01 APRIL 2015

PNP activates disaster response plan for "Chedeng"
Espina leads lenten reflections for cops
Protect your people and your guests - Roxas to Local Execs, PNP
Statement of Honorable Secretary Mar Roxas on the death of OFW Jupiter Adrias in Libya
Thailand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs to Undertake First Official Visit to the Philippines
National Committee on Illegal Entrants Launches NCIE Legal Handbook
Filipinos Rescued at Sea Visit Philippine Embassy in Tokyo
LTO Releases List of Dealers' Transactions in NCR
Basilan execs face criminal raps for delayed GSIS, Pag-ibig and tax remittances
DSWD preps for Lent
DOLE assists 20 Filipino seafarers stranded in New South Wales
Baldoz appeals to OFWs remaining in Yemen to cooperate in mandatory repatriation
Ombudsman sues Northern Samar ex-mayor
Four sections of EDSA due for repair this Holy Week
Philippines' International Investment Position as of end-December 2014 improves: Registers lower Net Liability Position Quarter-on-Quarter
Domestic Liquidity growth rises in February

PNP activates disaster response plan for "Chedeng"
Source: http://pnp.gov.ph
The Philippine National Police has drawn up its own disaster preparedness plan ahead of the expected entry of Typhoon Chedeng into the Philippine Area of Responsibility today.

Upon the direction of DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, PNP Officer-in-Charge, Police Deputy Director General Leonardo A Espina ordered the activation of Letter of Instruction “Saklolo”, an updated and enhanced plan of action of the PNP on disaster preparedness and response management in support to other concerned agencies.

Oplan “Saklolo” prescribes the support strategy, operational concept, and scheme of implementation to accomplish the PNP’s support mission in times of disaster and calamity situations.

“We are activating our Disaster Response Plan ahead of time to allow concerned units time to prepare their equipment and resources, and to organize and train their personnel for the mission at hand, “ Espina said.

According to PNP Spokesperson, Chief Superintendent Generoso R Cerbo Jr., the PNP Special Action Force, Maritime Group and Regional Public Safety Battalions have Search and Rescue Units capable of rapid deployment and quick response to disaster emergencies.

These units, including Police Regional Offices along the path of Typhoon Chedeng have been instructed to undertake precautionary measures and other disaster response operations such as forward deployment and pre-positioning of Search and Rescue (SAR) assets, Cerbo explained. (PNP-PIO)

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Espina leads lenten reflections for cops
Source: http://pnp.gov.ph
PNP Officer-in-Charge, Police Deputy Director General Leonardo A Espina, on Holy Wednesday, called on all 150,000 uniformed members of the police service to reflect on their individual roles as public servants and law enforcers in pursuing the change management agenda of the Philippine National Police.

"In this season of Lent and sacrifice, let us take the time to renew our faith in God and renew our commitment to ourselves and the Filipino people; and in reforming our organization," Espina said.

Espina particularly urged subordinate members of the PNP to internalize and pledge individual commitment and support for the Peace and Order Agenda for Transformation and upholding the Rule Of Law (PATROL Plan 2030), the PNP’s strategic blueprint for raising the standards of governance at the national level.

Popular advocacy for the PNP PATROL Plan 2030 has reached higher dimensions in the performance governance strategy anchored on transparency, accountability and stakeholder participation.

Espina expressed optimism that “nothing can get in the way of the PNP’s desire to introduce change and completely reform the organization in all aspects of administration, operations and individual performance.” (PNP-PIO)

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Protect your people and your guests - Roxas to Local Execs, PNP
Source: http://www.dilg.gov.ph
In anticipation of Typhoon Chedeng's landfall, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas urged officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and of local government units (LGUs) to ensure the safety not only of their local constituents, but also of tourists visiting various destinations this Holy Week.

"We should be able to consider the travelers as well in our preparations kapag mag-landfall," Roxas said.

Since this morning, thousands of both Filipino and foreign tourists have been traveling to tourist destinations in Luzon, which will most likely be affected by typhoon Chedeng.

According to PAGASA, these areas include the provinces of Aurora, Quezon or Isabela, and parts of CAR such as Baguio City in Benguet. Although typhoon gained strength in the past hours, it is expected to weaken before making its first landfall.

