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Tarrification law boosts Normin rice buffer stock

April 26, 2019

THE new Tarrification Law has boosted the rice of buffer stocks in Northern Mindanao ensuring sufficient supply for the rest of the year.     In a press release, National Food Authority (NFA) 10 director Genaro Nuñez Jr. said the new law hastened the local procurement activities in rice producing areas in the region such as Bukidnon.     Nuñez said this was done with the help coming from the Department of Agriculture (DA) which provided two hauling trucks for procurement activities in remote areas in Malaybalay City.     Under the new rice tarrification law, NFA’s activities will be limited in sourcing its rice buffer stock through local palay procurement sans imports.     Nuñez has set the maximum buying price of P20.40 (individual farmer) and P20.70 (farmers’ cooperative) per kilo, positioning its own mechanical dryers, hauling trucks and warehouses to accommodate a massive palay volume that will be procured in the different provinces in the region.     The amount is on top of other incentives such as P0.20 per kilogram (drying), P0.20 per kilogram (delivery) and P0.30 per kilogram (cooperative incentive fee).     As of April 15, performance of this year’s procurement in the region garnered a total of 20,585 bags of palay with Bukidnon being the highest procuring province at the volume of 12,459; Lanao del Norte (4,613), Misamis Occidental (3,420) and Misamis Oriental (93).     That’s an add on to the 20,611 bags inventoried in December 31 last year, bringing the total to 39,681 bags.     Republic Act 11203, otherwise known as the rice tarrification law, has left NFA with the lone function of ensuring the country’s buffer stocks for emergencies and calamities.

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Italpinas earnings breach P100-M mark in 2018

April 24, 2019

ITALPINAS Development Corp. (IDC) posted a P120.56-million net income in 2018, breaching the P100-million mark for the first time.     IDC’s net income last year was double the P59.9-million profit recorded in 2017.     For 2018, revenues surged 94% to P368.52 million from P147.4 million in the previous year.     “We would like to maintain the trend … In terms of gross sales, we booked around P360 million. We would like to double this year… Next year, we want to double our sales and continue with the growth percentage that we have been able to achieve in the past year,” IDC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Romolo V. Nati said in a press briefing held on Tuesday in Taguig City.     Mr. Nati said the company hopes to sustain its growth momentum in the next few years.     “Actually, our plan is bigger. In terms, in span of five years we like to replicate in the growth that we experienced starting from 2013. It means we want to achieve a net profit of billions in the next five years, if we will be able to replicate the growth we delivered so far,” he said. IDC recorded a net income of P5.3 million in 2013.     IDC attributed its strong growth in 2018 to sales of its projects, particularly Primavera City in Cagayan De Oro City.     Located near SM City CDO, Primavera City is a mixed-use residential condominium project with six mid-rise buildings and one high rise tower. Broken down, 281 units will be allotted for residential, while 39 will be for commercial/office for the first phase.     Another project developed by IDC is Primavera Residences located within the Pueblo de Oro township also in Cagayan De Oro City. The two tower project, which has 298 units, has been sold out and has completed its turnover.     IDC is also developing the Miramonti project in Sto. Tomas, Batangas.

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Car sales recover in March

April 24, 2019

SALES of car manufacturers bounced back in March, recording a double-digit growth year-on-year, the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) reported on Monday.     CAMPI sales increased by 14 percent last month to 32,173 units from 28,216 units sold in March 2018.     “The double-digit growth during the month of March compared to the same month last year is a strong indication that the automotive industry is well on its way to recovery. We are optimistic that this trend will be sustained in the coming months,” CAMPI President Rommel Gutierrez said.     The 32.8-percent improvement in sales of commercial vehicle segment supported the overall sales in March, offsetting the 15.7 percent decrement in passenger cars’ sales.     Passenger car segment sold a total of 9,214 units in March, still lower than the 10,925 unit sales in the same month in 2018.     But month-on-month sales of this segment already improved by 8.77 percent from 8,471 units sold in February this year.     On the other hand, commercial vehicle sales accelerated to 22,959 units last month from 17,291 units a year ago.     Light commercial vehicles sold 18,793 units last month, up by 54.4 percent from 12,171 units in March 2018.     Asian Utility Vehicle (AUV) sales, however, declined by 29.4 percent, to 2,753 units this year from 3,899 units last year.     Among truck sub-segments, only trucks and buses category four recorded a decrease in sales, down by 36.4 percent, while the category three and light trucks were both up by 24 percent.     The double-digit growth in March has narrowed the sales decline for the first quarter of 2019.     Total CAMPI sales from January to March this year slipped by 0.8 percent to 85,388 units from 86,037 units in the same period last year.     Passenger cars sold a total of 26,172 units in Q1 2019, down by 9.5 percent from 28,907 units in Q1 2018.     Commercial vehicle sales went up by 3.7 percent to 59,216 units this year from 57,130 units in the same period of the previous year.     Market leaders in the Philippines for Q1 2018 were Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Honda, and Ford. (PNA)

