Saturday, March 28, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
In a letter addressed to Solar Sports owner Wilson Tieng, Pacquiao said his long-time media partner has yet to show him the complete financial records pertinent to all his previous fights.
“To date, I have not seen any of your records by which you base all your payments to me. I am sure that you will find nothing objectionable to having your financial records open,” said Pacquiao.
But Solar, through its legal counsel Enrique dela Cruz Jr., has declined.
“Mr. Pacquiao should have sought these financial records before he announced that he has rescinded his contract with Solar. We won’t open it for him,” said Dela Cruz.
“He will only see the records if we are in court. He claimed that Solar was late in payment. It means he has his own records. He can use them and we will use ours to prove otherwise,” said Dela Cruz.
The letter that was sent to Solar was dated March 19 (Los Angeles time) and carried Pacquiao’s signature.
“My position is still the same. Watch my fight with Ricky Hatton at ABS-CBN,” Pacquiao said in a feed from LA.
Tieng left last night for Los Angeles, accompanied by Solar COO Peter Chanliong, to meet Pacquiao personally, and hope that they find an end to the brewing controversy.
Solar claimed it doesn’t owe Pacquiao anything under their contract that is valid from May 2007 until May 2011. Plans of filing a P150 million case against Pacquiao and ABS-CBN for damages are on hand.
Pacquiao, who is in LA training for his May 2 fight with Ricky Hatton, said he is sending his representatives to the Solar office in Makati to check on the records with “all due courtesy and without delay.”
The Solar lawyer stressed that Pacquiao should have sought the records before he announced last Monday that he has rescinded the valid contract, and decided to rejoin ABS-CBN.
Dela Cruz said Pacquiao can only back out of that contract if there was a breach incapable of any remedy. And if there was one, he should have given Solar a 15-day notice.
And if a remedy is unavailable, another 30-day notice is needed before the contract is finally rescinded.
Atty. Joseph Sagandoy, also of Solar, believes that Pacquiao rescinded the contract because he was “misled or misguided that Solar had committed a breach.”
“The fact is Solar has complied and therefore there is no valid ground to rescind the agreement,” said Sagandoy of the contract where Solar was to pay Pacquiao P60 million for each title fight and P55 million for each non-title fight.
Also under the contract, Pacquiao should receive 25 percent of the total 10 days after the signing, another 25 percent 15 days before the fight and the remaining 50 percent a week before the fight.
Then 21 days after the fight, Pacquiao also stands to receive five percent of the gross earnings from Solar. Last Monday, Pacquiao received P15 million from Solar.
Dela Cruz said Pacquiao even made advances from Jan. 24 this year to March 16. These were advances that Solar was not obliged or was not required to give to the boxer.
Yesterday morning, The STAR contacted Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, and got the impression that the Pinoy icon has already decided to stick it out with Solar.
“Manny must have realized that he already has a deal with Solar so he can’t make another deal. Everything is going to be okay,” said Arum from his Las Vegas home.
“It’s not right to make a deal with one company and make the same deal with another. I talked to some people and they were all on the same page,” said Arum.
Pacquiao, however, did not back up Arum’s statements and instead called for Solar to open its financial records for his immediate inspection.
It was not clear whether Pacquiao had signed a new contract with ABS-CBN on their renewed partnership although the station has officially welcomed the boxer back in its giant fold.
Yesterday, ABS-CBN said it understands GMA-7’s disappointment over losing Pacquiao, then urged its rival to avoid fanning speculations that the issue had something to do with the 2010 elections.
“It alleges that ABS-CBN’s supremacy in reach is to be used for Manny Pacquiao’s (2010) political plans – which is not true,” said the ABS-CBN statement to the media.
It also said that the Pacquiao fight against Hatton being aired on ABS-CBN will not violate the boxer’s contract with GMA-7 where he has two existing shows.
