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BY EMMANUEL LOPEZ: ECONOMIC GROWTH IS WITHIN REACH[RELATED: Trump’s economic message resonates]


NOVEMBER 7 -File photo
What was perceived as a rather volatile economy as yearned by a “loud” marginal sector has turned out to be more progressive and stable than it was supposed to be. The president’s eccentric approach to economic and political diplomacy has turned off the “hard core” non-believers and politicized populace. President Rodrigo Duterte and other more sensible leaders of this nation who are for the success of the society and this nation are willing to take the cudgels and acknowledge their duties and obligations as the trailblazers of this country. READ MORE...RELATED,
Trump’s economic message resonates...

ALSO: Puerto Princesa International Airport to open in March 2017


NOVEMBER 13 -The Puerto Princesa International Airport will open on March 2017, according to the city mayor. Philstar.com/Rosette Adel
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Philippines — Two years after its expansion project, Puerto Princesa International Airport will open in March 2017. Puerto Princesa City Mayor Lucilo Byron confirmed its opening. “Our International airport which is on construction will be operational by next year March 2017,” he said during his opening remarks at the 6th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) chief justices’ roundtable on the environment in Palawan. “This airport will be one of the Philippines' gateway to Asia,” he added. READ MORE...

ALSO: Christmas Getaway - Experience the best of Tagaytay at Splendido


NOVEMBER 13 -SPLENDIDO TAAL TOWER IN TAGAYTAY
With just a little over a month left before the holidays, most individuals may already be on a hunt as to where they can possibly spend their vacation. While others choose to go out of the country or chart some far-off, exotic island, there are those who would opt for a roadtrip. And one destination that easily comes to mind is the City of Tagaytay, whose alluring charm makes it difficult for anyone to resist. Never mind the traffic, or the long lines in many homegrown restaurants—Tagaytay offers a cool, balmy weather, as well as a unique, rustic appeal despite its modernity, thus making it the perfect weekend getaway for families and friends.
READ MORE...

ALSO: Trump win sends stocks in tailspin
[Commentary By Emmanuel Lopez: Trump and the Philippine economy]


NOVEMBER 9 -A Filipino man walks past the electronic board showing a downward trend among major Asian markets during trading at the Philippine Stock Exchange at the financial district of Makati, Philippines, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. The prospect of a Donald Trump presidency jolted markets around the world Wednesday, sending Dow futures and Asian stock prices sharply lower as investors panicked over uncertainties on trade, immigration and geopolitical tensions. AP Photo/Aaron Favila
The victory by Donald Trump in the US presidential election sent the Philippine stock market in a tailspin. The local market, as with the rest of the equities around the world, plunged yesterday as Trump unexpectedly won against Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton. The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi), the local stock barometer, plunged 2.58 percent or 188.76 points yesterday to 7,119.04 while the broader All Shares index slumped 81.87 points or 1.87 percent to 4,282.35. The rest of the counters except the Mining and Oil index also went to negative territory. READ MORE...RELATED, Commentary By Emmanuel Lopez: Trump and the Philippine economy...

ALSO: By Babae Romualdez - A new international ballgame


NOVEMBER 10 -By Babe Romualdez
Whether we like it or not, the United States remains a very important country – and whatever happens to it affects the whole world including the Philippines. No surprise then that local networks such as ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) put up a special coverage of the US Presidential Race 2016 to give live updates on the US elections. ANC invited me to be a resource person for the segment anchored by Nancy Irlanda, a veteran business journalist who is one of the original ANC anchors. Nancy asked a lot of incisive questions to help viewers make sense of the hotly contested presidential race that has been hounded by issues of “mistrust,” with the two rivals – Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump – trading barbs and being the object of controversies and scandals and being equally disliked by voters. Donald Trump won his way to the White House by taking the key battleground states of Florida (29 electoral votes), North Carolina (15 electoral votes) and Ohio (18 electoral votes) – a big upset that has seen market shares plunging. READ MORE...

