Headlines

DTI Revving up for Project One: One Form, One Number, One Portal—Government to use for the first time the Design Sprints technology to improve business registration

The Department of Trade and Industry-Competitiveness Bureau, as temporary secretariat of the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), following the enactment of Republic Act 11032 known as the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018, is set to implement its first project called Project One. Project One is designed to develop solutions to improve business registration in the Philippines.  The main objective of the project is to improve ease of doing business by streamlining the business registration process in the country, one that is focused on creating a pleasant customer experience (easy, not cumbersome nor confusing), addresses bureaucratic singularity (whole of government, one door policy) and promotes governance (data sharing, data accuracy, access to data, privacy issues). New Zealand’s Creative HQ won the bid to support the country’s efforts aimed at significantly improving the EODB rankings of the Philippines and general ease of doing business for business owners, entrepreneurs and investors.  New Zealand presents an attractive partner to the Philippines as NZ ranks 1st in the World Bank Doing Business survey and the Starting a Business indicator of the WB DB 2018 survey. Project One shall make use of a modern innovation format (“Design Sprints workshops”, a method developed by Google Ventures to solve specific business problems and validate potential solutions in just five days.)  The three workshops shall cover the following: Design Sprint 1 (July 23 – 27, 2018):  Creation of a “Wikipedia” of LGU registration process.  DILG and DICT to collate and publish the most up to date processes for LGUs in one place.  This will increase inter-agency collaboration, and provide highly useful information to business and investors, and increase transparency of... read more

DTI REPORTS ON EASE OF DOING BUSINESS REFORMS

Sec. Lopez calls on gov’t agencies to “Execute, execute, execute” reform initiatives   The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced during the 6th Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Summit on 13 June 2018 at the PICC in Pasay City that the government has already implemented nineteen reforms that it hopes will have an impact in the 2019 World Bank Doing Business Survey Report.   DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, chair of the EODB/Anti-Red Tape Advisory Council, enumerated the following reform initiatives undertaken by various agencies that will have an impact on 7 out of 10 indicators of the DB Report.   These indicators include: (1) starting a business, (2) dealing with construction permits (3) getting electricity, (4) registering property, (5) protecting minority investors, (6) trading across borders, and (7) enforcing contracts.   The following reforms have been implemented: Company Registration System (CRS) implemented by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on November 2017. Executive Order 11 issued by Quezon City creating a One-stop Shop (OSS) for business and building permits. Barangay clearances shall no longer be held as a prior requirement for business and building permit application. Single Window Transaction initiated by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). Setting up of Quezon City Construction Permits One-Stop Shop for single, integrated application and approval for building permits, locational clearances, fire safety evaluation clearances, certificates of occupancy, fire safety inspection certificates, tax declarations (new warehouse), certificates of final electrical inspection, and certificates of machinery operation. Issuance of a DILG/DPWH/DTI Joint Memorandum Circular on Construction Permits. This sets uniform standards for processing building permits and certificates of occupancy, including application forms, requirements, steps,... read more

Philippine cacao draws interest from Swiss chocolatiers

Geneva, Switzerland – Department of Trade and Industry’s Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) – Geneva tested the cadmium level of Philippine cacao beans and the results are encouraging!   “Davao-sourced fermented cacao beans have low cadmium level that is well within the acceptable values, providing a big opportunity for Filipino cacao farmers,” said Michiel Hendriksz, Executive Director of FarmStrong Foundation.   The test was made in light of the European Union’s (EU) new limits on the cadmium levels in cocoa products by 1 January 2019 (EU No 488/2014) that could pose a serious threat to many smallholder cacao farmers, and present a challenge to chocolate producers.   “While Switzerland is not part of the EU, it adopts the EU General Food Law and exports majority of its chocolate production to the EU. Swiss consumers also have the highest per capita rate of chocolate consumption worldwide,” according to Mr Jean-Benoit Charrin, Director of Operations of FarmStrong Foundation.   Cadmium is a heavy metal found both through natural occurrence and from industrial and agricultural resources. The maximum levels for cadmium in food have existed in EU legislation since 2001. Thus, to reduce exposure levels to the metal in certain food groups where exposure is highest or where the consumer groups were most vulnerable, new recommendations for maximum exposure levels in a range of infant products and cocoa-based products were released. Three maximum levels have been set for chocolate, where the strictest maximum levels apply to chocolate varieties most eaten by children, while a maximum level is also set for cocoa powder destined for direct consumption.   Cacao beans from Latin America are...

