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Reforms Facilitate Better Biz Environment, Group Says

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Reforms on tax system and bureaucracy rolled out by the Duterte administration helped to have a better environment for businesses in the Philippines, top executive of Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc. (HKCCPI) said.

HKCCPI President Anthony Chan said the lower personal and corporate income tax rates under the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP) of the administration is boosting the country’s attractiveness to investors.

The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act has been implemented at the start of the year, which lowers personal income tax, while the government is now pushing for the CTRP Package 2 aiming to reduce corporate income tax.

“The tax reform, especially the reduction in income tax rates, also makes the Philippines more attractive and investment-friendly,” Chan said.

“We also see the current administration really mean to cut or weed out corruption that tremendously encourage investment and job creation,” he added.

The business group’s head, on the other hand, wishes that the Congress will pass the bill on ease of doing business.

Chan, on other other hand, said businesses and Filipino workers were thriving in the country under the Duterte administration.

“Investors from Hong Kong investing in manufacturing sectors employing workers with higher than minimum wage and decent working conditions, that’s we share the view that generally the people are better off under the current administration,” he said.

A Forbes article published earlier this month said Filipinos were better off under this administration, citing the Gallup survey that the percentage of Filipinos who consider their lives thriving since President Rodrigo Duterte took office increased to 28 percent in 2017 from 26 percent in 2016.

This is also true for International Chamber of Commerce Philippines (ICCP) Founder Francis Chua, who said the high approval rating of President Duterte in various surveys suggests that lives of Filipinos were in better condition in the past two years.

Chua said local business environment was also better off in this administration, noting the increasing number of projects registered with the investment promotion agencies in the country.

“The President must be doing the right thing,” he said.

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South Star Drug Now Accepts GCash in Metro Manila Outlets

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Image source: Globe PR

South Star Drug, one of the biggest drugstore chains in the Philippines, becomes the first drugstore in Metro Manila that allows customers to purchase medicines and other items using GCash scan to pay mode of payment.

The medicine retailer has over 450 stores nationwide and still growing.  The use of GCash in South Star Drug’s Metro Manila outlets is being piloted in six branches – two in Pasig (C. Raymundo cor. F. Legaspi, Dr. Sixto Ave.), two in Makati (Herrera, Guadalupe Unimec), one in Pasay (Balabag Merville), and one in Las Pinas (Philamlife).  By end of the year, all South Star Drug outlets are expected to accept GCash scan to pay.

GCash is being operated by Mynt which is owned by Globe Telecom, Ant Financial and Ayala Corp. “Mynt’s partnership with South Star Drug is part of our company’s efforts to make payments more convenient, safer and easier.  This brings us another step closer to our goal of making the Philippines a cashless country,” says Anthony Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of Mynt.

Christine Tueres, General Manager of South Star Drug said:  “South Star is always working to improve customer experience and find ways of doing things better – that includes giving our customers more payment options. With GCash QR code feature, even without cash or credit card, our customers can make a purchase in any of our stores with just a few taps on their smart phones”.

Using GCash is easy.  A customer with an iPhone or an Android smartphone only needs to download or update to the latest version of the GCash App, register for an account, and fund  their GCash wallet at any of over 12,000 GCash Partner Outlets nationwide. This includes Robinsons Business Centers. Once done, the customer just has to tap on Scan QR, point a phone’s camera at the partner’s QR code, and key in the amount to be paid.

 

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Manila Water to expand in Thailand

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Ayala-led Manila Water Company Inc. is venturing into the water industry of Thailand as part of its ongoing expansion in Southeast Asia.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Manila Water said it signed Monday a share purchase agreement with Electricity Generating Public Company Limited (EGCO) to acquire its 18.72-percent equity in Thailand-based Eastern Water Resources Development and Management Public Company Limited.

The company intends to finance the transaction through internally generated funds and bank debt.

It said the closing of the acquisition is still subject to the “fulfillment of certain conditions precedent.”

“We recognize the opportunities this new market presents for us, and we are eager to share the technical expertise and service quality which Manila Water has developed over the last 20 years. From the conglomerate perspective, Ayala sees this development as a strategic entry point into Thailand. With Manila Water leading the way, we hope to leverage our various capabilities to enlarge our footprint in the country,” said Ayala President and Chief Operating Officer and Manila Water Board Chairman Fernando Zobel de Ayala.