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Aboitiz Power welcomes investigation on alleged collusion in power sector

April 24, 2019

THE top management of Aboitiz Power Corporation (AP) welcomed an investigation by the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) on alleged collusion among power industry players to jack up electricity prices.     In a briefing after the annual stockholders meeting of Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AVE) in Makati City Monday, AP Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Emmanuel V. Rubio said speculations that power players are deliberately disrupting power services need to be addressed.     "We believe it's something that really needs to be clarified to erase speculations, perceptions of the market," said Rubio, who takes over as the company's Chief Executive Officer on January 1, 2020, when current CEO Erramon Aboitiz retires.     Asked if he sees the need to implement reforms in the industry, he said this will be a good development.     "If there are actually reforms that will recommended as a conclusion of the investigation to improve the system then we welcome that," he added.     The Luzon grid experienced low power reserves before the Holy Week after several power plants went on unplanned outages due to various reasons like having some parts that are not working.     This resulted in the issuance of yellow and red alerts for the Luzon grid and power outages in several areas.     PCC chairman Arsenio Balisacan, in a statement Monday, said the Commission is "looking into the recent series of shutdowns and assessing if it merits an investigation."     "We look forward to the report that DOE (Department of Energy) will send us as it will help with our assessment," he said.     Balisacan said the drop in reserves that resulted to power outages "sparked complaints from the public", thus, "PCC shall assess whether the recent power plants’ outages are manipulated to increase electricity prices or are valid unplanned breakdowns that affect supply conditions."     He explained that the Commission, under the Philippine Competition Act, is "mandated to promote fair market competition, prohibit anti-competitive behavior among businesses across sectors including the power sector, and advance consumer welfare in the process."     He, thus, called on power generation companies to refrain from "engaging in anti-competitive or collusive behavior which is punishable by the competition law with fines of up to PHP250 million, and imprisonment of responsible officers of up to seven years."     He also stressed that "while the PCC has primary and original jurisdiction over competition concerns, the antitrust commission acknowledges the technical expertise and regulatory functions of the DOE and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) in overseeing the power industry."     "With this, the PCC seeks to deepen its ties and advance its previous discussions with the DOE and ERC towards a Memorandum of Agreement in order to facilitate market competition and investigations in the power sector," he said.     Balisacan also pointed out that the Energy department "has previously referred a similar matter" to the PCC.     "That is being treated as a separate investigation," he added. (PNA)

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Bong Go vowed to press Duterte’s campaign against corruption; HNP stumps Kidapawan City

