Dito na si Marian at Dingdong

BUSINESS SNIPPETS - Marianne Go - The Philippine Star

Entertainment power couple Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera just turned up the heat at Dito Telecommunity by becoming their latest endorsers under the third telco player’s campaign “Dito sa puso ko.”

According to Eric Alberto, president and CEO of Dito, the choice of Dingdong and Marian reinforces the company’s aim to truly represent Filipinos rather than having a foreign endorser.

Aside from bagging the endorsement of Dingdong and Marian, Dito is also celebrating its validation as the country’s No. 1 network in Ookla’s 2023 speed test, receiving the award in Barcelona earlier this year.

Alberto also expressed confidence in passing the government’s fifth compliance requirement of reaching at least 84 percent of its nationwide rollout target by June or July this year.

Dito has reached its 10 million subscriber milestone and is gearing up its commercial operations to attract more customers.

The heat is on

The heat is on...literally and figuratively.

The heat is on and the temperature continues to sizzle, more and more people are switching on their air conditioners or pouring into air conditioned malls, restaurants and coffee shops to beat the heat with their favorite beverage of choice.

Even office workers are reporting to work earlier to enjoy their cool air conditioned office rather than drive up their electricity bill at home and thus, push up their expenses.

Unfortunately, some areas are also beginning to experience short power outages, even as Meralco assures that it will be able to service the increasing power demand.

Water demand is also increasing as more try to cool off with a shower, and change clothes more often. Water wastage remains high though as gardeners opt to turn on the sprinklers during the hottest part of the day instead of waiting for the end of the day when the water is best absorbed into the ground instead of evaporating quickly because of the heat, and most still like to wash their cars.

Electricity and water bills are, thus, back on an upward trajectory. The cost of food also continues to climb as the price of rice, vegetables, meat and basic staples pick up due to higher transport and production costs.

Inflation on the rise

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has already warned that “the risks to the inflation outlook continue to lean toward the upside. Possible further price pressures are linked mainly to higher transport charges, elevated food prices, higher electricity rates and global oil prices. Potential minimum wage adjustments could also give rise to second-round effects.”

Thus, the higher for longer scenario for interest rates is playing out as predicted by economists, making it more difficult to borrow to do business.

Conservative savers and retirees on the other hand are maximizing their retirement savings even as they likewise, have to deal with the rising cost of living.

I am by no means a pessimist, but it seems a lot of people are just going through the motions of hoping that somehow everything will work out fine, and “bahala na si Batman.”

The summer of 2024 is already hot in our part of the world and weather forecasters have not been wrong or late in warning about the effects of El Niño on our rice production and food production in general.

And yet, whenever I go out to the malls or restaurants to eat, food appears to be bountiful, buffets remain aplenty, social media posts about foods remain popular and food waste remains high.

It is quite noticeable that most malls now have more restaurants and fast food chains that are doing better business than their retail tenants.

Groceries and wet markets continue to be full of produce, mostly locally produced, but also increasingly selling imported food items that, unfortunately, keep on getting more expensive.

And yet it seems, the government would rather rely on continued food exports rather than make a determined push to get everybody on the same page to ensure our own production and food security.

Even as the weather gets hotter, more green space disappears as construction spreads for homes, businesses and commercial spaces that all require air conditioning, that requires power which is heavily dependent on imported fuel or environmentally polluting coal.

Geopolitical risks percolate

Politics, both local and foreign, continues to hog the news. The Russia-Ukraine conflict continues which thus still threatens grain and fuel exports, the Israel-Gaza destruction rages and China remains resolute on gaining more control of the West Philippine Sea while the Philippines remains constrained in harvesting the bounty of our seas which, in turn, is also part of our food security.

The Philippines is walking a tightrope while balancing an economic pole with its strong allies the United States and Japan, as well as its major trading partner China.

Unfortunately, a possible game changer in all these is the upcoming US presidential election this November...good luck to all of us and as we all continue to watch temperatures rise!

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