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

DOF EXPECTS SHORT-TERM INFLATION AT 2%
[RELATED: Duterte admin optimistic of 'at least 7%' growth in first 3 months]


OCTOBER 9 - The Department of Finance (DOF) expects the rate of increase in consumer prices to likely remain above 2.0 percent in the short-term due to higher commodity costs. Based on the DOF economic bulletin dated October 5, Finance Undersecretary Gil S. Beltran noted that core inflation rose at a faster pace from August to September, signaling the possible spike in consumer prices in the coming months. Core inflation quickened to 2.3 percent in September from 2.0 percent in the previous month and 1.4 percent in the same period last year. “Core inflation suggests that in the short-term, headline inflation rate will be above 2 percent,” Beltran said. “A continued regime of stable prices will provide cushion to absorb shocks to the economy and help sustain rapid economic growth.” READ MORE...RELATED,
Duterte admin optimistic of 'at least 7%' growth in first 3 months...

ALSO: By George Sison - Duterte’s evening with billionaires
("PSYCHOPATH": In my book, DU30 is no psychopath president, but one who has chosen a path that is driving the likes of Agot and Cherry Pie psycho, which is understandable because this is the first time a president in the country has ever declared a “war” on drugs with such determination and impunity. Also, his manner of speech is truly unusual for a president, which many are struggling to accept.)


OCTOBER 16 -THE PRESIDENT's LIFE PARTNER Honeylet Avanceña, President Duterte, Ching Cruz, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Sal Panelo
--Your mantra for the week: “Error is the result of fear; love is the healer.” I have been asked what are the most important life lessons to be learned. There are five disciplines I have to bring to light to establish IAMism—a course on Happiness. 1) Knowing that making a living is not the same as making a life. There are many unhappy people because they simply want a well-paying job which they believe will bring them happiness. I have discovered that doing what makes one happy attracts money as a result, and not vice versa. 2) Realize that if you seek happiness, it will elude you. But if you focus on your work and doing the very best you can, provide well for your family, and praise and encourage others, happiness will find you. 3) Wherever you are in your life now, know that you still have a lot to learn. 4) Accept that your soul has chosen your blood family and they are reflections of you, for better or worse. 5) Recognize that the best preacher is the heart, the best teacher is time, the best book is the world and its people, and our best friend is God. These five disciplines may not guarantee happiness, but they will, at the very least, create an exciting life and make every day an adventure and an unfolding of one’s limitlessness. CONTINUE READING...

ALSO: “Endo, wages, poverty and employment-labor market issues”
[RELATED: Foreign funds withdraw $807m]


OCTOBER 11 -By Gerardo P. Sicat
 Upon his election to the presidency, President Rodrigo Duterte promised to get rid of “contractualization,” the practice of short term employment contracts and labor outsourcing that has become a tool for supplying labor services to enterprises within the country. “Endo, or contractualization.” Contractualization as we know it today evolved as a means of simplifying hiring arrangements for enterprises. To some extent, the complex rules and regulations governing labor market policies created incentives for some enterprises to resort to the contractualization of labor. A peculiar context in which the labor contractualization has come under criticism, the contracts of employment for the worker would end before six months are reached, hence the name, “endo” or end of contract. The immediate culprit for this peculiarity is a provision in the Labor Code: employees who have worked for six months within an enterprise are required to be regularized. As a reform, the six months provision could be replaced by a longer period of transition toward “regularization.” (But this requires amendment of the law). “To end ‘endo’.” The marching order to end the contractualization is not an easy task to undertake. The problem of endo involves three parties in general: the enterprise that uses the labor; the labor service supplier who hires and supplies the the labor; and the laborers who are hired. READ MORE...RELATED, Foreign funds withdraw $807m...

ALSO
DFA: Business delegation shows Duterte's plan in China ties
[RELATED LOCAL STOCK -PSEi firms up above 7,300]


OCTOBER 14 -Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures during his address to a Filipino business sector in suburban Pasay city south of Manila, Philippines Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016. Duterte has been under criticism by international human rights groups, the United Nations, European Union and the United States for the more than 3,000 deaths of mostly suspected drug-users and drug-pushers in his so-called "War on Drugs" campaign since assuming the presidency on June 30. AP/Bullit Marquez
The large business delegation that will accompany President Rodrigo Duterte to China next week shows the direction that he wants to take in carrying out bilateral relations with Beijing now, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said. DFA spokesperson Charles Jose said that the president will discuss economic, business and investment agreements with China in his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. "The fact that we are bringing a lot of our business people to China, that’s a very clear signal of the direction that we are taking in terms of carrying out our bilateral relations with China now. So we can now see by this the importance that we are giving to our trade and commercial ties with China," Jose said in a press briefing on Friday. The list of the official and business delegation to China is still being finalized, Jose said. Reports say that around 400 businessmen are going to Beijing with the president. Jose clarified that the expenses, including airfare and accommodations, of the business delegation will not be shouldered by the Chinese government nor by the Philippine government. The host country usually pays for the delegation of a visiting nation during state visits. "These business people joining the trip will be traveling on their own expense," Jose said. READ MORE...RELATED, PSEi firms up above 7,300...

