Today's Top Stories

  • Sharp better solutions for a better life 2

    Sharp better solutions for a better life 2

    With the continuous evolution of technology and the significant role it plays in the everyday lives of people, Sharp Philippines Corporation (SPC) continues to introduce products that aim to incorporate ease and convenience into the Filipino household. SPC’s products are categorized into four sections, or what they refer to as Solutions – that seek to address the needs of consumers. These are: Entertainment Solution, Clean & Comfort Solution, Health & Beauty Solution and Business Solution. Products highlighted last November 28, 2019 at The Madison Events Place complement those that were launched earlier in July. Though SHARP’s global direction is to bring in the latest products with 8K and AIoT technology, the company also devotes its resources in coming up with items packed with technologies that enables efficiency, provides comfort and promotes good health.  The audience was treated to a visual display as well as live demonstrations conducted by their corresponding Product Specialists, showcasing the features and capability of the items.   Entertainment Solution Having introduced the AQUOS 8K LED TV for the Filipino market last July, SHARP now presents its Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) series of Full HD and 4K HDR Android Televisions. Eligible Android TVs are Google Assistant ready, enabling users to interact with their devices and perform tasks such as playing music/videos, searching for the latest news among others, all hands-free. The new line of Android TVs comes with features such as Comfort Mode, a special AV Mode that reduces 50% of blue light. It also has an Advanced Bluetooth version, which allows users to connect the television to their external Bluetooth speakers.  Have your own personal cinematic sound system with the AQUOS Sound Partner AN-SX7A. It is compatible with a wide variety of devices and is extremely portable; resting comfortably on ones shoulders. The Acoustic Vibration System provides powerful sound and heavy bass, ensuring an immersive audio-visual experience that is perfect for when you are playing video games or enjoying the latest shows on Netflix.  Clean & Comfort  Solution      Personal hygiene is an important aspect in a Filipino’s life. Apart from ensuring the cleanliness of our own being, we want this to be reflected in our homes as well; a place considered as a sanctuary for individuals and families alike.      SPC has your well-being in mind; that is why they develop products that help achieve and maintain a fresh, comfortable environment. These are: Washing Machines, Ractive Air Vacuum Cleaner, Mite Catcher, Air-conditioner with AIoT J-Tech Inverter Technology and Air Purifier/Cleaner equipped with SHARP’s original Plasmacluster Ion Technology.      The application or use of these products are not only limited to homes, as they can also be utilized in venues such as offices, schools, hospitals and other establishments with high population densities; sure to benefit its occupants.  Health & Beauty  Solution      We try to keep ourselves healthy through proper exercise and appropriate diet. This also reflects on the food that we consume and how it is cooked. With SHARP’s Healsio Hotcook, healthy cooking is made possible as the natural moisture and original flavor from ingredients together with its nutritional values are retained, compared to conventional cooking. Dishes are hassle-free; with automatic control and various cooking programs depending on your menu, just place all the necessary ingredients and wait until it is finished. Voila! Your meal is now ready to be served.      Looking good is also tantamount to feeling good. When we exert even the littlest effort in fixing ourselves up, be it reporting to work every day or attending an event, we feel much more confident in facing the world. Beauty appliances for women, such as the Hair Dryer, Hair Iron and Curling Ion with Plasmacluster feature lessens dirt and prevents hair damage. The Scalp Massager on the other hand, reduces dry scalp and keeps our hair healthy. Business Solution      Understanding the needs of businesses, SHARP also has dedicated products that cater to the corporate sector through their dynamic displays that project clear and beautiful images for application as digital signages or for business meetings via the internet.      SHARP has also acquired and further developed the Dynabook Laptop, designed for business professionals and workplace environments. Combining their technologies (displays, sensors etc.) with that of Toshiba, they seek to produce market-leading computers and other devices. The Dynabook features a thin design with long-lasting battery and is rated with MIL-STD-810G for utmost durability.        Committed to quality and innovation, SHARP will continue to develop products that will bring Better Solutions for a Better Life to consumers.

    December 4, 2019

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  • Trucking industry gets a boost in Butuan City

    Trucking industry gets a boost in Butuan City

    * Hino Motors opens dealership in Butuan BUTUAN City’s vibrant economy has ushered in investments in the trucking industry, the latest of which is the opening yesterday of Hino Motors Philippines dealership and showroom along the city’s main thoroughfare in Barangay Libertad. Hino Motors Philippines (HMP), Inc. is the country’s leading truck manufacturer and its new branch inButuan City will serve its valued patrons in the five provinces if Caraga including consumer-rich Butuan and Surigao cities.      Bannered under the umbrella of Toyota Group, Hino Butuan City offers the same brand of quality sales, parts and services that has marked its other more than 20 dealerships nationwide.      Located along Km. 5, National Highway, Libertad in the regional capital of Butuan City, the presence of the Hino dealership here is expected to boost the economy in this side of Mindanao, especially those in the trucking business.      Among the models available in Hino Butuan City are the Hino 300 Series, Hino PUV, Hino 700 Series and Hino Bus.      Yesterday's opening was led by no less than Hino Motors Philippines president Mitsuharu Tabeta, Butuan City Mayor Ronnie Vicente Lagnada and Hino Butuan City president Betty Lu.      Aside from manufacturing vehicles and bodies, Hino Motors Philippines also distributes genuine Hino parts and accessories and provides long-term maintenance services to its clients. It is also the only company which offers customization thus becoming a “one-stop shop” – from chassis assembly to building the body based on the desired specification of the client and further to vehicle maintenance, repair and refurbishing.      Hino Motors Philippines Corporation is the first bus body manufacturer in the country to receive ISO 9001:2000 Certification, a distinction that serves as a proof of unmatched product quality. It’s leadership in the industry can be attributed to the durability and cost-effectiveness of Hino products and this is reflected in its tag line “Hino - Global brand, lifetime value.”      This year, the company became an avid supporter of the government's PUV modernization program.      In 2019 alone, the company has distributed 400 PUV units nationwide.

    November 27, 2019

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  • Amazon deforestation and number of fires show summer of 2019 not a 'normal' year

