BDO sees lower income growth

“[Growth in our core business will be] lower than what it used to be historically. But coming from 2008, we expect 2009 to be better,” Nestor V. Tan, bank president, told reporters at the sidelines of a Tuesday night ceremony sealing BDO and Citi’s partnership on non-immigrant US visa fee collections.

He did not provide targets for net income or lending growth.

BDO posted a net income of P2.2 billion last year, 66% lower compared to the P6.6 billion in 2007 due to poor gains from its treasury operations as well as provisions for exposure to bankrupt US investment bank Lehman Brothers. Its gross customer loans grew by 32% to P392.8 billion, driven by loans to corporate, middle market and consumer clients.

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Arroyo okays new RP baselines

The new baselines law takes the place of a 1961 statute and complies with a United Nations treaty, giving Philippine territory international recognition, officials said.

Republic Act 9522 stipulates that disputed territories such as the Spratly Islands or the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) and Scarborough Shoal are not part of the main archipelago, but are still owned by the Philippines as a “regime of islands” — much like Hawaii is owned by the United States although not part of the mainland.

“We are sending the message to the whole world that we are affirming our national sovereignty and protecting our national interest. This is the right thing to do,” Executive Secretary Eduardo R. Ermita told Palace reporters.

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SSS lending to members makes sense

We usually stand poles apart from militant groups when anything related to business and the economy is on the public agenda. But this time, on their proposal that the Social Security System provide help to members who are laid off, hopefully temporarily, we are in agreement with them. It is fair. It is socially beneficial. It also makes economic sense.

The militants’ proposal is, in fact, nothing new. During the dollar crisis in the early 1980s when the Philippines had to declare a moratorium on debt payments, the economic downturn was far more severe than what is projected from the current global slowdown. That period was characterized by layoffs not seen since the Japanese occupation period.

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Karylle, Side A with ‘strings’ etc. attached

Celebrated young actress and singer Karylle is seeing other people.

In fact, she’s been recently spotted making beautiful music together with five extremely talented men, namely: Joey Generoso, Ernie Severino, Naldy Gonzalez, Lee Von Cailao and Ned Esguerra.

Karylle has been busy rehearsing with the popular five-piece pop rock band Side A for their upcoming concert at the CCP together. They’re doing this for the first time, together. And they’re doing this with a whole lot of strings and other instruments attached.

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Property market mixed at best

There are no new plans. Those who have started constructing apartment buildings will complete them because the units were pre-sold.

Property developers who are ready to deliver the apartments are having a hard time getting the buyers to complete payment.
In fact, a property developer told Malaya Business Insight that there are 40 apartments in Rockwell of the Lopezes which are up for sale. Some want to convert the asset into cash.

Some do not want to part with their money by paying the balance or have better uses for it.

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DPWH usec, 2 others hurt in ambush

PUBLIC Works Undersecretary Ramon Aquino was wounded yesterday in an ambush staged by two motorcycle-riding men in front of the DPWH main office in Port Area, Manila.

Aquino, chief of staff of Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane, was hit in the chest and abdomen but is in stable condition at the Manila Doctors Hospital, said Undersecretary Rafael Yabut.

Physicians are also checking damage to Aquino’s liver, he said. Aquino’s aide Antonio Caneleta was hit in the face while his driver Victor Salonga was wounded in the right cheek.

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Diesel, kerosene prices cut

In separate text messages, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., PTT Philippines Corp., Petron Corp., Seaoil Philippines, Inc. and Chevron Philippines, Inc. announced a 50-centavo-per-liter cut for diesel at 12:01 a.m.

Unioil Petroleum Philippines, Inc. and Total Philippines Corp. implemented the same adjustment at 6 a.m.

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Summer jobs await students, graduates

The Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) would prioritize those whose families are within the poverty level.

“Families whose income is within the poverty level can participate, and local government units which are able to pay 100% of the minimum wage can join.

“The program allows students to work in some jobs both from the public and the private sector for a minimum wage at a maximum of 52 hours,” said Labor Assistant Secretary Reydeluz D. Conferido in an interview with reporters.

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Cebu Pacific offers another promo round

The promotional seat sale, which covers its Cebu, Clark, Davao and Manila hubs, will be valid for travel from April 1 to July 31.

The Gokongwei-led airline is offering a P1,488 one-way fare for its Manila to Kota Kinabalu and Manila to Kaohsiung services. The same rate is offered on its Clark to Bangkok, Hong Kong and Macau routes.

Cebu Pacific is also offering a P1,388 fare for its Manila to Cotabato and Butuan flights.

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BPOs’ new requirement: Managerial talent

“We need management talent for us to continue to grow,” Danilo L. Reyes, Sitel Philippines president, said yesterday in a forum at the Ateneo Professional Schools in Makati. “There is a big need as far as management training is concerned … Some of the next wave cities are not growing as fast as they should because of the lack of management training,” Mr. Reyes said.

About 10,000 of the nearly 400,000 employed in the BPO industry are managers, Mr. Reyes said.

If the BPO sector meets growth targets amid the crisis, partnership between the industry and the academe will be more vital to ensure that top-level positions are filled, he said.

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