Philippines achieves 7.6% economic growth in 2022

The Philippines’ recovery from the downturn of the COVID-19 crisis continued strongly as it has been confirmed that the national economy expanded by 7.6% for the entire year of 2022 which includes a 7.2% 4th quarter economic growth, according to a news article by the Philippine News Agency (PNA). Take note that the Philippines is expected to grow between 6.5% and 7% in 2023 according to the national authorities while there are signs that the United States economy will fall into a recession this year. Regardless, the Philippines ended 2022 competitively in terms of economic expansion among its Asian neighbors.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the PNA news report. Some parts in boldface…

The Philippine economy expanded by 7.2 percent in the last quarter of 2022, bringing full-year growth to 7.6 percent, driven by increased economic activity mainly from pent-up demand as it fully reopened amid elevated inflation rate.

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said among the major emerging economies in the region that have released their fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth, the Philippines grew the fastest, followed by Vietnam at 5.9 percent and China at 2.9 percent.   

Our improved Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) risk management and the easing of mobility restrictions have created a positive economic outlook, boosting economic activity and creating more jobs despite external headwinds,” he said in a briefing on Thursday. 

Balisacan said measures being implemented by the government to further buoy the economy’s recovery are working.

Our strong economic growth performance for 2022 proves that our calibrated policies and strategies have helped put us on the path to recovery and on track to achieving our aspiration for an inclusive, prosperous, and resilient society by 2028,” he said.

Balisacan said pent-up demand drove growth in the fourth quarter as the economy was fully reopened during the period, with household consumption accounting for around three-fourths of domestic output, and investments contributing around a fifth.

The improvements in labor market conditions, increased tourism, revenge and holiday spending, and resumption of face-to-face classes supported growth in the quarter, further reflecting a solid rebound in consumer and investor confidence in the economy,” he said.

Balisacan said had it not been for the elevated inflation rate, which rose to its highest since November 2008 last December when it accelerated to 8.1 percent, “growth could have been higher by another perhaps 1 to 2 percentage points.”

“It shows how overall demand is sensitive to inflation,” he added.

In terms of the volume of economic activities, Balisacan said domestic growth has recovered for many sectors, except for others such as tourism.

“(But) in so far as per capital income… we haven’t fully recovered yet,” he said.

Balisacan said the government is firm on ensuring that quality jobs will be available to Filipinos to lessen their need to work abroad.

“Inclusive growth across the archipelago will be our vehicle for reducing poverty incidence from 18 percent of the population in 2021 to a single-digit level by 2028,” he said.

National Statistician Dennis Mapa said 2022 full year GDP growth of 7.6 percent exceeded the government’s 6.5 to 7.5 percent growth assumption for the year and the highest after the 8.8 percent in 1976.

Mapa said the fourth-quarter growth, slower than the 7.6 percent in the previous quarter, was driven by the wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, financial and insurance activities and retail estate and ownership of dwellings boosted domestic growth.

He said domestic demand remained strong, with the household final consumption expenditure (HFCE) rising by 2.1 percent quarter-on-quarter, led by the restaurants and hotels, food and non-alcoholic beverages, and miscellaneous goods and services. Year-on-year expansion of HFCE stood at 7 percent.

Among the major economic industries, Mapa said agriculture, forestry, and fishing contracted by 1.7 percent because of the lower output of sugarcane, palay (rice), and poultry and egg production.

Meanwhile, Balisacan said the government is doing pro-active assessment of the current situation to address the elevated inflation rate in the country, which is expected to go back to within the government’s 2 to 4 percent target band by the second half of this year.

He said the government continues to allow the importation of several food items to boost domestic supply, adding that not doing so will hurt both the consumers and domestic growth.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this new development? Do you believe that the economy of the Philippine economy will grow between 6.5% to 7% this year? Do you think that more foreign tourists coming into the country will be able to help the nation achieve its economic growth targets this year? Apart from what was already mentioned, what do you think the national government should do to combat inflation? Do you think that the lower income tax for middle income earners will make a positive contribution to economic growth?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. If you want to support my website, please consider making a donation. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/.

