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

EXPERTS: HIGHER COMPETITION, MORE SERVICES MARKET CAN BOOSTS APEC SECTORS


SEPTEMBER 22 -(Photo from apec.org) Introducing more competition and opening the country’s services market can boost other domestic sectors, including the resurging manufacturing sector from which consumers can benefit lower prices, said experts. Anthony Nightingale, member of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Hong Kong, noted this after the 21 member-economies of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) formed the world’s largest coalition aimed at pushing reforms for the services sectors in the Asia-Pacific region. “This is an important step for furthering services liberalization and facilitation in the region,” said Nightingale in a report sent to various organizations, including The Daily Tribune. He underscored the need for Apec economies to make a priority on developing efficient services sectors which now account for 70 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP) and shares 50 percent of world trade exports.“If you have inefficient, uncompetitive (and) over protective services industries, that lead to higher costs. That means your manufacturing products will be more expensive; your mining products, your agriculture products so uncompetitive,” he explained. Nightingale said an uncompetitive services sector means uncompetitive exports which is bad for the country and consumers. He said one of the Philippines’ successes in opening up markets is when the government liberalized the country’s telecommunication sector some years ago.READ MORE...RELATED, Demonopolization, Liberalization of the Telecommunication Sector in the Philippines....

ALSO: APEC conferences in Iloilo draw 5,000 visitors, tourists - Iloilo Mayor


SEPTEMBER 24 -Iloilo City is the venue for some Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conferences.
ILOILO CITY, Philippines – Hosting Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conferences has enabled this city to attract as much as 5,000 visitors and to prop up the local economy, its mayor said Tuesday.
Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said the influx of delegates is helping them meet their employment targets and promote Iloilo as a premiere tourism destination. “If there are visitors, there would be a lot of retail and shopping and as a result, it will boost the local economy, which is happening now. Because of Iloilo’s hosting, we have an additional 3,000 to 5,000 (visitors),” Mabilog said in a press conference here. Iloilo City is the venue for some APEC conferences namely the small and medium enterprises ministerial meet, the senior disaster management officials’ forum and the finance and food security meet. Mabilog said the city aims to lure three million visitors by 2020. Tourist arrivals in the city, however, only hit around 900,000 last year. “We know that for every six tourists that come to certain locality it brings one job. With three million visitors, that will make our unemployment rate zero. That will be in 2020 but this is good start,” the mayor said, noting that the city has a population of about 500,000. READ MORE...

ALSO The 'other' voice: APEC will worsen poverty among workers and ordinary Filipinos


SEPTEMBER 24 -When the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit was held in the Philippines in 1996, the Filipino workers and people were bombarded with lies. APEC strengthened the US-Ramos regime’s slogan of “Philippines 2000” which promised economic development and the country’s emergence as a Newly-Industrializing Country or NIC. Filipinos were told that there will be more decent jobs with the entry of foreign investments into the country.
Now, almost two decades after, the APEC Summit will again be held in the country with new-fangled lies: “inclusive growth” through so-called “structural reforms.” Just like in 1996, the Filipino workers and people will not be fooled. The two decades since the last APEC Summit was held in the country have confirmed that APEC is a weapon of big foreign and local capitalists against the Filipino workers and people. Joblessness has become more widespread, wages have become more depressed, contractualization has become more rampant, and trade-union rights have become more repressed. Juan and Juana dela Cruz became poorer and more hungry. That is why we are calling on workers and all Filipinos to support and join the protests against APEC. Let us oppose and fight its drive to worsen the poverty, hunger and exploitation that we face at present. APEC is an instrument of big foreign and local capitalists for making the few even wealthier through the greater impoverishment of the majority. Let us oppose and fight it. THIS IS THE FULL STATEMENT