“Manny’s fights are not programs, shows, promotion, or events of ABS-CBN. As the media partner of Manny Pacquiao, the Kapamilya network will only be airing Pacquiao’s boxing matches that will be produced by Top Rank.”The Lopez network also said there is no basis for Solar to take legal action because Pacquiao had already rescinded the contract before it approached ABS-CBN.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
The way it came on the scene, it could have been a rare perfume or a designer handbag, undaunted by the roiling economy.
The first rumors of it surfaced in December on a lifestyle magazine's blog. A few weeks later, it was spotted in the arms of runway model Hollis Wakeema in a Las Vegas hotel.
Then came its Web site: Black and white fashion photos fade in and out as cool piano notes drop and melt into a warm, smooth beat. Prepare to fall in love, the site reads.
Now, go buy the laptop.
Specifically, Dell Inc.'s new $2,000-and-up laptop. The computer maker was entering the ultra-thin notebook race Tuesday with the Adamo, from the Latin for "to fall in love with."
The aluminum-body laptop comes in two colors, "onyx" and "pearl." It boasts a 13-inch screen and, with a depth of less than two-thirds of an inch, is thinner than both Apple Inc.'s 0.76-inch MacBook Air ($1,800 and up) and Hewlett-Packard Co.'s 0.7-inch Voodoo Envy notebook (from $1,900).
Even the customer support package goes upscale. Dell will guarantee the same team of service representatives for $99 for a year or $349 for three.
Dell, known for affordable, no-frills computers, leaned away from consumer-electronics tropes and toward the seductive imagery of couture as it designed a marketing campaign to fit the Adamo. The leap Dell is asking consumers to make from its core brand would be a risk in any economy, let alone the worst recession of the personal-computer age. PC sales are sliding and the lone bright spot in the market appears to be small, inexpensive "netbooks," Adamo's polar opposite.
Round Rock, Texas-based Dell reworked its consumer PC lineup about two years ago, shortly after ceding market leadership to Hewlett-Packard. Dell had fallen a few steps behind partly because people started craving gadgets with flair. Meanwhile, Apple was nurturing consumers' love for their iPods and using that connection to sell them well-designed laptops, too.
Dell knew it needed to "bring more brand lust and more got-to-have kind of products into the mix," said Michael Tatelman, the company's vice president of global consumer sales and marketing. The new consumer team, led by Ronald Garriques, a former Motorola Inc. executive, mapped a tiered strategy that ranged from the value-conscious Inspiron laptops to powerful, expensive _ and vaguely menacing-looking _ Alienware machines for gamers.
As Dell began plugging what Tatelman called a hole at the high end, designers from inside and outside the company were pitching blueprints for computers that didn't fit into any of the existing Dell lines. So once the design was hashed out, Tatelman and his team worked with Enfatico, an agency built just for Dell by global advertising conglomerate WPP Group PLC, to figure out how to sell it.
Dell declined to say how much the company spent on the Adamo campaign, but Tatelman said it "ranks among the bigger product launch campaigns that we do."
Tatelman's team penned a brief manifesto to be used as inspiration as the campaign took shape: "Love. Life begins with it. Ballads celebrate it. Battles start over it. Lives are changed by it. Some will die for it. There are no rules for it. Some will never find it. Others never lose it. We were inspired by it."
The resulting Web sites, magazine advertisements and other promotions would be unrecognizable as a technology ad campaign were it not for a "by Dell" tag line.
"This is a bit more experiential than just a story about a PC. The craftsmanship of this product is more like a fine watch or jewelry," Tatelman said. "I'd like to think that someone getting a gift of a pearl Adamo for an anniversary would be ... proud to get that kind of gift."
At the International Consumer Electronics Show in January, Dell hired Wakeema, the model, to give journalists an arm's-length glimpse of a thin black laptop with the power switched off. (A few people were later allowed to photograph Adamo running Windows.)
While some industry watchers were disappointed by the scarcity of details, Dell's move had the intended effect of building buzz. The company said its Adamo Web site has logged 800,000 unique visitors in the past month, and that about 15 percent have entered an e-mail address to learn more.
