COVID-19: THE ADVISORY

COVID-19 UPDATES:

December 04, 2020

Revenue losses from CREATE seen at P158 billion until 2021

Finance Assistant Secretary Maria Teresa Habitan said if passed, revenue losses from the new version of the CREATE bill are estimated to reach P45.2 billion in 2020 and P112.8 billion in 2021.  The latest estimates are higher than the previous estimates of P42 billion for 2020 and P97.2 billion for 2021.


DOF exec on proposed Bayanihan 3: 'More prudent' to monitor 2021 national budget use

Some lawmakers are proposing another measure that will allow the government to cushion COVID-19 pandemic's impact to the economy. A Finance Department (DOF) official, however, explained it's "more prudent" to monitor how government agencies will use the 2021 national budget.


House passes bill banning labor-only contracting

The House of Representatives passed House Bill No. 7036 banning labor-only contracting in the private sector. The bill provides that the rights and benefits of relievers, project and seasonal employees should be at par with regular employees.


House panel urges immediate discussion of Bayanihan 3 measure

House Committee on Economic Affairs chairman Aklan Rep. Teodorico Haresco said the House panel will give the pending measure priority status even as he congratulated authors for filing two versions of Part 3 of the successful Bayanihan laws implemented following the COVID-19 crisis. In a virtual committee hearing Tuesday, the House panel unanimously agreed to create a technical working group that will consolidate the two pending bills.


IATF requires establishments, public transpo to adopt StaySafe tracing app

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases adopted the recommendation of Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles to implement the Safety Seal Certification Program in all government offices, private companies, hotels, business establishments, and public transportation units to prove it is sanitized and safe. The new guidelines on contract tracing were contained in the newly-released IATF Resolution No. 87.


Legislators call for more stimulus with private sector gun-shy on investment

“The private sector will not be investing so much, I suppose next year, while you still have this uncertainty, it’s the job of the government,” Senator Ralph G. Recto said at the 9th Arangkada Philippines Forum 2020.  “That’s why I support all the stimulus measures from the House including a Bayanihan III, of additional spending of 1-2% of GDP.”

December 03, 2020

JFC sets 10-year goals: $50-billion business, 3-million jobs

The Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines (JFC) has set an objective of securing $50 billion in investments and creating 3 million jobs for the country in the next 10 years. The JFC achieved the goals it marked in 2010, at the launch of the first Arangkada Philippines Forum, of pulling $10 billion in foreign direct investments and adding 1 million jobs for up to 2020.


Construction spending of 5% of GDP seen as recovery ‘magic number’ — Chua

A construction spending level equivalent to 5% of GDP will be the “magic number” that will likely drive an economic recovery, said Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua. He expects a pickup in the sector with the government planning to ramp up spending on infrastructure projects to P1.12 trillion in 2021 and P1.018 trillion in 2022, equivalent to 5.5% and 4.5% of gross domestic product, respectively.


House panel urges immediate discussion of Bayanihan 3 measure

House Committee on Economic Affairs chairman Aklan Rep. Teodorico Haresco said the House panel will give the pending measure priority status even as he congratulated authors for filing two versions of Part 3 of the successful Bayanihan laws implemented following the COVID-19 crisis. In a virtual committee hearing Tuesday, the House panel unanimously agreed to create a technical working group that will consolidate the two pending bills.


PSA says 3.8M Filipinos jobless as of October

The Philippine Statistics AUthority said that the number is equivalent to an 8.7 percent unemployment rate in October, which is slightly lower than the 10 percent recorded in July and 17.6 percent in April this year. However, it is still higher than the 4.6 percent unemployment rate recorded in October 2019.


BIR collects P548M from firms shut down for tax violations

The BIR said it collected P548 million in the nine months to September from establishments temporarily closed down for failing to register or pay taxes in arrears. The nine-month tally was equivalent to 28.5% of the year-earlier level of P1.92 billion, when the BIR was able to close 743 establishments.