ALSO: Big business group to join Duterte in China next week
[RELATED: Duterte signs EO adopting 25-yr. plan to wipe out poverty]
[RELATED(2): $3-B funding aid seen in China trip]
[RELATED(3): Business bets on ‘disruptive leader’]


OCTOBER 13 -Registration for President Duterte’s state visit to China next week is oversubscribed. Initially only about two dozen Filipino entrepreneurs were to accompany Mr. Duterte but the number had ballooned, according to Trade Undersecretary Nora Terrado. At least 400 businessmen have signed up to join Mr. Duterte’s trip, according to Francis Chua, chair emeritus of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Business deals Chua said the business delegation would be a mix of small and big businesspeople looking for opportunities in what he expected would be a “reawakening” of trade and investment ties that went into hiatus due to rising tension in the South China Sea. “We expect to have a bounty of business opportunities from this visit, especially with a President willing to explore the limits of a fruitful partnership with China,” he said. READ MORE...RELATED, Duterte signs EO adopting 25-yr. plan to wipe out poverty... Related(2), $3-B funding aid seen in China trip... RELATED(3), Business bets on ‘disruptive leader’...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

DOF expects short-term inflation at 2%

MANILA, 0CT0BER 17, 2016 (PHILSTAR)  by Chino Leyco October 9, 2016 - The Department of Finance (DOF) expects the rate of increase in consumer prices to likely remain above 2.0 percent in the short-term due to higher commodity costs.

Based on the DOF economic bulletin dated October 5, Finance Undersecretary Gil S. Beltran noted that core inflation rose at a faster pace from August to September, signaling the possible spike in consumer prices in the coming months.

Core inflation quickened to 2.3 percent in September from 2.0 percent in the previous month and 1.4 percent in the same period last year.

“Core inflation suggests that in the short-term, headline inflation rate will be above 2 percent,” Beltran said. “A continued regime of stable prices will provide cushion to absorb shocks to the economy and help sustain rapid economic growth.”

READ MORE...

Meanwhile, the finance official said the moderate rise in inflation last September was a result of base effects, adding the 0.5 percentage-point jump was still within the expectations of the economic authorities.

“The general price level increased by 2.3 percent in September, a jump by 0.5 percentage point from the August inflation rate. This apparent surge was largely a result of base effects: Inflation rate in September of last year was only 0.4 percent,” Beltran said.

In his report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Beltran also noted that September’s inflation rate was still within the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) target range of 2.0 percent to 4.0 percent.

In September, the general price increase for food and non-alcoholic drinks further rose to 3.1 percent from 2.4 percent, contributing 1.3-percentage point to inflation. Rice prices were up 1.0 percent, while vegetables accelerated to 10.8 percent.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) attributed the jump in food prices to the adverse effects of the series of tropical cyclones that had devastated the country.

Meanwhile, prices of alcoholic drinks and tobacco grew by 6.2 percent from 6.0 percent in August; clothing and footwear increased by a faster 2.7 percent from 2.6 percent; and furnishing, household and equipment to 2.3 percent from the previous 2.2 percent.

Likewise, housing, utilities and fuels jumped to 0.9 percent from 0.1 percent in the previous month, while transport quickened to 0.2 percent from 0.1 percent.

However, inflation rate on health (2.7 percent), restaurants and miscellaneous services (2.4 percent), education (1.8 percent), recreation and culture (1.7 percent), and communication (0.1 percent) were steady month-on-month in September.

Moreover, headline inflation for January to September this year averaged at 1.6 percent, still below the low end of the government’s inflation target of 2.0 percent to 4.0 percent.

Last month, Manila Electric Co. (Meralco)’s rate per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for an average of 300 kilowatts-per-month consumption dipped to P8.77 from P8.82 in August and P8.87 a year ago.

The average price of diesel in Metro Manila among the “big three” oil companies, meanwhile, accelerated to P37.83 per liter from P26.01 in the previous month and P25.39 registered in the same month last year.

Average price of gasoline during the month, on the other hand, declined to P37.22 per liter from P38.8 in August and P41.39 a year before.

Read more at http://www.mb.com.ph/dof-expects-short-term-inflation-at-2/#uFUx1oOdUEBpTV8q.99

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

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Duterte admin optimistic of 'at least 7%' growth in first 3 months By Prinz P. Magtulis (philstar.com) | Updated October 12, 2016 - 2:10pm 1 43 googleplus0 0


Pernia said "higher infrastructure spending" likely took over in the third quarter. Andy Zapata Jr., file

MANILA, Philippines -- The Duterte administration is optimistic economic growth hit "at least seven percent" in its first three months in office on the back of higher infrastructure spending.

"We hope it's going to be at least seven percent," Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia told reporters on Wednesday.

While election-related spending already tapered off, Pernia said "higher infrastructure spending" likely took over in the third quarter. He did not elaborate.

