By Rose de la Cruz


Exempting the first P250,000 of individual income from the TRAIN (tax reform for acceleration and inclusion) tax hikes and the resultant price increases will be the best shield for the middle class.


Thus said Rep. Michael “Mikee” Romero, 1 PACMAN partylist and assistant majority leader as he took note of the inflation forecast of the Development Budget Coordinating Council that factored in the impact of TRAIN. For 2018-2020 it is at 3 percent ± 1 percentage point. The Bangko Sentral of the Philippines inflation forecast is 3.4 percent.


He said “fear mongers” continue to paint the TRAIN Law as bad for Filipinos, when it is not. TRAIN is one of the most historic tax laws of the country that corrects the gross injustice of the old income tax system on the middle class and the poor since the 1990s.


The second TRAIN is coming soon, said Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez. Romero said he looks forward to seeing the details of the second tax reform package and working with President Duterte’s economic advisers to arrive at the right mix for the people and the economy.


“When individual income taxpayers start receiving their salaries in January, the fear mongers’ protestations of gloom and doom will fall on deaf ears. When the poor get their tax reform cash transfer subsidies, the fear mongers will encounter deafer ears. When college students enroll in State universities and colleges, they would encounter deafer ears. Soon enough, the fear mongers will only have each other to talk with,” he said.


He offered some advice to salary earners, the self-employed and small-scale entrepreneurs on how their personal disposable income can be put to good use.


“Remember all those times before when you or your loved ones got sick or you needed cash for tuition and you wished you had some extra cash stashed away? Now would be the time to open an extra savings account to which you will transfer some or all of the extra cash because of TRAIN,” he said.


Another way to save for those emergencies is to purchase a pre-need medical plan for ER, diagnostic exams, and hospitalization.


Savings can also be used for buying assets that will earn additional net income for the family, but before embarking on that please compute all the costs, risks, and conservatively estimate for possible future income, he said.



The very last thing you should spend that extra cash on is impulse buying, purchasing out of want instead of need,  or any other expense that does not come with a future benefit. 

Romnick Sarmienta
Jericho Rosales

by Boy Villasanta


When it rains, it pours.

            This is the case for prizewinning actors Jericho Rosales and Romnick Sarmenta.

            Aside from his 2017 Metro Manila Film Festival entry, “Siargao,” a foray into the fascinating island in the south which he costars with Erich Gonzales and Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Jericho is set to commence his television work for a new teleserye for ABS-CBN, tentatively titled “Love Will Lead You Back.” 

            Rosales has just got back from Siargao where an almost month-longs were done. Echo was really excited but at the same time homesick during the shoots because he wanted to be with his wife Kim Jones and son. He has also other things to keep his eye on in Manila. “I miss them a lot. I miss my wife. I miss my son. I miss my driving. I miss everything. But because of work, I am able to sacrifice. There will be time for my personal concerns,” said Jericho.

            Tapings for “Love Will Lead You Back” is scheduled sometime this month but according to Harlene Bautista, Romnick’s better-half, she’s afraid the shoots will be delayed. “It’s already holiday season. I am afraid they might shoot early next year,” Harlene deduced.

            According to Bautista, her husband is already excited about the project. “He has been prepared for a long time already. His creative juices are already boiling up,” Beb chuckled. Beb is Harlene’s pet name.

            Romnick has just signed up with ABS-CBN after he was assigned by GMA Network to a number of television dramas.

            Sarmenta was last seen in a very interesting episode in Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla’s fantaserye, “La Luna Sangre.”


            Echo and Nicko will once again show their acting prowess when they come face to face with “Love Will Lead You Back”’s tension-filled scenes.


By Rose de la Cruz

Opinyon Media Advocacies, which is turning eight this year, launched last Sept. 28 its newest baby, Transport Asia, the pioneer industry magazine in the country that also focuses on trends in the Asian region.

Though most of those who made it to the maiden issue failed to grace the launch backing out at the last minute for reasons only they know, the night was filled with laughter, music, chatter from first-time acquaintances and catching up among buddies who have lost touch all these years.

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar keynoted the launch, which was attended by who’s who in the transport sector and regulators, road construction suppliers and road providers. Just as Andanar (and former Speaker Sonny Belmonte) had left, another Cabinet member, Secretary Sal Panelo, Presidential Legal Counsel and Ombudsman of OpinYon, arrived towards the end and gamely posed for pictures with some of the guests who asked for “selfies.”

Panelo who loves to sing in videoke bars did not oblige to the request of Nikki Junia, entertainer for the night, for a number or two.

Andanar speech Andanar reported on the massive infrastructure program of the Duterte administration, “presently ongoing and on schedule with an estimated outlay of P8 trillion for the next five years with the completion of nationwide highways, roads, bridges, air and sea ports, railroads, railway systems and other converging vertical structures.

