money matters

Advance release of the 5-Piso new generation currency coins

December 1, 2017

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) today announced that of the New Generation Currency (NGC) Coin Series, it will release in advance of the other denominations, the 5-piso NGC legal tender coin for circulation, starting December 2017. The 5-piso NGC coin features on the obverse, Gat. Andres Bonifacio. The BSP’s advance release of the 5-piso NGC coin highlights the 120th death anniversary of the Filipino patriot this year and his 154th birthday on November 30. Widely regarded as one of the Philippines’ greatest heroes, Bonifacio was a fearless leader who founded the Katipunan, the secret society that ignited the flames of the revolution which finally led to the declaration of Philippine independence in 1898. Bonifacio died on 10 May 1897. Thus, considered as the Father of the Philippine revolution, Bonifacio’s portrait is etched on the obverse of the coin, along with the markings, “ANDRES BONIFACIO”, “5-PISO” and “REPUBLIKA NG PILIPINAS” in bold font and in microprints, and the mint mark. The reverse side, meanwhile, features the Tayabak, a Philippine endemic plant that climbs tall forest trees, the BSP logo and “Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas” in microprint. The 5-piso NGC coin is 25-millimeters in diameter and weighs approximately 7.4 grams. The NGC Coin Series adopts the latest technology in minting coins. The security features of the NGC Coin Series are enhanced to deter counterfeiting, improve wear and corrosion resistance capabilities, saves the BSP minting costs, avoids risks arising from unexpected volatile swings in metal prices, and also deters the illegal hoarding of coins for melting and shipment to other countries. Coins in the NGC Series will feature the BSP logo, national heroes and endemic flora, consistent with the design of the NGC Banknote Series, launched in 2010, which also highlights Philippine fauna. The rest of the denominations of the NGC Coin Series will be released by the BSP for circulation in January 2018.

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SSS undistributed collections drop to P817M

November 20, 2017

State-run Social Security System (SSS) on Friday said its undistributed collections stood at P817 million as of the end of the first quarter period of 2017, a 28.-2-percent drop from the P1.135 billion recorded at the end of 2016 period. SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel F. Dooc also clarified that the undistributed collections were member loan payments and not contribution payment of members. “There has been a substantial reduction of undistributed or unposted member loan payments from the recorded P1.8 billion in 2015 and P1.135 billion in 2016 to P817 million as of the end of March 2017,” Dooc said. Earlier the Commission on Audit called the attention of SSS in its 2016 Annual Financial Reports on Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) for the P1.135 worth of undistributed collections under its “other current liability-member loans (OCL-ML) Dooc explained that there are various reasons of the failure to post the member loan collections in member’s ledger such as the failure of employers to submit or update the collection list and invalid entries of employees and presence of employers with unbalanced transactions. “There are cases that the loan dates indicated by employers in the date granted portion of our SSS forms do not match the SSS records of an individual, thus unposted and unmatched payments occurred,” he added. SSS said it has done initiatives to address the issue such as regular reconciliation and clean-up of unpostables to resolve the errors. He said that posting of loan payments will soon be based on the Cash Collection System instead of the current manual encoding. Social Security Commission (SSC) Chairman Amado D. Valdez, likewise, said that the real-time posting of contributions and loan payments of members will be implemented by first quarter of 2018 to lessen or fully wipe out the unposted collections. “The Commission’s priority is to enhance the contribution collection process to improve the turn-around time for processing benefits and to eventually allow pre-approved salary loans for qualified members,” Valdez added.

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Ph exporters confident of double-digit growth in 2017

September 25, 2017

Exporters are confident of a double-digit growth this year on the back of projected firming recovery of major markets, efforts to double funding for overseas product promotions and the peso’s depreciation. Speaking during the recent 3rd quarter general membership meeting, Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (PHILEXPORT) President Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis Jr. cited recent business surveys and industrial production data pointing to a firming up of the recovery in the United States (US) and Europe, with the US economy showing renewed strength into next year. The US followed Japan as the top exports markets for the Philippines in July 2017. By economic bloc, the European Union (EU) member countries ranked third, following East Asia and ASEAN member countries. Ortiz-Luis said trade between developing countries, or South-South trade, is also projected to reach one-third of world trade by 2020. He pointed that the BRICS bloc, or Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, is betting more on “blue ocean” for development given their abundant natural resources and strong growth momentum. He said closer cooperation and trade on offshore oil and gas, port construction and logistics on the sea are expected among its member-economies and partners. As China pledged tens of billions of dollars in infrastructure financing and development aid as part of its One Belt, One Road initiative, Ortiz-Luis added that nearly 70 countries have signed agreements with China to promote economic integration and free global trade under such initiative. The export group chief noted the EU is also resuming the process of a region-to-region free trade agreement (FTA) with ASEAN and a series of bilateral FTAs, amidst growing concerns of protectionism. This, as some of its main competitors, such as Japan, China and Korea, inked ASEAN agreements. “This complements the result of a recent survey among European firms which showed that they are bullish on the Philippines and are ready to expand their businesses here,” he said during the group’s general membership meeting this week. Moreover, Ortiz-Luis believes that higher budget for overseas product promotions can boost export competitiveness, noting that neighboring competitors are enjoying hefty subsidies that are giving them the competitive edge. Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez has sought the doubling of the government budget for international product promotions to be able to compete with other countries in marketing products and services of micro, small and medium enterprises. Ortiz-Luis further noted the country’s robust economic growth and industry performance, and the peso which is trending to the favor of dollar-generating sectors, like exports. “This gives us a positive signal that demand is recovering… If this trend is sustained, we can be more confident of a double-digit growth. But still, we have a lot of catching up to do given the impressive performance from some Asian economies…,” he said. July’s 13.8-percent export growth brought year-to-date merchandise receipts to $36.569 billion.

