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The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) will be having another round of rate reduction this July, which is at 10.68 centavos per kilowatt-hour (kWh). This is going to be the third straight month of their rate reduction and it is due to the lower costs from independent producers (IPPs) that offset higher prices at the spot market.
Mercaldo said in a statement that the price cut would mean a decrease in the July bill of about PHP21 for a typical residential customer using 200 kWh in a month. From 10.918 per kWh in the June billing period, the overall charge went down to PHP9.9850 in July billing period.
Meralco said the cost of electricity sourced through power supply agreements was still “stable,” with an increase of 4.14 centavos per kWh and representing 50.5 percent of the company’s supply this month.
There was also an increase of PHP1.8794 per kWh in the cost of electricity from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market, which provided 8 percent of Meralco’s supply.
Meralco added there was also a 7.88 centavo per kWh reduction in the transmission charge for residential customers while taxes and other charges went down by 3.49 centavos per kWh.
Expect to see more Initial Public Offerings (IPO) in the second half of the year if the stock market maintains its current level at 8,000.
The benchmark Philippine stock exchange index (PSEi) ended near the 8,000 mark in the first half of 2019 at 7,999.71, up 7.15 percent from the 7,193.68 in the same period last year. On Friday, the PSEi closed at 8,117.94, a 0.66 percent rise or 53.02 points higher than the previous trading day.
Philstocks Financial Inc. research analyst and engagement officer Piper Tan told reporters that companies are still on a wait and see stance when it comes to launching their IPOs, taking the performance of the economy into consideration.
According to Tan, those with intentions to go into IPO are AirAsia, Big Chill and Cal-Comp.
The Big Chill Inc. said last month that it is just waiting for the right timing. They also added that they are just waiting for the infusion of Tullys Coffee Asia Pacific into the company before proceeding with the IPO.
In May this, AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said the company is targeting to launch the IPO of its Philippine unit this year, driven by the improving performance of the company. AirAsia planned to raise as much as $250 million through an IPO in 2018, proceeds of which would be used for the firm’s expansion. However, due to the impact of high fuel prices and weaker Philippines peso, their IPO plans last year was deferred.
Consumer electronics manufacturer Cal-Comp Technology (Philippines) also deferred its P6.77 billion IPO last year due to volatile market conditions. However, they have announced earlier this year that they plan to proceed with the IPO in the third quarter.
Philstocks said it projects the PSEi to reach the 8,500 mark by year-end, driven by slowing inflation and more accommodative government policies.
Philstocks Financial Inc. senior research analyst Japhet Tantiangco told reporters that their assumption that the PSEi would reach 8,500 is first based upon the continuous decline of inflation. Since June, inflation eased to 2.7 percent the lowest since September 2017 according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
The new inflation estimated by Philstocks this year is only 2.5 to 3 percent, way lower than their earlier 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent projection.
Titiangco added that the loose monetary and fiscal policy will drive or boost aggregate spending, which will boost corporate margins. He also noted that corporate margins are projected to grow by10 to 15 percent this year.
Another factor that will propel the PSEi upward is the strengthening of the peso against the dollar, according to another analyst.
Despite the easing inflation, the economy is still facing challenges. Philstocks attributed those challenges to the uncertainties in oil prices in light of prevailing geopolitical tensions and a choppy global economy.
The bid for the 3rd telco is finally on its last leg. Mislatel Consortium earlier this week gained the license to operate as a telco, breaking the country's long running doupoly. Mislatel will call their telco service "Dito".
On the evening of July 8, 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte awarded Mislatel its the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) at a ceremony in Malacañang.
Mislatel consortium’s spokesperson Adel Tamano told reporters that Dito will start accepting subscribers by 2020. While he refused to give an exact date he has a lot of confidence of the said launch.
The first thing that the newly announced 3rd telco will be rolling out is their 4G network which is said to be a better version of the ones operating in the Philippines to date. It will be a 4G VOLTE or Voice Over LTE which will allow for high definition voice calls while staying connected to the internet.
When asked about Mislatel's promise to provide a 5G connection, Tamano said that they're "very confident.”
“We’re not rolling out 2G. We’re not rolling out 3G. We’re rolling out 4G VOLTE. But it’s ready for 5G,” he added.
