Here’s some select articles about Philippine Real Estate and our Economy from various newspaper correspondents that matters for your reference. Take note that these articles when assessed actually guides us locally what direction the economy is going, what kind of issues our government is going through and generally, and how this affects our real estate market. News directly affects investors / businessmen on their assessment of what business decision to make, this could be from the stock market ( which is a good barometer ) to daily activities ( hiring of workers, construction supply chain, and other economic variables.
here’s an article from interaskyon.com written by Alanah Torralbo of Thomson Reuters Foundation :
Coal – Reliant Philippines struggles to power up Clean Energy :
LAMAO, Philippines — For Nestor Castro and the other residents of Lamao village, which sits near two coal-fired power plants and an oil refinery, the country’s shift to renewable energy cannot come soon enough.
Not only would it lessen the pollution in their village in the northern Philippines, it could also mean cheaper electricity, Castro said.
“Coal just adds to the pollution and we … have expensive electricity,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
But the country’s first tax hike on coal in 30 years, introduced in March, may signal a shift in the government’s attitude towards the fossil fuel, environmentalists say.
Today, the Philippines has some of the highest power generation charges in Southeast Asia according to the country’s energy agency.
Renewable energy costs are falling around the globe, but the Philippines, up to now, has shown few signs of moving away from coal, despite ratifying the Paris Agreement to curb climate change and passing laws pushing for a shift to renewable energy.
The 400 percent tax hike on imported coal – part of a wider package of tax reforms passed last year to help fund a major infrastructure project – could change that, environmental experts say.
“Globally, coal is a sunset industry,” Antonio La Viña, a former environment undersecretary and veteran climate negotiator, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a phone interview.
“It is just being propped up by subsidies, and is the only reason it is cheap in the Philippines. The coal tax signals to investors that they should invest in other (energy) sources because coal is no longer the preferred energy source in the country,” he added.
The Philippines imports 75 percent of its coal, mostly from Indonesia and Australia, according to the Philippines-based Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC).
Some officials say coal is needed to power the nation’s growth, including the government’s centerpiece push to build new roads, airports and mass transit systems.
“We need a continuous and stable supply of electricity, and coal is the most stable source of energy,” said Christine Danao, head of power, energy and electrification at the National Economic Development Authority.
“In terms of fuel, coal is still the cheapest. In the long run, the government will see what (renewable energy) technology will bring,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Failing renewable costs
But the cost of electricity generated from solar and wind has plunged in recent years, and costs will be halved again by 2020 compared to 2017, according to predictions by the Abu Dhabi-based International Renewable Energy Agency.
Solar Philippines, Southeast Asia’s largest solar company, is offering to produce solar electricity for about 6 cents a kilowatt-hour for Meralco – the largest electrical distributor in the country – and other electricity companies, said Koji Bulahan, a spokesman for Solar Philippines.
That is about 40 percent less than Meralco charges on average for a kilowatt hour of power primarily generated from coal, according to the latest rates published on the company’s website.
A shift to renewable energy has been held back by the country’s major energy companies, said Glenis Balangue, a senior researcher at IBON Foundation, a think tank based in Quezon City.
“If our power generation policy still favours corporations that are only interested in their bottom line, we can never truly push for renewable energy,” Balangue said.
The high upfront costs of many forms of renewable energy – which require installation of expensive equipment, which then produces power at extremely low cost – can be a struggle for investors with short-term aims, or for risk-averse investors anxious about trying something new, experts say.
International investors also have already poured billions of dollars into the Philippines’ coal industry, helping it to thrive, climate activists said.
The Philippines government privatised the country’s power industry in 2001, saying the move would help bring more affordable and reliable electricity.
Coal, seen as a cheaper alternative to oil at the time, became the country’s energy of choice. And because many coal plants have a lifespan of 30 years or more, investors in those plants are still demanding a payback on investment.
The Philippines, however, still has plans for more than 10,000 MW of new coal power in the pipeline, worth $20.8 billion, according to a study published by the ICSC and the Institute for Energy Economics And Financial Analysis last year.
But international efforts to address climate change – including a potential flight of investor capital from dirtier fuels and the rise of ever-cheaper renewable alternatives – could mean that coal investment will not deliver the expected returns, the study noted.
Worse, consumers may have to shoulder the losses from coal-fired power plants, the institute noted.
In Mindanao, in the southern Philippines, for example, power producers lost about $60 million* between 2014 and 2016 because of an excess capacity of coal and hydropower, according to ICSC.
Gerry Arances, head of the Center for Energy, Ecology and Development, a Manila-based think tank, said it was clear the government had not promoted “a level playing field for all kinds of energy sources, particularly on renewable energy”.
“We are locked into a coal-based energy system that is more expensive than solar,” Arances added.
Villagers like Castro say they cannot afford to put up their own solar panels, so they remain reliant on the main power grid for electricity.
