money matters

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 www.landbank.com 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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BSP expects PH economic recovery in 2021

March 23, 2020

MANILA – Monetary officials forecast a rebound of the Philippine economy from the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) by next year.       In an e-mailed reply to journalists’ queries, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said its policy-making Monetary Board (MB) continues to see the services sector like the tourism, trade, and remittance channels to be greatly affected by the global pandemic.       The BSP said the economic hit further deepens following the implementation of a Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine from March 17 to April 12, after the initial quarantine for Metro Manila alone since March 15.       “The latest assessment assumes a U-shaped recovery with the impact of Covid-19 lasting until H2 (second half) 2020 but with the economy expected to rebound by 2021,” it said.       Economic managers place the preliminary estimates of Covid-19’s economic impact on the domestic economy this year to be around 0.3-1.0 percentage point.       This year’s growth target is between a range of 6.5-7.5 percent.       On Thursday, the MB slashed the central bank’s key policy rates by 50 basis points, bringing the total rate cut to date to 75 basis points, to help ensure the sustained growth of the economy and after noting the leeway given by the projection that inflation rate will remain within the government’s 2-4 percent target until 2021.       To date, the BSP’s overnight reverse repurchase (RRP) facility rate is 3.75 percent, the lowest since the 3.50 percent in July 2014.       The central bank said its officials are “prepared to use the full range of its monetary instruments and to deploy monetary policy and regulatory relief measures as needed in fulfilment of its price and financial stability objectives.”       “In calibrating its monetary policy settings, the BSP will continue to be data-dependent, guided by our inflation outlook over the policy horizon and the risks surrounding such outlook as well as data on demand conditions,” it said.       The BSP said its MB considers the latest rate cut as appropriate to support the country’s growth momentum and uplift market confidence against stronger headwinds.       “The BSP has already cut the policy rate by 75 bps thus far in 2020. We will continue to monitor the situation to determine if further reductions are warranted,” it said.       The central bank said its officials are also looking into a range of other supplementary measures that may be required to support non-inflationary and sustainable growth over the medium term.       These measures are aimed at ensuring adequate domestic liquidity and credit in the financial system as well as lowering borrowing costs for affected firms and households.       “These include, but are not limited to, recalibrating the interest rate corridor settings; suspending the term deposit facility (TDF) auctions as market conditions warrant; and ensuring banks’ access to liquidity-enhancing facilities such as the rediscounting facility,” it said.       The BSP said a combination of targeted and well-coordinated health, fiscal, and financial market measures will be crucial in limiting the economic fallout from the pandemic due to the medical nature of the shock.       “In this regard, we believe the National Government has ample fiscal space for such measures, as reflected in its low debt-to-GDP ratio,” it added. (PNA)

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FDA orders retailers and sellers to stop sale of astringent brand

February 14, 2020

THE Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has directed drug stores, department stores, supermarkets and other establishments to stop the sale of an astringent formula which  continues to be sold commercially in Davao, CDO, Cebu and other parts of the country. The FDA says merchants who ignore the warning and continue to sell the product shall face regulatory actions and sanctions.   In the latest FDA Advisory No. 2020-061, the said brand has been found to be positive for the presence of HYDROQUINONE and TRETINOIN, ingredients that are NOT allowed to be part of a cosmetic. As per Administrative Order No. 13 s. 1999, the FDA says Hydroquinone and/or Tretinoin (Retinoic Acid) shall be classified as home remedy, over-the-counter, or prescription drug depending on the amount present. The products in question that are contained in the advisory constitute Lot/Batch No. AOH01 with a manufacturing date of August 2019 and expiry date of August 2021; and Lot/Batch No. 1041905 with a manufacturing date of April 2019 and expiry date of April 2021. In the label, the products were alleged to be manufactured in Apas, Cebu City.   Accordingly, because it failed to comply with these standards, the FDA says they are classifying the said brand as an adulterated cosmetics product which poses potential hazards to the consuming public.  Using the product may result in adverse reactions including skin irritation, itchiness, anaphylactic shock and even, organ failure.     For more information, please click on the following FDA advisory: https://ww2.fda.gov.ph/attachments/article/647685/FDA%20Advisory%20No.%202020-061.pdf   This is the second time in less than a year that this particular brand  failed to comply with the regulations of the FDA. Last year, the FDA also issued an advisory against the use and sale of this particular astringent after it was found that they were using Hydroquinone and Tretinoin beyond the levels  allowed for a cosmetic product.                                                                                                        To report any sale or distribution of the said brand, the online reporting facility eReport can be accessed at www.fda.gov.ph/ereport.

