Wednesday, December 19, 2007

How not to lose more money in collecting bad debts

Bad debts are bad debts because they are way past due and are difficult to collect. Understandably, the natural reaction of companies is to focus their collection efforts in collecting these kind of debts.

This is fine except that, usually, they end up spending resources not commensurate to the benefits, and will most likely be distracted in their efforts to collect their "good" accounts. Outsourcing becomes an option. It is a strategy that most multinational companies in the Philippines have long adopted.

Collection agencies have personnel trained in the various means of collection. They give their clients flexibility and strength in pressuring debtors to attend to their obligations. However, just as there benefits, there are also pitfalls.

Learn about these benefits and pitfalls as Atty. Nelson Getigan of GCCS & Associates Corporation writes about engaging a collection agency in the Philippines.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bato, papel, gunting world championships

Back home, when we were still kids, we called this game "pik", probably the Visayan way of saying "pick". The game is played by two players first holding hands and then, on the count of three, releasing the hold to do a gesture of a "bato", "papel", or "gunting". The rule is simple: Bato wins over gunting. Papel wins over bato. Gunting wins over papel.

And guess what? I have just learned from the Thinking Blog that there is actually a professional competition for the game complete with an annual world championship at that. The last one was held last October 13 in Toronto, Canada with a total of $10,000 in prize money. In the championship, a woman bested a man to become the first ever woman world champion.

Too bad no Filipino seem to have known about this. Clearly, the game can be a sport where Filipinos can excel in. The Thinking Blog even offers some very cool tips on how to win in the game. For example, he suggests going for paper or "papel" against a male rookie whose natural tendency is to lead with a rock or "bato". On the other hand, female rookies tend to go for scissors, probably showing the natural tendency for females to cut things. :)

After knowing this, it would really be nice if someone can organize a professional organization/competition on the game here in the Philippines. It will give our kids extra encouragement in playing their "pik" more seriously. Who knows we are just a few years away from our very own rock paper scissors world champion, yung tipong Bata Reyes sa "pik".

In fact, as an added encouragement, our lawmakers should consider replacing the tossing of coins or drawing of lots in deciding tied election contests in our country. Toss coin and drawing lots are really akin to gambling and based on chance, while "pik" is really a game of skill and mind, which is really better in terms of promoting values. Our thanks to the Thinking Blog for bringing this to our attention.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

One more way for OFWs to save money

This one is for our overseas Filipino workers. For as little as US$5 a month, they can get into a government guaranteed savings program which entitles them to dividends and the opportunity to apply for a housing loan of P500,000 or more. I am talking of course of the Pag-IBIG's Overseas Program.

The program is a voluntary savings program which aims to provide Filipino overseas contract workers, immigrants, permanent residents and seafarers the opportunity to save for their future and avail of a housing loan of as much as P2,000,000.

To register, they only need to accomplish and submit the Member's Data Form (MDF) together with the required membership contributions. Also required to be attached is their passports or contracts, and a 1" x 1' ID photo.

The program is a good deal for OFWs because the required monthly contribution is very very small, probably even less than what they pay for a bottle of mineral water abroad, compared to the benefits, like the opportunity to apply for a housing loan at as low as 6 percent interest.

The loan can be pretty handy for those who plan to build their dream homes and retire in the Philippines. In addition, their total contributions plus all dividends earned will be returned to them in due time as their savings. That's another way for them to hide away money for the future.

For inquiries, contact the Pag-IBIG International Operations Group (PIOG) at 6th Floor Justine Building, No. 317 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City 1200 Philippines, with telephone nos. 8938874, 8178524, 8920643 and 8924382, and the email address They may also inquire at Pag-IBIG Overseas Program offices/desks in various Philippine posts abroad.

Got a P25T scholarship for P45

I always get those types of calls at the office. A telemarketer introduces herself on the phone as being from a certain insurance company and tells me about a free one-year accident insurance. I always turn them down saying "wala akong balak maaksidente ngayon taon." (I don't intend to figure in an accident this year.)

I probably got no less than 20 of those calls in the past year. This last time, however, I got a call telling me that I have a free two-year scholarship for pick up in Makati. According to the lady, all I have to do was to present three valid identification cards at their office. My training-starved self immediately jumped on the opportunity.

The trip to Makati comprising of a jeep and an MRT ride cost me only P22.50, or P45 back and forth. On the way there I was speculating on what's going to be the "hitch" about the P25,000 scholarship. Maybe they will ask me to attend a marketing spiel. Maybe I have to purchase something. Maybe...

As it turned out, when I got to the company's office I was only made to fill up a form, asked a few questions, and made to present the three valid IDs. Maybe it was because I didn't have an existing credit, something that they seemed interested about. Then, I was given an education voucher of Datamex allegedly worth P25,000 and fully tranferable.

The hitch? Upon inquiry with Datamex, I learned that the voucher is usable only for their 2-year computer courses and would account only for the tuition. One would still need to pay their miscellaneous fees. Honestly, that's not much of a hitch to me. The yaya of my daughter who is a high school graduate has long been wanting to attend college, even just a two-year course. In all likelihood, the scholarship goes to her.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My 100th post

This post is another milestone for this blog. It is actually my 100th post since the first one on January 20 of this year. In that first post I said:
Today, I start a new endeavor. I do this with a very clear goal in mind, something that I would rather keep to myself for now. Everything else is just implementation.

