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AirAsia Philippines wants more airport slots to expand market

AirAsia Philippines wants more airport slots to expand market

AIRASIA PHILIPPINES is aiming to expand its domestic market by 20% next year as the low-cost carrier targets more airport slots.

“Additional slots will allow AirAsia to flourish in Visayas and Mindanao especially since we also plan to grow our domestic market by 20% in 2024,” Steve F. Dailisan, head for communications and public affairs at AirAsia Philippines, said in a media release.

More airport slots will also allow the company to revive flights to Zamboanga, Dumaguete, and General Santos City, and increase flight frequency in Cagayan De Oro, Mr. Dailisan said.

“This, in turn, will give AirAsia the upper hand to continue to provide the best value airfares and best travel deals as we continue to democratize air travel for everyone,” he said.

An airport slot is a permit issued to airlines by the airport’s administration to allow them the use of takeoff and landing facilities.

Transportation Secretary Jaime J. Bautista said unutilized slots were a result of the pandemic, giving rise to flight limitations and prompting the transfer of slots to airlines that are willing to use them.

He added that the Transportation department would assess the availability of slots together with the Manila International Airport Authority and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines before giving the available slots to AirAsia.

Speaking during the budget briefing of the Department of Transportation, Senator Juan Miguel F. Zubiri said that “equal distribution” of unutilized slots must be given to airlines that can immediately operate them.

In a separate media release, Malaysian multinational company Capital A Berhad said it is targeting to fully reactivate the low-cost airline’s 204 aircraft after a new agreement with its long-term partner and engine provider, CFM International.

“After over two years of Covid, we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. We have made enormous strides in bringing back our planes and restarting our operations, balancing a mismatch of the cost of 204 planes and the revenue of flying 143 planes on average this year,” Capital A Chief Executive Officer Anthony Francis Fernandes said in a statement on Thursday.

Capital A is the parent firm of AirAsia Philippines.

It said CFM’s continued efforts to enhance fleet stability have allowed the company to fully reinstate its full fleet across the group.

“We have brought back 175 planes. CFM’s fleet stability support brings a vital catalyst for us to return to full activation,” Mr. Fernandes said.

“We look forward to fourth-quarter results when we’re going to see the real performance of AirAsia with the full fleet,” he added.

The company said it would capitalize on the reinstatement of its fleets and expand to more than 300 aircraft in the next five years. — Ashley Erika O. Jose

#AirAsia #Philippines #airport #slots #expand #market

Rice crisis in the Philippines sounds a global inflation alarm

Rice crisis in the Philippines sounds a global inflation alarm

SURGING RICE PRICES in the Philippines could be a warning sign for other major importers of the food staple as the fallout from India’s export restrictions continues to reverberate across Asia and West Africa.

Rice inflation in the Southeast Asian nation increased at the fastest pace in almost five years in August, reviving memories of a 2018 shock that led to the end of a two-decade-old limit on imports. The Philippine central bank warned this week that it’s ready to resume monetary tightening if needed, while diplomacy and deals reign elsewhere as other countries rush to secure supply.

“We’re seeing a great deal of uncertainty,” said Shirley Mustafa, an economist at the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. “Price pressure is being exacerbated by the restrictions.”

India’s restrictions have upended the market and prompted worried nations to secure supply as they try and contain the rising cost of rice, which is a vital part of the diets of billions of people across Asia and Africa. Manila has placed a cap on prices, a measure that’s led to the downfall of a finance official.  

Finance Undersecretary Cielo Magno said she will resign after a Facebook post that appeared to question the recently implemented price cap. The limit was imposed earlier this month after an “alarming” increase in retail costs.

Supply security is at the top of the agenda for many consumers. Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. and Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh met on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Jakarta and are planning a five-year deal. Senegal is making diplomatic overtures to India, taking similar steps to other nations including Guinea and Singapore to ensure supply.

Indonesia has agreed to sign a supply agreement with Cambodia for the first time in over a decade. The memorandum of understanding is for as much as 250,000 tons a year, more than double the volume of a similar deal in 2012. Jakarta has already pledged to provide 10 kilograms of the grain each month to millions of poor families during the fourth quarter of this year.

Other nations are taking steps to stem rising costs. Malaysia has implemented a purchase limit and started checks on wholesalers and commercial millers after allegations that local grain was being sold as imported rice at a higher price. Myanmar has also imposed a mandatory system to record volumes of stored rice to control domestic prices and deter speculation.

Some heat came out of the market this week with Asia’s rice benchmark dipping slightly, but prices are still near the highest level since 2008. — Bloomberg

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In cat and mouse game, Philippines resupplies troops in South China Sea atoll

SOUTH CHINA SEA — The Philippines has completed a supply mission for troops stationed in a rusty World War Two-era ship, but not without a usual cat and mouse chase with Chinese vessels in the South China Sea.

