury Motors describes itself on its website as “the most unique Independent Luxury Exotic Automobile Dealership on the west coast located in Los Angeles California.”

The car is apparently loaded with options, including a Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament that can be lit up, and an interior headliner that includes multiple lights to simulate a starlit night.

Mayweather bought it because he wants his daughter to “ride in style,” calling up dealer principal Obi Okeke at 2 am.

The dealer dutifully shipped the car to Las Vegas later that day. He was quoted, “When his daughter and [the mother of his child] saw the car, they went nuts. They were so appreciative and thankful.”

Mayweather has flaunted his supercar collection before in a series of Instagram posts. He previously bought a $3.2 million Ferrari Enzo supercar and a $400,000 McLaren 650S.

EXTRA READ......

14 Years Old with Louboutin, Audemars Piguet, Hermes, iPhone 6 & a G550! Is Floyd Mayweather doing Too Much, Too Soon for his Daughter? 13.10.2014 at 1:00 pm By BellaNaija.com —50 Comments

Any parent or aspiring parent will tell you that their dream is to provide the best for their children. The best education, the best home, the best of everything. However, in today’s modern world, does the best extend to luxury goods?

By every indication, superstar boxer Floyd Mayweather‘s daughter Iyanna is a happy and well adjusted 14 year old with 2 parents who adore and care for her.

Her instagram page reveals her positivity with encouraging posts and love-filled words dedicated to her parents. It also reveals a 14 year old with a lot of material possessions – a Hermes Birkin Bag, a diamond encrusted Audemars Piguet watch, an iPhone 6, Christian Louboutin shoes, a Mercedes G550 and a Mercedes S550.

Floyd Mayweather is worth a reported $280 million dollars so some might say, this is equivalent to an average income parent buying toys and new clothes for their child.

Definitely a blessed young lady…but it is it too much, too soon?


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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