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

WB: FINANCIAL LITERACY CRUCIAL FOR PHILIPPINES; THE PROBLEM IS MORE ON THE IMPLEMENTATION


OCTOBER 21 -The problem is more on the implementation side’  Promoting financial literacy is crucial in the Philippines, the World Bank said on Wednesday, noting that many Filipinos experience money problems and that access to formal institutions such as banks remain low. In particular, 23 million adult Filipinos or 55 percent reported that their households run out of money for food and other necessary items, a World Bank official said during a briefing on its “Enhancing Financial Capability and Inclusion in the Philippines – A Demand-side Assessment” survey. Another finding was that half of some 20 million Filipinos who claimed to be saving money do not have bank accounts. The most commonly reported obstacles to owning bank accounts were: • not having enough money (20 percent); • lack of need for an account (18 percent); • lack of trust (17 percent); • distance (16 percent); • lack of documents (10 percent); •“the bank doesn’t treat people well” (9 percent); and • high cost (9 percent). Nataliya Mylenko, World Bank senior financial sector specialist who supervised the survey, said an overriding factor was the difficulty in accessing financial services. “Some of the constraints are from documentary requirements of financial institutions. The Bangko Sental ng Pilipinas issued regulations to relax these requirement but the financial institutions do not implement those regulations,” she said. “The regulatory environment is actually conducive but the problem is more on the implementation side. The reason why financial institutions to not do it very often is it all boils down to profit and the cost of serving, especially in remote areas. So the physical presence is quite difficult for them to get into,” she added. Mylenko said this indicated the need to develop financial products such as microdeposits that meet the needs of consumers, particularly the lower-income groups. “This suggests that there are significant opportunities for expanding financial inclusion among low- and lower-income groups in the Philippines,” she said. “The bigger picture is basically how do you move from cash to a much better channel. That vision and the willingness to shift to that direction could really make a major difference, especially given the Philippines’ archipelagic geography.” Of the 23 million who reported running out of money for food and other necessary items, 29 percent said this occurred “sometimes” and 26 percent said this happened “regularly. READ MORE...

ALSO: ‘Lando’ wreaks P6.4-B damage to agriculture
[RELATED: 'Lando' damages P7.3 billion worth of crops and infrastructures]


OCTOBER 21 -FIGHTING FOR SURVIVAL – Residents of Barangay Pasig in Candaba, Pampanga brave the strong currents of the flood to regroup for rehabilitation work following the onslaught of typhoon ‘Lando.’ (John Jerome Ganzon) The amount of the damages brought about by the strongest typhoon that hit the country this year to the agricultural sector already stands at P6.4 billion, bulk of which was recorded in major commodities such as rice, corn, and high-value crops.
Typhoon “Lando” (international name: Koppu) made a landfall in the Philippines on Sunday, killing more than 30 people, destroying infrastructure developments, and the evacuation of thousands of individuals. The Department of Agriculture (DA) has announced that as of Wednesday, the damage on agriculture sector caused by Typhoon Lando has already reached to 6.36 billion. This was disclosed by DA officials, led by Secretary Proceso Alcala, during a press briefing on the 11th Corn Congress and 3rd National Corn Achievers Awards in Quezon City. Through partial field validation, the DA estimated that the country have already incurred a combined production loss of 411,457 metric tons (MT), majority of which came from rice, corn, and high value crops. Of the total, “palay” accounts for the largest production loss at about 383,668 MT, equivalent to P5.7 billion. Corn and high value crops recorded production losses at 5,954 MT and 21, 836 MT, respectively. These figures are equivalent to P88.32 million worth of losses for corn and P528.91 million losses for high value crops. READ MORE...

