Philippine Weekly Update

9 - 15 January 2017

January 17, 2017Philippine Weekly Update

POLITICS

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III disclosed that the leadership of the Senate and the House of Representatives aims to come up with a common list of priority legislation ahead of the convening of the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC).

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) recently removed 27 importers and brokers at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) and 44 at the Port of Manila who violated the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) from its list of accredited importers and brokers.

Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno mentioned that nearly 32,000 individuals from different sectors have participated in the recently concluded federalism information drive which started in August. Sueno had earlier formed  DILG Task Team on Federalism to educate the public on the system of government and train resource persons from lcoal governments, civil society organizations and other partners on the federal structure.


BUSINESS

As they seek to tap into more markets in Southeast Asia this year, manufacturers of local garments and hard goods are bullish on the growth of their exports.

Based on the latest research on emerging trends in real estate commissioned by Urban Land Institute (ULI) and global advisory firm (PwC), Metro Manila is among Asia Pacific’s most attractive urban hubs for developers and yield-seeking real estate investors this 2017.


ECONOMY

The Bangko Sentra ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported that the amount of so-called “hot money” that flowed the country last year outpaced the amount that was pulled out, resulting in net inflows of $353.59-million.

The World Bank and internaltional credit watcher Standard & Poor’s (S&P) have upgraded their growth projections for the Philippine economy. In the January 2017 Global Economic Prospects report, it was stated that the Philippine economy is now seen to grow by 6.8 percent in 2016, 6.9 percent in 2017 and 7 percent in 2018.


INVESTMENTS

Department of Agriculture (DA) revealed that Finnish tire manufacturer Black Donuts Engineering Inc. plans to put up a $200-million rubber manufacturing plant in Mindanao in the next two years. Philippine Rubber Research Institute (PRRI), an attached agency of the DA, mentioned that the proposed plant would rise on a 50-hectare property in Davao.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez revealed that the agency is drumming up opportunities for Japanese investors in five priority areas as Japan’s Prime minister Shinzo Abe pledge a package of close to $9-billion in public and private inflows to the Philippines.


ENERGY

Before submitting the framework for the solar industry to the Department of Energy (DOE), the Confederation of Solar Developers of the Philippines, is currently seeking the inputs from the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB).


ENVIRONMENT

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) mentioned that the government will no longer issue environmental compliance certificates (ECCs) to companies that have yet to fully comply with all the specific measures, conditions and qualifications.

The Philippines has committed to ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change in July and seek Senate concurrence before the end of the year. This was disclosed recently by senators and their visiting French counterparts after meeting with Foreign  Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr.


AGRICULTURE 

By the second quarter of the year or as soon as the policy guidelines have been approved, the government’s plan to enhance the productivity and reduce rice prices may finally happen according to a spokesperson of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).

To help boost Mindanao’s agriculture sector, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is extending the 4.9-billion yen official development assistance (ODA) to Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP).

The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) claimed that a stumbling block to the immediate release of the P75-billion coconut levy fund, which can be used to bankroll programs to help farmers, will soon be removed.


HEALTHCARE

The state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) claimed that the public health sector stands to benefit from the special forms of public-private-partnerships (PPP) especially in expanding the provision of universal health coverage.


TOURISM

Department of Tourism (DOT) affirmed that the country’s hosting of several international events such as the 65th Miss Universe will allow to reach the 6.5-million foreign tourists target this year. Aside from the MU, the country will also host Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) 50th founding anniversary.