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     MANILA: Major brand owners, including Procter & Gamble and Philips, are using crowdsourcing techniques in their latest Asian campaigns focused on the quality of life. Crowdsourcing – defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people and especially from the online community rather than from traditional employees or suppliers” – aims to draw an increased participation and better consumer insights. In the Philippines, companies like Procter & Gamble, Philips, and Unilever use crowdsourcing as a way to push campaigns, identify consumer needs and gain a broader understanding of the market.  Below are some of the crowdsourcing initiatives from the said companies:
  • P&G: Song composition celebrating life in the nation
  • Philips: the “+” project, innovation for better lives in Southeast Asia
  • Identifying issues that affect health and well-being in the country     
              * Unilever: partnership with eYeka, an online marketing community, to create new campaigns in its other markets

     Looking at the concept of crowdsourcing and its applications, the FMCG industry has for itself a powerful and sustainable tool for its operations in the country. Crowdsourcing allows industry players to gain a deeper understanding of its consumers. By getting first-hand insights from their customers, FMCG companies are able to launch more direct solutions and products for their market’s needs. Moreover, crowdsourcing creates an interactive atmosphere between firm and consumer, allowing a more personal approach to business. This could stimulate better consumer loyalty, a greater consumer reach, and deeper market penetration. Crowdsourcing initiatives such as individual and group competitions, surveys and interviews, and consumer research allow industry players to develop a better relationship with the market.

     If the FMCG industry is able to develop the use of crowdsourcing and realize its full potential, there is a bright future for both its players and market. There is a possible improvement in the efficiency of its services, the quality of its products, and the sustainability of its operations. 

(Taken from Campaign Asia Pacific; additional content by Warc staff, October 3, 2013)

by: Emilio Antonio | Marcella Karaan | Julian Martinez | Ivy Zuniga

 
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     In a country like the Philippines, actions taken by one wealthy man say a lot about the economy. With businessman and former senator Manuel B. Villar Jr. expanding his real estate and retail portfolio by establishing MBV Retail Holdings with a P1B capital, the consumption-driven Philippine economy must really be on the rise.

      Under his new company, Villar plans to launch three new brands: All Day, a convenience store; All Home, a home appliance and furnishings outlet; and All Group, a department store business. It is quite timely for Villar to go into retail because in other recent news, many food things are heard about the Filipino consumer. The Nielsen Global Survey Consumer Confidence Index ranked the Philippines as the second most confident and optimistic consumer in the world (with 121 points, next only to Indonesia with 124 points). Stuart Jamieson, managing director of Nielsen Philippines, said that a “growing number of consumers are entering the middle class driving the positive outlook”. In relation to this, the World Bank said that the 6.2% growth in private consumption could be attributed to OFW remittances and increased employment in the BPO industry.

     In the market of convenience stores, however, MBV’s All Day chain (a rebranding of the Finds convenience store which currently has 80 outlets nationwide) faces a lot of competition. There is the Ministop chain from Japan, and the Philippine Seven Corporation which runs the 7-eleven stores in the Philippines. Even though consumption trends favour convenience stores because of the instant and ready-to-eat phenomena, there are also other entrants to the market like the foreign chain Family Mart, brought in to the Philippines by the Ayala group and Rustan’s group.

(Taken from Rappler.com, September 22, 2013 Issue)

by: Emilio Antonio | Marcella Karaan | Julian Martinez | Ivy Zuniga

 
Sun Life Grepa Financial, Inc (SLGFI) generated a premium income of Php 8.65 B during the first half of the year (240% inc from the same period last year). It has attributed its growth to its new variable unit-linked (VUL) products which contributed 80% of the individual insurance business. Also, its Its partnership with Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) was beneficial in generating majority of its sales.

Sun Life Grepa Financial, Inc (SLGFI) is a joint venture between the Yuchengco Group of companies (YGC) which is considered as one of SEA’s largest conglomerates with over 90 companies, and Sun Life Financial-Philippines which has been a top player in the Philippines for over 118 years. Sun Life owns 49 % of SLFGI. It has earned a total of Php 8.65 B during the first half of the year, or a total of 240% growth from the same period last year. It has attributed its growth to its new variable unit-linked (VUL) products which have become competitive and attractive in the market. It is said that VUL becomes the Sun Life Grepa Power Builder contributing 80% of the individual insurance business.

