of Trade and Industry’s Philippine Trade Training Center
Executive Director Nestor Palabyab during the soft launching of
the Food Connection Innovation Hub at the PTTC Building, Pasay
City last August 10, 2016.
DTI unveils food
August 22, 2016
MAKATI CITY – In its
effort to catapult local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs)
into the global market, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
through its Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC), launched an
innovation hub specifically catering to the processed food sector on
August 10, 2016.
The Food Connection
Innovation hub is in collaboration with the Department of Science and
Technology, Food Innovation Center (DOST-FIC).
“With the growing
opportunities in the food sector and the anticipation of the huge
market demand for innovative food products in the ASEAN Economic
Community (AEC) integration, we would like to provide areas of
assistance for our entrepreneurs specifically those processed food
MSMEs,” said PTTC Executive Director Nestor Palabyab during the soft
launch of the Food Connection innovation hub.
The hub will specifically
house facilities that will equip food entrepreneurs in meeting
technical requirements of the export market such as the Hazard
Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and other safety and
quality certifications. Food laboratory testing equipment such as
metal detector, water activity meter and pH meter, are all aimed to be
available during the hub’s full operation. Consultancy services on
safe quality management, production, marketing and management will
also be offered to enterprises that will be assisted by the hub. Other
existing facilities at the PTTC such as seminar rooms, exhibit halls
and meeting rooms will also be accessible.
Included in the latest
Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP), processed food sector is
positioned to create demand in the growing market abroad especially
with the rise of healthy food products, and Halal-certified products
in non-Muslim regions. The Food Connection Innovation Hub will be
housed with ASEAN trade experts, export marketing trainers and
experts, and other trade experts that will cater to the needs of the
Through the food connection
innovation hub, DTI-PTTC also expects to promote networking among key
players and venture capitalists in the sector to establish
collaboration and develop viable business strategies.
According to Philippine
Exports Confederation Inc (PHILEXPORT), there are about 500 processed
food MSMEs that are currently registered as their members. These
enterprises are expected to benefit in different trade assistance that
the hub will provide to further their export products in penetrating
the global market.
In 2014, Philippine
Statistics Agency (PSA) reported that there are a total of 127,518
established MSMEs in the food and accommodation sector. These numbers
are expected to grow as the Philippines prepares for the full
integration of the ASEAN Economic Community.
Philippine Trade Training
Center is the DTI’s training arm which promotes capacity building and
mentoring among entrepreneurs especially those in the exporting
Top Govs pick based
on good governance, transparency, business competitive, and disaster
preparedness says Sueno
August 22, 2016
QUEZON CITY –
Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueno today clarified
that the national government will not give additional incentives to
top governors who were recently identified in terms of good
governance, transparency, business competitive and disaster
“We are not giving them
extra bonuses by being announced as the good guys in the government,”
Secretary Sueno said in a Press Conference earlier this afternoon in
The secretary said the
governors that were listed as ‘good performing local executives’ are
selected based on their achievements in their respective provinces.
Among these top governors
recently dubbed as “honor lists” include Governors Imee Marcos of
Ilocos Norte; Faustino Dy III, Isabela; Junie Cua, Quirino; Eduardo
Firmalo, Palawan; Alfredo Marañon Jr, Negros Occidental; Eduardo
Chatto, Bohol; Hilario Davide III, Cebu; Daisy Avance-Fuentes, South
Cotabato; Ma. Angelica Rosedell Amante-Matba, Agusan Del Norte.
He added: “Containing the
illegal drugs problem is only one thing. These governors are also
model governors. They are governors in governance and transparency.
They are awardees. They are good in disaster preparedness, and they
have made their provinces competitive when it comes to business. They
are model leaders, model local executives.”
Secretary Sueno likewise
explained the recognition of top governors was only initial as the
national government through the DILG will also recognize outstanding
city and municipal mayors in the coming weeks.
He also clarified that the
idea of coming up with a list of top governors is intended to
challenge and inspire the local chief executives to continue to
improve leadership in the local government units (LGUs) despite the
ongoing campaign against illegal drugs that are affecting some local
He said some of the
governors that are in the good governors’ list were also among those
that were labeled as members of the political dynasties because they
have outweighed the issue of ‘political dynasty” and proved that they
are ‘very good administrators.’
“Maybe they are. Maybe they
are members of the dynasties but they have proven to be very good
administrators and very good governors. So, maybe na-outweigh iyong
pagka members nila ng dynasties and by their performance as
governors,” Sueno said.
