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Toyota expansion plans in RP bared

Thursday, 23 October 2014 00:00 Published in Business

Japanese car maker, Toyota Motor Corp., intends to expand operations in the Philippines that will serve as backup hub for Thailand — the largest manufacturing hub for automotive companies in the region.
Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) president Alfredo Yao told reporters at the sidelines of 40th Philippine Business Conference at Manila Hotel yesterday that the business group had recently met with its counterpart in Thailand, wherein Toyota’s arms in Thailand and the Philippines said the company is eyeing for expansion in the country.
“Toyota will be coming here. They will expand here,” Yao said.
He mentioned that the intended expansion of the Japanese car firm will involve full assembly of sport utility vehicles (SUV) like Toyota Fortuner.
“They are trying to assemble it here. They will use Philippines as hub to export for other Asean market,” he added.
Hence, the Philippines will be an additional production hub for SUV models of Toyota.
Toyota manufactures all of its SUVs in Thailand.
According to Yao, the plan of assembling some SUVs in the Philippines is to mitigate the risk of disasters such as the severe flooding in Thailand, which it experienced in 2011.
The PCCI chief also noted that the planned assembly of SUV models in the Philippines for Toyota will be possibly exported to other Asean markets.
PCCI recently met with the Federation of Thai Industries in which they identify sectors where Filipino and Thai businessmen can further expand trade and investments.

Forum tackles trustworthy environment for investors

Thursday, 23 October 2014 00:00 Published in Business

Speakers at the Philippines Investment Conference held at the Fairmont Hotel Makati yesterday explored the issues that could stand in the way of the country’s continued economic success and how to address them.
Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson, Department of Finance Undersecretary Jose Emmanuel Reverente, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas deputy governor Diwa Guinigundo and Public Private Partnership Center of the Philippines executive director Cosette Canilao led discussions on investing in critical infrastructure as a means to drive growth.
Top decision makers of leading Philippine listed companies Ayala Corp., Jollibee Foods Corp., SM Investments Corp., and Universal Robina Corp. also weighed in with a private sector perspective on how to sustain the growth momentum.
“In a fast-growing economy like ours, it is important to build a trustworthy environment for investors. As the Philippine market matures, the market will demand higher standard of financial education and higher standard of care or fiduciary duty from finance services professionals. If we lose the public’s trust, we risk reversing our economic achievements,” said April Lee Tan, CFA, president of CFA Society Philippines.
“That’s why our members are dedicated to ensuring that we nurture ethical and competent financial services professionals and empower investors to make the best possible decisions,” Tan said.
The Philippines Investment Conference is the culmination of a year-long series of successful activities by CFA Society Philippines to raise standards in the local capital markets and bring financial education and investors’ rights on the national agenda.
In February, the society organized the Financial Fitness Fun Run and, in May, it hosted the Philippines Retail Investment Conference.
Among the speakers at the conference were respected economists Dr. Jim Walker of Asianomics and Timothy Moe, CFA, of Goldman Sachs, high-yield bonds expert Martin Fridson, CFA; and Tan Chin-Hwee, CFA, founding partner in Asia of Apollo Global Management, one of the world’s biggest private equity funds.
“The timing of this conference couldn’t be better. Never before have we seen the Philippines prouder of its economic achievements and more confident of its standing in Asia,” said Paul Smith, CFA, managing director for Asia Pacific of CFA Institute, in his opening remarks.
“Future economic success will be underpinned by well-functioning capital markets that facilitate the best use of savings and capital for society’s needs and a culture of integrity that provides confidence of investors to put their hard-earned money in these markets,” he said.
CFA Institute is the largest global association of investment professionals with more than 127,000 members in 150 countries.

Book on PET/CT out

Thursday, 23 October 2014 00:00 Published in Business

Dr. Jonas Francisco Santiago, head of the St. Luke’s Nuclear Medicine Department and PET Center in Global City and the founding chairman of the PET Center in Quezon City has published a book entitled Positron Emission Tomography with Computed Tomography (PET/CT). The book is released internationally by Springer, a global company that publishes books, e-books and peer-reviewed journals in science, technical and medical (STM) publishing.
It is currently available on the Springer Web site ( and on It is also the first locally written book on the topic of nuclear medicine and may be the first internationally published locally written medical book.
The 10-chapter book presents 70 interesting case studies of patients who have undergone PET/ CT scanning at St. Luke’s Medical Center-Quezon City and Global City, the only institution in the Philippines to have a PET/CT Center.
Based on Dr. Santiago’s more than 10 years of experience in PET/CT, the book aims to provide an educational tool for general practitioners beginning in their practice and for specialists who wish to widen their field of knowledge in nuclear medicine imaging.
It also serves as a guide for nuclear medicine physicians in the accurate interpretation of PET/ CT scans of uncommon diseases, and even common cases with extraordinary circumstances.
PET/CT is a nuclear medicine imaging modality using positron-emitting radiotracers and a combined PET and CT scanner in order to detect and localize high radiotracer signal abnormalities.
It is an effective diagnostic tool in the accurate detection and staging of cancer. It is also used to evaluate myocardial viability which is important to determine whether a bypass or angioplasty procedure is appropriate or not.
PET/CT can also be used to determine the underlying causes of memory and other neurological disorders.
It also helps determine a tumor’s exact location, size, and position, and also tracks down where cancer has spread.
These pieces of vital information can be used by physicians to come up with better and more appropriate therapeutic protocols that could lead to a cure.
St. Luke’s Medical Center is the only medical facility in the Philippines to have a PET/CT Scanner and an established clinical PET Center since 2002.
To date, St. Luke’s has scanned more than 10,000 patients using this modality. The hospital is also an acknowledged training center for foreign doctors who wish to learn about PET/CT.
It is a certified training center for Nuclear Medicine and PET/CT by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) based in Vienna, Austria.
Prices of the PET/CT procedure at St. Luke’s can also be considered as among the most, if not the most competitive in the Southeast Asian and East Asian Region.


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