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INQUIRER.NET (January 6, 2017)

The employees laid off are obviously none too happy about being replaced by AI but, with Japan’s aging population, there might be fewer and fewer people in the future to be available for the labor force.

One of the fears revolving around the development of artificial intelligence rises from the possibility that it may eventually replace humans as a workforce. This fear has now become a reality for a number of employees working for a Japanese company.

To be exact, 34 employees were laid off by Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance and replaced by an artificial intelligence system that calculates payouts to policyholders, reports The Guardian. 

The system is based on IBM’s Watson Explorer which the firm believes would increase productivity by 30 percent and help yield a return on its investment in less than two years.

INQUIRER.NET (January 2, 2017)

“Predicting food trends like these has become as much an American holiday tradition as ordering an eggnog latte,” Kim Averson wrote on The New York Times about what goes on behind each trend list. Some might be a PR stunt, but others that show consensus means that yes, it might actually be a big trend this coming year. 

Eater released their Official Megalisticle of All 2017 Food Trend Listicles, which rounds up the trends from all food industry publications and even brands — and guess who’s number 28? Filipino food, backed up by Bloomberg and the Food Network.

The Manila Times (December 5, 2016)

The Philippines is s eeking to increase direct exports of locally manufactured high-value goods to Spain, such as computer parts and other electronic goods, the Department of Finance (DOF) said over the weekend. Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd said in a recent press briefing with Spain’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Ignacio Ybanez Rubio that the country’s exports were now at an advantage given the strong position of the US dollar against Asian currencies including the Philippine peso.

Manila Standard (December 7, 2016)

A group of exporters reduced its medium-term target on slower global demand, fluctuation of the peso against other currencies and negative trade performance over the past 17 months. 

The Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. said the annual export target of $100 billion would now likely be achieved by 2020, instead of 2017. It made the announcement following the two-day 2016 National Exporters Congress held in Manila on Dec. 7 and 8. “Although, the weakened peso has not so much to do with the forecast, it should be pushing exports to buffer the spate of negative performances in the last 17 months. But our peso is moving in parity with the other currencies that also suffered similar fate compared to the US dollar,” said PhilExport president Sergio Ortiz-Luis. 

The revised Philippine Export Development Plan projected that exports would increase by 0 to 3 percent this year, after contracting 0.66 percent in 2015.

Manila Bulletin (December 4, 2016)

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez will travel to Seoul and Tokyo in an effort to finally seal “big investments” in manufacturing industries from the conglomerates in these two countries. 

Lopez said he is going to meet with 2 to 3 potential big investors for his trip to South Korea this week in time for the Philippine invescment conference being conducted by the Philippine Trade and Investment Center.

Philippine Star (December 6, 2016)

MANILA, Philippines - BMI Research, a unit of Fitch Ratings, expects an average growth rate of six percent over the next five years for the Philippine economy amid the fiscal stimulus measures being undertaken by the Duterte administration. 

“We believe that President Duterte’s fiscal stimulus measures will be positive for economic growth as most of the increases in spending have been earmarked for infrastructure development and social services like healthcare, education and security, which will boost long-term productivity,” it said.