BUSINESS HEADLINES THIS PAST WEEK...
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

LAST SONA: LOUDEST CHEERS FROM BUSINESSES


july 27 ---The loudest cheers came from the business community, the sector that benefits most from President Aquino’s reform program.
As the community understood it, Aquino’s sixth and final State of the Nation Address (Sona), in which the President reviewed the achievements of his administration, provided a springboard from which the Philippines could continue to grow economically beyond his term. “The President’s message was very clear. He emphasized the gains we’ve made in terms of his anticorruption campaign and on the infrastructure front,” Banco de Oro strategist Jonathan Ravelas said in an interview. “When you look at his time in office, that’s really been his focus.” Ravelas said it was important that President Aquino contrasted the country’s present situation with the state of things before he came to office in 2010. That, he said, put things in perspective for the Filipinos. Aquino’s final Sona dwelled heavily on his administration’s achievements on the economic front, including several credit rating upgrades from international debt watchers, unprecedented growth of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), as well as rapid job creation, among other achievements. The President also stressed that investors continued to line up to bid for big-ticket projects under his administration’s public-private partnership (PPP) program, even as he explained that delays in the program’s implementation was due to his desire to ensure that the contracts would withstand close scrutiny long after he stepped down from office. READ MORE...

ALSO: Ayala buys University of Nueva Caceres
[P450M INVESTED TO ACQUIRE 60 PERCENT OF ONE OF BICOL'S LEADING UNIVERSITIES]


JULY  28 ---
THE AYALA group has raised its stake in the Philippine education sector by investing P450 million to acquire 60 percent of University of Nueva Caceres (UNC), one of the leading universities in the Bicol region. The investment in UNC, which is located in Naga, Camarines Sur, was made through Ayala Corp.’s education investment arm Ayala Education Inc. Founded in 1948 as the first university in Southern Luzon outside Manila, UNC has around 7,000 students, with many well-recognized programs in arts and sciences, business and accountancy, computer studies, criminal justice, education, engineering and architecture, graduate studies, law, nursing and basic education (K-10), the Ayala group said in a press statement on Tuesday. “We are delighted that Ayala Education is investing in UNC because we believe that it will help us to further enhance the quality of our education and the employability of our graduates, through industry and technology driven innovations. We welcome Ayala Education as a partner who can strengthen UNC’s leading role in making good education accessible to Bicolanos as envisioned by its founder, former Secretary of Finance, Dr. Jaime Hernandez, Sr., and as nurtured by his children, Dr. Dolores H. Sison (past president), Erlinda H. Ravanera, Jaime J. Hernandez, Jr. and Jesus J. Hernandez, and their families,” UNC chair Felicito Payumo said. READ MORE...

ALSO: DBM estimates Q2 govt spending up 12.4%


Government spending in the second quarter of 2015 likely grew at a double-digit pace of 12.4 percent from P505.2 billion a year earlier, according to a preliminary estimate by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). The official figures for June have yet to be released by the DBM, but aggregate government spending in April and May stood at P331.7 billion. The combined April-May figure alone has far surpassed the total first-quarter spending of P188.5 billion during the first quarter of this year. “For the second quarter, we project that [government spending] is going to be 12.4 percent higher than that of the second quarter last year,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad told reporters on Tuesday.
Analysts had traced the economy’s slowdown in the first quarter to underspending by the government, which the Administration blamed on constitutional restraints placed on the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and parts of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) under the Office of the President. READ MORE...

ALSO: Land Bank, DBP set to get P30-b capital


JULY 28 --he government will infuse P30 billion worth of fresh capital into state-run Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines under the proposed 2016 budget.
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said in a news briefing the fund, which would be coursed the Finance Department, would increase the department’s annual budget by 27 percent to P55.3 billion in 2016. Abad said the increase in the Finance Department’s budget from P16.9 billion to P55.3 billion would ensure the resiliency of the banking system. “To strengthen the banking system, we have agreed to have additional P30-billion capitalization,” said Abad. Land Bank and DBP will receive P20 billion and P10 billion, respectively their re-capitalization. President Benigno Aquino submitted a proposed P3 trillion national government budget for 2016, his last year in office. “The national budget is one of our major instruments in creating truly inclusive growth. Our spending blueprint for 2016 will therefore be integral in the administration’s continuing journey on Daang Matuwid. With this budget, the national government will try to widen its reach so that the benefits of our economic development will truly be felt by as many of our countrymen as possible,” Abad said. READ MORE...

