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People's Journal

People's Journal

Erap sabik uling makalaban si Lim, pati sina Villar, Isko

SA ngayon, ang tanging lalaki na hindi gaanong nag-aalala tungkol sa darating na eleksiyon sa pagka-alkalde ng Maynila sa Mayo 2019 ay ang nakaupong si Mayor Joseph ‘Erap’ Estrada.

“The more the merrier, ’di ba?” sabi ng makisig na alkalde ng lungsod. “Nari-rinig ko nga sa mga usap-usapan ang pagtakbo ni Manny Villar. Hindi tayo nag-aalala. Kung inyong natatandaan, siya ay tinalo ko na noong 2010 presidential elections.”

Pumangalawa si Estrada kay dating Presidente Noynoy Aquino noong halalang presidensiyal ng 2010 elections na nalaglag sa ikatlong puwesto ang da-ting Senate President Villar, ito ay sa kabila na gumastos ng bilyon-bilyong piso upang manalong pa-ngulo.

Ipinaliwanag ni Estrada na dalawang ulit na ni-yang tinalo si dating Mayor Alfredo Lim noong eleksiyon ng 2013 at 2016.

Kasama sa tinalo niya ay sina dating Mayor Lito Atienza at dating Kongresista Amado Bagatsing.
    
Ito ay patunay na totoong mahal na mahal si Estrada ng mga botante ng Maynila.
    
“Kumbaga po, wala na po tayong dapat patuna-yan, I have noting to prove,” sabi ni Estrada.
    
“Ang totoo, labis akong nagagalak dahil unti-unti po, at sigurado na sa pa-mamagitan ng maraming programa at proyekto na ating nasimulan at patuloy na isinasagawa, ang sinasabing imposibleng mangyari ay magaganap na. The impossible dream to bringing back Manila’s old glory is now at hand,” sabi ni Estrada.
    
Nababalita rin na ang dati niyang bise-alkalde, si Francisco Domagoso, mas kilala sa tawag na Isko Moreno, ay tatakbo rin para alkalde ng Maynila.
    
‘Hindi ko pa naririnig na formally ay tatakbo siya (as mayor). Sa pagkaalam ko, sa panahong ito, ang makisig kong kalaban na si Mayor Lim lamang ang nagsabi na tatakbo uli siya. Kung talagang tatakbo uli siya, akin siyang wine-welcome. Excited na nga ako….pati na si Manny kung talagang tatakbo siya, at si Isko.”
    
Mahirap na talunin sa panahong ito si Estrada sabi ng mga tagamasid sa politikang Maynila.
    
“Mayor Erap has enjoyed a decade of political experience, and his almost six-year reign as the mayor, we saw he never seems to break a sweat even when the campaign reaches the final counts,” sabi ng isang political analyst na nakiusap na ’wag banggitin ang kanyang pangalan.
    
Sabi pa ng iba, mas makabubuti sa iba na nais labanan si Erap na mag-isip nang maraming beses at mangangailangan sila na magtrabaho sa araw at sa gabi.
    
Sabi nga, sa nakaraang eleksiyon para alkalde ng Maynila, hindi gaanong pinagpawisan si Estrada.
    
Kumpiyansa ito na mananalo para sa ikatlo at huling termino bilang alkalde ng Maynila.

  • Published in Metro

KZ hopes ‘Singer 2018' stint opens door for more OPM artists on global stage

SOUL Supreme KZ Tandingan, who recently made headlines for her electrifying performance and beating her idol Jessie J in the fifth episode of China’s “Singer 2018,” said she hopes her stint on China’s top-rating show will open more opportunities for Filipino artists to showcase their talent worldwide.

“It makes me proud to be Pinoy. I’m just hoping that after this competition, many doors will open not just for me but also for Filipino performers now that foreigners recognize the artistry and excellence of Filipino performers. I’m just really thankful that we were given this opportunity,” said KZ, whose jaw-dropping rendition of “Rolling in the Deep” featured a rap in Tagalog.

The Star Music artist also said that she hopes more OPM artists will be invited to compete in the next season of “Singer 2018,” which attracts over 200 million viewers weekly.

“Singer 2018” is China’s most popular reality TV singing competition and pits professional singers from around the world against each other, as they vie to win audience votes.

KZ is scheduled to perform again in “Singer 2018’s” next episode tonight on Hunan TV.

  • Published in Showbiz

Jan. inflation spike not due to TRAIN

Businesses’ compliance with higher taxes on cigarettes and not the impact of tax reform is the main factor for the big jump of Philippines’ inflation rate in January 2018 to 4 percent from 3.3 percent in December 2017.

This was the assessment of Finance Undersecretary Karl Chua, who cited the 17.4 percent inflation of tobacco in the first month this year compared to the expected 8 percent.

The amended Sin Tax Law, approved in 2012, requires that tax on a pack of cigarettes will be at 4 percent starting 2018 from PHP12 in 2013, PHP15 in 2014, PHP18 in 2015, PHP21 in 2016 and PHP30 in 2017.