The internet is not just a treasure trove of information, but it’s also now a marketplace filled with opportunities, a money-making one at that!
It’s no wonder why online shopping is relentlessly on the rise in the Philippines as more Filipinos start to appreciate the convenience and choices that online shopping has brought to the table.
As more people hop on the online shopping bandwagon, it also opens a world of business opportunities for entrepreneurs and anyone looking to earn some cash. According to Statista, there are 30.3 million online shoppers in 2016 and it continues to grow year-over-year, with 33.8 million in 2017, 37.7 in 2018, and 41.9 million in 2019 (and that doesn’t account for the rest of this year!).
With mobile phones evolving into mini-computers, online shopping has become even more accessible to Filipinos. According to the State of eCommerce in Southeast Asia 2017 by iPrice Group, there is a steady increase of traffic in online shopping sites from mobile phone users, with at least 19% growth every quarter from the 3rd quarter of 2016 to the 2nd quarter of 2017. This is a clear indication that eCommerce is where the business growth will be going forward.
With platforms like Lazada making online businesses more accessible to the right customers, there isn’t really any reason not to consider joining their platform for aspiring online business entrepreneurs or those who just want to scale their existing business.
Before you dive straight into online selling, get to know the requirements you must meet and conditions you must agree upon which we have listed in easy helpful steps below.
How to become a seller in Lazada Philippines?
The e-commerce site that needs no introduction. Lazada is the leading online shopping platform in the Philippines and third in Southeast Asia. They have over 300 million Stock Keep Units (SKU) across all shopping categories, making this platform a one-stop for most online shoppers’ needs. According to an aggregate site, iPrice.ph, Lazada gets 25.6 million visitors a month on the average.
What makes Lazada extremely appealing to Filipinos is that most stores in the platform have Cash on Delivery (CoD) for their mode of payment. With a low bank penetration rate in the Philippines, it isn’t a surprise why the market prefers this mode of payment over the others. Also, the fact that Filipinos are still getting acquainted with online shopping, CoD is indeed the best way to build their trust in this system.
[block type="info" title="For your information"]
Monthly traffic - 25.6 million a month [/block]
What can you sell?
There’s practically almost everything in Lazada, from clothing and fashion items to the most bizarre items you can think of. The question rather is what can you not sell in Lazada? We can basically count them unlike the list of what you can sell on their platform.
According to Lazada’s policy, here are the things that you are not to sell in their platform:
Food items which do not comply with the requirements of Food Regulations。
Pirated or harmful software.
Weapons of any sort.
Anything that portrays vulgarity.
Prohibited gaming and gambling products
How much is the seller fee in Lazada?
Of course, selling in Lazada’s platform will come with some sort of fee to keep your store on their listing page. Aside from that, there will be country-specific taxes that sellers must accept in order to operate and distribute their products legally. Fortunately, Lazada isn’t one that will charge you per month like some subscription services, instead, they have their own commission scheme for every sale that you make. Below are the fees involved:
Drones, DSLR, Instant Camera, Point and Shoot, Video & Action Camcorder, Gadgets and Other Cameras
Camera Accessories, Lenses, Optics
Computer and Laptops
Laptops, Printers and Accessories, Scanners, Desktop Computers
Computer Accessories, Computer Components, Network Components, PC Gaming, Software, Storage
Cooling and Heating, Garment Care, Home Appliances Accessories, Housekeeping, Small Kitchen Appliances
Health and Beauty
Home and Living
Media, Music and Books
Sports and Outdoors
Toys and Games
Travel and Luggage
Watches, Sunglasses, Jewelry
Value Added Tax (VAT)
This section is called the Government Service Tax (GST) for other countries. It’s Philippine counterpart is the Value Added Tax (VAT). Its current rate is 10% of the overall purchase.
Shipping and packaging cost
Other than the actual shipping cost, sellers will have to follow a certain protocol in packaging their products before shipping them to their customers. The good news is, sellers, don’t have to drop off their package to Lazada’s courier office. With Lazada’s global distribution solution, the seller will just wait for the courier to pick up their package from their warehouse. So, make sure your warehouse address is correctly indicated upon registration.