Gross domestic product (GDP), or the sum of all products and services created in an economy, expanded seven percent in the second quarter, the fastest in nearly three years.

It brought the first-half expansion under the previous administration to 6.9 percent.

READ MORE...

Despite this, the Duterte administration decided to be conservative and cut the GDP growth target to between six percent to seven percent this year. Originally, it was at 6.8 to 7.8 percent.

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno reiterated higher spending plans are a go under the proposed P3.35-trillion budget for 2017, around P860 billion of which is allotted for infrastructure.

"The government is serious in pursuing a pro-growth fiscal policy," he said at the Philippine Business Conference in Pasay City.

Pernia agreed, saying they intend to keep the economy "in good shape," also to score another credit rating upgrade, which would lower debt servicing and free up more resources.

He, Diokno and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez are recently back from Washington D.C., where they met with debt watchers S&P Global Ratings, Fitch Ratings and Moody's Investors Service.

This was after S&P warned of "policy uncertainty" under the current administration despite keeping the Philippines' 'BBB' investment grade rating.

"We gave presentations...and they said they are going to maintain our investment grade. We convinced them that we will maintain the performance of the economy," Pernia said.

"They said they could put the rating higher if there is an improvement," he added.

As far as President Rodrigo Duterte's tirades are concerned, Pernia said he relayed to the agencies that the chief executive is "just focused on stamping out crime and corruption."

Pernia said the president "does not want to be distracted."


INQUIRER

Duterte’s evening with billionaires By: George Sison / @inquirerdotnetPhilippine Daily Inquirer / 03:58 AM October 16, 2016


Honeylet Avanceña, President Duterte, Ching Cruz, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Sal Panelo

Your mantra for the week: “Error is the result of fear; love is the healer.”

I have been asked what are the most important life lessons to be learned.

There are five disciplines I have to bring to light to establish IAMism—a course on Happiness.

1) Knowing that making a living is not the same as making a life. There are many unhappy people because they simply want a well-paying job which they believe will bring them happiness. I have discovered that doing what makes one happy attracts money as a result, and not vice versa.

2) Realize that if you seek happiness, it will elude you. But if you focus on your work and doing the very best you can, provide well for your family, and praise and encourage others, happiness will find you.

3) Wherever you are in your life now, know that you still have a lot to learn.

4) Accept that your soul has chosen your blood family and they are reflections of you, for better or worse.

5) Recognize that the best preacher is the heart, the best teacher is time, the best book is the world and its people, and our best friend is God.

These five disciplines may not guarantee happiness, but they will, at the very least, create an exciting life and make every day an adventure and an unfolding of one’s limitlessness.

CONTINUE READING...

No psychopath

Agot Isidro may be getting a lot of flak for calling President Rodrigo Duterte a psychopath, but she’s also earning a lot of media mileage—so much so that Cherry Pie Picache and many others have thrown their support behind her.

In my book, DU30 is no psychopath president, but one who has chosen a path that is driving the likes of Agot and Cherry Pie psycho, which is understandable because this is the first time a president in the country has ever declared a “war” on drugs with such determination and impunity. Also, his manner of speech is truly unusual for a president, which many are struggling to accept.

Agot et al. are concerned about the possibility of Filipinos losing their jobs if the Philippines cuts its ties to America. This, of course, is a legitimate concern, but to call the president “a psychopath” for this reason is another story. Duterte’s bashers should be giving the new President the benefit of the doubt instead of firing at him.

If they are so unhappy about Duterte’s presidency, they should consider migrating to another country, because name-calling has never resolved anything.

The president is right in his belief that when the drug menace, criminality and corruption have been reduced to a minimum, we would attract bountiful investments.

Saving the best for last

Among all the birthday parties given in honor of the affable Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Sal Panelo (the most recent one and “the last,” says Sal himself) was that thrown by construction magnate Philip Cruz and his always glamorous wife Ching in their white mansion in Dasmariñas Village.


Hyden and Michelle Sison, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Sal Panelo, William Chan Wai Keung, Queenie Chan, Ambra Gutierrez, Scott Weissman

The guest of honor was, naturally, President Duterte, who arrived a little after 8 p.m. The busy Rody made time to attend this party for Sal, whom he considers more than just a member of his political family.

I was happy to meet a few of Duterte’s Cabinet, like Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno, who said, “I am here during weekdays and I travel around the country on weekends.”

He is probably the busiest and most traveled Cabinet member, with the Philippine National Police and local government officials under his responsibility. Sueno is former chair of PDP-

Laban, and served as governor of South Cotabato under President Cory Aquino.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea was seated beside former Comelec chair Ben Abalos in the living room before dinner, in what looked like a serious conversation. Medialdea’s post is the most sought-after and least enviable because of its enormous duties. Imagine being given the mandate to assist the President in the day-to-day operations of government.

My hats off and commiseration to the “Little President.”

