Philippine Customs seizes P25M of smuggled vehicles


MANILA, Philippines – Some P25 million worth of smuggled items, including motorcycles and bicycle tires and parts, were seized by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) recently.

Ruffy Biazon, BOC Commissioner,  said importer Royal Halo Enterprises tried to pass its shipment of 36,000 bicycle tires and tire flaps from China. This has an estimated value of P22 million.

Another company, Cimberly Enterprises, brought into the country a completely knocked down Suzuki station wagon, three Honda motorcycles and a Yamaha scooter, which were declared as mini-tractors, grass cutters, motorbike parts, compressors, and gasoline engines.

Both of the shipments arrived in October last year and were discovered during scanning by officials of the BOC’s so-called X-Ray Project.

BOC X-Ray Project head Lourdes Mangaoang warned those trying to slip illegal goods into the country through misdeclaration. “Our scanners are three times more powerful than the ones being used in the United States.”

An order has been filed for appropriate charges against the people involved in the illegal importations.



P680 million budget for flood control campaigns


Manila, Philippines – President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino budgets 680 million pesos for flood control campaigns and beautification of Metro Manila. The funds will be entrusted to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority or MMDA. Besides the use of these funds for flood control campaigns, it will also be used for solid waste management and other urban renewal projects, according to Philippine Budget Secretary, Florencio Abad.

295.6 million pesos will be used for the construction of the pumping station at Salapan Creek in San Juan City, in order for floods to be prevented on the nearby areas. In Quezon City, the relocation of the informal settlers will be handled by the National Housing Authority and other local government units. Meanwhile, 154.4 million pesos will be used for the urban renewal, flood control, and traffic management projects in the entire Metro Manila.

The people are in good faith in trusting MMDA that they will use the funds for their cleaning projects—particularly in waterways and establish safe places for the residents in Metro Manila, especially during the rainy season.



BPOs in danger


MANILA, Philippines – The call centers or Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry in the Philippines is in danger to be stopped.

This was when the United States Congress passed a bill forbidding U.S. companies to outsource their operations in the Philippines.

According to Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone, the head of the U.S. Congress has to lobby and block the House bill 3596 or Call Center and Consumers Protection Bill that was served by representatives Tim Bishop (New York), David Mckinly (West Virginia), Mike Michaud (Maine) and Gene Green (Texas).

The aim is to discourage U.S. companies to outsource their operations. Failure to comply will result a $10,000  fine per day, if reported to the U.S. Department of Labor for not abiding to the said law. They will also be prohibited to get their federal grants and loans within five years.

Evardone added that if this bill would be passed, there would be a big and negative impact to the BPO industry in the Philippines, because a lot of Filipinos will be left unemployed.

The BPO is the second industry that opened a great opportunity for many Filipino people, wherein around 400,000 are working in different BPO companies all over the country. This is followed by the Overseas Filipino Workers.

During the past year, the BPO industry gained around $9 billion dollars which is equivalent to 4-5% of the Philippines’ GDP.


What Interests Has Russia in Cyprus?

Cyprus became home to thousands of Russians, but Putin regime may have greater interest in the small nation, The Guardian comment.

Last month, a mysterious Russian transport ship sought refuge during a storm, in the Cypriot port of Limassol. On board of MS Chariot were hidden four containers loaded with 60 tons of ammunition for AK-47 machine guns and rocket launchers. Load came from Rosoboronexport, the state company holding a monopoly on Russia’s arms exports. The buyer was none other than the Syrian government.

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Holidays in Greece to get incredibly cheap after returning to drachma?

Greek crisis is moving rapidly to the worst solution. After partially announced bankruptcy last year, will probably total cessation of payments. Percentage cut debt increased from 20% to 50%, then 70% and already Greeks wonder whether it makes sense to pay something.

At first it was only to be cut private debts, but now threatens to leave Greeks with swollen lips even the European Central Bank. Peak of payments in March, and the Greeks explicitly threatening that they would not honor. Private accounts have already migrated 65 billion to the state remains in the clutches of bankruptcy bank nationalization or return to the drachma.

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Mitsubishi stops production in Europe

Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi Motors will stop production of cars in Europe this year.

The company becomes the second Japanese automaker to do so after the onset of the global financial crisis, says Reuters.

The company said that by 2013 cars will cease production at its plant in Born (The Netherlands), which are assembled model subcompact Colt and Outlander SUV. However, Mitsubishi Motors will continue to sell cars in the European market but those vehicles will be produced either in Thailand or Japan.

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