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Philippines Today

MANILA — The Villar group of companies is considering entering into gaming to complement its extensive infrastructure and property development ventures, as it rides on the growth of the Philippine economy.


Paolo Villar, head of the group’s listed real estate firm Vista Land & Lifespaces Inc., expressed keen interest in airport projects and infrastructure, particularly for telecommunications and power sectors.


Villar said they expect to submit unsolicited proposals to improve infrastructure in the country.


“We are definitely looking at the infrastructure sector and definitely we have some projects in minds,” he said.


Villar said the group has various developments across the country which can utilize telecommunications-related infrastructure.


He noted the gaming sector also provides huge business opportunities, noting “for responsible gaming, there's a market for that and the Villar group has real estate assets. It’s good for the country.”


“We're very optimistic about the Philippines. We're going to put money where our mouth is. We are expecting growth,” he added.


The group is currently engaged in real estate, property leasing, retail, education and health businesses.

PHL aerospace industry urged to capture global demand

Published in Business

CLARK FREEPORT ZONE, Pampanga — The country’s aerospace industry is urged to take advantage of the robust global demand through enhanced investments, which in turn will create more jobs here.


During the press launch of the Aeromart Summit Clark - Philippines here last week, Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said that the rising demand for aircraft parts as well as aircraft maintenance and repair operations (MRO) in the Asia Pacific region, presents fresh opportunities to the local aerospace industry.


Lopez cited a report of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) that air passengers coming in and going out of Asia Pacific is expected at 3.5 billion by 2036, which is larger than the combined number of North America and Europe.


He added that to meet the demand in the region, some 16,000 aircrafts will be needed at the cost of about US$2.5 trillion.


“The country, being a regional aerospace [and] aviation hub, can take advantage of this unprecedented demand. The opportunities and possibilities here are tremendous. As a strategic gateway, the Philippines can bridge manufacturing and servicing on both sides of the Pacific. We could also gain from Europe looking towards Asia for growth and expansion," the trade chief said.


He noted that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has identified the aerospace industry as one of the 12 key sectors in the country that Filipinos have comparative advantage in.


Aerospace Industries Association of the Philippines (AIAP) Chairman John Lee echoed that the growth of the local aerospace industry is coming from the robust global demand.


Lee added that about 35 percent of the aircraft demand will come from ASEAN. He said there is also a need to increase human resources in the aerospace industry to meet the sector’s demand.


The private sector official mentioned that one aerospace firm is needing 18,000 aviation mechanics within ASEAN to boost its operation.


The first edition of Aeromart Summit Clark – Philippines will be held from June 4 to 6, 2018 at the Widus Hotel and Casino.


The summit, supported by the DTI, the Aerospace Industries Association of the Philippines (AIAP), the Department of Transportation, Clark Development Corp., and the Clark International Airport Corp. is seen to gather at least 100 original equipment manufacturers, MRO companies, and airlines from 15 countries. About 1,000 business-to-business meetings were expected to take place during the summit.


Meanwhile, the local facility of aircraft parts manufacturer Moog, Inc. is eyeing to boost its output in the Philippines due to the rapid growth of the aerospace industry.


Moog Controls Corp. General Manager Damien Damperon said the company’s plant in Baguio aims to increase its production capacity that would involve hiring of more workers.


“This is due to the sheer growth of the market. One thing that you may or may not know is that both Boeing and Airbus are trying to speed up their supply chain to, basically, faster rate,” Damperon said. “And this is calling for the whole industry to speed up (output).”


Last week, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the aerospace industry grew 40 percent last year.


Lopez added that in Asia Pacific alone, some 16,000 aircrafts, amounting to US$2.5 trillion, are needed to meet the growing flow of passengers to and from the region reaching to 3.5 billion by 2036.


“The industry is moving very very fast because the demand is growing incredible, especially in Asia. So, the whole industry has to invest and recruit and to train at the same time, to provide very good quality product because it’s safety-related and people-related,” said Damperon.


“Right now, we’re trying to develop as much as we can our lean capability, our lean manufacturing,” he added, noting that Moog Philippines aims to get a “stable number of people” to be “capable of getting more output”.