ALSO: Gov't says funds enough to contain typhoon-induced price shocks


OCTOBER 23 -Typhoon evacuees are housed at a school gymnasium after fleeing their homes due to flooding brought about by Typhoon Lando in Cabanatuan City on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015. The slow-moving typhoon blew ashore with fierce wind in the northeastern Philippines early Sunday, toppling trees and knocking out power and communications and forcing the evacuation of thousands of villagers. AP/Bullit Marquez
- The government has enough funds to cover the rehabilitation and assistance to the damage caused by Typhoon Lando in northern Philippines, especially to prevent prices of basic goods and commodities from spiraling out of control. In a statement on Friday, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said the government's calamity fund, special purpose fund (SPF) and quick response fund remain ample and ready to be deployed for the reconstruction and assistance after the typhoon. In particular, around 40 percent of the government's SPFs remain available as of September 30. This translates to P165.33 million out of the P405.92-million allocation, budget figures showed. SPFs are lump sum allocations in the budget which can be tapped for specific programs and projects during the entire year. As of the third quarter, only P240.59 million had been allocated for release to state agencies. "While it may seem like we're lagging in this regard, the availability of these funds for release means we're prepared to address the aftermath of calamities hitting the country like Typhoon Lando," Abad was quoted as saying. The P14-billion calamity fund also has P10.3 billion remaining, with only P3.7 billion released from January to September. The fund is released to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), Office of Civil Defense, Office of the President and DBM. In addition, DBM said state agencies are already in possession of P6.7-billion in quick response funds. These funds were immediately released after the budget was enacted to the departments of Agriculture (DA), Education, Defense, Public Works and Highways and Social Welfare and Development. In total, the DBM said 90.2 percent or P2.35 trillion of the P2.606-trillion national budget have already been allotted to state agencies as of September 30. An allotment is an authorization from the DBM for agencies to spend for their projects. However, disbursements - recorded in the government's budget performance - only happens when actual cash withdrawal is made. The withdrawal pertains to the issuance of checks by the Bureau of the Treasury to state agencies, one which would still require a disbursement authority from the DBM. READ MORE...

ALSO: PLDT, Smart, GMA7 sign deal for connected poll coverage


OCTOBER 22 -PARTNERS FOR CLEAN ELECTIONS Top executives of the Inquirer, GMA 7 and other partners link arms after signing the memorandum of understanding for clean elections in 2016. From left front row: Mike C. Enriquez; Napoleon Nazareno, PLDT/Smart president and CEO; Felipe L. Gozon, GMA Network chair and CEO; Marissa Flores; Alexandra Prieto-Romualdez, Inquirer president and CEO; Henrietta de Villa, PPCRV chair; Jessica Soho; Alfredo E. Pascual, UP president; Jaime Hofileña, Ateneo de Manila University VP for social development. LEO M. SABANGAN II INQUIRER FILE Leading telecoms and digital services provider PLDT, together with its mobile unit Smart Communications, has signed a partnership with leading TV network GMA 7 to become the telecommunications and connectivity provider for the station’s extensive coverage of the presidential elections next year. PLDT will provide the TV station’s fixed and mobile connectivity requirements for its most high-tech broadcast of “Eleksyon 2016.”
“PLDT and Smart are one with GMA7 and its other partner organizations including leading broadsheet Philippine Daily Inquirer in making a significant contribution in the country’s efforts for clean and honest elections next year,” said PLDT and Smart president and CEO Napoleon Nazareno. “PLDT’s extensive fixed and mobile networks will help GMA 7 gather and report the most accurate and latest news on the coming polls on a timely basis,” he said. Marked by a ceremonial signing of partners staged at GMA 7’s network center, PLDT joins the other partners in business, government, socio-civic organizations, digital media, and academic institutions, which will help secure a credible and simultaneous coverage of the regional polls. “This election is happening at a crucial period when the flow of information is more dynamic, freer, and faster than ever before. We will witness an elections coverage that is online, on social media, mobile, quick, up-close, and personal, in addition to traditional media,” said GMA 7 chairman and CEO Felipe Gozon during the launch of Eleksyon 2016. “Our partnership has been tested and proven to be rock-solid over the years. We are very confident that while we may have a formidable task ahead of us, together we will succeed as before to deliver our commitment to each and every Filipino who continues to believe in the power of democracy,” he added.
THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO WHERE DID ALL MY MONEY GO? MUST BE ON SNACKS: FILIPINOS CAN’T ACCOUNT FOR P1,000 SPENT WEEKLY


