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Between Heaven and Earth: Pangatlong Tanghalan sa Kampo Juan

May 23, 2019

After two glorious weekends of celebrating the Muses in Manolo Fortich’s version of the Garden of Eden, the first edition of  Tanghalan sa KampoJuan celebrates its grand finale with the Pangatlong Tanghalan this Saturday, May 25 featuring its eclectic mix of the culinary, visual and performance arts with artists from around the region. The evening aperitif will be served by Melbourne-educated and trained culinary enthusiast Jont Cabrera demonstrating his culinary chops in blending Filipino and classical Italian cooking. From L’antipasto to mains and dessert, this will be an exciting culinary adventure featuring local ingredients in Italian cuisine. This gastronomic feast will be followed by another feast for the senses with the Sustainable Design exhibit of Chris Gomez, a multidisciplinary creative and advocate showcasing his artworks and artistry through paintings, furniture, fashion and accessories. Chris is a multi-awarded artist and designer whose accolades include the 2014 Look of Style Awards by the British Council; Grand Prize (Water based Category) in the 2012 Metrobank Art and Design Excellence awards and finalist in the 2011 National Philippine Art Awards. He also became a finalist at the China ASEAN Youth Artwork Creativity Contest in 2008 at Nanning, China before finally bagging the Award of Excellence in 2016. Not the least, the evening and three weekend series will be capped by the celestial choral music of the Youth for Culture and Arts Project (YCAP) community choir, led by Ms Mercibelle Barroso Abejuela.  This Bukidnon-based chorale has performed in major cities in Europe, USA and Asia. A consistent grand slam winner in the Mindanao Association of State Tertiary School Chorale competitions, YCAP will perform a repertoire across many genres: ethnic/lumad, OPM/Original Pilipino Music, pop and classical. Last weekend’s Pangalawang Tanghalan featured French-trained Chef Maricar Urbano, Oro Teatro Bulawanon’s (OTB) premier performance of AngPaglaya, an original play by Maia Fortich Poblete and Bex Espino, and two dance suites by the celebrated Liceo Folkloric Dance Troupe under Artistic Director Roger E. Odron. Chef Maricar was mentored by Celebrity French Chef Herve’ Frerardand and vividly underscored the balance between the science and artistry of the culinary arts with her solid technique, balanced flavor, creativity and presentation. She prepared a 5-course meal straight out of her Don Narciso Restaurant in Claveria, Misamis Oriental.   Oro Teatro Bulawanon (OTB) Founder and Director Maia Fortich Poblete counted Chef Maricar’s amuse bouche Current State as the perfect starter along with Mocktail Drunken Nights and the Pesto-flavored Gail & Gaby. This was followed by her When September Ends salad with mushroom carpaccio, microgreens, and pickled mooli. Her entrée  Under Pressure consisted of  sous vide fish with pineapple-corn salsa, a trio of mashed tuber, and smokey atsal sauce. And for the digestif, there was her Bittersweet Symphony with a classic combination of tablea cake, local ice cream (from La Favorita), and rose crumbs. Thanks to Maia for the heads up! Oro Teatro Bulawanon’s premier presentation of  Maia’s play “AngPaglaya” proved community theatre is alive and kicking with Kagay-anon talents JC Salon, Christy Aboniawan, Leslie Encong-Yap, Kale “Bom” Ramos, Nicolas Salcedo, Mikay Abella, Maria Therese Palma, Allyza Buslon, Katleen Obsioma, Kent Irvin, and Zilpha Ybañez. The stage management was a family affair with Jean Jacques Agbon assisted by daughters Kendra and Nicky. Nico Salcedo used paper bags to create the forest backdrop with a nod to KampoJuan’s sustainability theme, while the costumes were created and styled by Kent Irvin, who also doubled with Nicolas for the players’ makeup. “AngPaglaya” was co-written by Maia Poblete with Bex Espino, and successfully  showcased the talents of Kagay-anons, particularly the youth, as majority of the cast members were senior high school students. Liceo Folkloric Dance Troupe  closed the Pangalawang Tanghalan with its award winning dance performances featuring two dance suites from the indigenous peoples of  Northern Mindanao. “The Bukidnon Suites featured the Dugso, Pimintok, Binaylan, Pig-agawan, Palaspas and Mangangayaw, while the Maranao Suites featured exotic dances as homage to the Sultan with very strong Indo-Malayan and Arabic influences including the Pangalay, Kapa Malong-malong, Kazilimut, Kuntao, Pag-apir andSingkil,” said artistic director Roger E. Odron. The troupe has been a catalyst in promoting the diverse cultures of Mindanao in the Philippines and abroad, representing the country with pride in the ASEAN Dance Festival Exposition in Brunei, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. Today, it continues to share the wealth of Mindanao through its various road shows, and its captivating performances around the country and the world. For those who want to come earlier, you are welcome to enjoy Kampo Juan, named in honor of Dr. Juan Acosta – the patriarch of a patrician family who successfully navigated a career in politics, environment and scientific research. His wife Socorro served as mayor and representative of Bukidnon’s first district, while son Neric is one of the country’s leading environmentalists and daughterMalou has just earned a new mandate as steward of the same district her Nanay Coring used to serve. The Heritage House itself is worth the visit, and there are adventure sports galore also the young and young at heart can while away the time while waiting for the evening’s show. For those who want to immerse themselves in either one or all of these lifetime experiences, please contact Laclac Bongcawel at 09551539105 or email tanghalan.kampjuan@gmail.com. You can also buy your tickets at   Nanay Choleng's Muron kiosk at the ground floor of Ayala Centrio mall or at Kampo Juan Resort, Bgy. Dicklum, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. Tickets are priced at P1,500/person. You can also follow the events through the Instagram account:"tanghalansakampj",   

