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Papa John’s pizza coming to Manila Asian consumers spending more on home technology MANILA, Sept. 6 (PNA) – Papa


John’s Pizza, the world’s fastest growing pizza chain of restaurants, is coming to the Philippines after Berjaya Pizza Philip- pines Inc., the official franchisee, and Papa John’s International Inc., have sealed the deal to bring the brand here.

“The Philippine Food Service Market has showed increasing growth in the past five years as shown by the increasing number of stores from both domestic and foreign. There has also been an increasing consumption in the food delivery service business. We are confident that these trends will continue to grow – creating the right conditions for a well-known international brand like Papa John’s to enter the Philip- pine market,” said Dato Francis Lee, chair- man of Berjaya Pizza Philippines. Papa John’s is the third largest pizza chain in the world. It was established in 1984 by founder John Schnatter and quickly gained a loyal following for its commitment to quality.

It has always been rated number 1 in customer satisfaction among all national pizza chains in the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

“The key to Papa John’s success is based on the focus on quality, especially in using superior quality ingredients, and total customer experience. We are consis- tently delivering on our ‘better ingredients, better pizza brand promise,” said Myles Felt, vice-president international for Asia and the Middle East of Papa John’s Inter- national.

Papa John’s will open outlets in major malls in Metro Manila and near residential and commercial business districts to cater to the delivery service segment. Paulino Soo, president of the Berjaya

Pizza Philippines Inc., said they intend to build 40 stores in four years or 10 pizza stores annually. This year, Soo expects the establishment of two stores in El Pueblo, and Tomas Morato and possibly one in Makati Ave.

“Next year we will be in the malls but we will concentrate in Metro Manila first,” said Soo, who is also chairman and president of Abacus Capital & Investment Corporation.

Lee also said the Berjaya is in the pro- cess of acquiring the master franchise of Papa John’s Pizza for the region. The Philippines is the second country

in ASEAN where Papa John’s Pizza has presence, the first being Malaysia. “We feel the second market should be the Philippines because it is a food loving nation and its people have been used to foreign food and has a huge population,” Lee said. Soo also said the quality of the Papa John’s Pizza and its service would set them apart from the rest of the pizza chains already present in the market and said that the pizza market in the country is still far from its saturation point.

“Even if we have all the pizza brands here, I think the market deserves a better brand of pizza,” he said. The huge pizza market in the country is dominated by Pizza Hut, Shakey’s and Yellow Cab. Each Papa John’s Pizza store will be employing almost 40 people, including its delivery team. It will be offering the usual pista and pizza fares.

Felt noted that Papa John’s is a young company but is now the third largest pizza company in the world. It has presence in 30 countries already and its overseas operation accounts for 20 percent of its total business already. ■

SINGAPORE, Sept. 6 (PNA/Xinhua) –The economic recovery has caused Asian consumers to loosen their purse strings and splurge on big ticket items in home technology, local TV broadcaster Channel NewsAsia reported Monday. According to consumer research firm GfK Asia, spending on consumer electron- ics grew 17 percent in the last 12 months to some 9 billion U.S. dollars in the nine Asian economies it surveyed.

Overall, the 17 percent growth in the consumer electronics category was mostly driven by the TV category, particularly LCD TV segment.

In the past 12 months, consumers in the region spent over 5 billion U.S. dollars

on LCD TVs alone. In most Asian economies, flat screen TV has almost completely replaced the

CRT TV, and they make up 70 percent of the overall television sales in the region. Other home technology products that are also doing well in Asia are higher-end audio home entertainment systems and DVD players and recorders. ■

Number of remittance conduits rises 16.6%; fees down to 1%

MANILA, Sept. 6 (PNA) – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said the number of remittance conduits patronized by Filipino workers overseas around the world rose 16.6 percent in the first half of this year, helping make possible substantially lower remittance charges averaging only one percent up to 2.5 percent of the amount sent to beneficiaries in the Philippines.

According to the BSP, the network of remit- tance conduits patronized by more or less 10 million OFWs around the world reached 4,351 as of end-June compared to only 3,370 last year. The continued proliferation of remittance centers, correspondent banks/tie-ups and even bank branches that help make money transfers a safe and reliable transaction for overseas Fili- pinos helped bring remittance charges sharply down as well.

According to the BSP Governor Amando M.

Tetangco Jr., remittance charges as high as 4.3 percent of the amount sent 10 years ago now average only one percent up to 2.5 percent. With more remittance centers and conduits set to join the network in the coming months, the remittance charges can drop even lower, he said. “The continued expansion in the number of bank’s branches, remittance centers and cor-

respondent banks and tie-ups has resulted in the stronger presence of financial institutions abroad, which in turn helped capture a bigger share of the global remittance market,” Tet- angco said. Data obtained from the BSP show that in 2000, the cost of remitting hard-earned money abroad to one’s bank account in the Philippines typically ranged from 1.5 percent up to 2.5 percent.

At present, however, such charges range only from one percent to no more than 1.3 percent as competition among remittance units around the world heats up.

Sending money for credit in another local bank that used to cost 1.5 percent up to 3.8 percent now cost only one percent for the more efficient banks up to 2.3 percent of the amount sent.

So-called door-to-door delivery typically costing three percent to 3.8 percent in 2000 to recipients in Metro Manila now cost anywhere from 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent. Door-to-door delivery to provincial points costing 3.5 percent up to 4.3 percent in 2000 now cost the same as Metro Manila deliveries. Advice-and-pay transactions that cost 1.5 percent up to 3.5 percent are now charged only one to two percent. ■




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