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Friday, September 12, 2014

PHL climbs 7 notches in global competitiveness index

The Philippines rose seven notches to 52nd place in the 2014 global competitiveness ranking of the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The WEF’s Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015 cited reforms implemented by the Aquino administration for the improvement.
“The country’s gain of 33 places since 2010 is the largest over that period among all countries studied. The results suggest that the reforms of the past 4 years have bolstered the country’s economic fundamentals,” WEF said.
The global competitive index measure
s the competitiveness of 144 economies based on over 100 factors grouped into 12 pillars.
“The trends across most of the 12 pillars are positive, and in some cases truly remarkable,” the report said.
The Philippines posted strongest results in the institutions, innovation, goods market efficiency, and macroeconomic environment categories.
However, the country continues to rank poorly in infrastructure, especially with respect to airport and seaport infrastructure.
The Philippines also remains weak in the labor market, which the report said “suffers from rigidities and inefficiencies.”
“The Philippines ranks a mediocre 91st in this dimension and almost no progress has been made since 2010,” said WEF.
Security, particularly in terms of costs that the threat of terrorism imposes on business, also remains as an issue in the country, according to the report.
The Philippines placed fifth in terms of competitiveness among nine Southeast Asian countries included in the report, ahead of Vietnam, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Cambodia and Myanmar.
Leading Southeast Asia in competitiveness are Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.
The Philippines’ seven-notch jump is the biggest improvement among ASEAN nations, followed by Thailand’s improvement to 31st from 37th last year.



- See more at: http://www.goodnewspilipinas.co/phl-climbs-7-notches-global-competitiveness-index/#sthash.ulJel9xI.dpuf

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Philippines is 2nd fastest growing economy in Asia

The Philippine economy grew at its fastest pace in more than a year in the second quarter and one of the robust in Asia second to China. 

The Southeast Asian economy remains a popular investment destination due to relatively strong economic fundamentals, a stable political environment and improved credit ratings. Standard & Poor’s raised the country’s long-term credit ratings in May to two notches above investment grade.
After a slow start to the year, the economy grew a seasonally adjusted 1.9 percent against the upwardly revised 1.4 percent in the March quarter, the fastest pace in five quarters.
“The rebound in net exports offset the slowdown in public spending,” ANZ said in a research report, adding that it was reiterating its 2014 growth forecast of 6.9 percent on the back of the recovery in manufacturing.
On a year-on-year basis, growth accelerated to 6.4 percent in the second quarter on strong manufacturing and exports. The outcome beat market forecast of 6.2 percent, putting the country on track to meet its full-year GDP target of 6.5-7.5 percent.
Arsenio Balisacan, socioeconomic planning secretary, said that for the economy to hit the low end of the government’s target this year, growth should average at least 6.9 percent in the second half. First-half GDP was 6.0 percent.
The latest data bolsters expectations the central bank will follow up on July’s rate hike – the first in three years – as early as next month to stay on top of rising prices.
“The strong growth print means that the BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) can focus on taming inflationary pressures. We expect a 25-basis-point hike of both the SDA (special deposit account) and policy rates,” said Trinh Nguyen, economist at HSBC in Hong Kong.
Inflation has averaged 4.3 percent in the seven months to July, above the midpoint of the central bank’s 3-5 percent goal this year and outside next year’s 2-4 percent inflation target. Emilio Neri, lead economist at Bank of the Philippine Islands, said he expects food prices to remain elevated after Manila rejected bids at Wednesday’s tender for fresh rice supply.
The peso rose to its strongest in more than three weeks on expectations of a further rate hike after the GDP data.
- See more at: http://www.goodnewspilipinas.co/philippines-2nd-fastest-growing-economy-asia/#sthash.bU0Rqoua.dpuf

