ECCP at Work

ECCP@Work Featured News Articles | May 11, 2022

May 11, 2022

ECCP Online

ECCP at Work

Business groups outline priorities for Marcos

BUSINESS GROUPS and foreign chambers would like to see the incoming Marcos administration prioritize reforms to attract more foreign investments, assist pandemic-hit small businesses and create much-needed jobs. “We urge the incoming government leaders to build on the momentum and successes of the previous administrations. We look forward to further improvements in economic openness to increase trade, foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows and job creation,” Lars Wittig, European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) president. The Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) said it hopes to work closely with the government to ensure the economy’s recovery, maintain high GDP growth, continue infrastructure projects, and create more jobs.

Passage of EVIDA to make PH more attractive for hi-tech investments

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) welcomes the enactment of Republic Act No. 11697 otherwise known as the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (EVIDA), which provides for a national policy framework to develop the electric vehicle industry in the Philippines. Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez expressed his gratitude to President Duterte and the lawmakers for the passage of this very significant legislation. “With EVIDA, the Philippines is now in a stronger position to further attract hi-tech investments and create high-value jobs in the country by taking advantage of the ongoing global shift to EVs through strong national policy support,” he said.

Economists see strong PH GDP growth in Q1

The Philippine economy likely withstood the Omicron surge at the start of this year and sustained growth during the first quarter — estimated by economists to range from 5.5 percent to as high as 8.3 percent year-on-year. Beyond the possibly strong end-March gross domestic product (GDP) performance, which the government will report on May 12, economists watching the Philippines flagged high debts and a yawning budget deficit, elevated inflation that could temper consumer spending, as well as some excess baggage carried by leading presidential candidates who may win the elections, which could slow down the Philippines’ flight to economic recovery this year. On Sunday, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua said in a statement that the Philippine economy “will return to its prepandemic growth this year as the country continues to build on progress in recovering from COVID-19 from the first half of the administration.”

NG gross borrowings lower by over a fifth vs Q1 2021

The national government’s gross borrowings in the first quarter of the year fell to P1.08 trillion, lower by over a fifth than a year ago. From January to March this year, government’s gross borrowing level contracted by 21.7 percent from P1.38 trillion in the same 3-month period in 2021, latest data from the Bureau of the Treasury showed. Cornering the lion’s share of the total were domestic borrowings, which plunged by 34.8 percent year-on-year to P849.1 billion from P1.3 trillion as the government began winding down short-term borrowings from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas from P540 billion to P300 billion. The drop in domestic borrowings was also due to the net redemption of P139.5 billion in Treasury bills.

Inflation will be a concern for new president 

Inflation management should be a top economic priority for the next president of the Philippines, as rising consumer prices may prompt the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to raise interest rates as early as next month, according to Moody’s Analytics. Sonia Zhu, associate economist at Moody’s Analytics, said in a commentary that the incoming president would need to treat inflation as a top economic priority. “Inflation management has become a key policy point. Since early 2022, household discretionary income has come under threat from higher prices for staples,” she said. In a commentary titled “Inflation Will Be a Headache for the New Philippine President,” Zhu said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Chinese COVID lockdowns worsened supply-chain disruptions and brought inflation into the spotlight.

SBCorp imposes interest rates on loans for MSMEs

The Small Business Corp. (SBCorp), the financing arm of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), recently announced it has imposed an interest rate on loans extended to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). During the launch of a new flagship loan program, the SB Corp laid out its new online loan facilities available to multi-sectoral MSMEs. Previously with the Bayanihan Cares program, which SBCorp launched during the early part of the pandemic, loans didn’t carry an interest rate but charged annual service fees of 4 percent. The recently-launched program, meanwhile, imposes interest rates on loans with SBCorp saying this is due to lack of funds to sustain lending to MSMEs. SBCorp President and CEO Luna E. Cacanando explained that the “Bayanihan Cares” lending program offered a zero-interest as it had P8 billion in funds provided by the national government. However, Cacanando said, that fund is nearly depleted.

‘War boosts demand for PHL coco products’

The Philippines’s exports of coconut-based products, such as coconut flour, will continue to grow this year due to the increasing demand for sustainable and alternative products to farm goods that have become more expensive following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Rose Villaruel, Philippine Coconut Authority’s (PCA) trade and market development manager, said the rebound in coconut-based exports seen in 2021 will continue this year. Earnings from coconut exports last year grew by almost 60 percent to nearly $2 billion due to the surge in the value of all coconut-based shipments, according to Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data. Excluding coconut oil, the Philippines exported $508.639-million worth of other coconut-based products (desiccated coconut, copra meal, coco coir, coco charcoal, etc), which was 53.62 percent higher than the previous year’s $331.068 million

New EV development law to lure hi-tech investment

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) expects to attract more hi-tech investments given the recent enactment of a law promoting the development of the electric vehicle (EV) industry. “With EVIDA (EV Industry Development Act), the Philippines is now in a stronger position to further attract hi-tech investments and create high-value jobs in the country by taking advantage of the ongoing global shift to EVs through strong national policy support,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said in a statement yesterday. Republic Act 11697, otherwise known as EVIDA, provides a national policy framework to develop the country’s EV industry. The law seeks to promote innovation in clean energy and sustainable transportation, while pushing for the development of a sunrise industry in the country and generating jobs.

INFLATIONARY PRESSURES: DOF: Repopulate hogs, import meat

The country needs to repopulate decimated hog populations, momentarily supplement any shortfall with meat imports and effectively contain the avian flu outbreak, the Department of Finance (DOF) said yesterday. In an economic bulletin released yesterday, the DOF said the economy continues to face inflationary pressures from both food and non-food items. “The lingering effects of the African swine fever continues to threaten food security and is further complicated by the ongoing geopolitical tension that has implications on both food and energy security,” the DOF said. “Moreover, avian flu outbreaks in parts of the country pose threats to the poultry sector,” it added. The general price level accelerated by 4.9 percent in April, further picking up speed from the 3.97 percent increase in March.

P4B road to link ecozones in CL

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is constructing a P4.05-billion access road connecting Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ) to Hermosa Ecozone Industrial Park (HEIP) in Bataan that will promote stronger economic activities in Central Luzon. In a statement, Roseller Tolentino, DPWH Regional Office 3 director, said the access road is divided into two stages, the Mabiga-Morong-SBFZ section for Phase 1 and the Mabigat-Palihan section for Phase 2. Included in the project’s phases 1 and 2 are the construction of a four-lane, 17.74-kilometer road from SBFZ to the Mabiga Exit of Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway and the 7.43-km. road opening with slope protection and drainage from barangays Mabiga to Palihan in Hermosa, Bataan. Tolentino said ongoing construction works in the Mabiga-Morong segment of the Mabiga-Morong-SBFZ section and the Mabiga-Palihan section are expected to be completed in June 2022 and January 2023, respectively.

  • Europe-PH News

  • April 12, 2024

    Digitalization initiatives to drive financial services and employment opportunities in the PH

    Makati City, Philippines – The release of latest ... Read More

  • April 05, 2024

    Unleash Hell in Makati: The Ultimate MMA Festival Showdown at Kombat Sports Kalayaan!

    Get ready to witness the ultimate showdown as Kombat Spo... Read More

  • March 18, 2024

    Milestone Achieved: ECCP Celebrates Restart of EU-Philippines FTA Negotiations

    Manila, Philippines – The European Chamber of Commerce of the Phil... Read More