Philippines Digest: tourism business in Makati, lower SSS rates, and more
August 14, 2011 by Egi SEPTIADI
Here are some interesting startup news around Philippines, not only in its capital, Manila, but also other startup hubs such as Cebu, General Santos City, Pasay, Quezon City, and many more.
(1) A new tourism facility was approved by the Board of Investments in Makati that will help boost the city’s facilities for local and foreign tourists. Valero Prime Land Realty Development Corporation will build the P336.7 million (US$ 7.9M) project called Citadines Salcedo Makati in Valero Street, Salcedo Village.
(2) The Social Security System (SSS) has announced that it will be cutting interest rates by as much as three percent for commercial and personal loans. The new rates, about 11.5 percent for commercial loans and 7.5 percent for personal loans depending on the payment terms, will be the lowest rate for the agency in the last 11 years. Previously, rates were pegged at a maximum of 13.5 percent and 10.5 percent respectively.
(3) A report from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed that loans from commercial banks have steadily grown at double-digit growth rates since January this year. “Loans for production activities-which comprised more than four-fifths of commercial banks’ total loan portfolio-expanded by 20.6 percent in June from 19.0 percent (revised) a month earlier. Meanwhile, the growth in consumer loans decelerated to 14.1 percent from 14.9 percent due to the slowdown recorded in the growth of credit card receivables and auto loans by 6.2 percent and 25.8 percent, compared to 9.1 percent and 29.0 percent in May, respectively,” the report said.
(4) The latest survey results from Jobstreet.com.ph showed that the biggest employer in the country is still the call center and business process outsourcing industry, accounting for 54 percent of the local job openings in the country.
(4) Drugstore chain and franchise brand, Generika, is eyeing a total of 17 locations around the country as expansion sites. The franchise brand, which has about 210 store locations nationwide, is looking at opening more branches in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Pangasinan, Ilocos Sur, and Ilocos Norte for their Luzon expansion.
(5) Petron Corporation, one the largest franchise brands in the petroleum industry, has posted sales revenue of P 134.9 billion (US$ 3.17B) in the first half of the year compared to P115.4 billion (US$ 2.71B) of the same period last year.
(6) Water refilling company, Aquabest, has reached 700 stores nationwide as of the end of July 2011. “Aquabest’s strong growth validates our decision to invest heavily in building our brand, thanks to these efforts Aquabest is now the brand of choice among households,” GQWEST chief executive officer Carson Tan said. GQWEST is the mother company of Aquabest.
(7) Some Php2.0 billion have been allocated for the Reintegration Loan Program (RLP) of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) entrepreneurs. “The RLP was created pursuant to President Benigno S. Aquino III’s policy and development strategy of establishing concrete steps towards more sustainable alternatives for returning OFW’s in the country,” Regional Director Petrona M. Bergado of the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA), region 10, said.
(8) Freelancer.com, the world’s number one website for outsourcing, today officially launched a dedicated regional website at www.freelancer.ph supporting small business owners, freelancers and entrepreneurs in the Philippines.
(9) Entrepreneur magazine recently acknowledged Kumon Philippines as Best Foreign Franchise in its July 2011 Franchising special edition, a press release from the school said.
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About The Author
Egi SEPTIADI - SGE Alumnus - Intern
Egi is currently pursuing Chemistry at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. While not mixing compounds in the lab, the Indonesian is always on the hunt for recommended "makan" (Malay for "eat") places for local food. But the true blue foodie admits that "as long as the food tastes good, he'll go for it".Read other posts by Egi SEPTIADI