April 24, 2019

KIDAPAWAN CITY, North Cotabato - Former Special Assistant to the President and 2019 senatorial candidate Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Monday vowed to help President Rodrigo Duterte in his campaign to rid the government of corrupt officials.     Speaking at the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) campaign rally at the Capitol Provincial Gymnasium here, Go thanked the residents of the city for their warm welcome, particularly during his motorcade earlier.     “Maraming salamat po sa mga kababayan ko dito sa Kidapawan at North Cotabato. Tulad po ng ibang lugar na pinuntahan namin, napaka-init po ng pagtanggap ninyo, sing-init ng panahon. Nakakawala po talaga ng pagod pag nakikita mo ang ganung klase ng suporta,” Go said.      In his message to the people of Kidapawan and the entire province, Go reiterated his vow to support President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs, criminality and corruption.      “Ipagpapatuloy ko po ang mga pagbabagong nasimulan ni Pangulong Duterte. Yung kampanya laban sa iligal na droga, kampanya laban sa kriminalidad, at kampanya laban sa corruption isusulong ko po,” Go said.      Zeroing in on corruption, Go lamented that it takes a big bite out of the funds intended for projects and programs meant for the benefit of the people.      “Marami pong nagpapawis, tumulong kay Pangulong Duterte noong kampanya. Pero sabi ni Pangulong Duterte pag pumasok ka sa corruption, hiwa-hiwalay na tayo. Interest muna ng bayan bago interest ng sarili o kaibigan. Marami na pong sinipang opisyal si Pangulong Duterte dahil sa corruption,” Go said.     Earlier, Go had urged people to report to him, to the Truth and Justice Coalition, or to the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission any information on corrupt officials and they can be sure it would be acted upon immediately.     “Tulungan nyo po si Pangulong Duterte sa kanyang kampanya laban sa mga corrupt na opisyal. Ibulong nyo lang po sa akin, o iparating ninyo sa Truth and Justice Coalition of Greco Belgica, o kaya sa PACC,” Go had said.     As part of his legislative agenda for agriculture, Go called for improved irrigation services to curb the effects of the perennial dry spell the country experiences, noting reports that the dry spell had affected about 15,000 hectares of farmland.      Go said improved irrigation system, coupled with better management of water resources could not only help bring a bountiful harvest for the farmers but also support the operation of residents engaged in fish farming.      “Pagbutihin pa natin ang irigasyon para bukod sa patubig sa bukid ay magkaroon ng tubig ang mga fish ponds. Bigyan din natin ng binhing isda ang mga mangingisda para tuloy ang kabuhayan nila,” said Go.     “Dapat palakasin pa natin ang suporta ng pamahalaan sa pagbibigay ng mga abono, binhi, makinarya at mga pagsasanay. Ilalayo natin ang mga magsasaka sa 5-6 dahil pahihiramin natin sila ng puhunan na may mababang interes. Gusto ko na magkaroon sila ng alternatibong pagkakabuhayan,” he added.     He also assured the people of North Cotabato that they can count on him to support the Duterte administration’s infrastructure and development programs, particularly those that are directly beneficial to the people of the province.     He cited, among others, the on-going Malitubog-Maridagao Irrigation Project (Phase 11) located in North Cotabato and Maguindanao area, that would divert irrigation water from Maridagao River to deliver timely and adequate irrigation water to 9,784 hectares of agricultural lands.      There are also various farms to market road projects in the province to enable farmers to transport their products faster to the market such as the concreting of Mahongcog to Sitio Tagaytay road, upgrading of Bangkal Sitio Apog-Apog road, improvement of Manobisa Crossing Iwal to Sitio Timodos road, and concreting of PBMA – Sitio Hijara-Tombao road. Proponents have been required to submit the requirements for these projects.     To mitigate the effects of flash floods that destroy properties, crops, and livestock, the Duterte administration is embarking on a P1.4-billion project to dredge and realign the Simuay River and its shoreline. The NEDA has already approved the project in February this year and civil works are expected to begin by this year.      Topmost among  Go’s priorities in his legislative agenda is the crusade to improve the delivery of health services in the country, particularly through the establishment of Malasakit Center. It’s a one, stop shop that makes it easier and faster for indigents to avail of medical and financial assistance from the government by bringing together in one room all concerned agencies such as DOH, DSWD, PCSO, and Philhealth.      “It’s a continuing program of the Duterte administration. Gusto ko po itong maisabatas pagdating ng panahon para tuloy-tuloy ang programa kahit hindi na pangulo si Pangulong Duterte at mas madagdagan pa ang ating mga Malasakit Center,” Go said.      Other priority concerns in Go’s legislative agenda include programs for education, housing for the poor, fire protection and prevention, long-term sports development, localized peace talks,  barangay welfare, creation of a department of OFW and better support for senior citizens.     “Asahan nyo po, patuloy ninyo akong magiging tulay kay Pangulong Duterte. Wala po kaming ibang hangarin ni Pangulong Duterte kundi ang kabutihan ng Pilipino dahil mahal namin kayo,” Go said.     “Ang bisyo ko po, magserbisyo. Naniniwala ako na ang serbisyo sa tao ay serbisyo sa Diyos,” he added.

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Bong Go calls for improved measures to mitigate El Niño impact to agriculture

