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EDITORIALS & OPINIONS OF THE WEEK:
(Mini Reads followed by Full news commentary)


FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

BY FR. RANHILIO AQUINO: CEBU AND OUR SELFISHNESS
 [The 51st International Eucharistic Congress]


JANUARY 25 -BY Fr. Ranhilio Aquino -The Catholic world trains its sights on Cebu this week. It is the 51st International Eucharistic Congress—a bundle of devotional and instructional activities centered on the Eucharist. Representatives of different ecclesiastical jurisdictions from all over the world are in Cebu now, as I am with my choir. Pope Francis will not be around himself. It is demanding too much to ask of Pope Francis that he return just one year after his visit last year that sent close to seven million to Manila’s streets in warm welcome. He will be represented by Cardinal Bo, his legate, who comes from Burma. The last International Eucharistic Congress took place in Dublin. It still has to be announced, as far as I know, where the next one will be held. The last time the Philippines hosted the International Eucharistic Congress was in 1937. At that time, my mother, a toddler of five years old, tagged along with my grandparents to Luneta. At that time too, Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, Archbishop emeritus of Cebu, received first holy communion! I am almost sure none of this present generation will be around when next we host the International Eucharistic Congress. “Eucharist” is a characteristically Catholic term, coming from the Greek word for “thanksgiving” and well established in liturgical usage. For the Catholic, it is not only one among the many liturgical acts with which he is familiar. It is the supreme act of praise and worship. We believe that it is the sacramental actualization in our day and time of Jesus’ eternal act of self-offering to the Father, his filial submission that, because of his humanity, reverses humankind’s history of sin and idolatry and obduracy. It is the eternal “yes” that reverses the “no” that our sinful history has written—and because Jesus’ own “yes” has irreversibly become part of our history, then it is salvific for all of us. A Eucharistic congress is especially significant in a Jubilee Year of Mercy, because it is the most excellent sacrament of mercy. There is a Latin hymn that has the lyrics: Panis angelicus, fit pants hominumm…..O res mirabilis, manducat Dominum pauper, servus et humilis. Bread of angels made bread of men… A wonderful reality, that the poor, they who serve and the lowly should partake of the Lord. These are sad times of arrant unselfishness: It is selfishness that makes regimes oppressive. It is selfishness that sends refugees fleeing for their lives, many losing them to the elements. It is selfishness that turns asylum-seekers away from borders with barbed wire and sharing hounds. It is selfishness that is the reason that politics is a bad word in this country. And selfishness is sadly the sin for which the Church must itself strike its breast and say Mea Culpa…Mea maxima culpa. READ MORE...

ALSO: PH ECONOMY - Stunted growth


JANUARY 29 -The Philippines is one of the few economies in Asia that have registered respectable growth rates in 2015. But government underspending and a weak agricultural sector are stunting the economy’s real potential. The gross domestic product in the last quarter of 2015 expanded 6.3 percent, bringing the full-year growth to 5.8 percent. The economic growth last year was, indeed, notable despite a challenging environment and the turbulence in the global economy. The pace may have slowed down and missed the government’s ambitious 7 percent to 8 percent goal—the growth is actually the slowest in four years after expanding 6.1 percent in 2014, 7.1 percent in 2013 and 6.8 percent in 2012—and yet, the economy is outperforming neighboring countries.The government of President Benigno Aquino III could have done more to expand the economy faster, but its policy to rein in spending and failure to address the infrastructure gap have resulted in a controlled growth. Outgoing Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan conceded the challenges and the missed opportunities that could have driven the growth higher. “Though this is lower than what we targeted for the year, this growth is respectable given the difficult external environment, the onset of El Niño, and the challenges in government spending in the first semester,” says Balisacan. The Cabinet official cited room for expansion in the business process outsourcing sector toward higher value-added services that require a more diversified set of skills and services. Balisacan could have also blamed the poor state of the country’s international airports. More foreign tourists would have visited the Philippines and increased their foreign exchange spending to provide instant jobs, especially in the provinces. The real barometer of economic growth is increased jobs and livelihood in the rural areas. The poverty incidence in the Philippines is still high and the gap between the rich and the poor remains wide. Until these are addressed, the GDP figures are meaningless to the ordinary folk.FUKK EDITORIAL