ALSO: AS IT HAPPENS: SONA style 2015


JULY 27 ---Bayan Muna Rep Neri Colmenares' barong features embroidery work depicting MRT woes Photo: Xianne Arcangel -The State of the Nation Address is an important event in our nation's calendar—and for President Benigno Aquino III, this SONA is particularly significant as it is the last one he will be making. After a year of ups and downs, and with next year's presidential elections looming ahead, all eyes and ears will be on today's event. But let's face it: as a formal event with all the cameras trained on the red carpet, the SONA is also a grand time for fashion peacocking on the part of the guests and rubbernecking and fashion analysis on the part of the rest of us. So here they are, the guests of President Aquino's SONA, as they arrive on the red carpet. -MORE PHOTOS....

ALSO YouScoop: Netizens react to PNoy's final SONA in 3 words


JULY 27 --President Benigno Aquino III delivered his last State of the Nation Address on Monday. As the president delivered his speech, netizens shared what they thought about the address in just three words. Here are some of the responses. READ TWEETS......

ALSO: ‘Over fashion’*** Sinking feeling at KL airport***No to Landbank-DBP merger


By Babe G. Romualdez
This is the only country in the world JULY 28 --that gives too much emphasis on fashion for a very serious event like the opening of the new session of Congress and the President’s State of the Nation Address. As pointed out by many foreign observers we spoke with, this obsession with fashion is already getting out of hand, with people focusing more on what legislators, their spouses and other guests are wearing. I don’t think they have anything like this in other countries, not even in the US during the State of the Union address of the US President. The SONA has become like Hollywood’s Oscar awards. This is most likely media driven, with the so-called “Fashion Police” coming out with their “Best Dressed” and “Worst Dressed” lists – pitting certain ladies (and consequently, fashion designers) against each other in what is being dubbed as the “wardrobe wars” as they report on who’s wearing what. People find this ridiculous considering the fact there is still so much poverty in the country and ironically even in the vicinity near the Batasan, with the cost of one gown, they say, enough to feed a family of five for several months. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Sona 2015: Loudest cheers come from business

MANILA, JULY 23, 2015 (INQUIRER) By: Daxim L. Lucas and Doris Dumlao-Abadilla @inquirerdotnet July 28th, 2015 - The loudest cheers came from the business community, the sector that benefits most from President Aquino’s reform program.

As the community understood it, Aquino’s sixth and final State of the Nation Address (Sona), in which the President reviewed the achievements of his administration, provided a springboard from which the Philippines could continue to grow economically beyond his term.

“The President’s message was very clear. He emphasized the gains we’ve made in terms of his anticorruption campaign and on the infrastructure front,” Banco de Oro strategist Jonathan Ravelas said in an interview. “When you look at his time in office, that’s really been his focus.”

Ravelas said it was important that President Aquino contrasted the country’s present situation with the state of things before he came to office in 2010. That, he said, put things in perspective for the Filipinos.

Aquino’s final Sona dwelled heavily on his administration’s achievements on the economic front, including several credit rating upgrades from international debt watchers, unprecedented growth of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), as well as rapid job creation, among other achievements.

The President also stressed that investors continued to line up to bid for big-ticket projects under his administration’s public-private partnership (PPP) program, even as he explained that delays in the program’s implementation was due to his desire to ensure that the contracts would withstand close scrutiny long after he stepped down from office.

READ MORE...

Ravelas said the Sona was “more of a rehash of an old thing,” and that he would have wanted to hear from the President what he had planned to do in his final year in office, but noted that the more important part of Aquino’s message was his exhortation to Filipinos to continue following the “daang matuwid,” or straight path, the term for the administration’s good government program.

