November 01, 2015 at 11:10 pm
Darwin G. Amojelar
A Korean company and its four Filipino partners have emerged as the only group that qualified for a three-year contract to rehabilitate and maintain the Czech-made trains running at the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 along Edsa.
This became apparent after the Transportation Department’s negotiation team disqualified the groups of DMCI and CommBuilders and Transport Corp. and their European partners in the negotiation under the emergency procurement mode. Busan Transport Corp. of South Korea and its four Filipino joint venture partners—Edison Construction & Development Corp., Tramat Mercantile, TMI Corp. and Castan Corp.—were on their way to clinching the P4.25-billion contract to overhaul 43 light rail vehicles and maintain the MRT 3 facilities for three years, after the negotiation team junked the documents of two other groups.
A losing group, however, is not giving up without an appeal. The German-Filipino joint venture of Schunk Bahn und-Industrietechnik and Comm Builders & Technology Philippines filed a motion for reconsideration, after it was disqualified allegedly on the grounds of failure to meat the deadline.
SBI-CBT claimed there was no specific time set on the deadline for the submission of compliance documents on Oct. 28, 2015, during the negotiation meeting on Oct. 21. “The negotiating team as well as the offerors have not fixed nor discussed the time for the submission of the compliance documents on Oct. 28, 2015,” SBI-CBT representative Roehl Bacar said, in a letter to Transportation Undersecretary Rene Limcaoco. Limcaoco leads the emergency negotiated procurement to select a contractor that will undertake the P4.25-billion major, three-year MRT systems rehabilitation project. Roderick T. dela Cruz
Uniqlo aims to be No. 1 clothing brand
Popular Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo has set a target of becoming the number one apparel brand in the Philippines by 2020, with a total of 120 stores nationwide.
This will not be an easy task for Uniqlo Philippines chief operating officer Katsumi Kubota, given the influx of foreign brands in the country as well as the aggressive expansion of local brands such as Bench and Penshoppe, amid the increasing consumer spending of Filipinos.
Kubota said Uniqlo was not only targeting to have the most number of stores in the Philippines or having the most number of sales among local clothing brands. He said it was also aiming to be the number one, in terms of affinity to the Filipino people.
In order to do this, Kubota said the company is setting its sights on the growing middle-class Filipinos.
“I really have to touch the middle class. I cannot only focus on the upper class. I want to cater from A, B, C and all the way up to the middle-class people. That’s what we want to do here, because this is the mass of this market,” Kuboto said.
Since opening its first store in the Philippines in 2012, Uniqlo has grown its network to 25 stores, including the recently opened first store in Cebu. Jenniffer B. Austria
PLDT, Globe see faster broadband speed
Broadband speed in the Philippines will likely improve next year, as the two major telecom providers are “hopeful” to finally end the dispute over the so-called Internet protocol (IP) peering.
“In fairness to them, they’re also desirous to close a peering arrangement with us so that we can together, as leading telcos in the country, elevate Internet customer experience,” Eric Alberto, executive vice president of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. said, referring to rival Globe Telecom Inc.
When asked if this is in preparation for the entry of Telstra in the Philippines, which promises to offer high-speed broadband services, Aberto said: “It has nothing to do with that.”
“It’s actually the clamor. It’s everyone’s desire to try to improve and help uplift the quality of the Internet experience in the country,” he said.
Alberto said PLDT was open to free peering, if both carriers would have equal traffic. “At a certain point, if somebody pulls more traffic from the other, there are internationally acceptable peering models that are widely practiced and accepted now that we should look at,” he said.
Gil Genio, Globe’s chief operating officer of Globe, earlier said the proposal of PLDT would not go far enough, even to meet the definition of peering. “We are hoping any bilateral arrangement with PLDT would effectively reduce latency of local intent and improve Internet speed. As is, PLDT’s proposed peering agreement won’t be effective in improving the country’s Internet speed as it doesn’t allow Globe customers to directly access content and applications hosted by the PLDT group without exception,” he said.
About 20 percent of Internet traffic is local. This means that domestic traffic originates in the Philippines and terminates in the Philippines. However, given the current peering limitations, up to 70 percent of this local traffic needs to be routed outside the country, such as in Asia, the US and Europe, before returning to the Philippines.