Chua said concern that food prices registered an uptick due to the implementation starting January 1 this year of the first package of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law “is not supported” noting that overall food inflation is at 4.52 percent, with rice inflation only at 1.4 percent.

He said food inflation rate last January albeit at the high end “could suggest some profiteering as oil prices have not even increased due to TRAIN.”

He said fish inflation posted a faster rate of 12 percent but not because of TRAIN but the impact of close-season for fishing, normally during November to February, and the recent typhoon in the Visayas.

In his analysis, the Finance official said that another factor for the faster rate of price increases last January could be traced to the correct payment of taxes by Mighty Corporation, which has been bought by JTI Philippines, after erring in the past years.
    
Citing Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) data, Chua said revenues from cigarette taxes rose by about PHP1.5-PHP2 billion last January.
    
“In fact, if Mighty continued to evade tax and therefore cigarette prices remain low, overall inflation would have gone down to around 3.75 percent,” he said.
    
While the inflation rate last January is already at the upper end of the government’s 2 to 4 percent target band for 2017-19, the Department of Finance’s (DOF) analysis on the January 2018 inflation said that level “is considered moderate.”
    
“As the inflation target is set by the BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) for the whole year, one month of higher inflation is not a concern,” citing also base effect since the January 2017 figure is only at 2.7 percent.
    
The first package of TRAIN, which cut personal income tax rates and gives workers’ first PHP250,000 annual income a tax-free rate, took effect January 1 this year.
    
While it reduced workers’ income tax rates it hiked excise taxes on fuel and sugar-sweetened beverages, among others.
    
The DOF analysis showed that despite the tax reform’s implementation since the start of the year, inflation of sugar-sweetened beverages at 2.8 percent “is expected and indicates that most retailers are still selling old stock.”
    
Inflation of alcoholic products, in turn, at 4.8 percent is also expected due to the Sin Tax Law implementation.
    
Inflation of oil at 7.2 percent was attributed to the 1.5 percent depreciation of the Philippine peso and the 19.6 percent uptick in crude oil prices, the DOF assessment said, pointing out that month-on-month oil inflation “was actually slightly negative” at -0.8 percent.
    
DOF estimates that TRAIN will result to about 0.5-0.7 percentage points increase in inflation rate this year, which is considered “very minimal” and “manageable.”
    
Because of higher oil prices, food inflation is seen to rise by 0.3 percentage points and transportation by 0.1 percentage points.
    
“History supports this analysis. Between January 2016 and January 2017, diesel increased by almost 14 pesos, which is equivalent to an increase of 76 percent. However, inflation remained stable (2.7 percent), and food, transportation, and electricity, gas, housing, and water did not increase significantly,” it said.
    
“In fact, during the same period, rice, together with other essentials such as pork, sardines, fish, and noodles, did not significantly increase despite the huge increases in diesel,” it added.

  • Published in Business

Infra binge needed for electronics growth

The new industry roadmap of the country’s electronics sector is pushing for investments in infrastructure to support the growth of the industry.

In a press conference Tuesday, Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation, Inc. (SEIPI) president Dan Lachica said the country needs to attract investments in integrated circuit or IC design center, lab-scale wafer fabrication, and research and development laboratory.

These recommendations are contained in the electronics industry’s new roadmap, dubbed Product and Technology Holistic Strategy (PATHS).

“We proposed that we expand our IC design activities here. So, we wanted a technology center whether it is housed at SEIPI, or DTI (Department of Trade and Industry), or DOST (Department of Science and Technology), or any other private entity to come up with a design center. In a way, (this) increases the opportunity for design startups, students to access IC design,” Lachica said.

He said the country had only about four or five IC design companies, compared to Taiwan with some 1,000 design companies, some of which employ Filipino engineers.
    
As the industry prepares for the infrastructure and technology, Lachica said it was also necessary for the academe to align the skills of the country’s pool of talent to the needs of the industry by improving the engineering curriculum.
    
Moreover, to produce the prototypes of the IC design, a wafer fabrication was needed here, he said.
    
SEIPI, under the PATHS, is eyeing for a laboratory-scale wafer fabrication in the country.
    
But a wafer fabrication demands large investments, with at least a billion dollars for a commercial facility.
    
Currently, electronics firms here are sending their IC design abroad for the output. Most of the wafer fabrication facilities are only present in developed countries.
    
To attract wafer fabrication investments here, Lachica said there was also a need to resolve power cost and quality.
    
Further, a research and development laboratory focusing on electronic goods is also necessary to support the growth of the industry.
    
Lachica noted the lack of these facilities holds back the industry to produce new products like manufacturing of 3D printers and smartphones, although multinational smartphone makers are outsourcing their components from the Philippines.
    
The industry group also urges multinational companies here to increase the share of local content in their facilities.
    
For instance, on Semiconductor Philippines, Inc. president and general manager Sunil Banwari said the company’s facilities in Cavite and Tarlac improved their local sourcing to 46 percent in 2016 from 62 percent in 2015.

“We want to make sure to find more avenues for localization. We’re very committed to that,” Banwari said.

  • Published in Business
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