What makes the VUL competitive and attractive?

VUL or Variable Universal Life contracts are permanent life insurance policies that provide death benefits until 100 or life and  the potential for cash value accumulation. It has two components: insurance term and investment term. This means that whenever one puts its money in VUL, a portion of it will go to life insurance while the rest are considered investments. As compared to the traditional life insurance, VUL becomes more attractive to the investors because it provides the customers an opportunity to maximize its wealth and generate funds through the investment character that investing VUL gives. Moreover, VUL policies are  popular because of its flexible premiums and tax-free growth.

* Flexible Premiums

This means that flex payments allow for skipping premums or paying lumpsum.

* Tax Free Growth

This means that the value and growth in the account accumulates tax free as long as the variable insurance plan remains active.

In what way does VUL boost its sales?

According to the article, Sun Life Grepa Power Builder (VUL) has different fund options to match the client’s financial goan and risk appetition.

Available in three payment schemes, the Sun Grepa Power Builder has different fund options that can match a client’s financial goal and risk appetite, as well as allow them to diversify their investments.

These include Income Fund, Bond Fund, Opportunity Fund, Balanced fund, Equity Fund and Growth Fund. Since August 2012 to August 2013, it was the income fund that marked the highest returns with a 22.69%increase. Next to it is the Bond Fund with 19.03%, Opportunity Fund posted a 12.17% growth while Balanced Fund showed 12.3% increase. Equity Bond followed with 1014% increase in returns, and followed by Growth Fund with 10.36%.

How does its partnership with RCBC Bank further boost its sales?

The partnership allowed the LSGFI reach more clients efficient, as well as gave them the the opportunity to diversify their assets and earn wealth properly.

What is the Implication of its significant growth? How does its significant increase to 240% contribute to economic growth in the Philippines?

 

The remarkable increase that SLGFI generated makes it more attractive among its clients as well as to those who plan to start-up investments in VUL-life insurance products. This then is translated to another source of its continued growth.

Also, according to the report recorded by the Insurance Commission, life insurance industry has been experiencing a positive growth since 2009. Those life insurance companies (such as Sun Life. Phil Life Ins. Corp of UK, Philam Life and Gen, Phil Axa, BPI Philam, Insular Life, Manulife-Phil, Sunlife Grepa, Manulife China Life Assce Corp, PNB Life Insurance, Unicoco Life, Pioneer Life and Philam Life) who have started engaging or issuing VUL products make up about 79% to 89% of the life insurance industry’s total assets, net worth and premium income since 2008-2012. Since the time period mentioned, more and more Filipinos get themselves engaged in this new investment schemes. What does this imply? This implies that more and more Filipinos are learning the ways of proper handling of money or financial protection. Thus, investing in such promotes financial stability. This means that an increase in domestic savings is also generated causing one Filipino to experience an increase in his MPC(Marginal Propensity to Consume). Moreover, an increase in domestic savings brings about (in principle) a more stable mobilization of savings through investment activities. In the end, a more stable economy is experienced by the Filipinos. 


Sources:
http://www.malaya.com.ph/business-news/special-features/sun-life-grepa-premium-income-240-h1


https://www.google.com.ph/search?gs_rn=27&gs_ri=psy-ab&tok=zPcz6MqZJqmYXs9w4VEtnA&cp=12&gs_id=1f&xhr=t&q=sun+life+grepa&bav=on.2,or.r_cp.r_qf.&bvm=bv.53537100,d.aGc&biw=1366&bih=667&dpr=1&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=KeNPUuvFCqiwiQeJ8IG4Dg#facrc=_&imgrc=8dz7XodKzE5AhM%3A%3B6MNKHisedy__7M%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.sunlifegrepa.com%252Fimages%252FNews-Small.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.sunlifegrepa.com%252FSiteNews.aspx%253FID%253D4%3B640%3B702