ALSO Singapore Summit: Philippines now a 'bright spot in Asia' - Purisima


Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said the Philippines has transformed from being "sick man of Asia" to being a "bright spot in Asia." Philstar.com/File photo
Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima has boasted several economic gains of the Philippines during the term of President Benigno Aquino III, transforming the country from being "sick man of Asia" to being a "bright spot in Asia."
In his speech before Singapore Summit last September 19, Purisima said while the Philippines is not immune to the impact of global challenges, the country has risen from the economic slump, getting an average 6.0 percent growth from 2010 to 2014. He underscored President Aquino's efforts to instill necessary and vital policy reforms coupled with good governance or the administration's "Daang Matuwid" principle. "The Philippines of the past had a poor reputation. Yet in 2010, something changed. President Aquino took office with a very large mandate and a platform of reform... The impossible started to happen," Purisima said. "We enforced our laws. We involved the people in filing complaints against corrupt officials and we filed cases against them. We championed radical reforms in our budget process, opening it up to all with the use of technology," he added. Purisima said the Aquino administration, with the "Daang Matuwid" (straight path) as its governing principle, has passed laws which would move the country forward, including the Reproductive Health Law and the K to 12 program. "We legislated the following: a reproductive health law, amendments to the Sin Tax law, enhanced basic education to follow the global standard of K to 12, a state-owned enterprises governance law, full entry of foreign banks, amendments to the cabotage law, and a competition law. All our policy reforms focused on increasing competitiveness of the Philippines," he said. Purisima also cited the importance of the administration's Public Private Partnership (PPP) program in hauling the the country into "safe harbors." With the PPP program, Purisima said the public investment in infrastructure has jumped from 2 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 5 percent, boosting investor-confidence in the country. "We have awarded 10 projects worth $4.2 billion, and have over 50 projects in the pipeline including highways, rail and ports needed to sustain our economic growth under a thriving PPP," he said. Purisima, however, said that there are still concerns hounding the Philippines such as poverty alleviation. READ MORE...

ALSO: Report reveals shoppers want for more convenient ways to pay - MC survey


SEPTEMBER 22 -MasterCard’s first Retail Social Listening Study has revealed that shoppers around the world are demanding their retail experience be transformed. Retailers are under increasing pressure to adopt new payment technologies, as shoppers demand simpler and more innovative ways to pay.A first in the world, the MasterCard study in partnership with Prime Research analyzed 1.6 million unprompted online conversations around shopping and retail, across 61 markets in order to understand consumer experience over the last 12 months.The global social listening study identified some of the key trends within the shopping and retail space to provide retailers with stronger insights and understanding of their audience. Key findings from the study indicated retailers are experiencing a shift in consumer expectations for new and richer experiences, which will enable consumers around the world to shop at the ‘speed of life’. Key findings identified from the MasterCard Retail Social Listening Study include: Convenience through technology innovations; Convenience was the most positively discussed aspect of new digital payment methods in shopping/retail related conversations (77 percent), with the travel sector leading the way in terms of the highest share of coverage.More than one in two conversations in Australia (53 percent) around overall convenience were positive, the highest globally.-Consumers around the world specifically highlighted their preference for not necessarily needing to take their wallet on every trip and being able to use mobile payments when they travel. READ MORE...

ALSO: Standard approach set for PPP in water sector


SEPTEMBER 24 -In a statement, the PPP Center said the MOU was jointly initiated by the agency and the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program in order to have a standard approach when it comes to implementing PPP projects in the water sector. Philstar.com/File
The Public Private Partnership (PPP) Center, World Bank and other public sector agencies engaged in the water sector have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to harmonize processes and requirements for PPP deals in the sector. In a statement, the PPP Center said the MOU was jointly initiated by the agency and the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program in order to have a standard approach when it comes to implementing PPP projects in the water sector. Other agencies part of the MOU are the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), National Water Resources Board (NWRB), Philippine Association of Water Districts (PAWD), and Department of the Interior and Local Government. Under the MOU, a PPP Technical Working Group composed of the agencies will work together to have a focused set of training, technical assistance as well as policy or process guidance to water districts (WDs) and local government units pursuing PPPs in the water and sanitation sector. PPP Center executive director Cosette Canilao said there is a need for a standardized set of guidelines or templates to facilitate consistency in establishing the technical, financial and operational criteria when WDs and LGUs select private partners through legally appropriate PPP procurement options. “This will ensure a level playing field for prospective private partners,” she said. The LWUA, NWRB and PAWD see the benefit of the MOU as they acknowledge the help needed in navigating through viable and legally appropriate PPP options for the water and sanitation sector. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Higher competition, liberalized market can benefit Apec members


(Photo from apec.org)

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 28, 2015 (TRIBUNE) Written by Ed Velasco Tuesday, 22 September 2015 - Introducing more competition and opening the country’s services market can boost other domestic sectors, including the resurging manufacturing sector from which consumers can benefit lower prices, said experts.

