PAL flies direct to Sapporo, Japan


JJB wd Hokkaido governor

Philippine Airlines (PAL) has expanded its network in Japan with the recent launch of direct service to Sapporo.

President Jaime J. Bautista (left) presented a model aircraft as a gift to Hokkaido Governor Harumi Takahashi at her office in Sapporo, Japan after  unveiling PAL’s new thrice weekly non-stop Manila-Sapporo service starting September 10, 2018, using PAL’s new Airbus A321neo aircraft.

Gov. Takahashi hailed PAL’s new route as a boon for tourism in Hokkaido, Japan’s largest and northernmost prefecture, and cited the success of the 2017 Filipino movie “Kita Kita” as an incentive for Filipinos to visit Sapporo.

JICA pledges assistance to Philippine shipbuilding industry

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has pledged to provide Japanese experts to boost the Philippines’ shipbuilding and ship repair industry.

Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) administrator Rey Guerrero has expressed optimism that that JICA is taking the initiative to collaborate with Marina by extending technical assistance and expertise.

Guerrero said JICA’s aid will greatly help in promoting and developing the Philippine shipbuilding industry.

“We are hoping to further improve this relationship for the interest of Japan and Philippine maritime industry,” Guerrero added.

JICA Senior Representative Tetsuya Yamada assured Marina that JICA will continue to extend technical assistance and expertise in developing standard design for locally made ships, establishing the Philippines’ first maritime industrial hub and in setting up a financing facility for local shipbuilders and ship owners.

JICA expressed support in the implementation of MARINA’s 10-year Maritime Industry Development Plan (MIDP) which guides the MARINA in making the local shipbuilding and ship repair industry globally-competitive and technologically-responsive.

MARINA is in process of drafting the rules and regulations in addressing the increasing number of obsolete vessels operating for more than 30 years to further uphold safety and security within the Philippine maritime borders.

NEDA sees double-digit growth in manufacturing sector

downloadThe National Economic and Development Authority expects a double-digit growth in the manufacturing sector in the first half of 2018 following a 20.6 percent increase in the volume of production.

Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia says robust domestic and higher external demand, increased investments and overseas Filipino workers’ (OFW) dollar remittances, improved consumer confidence, and stable business confidence backed this growth in manufacturing sector.

In June alone, manufacturing volume grew by 18 percent while production value grew 18.9 percent.

Majority of the subsectors posted high production indices, including food manufacturing, petroleum products, and export-oriented products.

Growth in the production volume of construction-related manufactures eased in June.  However, net sales of cement, glass products and basic metals recorded double-digit growth at 10.1 percent, 15.8 percent, and 29.8 percent, respectively.

The increased production of construction-related manufactures was in response to the continued demand for non-residential buildings such as industrial, commercial and institutional buildings.

“The prospect for the second half of the year is bright. We hope to further climb this upward trajectory as we implement reforms positively affecting the industries and doing business in the country,” Pernia said.

“To further drive manufacturing growth, local government units can be capacitated more to attract investments in manufacturing and manufacturing-related services outside Metro Manila,” Pernia added.

ICTSI posts 6% drop in net income in first half of 2018

MICT's new quay cranes 7 June 2018

The International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) posted a 6-percent drop in net income to US$97.7 million in the first half of 2018 from US$103.6 million in the same period last year.

ICTSI attributed the drop in income to the start-up costs of the new port terminals in Papua New Guinea and Australia and the US$7.5 million non-recurring gain on the termination of the sub-concession agreement in Nigeria in the second quarter of 2017.

The company’s revenue rose 10 percent to US$661.8 million from US$603.7 million in 2017.

ICTSI handled consolidated volume of 4,714,255 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in the first six months of 2018, four percent more than the 4,545,405 TEUs handled in the same period in 2017.

The increase in volume was primarily due to the robust global trade activities particularly in the emerging markets, continuing volume growth at most terminals and the contribution of the new terminals in Lae and Motukea in Papua New Guinea, and Melbourne, Australia.  Excluding the new terminals, volume increased by one percent.