Business (66)

McCafé seasonal favorites return to McDonald’s

OAK BROOK, Ill. – It’s beginning to look like the holiday season with the return of the most festive beverages from McCafé: Peppermint Mocha and Peppermint Hot Chocolate. These popular, seasonal specialty beverages are available in participating U.S. restaurants nationwide starting November 1 for a limited time.

McCafé Peppermint Mocha: Made with espresso beans that are sustainably sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms and served with steamed U.S.-sourced whole or nonfat milk, and peppermint chocolate syrup. The drink is garnished with a whipped topping, which has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives and a delicious chocolate drizzle.

McCafé Peppermint Hot Chocolate: Freshly brewed and silky smooth with a hint of mint chocolaty goodness and served with a whipped topping, which has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives along with a delicious chocolate drizzle.

McDonald’s has also added a splash of holiday cheer to its new McCafé cups. This year’s seasonal hot cups are red and feature glistening stars touting “Wonder in Every Sip”– meant to inspire the joy of the holiday season. The seasonal hot cups are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified and available beginning November 6 through the holiday season or while supplies last. By 2020, McDonald’s is committed to sourcing 100 percent of its coffee around the world from sustainable sources and 100 percent of its fiber-based packaging from certified sustainable or recycled sources.

“These festive McCafé beverages deliver enticing flavors that are holiday favorites,” said Elina Veksler, senior director of McCafé Menu Innovation. “For many, nothing comes before coffee – even during the holidays, which is why our Peppermint Mocha is made with café-quality espresso made from 100 percent Arabica beans. Our customers are sure to enjoy our delicious Peppermint Mocha and our other seasonal favorite, Peppermint Hot Chocolate.”

For a limited time at participating restaurants, McDonald’s will be offering any small McCafé specialty beverage, including Peppermint Mocha and Peppermint Hot Chocolate, for $2.

In September, McDonald’s elevated the McCafé experience and introduced new café-quality espresso beverages to its McCafé lineup – Caramel Macchiato, Cappuccino and Americano – all part of the brand’s greater journey of raising the bar on everything. New coffee makers were also introduced to nearly all of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants earlier this year, helping prepare the espresso-based beverages with a consistent, flavorful taste.

For those looking to stay cozy inside, customers can get their favorite McCafé drinks delivered to them with McDelivery on UberEATS.

To determine which McDonald's locations in your area are participating in restaurant delivery, simply download the UberEATS app, input your delivery address, and you will see a list of participating McDonald's restaurants in your area (if McDelivery on UberEATS is available in your area). Changing the delivery address will also change the available McDonald's restaurants shown in the UberEATS app.


Jack Ma: Filipino-Chinese community to invest, turn PH into a cashless society

Chinese business magnate Jack Ma urged the Philippines to convert to a "cashless society," saying that an old economy should not fear change.
"We should make the Philippines a cashless society. Cashless society: no corruption, life is easier," Ma told students at De La Salle University in Manila on Wednesday.
In a press conference, Ma said that the Filipino-Chinese community in the Philippines should be the investors in turning the country into a cashless society.
"The Filipino-Chinese here—I think there's a big community here—they can understand Chinese, English and also Philippine culture. So I think they should be the investors of the cashless society, because a lot of people have heard of Alibaba, Alipay but they don't know how to use it because of the language problems," Ma said.
Ma, 53, is the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group, China's biggest e-commerce company. He has an estimated net worth of $38.3 billion, according to Forbes magazine.
Alipay is the mobile and online payment platform of the Alibaba Group. In 2013, it overtook PayPal as the world's largest mobile payment platform.
Ma said you can get anything with just the use of a mobile phone.
"In my city, mobile phones can almost get you anything ... There're no pickpockets in the buses because there's no money in the people's pocket, no wallet, only mobile phones," he said.
"So I think the Chinese community here would be happy that you're the ambassadors of the Philippine small business, introducing Philippine products, mangoes and all the great stuff—fruits—introduce it to China and introduce the Chinese products, service and technology. You are the investors and bridges," he added. — GMA News


