IN an effort to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) find financing for their business, especially in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) hosted a webinar, entitled “Financial Stimulus and Tools to Mitigate the Impact of Covid-19” on June 25, 2020. “The government is aware […]
The Philippines and Indonesia are set to enter a government-to-government (G2G) agreement to facilitate the export of Philippine halal products to Indonesia. This was relayed in a webinar last June 24, 2020, by the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB), Philippine Trade and Investments Center-Jakarta (PTIC-Jakarta), Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC), and the […]
No, not for most people. Babies and toddlers should not wear masks because they could suffocate. The same goes for anyone who has trouble removing a mask without help. Others can wear masks without risking their health, according to experts, despite false rumors to the contrary. In areas where Covid-19 is spreading, health experts agree […]
Stakeholders of the export industry have launched a project that aims to enable exporters utilize game-changing technologies to enhance their competitiveness especially as they adapt to the “new normal” amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr., president of the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport), said The Road to FIRe (Fourth Industrial Revolution) project, which the […]
July 3, 2020 | 4:28 pm
Dennis A. Uy’s Dito Telecommunity Corp. is expecting to finish the construction of 1,300 cell towers — the number of towers needed to meet regulatory requirements — by October.
On Thursday, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) announced that it had approved the appeal of the telecommunications firm to extend its technical audit, which the latter said did not affect its technical runs.
“The only thing that we asked to be moved is our audit,” Dito Chief Administrative Officer Adel. A Tamano clarified to reporters in a virtual briefing on Friday.
The NTC moved Dito’s technical audit to Jan. 7 next year, from the earlier July 8 schedule.
It is stated in Dito’s certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) that in its first year of operations, it must meet a target coverage of 37% of the country’s population and a speed of 27 megabits per second (Mbps).
According to Rodolfo D. Santiago, Dito’s chief technology officer, of the 1,300 target cell sites it needs to reach the required coverage, 300 have already been completed and can run as a network, while 500 have towers erected but are yet to have support facilities installed.
These sites are self-built and are located on private properties. Mr. Santiago said the construction of the target sites can be completed by October.
Dito has already conducted some technical tests, albeit internally, since March. These tests could have been done in public if not for the lockdown, the company noted.
“We’ve already done our first phone calls and there are a number of our sites that are already live, so [these] were not affected,” Mr. Tamano said.
He said the company had conducted a series of domestic technical calls via its own network in five areas in the country, as well as some international calls to Hong Kong and Beijing.
Meanwhile, the company still has its CPCN-granted remediation periods, the time when it can rectify faults in construction and preliminary operations, despite moving its technical audit.
“The extension does not affect the number of remediation periods we have,” Mr. Tamano said.
Even if it failed to meet some of its regulatory requirements in January next year, Dito claimed it can still proceed with its commercial run.
“We are on track for our commercial launch this March 2021 and we are moving heaven and earth to make that happen,” Mr. Tamano said.
Dito has allotted P150 billion for capital expenditure to start operations as the country’s third telecommunications player. — Adam J. Ang
July 3, 2020 | 4:27 pm
Anchor Land Holdings, Inc.’s earnings surged 61% to P205.72 million in the first quarter due to double-digit growth in its rental business.
In a regulatory filing, the upscale property developer said revenue from its rental operations jumped 80% to P304.96 million because of higher rental income from its Baylife Venue and The Centrium projects in Parañaque City.
It also saw recurring rental income from projects such as One Soler, One Logistics Center, One Shopping Center, Two Shopping Center, and commercial facilities in condominium buildings.
However, the growth in the rental segment was offset by a 54% drop in real estate sales, which stood at P578.88 million at the end of the period. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic lockdowns stopped construction work on its ongoing projects, delaying new launches.
Consolidated revenues for the three months posted a 37% year-on-year decline to P1.03 billion.
But the topline drop was tempered by the 49% decrease in costs and expenses, which stood at P729.52 million at the end of the period. This resulted in a higher bottomline for the quarter.
In a statement, Anchor Land President Digna Elizabeth Ventura said the company continues to be bullish for the rest of the year despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are committed to our property development strategies and strengthening our stronghold in Manila Chinatown and in the Bay City,” she was quoted as saying.
“Despite the disruption to economic activities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we remain prudent in our risk management and business continuity strategies,” Ms. Ventura added.
Anchor Land Vice-Chairman and CEO Steve Li also said the company’s strategy remains “geared towards sustaining our growth momentum by building our leasable portfolio.”
Shares in Anchor Land at the stock exchange gained 20 centavos or 2.30% to close at P8.89 each on Friday. — Denise A. Valdez
MANILA, Philippines — Majority of companies enjoying tax perks at the country’s largest economic zone operator are now operational as of mid-June, as the government slowly rolls back tough lockdown measures that shut the economy down for nearly three months.
In a statement on Thursday, Charito Plaza, Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) director-general, reported that 2,517 companies, or 78% of total firms located in PEZA ecozones, were open for business from June 11 to 15.