James Gaisano of the Gaisano Group of Companies was exchanging business views with economic consultant Ramon Jacinto, who later talked to the chair of China Trend Investments Limited, William Chan Wai Keung, in town with daughter Queenie and his partner Scott Weissman. They are looking to invest $50 billion in various enterprises in the country.

Scott was with his beauteous date, Fil-Italian Ambra Gutierrez, a potential international beauty queen, who exchanged pleasantries with the charming couple of Herbalife, Michelle and Hayden Sison. Hayden said, “I became a Sison only in 1976. I was originally a Sy.”

The business of happiness

Mr. Keung asked what business I was in, so I informed him that I’m an author lecturing on IAMism, a course on Happiness. He smiled and said, “May I be your student?”

If that does not prove that money cannot buy you happiness, nothing will.

The pretty Letty Tan arrived with members of her family in tow, like son-in-law Alfred Ty, chair of Federal Land, with wife Cherry Tan-Ty; Asia Brewery COO Michael Tan with wife Angeline; the impressive Olivia Limpe-Aw, who heads Destileria Limtuaco with husband, publisher Benny Aw; lawyer Paolo Panelo with wife Ria, who did a wonderful job of welcoming and entertaining his father’s guests; and Philip Cruz’s daughter, former Trade Undersecretary Carissa Vera Perez Cruz, with businessman husband Juju Evangelista.

In a cheerful huddle were DMCI Holdings chair David Consunji, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and BIR Commissioner Billy Dulay. Siblings Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano and Rep. Pia Cayetano mingled with other guests.

Also present were consul Agnes Huibonhua; Sal’s close friend, hotelier Tina Cuevas; Bong Go, now called the “presidential gate” because no one goes to the President without his Go signal; and business magnate and Phoenix Petroleum president Dennis Uy, who was reportedly one of the top donors to the Duterte campaign and is now presidential adviser for sports.

Evening highlight


Agnes Huibonhoa, Tina Cuevas, Ching Cruz, Frannie Jacinto

The highlight of my evening was, of course, meeting the man whom I predicted, as early as December 2015, would become president.

My good friend, Frannie Jacinto, came around to confirm this fact. I introduced myself to the President as a cousin of

Gibo Teodoro on my mother’s side, and Joma Sison on my father’s side, and that I also campaigned for Ro-Ro—a Rodrigo-Robredo tandem. He smiled and said, “Punta ka sa Malacañang at mag-uusap tayo.”

Before that, I had a most refreshing tête-à-tête with Honeylet Avanceña, who is so personable and unassuming but also speaks her mind. That led me to ask what her birth sign was, and it was just as I suspected —she is an Aquarian, truly feminine but also surprisingly strong.

She is one of those you meet for the first time who can make you feel like you have been friends for a long time. There are such people we meet in our lifetime, as there are also those we have known for a long time but never really get to know.

The President made a statement by staying for three hours, thus making the evening truly memorable for the hosts, Philip and Ching Cruz and, most of all, for the man of the hour, Sal Panelo.


Fidel Nograles, Benjamin Abalos, Paolo Panelo


Carissa Cruz-Evangelista, Juju Evangelista, Bong Go


BIR Commissioner Billy Dulay, Ramon Jacinto


Sal Panelo, Dennis Uy


The author with President Duterte


PHILSTAR COMMENTARY

“Endo, wages, poverty and employment-labor market issues” CROSSROADS (Toward Philippine Economic and Social Progress) By Gerardo P. Sicat (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 12, 2016 - 12:00am 1 2 googleplus0 1


By Gerardo P. Sicat

 Upon his election to the presidency, President Rodrigo Duterte promised to get rid of “contractualization,” the practice of short term employment contracts and labor outsourcing that has become a tool for supplying labor services to enterprises within the country.

“Endo, or contractualization.” Contractualization as we know it today evolved as a means of simplifying hiring arrangements for enterprises. To some extent, the complex rules and regulations governing labor market policies created incentives for some enterprises to resort to the contractualization of labor.

A peculiar context in which the labor contractualization has come under criticism, the contracts of employment for the worker would end before six months are reached, hence the name, “endo” or end of contract.

The immediate culprit for this peculiarity is a provision in the Labor Code: employees who have worked for six months within an enterprise are required to be regularized. As a reform, the six months provision could be replaced by a longer period of transition toward “regularization.” (But this requires amendment of the law).

“To end ‘endo’.” The marching order to end the contractualization is not an easy task to undertake. The problem of endo involves three parties in general: the enterprise that uses the labor; the labor service supplier who hires and supplies the the labor; and the laborers who are hired.

READ MORE...

Under the current setup, as contractualization has developed, the company using the labor is not the direct hirer of the worker. The enterprise in need of labor services uses the labor service provider to hire workers.

In short, the productive enterprise deals only with the labor provider in terms of the hiring. By using the labor service provider, the productive enterprise develops no direct employer-employee relationship with the worker.