Philippine Stock Exchange to amend trading rules

MANILA – The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) plans to revise its rules to allow trading even on days when the clearing activities of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) or Philippine Clearing House Corporation (PCHC) are suspended.
The local bourse issued the proposed amendment after the suspension of trading on Monday, October 16, which was due to Malacañang's decision to call off classes and government work because of a nationwide transport strike. (READ: Transport strike shuts Philippine financial markets)
Under its current trading rules, the PSE trades every day except for Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays, special holidays, days when the BSP is closed, and suspension days declared by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or the local bourse.
The PSE uses the central bank's Philippine Payments and Settlements System (PhilPaSS) to facilitate cash payments for cash purchases. This means the PSE needs PhilPaSS to allow settlements to be completed.
"The exchange recognizes the global market dynamics in operating the country's sole stock market. As such, it is important for the exchange to have the ability to allow investors to trade in the market and minimize situations where trading is suspended unexpectedly," the local bourse said on Tuesday, October 17.
"However, the exchange also recognizes that the declaration of non-working days for government offices is a prerogative vested on government alone, even if such decision affects the ability of the PSE to open the market for its investors," it added.
In a memorandum, the PSE sought comments from investors on the proposed change.
Meanwhile, trading resumed at the local bourse on Tuesday, even after Malacañang's late announcement on Monday evening that again suspended government work and classes.
Jeepney drivers and operators are protesting the government's public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program. –


Metrobank to buy out partner ANZ Fund in credit card unit

Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. is increasing its stake in credit card unit Metrobank Card Corp. (MCC) to 100 percent, in the process buying out partner ANZ Funds Pty Ltd. in the joint venture.

"The buy out of ANZ in MCC is a mutual agreement between the companies," Placido Mapa, vice president and head of Investor Relations at Metrobank, told GMA News Online.

The deal was made with ANZ Funds Pty. Ltd. (ANZ), Metrobank told the Philippine Stock Exchange on Thursday.

"Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company announced today that it entered into an agreement with its joint venture partner, ANZ Funds Pty. Ltd. (ANZ), to increase its stake in Metrobank Card Corporation up to 100 percent, Mapa said.

"Subject to regulatory approvals, Metrobank will purchase 20 percent of MCC for a consideration of P7.4 billion," the bank said in a separate statement.

The transaction will allow Metrobank to realize more earnings from the credit card business.

"Increasing our stake will leverage our operational efficiency in MCC as well as it will now become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Metrobank," Mapa told GMA News Online.

The partnership with ANZ will continue until the buy out deal is completed next year, with the remaining 20 percent to be consummated under the same terms in the third quarter of 2018.

The Metrobank-ANZ joint venture was formed in 2003, with a 60-40 equity structure in favor of the George Ty-led bank.

Citing data from the Credit Card Association of the Philippines (CCAP), Metrobank said MCC has issued more than 1.5 million credit cards in the country.

Metrobank is betting on robust consumption in the Philippines to sustain the historically strong performance of the credit card company, bank president Fabian Dee said in the statement

In 2016, MCC reported total assets of P60.4 billion and a return on average equity of 36.3 percent

ANZ Funds is an Australia-based holding company that provides banking services. —Ted Cordero/VDS, GMA News


Iconic SyCip dies at 96, business mourns

Washington Sycip (photo by Manny Llanes)

The SGV & Co. took to Facebook to officially announce their founder’s passing.

“With deep sadness, the partners, principals and staff of SGV & Co. announce the passing of SGV Founder Washington SyCip on the 7th of October 2017. Mr. SyCip went quietly while on a flight to Vancouver from Manila. He was 96 years old. The SyCip family requests for some private time at this moment. Information on memorial service to follow. Please pray for the eternal repose of is soul,” SGV said.

Former Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima also took to Twitter to announce his mentor’s demise.

