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Business Agenda

Billboards: An insidious cancer

The leading presidential candidates have made their positions known on a number of issues. So far, they’ve spoken extensively about poverty alleviation, tax reform, China’s creeping invasion and even on traffic. However, one issue deserves to be in the forefront of discussion too – illegal billboards. On the surface, illegal billboards don’t seem like a major issue, at least not important enough to be of national concern. But it is. Any issue that threatens the well-being of the citizenry is something that should be taken seriously. See, illegal billboards have spread like undiagnosed cancer. Quietly and under the radar, it has eaten away at our quality of life whilst being a safety hazard to all of us. It is insidious in that it is like piles of trash that sits in …

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BSP wary of financial cybercrimes

Late last year, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) held its first-ever “Cybersecurity Summit for the Financial Services Industry” as the central bank and the banking community recognized the growing threat in digital, mobile and Internet banking from hackers-for-hire and cyber syndicates. “It is a fact: Cybercrimes are being committed and financial institutions and financial consumers are being targeted,” according to BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. The digital threats have long caught the BSP’s attention but it will only be this year and the next years beyond, that measures focusing on cybersecurity will highlight the consumer protection framework. While technology has revolutionized banking in that access to financial services is now easier and convenient, it came with the unavoidable risks. If criminals gain access to sensitive and critical information, they could trigger …

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PH stocks face its worst since 2008

As if starting the year in the negative territory wasn’t bad enough, the local stock market just had to bear one of the worst weekly index closes at the start of the year as it stood too vulnerable to the string of bad news overseas. And this could get even worse. While it has already been long accepted that the market just went through a year of "unmet expectations"in 2015, what has become more acknowledged now is the fact that the Philippine shares will undergo to so much more volatility this year amid the election season and the Federal Reserve hike. These factors have already been accounted for. What somehow came as a surprise are the geopolitical tensions between the Middle East and Iran and the fall of China stocks. “This is shaping …

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Virtual operator redefines PH hotel industry

With a growing affluence in southeast Asia, people now have the capacity to travel within the region or within their domestic shores. But travellers, particularly small and medium entrepreneurs do not have huge budget for hotel accommodations. All they need is a clean room, clean sheets and with the most basic amenities. Hotels operators have tried to address this need by putting up budget hotels. But another enterprising group beats all others by coming up with a mobile app that consolidates all these rooms into their own “NIDA Rooms”. Global Rooms Limited, was founded by Malaysian entrepreneur Kaneswaran Avili, formerly a senior executive at Asia’s leading low cost carriers, Air Asia, Tiger Air & Spice Jet, and Dennis Melka, a Czech venture capitalist. “The Nida Rooms idea was conceived because it was difficult …

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A different dining experience at Burgos Eats

When Max’s Group, Inc. (MGI) opened last week its new location in Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, it showcased a reconfigured 2,000- square meter of land (600 sq.m. of the building) for four of its well-loved brands and converted the open center space into a multi-purpose concert/activity place for regular or new patrons to listen to various musical instruments playing simultaneously impromptu as in an unplanned concert – giving diners a whole-new experience to enjoy and share with friends and other social circles. The result of course was patrons stayed long, savoring the music and buying from each of the five brands their juices, pizzas and main courses under one roof. And the music played on until the last patron left. This experience naturally reverberates fast and since it opened last Nov. …

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