May 25, 2021
The House of Representatives Committee on Economic Affairs and Committee on Social Services, in a joint hearing on Monday, approved the unnumbered substitute bill and committee report on the Bayanihan 3 bill. This came after the proposed P405.6 billion Bayanihan 3 law, known as the Bayanihan To Arise As One, has now been set for plenary debates at the House after it gained the approval of the committee on appropriations on Friday, May 21.
Iloilo City will be under modified enhanced community quarantine until the end of the month, said the Inter-Agency Task Force in charge of managing the COVID-19 pandemic. The resolution added Apayao, Benguet, and Cagayan will retain their MECQ status until the end of the month.
The Department of Energy (DoE) hopes to launch by June 26 various rule changes to the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM), which will reduce the time between scheduling and dispatch of power, among others, according to an advisory posted last week on the department’s website. Other proposed changes to WESM operations include automatic pricing corrections and one-part settlements of energy trading amounts, the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) said in January.
The Bureau of Customs (BoC) has started implementing adjusted tariffs for pork imports after the government approved temporary changes to the rate structures in a bid to boost supply and temper rising prices. The new rates were implemented via Customs Memorandum Circular No. 102-2021 dated May 18, a copy of which was published Friday, ordering ports and collection districts to implement Executive Order (EO) No. 134.
The share of tax collections in the country’s economic output rose to a record first quarter level of 14.41% in January to March, according to the Department of Finance (DoF), a sign of improved economic activity amid a coronavirus pandemic. The P470-billion revenue generated by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) accounted for 10.81% of gross domestic product (GDP), up from 10.52% in the first quarter of last year. Customs collections worth P149 billion translated to a tax effort of 3.43% from 3.27%.
The Philippine steel industry has adjusted to import competition after the end of a decade-long imposition of safeguard duties on angle bars, according to the Tariff Commission. The Tariff Commission said the local industry had kept a dominant market position and expanded production and sales, generating P5.8 billion in average yearly sales from 2014 to 2019. It added that a narrower price gap between imported and locally produced steel angle bars showed a successful adjustment to competition.
Despite an easing in the March unemployment rate, the Philippines remained the worst job market in emerging Asia with the biggest share of the unemployed to the labor force, a report of the state planning agency National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) showed. While the 7.1-percent jobless rate posted in March was the lowest since April last year, the height of the longest and most stringent COVID-19 lockdown in the region revert of the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) for two weeks and then to modified ECQ (MECQ) in April would temporarily reverse employment gains.
Seven industry groups issued a statement on Saturday calling for the opening up of the sector to foreign trade and investments to lower food prices, ensure food security and create more jobs in the countryside. They said opening up the sector would allow imports to temper rising food prices because of tight local supply. A more predictable flow of imported goods could also boost investments in other related industries, they added.
Disability, serious adverse effects or even death caused by “authorized” Covid-19 vaccine is now compensable, according to Board Resolution No. 21-03-08 of the Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC). The compensation may be in the form of loss of income benefits, medical benefits, death and funeral benefits, and rehabilitation services, per the resolution dated March 11, 2021. The benefit will be released once the Social Security System (SSS) and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) determine such adverse effects are related to the Covid-19 jabs use.
Arta Director General Jeremiah B. Belgica said in a recent statement that Executive Order (EO) 136—which is behind the establishment of the Philippine Trade Facilitation Committee (PTFC)—will further enhance the streamlining efforts of the Bureau of Customs (BOC). The PTFC is tasked with studying, proposing and coordinating the stance of the government relating to the WTO-TFA and other trade facilitation commitments and will be led by the Department of Finance and the Department of Trade and Industry while the BOC will sit as vice chairman.