OCTOBER 22 -Ever wondered where all your money goes? A survey conducted for Visa shows Filipinos cannot account for almost half of their weekly spending but said they believe 70 percent of that mystery expenditure must have been spent on snacks.
Filipinos are unable to account for almost half of their average weekly expenses due to ‘mystery spending,’ according to a recent online survey from Visa done by international market research firm YouGov. Filipinos spend an average of P2,416 weekly but lose track of an average of P1,010 or about 42 percent. In a year, that can accumulate to up to P54,000. The survey shows 70 percent of Filipino respondents believe their mystery spending went into the purchase of snacks, well above the regional average of only 45 percent. Filipinos say their mystery spend also went to shopping for non-essential items (49 percent); shopping for food and groceries (46 percent); dining out with family and friends (33 percent); paying for entertainment (night-outs, movies, parties), daily lunch and coffee breaks (30 percent each); and paying for taxis, toll and parking fees (24 percent). Visa defines mystery spending as cash spent but the consumer is unsure of where it went. It does not account for misplaced or stolen cash. “The survey highlights how mystery spending can cause financial setbacks for Filipinos in the long run. It also tells us that Filipino consumers need to closely monitor their budget to better manage their finances,” said Stuart Tomlinson, Visa country manager for the Philippines and Guam. Among the Asian markets covered in the study, Hong Kong has the biggest weekly estimated expenses of $113.03 and the biggest mystery spend at an average of $58.39 weekly. Vietnam has the second smallest estimated expenses at $49.36 weekly and the smallest mystery spend at $23.72 weekly. Tomlinson said some of the ways Filipinos can closely monitor their expenses is through using electronic payment cards, such as debit and credit cards. He added electronic cards offer greater control, security, rewards and convenience over cash. Filipinos can stick to their budget and keep their mystery spending to a minimum when they use electronic cards in their transactions.​ THE FULL REPORT


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

WB: Financial literacy crucial for the PHL; ‘The problem is more on the implementation side’

MANILA, OCTOBER 26, 2015 (MANILA TIMES) October 21, 2015 by MAYVELIN U. CARABALLO, REPORTER - ‘The problem is more on the implementation side’ Promoting financial literacy is crucial in the Philippines, the World Bank said on Wednesday, noting that many Filipinos experience money problems and that access to formal institutions such as banks remain low.

In particular, 23 million adult Filipinos or 55 percent reported that their households run out of money for food and other necessary items, a World Bank official said during a briefing on its “Enhancing Financial Capability and Inclusion in the Philippines – A Demand-side Assessment” survey.

Another finding was that half of some 20 million Filipinos who claimed to be saving money do not have bank accounts.

The most commonly reported obstacles to owning bank accounts were:
• not having enough money (20 percent);
• lack of need for an account (18 percent);
• lack of trust (17 percent);
• distance (16 percent);
• lack of documents (10 percent);
•“the bank doesn’t treat people well” (9 percent); and
• high cost (9 percent).

Nataliya Mylenko, World Bank senior financial sector specialist who supervised the survey, said an overriding factor was the difficulty in accessing financial services.

“Some of the constraints are from documentary requirements of financial institutions. The Bangko Sental ng Pilipinas issued regulations to relax these requirement but the financial institutions do not implement those regulations,” she said.

“The regulatory environment is actually conducive but the problem is more on the implementation side. The reason why financial institutions to not do it very often is it all boils down to profit and the cost of serving, especially in remote areas.

So the physical presence is quite difficult for them to get into,” she added.

Mylenko said this indicated the need to develop financial products such as microdeposits that meet the needs of consumers, particularly the lower-income groups.

“This suggests that there are significant opportunities for expanding financial inclusion among low- and lower-income groups in the Philippines,” she said.

“The bigger picture is basically how do you move from cash to a much better channel. That vision and the willingness to shift to that direction could really make a major difference, especially given the Philippines’ archipelagic geography.”

Of the 23 million who reported running out of money for food and other necessary items, 29 percent said this occurred “sometimes” and 26 percent said this happened “regularly.

READ MORE...

Even among those earning more than P50,000, 23 percent stated that they ran short of money for basic necessities. Among the households that reported running short of cash, the use of credit was nearly universal with 94 percent borrowing to cover costs.

“Those who plan their expenditures or budget are more likely to report that they have money left after paying for basic necessities and less likely to say that they have borrowed more than they can afford,” the survey stated.

The survey also revealed that Filipinos are more likely to use informal credit and saving services.

Only 4 percent of respondents report having a mortgage, 5 percent a credit card and 10 percent a credit product from a formal financial institution. At the same time more than a third rely on informal savings and credit.

“It pays to be wise with the way we handle money – that’s what this survey is telling us,” World Bank Country Director Motoo Konishi said.

“If people have more knowledge about money matters, this can help them access financial services. Promoting financial literacy is therefore important to achieve greater financial inclusion and boost the growth of micro and small enterprises,” he added.

The World Bank survey, which aimed to assess people’s financial literacy or capability in managing their day-to-day finances, as well as their access to formal financial institutions like banks, was conducted from February to September 2014. A total of 4,000 households were targeted, of which 12 percent did not respond to the survey.

The BSP earlier this year launched its National Financial Inclusion Strategy for the country, seeking to improve Filipinos’ access to a wide range of financial products and services.