ALSO: By Jojo Robles - Corrupt but in denial


JANUARY 29 -Reality, sniffed one palace lackey, is always more important than perception. According to this official, who could soon be jailed for corruption, this is the reason why the Philippines’ 10-notch plunge in the group Transparency International’s 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index survey, compared to the previous year, is no biggie. “The reality is,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said, “for the past five years, the Philippine government has instituted major reforms [to fight corruption]. We have initiated public accountability of government agencies.” Well, the supposed truths that government propagandists like Coloma love to spout have to be backed up by data occasionally. And Transparency International has the research for its perceptions that Coloma can only dream of when he’s looking to prove his reality. According to the international organization, in the past four years, the Philippines has not scored higher than 38 out of a perfect 100 in the annual survey. And this year’s 35, while only three points lower that 2014’s 38, kicked the Philippines 10 notches down the 168-national survey, or from 85th in the world to 95th. What this means is, while the rest of the world is improving as far as fighting corruption is concerned, the Straight Path administration of President Noynoy Aquino is actually falling behind. This year, we actually fared worse than supposedly graft-prone Indonesia (36 points, 88th in the world) and ended up tied with that violent, virtual narco-state that is Mexico (35, 95th). “Although corruption is still rife globally, more countries improved their scores in 2015 than declined,” the group said in its website, Transparency.org. And then, in its analysis of the lack of progress against corruption in the Asia-Pacific region, TI explained what needs to be done – especially in countries like the Philippines, where government officials like to talk a lot about stamping out corruption but do little to truly eradicate it: “This year’s poor results demand that leaders revisit the genuineness of their [anti-corruption] efforts,” the group said. “They must fulfill promises, and ensure efforts aren’t undermined in practice.” I’d like to remind Coloma that the centerpiece slogan of this administration is eradicating corruption, in order to stop poverty. But “kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap” sounds so laughable these days, when corruption of the scale that Filipinos are regularly treated to—like, say, in the Department of Transportation and Communications —is just shrugged off by the government as survey after survey tells us that more and more people are getting poorer. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Alejandro del rosario - Unraveling the truth


JANUARY 29 -There must be a higher god that allowed the massacre of 44 men of the PNP-SAF in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. In the end, the President’s men successfully shielded Aquino from any liability in giving a stand-down order not to provide air and artillery support to the besieged police commandos. Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile who initiated the reopening of the Mamasapano incident walked the committee through the sequence of events to show that President Aquino was actively involved in the planning and execution of Oplan Exodus from Day One. Enrile’s line of questioning tended to show that Aquino broke the chain of command by putting suspended PNP chief Alan Purisima in charge of the secret mission and then compartmentalizing the operation on a need-to-know basis. Purisima, for his part, was steadfast in shielding the President from any responsibility for the ill-fated mission. Putting the subject of chain of command in perspective, Senator Gregorio Honasan said it is something that is not abstract or a mere idea that can be cast aside. The exercise of the chain of command in the military particularly by the Chief Executive is enshrined in the Constitution, pointed out Honasan, himself a former army colonel. Under questioning by Enrile, former PNP-SAF commander General Getulio Napeñas revealed that the US government provided intelligence support and equipment to Oplan Exodus to get international terrorist, the Malaysian Marwan. Napeñas said coordination with the US was in accordance with the global war on terrorism. He also said former DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, former PNP OIC General Leonardo Espina and then-AFP chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang were excluded in the planning of Oplan Exodus. Catapang said he was only informed that a high-value target was neutralized at 5:51 a.m. of that fateful day of Jan. 25 when the PNP-SAF commandos were already under heavy fire from MILF-BIFF forces. Committee chairperson Senator Grace Poe wanted to cut short Enrile’s questioning but Senator Bongbong Marcos moved that Enrile be given more time to continue. The other senators didn’t oppose the motion considering they did not have Enrile’s information of the text messages between the President, Napeñas and suspended PNP chief Alan Purisima. When Enrile ended his questioning of Catapang, Napeñas, and Purisima, no-brainer questions followed with Senator Tito Sotto asking about the reward money on Marwan’s head and how much total benefits have been received by the widow and relatives of the SAF 44. Then, Aquino’s allies—Senators Edgardo Angara Jr., Teofisto Guingona, Antonio Trillanes and Senate President Franklin Drilon—took turns defending the President with leading questions to the officials summoned to the hearing. A clueless Senator Angara asked National Security Adviser Cesar Garcia why Marwan was considered a high value target. If Sonny Boy Angara was abreast of the news he should have known Marwan was wanted for the nightclub bombing in the Indonesian resort of Bali that killed 200 Australians and Americans. Marwan is also a suspect in several bombings in Mindanao and his presence in the area was to instruct local terrorists like Basit Usman how to make improvised bombs. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Tony Lopez - Japan is biggest investor in PEZA