A Business License in the Philippines
A Payoneer card which is registered as an enterprise.
An email and phone number that you will register with your account.
Sellers must have certain e-commerce sales experience, such as Amazon, AliExpress, Wish, eBay, etc.
Click the “Sell On Lazada” option on the upper-middle part of their website.
You will then be taken to another page where you are presented with the option to “become a seller now” together with the perks of doing so in their platform. Click that and move on to the next page.
Choose how you want to sell in the platform. Generally, if you just want to sell locally with your own little stores, click "Local Seller."
[block type="info" title="For your information"]
Lazmall seller accounts are for licensed manufacturers, suppliers, or distributors of a certain product line.
LazGlobal Sellers are stores who sell across Lazada's platform across the territories reached by their platform. [/block]
The new page will then require you to verify your country and phone number. Slide the verification slider to unlock the next steps.
The complete form will be unlocked and it will unveil the application form where you can fill in your business information, billing address, and etc. After the filling in the information for the said page, hit submit and be taken to the next step. But first, tick the terms and conditions box and enter the verification code sent to your mobile number before you click the "Sign Up" button again.
Download the contract, sign it, then upload it again together with the required documents listed on the page.
Check your email to verify your seller’s account and change your password.
You will receive a series of emails for training and registration of your Payoneer card.
You’re now set to start your business in Lazada. Follow their training guides sent to your email to learn the best practices and to troubleshoot issues you might face in their platform as a seller.
Online selling has never been this procurable for anyone who wants to start a business. If you’re looking for an opportunity to earn some money through online selling, becoming a seller in Lazada is the first but biggest step to take. Couple it with good quality inventory and customer satisfaction is driven attitude, becoming a seller in Lazada can prove to be a good source of income.
Sources: 1, 2
Do you know how many Filipinos were covered by microinsurance 10 years ago? Less than three million! Fast forward to 2019 and that figure has grown to 38.9 million.
According to the Department of Finance (DOF) Undersecretary Gil Beltran, he wants 50 million Filipinos to have microinsurance coverage by 2022 as part of the government ongoing initiative on financial inclusion.
Globally, microinsurance premiums and contributions indicate an upward trend; the International Labor Organization’s Impact Insurance Facility said that microinsurance covers about 500 million risks all over the world.
The number of Filipinos covered by any form of insurance, whether it is traditional insurance products or the newer financial models that include microinsurance has been shaped by the nation's economic reality. A 2018 survey by Sun Life Financial Philippines Inc. (SLFP) on life insurance penetration revealed that 71 percent of the middle- to upper-class Filipinos knew about insurance but only 16 percent actually owned life insurance products.
With such a low insurance penetration rate in the country, a more affordable and easily accessible insurance option such as a microinsurance can help boost awareness and coverage among Filipinos.
According to Melvin Juruena, BIMA Philippines’ Country Manager, “Microinsurance plays a vital role in society. With a low insurance penetration rate, the people are at risk of having no protection and security in case of unfavorable events”.
What is microinsurance and why is it necessary?
First regulated in the Philippines in 2009, microinsurance is a subset of microfinance that, like its name denotes, offers insurance products to cover the risks that come with certain life emergencies. However, it is specifically tailored towards low-income households or individuals who will otherwise not have easy access to the financial markets.
Microinsurance premiums cannot go beyond 7% of the current daily minimum wage, while their benefits can cover up to 500 times the daily minimum wage. For example, if the daily minimum wage is ₱600, premiums cannot cost more than ₱42, while its coverage can go as high as ₱300,000.
Like traditional insurance, microinsurance comes in several forms to cover a range of risks. These include health and property risks, such as livestock or cattle insurance, death insurance, crop insurance, and natural disaster insurance. But unlike traditional insurance, microinsurance comes with its own specific characteristics.
How is microinsurance different from a traditional insurance product?
Unlike traditional insurance which provides very broad insurance coverage to the policyholder (from accidents and health to even assets) microinsurance only provisions a single item from that whole package.
Basically, a person who wants to get insured can pick and choose only those coverage which he or she deems as necessary. In turn, microinsurance is a more affordable insurance option that can give a person more flexibility in ensuring only those aspects which is more crucial for him or her.