Barangay & SK elections, focus on anti-crime & drug war, strengthen
the Barangay system & save money
August 17, 2016
PASAY CITY – Senator
Alan Peter Cayetano is pushing for the postponement of the Barangay
and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls originally scheduled in October
2016, saying that resetting the elections would be more prudent in
sustaining government efforts to create real change and restore order
in the country.
Cayetano on Wednesday
(August 17) filed Senate Bill No. 1037, which seeks to reset the
upcoming synchronized Barangay and SK polls from October 31, 2016 to
the last Monday of October 2018. It also seeks to extend the term of
barangay and SK officials from three years to five years.
The senator cited five key
reasons for the need to reset the elections: 1) to sustain the
momentum of their programs aligned with the administration's anti-drug
campaign; 2) to enable barangay officials to fully support the war vs.
crime and drugs; 3) to give the legislature ample time to improve the
Local Government Code’s provisions on effective barangay governance;
4) to save government money, especially if a plebiscite for Federalism
will also be held soon; and 5) to give the Comelec sufficient time to
Sustain the momentum of the
war on drugs
Stressing the importance of
grassroots support in the government's fight for real change, Cayetano
said moving the elections to a later date would allow barangay
officials to focus on their role in helping sustain the momentum of
the war against crime and illegal drugs that started during President
Rodrigo Duterte's term.
He cautioned that rushing
through the polls could undermine the government’s crackdown on
illegal drugs, especially if barangay officials will claim political
motivations whenever accused of illicit drug-related activities. He
added that standard prohibited activities during elections and
election bans could hamper reforms being undertaken by the new
Cayetano said Duterte’s
strong policy against illegal drugs has done so much to pull down the
country’s crime rate that it is more prudent to allow incumbent
barangay officials to continue implementing projects or re-align them
in accordance to the thrust of the new government.
President Duterte himself
repeatedly stressed the need to start the anti-drug campaign in the
barangays, the smallest unit in government. Recent news reports also
cited observations that the President's aggressive fight against
illegal drugs resulted to a positive impact among local officials,
with more officials now taking the initiative to inform law enforcers
about drug activities in their barangays.
On the other hand, Cayetano
clarified that barangay officials who are protectors of drug lords
will continue to be purged. "If these officials will not cooperate in
the campaign for real change, or if they are proven to give protection
to drug suspects, they will have to face consequences under the law,"
Strengthen our barangays,
save gov't money
Cayetano further explained
that the postponement of the elections will give Congress sufficient
time to study reforms that will strengthen governance in the 42,036
barangays around the country.
"Postponing elections to
take a closer look at how the Local Government Code can be amended in
order to strengthen provisions concerning barangays with regard to
term limits, benefits, training and funding, among others, would
certainly be a wise move," he stressed, citing the similar case of the
SK elections' postponement, which paved a way for the passage of an
important legislation on SK reform.
"Barangays are given so much
responsibility, yet they perennially suffer from lack of funds,
authority and personnel training, among others. The need to strengthen
the Barangay as an instrument of genuine and meaningful reform is
therefore glaring," his bill read.
Additionally, resetting the
date of the elections would save the country billions of pesos that
can instead be used for social services, Cayetano stressed. To save
both time and resources, the senator proposed that the Barangay and SK
polls could be held simultaneously with a possible plebiscite in
preparation for the government's shift to Federalism in 2018 or 2019.
Lastly, Cayetano said it is
too soon to conduct another elections this year, as it had barely been
three months since the country concluded a national election. "The
conduct of the elections is too soon for the Commission on Elections (COMELEC)
and the Filipino electorate to prepare for,” he said.
Martial Law victims to
seek Supreme Court intervention to stop Marcos hero’s burial at LNMB
August 13, 2016
QUEZON CITY – Martial Law victims led by the Samahan ng Mga
Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) announced plans to
file legal remedies at the Supreme Court next week to stop the planned
hero’s burial of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng
The victims, through their lawyers from National Union of Peoples’
Lawyers (NUPL), will file a petition for certiorari which aims to
secure the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or writ of
preliminary injunction from the High Court to implement the plans of
the Department of National Defense and the Armed Forces of the
Philippines to confer national honors to Marcos through the burial at
“If such misdeed happens, it will be a grave injustice to the
thousands of victims of extrajudicial killings, enforced
disappearances, illegal arrests and detention, torture and harassment
perpetrated by the Marcos fascist regime,” said Trinidad Herrera,
SELDA Spokesperson and one of the 9,539 members of the class suit
against Marcos that was filed and won in Hawaii.
“Marcos is no hero. He was a mass murderer, torturer and a plunderer.
To confer national honors to Marcos is a defilement of the people’s
historic struggle against the tyranny of martial law,” Herrera
SELDA is also set to join the activities of Campaign Against the
Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang (CARMMA), including the protest
motorcade to the LNMB next week.
