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Gov’t to award P10-B Mactan, Cebu airport project in Sept

By Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 1, 2013 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - The Aquino administration is set to award the P10-billion contract for the Mactan-Cebu International Airport project in September to cope with the growing number of tourists using the gateway to enter the country.
The Department of Transportation and Communications and Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority has invited prospective bidders to apply to pre-qualify and bid for the construction of a new passenger terminal; rehabilitation and expansion of the existing terminal; operation, maintenance and management of the terminals.
The project involves the construction of the new passenger terminal, apron for the new passenger terminal, rehabilitation and expansion of the existing terminal, installation of all the required equipment and other associated facilities, installation of the required information technology and other equipment commensurate with the operations as well as operation and maintenance of both the new and existing passenger terminals.
The pre-qualification, bids, and awards committee (PBAC) is set to hold a pre-qualification conference on Jan. 28 and prospective bidders are required to submit their qualification documents on or before Feb. 28.
The PBAC would then require pre-qualified bidders to submit both technical and financial proposals, a bid security, as well as other supporting documents on Aug. 2 that would be evaluated by the committee.
The PBAC would first review the bidders’ technical proposals afterwhich the committee would then evaluate the financial proposals of bidders whose technical proposals were rated passed.
The committee would then issue the notice of award to the winning bidder in Sept. 17 and the winner would have to comply with all the requirements within 20 days from official receipt of the notice.
Based on a PPP Center briefing paper, the Mactan-Cebu airport project involves the construction of a world-class passenger terminal building with a capacity of eight million passengers a year as well as the operation and maintenance of the old and new facilities.
The Mactan-Cebu international airport is situated in a 797-hectare property and has a single 3,300 meter runway that is complemented by a full-length taxiway.
The terminal building has a capacity of handling 4.5 million passengers annually on two wings, the domestic wing and the international wing. It is a major trade center in the south for both domestic and international traffic.
The passenger traffic for year 2011 was around 6.2 million passengers.  The deterioration in the level of convenience and lack of ability to handle more passengers may hinder further development  and growth of international airport.
To solve the problem, DOTC is set to bid a contract for the construction of a new world-class passenger terminal building with a capacity of about eight million passengers per year; and the operation of the old and new facilities.
The construction of a new world-class passenger terminal, including all related facilities, is proposed to separately cater to domestic and international operations with an initial investment of P10.3 billion and a future expansion of P12 billion.
Several companies including diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp., the tandem of Ayala Corp. and Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. as well as Metro Pacific Investments Corp. have expressed interest in the airport project.
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10 firms face trade suspension

By Jenniffer B. Austria | Posted on Jan. 01, 2013 at 12:02am

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Ten publicly-listed companies, including San Miguel Brewery Inc. and PAL Holdings Inc., face trading suspension starting Jan. 2, after failing to comply with the 10-percent minimum public float rule of the Philippine Stock Exchange.
Other companies whose stocks will be suspended from trading are Allied Banking Corp., Alphaland Corp., Cosmos Bottling Corp., Nextstage Inc., Southeast Asia Cement Holdings Inc., PNOC-Exploration Corp., Philcomsat Holdings Corp. and San Miguel Properties Inc.
The companies will be  given the six-month trading suspension as a penalty for their failure to sell more shares to the public.
The PSE said in a memorandum the trading suspension will take effect on Jan. 2, the stock market’s first trading day in 2013.
It said the trading suspension on the shares of non-compliant listed companies would cover not more than six months, or until June 30, 2013.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue will also impose capital gains tax and a documentary stamp tax on every sale, barter, exchange or other disposition of shares of listed companies that are not compliant with the public ownership rule.
The PSE said if a listed company remained non-compliant after June 30, its shares would be delisted effective July 1, 2013.
It will lift the trading suspension imposed on the company’s shares if the erring firm present sproof of compliance with the public ownership requirement.
The PSE requires publicly-listed firms to have a minimum of 10 percent of their issued and outstanding shares, exclusive of any treasury shares, held by the public.
The rule aims to provide a fair and efficient facility for price discovery and ensure that sufficient liquidity exists in the stock market.
Several companies applied for delisting from the stock market because of their minimal public float level.
The PSE earlier approved the delisting of Eton Properties Philippines Inc., whose public float stood at only 5.65 percent.
The PSE also approved the delisting of First Metro Investments Corp., the investment banking unit of Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co.; and Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., the tollways unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp.
Other companies that opted to delist from the local bourse due to the public ownership rule were Alaska Milk Corp., PLDT Communications and Energy Ventures Inc., Keppel Philippines Marine Inc. and Chinatrust (Philippines) Commercial Bank Corp.
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Construction up 8.2%