Affordable premium (Less than a hundred pesos)
Expensive premium (Could reach to a few thousand)
Insurance coverage is specific depending on the provider (ex: personal accident coverage, hospitalization, etc.)
Broad insurance coverage (could cover different types of insurance in one policy)
Minimal documents (a valid ID and a mobile phone will suffice for some) for application.
A handful of documents and forms to fill up for application.
Claims are given within 10 business days from the submission of documents
Claims are given within 10 to 14 business days from the submission of documents.
Another factor that helps boost the take up of microinsurance among the underserved communities is the government's move to allow mobile applications in the distribution of insurance products. This helps break the barriers that keep the uninsured population from getting a policy, providing even those without a bank account the capability to apply for insurance via SMS to make it more inclusive, coupled with a very affordable premium.
Among the vendors for microinsurance in the Philippines is BIMA Personal Accident Insurances. They offer personal accident insurance for as low as ₱70 a month and their policy is delivered by Pioneer Insurance.
Contracts must be written in simple terms in Filipino or English and must clearly define its face amount, benefits and coverage terms. If the product is a life microinsurance product, the insured has up to 45 days from the due date of the premium payment throughout the effectivity of the contract, and the contestability period is one year.
So far, so good. So, do you need it?
Who should get microinsurance?
It is recommended that any minimum wage worker get microinsurance, as should people who belong to low-income households.
Those employed in the informal sector, such as sidewalk vendors, are also encouraged to apply for coverage through any one of its many insurance products.
Beside low-income households, micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), which form the bulk of businesses in the Philippines should also seek microinsurance coverage.
Unlike traditional insurance providers where insurance application takes a long process and a handful of paperwork, getting a microinsurance is extremely easy. Microinsurance providers like BIMA Personal Accident Insurance only require SMS registration and then deduct your monthly premium from your mobile credits. Meanwhile, some can easily be purchased online with your debit or credit card.
Benefits to the low income and informal sector
There are several benefits that come from microinsurance, especially to the low income and informal sectors. First off, it helps provide a viable financial vessel that can help policyholders deal with unfortunate emergencies or other untoward events. Crises that result in serious injuries, damage to property, and death will incur expenses - and microinsurance policies can help you tide over such eventualities.
In addition, microinsurance can bridge the gap that exists between financial products for the traditionally employed and for those in the low income and informal economies, which are usually underserved by those providing mainstream financial services.
Microinsurance is specifically designed to cater to the low income and informal sectors. This means that you are assured of finding policies that are regulated and designed to make coverage as convenient and comprehensive as possible for you and your family. Traditional insurance products do not offer this convenience, and even if they can, they usually come at higher premiums.
The government’s role in microinsurance provision
If you are interested in taking advantage of microinsurance products, there has never been a better time than now. The government intends to cover as many as 50M Filipinos through microinsurance by 2022, which means there are 11 million more Filipinos who can benefit from it over the next four years. According to DOF Undersecretary Gil Beltran, their department plans to utilize farmers insurance by transforming the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation or PCIC into a reinsurer, which will help make the private provision of farmers insurance to be more competitive.
Additionally, the National Strategy and the Regulatory Framework for Microinsurance exists to help make sure that government policy will be geared towards the effective creation and of thrusts and measures to deliver microinsurance products to those who need them. By working closely with the Insurance Commission, which is tasked with approving each microinsurance product before it is offered, those in the low income and informal sectors can look forward to finding sustainable and efficient coverage against many of life’s calamities.
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Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno announced on Wednesday that the new generation currency (NGC) banknotes will have more security features starting next year.
According to Diokno two more security features will be added to the currency: upgraded window security thread with unique color and design per denomination, and anti-copy and anti-scanning features to improve counterfeit deterrence.
The new banknotes will also have tactile marks for the benefit of the elderly and the visually impaired. This is part of BSP’s commitment to promoting broad and convenient access to high-quality financial services to the Filipino people.
Aside from the new features mentioned above, the latest NGC banknotes will also bear the following features:
Embossed prints that feel rough to the touch, which can be felt in the signatures of the Philippine president and the BSP governor.