“Today we mourn the profound loss of a dear boss, friend, and mentor. I owe much of who I am to the privilege of having been under his wing. Washington SyCip was a towering pillar of the Philippine economy. For decades, he stood as an exemplar of excellence and integrity while shining the light of his sage guidance on our business community. Wash lived a very full and meaningful life. I will miss you,” Purisima said.

Insurance Commissioner Rufino H. Abad took to his Facebook stating that SyCip’s remains will remain in a New York hospital while documents are being prepared.

“He was a true statesman and served our country well!! Rest in our Lord’s peace Mr. SyCip,” Abad mourned.

Business leaders, especially the accounting and auditing industry, mourned SyCip’s passing.

Teresita Sy Coson, chair of SM Investments shared her thought: “With sadness, we regret to inform that Mr. Washington SyCip passed away last night on his way to New York. He has been a highly valued adviser to the Board of Directors of BDO Unibank. We will always remember him for his guidance over the years.“

The auditing industry, who looked up to SyCip as the epitome of the profession, deeply mourned Sycip’s passing.

Former Bureau of Internal Revenue Kim Henares said, ”With his demise, we lost one of the great minds ever produced by the Philippines.”

“The auditing industry has a lot to thank him as he pioneered and saw the growth of the industry not only in the Philippines but also in other parts of Asia. But more importantly, he trained and was a great influence to a lot of the captains of industries.”

Marivic Espano, managing partner and CEO of P & A Grant Thornton, called Mr. SyCip “one of the great pillars of the profession and played a key role in shaping it. He built a strong firm that is acknowledged as a good training ground for CPAs. He is leader who believes in the goodness and talent of Filipinos.”

Business advisory firm Bower Group Asia also tweeted “RIP Mr. Washington SyCip. This great patriot & leader of the Philippines, we learned so much from him.”

The book “Wash, Only a Bookkeeper,” a biography of Washington Z. SyCip by Jose Y. Dalisay Jr. published on said that Mr. Sycip was born in Manila on June 30, 1921 to Albino and Helen Bau. Albino Z. SyCip was born in the Philippines in 1887; like many other Chinese immigrants, Albino had come over Fujian province in the late 19th century. Both come from well-off, progressive families.

The young SyCip would go on to become one of the foremost practitioners of accounting in the Philippines and Asia, as well as a prime advocate of closer cooperation between the Philippines, the United States, Europe and Asia.

He passed the examination for Certified Public Accountants at age 18, but was too young to receive a professional license to practice. The middle child in a brood of five decided instead to take his PhD in the United States at Columbia University. SyCip was working on his doctoral dissertation when Pearl Harbor and Clark Air Base were bombed. He returned to Manila at the war’s end to be reunited with his family. Seeing great opportunities in the country’s postwar reconstruction, he set up his own accounting firm, W. SyCip & Co., in Binondo. As the business grew, SyCip with his longtime friend Alfredo M. Velayo, renamed the firm SyCip, Gorres, Velayo & Co. (SGV).

After retiring from SGV in 1996, he continued to be active in business and civic endeavors, and sits on the board of many Philippine and international companies and foundations. His advocacies include the improvement of public education, micro finance and entrepreneurship, and public health. He is relentless in his pursuit to help alleviate poverty. A staunch believer in Filipino talent, SyCip is also an avatar of economic freedom, according to the book.

SyCip has been honored and his works recognized by various prestigious organizations and award-giving bodies.

The most recent was with the Edmonds Award for International Understanding by the New York-based International House. A philanthropist, SyCip was also conferred The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star for his contribution in promoting stronger business ties between the Philippines and Japan by the Japanese government.


Metro Pacific group eyes P20 billion for MRT3 takeover

NEW OPERATOR SOON? Once the Metro Pacific group hurdles the Swiss challenge, it expects to take over the operations, maintenance, and rehabilitation of the MRT3 by early 2018. File photo by JR Belardo/Rappler 

MANILA, Philippines – The group of Manuel Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) will invest up to P20 billion to rehabilitate, operate, and maintain the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT3) should the government approve its takeover plan.