    Amazon deforestation and number of fires show summer of 2019 not a 'normal' year

    The fires that raged across the Brazilian Amazon this summer were not 'normal' and large increases in deforestation could explain why, scientists show.      The perceived scale of the Amazon blazes received global attention this summer. However, international concerns raised at the time were countered by the Brazilian Government, which claimed the fire situation in August was 'normal' and 'below the historical average'.      An international team of scientists writing in the journal Global Change Biology say the number of active fires in August was actually three times higher than in 2018 and the highest number since 2010.      Although fires in the Amazon can occur in a number of ways, the scientists show that there is strong evidence to link this year's increases to deforestation.      They have used evidence collected from the Brazilian Government's DETER-b deforestation detection system -- which calculates deforestation by interpreting images taken by NASA satellites.      This shows that deforestation in July this year was almost four times the average from the same period in the previous three years. This is important as deforestation is almost always followed by fire -- the cut vegetation is left to dry before being burned.      Professor Jos Barlow, lead author of the paper said: "The marked upturn in both active fire counts and deforestation in 2019 therefore refutes suggestions by the Brazilian Government that August 2019 was a normal fire month in the Amazon."      August's blazes occurred at a time without a strong drought. Droughts can provide conditions favourable to the spreading of human-made fires. The scientists also show that the 'enormous' smoke plumes that reached high into the atmosphere, which were captured by media footage of the blazes, could only have been caused by the combustion of large amounts of biomass.      The researchers acknowledge that the number of active fires decreased in September by 35 per cent. Though they say it is not clear whether that fall is due to rains or President Bolsonaro's two-month moratoria on fires.      Images from DETER-b show that deforestation continued at a rate well above the average in September, despite the President's moratoria.      The extent of August's fires is unclear. Although the numbers of fires are counted, their extent is not, the researchers acknowledge in their paper 'Clarifying Amazonia's burning crisis'.      Dr Erika Berenguer, a Brazilian researcher jointly affiliated with Lancaster University and the University of Oxford, said: "Our paper clearly shows that without tackling deforestation, we will continue to see the largest rainforest in the world being turned to ashes. We must curb deforestation.      "Brazil has for the past decade been an environmental leader, showing to the world that it can successfully reduce deforestation. It is both economically and environmentally unwise to revert this trend."      The paper's authors are Jos Barlow of Lancaster University, Erika Berenguer of Lancaster University and the University of Oxford, Rachel Carmenta of the University of Cambridge, and Filipe França of the Universidade Federal do Pará.      (Story Source: Materials provided by Lancaster University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length./ www.sciencedaily.com)

    November 25, 2019

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  • REDISCOVERING ENERGY WITH THE NEW LEGARDE L-CARNITINE SUPPLEMENT

    REDISCOVERING ENERGY WITH THE NEW LEGARDE L-CARNITINE SUPPLEMENT

    BONIFACIO GLOBAL CITY, TAGUIG— To a crowd of journalists, celebrities, and health and fitness advocates, McGraw Pharma Inc., one of the country’s most trusted pharmaceutical companies formally introduced its newest addition in their growing healthcare product portfolio, LeGARDE.  The LeGARDE Health and Wellness Expo, which took place last September 6-8 at the Globe Ampitheater, Bonifacio Global City, successfully launched LeGARDE— an L-Carnitine supplement made with Carnipure™ and Licaps® fusion technology. An event created to satiate today’s active lifestyle trend, the expo featured four pillars: Sweat, Feed, Extend, Unwind, in partnership with various merchants such as Spartan Race Philippines, ECHOstore, Diet Diva, FlexFit, and Sun’s Out Fitness.  During the event, guests were able to experience different activities with other energy enthusiasts like Katarina Rodriguez, Ben Wintle, Aubrey Miles, Charles Tiu, and Patty Laurel.  “Multitasking is a thing nowadays. You can be a corporate guy in the morning and a DJ by night. But the motivation to commit in all these things can be as elusive as the energy to do it all. And I can’t think of a better time to jumpstart your journey to better energy optimization than today,” says Jonathan Sibulo, President of McGraw Pharma Inc.  The expo also shed light on L-Carnitine and how it works in your body. “L-Carnitine occurs naturally in your body. It plays an important role in converting stored fat into a source of usable energy. Carnipure is a grade of L-Carnitine that is highly versatile and used in a wide range of different applications, and LeGARDE has it in Licaps® fusion technology,” he adds.  In between activities, LeGARDE’s celebrity endorser Nico Bolzico, answered some questions from the guests. “Being fit doesn’t always have to be a daunting goal to aspire. What people often forget is that a good and balanced energy use is also important. Imagine being able to do whatever you want!” Nico exclaims.  The 3-day event also featured healthcare professionals, Dr. Raoul Felipe and Dr. Helen Ong-Garcia, who facilitated a more deep dive L-Carnitine discussion. “More than anything else, I hope people would be more inspired to take care of their physical health. There are so many interesting success stories about wellness [people doing this, doing that], and I truly hope we get to make more,” Jonathan adds.  #KeepGoing with LeGARDE Carnipure L-Carnitine Supplement. Visit www.legarde.com.ph for more details. Follow Legarde L-Carnitine on Facebook and @legardeph on Instagram for more exciting news.  

    October 11, 2019

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Sharp better solutions for a better life 2

December 4, 2019

Corporate

By: , With the continuous evolution of technology and the significant role it plays in the everyday lives of people, Sharp Philippines Corporation (SPC) continues to introduce products that aim to incorporate ease and convenience into the Filipino household. SPC’s products are categorized into four sections, or what they refer to as Solutions – that seek to address the needs of consumers. These are: Entertainment Solution, Clean & Comfort Solution, Health & Beauty Solution and Business Solution. Products highlighted last November 28, 2019 at The Madison Events Place complement those that were launched earlier in July. Though SHARP’s global direction is to bring in the latest products with 8K and AIoT technology, the company also devotes its resources in coming up with items packed with technologies that enables efficiency, provides comfort and promotes good health.  The audience was treated to a visual display as well as live demonstrations conducted by their corresponding Product Specialists, showcasing the features and capability of the items.   Entertainment Solution Having introduced the AQUOS 8K LED TV for the Filipino market last July, SHARP now presents its Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) series of Full HD and 4K HDR Android Televisions. Eligible Android TVs are Google Assistant ready, enabling users to interact with their devices and perform tasks such as playing music/videos, searching for the latest news among others, all hands-free. The new line of Android TVs comes with features such as Comfort Mode, a special AV Mode that reduces 50% of blue light. It also has an Advanced Bluetooth version, which allows users to connect the television to their external Bluetooth speakers.  Have your own personal cinematic sound system with the AQUOS Sound Partner AN-SX7A. It is compatible with a wide variety of devices and is extremely portable; resting comfortably on ones shoulders. The Acoustic Vibration System provides powerful sound and heavy bass, ensuring an immersive audio-visual experience that is perfect for when you are playing video games or enjoying the latest shows on Netflix.  Clean & Comfort  Solution      Personal hygiene is an important aspect in a Filipino’s life. Apart from ensuring the cleanliness of our own being, we want this to be reflected in our homes as well; a place considered as a sanctuary for individuals and families alike.      SPC has your well-being in mind; that is why they develop products that help achieve and maintain a fresh, comfortable environment. These are: Washing Machines, Ractive Air Vacuum Cleaner, Mite Catcher, Air-conditioner with AIoT J-Tech Inverter Technology and Air Purifier/Cleaner equipped with SHARP’s original Plasmacluster Ion Technology.      The application or use of these products are not only limited to homes, as they can also be utilized in venues such as offices, schools, hospitals and other establishments with high population densities; sure to benefit its occupants.  Health & Beauty  Solution      We try to keep ourselves healthy through proper exercise and appropriate diet. This also reflects on the food that we consume and how it is cooked. With SHARP’s Healsio Hotcook, healthy cooking is made possible as the natural moisture and original flavor from ingredients together with its nutritional values are retained, compared to conventional cooking. Dishes are hassle-free; with automatic control and various cooking programs depending on your menu, just place all the necessary ingredients and wait until it is finished. Voila! Your meal is now ready to be served.      Looking good is also tantamount to feeling good. When we exert even the littlest effort in fixing ourselves up, be it reporting to work every day or attending an event, we feel much more confident in facing the world. Beauty appliances for women, such as the Hair Dryer, Hair Iron and Curling Ion with Plasmacluster feature lessens dirt and prevents hair damage. The Scalp Massager on the other hand, reduces dry scalp and keeps our hair healthy. Business Solution      Understanding the needs of businesses, SHARP also has dedicated products that cater to the corporate sector through their dynamic displays that project clear and beautiful images for application as digital signages or for business meetings via the internet.      SHARP has also acquired and further developed the Dynabook Laptop, designed for business professionals and workplace environments. Combining their technologies (displays, sensors etc.) with that of Toshiba, they seek to produce market-leading computers and other devices. The Dynabook features a thin design with long-lasting battery and is rated with MIL-STD-810G for utmost durability.        Committed to quality and innovation, SHARP will continue to develop products that will bring Better Solutions for a Better Life to consumers.