Asymmetric serial number
Embedded red and blue security fibers
Watermark of the portrait with the corresponding value of the denomination
See-through mark of “PILIPINO” written in Baybayin
Concealed value of the denomination becomes visible when rotated and tilted down
Embedded thread across the note becomes visible when viewed against the light
Filipino passport holders can still visit Taiwan visa-free until July 31, 2020. This trial program offered by Taiwan to Brunei, Thailand, and Philippines passport holders grants 14 days visa-free entry into the country. The decision to continue this program aims to boost business and tourism in Taiwan, and it’s showing good results.
According to the Ministry of Taiwan, the visa-free trial has yielded a 27.7 percent year-on-year increase in visitors. In 2017, they had an increase of 2.28 million visitors from the countries offered with visa-free entry. Tourists from the Philippines accounts for the 290,784 visitors in the total number of visitors. Meanwhile, Taiwan visitors entering the Philippines increased by 236,777 in the same year.
The government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) also noted that this privilege is a display of Taiwan’s amity with the Philippines as the country continues to boost the travel convenience for Filipinos to visit Taiwan for leisure, business, or other short-term purposes. They added that the visa-free privilege also aims to deepen Taiwan's multifaceted relations with the Philippines, particularly in the fields of tourism, trade, investment, education, agriculture, fisheries, and healthcare, etc.
Good news to all the professionals who run their own offices or clinics! The Department of Finance (DOF) has issued a new set of guidelines to local government units on taxes and other charges to professionals, exempting them from paying for the business permit fees.
The DOF released a statement on Tuesday saying that among the salient features of Local Finance Circular (LFC) 001-2019 is the exemption of professionals from paying business permit fees. The LFC was signed by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III last June 12.
They further explained that under the guidelines, while professionals still need to secure business permits from LGUs, such should be at no cost at all during the registration or renewal of the operation of their clinics or offices, given that such permits cannot regulate the practice of their profession.
The reason behind this is because the regulations over the practice of professions are within the exclusive domain of the respective agencies or regulatory boards empowered by law to supervise and regulate professions.
Meanwhile, business taxes will only be applicable to professionals who are verified to be engaged in distribution, trading, or selling of goods which are not constituted in their professions. The LGU will have the authority to impose a business permit fee during their registration and renewal of operation for this case.
The new set of guidelines were made to address the complaints on LGU’s improper imposition of local taxes, fees, and other charges on professionals. The LFC was designed to ensure fair, uniform, and proper implementation of the provisions of the Local Government Code on the taxability of professionals relative to the practice of their professions. It will also complement efforts in streamlining and facilitating government transactions, as mandated under Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business Law.
For a student, making full use of his or her education should be of utmost importance - and laptops are some of the best tools in achieving that. In fact, a study by the Michigan State University that analyzed almost 100 students into one-on-one computing environments, or assigning one laptop to one student, found that having such a device does lead to academic performance in subjects including English, Math, and Science.
In the Philippines, it is even more beneficial for a student to have his or her own laptop, as it can bridge the gap between the quality of education that the traditional learning environment can provide and the quality of education that the student deserves.
If you’re saving up for one, you have a good idea why - you know it will be useful for your studies. And luckily, you don’t need to spend a lot to get a good one. Below are five of the least expensive brands and models for you, according to price ranges.
ASUS Vivobook E200HA
Straightforward and effective, this one from ASUS boasts of 12-hour optimal battery life and can handle everything from video streaming to word processing. As an educational tool, it accords you with Windows 10 and a year of free subscription to important 365 programs such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Publisher. It also comes with 1 TB of online cloud space.
Like the other 11-inch notebooks in the market, the ASUS Vivobook E200HA is portable and lightweight, which already makes it great for students who want to make sure that they don't need to lug around something heavy as they move from class to class. However, this model is one of the lightest you will find at 980g and can even fit inside a shoulder bag!
[block type="info" title="For your information"]Price starts at ₱9, 000+[/block]
HP Stream 14
Off the Stream 11 and 13, the Stream 14 from HP is designed to deliver better experiences in buffer-free streaming, as well as smooth and fast downloads and surfing. In addition, it is an upgrade from previous models, in terms of storage and battery life, as it offers 4GB of RAM and 10 hours and 45 minutes of battery life.