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Xavier Ateneo, Corpus Christi studes picked among Jr. NBA PH All-Stars

May 20, 2019

Jr. NBA Philippines 2019 presented by Alaska National Training Camp officially concluded yesterday, May 19, 2019.    Five girls and five boys bested their competition and were chosen by Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Collin Sexton, WNBA Legend Ticha Penicheiro together with Jr. NBA and Alaska coaches to be part of the Jr. NBA 2019 All-Star Team.    Among those chosen were Mikylla Taborada of Corpus Christi School, Cagayan de Oro and Zhan Paolo Moreno of Xavier Ateneo, who also won the Gatorade Hustle Award.        The newest batch of Jr. NBA All-Stars will  represent the country at the first Jr. NBA Global Championship Asia Pacific Selection Camp in Jakarta, Indonesia in June to train with top youth players from the region. Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton and WNBA Champion Ticha Penicheiro joined Jr. NBA coaches Carlos Barroca and Natalia Andre and Alaska coaches Jeffrey Cariaso and Tony dela Cruz to help coach the 80 participants at the Gatorade Hoops Center and Don Bosco Technical Institute on May 18 and in the boys and girls exhibition game at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall on May 19. The final day of the Jr. NBA National Training Camp hosted an exhibition game for former Jr. NBA All-Stars and was attended by notable alumni including collegiate players Thirdy Ravena and Janjan Jaboneta. Jr. NBA Philippines presented by Alaska is committed to improving youth health and wellness and addressing growing inactivity by highlighting the importance of proper nutrition and an active lifestyle to participants.  Since its launch in 2007, Jr. NBA Philippines has reached more than two million players, coaches and parents in over 190 cities and municipalities nationwide, teaching the fundamentals of basketball and the program’s core values of sportsmanship, teamwork, a positive attitude, and respect (S.T.A.R.). Jr. NBA Philippines 2019 is presented by Alaska, with AXA, Gatorade, Globe, Panasonic, Rexona and Vivo as official partners. ABS-CBN S+A, Basketball TV and NBA Premium TV are the official broadcasters of Jr. NBA Philippines. For all things NBA, fans can follow Jr. NBA on Facebook and the NBA at www.nba.com and on Facebook and Twitter. Fans can visit www.alaskamilk.com to learn more about the Alaska Milk Corporation, and follow Alaska Milk on Facebook for more information about Alaska Sports.   The following is a complete list of Jr. NBA Philippines 2019 All-Stars:   GIRLS ROSTER:   First Name Last Name Age School Dianne Camille Nolasco 14 Miriam College Karylle Sierba 13 Manuel S. Enverga University Foundation Mikylla Taborada 14 Corpus Christi School Cagayan de Oro Justine Mhyrra Vibangco 13 Saint Joseph Parish School Princess BJ Marie Villarin 13 De La Salle Zobel   BOYS ROSTER:   First Name Last Name Age School Henjz Gabriel Demisana 14 Bacolod Tay Tung High School Joshua Minguillo 13 - Zhan Paolo Moreno 14 Xavier University  (Ateneo de Cagayan) Sebastian Roy Reyes 14 Nazareth School of National University Lionel Metthew Rubico 14 De La Salle Lipa   List of Awards: Gatorade Hustle Awardees: Zhan Paolo Moreno and Franchesca Isabela Buenvenida Panasonic Rising Star Awardees: Zak Gumaya and Kaye Andrea Vivas Coaches of the Year: Orlando Estrelles and Precious Jimenez Alaska Ambassadors: Henjz Gabriel Demisana and Justine Mhyrra Vibangco MVPs: Sebastian Roy Reyes and Dianne Camille Nolasco About the NBA The NBA is a global sports and media business built around four professional sports leagues: the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association, the NBA G League and the NBA 2K League.   The NBA has established a major international presence with games and programming in 215 countries and territories in 50 languages, and merchandise for sale in more than 100,000 stores in 100 countries on six continents.   NBA rosters at the start of the 2018-19 season featured 108 international players from 42 countries and territories.  NBA Digital’s assets include NBA TV, NBA.com, the NBA App and NBA League Pass.   The NBA has created one of the largest social media communities in the world, with 1.6 billion likes and followers globally across all league, team, and player platforms.  Through NBA Cares, the league addresses important social issues by working with internationally recognized youth-serving organizations that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes. About Alaska Milk Given the growing issues on health as well as the fast-changing technological environment, which leads to the change in children’s interests and behavior or sedentary lifestyle, Alaska believes that there is a need to reinforce its thrust in leading a healthy lifestyle not just by drinking milk but also by leading an active lifestyle. Alaska seeks to engage the youth, especially younger kids, in sports.                           Alaska Milk looks beyond selling milk – it sells nutrition and by doing so, the Company and brand Alaska is doing its part in nation-building.  Through youth sports development programs, Alaska is able to help nourish children for them to develop into champions in the field of interest and, in general, in life.   The overall objective of the Alaska Sports is to strengthen the brand’s equity in nutrition through sports.  To portray Alaska Fortified as a brand that helps instill the values of determination, discipline, teamwork, and hard work among the youth through sports.