MPIC on Monday, October 2, confirmed that its MRT3 proposal could reach P20 billion, inclusive of the equity component. This would be P7.5 billion higher than its initial projection.


But MPIC noted that "discussions are still ongoing" in terms of the participation of Ayala Corporation in the MRT3 proposal. (READ: Singson leaves Light Rail Manila, moves to Meralco

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade told reporters last September 15 that his department will soon give the original proponent status to the Pangilinan-Ayala group.

Once the Department of Transportation (DOTr) formally grants the original proponent status, the MRT3 proposal will be up for the approval of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board. 

Following NEDA Board approval, the proposal must then undergo a Swiss challenge.

Based on the build-operate-transfer law, other private investors can submit competing offers under a Swiss challenge, while the original proponent will be given the right to match them. (READ: Pangilinan-Ayala group eyes MRT3 takeover by early 2018)

Among the terms of the unsolicited proposal is the resolution of the arbitration case filed in 2009 by MRT3 owner MRT Corporation against the government due to, among others, failure to pay equity rental payments on time.

The government, through the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and the Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank), owns a 77% economic interest in MRT Corporation by virtue of its acquisition of asset-backed bonds in 2009.

The government's interest secured the state-run banks 11 of the 14 board seats, but it did not give them equity ownership.

DBP had said it is open to selling its entire economic interest in the MRT3, a move that can pave the way for a new private owner and operator.

Once the MPIC group hurdles the Swiss challenge, it expects to take over the operations, maintenance, and rehabilitation of the MRT3 by early 2018.

The MRT3 is currently being maintained by Korean-Filipino firm Busan Universal Rail Incorporated (BURI), while the system's rail replacement is being handled by the government. –





Care Indeed Attends Professional Fiduciary Association of California (PFAC) Northern California Education Day

Photo shows Vanessa Valerio, COO and VP for Patient Care, and Apryl Ryder, Client Services Manager. The event, held last September 20 at the San Francisco Convention Center, provided information on how health care professionals can work more effectively with clients. For more details about Care Indeed's home care services and job opportunities, call(650) 328-1001 or log in to


Drug war, Islamists 'rising' risks for Philippine economy — Moody's

This file photo taken on August 17, 2017, shows people living in a settlement as the skyline of Manila's financial district is seen in the background. President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly drug war and armed Islamist rebellion pose "rising" risks to the Philippine economy, though it should continue to grow robustly in the short term, Moody's Investors Service said September 16, 2017. Noel Celis/AFP
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly drug war and the armed Islamist rebellion pose "rising" risks to the Philippine economy, though it should continue to grow robustly in the short term, Moody's Investors Service said.
Duterte is battling militants in the southern city of Marawi, while rights groups have accused him of orchestrating a crime against humanity with police killing more than 3,800 drug suspects in 14 months.
"The re-emergence of conflict in the southern Philippines, as well as the Duterte administration's focus on the eradication of illegal drugs, represents a rising but unlikely risk of a deterioration in economic performance and institutional strength," the credit ratings agency said.
Sound economic and fiscal policies including a focus on infrastructure development balance out political and other risks, it said in a country report released on Friday that affirmed the Philippines' investment-grade credit rating and stable outlook.
But martial law, imposed by Duterte on the southern region of Mindanao to stop the Islamist threat, could be declared elsewhere in the country and upset this balance, it said.
"(A) worsening of the Islamist insurgency in Mindanao... could lead to an expansion of martial law, undermine both foreign and domestic business confidence, and disrupt economic activity in other parts of the country," it said.
Duterte has said the military campaign in Marawi, which has left more than 800 people dead in a region wracked by decades of Muslim armed rebellion, was in its final stages.
However, on Friday Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana warned Duterte may also declare nationwide martial law if threatened protests against his rule turned violent or disrupted the country.
Anti-Duterte protests are planned for September 21, the 45th anniversary of the imposition of martial law by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who was ousted in a bloodless "People Power" revolution in 1986.
Moody's also cited "continued uncertainties" over Duterte's proposed comprehensive tax reform law that Congress had yet to pass.
"In the absence of a significant boost to government revenues from the passage of the (bill), the government will likely pare back its plan to aggressively increase its spending on infrastructure," it added.
The report affirmed Moody's short-term 6.5 percent GDP growth forecast for the Philippines this year and 6.8 percent in 2018.

