here’s some select articles about Philippine Real Estate and our economy from various newspaper correspondents that matters for your reference.
from www.philstar.com correspondent, Marianne Go :
President Duterte prefers Sangley Point as Domestic Airport
MANILA, Philippines – President Duterte is more inclined to convert a former US military facility in Cavite into a domestic airport rather than develop it as an international airport facility.
In an exclusive interview with The STAR Wednesday, Duterte expressed preference to develop Sangley Point as a domestic airport and keeping the Ninoy Aquino International Airport as an international gateway.
Likewise, Duterte said he is also amenable to transferring all general aviation activities to Sangley Point and constructing a third runway for NAIA.
He said Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade is already in the process of studying the feasibility and cost of a third runway which could be completed in six months.
The President said he would prefer unsolicited proposals or even a Swiss Challenge, provided the proponents submit a detailed proposal.
He added he is not really amenable to conducting public biddings for infrastructure projects, revealing his suspicions over so-called “lowest bid” proposals.
“I prefer quality bids,”he said, explaining that so-called “lowest bid” offers actually provide an opportunity for corruption.
“I will disregard (low bids)…I really don’t want low bids,” he stressed.
Ramon Ang of San Miguel Corp. had previously submitted a $10- billion unsolicited proposal to t former president Benigno Aquino III to develop the former Cavite US military facility into an alternative international airport.
However, Ang’s offer was not seriously studied by then former Trasportation Secretary Joseph Abaya as they were then also studying the possibility of utilizing the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark as an alternative since it is already operating as a low-budget international airport facility.
Duterte acknowledged the alternative possibility of Clark but only on the condition that a high-speed railway system or a “dedicated” highway would be constructed to facilitate travel to Pampanga where the airport is located.
from www.philstar.com correspondent, Prinz Magtulis :
BIR, Customs start Cutting Red Tape
MANILA, Philippines – Five weeks after the new administration took over, there is no stopping revenue agencies from heeding President Duterte’s order of cutting red tape.
In separate orders, the Bureaus of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Customs announced a fresh string of reforms concerning tax payments processing by banks and BIR offices as well as tax refund for traders.
Under Revenue Memorandum Order 45-2016, BIR ordered authorized agent banks (AAB) and revenue district offices (RDOs) to “timely upload” and reflect tax payments on their systems.
The order seemed to be a mere reiteration since deputy commissioner Nelson Aspe said data are updated “real time.” Nonetheless, BIR said sanctions and penalties would be imposed to violators.
“(This is) so that the same can be utilized in the processing of any request for certificates, clearances or other documents where the prior verification of tax payments is one of the requirements…,” the order dated July 29 stated.
For AABs, tax payments they accepted and recorded on their batch control sheets should be transmitted to BIR data centers “within 48 hours from their receipt.”
A separate daily consolidated report should be transmitted by e-mail to the BIR head office within five days from receipt of payments.
All transactions are governed by agreements between the BIR and the banks.
For RDOs, a “dedicated revenue personnel” should be appointed to regularly monitor and upload data from AABs to government system. Data found with discrepancies should be resolved immediately.
The latest issuance bode well with earlier orders from BIR commissioner Caesar Dulay to fast track release of tax clearances and certificate authorizing registration to five days from up to 10 days.
He also vowed to release international carriers certificates within the day of application, provided they are filed by 2 p.m.
Customs, meanwhile, abolished its Tax Credit Secretariat and instead ordered that all tax credit claims go directly to the Office of the Commissioner.
from the standard.com.ph correspondents, Vito Barcelo and Francisco Tuyay :
Drug Lords leave Philippines
Du30’s ‘kill-order’ triggers exodus
FOREIGN drug lords operating in the country have started to flee the Philippines, moving to neighboring Asian countries and America in a supposed bid to relocate their operations, a source from the Bureau of Immigration said Saturday.
The source admitted they cannot hold or prevent from leaving foreigners, whose names are included in the order of battle of various law-enforcement agencies, because of the required court order or warrant of arrest.
But they are coordinating with foreign agencies in monitoring their movements since international drug enforcement agencies noted the presence in the country of persons of interest from Taiwan, China, Nigeria, Korea and citizens from unspecified Latin American countries.