Reuters went onboard one of the Philippine Coast Guard’s vessels escorting the mission to the Second Thomas Shoal on Friday and witnessed how the Chinese Coast Guard and maritime militia vessels tried to chase and block the Philippine contingent from reaching their destination.

China said the vessels entered the waters without its permission.

During the mission, two Chinese ships blocked two Philippine coast guard vessels. In another instance, a Philippine ship was surrounded by a Chinese coast guard vessel and three maritime militia vessels.

One of the Chinese ships was also seen heading dangerously close to the Philippine vessel which Reuters was onboard, while several Chinese militia vessels tried to block its path.

“We always encounter dangerous manoeuvres, shadowing activities, blocking not only from China coast guard vessels, but also from China militia vessels,” Philippine Coast Guard commanding officer Emmanuel Dangate told reporters after the mission.

“It is imperative that the supplies be delivered to BRP Sierra Madre to support our soldiers stationed there.”

The Philippines intentionally grounded the warship in 1999 as part of its sovereignty claim to the shoal, which is located inside its 200-mile exclusive economic zone.

China’s coast guard said on Friday two Philippine supply boats and two coast guard ships had entered the waters adjacent to the shoal without permission from the Chinese government.

China claims that the Philippines is bringing construction materials that reinforces the rusty warship and violates China’s sovereignty in the shoal. The Philippines says it is taking water and food to its troops.

A U.S. Navy plane was also spotted overhead during Friday’s mission.

In a radio message to its Chinese counterpart, the Philippine coast guard warned that the Chinese actions would affect relations between the two countries.

The actions are “illegal, aggressive and destabilising,” it said.

It was the second successfully completed resupply mission since Aug. 5 when China’s coast guard used a water cannon to deter the Philippine ships.

In 2016, the Philippines won an international arbitration award against China, with the tribunal invalidating Beijing’s sweeping claim to sovereignty over most of the South China Sea. Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, Taiwan and the Philippines have various claims to certain areas. — Reuters

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China coast guard repeats opposition to Philippines’ grounded warship

BEIJING (UPDATE) – China’s coast guard said it had warned and followed Philippine vessels on Friday near the Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea that were carrying out a resupply mission to a grounded warship on the atoll.

Disputes over the grounded World War Two-era warship Sierra Madre have heated up after China sprayed a Philippine vessel with a water cannon on an Aug. 5 resupply mission, with Philippines rejecting Beijing’s repeated calls to tow away the ship.

Two Philippine supply boats and two coast guard ships entered the waters adjacent to the shoal without the permission of the Chinese government, the coast guard said.

The Second Thomas Shoal, known in China as Renai Reef, and Ayungin in Manila, lies within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and is home to a handful of troops living aboard the warship, grounded there in 1999 to reinforce its sovereignty claim.

China’s coast guard said it issued a stern warning to the Philippine vessels and followed them throughout the journey, repeating China’s “firm” opposition to the Philippines’ transportation of “illegal” construction materials to the grounded warship.

Relations between the two countries froze over the South China Sea under Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., with Manila pivoting back to the United States, which supports the Southeast Asian nation in its maritime disputes with China.

Reuters had reported that Manila is in talks to develop a civilian port in the remote northernmost islands of the Philippines, which is less than 200 km (125 miles) from Taiwan.

The Southeast Asian nation also upgraded bilateral ties with Australia to a strategic partnership amid rising security challenges, including China’s stronger presence in the South China Sea. — Reuters

#China #coast #guard #repeats #opposition #Philippines #grounded #warship

JLL Philippines Project Development and Services achieves 3 ISO certifications

JLL Philippines Project Development and Services achieves 3 ISO certifications

JLL Philippines’ PDS business obtains certifications on Quality Management System, Environmental Management System, and Occupational Safety & Health Management System

Jones Lang LaSalle Philippines, Inc. (JLL), through its Project Development and Services (PDS) business, has obtained a new ISO certification on Environmental Management System (14001:2015).

JLL’s PDS business is the project management and construction line of JLL Philippines. Since 2020, the business has been ISO-certified for Quality Management System (ISO 9001:2015) and Occupational Safety & Health Management System (ISO 45001:2018).

JLL Philippines’ PDS business has been certified on June 23, 2023 by TÜV SÜD PSB, a trusted provider of the ISO/IEC 20000 Certification. Leading the certification are team members Jun Villaran, Rose Ann Sincioco-Delos Reyes, Arnold Relunio, and John Morgan.

Quality Management System: ISO 9001:2015 specifies that an organization needs to demonstrate its ability to consistently provide products and services that meet applicable statutory and regulatory requirements while aiming to enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of the system.