Anthony Nightingale, member of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Hong Kong, noted this after the 21 member-economies of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) formed the world’s largest coalition aimed at pushing reforms for the services sectors in the Asia-Pacific region.

“This is an important step for furthering services liberalization and facilitation in the region,” said Nightingale in a report sent to various organizations, including The Daily Tribune.

He underscored the need for Apec economies to make a priority on developing efficient services sectors which now account for 70 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP) and shares 50 percent of world trade exports.

“If you have inefficient, uncompetitive (and) over protective services industries, that lead to higher costs. That means your manufacturing products will be more expensive; your mining products, your agriculture products so uncompetitive,” he explained.
Nightingale said an uncompetitive services sector means uncompetitive exports which is bad for the country and consumers.

He said one of the Philippines’ successes in opening up markets is when the government liberalized the country’s telecommunication sector some years ago.

READ MORE...

Jane Drake-Brockman, senior services advisor at the Geneva-based International Trade Centre (ITC), said the services sector is closely linked to efficiency in all other sectors.

“Ultimately, if you want to be competitive in agriculture, fishery, forestry, mining and manufacturing, you want to make sure services inputs are efficient,” she said.

Peter Perfecto, director at Philippine Services Coalition, expects the country can now be able to address several issues in the manufacturing sector, among them infrastructure and cost of power.

Perfecto said increasing the performance of services and innovation in the sector will rebound to benefits especially of manufacturing and agriculture sectors.

Meanwhile, the Asia Pacific Services Coalition will be jointly convened initially by the Australian Services Roundtable and the United States Coalition of Services Industries with the support of the Philippine Services Coalition and the Lima Chamber of Commerce.

“The coalition is very large, probably now the world’s largest coalition,” Brockman said.

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RELATED PHNO RESEARCH STUDY: LIBERALIZATION OF TELECOMMUNICATION IN PHILIPPINE SECTOR

The Philippines is unique among LDCs because its experience as a colony of the US led it to copy the US model of private provision of telephone service and regulation when it achieved independence in the early 1900s.

Thus initially, a number of small privately owned companies provided local telephone service in different areas, though the Philippines Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) became the dominant operator early on by taking over many of the smaller firms.

In fact, up until the early 1990s, it owned about 90 percent of the country's telephone lines and had a virtual monopoly over domestic and international long distance services. (Esfahani 1996, 146).

ECONOMY

Since the end of World War II, the Philippine economy has had a mixed history of growth and development. Over the years, the Philippines has gone from being one of the richest countries in Asia (following Japan) to being one of the poorest.

Growth immediately after the war was rapid, but slowed over time. Years of economic mismanagement and political instability under the Marcos regime eventually harmed economic growth and grossly adversely affected macroeconomic instability.

A severe recession in 1984-85 saw the economy shrink by more than 10%, and perceptions of political instability during the Cory Aquino administration further dampened economic activity.


The demonopolization of Philippine telecommunications can be considered one of the best legacies of the Ramos administration. It is hard to imagine of any other policy move that could have elicited the same supply response from the industry, particularly from the dominant operator. 

During his administration, President Ramos introduced a broad range of economic reforms and initiatives designed to spur business growth and foreign investment. As a result, the Philippines saw a period of higher growth, but the Asian financial crisis triggered in 1997 slowed economic development in the Philippines once again.

ESTRADA ADMIN
President Joseph Estrada managed to continue some of the reforms begun by the Ramos administration. Important laws to strengthen regulation and supervision of the banking system (General Banking Act) and securities markets (Securities Regulation Code), to liberalize foreign participation in the retail trade sector, and to promote and regulate electronic commerce were enacted during his abbreviated term. Efforts to reform the constitution to encourage foreign investment, particularly foreign ownership of land, were abandoned amidst nationalist opposition.

Initial optimism about prospects for economic reform also had dimmed amid concerns of governmental corruption. Scandals involving the Philippine Stock Exchange, and the President's close ties to certain businessmen, shook the confidence of investors and the business community and ultimately led to successful efforts to impeach and remove President Estrada.