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Philippines Finance Secretary Diokno says the national economy is resilient enough to face post-pandemic world

Recently in a high-level economic meeting in Germany, Philippines Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno declared that the national economy is resilient enough for the post-pandemic world and that the national government has been making adjustments, according to a news article published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the PNA news report. Some parts in boldface…

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno on Monday told foreign investors and business leaders that the Philippine economy is resilient enough and that the government is doing its best to address post-pandemic challenges.

Diokno made the remarks during the Philippine economic briefing attended by the economic managers in Frankfurt, Germany that was streamed through various government agency Facebook pages.

The Finance chief noted that inflation is also a concern in the Philippines just like in other countries, but measures are being undertaken by the government to address the issue, such as managing prices by ensuring adequate supplies of agricultural products, and boosting the agriculture sector’s capacity and productivity to help address the rising commodity prices, among others.

“We also are continuing the importation of necessary commodities to ease inflation,” he said.

The government has allowed the continued importation of rice, sugar, and meat, which are among the primary factor for the elevated food prices due to supply issues.

Relatively, Diokno assured investors that the government has put in place a fiscal consolidation program to address the uptick in government liabilities, due in part to the increased borrowing to finance pandemic-related programs.

He identified three factors that will support the government’s fiscal consolidation and one of this is the fact that “only a small fraction of our outstanding debt is exposed to interest rate resetting.”

This, as bulk of the government liabilities are sourced from domestic fund sources, with around 75 percent of the borrowing program allocated to the domestic market.

“We already have anticipated the tightening monetary policy conditions when we formulated the interest rate payments in the 2023 budget,” Diokno said.

He added that “government securities market is dominated by local players that are bank-centric and homogeneous in investment governance.”

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this new development? Do you believe that the economy of the Philippines is resilient enough for the post-pandemic age even as there are concerns about high inflation and economic slowdown around the world? Do you believe that the national government has what it takes to make key adjustments to unforeseen developments that could happen anytime? Are you convinced that foreign investors as well as foreign tourists will come into the Philippines in great numbers over the next eighteen months? How is your local government doing when it comes to economic developments like livelihood, jobs training and other related activities?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. If you want to support my website, please consider making a donation. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/.

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Philippine government sees economy growing around 6.5% for 2023

Even though HSBC and the World Bank revealed their own 2023 economic growth forecasts for the Philippines to be below 6%, the national government still sees the economy growing around 6.5% this year, according to a recent Manila Bulletin news report.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Manila Bulletin news report. Some parts in boldface…

The Philippine government expects a strong full-year gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2022, most likely much faster than its growth target of 6.5 to 7.5 percent, Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Benjamin Diokno said here on Jan. 16 (Switzerland time).

Diokno said this during a Monday luncheon hosted for President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Philippine chief executive officers (CEOs) in Davos, Switzerland.

In addition, Diokno said the Philippine economy is seen to “grow by around 6.5 percent this year” due to the expected slowdown of the global economy.

“And that’s still one of the highest, if not the highest, growth projection in the Asia-Pacific Region,” he said.

According to Diokno, the country’s bustling manufacturing sector, record-low unemployment, and stable and resilient banking system can alleviate buffers against external headwinds, all indicating a resilient economy.

Further, opening economic sectors to foreign equity, improving the ease of doing business, and allowing modern transformative industries to take root and grow will sustain the economy.

At the same time, the Finance chief said the Marcos government has created a more competitive and enabling environment through public-private partnership (PPP) to expand further the Build, Better, More infrastructure agenda of the administration.

Diokno said this would further boost investments on top of the government’s goal to spend at least five to six percent of GDP on infrastructure, stressing all these form the backbone for the rapid and sustained growth of the Philippines.