Environmental Management System: ISO 14001:2015 is intended for use by an organization seeking to manage its environmental responsibilities in a systematic manner. The certification helps an organization achieve the intended outcomes of its environmental management system, which provide value for the environment, the organization itself and interested parties.

Occupational Safety & Health Management System: ISO 45001:2018 enables organizations to provide safe and healthy workplaces by preventing work-related injury and ill health, as well as by proactively improving its occupational health and safety performance.

About ISO

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an international standard development organization composed of representatives from the national standards organizations of member countries. Through its members, ISO brings together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based, market relevant International Standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges.

About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. JLL shapes the future of real estate for a better world by using the most advanced technology to create rewarding opportunities, amazing spaces and sustainable real estate solutions for our clients, our people and our communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $20.9 billion, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of more than 103,000 as of December 31, 2022. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit


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Philippines’ $3-billion airport project has three potential bidders – secretary

Philippines’ $3-billion airport project has three potential bidders – secretary

JAKARTA – A P170.6 billion ($3 billion) project to modernize the main international airport in the Philippines has attracted three potential bidders, including India’s GMR Group, the Philippine transportation secretary said on Wednesday.

Ranked among the world’s worst international gateways, the aging Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) badly needs an upgrade to end chronic flight delays, address congestion, and improve facilities.

The other two possible bidders were conglomerate San Miguel corporation and a Manila consortium, whose $4.9 billion unsolicited proposal for the project was rejected earlier, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said.

India’s GMR group has been operating an airport on the Philippine tourism island of Cebu.

“We want somebody who has experience in operating an airport … and, of course, with a very good financial background. Those are two major requirements,” Mr. Bautista said in an interview on the sideline of an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Indonesia.

Bautista said the government would try to find overseas investors through two roadshows, in Singapore next week and in Paris in the third week of September, before opening bidding in the last week of December, and naming a winner in January.

The winning bidder must then operate and maintain the airport, the capacity of which would be doubled after the upgrade to about 60 million passengers a year, Mr.Bautista said, adding the concession period being offered was 25 years.

Apart from NAIA, the Philippines is seeking financing to upgrade four other airports, on Busuanga island, Zamboanga city, Sanga-Sanga island and General Santos city. It will also build a new airport in Brooke’s Point town on Palawan island.

The secretary presented the five projects during a business matching event on Wednesday on the sidelines of an ASEAN business summit. No deals had yet been agreed at this early stage, he said.

“This is more to give them information and we will need to do further communication with the audience,” he said.


The Philippines has set an internal deadline to renegotiate Chinese loans for three railway projects worth $4.9 billion, at the end of December, Bautista said, adding that in parallel, the government had been talking to other possible investors.

Last year, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr ordered the transport ministry to renegotiate the loan agreements that were considered “withdrawn” after the Chinese government “failed to act on the funding requests”.

“If there will be no funding, we will have to cancel the existing agreement with them and look for another source of funding,” Mr. Bautista said, adding there were several interested investors.

The three projects are: Subic-Clark Railway Project, the Philippine National Railways South Long-Haul Project and the Davao-Digos segment of the Mindanao Railway Project.

Bautista said inflation might have pushed their costs up to more than $4.9 billion and the National Economic and Development Authority may have to be approve them again. — Reuters

#Philippines #3billion #airport #project #potential #bidders #secretary

Malaysia Embassy in the Philippines commemorates National Day with flag raising ceremony

Malaysia Embassy in the Philippines commemorates National Day with flag raising ceremony

The Embassy of Malaysia in the Philippines commemorated its National Day on Aug. 31, 2023 with a flag-raising ceremony at Rumah Malaysia, the official residence of the Ambassador in Makati. The ceremony was led by Ambassador of Malaysia to the Republic of the Philippines His Excellency Dato’ Abdul Malik Melvin Castelino Anthony. It was attended by the Malaysian community and a host of local guests and friends of the Embassy.

The flag-raising ceremony began with a Doa (prayer) recitation, followed by the Malaysian National Anthem, “Negaraku” and the recitation of Rukun Negara National Principles).

Subsequently Ambassador Anthony delivered a speech where he highlighted the importance of the Rukun Negara in preserving national unity and harmony. He expressed his appreciation for the warm hospitality of the Filipino people and the strong ties between Malaysia and the Philippines especially at the leader’s level between Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and President Marcos Jr. Malaysia and the Philippines share the same aims and objectives of long-lasting peace and prosperity for the peoples of the two countries as well as the region.

In the press conference that followed, the Ambassador announced three main events that the Embassy will organise to commemorate the nation’s National Day.

