ECCP at Work

ECCP@Work Featured Articles | December 15, 2023

December 15, 2023

ECCP Online

ECCP at Work

PHL economy seen to grow by 5.6% in 2024

In its latest “Economic Outlook: Balancing Prices & Priorities” report, MEI gave a Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast of 5.6% for 2024. This would make the Philippines the second fastest-growing economy in Southeast Asia, just behind Vietnam which is projected to grow by 6.2%. MEI data showed Philippine GDP will likely expand faster than Indonesia’s 5.1%, Malaysia’s 4.5%, and Thailand’s 3.4%. Philippine economic managers are targeting 6.5-8% GDP growth next year. 

October trade gap balloons to $4.17B

The Philippines’ trade-in-goods deficit widened to a three-month high of $4.17 billion in October, as exports declined by double digits amid sluggish global demand. Preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed the value of merchandise exports fell by 17.5% to $6.36 billion, from the 6.3% drop in September and a reversal of the 20.1% growth a year ago. The contraction in exports was the steepest since the 20.2% drop in April.

FDI inflow down 16% to $5.9 billion in 9 months

Persistent global economic uncertainties and elevated inflation continued to pull down the inflow of foreign direct investments (FDIs) into the country from January to September, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said. Latest data from the central bank showed the net FDI inflow fell by 15.9 percent to $5.88 billion during the nine-month period versus last year’s $6.99 billion. “FDI declined on the back of persistent global economic uncertainties which continued to affect investor decisions,” the BSP said.

House gives green light to priority measures of Ledac

The House of Representatives on Monday approved four priorities of the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC)—the proposed New Government Procurement Act, the proposed National Water Resources Act, the proposed Philippine Cooperative Code of 2023 and Revised Government Auditing Code of the Philippines. House Bill (HB) 9648 seeks to repeal Republic Act (RA) 9184, or the proposed Government Procurement Reform Act, to further improve the government procurement system for cost-effective, transparent, competitive, streamlined, sustainable, and inclusive government procurement activities, independent of the source of funding, whether local or foreign.

ADB keeps growth outlook for PH

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has kept its growth forecasts for the Philippines for this year and next. According to the Asian Development Outlook for December released yesterday, the ADB still sees the Philippine economy growing 5.7 percent this year and 6.2 percent in 2024. These growth estimates, however, fall below the government’s targets of six to seven percent for 2023 and 6.5 to eight percent for next year. ADB said the economy continues to be supported by domestic demand.

PEZA investments rise 14%

Investments approved by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) between January and December 14 grew 14 percent to P160.44 billion from P140.7 billion in the same period in 2022, the agency’s director-general Tereso Panga said yesterday. Panga said the board in its latest board meeting on December 7, P19 billion projects from 24 proponents which are expected generate $256.9 million in exports  annually and 4,515 jobs once fully operational.

Gov't firm on medium-term GDP growth target

The government will stick to its growth targets of 6.5 percent to 8 percent for the medium term, National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said on Wednesday, Dec. 13. Balisacan told reporters that the highest range could still be reduced but there are no plans to lower the 6.5 percent amid news of the worst El Niño expected to hit the country until the second quarter of next year.

Nations strike deal at COP28 to transition away from fossil fuels

Representatives from nearly 200 countries agreed at the COP28 climate summit on Wednesday to begin reducing global consumption of fossil fuels to avert the worst of climate change, signaling the eventual end of the oil age.

Government told to revisit industrial policy as October exports fall 17%

On Tuesday, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) disclosed that the country’s export earnings declined 17.5 percent, the largest contraction in six months. The data also showed import receipts contracted 4.4 percent in October 2023, marking the 9th consecutive month that imports declined. “On the whole, it seems that the trade sector is at a standstill. An industrial policy aimed at promoting products with comparative advantage or at creating new products could have broken this impasse,” Ateneo de Manila University economist Leonardo Lanzona told the BusinessMirror.

‘Foreign investments vital to hitting PHL export goals’

The Philippines is seeking to attract investments in export-oriented industries to drive exports growth and enable the country to compete with its Asean neighbors, according to Trade officials. “To achieve our exports target, it is critical for us to target investment-driven exports,” Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) Director Bianca Pearl R. Sykimte told reporters on the sidelines of an event organized by the Design Center of the Philippines last Monday. Sykimte said the DTI has reorganized its organizational structure to achieve the objectives of the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP).

DOT targets 7.7M tourists in 2024

Christina Frasco, secretary of the Department of Tourism (DOT) in her accomplishment report yesterday, said  the Philippines has exceeded its 4.8 million goal when it logged 5.06 million visitors as of yesterday. These tourists contributed  P440 billion in receipts  to the economy or more than double than the P209 billion recorded last year. Frasco said recovery rate on arrivals to pre-pandemic of Philippine tourism is at 65 percent as of November, faster than the 62 percent average rate in Asia-Pacific as of September. According to Frasco, the Philippines has already recovered nearly 80 percent of its pre-COVID international incoming seat capacity.

House renews push for economic charter change

The House of Representatives will push once more to amend the 1987 Constitution’s “prohibitive” economic provisions in 2024 to make it “more attuned, sensitive and responsive.” On Tuesday, the highest officials of the House stressed that it would be “timely” to revisit and ease the provisions that limit foreign ownership in certain industries as Congress’ “legacy.” This may include exploring modes of charter change that will not involve the Senate, where previous efforts to amend the Constitution eventually fizzled out. “I believe 2024 will allow us, again, to revisit the Constitution. I think it’s timely, we’d like to focus on the economic provisions,” said Speaker Martin Romualdez.

IBM eyes upskilling PH workforce in AI

IBM Philippines is looking to upskill the Philippine workforce in artificial intelligence and other technologies through free online courses. Aileen Judan-Jiao, IBM Philippines' president and country general manager, said people who want to learn more about how to use AI in their work can sign up for free courses on their online learning platform SkillsBuild. During a briefing with journalists, Jiao said SkillsBuild is a program with customized practical learning experiences available for all levels of learners.

DOTR proposes expansion of pilot on motorcycle taxi

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has submitted a proposal to expand the rollout of the motorcycle taxi pilot study to major cities outside of Metro Manila. At a committee hearing on Tuesday, Antipolo 2nd District Rep. Romeo Acop, House transportation committee chair, said the DOTr Technical Working Group (TWG) submitted a report stating an extension of the motorcycle taxi pilot studies to several additional regions. This expansion encompasses the provinces of Cavite, Rizal, Laguna, Batangas, Iloilo, Bacolod, Pampanga, Davao, Zamboanga, Legazpi, General Santos, Pangasinan and Baguio.

BSP keeps key rate steady at 6.5%

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) left its key rate unchanged at 6.5% for a second straight meeting on Thursday but signaled a “tighter-for-longer” policy until inflation expectations have become more firmly anchored.

Marcos extends lower tariffs on rice, pork

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board, chaired by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., has approved another one-year extension of the lower tariff rates on rice, pork, and corn as the country continues to battle inflation. NEDA Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan on Thursday said the NEDA Board approved the proposed executive order (EO) to extend the reduced most favored nation tariff rates on several commodities, including rice, pork, and corn until Dec. 31, 2024. A copy of the new EO, which will be signed by Mr. Marcos, has yet to be released as of press time.

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