Open-pit ban, mining permit freeze seen holding back industry’s GDP contribution

Chamber of Mines of the Philippines Chairman Gerard H. Brimo said: “The industry has been stymied by policy problems, resulting in no new investments and therefore no growth.” Citing 2019 data from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Mr. Brimo said the metallic mining industry accounted for 0.6% of gross domestic product (GDP), equivalent to P124.5 billion, and around 6.3% of exports at $4.38 billion.



Philippine economy to contract by 8.5-9.5% this year, worse than the earlier -5.5% forecast, economic managers say.


FDA says COVID-19 vaccine may be available by March 2021

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that a vaccine for COVID-19 may become available in the Philippines by March 2021. FDA Director-General Rolando Enrique Domingo said that this is a possibility amid the recent developments in the United Kingdom, United States of America, and other countries.

December 02, 2020

House passes bill banning labor-only contracting

The House of Representatives passed House Bill No. 7036 banning labor-only contracting in the private sector. The bill provides that the rights and benefits of relievers, project and seasonal employees should be at par with regular employees.


DOF exec on proposed Bayanihan 3: 'More prudent' to monitor 2021 national budget use

Some lawmakers are proposing another measure that will allow the government to cushion COVID-19 pandemic's impact to the economy. A Finance Department (DOF) official, however, explained it's "more prudent" to monitor how government agencies will use the 2021 national budget.


19M workers need upskilling amid automation

More than 19 million Filipino workers will need additional training as more jobs are expected to be displaced by automation, McKinsey & Company said, with the manufacturing, accommodation and food services, agriculture, and retail and wholesale sectors having the most automation potential in the Philippines.


CREATE may dim prospects for electronics industry

The electronics exports industry is pessimistic about the longer-term growth prospects of the sector, once the measure rationalizing tax incentives is signed into law. “I’m not optimistic after the transition period that we will be able to engage expansion investments, let alone new investments,” Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines, Inc. (SEIPI) President Danilo C. Lachica said.


House approves AMLA amendments on final reading

The House of Representatives approved on third and final reading House Bill No.7904, amending the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA), which is crucial for the Philippines to avoid being included in the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) so-called “gray list.”


Customs exceeds November target, collects P44.69 billion

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) collected P44.691 billion in November, exceeding its target for the sixth consecutive month. Citing preliminary data, the BOC said in a statement on Tuesday this is 5.85 percent above its collection target of P42.221 billion for the month.

December 01, 2020

Moderna applies for US FDA authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine

Moderna is the second company to apply to the FDA for emergency use authorization for a coronavirus vaccine. The company asked the FDA to review an expanded data set showing the vaccine is 94.1% effective at preventing Covid-19 and 100% effective at preventing severe cases of the disease.


Duterte: Metro Manila, 6 other areas stay under GCQ in December

President Rodrigo Duterte has extended anew the implementation of general community quarantine (GCQ) in Metro Manila for the entire month of December. Apart from Metro Manila, areas also under GCQ until the end of the year are Batangas, Iloilo City, Tacloban City, Lanao del Sur, Iligan, Davao City. The rest of the country will be under modified GCQ.


Revenue losses from CREATE seen at P158 billion until 2021

Finance Assistant Secretary Maria Teresa Habitan said if passed, revenue losses from the new version of the CREATE bill are estimated to reach P45.2 billion in 2020 and P112.8 billion in 2021.  The latest estimates are higher than the previous estimates of P42 billion for 2020 and P97.2 billion for 2021.


Congress wraps up budget bicam, panel chairs to thresh out final amendments

The meeting only lasted under 30 minutes. Only a "chair-to-chair" meeting will be held for the rest of the week to finalize amendments to the measure.  Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Senate Finance Committee chair Sonny Angara said lawmakers have agreed to simply delegate the amendments to him and House Appropriations Committee chair Eric Yap to reconcile differences in both versions.


Construction sector calls for level playing field

Construction industry experts have cautioned against the unregulated entry of foreign contractors in the country as this will create undue disadvantage to a sector where 97 percent are micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and which employs around 4.2 million Filipinos.


