ECCP at Work

ECCP@Work Featured Articles | December 19, 2023

December 19, 2023

ECCP Online

ECCP at Work

Philippine growth to bottom out this year – IMF

Based on a report prepared by an IMF team after the latest Article IV consultation, the gross domestic product (GDP) growth of the Philippines may hit bottom at 5.3 percent this year before bouncing back to six percent next year. “Growth is expected to bottom out in 2023. Real GDP growth is expected to bounce back in the second half of 2023 and reach six percent in 2024, supported by an acceleration in public investment and improved external demand for the Philippines’ exports,” the IMF said.

PH bags P14.5B deals

At least P14.5 billion worth of investments were generated at a forum arranged by the Department of Trade and Industry on the sidelines of the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit in Tokyo, Japan which was attended by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Presidential Adviser on Investment and Economic Affairs Frederick Go said the investments were covered by nine new memorandum of understanding (MOUs) on energy, infrastructure and manufacturing and will generate 15,000 jobs.

BBM creates office on investment, economic affairs; Go to head body

President Marcos Jr. created the Office of the Special Assistant to the President for Investment and Economic Affairs (OSAPIEA) under the Office of the President to ensure the effective integration, coordination and implementation of the various government investment and economic policies and programs. Presidential adviser on Investment and Economic Affairs Frederick Go was tapped to head OSAPIEA.

PEZA investments seen to hit over P170B

“As of Dec. 7, we have approved a total of P160.44-billion (investments). We expect to approve an additional P12 billion during our board meeting (Dec. 19),” PEZA Director-General Tereso O. Panga said, putting the estimated PEZA-approved investments for this year at P172 billion. To date, PEZA has already exceeded its full-year target of P154.77 billion. Mr. Panga said locator investments would likely account for 60% of this year’s total, adding that most of these are in the export manufacturing industry.

PHL external debt hits  $118.8B as of end-Sept.

The Philippines’ external debt hit a record $118.833 billion at end-September, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said. Preliminary data from the BSP showed external debt increased by 10.1% from $107.91 billion in the same period a year ago. “The rise in the debt level was due to prior periods’ adjustments (i.e., borrowings made in previous quarters) amounting to $2 billion, of which $1.9 billion were borrowings by private sector nonbank firms,” the BSP said.

Gov’t urged to invest in offshore wind projects

The Government needs to consider coming in as an investor in offshore wind energy projects, an industry official said. “Offshore wind is a big undertaking. Maybe the government wants to also have a stake there because… it’s huge in scale,” Jose M. Layug, Jr., president of the Developers of Renewable Energy for Advancement, Inc., said. Mr. Layug noted that PNOC Exploration Corp., a subsidiary of the state-owned Philippine National Oil Co., holds a 10% interest in Service Contract 38, or the Malampaya gas field development project.

PH pushes roadmap for food security

At the Asean-Japan Summit in Japan, President Marcos Jr. noted the need to adopt agricultural technologies and craft climate change-resilient, sustainable, inclusive, and people-centered Asean-Japan Strategic Economic Cooperation Roadmap beyond 2025 for the next 10 years to help cushion the impact of climate change on all nations especially on the most vulnerable ones like the Philippines.

BSP eases rules to boost bank lending for green projects

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is temporarily easing rules to encourage banks to extend more loans for green and sustainable projects. The Monetary Board approved a gradual reduction in the reserve requirement rate for green, social, sustainability, and other sustainable bonds issued by banks to zero from the current 3%. The BSP said the 200-basis-point (bp)reduction will be implemented in the first year of the policy’s implementation, while another 100-bp reduction will follow in the succeeding year for another 12 months.

Senate’s concurrence for ILO 190 ratification hailed

Several labor groups in the country lauded the Senate’s concurrency for the ratification of International Labor Organization Convention 190, which seeks to eliminate violence and harassment in the workplace. The concurrence of the Senate is a “historical moment for all Filipino workers and a major victory for the Philippine labor movement,” the labor groups said in a joint statement.

