money matters

DBM: Php160B funds require President’s approval

July 15, 2021

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) stated in a recent interview that P160 Billion in project funds marked “for later release” may only be allocated upon the approval of the Office of the President. DBM Secretary Wendel Avisado stated that the department does not arbitrarily withhold funding. “Hindi naman kami pwedeng mag-ipit ng pondo. Ang trabaho namin mag-release (We are not able to withhold funds. The nature of our work is to release),” he said in a radio interview. There are two categories of funds to be released under the General Appropriations Act (GAA). Funds marked “for comprehensive release” may be disbursed upon the authorization of the departments involved; while funds classified as “for later release” need the President’s approval, according to Avisado. “Kapag 'for later release,' may pondo na. Kaya nga lang, walang kontrol ang DBM at kailangan kong i-forward sa Office of the President (If [a fund has been indicated] ‘for later release’, the fund has already been allocated for. However, the DBM has no control [over the release], and I need to forward such to the Office of the President),” said the DBM Secretary. In September of last year, the Office of the Ombudsman also weighed in on DBM’s actions regarding the non-release of non-pandemic funds, which Senator Paniflo Lacson had at the time warned against “setting a precedent for future issuances by DBM”. Several members of the Legislature have spoken on the issue, as the P160 Billion in question is critical to the success of several pandemic response projects to be enacted by several government bodies. Among those who raised concerns were Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, and Sen. Sonny Angara. Drilon suspected that these funds remain unreleased due to politicking, especially against the backdrop of the incoming 2022 national elections. However, Avisado denied this claim. “Hindi po [ito] nakakabit sa eleksyon dahil ang eleksyon ay next year pa. Ang pondo ay para sa taong ito, 2021, at hindi para sa 2022, (This isn’t connected to the election, because the election takes place next year. The funds in question are for 2021, and not for 2022),” he refuted. Government critics remain skeptical, however, arguing that political campaigning begins far before the “official campaign period” does.

SEC reminds Normin, Caraga corporations to submit audited financial statement before June 30

June 9, 2020

THE Securities and Exchange Commission – Cagayan de Oro Extension Office (SEC-CDOEO) reminds all corporations for the submission of Audited Financial Statements (AFS) which is due this June 30, 2020. The Northern Mindanao and Caraga Regions’ Stock and Non-Stock corporations whose fiscal year ends November 30, 2019 and December 31, 2019 are obliged to submit their AFS together with the General Information Sheet (GIS) otherwise corresponding penalties will incur.       Atty. Renato V. Egypto, Director for SEC-CDOEO in a statement reminds all corporations to file and submit their reports “For all corporations, it is best to file early as now for us to avoid crowd or mass gathering. The SEC-CDOEO has been open to accept submissions since the occurrence of pandemic in the region”.       SEC-CDOEO accepts walk-in submissions from Monday to Friday (8:00AM – 5:00PM). Preemptive measures are observed in the office and thus, clients are directed to follow.       For areas with travel restrictions, clients may send their reports via courier with mailing address: SEC Bldg., Tomas Saco Del Lara Sts., Macasandig, Cagayan de Oro City.       Sending through e-mail (soft copies) is also accepted however will be deemed as partial submission considering that hard copies will complete the requirements. With this, electronic signatures, and unnotarized documents are temporarily allowed. Reports have to be submitted through       This submission is in pursuance to the Revised Corporation Code, under Sec. 177 (a) which requires all corporations to submit their annual financial statements to be audited by an independent Certified Public Accountant, however, if total assets or total liabilities of the corporation are less than Six Hundred Thousand Pesos (Php 600, 000.00), the financial statements shall be certified under oath by the Corporation’s treasurer or chief financial officer.       The reportorial requirements shall be submitted annually and within such period as may be prescribed by the Commission.       The AFS other than the consolidated financial statements, shall have the stamped “received” by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) or its authorized banks, unless the BIR allows an alternative proof of submission for its authorized banks (e.g. bank slips).       Late filings shall have corresponding penalties as imposed by the Commission guidelines, and/or may place the Corporation under delinquent status in case of failure to submit the reportorial requirements three (3) times, consecutively or intermittently, within a period of five (5) years. The Commission shall give reasonable notice to and coordinate with the appropriate regulatory agency prior to placing under delinquent status companies under their special regulatory jurisdiction.