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Vista Land, Mitsubishi Estate form joint venture

November 22, 2019

Corporate

By: , VISTA Land & Lifescapes, Inc. (VLL) has teamed with Japanese real estate developer Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd (MEC) to develop a mixed-use, high-rise condominium along Taft Avenue, Manila.      The partnership is being formed through a 60:40 joint venture company between VLL’s vertical development arm Vista Residences, Inc. (VRI) and MEC’s subsidiary Mitsubishi Estate Residence Co., Ltd. (MER).      VLL President and Chief Executive Officer Manuel Paolo Villar said “This joint venture is a testament to the increasing trust and confidence of customers and investors alike in Vista. It highlights our growing profile not just with buyers but also with existing and potential partners, both here and abroad.”      This will be the MEC Group’s first residential development project in the Philippines.      “We are confident that this collaboration shall bring about a skillfully engineered and beautifully designed tower at the heart of the university cluster in Taft, and we hope to explore more opportunities with Vista Land to develop the rich potential of the real estate industry in Asia. We believe this joint venture is only the beginning, paving the way for a long-term and fruitful partnership,” MER Director and Senior Managing Executive Officer Yutaro Yotsuzuka said.      VLL is a recognized authority in homebuilding and community development with established presence all over the Philippines, while the MEC Group boasts of a diversified portfolio that has expanded to international markets including the US, UK, Australia, and other countries in Asia.      This joint venture is an opportunity for both companies to combine their architectural, engineering, and technological expertise for a project that will address the rising demand of the student population in Taft.      The condominium offers over 1,000 residential units spanning 32 stories, plus seven floors of parking spaces and one ground floor featuring various commercial establishments.      It is set to be launched in the first half of 2020, with turnover targeted in the second half of 2024. (PR)

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Del Monte unit starts selling US facilities

November 22, 2019

Corporate

By: , DEL MONTE Pacific Ltd. said its US subsidiary is improving its capacity utilization, as it has sold or in the process of selling assets of four US-based production facilities.      The listed canned fruit manufacturer told the stock exchange yesterday US subsidiary Del Monte Foods, Inc. (DMFI) sold and transferred its Cambria, Wisconsin operations to Seneca Foods Corp. on Nov. 1.      It also disposed of equipment at its Crystal City, Texas facility and is looking at selling the remaining assets of the factory.      For its facilities in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota and Mendota, Illinois, DMFI already signed a sale agreement and is targeting to complete the deal by the fourth quarter of its fiscal year, or within February to April next year.      “Production at rationalized facilities is being transitioned to other DMFI production facilities in the United States as well as to strategic co-packers. These divestitures will enable DMFI to significantly improve capacity utilization at the remaining plants in its production network,” it said.      Del Monte Pacific announced in August it is divesting these facilities as a way to reduce costs.      Through the initiative, the company said it expects its EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) margins to increase by about 225-275 basis points (about $50–60 million) over the next two years.      DMFI said it is now on-track to exceed its EBITDA targets for the full-year ending April 2020.      Savings from its cost cutting efforts will be used to expand the company’s brands as it said it wants to ride on the current consumer appetite for “convenient, healthy and tasty plant-based foods.”      Aside from operational changes, Del Monte Pacific said it is currently exploring refinancing the approximately $1.4 billion loan of DMFI. This includes a $442.5-million asset-based loan facility, a $670-million first lien term loan and a $260-million second lien term loan, which are due to expire on Nov. 2020, Feb. 2021 and Aug. 2021, respectively.      “The group has continued to support the capital structure requirements and deleveraging efforts of DMFI, including the purchase, over the last 20 months, of approximately $231 million of DMFI’s second lien term loan,” it said.      Del Monte Pacific posted a net loss of $38.3 million in the first quarter ending July, a turnaround from the net income of $3 million last year, due to one-off expenses from the disposal of its assets in its Crystal City, Texas facility.

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NGCP plans to invest up to P463 billion in next 10 years

November 22, 2019

Corporate

By: , PRIVATELY owned National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) targets to invest up to P463 billion in the next 10 years to improve the country’s power transmission backbone, it said on Wednesday to mark the 10th year of its franchise.      “Our projects, which will be worth P188 billion by end of 2019, and those in the pipeline, are meticulously planned by our engineers and updated year after year with careful consideration for the needs of every single area in the country,” the company said in a statement.      It said the projects in the pipeline, which include alternative transmission corridors and the development of resiliency policies for power transmission facilities, are detailed in its transmission development plan.      NGCP, which holds a 50-year franchise that started in 2009, said it is on-track to complete the Mindanao-Visayas interconnection project (MVIP), which is considered as the largest energy infrastructure in the history of the country. It previously placed its investment in the project at P52 billion.      “We are dedicated to completing the MVIP by December 2020 not only because we committed this, but also because interconnection among the three main grids is long overdue,” it said.      “The interconnection of Visayas and Mindanao was first proposed by government in 1984; but it was private entity NGCP which brought the government’s decades old plan from the feasibility stage to the implementation and completion stage,” it added.      In the coming years, the company said it is set to complete more projects, including the 500-kilovolt (kV) substation projects in Taguig and Marilao; and the 230-kV substation projects in Pasay, Navotas, and Antipolo. These substations will cater to the load growth of Metro Manila. NGCP is also set to complete the Cebu-Bohol 230-kV interconnection project that will accommodate the load growth and provide reliability of Bohol Island; and the Nabas-Caticlan-Boracay interconnection project that will cover the load growth and provide reliability of the Boracay Island. It is also committed to finish the Visayas voltage improvement project to boost the power quality in the area.      In Mindanao, it is targeting to complete the 230-kV backbone project that will upgrade the southern region’s transmission capacity and secure the reliability of power transmission services in the area. It is also upgrading the island’s substation to increase the capacity and improve power quality. The 138-kV Kabacan substation project is expected to help in ensuring power reliability in south western Mindanao.      NGCP, led by majority shareholders Henry T. Sy, Jr. and Robert G. Coyiuto, Jr., said it strives to become the strongest power grid in Southeast Asia and has so far invested P151 billion in the government’s aging transmission system.      “A total of 5,626 transmission structures, 2,472 circuit-kilometers of transmission lines, 18 new substations, 63 upgraded substations, and an additional 15,634 MVA (megavolt ampere) of transformer capacity has been installed in the past 10 years,” it said.