By:
Caccam, Florencio
Cetoy, Krizia Kate
Escarnuela, Kristine
Yap, Lorelie


 
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According to a Philippine aviation expert, the anticipated upgrade of the Philippine aviation status by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) may be delayed due to the US government shutdown that is happening recently. The Philippines is supposed to be upgraded from Category 2 to Category 1 by the FAA this month, as said by Capt. Amado Soliman Jr., Chairman of Air Safety Foundation. This possible delay may be due to the failure of the US lawmakers to agree on a new budget which forced the federal government to stop all but the vital operations of the country. If the US shutdown would be prolonged, then the plans of local airlines to operate in the US would have to wait. But despite the hold in promoting the Philippines’ status at present, the original plans are still in place and will be addressed by the FAA. The officials are just waiting for the directions and comments of the agency, as said by the CAAP deputy director John Andrews.

               In holding the upgrade of the Philippines’ aviation status, planned operations to the US of some local carriers have been on hold as well for they still have to be approved by the said agency. Although the Philippines has been certified to meet the International Civil Organization safety standards, it seemed not enough to let Philippine carriers to operate just yet. With this, there is a possibility that the Philippines is missing on the opportunity to expand its aviation operations which may contribute to the country’s overall profits. Also, this may give a reputation for the Philippines from other countries that the safety standards of the country’s aviation are unstable and therefore would not entice investors for the industry. Moreover, the US government shutdown may also have further impacts not only to the country’s aviation industry but also in other sectors for the country depends on the US aid greatly. This hold may take a while but the Philippines must not lose its hope in achieving its desired upgrade that would enable its further progress and expansion in the aviation industry.

Source: http://business.inquirer.net/145911/ph-aviation-status-seen-in-limbo-as-us-shuts-down

Flores
Navlani
Ner
Oppus


 
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The Philippines agri-business poses string potential in different products such as livestock, palm oil, and sugar. Said potential may be apparent in the next 5 years and this is according the Business Monitor International (BMI). The London-based research also reveals that the agriculture; industry in Mindanao may be revived through agricultural investment. The two countries – the Philippines and Malaysia may begin to go forward with their long-held initiatives to develop the palm oil industry and plantations. However, the security problems as well environment-related concerns are among the top problems that the country should be cautious about. The reservation of BMI is clearly based on matters involving with MILF as well as infrastructure projects that are yet to be discussed or executed. The issue on transportation is also among the top concerns as well. The BMI has the prediction that there will be an augmentation in terms of sugar output that would reach 29.2% by the crop year 2016-2017. The harvest is also forecasted to have reached an astonishing 2.9 million of rice tons. The increase in commercial farming is also executed during the second year. Commercial farming is also expected to increase alomgside side the domestic threats or virus within a system.

In 2013, Livestock production increased by 2.12 percent and the subsector contributed 15.53 percent to total agricultural production. Production of hog increases at 2.36 percent and cattle at 2.28 percent. At current prices, the subsector grossed P111.8 billion, up by 11.43 percent from last year's earnings.The poultry subsector accounted for 14.58 percent of the total agricultural production. It registered 4.39 percent growth in output. Chicken production which increased by 5.05 percent was the main source of growth. The subsector grossed P86.4 billion at current prices. This was 6.25 percent higher from last year's earning. Overall, Output increases from the livestock and poultry contributed to the overall production gain in 2013. It would make us expect to continue growth in next year and furthe runtill in 2017.


Link to the news:
http://business.inquirer.net/145243/agribusiness-seen-posting-strong-growth-in-next-5-yrs

by
Bamba, John Ray
Canovas, Raphael
Lee, Sohyun
Pascual, Emmanuel Gerardo

 
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Source: Donabelle Gatdula, Philstar.com (http://www.philstar.com/business/2013/10/03/1240724/travel-agencies-urge-businesses-cater-muslim-visitors)

More or less, the number of tourist arrivals in the given table gives a glimpse of the Muslim tourists coming in the Philippines. Based on the numbers, tourists coming from these places are only a few portion of the total. According to a study, tourism expenditures of Muslims reach up to $126B while Germany comes in second place, $111B.[1] Therefore, steps should be taken to increase tourist arrivals coming in from these Muslim countries such as providing them with facilities that are in accordance to their culture. This will not be a problem if the government will tap our Muslim brothers in Mindanao. If this will be done, it could also promote the tourism industry of Mindanao. However, the first step that the government should do is to provide security to tourists as well as citizens of Mindanao so as not to scare potential tourists from coming here. Providing Muslim-related services will be a good way to prepare the tourism industry in the upcoming ASEAN integration. On a last note, it will be a good move for the travel agency to offer services that are culturally-specific not only for Muslims but also Buddhists, etc. In this way, the Muslim side of our culture will also be showcased among these people.