But because of the current challenges, he said the Philippines is taking the first steps toward launching the Maharlika Investment Fund, the country’s first-ever sovereign wealth fund that will support the goals set by the administration in the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this new development? Do you believe that the Philippines’ economic fundamentals are strong enough to keep the economy growing around 6.5% this year? Do you think that the tourism industry alone will be a major driving force of economic growth and earning foreign currency? Apart from the announced Maharlika Investment Fund (sovereign wealth fund) new economic initiatives do you want to see from President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. If you want to support my website, please consider making a donation. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/.

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

HSBC sees Philippine economy growth of 4.4% for 2023 due to key factors

HSBC, one of the biggest players of the global financial industry, recently made its forecast of the Philippines growing economically at 4.4% for the year 2023, according to a news article by the Philippine News Agency (PNA). There are certain factors mentioned in HSBC’s assessment for the nation.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the PNA article. Some parts in boldface…

Hikes in the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) key policy rates are expected to dampen the strong domestic output for 2023, with an executive of HSBC forecasting a 4.4 percent expansion this year.

In a virtual briefing on Thursday, HSBC chief investment officer for Southeast Asia, Global Private Banking and Wealth, James Cheo, said private consumption contributed to the strong recovery of the domestic economy last year but this is seen to be limited by the monetary tightening aimed to temper the elevated inflation rate.

Other factors that boosted gross domestic product (GDP) last year include investments, higher government spending on infrastructure and increased mobility following the resumption of face-to-face schooling, he said.

Looking into 2023, the country’s growth will slow and the recovery is going to be more gradual as the reopening boost fades and monetary tightening weighs on domestic demand,” Cheo said.

As of the third quarter of last year, growth, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), rose by 7.76 percent, exceeding the government’s 6.5 to 7.5 percent growth assumption for this year.

The BSP’s key rates have been hiked by 350 basis points from May to December last year, after being at record-low of 2 percent in 2020, as monetary authorities help address the elevated inflation rate.

Last December, domestic rate of price increases further accelerated to 8.1 percent, the highest since November 2008, due to faster annual jumps in goods and energy prices.

Cheo said “household’s consumption in 2023 will likely be curtailed” given the elevated inflation rate.

Strong employment, tourism recovery, expanding production and retail sales, and public investment will continue to support growth in 2023,” he said.

With inflation expected to remain high, Cheo projects the BSP to make three consecutive 25 basis point increases this year, “pausing at 6.25 percent by Q2 (second quarter) 2023” and keeping this decision until at least the second half of 2024.

The above article ended with HSBC predicting that the Philippine Peso will weaken to the United States Dollar at a rate of US$1 = P56.50.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this recent development? Do you believe that inflation and interest rates will somehow slow down the ongoing economic growth later this year? Do you think that Philippine tourism will become a factor to help the Philippine economy grow at least 5% this year? What do you think the national government and its economic managers should do to maintain strong growth as the nation keeps on recovering from the depression of the COVID-19 crisis? Have you been managing your personal or business finances carefully recently?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

What to watch on YouTube right now – Part 4

Have you been searching for something fun or interesting to watch on YouTube? Do you feel bored right now and you crave for something to see on the world’s most popular online video destination?

I recommend you watch the following videos below…

#1 McDonald’s struggles in certain nations – Have you eaten at a McDonald’s lately? The fast food giant is indeed highly successful serving many millions of customers worldwide and constantly making a lot of money. There are, however, specific nations where McDonald’s could not succeed in and for a wide variety of reasons. Watch these selected videos below…

#2 Looking back at Marvel Comics’ 2099 franchise – The 1990s was a decade of excess in the history of American comic book publishing, particularly with regards to superhero comics. During the height of the comic book speculator boom, Marvel Comics launched a new comic book universe set within one possible future of Marvel’s shared universe – the future was referred to as 2099. For the newcomers reading this, I myself had published several retro comic book reviews regarding Spider-Man 2099, X-Men 2099, Punisher 2099 and Ravage 2099. To find out more about the history about Marvel’s 2099 line of comics and the legacy it left behind, watch the video below.