Unemployed persons in R10 rise to 236,000 as of April 2020

June 9, 2020

RESULTS of the April 2020 Labor Force Survey shows that unemployment rate in the region registered at 11.1 percent. This is the highest recorded unemployment rate since 2005. Unemployment rate in January 2020 was reported at 3.2 percent while April 2019 unemployment rate posted at 5.0 percent.   In terms of magnitude, the total number of unemployed individuals as of April 2020 reached to 236,000, higher than the recorded unemployed persons in April 2019 at 121,000. In other words, there are 115,000 more individuals who are unemployed as of April 2020 as compared to the same period in the previous year which reflects the impact of CoVID-19 economic shutdown to the labor market.   The region's unemployment rate is lower than the national average of unemployment rate at 17.7 percent. The region also posted the lowest unemployment rate among the 17 regions.   Employment rate in the region fell to 88.9 percent in April 2020 from 96.8 percent in January 2020. In April 2019, employment rate registered at 95.0 percent. This translates to a decrease in the employed persons by around 400 thousand, that is, from 2.3 million employed persons in April 2019 to 1.9 million persons in April 2020.   The region, however, recorded the highest employment rate among the 17 regions of the country.

PSBank Q1 net income: P646.2m

May 7, 2020

THE Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank), the consumer banking arm of the Metrobank Group, recorded a net income of PhP646.2 million for the first quarter of 2020. Net interest income grew 21.8% to PhP3.2 billion versus the same period last year while net service fees reached PhP458.1 million. Net Income for the first quarter of 2020 is lower by 5.1% on increased credit provisioning. Total loan portfolio as of the first quarter of this year grew by 3.6% to PhP165.0 billion coming from the strong demand in the first two months of this year prior to the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) period. This contributed to total assets growth of 1.8% year-on-year to PhP240.3 billion. Low-cost deposits improved by 10.2% reaching PhP60.6 billion. Gross non-performing loans is stable at 3.7%. PSBank’s balance sheet remains strong with capital of PhP34.8 billion. The Bank’s total Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of 17.2% is well above the regulatory minimum of 10%. “PSBank has a strong balance sheet and capital position coming into this unprecedented situation. Cognizant of the potential impact of the pandemic to the economy, we decided to exercise prudence by increasing provisions to 150% versus previous year. During the quarantine period, the Bank continued to operate 80% of its branches while keeping in place precautionary measures to ensure that our customers and employees are safe. Both customer and IT support were further strengthened to keep our online banking services available 24/7, this being the alternative banking channel during these times,” PSBank President Jose Vicente Alde said. To assist customers during this period, the Bank put together an easy-to-use ‘Quick Customer Enquiries’ module in its website which shows information on daily branch schedules, fraud protection tips, loan payment grace periods, and how-to guides on banking services. PSBank ensured the availability of safe and convenient digital banking services for customers to still do their banking transactions: Check deposit using the PSBank Mobile Check Deposit facility launched in September 2019; Mobile and Online fund transfers via InstaPay and PESONet;  PaSend for mobile cash remittances withdrawable from over 1,000 combined PSBank and Metrobank ATMs nationwide; payment of bills via mobile or online; and 24/7 cash availability in PSBank ATMs. PSBank likewise made it easy for customers to reach the bank through various communication platforms: Chatbot “ISSA” via FB Messenger (Interactive, Speedy & Simpleng Assistant) for quick queries; “LiveChat” if customers wish to interact with our Customer Associates; and our 24/7 Customer Experience Hotline for phone-in concerns. (PR)

PH seen losing $4.5B in cash remittances due to pandemic in ‘best-case scenario’