"Lumakas man o humina si Chedeng, ang mahalaga: maging handa at listo tayo, " Roxas said.

Because of these developments, Roxas reminded travelers to be extra careful in their journeys to and from their destinations.

"Listo lang po lagi tayo, and should you need any assistance, the whole of government is at your service," he said.

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Statement of Honorable Secretary Mar Roxas on the death of OFW Jupiter Adrias in Libya
Source: http://www.dilg.gov.ph
I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the family of Jupiter Adrias, an OFW from Capiz, who was killed in a rocket attack in Libya.

Nakakalungkot na isa na namang bagong bayaning Filipino na inaasahan ng kanyang pamilya at ng ating bansa ang naging biktima ng walang saysay na karahasan. Taos puso akong nakikiramay sa mga na ulila ni Jupiter.

Government is ready to assist the Adrias family as they face these trying times. As of now, the primary concern is to bring home the remains of our kababayan Jupiter. Coordination with the DFA is currently underway in relation to this matter.

Kahit na masakit para sa atin ito, at habang madiin nating kinokondena ang karahasan, let us continue to seek peace here in our country and in other parts of the globe. Sa ganitong paraan ang pagkamatay ni Jupiter ay hindi nawalan ng saysay at sana ang ganitong pangyayari ay di na natin maranasan pa.

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Thailand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs to Undertake First Official Visit to the Philippines
Source: http://www.dfa.gov.ph
01 April 2015 - General Tanasak Patimapragorn, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, will undertake his first official visit to the Philippines from April 06 to 07.

General Patimapragorn will meet Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario to discuss the progress of bilateral relations between the Philippines and Thailand. The two ministers will also discuss issues of mutual concern in the fields of economy, trade and investments, agriculture, education, defense, technical cooperation, as well as relevant developments in the region.

General Patimapragorn served as the Supreme Commander of the Royal Thai Armed Forces. He was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs in September 2014. The is his first visit to the Philippines as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.

Thailand is one of the Philippines’ longstanding friends and closest partners in the region, with engagement and cooperation in various areas spanning 67 years. Formal bilateral relations between the Philippines and Thailand were established with the signing of the Treaty of Friendship on 14 June 1949.

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National Committee on Illegal Entrants Launches NCIE Legal Handbook
Source: http://www.dfa.gov.ph
01 April 2015 – The National Committee on Illegal Entrants (NCIE) formally presented the NCIE Legal Handbook to its Chairman, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Albert F. del Rosario, on March 27, thereby officially launching it for use by the NCIE, as well as by the Regional Committees and Provincial Committees on Illegal Entrants (RCIEs and PCIEs) all over the country. The NCIE delegation was headed by Office of Consular Affairs (OCA) Assistant Secretary Wilfredo C. Santos who personally presented the NCIE Legal Handbook to the Secretary.

The NCIE was established through the promulgation of Executive Order No. 236, s. 1995, and was given the task to serve as an inter-agency coordinative committee, composed of 13 government agencies, mandated to facilitate the expeditious resolution of cases of illegal entry into Philippine territory, particularly that of foreign vessels. The NCIE is chaired by the DFA, with the Department of Justice (DOJ) as Vice-Chair, and the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) as Co-Vice Chairs.

The NCIE decided to have a Legal Handbook printed covering the legal bases of the NCIE and all applicable laws necessary for the prosecution of illegal entrants in order to ensure that members of the NCIE, RCIEs, and PCIEs, particularly those directly involved in the apprehension and investigation of illegal entrants have information about the pertinent laws and regulations to facilitate effective disposition of such cases.

Further editions of the NCIE Legal Handbook shall be printed once the need for such arises.