PG&E electric crews head to Florida in advance of Hurricane Irma

San Francisco, CA — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) crews are being deployed to help restore power to Floridians impacted by Hurricane Irma.

About 125 PG&E employees, including line workers, equipment operators, supervisors and support personnel, will fly from California to Florida this week as part of the Hurricane Irma response team. Crews from throughout PG&E’s 70,000-square-mile service area will travel to Florida as part of a mutual-aid agreement with Florida Power & Light (FPL) to support restoration efforts.

“When major earthquakes struck Napa in 2014 and the Bay Area in 1989, and when Super Storm Sandy wreaked havoc on the Eastern Seaboard in 2012, our employees stepped up to help those in need. Safely restoring power to customers affected by major disasters such as a wildfire, hurricane or earthquake begins the process of returning life back to normal for communities," said Nick Stavropoulos, President and Chief Operating Officer of PG&E. “It's our job and commitment to do this for our customers in California, and we're happy to be able to extend our efforts to those in Florida impacted by Hurricane Irma.”

In 2014, PG&E and FPL signed an historic, cross-continent mutual-aid agreement, pledging support in the event of a major natural disaster, such as an earthquake in California or a hurricane in Florida. Besides the commitment of personnel, the agreement between PG&E and FPL includes logistics, common work procedures and safety protocols. This marks the second time this agreement has been activated. The first was for Hurricane Matthew, last fall, when PG&E crews were prepared to go to Florida but ultimately weren’t needed. Per the agreement, FPL as the host utility will cover the costs of this support.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Irma is a potentially catastrophic, Category 5 hurricane with maximum winds of 185 mph. Irma made landfall in Florida over the weekend.

PG&E crews departed for Florida from the Sacramento area.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit and


Walmart and Walmart Foundation announce at least $1 million toward Hurricane Irma relief and recovery

Bentonville, ARK. -- In anticipation of Hurricane Irma, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have made a commitment to provide support for relief efforts through cash and product donations of at least $1 million to organizations helping in response.

"We are deeply concerned about the devastating impact Irma is expected to have on the families and communities we serve," said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and chief sustainability officer for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. "We are committed to recovery efforts for our customers, associates and neighbors and will be there to help them through this difficult time."

Walmart is taking action by:

Centralizing preparedness efforts through the Walmart Emergency Operations Center (EOC) which operates 24 hours a day, tracking storm impacts and supporting our associates' needs and well-being.
Taking care of our associates by communicating with our store and club location management teams, reminding our associates of emergency procedures and what to do before, during and after the storm.
Activating emergency support teams dedicated to helping our stores and club locations during critical events such as this one, and providing subject matter experts in logistics and emergency management to assist local emergency operations centers.
Mobilizing truckloads of water into the potentially affected area to help meet the growing demand, understanding that water is a need across the region.
Supporting operators in the field and our replenishment teams to help ensure that shelves remain appropriately stocked.
Ensuring that our stores and club locations remain open for our customers as long as safe conditions prevail. If mandatory evacuations are ordered, we will close our facilities with enough time for our associates to secure shelter for them and their families.

Walmart and Sam's Club also continues to support Hurricane Harvey relief and recovery and is working with organizations like the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and Convoy of Hope to coordinate work with elected officials and governmental entities. The company will continue to monitor Hurricane Irma and all other active storms in the coming days.

For the latest on response and recovery efforts, visit:

Walmart has a long history of providing aid in times of disasters, helping our communities prepare and recover by donating emergency supplies, such as food and water, home and personal products. Since 2005, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have donated more than $60 million in cash and in-kind donations in response to disaster events.

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