MANILA BULLETIN

‘Lando’ wreaks P6.4-B damage to agriculture by Madelaine B. Miraflor October 21, 2015 Share0 Tweet1 Share0 Email0 Share2


FIGHTING FOR SURVIVAL – Residents of Barangay Pasig in Candaba, Pampanga brave the strong currents of the flood to regroup for rehabilitation work following the onslaught of typhoon ‘Lando.’ (John Jerome Ganzon)

The amount of the damages brought about by the strongest typhoon that hit the country this year to the agricultural sector already stands at P6.4 billion, bulk of which was recorded in major commodities such as rice, corn, and high-value crops.

Typhoon “Lando” (international name: Koppu) made a landfall in the Philippines on Sunday, killing more than 30 people, destroying infrastructure developments, and the evacuation of thousands of individuals.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has announced that as of Wednesday, the damage on agriculture sector caused by Typhoon Lando has already reached to 6.36 billion.

This was disclosed by DA officials, led by Secretary Proceso Alcala, during a press briefing on the 11th Corn Congress and 3rd National Corn Achievers Awards in Quezon City.

Through partial field validation, the DA estimated that the country have already incurred a combined production loss of 411,457 metric tons (MT), majority of which came from rice, corn, and high value crops.

Of the total, “palay” accounts for the largest production loss at about 383,668 MT, equivalent to P5.7 billion.

Corn and high value crops recorded production losses at 5,954 MT and 21, 836 MT, respectively. These figures are equivalent to P88.32 million worth of losses for corn and P528.91 million losses for high value crops.

READ MORE...

The most affected areas in the country are Region II and III, which includes provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Zambales. During the briefing, Alcala said the government will be partially allotting roughly P300 million for the recovery of the country’s agricultural sector, which was impaired by the typhoon, but it may also seek more fund from the national government if needed.

“There is P500 million yearly budget that is allocated for the department every year. [As of now,] we still have P200 million for the interventions for the [damaged] crop and more than P100 million for the infrastructure that was destroyed by the typhoon. But we’re still in the process of checking if this will be enough,” Alcala said.

“If we would need more fund, we are not limited to our [disaster] quick response fund. If we can justify, we can ask more fund from the President [Benigno Aquino III],” he added.

He also said that while the typhoon has resulted to considerable damage in agriculture, the DA also sees it as a chance to negate the potentially more devastating effects of El Niño on agricultural production On Tuesday, the DA announced that the damage on agriculture sector caused by Typhoon Lando has already reached P5.9 billion.

DA Undersecretary Emerson Palad said that agency has already given a directive to its regional offices and units to release prepositioned bags of rice and corn for immediate replanting of damaged farms.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

'Lando' damages P7.3 billion worth of crops, infra By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated October 22, 2015 - 10:59am 1 12 googleplus0 0


In this photo provided by the Philippine Air Force, houses and rice fields are inundated by floodwaters in northern Philippines Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. Tropical Storm Koppu finally blew away from the main northern Philippine island Tuesday, after leaving several dead over the weekend and forcing tens of thousands of villagers into emergency shelters and destroying rice fields ready for harvest. Staff Sgt. Roldan L. Medina, Philippine Air Force - PIO 410th maintenance wing via AP

MANILA, Philippines - Typhoon "Lando" has damaged more than P7 billion worth of agriculture and infrastructure, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said on Thursday.

The latest report of the NDRRMC showed that the Lando, which has now weakened into a low pressure area, damaged an estimated P6.4 billion worth of crops and P902,390,431 worth of infrastructure in regions I, II, III, IV-A, IV-B, V and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

The total damage in agriculture and infrastructure amount to P7,332,932,212.50.

The NDRRMC recorded a total of 41 deaths and 78 injured while five persons were reported missing.

Meanwhile, 25,182 families or 113,534 persons are still staying in 455 evacuation centers in Luzon.

A total of 268,877 families or 1,242,239 persons have been affected by the onslaught of the typhoon.

The NDRMMC also recorded a total of 784 incidents including:

765 flooding incidents in Pangasinsan, Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Bulacan, Pampanga, Zambales, Cagayan and Benguet six drowning incidents in regions II, III, IV-A and CAR four landslides in regions I and CAR two collapsed walls in Zambales two electrocution incidents in region II and III five toppled trees in region I and National Capital Region Power interruptions or outages were reported in five cities and 86 municipalities. Province-wide power outages remain in Ilocos Sur, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Aurora, Quezon, Kalinga and Mt. Province, according to the NDRRMC.

