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Madelaine B. Miraflor

SEC runs after ‘5-6’ lenders

The days of “five-six money lenders” lurking across the country are numbered as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) began to take a closer look on actions it could possibly perform to bust entities engaged in the said illegal activity. SEC said it has recently received reports that many individuals, particularly the "five-six money lenders," are now engaged in the business of lending without authority to do so, thus violating the Lending Company Regulation Act of 2007. In five-six, the lender, usually Indian nationals, charges interest as high as 20 percent. It simply states that when you borrow P5.00, you have to pay P6.00. Under the Lending Company Regulation Act of 2007, it is illegal to act as a lending company or investor unless registered with the Commission as a lending company. It specified …

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Companies seeking consultation before DENR’s ECC audit

Companies holding environmental permits, but not engaged in the mining business, want to hold dialogues with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to ensure smooth compliance with government regulations. To ensure other business will not suffer the "chaotic" fate of some mining companies, a number of businessmen now want to meet with the DENR for a proper consultation before the agency starts its "intense evaluation" of their environmental compliance certificates (ECCs). Business groups fear that other industries, including property, manufacturing, infrastructure, construction, and power, could be interrupted once the DENR starts the reevaluation. "I don’t believe the guidelines on the intense evaluation on ECCs beside mining have been discussed with other sectors . There should be consultation first before implementing,”  Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) President George Barcelon told …

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SMC unit MNHPI gets SEC approval for capital increase

Port terminal company Manila North Harbour Port, Inc. (MNHPI), which is already majority-owned by San Miguel Corp. (SMC), got the regulatory approval to proceed with its plan to increase its capital despite complaints from Harbour Centre Port Terminal, Inc. (HCPTI). The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently came out with a decision junking the complaint filed by HPCTI against the other owners of MNHPI, which are Harbour Centre Port Holdings, Inc. and Petron Corp. The complaint was seeking to nullify the increase in capital stock of MNHPI, which was also included in HCPTI's pending case in the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 46 wherein one of the latter's stakeholders still claims ownership in MNHPI. SEC ruled that its Company Registration and Monitoring Department did not violate any rules when it approved the increase …

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Government tells dairy farmers to improve milk quality

The Philippine Carabao Center (PCC), an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture (DA), said it is ready to provide assistance to improve the quality and quantity of the farmers’ milk output. PCC Acting Executive Director Arnel Del Barrio said the agency is now implementing some interventions to address the problem of dairy farmers in marketing and distribution of milk, in line with Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol's plan to improve the country's dairy production. “With good feeding, management, and breeding, you are sure to boost your animals’ milk production. You just focus on the production and we, at PCC, are doing interventions such as the institutionalization of milk feeding program and establishment of products’ outlets," Barrio said. He added that in 2017, PCC will take on a new role to monitor the feeding …

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Aboitiz food unit banks on exports for further growth

Iligan City – The expansion efforts of Pilmico Foods Corp., the food subsidiary of listed conglomerate Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV), is now more focused on growing its export business as part of its strategy to adjust with ASEAN integration, which somehow left them with no choice but to look for markets elsewhere. Florencio Sebandal, Pilmico Vice President for Operations for Iligan, said the more liberalized ASEAN free trade caused more imported food products to gain foothold in the country, prompting local companies like Pilmico to expand its export business. ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which started in 2015, involves an established common market among some of the ASEAN countries, including the Philippines. The Department of Agriculture (DA) earlier said the free movement of goods and services within the AEC must be thought of as …

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Rules on crowdfunding out soon

The country's corporate regulatory watchdog, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), will come up with rules that will delineate multiple channel fund-raising activities to bankroll a business venture from illegal investment-taking schemes. This activity called crowdfunding or crowdsourcing is the practice of raising monetary contributions from different people via different channels like social media to finance a business venture. SEC Chairperson Teresita Herbosa said the agency wants to establish a clear line between crowdfunding and illegal investment scams in the country. "We are coming out with rules to govern crowd sourcing because under the SRC, we're supposed to license any sale of any kind of securities and when you go online trying to convince people to invest in your little business, that's really an investment-taking venture, that's a form of securities," Herbosa said in …

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SEC starts crackdown on loan sharks

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has intensified its campaign against the proliferation of informal lenders, with at least 3,512 lending companies now on the risk of being suspended as the government tightens its noose against loan sharks, commonly known as 5-6 operators. SEC Chairperson Teresita Herbosa said these lending companies will be suspended if they would not comply with certain regulatory requirements. Herbosa said the corporate regulatory watchdog will run after informal lenders or people who engage in lending without primary registration of incorporation and secondary license from the SEC. At present, Herbosa said, there are more than P3 billion worth of loans from informal lenders going around the economy. This is the same value of loans from legitimate microfinance organizations. "Because of the tough stance that the present administration under President Rodrigo …

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Maynilad adds new pumping station

West Zone concessionaire Maynilad Water Services, Inc. (Maynilad) is now building a R428-million supplementary pumping station inside La Mesa Compound in Quezon City to improve its water pressure as well as expand its coverage in Quezon City and Caloocan. The company presently has 27 pumping stations located in strategic locations throughout its West concession area, up from only seven operational pumping stations in 2006 before the company was re-privatized. According to Maynilad, the North A Pumping Station Annex will serve more than 84,000 households, of which 10,000 will be new customers. With this new facility, existing Maynilad customers within certain areas will experience an increase in water pressure from 7 pounds per square inch (psi) to 16 psi. The North A Pumping Station Annex will also enable Maynilad to bring potable surface water to …

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DENR serves show-cause letter to mining firms

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) began sending out show-cause letter to mining companies facing suspension. These firms are also expected to respond next week and explain why their operation should not be suspended. Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) Vice President for Legal and Policy Ronald Recidoro said on Wednesday that several weeks after the DENR announced the initial findings of the mining audit, the agency finally issued show-cause orders to some mining companies asking them to explain why their operation should not be suspended. Recidoro said in a phone interview that the distribution of the letter should also be done this week. According to the DENR letter, all these companies have the opportunity to address the findings and recommendations contained within the audit report within seven days of …

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MGB weighs if PH mineral resources merit processing

Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) wants to see if the Philippines has enough mineral resources to go downstream, a factor that would be largely considered as the agency drafts policy recommendations that would possibly push for the development of more mineral processing plants in the country. Senator Cynthia Villar earlier said that more mineral processing plants should be built in the Philippines so that miners could extract more value from the country's natural resources at the same time generate more jobs. But according to MGB Director Mario Luis Jacinto, this move to develop the metals and mining downstream industry should be backed by policy recommendations and a clear framework. "Before the end of the year, we promise to have a recommendation on how we should proceed with it. At least we should be …

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