JANUARY 29 ---------------------There are four reasons why the Japanese want to locate their plants in the Philippines: one, strategic location; two, availability of cheap and skilled labor; three, generous tax perks offered by the government, and four, China has become hostile to Japanese investors, not to mention Chinese labor has become prohibitive. There is a fifth one—Peza chief de Lima. She guarantees no red tape and no corruption at Peza’s more than 200 economic zones. De Lima has singlehandedly brought in more foreign investments into the Philippines than any other Filipino. For her feat, BizNewsAsia cited her for management excellence. Epson Precision Philippines president Kazuyuki Amano finds the Philippines “simply wonderful”. “The Filipino people are very warm and very kind,” he notes. Epson first came to the Philippines in 1996, to escape the high salaries in Hong Kong. “The salaries in the Philippines are very reasonable,” notes Amano. “The Filipino workers are hardworking, efficient, responsible, and cheerful, definitely strong points,” the Epson chief enthuses. “There is not much of a problem doing business in the Philippines.”  For its part, Murata’s largest factory is in the Philippines. The capacitor manufacturing giant put a P1-billion facility in October 2012 at the First Philippine Industrial Park, in Tanauan, Batangas. Today, employment is reaching 1,500. Murata chose the Philippines for its multi-layer ceramic capacitor plant largely for the availability of a pool of skilled Filipino engineers. “Batangas produces very good engineers,” says Takashi Masuda, president of Murata Electronics Philippines, Inc.. It is also a big help that the engineers speak good English. Nearby Batangas State University is actually a technical school, producing very good professionals like engineers. Giant Japanese laser printer maker Canon came to the Philippines primarily for three reasons—one, the generous income tax holiday or ITH (no income tax for five years); two, the easy availability of a pool of skilled workers; and three, assistance extended by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority. Peza registered Canon Business Machines (Philippines), Inc. in January 2012 to manufacture monochrome laser beam printers. The company acquired a 30-hectare lot at the First Philippine Industrial Park, a special economic zone, in Santo Tomas, Batangas. It invested approx. P9 billion in the factory which produce millions of laser beam printer per year. READ FROM THE BEGINNING


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Cebu and our selfishness

MANILA, FEBRUARY 1, 2016 (PHILSTAR) posted January 25, 2016 at 12:01 am by Fr. Ranhilio Aquino - The Catholic world trains its sights on Cebu this week. It is the 51st International Eucharistic Congress—a bundle of devotional and instructional activities centered on the Eucharist.

Representatives of different ecclesiastical jurisdictions from all over the world are in Cebu now, as I am with my choir. Pope Francis will not be around himself. It is demanding too much to ask of Pope Francis that he return just one year after his visit last year that sent close to seven million to Manila’s streets in warm welcome. He will be represented by Cardinal Bo, his legate, who comes from Burma.

The last International Eucharistic Congress took place in Dublin. It still has to be announced, as far as I know, where the next one will be held. The last time the Philippines hosted the International Eucharistic Congress was in 1937. At that time, my mother, a toddler of five years old, tagged along with my grandparents to Luneta. At that time too, Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, Archbishop emeritus of Cebu, received first holy communion! I am almost sure none of this present generation will be around when next we host the International Eucharistic Congress.

“Eucharist” is a characteristically Catholic term, coming from the Greek word for “thanksgiving” and well established in liturgical usage. For the Catholic, it is not only one among the many liturgical acts with which he is familiar. It is the supreme act of praise and worship.

We believe that it is the sacramental actualization in our day and time of Jesus’ eternal act of self-offering to the Father, his filial submission that, because of his humanity, reverses humankind’s history of sin and idolatry and obduracy. It is the eternal “yes” that reverses the “no” that our sinful history has written—and because Jesus’ own “yes” has irreversibly become part of our history, then it is salvific for all of us.