A total of 101 road sections and 11 bridges remain impassable due to flooding and landslides.

Northern Luzon will continue to experience rains due to the low pressure area, formerly tropical depression Lando.


PHILSTAR

Gov't says funds enough to contain typhoon-induced price shocks By Prinz Magtulis (philstar.com) | Updated October 23, 2015 - 4:14pm 0 2 googleplus0 0


Typhoon evacuees are housed at a school gymnasium after fleeing their homes due to flooding brought about by Typhoon Lando in Cabanatuan City on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015. The slow-moving typhoon blew ashore with fierce wind in the northeastern Philippines early Sunday, toppling trees and knocking out power and communications and forcing the evacuation of thousands of villagers. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines - The government has enough funds to cover the rehabilitation and assistance to the damage caused by Typhoon Lando in northern Philippines, especially to prevent prices of basic goods and commodities from spiraling out of control.

In a statement on Friday, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said the government's calamity fund, special purpose fund (SPF) and quick response fund remain ample and ready to be deployed for the reconstruction and assistance after the typhoon.

In particular, around 40 percent of the government's SPFs remain available as of September 30. This translates to P165.33 million out of the P405.92-million allocation, budget figures showed.

SPFs are lump sum allocations in the budget which can be tapped for specific programs and projects during the entire year. As of the third quarter, only P240.59 million had been allocated for release to state agencies.

"While it may seem like we're lagging in this regard, the availability of these funds for release means we're prepared to address the aftermath of calamities hitting the country like Typhoon Lando," Abad was quoted as saying.

The P14-billion calamity fund also has P10.3 billion remaining, with only P3.7 billion released from January to September. The fund is released to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), Office of Civil Defense, Office of the President and DBM.

In addition, DBM said state agencies are already in possession of P6.7-billion in quick response funds. These funds were immediately released after the budget was enacted to the departments of Agriculture (DA), Education, Defense, Public Works and Highways and Social Welfare and Development.

In total, the DBM said 90.2 percent or P2.35 trillion of the P2.606-trillion national budget have already been allotted to state agencies as of September 30.

An allotment is an authorization from the DBM for agencies to spend for their projects. However, disbursements - recorded in the government's budget performance - only happens when actual cash withdrawal is made.

The withdrawal pertains to the issuance of checks by the Bureau of the Treasury to state agencies, one which would still require a disbursement authority from the DBM.

READ MORE...

"While most of this year's national budget has already been released to agencies, we still have around (40 percent) of special purpose funds available," Abad explained.

As of October 23, the NDRRMC reported that Typhoon Lando, which battered northern Luzon last week, has left 46 people dead and 82 others injured. A total of P5.9 billion in damage to agriculture and P9.43 billion in infrastructure have been recorded so far.

Last Wednesday, Abad said the government is rethinking its efforts to address the El Nino phenomenon, perceived to be weaker-than-expected especially with the recent typhoon that allowed dams to get filled.

The government has allotted P19.2 billion to address El Niño, characterized by the warmer than usual weather and minimal rainfall that impacts on crops and other agricultural livelihood. Weather forecasters have said this El Niño episode may top the harshest one on record in 1997 and 1998.

"If there are more rains as we are seeing now... the problem with water (supply) is going to be much less, which is really going to be a big consideration because the last quarter is really our biggest palay production for the year," Abad pointed out.

While El Niño may have abated, the Department of Finance, for its part, warned Lando may have caused extensive damage to crops, which in turn could cause supply constraints and increase pressure for prices of basic commodities to go up.

This comes with the backdrop of inflation - measured by the consumer price index - hitting record-lows this year, closing at 0.4 percent in September after an August print of 0.6 percent. Beltran earlier said inflation could hit a new bottom of 0.3 percent this month.

"The country may have to import more rice to replace these losses in domestic production and avoid triggering an inflationary spiral," Beltran said in an economic bulletin on Thursday.

"The rice buffer could drop below 50 days if the losses from the disaster are not replaced. Rice buffer of close to the September 1 level of 58 days is needed to ensure rice price stability," he added.

Weak global oil prices and stable food supplies have pushed inflation down to settle at 1.6 percent as of September this year. The year-to-date average is below the government's target of 2-4 percent.

Citing DA data, Beltran said the country lost around 360,000 metric tons of palay to Lando, of which 326,000 came from Central Luzon. The region supplies most of the goods to Metro Manila.

"Farmers need insurance protection to enable them to recover quickly from natural disasters," he said.