Tatelman seemed unfazed by the challenge of launching a luxury brand in a brutal financial environment. Dell's outlook for Adamo sales is "very modest," Tatelman said, and added that a primary goal is to broaden people's perception of Dell from its value-conscious roots.
David Reibstein, a marketing professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, said at first he thought the Adamo teaser site, with its seductive images and music, was promoting a new cologne.
"Part of that is going to catch people's attention. It's hard to get recognition in this day and age with your latest laptop, particularly when you're coming in as a follower with the ultra-thin," Reibstein said.
He said he understands Dell's attempt to get people to connect emotionally with Adamo; that's what would push them to buy Dell over another brand. But he pointed to two things working against it. Not only is this a terrible time for a luxury-brand launch, but the PC maker may have a hard time gaining credibility for a high-end product that still carries the budget-friendly Dell name. He compared the move to Marriott International Inc.'s decision to keep its name away from its Ritz-Carlton hotels, or Toyota Motor Corp.'s choice to launch Lexus as a separate brand.
Adamo could work with time and patience, Reibstein noted _ two qualities in short supply in the tech industry.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Results of the latest NSO survey showed that the number of unemployed Filipinos rose from an estimated 2.675 million in January last year to 2.8 million this year.
The NSO did not explain the rise but a series of high profile factory closures may have contributed to the increase.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), however, said the increase of 180,000 unemployed workers is still considered a “pleasant” development for the country.
“We are really expecting an increase in unemployment because of the global economic crisis, yet the survey indicated that the unemployment level did not worsen dramatically,” Labor assistant secretary Reydeluz Conferido said.
“Overall, the effect of the crisis is positive compared to more developed countries like the United States and China which suffered an all- time high increase in unemployment,” Conferido pointed out.
Conferido said the number of employed workers went up by 1.7 percent from 33.69 million last year to 34.69 million this year or an additional 565,000 employed persons in the labor force.
He added that the number of underemployed or those employed persons who have expressed their desire for extra jobs dropped by 130,000 from last year’s 6.23 million.
The number of “employable” Filipinos but are not in the labor force rose to half a million, but Conferido said, the growth is considered a positive development.
“These people15 years old and above are not in the labor force possibly because they are in schools or undergoing training,” Conferido said while noting that based on the NSO survey the education sector posted employment growth in January.
Conferido further noted that the number of people in full time employment went down by 174,000, but part-time employment increased from 11 million a year ago to 12 million.
“The increase in part-time employment indicates that Filipinos are opting to work even temporarily to tide them over from the economic crisis and this is very acceptable development,” he pointed out.
The NSO survey showed that young people or those belonging to 15 to 24-years-old dominate the unemployed and nearly two out of three were men.
Majority of the unemployment were high school graduates and undergraduates.
Conferido said that the Metropolitan Manila, Southern Tagalog, Central Luzon and Central Visayas, where most of the country export firms are located, have registered the highest unemployment rate.
Conferido said results of the survey was consistent with the data gathered by DOLE, which indicated that about 80,000 people have lost their jobs due to the economic crisis.
About 51.2 percent of those employed worked in the services sector while agricultural workers made up 34.6 percent of the total with only 14.2 percent in the industrial sector.Unskilled workers registered the largest group at 31.9 percent of the employed in January 2009. Farmers, forestry workers and fishermen were the second largest group, accounting for 17.3 percent of the total.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
MANILA, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao’s contract with Solar Entertainment regarding TV rights on the boxer’s future fights is “etched in stone,” according to the network’s chief operating officer, Peter Chanliong.
“It’s a black-and-white deal that lasts until 2012,” Chanliong said yesterday after a report (not in The STAR) said the boxer is severing ties with Solar in favor of a “giant television network.”
Solar has enjoyed TV rights over Pacquiao for the last few years, and the coming fight against Ricky Hatton will be the 12th partnership between the Pinoy icon and the sports-based network.