A Eucharistic congress is especially significant in a Jubilee Year of Mercy, because it is the most excellent sacrament of mercy. There is a Latin hymn that has the lyrics: Panis angelicus, fit pants hominumm…..O res mirabilis, manducat Dominum pauper, servus et humilis. Bread of angels made bread of men…

A wonderful reality, that the poor, they who serve and the lowly should partake of the Lord.

These are sad times of arrant unselfishness: It is selfishness that makes regimes oppressive.

It is selfishness that sends refugees fleeing for their lives, many losing them to the elements.

It is selfishness that turns asylum-seekers away from borders with barbed wire and sharing hounds.

It is selfishness that is the reason that politics is a bad word in this country.

And selfishness is sadly the sin for which the Church must itself strike its breast and say Mea Culpa…Mea maxima culpa.

READ MORE...

By gathering in an international Eucharistic congress, we are championing what, to the world, might be an impractical, starry-eyed, perhaps even foolish solution to our woes.

But Archbishop Soc Villegas preached a beautiful homily at the end of the January plenary session of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines at which the Coro de San Jacinto also sang.

He reflected on the Gospel passage about the people and his relatives thinking that Jesus was a fool.

If people did not think us fools, that would be a dangerous sign, because that would mean a conformity to the moods of the world, and marching to its beat, betraying the Gospel that has always confronted the world and has been a sign of contradiction.

The solution the Eucharist proposes is the selflessness of heart and the generosity of Spirit that allows one to make of one’s life bread for the nourishment of all, not because one is virtuous and holy and strong.

Rather, this gift of self is also possible in imitation of him who, bloodied, wounded, defeated and scorned, nevertheless proclaimed that he had overcome the world!

It is the honor of the Coro de San Jacinto to sing for the opening Mass of the International Eucharistic Congress, accompanied by the Christ the King College Youth Orchestra of Calbayog, Samar, directed by a musician-friar, Fr. Marlowe Rosales, OFM.

And we owe it to the generosity of our benefactors that a group of 60 choir members from Tuguegarao sing in Cebu for a wondrous, international event.


EDITORIAL:

Stunted growth posted January 29, 2016 at 12:01 am

The Philippines is one of the few economies in Asia that have registered respectable growth rates in 2015. But government underspending and a weak agricultural sector are stunting the economy’s real potential.

The gross domestic product in the last quarter of 2015 expanded 6.3 percent, bringing the full-year growth to 5.8 percent.

The economic growth last year was, indeed, notable despite a challenging environment and the turbulence in the global economy.

The pace may have slowed down and missed the government’s ambitious 7 percent to 8 percent goal—the growth is actually the slowest in four years after expanding 6.1 percent in 2014, 7.1 percent in 2013 and 6.8 percent in 2012—and yet, the economy is outperforming neighboring countries.

The government of President Benigno Aquino III could have done more to expand the economy faster, but its policy to rein in spending and failure to address the infrastructure gap have resulted in a controlled growth.

Outgoing Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan conceded the challenges and the missed opportunities that could have driven the growth higher.

“Though this is lower than what we targeted for the year, this growth is respectable given the difficult external environment, the onset of El Niño, and the challenges in government spending in the first semester,” says Balisacan.

The Cabinet official cited room for expansion in the business process outsourcing sector toward higher value-added services that require a more diversified set of skills and services.

Balisacan could have also blamed the poor state of the country’s international airports. More foreign tourists would have visited the Philippines and increased their foreign exchange spending to provide instant jobs, especially in the provinces.

The real barometer of economic growth is increased jobs and livelihood in the rural areas. The poverty incidence in the Philippines is still high and the gap between the rich and the poor remains wide. Until these are addressed, the GDP figures are meaningless to the ordinary folk.


Corrupt but in denial posted January 29, 2016 at 12:01 am by Jojo Robles

Reality, sniffed one palace lackey, is always more important than perception. According to this official, who could soon be jailed for corruption, this is the reason why the Philippines’ 10-notch plunge in the group Transparency International’s 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index survey, compared to the previous year, is no biggie.

“The reality is,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said, “for the past five years, the Philippine government has instituted major reforms [to fight corruption]. We have initiated public accountability of government agencies.”

