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News

  • Presidential race begins                                       
    A cliffhanger of a race to lead the country began yesterday with 5 candidates claiming to have a genuine chance of succeeding President Aquino. The current presidential front-runner is Sen. Grace Poe, an inexperienced politician who is riding a wave of popularity among the tens of millions of poor Filipinos, due in part to her adopted father, Fernando Poe Jr.  A major contender is Vice President Jejomar Binay, head of the main opposition party, who has spent decades building a vast political machine but has had to endure a barrage of corruption allegations that have caused him to lose his front-runner status. President Aquino, who has overseen growth averaging 6.2% since 2010 and won international applause for trying to fight corruption, wants to hand over the keys to the presidential palace to his longtime ally, former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, a US-educated investment banker, former legislator, and government executive who has consistently trailed Sen. Poe and VP Binay in surveys. Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, meanwhile, is making a spectacular charge for the presidency by vowing a ruthless crackdown on crime. The fifth and final contender is Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago who, despite her popularity among younger voters with her strong presence in social media and claims that she has beaten cancer, has consistently trailed in surveys.
  • Landbank-DBP merger approved                       
    State-owned Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) will soon form a single banking unit after Pres. Benigno Aquino III signed the executive order for their merger to become the country’s second-biggest lender in asset terms. The chief executive approved the merger of the two state banks through Executive Order No. 198 last Feb. 4, subject to consent of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp., citing the “need to rationalize the operation of government agencies and government financial institutions to strengthen their financial capabilities, improve the delivery of services, achieve economic efficiency and support the development thrust of the government.”

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