Only recently, the authorities arrested a Nigerian in Marikina and a Korean at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
The Nigerian suspect, identified as Ejike Oyoke, was nabbed inside a bar in Marikina City in possession of shabu. Oyoke is a suspected member of the West African drug syndicate.
A Korean woman who was supposed to leave for Busan was arrested after she was caught carrying 117 grams of hashish. Ahn Eun Ho was brought to the PDEA office after her arrest.
Meanwhile, the Duterte administration pressed its offensive against politicians who are allegedly protecting drug lords or are drug traffickers themselves, including a Leyte town mayor who recently surrendered to the police.
But President Rodrigo Duterte said he does not believe the claim of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa that he is not involved in the drug trade of his son Kerwin, hinting in a speech late Friday night that the elder Espinosa is trying to fool people.
“The mayor of Albuera, it’s good that he reached Bato. I ordered a shoot-on-sight order against him like a dog. What I think of him is that he’s a dog, because [Espinosa] is making dogs out of his people. Our sons have been made into stupid men,” Duterte said in a speech in Cebu City.
“You know, if someone in your family encounters drugs, then we already have a problem,” Duterte said.
On Tuesday, Espinosa surrendered following Duterte’s 24-hour ultimatum and admitted that his son Kerwin, who is still at large, was dealing drugs with Chinese drug triad leader Peter Co currently detained at the New Bilibid Prison.
The younger Espinosa is said to have flown to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on June 21, more than two weeks before Duterte assumed the presidency.
“I know Boholanos to be law-abiding and God-fearing, but why is drugs flooding all over? Where is this coming from? That mayor should be the culprit,” Duterte said of Espinosa, who authorities suspect of being the biggest drug dealer in the Eastern Visayas region.
Meanwhile, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said he could no longer stomach the killings of suspected drug users and peddlers.
“I do not have to be a bishop to say this. I do not have to be a Catholic to be disturbed by the killings that jar us every time we hear or watch or read the news,” the prelate said in a statement.
“My humanity is in grief. I am in utter disbelief… This is too much to swallow,” Villegas said.
“A portion of my humanity dies when a fellow human dies. Who can say the killed is innocent or guilty? Both the guilty and the innocent are humans,” Villegas said.
He lamented the sight of a parent and a child grieving over loved ones killed on the sidewalk “or thrown in grassy areas hogtied or masked with tape”.
The Catholic prelate said he fears that the country would turn into a “killing fields” nation in its dream to wipe out drug addiction.
Villegas emphasized that he agrees that the youth need a safe and wholesome environment without the menace of drugs.
“We share the dream… It is a great dream for young humanity,” he said, noting however that the “little voice of humanity in us” that is disturbed by the killings is “drowned out by the louder voice of revenge or silenced by the sweet privileges of political clout.”
“I pray that humanity be regained so that the killers may listen to the voice of conscience–that conscience that has been dulled by the sight of too much blood everywhere,” he said.
Villegas meanwhile said he no longer cares if he gets bashed in the social media for his statement.
He however said he believes that reason will prevail and humanity will win in the end.
“I believe. I refuse to be forsaken in this belief. I believe in humanity,” he said.
from manilabulletin.com correspondent, James Loyola :
Megaworld slates development of Visayas BPO triangle
Megaworld Corporation, the country’s largest developer and lessor of office spaces, is mapping out what it is calling the “Visayas BPO triangle” consisting of its three huge township developments in Iloilo, Cebu and Bacolod.
“We are targeting around 175,000 square meters of office spaces for the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry in these three key cities in the next three years to form the so?called ‘Visayas BPO Triangle,’” said Megaworld Senior Vice President Jericho Go.
Go, who is at the helm of the company’s office property business, noted that, “by 2020, our target is to bring it up to 225,000 sqm depending on market demand. So far, the demand goes up, so we see this as a big possibility.”
Once completed, Megaworld expects to generate around 50,000 full?time direct jobs in the BPO sector in these Visayan cities.
“If we talk about direct and indirect jobs, we see around 300,000 for Cebu, Iloilo and Bacolod by end-2019. These include jobs that can be generated within our townships such as those from transport and retail,” explained Go.
In its ongoing 30-hectare development in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu called The Mactan Newtown, inventory of office spaces will be around 80,000 sqm. by next year as the company is set to open two more office towers.