“His message was that we now have a baseline for how future administrations should perform. It is now up to the people what kind of government they want to have, going forward,” Ravelas said.

And forward appeared to be the step Aquino was goading Interior Secretary Mar Roxas to take by praising him too long in his speech.

Aquino is expected to announce in the coming days that Roxas is his chosen candidate for President in the 2016 general elections.

Long-term growth

“As the last Sona, it was mostly a big thank you, pat-my-back speech by the President. The format really hasn’t changed since 2010,” said Jose Mari Lacson, head of research at local stock brokerage Campos Lanuza & Co.

Lacson said the President’s speech did reveal a few things, noting that the long praise and expression of support for Roxas seemed to be like a “quasi-anointing” of the ruling Liberal Party’s standard-bearer for 2016.

Lacson said Aquino’s prioritization of the antidynasty bill came as a surprise and would likely win favorable points in the coming elections alongside his strong support for the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law.

Lacson also noted: “The blame on MPIC (Metro Pacific Investments Corp.) for the commuters’ woes in the MRT reveals the perception is not just at the DOTC (Department of Transportation and Communications) level but all the way up. That’s not good for MPIC or for the private sector.”

Economist Victor Abola of the University of Asia and the Pacific was also happy with the President’s surprise push for the antidynasty bill.

“I strongly support that, but I’m disappointed with his lack of push for the FOI (freedom of information) bill,” Abola said.

“The antidynasty groups welcome the pronouncement of President Aquino’s support for the passage of the antidynasty law. We are hopeful Congress will heed the clamor of the President and his bosses. We call on the voters to monitor their senators and representatives who will derail or support the passage of this landmark political reform,” said Leon Flores III, convener of the Anti-Dynasty Movement (AnDayaMo).

Good leader

Lawyer Francis Lim, former president of the Philippine Stock Exchange and now head of the Shareholders’ Association of the Philippines, which advocates protection of rights of majority investors, said: “The President is truly a transformational and inspirational leader. The data shared by him with the nation indubitably prove that a good leader is what the country truly needs to earn its rightful place in the community of nations.”

In the foreign business community, reactions to Aquino’s final Sona were mixed. Some groups found it “long on accomplishments” and “short on promises” while other quarters saw it as Aquino’s best speech.

John D. Forbes, senior adviser at the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, and Henry J. Schumacher, vice president for external affairs at the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Inc., both found the Sona lacked promises and had much discussion about the ongoing and future national challenges.

“We still encourage the administration to implement the recommendations in the May 15 letter of the Joint Foreign Chambers and the Philippine Business Groups to the President,” Forbes and Schumacher said in separate text messages.

Dan Lachica, president of Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Inc., said that while he rated President Aquino higher than his predecessors for bringing the Philippines to investment grade and significantly improved GDP growth of 6.2 percent, there were several key issues he would have wanted to hear.

For Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr., President Aquino’s Sona seemed more like a “valedictory speech.”

Ortiz-Luis said in a phone interview that while many of the accomplishments were valid, such as those in labor, employment, education and poverty alleviation, there were other accomplishments trumpeted that he deemed questionable, such as foreign direct investments (FDIs).

He argued that while the Philippines saw growth in FDI inflows, the value was relatively marginal compared with those in the country’s neighbors in the region.

Management Association of the Philippines president Francisco F. del Rosario Jr. added: “He delivered his speech well. His economic gains (i.e., gross national product growth, national competitive rankings, strong banking system, PPP projects) were truly remarkable. His strong leadership was obvious. His reform agenda was effective in achieving economic spurts. What was lacking was the future business direction for the country, solution to traffic and transportation problems, passage of the freedom of information bill for transparency, China conflict approach and Mindanao peace and development. Also, (mention of) inclusive-growth programs was lacking.”

Best Sona

Peter V. Perfecto, executive director of the Makati Business Club, said the President was able to clearly communicate what his administration had managed to deliver.