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DOF won’t withdraw pending ‘sin’ tax bill

November 25, 2019

Banking & Finance

By: , THE Department of Finance (DOF) will not withdraw its proposal seeking to increase “sin” taxes on alternative tobacco products despite President Duterte’s pronouncement banning the public use and importation of vapes and electronic cigarettes.      Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said that legislative deliberation on proposed higher excise taxes on e-cigarettes and vape products should continue in the Senate as they await the President’s executive order (EO)on the ban.      “We are awaiting the EO on this matter from the Office of the President. In the meantime, we urge the legislature to pass the measure that is pending their approval,” Dominguez told reporters in a mobile phone message late Wednesday when asked if the DOF will still push for higher taxes on e-cigarettes and vapes.      President Duterte recently directed authorities to ban the use of vapes and e-cigarettes in public as well as their importation, saying “it is toxic, and government has the power to issue measures to protect public health and public interest.”      Last week, the Department of Health (DOH) reported the first case of e-cigarette or vaping-associated lung injury (EVALI) in Visayas.      In recent months, a spike in the number of cases of EVALI has also been seen in the United States, with over 2,000 cases reported, and 39 people having lost their lives.      Earlier, both the DOF and DOH said that it was better to regulate the use of vapes and e-cigarettes in the country than imposing a blanket ban on these products.      According to the health and finance departments, a total ban may just force vapes and e-cigarettes onto the black market, where the products would be harder to control by the government.      President Duterte had endorsed higher taxes on alternative cigarettes and alcoholic beverages, or Senate Bill No. 1074, as his urgent measure that needs to be passed by Congress before yearend and implemented beginning January 2020.      In his letter to the Senate leadership, President Duterte sought the swift passage of the bill “to address the urgent need to generate additional revenue to support the effective implementation of the Universal Health Care Act and to further protect the right to health of the people.”      SB-1074 aims to align the tax rate of heated tobacco and vape with traditional cigarettes at P45 beginning next year, P50 in 2021, P55 in 2022, and P60 in 2023, with five percent annual increases onwards.      The proposed bill also covers alcoholic beverages, which once passed into law will increase the tax on distilled spirits from P23.5 to P90 per proof liter with a 20 percent ad valorem tax beginning next year.      Meanwhile, fermented liquors and alcopops would be taxed at P45 per liter, up from P25.4. Finally, a specific tax of P600 would be imposed on sparkling wines, while a specific tax of P43 would be imposed on still and carbonated wines beginning 2020.      The DOF expects SB-1074 to raise at least P47.9 billion in incremental revenue for its first year of implementation.

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BPI targets 20% growth in sustainable loans in 2020

November 22, 2019

Banking & Finance

By: , THE Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) is targeting a 20% growth in its sustainable loan portfolio by next year.      On the sidelines of a company event on Friday evening, BPI President and CEO Cezar P. Consing said the bank is looking to grow its sustainable loan book, which currently accounts for 10% of the total loan portfolio.      “What we’re trying is to improve our ratio… 10% of our loan book is sustainable and our renewable to non-renewable (ratio) is 50-50%, more or less. That 10% has to grow and the 50-50 has to overtime swing in favor of renewables but this takes time,” Mr. Consing told reporters.      BPI Head of Corporate Credit Junie Veloso said that the Ayala-led bank is targeting to increase its P130-billion sustainable financing portfolio by 20% next year.      “For the renewable energy and sustainable portfolio, it’s P100-P150 billion. Our target is to grow that by 20% next year. This is a long-term vision. Moving forward, we want to become more sustainable by pushing for sustainable financing,” Mr. Veloso said on the sidelines of the bank’s Sustainable Development Finance launch on Friday.      The bank’s Sustainable Energy Finance (SEF) portfolio has cumulative availed loans of over P130 billion as of June, majority of which or 63% are classified as renewable energy, while the remaining fall under energy efficiency (21%) and climate resilience (16%), according to Jo Ann B. Eala, head of sustainable development finance at BPI.      “We have a total of 330 projects funded already, almost half of that goes to energy efficiency, which refers to projects that bring down electricity consumption. You bring down electricity consumption and increase efficiency first, before you go to the sexier renewables,” Ms. Eala said during the same event.      However, Mr. Veloso said the bank’s funding has always been available but there is a lack of eligible projects.      “Our problem is less our desire to grow it but the availability of financeable projects. Capacity (of renewables) are smaller as compared to fossils like coal plants which are much bigger. Hopefully we can find those small ones so we can hit our growth target… Typically, when we say renewables, malaki na ang 50 megawatts for a single project (50 megawatts is relatively big),” he explained.      “Remember, we can only lend to projects that are there, the projects have to be there. If not, there’s nothing that we can do. It takes a while to develop them to the point that they are financeable,” Mr. Consing said.      While the bank is boosting its support to renewable energy, BPI Head of Corporate Banking John C. Syquia said that the bank is also pushing for energy conservation, arguing that “even if it were clean energy, you also want to use less of it”.      In September, the lender raised $300 million in ASEAN green bonds, a drawdown from it medium-term note (MTN) program to finance eligible projects under its Green Finance Framework.      BPI’s Green Finance Framework was launched in June, providing guidelines for any green bonds or loans issued by the bank, including the evaluation and selection of eligible projects, management of proceeds, and reporting, among others.      The Ayala-led bank’s net income stood at P22.03 billion in the first nine months of the year, 29.5% higher than the P17.01 billion posted a year ago.

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Bangko Sentral readies new reforms for 2020

November 22, 2019

Banking & Finance

By: , THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is set to implement two new regulations targeted to further protect banks’ operational risks by 2020.      In her speech during the Chamber of Thrift Banks (CTB) membership meeting in Makati City Tuesday, BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier said they are scheduled to implement by June next year the supervisory assessment framework or SAFr in lieu of the CAMELS rating.      CAMELS is an international rating system that checks on banks’ capital adequacy, management capability, earnings, liquidity, and sensitivity.      Fonacier said SAFr will have a four-point rating on banks’ overall health, with 4 as the highest and 1 as the lowest, unlike CAMELS’ 5 ratings.      “It features an assessment that is business model-centric that will shape the BSP’s supervisory intervention and influence, the frequency of examination,” she said.      Fonacier said they have conducted a parallel run with a major bank for SAFr implementation, but the results of the comparison with CAMELS are still being finalized.      She explained SAFr is forward-looking assessment while CAMELS’ is historical thus, there are some developments after the assessment period that are not incorporated vis-à-vis the bank’s ratings.      In an interview by journalists after the event, Fonacier said banks should be able to properly assess the risks and prepare for these because this is part of risk management.      “This is reputation risk management, meaning they should be very conscious of what are the potential threats to the reputation of the bank,” she said.      Fonacier further said SAFr is a holistic assessment of a bank’s overall health since it also checks on the various kinds of risks that banks face.      Under this system, which has yet to be approved by the Monetary Board (MB), an assessment will be made every two years, unlike CAMELS that is done annually.      The BSP is set to implement in the second quarter next year the risk-based pricing framework that will weigh “risks associated with lending and financing are adequately compensated.”      “Borrowers with lower risk profile should be charged with lower interest rates and vice versa,” she said.      Fonacier said they have released a draft circular on the system, which industry players and some small banks said maybe “tedious” to implement. (PNA)

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DBP installs ATMs in underbanked Palawan towns

