Monday, March 26, 2018


PAGASA was invited to the Philippine launch of the 5-in-1 Food Show on 26 March 2018 at the Manila Hotel.  The Food Show will be held from 27-30 June 2018 at Taipei’s Nangang Exhibition Center Hall 1 at the World Trade Center Complex.  STC had a picture taken with Ben Tan of TAITRA (Taiwan External Trade Dev’t. Council) in front of their tarpaulin stand. He was also introduced to TAITRA Manila’s 1-week old Director Mr. Clement Chan.

Friday, March 23, 2018


PAGASA was represented at the first quarter General Membership Meeting of the Phil. Retailers Association at the Marco Polo Hotel in Ortigas Center on 23 March 2018. The 1/Q Meeting of PRA is also called the CEO’s Eco. Outlook Forum (for the year).  Dept. of Fin. Asec. Mark Dennis Joven defended the TRAIN Program of the administration.  Main Speaker at this event was this very young Thai Ph.D. graduate in Economics who is the Country Economist for the Philippines from the Asian Development Bank.


PAGASA was invited to the Technical Working Group Meeting in Congress on 23 March 2018 chaired by Committee on Health Rep. Helen Tan, M.D. as it presses on more restrictions on the sale of cigarettes. A very popular bill attended by a host of Congressmen, the bill intends to raise the age for legal smokers to 21 and above instead of the current 18. It proposes that retailers keep cigarettes completely out of sight of customers (only a standard sign in the store would inform smokers that a store sells smokes). Supermarkets will be banned from selling anything less than a full pack of cigarettes, etc., etc.  Japan Tobacco International’s CEO was there to calmly remind the good congressmen that their company was politely invited to invest in the Philippines and JTI even invested some more when it bought Mighty Cigarettes. JTI has not made a single centavo in profits since it invested in our country the last few years.


In the morning of 23 March 2018, STC attended the Congressional Hearing by the Committee on Trade & Industry headed by Rep. Ferjenel G.Biron, M.D. Bohol Rep. Arthur C. Yap had sponsored a bill to open the Retail Trade Liberalization Law to review as he suggests that there is a need to amend/decrease the minimum investment needed for foreign retailers to come in and set up shop here in the Philippines.  This is to draw in additional foreign investment and improve FDA into the country.   Of course,  PAGASA supported PRA’s position that lowering of minimum investment in this category may open the floodgates for smuggled illicit/goods to proliferate the market as every mom and-pop’s operator at nearby China may want a slice of our market.  PRA’s Roberto Claudio insisted that we see the money to be brought in by these foreign retailers first before acting on any application as they may unscrupulously end up borrowing money from our system to compete against us!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018


Castilla-La Mancha is a region in Spain with 5 provinces known for its wine.  It makes its Asian Tour of Manila- Ho Chi Minh and Seoul with its first stop at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel in the afternoon of 7 March 2018. PAGASA Members were invited to this grand tasting exhibition where fifteen vineyards came with their best brands of wine hoping to be introduced to the Asian market.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018


On the afternoon of 3/6/18, DTI oriented manufacturers, distributors and retailers alike on their proposed “Suking Tindahan” Program where they are requesting suppliers to sell to select sari-sari stores at lower prices so they, in turn, can sell to their customers at DTI’s SRP’s.  This was met with some apprehension as sari-sari stores currently buy from the bigger retail outlets and do not possess the economies of scale that bigger stores do.  They do not have the financial muscle and warehouse space to order enough volume and make it worth the suppliers’ while to offer them goods at prices which they do the bigger retail outlets.


The DTI held its first National Price Coordinating Council Meeting on 6 March 2018 with new DTI Officers (L-R) Dir. Ronnel Abrenica, Usec. Ruth Castelo, DTI Sec./NPCC Chairman Ramon Lopez, Dept. of Transportation’s Usec. Atty. Garry de Guzman and DTI Asec. Ernesto Perez. Topic was on the intermediate effects of TRAIN on prices of basic necessities and prime commodities. PAGASA’s STC was there with PCCTA’s Carling Cabochan. STC intimated that effects were a bit too early to tell but there were definite select price increases where some of the products unaffected by TRAIN found its prices on the uptick.  A press conference ensued and STC was invited to join the DTI officers at the Head Table.