ARROYO ADMIN
Annual economic growth in the Philippines averaged 4.5% during the Arroyo administration, expanding every quarter of her presidency. This is higher than in the administrations of her three immediate predecessors, Corazon Aquino (3.8%), Fidel Ramos (3.7%), and Joseph Estrada (3.7%). The Philippine economy grew at its fastest pace in three decades in 2007, with real GDP growth exceeding 7%. Despite this growth, the poverty rate remained stagnant due to a high population growth rate and uneven distribution of income.
(Wikipedia)

Despite occasional challenges to her presidency and resistance to pro-liberalization reforms by vested interests, President Arroyo has made considerable progress in restoring macroeconomic stability with the help of a well-regarded economic team. Nonetheless, long-term economic growth remains threatened by widespread poverty, crumbling infrastructure and education systems, and trade and investment barriers.

Important sectors of the Philippine economy include agriculture and industry, particularly food processing; textiles and garments; and electronics and automobile parts.

Most industries are concentrated in the urban areas around metropolitan Manila. Mining also has great potential in the Philippines, which possesses significant reserves of chromate, nickel, and copper.

Significant natural gas finds off the islands of Palawan have added to the country's substantial geothermal, hydro, and coal energy reserves.
(FROM U.S. Department of State Background Note: Country Philippines)

NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATION COMMISSION OF THE PHILIPPINES (NTC)


[WIKIPEDIA: The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) of the Philippines was created under Executive Order No. 546 promulgated on July 23, 1979, and conferred with regulatory and quasi-judicial functions taken over from the Board of Communications and the Telecommunications Control Bureau, which were abolished in the same Order. Primarily, the NTC is the sole body that exercises jurisdiction over the supervision, adjudication and control over all telecommunications services throughout the country. For the effective enforcement of this responsibility, it adopts and promulgates such guidelines, rules, and regulations relative to the establishment operation and maintenance of various telecommunications facilities and services nationwide.

Although independent insofar as its regulatory and quasi-judicial functions are concerned, the NTC remains under the administrative supervision of the Department of Transportation and Communications as an attached agency. However, with respect to its quasi-judicial functions, NTC's decisions are appealable only and directly to the Supreme Court of the Philippines.]

THE MARKET ENVIRONMENT OF PHILIPPINE TELECOMMUNICATIONS

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is the agency that exercises jurisdiction over the supervision, adjudication and control over all telecommunications services. Although it is an independent regulatory body, the NTC remains under the administrative supervision of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) as an attached agency.

However, in terms of its quasi-judicial functions, the decisions of the NTC can be appealed only to the Supreme Court. According to RA 7925, it is the responsibility of the NTC to “Foster fair and efficient market conduct, through, but not limited to, the protection of telecommunications entities from unfair trade practices of other carriers.” [Art. III Sec. 5d]

THE STRUCTURE OF THE INDUSTRY

De-monopolizing Telecommunications

“The Philippines is a country where 98 percent of the residents are waiting for a
telephone and the other 2 percent are waiting for a dial tone.”
[Attributed to Lee Kuan Yew, Senior Minister, Singapore]

Many would consider the de-monopolization of the telecommunications
industry one of the best legacies of the Ramos administration. President Ramos’s early success here probably helped put the Philippines back on investors’ radar screen and won him a reputation as a credible reformer that would prove important in succeeding reforms.

For several years after it was opened up to competition, the sector was one of the most dynamic segments of the economy, benefiting from the pent-up demand and transfer of technology from foreign investors.

Through the years, the benefits have flowed to the information technology sectors with the growth of internet use and business process outsourcing services. The popularity of mobile cellular phones has likewise put the Philippines at the forefront of technological innovations in retail financial
services, particularly those catering to the country’s growing overseas workforce.

Reform Context
When President Ramos assumed the presidency and sounded the battle cry
against monopolies and cartels, there was no question that the Philippine Long
Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), specifically the Cojuangco family who
controlled the company, was among the Goliaths.  

Heretofore, policy statements of the previous administration to put in place
a competitive telecommunications sector went nowhere. On at least two important occasions, PLDT succeeded in getting favorable legal rulings blocking would-be competitors from entering some of the most lucrative segments of the market. Even with control over a significant portion of PLDT’s shares sequestered from Marcos cronies in 1986, government had not been able to exert pressure on PLDT at the board level.
                                                  
PLDT secured a Supreme Court decision in 1992 reversing its initial ruling allowing Eastern Telecoms to operate an international telephone gateway, and ) a Department of Justice opinion blocking another competitor, Digital Telecommunications, from operating a telephone network in Luzon that it had won in a privatization bid
(Esfahani 1994).  