Philippine consumer confidence lags region; WFH-enabled workers report more optimism

Consumer confidence in an economic recovery is lower in the Philippines compared with elsewhere in Asia, McKinsey & Co. said, citing the results of a study. Only 42% of Filipinos considered themselves optimistic, while 9% were pessimistic and 49% unsure.

November 27, 2020

CREATE bill finally hurdles Senate

THE SENATE on Thursday approved on third and final reading a measure that will immediately lower the corporate income tax (CIT) to 25% from the current 30% rate as well as streamline fiscal incentives.


BI allows foreign businessmen to enter Philippines

“Effective immediately, treaty traders and treaty investors, or those issued visas pursuant to Section 9(d) of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940 are allowed to enter the country,” read a statement from Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente.


Economy may return to pre-pandemic growth by mid-2022

THE Philippine economy may go back to its pre-pandemic growth trend starting mid-2022, on the back of strong fundamentals and an expected rebound in consumer confidence amid optimism that a coronavirus vaccine will be available by next year, experts said on Wednesday.


BoI-approved investments drop 17% in first 10 months

THE Board of Investments (BoI) approved P826 billion in investments in the first 10 months, nearly a fifth lower than the estimated P1 trillion in the same period last year.


PEZA may exceed investment goal

THE Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) is aiming to approve more than P100 billion in investment pledges by the end of the year, led by a potential investor relocating from China.

November 26, 2020

House panel OKs ‘medicine stockpiling’ bill

A House panel yesterday approved a bill seeking the stockpiling of medicines for public health emergencies like the current coronavirus pandemic.

 

Metro Manila mayors want GCQ sustained ahead of Duterte's decision on December quarantine rules

President Rodrigo Duterte will announce quarantine classifications for December on Monday, but Metro Manila mayors have suggested to keep existing protocols to reduce possible infections during the holiday season.


Senate approves bill lowering corporate tax, giving fiscal perks

The Senate on Thursday approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to cut corporate income taxes and at the same time provide fiscal perks in a bid to help revive the economy.


Economy may return to pre-pandemic growth by mid-2022

THE Philippine economy may go back to its pre-pandemic growth trend starting mid-2022, on the back of strong fundamentals and an expected rebound in consumer confidence amid optimism that a coronavirus vaccine will be available by next year, experts said on Wednesday.


Banks to continue digital shift in post-pandemic world

BANKS will continue to beef up digital capabilities and rethink branch strategies as consumers are likely to keep engaging in off-the-branch transactions in a post-pandemic world, Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) President and Chief Executive Officer Cezar P. Consing said on Wednesday.


Peso tipped for strong December on record remittances

The Philippine peso, which lagged its peers in Asia this quarter, may get a boost in December with millions of Filipinos abroad set to send record amounts of money home to help families suffering from the pandemic and the recent typhoons.


Budget deficit widens in October

THE government’s budget deficit swelled in October, bringing the 10-month gap to nearly P1 trillion as state revenues remained weak and spending continued to decline even as economic managers pledged to ramp up spending to stimulate the economy.

November 25, 2020

Govt to raise P73.2 billion to inoculate 60% to 70% of population against Covid-19

The government has sufficient funds to immunize 60 million Filipinos from the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the Department of Finance (DOF) has assured.


BoI-approved investments drop 17% in first 10 months

THE Board of Investments (BoI) approved P826 billion in investments in the first 10 months, nearly a fifth lower than the estimated P1 trillion in the same period last year.


End of 2021 to early 2022 ‘realistic’ rollout for COVID vaccination — Galvez

The "realistic" scenario of when the Philippines can roll out its COVID-19 vaccination program is from end of 2021 to early 2022, vaccine czar and pandemic response chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. said Wednesday.


Take from ‘sin’ products dips 8.5% on lockdowns

EXCISE tax collections on “sin” products from January to September slid by 8.5 percent year-on-year as Covid-19-induced lockdowns dampened consumer demand.


10-month tourism arrivals, receipts plunge by 80%

CONTINUING travel restrictions here and abroad to contain the spread of Covid-19 have pulled down inbound tourism arrivals by 80.6 percent to 1.32 million, from January to October 2020.


