ECCP at Work

ECCP@Work Featured News Articles | 04 June 2021

June 04, 2021

ECCP Online

IATF shortens quarantine, scraps testing for travelers fully vaccinated in PH

IATF announced that all fully vaccinated inbound travelers 'who have been inoculated in the Philippines' only need to undergo a 7-day facility-based quarantine instead of completing the 14-day isolation provided that the inbound traveler must carry a vaccination card, which must be verified prior to departure and checked upon arrival in the Philippines.

AXA, ECCP tie up to help Filipinos become more responsible investors

To help educate the public on responsible investing, AXA, together with the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP), will mount a series of webinars from June to July this year to help local investors integrate sustainable practices within their investment strategies to promote a more responsible way of growing and protecting their wealth. In the educational webinars, AXA and the ECCP will take participants through the importance of sustainability, how the financial sector is key to influencing sustainable outcomes, and the role of investors in redefining business practices.

World Bank approves ₱14.34B loan for project boosting PH emergency preparedness

The World Bank has greenlit a $300 million (about ₱14.34 billion) loan for a new project enhancing the country’s preparedness against natural hazards. In a statement, the Washington-based lender said the fresh credit line shall fund the Philippines Seismic Risk Reduction and Resilience Project. The project also intends to improve about 425 public structures in the capital region such as school buildings and health centers against earthquakes and other climate-related events.

Over 1M people in PH miss 2nd vaccine dose

More than a million people have missed their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, according to a member of the Inter-Agency Task Force's sub-technical working group on data analytics. Dr. John Wong said 3.1 million doses of the Sinovac and Gamaleya vaccines have been administered since the country's vaccination drive started on March 1.

PH tourism’s share in GDP drops 48%

WTTC data showed tourism’s contribution to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) dropped 41.4 percent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. From $90 billion in 2019, impact on GDP fell to about $52.8 billion in 2020, the WTTC said.

DTI eases capacity limits on businesses

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has increased the allowable capacity for dine-in services, personal care businesses and others, although data showed that the pandemic was still far from being under control. A DTI advisory released to the media on Tuesday detailed the new allowable capacity for certain businesses in Metro Manila and other areas under a general community quarantine (GCQ).

House to Senate: Review economic Cha-cha

Senators should take a look at the Charter change proposals initiated and approved by the House of Representatives, particularly Resolution of Both Houses 2, so the country can catch up with thriving ASEAN neighbors, Albay Rep. Joey Salceda said yesterday. Ako Bicol Party-list Rep. Alfredo Garbin, House committee on constitutional amendments chairman, noted that stronger foreign direct investment in the country can kick-start the economy as the country continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

IATF mulls vaccine passports

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) is discussing the possibility of issuing “vaccine passports” to those inoculated against COVID-19, Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Undersecretary Emmanuel Rey Caintic said yesterday. Some countries, particularly those in Europe, are planning to issue and require vaccination passports or certificates to help stop the spread of COVID-19 across borders.

NEDA’s Chua backs return of students to campus

The Development Budget Coordination Committee last month downgraded the gross domestic product growth target to 6-7% from the 6.5-7.5% estimate issued in December. Mr. Chua, however, noted that some actions taken during the crisis may have long-term effects that need to be corrected, such as the lack of face-to-face classes for students, which can affect quality of learning and future productivity.

Philippines likely to achieve ‘herd resilience’ by 2023, says Moody’s Analytics

Herd resilience or a situation when 65% of adult population have been vaccinated will only occur in the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, and Vietnam by 2023, according to Moody’s Analytics. Based on data from the Johns Hopkins University, only 1.12% of the Philippine population have been fully vaccinated since its inoculation drive started in March.

Regulatory safeguards in PSA bill needed — PCC

A competition commissioner is urging lawmakers to include regulatory safeguards against national security issues that some senators fear could arise from a priority bill that would open up the telecommunications and transport sectors to more foreign ownership. Such regulations should be issued instead of outright banning bigger foreign participation in providing critical infrastructure, Philippine Competition Commissioner Johannes Benjamin R. Bernabe said.

FDA releases 408 of 412 pending drug applications, Arta reports

The anti-red tape watchdog reported on Wednesday that 408 of the 412 AR applications were processed within the prescribed period, as communicated by FDA CDRR Director IV Jesusa Joyce N. Cirunay. On May 11, Arta issued a show-cause order for Cirunay to explain the hundreds of drug applications that have remained pending despite complete submission of requirements. These applications were filed as far back as 2014 or so.

Business groups seeks longer grace period for water quality compliance

Business groups have asked the government to extend the grace period to comply with the Water Quality Guidelines and General Effluent Standards of 2016 by at least around 1.5 years, if not for three years, amid the mobility restrictions due to the pandemic. In a statement, foreign and local private sector groups said the industry understood that the compliance period for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Department Administrative Order (DAO) 2016-18 is until December 31, 2022.

