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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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Mindanao’s base load power investments on halt for 7-10 years

Investments for base load power plants in Mindanao will be on standstill for the next 7-10 years given the overcapacity situation that the grid will be putting up with in the short- to medium term. This has been the assessment of Alsons Energy Development Corporation of the Alcantara group – a company of which power investments had been concentrated in Mindanao grid. “Speaking only of Mindanao, there will be no need for new baseload capacity in the next seven to 10 years,” Alsons Power Group Vice President for Business Development Joseph C. Nocos said. He noted “Mindanao will have enough power supply to support its development plans.” This is a shared prognosis by many power project developers in Mindanao, with the grid now seeing at least 50-percent overcapacity in supply. Nocos further qualified “the …

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Japanese firm to import $220-M bananas yearly

Tokyo, Japan — A leading Japanese fruit distribution company is keen on importing an additional $220 million worth of bananas from the Philippines yearly starting next year. The agreement tapping Filipino farmers and rebel-returnees in Mindanao to supply 20 million boxes of bananas to Farmind Corporation will be forged during President Duterte’s visit to Tokyo. The President arrived in Japan on Tuesday for a three-day official visit to Japan to enhance the country’s economic and defense relations with the strategic partner in the region. “We will sign a MOU (memorandum of understanding) tomorrow (Wednesday) with your government and that to assist this rebel returnees, providing them opportunities to come to this market,” Tatsuo Horiuchi, Farmind President and CEO, said in a media interview here on Tuesday. “We’re taking about 20 million boxes as a …

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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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CIAC, Qatar Airways team up to aggressively market Clark airport

Qatar Airways is expanding its market by developing leisure, business and corporate traffic to Europe, the USA and the Gulf countries by tapping into its network in the Philippines, South Africa, North Africa and the Middle East, announced Country Manager Paolo Pausini. At present, the airline is working on an 18-month marketing plan for collaboration with the Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) to target upscale travelers going to destinations in Europe, the USA and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Qatar Airways is a major international carrier at the Clark International Airport (CRK), with regular flights for its Clark-Doha route, servicing mostly overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in Central and Northern Luzon. The other day, officials of CIAC, led by its President and CEO, Alexander Cauguiran, met with Pausini on their joint effort. “Marketing for …

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Shipping alliance of 4 biggest container operators gets US nod

United States regulators have approved a new alliance between four of the world's largest container operators. The US Federal Maritime Commission voted to allow the Ocean Alliance, an agreement among France's CMA CGM, China's Cosco Group, Hong Kong's Orient Overseas Container Line and Taipei-based Evergreen Marine, to become effective as of Monday. The FMC, which governs the US international ocean transportation system, delayed its initial approval citing concerns about fair pricing for shippers moving cargo in and out of the US The FMC announcement Friday said the decision "follows an exhaustive review process" that "thoroughly examined all aspects of the proposed agreement to assure that competition in the ocean transportation industry would not suffer." Commissioner William Doyle of the FMC said in a statement Friday that he approved the alliance after significant changes …

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MICP raises P65 M from non-traditional revenues

Amid its monthly collection shortfall, the Manila International Container Port (MICP), the country’s biggest port, generated P65 million in non-traditional revenues in the first four months of the Duterte administration. MICP raised the amount from the public auctions of forfeited imported goods it conducted from July 1 to Oct. 4. Data culled from the Manila Port showed that 108 container vans filled with assorted items were disposed during the period, in which 30 containers were loaded with automobiles and motorcycles. “This is our way of contributing to the revenues of the agency,” said Gerry Macatangay, chief of the MICP’s Auction and Cargo Disposal Division, said. Just last Oct. 4, he said the proceeds from the sale of various goods in 10 lots were P14.46 million. The MICP were able to auction off stainless steel boilers, …

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Business calls for national dialogue to craft a ‘strategic’ foreign policy

The Makati Business Club (MBC), which groups most of the country’s largest conglomerates, yesterday said it welcomed the Duterte administration’s efforts to rebuild relationships with China but stressed the need to conduct a multi-sectoral dialogue as the government recalibrates a new foreign policy even as it warned it cannot just dismiss the invaluable support of the United States. “We support the drive for an independent foreign policy, particularly during this time when the Philippines has gained international respect, recognition and confidence over the past few years,” according to the MBC statement. But the MBC also stressed that as the country “transitions through this recalibration in our foreign policy, we call on the government to initiate another multi-sectoral dialogue similar to when it drafted the 10-point socio-economic agenda.” The MBC has urged government to …

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News in brief October 26, 2016

P/$ rate closes at P48.34/$1 The peso closed  lower  at P48.34  to the US dollar yesterday at the Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp. (PDEx) from  P48.19 the previous day.   The weighted average rate depreciated to P48.317 from  P48.294. The total volume amounted to $500.5 million.   Local shares slightly lower Local shares closed slightly lower again yesterday for lack of market-moving developments even as regional stock markets recovered to track overnight gains in Wall Street. The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) finished 29.09 points or 0.38 percent lower at 7,780.22. Volume of trading recovered somewhat with 1.91 billion shares valued at P6.54 billion changing hands. However, gainers  topped decliners, 97-82, with 49 issues unchanged.   Trust industry resources total P2.8 trillion The trust industry had total resources of P2.8 trillion as of end-June, up almost …

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Removal of gift certificate expiry proposed

Effectivity of gift certificates paid for by customers should be open ended, a Quezon City lawmaker insists. Rep. Winston Castelo filed House Bill 3091, which seeks to end the practice of imposing expiry dates for gift checks by department stores and supermarkets, saying it constitutes unfair trade. Now commonly used as Christmas presents, gift certificates are usually purchased from shopping malls, restaurants or supermarkets and paid for in cash. “It is purchased with money and money having no expiry dates, it follows that in the case of gift certificate, check or card, the same must bear no expiry date at all,” Castelo said. The lawmaker also said it makes no business sense for suppliers of gift checks to place an expiry date over what amounts to cash. “If the reason is the risk of such certificates …

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