“I believe this was probably his best Sona and I hope that this will mean that we can expect more from the final year even as elections are fast approaching.

I am still hopeful that key infrastructure PPPs will roll out and legislative priorities like the antidynasty bill, Bangsamoro Basic Law, FOI, Build-Operate-Transfer Law amendments, Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, and Department of Information and Communications Technology will prosper,” Perfecto said.–With reports from Amy R. Remo and Miguel Camus


INQUIRER

Ayala buys University of Nueva Caceres
P450M INVESTED TO ACQUIRE 60 PERCENT OF ONE OF BICOL'S LEADING UNIVERSITIES
By: Doris Dumlao-Abadilla @inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net 05:30 PM July 28th, 2015

THE AYALA group has raised its stake in the Philippine education sector by investing P450 million to acquire 60 percent of University of Nueva Caceres (UNC), one of the leading universities in the Bicol region.

The investment in UNC, which is located in Naga, Camarines Sur, was made through Ayala Corp.’s education investment arm Ayala Education Inc.

Founded in 1948 as the first university in Southern Luzon outside Manila, UNC has around 7,000 students, with many well-recognized programs in arts and sciences, business and accountancy, computer studies, criminal justice, education, engineering and architecture, graduate studies, law, nursing and basic education (K-10), the Ayala group said in a press statement on Tuesday.

“We are delighted that Ayala Education is investing in UNC because we believe that it will help us to further enhance the quality of our education and the employability of our graduates, through industry and technology driven innovations. We welcome Ayala Education as a partner who can strengthen UNC’s leading role in making good education accessible to Bicolanos as envisioned by its founder, former Secretary of Finance, Dr. Jaime Hernandez, Sr., and as nurtured by his children, Dr. Dolores H. Sison (past president), Erlinda H. Ravanera, Jaime J. Hernandez, Jr. and Jesus J. Hernandez, and their families,” UNC chair Felicito Payumo said.

READ MORE...

Jesus Hernandez, son of UNC founder Jaime Hernandez Sr., said: “We are very happy to have found in Ayala Education, a partner who shares our values and commitment to nation building, and will ensure that my father’s vision and legacy are sustained and strengthened, and that UNC continues to be a key engine of progress and development in Naga and the Bicol region.”

As a result of Ayala Education’s investment of P450 million, it will hold the majority of UNC’s board seats. In addition, UNC appointed Ayala Education’s CEO, Alfredo Imperial Ayala, as its president.

Ayala said: “We are very pleased to have been invited to partner with UNC, given its 67 years of success, leading position in Bicol and vibrant school spirit. UNC will be Ayala Education’s flagship university, and we are committed to working closely with all of UNC’s stakeholders to build upon its traditions of excellence that have served it so well.”

Ayala Education started investing in the education sector in 2012 after recognizing the strong demand for Filipino talent from the IT-BPO (information technology-business process outsourcing) and other service industries, such as banking, telecom, retail and tourism. The vision is to deliver affordable and high quality education at the high school and college levels in order to equip students with real world skills through co-designing programs with prospective employers while rising on the group’s extensive experience in services training.

Last year, the Ayala group teamed up with UK-based Pearson, the world’s largest education provider, to roll out a chain of affordable private high schools under the new brand Affordable Private Education Center (APEC). It also entered into a partnership with Arellano University to offer a junior college program.


MANILA TIMES

DBM estimates Q2 govt spending up 12.4% July 28, 2015 10:06 pm

Government spending in the second quarter of 2015 likely grew at a double-digit pace of 12.4 percent from P505.2 billion a year earlier, according to a preliminary estimate by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

The official figures for June have yet to be released by the DBM, but aggregate government spending in April and May stood at P331.7 billion.

The combined April-May figure alone has far surpassed the total first-quarter spending of P188.5 billion during the first quarter of this year.

“For the second quarter, we project that [government spending] is going to be 12.4 percent higher than that of the second quarter last year,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad told reporters on Tuesday.