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The latest from the Philippines Largest Pirate Themed Water Park

May 16, 2019

Last Saturday, 11 May 2019, the CDO Bloggers were hosted by Seven Seas Waterpark in Barra, Opol, Misamis Oriental for our 2nd Quarter General Membership Meeting. Heartfelt thanks to Engr. Elpie Paras, president and CEO of UC-1 Corporation which owns and operates the waterpark for hosting our GMM. And taking time out of his busy schedule on top of that for a group interview with our members who attended to update us on recent and upcoming developments. “Our dream is to create a new tourist destination for Cagayan de Oro and Northern Mindanao to put them in the world tourism map,” Elpie disclosed. “We want Seven Seas to be a world class destination, that is the idea.” “If we want to build something, is has to be up to par with other countries and that’s why we put in much detail in building our water park,” he added. Among its most popular attractions is the Cyclone, the green and blue funnel which is one of the biggest slides in the country today with a 20-meter diameter ride (bigger than Clark’s).  “We want our quality to be at par with other countries in safety standards and entertainment value.”   Great Expectations “So far I believe we have succeeded,” Paras said. “Even Dahilayan is now a mature tourism destination and we expect Seven Seas to follow suit and  become a major tourist node in Mindanao. Today most guests come not only for Cagayan de Oro but also from many cities in Mindanao.” He cited the very positive response to the recent foray of the Seven Seas marketing team in Davao recently to promote our two for P999 promo at SM. “For four straight days recently we had long queues in Limketkai and had to close early because we ran out of tickets!”   Bloggers He also cited how Bloggers are an important part of their marketing efforts and how totally sold UC-1 is to social media. “All our promos are always in social media and we will continue to do so not only because it is very inexpensive but is also viral in nature. One of our videos taken by Project Lupad already has over 5 million likes.”   Tour Packages. In addition to Seven Seas, Paras said UC-1 is now marketing its other tourism products and destinations: Great White Water Rafting Tours in the Cagayan River and Dahilayan Adventure Park together with  Seven Seas. You can book your tour packages at this site. “We are also encouraging companies to do their corporate team building here. This May 20 event with Concentrix will be good for 2,000 persons. That’s why they will have the whole park to themselves for the entire day and evening.”   Night Operations Social media has been abuzz lately about how Seven Seas could soon be open during evenings. “Since last year seniors and friends who do not like the heat of the sun have been requesting we open at night,” Paras admitted. “When we hosted a doctors’ convention recently we had to fast track  and re-outfit the park for night operations like installing more lights and safety features.” “We are planning to open for night operations very soon but don’t have a definite date yet. However, it will definitely be after Concentrix Family Day on May 20 which will be the entire day and evening and serve as a dry run  for our future night operations. Hopefully we can do this before the  end of the month.”   The Dream The pioneering entrepreneur who set up Cagayan de Oro’s first fast food burger shop, first Satellite TVRO (Television Receive Only), first cable TV network (among others) set up Seven Seas as another venue for guests and tourists to complete their weekend in Northern Mindanao. Billed as the first and largest Pirate themed water park in the Philippines, Seven Seas is also the 2nd biggest water park in the Philippines (after Clark) and can accommodate up to 2,000 visitors daily but already had crowds of up to 3,000 in 2018. A project of UC-1 Corporation, the holding company of the Paras Group of Companies including Dahilayan, Parasat, et al., it is the biggest investment so far for Paras group in terms of peso investments and total area.   Safeguards & Safety “You will notice we have many lifeguards around, nurses on duty all the time, a standby vehicle ready to transport to hospital. It’s very important we secure our guests safety.”   