Rigoberto Tiglao (Tiglao Book 1993d) reported that then PCGG Chairman Jovito Salonga took a hands-off policy after a conversation with President Cory Aquino, who said that “the Antonio Cojuangco family is not that bad.

Indeed, the Cojuangco family’s influence, which extended across the three branches of government as well as the media, helped to preserve PLDT’s monopoly position.  

Thus, when President Ramos came in, the Philippine telecommunications
sector was in very poor shape. Anyone wanting a telephone had to queue behind hundreds of thousands of other applicants for a line from the only provider in town—PLDT.78 PLDT, which owned the only nationwide backbone transmission network, controlled over 90 percent of the country’s telephone lines at the time.

WIKIPEDIA

THE NTC THROUGH THE YEARS:

1979: By virtue of Executive Order 546, the TCB and the BOC were integrated into a single entity now known as the National Telecommunications Commission. The Ministry of Transportation and Communications, which was created under the same Order has administrative jurisdiction over the NTC.

1987: President Corazon Aquino issued Executive Order 125-A making the NTC an attached agency of the Department of Transportation and Communications.

2004: President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Executive Order 269 creating the Commission on Information and Communications Technology and transferring the NTC from the DOTC to the CICT.

2005: President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Executive Order 454 transferring the NTC back to the DOTC.

2008: President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Executive Order 648  transferring the NTC back to the CICT.


CICT LOGO

2011: Benigno S. Aquino III issued Executive Order No. 47 (June 23, 2011) which retains the NTC under the Office of the President as part of the Other Executive Offices (OEO)

CURRENT STATUS
2008: Several bills in the Philippine Congress have been filed creating a Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), which would transform the CICT into an executive department.

In the House of Representatives, a consolidated bill, House Bill No. 4300, was approved on third and final reading on August 5, 2008 and transmitted to the Senate on August 11, 2008.

2010: In the Senate, a consolidated bill, Senate Bill No. 2546, was approved by the Senate Committee on Science and Technology on August 19, 2008, but had not made it past second reading by the time Congress adjourned session on February 5, 2010, which means the bill is as good as dead. It will have to be refiled in both the House of Representatives and the Senate in the next Congress.

2011: With the failure of Congress to pass the DICT Bill, the legal basis of the CICT remains an executive order, which means the next President can abolish the CICT.

In June 23, 2011 Executive Order No. 47 was signed by President Aquino III. The order states that: "Reorganizing, renaming and transferring the Commission on Information and Communications Technology and its attached agencies to the Department of Science and Technology, directing the implementation thereof and for other purposes." Furthermore, "the positions of Chairman and Commissioners of the CICT are hereby abolished."

The BPO (Business Process Outsource) stakeholders were surprised with the order and unhappy with the change.

BPO giants such as Accenture and Convergys currently have more than 35,000 employees each in the Philippines.


PHILSTAR

APEC conferences in Iloilo draw 5,000 visitors By Alexis Romero (philstar.com) | Updated September 22, 2015 - 5:16pm 4 0 googleplus0 0


Iloilo City is the venue for some Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conferences.

ILOILO CITY, Philippines – Hosting Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conferences has enabled this city to attract as much as 5,000 visitors and to prop up the local economy, its mayor said Tuesday.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said the influx of delegates is helping them meet their employment targets and promote Iloilo as a premiere tourism destination.

“If there are visitors, there would be a lot of retail and shopping and as a result, it will boost the local economy, which is happening now. Because of Iloilo’s hosting, we have an additional 3,000 to 5,000 (visitors),” Mabilog said in a press conference here.

Iloilo City is the venue for some APEC conferences namely the small and medium enterprises ministerial meet, the senior disaster management officials’ forum and the finance and food security meet.

Mabilog said the city aims to lure three million visitors by 2020. Tourist arrivals in the city, however, only hit around 900,000 last year.

“We know that for every six tourists that come to certain locality it brings one job. With three million visitors, that will make our unemployment rate zero. That will be in 2020 but this is good start,” the mayor said, noting that the city has a population of about 500,000.