ALSO: Dominguez wants review of predecessor’s tax issuances
[ALSO: Q3 economic growth likely at 6.9% – Moody’s]


NOVEMEBR 10 -DOMINGUEZ
Davao City – Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III wants to review all tax regulation issuances of the previous administration to avoid any potential legal challenges in the future. At The Asset forum, Dominguez expressed disappointments over the Supreme Court decision ordering the Bureau of the Treasury to return P4.9 billion in withholding tax the government charged on ten-year anti-poverty bonds issued in 2001. On top of the principal, the Treasury was also ordered to pay P1.4 billion in interest, Dominguez said. In 2001, the Treasury sold the Poverty Eradication and Alleviation Certificates (PEACe) bonds, which were marketed as tax-free but right before the papers matured in 2011, then Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares imposed a 20 percent withholding tax. READ MORE...RELATED, Q3 economic growth likely at 6.9% – Moody’s...


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Commentary: Economic growth is within reach


File photo

MANILA, NOVEMBER 14, 2016 (PHILSTAR) By Emmanuel J. Lopez November 7, 2016 - What was perceived as a rather volatile economy as yearned by a “loud” marginal sector has turned out to be more progressive and stable than it was supposed to be.

The president’s eccentric approach to economic and political diplomacy has turned off the “hard core” non-believers and politicized populace.

President Rodrigo Duterte and other more sensible leaders of this nation who are for the success of the society and this nation are willing to take the cudgels and acknowledge their duties and obligations as the trailblazers of this country.

READ MORE...

As citizens of the only country we have, until our sovereignty is threatened, we should not take partisan stands and let elected leaders who are barely four months in office do their role and fulfill their covenant in nation building.

The wheel of leadership should take its due course in our drive for a progressive economy. Partisan and political innuendos should take a backseat in favor of a more essential goal of political and economic stability.

Standard & Poor’s has affirmed the country’s credit rating of “BBB” with a stable outlook, attributing its decision to the country’s sound monetary policy, improved banking supervision and robust external position.

However, S&P also expressed concern about the perceived instability and unpredictability of Rodrigo Duterte’s administration, especially in relation to a possible deterioration of the rule of law and his many hostile pronouncements that create uncertainties on his foreign policy direction.

The other side of the coin, however, is that economic indicators like Gross Domestic Product, inflation rate, unemployment remain pretty stable, despite S&P’s claim of a downside in the GDP indicators.

Mainly, the Duterte administration is expected to pursue its thrust of economic development and the upliftment of the plight of the Filipino masses, with poverty incidence stuck at 26 percent.

Concern over the government's ability to sustain growth is a normal birth pain of any new administration. Even more so when it comes framed as a detachment from the shackles of the more than seven decades of subservience to Western influence.

More than any other factor that may influence the local economy, foreign investors see potential in the Philippine economy because of the government's the drive to rid the country of criminal activities and government corruption. In fact, foreign business sentiments remain bullish.

Indeed, the government’s thrust of removing bureaucratic red tape has boosted the morale of businessmen. For its part, the IMF- World Bank recently restructured its growth forecast to 6.7 percent at the end of the year, higher than its previous assessment.

Apprehensions displayed by some sectors are a mere culture shock from the abrupt deviation from a complacent and run-of-the-mill kind of life wanting in economic security, to a more productive and challenging independent economy.

We have for many decades and even centuries contented ourselves with whatever piecemeal the West gave us because we have always perceived them as superior.

The demanding international market -- illustrated by the continuous appreciation of foreign currency, particularly the US dollar, and the unabated increase in the price of oil in the world market -- signals the transition from the once dull and sleepy market to a more active and busy international transaction hub.

This is good for the economy and denotes positive sentiments not only internationally but also within the country’s boundaries.


Emmanuel J. Lopez, Ph.D. is an associate professor at the University of Santo Tomas and the chair of its Department of Economics. Views reflected in this article are his own. For comments email:doc.ejlopez@gmail.com 

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

Trump’s economic message resonates posted November 10, 2016 at 11:40 pm by AFP


AFP / by Heather Scott | US President-elect Donald Trump's economic message appealed to voters who did not feel the impact of the US' growing economy in ... FRANCE 24 ONLINE

WASHINGTON―Donald Trump won the White House race arguing that the US economy is in dismal shape―despite it growing better than other advanced economies.

Now economists worry about how his views will impact growth going ahead, from the trade protectionism he espouses to criticism of Federal Reserve monetary policy.

Despite four years of solid economic growth, with unemployment falling to 4.9 percent, Trump’s opponent Democrat Hillary Clinton could not capitalize on the stronger economy left by President Barack Obama.

