business

Pivot in Asia 2

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by: Erick San Juan

A LITTLE over a year now, Russia hosted the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in its Pacific port of Vladivostok. Back then. Russian President Vladimir Putin signaled that Moscow’s interest in Asia was rising as the traditional market for its energy and raw materials—the euro zone–wallowed in crisis and stagnation. And After America’s much-ballyhooed “pivot to Asia,” it is now Russia’s turn. (Source: Russia’s Pivot to Asia? by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D.)

Why not, given the following statistics, can Russia rebalance the two ‘superpowers’ in the Asia-Pacific region–United States and China. To wit: Russia produces more oil and natural gas than anyone else on the planet and because of this Russia is the number two oil exporter in the world and supplies 34 percent of Europe’s natural gas needs.

Since Vladimir Putin first became president of Russia, the Russian economy has grown at a very rapid pace. The following is from Wikipedia: #OpinYon #Asia #opinion

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Kudos MWSS: Let MWC, Maynilad Hurt

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by: Mentong Laurel 

LAST September 11, the MWSS denied appeals of the privatized water utilities companies Manila Water and Maynilad for water rate hikes and ordered lowering of water rates for the next five year. As a result, water rates are expected to lower by more than one peso per cubic meter starting October. This is still a far cry from the real lowering of rates that must be attained by the public to match the average water tariff in the region, but it is a good start.

Congratulations to the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) for taking a stand to be pro-People. Special thanks to MWSS acting chief regulator Emmanuel Caparas and his team for standing up for Public Welfare and the Public Good, against the corrupt 1997 concession agreement signed under the corporatist-enforcer Fidel V. Ramos and the compromised MWSS board members then.

The iniquitous pass-on to water consumers of corporate income tax is now ended because of Caparas’ “heroic stand” against pressures from the corporate powers and its controlled media and economist-advocates to keep the income tax pass-on privilege for their corporations. #OpinYon #MWSS #Maynilad

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No to Pork! Yes to Hainanese Chicken!

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by: Ramon M. Borromeo

MY wife and I received a last minute invitation from our dining partners to join them at what is practically a hole-in-the-wall restaurant called Happi Hen on Aguirre Avenue in BF Homes Paranaque. I forget the corner street it is on but it is right beside Panaderia Pantoja.

When we got there rather late, thanks to traffic, our hosts and their granddaughter had already ordered ahead. Since we tend to eat a lot more collectively, my wife and I ordered an additional order each of what was already on hand.

On hand was the house specialty, Hainanese Chicken (a whole quarter for P130.00), which is a complete meal in itself. Hainanese Chicken is simply simmered in initially boiling water with salt and ginger for a little less than 30 minutes. Thereafter the chicken is removed and plunged in ice water until it is no longer hot. Around 12 to 15 minutes should be adequate time. The chicken is then removed and hung to drip dry. Later on, the chicken is to be served at room temperature with hot flavoured rice and soup. #OpinYon #Living #food

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Mother Figures: Filipino matriarchs in new local films

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by: Boy Villasanta

IN the recently concluded maiden edition of the Film Development Council of the Philippines’ Sineng Pambansa National Film Festival, alternately dubbed as All Masters Film Festival, participated in by the country’s veteran directors, Filipino matriarchs were once again painted and presented in multi-colored and multi-dimensional types.

These were, more or less, underscored in the three (out of nine official entries) films we’ve watched.

In Gil M. Portes’ “Ang Tag-Araw ni Twinkle,” there were at least two mothers, one, Twinkle’s (Ellen Adarna) biological mom, a New People’s Army amazon who was shot dead by a junior military official during an encounter in the boondocks her baby wrapped in cloth around her chest during the fatal shootout, the other, the adoptive ma (Rina Reyes), the wife of senior officer General Payawal (Cris Villanueva).

In Jose Javier Reyes’ “Anong Kulay ang mga Nakalimutang Pangarap?,” there was one matriarch (each generation played intermittently by Madeleine Nicolas and Kimberly Diaz) and a surrogate one, the nanny Teresa (Rustica Carpio). #OpinYon #ePlus #entertainment

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Swiss Ambassador to the Philippines Ivo Sieber: IN LOVE WITH THE PHILIPPINES

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ABOUT 10,530 kilometers of land and ocean separate the Philippines from Switzerland. But in an instant, Filipinos can easily answer what comes to mind when they hear “Swiss”—the Swiss knife, chocolate, cheese, watch, and the Swiss Alps.
Many generations of Pinoys have been raised on products made by the Swiss food and beverage giant Nestle and treated for various ailments using Swiss-manufactured medicines.
Fact is, Switzerland has had official relations with the Philippines since 1862, when the Philippines was still a Spanish colony and most of our revolutionary heroes were still toddlers. The Swiss Consulate in the Philippines was the very first consulate in Asia and have maintained consular offices here until today.
Their man in Manila today is Ambassador Ivo Sieber. And, the Philippines is close to Sieber’s heart because he has been married for some 20 years now to Gracita—a beautiful Filipina with whom he has two teenaged girls. #OpinYon #Foreign #Swiss

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People Win vs. Corporatist Greed

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by: Mentong Laurel 

ON September 15, 2013 newspapers front-paged the MWSS (Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System) order for water concessionaires In Metro-Manila to cut their water rates for the next five years. Manila Water for the east zone is to reduce its rate by P 7.24/cubic meter and Maynilad Water in the west zone by P 1.46/cubic meter. The two privatized and corporatized water service utilities said they will dispute the MWSS order and submit it to arbitration proceedings. Manila Water claimed the tariff reduction would compromise its ability to serve its customers fully while Maynilad said it was “unjustified”.

(photo credit: http://waterforthepeople.wordpress.com)
(photo credit: http://waterforthepeople.wordpress.com)

The two water companies applied for rate hikes. But various consumer activist groups, individual and media advocates questioned the propriety of the companies passing off its income taxes to consumers. The debate raged since June with the public weighing heavily against the water companies and its apologists on the fairness and legality of passing off income taxes to consumers. The MWSS and the advocates stood strongly on the ground provided by the Puno Supreme Court in a 2003 decision, supported by COA (Commission on Audit) findings that disallowed Meralco’s passing on income tax to consumers and granting a P 30-B refund to its five million customers. #OpinYon #opinion

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BCDA President and CEO: ARNEL PACIANO D. CASANOVA, ESQ. “Top Caliber Executive”

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THE name alone grabs attention, but it is the story of Arnel Paciano D. Casanova that is more enthralling.

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The current President and Chief Executive Officer of the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA)—the Government-Owned and-Controlled Corporation mandated to transform former US military bases into alternative productive civilian use—Casanova has a demeanor that radiates authority and a simplicity that reveals his humble roots as a farmer’s son who grew up in Batangas province.

From his modest origins, Casanova sent himself through school through scholarships and by working odd jobs which include being a farm hand, baker, ice cream peddler, fast-food restaurant helper, English tutor, and researcher.

At the University of the Philippines, he earned degrees in Law, English Studies, and Urban Planning. The proof of his brilliance is a Master’s degree in Public Administration—with concentration on finance and leadership—from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Starting from the bottom of the ladder, Casanova’s his rise to the top is phenomenal, a classic rags-to-riches tale but nevertheless a story uniquely his own.

“One of my greatest accomplishments is that my family has been lifted from poverty. Our life is very different now,” Casanova said in a newspaper interview last year. #OpinYon #BCDA #Feature

cont | http://bit.ly/1f3EeCZ