Analysts had traced the economy’s slowdown in the first quarter to underspending by the government, which the Administration blamed on constitutional restraints placed on the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and parts of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) under the Office of the President.

READ MORE...

First-quarter growth in gross domestic product (GDP) settled at a slower-than-expected 5.2 percent, down from 6.9 percent a quarter ago and far short of the government’s 7 percent to 8 percent target for this year.

An analyst at Accord Capital Equities Corp., Justino Calaycay Jr., had pointed out that a huge surplus could be a symptom of the excessively high premium the government placed on fiscal discipline.

“While that is laudable, it has shown through the years how underspending tempers growth,” he said earlier this month.

“We can argue along the same breath but from a different perspective – imagine what growth pace we would’ve registered if public spending went as programmed,” he added.

The DBM on Tuesday pointed out, however, government spending gathered momentum in April to reach P156.5 billion, up 9 percent from P143.6 billion a year earlier.

In May, as the latest data from the DBM showed, disbursements increased further by P14.7 billion or 9.2 percent to P175.2 billion, up from P160.5 billion in the corresponding period of 2014.


MANILA STANDARD

Land Bank, DBP set to get P30-b capital By Gabrielle H. Binaday | Jul. 28, 2015 at 11:25pm

The government will infuse P30 billion worth of fresh capital into state-run Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines under the proposed 2016 budget.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said in a news briefing the fund, which would be coursed the Finance Department, would increase the department’s annual budget by 27 percent to P55.3 billion in 2016.

Abad said the increase in the Finance Department’s budget from P16.9 billion to P55.3 billion would ensure the resiliency of the banking system.

“To strengthen the banking system, we have agreed to have additional P30-billion capitalization,” said Abad.

Land Bank and DBP will receive P20 billion and P10 billion, respectively their re-capitalization.

President Benigno Aquino submitted a proposed P3 trillion national government budget for 2016, his last year in office.

“The national budget is one of our major instruments in creating truly inclusive growth. Our spending blueprint for 2016 will therefore be integral in the administration’s continuing journey on Daang Matuwid. With this budget, the national government will try to widen its reach so that the benefits of our economic development will truly be felt by as many of our countrymen as possible,” Abad said.

READ MORE...

Meanwhile, the budget bill also proposed a 25.1 percent increase in the allocation of the Health Department to P128.4 billion, the third highest among department budgets.

The Education Department will receive the highest budget of P435.9 billion, followed by the Public Works Department with P394.5 billion and the Defense Department with 172.7 billion.

“Our proposed spending program will also help us consolidate and sustain the reforms we’ve instituted in the past five years in the pursuit of good governance. We set our targets high, but we were able to prove that honest and effective management of public funds leads to real benefits for our people,” said Abad.

“Now we want to ensure the 2016 budget can sustain the reforms of the past years so that transparency, accountability, and citizen empowerment will last beyond this administration,” he said.

“This means supporting legislation that would push for better public financial management. Besides that, we also need to introduce greater openness and transparency in government by championing the Freedom of Information bill,” Abad said.


GMA NEWS ONLINE

ARTICLE --AS IT HAPPENS: SONA style 2015 B 3772 Twitter 174 Google Plus 18 Email 0 Linked In 11 Disqus 0  July 27, 2015 2:32pm Tags: stateofthenationaddress, sona2015 (Updated 5:28 p.m.)

The State of the Nation Address is an important event in our nation's calendar—and for President Benigno Aquino III, this SONA is particularly significant as it is the last one he will be making. After a year of ups and downs, and with next year's presidential elections looming ahead, all eyes and ears will be on today's event.

But let's face it: as a formal event with all the cameras trained on the red carpet, the SONA is also a grand time for fashion peacocking on the part of the guests and rubbernecking and fashion analysis on the part of the rest of us.

