|19 March 2015|
|Nestlé officials call on President Aquino|
| Officials of the Swiss-based firm Nestlé paid a courtesy call on President Benigno S. Aquino III in Malacañang Palace on Thursday.Nestlé’s Executive Vice President of Zone Asia, Oceania, Africa and Middle East, Doreswamy Nandkishore, and two other Nestlé officials were welcomed by President Aquino at 10 a.m. at the Palace’s President’s Hall.
Nandkishore was accompanied by Nestlé Philippines, Inc.’s outgoing Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Martin Miller and incoming Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Suresh Narayanan.
Nestlé Philippines, which has been operating in the country since 1911, manufactures and markets products under such brands as Nescafé, Nido, Milo, Nestea, Maggi, Bear Brand, Nestlé and Purina, among others. Its products include coffee, milk, beverages, non-dairy creamer, food, infant nutrition, ice cream and chilled dairy, breakfast cereals, confectionery and pet care.
According to its website, Nestlé Philippines, which employs 3,700 men and women all over the country, has manufacturing facilities in Cabuyao, Laguna; Cagayan de Oro; Lipa and Tanauan, Batangas; and Pulilan, Bulacan. PND (jm)
|President Aquino issues executive order for coco levy fund inventory, privatization|
| President Benigno S. Aquino III on Wednesday issued Executive Order 179 setting the administrative guidelines for the inventory and privatization of coco levy assets.
Through the EO, the President instructed the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) to coordinate with other government agencies to identify all known coco levy assets within 60 days from the effectivity of the Order.
The President wants the PCGG, with the assistance of the Office of the Solicitor General, to submit a certified report to the Bureau of Treasury, Commission on Audit, and the Office of the President, identifying and accounting all coco levy assets.
These include sequestered assets; corporations acquired through the use of levy money; shares of stocks of corporations; money, assets and investments of the Coconut Industry Investment Fund (CIIF) managed by the United Coconut Planters Bank (USPB); and money, assets and investments managed by CIIF companies and CIIF holding companies.
The Order also mandates the PCGG and other agencies to reconvey and transfer the title of all coco levy assets to the government within 60 days from the effectivity of EO 179.
According to the Order, money and funds constituting the coco levy or accruing from the coco levy assets must be deposited to the Special Account in the General Fund for Coco Levies (Coco Levy SAGF) with the Bureau of Treasury, pursuant to Presidential Decree 1234.
The President also wants these government agencies to take all the steps to implement the Supreme Court decision on the coco levy fund as well as the orders that he will issue in the future.
The Commission for Government-Owned or -Controlled Corporations (GOCCs), in consultation with the Department of Finance, the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization, and the Philippine Coconut Authority, shall determine if privatizing the coco levy assets would serve the best interest of the government.
These agencies are mandated to provide the President recommendation on the possible privatization and the mode of divestment.
Once the privatization pushes through, all the proceeds must go to the Coco Levy SAGF after deducting reasonable expenses incurred during the process of privatizing the assets.
The Order takes effect immediately upon its publication in a newspaper of general circulation.
In its previous ruling, the Supreme Court said the coco levy fund is public in nature and cannot be used to purchase shares of stocks to be given for free to private individuals.
Thus, the so-called Farmers’ UCPB Shares covered by 64.98 percent of the UCPB shares of stock are owned by the government, the Supreme Court said.
The CIIF companies and holding companies, as well as the converted San Miguel Corp. Series 1 preferred shares, totaling 753,848,312 shares, together will all the dividends, are also owned by the government.
The coco levy refers to the levies, taxes, enforced contributions, collections imposed by the government in connection with the sale or purchase of copra, copra resecada, or its equivalent in other coconut products collected from coconut farmers, planters and millers.
Coco levy funds are funds created or sourced from the coco levy, including the Coconut Investment Fund; the Coconut Consumers Stabilization Fund, later renamed as the Coconut Industry Development Fund; the Coconut Industry Development Fund; and the Coconut Industry Investment Fund. PND (as)
|Many Filipinos still believe in President Aquino’s leadership, says Palace|
| Many Filipinos continue to believe in the leadership of President Benigno S. Aquino III, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said on Thursday.