Trump gained more traction with his message to those who may not have felt the impact of the growing economy in their daily lives. He said he would fight back against unfair trade, restore US manufacturing jobs, and create jobs through spending on infrastructure.

“We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it,” Trump said in his victory speech early Wednesday.

“We have a great economic plan. We will double our growth and have the strongest economy anywhere in the world. At the same time, we will get along with all other nations willing to get along with us.”

In a statement congratulating Trump, the Alliance for American Manufacturing, which represents manufacturers and steelworkers, said the election was about the economic pain felt by voters.

“Communities across America felt left behind as manufacturing jobs disappeared, and no single election cycle can erase that,” it said.

“Factory workers were more than a prop in this election. Now’s the time to deliver for them.”

Economists agree an infrastructure program could provide a boost to the economy and jobs if properly executed over time, and some sectors stand to benefit as well from the tax cuts and deregulation Trump has promised.


PHILSTAR

Puerto Princesa International Airport to open in March 2017 By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated November 13, 2016 - 9:24am 28 937 googleplus0 0


The Puerto Princesa International Airport will open on March 2017, according to the city mayor. Philstar.com/Rosette Adel

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Philippines — Two years after its expansion project, Puerto Princesa International Airport will open in March 2017.

Puerto Princesa City Mayor Lucilo Byron confirmed its opening.

“Our International airport which is on construction will be operational by next year March 2017,” he said during his opening remarks at the 6th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) chief justices’ roundtable on the environment in Palawan.

“This airport will be one of the Philippines' gateway to Asia,” he added.

READ MORE...

Puerto Princesa tourism officer Toto Alvior earlier said their local government targets to increase tourist arrivals to around 1.3 million next year after the opening of their world-class airport as it will provide more access to tourists with direct flights coming in. They are estimating 1.2 to 1.3 million tourists, which is a 60 percent increase in tourist arrivals in their city alone.

In 2015, Puerto Princesa was able to contribute more than 80 percent of the one million total tourist arrivals in the whole Palawan.

The airport expansion project costs $102.56 million while its design and build contract, awarded to Korean group Kumho Industrial Co. Ltd.-GS Engineering and Construction joint venture, was worth $82.9 million, according to the Department of Transport (DOTr).

It was an initiative of former President Benigno Aquino III’s administration under its Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program.


INQUIRER

Experience the best of Tagaytay at Splendido By: Theresa S. Samaniego - @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer / 02:39 AM November 12, 2016 Photo by Arnold Almacen Photo by Arnold Almacen


SPLENDIDO TAAL TOWER IN TAGAYTAY

With just a little over a month left before the holidays, most individuals may already be on a hunt as to where they can possibly spend their vacation.

While others choose to go out of the country or chart some far-off, exotic island, there are those who would opt for a roadtrip. And one destination that easily comes to mind is the City of Tagaytay, whose alluring charm makes it difficult for anyone to resist.

Never mind the traffic, or the long lines in many homegrown restaurants—Tagaytay offers a cool, balmy weather, as well as a unique, rustic appeal despite its modernity, thus making it the perfect weekend getaway for families and friends.

READ MORE...

For decades now, the City of Tagaytay has been host to a number of foreign and local tourists who are looking forward to a relaxing respite. It has likewise served as a silent witness to many romantic proposals and unions.

Perfect getaway

And one specific destination that continues to lure vacationers and golfers alike would be Splendido Taal Residential, Golf and Country Club.


Photo by Arnold Almacen Photo by Arnold Almacen

Nestled in a valley where Tagaytay’s cool mountain breeze and Taal Lake’s enthralling beauty meet, Splendido Taal allows the weary urbanite to find solace and tranquility as it is surrounded by lush greenery and a picture-perfect backdrop: the famed Taal Lake and Volcano.

For many, Splendido Taal is considered a rare treasure in the midst of a bustling city.

A short drive away from Manila, this scenic paradise allows every weary individual to enjoy nature’s wonders. And what’s even better is that one can even own a piece of this eden as four towers are being developed within this secluded community.

With each of the tower rising 12-storeys high, future guests and residents are assured to enjoy the breath taking view of the Taal Lake and Volcano, or the green fairways of the Splendido Taal Golf Club.