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Filipinos Rescued at Sea Visit Philippine Embassy in Tokyo
Source: http://www.dfa.gov.ph
01 April 2015 - Five Filipino fishermen from Itbayat, Batanes, who were rescued at sea, met with Philippine Ambassador to Japan Manuel M. Lopez on March 31. Their rescue, stay in Japan and return to the Philippines were the result of an active cooperation between the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo, US Navy and the US Embassy in Tokyo, and the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Glenford Gutierrez Villa, Jonas Salamagos Manzo, Joseph Castillejos, James Cano Bata, and Froilan Ibanes Libaton floated at sea for four days and three nights before they were rescued by the USS Blue Ridge, a US 7th Fleet flagship vessel, on March 25. They arrived in Yokohama on March 30 and turned over by US officials to the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo.

The five fishermen said that their boat’s motor broke on their return to Itbayat.

They drifted with the current, pounded by gigantic waves and a strong wind until their rescue. USS Blue Ridge was on patrol in the Philippine Sea when it spotted a small boat with an orange flag. The fishermen’s boat, named the Oxangu Hulk, was not moving and the stranded fishermen were spotted waving a white T-shirt and a flashlight. The fishermen were found without food and malnourished, suffering from hypothermia and dehydration. Onboard the USS Blue Ridge, the five Filipinos were provided first aid, showers and a change of clothes.

Upon docking in Yokohama, the US Navy transferred the Filipino fishermen to the care of Philippine Embassy officials. After clearing Japanese Immigration, the stranded Filipinos experienced their first meal and their first night on land after their rescue. They underwent further medical tests to ensure that they continue to be in good health and they were provided additional clothing as protection from the cold spring weather. While in Tokyo, they also took the opportunity to experience Hanami or cherry blossom season and visit the Franciscan Chapel, a Catholic church in Roppongi, for thanksgiving.

The five fishermen were issued travel documents and departed Japan yesterday afternoon to return to Batanes, where they were awaited by their families.

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LTO Releases List of Dealers' Transactions in NCR
Source: http://lto.gov.ph
Manila, Philippines — The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has submitted to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) its list of dealerships, rebuilders, and importers in the National Capital Region (NCR) and their corresponding transactions with the LTO from January to March 27 this year, revealing that license plates for new motor vehicles became available upon issuance of registration documents as early as February 13th.
"We are opening this list to the public in order to help new vehicle owners identify where their plates may be. According to the LTO, all license plates for new vehicles whose original registrations were applied for at the NCR Regional Office have been released to the dealers as of March 19," said DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya.
The list covers four-wheeled vehicles only. It indicates the license plates' series — or the 3 letters forming their alphanumeric combination — to also help indicate to the new motor vehicle owners when their plates were claimed by their dealers from the LTO.

LTO Reminders to New Motor Vehicle Owners
"We advise new motor vehicle owners who have yet to received their license plates to ask their dealers to furnish them with proof of registration application. We've received reports that some dealers have taken months to even start the application process, so this will help the public monitor whether they are getting the services they paid for," said Assistant Secretary Alfonso Tan, Jr., chief of the LTO.
For more assuarance, they can even ask their dealers for copies of their: (1) Certificate of Stock Reported (CSR), (2) Sales Invoice, (3) Certificate of Insurance Cover, and (4) Philippine National Police Clearance, because these are the supporting documents needed to start the registration process. Without these supporting documents, the dealer could not have started the process yet.
To calm concerns of the public that some traffic enforcers may abuse their authority by apprhending new motor vehicle owners who have begun the registration process but have not received their license plates through the fault of their dealers, the LTO also clarifies that only vehicles without valid license plates may be apprehended.
"If you have valid license plates, whether the new black-and-white series or any of the older green-and-white designs, you will not be apprehended for possible violation of the No Registration-No Travel policy," Tan explained.

Contest Apprehension within 5 Days if Fault is Due to Dealer
The applicable penalties for a violation of the No Registration-No Travel rule under Joint Administrative Order 2014-01 include a P 10,000.00 fine for driving an unregistered vehicle, which is assessed against the vehicle owner, and a P 1,000.00 fine assessed against the driver.
If the driver is able to present a Certificate of Registration (CR) and an Official Receipt (OR) of the vehicle to prove that it has been registered, the driver will be fined only P 5,000.00 for failure to attach plates.
In these latter cases, however, for vehicle owners who believe that the fault is due to their dealers' delay, the LTO advises them to contest the apprehension by filing a written protest within five (5) days from apprehension. This will allow the LTO to look into the potential fault of the dealer and take appropriate action, if warranted.
The LTO may impose fines, or suspend or even revoke the accreditation of erring dealerships.