Consumer pessimism persists in Q4; businesses upbeat — BSP survey

Consumers remained pessimistic in the fourth quarter (Q4) due to elevated prices and lower salaries, a survey by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed. The BSP confidence index (CI) among consumers decreased to 19% in the fourth quarter from a 9.6% contraction in the third quarter.

Marcos wants PH share in global creative industries market increased

President Marcos Jr. yesterday said the Philippines is hoping to collaborate with Japan and other countries to promote and increase the country’s share in the global creative industries market. The President, speaking before the Creative & Sustainable Economy Through Innovation Event organized by the Department of Trade and Industry, said the Philippine Creative Economy is a prime contributor to sustainable economic development. Marcos said the global creative industries market, estimated at $2.6 trillion in 2022, is projected to reach up to $3.4 trillion in 2028 and the Philippines “intend to increase our share of the pie of these numbers.”

Okada Manila describes Emerald Bay project as its ‘next step’ expansion

Okada Manila’s move to invest in Dennis A. Uy’s Emerald Bay Resort and Casino project in Mactan, Cebu is part of its domestic expansion, according to an official of the integrated casino resort. “We’ve been operating this property since 2016. It has been seven years. We’ve been looking for another opportunity to expand our business. That project could be the one fit into our next step,” Okada Manila Chief Managing Officer Kenji Sugiyama said on the sidelines of a media event last week.  According to Mr. Sugiyama, the two groups are still going through the partnership’s due diligence process. 

Lawmaker notes Marcos order on water projects

A leader of the House of Representatives strongly backed the recent order by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to concerned government agencies to complete all water-related projects by April next year, stressing swift action to mitigate the effects of an expected drought. A statement quoted Rizal 4th District Rep. Juan Fidel Felipe F. Nograles as saying that Marcos’s order “signifies the government’s commitment to protect our people from the harsh effects of the coming drought.”

LNG as transition to RE pushed

“We are seeing LNG as being the transition between purely fossil fuel, coal, to the more bigger mix of renewables. But this — the move to renewables, I think we are all discovering is not as easy as we had hoped and so we need a transition period to give ourselves time to bring the infrastructure and to allow the technologies to develop,” President Marcos Jr. said.

IEA says energy investments must reflect COP28 outcome 

Energy investments should be informed by the COP28 agreement to accelerate the move away from fossil fuels this decade, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said. “After COP28, governments, companies, investors, need to tell the people around the world what actions they are taking to move the world away from fossil fuels,” Executive Director Fatih Birol told Reuters.

P5B approved for release for BARMM devt plan

The Department of Budget and Management has approved the release of a notice of cash allotment amounting to P5 billion for the rebuilding, rehabilitation and development of conflict-affected communities in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). The allocation will be released annually for 10 years from the ratification of the Organic Law for BARMM, or a grand total of P50 billion.

PHL fiscal consolidation efforts on track — IMF  

THE PHILIPPINES’ fiscal consolidation efforts are on track but the government can still implement further revenue mobilization and expenditure reforms to create more fiscal space, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said. “Even with public spending projected to accelerate in the second half of 2023, the fiscal outturn is expected to fall below the deficit ceiling of 6.1% of gross domestic product (GDP) from a deficit of 7.3% of GDP last year mainly due to lower transfers to local government units (LGUs),” the IMF said in its latest country report.

DoTr sticks to submission deadline for NAIA upgrade bidders

THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) will not extend the bid submission deadline for the rehabilitation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the agency’s head said, citing the urgency to upgrade the country’s main gateway. “The bid [submission] deadline is initially set on Dec. 27 and we want to stick to that deadline because we want to implement the program as soon as possible,” Transportation Secretary Jaime J. Bautista said.

Bill seeks removal of 100% Filipino rule for investment company boards

A bill seeking to remove a 100% Filipino requirement for board members of investment companies has been filed at the House of Representatives, opening the door for foreign shareholders to exercise control of such companies. “The unintended consequence of the 100% Filipino board requirement in the Investment Company Act is to disincentivize the formation of foreign-owned funds in the country, such as venture capital funds, private equity funds, and hedge funds,” Parañaque Rep. Gus S. Tambunting said in introducing House Bill No. 9522.

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