By Anna Leah G. Estrada | Posted on Jan. 01, 2013 at 12:00am
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Building constructions rose 8.2 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2012, based on the number of permits granted by building officials.
The National Statistics Office said the government granted 27,323 building permits for construction of new projects in the July-September period, up from 25,255 permits approved in the same period in 2011.
It said permits for residential buildings rose 7.5 percent to 19,523 from 18,154 a year ago, while applications for commercial and industrial building constructions increased 9.2 percent to 3,688 from 3,377.
Additions, alterations and repairs of existing structures also increased 10.4 percent to 4,112 from 3,724 a year earlier.
The NSO said the value of these new constructions also expanded 54.5 percent to P64.3 billion in the third quarter of 2012 from P41.6 billion in the third quarter of 2011.
Among regions, Calabarzon had the highest number of new building construction projects at 6,378 or 23.3 percent of the total, followed by Central Visayas, Metro Manila, Central Luzon  and Davao.
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BIR seeks to level playing field via online sellers’ tax

By Iris C. Gonzales (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 1, 2013 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said it seeks to level the playing field through its plan to tax online sellers.
BIR Commissioner Kim Henares said taxing online shops or businesses is only appropriate because regular businesses are taxed by the BIR. “If we don’t deal with online sellers, we’re not leveling the playing field with someone who has a physical store,” Henares said.
She said it’s the same as going after doctors who do not issue receipts.
The BIR chief is referring to those who are engaged in business, people who trade, buy and sell products online.
She said consumers who patronize online businesses should always ask for a receipt not only for tax purposes but also as proof of their transaction which would enable them to file a complaint if needed.
The BIR is stepping up efforts to boost revenues by going after various sectors such as professionals, gold sellers and now, online businesses.
The agency has already breached P1-trillion collection mark, the agency’s preliminary revenue figures as of Dec. 17 showed.
The agency has yet to check if it meets the P1.066-trillion goal for the year, the first time in the agency’s history that the assigned target hit the P1-trillion mark.
Latest data showed that the BIR met its collection target in November, raising P110.77 billion or P7.81 billion more than its target for the month of P102.953 billion.
Compared to the same period last year, the BIR’s November collections showed an increase of P18.02 billion or 19.42 percent.
The P110.77 billion generated in November brought the January to November collections to P969.34 billion in tax revenues.
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SN Aboitiz pays P80-m property tax to Benguet

By Alena Mae S. Flores | Posted on Dec. 29, 2012 at 12:01am
SN Aboitiz Power Corp.-Benguet Inc., a joint venture between SN Power of Norway and Aboitiz Power Corp., turned over more than P80 million in property tax to two towns of Benguet province for operating the Ambuklao and Binga hydropower plants.
SNAP Benguet president and chief executive Emmanuel Rubio handed over the checks worth P22.21 million to local officials of Itogon town and P61.35 million to executives of Bokod town.
“SNAP has always been and will always be committed to creating shared value in its host communities. We hope the taxes we are paying today contributes to the development of our host communities and the people of Benguet as we all strive to make a difference in their lives,” Rubio said.
Bokod Mayor Mauricio Macay, Itogon Vice Mayor Noel Ngolob and councilors of the two towns witnessed the turn-over of the checks at the Palispis Hall in La Trinidad, Benguet on Dec. 20
SNAP Benguet assistant vice president for legal and compliance Dixie Dugan and tax and regulatory compliance manager Edward de Leon also attended the ceremony.
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