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Department of Tourism, “Visitor Arrivals by Country of Residence”, (2012), http://www.visitmyphilippines.com/index.php?title=VisitorStatistics&func=all&pid=39&tbl=1 (accessed October 3, 2013).

Reference: 
[1] Dinar Standard and Crescent Rating, “Global Muslim Lifestyle Travel Market 2012: Landscape & Consumer Needs Study” (July 2012) http://imaratconsultants.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/DS_CR_TravelReport_ExeSumy_r3.2.pdf (accessed October 3, 2013).

Members: 
Jose Vincent Lubat
Sarah Mae Reyes
Rosemary Sia
Thea Fabay


 
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Philippines, issued a temporary restraining order for banks to increase the ATM interbank fees for the next month. The reason stated by the BSP is that they need to study the hike because it affects the consumer welfare. Consumers may withdraw free of charge from their respective banks. The fee would be from 11 pesos to 15 pesos per interbank transaction.

Banks push for the increase of ATM interbank fees due to higher cost the interbank networks. Megalink, Nationlink, Bancnet and Expressnet are some of the interbank networks that connect different banks together. ATM’s are often used for small withdrawal transactions and small retail remittances within the same bank or to other banks. Although the BSP considers the welfare of the consumers in the increase of ATM fees, they should also weigh the welfare of the banks as well. Big banking companies such as BDO, Metrobank and BPI had announced the increase of ATM fees due to higher cost. Thus, the profitability of the banks would be compromised if BSP would restrain the banks for the price hike. 



Del Rosario, Keren Michelle P.
Desamparado, Lorenze Matthew G.
Somes, Elliane P.
 
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Recently introduced to the Philippine market through a collaborative effort with Stores Specialists Inc., Gap has announced its intention to bring another American brand, Old Navy, to the Filipino fashion market. Begun in 1994, Old Navy is one of America's largest clothing retailers at present. It operates under Gap, Inc. and is known for bringing "American fashion essentials" to every family.

This piece of news is yet another testament of the Philippines' ever-growing market for clothes that both local and foreign brands can and should take advantage of at the present. In addition, it also sheds some light as to how this highly competitive industry works.

As proven by the frequent entries of different brands, both local and foreign, into the Philippine clothing scene, the Filipino fashion retailing industry seems to be a very open one with few, if any, barriers to entry. However, this high incentive to enter and take advantage of the burgeoning market for styled clothes is also the same cause for this industry's difficult playing environment. Since entry is almost hassle-free, the industry's many players face a highly competitive market that seeks to take as much consumer loyalty as they can. This is precisely the reason that brand-imaging through strong advertising and franchising techniques are most applicable for this industry. First, brand-retention is very important for these companies because it elicits consumer loyalty for their specific market niche. Hence, while the industry is a very competitive one, one of the strategies of its players is to aim at monopolizing a specific market. Second, franchising is generally one of the best approaches that the players of this industry use because this system is appropriate to the branding characteristic of the fashion industry. Through this system, brand owners get to distribute their operations to other branches and location while ensuring that they maintain their original concept and image of the brand.

Thus, the introduction of even more clothing brands may not be far-off in the near future of the Philippines as its clothing market continues to grow. How these new brands will capture their own mini-monopolies or retain their overall image in the mind of the public will possibly be an interesting match to watch.

Aquino. Coromina. Mendiola.