#3 Ashleigh Burton’s reaction videos of Stallone movies For this segment, we take a look at the existing movie reaction videos Ashleigh Burton made related to films that starred the famous Sylvester Stallone. In reality, she actually has published a few Stallone-related reaction videos and she still has yet to react to a Rambo movie and other flicks from Stallone’s career. Watch the videos below and don’t forget to visit her YouTube channel.

#4 Worship video of Now I’m Alive – I love the worship song Now I’m Alive from New Life Music. Written by Faith Tugano, Kate Naranjo and Solomon Pagapong, Now I’m Alive is a beautiful and engaging song to worship the Lord with. You can read my Christian Music Appreciation (CMA) piece about Now I’m Alive by clicking right here. I encourage you all to visit New Life Music on Facebook and YouTube. Watch the worship video of Now I’m Alive posted below.

#5 More of Unsolved Mysteries (hosted by Robert Stack) – If you are a long-time fan of the classic Unsolved Mysteries TV program hosted by the late Robert Stack and you wanted to revisit it, you can watch the episodes for free through the Unsolved Mysteries – Full Episodes YouTube channel. For a taste, posted below are assorted episodes of the 2nd season of Unsolved Mysteries.

#6 Looking back at Jaws 3 (AKA Jaws 3-D) – Way back in 1983, I got to watch Jaws 3 in the cinema in 3D (wearing the 3D glasses to see the 3D effects from screen) which was a privilege back then. Being a young boy at the time, I enjoyed it and there was nothing like being seated in the middle of a large audience who reacted emotionally towards what they saw. Of course, it is clear to everyone today that Jaws 3 is one of weakest films of the Jaws movie franchise (which started with Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic) and I noticed some people found it to be really bad. Still, there is a lot of interesting stuff to discover about it and how Jaws 3 got made. If you are curious to learn about the third Jaws movie, I encourage you to watch the videos below.

#7 More details about the FTX financial disaster and Sam Bankman-Fried The news about the FTX financial disaster is still hot and Samuel Bankman-Fried has a lot of explaining to do. It is indeed tragic to lose all your wealth and investments because of FTX. In recent times, there were new details revealed that will help you understand why and how the FTX financial disaster happened. Financial tragedies like this one should make you think very carefully before making an investment with anything related to cryptocurrency. Watch the videos below.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

What to watch on YouTube right now – Part 3

Have you been searching for something fun, enlightening or interesting to watch on YouTube? Do you feel bored right now and you crave for something to see on the world’s most popular online video destination?

I recommend you watch the following videos below…

#1 Worship videos of “O Praise The Name (Anástasis)” – I love the worship song O Praise The Name (Anástasis) written by Marty Sampson, Benjamin Hastings and Dean Ussher, and published by Hillsong Music. Its lyrics were clearly written to lead people to the Lord and to encourage them to worship Him. One of these days, I will do a Christian Music Appreciation (CMA) piece of the worship song. For those who are reading this, watch the worship videos below from Hillsong Worship, Hillsong United and Bethel Music. This could also be the worship song your local church could play on Sunday worship services.

#2 The history of Secret Wars – In the history of American superhero comics, the Secret Wars (full title: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars) series of 1984-1985 remains highly significant not just because it featured a unique gathering of selected superheroes and super villains of Marvel (then led by Jim Shooter as editor-in-chief) but also because of the creative impact it left behind especially with regards to Spider-Man stories and the eventual debut of his deadliest villain – Venom. Secret Wars also marked the debut of the Beyonder, a god-like entity who would impact the Marvel Comics universe later. Apart from its enduring legacy, there were also some notable things that happened behind the scenes leading to the publishing. Watch and learn from the video below.