PH advances support for startups, opens hub in San Francisco

The Department of Trade and Industry through its Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Silicon Valley advances efforts in promoting the Philippine startup ecosystem development through projects that support the growth of the community. In partnership with the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco (SF PCG), PTIC Silicon Valley recently launched the Spark447, a co-working space and resource center at the Philippine Center’s building in San Francisco that aims to cater to Filipinos and Fil-Am start-up communities in the Bay Area. Ambassador Jose Miguel Romualdez and Consul General Henry Bensurto Jr. led the soft launch last 22 May 2017. “SPARK447 provide avenues for bringing the community in San Francisco closer together. But it doesn’t stop there, it will bring the Filipino tech community in San Francisco closer to our ecosystems in Manila and make change happen,” said PTIC Silicon Valley Trade Representative May Niña Celynne Layug. Spark447 is a shared office space, networking hub, and a place uniquely designed for rising entrepreneurs, freelancers, digital nomads and internet professionals. It is part of the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco’s “Spark, Connect, Empower” (SCE) movement that aims to gather Filipino and Fil-American communities and individuals in the United States in building collaboration and partnerships that promote nation building. According to DTI Trade and Investments Promotion Group Undersecretary Nora Terrado, the establishment of Spark447 will be instrumental in showcasing the technology and business opportunities in the Philippines. “This will greatly complement our initiatives in promoting opportunities in the Philippines and the talents that we have particularly in advanced industries including manufacturing and the IT-BPM,” said Terrado. DTI in close partnership with...

Local  News/ Bohol Balita

Aris assures no service vacuum for B’vista folk

By JUNE S. BLANCO REP. Erico Aristotle Aumentado (Bohol, 2nd District) assures the Buenavistanhons that there will be no “service vacuum” in the town in the wake of the killing last Sunday of Buenavista Mayor Ronald Lowell “Sample” Tirol. Aumentado immediately met now Mayor Dave Duallo and the Sangguniang Bayan after the incident, for a closer look into the plans and direction the local officials, led by the late Tirol, had prepared and took. It is now, more than ever, that the people of Buenavista need to feel that they have the support they need – even with the murder of their former mayor, the solon said. He observed that some residents had admitted fearing for their lives when a gunman shot Tirol at close range while the latter was at the town cockpit past 3 pm last Sunday. But while Aumentado grieves over the death of a “close and intimate friend”, he said no leader is indispensable. Change is inevitable he philosophized, because of term limits and risks like death. But services will not be disrupted. After all, his is a people-based leadership, not leader-based. The interest of the people is paramount – not that of the leader, he said. He says he has confidence in Duallo, another “close and intimate friend” who is now picking up the pieces where Tirol had left off. Duallo has the determination to continue his dreams and those of his father and immediate congressional predecessor, former governor and congressman Erico Boyles Aumentado, for the development of Buenavista and the 2nd District in general, he added. On learning of Tirol’s murder, Aumentado said,...