In the course of years, high labor standards have been adopted: labor protection provisions include regulated working hours and overtime pay, holiday benefits, protection from firing, 13th month pay, sometimes, cost-of-living allowances. There are also benefits related to pension (social security); housing finance (Pag-Ibig); and health care (PhilHealth).

To top this, there is the highest component of labor cost, the wage. In reality, this is partly determined by the minimum wage. Since the late 1980s, the minimum wage has been determined on the basis of regional minimum wages applicable in the respective regions of the country. Despite this, the Manila minimum wage sets the anchor for all the regional wages.

Philippine labor costs have become relatively high. Thus, Philippine labor has become less competitive compared to some developing countries in the ASEAN region.

Many labor intensive operations that used to be located in the country have moved to other countries out of the volition of wrong labor policies: in the 1980-90s, to China, before; to Vietnam, and now to Cambodia. In the early 1980s, the movement of labor-intensive operations from investment operations went to Thailand and Indonesia.

Such labor costs have encouraged the practice of contractualization. Contractualization helped to reduce the cost of labor because temporary workers are not entitled to all the privileges associated with the benefits accorded to regular employees. But this has unsettled the skill growth and steady employment of the Filipino worker. Also, there are cost savings associated with recruitment.

However, such high cost is not commensurate with the fact that there is an enormous supply of labor seeking jobs at low wages. Poverty and lack of skills of many such workers also implies that their productivity often cannot match the high cost of mandated minimum wages. Factor in the various forms of benefits that employers are required for regular employees, then the gap in wage and productivity got even wider.

This applied to companies that are in export industry which require a high degree of labor. Contractualization is also commonly used by enterprises operating and selling their products in the domestic market.

A termination of endo will raise the cost of labor per unit since many of those affected are likely to be non-regular employees. These workers will benefit from an increase in income. The hiring enterprise will assume more of the mobilization costs in hiring labor that was once provided by the labor service contractor.

Definitely, a fall in employment arising from the termination of endo will come about. Some companies will reduce their operations due to higher costs. Also, some workers will no longer be hired. The negative impact will be severe for those losing their jobs.

“Need to reform labor market policies.” But the government wants to create employment, not unemployment!

In order to avoid the consequences just enumerated, it is essential to tilt the outcome toward employment creation. Some correction of policies would be needed to neutralize the impact of ending endo.

It is a paradox, but it is true. Measures that appear to be modest in terms of labor policy will allow us the greatest flexibility in achieving more development and improve the welfare of labor. This is borne out by the experience of many countries in our neighborhood.

The proposal of labor groups to raise the minimum wage and to make it national in scope will defeat the program, and even worsen the impact of endo termination. Their proposal to increase the minimum wage by P125 and to make it into a national minimum wage will defeat the economic reforms of the government.

The current regional minimum wage rate system is better than returning to the national minimum wage. The regional wage-setting process adds the element of competition in wages among different regions of the country and will facilitate growth of poorer regions.

The logic of minimum wage setting should be based not on “living wage” but on “reasonable wage” that workers seek for their first employment. The minimum wage should be seen as a fair minimum wage for people in need of jobs. This strategy will permit family income to rise since more members of the family could get employment, rather than only one (or even none at all).

Rising productivity should be the guide for raising wages. This will encourage investments in innovation as well as bring up more workers out of poverty.

Let’s promote more domestic investments, more foreign direct investments and more infrastructure investments in the country. With these activities, more jobs will be created and eventually, we eradicate unemployment and underemployment.

There are aspects of the labor laws that can be improved to enable greater flexibility for the firm to undertake decisions that encourage productivity and flexibility.

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

RELATED FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

Foreign funds withdraw $807m posted October 13, 2016 at 11:55 pm by Julito G. Rada



Foreign fund managers withdrew $807 million from the local financial market in September, the biggest net outflow in 32 months, on expected interest rate hike in the US.

Data from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas showed foreign portfolio investments or “hot money” posted a net outflow of $807 million in September, excluding the withdrawals in the first two weeks of October.

The September net outflow was also higher than the $323.98-million net outflow registered a year ago and a reversal of the $427-million net inflow in August this year. It was also the biggest net outflow since January 2014 when fund managers pulled out $1.8 billion.

Foreign withdrawals led to the decline of the Philippine Stock Exchange index to a four-month low of 7,312.18 Thursday. The peso also fell to a seven year low of 48.54 against the US dollar Wednesday, before rebounding to 48.34 Thursday.

Bangko Sentral Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said Thursday a clearer guidance from the US Federal Reserve on the timing of its highly-anticipated interest rates hike was expected to calm rough trading in currency markets.

Tetangco issued the statement in reaction to the minutes of the Fed meeting held last month and was released Wednesday.

“The minutes as I understand it did not say anything new, i.e. , nothing unexpected or different from what market had “read” from the actual statement,” Tetangco said in a text message.

He said the division within the Fed was already spoken of even on statement date, adding the market would continue to closely monitor other Fed members who were speaking.

“We may see some clearer guidance from [Fed] chair [Janet] Yellen who is expected to speak on Friday. Hopefully, till then, regional currencies including the peso will trade within narrower bands,” Tetangco said.