November 4, 2019

Banking & Finance

By: , In support of the national government’s efforts to promote greater financial inclusion, state-owned Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) recently installed offsite automated teller machines (ATMs) in the underbanked municipalities of Quezon and Narra in Palawan, a top official said.      President and chief executive officer of DBP, Emmanuel Herbosa, said in a news release issued on Wednesday that the installation of the ATMs mirrors the bank’s commitment to promote financial inclusion, especially in underbanked and unserved areas of the country.      “These newly-installed ATMs will provide 24/7 electronic banking services to nearly 200,000 residents of the municipalities of Quezon and Narra, Palawan and the neighboring unbanked town of Rizal,” hesaid.      While classified as first-class municipalities, both Narra and Quezon, Palawan are underbanked with only two rural banks operating in these areas.      These towns are also more than two hours away from the provincial capital, Puerto Princesa City. (PR)

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PH Saves Billions with NGCP's Financing Grid Expansion

November 22, 2019

Economy

By: , As it strives to become the strongest power grid in Southeast Asia, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has so far invested P151 billion in the Philippines’s aging transmission system. A total of 5,626 transmission structures, 2,472 circuit-kilometers of transmission lines, 18 new substations, 63 upgraded substations, and an additional 15,634 MVA of transformer capacity has been installed in the past 10 years.      Being the country’s sole transmission service provider, NGCP lays the highways where reliable and sustainable power flows from generating plants to distribution utilities, industries, businesses, and households. Tasked with operating, maintaining, and expanding the power grid, NGCP is dedicated to improving the country’s transmission network. Better power transmission for the nation      The company completed 109 projects which include the Lumban-Bay 230kV Transmission Line Project which provided maximum dispatch of power plants from South Luzon to the Load Center; San Esteban – Laoag 230kV Transmission Line Project which accommodated the renewal energy power plants in Northern Luzon; Luzon Voltage Improvement Projects which provided additional MegaVolt Ampere Reactive (MVAR) capacity to improve power quality; Bataan Grid Reinforcement Project which accommodated a 600MW Coal Power Plant in Bataan;  Santiago-Tuguegarao 230kV Transmission line project, ensuring a more reliable and better quality of power transmission services for power consumers in Isabela, Cagayan, Kalinga, Apayao; and the Typhoon Nina Rehabilitation Project which upgraded the wind rating of transmission towers in Bicol region to withstand super typhoon winds of up to 300 kph.      In Mindanao, the company completed, among others, the Balo-i-Villanueva (Kirahon)-Maramag-Bunawan 230kV Transmission Line, the first 230kV transmission line in the region that connects the northern and southern Mindanao; the Aurora-Polanco 138kV Transmission Line which improved the reliability and power quality in Zamboanga del Norte; the Matanao-Culaman (Malita) 230kV Line which accommodated a new generating capacity in the Davao Occidental; the General Santos-Tacurong 138kV Transmission Line which catered the load growth and provided reliable transmission facility in SOCCSKSARGEN region; the Matanao-General Santos 138kV Line which provided N-1 to the existing line; and various substations such as Toril Substation and Opol Substation.            For the Visayas, NGCP energized the submarine portion of the Cebu-Negros-Panay 230kV Backbone Stage 1 which provided an additional transfer capacity between Negros and Panay; the Ormoc-Babatngon 138kV Transmission Line, reinforcing power transmission delivery in the Leyte and Samar provinces; the Southern Panay 138kV Backbone which addressed the load growth in the Panay area; the Calong-Calong-Toledo-Colon-Cebu 138kV Transmission Line, constructed to provide N-1 provision to the existing 138kV transmission corridor in Cebu; and the Bohol 138kV Backbone Line which provided a more stable and reliable transmission network in Bohol. More in the pipeline      NGCP’s Transmission Development Plan (TDP) details these priority projects to improve transmission backbones and alternative transmission corridors, and to develop resiliency policies for power transmission facilities.      The company is set to complete more projects in the coming years, among which are: the 500kV Substation Projects (Taguig and Marilao) and 230kV Substation Projects (Pasay, Navotas, and Antipolo) to cater to the load growth of Metro Manila; the Cebu – Bohol 230kV Interconnection Project to accommodate the load growth and provide reliability of Bohol Island; the Nabas-Caticlan-Boracay Interconnection Project to accommodate the load growth and provide reliability of the Boracay Island; the Visayas Voltage Improvement Project to improve the power quality in Visayas; the Mindanao 230kV backbone project to upgrade the region’s transmission capacity and secure the reliability of power transmission services throughout the island; the Mindanao Substation Upgrading Project to increase the substation capacity and improve power quality; and the Kabacan 138kV Substation Project which will contribute to power reliability in South Western Mindanao area.      An estimated total investment worth P463 billion is programmed for the next ten years. Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection      NGCP is on-track to complete the Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection Project (MVIP), considered as the largest energy infrastructure in the history of the country.       “We are dedicated to completing the MVIP by December 2020 not only because we committed this, but also because interconnection among the three main grids is long overdue. The interconnection of Visayas and Mindanao was first proposed by government in 1984; but it was private entity NGCP which brought the government’s decades old plan from the feasibility stage to the implementation and completion stage,” stated NGCP.      “Our projects, which will be worth PhP188 billion by end of 2019, and those in the pipeline, are meticulously planned by our engineers and updated year after year with careful consideration for the needs of every single area in the country,” NGCP noted.      NGCP is a Filipino-led, privately owned company in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s power grid, led by majority shareholders Henry Sy, Jr. and Robert Coyiuto, Jr.

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DOLE-X accredits 166 PhilJobNet private companies; boosts net job search

August 5, 2019

Economy

By: , CAGAYAN de Oro City--The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-X) through its Cagayan de Oro City Field Office (CDO FO) accredited 166 companies in the private sector during the first half of the year under the PhilJobnet - the official job-search portal of the government.      This move will boost increased job vacancies through net search.      DOLE-X CDO FO Chief Ebba B. Acosta said the realization is in collaboration with various establishments’ human resource development agenda and provision of platforms that would promote effective matching of the available jobs with the right people.       Acosta said the FO made sure that partner companies registered under the Department’s Rule 1020 or the Registration of Establishment shall also join the PhilJobNet. Likewise, the same rule was applied to companies joining the DOLE’s job facilitation program or the Job Fair.      Registration at PhilJobNet is free for both job seekers and employers.  In order for an employer to be accredited, they only need to submit/upload their BIR Registration Certificate (2303), SEC/DTI Registration Certificate, POEA License (for Overseas Recruitment Agency), DOLE License (for Local Recruitment Agency and Department Order No. 174 for Contractors/Subcontractors).      As an accredited establishment, they are free to upload at least ten job posts monthly; top banner for every job post; office location map; report pages; and synced interview calendar.        Premium services like unlimited job posting; email information and SMS/text blast to all registered job seekers; resume search; and priority jobs;  company name display at the topmost page are available for a fee.        PhilJobNet is an internet-based job and applicant matching system which aims to fast track jobseekers’ search job and employers for manpower requirements.  It provides job seekers with a listing of job vacancies posted by accredited government and private employers as well as by local and overseas manpower recruitment.      For mobile services, PhilJobnet application is available at Google Play Store for free. (DOLE10/PIA10)

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PPA inaugurates PH Biggest Port Terminal Bldg in CDO Today