Maintenance Breaks Although Seven Seas is open daily for two months this summer for the peak season, it was shut down in January for one month for maintenance and repair. This will  henceforth be conducted annually but announced in advance. “We also conduct daily maintenance, mostly from 3AM to 10AM which is why we only operate from 10AM to 6PM,” Paras disclosed. “Some procedures are not good for guests since they involve harsh chemicals like acids and chlorine.”   Hijab for Muslim Women In response to a member from Marawi’s query about the use of the hijab by Muslim women guests, Paras said they have had no problem with this so far since their suggested attire include full body dry fit suits. “I have not seen anyone wearing hijab in the pools so far,” he added. “For rides we discourage the use of hijab since this could get entangled in the slides and cause accidents to the user.” Paras said they also  discourage the use of cotton garments especially for the rides since cotton has a tendency to stick when wet and guests can find themselves stuck in the slides. “We have suits for sale in our gift shop for guests who may not have bought the appropriate attire.” There were more upcoming developments discussed but these will have to be kept under wraps for now at Engr. Paras’ request. Meantime, you can bring the family to enjoy Seven Seas while the summer lasts since June is just around the corner. Huling Hirit Araw-Araw sa Seven Seas! Ahoy Mateys!

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Turnover Ceremony for “The Project for the Construction of Classrooms for Tictapul Elementary School”

May 3, 2019

 On April 24, 2019, Minister for Economic Affairs Makoto Iyori, Consul General Yoshiaki Miwa and Second Secretary Atsushi Kobayashi of the Embassy of Japan attended the turnover ceremony in Zamboanga City for the “The Project for the Construction of Classrooms for Tictapul Elementary School”.     The project was approved in 2016, and is part of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP). Mr. Maximillan Ventura, President of Philam Foundation, Inc., Mr. Felix Romy A. Triambulo, Superintendent of the Department of Education Zamboanga City Division, school teachers and selected students, also graced the event.     Tictapul is one of the distant rural barangays of Zamboanga City. Similar to most rural areas in Zamboanga, Tictapul is an underprivileged community and endures shortage of appropriate social infrastructure such as school buildings.     Given the increasing number of students enrolling at Tictapul Elementary School, the school lacks the funding to improve its dilapidated classrooms and facilities. During classes, some of the students were forced to sit on the floor due to inadequate chairs and tables.     In line with Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD)*1, and through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP), the Embassy of Japan provided assistance to Philam Foundation, Inc. with a grant amounting to Forty-Eight Thousand Five Hundred Fifty-Six US dollars (USD 48,556) or approximately 2.4 million pesos. The grant covered the construction of a one-storey four-classroom school building with the necessary school furniture for Tictapul Elementary School.     This project is expected to provide a conducive learning and teaching environment which will benefit more than 700 students and 18 teaching personnel of the school.     The Government of Japan, as the top ODA donor for the Philippines, launched the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects in the Philippines in 1989 for the purpose of reducing poverty and helping various communities engaged in grassroots activities. At present, 543 grassroots projects have been implemented by the GGP. Japan believes that these projects will not only strengthen the friendship between the peoples of Japan and the Philippines but also contribute in sustaining strategic partnership between the two countries.     Note*1: Since 2006, Japan has been intensively implementing Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects and other ODA projects for conflict affected areas in Mindanao, collectively called J-BIRD (Japan-Bangsamoro Initiative for Reconstruction and Development). Their total amount is over 200 million US Dollars. Furthermore, when former President Aquino made a state visit to Japan in June 2015, Japanese Prime Minister, Mr. Shinzo Abe, expressed at their summit meeting his support for efforts by the Government of the Philippines to secure enduring peace in Mindanao, and stated that the Government of Japan will promote the J-BIRD II, in view of the establishment of a new autonomous political entity.