Reminders for Those Within the 7-Day Registration Process
For new motor vehicles that are within the allowed 7-day registration process, the driver must present the Certificate of Stock Reported (CSR), Sales Invoice dated within seven (7) days prior to the apprehension, and a Certificate of Insurance Cover dated on or after the date of Sales Invoice. If such documents are presented, no penalties will be meted out.
However, should the date of the Sales Invoice exceed thirty-seven (37) days on the date of apprehension, the motor vehicle will be impounded by the LTO.
Since the LTO implemented Administrative Order (AO) No. AVT-2014-24 in February 2014, the new one-stop registration process has eliminated unnecessary delays and cut down processing time down to seven (7) days, from previous three to four (3-4) weeks.

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Basilan execs face criminal raps for delayed GSIS, Pag-ibig and tax remittances
Source: http://www.ombudsman.gov.ph
Former Sumisip, Basilan Mayor Haber Amin Asarul and Municipal Treasurer Camlian Borjal are facing criminal indictments for failing or delaying the payment of Government Service and Insurance System (GSIS) premiums, Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-ibig) contributions, and tax remittances to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) despite monthly deductions from the salaries of the municipality’s employees.

In a nine-page Resolution, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales approved the filing against Asarul and Borjal for 20 counts of violation of Section 6(b) of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 8291 (The GSIS Act); 19 counts of violation of Section 5, Rule VI of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Presidential Decree No. 1752 (Home Development Mutual Fund Law); and 23 counts of violation of R.A. No. 8424 (The National Internal Revenue Code).
Documents revealed that during the incumbency of Asarul, the municipality failed to remit GSIS contributions from October 2007 to May 2008 while delayed remittances were reported from June 2008 to May 2009. In addition, for the period October 2007 to May 2009, Asarul and Borjal failed to remit the Pag-ibig contributions on time. Untimely remittances of taxes were also found to have been committed from July 2007 to May 2009.

In the parallel administrative case, Asarul and Borjal were found guilty of Simple Misconduct and were meted out the penalty of three months suspension. Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales stated that “as public officers who had custody and control of the funds of the Municipality, they clearly violated the law when they failed to do their duty of making sure that the GSIS and Pag-ibig contributions as well as the income tax withheld of the employees are remitted on time.”

The Office of the Ombudsman also ordered the Commission on Audit in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao to conduct a special audit on the cash accounts of the municipality of Sumisip for the period from July 2007 to June 2009 to cover transactions involving the payment of salaries, benefits and remittance of Philhealth contributions of the employees.

Meanwhile, the criminal charges of malversation and violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act were dismissed for insufficiency of evidence.

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DSWD preps for Lent
Source: http://www.dswd.gov.ph
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has propositioned a total of P122.4 million worth of food packs and non-food items in its 16 Field Offices and in the National Resource Operations Center (NROC) in anticipation of any eventuality that may happen this Holy Week.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said that the preparation is being made just in case there will be travelers who will be stranded along the way and may need food and other relief supplies, especially that Typhoon Maysak is forecasted to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Wednesday or Thursday.

Members of the Social Welfare and Development (SWAD) Teams are also alerted and will be on standby to provide emergency assistance.

The DSWD Central Office also enjoined its Field Offices to set-up a Help Desk in strategic areas at the airports, bus terminals, and seaports until Easter Sunday, in coordination with the Department of Transportation and Communication, Department of Health, Philippine National Police, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The help desk will assist in the processing of stranded passengers and to monitor the situation.

“Although it will be a long vacation, our staff will be on stand by and ready to provide emergency assistance, “ Sec. Soliman said.