“Our contract lasts until 2012 and this includes the Ricky Hatton fight. It is etched in stone. We have a deal,” Chanliong said.
Pacquiao takes on Hatton in May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and the pound-for-pound king said he wants a couple more fights, two or three, after this one.
Unless their contract is rescinded, Pacquiao’s TV rights will be with Solar until he retires.
“It was made in negative fashion, just when Pacquiao is busy training for a fight. We have a deal with Pacquiao and GMA-7 and we will do it again,” the COO said of the report.
Solar, a cable channel, has tie-ups with GMA-7 on the airing of the Pacquiao fights on a slightly delayed basis.
The Solar-Pacquiao partnership has aired fights against Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez, Hector Velasquez, Jorge Solis, David Diaz and Oscar dela Hoya.
Meanwhile, Pacquiao enters his third week of training at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, and shall begin sparring tomorrow (Tuesday in LA) under trainer Freddie Roach.
Roach was out in England last week as he attended to his younger protégé, Amir Khan, who demolished the aging Mexican warrior in Marco Antonio Barrera at the MEN Arena.Roach will be back in charge of the Pacquiao training today. In his absence, Pacquiao worked out under Buboy Fernandez, Nonoy Neri, Michael Moorer, Eric Brown and Alex Ariza.
Friday, March 13, 2009
SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - - Apple on Wednesday unveiled a new version of its iconic iPod, calling it "the world's smallest music player" with a new feature that speaks to its owner.
The new iPod shuffle is "nearly half of the size of the previous model" and includes a feature that voices song titles, artists and playlist names.
"The third-generation iPod shuffle is significantly smaller than a AA battery, holds up to 1,000 songs and is easier to use with all of the controls conveniently located on the earphone cord," Apple said in a statement.
"With the press of a button, you can play, pause, adjust volume, switch playlists and hear the name of the song and artist."
The new music player will sell for 79 dollars in the US market.
Apple sold 22.7 million iPods in 2008. The "shuffle" randomly selects songs from the player's music library.
The iPod shuffle can speak 14 languages: English, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.
Monday, March 09, 2009
Ben Stein How Not to Ruin Your Life
One of the great pleasures of my life is speaking to college and university students. My speeches are rarely political and mostly just the sharing of my experience, strength, and hope, to borrow a famous phrase. Lately I have been speaking a great deal about the economy, about which I know a bit, since I am an economist in real life as well as in movies and on TV. In my youth I also worked on economic policy matters in a small way at the White House.
As you might guess, the main issue today's students have in mind is what they can do in the currently difficult -- very difficult -- job market. What do I recommend to them to trump the problems so many young people are having getting started in the labor market?
Herewith, I offer a few suggestions. These are taken not just from my experience but from what my parents and their friends told me about graduating from college in the middle of the Great Depression, when unemployment was incomparably higher and times incomparably tougher than they are right now.
Learn a Genuinely Useful Skill
First, learn a genuinely useful skill. Abstract art and conceptual sculpture are great if your parents are wealthy. But if times are lean, as they are for most of us, learn to do what people need done: medical care of all kinds (the shortage of nurses gets more acute every week, and wages are skyrocketing), accounting, engineering that is used in defense, and any kind of work connected to the criminal justice system (crime is an ever-growing menace).
Second, and closely tied to the above, learn who is hiring. Right now, the main eager employers are in health care, education in urban and extremely rural schools, and above all, government. During the Depression, the main employer was government. Under the Obama administration, there will be immense new hires in most areas of federal government, but especially in the areas Mr. Obama has picked as his favorites: "green" power, education, and environmentalism.
Tailor your education and your skills to where the hiring is. You can always change your skill set and move to another area if you do not find government work or some other form of work appealing.
Never Enough of the Best People
Third, be the best at what you do. This is vital. My father often told me that, even in 1935, there was a shortage of top flight people in almost every field. "There are never enough of the best people," he used to say. If you are at the top of your class, you will have a vastly greater job vista than people in the middle or at the bottom.
