business

TMP Inaugurates New P1-billion Press Line

August 16, 2019

Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation (TMP) recently inaugurated its new P1-billion high-technology press line, which includes a 1600-ton servo-type press machine with automated sheet feeder and unloader robot. This marks the start of local production for side member panels – TMP’s single largest localization project under the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program.       Side member panels are the largest body shell parts, and require high level of accuracy and quality forming because of its many contact points with other parts of the vehicle body. Investments in servo press technology was necessary to enable localization of side member panels. Compared to mechanical press currently used for metal stamping, servo-type press offers high level of accuracy, better formability and improved repeatability. TMP is the first to utilize this kind of press technology in the local automotive industry.      “Today, we mark another milestone not only for TMP but for the Philippine automotive manufacturing industry as well. We now have the capability to produce the largest body shell part with high productivity, better energy efficiency and lower maintenance costs,” TMP President Satoru Suzuki said during the inaugural ceremony of the press line.      The operationalization of the servo press line beefs up TMP’s in-house parts production capability. The new line has an annual production capacity of 66,000 units and complements TMP’s existing mechanical press line and out-house press parts production. With the localization of side member panels, TMP has achieved 58% localization of total body shell weight for the New Vios, which is more than the CARS requirement of 50%.      Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo graced the inaugural ceremony at TMP’s manufacturing plant. “I’m very happy that after three (3) years, as part of the CARS program, it’s now being produced in the Philippines,” Rodolfo said as he recalled how side member localization was just an aspiration for TMP in 2016. “I’m very happy that you even surpassed the localization target of 50% so that now we are at 58%. That would not have been possible, first, without the partnership between Toyota [in] Japan and of course the Metrobank Group here in the Philippines, and most especially the hard work of the men and women, the staff, the skilled workers, the administrative personnel that we have here, the Filipinos and Japanese who are working under Toyota Motor Philippines,” he added.      TMP also established a P700-million resin injection molding facility in 2017 to support its localization for CARS. This facility has an annual production capacity of 66,000 units and currently produces bumpers and instrument panels for the New Vios.      TMP’s CARS investments already reached P 5.38-billion as of May 2019. Its participating model, the New Vios, remains the best-selling passenger car in the country.

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Primavera Residences: Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (edge) Certified Building

August 12, 2019

Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) is an innovation of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a sister organization of World Bank. EDGE certification is an online platform, a green building standard and a certification system active to over 150 countries worldwide.      In its push to create high-quality, sustainable buildings in emerging cities in the Philippines, Italpinas Development Corporation (IDC) has built the mid-raise twin-tower Primavera Residences in uptown Cagayan de Oro, northern Mindanao. In 2015 Primavera Residences has been certified by EDGE.      Primavera Residences is a mixed-use development, completed in 2014, serves as IDC’s flagship project in the Philippines. The characteristic design of the building which has been awarded as Best Mixed-use Development in the Philippines by Asia Pacific-Property Awards, is the results of the integration of renewable energy features – passive for saving and active for generating power – with architecture.      This integration begins during the conceptualization process and is then developed into the design, construction, and building maintenance. The process is created using performance-based design strategies that make use of parametric and generative architectural software which analyze the existing data of natural weather conditions of the site location, optimizing the use of natural elements to shape the design of the building—the same “thinking model” used by nature.      The building, in fact, can be considered not just as a sheer construction but as a living organism and this is made possible through the application of the best principles of passive house technology: shadow control, wind cooling, indirect light exposition maximization and shape performance.       The south facades are designed in a way to use the building components, floors, slabs, cantilevers and balconies as shading devices for windows or terraces which are dimensioned appropriately to minimize the overheating and glare effect with a reduction of up to 80% than conventional residences.       The internal vertical atrium, found in the towers, is an efficient natural ventilation system that integrates the vertical and horizontal distribution of air throughout the buildings, contributing to the passive cooling of units by using a natural chimney effect.       The building is also harnessing solar energy from 72 photovoltaic panels installed on the building roof top, covering approximately 120 sqm. and producing around 1200 kWh per month. These renewable energy sources together with the use of a smart greed, allows to effectively manage the buildings’ power supply, thus reducing electricity consumption.       Thanks to the implementation of the above mentioned green passive strategies in the design and construction of Primavera Residences, the Predicted Savings evaluated by EDGE application have been estimated around 33% of energy savings, around 37% of water savings and around 32% Less Embodied Energy in Materials.      IDC has recently communicated with EDGE to continue to develop its future green projects with the support of the EDGE application considering highly effective the results achieved through the use of a software that helps the designers and developers not only to identify the most cost-effective ways to build green but finding also solutions to reach the minimum standard of 20% less resource intensity in energy, water and embodied energy in materials.      Through EDGE certification, Primavera Residences has been recognized as a landmark in sustainable development showing how it is possible to develop in the Philippines elegant and efficient green buildings, accessible to the growing middle-class which is fueling economic growth with strong consumer demand.