The first is the Malaysia Friendship Golf Open slated on 9 September at the Pradera Verde Golf & Country Club in Pampanga. Gathering 216 golfers, the event promises “not only a day of enjoyable golfing but also the chance to make a lasting impact on those in need,” according to the Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industries Philippines (MCCI). All proceeds generated from the event will be dedicated to various charitable initiatives.

The second big event is the much-awaited weekend street festival “This is Malaysia” that will be held on September 16 and 17 along Paseo De Roxas Street in Makati. The festivals aims to celebrate Malaysia’s diverse tourism destinations, fascinating escapades, exquisite food, education, medical tourism and other endless discoveries of the country.

All these events are held to bring together the people of both countries to celebrate the beautiful friendship and strong ties that bind the two countries. Ambassador Anthony reaffirmed the Embassy’s commitment to further elevate the bilateral relations especially in the field of trade and economy for the benefit of the two countries. He invites all Filipinos and other members of the community to join the Embassy in celebrating Malaysia’s historic 66th milestone.


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#Malaysia #Embassy #Philippines #commemorates #National #Day #flag #raising #ceremony

How Philippines is refining its tools to better fight inflation

How Philippines is refining its tools to better fight inflation

After consumer prices in the Philippines soared at the fastest pace in more than a decade in January, the country’s central bank pursued more changes in the way it manages money supply to more effectively fight inflation and help spur economic activity.

Here’s what’s been done:

1. What is new?

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) this week will introduce more changes in its monetary operations after expanding in June the list of shorter securities that it’s issuing and the following month began accepting all bids for its overnight reverse repurchase facility, one of its main policy tools. BSP Governor Eli Remolona, who took office on July 3, has said the BSP has been working to establish a market-determined interbank overnight rate. The initiatives are aimed at sharpening its monetary tools and boosting its ability to guide short-term interest rates, which in turn influence longer-term rates and economic activity.

2. How is it going?

Inflation quickened again in August after easing to a 16-month low in July, putting pressure on monetary authorities to curb price risks further. The central bank raised its policy rate by 425 basis points from May 2022 to March 2023 in its most aggressive tightening cycle in two decades, and while it has held rates steady since May this year, Mr. Remolona has kept the door open to more rate hikes.

3. What is the underlying objective of the BSP’s initiatives?

The BSP wants to ensure that any changes in monetary policy will impact the financial market and the economy as intended. The more efficiently policy changes are reflected in the actual borrowing costs and investment returns, the more effectively the central bank can combat inflation. Low and steady inflation helps spur faster economic growth.

4. How is the BSP carrying out its initiatives?

With the passage in 2019 of amendments to The New Central Bank Act, the BSP can now issue its own debt securities as part of its instruments for monetary operations. It does so for its monetary policy implementation and liquidity management operations to steer short-term market interest rates toward the policy rate and influence money supply. Its other short-term policy tools include the term deposit facility, the overnight reverse repurchase facility, the overnight deposit facility and the overnight lending facility. The changes it’s been carrying out date back to the adoption of an interest rate corridor system in 2016. These changes are largely operational in nature and do not constitute any shift in the BSP’s monetary policy stance.

5. What are the recent refinements to BSP’s monetary operations?

There are several:

  • The central bank in June introduced the 56-day BSP bill to complement the 28-day tenor.
  • It aligned the schedule of the reverse repurchase paper facility with the other active instruments — the BSP securities facility and the term deposit facility.
  • It also switched to a full-allotment auction for the daily overnight RRP facility from a fixed-volume format. This gives the BSP flexibility to absorb changes in excess liquidity from the financial system.
  • The latest phase will be a change to a variable-rate auction from a fixed-rate format. The revised format, which takes effect Sept. 8, allows more room for interbank market price discovery and supports more money market activity.

With the shift to a variable rate auction, the BSP’s policy rate will be called the “target RRP rate,” which will be set after each meeting by the Monetary Board on the policy stance. A formal operational target, which is a market-determined, short-term interest rate that the BSP can guide on a day-to-day basis, will be called the “overnight RRP rate.”

Separately, the central bank is working to enhance the yield curve by helping increase government bond trading in the secondary market and adding more tenors in the curve. It wants the yield curve to be supported by actively traded marketable securities, with each tenor showing the prevailing yield in the market.

Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, provides an evaluated pricing service through Bloomberg BVAL.

6. What are the other upshots?

The changes enable the BSP to align its monetary policy implementation with the best practices in other parts of the world. The enhancements will encourage banks to borrow and lend in interbank markets, adding depth to money markets. A reliable pricing benchmark could emerge, which in turn will encourage bond issuance and trading that’s crucial in developing the country’s capital market. A more developed capital market could help attract much-needed funds for infrastructure projects. — Bloomberg

#Philippines #refining #tools #fight #inflation