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Business Agenda

Insights from Duterte’s economic team

Lets be honest, some of the cabinet members were appointed not for their experience and capability but for repayment of political debt. They are not our best and brightest – far from it. This has caused many to worry. Despite this, I take comfort in the fact that the economic cluster is solid. They are competent, and yes – among our best and brightest. Within the cluster are Secretaries Sonny Dominguez of Finance, Ernesto Pernia of NEDA, Ramon Lopez of DTI, Arthur Tugade of the DOTC and Benjamin Diokno of the Department of Budget and Management. These men have bodies of work that are testament to their capabilities and ability to think outside the square. Even at this early stage they have proven their worth in the aptness and quality of this …

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Dick Gordon: Our advocate at the Senate

The Senate will play an important role in the Duterte administration. With PDP Laban having a supermajority in the Lower House, it will be incumbent upon the Senate to provide an effective system of checks and balance on President Duterte’s legislative agenda. Now more than ever, we need strong members in the Upper House – those with keen knowledge of the law, those dedicated to our democratic way of life, and those not swayed by partisan politics. Serge Osmeña, TG Guingona and Icot Petilla would have made excellent legislators. Unfortunately, they were squeezed out by those who won by sheer popularity and the power of cash. At least Dick Gordon made it. He finished 5th overall and number one in Metro Manila. Dick was one of my favorites from the beginning what …

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There is no ‘get-rich-quick’ formula but… try franchising

There is no “get-rich-quick” formula, everything must go through hard work and perseverance. But there could be a way to shorten things out a bit, try franchising! Philippine franchising guru Samie Lim would readily suggest that franchising could be a solution to people in a hurry to go into business but is at a lost looking for a concept. Lim pointed out that franchising is already a proven formula of success because a brand cannot be up for franchising if it has no proven track record. Franchising comes with a complete package with the new owner-franchisee just taking over the operation turnkey. Depending on your budget, some concepts could run to several millions of pesos but some are fairly affordable. At the Franchise Asia Expo Philippines 2016, which concluded yesterday at the SMX Convention …

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HoloLens: Doing things via mixed reality

Toronto – Virtual reality has been here, but who would have thought that this can be extended to actual activity being done and accomplished via mixed reality. But this, too, is happening now. At the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2016 in Toronto, Canada, the world’s largest computer software machinery presented how its HoloLens could transform actual activity through a virtual object. HoloLens is the first fully self-contained, holographic computer, enabling you to interact with high definition holograms in your world. It is essentially a holographic computer built into a headset that lets you see, hear and interface with holograms within an environment. Microsoft HoloLens is already enabling mixed reality experiences – changing the way cars are designed at companies like Volvo, redefining how medical students learn at universities like Case Western Reserve, helping …

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Cloud to drive businesses digital transformation

Toronto – There is no denying the age of digital transformation is here. In fact it’s been here for a while but a huge shift to the digital divide is about to happen and this can only be fully supported via cloud computing. Thus, cloud is no longer a mere mantra, but it is the call of the day. A market overview done recently by global IT research firm IDC noted that from what used to be just heated debates that cloud computing is coming – and it might not be right for anyone of us yet – the conversation has now shifted about outcomes delivered via cloud. This is relevant in the way how majority of chief innovation officers (CIOs) have already adopted a cloud-first purchasing strategy. Although this does not necessarily …

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Logistics key to PH autoparts makers competitiveness

With the strong growth in the domestic automotive industry and the government’s renewed vigor to give car manufacturing another chance at success, there is also a need for the automotive parts manufacturers to take advantage of the ensuing demand for their products. UPS Philippines Managing Director Tim Gohoc believes that local automotive parts manufacturers can effectively compete if they are able to: Stay abreast of the key trends or movements driving the automotive industry; address the key pain points that keep them from providing quality service to automotive manufacturers; and invest in supply chain management to better serve the needs of automotive manufacturers. UPS has cited the recent PricewaterhouseCoopers article on the automotive industry and the global automotive market, which noted of developments such as rising consumer demand for electronics and software …

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Job mismatch can be resolved

Job mismatch could be addressed during President Rodrigo Duterte's term as government intitutions, with the participation of the private sector, are now working on strategies on how to direct Filipino students towards the right skills and jobs. But this is on the premise that government will also allot higher spending for education. Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) Chairman Edgardo Lacson said the country needs to address the problem in directing the young people to the right skills and job, especially if  it wants to produce globally competitive employees. Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Deputy Director General for Policies and Planning Rosanna Urdaneta is confident that the incidence of job mismatch in the country could be reduced during Duterte's term. "In this administration, it is possible and I truly hope that …

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Understanding the impact of Federalism

As I write this, members of the 17th Congress are working on overdrive to draft the framework for charter change (Cha-cha). On the forefront of the Cha-cha agenda is shifting the structure of government to Federal form. A shift to a federal government will affect every Filipino regardless of economic class or province of residence. Its impact will traverse his economic and social conditions for generations to come. It is crucial that we all understand the fine nuances of Federalism since we will be voting on it through a general plebiscite. Our choice must be informed and intelligent, not one based on propaganda and misinformation. Thus, the objective of this article is to shed light on the pros and cons of federalism and how its structure will affect us. First, let me answer the …

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Learning from New York City in our fight against crime

Just 30 years ago, New York City was America’s epicenter of crime . It was a metropolis where aggravated assaults, murder, rape and burglaries were hourly occurrences. Crack (shabu), cocaine, heroin and a buffet of prescription drugs could be purchased on the streets in full public view. Times Square and the Grand Central Station were drug dens where addicts congregated to shoot-up heroin or smoke crystal meth. Back then, the citizens of NYC lived in constant fear of assault. The situation was so severe that in a 1990 Time Magazine poll, 59 percent of New Yorkers said they would pack up and leave if given the chance. Mayor Rudy Giuliani was elected Mayor in 1993 and served from 1994 to 2001. In his eight-year term, he achieved what everyone thought was …

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Abaca farmers are getting richer

It is not a secret that the Philippines produces most of the world's abaca needs, but the challenges now include putting more attention to the farmers who do the leg work  and how to convince more of them to engage in abaca farming because there is money in this homegrown fiber. Officials from the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA), an attached agency to the Department of Agriculture (DA), are convinced that there's indeed money in abaca farming. And if it's not yet fully established as a fact, the goal of the government really is to make the industry even more attractive not just to importers, but also to Filipino farmers who can take advantage of the growing demand for abaca products. Petronilo Jabay, OIC-deputy executive director at PhilFIDA, said if the farmers …

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