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Metro TODA pledges support for Bong Go as former SAP vows to fight for their cause

May 3, 2019

PASIG CITY - Former Special Assistant to the President and 2019 senatorial candidate Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Saturday received a pledge of support from the National Capital Region-Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (TODA) Coalition.     Signed by TODA leaders in Metro Manila led NCR TODA Coalition President Ace Sevilla, the pledge of support was given to Go during the Pasig City First TODA Summit held at Urbano Velasco Avenue, in Brgy. Pinagbuhatan here.     “..Kami po ay mataimtim na nangangakong susuporta sa pagtakbo ni Kuya Bong Go bilang isa sa mga Senador ng Republika ng Pilipinas ng may buong katapatan at paniniwala. Asahan ninyong kami ay magiging kaakibat nito tungo sa pag-unlad at pagbabagong nais ipagpatuloy ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte,” the manifesto read.     Earlier in the day, Go went around Pasig City in a motorcade. He thanked the people of the city for the enthusiastic reception he received from them.     “Sobrang init ng pagtanggap ng ating mga kababayan sa atin kahit saan kami pumunta. Kanina pinasok natin yung eskinita ng Payatas, ng Quezon City, ngayon naman sa Pasig. Sobrang init ng pagtanggap ng tao, nakakawala talaga ng pagod,” Go said.     He said he goes around the country not merely to pursue his campaign but also to meet with the residents to cheer them up and listen to their concerns.     Speaking at the summit, Go reaffirmed his commitment to champion the cause of the TODA and promote their welfare. He recalled that a chance meeting with Sevilla marked the beginning of his earnest efforts to help the TODA.     “Nagkakilala kami sa isang tabi lang po, sa isang carinderia diyan sa Pasay. Nagkwentuhan kami, sabi niya marami akong gustong iparating, mga hinaing daw ng TODA…so sabi ko ipaparating ko kay Pangulo. Kaya po tayo nagkaroon ng TODA Summit,” Go pointed out.     In January this year, the government held a national TODA Summit in Pasay City to listen to the concern of the tricycle operators and drivers in the country.     “Inimbitahan rin po yung mga presidente ng TODA doon po sa Malacanang at naiparating ni Presidente Ace kay Pangulong Duterte yung mga hinaing po ng TODA at yung mga problema ninyo,” Go added.     “Sa katauhan ni Kuya Bong Go, may magtutulay na ng hinaing ng mga TODA sa Presidente,” said Sevilla for his part, as he also recalled how Go  spearheaded the January National TODA Summit.     Sevilla noted that during their meeting with President Duterte, arranged by Go, he requested fuel subsidy for tricycle drivers similar to that enjoyed by jeepney drivers. He said this would soon be realized through the help of the private sector.     For his part, Go assured the TODA that they can always count on his help if they have any concerns or problems that they want to bring to the attention of President Rodrigo Duterte.     “Asahan nyo po, ako bilang Kuya Bong Go ninyo, ako yung tulay ninyo sa Malacanang. Kung may problema po kayo …basta kahit anong reklamo po…isumbong nyo rin po sa akin,” Go said.     He said that if elected to the Senate he would undertake a review of existing laws, including those governing their livelihood and operations, to ensure the regulations would be beneficial to them.     “Mga TODA, mahal po namin kayo ni Pangulong Duterte. Basta kahit ano pong pwede naming gawin sa inyo iparating nyo lang po sa mga presidente ninyo,” he added.     Go also recalled that during his visit to fire victims he would also take time to talk to the TODA in the area just to hear their concerns.     “Tuwing may nasusunugan nakikipag-boodle fight ako sa TODA na malapit, kahit hating-gabi. Doon lang po yung pagkakataon na pwede ko kayong makausap at makahalubilo at (malaman kung) ano po yung mga gusto ninyong iparating po sa ating gobyerno,” Go said.     Go told them that he remains committed to supporting the campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte against criminality, corruption, and illegal drugs as he also warned them to stay away from drugs.     “Marami pong mga TODA na naging biktima ng droga. Marami pong lumapit sa akin, sabi nila: Sir salamat po kay Pangulong Duterte, nagbagong-buhay na ako, nag-surrender na ako. ..Iwasan ninyo po yung droga,” Go reminded them.     In addition, Go said he supports the Duterte administration’s development and infrastructure programs, noting there are many on-going and planned projects that would benefit not only Pasig but other adjacent cities in Metro Manila.     Among others, he cited P27.3-billion project for the construction of consisting of 10 bridges crossing the Pasig-Marikina River and Manggahan Floodway. The government has requested international loan financing for the project since June 6, 2018.     There were also plans for other bridges such as the Mercury-Evangelista Bridge, the J.P. Rizal-Lopez Jaena Bridge, as well as the BGC-Ortigas Link, all meant to reduce traffic and improve travel time between Pasig and nearby cities in Metro Manila, among others.     Likewise, Go told the TODA in Pasig that they could also benefit from his advocacy to improve the delivery of health services in the country, particularly through the establishment of Malasakit Center.     A program of the Duterte administration based on Go’s idea, the Malasakit Center makes it easier and faster for poor patients to avail of medical and financial assistance by bringing together in one room all concerned agencies such as DOH, DSWD, PCSO, and Philhealth.     “Kung may magkakasakit na TODA o kanilang pamilya pwede po silang matulungan sa Malasakit Center,” Go said. Out of the 34 Malasakit Center currently in operation, three are in the NCR.     Go is pushing for a law to enable the establishment of Malasakit Center in more provinces and key urban centers in the country and allow continuity of the program even after the term of the Duterte administration.     He vowed to serve the Filipino people the best way he could, saying “Bisyo ko na po ang magserbisyo.”     “Magseserbisyo kami (ni Pangulong Duterte) sa inyong lahat. Serbisyo sa tao ay serbisyo sa Diyos. Wala kaming ibang hangarin kundi kabutihan ng Pilipino dahil mahal namin kayo,” Go said.     Other priority concerns Go had identified to be part of his legislative agenda include agriculture, housing, education, long-term sports development, fire protection and prevention, localized peace talks, barangay welfare, creation of a Department of OFW, and improved benefits for senior citizens.