Dubbed as one of the most prized piece of real estate along Tagaytay Ridge, this exclusive haven of serenity and luxury is guaranteed to provide the privileged few to live life the way they want it—one that is centered on comfort and style.

Key features

A private enclave, Splendido Taal also provides one easy access to some of best beaches in Nasugbu and Calatagan, and the best diving sites in Anilao, all located in Batangas.

One need not go far to unwind as Splendido Taal has everything you need to make your Tagaytay escapade even more enjoyable and memorable.

For one, it has all the facilities and amenities that guests would need to make their vacation well worth their while. Also, Splendido Taal offers some of the best and most scrumptious fares that Tagaytay is well known for. And of course, one need not master too the game of golf to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of this serene sanctuary.

“We are proud to say that Splendido Taal is the perfect destination for almost everyone, whether you are a family looking forward to spending quality time with your kids, a company that wants to build and strengthen camaraderie, or just a group looking for some fun,” related Splendido Taal Country Club Inc. general manager Bryan Hernandez.

With its Spanish mission architecture, Splendido Taal will make you feel as if you’re transported to a completely different world, one that’s defined by true comfort and convenience.

Currently, condominium owners are accorded memberships to the Splendido Taal Country Club, with clubhouse facilities to ensure that guests will be accorded the best experience in their every stay.

“Splendido has all the needed amenities to make your vacation truly memorable. If youre not up for a game of golf, there are a million and one activity that you and your loved ones or your friends can do here. Our country club has everything that you want and need and we have an efficient staff who is always willing to lend a hand,” Hernandez said.

“Apart from our fine dining restaurants that serve some of Tagaytay’s best dishes our country clubhouse is also equipped with a bar, game room, banquet hall and function rooms, covered tennis and basketball courts, gym, sauna and jaxuzzi, day spa, swimming and kiddie pool and a bowling alley,” Hernandez related.

Meanwhile, Splendido Taal Tower 2 is set to open to the public next month the Soto Grande Hotel—an 18-storey mixed-use development comprised of residential condominium and income-earning condotel units.

A joint venture of Sta. Lucia Land Inc. with JAKA Tagaytay Holdings Corp., Splendido Taal Tower 2 is the second of the four planned towers.


PHILSTAR

Trump win sends stocks in tailspin By Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 10, 2016 - 12:00am 0 1 googleplus0 0


A Filipino man walks past the electronic board showing a downward trend among major Asian markets during trading at the Philippine Stock Exchange at the financial district of Makati, Philippines, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. The prospect of a Donald Trump presidency jolted markets around the world Wednesday, sending Dow futures and Asian stock prices sharply lower as investors panicked over uncertainties on trade, immigration and geopolitical tensions. AP Photo/Aaron Favila

MANILA, Philippines – The victory by Donald Trump in the US presidential election sent the Philippine stock market in a tailspin.

The local market, as with the rest of the equities around the world, plunged yesterday as Trump unexpectedly won against Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi), the local stock barometer, plunged 2.58 percent or 188.76 points yesterday to 7,119.04 while the broader All Shares index slumped 81.87 points or 1.87 percent to 4,282.35.

The rest of the counters except the Mining and Oil index also went to negative territory.

READ MORE...

Clinton has called Trump to concede the elections.

Sought for comments, bankers and analysts said the market reacted to the uncertainty that came with a Trump presidency.

“It was a disaster, a major sell off. The market was surprised by the turn of events. The market was expecting a Clinton victory. It will take time before the market will be able to digest the news,” said Astro del Castillo, managing director at First Grade Finance Inc.

However, Del Castillo said local fundamentals remain positive which should help the market bounce back again in the coming days.

BPI Capital Corp. COO and managing director Reggie Cariaso shared a similar view.

“Initial reaction will be surprise, sentiment-driven and cautiously negative,” Cariaso said.

But Cariaso said the markets would eventually get over the initial sentiment and react more to data and results.

Luis Limlingan, managing director at Regina Capital said investors were furious over a Trump victory.

“Local investors sold off furiously as Republican candidate Donald Trump seemed destined for an upset victory,” he said.

He said that the PSEi took its cues from performances of the Asian bourses as well as the futures market wherein the Dow futures slid as much as 860 points during trading.