So here they are, the guests of President Aquino's SONA, as they arrive on the red carpet. - See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/529098/lifestyle/fashionandbeauty/as-it-happens-sona-style-2015#sthash.X8yQTeGo.dpuf 


Sen. Bongbong Marcos' wife, Liza, with their sons Photo: Joseph Morong


Sen. Grace Poe's simple white terno Photo: Jessica Bartolome


Makati Rep. Abi Binay in a pale pink Ivar Aseron gown Photo: Jessica Bartolome


Richard Gomez and Lucy Torres' daughter Juliana Gomez in a pale blue Randy Ortiz gown Photo: Jessica Bartolome


Sen. Pia Cayetano in a dark blue terno with Swarovski beads, a Mia Urquico creation Photo: Jessica Bartolome


Sen. Loren Legarda in a vintage piña top from her late mother Photo: Jessica Bartolome

Dingdong Dantes speaks to reporters at the SONA Photo: Jessica BartolomeThe seal of the City of Manila can be seen on the barong if its mayor, Joseph Estrada Photo: Jessica BartolomeGold embellishments adorn Quezon City 3rd District Congressman Alfred Vargas and wife Yasmine Espiritu Photo: Jessica BartolomeLaguna 3rd District Rep. Sol Aragones in a gown by Laguna designer Chico Estiva Photo: Jessica BartolomeThe senators during the morning session Photo: Amita LegaspiSen Sonny Angara arrives at the Batasan with his wife, Tootsy Photo: Kathrina Charmaine AlvarezSen. Nancy Binay in a 'boring' blue terno by Randy Ortiz Photo: Amita Legaspi

 Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado-Revilla Photo: Xianne ArcangelOgie Alcasid and Regine Velasquez Photo: Joseph MorongFormer Amb. Roy Señeres' wife wears a Patis Tesoro gown Photo: Joseph MorongFans flock to Kapuso star Dingdong Dantes Photo: Xianne ArcangelBayan Muna Rep Neri Colmenares' barong features embroidery work depicting MRT woes Photo: Xianne Arcangel See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/529098/lifestyle/fashionandbeauty/as-it-happens-sona-style-2015#sthash.X8yQTeGo.dpuf 


YouScoop: Netizens react to PNoy's final SONA in 3 words July 27, 2015 8:12pm Tags: youscoop, sona2015, benignoaquinoiii

President Benigno Aquino III delivered his last State of the Nation Address on Monday. As the president delivered his speech, netizens shared what they thought about the address in just three words.

Here are some of the responses.

Some Netizens tweet their praises:



Other Netizens weren't very impressed


- See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/529450/news/nation/youscoop-netizens-react-to-pnoy-s-final-sona-in-3-words#sthash.n5E166PH.dpuf 

More from: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/529450/news/nation/youscoop-netizens-react-to-pnoy-s-final-sona-in-3-words 


MANILA BULLETIN

‘Over fashion’*** Sinking feeling at KL airport***No to Landbank-DBP merger SPYBITS By Babe G. Romualdez (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 28, 2015 -


By Babe G. Romualdez

This is the only country in the world that gives too much emphasis on fashion for a very serious event like the opening of the new session of Congress and the President’s State of the Nation Address.

As pointed out by many foreign observers we spoke with, this obsession with fashion is already getting out of hand, with people focusing more on what legislators, their spouses and other guests are wearing.

I don’t think they have anything like this in other countries, not even in the US during the State of the Union address of the US President. The SONA has become like Hollywood’s Oscar awards.

This is most likely media driven, with the so-called “Fashion Police” coming out with their “Best Dressed” and “Worst Dressed” lists – pitting certain ladies (and consequently, fashion designers) against each other in what is being dubbed as the “wardrobe wars” as they report on who’s wearing what.

People find this ridiculous considering the fact there is still so much poverty in the country and ironically even in the vicinity near the Batasan, with the cost of one gown, they say, enough to feed a family of five for several months.

READ MORE....

Observers also find it rather unfortunate that an important occasion like the SONA could become the source of ridicule, with netizens making memes out of the outfits and having a field day posting and sharing these memes or Instagramming the outfits that have grabbed their attention – whether for better or worse.

Malacañang is right – people should listen more to what the President will say rather than be obsessed with the clothes that people are wearing.

