Philippine Weekly Update

9 - 15 July 2016

July 28, 2016 Philippine Weekly Update


Aside from income tax reform, Senator Sonny Angara will be prioritizing the passage of Individual Income Tax Reform Bill and Taxpayer Assistance Service Bill that will promote taxpayer rights, and create an office that will help address the difficulties faced by Filipinos in paying taxes.

Loren Legarda filed her top 10 priority bills - the Magna Carta for Seafarers; Water Sector Reform Act Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act and National Land Use Act; Creating the Department of Culture; Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program Act; National Land Use Act; Final Forest Limits Act; Amendment to the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers; Department of Housing Act; Philippine Innovation Act; and the Anti-Discrimination Act. 

Cynthia Villar intends to pass the bills on agriculture in the new Congress. The bills are: Urban Agriculture Bill; Development of a Micro Insurance Program; Amendments to the National Food Authority Charter; Bill mandating local government units to allocate a percentage of their development fund to agriculture. 

Nancy Binay vowed to pursue the bill exempting employees earning P30,000 and below from paying income taxes in the 17th Congress. 

Panfilo Lacson  filed SB 40: Budget Reform for Village Empowerment Act of 2016 creating a Local Development Fund (LDF) to be divided among the different political; SB 45:  Expands the coverage of the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) to include Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) such as casinos, real estate brokers, and dealers of art works and motor vehicles ; SB 47: Removes from all public servants the "protection" afforded by Republic Act 1405 which prohibits disclosure or inquiry into bank deposits.


The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has recommended to governments, including the Philippines, to treat tax evasion as money laundering predicate offense. The FATF, a global standard setting body for anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing, made the recommendation in the wake of recent financial controversies such as the Bangladesh Bank heist and the Panama papers exposes which have shown the weakness of the country’s tax and financial system.

Philippine manufacturing has been expanding rapidly in 2016 due to the strongly performing domestic economy, according to Moody’s Analytics report last week.

Integrated Micro-Electronics Inc. (IMI) is now the 6th largest global provider of electronic manufacturing services (EMS) to the automotive industry.

The Philippine labor market was ranked third out of 75 countries/economies worldwide in the 2016 Contingent Workforce Index (CWI) released by ManpowerGroup Solutions. The country’s labor force was also the top market for contingent workforce cost efficiency in the entire Asia and the Pacific region.


The Philippines continues to display a high level of economic strength on the back of private investments and household spending, according to Moody’s Investors Service, which expects the country’s growth to pick up by 6.2% this year.

According to DBS group economists, Philippine Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is poised to expand by 6.3% this year, which falls within the new 6-7% target set by the newly-seated economic managers of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.  DBS also expects a 6.3% expansion for 2017, but acknowledged that more aggressive spending eyed by the Duterte administration could pull up the figure but will also depend on the response of the private firms to new state policies.


The Department of Transportation is reviewing the previous administration’s plan to execute the buyout of the private sector owner of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) as well as the proposal of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) to rehabilitate the rail system along EDSA. Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade is still studying the buyout of the private sector owners of the MRT-3 as well as other issues affecting the railway.


The Department of Energy (DoE) has issued revised guidelines for the processing of applications, amendments and termination of renewable energy service or operating contracts that set the number of days for its staff to act on an applicant’s proposed project.

Petrosolar Corp. has obtained a certificate of compliance from the regulator, securing eligibility to the guaranteed feed-in-tariff (FiT) rate of Php 8.69 for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity it exports to the power grid for 20 years.

Environment advocates gathered to condemn the use of coal as a source of energy and reaffirm their campaign for a shift to renewable energy sources. SANLAKAS secretary general Aaron Pedrosa urged President Rodrigo Duterte to keep his pro-renewable energy stance in the campaign. However, the shift from coal to renewable energy is being challenged by the Cabinet members like Alfonso Cusi of the Department of Energy and Sonny Dominguez of the Department of Finance.


The Department of Environment and Natural Resourcs (DENR) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has suspended all mining operations in the region in the wake of the conduct of performance audit in operating firms’ compliance with state policies on responsible mining.


The Philippines has offered to buy Myanmar rice through a government-to-government channel. The two governments will sign a contract soon, according to the Myanmar Rice Federation.


Palawan, Boracay and Cebu landed in the international travel magazine’s list, with Palawan clinching the top rank after receiving the highest score among readers at 93.71. This is the second time that Palawan was dubbed the “world’s best” in the list. As Palawan ruled the international travel magazine’s list, Boracay snagged the second spot and Cebu made it to the top 6 with 90.47 and 88.65 scores among readers, respectively. Boracay also used to top the “World’s best Islands” list.