General Government Debt Improves to 38.1% of GDP as of March 2014

General Government Debt Improves to 38.1% of GDP as of March 2014

The Philippine government continues to improve on its liability management performance on the back of the Aquino administration’s commitment to uphold the nation’s creditworthiness. As of March 2014, the general government (GG) debt stood at P4,492.0 billion or 38.1% of GDP. The current ratio is lower than the Q1 2013 level of 38.5%.

GG debt, which nets out intra-holdings of government securities including those held by the Bond Sinking Fund (BSF), went down amidst strong GDP performance and slower debt accumulation for Q2-Q4 2013, as part of the government’s priorities on proactive liability management. The combined investment in government securities of the GSIS and the SSS, meanwhile, rose from P474.6 billion to P481.0 billion between 2013 and Q1 2014.

Treasurer of the Philippines Rosalia de Leon said, “We will continue to bring down government debt as part of our efforts to minimize government risk and liabilities. As our economy continues to grow, we want to ensure that we do so on sound and strong fiscal foundations.”

The foreign component of the consolidated GG debt also decreased from 43.39% to 42.06% during the same period behind government efforts to reduce exposure to foreign currency risk. As a result, the domestic component rose slightly, from 56.61% to 57.94% during the same period.

General government debt includes outstanding debt of the NG, the CB-BOL, SSIs, and LGUs, less intra-sector holdings of government securities including those held by the BSF. The ratio is used by many debt watchers to assess the creditworthiness of sovereigns.

The general government debt to GDP ratio was at 44.3% in 2009, prior to the Aquino administration. This marks an improvement of 6.2 percentage points (ppt) over the course of the administration.

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Bureau of Customs to hold second pre-employment exam on September 28

Bureau of Customs to hold second pre-employment exam on September 28

 

To accommodate qualified applicants whose names were omitted in the list of qualified examinees and those who were unable to take the exam last August 31, 2014 due to valid reasons like illness, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) will hold another pre-employment exam this Sunday, September 28, at Angelicum College in Quezon City.

A total of 239 applicants will be taking the exam this Sunday, 49 of whom are applying for supervisory positions and the rest for non-supervisory vacancies. The examinees include current BOC employees who have applied for promotion and new applicants who are aspiring for the 1,042 positions at the Bureau’s main office and various collection districts throughout the country.

The list of examinees is posted in the BOC website, www.customs.gov.ph (http://customs.gov.ph/job-openings/2014/09/22/list-of-examinees-aptitude-test/).

Of the total 4,757 applicants who had been qualified to take the exam, about 75% took the BOC General Aptitude Test last August 31, while another 20% did not show up.

The exam will be administered by the Civil Service Commission. It includes analytical and deductive skills, reading comprehension, logical reasoning, problem-solving based basic mathematical notions and inference skills.

Examinees are required to bring two (2) valid identification cards, such as current Company/Office or School ID, Driver’s License, Passport, Voter’s ID, GSIS ID, SSS ID, BIR ID, Postal ID, Police Clearance, Barangay ID or PhilHealth ID; two (2) black ballpens; two (2) No. 2 lead pencils; and an eraser.

Meanwhile, the Civil Service Commission stressed that they will bar applicants from taking the exam should they fail to present valid identification cards. The CSC also advises examinees to be at Angelicum College on or before the time of the examination which will begin at exactly 7:00am so they can verify and locate their designated examination rooms. Angelicum College is located at 112 MJ Cuenco St. Biak-na BatoSto. Domingo, Quezon City. For more information, visit the BOC website at http://customs.gov.ph/announcements/2014/09/22/announcement-supervisory-and-non-supervisory-general-aptitude-test/

Examinees that pass the first exam will move to the second round of tests, this time focused on specific aptitude and skills for the positions they are applying for. These include physical fitness tests for those applying for positions in the Intelligence and Enforcement groups.

Results of the first and second batches of the BOC General Aptitude Test will be released by the BOC and CSC by the last week of October, 2014.

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Revenue Integrity Protection Service Performance at All-Time High

Revenue Integrity Protection Service Performance at All-Time High

Carag: RIPS to continue to root out corruption and reform government

 

The  Revenue Integrity Protection Service (RIPS) has achieved its highest performance in its 11-year history.

A marked improvement in 2014 with 85 investigations initiated over the eight-month period from January to August represents a 45% increase compared to the previous highest record of 58 attained in 2013.

