Business and Economy

COA says retirement package given to Pag-Ibig officials is illegal, demands refund

MANILA, Philippines– A report released last week by the Commission on Audit (COA) questioned the legality of the P130.375-million retirement package disbursed in 2013 to 60 staff members and officials of the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF). According to the report, the Early Retirement Incentive Plan (ERIP) granted to the to these employees was the …

Oil price plunge may trigger more consumption of goods — NEDA

MANILA — The continuous oil price plunge may consequently trigger hikes in public consumption, according to Economic Planning Secretary and National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Director-General Arsenio M. Balisacan. “The prevailing low oil price environment, which is expected to persist until 2015, may further increase the country’s total oil importation for the remaining part of …

DBM: 78% of 2015 budget already released to agencies

MANILA — The 2015 General Appropriations Act (GAA) amounting to Php2.606 trillion has kicked into effect, with 78 percent or Php2.037 trillion of the national budget comprehensively released at the start of the year to address procurement and implementation delays and fast-track the release of funds for public goods and services. As per National Budget …

US loans fueled insider deal, failed power plan in Liberia

BUCHANAN, Liberia — A failed U.S. government-backed plan to produce environmentally friendly energy in one of Africa’s poorest countries was marred by insider connections and questionable planning, an Associated Press investigation found. The federal agency at the center of the deal is one of the government’s biggest secrets and routinely escapes public scrutiny. That agency, …

Loonie rises after five losing sessions, traders look to GDP data, Fed meeting

TORONTO — The Canadian dollar was higher Tuesday following a series of sharp declines as traders looked to see how the Canadian economy performed during November. The loonie was up 0.03 of a cent to 80.26 cents US following five, straight sessions of declines that have left the loonie as the worst performing currency, down …

Jollibee keen to acquire $1B US-based company

MANILA – Jollibee Foods Corp., the country’s largest fast food company, on Tuesday announced that they are looking for a fast-food firm in the United States worth $1 billion to acquire in order to increase their revenues. This was confirmed by JFC Chairman Tony Tan-Caktiong during an interview saying that a brand worth $1-billion will …

Tired of scraping ice of car windows? Meet Canadian startup Neverfrost

WATERLOO, Ontario — Fed up with the dismal winter ritual of chiselling ice off their car windows, a group of engineering students from Waterloo, Ont. came up with a way to ensure they never have to scrape another windshield again. What began as university project two-and-a-half years ago to solve a pet peeve has evolved …

Local, foreign corporations expected to compete for LRT-2 contract

MANILA, Philippines– A spokesperson for the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said that local and foreign corporations will be submitting the necessary requirements to indicate their interest in the Light Rail Transit Line 2 long-term operations and maintenance contract. Speaking for the DOTC, Michael Sagcal said that the submission and opening of qualification documents …

Four oil firms hike gasoline prices by Php0.30 and PhP0.10 per liter

MANILA — Chevron Philippines Inc. (CPI), Petron Corp., Seaoil Philippines Inc. and Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. (PSPC) will enforce a 30-centavo hike on gasoline prices and 10 centavos on diesel prices per liter on Tuesday. The four oil firms maintain their prices on kerosene. products. PSPC’s price change will become effective at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday …

PM: Thai Airways won’t go bankrupt but faces rehabilitation

BANGKOK — Thailand’s beleaguered national airline will be saved from bankruptcy under a rehabilitation plan being worked out between the airline and government, premier Prayuth Chan-ocha said Monday. Losses at state-owned Thai Airways swelled in the past two years as increased competition and years of mediocre management took their toll. The company reported a loss …