LIVE UPDATES: COVID-19 pandemic

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III says DOH and DTI set the price range for RT-PCR COVID-19 testing at ₱4,500 to ₱5,000 for private hospitals and laboratories. The price for a swab test is set at ₱3,800 in public facilities.


PSA tallies 5.8 million registrants for national ID

The Philippine Statistics Authority said close to 6 million Filipinos have pre-registered for the Philippine ID System, pushing closer to the agency's target registrants by December.


Angkas underscores new COVID-19 guidelines as riders face ‘challenging’ first day back on road

As Angkas bikers start to ply the metro roads anew, the motorcycle ride-hailing firm reminded passengers to take note of the new COVID-19 guidelines in order to ease the booking process.




MEMORANDA AND CIRCULARS:

Anti-Red Tape Authority| Memorandum Circular 2020-03-A on Amendment to Memorandum Circular No. 2020-03 Dated 20 March 2020 Re: "Extension of Deadline of Submission of the Citizen's Charter and Suspension of Processing Times in the Delivery of Government Services in Luzon Area in Light of the Imposition of the Enhanced Community Quarantine" Click here to download
Bureau of Internal Revenue| Bank Bulletin No. 2020-08 on Reiteration of Relevant Policies on the Acceptance of Annual Income Tax Returns and payments Click here to download
Department of Information and Communications Technology| Department Circular No. 008 on Policy Guidelines on the Co-Location and Sharing of Passive Telecommunications Tower Infrastructure for Macro Cell Sites Click here to download
Office of the President| Report to the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee, June 8, 2020 Click here to download
Department of Tourism| Memorandum Circular No. 2020-003 on Health and Safety Guidelines Governing the Operations of Tourist Land Transport Services Under the New Normal Click here to download


CLICK HERE FOR MORE

The ECCP has consolidated a list of companies
with available medical supplies.

Click here for the list.


GOVERNMENT HOTLINES:

DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM ADVISORY

Please be informed that the Department of Tourism (DOT) Central Office, Regional Office National Capital Region (NCR), and Regional Office IV-B are implementing a “Work from Home” work arrangement starting 16 March 2020 until further notice. For any immediate or urgent concern, you email the following:

 
Concern Office Email Address
Administration and Finance Office of the Undersecretary for Administration and Finance rching@tourism.gov.ph 
Budget and Accounting Concerns Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Finance lgrivera@tourism.gov.ph 
Biddings, Procurement/Purchasing, General Services, Maintenance, Motorpool/Vehicle, Cash Section, Property, and Supply Concerns Office of the Director for Administrative Service and Procurement Management  adminservice@tourism.gov.ph 
HR Concerns Human Resource Division dot.humanresourcedivision@gmail.com 
Contract preparation and other concerns Legal Affairs Service legalservice.dot@gmail.comloestevez@tourism.gov.ph 
Work and Financial Plans (WFP) concerns (for internal stakeholders) Planning Service saymilagros@gmail.commysay@tourism.gov.ph 
For Product and Market Development Concerns (Overseas travel and trade fairs, business/selling missions, concerns on Cruises, English as Second Language courses/schools, Dive Resorts/Programs, Medical and Health Tourism) Office of Product and Market Development opmd@tourism.gov.ph cruisesph@tourism.gov.ph divephilippines@tourism.gov.ph

INFOGRAPHICS:

PRESCRIBING IMPLEMENTING GUIDELINES FOR IATF RESOLUTION NO. 12 ISSUED BY THE INTER-AGENCY TASK FORCE FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES ON SOCIAL DISTANCING AND BUSINESS OPERATIONS | Click here to download Source: Department of Trade and Industry | Infographics: ECCP

TRACK COVID-19 CASES IN THE PHILIPPINES THROUGH DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH'S NCOVTRACKER | Click here
Source: Department of Trade and Industry | Infographics: ECCP


NEDA'S PROJECTED IMPACT OF COVID-19 IN THE PHILIPPINE ECONOMYSource: National Economic Development Authority's "Addressing the Social and Economic Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic) Originally published on March 25, 2020, on BusinessWorld. Infographic by Bong R. Fortin.