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DOLE assists 20 Filipino seafarers stranded in New South Wales
Source: http://www.dole.gov.ph
Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said that 20 Filipino seafarers who have been found without food onboard Bulk Brasil, a Panamanian-registered vessel, docked at Port Kembla, New South Wales, have been paid their salaries and the vessel stocked with provisions. Baldoz said this after Labor Attache Rodolfo Sabulao informed the Secretary about the situation of the 20 seafarers working for the vessel operated by Keymax, a Japanese company. “As far as we are concerned, the 20 seafarers are already well, after the Australian Maritime Safety Authority ordered the detention of the vessel Bulk Brasil. They have been paid their salaries and their vessel stocked with food,” said Baldoz. Labor Attache Sabulao earlier reported that the 20 Filipino seafarers have not been paid their salaries equivalent for four months. They have not also been fed, and the management/officers of the vessel have committed many other maritime standards violations. The International Transport Federation (ITF), which negotiated with Keymax, called the attention of Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) after the condition of the 20 seafarers was discovered. According to Sabulao, the POLO had contacted the Seabased Services Office of the POEA and requested Araw Manning Agency, which deployed the seafarers, to take responsibility for the plight of the seafarers. “We also monitored the negotiations between ITF and Keymax, together with the Sydney Port authorities. We are happy the situation has been resolved,” Sabulao said.

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Baldoz appeals to OFWs remaining in Yemen to cooperate in mandatory repatriation
Source: http://www.dole.gov.ph
The news that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has intervened militarily in the troubled country of Yemen has prompted Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis yesterday to make an urgent appeal to all remaining overseas Filipino workers that country to leave for home. “The worsening security situation prompts this warning. Please fully cooperate in the mandatory repatriation. Your safety is the government’s paramount concern,” appealed Baldoz. She also directed her appeal to families of OFWs in Yemen, saying they should help the government convince their loved ones to come home. “The security situation in Yemen does not warrant your loved ones’ continued stay in that country. We must act fast. Let us help one another in persuading your family members in Yemen to take part in mandatory repatriation,” Baldoz said. A Saudi-led coalition of Arab states mounted this March a military campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen, and the tension has only escalated. Meanwhile, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac, whom the Secretary had directed the other day to meet with licensed recruitment agencies deploying OFWs to Yemen and ensure their cooperation on the mandatory repatriation, has reported that the POEA had identified 63 more OFWs in Yemen who were deployed by four licensed recruitment agencies. “During our meeting, I have issued a directive to the four agencies to report on the situation of the 63 OFWs they deployed and asked them to fulfill their obligation to bring them home safely,” Cacdac reported. He said he had also met with insurance companies who pledged to pay for the tickets of the 63 OFWs. The recruitment agencies whose primary responsibility, together with their principals, is to provide airline tickets to their deployed OFWs, are as follows: (1) Inter-Asia Services Corporation (one OFW); (2) Finest Asia Resources Inc. (23 OFWs); (3) STB-DJL Human Link (22 OFWs); and (4) GTI Recruitment Inc. (17 OFWs). “We have given the DFA, International Labor Affairs Bureau, and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration the list of names of all new hires and balik-manggagawa in Yemen which we culled from the POEA database,” Cacdac further said. POEA data shows 4,326 OFWs were deployed to Yemen in 2014, of whom 1,503 were new hires and the rest, 2,823 were re-hires. There are 77 Filipinos who are permanent residents, while there are 75 irregular workers in Yemen, based on data of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas. Filipinos in Yemen work as nurses, who account for the highest number of OFWs in the country; welders and flame cutters, mechanical engineers, electrical wiring workers, production supervisors, riggers and cable splicers, midwives, geodetic surveyors, machine fitters and assemblers, automotive technicians, machine tool operators, and construction workers. Since there is no Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Yemen, Baldoz urged OFWs to contact the numbers of the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh which has diplomatic jurisdiction over Yemen. The DFA advised all OFWs in Yemen to call or text and register at these numbers: 730187540, 737426292, 733844958, 730194165; or email at cmt-sanaa@riyadhpe.com.

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Ombudsman sues Northern Samar ex-mayor
Source: http://www.ombudsman.gov.ph
Former Mayor Rogelio Tan of Pambujan, Northern Samar is facing two counts of violation of Section 7(a) of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (Republic Act No. No. 6713) for authorizing and facilitating transactions with a business enterprise which he owns.