Sinking feeling at KL airport

Seven months after Malaysian Transport Minister Seri Liow Tiong Lai visited the premises of Malaysia’s new budget terminal – Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 or KLIA2 – to check on the reported sinking, defects continue to surface with cracks appearing in the taxiway and pools of water also forming.

In December last year, the Malaysian Transport Minister had promised an independent audit committee report would be released to the public on whether action would be taken against contractors who would be deemed accountable for the substandard work. Reports also say the original construction expenses estimated at RM 1.7 billion had ballooned to RM 4 billion. To this day, however, no report has been made, with the Transport ministry saying it will release the audit report “in due course.”

AirAsia, which is KLIA2’s biggest user having flown over 15.2 million passengers since the terminal opened in May last year, is definitely unhappy because the cracks on the taxiways could cause serious safety concerns, not to mention flight delays and bigger maintenance expenses due to the increased wear and tear on the planes that have to drive through the cracks and the water puddles. The new terminal can accommodate up to 45 million travelers, with other carriers such as Tiger Airways, Malindo Air, Lion Mentari and Cebu Pacific among those that utilize the new airport.

According to operator Malaysia Airports, they are fixing the problems by patching and resurfacing the cracked areas and injecting polyurethane underneath, adding a more permanent solution will be provided by April next year when the concrete slab is completed. Malaysia Airports also said updates regarding the progress of maintenance work are being sent to AirAsia on a weekly basis, pointing out other airports such as Suvarnabhumi in Bangkok and Kansai International in Osaka also initially experienced similar problems. Nevertheless, many are not impressed saying Malaysia has to improve standards especially in the aftermath of the mysterious and still unsolved disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, and the subsequent shooting down of flight MH17 over Ukraine in July last year that left 298 people dead.

No to Landbank-DBP merger

Retired banker Archit Bartolome emailed us expressing relief the President did not sign the proposed executive order that would merge Land Bank of the Philippines with the Development Bank of the Philippines – which would make LBP the surviving bank.

Legislators and officials should revisit the role and function of government banks and review their charter, Archit said, adding the merger should not be seen in the context of attaining size and scale in order to be competitive in the local and regional markets. “Instead, the role of a Government Financial Institution (GFI) should be viewed with the intent of how best to carry out the cornerstone of the administration’s economic and social programs, inclusive and sustainable growth,” he stressed.

Government financial institutions should create an environment of a level playing field between and among the private banks and not compete head-on with them, he pointed out, adding the performance of GFIs should not be evaluated on the conventional approach of ROI, but on the basis of how much the financial institution has supported the financial needs of government and its instrumentalities.

Archit proposes that instead of a merger, government would be better off if it privatized the Landbank (which is easy to sell and can command a good prize) and keep DBP as the GFI.

Landbank was created for the purpose of financing the acquisition and distribution of agricultural estates that would be resold to small landowners, but it has not lived up to its purpose. Selling it would help strengthen the government’s fiscal position and help in financing socio-economic programs, he argues. DBP, meantime, can continue to function as the government’s policy bank as it plays a catalytic role in the development of sectors that are critical for inclusive growth. If other Asian countries have done it, why can’t we do the same, Archit points out.

6 Comments Philstar.com

Avatar Banzai • 3 hours ago It doesnt mean that if people focus on the dress will they forget about the content of the speech. Nothing unfortunate about it. • Reply•Share ›

Avatar Hein S • 7 hours ago This fashionista event should end. Poor pinoys eating garbage Pagpag while the politicians parade in their gowns. Tsk tsk.

Avatar john villaro • 9 hours ago mr romualdez, who's your choice for president in 2016? • Reply•Share ›

Avatar DrBooger • 12 hours ago A sentiment written by a former "B'nay fan** by : Joselito Boboy Delos Reyes • Sa Iyo Bise Presidente... Anong nangyari sa'yo? Dati kitang idolo, dati mo akong kasama - hindi man direkta. Kakampi mo ako, lalo na noong ipinasususpinde ka ng administrasyong Arroyo.