Well, the supposed truths that government propagandists like Coloma love to spout have to be backed up by data occasionally. And Transparency International has the research for its perceptions that Coloma can only dream of when he’s looking to prove his reality.

According to the international organization, in the past four years, the Philippines has not scored higher than 38 out of a perfect 100 in the annual survey. And this year’s 35, while only three points lower that 2014’s 38, kicked the Philippines 10 notches down the 168-national survey, or from 85th in the world to 95th.

What this means is, while the rest of the world is improving as far as fighting corruption is concerned, the Straight Path administration of President Noynoy Aquino is actually falling behind. This year, we actually fared worse than supposedly graft-prone Indonesia (36 points, 88th in the world) and ended up tied with that violent, virtual narco-state that is Mexico (35, 95th).

“Although corruption is still rife globally, more countries improved their scores in 2015 than declined,” the group said in its website, Transparency.org. And then, in its analysis of the lack of progress against corruption in the Asia-Pacific region, TI explained what needs to be done – especially in countries like the Philippines, where government officials like to talk a lot about stamping out corruption but do little to truly eradicate it:

“This year’s poor results demand that leaders revisit the genuineness of their [anti-corruption] efforts,” the group said. “They must fulfill promises, and ensure efforts aren’t undermined in practice.”

I’d like to remind Coloma that the centerpiece slogan of this administration is eradicating corruption, in order to stop poverty. But “kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap” sounds so laughable these days, when corruption of the scale that Filipinos are regularly treated to—like, say, in the Department of Transportation and Communications —is just shrugged off by the government as survey after survey tells us that more and more people are getting poorer.

READ MORE...

If Coloma truly wants to talk about reality, he should discuss how the top officials of this administration, from Aquino on down, are going to defend themselves from the corruption charges that are surely going to beset it once it ends 100 or so days from today. Because despite how many times Coloma claims that corruption has been stopped in its tracks like a poorly but expensively maintained commuter train under this administration, he can really show no proof.

Perception, as far as corruption is concerned, is reality in the Philippines. And from the lowly, enterprising airport employees who plant bullets in the luggage of unsuspecting airline passengers to the people who gave out people’s money to legislators to remove a sitting chief justice, there will be no shortage of corruption cases that lie in wait for this supposedly incorruptible government.

* * *

I have to disagree with Senator Grace Poe and other senators who said that the one-off reopening of the Mamasapano massacre investigation produced nothing new.

If only because the hearing called by Senator Juan Ponce Enrile blew the lid on the long-suspected involvement of the Americans in the case, revisiting the massacre was worth it.


POE, PHILSTAR FILE

The hearing disclosed how the Americans, who were the ones who really wanted terrorist bomb-maker Marwan captured or killed, proved that the PNP Special Action Force was the go-to anti-terror arm of the US military, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency.

The US, the hearing proved, provided training, equipment and intelligence to the PNP-SAF, which was then given the task of going after those “high-value targets” that the Americans wanted, like Marwan.

This was why the Americans felt obliged to extract the killed and wounded SAF men using its “defense contractors,” the Blackwater-like mercenaries that it hires on a regular basis to do its dirty work abroad.

These were the “white men” who were on the scene on the day of the massacre, who were sent into Mamasapano because the deployment of real US servicemen can be questioned both in their own homeland and by the host country.

In other words, the 44 SAF commandos died doing the US’ bidding, as coursed through the Philippine President himself. And in the days to come, when the pertinent documents in the US are declassified and revealed, we will get a truer picture of what really went down.

Of course, if Poe was talking about the continuing cover-up that is being implemented by palace allies and the military in defense of Aquino, then there certainly was nothing new there. Absolutely nothing.


Unraveling the truth posted January 29, 2016 at 12:01 am by Alejandro Del Rosario



There must be a higher god that allowed the massacre of 44 men of the PNP-SAF in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

In the end, the President’s men successfully shielded Aquino from any liability in giving a stand-down order not to provide air and artillery support to the besieged police commandos.

Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile who initiated the reopening of the Mamasapano incident walked the committee through the sequence of events to show that President Aquino was actively involved in the planning and execution of Oplan Exodus from Day One.

Enrile’s line of questioning tended to show that Aquino broke the chain of command by putting suspended PNP chief Alan Purisima in charge of the secret mission and then compartmentalizing the operation on a need-to-know basis. Purisima, for his part, was steadfast in shielding the President from any responsibility for the ill-fated mission.