Records show that in October 2007, Tan allowed the procurement of various snacks amounting to P7,315.20 from Siertan Agrivet Supply during the celebration of his 100 days LGU’s Report and in April 2009, he also allowed his business establishment to supply several kilos of dressed chicken, spaghetti sauce and hotdog amounting to P12,404.00.

The Resolution stated that “the minimal amounts involved and respondent’s claim that sometimes he would spend his own money for the municipality’s expenses is of no consequence.” Section 89 of the Local Government Code expressly provides that it shall be unlawful for any local government official or employee, directly or indirectly, to engage in any business transaction with the local government unit in which he is an official or employee or over which he has the power of supervision and whereby money is to be paid out of the resources of the local government unit concerned.

On the other hand, the charges against Tan, Bids and Awards Committee members Algy Amadeo Sosing, Amancio Acedera, Jr., Fernando Socorro, Zosimo Siervo, Eva Bacarra, and suppliers Soledad Tan and Generoso Rojo for violation of the Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act were dismissed for lack of probable cause.

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Four sections of EDSA due for repair this Holy Week
Source: http://www.dpwh.gov.ph
Taking advantage of the Lenten break, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will resume road repairs of Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) effective 12 midnight of April 2, Thursday until 12 noon of April 5, Sunday.

DPWH was given the go signal by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), to work on four (4) sections of EDSA in Makati ang Mandaluyong City.

Portions of EDSA that will undergo repair include two sections on the area of Makati City, from Loyola Memorial Chapel to before Kalayaan Ave. (4th and 5th lane, South bound); and from Buendia to Escuela St. (4th and 5th lane, North bound) and two other sections on the area of Mandaluyong City, from from Guadalupe Bridge to Temple Drive (North bound); and from Connecticut to Guadalupe Bridge (South bound).

Simultaneously, DPWH was allowed by the MMDA to undertake road repair along Mindanao Avenue from Road 8 to North Ave. (1st lane, South bound); and along E. Rodriguez Avenue from Poseidon St. to Greenmeadows Ave. (2nd lane from sidewalk, South bound) in Quezon City, and along C-5 Road from Pasig Blvd. to Bagong-Ilog Service Road (South bound) and from Valle Verde Resins Inc. to SM Warehouse (2nd outermost lane, North bound) in Pasig City.

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Philippines' International Investment Position as of end-December 2014 improves: Registers lower Net Liability Position Quarter-on-Quarter
Source: http://www.bsp.gov.ph
The country’s preliminary end-December 2014 International Investment Position (IIP), based on the Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual, 6th edition (BPM6) improved from its end-September 2014 position. The net liability position decreased by US$4.7 billion to US$40.7 billion from the US$45.4 billion recorded as of the end of the previous quarter. This developed as the rise in total external financial assets (US$7.1 billion) exceeded the increase in total external financial liabilities (US$2.4 billion). Total outstanding external financial assets reached US$148.5 billion as of end-December 2014, while total outstanding external financial liabilities amounted to US$189.2 billion.

The increase in total external assets was due mainly to the outflows in the other investments (particularly residents’ currency and deposits abroad), as well as increases in residents’ investments in external equity capital and debt securities. As global growth prospects remain solid, particularly in the US, China, and India, residents have explored investment opportunities abroad. Meanwhile, the increase in total external liabilities was mainly on account of residents’ borrowings from abroad (other investment account) coupled with the increase in non-residents’ equity capital investments (foreign direct investment).

Across sectors, only the BSP maintained a net external asset position as of end-December 2014 while the rest of the sectors—Banks (or Deposit-taking Corporations except the Central Bank), General Government and Other Sectors—posted net external liability positions, albeit lower than their net liability positions as of end-September 2014.

The BSP continued to hold the largest share of residents’ total claims on the rest of the world, amounting to US$80.1 billion (53.9 percent) as of end-December 2014, albeit lower than the US$80 billion holdings as of end-September 2014. The Other Sectors accounted for 30.3 percent or US$45 billion of total outstanding financial assets while banks held the remaining US$23.4 billion
(15.8 percent).