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BSP eyes April inflation between 2.7-3.5%

May 3, 2019

HIGHER domestic fuel and electricity prices are seen as upside risks to the country's April 2019 inflation, which is projected to stay between 2.7-3.5 percent.     “However, these pressures may be partly offset by the continued decline in rice prices and by the peso appreciation,” the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said in a statement Tuesday.     “Moving forward, the BSP will continue to closely monitor evolving price trends and will undertake necessary measures towards its commitment to price stability,” it added.     The rate of price increases has been on the downtrend after peaking at 6.7 percent in September to October 2018.     Last March, it decelerated to 3.3 percent from month-ago’s 3.8 percent, bringing the average rate in the first quarter this year to 3.8 percent.     Monetary officials forecast this year’s inflation to average at 3 percent, the middle of the 2 to 4 percent target band until 2022.     Meanwhile, ING Bank Manila senior economist Nicholas Mapa forecasts inflation this month at 3 percent.     In a research note, the economist said rice prices, which has a 9 percent weight on Philippines’ consumer price index (CPI), has declined, with the year-on-year change in the price of regular milled rice down by 0.90 percent.     With this development, “we can expect headline inflation to remain subdued,” he said.     Mapa, however, noted that utility rates have increased.     Mapa said inflation has been declining amid the 31.6 percent year-to-date uptick in price of Dubai crude oil and the 24.6 percent rise in domestic diesel prices.     He said both the inflation forecasts and expectations point to within target inflation rate in the next two years.     “Given BSP Governor (Benjamin) Diokno's recent remarks hinting at a rate cut (and RRR reduction) within the year, we expect that we are getting closer to the central bank finally reversing its ultra-aggressive stance of yesteryear,” he added. (PNA)

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