Damperon said from 18 employees since the American company established its facility in a 7.5-hectare land in Baguio, Moog now has 1,400 personnel. (Kris Crismundo)


Michael V renews contract with GMA Network

Published in Entertainment


Multitalented and award-winning actor, comedian, and TV host Michael V. affirmed his commitment with GMA Network, Inc. in a contract signing held on April 4. 


Present in the contract signing were GMA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Atty. Felipe L. Gozon, GMA President and Chief Operating Officer Gilberto R. Duavit, Jr., GMA Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Felipe S. Yalong, GMA Entertainment Content Group Senior Vice President Lilybeth G. Rasonable, GMA Senior Assistant Vice President for Business Development Department II Janine Piad-Nacar, Senior Program Manager Bang Arespacochaga, Program Managers Cecille de Guzman, Mildred Natividad and Enri Calaycay and Bitoy’s wife and manager Carolina Bunagan.


Bitoy hosts the longest-running comedy gag show, Bubble Gang, and stars in the award-winning family sitcom, Pepito Manaloto. He is also the host of the celebrity competition Lip Sync Battle Philippines. 


The comedian, who has been a loyal Kapuso for more than two decades, revealed that he is happy to renew his contract with the network. 


“Twenty-three years na ako sa GMA. Mahirap kasing magpasaya kung hindi ka masaya. So masaya ako dito sa GMA dahil nagagawa ko yung gusto ko, napagbibigyan yung mga hiling ko at yung kagustuhan kong magpasaya ay sinusuportahan nila. That’s what really makes me happy,” Bitoy said.


He shared that he owes his success to all his fans and loyal viewers who have been continuously supporting his shows. Bubble Gang is celebrating its 23rd anniversary this year while Pepito Manaloto is now on its 9th year and Lip Sync Battle Philippines returns on its 3rd season.   

Photo: Philippine Star 


QUEZON CITY — Alleged pork barrel fund scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles will remain in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.


This as the Sandiganbayan has denied the petition of Napoles to transfer her to a government safehouse.


Napoles had been placed by then Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II under provisional protection as state witness in the pork barrel fund scam.


The Sandiganbayan found strong evidence against Napoles to hold her for trial in connection with the multi-billion-peso scam.


Meanwhile, newly-appointed ad interim secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ), Menardo Guevarra will give top priority to review the controversial drug case involving Cebu businessman Peter Lim and self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa and Janet Lim Napoles.


Guevarra said he will also make priority to review the decision of his predecessor, Vitaliano Aguirre II, to place alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles under provisional coverage of the Witness Protection Program (WPP).


“I will give top priority to a review of recent DOJ actions on Kerwin Espinosa and Napoles. I will reserve any judgment though till I have thoroughly studied the matter,” Guevarra said.


In a four-page ruling, the First Division pointed out that Napoles is “presently under detention for a lawful case.”


The anti-graft court has already denied her bail petition in connection with the P224.5-million plunder case of former Senator Bong Revilla.


The resolution stressed that her protective custody under the witness protection program would be “contrary to the clear and express import” of Article XI, Section 1 of the 2012 implementing rules and regulations of the Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Act.


The provision reads: “The Program shall not take into protective custody a witness who is under detention for any lawful cause. However, it shall direct the custodian of the witness to take necessary measures to ensure the safety and security of the witness.”


“Notably, the said provision does not admit of any exception. Verily, the denial of the instant motion is warranted under the premises,” it added.


The resolution was penned by Associate Justice Efren N. de la Cruz and concurred in by Associate Justices Geraldine Faith A. Econg and Edgardo M. Caldona.


In her previous request for transfer of custody, Napoles cited the Department of Justice’s February 27 approval of her provisional admission into the Witness Protection Program.


Napoles also said she wanted to be in a secure facility because of the intimidation and threats to her life inside the detention cell at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.


Napoles has pending plunder and graft cases before the other divisions (Third and Fifth) of the Sandiganbayan.


As of press time, the Third and Fifth Divisions, which handle the P172.8-million and P183.8-million plunder cases of former Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada, have yet to issue their resolutions on Napoles’ motion.

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