More than half (53.5 percent) of residents’ total holdings of external assets as of end-December 2014 were reserve assets held by the BSP, amounting to US$79.5 billion. Investments in debt instruments or intercompany lending accounted for 13.6 percent of total external financial assets, equity capital (10.5 percent), residents’ deposits abroad (10 percent), and debt securities (6.7 percent).

The Other Sectors continued to hold the majority of residents’ total liabilities to non-residents, with 63.6 percent share as of end-December 2014. The sector’s outstanding liabilities increased by US$0.3 billion (by 0.3 percent) to US$120.4 billion as of end-December 2014 compared with end-September 2014. These were largely in the form of equity securities (34.5 percent), equity capital (34.3 percent), debt instruments (11.3 percent), and currency and deposits (11.1 percent). The General Government’s outstanding external liabilities accounted for 19.4 percent of total external liabilities to non-residents while banks held 16.2 percent of the total.

Outstanding financial liabilities of the domestic economy to the rest of the world consisted largely of non-residents’ holdings of equity securities (US$51.2 billion), equity capital (US$43.5 billion), and foreign loans (US$42.5 billion) equivalent to 27.1 percent, 23 percent and 22.4 percent respectively. Debt securities, mostly NG issuances, comprised 16 percent (US$30.4 billion) of these foreign obligations.

On a year-on-year basis, however, the country’s net liability position was higher by US$4.7 billion compared with the end-December 2013 net liability position of US$36 billion. This transpired as the full-year 2014 net acquisition of financial assets by residents of US$7.2 billion (balance of the financial account, including reserve assets) was more than offset by revaluation adjustments, particularly on equity securities investments by non-residents.

The IIP is a companion framework to the Balance of Payments (BOP) statistics. While the BOP is a statistical statement that records the country’s transactions or flows with the rest of the world for a given period, the IIP summarizes the country’s stock of financial claims on and financial liabilities to the rest of the world as of a specific reporting period. Similar to the BOP’s financial account, the assets and liabilities in the IIP are classified as direct investments, portfolio investments, financial derivatives, and other investments. The BSP has started releasing quarterly IIP statistics in 2014 in compliance with the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) recommendation of enhancing the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) to improve the availability and timeliness of compiling and disseminating IIP data.

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Domestic Liquidity growth rises in February
Source: http://www.bsp.gov.ph
Preliminary data show that domestic liquidity (M3) grew by 8.5 percent year-on-year in February to reach P7.5 trillion. This was faster than the 7.7-percent expansion recorded in January. On a month-on-month seasonally-adjusted basis, M3 increased by 1.4 percent.

Money supply continued to increase due largely to sustained demand for credit. Domestic claims grew by 10.0 percent in February from 10.8 percent in January as credits to the private sector expanded at a broadly similar pace relative to the previous month. The bulk of bank loans during the month was channeled to key production sectors such as manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, real estate, renting, and business services, utilities, and financial intermediation. Meanwhile, net public sector credit contracted by 4.5 percent in February after declining by 2.2 percent a month earlier, as the deposits of the National Government (NG) continued to increase due mainly to revenue collections of various agencies.

Net foreign assets (NFA) in peso terms rose at a faster pace of 7.3 percent in February from 5.6 percent in the previous month. The NFA of banks increased as banks’ foreign assets expanded, while their foreign liabilities contracted. Banks’ foreign assets increased due mainly to the growth in their foreign loans and receivables, investments in marketable debt securities, and deposits with other banks, while banks’ foreign liabilities decreased on account of lower placements made by foreign banks with their local branches. Meanwhile, the BSP’s NFA position contracted at a slower pace in February, reflecting the weaker appreciation of the peso relative to the previous month.

Domestic liquidity has continued to grow at a moderate pace during the month due in part to the increase in placements of trust entities in the BSP’s special deposit account (SDA) facility relative to a year ago. The M3 growth in February 2015 also reflects statistical base effects associated with the significant increase in domestic liquidity a year ago of 36.6 percent, following the operational adjustments involving access of trust entities to the BSP SDA facility, which were completed in November 2013.

Going forward, the BSP will continue to monitor monetary conditions and remain prepared to take appropriate measures if necessary to ensure that domestic liquidity stays adequate to support a non-inflationary growth trajectory.

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