RIPS’ accomplishment in the Successful Decisions category also increased by 116%, where for the period of January to August 2014 it attained 13 favourable decisions compared to the previous record of 6 successful decisions set during the same period in 2011.

Successful decisions refer to cases resolved in RIPS’ favor, usually resulting to suspensions, dismissals, penalties, and or criminal convictions. Out of the 13 resolutions, 6 of them imposed the penalty of dismissal from the service. This is a marked improvement from the period of 2003-2013, when the average dismissal from the service attained by RIPS was 1 dismissal per year.

Department of Finance (DOF) Undersecretary Carlo A. Carag of the Revenue Operations and Legal Affairs Group said, “This is the best performance RIPS has registered in history. These are encouraging numbers as we continue to investigate and crack down on erring public officials in our campaign to root out corruption and reform the government.”

Ephyro Amatong, Chair of the DOF Regulatory Compliance and Anti-Corruption Cluster, welcomed the news, saying, “The measurable improvements by RIPS to date reflect the Aquino Administration’s continuing resolve to combat corruption. We will carry this fight for good governance to the very last stretches.”

The DOF notes that the total number of cases filed against erring government officials, including Bureau of Customs (BOC) collectors, increased from only five cases in 2010 to 101 by June 2014. During the current Administration, a total of 108 personalities have been charged at the Office of the Ombudsman (76) and at the Civil Service Commission (27), while five personalities were referred to the concerned agency for formal filing of charge.

 

Notable RIPS cases include Paulino C. Elevado IV, a Porsche-driving BOC messenger found guilty of serious dishonesty, falsification of public documents, and dishonest declarations in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) by the Office of the Ombudsman. Spouses Marlon and Emma Pascual, former revenue officers in the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), were dismissed for acquiring assets that are disproportionate to their salaries, while another case involving former customs examiner Ana Marie Maglasang, who was convicted of five counts of perjury, saw RIPS’ first prison penalty in history.

 

Launched in 2003, RIPS seeks to eliminate corruption in the Department of Finance and its attached agencies by investigating allegations of wrongdoing and filing cases with the appropriate government agencies.

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Illegal plywood trader faces smuggling raps

Illegal plywood trader faces smuggling raps

 

A trading firm engaged in the importation of various goods into the country and its licensed customs broker face smuggling-related charges for the unlawful importation of plywood worth an estimated P30-Million. The Bureau of Customs (BOC) filed charges against Michaela Ante, sole owner and proprietress of Bandini Trading and customs broker Anna Marie Vallespin before the Department of Justice for the illegal importation of plywood from China.

In the BOC’s complaint-affidavit, Vallespin brokered the entry of 43 40-foot container vans of what was declared as “ordinary plywood” that arrived in seven batches at the Port of Subic from June 17 to July 13, 2014. The shipments issued Alert Orders following derogatory information received by the BOC from the Bureau of Product Standards (BPS) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Subsequently, it was found that Bandini submitted fake Conditional Release Permits (CRPs), a document issued by BPS required for the customs clearance of goods that are required by law to undergo mandatory product testing at the BPS.

Republic Act 4109 (Bureau of Product Standards Law) requires mandatory product certification from BPS, the country’s National Standards Body (NSB), for importers and manufacturers of covered goods which include plywood and other constructions materials prior to product distribution and sale. Products that comply with Philippine National Standard (PNS) requirements will be issued a Philippine Standard (PS) license and Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) certificate

Information from BPS further revealed that Bandini is not a registered PS License holder for any wood products covered by mandatory certification nor did the firm apply for or obtained the required ICCs or CRPs from the DTI-BPS for the subject shipments.

“This is a very clear case of unscrupulous traders who choose to ignore our laws. We cannot put the lives of our people and public safety at risk from construction materials that were never certified for safety or product quality. Let this be a warning to those in the business of trading construction materials that we are strictly implementing a ‘no permit, no entry’ policy,” said Customs Commissioner John P. Sevilla.

Ante and Vallespin face charges of violating Republic Act 4109 (Bureau of Product and DTI Department Order No. 5, series of 2008 for failure to obtain PS License and product certifications; Sections 3601 and 3602 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines for unlawful importation and the fraudulent filing of import documents; and Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines for falsification of public documents.