Frederick Epistola, a retail seller of solar panels, said there is not much demand for solar panels among homeowners.
“The market is curious about shifting to solar power but they don’t want to shell out the capital expenses required to put up solar panels in their residences. It can still be expensive for the typical household,” he said. — Editing by Alex Whiting and Laurie Goering
here’s an article from businessmirror.com correspondent, VG Cabuag :
IRC changes name ; pivots as an infra, mass-transport firm :
IRC Properties Inc., previously a real-estate company, is pivoting into infrastructure and mass transport, after the company was able to bag original proponent status of its Makati intra-rail project.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the firm said its board approved the change of name of IRC to Philippine Infradev Holdings Inc.
IRC explained that Philippine Infradev will be the parent firm and will be a holding company to engage in infrastructure and real-estate development.
On Wednesday IRC and its international consortium partners were granted “original proponent status” for its proposed $3.7-billion Makati intracity rail-transport system.
Its partners for the project are mostly Chinese firms, such as Greenland Holdings Group, Jiangsu Provincial Construction Group Co. Ltd., Holdings Ltd., Kwan On Holdings Ltd., Shanghai MinTu Investment Holdings and China Harbour Engineering Co. Ltd.
The IRC board also approved the change of name of wholly owned subsidiary Interport Development Corp. to Greater East Metro Development Corp. There will also be a change in directors and officers and increase in capitalization of IDC.
IRC was formerly called Interport Resources Corp., incorporated on February 24, 1975. It initially ventured in oil-exploration activities and drilled two wells in Southern Mindoro and the Sulu Sea areas in the 1970s before it cut down on exploration activities.
In 2013 the company changed its name to the present with its primary purpose to primarily acquire and sell real estate of all kinds or hold such properties for investment purposes.
It claims to own substantial landholdings in Binangonan, Rizal, and is engaged in mass-housing projects together with various property developers.
“The reactivated subsidiary Greater East will continue to expand the economic housing segment to help address the country’s housing shortage,” the company said.
The IRC board, likewise, authorized the incorporation of another wholly owned company to do mass-transportation projects, such as transportation, subway, ferry and bus, to be named Alternative Metro Transport System Inc. (AMTSI).
AMTSI aims to provide alternative solutions to decongest Metro Manila by developing or operating ferry, subway and electric vehicles providing green alternatives to Filipino commuters.
The IRC board also authorized its EVP Georgina Monsod to sign a letter of intent addressed to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority for the rehabilitation and modernization of the Pasig River ferry service.
here’s an article from businessmirror.com.ph correspondent, Maria Stella F. Arnaldo :
Cruise Ship arrivals seen bringing 329,000 Visitors this year :
ISM bares share sale to Uy, others worth Php 2.5M Billion
ISM Communications Corp. is raising at least P2.5 billion through a private placement to a number of individuals, including Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy.
ISM Communications said in a disclosure to the stock exchange its board authorized the executive committee to issue 841.945 million treasury shares and the remaining unissued shares of 883.730 million through a private placement at a minimum price of P1.45 apiece.
“One of the investors who has committed to participate in the private placement is Mr. Dennis A. Uy, the founder of the Udenna Group of Companies,” ISM Communications said.
The offering price of P1.45 per share is equivalent to a 20-percent discount to the 60-day volume weighted average price of ISM Communications.
ISM Communications said it planned to use the proceeds from the issuance to fund the investment opportunities currently being pursued by management.
The group of former trade minister Roberto Ongpin, whose nephew Eric Recto currently sits as chairman and chief executive of ISM Communications, had recently been forming the alliance with Uy, a known supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Uy was recently been elected the director in two of Ongpin-led firms—Atok Bing Wedge Inc. and Alphaland Corp.
Ongpin earlier was tagged by President Duterte as one of the oligarchs in the country that his administration wanted to destroy.
Uy owns several listed companies, namely Chelsea Logistics Holdings Inc., Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc., 2GO Group Inc. and Philippine H2O Ventures Corp.
ISM was originally incorporated as Itogon-Suyoc Mines Inc. to engage in the mining business.
In 2002, the stockholders of ISM approved a restructuring plan for the company, which involved the change in corporate name to its present name and in the primary purpose to engage in the business of telecommunications, multimedia and information technology.
On November 11, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved the amendment of the articles of incorporation of ISM to reflect its primary purpose as a holding company.
Share price of ISM Communications on Friday climbed 13.4 percent to P2.36 per share.
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Robert G. Sarmiento Properties
Professional Affiliation :
Philippine Association of Real Estate Boards
Member, City of Taguig Real Estate Board 2016 – 2018
Real Estate Broker’s Association of the Philippines 2000 – 2015
President, Greenhills Chapter 2008, 2009
Philippine Association of Real Estate Boards
San Juan Mandaluyong Chapter 1998 -1999
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