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Cebu Pacific launches Clark-Narita, Bacolod, Iloilo flights

August 12, 2019

CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga  -- Cebu Pacific, led by its president Lance Gokongwei, launched on Friday its three newest destinations from Clark International Airport (CRK) - Bacolod, Iloilo, and Narita, Japan.      In his speech during the launching event held at the Marriot Hotel here,  Gokongwei said Cebu Pacific is the first Philippine carrier to mount direct flights between Clark and Tokyo, via Narita.      He noted that with the expansion of its route network in the Clark hub, Cebu Pacific will become the largest carrier in Clark in terms of capacity by end-2019, capturing 28 percent of the total number of seats offered by all carriers operating here.      Flights from Clark to Bacolod and Iloilo run daily,  while direct service to and from Narita is scheduled four times weekly --Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.      Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, for his part, said the three inaugural flights “is a game changer in so far as Clark is concerned”.      “Cebu Pacific, like other airlines, give the riding public the freedom of choice ,” Tugade said, adding that the Duterte administration is committed to provide mobility and connectivity.      “This exercise precisely adheres and gives meaning to that commitment of having mobility and connectivity because now in Clark, you connect Clark to Iloilo, Bacolod and Narita, Japan. Happening all for the first time and happening all with the complement of Cebu Pacific,” he added.       Cebu Pacific earlier announced that it would begin flying daily between Clark and Puerto Princesa City in Palawan by the fourth quarter of 2019.      Gokongwei said four new routes will boost Cebu Pacific’s total capacity in Clark by 40 percent in 2019 alone, following a 75-percent increase in 2018 with the launch of direct commercial air service to and from Davao and Panglao, Bohol, as well as additional frequency for the Clark-Macau route.      “We have been operating flights in and out of Clark since 2006. The opening of these new routes is a testament of how committed we are to continuously develop this hub. We are not only establishing seamless inter-island connections, but also opening up North Luzon to more potential entrepreneurs, both local and foreign, furthering tourism, trade, and investment opportunities in Clark and its surrounding areas,” he said.      Cebu Pacific flies to four other domestic destinations --Cebu, Caticlan, Tagbilaran, Davao; and three other international destinations, Singapore, Macau and Hong Kong, to and from Clark.      “As we aim to fly 200 million passengers by 2020 and 300 million by 2022, trust that we have been and will always keep our customers at the heart of the business. Rest assured, we will continue to cater to the growing travel demand by enabling more Juans to travel conveniently and affordably through our year-round low fares,” Gokongwei added.      The airline expects to receive over 60 aircrafts in the next eight years, guaranteeing even greater growth in and out of the Philippines.       Aside from Clark, Cebu Pacific operates flights out of six other strategically placed hubs in the Philippines, namely Manila, Kalibo, Iloilo, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro and Davao.      Cebu Pacific  operates over 2,000 weekly flights across 37 domestic and 26 international destinations. (PNA)

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Economists forecast at least 25 bps cut in BSP rates

August 12, 2019

ECONOMISTS are expecting at least a 25 basis point cut in the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) key rates on Thursday on the back of slower inflation in July 2019.      The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Tuesday reported that rate of price increases decelerated anew to 2.4 percent, reminiscent of the July 2017 figure, from last June’s 2.7 percent, thanks to the lower annual rate registered by the heavily-weighted food index.      Average inflation to date is 3.3 percent while inflation rate in July 2018 is higher at 5.7 percent.      Also, core inflation, which excludes volatiles food and oil items registered slower rate of 3.2 percent from month-ago’s 3.3 percent, resulting to an average of 3.6 percent to date.      Standard Chartered Bank Asia economist Chidu Narayanan, in a report, said the slowdown of domestic inflation rate provides the BSP’s policy-making Monetary Board (MB) a leeway to slash the central bank’s key policy rates when it meets on Thursday, August 8.      “Today’s lower inflation, combined with a likely lower Q2 GDP growth of 5.9 percent, may cause BSP to deliver a 25bps rate cut when it meets on Thursday. We expect another 50bps from BSP this year, following the likely 25bps cut later this week,” he said.       The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is scheduled to report the domestic economy’s second quarter performance, as measured by gross domestic product (GPD), on Thursday.      In the first three months this year, the domestic economy posted a slowdown to 5.6 percent from quarter-ago’s 6.3 percent, which economic managers pointed to the impact of the delay in the approval of this year’s national budget.      Authorities said the government was not able to spend as programmed because spending was hampered by the limitations under the re-enacted budget.      Economic managers, however, assured the public that a spending catch-up plan has been put in place to lift government spending and, in turn, help boost domestic growth.      With regards to the inflation rate, Narayanan forecasts this to fall below two percent in August to September and this, he said, is seen to bring average inflation this year to about 2.7 percent.      “A combination of lower food prices, lower oil prices, and a high base effect will help contain inflation,” he said.      The slowdown in inflation rate, which peaked at 6.7 percent in September and October last year, was the driving force behind the 25 basis points reduction the BSP rates last May.      The MB also boosted domestic liquidity through the total of 200 basis points slash in major banks’ reserve requirement ratio (RRR) from May to July this year. Authorities said a 100 basis points cut in RRR releases about P90 billion into the system.      Despite these cuts, Narayanan said “monetary conditions in the Philippines continue to remain tight.”      He said the bank’s Monetary Conditions Index (MCI) for the Philippines “indicates conditions are still at their tightest in three years on a stronger REER (real effective exchange rate), higher real interest rates and softer credit growth.”      “The likely further drop in inflation below 2 percent is likely to cause conditions to tighten much further,” he added.      Relatively, ING Bank Manila senior economist Nicholas Mapa, in a report, said deceleration of inflation last July increased expectations for a rate cut on Thursday, especially following the cut in the Federal Reserve’s key rates last week.      He cited Philippine monetary officials’ statement that they remain data-dependent vis-à-vis their policy decisions but also noted that BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno has hinted of additional 50 basis rate cut for the remaining months of the year after last May’s reduction.      “We believe we will see at least a 25 bps rate cut (with door open for 50 bps) all the more given that 2Q GDP is likely to settle below the six percent handle,” he added.      ANZ Research, in its report, said effects of elevated inflation rate last year along with weaker demand pressures may result in the decline of inflation below two percent in the next few months.      “Today’s data support the view that inflation remains on a clear downtrend and so we expect the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to cut its policy rate by 25bps at its meeting this Thursday,” it added.      Also, UnionBank chief economist Ruben Carlo O. Asuncion, in his report, said the inflation outturn last July is a big factor in the possible cut in the BSP’s key rates this week. “This, however, will also depend on Q2 output results,” he said, projecting second quarter GDP to be around 5.9 percent. (PNA)