#3 Ashleigh Burton’s reaction videos of Schwarzenegger movies For this segment, we take a look at how Ashleigh Burton reacts to movies of the famous Arnold Schwarzenegger. She reacted to two Terminator flicks and Predator which are Schwarzenegger classic but she still has yet to do a Total Recall (1990) video. I urge you to visit her YouTube channel.

#4 Fashion versus videos – If you have not been following the videos published by SHIFT online, there are these versus-type of videos they released on their YouTube channel. Months ago, they published videos pitting popular models in key match-ups and they are posted below for your viewing pleasure.

#5 Looking back at Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park – Are you one of the many moviegoers out there who have gotten upset or tired with the way that Jurassic Park movies turned out, especially with the Jurassic World movies released since 2015? I noticed a lot of movie fans pointed to Jurassic World movies as dumb and bloated even as the filmmakers did what they could to sell dinosaurs and action sequences to entertain people. In times like these, it is refreshing to return to the original Jurassic Park movie of 1993 directed by Steven Spielberg. Watch the following movie reaction/review videos below plus a trivia video and an in-depth retrospective video.

#6 The FTX financial disaster – You heard the recent news about the major disaster of FTX that rocked the financial systems? Are you one of the many people who idolized Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF)? Did you pour your hard-earned money into the FTX cryptocurrency exchange and lost it all? Watch this video by Coldfusion to understand the details.

#7 The struggle of Starbucks Coffee in Vietnam and South Africa Previously I posted a video about Starbucks’ own struggle in Australia whose coffee market has been highly developed long before the American coffee giant entered. There are also two notable markets where Starbucks also struggled in – Vietnam and South Africa. Watch the videos below to find out why. This is not only interesting but also educational.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

NBI agents apprehend investment scam suspect in Parañaque City

Are you a victim of an investment scam? Recently in the City of Parañaque, agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) arrested an investment scam suspect who allegedly deceived someone into investing over one million Pesos into a poultry business that failed to materialize, the Manila Bulletin reported.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Manila Bulletin report. Some parts in boldface…

A man who allegedly duped a person to invest P1.5 million in a poultry business that did not materialize has been arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Paranaque City.

In a statement, the NBI identified the suspect as John D. Bombita who was arrested last July 4 by agents of the NBI’s Bulacan District Office (NBI-BULDO) at a coffee shop. Seized from Bombita was the P200,000 entrapment money he received from his victim.

“Subject Bombita was presented for inquest proceedings before the Department of Justice (DOJ) for estafa under the Revised Penal Code,” the NBI said

It said the complainant met Bombita in March 2020 when an offer was made to invest P1.5 million in a poultry farm to be set up in Talugtug, Nueva Ecija. The suspect introduced to the complainant Ramil Bautista, the alleged project manager.

The complainant, the NBI said, was assured that the poultry business would be operational in six months after the payment of P1.5 million to Bombita. The complainant paid the full amount in tranches, it said.

“Seven months later, Subject Bombita called an emergency meeting with the investors and introduced a certain Ulysses F. Barcial as the new person in charge of the project because Ramil Bautista took away the money intended for the Poultry project and assured the investors that the Poultry project will move forward. On May 22, 2021, a ground breaking ceremony was conducted to show that the construction of the poultry will still push through,” the NBI said.

“Sometime in April 2022, Subject Bombita called the complainant and asked for P100,000 for the payment of building permit of the three (3) Poultry Vent Tunnel. The complainant told the subjects that he can only pay P50,000. After a month, the complainant was informed that the payment for the building permit was increased to P200,000. The complainant was threatened that if he failed to pay the said amount his investment of P1.5 million will be forfeited,” it said.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this latest news development? Has anyone out there tried to convince you to pour a lot of their money into a project or venture that lacked credibility?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Over P200 million for Team Philippines’ 31st SEA Games campaign

The 31st Southeast Asian Games (AKA the 31st SEA Games, SEA Games 31 and Hanoi 2021) is just one week away from formally opening in the City of Hanoi in Vietnam. As for the Philippine sports delegation attending the region’s biggest sports event, their campaign has received a financial support of more than P200 million from the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and more money could be released, according to a BusinessWorld news report.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the BusinessWorld report. Some parts in boldface…

THE Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) have cough up more than P200 million to fuel the country’s ambitious campaign to defend its overall title in the Hanoi Southeast Asian Games (SEA) set on May 12 to 23.