READ MORE...

Mabilog said the local government spent about P5 million for the APEC preparations. The Iloilo Convention Center, which the city considers as its icon, was also inaugurated last week in time for the hosting of the ministerial meetings.

“Of course we expect ROI (return on investments) as ministers and participants and delegates come in. If they have pleasant experiences, they can share it with their families, friends and colleagues and bring them here,” the mayor said.

“Studies show that if a delegate comes to a certain area or locality and have the best experience, the tendency is they will go back in their private time,” he added.

Mabilog said Iloilo is a viable location for conventions or exhibits because of its strategic location. He said the flying time from Manila or Davao is just an hour while the plane flight from Cebu only takes around 20 to 25 minutes.

Mabilog is optimistic that the interest on Iloilo as a tourist spot will continue even after the APEC.

“(The Iloilo Convention Center is) fully booked until October 6. TIEZA (Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority) reported that it has reservations for 30 conventions until the end of the year. Imagine how many people will come,” Mabilog said.

“It can have a domino effect with other industries as well. Hotels are being built and we see the expansion of business,” he added.

Aside from its track record of hosting important events, Iloilo is also known for its places of worship like the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Candles and the UNESCO World Heritage Site Miag-ao church and historical treasures like the Calle Real and the Capitol Complex.


KILUSANG MAYO VIA EMAIL

Press Statement 24 Setyembre 2015

APEC will worsen poverty among workers and ordinary Filipinos

When the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit was held in the Philippines in 1996, the Filipino workers and people were bombarded with lies. APEC strengthened the US-Ramos regime’s slogan of “Philippines 2000” which promised economic development and the country’s emergence as a Newly-Industrializing Country or NIC. Filipinos were told that there will be more decent jobs with the entry of foreign investments into the country.

Now, almost two decades after, the APEC Summit will again be held in the country with new-fangled lies: “inclusive growth” through so-called “structural reforms.”

Just like in 1996, the Filipino workers and people will not be fooled. The two decades since the last APEC Summit was held in the country have confirmed that APEC is a weapon of big foreign and local capitalists against the Filipino workers and people. Joblessness has become more widespread, wages have become more depressed, contractualization has become more rampant, and trade-union rights have become more repressed. Juan and Juana dela Cruz became poorer and more hungry.

That is why we are calling on workers and all Filipinos to support and join the protests against APEC. Let us oppose and fight its drive to worsen the poverty, hunger and exploitation that we face at present.

APEC is an instrument of big foreign and local capitalists for making the few even wealthier through the greater impoverishment of the majority. Let us oppose and fight it.

Reference: Jerome Adonis, KMU secretary-general, 0999-4499794

-----------------------------------------------------

FILIPINO/TAGALOG

APEC: Magpapasahol ng paghihirap ng manggagawa at mamamayan

Nang naganap ang Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit sa Pilipinas noong 1996, binomba ng panlilinlang ang mga manggagawa at mamamayang Pilipino. Kaakibat ng islogang “Philippines 2000” ng rehimeng US-Ramos, ipinangako ang pag-unlad ng Pilipinas bilang isang Newly-Industrializing Country o NIC. Ang sabi, magkakaroon ng disenteng trabaho ang mga Pilipino dahil sa pagpasok ng dayuhang pamumuhunan.

Ngayon, halos dalawang dekada pagkatapos, ilulunsad sa bansa ang APEC Summit na may bagong panlilinlang: “inclusive growth” sa pamamagitan ng “structural reforms.”

Tulad noong 1996, hindi magpapalinlang ang mga manggagawa at mamamayan. Lalong ipinakita ng dalawang dekadang lumipas na ang APEC ay instrumento ng malalaking kapitalistang dayuhan at lokal laban sa sambayanang Pilipino. Mas malaganap ngayon ang kawalang-trabaho, mas barat ang sahod, mas maraming kontraktwal, at mas siil ang pag-uunyon. Mas naghirap at nagutom, samakatwid, sina Juan at Juana dela Cruz.

Kaya nananawagan kami sa mga manggagawa at mamamayang Pilipino na makiisa at makilahok sa mga protesta laban sa APEC. Tutulan at labanan natin ang pagpapasahol nito sa paghihirap, kagutuman at pagsasamantala na ating nararanasan ngayon.

