news

2019 CALL FOR ENTRIES: ANYTIME FITNESS LAUNCHES SEARCH FOR THE PURPLE CHAMPION

November 13, 2019

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – As the “fastest-growing fitness franchise of all time” on a global scale, Anytime Fitness always stays true to its brand values – to provide a safe space whereeveryonecanbethemselves withoutany judgments,intimidation,or discrimination. In line with their current global campaign, ‘You’re Welcome,’ Anytime Fitness Philippines launches a digital movement that aims to spark inspiration through various fitness and wellness stories from its club members. Purple Champion What was previously dubbed as The Search for the Next Digital Ambassador, this year’s competition focuses on redefining what being a ‘champion’ means. “We want to go beyond just celebrating the fitness journeys of our members. It’s their lives, as a whole, that we want to highlight—whether physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. The label “champion” has so much weight on it. It sounds intimidating and daunting, right? So we want to break that and go further than the physical aspect of it. One doesn’t need to be the strongest or the fittest to be a champion,” says Jap Angeles, Anytime Fitness Asia Regional Marketing Manager. “Fitness looks andmeans differently for everyone.A PurpleChampionbelieves thatevery little push is worth being proud of and that here at Anytime Fitness, you have a safe place to keep trying and reaching your goals,” adds Jap. Together with this year’s Purple Champion search is the international franchise’s “fitainment” series that seeks to bring wellness closer to communities through fun and enjoyable activities. Sweat and have a good time with Anytime Fitness on the following dates: November 16-17 at SM Seaside Cebu, November 23-24 at SM Davao, and November 30-December 01 at TriNoma. Anytime Fitness’ search for the Purple Champion is now open for entries. Visit www.thepurplechampion.ph to nominate. Mechanics

READ MORE
SB Corp releases P40M in loans to Marawi residents

November 4, 2019

SMALL BUSINESS Corp. (SB Corp), the financing arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), has released almost P40 million in loans to Marawi City’s internally displaced persons and uniformed personnel to help the city rebuild after the five-month siege in 2017.      “In line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s promise to continue the programs helping our kababayan in Marawi, especially those who have been affected by the siege, DTI will ensure that entrepreneurs will be back on their feet,” DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said.      “Our goal is to bring back the vibrant business of the city, as well as provide jobs and livelihood to Maranaos.”      SB Corp has provided P7.595 million in loans to 457 Marawi entrepreneurs under the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso or P3 program. Each beneficiary availed of loans between P10,000 to P20,000.      Launched in 2017, P3 is a financing program for small businesses intended as an alternative to predatory “5–6” lending schemes.      SB Corp also extended loans to wounded soldiers and the families of those killed in action in the Marawi siege under the Wounded-And-Killed in Action (WIA-KIA), an offshoot program of P3.      As of Oct. 18, P30.92 million has been released to 402 uniformed personnel, with loans ranging between P40,000 to P100,000.      The agency earmarked P50 million in lending for the P3-Marawi program, which includes WIA-KIA.      The loan assistance for Marawi follows Administrative Order No. 03, which mandates the creation of an inter-agency Task Force Bangon Marawi for the recovery, reconstruction, and rehabilitation of Marawi City, including providing livelihood to internally displaced persons in the area.      The DTI leads the business and livelihood subcommittee of Task Force Bangon Marawi, to fast-track the recovery of businesses in the city.

READ MORE
DBP installs ATMs in underbanked Palawan towns

November 4, 2019

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)