I know some smart aleck will now say, "Well, Ben, we cannot all be at the top of our class." True enough. But you don't have to worry about the others. Just worry about yourself right now -- and have the best record you can have.
Learn great work skills. Learn to show up on time, to look neat and well-groomed, and to do whatever is asked of you with a willing attitude. Be up to date on all relevant computer skills and happy to learn new ones. Have a super positive attitude. Now is not the time for troublemakers and whiners. Your job is to produce some value for your employers greater than the cost of employing you. Make sure you do just that and do not create "negative utility," which means you destroy more value for your employers than you create -- by complaining, distracting workers, not getting your work done, and requiring a lot of supervision.
The Value of Thrift
Be thrifty. You will be far ahead of the game if you can live on much less than what you earn. Then you can have savings and build them up for the time when you move to a new city or a new job and require "starting-out money." It is just a great feeling to not be desperate.
Make every good connection you can. Almost all good jobs are gotten by who you know at least as much as by what you know. When people are hiring in both government and the private sector, a recommendation from a friend or colleague means more than test scores. Make and expand your web of friends and colleagues from the earliest possible moment, including high school. Your colleagues are a form of capital as real as money, even if not as liquid.
Imagine you are an employer looking at your whole college class. Would you hire you? If not, make yourself better. You can be a rebel later. For now, do what you need to do to get a job.
Friday, March 06, 2009
In a disclosure issued on Friday, San Miguel Brewery said Kirin had offered to buy a remaining 886 million shares held by the public for P8.84 apiece, the same price it offered San Miguel Corp. for a 43% stake in the brewing unit.
"The purchase will be paid in cash," San Miguel Brewery said.
If Kirin obtains all of the minority shares, its stake will increase to 49%. San Miguel has said it would retain a majority.
San Miguel Corp. and Kirin last month forged a deal for the sale of 6.67-billion shares in San Miguel Brewery for P58.93 billion, giving the diversifying parent additional cash to finance its acquisitions.
The P8.84 per share price was four centavos more than San Miguel Brewery’s price last month when Kirin first announced its plans to become a major stockholder. Kirin then said the purchase would be made in two phases, to be completed by the end of May.
The agreement also provided that Kirin, San Miguel and San Miguel Brewery negotiate for the purchase of shares in the parent firm’s overseas beer business. San Miguel has breweries in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, northern and southern China, and Hong Kong.
The deal is expected to contribute to growth in Kirin’s Asia and Oceania business. Kirin estimates that San Miguel Brewery accounts for about 95% of the Philippine market. It produces and markets San Miguel Pale Pilsen, Red Horse, San Mig Light and five other affiliated brands.
Kirin is selling its 19.9% stake, or 628 million shares, in San Miguel to newly incorporated Q-Tech Alliance Holdings, Inc. for P39.61 billion to help finance its San Miguel Brewery stake purchase.
The market was already closed when the Kirin tender offer was disclosed.
Shares of the beer unit went up ten centavos to P8.60, while the ’A’ shares of mother firm, limited to local investors, fell 1.11% or P0.50 to P44.50. Its ’B’ shares, open to all investors, went up by 1.12% or P0.50 to P45.
The bank's Monetary Board lowered the overnight borrowing rate to 4.75 percent and the overnight lending rate to 6.75 percent.
It was the third drop in policy rates since December, and brought the cumulative reduction to one and a quarter percentage points. Interest rates were cut by half a point in each of December and January.
The Philippine economy grew 4.6 percent last year, its slowest pace in seven years as the global economic crisis took a toll on services and industry while agriculture wilted from typhoon damage.
"Global financial strains are likely to persist and pose risks to economic activity," the bank said.
Accommodative monetary policy could help ensure greater availability of credit and reinforce market confidence, it said.
But the bank said it implemented a "measured adjustment of policy rates" because of a possible rise in inflation due to the volatility in oil prices and exchange rates, increases in utility rates and potential price increases of some agricultural commodities, which it did not specify.