Ang APEC ay instrumento ng malalaking kapitalistang dayuhan at lokal para lalong yumaman silang iilan sa paghihirap ng nakakarami. Tutulan at labanan natin ito.

Reference: Jerome Adonis, KMU secretary-general, 0999-4499794


PHILSTAR

Purisima: Philippines now a 'bright spot in Asia' By Dennis Carcamo (philstar.com) | Updated September 26, 2015 - 5:26pm 0 35 googleplus0 0


Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said the Philippines has transformed from being "sick man of Asia" to being a "bright spot in Asia." Philstar.com/File photo

MANILA, Philippines - Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima has boasted several economic gains of the Philippines during the term of President Benigno Aquino III, transforming the country from being "sick man of Asia" to being a "bright spot in Asia."

In his speech before Singapore Summit last September 19, Purisima said while the Philippines is not immune to the impact of global challenges, the country has risen from the economic slump, getting an average 6.0 percent growth from 2010 to 2014.

He underscored President Aquino's efforts to instill necessary and vital policy reforms coupled with good governance or the administration's "Daang Matuwid" principle.

"The Philippines of the past had a poor reputation. Yet in 2010, something changed. President Aquino took office with a very large mandate and a platform of reform... The impossible started to happen," Purisima said.

"We enforced our laws. We involved the people in filing complaints against corrupt officials and we filed cases against them. We championed radical reforms in our budget process, opening it up to all with the use of technology," he added.

Purisima said the Aquino administration, with the "Daang Matuwid" (straight path) as its governing principle, has passed laws which would move the country forward, including the Reproductive Health Law and the K to 12 program.

"We legislated the following: a reproductive health law, amendments to the Sin Tax law, enhanced basic education to follow the global standard of K to 12, a state-owned enterprises governance law, full entry of foreign banks, amendments to the cabotage law, and a competition law. All our policy reforms focused on increasing competitiveness of the Philippines," he said.

Purisima also cited the importance of the administration's Public Private Partnership (PPP) program in hauling the the country into "safe harbors."
[On September 9, 2010, Aquino signed Executive Order No. 8, reorganizing and renaming the Build-Operate and Transfer Center (BOT) to the Public-Private Partnership Center (PPP) and transferring its attachment from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) WIKIPEDIA.]

With the PPP program, Purisima said the public investment in infrastructure has jumped from 2 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 5 percent, boosting investor-confidence in the country.

"We have awarded 10 projects worth $4.2 billion, and have over 50 projects in the pipeline including highways, rail and ports needed to sustain our economic growth under a thriving PPP," he said.

Purisima, however, said that there are still concerns hounding the Philippines such as poverty alleviation.

READ MORE...

He said the ultimate goal of alleviating poverty and improving the lives of Filipinos can only be achieved if the government continues to invest in infrastructure and its people and reform policy in the next 10 to 15 years.

"We were able to invest in a skilled, trained and healthy community. After all, economies are about people. The Philippines just entered our demographic sweet spot and we are expected to hit a middle income sweet spot where GDP per capita could reach $6,000.

"To capitalize on these two sweet spots, we strengthened a priority program using conditional cash transfers to improve the health, nutrition and education of children aged 0-18. We increased the budget for this program by more than 6 times. Since 2010, we doubled our education budget, and we tripled our health budget with new funding from the sin taxes," he said.


TRIBUNE BUSINESS

Report reveals consumer want for new ways to pay
Written by Tribune Wires Tuesday, 22 September 2015 00:00



MasterCard’s first Retail Social Listening Study has revealed that shoppers around the world are demanding their retail experience be transformed.

Retailers are under increasing pressure to adopt new payment technologies, as shoppers demand simpler and more innovative ways to pay.

A first in the world, the MasterCard study in partnership with Prime Research analyzed 1.6 million unprompted online conversations around shopping and retail, across 61 markets in order to understand consumer experience over the last 12 months.

The global social listening study identified some of the key trends within the shopping and retail space to provide retailers with stronger insights and understanding of their audience.

Key findings from the study indicated retailers are experiencing a shift in consumer expectations for new and richer experiences, which will enable consumers around the world to shop at the ‘speed of life’.