READ MORE
ADB support to PH to reach record high in 2020–2022

November 4, 2019

THE Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) sovereign lending for the Philippines is expected to reach $9.1 billion between 2020 and 2022, as the government seeks to invest more in much-needed infrastructure and pro-poor projects that will merge rural areas into urban growth centers.      The indicative pipeline is in line with the priorities identified in ADB’s country partnership strategy.      In the Philippines Country Operations Business Plan (COPB) 2020–2022, ADB said it will invest 59.5 percent of its three-year sovereign lending program in transportation projects, such as railways, bridges, road networks, and elevated pedestrian walkways.      The rest of its financial support will be devoted to the social sector, agriculture, public sector management, and sustainable water and urban development.      “This latest Country Operations Business Plan reflects ADB’s strong commitment to supporting the Philippines’ efforts to sustain inclusive economic growth, create business and job opportunities in the regions, and widen the reach of the government’s education, health, and social protection programs,” ADB Country Director for the Philippines Kelly Bird said in a statement.      ADB plans to finance projects and programs worth at least $2.5 billion annually in 2020 and 2021, matching the record high of $2.5 billion in sovereign lending to the Philippines expected by the end of the year.      In comparison, ADB’s annual lending from 2008–2018 averaged about $800 million.      Half of ADB’s 2019 assistance program will fund the first tranche of the Malolos–Clark Railway Project, one of the government’s big-ticket infrastructure projects under its “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) program.      It is also the largest ADB project financing to date, worth $2.75 billion in total.      Contracts for civil works for the project are expected to be awarded before the end of the year and construction work may begin in the second quarter of 2020.      ADB is preparing additional financing this year for the Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility to support detailed engineering designs and feasibility studies for the government’s priority projects under the BBB program.      This will ensure a steady flow of investments into much-needed infrastructure projects that are viable and innovative.      In 2020, transportation and infrastructure will still make up the majority of ADB’s financial support to the Philippines. This includes the South Commuter Railway Project that will connect Manila to Calamba and the EDSA Greenways Project, which will construct elevated walkways in four high density traffic locations along the main EDSA highway in Metro Manila.      The Integrated Flood Risk Management Sector Project is also being prepared for 2020 to finance up to six river basins across the country, and the Metro Manila Bridges Project will construct three bridges to help ease traffic conditions in the metropolis.      ADB’s 2020 program will also include financing for the Expanded Social Assistance Project, which will build on a decade of ADB assistance to the government’s conditional cash transfer program and support for the government’s agricultural competitiveness program.      ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to USD21.6 billion.      Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region. (PR)

READ MORE
BSP invests $150-M in BIS Green Bonds

November 4, 2019

AS part of foreign exchange reserve management, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is initially investing $150 million in the open-funded Green Bonds managed by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).      “The Philippines is one of the earliest subscribers (to the BIS green bond fund initiative). It’s now part of the GIR (gross international reserves),” BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said Tuesday. Of the $86 billion GIR, $15.50 billion are reserve assets deposited overseas including in the BIS, and about $6.50 billion are foreign currency assets including bond investments in the BIS.      The BIS-managed Green Bonds, an investment pool facility, is the BSP’s signal that it is embarking on the “greening” of the finance sector, or green financing in support of an environmentally responsible finance and investment practices in the hope that it can convince the market to make investments that “promote climate- resilient, green, and sustainable growth,” according to Diokno.      Diokno said last month that investing in green bonds is one of the BSP’s GIR diversification management plans. The independent central bank is currently a member of the BIS’s advisory committee to for the green bond fund initiative.      “Climate change appears to be inevitable, and the financial sector has a significant role to play in pursuing sustainable and inclusive growth in the global economy, the environment, and society. The BSP is one with the BIS in its broader commitment to support environmentally responsible finance and investment practices,” said the BSP in a statement. Diokno disclosed earlier this month that the BSP is preparing a circular on sustainable finance policy framework. He said that proposed is a regulatory framework that includes these main provisions: that banks are expected to integrate environmental and social governance (ESG), and sustainability principles in their strategic direction, as well as in their corporate governance and risk management frameworks; that banks shall conduct scenario analysis and stress testing of its business exposures to assess their vulnerabilities over several ESG scenarios; and that banks will be required to disclose their sustainability agenda in their annual reports, including risk appetites in the ESG field.      Diokno said the coming circular is just one of many circulars on sustainable finance. He explained that the BSP has a two-pronged approach to promoting sustainable finance — capacity building and awareness campaigns, and enabling regulations.      “We have to be even more proactive in green financing, especially so that the Philippines is cited as among the highly vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change,” said Diokno.      Presently the BSP is an active participant in the ASEAN Task Force on the Roles of Central Banks in Addressing Climate and Environment-Related Risks and a member of the International Finance Corporation-supported Sustainable Banking Network. It is also working with the British Embassy in Manila for the Low Carbon Energy Programme of the UK Prosperity Fund, according to Diokno.

READ MORE
Suzuki Philippines maintains growth in Q3 and introduces New Vitara

November 4, 2019

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.

READ MORE


Subscribe Now!

Receive email updates from Business Week.