ECCP at Work

ECCP@Work Featured Articles | April 30, 2024

April 30, 2024

ECCP Online

ECCP at Work

Back-office services seen benefiting from EU-PHL free trade agreement

A free trade agreement (FTA) between the Philippines and the European Union (EU) is expected to attract more European business for industries like information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) as well as financial and digital service providers, a business council official said. Chris Humphrey, executive director of the EU-ASEAN Business Council (EU-ABC), told BusinessWorld that the Philippines currently enjoys a competitive advantage in its English-speaking population, which is deemed critical in IT-BPM services.

Building stronger collaborations for safe and sustainable aviation with the EU

On 25 April 2024, the EU-ASEAN Sustainable Connectivity Package (SCOPE) Aviation Partnership Project (APP) meeting was held, facilitated by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). In a great move for regional connectivity, representatives from civil aviation authorities of South East Asian (SEA) nations and EU, together with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), met to discuss a collaboration effort aimed at improving safe and sustainable air transport between the two regions. The SCOPE APP meeting provided a valuable platform for member states to directly address the EU and highlight areas where they'd like additional support.

NCR economy grows at slower pace in 2023

Data released by the PSA showed the GDP expansion of the National Capital Region at 4.9 percent was lower than the national growth rate of 5.5 percent in 2023. “All economies of 17 regions continued to record positive growth in 2023,” the PSA said. According to the PSA, Central Visayas posted the fastest growth at 7.3 percent, followed by Western Visayas at 7.2 percent and Ilocos region at 7.1 percent.

DTI, DOLE partner to boost digital skills

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) are pursuing initiatives to enhance the digital skills of the country’s workforce.. Among those discussed are initiatives on digital training and development of the workforce. “We are steering our workforce towards high-value tasks that enable them to climb the ladder of value creation,” Pascual said.

Weakening external demand to dampen exports—experts

“We maintain our caution about the general outlook for external demand. With global growth likely to be a subdued 2.5 percent this year, the dazzling exports growth in Q1 is unlikely to be sustained,” Oxford Economics said last Friday. While the think tank estimates that in seasonally adjusted dollar terms, Asian exports recorded the strongest quarter of growth in the first quarter of 2024 since the first quarter of 2022. 

‘Higher investment on water, sanitation to lead to big ROI’

As the demand for water during El Niño increases, investments in water and sanitation have a “multiplier effect” which leads to higher economic returns, according to an international nonprofit organization.  Water.Org Regional Director Griselda G. Santos underscored that for every P50 invested in the water sector, it will provide P300 in economic returns by minimizing health costs, more productivity, and fewer premature deaths in the country. 

Preference for commercial vehicles means boon to business–economist

“In my opinion, Filipinos have shown stronger demand for commercial vehicles over passenger cars because the productive use of commercial vehicles results in income,” Cid L. Terosa, UA&P Associate Professor, Senior Economist and Input-Output Analysis Specialist, said. Terosa said many businesses and firms require commercial vehicles for their operations. 

DTI trains local growers on cacao processing

Local cacao growers participated in a training on cacao bean fermentation and processing conducted by the regional office of the DTI in Surigao del Norte. The DTI said 20 participants, mostly women, gained insights into the cacao industry’s value and nutritional benefits. This knowledge, the agency said, is set to foster a sustainable approach to cacao cultivation. The goal of the training was to equip local cacao growers with the technical know-how to become suppliers of fermented cacao beans to local processors.

Peso weakness to persist — analysts

The peso may continue to depreciate further this year amid broad dollar strength, but the Philippine central bank may not need to intervene yet, analysts said. “The peso’s recent depreciation is a concern, but it’s part of a larger global trend,” Security Bank Corp. Chief Economist Robert Dan J. Roces said. 

NG gross borrowings fall in March

The National Government’s (NG) gross borrowings declined in March as external debt dropped by nearly half, data from the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) showed. Gross borrowings fell by 12.8% to P207.265 billion in March from P237.602 billion in the same month a year earlier. BTr data showed that gross external debt slumped by 44.4% to P50.87 billion during the month from P91.557 billion a year ago.

ERC urged to hike reserve power capacity

The ERC should raise the required reserve power capacity of the grid to prevent more outages in the future, an energy think tank said. “Having an increased reserve power capacity in the grid can mitigate strains and potential power outages by ensuring a greater backup power supply in instances of unexpected shutdown of power plants,” Noel M. Baga, convenor of the Center for Energy Research and Policy, said.

1st Digital Transformation Center launched

“The center will support enterprises in Central Luzon to overcome the digital divide and address the lack of digital infrastructures that make it hard for small businesses to succeed in a digitalized economy,” said Khalid Hassan, director of the ILO country office for the Philippines.

Senate urged to pass natural gas industry bill

Representative Salceda called on senators to approve House Bill No. 8456, which seeks to lay down state policy for the full development of the Philippine natural gas industry. “It is a LEDAC and SONA priority, so I hope the Senate acts on it and we enact it before the midterms,” Salceda said.

Congress resumes sessions; Senate eyes okay of priority measures

Zubiri said: “We are right on track when it comes to the approval of priority measures of the President both in the LEDAC and in his SONA. We are confident that the Senate can pass 20 of these measures before the 2nd Regular Session ends, and the rest of our commitment before this year ends.”

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