BIZ BUZZ: P10-B sigh of relief | Inquirer Business

BIZ BUZZ: P10-B sigh of relief

/ 02:06 AM April 26, 2023

The Philippines’ telecommunications firms let out a collective sigh of relief after President Marcos approved a 90-day extension for the registration of subscriber identification module (SIM) cards whose original deadline was today.

If the reader is wondering why these telcos are so supportive of a deadline extension, it’s partly because the sudden deactivation of 55 percent of the country’s estimated 168 million SIM cards in circulation will result in a sudden drop in revenues for these firms and a substantial drop in tax revenues for the government.

Each user currently spends an average of P110 per SIM card per month. With the possible deactivation of 92.4 million SIM cards, that would mean P10.1 billion in monthly revenues —shared among the country’s three telco firms—would evaporate into thin air. Along with the portion that goes to the government’s coffers in the form of taxes, of course.

— Daxim L. Lucas INQ

PH first in Asean to enjoy Jack-Coke cocktail mix

The Philippines has always been one of the biggest markets of the Atlanta-based The Coca-Cola Co., with its large and young population that is also partial to all things American.


It was logical therefore that the Philippines would be the first country in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific region to enjoy the increasingly popular canned drink that combines Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and Coca-Cola.

The Jack Daniel’s and Coca-Cola alcoholic premium cocktail was inspired by one of the world’s most popular branded “bar calls” —a cocktail ordered with specific brand names, in this case Jack and Coke—and is now available in a ready-to-drink format.


The official media launch is set for this Friday although the beverage is already available in select 7-Eleven convenience stores and on Lazada, with more retail outlets to follow.

Pushing the Jack and Coke cocktail mix is part of the beverage giant’s plans to increase its footprint in the alcoholic drinks space. Let’s see what else will come out of the pipeline.

—Tina Arceo-Dumlao

Trouble in paradise

Happy days are here again for this government agency whose head has been traveling abroad, we’re told, with a large coterie of alalays—among them: the head of an attached agency, three undersecretaries, two assistant secretaries, a chief of staff, executive assistant and various other underlings.

This is not to mention, of course, the official’s politician-spouse and children who have also been known to join the travel party.

But leaders of the industry the agency serves are saying this “unli-spending” for a large traveling group is unnecessary considering the agency’s tight budget. They say the funds ought to be used instead to roll out a more effective international campaign to improve the profile of the Philippines abroad, so it could catch up with its neighbors.

The last major marketing campaign of the agency was in 2019, although there were creative stabs using social media during the pandemic to keep the interest of foreigners in the country.

Though the private sector initially liked said government official, its leaders now confess they are getting impatient with the official’s perceived lack of any trailblazing accomplishments, one year after being appointed to the agency post.

They even joke among themselves that the official’s only achievement so far is “building toilets,” mostly located in the official’s home province. The rest, they claim, are rehashed projects the agency is now trumpeting as the official’s own brainchild through their frequent “cultural shows” at five-star venues.

Aside from the agency’s lack of direction and substantial programs, the industry leaders also wonder why the official even kept some executives who have been described as deadwood, unable to lift their fingers, especially during the pandemic.

One of them, a regional executive, was even promoted to undersecretary, despite having spent most of his time scuba diving while COVID-19 was raging. But it should really come as no surprise as the new undersecretary is more known for his “networking” skills, rather than for professional competence.

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And because of his loyalty to his new boss’ politically powerful family, he was promoted two levels higher in the agency, stepping over the knowledgeable and more efficient executives in his division. INQ

—Daxim L. Lucas
TAGS: Biz Buzz, Business, telcos

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