Tuesday, 1 April 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Friday, March 14, 2014

President Aquino receives Unilever Chief in courtesy call

President Benigno S. Aquino III received Unilever CEO Paul Polman in a courtesy call in Malacanang Friday. Polman met with the President to reaffirm Unilever’s business commitment to the Philippines.

This is Polman’s third official visit to the Philippines since he took over the helm of the company in 2009.

In the last 87 years, Unilever has deeply established its presence in Philippines, employing more than 1,800 employees.

Polman said Unilever is committed to supporting the social and economic development in the country through comprehensive sustainability and investment programs

The company also has plans to expand its manufacturing facilities in the Philippines, as well as building the technological expertise in foods, personal care, home care, ice cream and refreshment categories, he said.

During the meeting with the President, Polman presented the Sustainable Living Communities program, an initiative to help rehabilitate towns affected by Typhoon Yolanda.

The program aims to jumpstart local economies through-entrepreneurship opportunities and skills training with local NGO’s.

To date, Unilever has donated close to P80 million to relief and rehabilitation efforts post-Typhoon Yolanda, through its charitable partners, Unicef, World Food Programme, Save the Children and Oxfam, as well as a number of leading local agencies.

Also present during Friday’s courtesy call were Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo and Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman.

Polman was accompanied by the President of Unilever South East Asia and Australasia, Peter Ter-Kulve, Unilever Philippines chairman and CEO Rohit Jawa, VP for Corporate Affairs Chito Macapagal and VP for Customer Development Carl Cruz. PND (as)

Philippines remains top investment choice for European Union companies, says Coloma

Foreign investors from the European Union (EU) member states remain keen on putting their money in the Philippines especially in the areas of trade, energy, governance, urbanization and migration, a Palace official said.

Presidential Communications and Operations Office Secretary Sonny Coloma said the government continues to secure investment commitments from European companies, adding the “sustained business interest can be attributed to administration’s efforts to curb corruption and improve the ease of doing business in the country.”

“We continue to receive commitments from European companies which we hope will convert to actual investments following our recognition as an investment destination of choice by the EU,” Coloma said.

Data from the Department of Trade and Industry shows that the EU is presently the country’s largest investor by stock with total investments amounting to an estimated P440 billion. This investment has created an estimated 400,000 jobs in the Philippines.

According to figures from the Board of Investments, the net Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flow from the EU amounted to $174.22 million in 2012 while total FDI Stock in 2011 was at $10.35 billion.

Coloma said EU investors will remain bullish in the country as additional investments from companies in EU-member countries are expected to further solidify EU’s position as the largest investor in the Philippines.

“We are gratified to see the fruition of commitments made at the ASEAN-Europe summit in Vientiane in late 2012,” he added.

He recalled that “top EU officials pledged to President Aquino increased investments in recognition of the significant reforms implemented by the Philippines to strengthen transparency and good governance which are vital in making the Philippines a preferred investment venue.”

“With the Philippine economy gearing for sustainable long term growth, partnership with European companies can be a crucial factor in enabling the country to reach an inflection point and achieve more breakthroughs,” Coloma said. PND (as)

Palace announces new appointments

President Benigno S. Aquino III appointed Rafael E. Seguis as undersecretary for Special and Ocean Concerns under the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Palace said on Friday.

Seguis will be replaced as undersecretary for Administration by Undersecretary Linglingay F. Lacanlale, while Laura Q. del Rosario was designated as undersecretary for International Economic Relations.

The President has likewise appointed Ramon M. RaƱeses as Director III, under the National Police Commission; Angeline T. Chua-Chiaco as Commissioner of the Professional Regulations Commission; Benjamin S. Magbanua as Acting Director III of the Industrial Technology Development Institute under the DOST;

Josette T. Biyo as acting Director IV of the Science Education Institute of the DOST; Edilberto C. de Jesus as Member of the Board of Directors of the Philippine Reclamation Authority; Delia C. Hernandez as Acting Executive Director III of the National Council for Children’s Television under the DepEd; and Victor G. Batac as Assistant Secretary in the Office of the President.

All of the appointment papers were signed by the President March 6, 2014. PND (as)