“Trump has promised a big change in the corporate sector and huge capital spending via infrastructure, leading to hiring and wage pressures. Massive tax cut is also promised. Foreign policy skill, which is clearly lacking will be a test to the new administration. We can expect immediate flight to safety with gold and US Treasures being bid up,” he said.

Justin Ocampo, executive vice president and head of investment banking group of First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC), for his part, also expects the market to go back to fundamentals.

Total value turnover reached P8.58 billion and breadth was negative as decliners won over advancing stocks, 154 to 43. Thirty-six stocks remain unchanged.

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RELATED FROM PILSTAR

Commentary: Trump and the Philippine economy By Emmanuel J. Lopez (philstar.com) | Updated November 11, 2016 - 2:53pm 21 1038 googleplus0 0


In this Oct. 6, 2016, photo, then Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a town hall in Sandown, N.H. Trump made a series of lewd and sexually charged comments about women as he waited to make a cameo appearance on a soap opera in 2005. The Republican presidential nominee issued a rare apology Friday, “if anyone was offended.” AP/ Evan Vucci, file

Suddenly, the world is in a feverish mood with the coming rule of Donald Trump as the president of the most powerful nation of the world.

What is at stake in the presidency of this person many have dubbed an oligarch? What does the rest of the world await with the reign of this person who has been labeled a racist and sexist?

Americans and people of different nationalities alike have apprehensions over the international policies that will be formed with this president who practically discriminates against non-Americans and people of color.

Locally, I have yet to hear predictors or “soothsayers” put forth positive expectations for the Philippines with the Trump administration.

Speculations are ripe that joblessness is in the offing because of the US president-elect’s slogan and drive that America is for the Americans. Foremost is the possibility that call centers and business process outsourcing firms will leave the country.

It should be noted that 80 percent of BPOs in the country are mainly based in the US. Furthermore, despite being deep in crisis, the US is by far still the Philippines' biggest investor.

Are these speculations with basis or a mere product of people’s paranoia?

It is worth noting that America is dubbed the bastion of democracy, where the freedoms of expression, speech and movement are exercised without fear or hesitation.

America, with all its resources, has never gone into total bankruptcy even during the Great Depression of the 1930s, the protracted recession of the 1980s, financial crisis of the 1990s, the financial meltdown of the early millennium, and the economic crisis under Obama.

That crisis was inherited from the Bush administration and will still be inherited by President-elect Donald Trump.

The US has always shown its support to financially debt-ridden nations through its sponsorship of international funding agencies like the IMF and World Bank. And this was displayed and implemented many times in the past.

A SEASONED BUSINESSMAN

As a seasoned businessman who has long established an image of entrepreneurial success, Donald Trump knows it will take more than a directive for foreign-based American business to "return to barracks" to abandon their offices abroad.

In the first place, there is no policy or law that prohibits American investors from locating where they deem it profitable. To force them back to their country of origin is not only a violation of their rights but also unethical for international diplomacy.

If other presidents before Trump couldn't do it, it is even less likely with Trump who knows the nitty-gritty of investment than all the others before him.

Local apprehensions and uncertainties on capital flight are vague and without basis considering American investment in the Philippines is only a small fraction of their total investments across the world.

Consider also that diplomatic relationships between the Philippines and the US may be aggravated in case American investors pull out, which the incoming US president fully realizes and should never risk.

Allowing American investment to stay, will greatly improve the strained relationship between the two countries. Even Trump, in one of his campaign speeches, acknowledged the strategic alliance between the US and the Philippines and has blamed President Barack Obama for the strained ties.

TRUMP'S VAST RESOURCES

The Philippine economy stands to benefit from the Trump administration because of cordial pronouncements from President Rodrigo Duterte that his administration is willing to cooperate with Trump's.

US President-elect Trump, with his vast resources and his ability to impose his authority and leadership, is expected to boost the world economy, which includes his real property investments that he made in the Philippines.

Despite the baseless speculations of political disarray with Trump as the 45th president of the United States of America, it will turn out to be a regime of enlightenment for the world economy.

Former political nemesis Vladimir Putin, president of Russia, has expressed his willingness to work hand in hand with Trump and bring back harmony between their countries.

With two powerful nations and their influential leaders leading the way for a better and a peaceful world, expect something big that will be reaped not only in our local shores but internationally as well.


