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Business Agenda

Young Filipinos learning new car technology

Five overseas Filipinos were selected by Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (MMC) to undergo intensive three-year training in its 425,000-square meter Okazaki plant in Japan. All in their 20s – Ferdinand Alillana, Raffy Jacinto, Louie Delo Juario, John Paul Salvadora and Jejomar Julius Mendoza – are currently training in the MMC plant hoping to one day become teachers themselves or “sensei” in Japanese or Nihongo. They were all tapped into the program while students of the Phil-Nippon Technical College. The Okazaki plant, located in Nagoya, sits on a 1,000,000-square meter production complex. This is where the models Outlander, its PHEV variant, and the RVR (ASX, Outlander Sports) are manufactured. These are the motor vehicles the young trainees assemble. There are 260 trainees from the Philippines spread across Mitsubishi companies. Five are in the Okazaki plant. Alillana, …

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Mitsubishi invests in people for CARS Program

Even before committing to join the government’s P27-billion Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program, the local subsidiary of Mitsubishi Motors Corp. of Japan has already set plans to improve the way its people are trained and become skills-efficient. Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) has spent – initially – P100 million to put up a training center within its Sta. Rosa, Laguna manufacturing plant. The two-story structure will be the venue for training up to 250 MMPC employees and later, new hires. The facility will be ready early next year. MMPC president and chief executive officer Yoshiaki Kato said the Philippine operation currently has 1,000 employees. In the course of the CARS’ six-year program, they will hire 700 more. A portion of this number will be new hires for its P2-billion stamping facility …

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The art and science of harnessing women’s entrepreneurial spirit

Gone are the days when only the men ruled the business world. Today, plenty of women are joining the top players and they are innovating the business world with a women's touch. Myren Garcia is one of these high-spirited women who braved the male-driven industry and did it on her own. But what she did was not only to put up a business; she made a difference by igniting other women's entrepreneurial spirit through the Network of Enterprising Women (NEW) which she founded in 2006. After working at a bank for many years, Myren realized she was not reaching her full potential. She knew she needed to create something of her own but the lack of opportunities, network and information delayed her plans. After seeing this huge hole, it sparked the idea …

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Micro and small businesses take center stage

New Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said his leadership will be marked by his focus on the development and empowerment of the micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and ease of doing business. Lopez said at the turnover ceremony of the DTI leadership from former Secretary Adrian S. Cristobal Jr. that he would like the contribution of the MSME sector to the country’s economy from the current 35 percent to 40 percent. “I think a target of 40 percent contribution to the economy will be reasonable during the six years,” Lopez told reporters after the ceremony. To make that higher economic contribution possible, Lopez said would also look into raising the value added of MSME products. To achieve this goal, the former Go Negosyo Executive Director has announced his mantra called the “7Ms” …

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Optimistic with change

This is the first full week   in which the Duterte’s administration officially  takes-on  the  daily grind  of national governance.  Indeed, change has come and we have many reasons to be optimistic.  Sure, the last 45 days have been rough what with the entire nation  adjusting  to the President’s  unique thinking process and blunt manner of speaking.  In the end, however,  the administration’s   intended reform agenda is  fundamentally  sound. The 10 point economic plan brought forward by   Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez is both  timely and   appropriate.  Not only does it contains the necessary but difficult reforms needed to move the economy forward,   it is also gutsy in that it does  not  kowtow to the clergy or large business interests.  To this, I tip my hat.  Five action points, in particular, will be …

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Chocolate maker to capture millennials’ market

With a global income outlook of 15-16 percent growth for 2016, chocolate maker  Mondelez International added a new chocolate brand in its Philippine market to ensure the target is achieved. The Cadbury 5Star, produced in India, was launched in the local market in April, and is the third brand under Mondelez chocolates which also produces the Toblerone and the Cadbury Dairy Milk line. “It’s our biggest launch so far,” said Mondelez senior brand manager Michelle Santillan. The Cadbury maker does not operate a local chocolate plant and will import from its factory in India. Cadbury is a British brand bought by Mondelez in 2010. The American giant Mondelez, which used to be Kraft Foods, produces local cheese products such as Eden. “This one is produced in India. It’s marketed in India and its launched …

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Cacao industry starts getting more attention

The country's cacao industry is getting more attention now than what it's been getting in the past years and this is happening at a time when the world has started to run out of supply. As part of her first project visit as World Bank's new country director, Mara Warwick visited cacao farmers in Mindanao and granted new funding for the country's cacao sector. As of now, Mindanao still supplies bulk of the country's cacao production. Warwick and her team went to meet the beneficiaries of the recently approved P26 million Cacao Production and Dry-fermented beans marketing in Davao, a project implemented under the Department of Agriculture's Philippine Rural Development Project  (DA-PRDP). DA-PRDP is a six-year rural development project worth P27.5 billion. The program was funded through a loan from World Bank worth P20.56 billion …

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Reviving the abaca industry

At least P9 billion is needed to regain the vibrancy of the country's abaca industry and makes it more competitive in the global market, according to the Philippine Abaca Industry Roadmap. The roadmap, which was launched by Department of Agriculture's Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA), should set the direction for the abaca industry between 2016 and 2020. Petronilo Jabay, Officer in Charge-Deputy Executive Director at PhilFIDA, said the roadmap will help the agency analyze the competitiveness of the Philippine abaca fiber, market trends, and prospects emphasizing its role in green economy, climate change mitigation, and environmental preservation. "Our estimate in the roadmap, all in all, for the expansion of the industry, its rehabilitation, research, among other, we would need at least P9 billion until 2020," Jabay said in an interview. Clarito Barron, OIC-executive …

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Farm tourism: PH’s next sunshine industry

The country’s emerging farm tourism sector will once more get a major push as a driver of inclusive economic growth. Former Tourism Secretary Mina Gabor, who is now president of International School of Sustainable Tourism (ISST), said as she spearheads the  4th Farm Tourism Conference set at the Summit Ridge Hotel in Tagaytay City, July 14-16. The conference is supported by the Department of Tourism (DOT), the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), and the Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR). The three-day confab will put the spotlight on the unique fusion of farming and tourism. Gabor said that the conference will focus on low-impact travel that will empower local communities socially and economically. She noted that the confab is an ideal opportunity to learn and share …

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Online slaves

Cassidy Wolf was a 17-year old girl from California. She had everything going for her – a loving family, a topnotch education, good looks and even the title of Miss Teen USA. In 2013, everything came crashing down for the young Californian. While downloading a movie a from a pirate site, Cassidy’s computer got infected by a hostile virus. The virus allowed the virus maker (the “perpetrator”) complete access to her videos, pictures and even live streams from her bedroom. In the months that followed, Cassidy found her intimate files posted on pervert infested websites. She was objectified and humiliated. Later on, the perpetrator began extorting money and sexual favors from her in exchange for withholding other photos and videos from public view. Cassidy became his slave and tormentor. Her …

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