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More than 400,000 Northern Mindanaoans travel via Mactan in 2019

February 4, 2020

AROUND 420,000 persons from Northern Mindanao traveled via Mactan-Cebu International Airport last year.   In a press conference here, GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation promotions head Aines Librodo reported that the number constituted a 22 percent increase in passenger traffic from Cagayan de Oro City and nearby areas.   That translates to 53 flights a week.   GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation operates Mactan-Cebu International Airport, the second largest airport in the country.   The company conducted a roadshow here in Cagayan de Oro City Tuesday (February 4) as a gesture of gratitude to its Northern Mindanao patrons.   Despite the current coronavirus scare hitting the airline industry bad, airlines such as Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, AirAsia, EVA Airways, Cathay Pacific and China Eastern Airlines were still bullish in introducing their latest routes.   In particular, Librado is optimistic that once this crisis blows over, there will be a surge in air travel.   Librodo recalled that by the end of the SARS crisis in 2002, people were hurrying to go on holidays everywhere. She is hopeful that a similar scenario will occur in this era of the novel coronavirus.   Mactan-Cebu International Airport has a lot of stake in its hands - China (Ground Zero of the virus) is its second largest market for both incoming and outbound flights.   It indeed will be a long journey ahead. Meanwhile as of presstime, Mactan-Cebu International Airport is in a state of emergency and airlines have momentarily suspended its China-bound flights except for Cathay Pacific which caters mostly to connecting flights.

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FOPANORMIN launches Big Brother Small Brother concept

December 3, 2019

TRUE to its thrust to help fledgling food businesses among its members, the Food Producers' Association of Northern Mindanao (FOPANORMIN) launched over the weekend its Big Brother Small Brother program.   FOPANORMIN president Nenita Tan explained that under the scheme, the organization will partner with bigger stakeholders in the industry to assist its relatively smaller startups.   "We are looking for big players which are willing to provide guidance to our selected MSME members in terms of technical assistance, proper managrment of logistics, accounting, marketing, products processing, etc.," Tan said.   These so-called big players may be multinational companies, academe, government units, foundations or financial institutions.   In return, the selected micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) must be committed to apply what they have learned during the corporate tutelage, according to Tan.   Tan said this program is part of FOPANORMIN's thrusts to provide food processors in this part of Mindanao to generate assistance both from government and private stakeholders.   Big Brother Small Brother concept is expected to be adopted next year.   Friday's launch coincided with the opening of the group's Christmas showcase at Limketkai Mall rotunda in Cagayan de Oro City.   "Whether it be as an association or as individual companies, we were able to share inputs with each other our own business experiences simply to be a catalyst for growth for each other within and outside the association," Tan said.   For almost 20 years now, FOPANORMIN has been instrumental in leading innovations to constantly upgrade and sustain the food processing industry in Region 10, partnering with such agencies as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), among others.   It has a total of 32 industries as active members.   "We will continue to develop our products not just for membership upliftment but to showcase the best that Northern Mindanao can offer," Tan said.

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PH releases Premyo bonds

November 28, 2019

THE Philippine government through the Bureau of Treasury has released a public offering of so-called Premyo Bonds which started last November 25 and will end until December 13 this year. In a public forum held last Wednesday at Seda Centrio in Cagayan de Oro City, Bureau of Treasury director Eduardo Anthony Mariño III reported that the minimum investment for the Premyo Bonds is P500 and in multiples of P500 thereafter. With an issue date of December 18 this year, the maturity date of each bond will be on December 18, 2020 with an interest rate of three percent that is paid quarterly. Mariño further said that a maximum acquired bond of 20,000 units or P10 million is eligible for inclusion in each cash rewards draw with one winner of P10 million, one winner of house and lot each from Hotel 101, Lessandra by Vista Land and Megaworld, ten winners of P100,000 and 50 winners of P20,000. Draws will be held quarterly within the period before maturity. The Premyo Bonds can be acquired by individuals, trust entities, employee retirement funds, provident funds, cooperatives and associations. It is initiated by the Bureau of Treasury to make government securities available to small retail investors, according to Mariño.

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