Minutes of the meeting conducted Sept. 20 to 21 in Washington said that “several members judged that it would be appropriate to increase the target range for the federal funds rate relatively soon if economic developments unfolded about as the committee expected.”

The Federal Open Market Committee left the benchmark lending rate unchanged from 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent for the sixth straight meeting in September. But most of the 17 participants projected at least one hike before the year ends.

Data showed despite the outflow in September, hot money posted a net inflow of $1.27 billion in the first nine months, a reversal of the $413.93-billion net outflow in the same period last year.

Total inflows in September reached $1.27 billion, lower than $1.367 billion a year ago, while total outflows widened to $2.08 billion from $1.69 billion.

Bangko Sentral said among the reasons that caused the outflows in September were the bombing in Davao City early last month that prompted the government to declare a state of lawless violence in the country and the European Central Bank’s decision to discontinue its bond-buying program.

About 88.7 percent of investments in September were in securities listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange while the balance went to peso-denominated government securities.

All transactions resulted in net outflows, such as PSE-listed securities ($654 million); peso GS ($153 million); and other peso debt instruments (less than $1 million).

The United Kingdom, the United States, Singapore, Malaysia and Luxembourg were the top five investor countries in September, with combined share of 72.3 percent.

Foreign portfolio investments are overseas funds that are temporarily invested in local stocks, government securities and money market. They are also called “hot money” because of the ease they are invested in and taken out of the local markets.


PHILSTAR

DFA: Business delegation shows Duterte's plan in China ties By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated October 14, 2016 - 5:21pm 3 93 googleplus0 0


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures during his address to a Filipino business sector in suburban Pasay city south of Manila, Philippines Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016. Duterte has been under criticism by international human rights groups, the United Nations, European Union and the United States for the more than 3,000 deaths of mostly suspected drug-users and drug-pushers in his so-called "War on Drugs" campaign since assuming the presidency on June 30. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — The large business delegation that will accompany President Rodrigo Duterte to China next week shows the direction that he wants to take in carrying out bilateral relations with Beijing now, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

DFA spokesperson Charles Jose said that the president will discuss economic, business and investment agreements with China in his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"The fact that we are bringing a lot of our business people to China, that’s a very clear signal of the direction that we are taking in terms of carrying out our bilateral relations with China now. So we can now see by this the importance that we are giving to our trade and commercial ties with China," Jose said in a press briefing on Friday.

The list of the official and business delegation to China is still being finalized, Jose said. Reports say that around 400 businessmen are going to Beijing with the president.

Jose clarified that the expenses, including airfare and accommodations, of the business delegation will not be shouldered by the Chinese government nor by the Philippine government.

The host country usually pays for the delegation of a visiting nation during state visits.

"These business people joining the trip will be traveling on their own expense," Jose said.

READ MORE...

The Department of Trade and Industry is handling the business aspect of Duterte's state visit to China.

Duterte is also expected to bring up the South China Sea issue during his meeting with the Chinese chief executive.

"Well, the bilateral relations between the Philippines and China are very expansive. So we expect that all areas of interest will be... expected to be discussed including the South China Sea," Jose said.

Jose noted that the top priority of the president is for Filipino fishermen to be allowed to have access to Scarborough Shoal, which is inside the Philippines' exclusive economic zone, to be able to earn their livelihood.

The president is expected to meet separately with National People’s Congress Chairman Zhang Dejiang and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. He will also meet members of the Filipino community in China.

A part of the president's official program is to visit some law enforcement and drug rehabilitation centers in China.

China had earlier expressed its support for Duterte's campaign against the illegal drug trade despite criticisms from the United States, the European Union and some human rights groups.

READ: China backs Duterte's drug war

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

PSEi firms up above 7,300 By: Doris Dumlao-Abadilla / @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer / 04:18 PM October 14, 2016
 

THE LOCAL stock barometer firmed up on Friday, ending a seven-day downturn as favorable economic data out of China perked up most regional markets.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index gained 77.12 point or 1.06 percent to close at 7,389.30.

Elsewhere in the region, stock market indices were mostly higher as stronger-than-expected Chinese inflation data eased jitters on the well-being of Asia’s largest economy.

At the local market, all counters rose, led by the mining/oil sub-index which gained 2.55 percent. The financial, services and property counters all advanced by over 1 percent.

Value turnover for the day amounted to P7.37 billion.

There were 132 advancers that edged out 54 decliners while 40 stocks were unchanged.

LTG led the PSEi higher with its 6.36 percent gain while Security Bank rose by 4.25 percent.

SM Prime gained 2.69 percent while ALI, ICTSI, BDO and Globe all firmed up by over 1 percent.

PLDT, AC, Metrobank, Megaworld, JG Summit, GTCAP, SMIC and BPI all gained.

On the other hand, MPI fell by 1.25 percent.

Outside the PSEi, one notable decliner was Philweb which slipped by 1.09 percent in relatively heavy volume.