“We reiterate our call to Pres. Duterte to reconsider his decision to
give such honors to a dictator, and instead hasten the process of
indemnification of the victims and relatives. Even in the sunset years
of our lives, we will continue to fight for justice for all victims of
Martial Law and state fascism,” said Herrera.
PH Auto Industry
Vehicle sales exceed expectations
August 12, 2016
PASIG CITY – Carmudi
Philippines, the local arm for the leading vehicle platform around the
world, expressed confidence that online vehicle sales in the country
will follow suit over the stellar sales performance achieved by the
local automotive industry in closing the second quarter of 2016.
Carmudi Philippines Managing
Director Abhi Mohan said that following the high vehicle sales
numbers, they are expecting constant growth on all sectors concerning
“We believe that the online
sales atmosphere would follow suit in providing a strong commercial
environment for the local automotive industry. For example, since more
and more people are buying brand-new units, more pre-owned vehicles
will be up for sale,” he explained.
He was referring to the
167,481 sales record posted by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers
of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA)
for the first six months of 2016, posting a 27.4 percent surge against
the 131,465 sales tallied in the same period last year. The said
figures also surpassed highest monthly record.
Citing his previous claim
that vehicle sales for the second and third quarter of 2016 would pose
a challenge in the annual sales target for the year, Mohan now
expresses confidence that those numbers will be met, and eventually
“I could never be happier
that I was wrong regarding the turnout of sales. This proves that the
Philippine automotive industry would enjoy a remarkable sales
performance all throughout the year,” Mohan said.
According to Mohan, he was
surprised to learn about the figures, saying that despite the
challenges for June, automotive sales remain stellar.
“The figures posted by the
Philippines auto industry remained robust, despite the usual financial
happenstances that June usually brings. As one of those who constantly
monitor the market, we are happy that they have continuously show
exemplary performance in terms of sales,” Mohan said.
Earlier, Mohan expected the
local automotive industry to experience a slowdown in the two
consecutive quarters but would not be “too substantial” and is still
poised to regain the eyed figures for 2016 as the year progress.
According to him, the country’s sales trend on vehicles is expected
drop in June due to school expenses in other necessities and in August
which is ‘ghost month’ – wherein sales are usually lean.
For June 2016 alone, the
CAMPI-TMA reflected a 36.4 percent increase in terms of sales, selling
32,993 units as against the 30,317 units sold in the same month in
“The 350,000-370,000 annual
sales target can easily be met now that June sales reflected a high
turnout. The industry now needs to secure sustained growth and with
the trend that they are enjoying, they will most likely exceed the
target anew,” Mohan explained.
The latest CAMPI-TMA report
also revealed that both passenger car (PC) and commercial vehicle (CV)
segment enjoyed robust year on year sales.
PC segment rolled out 11,951
units last month – a 21.5 percent gain over 9,840 units delivered June
2015. On a year-to-date basis, the same section grew by 18.5 percent,
after selling 62,560 units for the first six months of the year
compared to 52,778 units sold for the same period the previous year.
vehicle sales skyrocketed after reflecting a 46.7 percent growth with
21,042 units sold last month as opposed to the 14,345 units sold the
same month in 2015. The very same category also experienced a 33.3
percent climb on a year-to-date basis following its 104,921-vehicle
Mohan – while expressing
firm belief that the trend will continue towards the end of the year –
attributed the outstanding performance due to the attractive promos,
affordable financing schemes, and continuous new vehicle offerings,
Labor group lauds
DENR Sec. Lopez for aiding 9,000 displaced mine workers
By Associated Labor Unions
August 11, 2016
QUEZON CITY – The
country’s biggest labor organization, the Associated Labor Unions (ALU)
commended Environment Secretary Gina Lopez yesterday for providing
alternative livelihood for thousands of mine workers displaced by the
closure of non-compliant mining companies.
In a press statement issued
August 2, Lopez said the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources (DENR) will provide alternative livelihood for an estimated
9,300 mine workers displaced by the suspension of mining companies
since July last month in the light of the department’s on-going review
of mining companies’ compliance to the country’s environmental and
safety industry standards.
“We commend Secretary Lopez
for providing the means of livelihood for thousands of mine workers
displaced by Duterte administration’s campaign to make mining
companies compliant with Philippine government’s environmental and
safety standards in mining. We hope that these livelihoods could help
mine workers and their families transition themselves toward regular
and gainful employment,” said Gerard Seno, ALU national executive vice
Lopez said the dislodged
workers will be employed in the DENR’s on-going reforestation program
the National Greening Program under the cash-for-work arrangement.
