DOST-TRC expo features Business Innovations

In time for the EDSA celebrations, the DOST-Technology Resource Center (TRC) stages the Innovations for Business Expo (IBE) on Feb. 25-27 at Megatrade Hall 3, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City.

The expo, one with the spirit of EDSA revolution, presents the event as a way to liberate Filipinos out of poverty and bring the country to the next level of development.

TRC, the organizer of the event, has been serving the Filipinos by providing avenues for livelihood and business development for 34 years by commercializing the technologies and innovations developed and improved by the Department of Science and Technology. TRC proves that innovations and technologies should not remain in the laboratories but instead applied to businesses.

Its vision is to use these technologies to develop Filipino businesses and enable them to be at par with the international standards in quality and productivity that will redound to better life and better economy.

The three-day event showcases hundreds of technologies and innovations that will bring the business industry to the next level of development. Some of the DOST-generated technologies are a fruit juice enterprise module, banana and pineapple fiber pre-treatment technology, vacuum frying, non-cyanide copper and gold electroplating, non-cyanide bush plating, Talisay dye powder production application technologies, gasifier combustor and charcoal briquetting and many others.

The DOST-PEZA Open Technology for Business Incubatees will present computer-applied innovations such as small and medium enterprises cost-effective generic business software using the software as a service model in the form of pay-per use services and with applications such as payroll, inventory, human resource management, POS and accounting. Other incubates are in designs engineering outsourcing and sub-contracting services, Web solutions, document archiving and retrieval, full-service graphic animation enterprises and many others.

The event is packed with seminars, discussions and demos on business innovations and development and business opportunities. It will be highlighted by the topic, “Innovation Forum on Open Technologies for Business and Making Technologies Work”. Other topics include Practical Tips on Waste Management, Silkscreen Printing Business, Innovative Production Systems and Processing of Edible and Medicinal Mushroom, Packaging Innovations, Empowering Small-to-Medium Enterprises for Global Competitiveness , Herbal Soap – Innovation in Going Basic, Dishwashing Liquid and Fabric Softener, Innovations in the Food Service Industry, Franchising Your Business Presentation and Discussion, Innovative Designs & Techniques in Flower Arrangement Business, Perfumery to the Next Level.

Secretary Mario Montejo and PEZA Director General Lilia de Lima along with other government officials will join the event.

For more information, call 576-4395, 399-8779; 0922-8194720 or visit


Foreign Business Ownership in the Philippines

by: Kathleen Yu

Setting up a foreign-owned business in the Philippines is no walk in the park. A foreign-owned corporation must obtain the necessary permits and licenses, register with the proper government agencies, and make the required capital investments   before setting up business operations inside the country. Business Registration procedures in the Philippines are different for a sole proprietorships, representative offices, branch offices, regional headquarters (RHQs), domestic corporations or subsidiaries. The type of business established by the foreign investor is determined by the kind of industry that he/she wants to engage in. Under the 1991 Foreign Investments Act (FIA), foreign investors are allowed to engage in any business enterprise, as long as it doesn’t fall under the foreign investments negative list established by the Philippine government, wherein foreign ownership is restricted to a small percentage of the company and the investor is required to establish a corporate presence inside the country.

According to Manila lawyer Amanda Carpo of business consulting firm Kittelson & Carpo Consulting,”There are a lot of things to consider before setting up a foreign-owned business in the Philippines. Domestic subsidiaries of foreign corporations are subject to our laws. Corporate law in the Philippines has some similarities to U.S. laws, making it easier for U.S. based companies to navigate the country’s legal system. Government issued tax incentives and exemptions are also available to foreign companies that register with either PEZA or BOI, and/or provide employment opportunities for the local workforce, increase export values, as well as develop the country’s natural resources.”

Republic Act 7042, also known as the Foreign Investments Act (FIA) of 1991, is the law that directs all foreign investments in the Philippines. According to this law, foreign investors are permitted to hold as much as 100% in equity investments in almost any kind of enterprise, as long as it does not fall under the Foreign Investments Negative List (FINL) of the government. The Foreign Investments Negative List differentiates the investments that are open to foreign nationals, and those that are reserved for Filipino entrepreneurs. Under the same act, foreign investors must advance a minimum amount of USD  200,000 into any local enterprise before being allowed to do business in the Philippines. However, this only applies to foreign-owned companies engaging in domestic market enterprise, meaning that more than 60% of their clients are based in the Philippines. Foreign companies registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are exempted from paying the USD 200,000 in minimum capital requirement.