Putting the subject of chain of command in perspective, Senator Gregorio Honasan said it is something that is not abstract or a mere idea that can be cast aside. The exercise of the chain of command in the military particularly by the Chief Executive is enshrined in the Constitution, pointed out Honasan, himself a former army colonel.

Under questioning by Enrile, former PNP-SAF commander General Getulio Napeñas revealed that the US government provided intelligence support and equipment to Oplan Exodus to get international terrorist, the Malaysian Marwan. Napeñas said coordination with the US was in accordance with the global war on terrorism.

He also said former DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, former PNP OIC General Leonardo Espina and then-AFP chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang were excluded in the planning of Oplan Exodus. Catapang said he was only informed that a high-value target was neutralized at 5:51 a.m. of that fateful day of Jan. 25 when the PNP-SAF commandos were already under heavy fire from MILF-BIFF forces.

Committee chairperson Senator Grace Poe wanted to cut short Enrile’s questioning but Senator Bongbong Marcos moved that Enrile be given more time to continue. The other senators didn’t oppose the motion considering they did not have Enrile’s information of the text messages between the President, Napeñas and suspended PNP chief Alan Purisima. When Enrile ended his questioning of Catapang, Napeñas, and Purisima, no-brainer questions followed with Senator Tito Sotto asking about the reward money on Marwan’s head and how much total benefits have been received by the widow and relatives of the SAF 44.

Then, Aquino’s allies—Senators Edgardo Angara Jr., Teofisto Guingona, Antonio Trillanes and Senate President Franklin Drilon—took turns defending the President with leading questions to the officials summoned to the hearing.

A clueless Senator Angara asked National Security Adviser Cesar Garcia why Marwan was considered a high value target.

If Sonny Boy Angara was abreast of the news he should have known Marwan was wanted for the nightclub bombing in the Indonesian resort of Bali that killed 200 Australians and Americans.

Marwan is also a suspect in several bombings in Mindanao and his presence in the area was to instruct local terrorists like Basit Usman how to make improvised bombs.

READ MORE...

Angara, however, elicited from Catapang, Gazmin, Mar Roxas, and even Napeñas that there was no stand-down order from President Aquino. Since none of these officials stated there was no stand-down order, then did the AFP high command act on its own not to provide air and artillery support to rescue the badly outnumbered policemen?

Having done his job to shield Aquino, Angara didn’t go further to find out where the stand-down order came from. This drew outrage from Enrile who said that there was a lot of lying going on before the Senate.

Obviously a stand-down order was given from higher authority even after the grid coordinates were given to pinpoint the location of the SAF commandos and the enemy. Napeñas said he gave the coordinates as early as 7 a.m. to Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan, commanding officer of the 6th Infantry Division.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said there was no sense of urgency in the text messages received from the ground. No sense of urgency even when Napeñas already said the police troopers were pinned down and “baka maubos na sila.” At around 1 p.m., 44 SAF commandos were wiped out by the MILF-BIFF rebels.

In sum, the hearing was able to determine there was no coordination because the President compartmentalized the operation and stymied other branches of the military to act with dispatch.

 It also showed how suspended PNP chief Purisima still had access to the President who put him in charge of the secret police operation. Napeñas said the AFP was not included in the operation because it insists on coordinating any military operation in MILF-controlled territory with the leadership of the rebel group which is suspected of tipping off the intended target.

Retired PNP Superintendent Diosdado Valeroso was a no-show at Wednesday’s Senate hearing with his tapes allegedly showing a cover-up. He was probably spooked by Drilon’s warning that he would be liable for possession of tapes illegally obtained under the anti-wiretapping law.

Current PNP chief Ricardo Marquez said Oplan Exodus, which was executed before he was appointed to the post, was badly planned because there was no prior analysis of the site of operation such as terrain and the exit plan for the withdrawing commandos.


Japan is biggest investor in PEZA posted January 29, 2016 at 12:01 am by Tony Lopez



Japan is the single largest locator of factories in the Philippines’ industrial economic zones.

There are 867 Japanese locator enterprises in economic zones operated by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) which is headed by Director General Lilia de Lima. These companies have invested a total of P595.665 billion since 1995 up to September 2015.

