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600 visa applicants a day

NOT BUSINESS AS USUAL - Margaret Jao-Grey  () - August 27, 2005 - 12:00am
Nestlé Phils. buys as much Philippine coffee as it can for its instant coffee requirements even though it is P5 a kilo more expensive than Vietnam coffee.

Thanks to the World Bank, Vietnam has replaced Colombia as the world’s second largest producer of coffee.

The Philippines ranks somewhere in the 40s, producing 35,000 tons a year for a local market that consumes 55,000 tons. Of the 35,000 tons, 90 percent goes to instant coffee.
* * *
The Embassy of Japan entertains about 600 visa applicants a day.

Reflective of the number of applicants, half of the eight counters accepting the required documents for visas are given to those who are joining their Japanese husbands and those who are relatives of Japan nationals.
* * *
Bank notes 1: Government’s representative to the Monetary Board is Budget Secretary Romulo Neri, the only economic team senior member who didn’t resign last month.

Since the creation of the Bangko Sentral in 1993, government’s representative in the MB had traditionally been either the Finance Secretary (that would be Margarito Teves) or the Trade Secretary (that would be Peter Favila).
* * *
Bank notes 2: Land Bank of the Philippines acting president Gilda Pico has quite an impressive house in Hillsborough (that’s in Alabang, not somewhere else). One of its architectural high points is a hard-to-miss fountain in the courtyard.

No, Ms. Pico doesn’t collect art like Citibank country business manager for the global consumer group Nina Aguas.
* * *
Bank notes 3: Retired Equitable PCIBank executive vice-president Ed Javier keeps busy these days playing golf twice a week and pusoy (a kind of Philippine poker) once a week. Once a month, he attends the board meeting of Crown Equities, which is now chaired by George Go.

Mr. Javier had always intended to slow down and retire by the time he hit his 57th birthday. He retired when he was 55, together with then president Wilfrido Vergara, who’s now into investor financing.
* * *
Bank notes 4: Bangko Sentral employees from Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. down are dressed according to the changing daily temperature inside the complex.

You see, the air-conditioning is only turned on at eight in the morning. That means even Say Tetangco is just in his dress shirt and tie when he reports for work. The temperature gets increasingly colder, which means the men put on their jackets and the women bring out their shawls. By four in the afternoon, the air-conditioning is turned off.

Aside from conserving on energy, the current setup also discourages overtime work.

AMANDO TETANGCO JR. BANGKO SENTRAL BUDGET SECRETARY CENTER CROWN EQUITIES ED JAVIER EMBASSY OF JAPAN FINANCE SECRETARY GEORGE GO
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