April 24, 2019

COTABATO City – Former Special Assistant to the President and 2019 senatorial candidate Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Monday called for additional government support to farmers to mitigate the impact of dry spell brought by recurring El Niño phenomenon that devastates crops.     “Malaki na ang pinsalang dala ng El Niño. Dapat mas palawakin ang cloudseeding operations at free irrigation, kasama na ang solar-powered irrigation systems,” Go said in his message during the campaign rally of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) regional party at the Notre Dame University Gym here.     Reports earlier said an estimated P605-million worth of agricultural crops in two provinces of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), namely Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, where 10,818 hectares of rice and 11,039 hectares of corn are affected.     A total of 18,423 farmers have been affected in the two provinces, with Lanao del Sur having 11,087 farmers affected and 7,336 in Maguindanao.     Go, who has identified agriculture as one of his top priorities under his legislative agenda also proposed for improved access of farmers to cheaper fertilizer, seeds, machinery, and low-interest credit.      “Kailangan ding magbigay tayo ng mas maraming trainings para sa mga alternative livelihood ng ibang myembro ng pamilya ng ating mga maliliit na magsasaka at mangingisda.     Earlier in the day, Go held a motorcade around the city where he received an enthusiastic response from the residents.     “Sobrang init po ng pagtanggap ninyo sa akin, sing-init ng panahon. Nakakawala po ng pagod. Maraming salamat po sa mga kapatid natin dito sa Cotabato City at sa buong probinsya ng Maguindanao,” Go said.      The former SAP and the HNP senatorial slate secured the support of Cotabato City as HNP headed by Davao Mayor Sara Duterte forged an alliance with Team One Kutawato local party headed by Cotabato City Mayor Frances Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi.      Go rallied the people of Cotabato City to support the HNP candidates as he also expressed confidence they would remember him when they troop to the polling places to vote.     “Alam ko naman hindi ninyo ako malilimutan, unang-una kapitbahay lang  tayo, taga-Davao ako, di ba mga Bisaya tayo? Mahal na mahal po ni Pangulong Duterte ang mga kapatid nating Muslim sa Davao City, ipinagpatuloy po ni Mayor Sara,” Go noted.      "Ang Pangulo naman, he recognizes Hajj as sacred religious obligation of every Muslim. Kaya bawat taon bilang tulong, nagpapadala siya ng pilgrims performing Hajj sa Mecca, Saudi Arabia," he added.     Go also assured his fellow Mindanaoans, that he would continue supporting the programs and policies of President Rodrigo Duterte, whom he has served for over 21 years.     “Kung masaya kayo (sa pamamahala ni Pangulong Duterte) ipagpatuloy natin yung pagbabagong nasimulan ni Pangulong Duterte. Yung kampanya laban sa kriminalidad, kampanya laban sa corruption, at kampanya laban sa iligal na droga—suportado ko po iyan,” Go said.     Likewise, Go said that if elected to the Senate, he would support the implementation of the administration’s “Build, Build, Build” programs that are meant to stimulate economic activities and provide as well more job and employment opportunities for the people.     Among others, Go cited the on-going P5.4-billion Malitubog-Maridagao Irrigation Project in North Cotabato and Maguindanao that would provide irrigation water to 9,784 hectares of agricultural lands in the area.     Also in the pipeline is the P39.2-billion Ambal-Simuay River and Rio Grande de Mindanao River flood control projects, meant to benefit the flood-prone areas in Maguindanao. The government has conveyed on June 6, 2018 to the Chinese government the request to secure loan financing for the project.     As part of government support for agriculture in the area, there are also plans for the construction of two units of solar dryer with warehouse in two sitios in Paglat, Maguindanao. The proponents of the project were already required to submit the necessary funding requirements.     Go added that another top priority in his legislative agenda is to improve the delivery of health services in the country, particularly through the establishment of Malasakit Center.      A project of the Duterte administration based on Go’s idea, the Malasakit Center makes it easier and faster for indigent patients to avail of medical and financial assistance from the government by bringing together in one room concerned agencies such as the DOH, DSWD, PCSO and Philhealth.     “Gusto ko pong isabatas ito pagdating ng panahon para tuloy-tuloy ang programa kahit hindi na pangulo si Pangulong Duterte. Meron na po kayong Malasakit Center dito Maguindanao sa Cotabato Regional and Medical Center. Ito po yung pang-16th na Malasakit Center natin out of the 34 na meron tayo ngayon,” Go said.     Other priority items in Go’s legislative agenda include programs for education, housing, long-term sports development, localized peace talks, fire protection and prevention, barangay welfare, creation of a Department of OFW, and improved benefits for senior citizens.     “Mga kapatid ko dito sa Cotabato, sa Maguindanao, sa Sultan Kudarat, minsan lang tayo daraan sa mundong ito. Kaya anuman ang mabuti na pwede nating gawin sa kapwa, gawin na natin dahil hindi na tayo daraan muli sa mundong ito,” Go said.     He vowed to serve Filipinos like he served President Duterte for over 21 years.      “Alam nyo po ang serbiyo sa tayo ay serbisyo sa Diyos, at serbisyo kay Allah. Wala kaming ibang hangarin ni Pangulong Duterte kundi kabutihan ng bawat Pilipino dahil mahal namin kayo,” Go said.

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