Key findings identified from the MasterCard Retail Social Listening Study include:

Convenience through technology innovations
Convenience was the most positively discussed aspect of new digital payment methods in shopping and retail related conversations (77 percent), with the travel sector leading the way in terms of the highest share of coverage.
More than one in two conversations in Australia (53 percent) around overall convenience were positive, the highest globally.

-Consumers around the world specifically highlighted their preference for not necessarily needing to take their wallet on every trip and being able to use mobile payments when they travel.

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Being rewarded
Rewards and benefits for the consumer were the most vociferously and positively discussed topic across social media when it came to shopping and retail (38 percent share of coverage of the six aspects measured).

It is also the most discussed topic in Asia Pacific (40 percent), Middle East and Africa (60 percent), North America (47 percent) and Europe (24 percent).

The USA (45 percent), Japan (44 percent) and Australia (44 percent) had the highest percentage of positive conversations around rewards and benefits.

Entertainment was the sector leading the way, where rewards and benefits were most discussed. Consumers expressed eagerness for further acceptance of NFC payments allowing them to receive rewards for using them regularly, such as with MasterCard’s Fare Free Friday’s in London.

Demand for increased acceptance
After rewards and benefits, consumer discussion of which retailers do and do not accept newer forms of payment was the second most discussed topic according to the study (21 percent share of coverage of the six aspects measured).

It is also the second most discussed topic in Asia Pacific (28 percent), Europe (22 percent), North America (19 percent) and the Middle East and Africa (12 percent).

More than four in five conversations in Japan (85 percent), Canada (84 percent) and the Netherlands (83 percent) around acceptance were positive.

Consumers discussed extensively their desire for retailers to integrate new payment systems, with conversations about fashion being most prominent in terms of sector.

Fashion focused shoppers were the most keen to shout about retailers who accept new methods of payment, such as contactless acceptance and mobile payment capabilities.

In addition, Twitter was highlighted as the most frequently used social media platform globally when it came to online conversations about retail and shopping.

Carlos Menendez, executive director for International Markets at MasterCard said,

“The wave of social engagement we see every time new payment innovations are rolled out truly reflects the demand and desire for new and more convenient ways to pay. It also shows that payments have really moved into the heart of the shopping experience — causing frustration when not accepted and engagement when fast, easy and personal.”


PHILSTAR

Standard approach set for PPP in water sector By Louella D. Desiderio (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 24, 2015 - 12:00am 1 2 googleplus2 0


In a statement, the PPP Center said the MOU was jointly initiated by the agency and the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program in order to have a standard approach when it comes to implementing PPP projects in the water sector. Philstar.com/File

MANILA, Philippines - The Public Private Partnership (PPP) Center, World Bank and other public sector agencies engaged in the water sector have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to harmonize processes and requirements for PPP deals in the sector.

In a statement, the PPP Center said the MOU was jointly initiated by the agency and the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program in order to have a standard approach when it comes to implementing PPP projects in the water sector.

Other agencies part of the MOU are the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), National Water Resources Board (NWRB), Philippine Association of Water Districts (PAWD), and Department of the Interior and Local Government.

Under the MOU, a PPP Technical Working Group composed of the agencies will work together to have a focused set of training, technical assistance as well as policy or process guidance to water districts (WDs) and local government units pursuing PPPs in the water and sanitation sector.

PPP Center executive director Cosette Canilao said there is a need for a standardized set of guidelines or templates to facilitate consistency in establishing the technical, financial and operational criteria when WDs and LGUs select private partners through legally appropriate PPP procurement options.

“This will ensure a level playing field for prospective private partners,” she said.

The LWUA, NWRB and PAWD see the benefit of the MOU as they acknowledge the help needed in navigating through viable and legally appropriate PPP options for the water and sanitation sector.

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Through the MOU, WDs and LGUs would be able to pursue properly structured and competitively procured PPP projects.

The MOU is in line with the PPP Center’s mandate to initiate PPP policy and process reforms as well as provide technical assistance and capacity building to implementing agencies.

At present, the PPP Center is providing assistance in local PPP water projects such as the Baggao Water Supply Project.

A private partner is being procured for the project.

The PPP Center is also involved in other PPP deals such as the Bulacan Bulk Water Supply Project and the New Centennial Water Source (Kaliwa Dam) Project.

Both PPP projects are under procurement.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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