It also comes pre-packaged with Windows 10, an 802.11 ac 2×2 Wi-Fi antenna, and free 25GB of Dropbox storage for a year. Lastly, you can look forward to one year of free subscription to Word, Excel, PPT, Access, and OneNote, as well as 1 TB of OneDrive storage
[block type="info" title="For your information"]Price starts at ₱10,000+[/block]
Lenovo IdeaPad 100s
The IdeaPad range from Lenovo has a quad-core Intel Atom processor that makes it perfect for students who do not only want to make sure they excel at school with the help of a laptop, but also enjoy downtime away from school stuff.
Its Windows 10 Home features include InstantGo technology, which means that you are assured of razor-fast boot and end processes for managing multiple tasks. When it comes the time to watch movies and chill, you can enjoy entertainment at its finest because of its 1366x768 HD display and Dolby Advanced Audio.
Battery life only lasts for up to 8 hours, but it is compact and lightweight. Additionally, it offers 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage, and a year of free use of the Microsoft Office 365 suite.
[block type="info" title="For your information"]Price starts at ₱10,000+[/block]
Dell Inspiron i3168
A very well-recommended model for those who are on a budget, the Dell Inspiron i3168 is an 11-inch laptop that comes with a 360-hinge design so that you can flip the keyboard and lay the whole unit flat, if you so wish. In fact, it comes in four modes: Tablet, Stand, Tent, and Laptop.
It is perfect for students as it is powered with some of the best technologies in its current price range, including its 1.6GHz Intel Pentium N3710 quad-core processor. This means that this laptop offers better thermal processing, so you don't have to worry about it getting hot while you are using it. Additionally, it comes with a 500GB worth of hard disk storage.
It is available in three colors, and comes with Intel HD graphics, for those who like light and simple games.
[block type="info" title="For your information"]Price starts at ₱13,000+[/block]
Dell Inspiron 15 5000 15.6
For those students who have a bit more leeway with their budget, this one from Dell is a steal, as you can use it for optimal research and other school tasks, as well as gaming! With its 6th Gen Intel Core processors, it is one of the fastest models within its price range, which is good news for those who need to be running multiple tabs while doing their school assignments.
It can also withstand up to 6 hours of continuous surfing, which puts it above average, in terms of battery life. And it offers 1 TB of space for storage while offering capacitive touch screen feature.
[block type="info" title="For your information"]Price starts at ₱20,000[/block]
If you’re in the market for a basic laptop which can help you get by your homework, thesis, or simple school projects that doesn’t demand too much processing power from a computer, these laptops can do the job. Other than the price tag and performance, they’re also from credible brands that provide good customer service and warranty.
Globe, a local telco has unveiled the first 5G postpaid plans for homes to be launched soon. With this move, the Philipines will be the first country in Southeast Asia to experience commercial fifth-generation (5G) fixed wireless broadband.
Globe At Home Air Fiber 5G is the first 5G wireless broadband product unveiled by Globe. With it, more Filipinos at home will have a 5G connection despite the telco’s challenges in rolling out fiber optic cables across the country.
According to Ernest Cu, the President and CEO of Globe, Globe At Home Air Fiber 5G makes use of fixed location wireless radios instead of fiber optic cables which enables the company to go over the circuitous approval process of deploying a fiber optic cable—a task which proves to be arduous and involves securing multiple permits from local government units.
The postpaid plans unveiled offer fiber-like speeds of up to 100Mbps and super-sized data packages of up to 2 Terabytes (TB). These 5G connection packages will be initially available in select areas in Pasig, Cavite, and Bulacan in July.
The pricing for Globe At Home Air 5G are as follows:
PHP1,899 per month for 20Mbps
PHP2,499 for 50Mbps
PHP2899 for 100Mbps.
All of the said packages will be capped at 2TB .
5G technology enables the use of Internet of Things (IoT) for today’s intelligent homes. Internet connection that is faster, more secure and with lower latency brought by 5G significantly enhanced entertainment and security systems at home, promising a digital experience that is more seamless, reliable and intuitive for the modern Filipino household.