East Water’s operations are strategically located along the Eastern Economic Corridor which is targeted to be a leading economic zone in the Southeast Asian region.

East Water, a publicly listed company whose shares are traded in the Stock Exchange of Thailand, is engaged in the provision of raw and tap water supply services in the eastern region of Thailand and home to a number of heavy industries, including automotive, electronics and petrochemicals.

“Our entry into the Thailand water space aligns squarely with our internationalization strategy, with focus in Southeast Asia. East Water presents great potential, as its future growth will mainly come from the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), the Thai government’s initiative to further develop the country’s eastern seaboard into a leading economic zone in ASEAN,” said Manila Water President and Chief Executive Officer Ferdz dela Cruz.

Manila Water’s entry into Thailand comes after its foray into bulk water and concession projects in Vietnam.

It has also completed pilot projects in Bandung, Indonesia for a non-revenue water reduction program; and in Yangon, Myanmar for leakage reduction.

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MCCI Welcomes New Trustees, Members

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Image source: Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry

The Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry welcomed a new set of trustees in an oath-taking ceremony on Jan. 25 at Maayo Hotel Corp. in Mandaue City. The Chamber also inducted at least 34 new member-companies.  

Stanley Go, vice president for sales and marketing of Virginia Food Inc., is the new MCCI president.

 

“I want to thank the Chamber’s Board of Trustees for their confidence in my ability to navigate and steer MCCI to the direction that it needs to go to contribute significantly to the prosperity of our members who are themselves important engines of economic growth,” said Go.

He added that he will cherish the Chamber’s trust and support in his vision and drive to make the Chamber more relevant to its members.

 

“As we strengthen the linkages we have established over the years, I hope to increase our membership base from 300 to 500 by the end of 2018,” he said.

 

Steven Yu, chairman and chief executive officer of Alliance Pacific Resources Corporation, is MCCI vice president for internal affairs. Edgar Allan Po, assistant manager of Winner Plastic Product Corporation, is MCCI vice president for external affairs. Romelinda Cruz-Garces, communication officer of San Miguel Brewery Inc., is the MCCI secretary. Amado Go, president of Cenapro Chemical Corporation, is the MCCI treasurer. Michelle Co-Lin, RBG VisMin-Business Center head of CTBC Bank, is the auditor.

The MCCI’s new Board of Trustees is composed of Glenn Anthony Soco, president and chief operating officer (COO) of GA Satellite Venture; Wilson Ng, president of Ng Khai Development Corporation; Vicky Dy, managing director of Adnetwork Corporation; Alice Uy, proprietor of Jace Handicrafts International; Barbara Gothong-Tan, president and chief executive officer of A.D. Gothong Manufacturing Corp.; Mark Anthony Ynoc, general manager of San Remigio Properties; John King, managing director of King’s Quality Food Inc.; Donato Busa, president of DMC Busa Printers; and Beverly Dayanan, president and COO of Contempo Property.

Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry

 

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Google Announces Intent to Acquire Xively

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Image source: wire19.com

Today, Google has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Xively, a division of LogMeIn, Inc.

By 2020, it’s estimated that about 20 billion connected things will come online, and analytics and data storage in the cloud are now the cornerstone of any successful IoT solution. This acquisition, subject to closing conditions, will complement Google Cloud’s effort to provide a fully managed IoT service that easily and securely connects, manages, and ingests data from globally dispersed devices. With the addition of Xively’s robust, enterprise-ready IoT platform, we can accelerate our customers’ timeline from IoT vision to product, as they look to build their connected business.

Through this acquisition, Cloud IoT Core will gain deep IoT technology and engineering expertise, including Xively’s advanced device management, messaging, and dashboard capabilities. Our customers will benefit from Xively’s extensive feature set and flexible device management platform, paired with the security and scale of Google Cloud. With Google Cloud’s deep leadership in data analytics and machine learning, our customers will also be uniquely positioned to build turnkey IoT solutions and focus on business value creation.

We look forward to sharing more details after close—stay tuned!

 

www.blog.google

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