The procedure is completely different for foreign branch offices in the Philippines. Outsourcing companies setting up branch offices in the Philippines need not remit the USD 30,000 in capital requirement. These types of companies are also required to register with the SEC and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). In accordance with Title II Section 13 of the Philippine Corporation Code, foreign branch offices in the Philippines are required to invest an initial capital of Php 5,000. Government-issued tax incentives are also available to foreign companies registered with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), the Board of Investments (BOI) or the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA).

Innovation key to a competitive exit post-crisis: HP

Albay, Bicol – Businesses need to invest on innovating their business processes not only to survive the crisis, but also to come out of it as a competitive entity, an HP executive remarked during a forum with IT reporters here Friday.

Citing the need to change the economies of technology due to the recent global financial crisis, Diana dela Rosa, technology services country manager, HP Philippines , said CIOs are faced with a constant challenge to balance the act between transforming their company and remaining stable during the crisis.

“There are firms who balance cost cutting with investment,” dela Rosa said, dispelling misconceptions that a crisis is a time for immense and drastic budget cuts. “They are focused on balancing cost reductions with laying the groundwork to exit the crisis more competitive.”


Stock market hits 19-mo. high

MANILA, Philippines – Local stocks rallied for the second straight day Wednesday to breach the 3,000 psychological barrier for the first time this year, supported by an upbeat trading on Wall Street and a sustained buying frenzy in the country’s largest mining firm, Philex Mining Corp.

The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index rose by 1.68 percent to close at 3,047.14—the highest in over 19 months. This rally, fueled by late-session buying, was seen by stock analysts as a bullish breakout.

Nearly a third of the P5.44 billion worth of trades in the stock market was fueled by speculative buying on Philex Mining, which closed 8.3-percent higher at P19.50 after hitting a new record high of P19.75 yesterday.

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Ayala Group underscores paradigm shift to sustainability

MANILA, Philippines – “We are in a race against time,” Ayala Corporation chairman and chief executive officer
Companies Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala told some 300 key executives and managers of the Ayala Group of who gathered yesterday for the first sustainability summit to discuss ways these companies can address urgent sustainability issues.

The one-day summit aimed to provide direction and additional impetus to the Ayala companies, six of which are publicly listed, to make significant adjustments to their strategies, business models, products, and operations

“We have to recognize that we are in a race against time. But it will be more of a marathon rather than a sprint,” he said.

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Inflation falls to 0.2% in July, country’s lowest in last 22 years

The country’s inflation rate fell to 0.2 percent in July, the lowest level in 22 years, the government said on Wednesday, as price increases of key sectors continued to slow.

The National Statistics Office said the July inflation rate was sharply lower than the 12.2 percent inflation rate posted for the same month last year when the country was reeling from high prices of oil and rice.

It was the fifth straight month of decline in consumer prices, but analysts say prices may have now reached bottom and could start inching up in coming months.

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G-8 fund eyed for 2 food production projects

Agri department seeking US help.

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture is enlisting the United States’ help in getting G-8 funding for two food security projects worth a total of $140 million.

One is a $120-million joint program to be implemented by the Philippine Rice Research Institute (Philrice) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

Philrice and IRRI are collaborating on testing and distributing saline-resistant palay seeds for coastal areas and drought-resistant seeds that will require 30 to 40 percent less water than what regular varieties need.

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‘University of Banking’ graduates set reunion

Citibankers mark Buenaventura’s birthday.

What do Gerry Ablaza, Aurelio “Gigi” Montinola III, Hans Sicat, Teddy Montecillo and around 400 other people have in common that will bring them together in a much talked-about reunion this week?

Aside from the fact that they are all successful business people and business leaders, they are also all “alumni” or former employees and officers of the Philippine unit of Citibank.

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Moody’s raises RP sovereign rating to Ba3, cites resiliency

HONG KONG, July 23 (Reuters) – Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded its sovereign rating for the Philippines to Ba3 from B1, praising the country’s resilient financial system and external payments position amid difficult global conditions.

The country ceiling for foreign currency bank deposits to Ba3 from B1 and the country ceiling for foreign currency bonds were also raised to Ba1 from Ba3.

Moody’s said the “change in the foreign currency bond ceiling is based on a revised assessment of the risk of an external payments moratorium to low from moderate.”

The rating, which is now three notches below investment grade, has a stable outlook.

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Firms hit P3-B SSS ID system bidding

MANILA, Philippines – Two bidders for the P3-billion identification card project of the Social Security System (SSS) are crying foul over the decision of the state-administered private pension fund to favor a rival despite its failure to meet all bid requirements.

According to documents obtained by the Inquirer, the consortia of bidders for the SSS’ unified multipurpose identification (UMID) card project have protested the pension fund’s decision to allow the bid of the Stradcom Corp.-led joint venture, which they claimed lacked complete documentation.

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