Aside from the reforestation program, Lopez said the DENR is looking
at developing and promoting more eco-tourism sites to temporarily
employ displaced workers.
ALU spokesperson Alan
Tanjusay, meanwhile, said the labor group is going to monitor the
implementation of the alternative livelihood for the displaced
Tanjusay said the DENR
should also address the plight of 950 dependents of the displace mine
workers who are about to lose their scholarship as a result of the
DENR’s Mines and Geosciences
Bureau (MGB) said among the mining companies shutdown since last month
were the Citinickel Mines and Development Corporation, Berong Nickel
Corporation, Benguet Corp. Nickel Mines Inc., Eramen Minerals,
Zambales Diversified Metals Corp., and LNL Archipelago Minerals Inc.
New York skyline as backdrop
for iconic sky-high ocean catwalk
Jessica Minh Anh to
complete her “catwalk on water” series with a bang
August 11, 2016
PARIS – Queen of the
catwalk, Jessica Minh Anh, will transform the sky-high sundeck of the
luxurious German cruise ship, AIDAluna, into the world’s newest runway
on 23 October 2016. Overlooking New York’s famous skyline, the highly
anticipated J Autumn Fashion Show 2016 will strengthen Jessica’s
position as the most innovative catwalk producer of her generation.
Following the phenomenal
success of Sydney Ocean Catwalk and Seine River Floating Runway
earlier this year, J Autumn Fashion Show 2016 will premier unique
haute couture, pret-a-couture, pret-a-porte, and diamond collection
from 5 continents. A master at “combining art, architecture, culture,
and fashion” (ABC New York), Jessica Minh Anh is ready to introduce
the beauty of modern fashion and New York in a new light. The
supermodel and entrepreneur has worked with major brands including
Montblanc, Citroën, Lancôme, Marriot, Graff Diamonds, Paul Costelloe,
and Addy van den Krommenacker, while promoting young talents including
Tony Ward, Paolo Sebastian, and Tex Saverio.
“AIDA operates the world’s
most state-of-the-art fleet and represents premium quality,
creativity, and the future, just as Jessica does in fashion. We are
very honoured to host Jessica Minh Anh’s Autumn Fashion Show on board
of AIDAluna against the Big Apple’s iconic skyline.” said Felix
Eichhorn, President AIDA Cruises.
Last Sunday, Jessica Minh
Anh visited the AIDA ship in Venice, Italy to identify the exact
catwalk, backstage, and VIP area of J Autumn Fashion Show 2016.
Accompanied by the captain and general manager, Jessica learnt about
AIDA's technical, operational, and PR activities, while exploring
exclusive areas such as the bridge.
The official pre-show photo
and video shoot will take place on the sundeck of AIDAluna in New York
on 10 September 2016. Having previously produced some of the world’s
most impressive fashion shots, the promotional photos by Jessica Minh
Anh’s creative team are expected to be extraordinary. For more
information, visit www.jmodelmanagement.co.uk and follow Jessica Minh
Anh on Tumblr, Instagram, and Facebook.
DENR’s call for a review of coal plant permits in the country
August 10, 2016
MANILA – On the
Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ intent to review all
permits and operations of the country’s coal-fired power plants,
Greenpeace Philippines’ Climate and Energy Campaigner Reuben Muni
"Greenpeace welcomes the
announcement by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Secretary, Ms. Gina Lopez, to review all permits and operations of
coal-fired power plants in the country. We also wish to challenge the
DENR to take this initiative further by putting on hold all other
pending coal-fired power applications until said review is concluded
and a more rigorous permitting system is in place.
“Coal is the single greatest
threat to the global our climate. Given the economic, social and
environmental havoc that climate change has wrought in the
Philippines, continuing to power our development with embracing coal
is a dangerous policy. Short term benefits of coal to some elite
players in the Philippine economy pale in comparison to the billions
that coal is costing the Philippines as a nation with respect to
public health, not to mention climate change impacts.
“Our current national
policies on coal and climate change just aren't cutting it. The DENR’s
announcement to review permits on coal-fired power plant operations is
in line with the Climate Change Commission’s move for an energy and
climate policy and permit review. We hope this becomes the first step
to reduce the country’s dependence on dirty coal and chart a decisive
path towards a in favor of a future powered by clean renewable energy.
“The Philippines needs to
address climate change by taking away road-blocks to renewable energy
as a matter of urgency. Our government agencies need to ensure greater
coordination and policy coherence in a concerted effort to quit coal,
embrace renewables, promote energy efficiency and increase resilience
to climate change impacts."