"Government agencies need to undertake emergency repair of destroyed infrastructure in the devastated areas," he added.


TRIBUNE

PLDT, Smart, GMA7 sign deal for connected poll coverage Written by Tribune Wires Thursday, 22 October 2015 00:00


PARTNERS FOR CLEAN ELECTIONS Top executives of the Inquirer, GMA 7 and other partners link arms after signing the memorandum of understanding for clean elections in 2016. From left front row: Mike C. Enriquez; Napoleon Nazareno, PLDT/Smart president and CEO; Felipe L. Gozon, GMA Network chair and CEO; Marissa Flores; Alexandra Prieto-Romualdez, Inquirer president and CEO; Henrietta de Villa, PPCRV chair; Jessica Soho; Alfredo E. Pascual, UP president; Jaime Hofileña, Ateneo de Manila University VP for social development. LEO M. SABANGAN II INQUIRER FILE

Leading telecoms and digital services provider PLDT, together with its mobile unit Smart Communications, has signed a partnership with leading TV network GMA 7 to become the telecommunications and connectivity provider for the station’s extensive coverage of the presidential elections next year.

PLDT will provide the TV station’s fixed and mobile connectivity requirements for its most high-tech broadcast of “Eleksyon 2016.”

“PLDT and Smart are one with GMA7 and its other partner organizations including leading broadsheet Philippine Daily Inquirer in making a significant contribution in the country’s efforts for clean and honest elections next year,” said PLDT and Smart president and CEO Napoleon Nazareno.

“PLDT’s extensive fixed and mobile networks will help GMA 7 gather and report the most accurate and latest news on the coming polls on a timely basis,” he said.

Marked by a ceremonial signing of partners staged at GMA 7’s network center, PLDT joins the other partners in business, government, socio-civic organizations, digital media, and academic institutions, which will help secure a credible and simultaneous coverage of the regional polls.

“This election is happening at a crucial period when the flow of information is more dynamic, freer, and faster than ever before. We will witness an elections coverage that is online, on social media, mobile, quick, up-close, and personal, in addition to traditional media,” said GMA 7 chairman and CEO Felipe Gozon during the launch of Eleksyon 2016.

“Our partnership has been tested and proven to be rock-solid over the years. We are very confident that while we may have a formidable task ahead of us, together we will succeed as before to deliver our commitment to each and every Filipino who continues to believe in the power of democracy,” he added.


MALAYA

WHERE DID ALL MY MONEY GO? YOU MUST HAVE SPENT IT ON SNACKS: FILIPINOS CAN’T ACCOUNT FOR P1,000 SPENT WEEKLY By Irma Isip October 22, 2015

Ever wondered where all your money goes?

A survey conducted for Visa shows Filipinos cannot account for almost half of their weekly spending but said they believe 70 percent of that mystery expenditure must have been spent on snacks.

Filipinos are unable to account for almost half of their average weekly expenses due to ‘mystery spending,’ according to a recent online survey from Visa done by international market research firm YouGov.

Filipinos spend an average of P2,416 weekly but lose track of an average of P1,010 or about 42 percent.

In a year, that can accumulate to up to P54,000.

The survey shows 70 percent of Filipino respondents believe their mystery spending went into the purchase of snacks, well above the regional average of only 45 percent.

Filipinos say their mystery spend also went to shopping for non-essential items (49 percent); shopping for food and groceries (46 percent); dining out with family and friends (33 percent); paying for entertainment (night-outs, movies, parties), daily lunch and coffee breaks (30 percent each); and paying for taxis, toll and parking fees (24 percent).

Visa defines mystery spending as cash spent but the consumer is unsure of where it went. It does not account for misplaced or stolen cash.

“The survey highlights how mystery spending can cause financial setbacks for Filipinos in the long run. It also tells us that Filipino consumers need to closely monitor their budget to better manage their finances,” said Stuart Tomlinson, Visa country manager for the Philippines and Guam.

Among the Asian markets covered in the study, Hong Kong has the biggest weekly estimated expenses of $113.03 and the biggest mystery spend at an average of $58.39 weekly. Vietnam has the second smallest estimated expenses at $49.36 weekly and the smallest mystery spend at $23.72 weekly.

Tomlinson said some of the ways Filipinos can closely monitor their expenses is through using electronic payment cards, such as debit and credit cards.

He added electronic cards offer greater control, security, rewards and convenience over cash. Filipinos can stick to their budget and keep their mystery spending to a minimum when they use electronic cards in their transactions.​


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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