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Landbank eyes 15% annual growth for agricultural loans

August 12, 2019

OFFICIALS of state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) are targeting to grow agriculture-focused loans by 15 percent annually to help about three million farmers by the end of the Duterte administration in 2022.      Landbank President and CEO Cecilia Borromeo said they target agriculture loans to reach P265 billion by 2020, up from the P231.25 billion target this year, wherein they target to help one million farmers.      “It’s a consistent growth so by 2022, the portfolio of the bank to the agriculture sector will reached P350 billion and we should be able to assist at least three million farmers by then,” she said.      This, as President Rodrigo Duterte directed Landbank officials to extend more aid to farmers since this is among the bank’s mandate.      Borromeo said they currently have 44 lending centers around the country and they aim to increase this to 50 centers by 2020.      She explained that the bank’s Board of Directors has approved the opening of new lending centers in Lanao del Norte, Quirino Province and in Antique.      She stressed that the bank is very compliant with the Agri-Agra law, with 27 percent of the total loans amounting to P222 billion currently allocated to the agriculture sector.      “We will, at the very least, maintain that share in the agriculture sector. It can be more depending on the economy,” she said.      Under Agri-Agra law, banks are required to allocate 10 percent of their funds for agrarian reform credit (Agra) and 15 percent for other agricultural credit (Agri).      The Landbank chief added that “if there will be a slowdown in other sectors, then the share of the agriculture sectors will increase.”      In the first half of the year, the bank extended P744.5 billion worth of loans to the priority sector, about 93.1 percent of total loans.      Loans extended to small farmers amounted to 42.31 billion, while P14 billion was extended to small fishers and their associations.      Loans extended for the support of the agriculture and fisheries sector totaled to P177.32 billion while loans that support the national government’s priority programs, including infrastructure projects, reached P524.86 billion. (PNA)

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Reliable Partner on the Road – Suzuki Ciaz

August 12, 2019

SPH buckles up for continued strong growth these succeeding months with more targeted marketing strategies. Besides continuous efforts to bring the vehicles closer to the target markets through product displays and test drives, SPH reinforces its presence in the transport scene through active campaigns and promotions, including for those in the transport vehicle service (TNVS) ecosystem.      SPH makes ride sharing a more comfortable experience not just for drivers but for the commuters as well with the Suzuki Ciaz. A reliable partner on the road, the Ciaz runs on a refined K14B engine and has a lightweight and aerodynamic body for enhanced efficiency. Its roomy and ergonomically designed interior ensures a safe and comfortable ride for both the driver and passengers.      Ride sharing continues to be seen as one solution to the traffic situation in the metro. With its combined fuel efficiency, space and comfort, Suzuki’s popular subcompact sedan is sure to bring Filipinos to their destination safely and conveniently, definitely the Suzuki Way of Life!      Sleek multimedia unit and wireless connectivity make for superior entertainment while on the road. Preloaded applications such as Waze help in navigating unfamiliar routes or tracking new areas, providing accurate directions to reach the target destination much faster.      Picking up and driving for passengers with luggage and boxes is not a challenge. Suzuki Ciaz has a roomy cabin luggage capacity of 495 liters, enough to fit bags and boxes for travel or simply transporting from the mall or grocery. Danny Dimaranan, a TNVS driver for years now, can attest to these benefits as he shared, “I got high ratings because of the comfort that the Suzuki Ciaz gives.” Adding to it, “Economy wise, for this kind of job, this is really far from the fuel consumption from the other cars that I have owned before.”

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