Boracay will no longer be a PARTY ISLAND

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boracayRebranding Boracay into a normal tourist destination instead of a party island comparable to Ibiza or Majorca will be the government's priority with its reopening, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said Wednesday. "It won't really be a party place anymore. We want it to be as it is, more peaceful, and we want to promote sustainable tourism," Puyat said in an interview on ANC. Puyat believes the move will not affect Boracay's yearly income of $1 billion as tourist arrivals in the country during the island's months-long closure did not let up. "Tourism arrivals increased by 11.35 percent. That was a surprise for me because I thought it would dip because of the closure of Boracay," said Puyat, who thanked the private sector for diverting tourists to other Philippine destinations. She repeated President Rodrigo Duterte's policy of prohibiting casinos on the island, months after plans to build a $500-million integrated casino-resort on Boracay were shelved. "There will be no casinos on Boracay," Puyat said.

"We follow the President's directive." An ad campaign is underway for the soft opening of Boracay on October 26. 2018.

TRAIN cash grants for 10-million poor families

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LRT MRTMalacañang announced Thursday that a cash grant of P2,400 will be distributed to 10 million poor families in July as part of the government’s unconditional cash transfer program aimed at shielding them from higher taxes under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law. Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said the Department of Social Welfare and Development would start distributing the funds, amounting to P10 billion, made available under the TRAIN Law. Roque said the beneficiaries can withdraw their 2018 cash grants in full amounting to P2,400 starting in July through Land Bank automated teller machines nationwide and through its various conduits. But at P2,400 for each of the 10 million poor families, the funds required would reach P24 billion, more than double the P10 billion set aside under the law.

PH current account gap doubled to USD 2.5 Bill in 2017

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PHP OecTHE current account deficit more than doubled to $2.5 billion in 2017 from the $1.2-billion gap a year ago on the back of the widening trade-in-goods deficit, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Friday. Data showed the deficit was the biggest since 1999, when the current account shortfall stood at $2.85 billion. The current account is one of the main components of the balance of payments. Bangko Sentral assistant governor Francisco Dakila Jr. said in a briefing Friday the higher trade deficit more than offset the increased net receipts in the trade-in-services, and secondary and primary income accounts during the year. The trade-in-goods deficit for 2017 rose 15.9 percent to $41.2 billion as the growth in imports of goods of 14.2 percent outpaced that of exports of goods at 12.8 percent “The widening of trade-in-goods deficit was reflective of the continued growth of the economy as the growth in imports was driven by demand for goods to be used for infrastructure projects of the government,” Dakila said .........