Emmanuel J. Lopez, Ph.D. is an associate professor at the University of Santo Tomas and the chair of its Department of Economics. Views reflected in this article are his own. For comments, email:doc.ejlopez@gmail.com


PHILSTAR 9COMMENTARY)

A new international ballgame SPYBITS By Babe G. Romualdez (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 10, 2016 - 12:00am 0 1 googleplus0 0


By Babe Romualdez

Whether we like it or not, the United States remains a very important country – and whatever happens to it affects the whole world including the Philippines. No surprise then that local networks such as ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) put up a special coverage of the US Presidential Race 2016 to give live updates on the US elections.

ANC invited me to be a resource person for the segment anchored by Nancy Irlanda, a veteran business journalist who is one of the original ANC anchors. Nancy asked a lot of incisive questions to help viewers make sense of the hotly contested presidential race that has been hounded by issues of “mistrust,” with the two rivals – Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump – trading barbs and being the object of controversies and scandals and being equally disliked by voters. Donald Trump won his way to the White House by taking the key battleground states of Florida (29 electoral votes), North Carolina (15 electoral votes) and Ohio (18 electoral votes) – a big upset that has seen market shares plunging.

READ MORE...

As I told Nancy, this has been an election marked by brutal exchanges between the two candidates. While the Clinton camp was able to paint Trump as a rough person with little respect for women – timing the release of the recordings where Trump is heard saying sexual remarks – the Republican candidate was able to amplify the missteps of Hillary as state secretary especially with regard to the Benghazi issues, plus the idea that she charges as much as $200,000 per speech.

The whole “email” controversy also hounded Clinton, and while the FBI reiterated its findings that there was no case against Hillary, the damage has been done, so to speak. All in all, these “exposes” have created an atmosphere of mistrust during the whole campaign period.

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Also up for grabs are 469 seats in Congress, with the Republicans poised to retain control of the House of Representatives. As everyone knows, whoever takes control of Congress will be crucial as it could affect the policy-making efforts of the new US president. Since 2011, Republicans have controlled the House and it’s not exaggerated to say that they have contributed to the white hairs of US President Barack Obama.

One of the reasons why there has been so much attention given to the US elections is that a radical shift in US policy could shake the world. From his words, Trump has given the impression that he was leaning towards “isolationism” – although he has tried to correct this by saying he is putting forward “Americanism.”

Observers say this is actually counterproductive considering that countries have become interdependent as far as their economies are concerned – and this includes China and the US whose relationship has been described by some as “mutually dependent” on each other as far as their respective economies are concerned.

Trump’s win has created ripples of anxiety for many Filipinos employed in the business process outsourcing sector because of his campaign promise to take back these outsourced jobs that have been “stolen” from Americans. Revenues from the BPO sector are estimated at $25 billion – analysts say it could even eclipse OFW remittances – and there are concerns Trump might just institutionalize his campaign promise.

However, I spoke with several American BPO companies here and they said they are not about to close their operations in the country and in fact, they even want to expand. The problem, they said, is that they are not sure where the Philippines plans to take this “independent foreign policy.” The rhetoric they have been hearing from President Rodrigo Duterte “worries” them to a certain extent because they see no clear indication of where the whole thing is going.

Hopefully, the President will convene the National Security Council with all the members, including former presidents so the government will be able to come out with a cohesive, independent foreign policy with our relationship with the United States, China and even Russia factored in in this whole “Duterte pivot.”

As I mentioned in my column last Sunday, the President may have been gazing at a crystal ball and saw something many of us never imagined would happen – hence, his resolve to craft a foreign policy that is not too dependent on the United States. However, the relationship between the two countries is such that it will be able to weather “controversies,” having become stronger and deeper over the years, regardless of who gets to be president of the United States. Many remain hopeful, however, that the US and the Philippines will be able to bring the bilateral relationship to a new level of engagement.

Sources from the US State Department told me that many career officers now find themselves in a quandary, and many who have been used to the “establishment style” will find themselves hard pressed to adjust to the anti-establishment style of Donald Trump. In other words, it’s a totally new ballgame.


MANILA BULLETIN

Dominguez wants review of predecessor’s tax issuances 0 SHARES Share it! Published November 9, 2016, 10:01 PM By Chino S. Leyco


DOMINGUEZ

Davao City – Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III wants to review all tax regulation issuances of the previous administration to avoid any potential legal challenges in the future.