PHILSTAR

Big business group to join Duterte in China By: Doris Dumlao-Abadilla, Gil C. Cabacungan / @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer / 01:37 AM October 13, 2016

Registration for President Duterte’s state visit to China next week is oversubscribed.

Initially only about two dozen Filipino entrepreneurs were to accompany Mr. Duterte but the number had ballooned, according to Trade Undersecretary Nora Terrado.

At least 400 businessmen have signed up to join Mr. Duterte’s trip, according to Francis Chua, chair emeritus of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Business deals

Chua said the business delegation would be a mix of small and big businesspeople looking for opportunities in what he expected would be a “reawakening” of trade and investment ties that went into hiatus due to rising tension in the South China Sea.

“We expect to have a bounty of business opportunities from this visit, especially with a President willing to explore the limits of a fruitful partnership with China,” he said.

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Filipino executives are reportedly eager to talk with Chinese business leaders and government officials about deals in a range of sectors from rail and construction to tourism, agribusiness, power and manufacturing.

Big conglomerates from the Philippines, including those

led by families with ancestral roots in China, are joining the delegation.

Tycoons

Business tycoons Ramon S. Ang of the San Miguel group, Manuel V. Pangilinan of Metro Pacific and PLDT Inc., Lucio Tan and son Michael Tan of the Lucio Tan group, Hans Sy of the SM group, Carlos Chan of the Oishi group, Alfredo Yao of the Zest-O group and Henry Lim Bon Liong of the Sterling Group of companies are among those who are joining the state visit to China.

Over a hundred officers and members of Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry will also accompany the President, according to industry sources.

Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC) president Frederick Go said the trip would yield more business opportunities given prospects of closer economic ties between the Philippines and China.

RLC has entered China’s residential property market with a 1,300-unit master-planned township project in Chengdu.

Opportunities

In separate text messages, Ang and Yao replied in the affirmative when asked whether their groups would explore more business opportunities in China.

San Miguel’s beer unit, San Miguel Brewery, currently operates two breweries in China.

“We think stronger relations with any country, including China, should be good for the Philippines,” said Ozsen Chan, president of Liwayway Marketing (Oishi group).

The Oishi group, which has 16 factories in China, is among the top five snack-food producers in China in the whole sweet and savory snack food category.

For the SM group, its strategy is to build shopping malls

in second- and third-tier cities at a pace of one mall per year, said SM Investments Corp. investor relations chief, Cora Guidote.

“China has always been open to partnering with the Philippines. In fact, here in the Philippines, we have a lot of Chinese suppliers and tenants. It’s just a matter of continuing to harness these relationships,” Guidote said.

Another SM mall

SM Prime currently operates six shopping malls in China. Before the end of the year, Guidote said SM would open another new mall in China, the first phase of the SM mall in Tianjin.

The visit comes as Mr. Duterte puts aside years of hostility to seek a new partnership with Beijing at a time when tensions between Manila and its traditional ally, Washington, are mounting.

The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Geng Shuang, said Mr. Duterte would meet President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang in his Oct. 18-21 trip, and they would have a “deep exchange of views” on how to improve ties, cooperation and regional issues.

“China looks forward to increasing mutual trust between the two countries, deepening practical cooperation and continuing the tradition of friendship via the visit of President Duterte,” Geng told a daily news briefing.

The two leaders should appropriately handle disputes through talks and promote a strategic, cooperative relationship that is dedicated to peace and development, he said.

“The Philippines is a traditionally friendly neighbor of China. The two peoples have a long history of friendship,” he added.

An Inquirer source said Mr. Duterte would be conferred an honorary doctorate by Beijing University. —WITH A REPORT THE WIRES

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RELATED FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

Duterte signs EO adopting 25-yr. plan to wipe out poverty Published October 14, 2016 9:01pm President Rodrigo Duterte has formally signed an executive order (EO) adopting the 25-year long-term vision of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to eliminate poverty and hunger in the country.

On October 11, Duterte signed Executive Order (EO) No. 5 approving and adopting the "Ambisyon Natin 2040."

NEDA Deputy Director General Rosemarie Edillon said in a phone interview on Friday that the adoption of the long-term vision serves as a guide for the government's development planning.

"The Philippine government hereby aims to triple real per capita incomes and eradicate hunger and poverty by 2040, if not sooner," the EO read.

The order also mandated the identification of appropriate set of milestones to guide the successive medium-term development plans.

"The four medium-term Philippine Development Plans (PDPs) to be crafted and implemented until 2040 shall be anchored on the 'Ambisyon Natin 2040.' The PDP shall ensure the sustainability and consistency of strategies, policies, programs, and projects across political administrations," the order read.

Likewise, all plans of government departments, offices and instrumentalities, including government-owned and -controlled corporations and local government units shall be consistent with the long-term development vision.

"Ambisyon Natin 2040," launched in March, proposes that by that year, "the Philippines shall be a prosperous, predominantly middle-class society where no one is poor. Our peoples shall live long and healthy lives, be smart and innovative, and shall live in a high-trust society."