“It is the President’s intent to connect towns, cities, islands and most importantly people from the north, east, west and south of the country,” he said.

The vast expanse of the project is summed up as N.E.W.S., which both Transport Asia magazine and OpinYon are expected to be focused on for our people and for Asia, he stressed. He added that on the drawing board is the Department of Transportation’s subway for the metropolis and the railroad network from Mindanao.

“In the next two years, we shall be taking the trains to and from Clark in Pampanga and Metro Light Railway Transit from Manila to Bacoor in Cavite,” he emphasized. He added that public utility vehicles are being modernized, point to point buses being increased and transport systems are being augmented in land, sea and air to and from specific routes.

The Cavite barge terminal, first in the country, is being refurbished and modernized along with the present and future ROROs, ports throughout the islands, he stated.

All these, once completed, would provide every Filipino a better quality of life with the services necessary for the comfort and progress everyone deserves.

Junia’s birthday wish Prodded for his birthday wish, Transport Asia and OpinYon president, Ray Junia said he wished there would be no more traffic, which elicited guffaws from the attendees who had to go through the mammoth road snarls getting to Club Filipino.

But seriously, Junia said traffic is a problem of space and the demand for space is too high for the supply and that is what’s happening to us.

He then pointed to a table of space providers (meaning those involved in road construction and the developers of toll roads.

He said he named the magazine Transport Asia to give a better appreciation of what to expect and what government is doing, what are the trends in the region as well as legal issuances that TA’s Editor In Chief Luchie Arguelles would simplify and storified from the legal and technical approaches to be understood by the regular readers.

As the world celebrates today World Teachers Day, it is heartwarming to note that in the Philippines, teaching is still the profession of choice by Filipino fresh graduates.


In a study of Aspiring Minds, a New Delhi-based employment solutions company, as reported by ABS-CBN News, teaching even bested lucrative jobs like call center roles.


The same study, which involved 60,000 new graduates, also revealed that only 1 in 3 fresh graduates are employable, while the rest lack the skills to qualify for the jobs they are applying for.



The top jobs being aspired for by fresh graduates are: Teaching (16%); administrative (15%);  Business Consulting/Analysis (12%); Financial accounting (11%); Marketing (11%); Finance and Banking services (11%);Public health (10%); Front office (6%); Chef (4%) and Contact center roles (4%).

By Rose de la Cruz

AS basic as it is to local manufacturers of all kinds of products, the growth of the tool and die industry has seesawed to low levels due to an uneven competition from imported products and the lack of government support to the sector.

The Philippines had the lowest number of shops producing dies, molds and encapsulated parts for basic food, pharmaceutical, electronics, cars and trucks, housewares and other products consumed locally at only 170 shops versus 30,000 shops in China and 6,700 shops in Japan, according to a study done in 2006.

The shops comprised of corporations, single proprietorships, partnerships, cooperatives and government. And local demand for their products was at a mere $45 million in 2006 as against $12.7 billion and Japan’s $18.4 billion, the study noted. Imports of these products hit nearly $50 million in 2011 from just less than $40 million in 2006 while exports rose from close to $3.5 million in 2006 to $7.5 million in 2011.

Virgilio Lanzuela, president of the Rollmaster Machinery and Industrial Services and treasurer of the Philippine Die and Mold Association, identified the following challenges to the industry:

     1) Industry costs include huge retraining cost due to high piracy rate of die and mold makers and the high cost of inputs, power and capital equipment

     2) Technical setbacks include the need to import costly high speed machining, multi axis etc. for improved productivity and the lack of engineering services and support infrastructures.

     3) On the market, the domestic market is too small for tool and die and procurement decisions for die and molds are decided outside the country.


On the costs for local tool and die makers: dies, jigs for die attach and wirebonding consist of 90 localized; the molds for serial feed molds or epoxy resin encapsulation is 100 percent imported and dies for deflash, trim, form singulation (DTFS) is 90 percent localized.

On the costing of plastic injection molds, he said: 15 percent is die material cost; 33.5 percent is basic manufacturing cost (with Philippine value adding); 34.7 percent is mold base cost; 5.8 percent for secondary elements (screws and ejectors) and 11 percent die design fees (with Philippine Value Adding).

He recommended that the government should introduce policy reforms to encourage large companies to buy their requirements for dies and mold from the local industry and strengthen the gathering of industry data on manufacturing and SMEs.

There is no question on the globally competitive skills of technicians, engineers and specialists of the local tool and die industry which is why they get to be pirated by other countries but the weakness of the industry now is the high cost of inputs (labor, power, raw materials, cost of production, coolants and molds) and the unavailability of raw materials in the Philippines.

Also, the Philippines is not known in the world as a metal producing country.

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Thursday, 19 April 2018
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