"Ghost Employees" daw sa Makati. Kung ilang empleyado daw na pinasusweldo ng Makati na hindi naman tunay na nagtatrabaho... Ilan na nga yon? Nakalimutan ko na or talagang hindi lang pumasok sa isip ko, kasi nga, kakampi mo ako. Nagalit ka, at nagalit din ako sa administrasyong Arroyo at sumama ako sa'yo. Akala ko nga giyera na dahil nakabihis pang militar ka pa, nasa likod mo din lang ako at nagtagumpay tayo, hindi ba? Pero ano na nga ba ang nangyari sa'yo? Tila nalinlang mo ako, tila nalinlang mo kami...

Napakaraming akusasyon, tawagin na din nating alegasyon... - Mahigit 1.1 Bilyong Piso na sinasabing ipinatong sa Makati City Hall Building 2, hindi naman biro yan. At sabi nga ni Mareng Winnie, parang ninakawan mo ng tig mahigit dalawang libong piso ang bawat residente ng Makati. - Bilyong bilyong piso ang nagpapalipat lipat sa banko ng mga alalay mo... Hindi rin naman siguro normal yan. Hacienda sa Batangas na ubod ng gara at inaako ni Antonio Tiu na ganun din, ang salapi ay umiikot din sa pangalan mo... - Ilan nga pala ulit ang nakasampang kaso sa'yo, 78 ba? Ewan ko na... Pero ang alam ko, "Hindi uusok, kung walang apoy" at ang sabi pa nga, "Huwag kang tatae sa bakuran mo, at mangangamoy".

Ang sama lang ng loob ko, bakit wala akong narinig na makatotohanang pagsalag mo sa mga akusasyon at alegasyon? "Pulitika lang yan", at iyan pa din ang ikinukutya mo sa administrasyong Aquino pagkatapos mong mag-resign. Teka nga pala, limang taon ka sa pwesto mo, at dala dalawa pa. Hindi ka pinagdamutan, bagkus binigyan ka ng pagkakataong mamahala, patunayan at ipakita ang iyong kakayanan... Wala ka namang reklamo dati hindi ba? Wala ka ngang suhestyon at tila nakuntento... At dahil wala kang reklamo at wala kang suhestyon, marapat kong isipin na sang-ayon ka sa tinatahak na "Tuwid na Daan" ng administrasyong Aquino.

Kalokohan mo. Tila dalawang linggo pa lang ang nakalipas, nagpahayag ka na malaki ang pag asa mo na sa huli ay ikaw din ang i-eendorso ni Pangulong Aquino kahit "Secret"... Pero nung tila nasupalpal ka, naging baluktot ang "Tuwid na Daan". Kalokohan mo ulit, inakusahan mo pa na "Crook" ang Administrasyong Aquino. Sino nga ba ulit ang "Crook" at ang magdadala sa Pilipinas pabalik sa "Crooked Path"?

Hindi ba't ang mga tradisyonal na politikong katulad mo, at patong patong ang kaso sa ombudsman? Tradisyonal na politiko na ang nais ay ang buong pamilya ay manungkulan sa gobyerno? Ano na nga ba ulit ang slogan ng anak mo na ikinampanya mo para maging senador? Naalala ko na... "Ang nanay nyo sa senado..." Utot mo, utot nyo. Kaytamis ng dila mo at tila gusto mong ipalasap sa lahat ng ordinaryong tao. Tigilan mo ako. Hindi ka na uubra.

Sa kasaysayan ng Pilipinas, ngayon lang mangyayari na ang ordinaryong tao na katulad ko ay mangangampanya laban sa isang kandidatong katulad mo. ‪#‎STOPB*NAY • Reply•Share ›

Avatar deadswitch • 14 hours ago Just shows how shallow and politically immature the citizenry is. • Reply•Share ›

Ben Diskurso deadswitch • Pretentious too. Always monkeying the Americans. Monkey see monkey do. • Reply•Share ›


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