At The Asset forum, Dominguez expressed disappointments over the Supreme Court decision ordering the Bureau of the Treasury to return P4.9 billion in withholding tax the government charged on ten-year anti-poverty bonds issued in 2001.

On top of the principal, the Treasury was also ordered to pay P1.4 billion in interest, Dominguez said.

In 2001, the Treasury sold the Poverty Eradication and Alleviation Certificates (PEACe) bonds, which were marketed as tax-free but right before the papers matured in 2011, then Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares imposed a 20 percent withholding tax.

READ MORE...

Investors brought the case against the Department of Finance (DOF) to the Supreme Court and won.

“Your last BIR tax Commissioner and the last Finance Secretary cost you at least R1.4 billion in taxpayers money,” Dominguez said. “And I think that there are more cases of a similar nature which will come up soon.”

For this reason, Dominguez asked for a review of revenue regulations, memorandum orders and memorandum circulars issued by the previous administration.

“I asked the BIR, please revisit all the issuances so that we avoid burdening the public by collecting taxes that we are going to lose in court and that we are going to burden the taxpayers by paying penalties and interests,” Dominguez said.

Jacinto-Henares, meanwhile, defended her decision to impose a 20 percent final withholding tax on PEACe bonds, saying the papers should not be considered deposit substitutes and were subject to final withholding tax.

“This is an exemption case. Even there’s a cost for this refund, if we compute from 2011 up to now, that money [revenue collected by the government] has earned… it was used to fund infrastructure, health and education,” Jacinto-Henares said.

In a Supreme Court ruling dated October 5, the high court upheld its decision ordering the treasury to return R4.96 billion in withholding taxes that it “erroneously” charged on anti-poverty bonds.

The Supreme Court also ordered the treasury to pay interest for failure to promptly reply with the court’s earlier ruling.

Francis Lim, the legal council for consortium of bondholder banks that challenged the tax said the decision is a powerful message from the Supreme Court that it will protect and uphold the “rights of innocent investors in our capital markets even as it is against the government.”

In 2001, the Arroyo administration raised P10.17 billion from the sale of 10-year PEACe bonds and sold them at a discount to non-profit group CODE NGO.

The bonds were later resold, mostly to banks and insurance companies.

The bonds attracted investor interest due to representation that it was exempted from the 20 percent final withholding tax. But the BIR lifted the exemption days before the bonds matured in October 2011.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Q3 economic growth likely at 6.9% – Moody’s By Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 13, 2016 - 12:00am 1 25 googleplus0 0


Moody’s Analytics said the economy likely grew 6.9 percent in the third quarter, slightly slower than seven percent growth in the second quarter. File photo

MANILA, Philippines - A unit of Moody’s Corp. said the country’s economic growth may have eased in the third quarter amid the soft global demand.

Moody’s Analytics said the economy likely grew 6.9 percent in the third quarter, slightly slower than seven percent growth in the second quarter.

The research arm of Moody’s said exports further slowed down in the third quarter amid the slowdown in nickel shipments due to the crackdown being undertaken by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

“Exports likely slowed in the quarter. This is partly a result of subdued global demand. In addition, nickel exports will be dented by the temporary closure of several mines due to compliance issues,” Moody’s Analytics said in its Asia Pacific Preview.

The country’s GDP has posted positive growth over the past 70 quarters due to robust domestic demand.

“The main drivers of the economy will continue to be domestically focused, with private consumption, investment and government spending all expanding rapidly,” it said.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia earlier said the country’’s GDP likely grew between 6.3 and 7.3 percent in the third quarter amid higher government spending on infrastructure.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is set to release the third quarter GDP statistics on Nov. 17.

The third quarter is the first full quarter under the leadership of President Duterte who assumed office last June 30.

The GDP growth zoomed to seven percent in the second quarter amid the boost from election related spending from 6.8 percent in the first quarter of the year.

This brought the average GDP expansion to 6.9 percent in the first half of the year from 5.5 percent in the same period last year.

Economic managers penciled a GDP growth range of six to seven percent this year after easing to 5.9 percent last year due to lack of government spending under the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III.

However, the NEDA director general said the government expects the GDP growth to settle between 6.5 and 6.6 percent this year amid the global economic slowdown.


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