The 20 largest of the Japanese locators and their respective investments include:

•Taganito HPAL Nickel Corp., P62.72 billion;
•Toshiba Information Equipment (Philippines), Inc., P56.38 billion;
•Ibiden Philippines, P31.29 billion;
•Coral Bay Nickel Corp. P28.29 billion;
•Canon Business Machines, P20.59 billion;
•Epson Precision, P17.32 billion;
•Rohm Electronics, P16.39 billion;
•Toyota Autoparts Philippines, P12.55 billion;
•Tsuneishi Heavy Industries, P11.89 billion;
•TDK Philippines, P8.1 billion;
•Taiyo Yuden, P7.94 billion;
•Pilipinas Kao, P7.72 billion;
•Terumo, P7.67 billion;
•Nidec, P7.62 billion;
•Philippines Murata Land, P7.4 billion;
•Green Future Innovations, P6 billion;
•Brother Industries, P5.98 billion;
•Funai Electric Cebu, P5.28 billion;
•First Sumiden Circuits, P5.22 billion; and
•Nidec Precision, P4.32 billion.

Japanese locators are household names in the Philippines —Toyota, Mitsubishi, Uniqlo, Epson, Honda, Yamaha, Ajinomoto, Yakult. Potato chips tycoon Carlos Chan has named his snacks after a Japanese word for delicious—“Oishi”.

President Benigno Aquino III recalls talking to Nidec Corp. president Shigenobu Nagamori recently. The company is open to putting up an R and D facility in the Philippines “as long as we can develop enough engineers with masters and doctorate degrees.”

---------------There are four reasons why the Japanese want to locate their plants in the Philippines: one, strategic location; two, availability of cheap and skilled labor; three, generous tax perks offered by the government, and four, China has become hostile to Japanese investors, not to mention Chinese labor has become prohibitive. There is a fifth one—Peza chief de Lima. She guarantees no red tape and no corruption at Peza’s more than 200 economic zones. De Lima has singlehandedly brought in more foreign investments into the Philippines than any other Filipino. For her feat, BizNewsAsia cited her for management excellence.

Epson Precision Philippines president Kazuyuki Amano finds the Philippines “simply wonderful”. “The Filipino people are very warm and very kind,” he notes. Epson first came to the Philippines in 1996, to escape the high salaries in Hong Kong. “The salaries in the Philippines are very reasonable,” notes Amano. “The Filipino workers are hardworking, efficient, responsible, and cheerful, definitely strong points,” the Epson chief enthuses. “There is not much of a problem doing business in the Philippines.”

For its part, Murata’s largest factory is in the Philippines. The capacitor manufacturing giant put a P1-billion facility in October 2012 at the First Philippine Industrial Park, in Tanauan, Batangas. Today, employment is reaching 1,500.

Murata chose the Philippines for its multi-layer ceramic capacitor plant largely for the availability of a pool of skilled Filipino engineers. “Batangas produces very good engineers,” says Takashi Masuda, president of Murata Electronics Philippines, Inc.. It is also a big help that the engineers speak good English. Nearby Batangas State University is actually a technical school, producing very good professionals like engineers.

Giant Japanese laser printer maker Canon came to the Philippines primarily for three reasons—one, the generous income tax holiday or ITH (no income tax for five years); two, the easy availability of a pool of skilled workers; and three, assistance extended by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.

Peza registered Canon Business Machines (Philippines), Inc. in January 2012 to manufacture monochrome laser beam printers.

The company acquired a 30-hectare lot at the First Philippine Industrial Park, a special economic zone, in Santo Tomas, Batangas. It invested approx. P9 billion in the factory which produce millions of laser beam printer per year. -------------

Employment has rapidly ramped up, started from less than 100 in 2012 to more than 2,300 by the end of 2014. “We are still growing for production,” says Kazuhiko Yamada, president of Canon Business Machines Philippines.

Says President Aquino: “The Philippines has a great number of synergies it can forge with Japan. Japan is the largest trading partner with trade of $19.1 billion in 2014 alone. The Philippines has entered a demographic sweet spot, which means majority of our population is of working age. It only makes sense that we partner with countries who need more young people to work in vital sectors.”

For instance, Japan needs nurses. The Philippines has an abundance of them, notes Aquino. At the same time, Filipino nurses benefit from exposure to the most modern technology available in Japan.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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