Govt seeks to further reopen the economy with safety seal certification for businesses

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said the government’s safety seal certification program would help further reopen the economy while ensuring business establishments remain compliant with minimum health standards. DOLE was tasked by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to issue the certification for the following industries: manufacturing, construction, utilities, information and communication, and warehousing industries. 


House: Senate can still act on economic Cha-cha

Contrary to senators’ claims, the Senate still has time to scrutinize the proposed amendments to economic provisions of the Constitution, especially when Congress resumes session on July 26. RBH 2 is expected to be passed on third and final reading this week before the June 4 break. 

DOH moves to avert NCR-like surge in Visayas, Mindanao

To prevent the same incident where hospitals in Metro Manila struggled after reaching full capacity as Covid-19 cases surged, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that “adequate support” is already being given to areas in Visayas and Mindanao where there is an uptick in cases. She said they are closely monitoring some areas of Caraga, Region 4B, Region 6, Region 1, and Region 7 where there is an increase in cases recorded. Vergeire also said that Regions 1 and 7 are showing “an increase from a negative to a positive growth rate.

Government eyes ‘vaccine passes’ to raise mobility, rev up economy

In a Let’s Go Bakuna webinar hosted by GoNegosyo on Monday, Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said an example of greater mobility is to allow seniors who have already been vaccinated to go to malls or dine-in restaurants. Concepcion said that eventually, the vaccine cards distributed by local government units (LGU) should be transformed into a national vaccine card or a national health card.

More than 5-million Filipinos inoculated as of May 30–DOH

A total of 5,180,721 doses of Covid-19 vaccines have already been administered in the country as of May 30, 2021, the Department of Health (DOH) reported on Monday. Of this, 3,974,350 are first doses, and 1,206,371 are second doses. This equates to over 1 million people who have been inoculated with anti-Covid-19 vaccines so far.

PHL seen missing out on ASEAN-6 export boom

Oxford Economics projected that goods exports will only account for 2.7 percentage points (ppts) to gross domestic product (GDP) this year, the smallest proportion of the six major ASEAN economies, known as the ASEAN-6. The regional average is projected at 6.6 ppts. Across the region, the estimated contribution of total exports to GDP was highest in Singapore at more than 15 ppts, followed by Vietnam and Malaysia at 10 ppts each, Thailand over 5 ppts. Indonesia was expected to come in below 5 ppts.

Inflation likely settled at 4-4.8% in May — BSP

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said the bank expects headline inflation in May to likely come in at between 4% and 4.8%.  Mr. Diokno said the midpoint of the range, 4.4%, would mark the fifth straight month of inflation breaching the 2-4% target and will be double the 2.2% posted in May 2020. It would however be lower than the 4.5% reported in April as well as the 4.5% median estimate in a BusinessWorld poll of 17 analysts last week.

Palace signals intent to slow-walk Bayanihan III

The Palace called the proposed third Bayanihan law as not an urgent matter, and maintained that the government needs to allow the 2021 national budget and previous economic packages to run their course before passing another stimulus measure. House Bill No. 9411 or the Bayanihan to Arise as One Act is awaiting final approval. The measure’s Senate counterpart, which has yet to be certified as urgent by the President, is still pending at committee in that chamber.

Filipino consumers remain optimistic

Based on the results of the latest Global Consumer Confidence Survey, the Philippines scored 119 on the consumer confidence index (CCI) during the first three months of the year. However, this was four points lower than country’s CCI score of 123 in the fourth quarter last year. The Philippines’ score was a tad higher than the Asia-Pacific average of 118 during the quarter, ranking third behind India and China.

BSP chief says policy adjustments by mid-2022

The Philippine central bank will remain accommodative until economic recovery is sustained, with further monetary policy adjustments likely by the second half of 2022, Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said. The Monetary Board kept the overnight reverse repurchase at a record low of 2% at its May policy review, adding that this would provide continued support for the economy’s recovery from the crisis.

Duterte allows Filipino seafarers to be inoculated with Western-made vaccine brands

President Rodrigo Duterte granted on Monday the request of Filipino seafarers to get inoculated with Western-made COVID-19 vaccine brands, stating that most international shipping companies require their crew members to be vaccinated with Western-made COVID-19 vaccines before embarkation. The seafarer unions also requested Duterte to simplify the procedures in the vaccination of Filipino seafarers, wherein the presentation of the seaman's book will fully identification requirements.

PH govt. extends travel ban on India, 6 other countries until June 15

The Philippine government announced on Monday the extension of the ban on travelers coming from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. President Rodrigo Duterte approved the extension of the restrictions on travelers from the seven countries upon the recommendation of the national task force against COVID-19, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

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