Shipyard to rise in B’vista, but with conditions — Aris

 By JUNE S. BLANCO RESIDENTS of Buenavista and nearby towns better start to learn welding now. This after Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado (Bohol, 2nd District) met with the top henchman of a company that plans to establish a shipyard in Buenavista town. The company executive, Aumentado and Buenvavista Mayor Ronald Lowell “Sample” Tirol earlier on discussed possibilities and scouted around the district for the ideal location until the former settled for Buenavista. Aumentado took the former’s decision as a good omen where employment opportunities for his constituents are concerned. The solon, however, wants to balance development on one hand, and Bohol’s environment on the other. After all, he said, the province’s ecological-cultural tourism and agriculture are its two main economic drivers. As such, as the company started clearing some mangrove patches as part of earthworks in building the shipyard, Aumentado wrote Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Laurentino Bautista to inquire if the former already has complete papers including the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for the expected big project. The ECC itself limits a proponent to what he can – and must not – do to the environment as he develops his project site. Aumentado clarified that he welcomes development, but he is against everything that destroys the environment. An ECC also states what mitigating actions a proponent can do – like, among others, planting more mangrove propagules than what were sacrificed in the name of development – a shipyard in this case. To note, the solon even filed a bill banning the establishment of coal-fired power plants in the province and especially the 2nd District. In case the company has...

NPC picks bets for 2019 polls in Japan meeting

By JUNE S. BLANCO THE Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) is now drafting the names of its candidates to carry the party colors during the 2019 polls. Fresh from his study tour to Israel, Rep. Erico Aristotle “Aris” Aumentado of Bohol’s 2nd district flew Thursday to Japan for the national NPC meeting called by their president, Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco. Aumentado said they will pick the NPC senatoriables and name their bets even in the local level. The solon is now NPC’s provincial head following the oath-taking of former head Rep. Arthur Yap of the Bohol’s 3rdDistrict as new member of the PDP-Laban, with House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, and former President, now Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The meeting is expected to hatch party plans as to who how they will support the provincial level candidates. Among others, it was learned, the support may come in the form of alliances. With Yap’s affiliation with the PDP-Laban, he is expected to run under that party’s local...

Rep. Aris says visit to Israel “informative”

  By JUNE S. BLANCO REP. Erico Aristotle Aumentado (Bohol, 2nd District) says his study visit to Israel to familiarize himself with drip and other alternative and modern forms of irrigation was “informative”. The solon is expected to be home tomorrow – in time to vote during the barangay elections. He says he will meet agriculture and irrigation officials shortly to relay the lessons he learned from his visit, and to brainstorm on how to replicate the Israeli technology for the use of farmers especially those in his district. Aumentado said he was most impressed with his visit to the Volcani Center in the Israeli capital Tel Aviv where he and fellow Philippine delegates met with Associate Director for International Relations Dr. Shamuel Assouline, Ph.D. He said they discussed the plan of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to send scholars for Masters in Science (MS) and Doctor in Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs to do their theses and dissertation writings in The Volcani Center. The Center is the Agricultural Research Organization under the Ministry of Agriculture of Israel. Meanwhile, Aumentado said, after 18 years, he again met his friend and schoolmate in the University of San Carlos (USC) – Randy Arquiza – who is now the First Secretary and Consul General of Israel at the welcome dinner tendered for the Agritech 2018 participants hosted by Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel of Israel. The solon considers this as another channel for technology transfer – on top of incoming Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines Rafael Harpaz who earlier invited him and his fellow delegates to a lunch meeting at the latter’s official residence in Manila. The...

Aris to visit Israel to study drip irrigation

  By JUNE S. BLANCO REP. Erico Aristotle Aumentado (Bohol, 2nd District) will fly to Israel later today for a study tour to familiarize himself with drip and other alternative and modern forms of irrigation. Prior to his departure, however, he met with top honchos of the Department of Agriculture (DA) for a briefing on current practices and places he should visit. He also negotiated for more funds to buy modern farm equipment for the use of farmers especially those in his district. He observed that the farmers have remained poor through these years. The only way to save them, he said, is through modernization. The funds he requested will be for a couple of tractors, solar and mechanical driers, harvesters, transplanters and the like. These equipment, he said, will reduce wastage of the palay harvest by 25%, thereby increasing the income of the farmers. Aumentado equates the absence of development to the farmers’ remaining poor. After all, he said, the farmers comprise 30% of the labor force in the province. He sees hope in improving the lot of farmers through modernization – including the application of alternative irrigation methods. The solon admits that he has often wondered how the Israelis have converted their deserts into productive agricultural areas. This visit, he said, will finally give him the opportunity to facilitate the transfer of this Islaeli technology to the Boholano...

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