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Biz Buzz: Why is Customs raising funds?

/ 12:37 AM August 10, 2015

BARELY two weeks after imposing a tariff increase of P40,000 per container, Customs Commissioner Bert Lina announced a second round of increases, causing Filipino freight forwarding companies to seriously reevaluate their businesses. What’s worse, the additional duties of P60,000 per container will become effective in less than a month’s time, right when the ‘ber’ season (the period leading up to Christmas) kicks in.

In the past few years, the freight forwarding industry has been remarkably resilient, despite taking a beating from the port congestion problem, truck bans, infernal traffic and shipping delays. Moreover, since the sector is highly competitive, companies are compelled to offer the best service and value-added features while maintaining the lowest possible price.

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A sudden P100,000 increase in their cost per container is no joke and may very well be the last straw that will break the camel’s back. All it will take is one or two firms to pass on this additional cost to consumers and this will undoubtedly trigger an across-the-board price increase. This will definitely not be something to look forward to for the millions of Filipinos sending and receiving packages this holiday season.

If the Bureau of Customs is underperforming, then this abrupt adjustment will somehow make sense. At present, however, the agency isn’t doing too badly, with a total first semester haul of P178.6 billion. So industry players are asking what the additional money is for? Daxim L. Lucas

FEATURED STORIES

Honey, honey and honey

A BILLIONAIRE playboy is currently in a tight spot with his wife who recently found out that her philandering husband had snagged not one, not two, but three gorgeous ladies all from a high-stakes television show.

Paramour number one lives in a three-bedroom condominium by the river with their 2-year-old daughter.

Paramour number two lives in a high-rise tower overlooking a sprawling golf club with their 8-month-old baby boy.

Paramour number three is his newest catch and perhaps the fairest of them all. The billionaire playboy is reportedly still in the midst of breaking her into his manly pursuits—travel, fast cars and horses—that his first two lovers went through.

Our lover boy wants to make sure they have common interests when they spend time together out of the bedroom. The playboy calls all of them “honey” just to make sure he doesn’t make a mistake when ever she meets one of them.

After discovering what her husband has been up to, the billionaire’s wife asked their lawyer to put all the family fortune under her name to protect her interest and her own brood. The billionaire has reportedly squirreled his collection of cars and paintings to his lovers.

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Will the billionaire playboy negotiate his way out of this fix in the manner of his favorite TV show? Gil Cabacungan

High Kalibrr

IT LOOKS like investors continue to line up behind Kalibrr, a Philippines-based technology job-matching startup, indicating growing confidence not just in the company but in home-grown tech solutions.

Kalibrr, of course, is a little different from many local startups in the sense that it has managed to obtain funding from notable Silicon Valley-based investors, pulling in about $2 million initially. That’s mainly thanks to its founders Paul Rivera as CEO and chief operating officer Dexter Ligot-Gordon.

But Biz Buzz learned that the duo have scored an even bigger amount, with about $5 million more coming in from venture capital investors outside the country.

Kalibrr, which is building a platform it hopes will challenge existing and larger players like Jobstreet, has had some impressive early results. Since its commercial launch last April, the company has secured more than 5,000 firms and nearly a quarter million job seekers in the Philippines alone.

Of course, $5 million is quite a hefty sum and we hear this is related to Kalibrr’s plan to go regional. Our sources say the first stop outside the Philippines— and probably the most logical too—is Indonesia, with its population accounting for close to half of the entire Southeast Asia’s 600 million people.

Job seekers around the world using a proudly Filipino platform? Sounds good to us. Miguel R. Camus

Returning ‘Kapamilya’

WITH local broadcasting firms beefing up their coverage by teaming up with global media brands—such as Solar TV/CNN and “Kapatid” TV5/Bloomberg, ABS-CBN’s cable news channel ANC is boosting its coverage by bringing onboard a former “Kapamilya” who spent nearly two decades making waves in international broadcasting.

Soon to appear as an ANC anchor is no less than the award-winning Cathy Yap-Yang. A long time ago, Yang covered the business beat for ABS-CBN but later left to anchor for Bloomberg TV Asia-Pacific, based in Tokyo and then in Hong Kong. She was the first person to win the “Best News Presenter” for three years in a row at the Asian Television Awards (2001, 2002 and 2003). After working for Bloomberg for nearly a decade, Yang had a four-year stint with Reuters TV in Hong Kong.

Prior to rejoining the ABS-CBN group, Yang was a correspondent for CCTV’s English Channel in Hong Kong. Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

E-mail us at bizbuzz@inquirer.com.ph. Get business alerts and a preview of Biz Buzz the evening before it comes out. Text ON INQ BUSINESS to 4467 (P2.50/alert)

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TAGS: Bureau of Customs, Business, Cathy Yang-Yap, economy, News, tariff
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