July 15, 2019

Economy

By: Mike Baños, “The construction of this brand new building will greatly strengthen the region as the global gateway to Mindanao. Once we inaugurate this on July 15, we are opening Cagayan De Oro to the nation and to the rest of the world as we pursue progress for our seaports,” said PPA General Manager Jay Santiago in a statement. Santiago said the new P 276.705 million facility would boost opportunities for economic growth and tourism, not only in the city or in the province of Misamis Oriental, but for the entire Northern Mindanao. Through the expansion project, the new PTB can now accommodate up to 3,000 sea passengers daily, triple its previous passenger capacity of 1,000. The only port in the country managed and operated by the Philippine Ports Authority with such a facility, the 18,150.50 sq.m. Passenger Terminal Complex houses three (3) major structures: the 2-Storey Passenger Terminal Building, the ground floor of which has a 1,176 passenger seating-capacity and the second floor of which has a 1,221 passenger-seating capacity; Waiting Area for arriving passengers; and the Security Checkpoint Facility 1 for embarking passengers. The Complex also has a queuing area for Taxis/PUVs; a designated area for ticketing outlets; covered walkways; open spaces for parking with carbon sink areas containing mature trees and some plants. The Passenger Terminal Building contains facilities and GAD amenities for the safety, security, comfort and convenience of the passengers including Security Checkpoint 2 with X- Ray scanner for luggage/baggage, body scanner, CCTVs; Security Office; Office for PTC Personnel; Ballistics and Ammunitions Office; Passenger Boarding Stations; Collector’s Booth; Public Assistance and “Malasakit” Help Desks; Offices for passenger-related agencies such as Tourism, Quarantine, City Tourist Police and Coast Guard; waiting areas; a designated green area with plant boxes; and storage room for equipment and housekeeping, among others. GAD amenities include Play Area for children; Child Care Station for breastfeeding and diaper changing; Ecumenical Prayer Rooms; Special Boarding Lane for Senior Citizens, PWDS, Pregnant Women and Women travelling with children below 2 years old; drinking fountains; separate toilet facilities for PWDs, Female and Male; a Medical Urgent Care Need Room; and Concessionaires Area for food stalls, coffee shops and pasalubong centers, among others. Relatedly, PPA Administrative Order No. 04-2019 which takes effect today, July 15, 2019 grants Exemption from Payment of Passenger Terminal Fee to Embarking Passengers in all PPA Ports, particularly Students, Senior Citizens, Persons with Disability and Selected Uniformed Personnel ie. AFP, PNP and the PCG in active service. PPA have remained steadfast in giving “malasakit” and service to the Filipino people as it celebrated its 45 th Founding Anniversary on July 11, 2019 with the theme “Apatnapu’t limang taon na Malasakit at Serbisyo”. PPA GM Santiago explained that “Malasakit at Serbisyo” will be the mantra of PPA in the next 365 days with the end goal of providing “malasakit” to the Filipino people through improved port services and towards a comfortable travel experience. Besides the new PTB, the PPA will also be inaugurating its new port in Opol, Misamis Oriental and the 6-lane electronic multi-gate system. Together with the ongoing extension of wharf and expansion back- up area, these three projects are part of the Port Management Office for Misamis Oriental and Cagayan de Oro program to beef up its operational capability under its 7 Pillars of Development infrastructure program. Developed in consultation with the Philippine Liners Shipping Association (PLSA), the long- term program is geared towards sustaining the Northern Mindanao’s growth over the following decades. Metro Cagayan de Oro is envisioned to become the Philippines 4 th Metropolitan Center by 2025 along with Manila, Cebu and Davao, based on the National Spatial Strategy proposed network of settlements under the 2017-2025 edition of the Philippine Development Plan, As a Metropolitan Center, Cagayan de Oro would serve as a center of commercial, financial, and administrative activities and a primary international gateway. Beyond the immediate port area, the Port Management Office-Misamis Oriental-Cagayan de Oro will also alleviate road congestion in its entry/exit points through the Opol port zone delineation and development project to address congestion in the West coast highways by handling all incoming cargo from the Western Misamis Oriental and Iligan City. “The development and construction of Opol Port will decongest Cagayan de Oro Port with the diversion of tramping vessels to Luyong Bonbon, Opol, Misamis Oriental, thereby relieving the arterial roads to the port of the truck traffic and the port itself of these types of vessels” said Engr. Samuel Claro P. Fontanilla, PMO MisOr CDO engineering services division manager.   “As part of the seven pillars program to transform the Port of Cagayan de Oro into a purely containerized port, the Port of Opol will serve as the alternate port for domestic tramping vessels to ease berth congestion at the Port of Cagayan de Oro to bring it up to UNCTAD standard,” he added. The P264-million Opol port project will reduce standby time, shifting of vessels and optimize berth utilization at the CDO Port. Relatedly, the 6-Lane, ISPS compliant Electronic Gate Complex through Gate 3 leading to Arcadia Valenzuela Avenue in Lapasan will relieve traffic congestion at Gate No. 2 by providing 6 lane electronic controlled access to port users and eliminate long queues at the entry point. This facility will be fully equipped with CCTV cameras, weigh bridges for cargoes, electronic gates, payment booths. The Electronic Permit System (EPS) and Electronic Payment System (ePayment) will be eventually embedded and complemented by the LTO’s Motor Vehicle Recognition System through the use of the RFID. (as part of system (RFID). Expected to grace the inauguration of the three key facilities is DOTr Secretary Arthur P. Tugade. The DOTr Chief Executive commended the PPA for its efforts in completing the massive port project for the people of Cagayan de Oro. “I am thankful to GM Jay Santiago, and to the men and women of PPA, for realizing the dream of building the biggest Passenger Terminal Building in the country. This is a huge step towards giving the people of Cagayan de Oro a comfortable life through enhanced connectivity, a legacy promised by President Rodrigo Duterte,”Tugade said. “Moreover, it will strengthen the region as the global gateway to Mindanao and gives much impact on our tourism industry where we are able to showcase and afford to both local and foreign tourists the comfort, convenience, accessibility of home, safety and security they deserved in their travel experience,” said Engr. Isidro V. Butaslac, Jr., PMO MisorCDO Port Manager. Since Butaslac assumed the stewardship of PPA’s PMO MisOr CDO in November 2014, they have attained significant milestones, foremost among of which was CDO Port’s recognition as one of the APSN Green Port Award System (GPAS) winners for 2018 among candidate ports from 18 member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). Butaslac received the Certificate of Recognition, ASPN Green Port Badge, and flag banners from the APEC Port Services Network (APSN) during the annual awarding ceremony held 15 November 2018 in Singapore.   Barely a month later, the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) cited the PMO- MOC as a Best Practice for its environmental protection and conservation during the 2018 Government Best Practice Recognition (GBPR). The PPA Head Office endorsed the PMO MOC’s entry dubbed, “Philippine Ports Authority—Port Management Office of Misamis Oriental/Cagayan de Oro (PMO MOC): Fostering a Green Culture for Port Operations and Management,” highlighted its initiatives for environmental protection, conservation, and sustainability through the employment of technology; issuance and compliance with environmental policies and mandates; and inculcating environmental awareness among port stakeholders. Operationally, the PMO has addressed berthing congestion (already over 100% eight years ago) by segregating berths according to type of cargo of the berthing vessel: Berths 1 to 6 for break bulk; 8,9, and 10 for containerized; and bulk liquids, solids at the end 12 & 13 for deep draft vessels. In addition, the port is undertaking dredging to a uniform depth of 13 meters to meet international standards. As a complement to the berthing classification, the PMO has also proposed for consideration as a high-impact project, the provision of a break bulk receiving facility at area “A” to enhance palletizing operations, ensure and improve safe and healthy working conditions for dockworkers and other port users, and preserve or protect perishable cargoes from environmental hazards and exposure to extreme weather. The project is situated about 200 meters from where Mediterranean type vessels carrying cargoes to be palletized are berthed. Trucks will no longer enter the port area so as not to congest its operational yard and port roads. Security, yard congestion, entry of irrelevant personnel, and safety concerns are expected to be attained since cargo trucks will no longer have to enter the port operational area. On top of segregating the berths, the quay which has never been extended during the last six years until 2015 was extended by another 150 meters, to be eventually lengthened up to 700 meters over the next 20 years. Not the least, the PMO replace its lighting system using solar powered LED lighting to significantly reduce power costs and pilferage of power cable wires.