            The DTI is also investigating Bandini Trading for allegedly submitting fake Conditional Releases which were allegedly signed by the current BPS Director-in-Charge Atty. Ann Claire Cabochan to discharge the imported plywood.

Last month, the BOC and BPS warned the public to be vigilant when buying plywood. In a joint statement, the two agencies said that of the 31,077 tons of plywood imported into the Philippines in July 2014, about 69% was released without the required clearances from BPS and another 27% released which the BPS is still verifying whether the appropriate clearances were issued.

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MB places Rural Bank of Padre Burgos (Southern Leyte), Inc. under PDIC receivership

MB places Rural Bank of Padre Burgos (Southern Leyte), Inc. under PDIC receivership
All valid insured deposit claims will be paid

The Monetary Board (MB) placed the Rural Bank of Padre Burgos (Southern Leyte), Inc. under the receivership of the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) by virtue of MB Resolution No. 1392.A dated September 12, 2014.  As Receiver, PDIC took over the bank on September 15, 2014.

Rural Bank of Padre Burgos is a single-unit rural bank with Head Office located in Poblacion, Padre Burgos, Southern Leyte.  Latest available records show that as of June 30, 2014, Rural Bank of Padre Burgos had 6,120 accounts with total deposit liabilities of P32.6 million.  A total of 6,108 deposit accounts or 99.8% of the accounts have balances of P500,000 or less and are fully covered by deposit insurance.  Estimated total insured deposits amounted to P24.7 million or 75.8% of the total deposits.

PDIC said that upon takeover, all bank records shall be gathered, verified and validated.  The state deposit insurer assured depositors that all valid deposits shall be paid up to the maximum deposit insurance coverage of P500,000.00.

The PDIC also announced that it will conduct a Depositors-Borrowers Forum on Monday, September 22, 2014, 9:00 AM, at the Padre Burgos Municipal Gym (located at the back of the bank premises), in Poblacion, Padre Burgos, Southern Leyte, to inform depositors of the requirements and procedures for filing deposit insurance claims.  Claim forms will be distributed during the Forum.   The claim forms and the requirements and procedures for filing are likewise available for downloading from the PDIC website.

Depositors may update their addresses with the PDIC representatives at the bank premises using the Mailing Address Update Forms to be furnished by PDIC representatives.  Duly accomplished Mailing Address Update Forms should be submitted to PDIC representatives accompanied by a photo-bearing ID with signature of the depositor.  Depositors may update their addresses until September 23, 2014.

Depositors with valid deposit accounts with balances of P50,000.00 and below need not file deposit insurance claims.  But depositors who have outstanding obligations with Rural Bank of Padre Burgos, including co-makers of the obligations, or have incomplete and/or have not updated their addresses with the bank, regardless of amount, should file deposit insurance claims.

For depositors who do not need to file deposit insurance claims, PDIC will start sending payments by mail to their addresses based on bank records by the 4th week of September.

For depositors who are required to file deposit insurance claims, the PDIC will start claims settlement operations for these accounts not later than the first week of October, 2014.  The schedule of the claims settlement operations will be announced through notices to be posted in the bank premises and other public places as well as through the PDIC website, www.pdic.gov.ph.

According to the latest Bank Information Sheet (BIS) as of June 30, 2014 filed by the Rural Bank of Padre Burgos with the PDIC, the bank is owned by Gaudencio R. Cabilao (11.08%), Sheila C. Dequito (10.53%), Atty. Avenescio A. Piramide (10.37%), Neila D. Palermo (8.79%), Albert G. Esclamado (8.61%), Titus Rodulfo D. Palermo (6.23%), Mario F. Narit (4.87%), Felix P. Urag (4.63%), Allan B. Cabilao (4.22%), Ma. Gina C. Doyon (4.22%), Nanolito S. Roferos (2.91%), Nacianzeno S. Roferos, Jr. (2.91%), Domingo P. Espina (2.44%), Gaudencio B. Cabilao, Jr. (2.11%) and Gerardo P. Palermo, Jr. (2.0%).  Its Chairman and President is Atty. Avenescio A. Piramide.

For more information, depositors may communicate with PDIC Public Assistance personnel stationed at the bank premises or call the PDIC Public Assistance Hotlines at (02) 841-4630 to (02) 841-4631, or send their e-mail to pad@pdic.gov.ph.  Depositors outside Metro Manila may call the PDIC Toll Free Hotline at 1-800-1-888-PDIC (7342).

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