Inflation in the Philippines picked up to 7.3 percent in February from 7.1 percent in January, driven by a rise in the cost of food, beverages and tobacco, the government said Thursday. Inflation peaked at 12.5 percent in August last year.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
"We plan to look into it ... to see whether there is potential. Other exchanges in the Asian region are doing it so we might be left behind. We have to study it carefully," PSE President Francisco Lim told Reuters.
The stock exchanges of Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore have established Islamic equity indexes while Thailand expects to launch its first such index next month.
About 30 companies on the Philippines stock exchange are sharia compliant, Lim said on the sidelines of an Islamic finance forum in the capital here.
He also said a suggestion to establish an Islamic index for the Southeast Asian region was made at a regional meeting of exchange chiefs but there had been little development since.
However, plans to set up electronic links and create an ASEAN trading board had progressed to the signing of memorandum of agreements last week between the bourses of the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.
They are currently working on cost assessments for the infrastructure that will see the five exchanges each nominate 30 companies to be traded on a single linkage, Lim said.
"I think cost is a big issue," he said, adding that there was no target date to launch the mechanism. (Click on [ID:nISLAMIC] for more Islamic finance stories and
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
MANILA (AFP) - - The Philippines has recovered at least 90 billion pesos (1.83 billion dollars) from deposed dictator Ferdinand Marcos's family and allies, a government official said Tuesday.
Narciso Nario, a commissioner with the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), said this disproved accusations by some legislators that his agency should be abolished because it was not doing its job.
"We were able to recover 90 billion pesos in cash and other assets including lands and houses that were part of the Marcos ill-gotten wealth, since the PCGGs founding," he told the agency's employees.
The PCGG was created in 1986 to recover assets from Marcos and his allies following the popular revolt earlier that year in which he was deposed.
Nario cited the recovery last month of 261 million pesos in cash dividends from a Philippine telecommunications firm that the courts had recently ruled were illegally acquired by Marcos cronies.
Marcos ruled the country from 1965 to 1986, much of the time under martial rule, during which he is alleged to have enriched himself, his family and his allies through graft and corruption.
Marcos died in exile in 1989 but his family has regained some of its political prominence.
No one knows just how much Marcos and his associates stole and estimates vary from five to 10 billion dollars, much of it hidden in overseas bank accounts, including some in Switzerland.
After Marcos was overthrown, the Swiss government froze assets and 683 million dollars in his accounts.
Most of these assets were eventually transferred to the Philippine government but a full recovery has been complicated by the fact that much of it has been deposited in accounts held by former Marcos associates.
Monday, March 02, 2009
As one of the most recognized global financial services brand, Visa is "cautiously optimistic" of the global economy but Mr. Joubert said the Philippine economy is "resilient."
"Things seem to change frequently that almost everyday you have new shocks; it is very hard to forecast. For this year, we are cautiously optimistic we will have a sound growth but not anything stellar as for the rest of the world. In the long run, we are very optimistic about the prospects for the Philippines. Like anybody else, we see the Philippines as a good, strong developing Asian country. We are committed to the country; we are determined to be here for the long haul," he added.
Visa has launched its first global advertising campaign called "More People Around the World Go with Visa" in the United States and Japan. The Philippines is the first Asian country it will launch the campaign focusing on its growth strategy of migrating consumer and business spending from cash and checks to electronic payment.
Visa offers branded payment product platforms used by its financial institution clients to provided credit, debit, prepaid and commercial programs to their customers.
"We don't expect people to buy more stuff. But we hope they will switch their method of purchase from using cash and checks to using Visa cards because it is more convenient and secure. It also gives them a good budgeting tool to plan their spending for the future. Internet purchase is a growing phenomenon. Visa provides that ability to enjoy using that channel," Joubert said.
Through the campaign, Joubert said, Visa will have one brand strategy to support clients and products."We are not encouraging more spending but Visa being used when you buy stuff. Electronic payment is safer and more convenient way to pay," he added.