This was the Palace’s reaction to the latest Pulse Asia survey that showed that “around 4 out of 10 Filipinos do not think President Aquino should step down from office now”.
“Malinaw na pagpapahayag ng saloobin ng ating mga mamamayan, ng mga boss, na ang nakararami sa kanila ay naniniwala sa kanyang pamumuno at nais na tapusin niya ang kanyang termino at gampanan ang kanyang sinumpaang tungkulin,” Secretary Coloma said.
The survey, conducted from March 1 to 7 using face-to-face interviews with 1,200 respondents, showed that 42 percent disagreed when asked if President Aquino should resign as president now.
While 29 percent of the respondents supported calls for the President to resign, about 28 percent were undecided.
The survey was conducted against a backdrop of challenges being faced by the administration, among them the unresolved questions regarding the Mamasapano operation that resulted in the death of 44 police commandos, and the suspension of congressional discussions on the Bangsamoro Basic Law.
Coloma assured the public that in return, the President will not disappoint his “Bosses”.
“Dahil diyan ay ibayong pagsisikap, determinasyon at kasipagan ang ipapakita ng Pangulo at ng administrasyon para maging karapat-dapat sa kanilang patuloy na pagtitiwala at pagtangkilik,” he said. PND (ag)
|President Aquino issues executive order on guidelines for reconveyance, use of coco levy assets|
| President Benigno S. Aquino III on Wednesday issued Executive Order 180, providing the administrative guidelines for the reconveyance and utilization of coco levy assets for the benefit of coconut farmers and the country’s coconut industry.
Through EO 180, the President mandated several government agencies to protect and recover the government’s rights and interests in coco levy assets.
The Order specifically instructs the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), and other government agencies under the Department of Justice to file pleadings and maintain appropriate legal actions to preserve and recover the government’s entitlements in coco levy assets.
The EO mandates the PCGG, the Bureau of Treasury, the Governance Commission for Government-Owned or -Controlled Corporations (GOCCs), the OSG, and government representatives to sequestered corporations to reconvey and transfer titles of coco levy assets to the government.
These include shares of stocks in the United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB), shares in Coconut Industry Investment Fund (CIIF) companies and holding companies, and 5.5 million San Miguel Corp. (SMC) shares paid by the SMC and UCPB in the name of PCGG.
These agencies must also deposit money and funds constituting the coco levy or accruing from the coco levy assets in the Special Account in the General Fund for Coco Levies with the Bureau of Treasury, pursuant to Presidential Decree 1234.
With respect to the converted SMC shares Series 1 preferred shares, these must include all dividends declared, paid or issued after September 17, 2009, the proceeds from the redemption on October 5, 2012, and income, interests or profits derived from those assets.
With regards to the PCGG SMC shares, these include all the dividends declared, paid or issued since March 22, 1990.
Government agencies controlling or administering coco levy assets must be dissolved pursuant to existing laws, with all the money and assets to be transferred or deposited to government coffers, according to the Order.
The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), in cooperation with the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization, is mandated by the Order to develop a coconut industry roadmap and submit it to the President.
Initial funding for the industry roadmap, which will come from the money and funds constituting the coco levy and coco levy assets, will be released once the President approves the roadmap.
The Order specifies that the money must be allocated only for the benefit of the coconut farmers and the development of the coconut industry.
The PCA was also instructed by the President through the Order to issue implementing rules and regulations to ensure the fulfillment of the mandate of EO 180.
The President said in the Order that the use of the coco levy fund must improve coconut farm productivity, develop coconut-based enterprises, and increase the income of coconut farmers.
It must also strengthen coconut farmers’ organizations as well as rehabilitate and develop the coconut industry.
The coco levy fund came from levies, taxes and enforced contributions imposed by the government on coconut farmers, planters and millers starting in the early 1970s. PND (as)
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