A light plane 100% Philippine-made

It’s a light plane, and it’s proudly made in the Philippines. - 

The Department of Science and Technology launched a 100 percent Filipino-assembled light sport aircraft (LSA) at the four-day National Science and Technology Week to kick-start the country’s infant aerospace industry.
Science Secretary Mario Montejo said local manufacturer Famous Secret Precision Machining Inc. (FSPMI) assembled the RP-S512, proving that Filipinos could produce quality tools and aircraft parts.
“We can be a major player in the aerospace industry,” Montejo said.
FSPMI, from its manufacturing hub at the Daiichi Industrial Park Special Economic Zone in Silang, Cavite, also manufactures aircraft parts for the American multinational aviation firm Moog, Inc., which has manufacturing operations in the Baguio City export processing zone.
Jun Ramos, FSPMI marketing head, said that they have been assembling LSAs for US aircraft firm Van’s Aircraft since 2008, but it was only last year when they fully assembled an LSA in their assembly plant in Silang.
Ramos said that the LSAs they assemble for Van’s Aircraft are used in the US and is popular among American pilots.
Aside from FSPMI, another international aircraft parts and components manufacturer, B/E Aerospace, also has manufacturing operations in the country.
Montejo said the thrust of the DOST is to draw more of these international aircraft makers and parts suppliers to set up shop in the Philippines.
To do this, they have to assure the foreign companies that the country has a pool of skilled workers, among other concerns.
“If we can grow an aerospace industry here, the potential revenues are huge,” Montejo said.
Montejo had earlier said that the potential revenues of the industry could equal, if not surpass, the revenues generated by the information technology-business process management industry.


- See more at: http://www.goodnewspilipinas.co/light-plane-100-philippine-made/#sthash.mgUWNplN.dpuf

Discover PH now, German tells Pinoys

source: yahoo.com

There’s nothing wrong about wanting to see all of the world, but a foreigner has this advice for Filipinos setting their eyes abroad: Discover the Philippines first.

“The foreign always appears more exotic and intriguing than your own home country,” said Philipp Dukatz, a German who spent three months going around the Philippines.

“But the Philippines has so much to offer that it would be a shame to not explore it before venturing out into the world,” he told Yahoo Philippines through email.

In June, Dukatz made waves in the online Filipino community after he shared his adventures in a blog post titled, “Roundup Philippines: A country that has it all.”

The blog offered Filipinos a fresh look into local destinations that may have grown too familiar to them, this time through the eyes of an outsider.

From his account, it could be said that Dukatz has seen—and loved—it all: the white sand beaches of Boracay, the clear waters of Palawan, and the steep slopes of Sagada.

No need to look too far

“It is all there, all there for the taking and for you it is not even far away,” Dukatz told Filipinos, adding that “now is the best time to discover the Philippines.”

“Imagine that foreign tourists like myself pay a lot of money for an overseas flight to come and see the beauty of your country,” the German national added.

While traveling the Philippines, Dukatz was joined was by two backpackers from Belgium. “You can have it for cheap and you don’t even need to take a long holiday,” he said.

Asked where Filipinos should start, Dukatz advised against looking too far. “I would suggest looking at places that are around one’s hometown and take it from there.”

He said there are destinations for every personality in the country. The beach bums may try Boracay while the adventurous may trek the Cordilleras or Mountain Province.

For foreigners staying only briefly, Palawan is a must-see, Dukatz told Yahoo Philippines, saying the island province “offers a good mix of almost everything.”

“Nice beaches, off-the-beaten-track places as well as more developed ones, diving, hiking and much more. I think it combines a lot of the great things the Philippines offers tourists,” he said.

The real attraction


But Dukatz thinks the country’s main attraction is not any of its headlined spots. “[T]he thing that really sets the Philippines apart is its people,” he said.

“The Filipinos’ unique kind of hospitality is really one of a kind. I found them to go out of their way to help and make you feel welcome,” he said.

He particularly cited his stay in Gubat, a small seaside town in the province of Sorsogon, where he said he made a lot of new friends among locals and tourists.

“We were invited for food and drinks, we had long nights at the beach sharing laughter and stories and in the end we all became friends,” he told Yahoo Philippines.