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OCD-10 urges LGUs to be ready for disasters

June 24, 2019

Economy

By: GERRY LEE GORIT, MAMBAJAO, Camiguin – To ensure the safety of residents during earthquakes, the local government units must see to it that they are prepared for any disaster that might occur in their area, the Office of Civil Defense-10 (OCD-10) said. Aside from regular earthquake drills that would remind people how to react in case there is a tremor, OCD-10 regional director Rosauro Arnel Gonzales Jr. said the LGUs must also put in place disaster management mechanism, most especially in the training and deployment of responders and procurement of equipment. He said residents might have already been trained on the basic duck-hold-cover move, but to save lives, the local officials must also be equipped to handle disaster response.“The community might tell us that, ‘we are ready,’ but how secure is the government in responding to disasters, especially if there are people affected or there are casualties?” Gonzales told the participants of the regional level of the National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) held at Mambajao town, Camiguin Thursday afternoon, June 20. “In this drill, we’d like to showcase the various responses of the government, from the local chief executives up to the barangay, and the different agencies who provided the necessary responders,” he said. During the drill, different scenarios resulting from an earthquake were being played out by both actual responders such as the provincial and municipal disaster risk reduction and management personnel, Bureau of Fire Protection firefighters and the Department of Health medical staff to community members acting as displaced residents and victims of tsunami, fire, and collapsed buildings. Mambajao mayor and Camiguin governor-elect Jurdin Jesus Romualdo said he sees the need for an exercise like the NSED to constantly raise the people’s awareness since the island-province, which had its share of volcanic eruptions in the past decades, is prone to floods, landslides, earthquakes, and tsunamis.  The eruptions that caused earthquake and other calamities in Camiguin occurred in 1871 to 1875 and in 1948 to 1951. Romualdo also recalled how in 2001 Typhoon Nanang devastated the province causing a massive landslide in Barangay Hubangon, Mahinog town that left 64 villagers dead and 117 more missing. He said the typhoon isolated the island for about two weeks as government agencies and even the Armed Forces and the National Police responders could not land at Camiguin due to bad weather. “We were on our own and the heavy rains, inclement weather made it difficult for help to come,” he added. He said it was local government’s initiative that the people’s cooperation that Camiguin was able to withstand the calamity that struck them. Romualdo described Typhoon Nanang as “the worst crisis that we had in Camiguin in recent history.” He said Camiguin should be ready for any eventuality at all times, and in fact, the local government has published a handbook on disaster management that will guide the Camiguingnons in the event of calamities. Col. Surki Sereñas, police regional spokesperson who was also one of the NSED evaluators, said the simulation was very organized with responders acting quickly to tend to the affected persons. Based on the OCD-10 data, about 3,000 persons participated in the regional NSED held in this province, many of them students, community members, and local government workers.

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Suzuki Philippines maintains growth in Q3 and introduces New Vitara

November 4, 2019

Motoring

By: , Consistent with its strong performance for the first two quarters of the year, pioneer compact car distributor Suzuki Philippines (SPH) finishes the third quarter with positive growth yet again, enabling the company to post 19 percent sales growth for the first nine months of the year over the same period in 2018.      The continued sales increase is the result of the brand’s strategic marketing efforts, which emphasize numerous promotions and interactive events and are aimed at boosting product visibility. SPH hopes to ride on this strong market and brand momentum to further strengthen its position in the market through the remaining months of 2019.      “Suzuki’s current standing in the Philippine automotive industry is a significant milestone for the brand. After securing the 4th spot in the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI) ranking – the highest rank in the brand’s history – and climbing to the 5th spot in the local automotive industry roster last quarter, we at Suzuki Philippines can definitely say that 2019 has been a monumental year for the brand,” shared SPH Director and General Manager for Automobile Division Keiichi Suzuki.      “These back-to-back achievements further fuel our drive to deliver on the brand’s promise of quality driving experience with every Suzuki vehicle,” he added. Top sales drivers: Ertiga, Swift, Celerio      The Ertiga, Swift and Celerio continue to excite and stimulate the market as Suzuki’s best-selling vehicles. The three award-winning models combined accounted for 56 percent of total sales from January to September this year.      The well-loved family vehicle Ertiga still dominates the Suzuki auto sales chart with a 34 percent share. This 7-seater vehicle fortified its position as the top-favorite Suzuki vehicle with the release of the Ertiga Black interior version, which drove sales up even further.      Aside from its fuel efficiency and spacious interior that complement the body’s elegance and modern style, the Ertiga demonstrates good engine performance that is powerful and cost-efficient, making it an ideal vehicle for practical Filipino families.      Swift kept its position as the second top-selling Suzuki model with an 11.4 percent share of total sales. This hatchback remains the millennials’ top choice among Suzuki vehicles. With its sleek and stylish design that is very recognizable on the road, millennials can definitely identify with this fun and compact Suzuki hatchback.     Accounting for 11 percent share of sales, the Celerio ranks third among Suzuki’s top-selling vehicles. This hatchback, known for its space and roomy dimension, can accommodate up to 254-liters worth of cargo with an uncompromised 5-seater capacity. Alongside its remarkable fuel efficiency that ups the ante for its category.  SPH debuts New Vitara to Philippine driving arena      Another vehicle from Suzuki Philippines that stunned the market this year and won the 2019-2020 Auto Focus Media’s Choice Awards’ Compact SUV of the Year: Best Value for Money award is the Suzuki Vitara. Committed to continue its legacy and stand firm to its promise to provide value-packed and affordable products to more Filipinos, Suzuki proudly debuts the improved and upgraded New Vitara. This CBU Unit from Magyar Suzuki Corporation (MSC HUNGARY) is available in GL+, 6 speed Automatic Transmission and GLX, 6 speed Automatic Transmission variants.       Suzuki has made several improvements and upgrades in both the exterior and interior of the New Vitara. It is now equipped with newly designed grills, lower bumpers and new rear combination lamps, all of which create an expressive exterior. The new stylish suede front and rear seats, cluster meter and premium-feel cabin create a comfortable yet stylish interior vibe.      “The New Vitara will surely appeal to car enthusiasts looking for an improved version of the classic Suzuki vehicle. It is our pleasure to bring another modified Suzuki vehicle to the Philippines. The New Vitara will certainly deliver an exceptional driving experience to Filipinos – the Suzuki way,” shared Keiichi Suzuki.      For more information about Suzuki Philippines and its automobiles, please visit www.suzuki.com.ph and like them on www.facebook.com/SuzukiAutoPH.