By industry, 78% of PEZA-registered business process outsourcing firms and 88% of manufacturing companies are now back to work since the government eased lockdown restrictions in June 1.
That said, BPOs and some manufacturers have been exempted from strict quarantine controls, allowing some of them to go to work at the time. The current figure from PEZA, however, shows an increase in activity for these firms.
Last July 1, President Rodrigo Duterte relaxed more movement restrictions in the archipelago, and kept Metro Manila under a general community quarantine, under which up to 50% of workforce may report for duty.
Broken down, 80% of PEZA-accredited firms in Luzon were operational while 70% and 90% of companies were open in Visayas and Mindanao, respectively, figures showed.
In terms of workers, the easing of prohibitions allowed 1.18 million ecozone employees to continue working under skeleton work force or work-from-home arrangements, Plaza said.
“Since the start of this crisis, PEZA has done its best to implement effective balancing acts to protect the health and welfare of its workers and in assisting the continuous operations of its ecozones and export companies,” Plaza said.
“PEZA implemented economic stimulus and adjustments to its existing policies to assist and support the rehabilitation and business continuity plans of the export enterprises as well as enhance the efficiency factors to put back a more vibrant economy,” she added.
In a desperate bid to break the coronavirus contagion, the Duterte government placed Luzon under enhanced community quarantine in March 17.
The government only started easing the lockdown measures in June. Metro Manila, the country’s center of business and commerce, has been under the more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) since June 1 and will remain under this regime at least until July 15.
To mitigate any disruptions, PEZA required registered enterprises to provide accommodation and shuttle services for their employees. But despite these steps, Plaza said the lockdowns were so stringent that about 700 companies in PEZA ecozones, or 22% of total, are yet to resume operations, putting 386,587 workers in limbo.
That said, the PEZA boss said her group supports Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III’s proposal to “quickly” put Metro Manila and Calabarzon regions under the most relaxed modified GCQ to help the economy bounce back from a 0.2% year-on-year contraction in the first quarter.
“We cannot anymore afford to place these areas under GCQ because it will further impact the economy and in effect, grievously affect our countrymen,” Plaza said.
July 2, 2020
AboitizLand Inc. is expanding its township in Batangas amid sustained interest in its properties across segments industrial, residential and commercial. Rafael de Mesa, first vice president for operations, said developers are turning outside the big cities for their projects while investors will be more selective in the next 12 to 18 months in choosing where to put their money.
At a virtual conference of the Urban Land Institute on June 30, De Mesa said the shift to areas outside big cities has been observed in its own projects which are mostly in the provinces.
De Mesa cited as a prime example its LIMA township in Batangas which has not only addressed the needs of the stakeholders within its proper ty, but also those in the surrounding communities.
The industrial zone is complemented by a business district that houses Lima Park Hotel, a 138-room four-star hotel, Outlets at Lipa an outdoor mall and Lima Exchange which houses the city’s transport terminal.
De Mesa said Aboitiz Land is embarking on the next phase of development which will include further industrial expansion and the transformation of the business district. He said the company will soon begin construction on a LIMA sets expansion multi- building business process outsourcing complex, and will begin selling commercial lots.
There has also been strong demand for housing in the area , as shown by its own residential community, The Villages at Lipa, which is now under construction. Understanding the need to develop housing to serve all segments of the market, AboitizLand will also be developing dorms, as well as rental apartments with its own brand, which it will be have been expanding aggressively in Metro Manila.
“As we expand the property and add new components, the right blueprint that takes into consideration economics and other factors, such as utility infrastructure development planning acquisition and sustainability is extremely important,” De Mesa said.
Aboitiz Land sister companies provide the power and water and sewage infrastructure.
“There’s nothing like having a cohesive and flexible plan, but until it’s battle proven, you will never know the extent of its effectiveness,” De Mesa said.
“We have been put to the test in various times in just the last six months from a typhoon at the end of last year to a volcano to start the year. And now this global pandemic. But we’re happy to say that our blueprint has been effective as business interruption at Lima was minimal. Although some of our locators experienced disruption to their workforce and supply chain, it was only minimal,” De Mesa said.
Since acquiring LIMA in 2014, AboitizLand has transformed it into a 700-hectare mixed-use estate, with the anchor LIMA Technology Center hosting 111 locators. Its manufacturing and warehousing operations generate more than 50,000 jobs in export-driven production industries.
An aerial view of The Outlets at Lipa, AboitizLand’s first commercial development in Luzon.
NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING OF STOCKHOLDERS Dear Stockholder: Please be advised that CROWN EQUITIES, INC. (CEI) will hold its annual meeting (ASM) of stockholders VIRTUALLY on July 23, 2020, Thursday, at 2:00 p.m. The agenda of the meeting shall be as follows: Call to Order Certification of Notice and Determination of Quorum Approval of the […]