The PSC had already released more than P200 million and could reach P230 million to fund the country’s SEA Games participation,” a source on Monday told The STAR.

Part of the Philippines’ 987-strong delegation, which included 646 athletes, had left for Hanoi on Sunday and on Monday while the bulk of it will follow suit next week in time for the opening ceremony on May 12.

There (rest) of the delegation will arrive on May 13.

Kickboxing, which will be led by former mixed martial arts champion Honorio Banario and 2019 SEA Games gold medalist Jean Claude Saclag and Gina Iniong Arao, flew on Monday.

The national kickboxers are out to eclipse, if not duplicate, their three-gold, two-silver and one-bronze harvest in the last edition of the biennial meet.

Jomar Balangui, Renalyn Dacquiel, Carlos Alvarez, Kurt Lubrica, Daryl Chulipaz, Emmanuel Cantores, Claudine Veloso, Gretel de Paz, and Zephania Ngaya are the other members of the team.

PSC commissioner and the country’s Hanoi Games chef de mission Ramon Fernandez and Philippine Olympic Committee President Abraham Tolentino are both optimistic of the Filipinos’ chances.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a sports enthusiast based in the Philippines, do you think that P200 million to P230 million is enough funding to help Team Philippines achieve its gold medal targets in the SEA Games there in Vietnam?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

Muntinlupa City Mayor clarifies issue about P1.2 billion standby loan from Landbank

If you are a local resident of Muntinlupa City, were you a recipient of circulating text messages about a certain loan worth over a billion Pesos that was allegedly used by City Government? Recently, Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi clarified the issue, according to a Manila Bulletin news report.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Manila Bulletin report. Some parts in boldface…

Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi refuted claims by his detractors that the city government already used a P1.2 billion standby loan from Landbank of the Philippines.

In March 2021, the Muntinlupa City Council passed an ordinance authorizing Fresnedi to enter into a loan agreement with Landbank in the amount of P1.2 billion to fund various projects.

During the flag raising ceremony at the Muntinlupa City hall quadrangle on March 7, Fresnedi reiterated that the city government has not availed of the standby loan.

“The Muntinlupa City government gave us the authorization to get a loan from Landbank. As of Dec. 31, our ending balance [at Landbank] is more than P2 billion. The [Landbank] manager said we have not availed of our standby loan. This means we have not taken any [amount from the standby loan],” said Fresnedi.

Fresnedi clarified the issue after text messages circulated claiming that the city government already got the loan from Landbank.

Landbank earlier issued a certification stating that the Muntinlupa City government has not availed of the loan.

“This is to certify that per records of this office, City Government of Muntinlupa has no outstanding drawdown as of December 31, 2021,” according to a certification issued by Landbank and signed by Lani Pornuevo, head of the Loan Operations Management Department.

Fresnedi said getting a loan is not a bad thing. He said when he assumed office during his first ever term as mayor, the city government took out a loan and used it to construct the Ospital ng Muntinlupa.

“Please remember, getting a loan is not bad when it is used in the right way,” he said.

The mayor said if ever the city government avails of the standby loan from Landbank, it will be used to fund ongoing projects of the city government.

In fact, he said, Landbank has sent two letters to the Muntinlupa City government to remind it about the standby loan.

According to Fresnedi, the standby loan is a program of the national government for economic recovery. The standby loan carries an interest of four percent per year.

“But what the city government needs to pay, if ever we avail of the loan, is only two percent per annum. The other two percent will be paid by the national government,” he said.