April 19, 2020

The Philippines, in a best-case scenario, will likely lose some $4.5 billion (P228 billion) in cash remittance inflows from migrant Filipino workers this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACTS-OFW Coalition of Organizations said on Sunday. “Without the pandemic, we would have expected the aggregate incoming cash transfers from Filipinos overseas to grow by $1.5 billion (or by five percent) this year,” said ACTS-OFW chairman Aniceto Bertiz III. “However, on account of the severe global economic devastation caused by the pandemic, we now project total remittances to reach only $27 billion this year, or down by $3 billion from $30 billion in 2019, assuming the best possible outcome,” Bertiz, a former member of Congress, said. Bertiz said migrant Filipino workers in the following sectors around the world are bearing the brunt of the economic destruction and job losses: ·      Shipping (both merchant and cruise operations) and shipping-related support services; ·      Aviation and aviation-related support services (including crewing operations, aircraft maintenance and catering); ·      Travel and tour operations; ·      Hotels, resorts and restaurants; ·      Gaming; and ·      Oil, gas and energy exploration and development (including related construction). “The foreign labor markets for Filipino workers – except for medical professionals and technicians – will shrink considerably this year, as the global economy declines,” Bertiz said. The collapse of crude oil prices to $20-$25 per barrel is foreseen dampening to a large extent the demand for Filipino workers – from engineers to construction workers – in the Middle East, Bertiz said. The kingdoms in the region heavily dependent oil and gas income are anticipated to spend less aggressively on new public infrastructure, according to Bertiz. “The global economic recession will also reduce the demand for Filipinos sailors as shipping traffic sinks,” Bertiz said. The Philippines is the world’s second-largest supplier of licensed ship officers and the top provider of unlicensed ship ratings or non-officer crew. Some 450,000 Filipino sailors serve on ocean-going bulk carriers, container ships, oil, gas, chemical and other product tankers, general cargo ships, pure car carriers and tugboats around the world. Global ports operator International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICSTI) earlier reported that shipping container volumes across its terminals in 20 countries fell by 10-15 percent in March alone, and are expected to decline further in April. Meanwhile, Bertiz said ACTS-OFW is counting on the government to provide financial assistance to Filipino workers overseas who have lost income under the “no work, now pay policy” of their employers. The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration last week began accepting online applications for the $200 (P10,000) cash aid for Filipino workers abroad “who have experienced job displacement due to the host country’s imposition of a lockdown or community quarantine.”

LANDBANK Advisory (March 27, 2020)

March 30, 2020

March 27, 2020   To Our Valued Clients:    I hope you and your family are safe and well. In this difficult time, we in LANDBANK are committed more than ever to do our share in providing you unhampered service amid travel restrictions and other necessary constraints. We understand your need for financial access, and so we have taken the following steps:    Branches are open While complying with the Enhanced Community Quarantine and other safety measures, majority of LANDBANK Branches nationwide remain open for your financial transactions. Starting March 23, 2020, all open Branches operate from 8:30 AM to 12:00 noon, until further notice. Please visit our website and social media accounts for the updated list of open Branches.   Branches and ATMs are safe We are implementing screening procedures in our Branches prior to entry. Likewise, we are strictly observing social distancing inside the branches by limiting the number of customers on seating capacity. In the same way, social distancing is observed while queuing for our ATMs.   Cash availability While we encourage cashless and online transactions, we also ensure cash availability in all our ATMs should you need to transact via ATMs.   Payment extension We are giving a 60-day extension for all Salary Loan and Credit Card payments with due dates of up to April 15, 2020.    Free interbank fund transfer  LANDBANK waived fees for fund transfers to other banks via InstaPay and PESONet starting 6:30 PM of March 18 until 11:00 PM of April 30, 2020. LBP CARES Program For commercial loan clients, we are giving longer tenor and grace periods as part of restructured loan amortizations. New loans can also be granted to clients affected by the crisis.   Business Continuity Management We have activated necessary protocols to maintain normal banking operations as much as possible. A skeletal workforce of LANDBANK employees are reporting for duty in our head office, branches, and field units, while the rest are working from home, to ensure continued service delivery. The LANDBANK Board and Management continue to regularly hold online meetings to make decisions regarding ongoing developments and minimize operational disruptions.     During this time, we hope you stay at home and use our digital and online platforms for your banking needs. Our LANDBANK Mobile Banking App, iAccess, WeAccess, Link.BizPortal, Electronic Tax Payment System and Phone Access are available for your necessary transactions.   While we face an unprecedented crisis, rest assured of our commitment to remain in the frontlines and provide you uninterrupted service.  We are banking on the Filipino spirit that we can rise above this adversity together.   Thank you for your continued trust and support.   Sincerely,   CECILIA C. BORROMEO President and CEO Land Bank of the Philippines


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