My goal really was to earn from blogging and for a long time I thought I was going nowhere. But a few days ago, I got my first Adsense pay through Western Union. With that, I guess I can say I've achieved my initial goal.

Moreover, I feel I did not just achieve my original target. I also learned a lot in the process and have evolved as a person, hopefully for the better. The few regulars who have been visiting this blog can surely attest that Pinoy Seminars has gone through a lot of experimentation.

With these experimentation, no one was more blessed than the blogger behind. I thank everyone for supporting a "newbie" blogger like me and for bearing with my experimentations. Now off to my 200th post. Merry Christmas everyone.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Technical and vocational training providers

The Technical and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), pursuant to its mandate, provides direction to our country's technical and vocational education and training system (TVET). To pursue this direction, it accredits and monitors technical and vocational institutes (TVIs) providing registered/authorized courses or programs.

There are hundreds, even thousands of accredited institutions all over the country. TESDA maintains an online list of technical and vocational institutes segregated by regions, provinces and cities to allow us to verify their accreditations. Included in the list are the institutes' addresses, their telephone numbers and their registered/authorized courses or programs.

Too bad they didn't include the websites of the institutes. I am sure there are some who have one especially that many are offering computer courses. Still, the list provides a lot of options for people wanting to learn computer, electronic, nursing, language, performing arts and other skills. All you need to do is call and inquire.

Friday, December 7, 2007

717 pass real estate broker board exam

The DTI has announced that 717 of the 1,272 who took the Real Estate Brokers Licensure Examination given on November 23, 2007 passed. The exam was conducted by the Board of Examiners for Real Estate Brokers in Manila, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo and Lucena.

Also, the DTI also announced that 59 out of 138 examinees passed the Real Estate Appraisers Licensure Examination given by the Board of Examiners for Real Estate Appraisers on the same date and in the same venues.

To see the results, check out these links:

Real Estate Brokers Licensure Examination
Real Estate Appraisers Licensure Examination

Got a P4 3.0 with my first pay as a blogger

Ten months ago I decided to try to earn money from blogging. I experimented with several monetization schemes but only Google Adsense seemed to work. I quickly realized that earning from your blog wasn't easy. There were months when I thought there was no way I was going to get my first check.

As it turned out, I got my first pay a few days ago and I didn't get it by check. I claimed my first pay from Google Adsense at Western Union-Farmers Plaza in Cubao. There were no hassles and I only had to present a government-issued ID as well as the details of the money transfer.

What's cool about it was that I got my first pay without any deduction. The money transfer was totally free. On top of that, I passed by a booth giving out Western Union Gold discount cards for free. You just need to present a receipt to qualify. Lucky me. More, I also won a free wallet by choosing a number from their "magic" bowl.

After, I went straight to Pasig to check out a Pentium IV 3.0 advertised at Buy and Sell. Ronnie, a home-based technician was selling it at a very reasonable price. It wasn't brand new but the thing was working quite fine when I checked it. It was far faster than the PCs and laptops I've used before.

In short, I bought the Pentium IV 3.0 with my first blog pay and some additional amount donated by my sister working abroad. Now I am ready for some power computing. :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

How much did you earn last month?

I did a search for "blog net earnings survey" and ended up with this post by Darren Rowse at announcing the result of a poll they conducted asking their readers how much did they earn from Adsense in November 2005. Now, consider this: I started a new blog on net earnings recently and found Rowse's post on December 3, 2007. Can you blame me for doing a new poll? :) I would like to invite everyone to answer it at Net Earnings. Thanks.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Mutual fund wonders

For many, depositing money in the bank is our only means of saving. That's too bad as your money in the bank earns interest which is usually less than the rate of inflation. In other words, you are actually losing the value of your money by keeping it there.

One alternative is investing in mutual funds. They are organizations or corporations which manage a pool of money in behalf of individual or institutional investors. Fund managers invest the money in accordance with the fund's objectives and strategies. Through this, investors earn without having to make the investing decisions themselves.

I learned about this when I attended the Kerygma Conference at the ULTRA a few days ago. The Mutual Fund Management Company of the Philippines, Inc. (MFMCP) was among the major sponsors of the event and they were distributing flyers to the delegates.

Based on the flyer, the MFMCP manages the Kabahayan Fund, the ATR KimEng Equity Opportunity Fund, the ATR KimEng Money Market Fund, and the MFMCP-Aizawa Trust Philippine Fund. They brag that that the Kabuhayan Fund's actual one-year rate of return is 29.5% and that of the ATR KimEng Equity Opportunity Fund 39.6%.

MFMCP says there are more than 2,000 shareholders/customers in the funds that they manage. These include not only the leading corporate and public institutions in the Philippines but also a lot of individual investors. This is understandable because the minimum investment you can make is only P5,000, with the additional investments at increments of only P1,000.

Considering the rate of return and the very low entry amount required, I certainly believe that mutual funds should enter the common Filipino's financial awareness and vocabulary. Otherwise, we will continue thinking that banks are our only option.