He said this is being done to help businesses to run and to help people get jobs, which are part of the national government’s national economic recovery plan.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Muntinlupa City resident, what do you think about the mayor’s clarification? Were the details explained well by him? Do you personally believe that the LGU (local government unit) should always be scrutinized over any loan it takes?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

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Over 40 employees of online lending applications arrested over alleged harassment of clients and contact persons

Here in the Philippines, have you been harassed or threatened by people who are working for online lending applications where you borrowed money from? I had to ask that question because it was revealed that more than forty online lending app employees (including a foreigner from China) were arrested for allegedly harassing and threatening clients who could not pay back their loans in time, according to a GMA Network news report.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the GMA News report. Some parts in boldface…

Over 45 workers of online lending applications, including a Chinese national, were arrested for supposedly harassing and threatening clients unable to pay their loans within the prescribed period.

According to Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group Public Information Officer Police Lieutenant Michelle Sabino, the division had received several harassment complaints against lending apps that were being run by the Cashtree Lending Corp.

The terms and conditions of the applications allegedly contained a clause that granted the firm access to clients’ contacts – a requirement for taking out a loan. Once approved by the borrower, the firm is then said to save the contacts into its database.

“Hina-harass nila ‘yung mga relatives, kasi nga stated eh, ‘di ba nga like ‘yung contact numbers mo nandon… so if you do not pay out, ‘ire-rape namin ’to, papatayin namin,’ and all other threats na posible, ‘yun ang ginagawa nila,” she said in a report on GMA’s “24 Oras Weekend” on Sunday.

(They harass the relatives, as there was a clause regarding contacts… So if you do not pay, they threaten to rape, kill, and all other possible threats. That is what they do.)

The application targets mainly low-income households and those unemployed, even if it was found to have no certificate of authority or permit to operate.

The company’s loans were also said to have high interest rates, and they get in touch with the borrower’s contacts once payment is not made within eight days.

Collecting agents have also been reported to encourage borrowers to make other loans with different loan applications for them to make a repayment.

“Minsan merong mga dumadating sa kanila na sasabihin ng collecting agent na ‘Okay, para makasambot ka, para makabayad ka, magdownload ka ng itong loan app nito, would also offer, so para maka-payoff ka dito sa isa, mag-uutang ka na naman which in turn nabaon na nang nabaon si victim,” she said.

(Sometimes the collecting agents would tell the borrower that for them to be able to pay, they should download another loan app. So for them to pay off their debt in one application, they would borrow again leaving them buried in debt.)

For his part, one of the suspects, Shihai Dao, said the firm did not encourage any harassment.

“Never do anything illegal in Philippines, so I’m confused… Never allowed to employ to harass the client to pay the money back. Just reminding them and tell them to pay (sic),” he said in the same report.

The firm would face charges for violating the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2021.

“Do not download ‘tong mga lending apps na ‘to, ‘tong mga loan apps. May tendency na ma-threaten pa ‘yung life mo or i-harass, at ang problema, hindi lang ikaw, lahat ng contact mo,” Sabino said.

(Do not download these lending and loan apps. There is a tendency that your life will be threatened or be harassed. The problem is it will not be just you but all your contacts.)

Authorities from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the National Privacy Commission (NPC) earlier warned firms against unfair debt collection practices.

Such practices included sending violent threats, using harsh words, disclosing the name and other personal information of the borrower in public, and messaging or calling the people on the contact list of the borrower without his/her consent.

The above report ended stating that lending firms who are guilty of doing the above-mentioned practices may be fined between P25,000 to as much as P1,000,000 and also have their certificate of authority to operate revoked.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this recent news report? Do you know anyone who got harassed or threatened by people because they are unable to pay back their loans in due time? Have you been seriously considering borrowing money through these online lending apps? Does this recent news development discourage you from taking loans through online lending apps? Do you believe that the immigration officials should do something about foreign workers of online lending apps who got involved with the harassment of clients?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/