"In 2040, we will all enjoy a stable and comfortable lifestyle, secure in the knowledge that we have enough for our daily needs and unexpected expenses,that we can plan and prepare for our own and our children's future. Our family lives together in a place of our own, and we have the freedom to go where we desire, protected and enabled by a clean, efficient and fair government," the NEDA said. —John Ted Cordero/KBK, GMA News


PHILSTAR

$3-B funding aid seen in China trip By Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 14, 2016 - 12:00am 0 7 googleplus2 1


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, third from left, gestures, with members of a Filipino business sector, prior to addressing them in suburban Pasay city south of Manila, Philippines Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016. Duterte has been under criticism by international human rights groups, the United Nations, European Union and the United States for the more than 3,000 deaths of mostly suspected drug-users and drug-pushers in his so-called "War on Drugs" campaign since assuming the presidency on June 30. Second from left is Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez FVR skips trip

MANILA, Philippines - Agreements on funding assistance worth at least $3 billion from Chinese banking institutions and private companies are expected to be signed during President Duterte’s trip to China next week, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said yesterday.

As this developed, Malacañang announced former president and special envoy to China Fidel Ramos would not join Duterte in the Beijing trip.

“There are a lot of private sector initiatives taking place. Like for banks, they’re committing funds to support the growth of the Philippine economy in general. Most of them are fund commitments,” Lopez disclosed.

“We’re reviewing all these offers… that can possibly turn to MOUs (memorandums of understanding). That means we will have a lot of funds for whatever projects we want to get in, both private and government,” he added.

Lopez said the billions of dollars from China could come in the form of loans and investments, including on infrastructure.

Duterte will be in China on Oct. 18 to 21 as part of the country’s efforts to strengthen relations with Beijing, which have been strained by the maritime dispute over the West Philippine Sea.

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Lopez, along with other government officials and a big business delegation from all industries, will join the President.

Lopez said Manila would like to improve trade relations with China, the country’s second largest partner.

Meanwhile, Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar said the government would go for more public-private partnerships and invite more foreign investors to pursue its independent foreign policy and grow less dependent on foreign aid.

Andanar also pointed out Duterte was not just opening the country’s doors to China but also to other nations that would want to do business here.

Duterte was criticized when he said he would not beg if the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and others would withdraw their aid to the Philippines due to extrajudicial killings happening in the course of his war against illegal drugs.

Andanar said Ramos informed him last Saturday that he would not be part of the President’s delegation.

“He (Ramos) did not say why… but I believe that it is about giving respect to our current (President),” Andanar said.

“If there are two presidents there, it is possible that the attention would be divided,” he said.

Ramos, who was one of those who asked Duterte to run for president, recently scored the Chief Executive for his controversial pronouncements, saying the Philippines was losing badly because of these. With Alexis Romero, Giovanni Nilles

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Business bets on ‘disruptive leader’ By: Amy R. Remo / @inquirerdotnetPhilippine Daily Inquirer / 03:30 AM October 13, 2016

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry is placing confidence in a “disruptive leader” who has reached out to the business community even before he was inaugurated into office.

The effort of President Duterte to touch base with the private sector creates more optimism among PCCI members that their recommendations will be heard this time, PCCI president George T. Barcelon said Wednesday on the sidelines of the 42nd Philippine Business Conference.

Barcelon admitted that the issues being raised by PCCI and the recommendations being put forward to the incumbent administration every year during the Philippine Business Conference were mostly the same, particularly inadequate infrastructure and high power costs. This only means the issues hounding the business sector have not been adequately addressed.

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“But this administration, even before they were inaugurated, they were already asking to hear from us during Sulong Pilipinas. That kind of approach wherein they want to hear from us gives us optimism that (President Duterte) would move forward our suggestions. I’m not giving any rating for now because I think three months were too short. We need to give them time. But what we see is that a comprehensive tax reform is being done and energy is also being discussed, particularly regarding how to get the industry become more competitive with lower rates,” Barcelon said.

“The issues besetting our country are not new to us. It has been the same issues. What we have now is a disruptive captain of the ship. He’s thinking out of the box. There are a lot of things happening now that are being implemented with a different approach and I think we are changing for the better.”

Sulong Pilipinas is the Duterte administration’s battlecry of transforming the country’s consumption-led growth into the more sustainable and inclusive investment-driven economic development. Under Sulong, the 10-point socio-economic agenda emphasizes policies and programs that aim to lower the cost and improve the ease of doing business to ensure competitiveness, attract new investments and promote the expansion of enterprises.

The PCCI, however, is pushing a bigger budget for the Department of Trade and Industry and greater access to financing for micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs). These will be included in the recommendations to be submitted to President Duterte today.

The PCCI earlier submitted to the Duterte administration a list of priority issues dubbed as “Giant Steps.” This acronym stood for good governance, infrastructure, agriculture, new era of manufacturing, tourism (Giant), Science, technology, education and people skills (Steps).


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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