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ECCP@Work Featured News Articles | 11 June 2021

June 11, 2021

ECCP Online

Duque: PH to wait for other countries to vaccinate minors vs COVID-19

The Philippines will not yet administer COVID-19 shots to minors, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III has said, citing the need for more studies. This is despite the Food and Drug Administration's recent decision allowing the use of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines on young people aged 12-15, Duque said the Duterte administration will wait for other countries to include minors in their inoculation drives to learn from their experience.

OCTA sees Davao City, Western Visayas as among COVID-19 epicenters

OCTA Research fellow Guido David said Davao City joins Western Visayas as well as NCR Plus -- which includes the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal -- in the list of areas under this classification. David said Davao City has overtaken Quezon City in terms of new cases recorded, which OCTA earlier projected would happen.

Foreign direct investments hit $808 million in March: BSP

Foreign direct investment net inflows hit $808 million in March 2021, higher by 139.5 percent compared to $337 million in the same month last year over improved investor sentiment and resumption of economic activities, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Thursday. The total brought the cumulative FDI net inflows to $2.4 billion in the first quarter of 2021, up 45.1 percent compared to $1.6 billion in the same period last year, the BSP said in a statement.


Government will no longer get vaccine donations from private sector

The private sector led by Concepcion, along with local government units, purchased 17 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca. Of the 5.5 million doses purchased by the private sector, half was supposed to be donated to the government. While government would no longer need donations, Concepcion said the private sector would want to support vaccination in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus 8.

Lifting of ban on open-pit mining seen

Wilfredo Moncano, director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), confirmed that after consultations with miners and environmental advocates, the MGB submitted on Monday the proposed IRR to Cimatu for his signature. Moncano noted that a repealing clause in the draft IRR will lift the four-year ban on the use of open-pit mines to extract minerals, imposed by the late former environment chief Regina Paz Lopez.

PEZA flags ‘more restrictive’ import tax rules under CREATE

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) raised possible problems its locators might encounter with new import tax rules after the implementation of a new law that cuts corporate income taxes and rationalizes incentives. The investment promotion agency foresees “certain issues” once the law is implemented, noting that it expects rules on the duty-free import of capital equipment and raw materials to be more restrictive, PEZA Deputy Director General for Operations Harriet O. Abordo said.

DOT forecasts 2 million to 5 million foreign tourists by 2022

The Department of Tourism (DOT) has projected foreign tourists to reach anywhere from a low of 2 million to as high as 5 million visitors in 2022. An initial copy of the Reformulated NTDP for 2021-2022 indicated the DOT took into consideration mild, harsh, to severe scenarios based on ongoing developments in source markets in terms of lifting Covid-19 restrictions, as well as projections made by global tourism organizations such as the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Pacific Asia Travel Association. 

Higher jobless numbers in April temporary–economic team

The President’s economic team believes the reversal of the gains in employment in April will be temporary and is mainly attributed to the reimposition of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). Data showed 7.45 million Filipinos are considered underemployed or looking for additional hours of work or jobs. This is 1.05 million more than the 6.4 million recorded in April 2020 and 0.86 million more than January 2021.

Inflation projected to start easing this month

The pace of price increases of basic goods and services —which has plateaued over the last three months—may start coming down as early as this month with the entry of imported pork into the local market expected to mitigate the country’s inflation rate, according to an economist. Mapa sought to manage market expectations, however, saying that despite the likelihood of the inflation rate returning to within the target back in the second half, he said price pressures would remain elevated and the chance of seeing the headline rate approach the lower end of the central bank’s target range would be “marginal.”


Govt expects Covid-19 jabs to breach 6-million mark in June

As of June 6, Chief implementer of the government’s national policy on Covid-19 Carlito G. Galvez Jr. said 5.97 million have been given their Covid-19 jabs. Of the figure, 1.6 million are from the National Capital Region (NCR). He expressed confidence that the number of vaccinated individuals will rise in the coming weeks following the arrival of an additional 1 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine of Sinovac Biotech, Coronavac, last Sunday.


DOLE eyes economic recovery

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) sees economic recovery, and more Filipinos going back to work, following the rollout of vaccines for essential workers. Workers from different sectors sought inclusion in the immunization, but insisted it should be voluntary. Even as the government rolled out the immunization for essential workers, DOLE stressed that the “no vaccine, no work” policy is still prohibited.

Senators seen to extend Bayanihan 2

Senators are likely going to push for the second extension of Republic Act 11494 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act until the end of the year, instead of passing another emergency spending bill as about half of the funding for the law remains undisbursed, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said yesterday. Sotto made the observation as members of the House of Representatives are prodding the Senate to pass the proposed Bayanihan to Arise as One Act or Bayanihan 3, which needs to be funded by nearly half a trillion pesos.

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