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Toyota Fortuner Gets Updated with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

October 7, 2019

Motoring

By: , Top automotive manufacturer Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) updates the infotainment system of its best-selling midsize SUV, the Toyota Fortuner. Starting this September, all six (6) variants of the Toyota Fortuner will now have the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto mobile compatibility features pre-installed.      Aside from this software upgrade, the head unit’s hardware also receives significant changes such as a new dedicated SD card slot for multimedia, 6.75-inch total screen size, and 512 MB of RAM with 8GB of ROM (both previously at 256MB). The updated Toyota Fortuner is now available in all 70 Toyota dealerships nationwide.      “Toyota listens to the demands of the local market, and we are always on the lookout when it comes to adapting technologies that make driving easier, safer, and more enjoyable for everyone,” said TMP First Vice President Ms. Cristina Arevalo. “Equipping the Fortuner with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is something our customers will surely appreciate.”      Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both smartphone mirroring services that allow drivers to focus on the road with quality-of-life features such as GPS navigation, music playback, and managing texts and calls, all through the vehicle’s built-in display.      Their common goal is to minimize driving distractions by making it easy for drivers to control these factors by using voice commands, touchscreen panels, and traditional knobs or buttons in their car’s infotainment setup.      “We’re confident that this much-anticipated set of software and hardware improvements will make the Toyota Fortuner even more appealing to its target market,” she added.      Year-to-date, the Toyota Fortuner already sold a total of 12,519 units, again cementing its status as the SUV of choice among Filipinos. Next to Metro Manila, Toyota Fortuner sales in terms of volume are strongest in Calabarzon (Region IV) and Central Luzon (Region III) areas.      For the latest Toyota news and information, visit TMP’s official website at www.toyota.com.ph and follow the official Facebook page at www.fb.com/ToyotaMotorPhilippines. To know more about the updated Fortuner, please go to any of Toyota’s 70 dealerships nationwide.

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Suzuki Introduces Two New Workhorses for the Filipino Entrepreneur: the All-new Carry and the Dzire GA

October 7, 2019

Motoring

By: , Suzuki Philippines Inc. (SPH), the country’s pioneer subcompact car distributor, introduces its newest breed of workhorse vehicle, the all-new Suzuki Carry.      Designed to meet the needs of commercial businesses, the all-new Carry is packed with upgraded features and a lightweight yet fuel-efficient engine, making it a tough and reliable partner to drive every Filipino business owners to success.      “Filipinos are a hard-working people. The all-new Suzuki Carry is engineered to match the level of dedication Filipinos put into their businesses. We designed this new workhorse vehicle to deliver any business requirements with efficiency and power to do more. With the all-new Suzuki Carry, we extend the Suzuki Way of Life! to small and medium enterprises and be a part of their journey to success,” Suzuki Philippines Director and Automobile Division General Manager Keiichi Suzuki shares.      Succeeding the Suzuki Super Carry, which bagged the 2016 Best Commercial Utility Vehicle by Car Awards Group, Inc., the all-new Carry amps performance with a stronger and fuel-efficient K15B 1.5-liter engine, providing more power to carry out every task in any road conditions with ease. This upgrade delivers more output power at 96hp/5,600rpm and torque at 135N.m/4,400rpm over the entire range, giving business owners the confidence to deliver on their business commitments.      The all-new Carry stays true to its nature as a reliable and functional workhorse with its exterior design exuding simplicity, durability and a good sense of balance. It has a wider and longer body with access to side gates opening from all sides, making loading and unloading cargo of any size and shape easier. The new truck is also packed with 22-rope hooks to secure any cargo during transit.      Supported with a bed 365mm longer and 75mm wider than its predecessor, the all-new Carry boasts a greater loading capacity of 940kg with better weight distribution when fully loaded. Its cabin space now features a more spacious design to ensure a more comfortable seating position with ample distance between the hip point and the center of the accelerator pedal. Aside from the added storage in the dashboard and the cabin, the shift lever is now situated on the dashboard to provide extra legroom for an optimum driving experience.      The all-new Suzuki Carry can be converted and modified to suit any business needs. It can be used as a utility van, cargo truck, or pick-up truck with the same reliability and functionality expected of a trusted workhorse.      The All–New Carry price starts at:      • 509,000 – Carry truck      • 576,000 – Carry Cargo Van      • 614,000 – Carry Utility Van      Alongside the all-new Carry and to support Filipinos’ diverse business and transport requirements, SPH also introduces the latest variant of its signature compact sedan – the new Suzuki Dzire GA.      SPH hopes to provide Filipino commuters with additional ride-sharing options with the all-new Suzuki Dzire GA. Suzuki’s signature sedan gets a fresher look with easy-to-handle compact dimensions and expanded storage capacity, making it an ideal addition to a taxi fleet business. The all-new Dzire GA features a more compact K12M engine under its hood with increased fuel efficiency. Its interior and engine performance are guaranteed to givecomplete comfort for all the passengers traversing the busy streets of the metro.      Added in their Dzire vehicle list Suzuki Dzire GA price starts at:      • 549, 900 – Dzire GA 1.2L – Manual Transmission

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Toyota and Suzuki Enter into Capital Alliance Agreement

September 9, 2019

Motoring

By: , Toyota Motor Corporation and Suzuki Motor Corporation announced that the two companies entered into an agreement regarding a capital alliance (the “Alliance”) today, in order to establish and promote a long-term partnership between the two companies for promoting collaboration in new fields, including the field of autonomous driving.      The two companies began considering business partnership on October 12, 2016, and since then have continued to consider specific details. On March 20 of this year, the companies announced that they would begin specific considerations in order to engage in joint product development and collaboration in production, in addition to promoting the mutual supply of products, by bringing together Toyota’s strength in electrification technologies and Suzuki’s strength in technologies for compact vehicles.       Separately, the automobile sector is currently experiencing a turning point unprecedented in both scope and scale, not only because of enhanced environmental regulations, but also from new entries from distinct industries and diversified mobility businesses. The two companies intend to achieve sustainable growth, by overcoming new challenges surrounding the automobile sector by building and deepening cooperative relationships in new fields while continuing to be competitors, in addition to strengthening the technologies and products in which each company specializes and their existing business foundations.       Specifically, to take up challenges together in this transitional era, the two companies plan to establish and promote a long-term partnership between the two companies for promoting collaboration in new fields, including the field of autonomous driving.       The execution of the capital alliance agreement is a confirmation and expression of the outcome of sincere and careful discussions between the two companies, and it will serve for building and promoting their future partnership in new fields.      In order to develop and promote a long-term partnership between the two companies, the companies plan to acquire each other’s shares based on the Alliance.       Toyota plans to acquire 24,000,000 shares of common stock in Suzuki (4.94% ownership of the total number of shares issued by Suzuki as of March 31, 2019 (excluding treasury shares) with a total value of JPY 96 billion) by underwriting the disposition of treasury shares by way of third-party allotment conducted by Suzuki.       Likewise, Suzuki plans to acquire, through purchase in the market, shares in Toyota equivalent to JPY 48 billion. These share acquisitions will be implemented after the companies obtain approvals from the foreign competition authorities.      Source: www.globalsuzuki.com

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