He even pictures himself falling in love with a Filipina. “Love doesn’t know nationalities I think. So of course I could imagine it,” he said when prodded.

But the German national was quick to add that he “could also imagine falling in love with a South American, a German or an American or a girl from anywhere else.”

Now is the time

If he had all the time and money in the world, Dukatz said he would like to ride a motorbike across the Philippines, stopping wherever he would feel like it.


“I think there is so much to explore in the Philippines and that riding a motorbike would be a great and fun way,” he said. “I hope I can soon come back for more.”

Dukatz even has a solution for Filipinos who want to experience the foreign. “Chat up some foreign tourists while you are traveling. We always like to get in touch with locals,” he said.

“Basically you don’t have to look far to find true beauty and a real adventure. It is all out there, maybe just around the corner,” Dukatz said. “Take the chance and go see those places now.”

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Dumaguete one of the world’s best places to retire

Dumaguete, the capital of Negros Oriental in Central Visayas, has been chosen as one of the most ideal places to retire around the world in the 2014 Retire Overseas Index.
The study showed
that Dumaguete was cited due to its cheap cost of living.
Based on expenses such as rent, gas, electricity, water, cable, groceries, Internet, and entertainment, retirees living in Dumaguete will only need a monthly budget of US$910 or about P40,000.
Dumaguete is also among the best places for retirees and among most expat-friendly destinations because of its beautiful beaches and its large English-speaking community.
The 2014 Retire Overseas Index chose the locations based on 12 factors, namely climate, existing expat community, cost of living, health care, crime, infrastructure, English spoken, real estate, entertainment, residency options, environmental conditions and taxes.
Aside from Dumaguete in the Philippines, rounding out the list of 21 best places to retire overseas are the following (in no particular order):
  1. Algarve, Portugal
  2. Ambergris Caye, Belize
  3. La Serena, Chile
  4. Buenos Aires, Argentina
  5. Medellin, Colombia
  6. Cayo, Belize
  7. Mendoza, Argentina
  8. City Beaches, Panama
  9. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
  10. Cuenca, Ecuador
  11. Samana, Dominican Republic
  12. Granada, Nicaragua
  13. Abruzzo, Italy
  14. Istria, Croatia
  15. Pau, France
  16. Barcelona, Spain
  17. Chiang Mai, Thailand
  18. Istanbul, Turkey
  19. Nha Trang, Vietnam
  20. George Town, Malaysia
- See more at: http://www.goodnewspilipinas.co/dumaguete-one-worlds-best-places-retire/#sthash.iORG0bOg.dpuf

A 1st for PHL: Pinoy justice elected to ICJ in Geneva

source: http://www.goodnewspilipinas.co/

Adolfo Azcuna, former associate justice of the Supreme Court has been elected as one of the new commissioners of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), an eminent international human rights non-governmental organization.
Azcuna is the first Filipino who will sit in the ICJ. He is currently the chancellor of the Philippine Judicial Academy, which he has been leading since 2009.
Azcuna was recommended by the r
egional director after taking part in several activities in Myanmar, Cambodia and Thailand. “I have to take part in their activities in the region and represent the ICJ in certain for a and attend the annual meeting in Geneva,” he explained.
The ICJ is composed of 60 eminent judges and lawyers from all regions of the world. It “promotes and protects human rights through the Rule of Law, by using its unique legal expertise to develop and strengthen national and international justice systems.”
Azcuna also served as presidential legal counsel during the Cory Aquino administration.
He was one of the 48 members of the Constitutional Commission to draft the charter that would build a stronger foundation for democracy following the People Power revolt at EDSA in February 1986.
Years later, as a magistrate of the high court, he would introduce another concept that highlights the protection of human rights.
He is the father of the “writ of Amparo” – which determines, among others, “the responsibility, or at least accountability for the enforced disappearance for purposes of imposing the appropriate remedies to address the disappearance.”
- See more at: http://www.goodnewspilipinas.co/1st-phl-pinoy-justice-elected-icj-geneva/#sthash.I2po1HuK.dpuf