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President's Message
Atty. Benedicta Du-Baladad Message from the President:

Benedicta Du-Baladad


To FINEX members and friends,

PRESIDENT’S REPORT
November 2017 Issue

We are now on the final stretch of 2017. This year has been one of the busiest and exciting for both FINEX and the country.

Earlier this month, our country was once again placed in the limelight as we hosted this year’s ASEAN Summit. The summit provided us to showcase what our country can share to the world and the creativity of the Filipino people. Indeed, the recent hosting of the ASEAN summit placed our country

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What to expect in 2018
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Mr. George S. ChuaBy Mr. George S. Chua

MANILA BULLETIN (Business Option)
January 2, 2018

What to expect in 2018

Business Option is a rotating column of members of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines appearing every Tuesday & Thursday in Manila Bulletin, business section.

My crystal ball tells me that the letter T will loom large in 2018, actually 4 of them, Taxes, Trans portation, Telecommunications, and Tourism. With the recent signing into law of the first phase of the tax reform package, we can see a mixed bag of results that will benefit certain sectors and be disadvantageous to others. Low income earners with an annual income of not more than R250,000 will no longer have to pay any taxes. That is certainly good news for them, but in exchange additional excise taxes will be levied on automobiles, petroleum, tobacco, coal and mineral products and new taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages and cosmetic procedures.

Hopefully, the reduction in income taxes of the worker will be more than enough to make up for his additional cost due to the higher taxes for his transportation, electricity, beverages and other consumer products. The sad news is for those that do not benefit from the higher tax exemptions, they will have no source of savings to pay for the additional costs. On the losing end will be the unemployed, those who do not earn enough and retirees who simply rely on their savings, GSIS or SSS pensions. Businesses will also be adversely affected by the increase in the cost of power which is already the highest in ASEAN.

Transportation, including the lack of a modern mass transport system has led to a myriad of problems with various stopgap measures creating even more problems. Horrendous traffic conditions lead to losses in manpower and productivity and cause air pollution that affects the health of everyone. Placing additional excise taxes on vehicles and petroleum products may dampen somewhat the use of these products but these same products are also used by businesses to generate employment and boost the economy, thereby also slowing down the growth of businesses. We desperately need to improve and upgrade our existing mass transport systems such as the MRT and the LRT. We definitely need to embark on a new and modern high capacity railway or subway system for both commuters and cargo. To give us hope that there is relief in sight, these projects must begin soon.

Even the jeepney modernization program can be made to work if only we did not have to introduce too many new elements into the program that made it so expensive and complicated. All we need to do is focus on the Euro 4 emission and safety compliance requirement. Instead the designs have evolved into a specialized minibus that is not only expensive but is totally inappropriate for the secondary routes that the jeepneys were meant to service.

Telecommunications has been a favorite topic in government, media, consumers and even among the major players themselves. Our telecommunications companies definitely need to improve their coverage, internet speed and cost. The technology is changing so fast that the old ways of doing business may no longer be relevant. Just think about it, as recently as two to three years ago you would get 90% of your holiday greetings via SMS or text messages. How many did you get this Christmas and New Year? You probably can count the number using your fingers. Much like the land line had been made obsolete by the cell phone, the cell phone would be totally obsolete by now if it did not function as a smart phone that could connect to the Internet and be able to use the limitless apps available. People now don’t need a phone, they can do away with it as long as they have an Internet connection. Perhaps the President’s initiative of opening to a third or even fourth telco player is the solution.

Tourism growth is certainly the bright spot on the horizon. If we can simply put our act together by not polluting our environment, securing peace and order, and building the proper infrastructure to support the inflow of international and even domestic tourists, the Philippines can certainly be a winner. Nature is on our side, we have cool mountains, sandy beaches, and friendly people that can speak English very well. Let us take full advantage of our nationwide natural resources to decongest our urban areas and overly commercialized tourism areas so that we can create both job and business opportunities in our less developed countryside.

Remember to old saying that a smart man learns from his mistakes but a truly wise man learns from the mistakes of others. I would like to wish all of you a happy and successful 2018!

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https://business.mb.com.ph/2018/01/01/what-to-expect-in-2018/

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