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ASEAN+ September 24, 2018 01:00

By Asia News Network

GSIS starts housing loan condonation programme



The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), the Philippines’ state-run pension fund, will next month start to offer a housing loan condonation programme covering more than 15,000 borrowers with unpaid obligations.

In a statement, GSIS president and general manager Jesus Clint Aranas said the waiver will cover 100 per cent of unpaid penalties as well as surcharges to both housing buyers and borrowers with past due accounts, as long as they were willing to fully settle their liabilities.

Applications for the condonation programme will be accepted by the GSIS until December 31.

“The majority of our existing borrowers stand to benefit from this programme as almost 55 per cent of our remaining 29,000 housing accounts are for cancellation, foreclosure or have incurred several months of arrears,” Aranas said.

“The programme will lighten the burden of our borrowers as it saves them the heavy load of having to pay accumulated penalties and surcharges that have been imposed from unpaid amortisation. More importantly, it will give them the opportunity to save their homes,” Aranas added.

The programme will be made available to all members, whether active or inactive.

Non-members can also avail if they have deeds of conditional sale or real estate loan accounts that were in arrears or in default, the GSIS chief said.

According to Aranas, accounts yet to be cancelled nor foreclosed may be condoned. – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Century, Mitsubishi invest 28 bn pesos in housing tie-up

The Philippines’ PHirst Park Homes, the mass housing venture of Century Properties Group (CPG) and Mitsubishi Corp, has committed to invest 28 billion pesos (Bt16.8) to roll out a series of master-planned communities outside Metro Manila in the next five years.

This is to bring to the property market 57 billion pesos worth of new housing inventory consisting of 33,000 residential units priced for as low as P1 million to no more than P6 million, helping to ease the country’s increasing housing backlog.

Ricky Celis, president and CEO of PHirst Park Homes, said 15 self-sufficient communities would be launched within the next five years in Calabarzon and Central Luzon.

“The company is also eyeing expansion into the Visayas and Mindanao regions once it has established technical and market scale,” Celis said.

PHirst Park Homes’ maiden launch was in Tanza, Cavite, which has already sold out its first phase of 1,200 units valued at around 1.4 billion pesos. Around 600 units of town homes and single attached models are expected to be completed within the year.

In June this year, the company also launched PHirst Park Homes Lipa, a 20-hectare development in Lipa City, Batangas with 1,867 units valued at 2.8 billion pesos.

During the launch of the newly formed venture at the Shangri-La Hotel last week, Celis said the initial projects targeted price points of 1.1 to 1.2 million pesos for the town homes and 2 to 2.5 million pesos for the single attached homes. Target buyers are end-user households with a combined income of 30,000 to 80,000 pesos monthly.

The buyer is required to put in equity equivalent to 10 percent of the unit price, amortised for 12 months. As early as the 13th month after purchase, they can already move in.

The town homes have a typical footprint of 40 square metres on a 44sqm lot, while single attached units have a footprint of 54sqm on an 88sqm lot.

The joint venture company is 60 per cent and 40 per cent owned by CPG and Mitsubishi, respectively. – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Start-up raises $2.5m in seed funding for space laser network

Transcelestial Technologies, a Singapore-based space technology start-up, said it has raised $2.5 million Singapore dollars (Bt59.5 billion) in December from a seed funding round led by Wavemaker Partners and Enterprise SG’s Seeds Capital to develop a technology “in stealth”.

Joining in the round were Airtree Ventures, 500 startups and angel investors including Y-Combinator chief executive Michael Seibel and WI Harper Group venture partner Jonathan Schiff.

Transcelestial said that it is pioneering a space laser network that could replace wireless networks to deliver high-speed Internet anywhere on earth, including to the four billion people globally who do not have Internet access.

Founded in 2016, the company aims to develop a constellation of nano satellites that use lasers to transfer and relay data for ground, satellite and deep space applications. This could provide a fast, long-distance, point-to-point wireless communication network of up to 100 gigabits per second, said the startup.

One of the first public demonstrations of Transcelestial’s technology was a joint project with SK Telecom in South Korea and the Telecom Infra Project’s Ecosystem Acceleration Center Initiative. Transcelestial’s wireless fibre optics technology was used to upgrade the backbone Internet connectivity of a major public library near Seoul, reportedly improving bandwidth by 20 times its existing speed.

The start-up, founded by Rohit Jha and Mohammad Danesh, was born out of Entrepreneur First, the London and Singapore-headquartered venture builder. – The Straits Times 

English language school from Cambodia gets on world stage 

The PIEoneer Awards, organised by the Professionals in International Education (The PIE), a global company offering services for professionals working in international education, celebrates innovation and achievements in international education covering 14 different categories this year.

An English language school from Cambodia, the Australian Centre for Education (ACE), was one of the top four across the globe put forward as a finalist for the Language Educator of the Year Award for 2018.

The award ceremony was held in London on September 7, 2018. The other three contenders were the British Study Centres (United Kingdom), CIEE Global Navigator High School Summer Abroad (US) and MalacaInstituto (Spain) – the award went to Spain.

This international recognition puts Cambodia on the international stage for the provision of English language teaching and also demonstrates ACE’s world-class teaching approach and academic excellence in language education.

ACE was established in 1992 by IDP Education to provide language training for the United Nations peacekeeping forces in the lead up to organising the first general election in Cambodia after the war.

ACE has a rich history of success in Cambodia by contributing to English language proficiency over three generations of Cambodian students – many of whom now use the language on a daily basis for their business, education and general communication. – The Phnom Penh Post 

Indonesia’s SOEs collaborate with European counterparts

Indonesia’s State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Rini Soemarno said several Indonesian SOEs have made agreements with European companies on the sidelines of the world’s largest rolling stock exhibition, Innotrans 2018, in Germany, last week. 

“The agreements are the SOEs’ step to go international. Indonesia can be a leader in the rolling stock industry in Asean,” Rini said. 

The SOEs include electronics producer PT Len Industri, rolling stock company (train maker) PT Industri Kereta Api (INKA), railway operator PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI), which signed their agreements last week.

She said PT Len Industri signed a memorandum of understanding with Croatian company Altpro on product development and certification partnership.

Meanwhile, INKA collaborated with SKODA, a producer of propulsion and railway control systems from the Czech Republic. The two companies are committed to expanding their cooperation and transfer of technology on traction motors and propulsion.

KAI signed an agreement with Progress Rail, a supplier of products and railway services affiliated with heavy equipment company Caterpillar.

The agreement covers the development and maintenance of rolling stock, modernisation and repowering of locomotives and the application of technology to improve safety, efficiency and performance of railways.

“The cooperation agreements are expected to enhance SOEs performance both regionally and internationally,” Rini said. – The Jakarta Post 

 

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