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"Gap plans to open first Old Navy store in Philippines." Fiber2Fashion.com. Accessed 27 September 2013 from http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/garment-apparel-news/philippines/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=151488.
Photo from http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_5mEorzVZjdA/SNv2CBqPzrI/AAAAAAAAFTU/qB8XPWE1jTE/s320/OldNavyLogo.jpg

 
The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) aims to promote Philippine Films internationally by hosting the 2nd International Film Exposition held last September 6-7, 2013 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City with the film: “Your Film Corridor to Asia”. This is to provide opportunity for both local and foreign filmmakers/ producers for partnerships, co-productions as well as exchange of knowledge in technological and marketing strategies. Chair of Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), Eugenio Villareal, established the need for the Philippine Film industry to move towards having a “global outlook”.
Is the Philippines ready for a collaboration with other countries when it is the Independent Films that is currently saving the Philippine Film Industry? Are our actors ready for an international competition of skills and standards?

Independent Films have been saving the industry since the latter was reported to be “dying”. As we all know, the Indie films caters to only a few audience. In order for it to cater the mass, it needs more financing. However, Indie films are usually low-budgeted films. Fortunately, some Indie films are now being distributed by mainstream producers—this can be a bridge to actually moving towards “global outlook”.

The reason why Filipino Indie films do not receive as much attention like any other countries is not only because it is low-budgeted or low quality but because the actors are not popular. Filipinos tend to pick movies in cinema with their favorite actors or actresses in it—this has been the reason for the co-production of movies between mainstream outfits such as Star Cinema and Viva, and GMA and Regal. FDCP, however, goes beyond this.

The reason for collaboration and co-production is to call the attention of people not only in the Philippines but in other countries as well where the Philippines can introduce its Films. Our Indie film has already attracted international distributors through Cinemalaya which the FDCP should also focus on. The quality of Indie Films has also been improved because of this foundation and the number of Filipinos watching through Cinemalaya every July has also been increasing. Moreover, more and more Indie Films are now vying for international awards such as Marlon Rivera’s “Ang Babae sa Septik Tank” which has been nominated for the 42nd Berlin International Film Festival’s Cinema Fairbindet Award and Best Feature Award for addressing a global issue, Vancouver International Film Festival for the Dragons & Tigers Award for Young Cinema. This indie film will also be exhibited in various festivals such as Hawaiian International Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival and Udine Film Festival. Another indie film is Alvin Yapan’s “Gayuma” which has been nominated in the 27th Warsaw International Film Festival’s Free Spirit Action.

The Philippine indie films has been already known in some parts of the world however in order to improve international recognition, the FDCP wants collaboration and a co-production between countries. With the improvement of indie films from Cinemalaya foundation and some Mainstream Producers, the industry has now better chances of international recognition. Co-producing with other countries will be a leap for the quality of films as well as acting which is why FDCP wants to pursue this. 


Camu | Quinto

 
The country’s non-life insurance sector is among the heavily taxed industry in the ASEAN region. The Philippines Insurance and Reinsurers Association (PIRA) is seeking a reduction in the industry’s tax burden particularly on the value-added tax, documentary stamp tax, income tax, municipal tax, tax on investment, and the fire service tax. The reason behind the persuasion of tax removal or reduction lies in the upcoming 2015 ASEAN integration that will allow prospective competitors in the ASEAN region to enjoy a tremendous tax advantage.

                By reducing the tax burden, greater sale of insurance products that can later affect a larger amount of tax revenues for the government and protection for the public. One instance is the effect of the reduction by two percent on the five-percent premium tax on life insurance policies, which result to an increase in sales of life insurance products, from P57 billion in 2009 to P120 billion of 2012.

The non-life insurance industry reported a net income of P2.57 billion in 2012 that declined by 22 percent from the 2011 earnings level of P3.3 billion. While assets boomed to P125.5 billion that increased by 12 percent from the previous year’s P112 billion.

If this is to be approved, the reduction of tax burden many result to a decrease in the cutthroat competition for the sake of the insuring public and the insurer itself. However, this may affect sectors such as the government and their inflows since taxes will decrease.  More importantly, the industry affected by this cut on taxes will be able to compete on equal footing with other markets regarding profitability in the much anticipated ASEAN integration of 2015.

Source: http://www.philstar.com/business/2013/09/20/1229391/non-life-insurers-seek-tax-reform-boost-profitability

by Caccam, Florencio,
Cetoy, Krizia Kate
Escarnuela, Kristine
Yap, Lorelie