“In Cebu, there is a growing preference for BPO locators to be in Mactan Island because of the traffic problem and congestion in Cebu City. We see Lapu-Lapu City as a big alternative location for BPOs in Central Visayas especially that the new and bigger Mactan-Cebu International Airport will be completed soon,” said Go.
For the 72-hectare Iloilo Business Park township, inventory of office spaces will reach around 33,000 square sqm. by the end of this year with the expected completion of one more office tower. Two more office towers are up for completion next year up to 2018 to add 22,000 sqm.
“By end-2018, we will have around 65,000 square meters of office spaces in Iloilo Business Park and we will have more first time locators lined up for Iloilo,” revealed Go.
In Bacolod, the company plans to build office towers in its 34-hectare The Upper East township with an initial inventory of 30,000 sqm. To date, the company has already started the land development of the area, which was formerly the site of the Bacolod-Murcia Milling Company (BMMC).
from businessworld.com :
Philippines in bid to boost FDI
An easing of restrictions and regulatory requirements is expected to boost foreign direct investment (FDI) in the Philippines, as the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte looks to increase the country’s attractiveness as a business destination.
DPWH will be a Shining Beacon in Gov’t’
If he had his way, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar wants the corruption-plagued department to be the “shining beacon” in the government.
“I believe this organization will eventually become a shining beacon in the government. Ultimately that should be the goal for all of us,” said Villar, who formally assumed post on Wednesday.
Villar, who received a warm welcome from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) officials and employees during on Wednesday’s turnover ceremony, urged them to shun corruption and to espouse integrity and excellence.
“In the past, the DPWH has been criticized for being a corrupt organization. Please let us not be corrupt, let us not encourage it and let us not tolerate it,” he told officials and employees in his speech.
“The President was very clear about it. Let us not destroy the reputation of this department. I hope you join me in that crusade,” he added.
President Duterte earlier said that he wanted Villar to fix DPWH, which he said was still one of the most corrupt government agencies.
“You know, I’m very sorry to say this, one of the most corrupt … There is only one there, the lady, si Cabral, all others are corrupt to the core,” the President said, referring to Public Works Undersecretary Maria Catalina Cabral.
Villar recognized his predecessor, former Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson for adopting certain measures against corruption.
“He (Singson) implemented a lot of programs and he has taken us in the right direction. But still, there is much work to be done, projects that need to be implemented, and reforms that need to be pursued,” he said.
Villar challenged the DPWH workforce to be aggressive in the implementation of the agency’s projects.
He cited the Maysilo flood control project in Mandaluyong City, which he claims to be his “baptism of fire.”
Villar said he had already committed to finish the project, which has caused great inconvenience to residents for years now, by Sept. 30.
For two years now, foul-smelling floodwater from the unfinished project has irritated residents of Maysilo Circle, especially on rainy days.
Instead of easing the flooding, the delayed P609-million project has aggravated the situation.
“We have to move quickly. When I say excellence that’s exactly what I mean,” he said.
Villar also vowed to protect the department from people with political interests or influences.
“I assure you that everyone is given fair assessment, dapat wala na pong pulitika dito sa DPWH,” he said. “Everything that we do must be performance-based. I’ve been part of both government and private sector. In the private sector, that’s also the analysis given to employees, it should be purely by performance.”
“Assessment will be based solely on how quickly you perform the project, quality of the project and how healthy the bidding was. So please perform well, and avoid corruption,” Villar said, as he challenged DPWH employees to protect the integrity of the agency.
“When we talk about integrity, I want people to say, when they talk about DPWH, that it is a model organization for government, that is how professionalism is conducted in the government and I hope you join me in this effort,” he added.
For the next generation
Villar also urged DPWH personnel to make the organization their legacy to the next generation.
“In my case, this will be the legacy I want to give to my daughter Emma Therese. I hope six years from now … she’ll grow up in a country where there’s no drugs, a country where she will not be caught in traffic for two hours to go 10 kilometers,” he said.
“I hope that this DPWH will be one that’s looked upon by our children as one of the best, one of the best performing, an organization with the most integrity and the organization that would lead in bringing our country to the golden age of infrastructure,” he added, saying he believed this was possible in six years.
“In six years I believe it can be done. In one event I even said that congestion can be resolved in three years. It can be done if we work together, if we work quickly,” Villar said.
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