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REAP 2017 Manila as one-stop shop for Asia-Pacific real estate market intelligence

August 28, 2017

Real estate service professionals, brokers, appraisers, consultants, salespersons and businessmen looking to expand to Asia Pacific markets will find up to date developments in the world's fastest-growing region at the 1st Real Estate Asia Pacific (REAP) 2017 Conference and Expo on October 23 - 24 at the SMX Convention Center in Mall of Asia Manila. The REAP 2017, with the theme “Asean Real Estate Development and Practices Beyond Borders”, is a professional Real Estate Summit in the global context and ASEAN integration with international set of speakers and highly-respected Real Estate officials in the Philippines. It is considered as the biggest, grandest and most anticipated real estate industry event in Asia-Pacific Region and is expected to attract some 3,000 foreign and local real estate executives to attend. Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service (PRBRES) Chairman Dr. Eduardo G. Ong, universally acknowledged as the "Father of Philippine Real Estate" said the lineup of distinguished foreign speakers and panelists makes REAP 2017 a compelling event for players in the real estate and allied industries. “The Real Estate Industry has come of age. We can see development and infrastructure rising not only in the urban cities but likewise in the suburban communities and in the entire Philippine archipelago. Many of the top billionaires in the country have one thing in common; they are engaged in Real Estate development,” Ong emphasized. "The country’s biggest developers need the services of credible and reliable Real Estate Service Professionals, Brokers, Appraisers, Consultants, Salespersons. They are indispensable partners to the Real Estate Development and Growth. Undoubtedly, the Real Estate Industry is booming and sparkling for the years to come especially in the advent of the ASEAN Economic Integration where ASEAN will become a borderless economy,” he stressed. "It is in this landscape, that I fully endorse the holding of the Real Estate Asia Pacific Conference and Expo (REAP) 2016 which will be held at the SMX Convention Center, Manila on October 23 and 24, 2017. Let us learn from the experiences of the experts and network with our associates in the industry!" Ong added. Dr. Eduardo G. Ong is a highly respected international management consultant, realtor, educator and business coach with six degrees to his credits: BS Commerce, Masters in Business, a Law Degree and Three (3) Doctorate Degrees – Ph. D in Philosophy, Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) and Doctor in Business Administration (DBA). He has been in the academe, real estate and business arena for more than three (3) decades. He was a former Dean of Business Administration, Dean of the Graduate School and Vice President of Academic Affairs of leading universities in Metro Manila and a Professor of Business and Public Administration, Consultant and Business Coach for several Real Estate Companies and Business Corporations. Has written and published six books on Business Management, Marketing and Research Methodology. He was recently conferred a Diplomate in Business Education, Diplomate in Real Estate Management and Fellow in People Management and was given recognition as Doctor Fellow and International Visiting Professorial Fellow by the Royal Institution of Singapore. Dr. Ong is currently the chairman of the Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service and Chairman for Education of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Top international speakers and experts will headline the conference and will share with international real estate players their knowledge and incisive insights on topics that are vital to them and their success during the first and second days of the REAP 2017. They will also present their respective country reports during the REAP 2017 breakout sessions. These include reports from Australia, China, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, New Zealand, India, Mongolia, Fiji, Turkey and the Philippines. "Both quantity- and quality-wise, we want to make sure our list of international and national experts in REAP 2017 will go down in the history of the real estate industry as probably one of the best-assembled batch of speakers and panelists," Ong enthused. The REAP 2017 is supported by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), Professional Realtors Board of Real Estate Service (PRBRES), with supporting organizations: Philippine Association of Real Estate Boards, Inc. (PAREB), Real Estate Brokers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (REBAP), National Real Estate Association (NREA), Council of Real Estate & Builders' Associations, Inc. (CREBA), Philippine Associations of Realty Appraisers, Inc. (PARA), Subdivision and Housing Developers Association, Inc. (SHDA), among others, and organized by Media Blitz Group. The REAP 2017 aims to discover new approaches to issues facing the region’s real estate stakeholders and highlight innovative solutions that can help them differentiate themselves from competitors, and to deliver greater value to their clients. For inquiries on sponsorships, booths and registration, contact Media Blitz Group secretariat at (02) 2432388, (02) 09176898806, or email reap2017@mediablitzgroup.com, communications@mediablitzgroup.com, and mediablitz_pr@yahoo.com.ph.

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