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ECCP@Work Featured Articles | July 26, 2022

July 25, 2022

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ECCP at Work

TRANSCRIPT: President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s first SONA

On 25 July 2022, President Bongbong Marcos Jr. delivered his first State of the Nation Address, presenting the administration’s priorities in areas of health, education, environment, and economy, among others.

Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez is new House speaker

An overwhelming majority of 283 members of the House of Representatives on Monday elected Rep. Martin Romualdez (Leyte) as the chamber’s next speaker. Meanwhile, Rep. Manuel Jose Dalipe (Zamboanga City) was elected majority leader, a post which essentially serves as the speaker's right hand in shepherding measures in the chamber. Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, former president and House speaker, was elected senior deputy speaker, while Reps. Isidro Ungab (Davao City), Roberto Puno (Antipolo City), Camille Villar (Las Piñas City), Kristine Singson-Meehan (Ilocos Sur) and Raymond Democrito Mendoza (TUCP party-list) were elected deputy speakers.

As Senate opens 19th Congress, lawmakers vow to fight inflation

The Senate opened the 19th Congress Monday morning looking "to face head-on a struggling economy" recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and international conflicts. Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri — presiding officer in the absence of a Senate president and Senate president pro tempore — led the opening of the First Regular Session and the election of officers at the Senate Plenary Hall on Monday morning. In his acceptance speech as elected Senate President, Zubiri said that the key problems facing the nation today were "food, fuel, fiscal, and the fading faith of the people in our institutions." Zubiri said that the Senate under him would excercise oversight to help the national government "remedy deficiencies in the delivery of public services and recalibrate ineffective policies."

ARTA crafts policy for better regulation

The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) is crafting a National Policy on Regulatory Management System (NPRMS) to improve the regulatory environment in the country. In a statement, the ARTA said the NPRMS would provide a common framework on good regulatory practice for regulators at all stages of the regulatory life cycle, from the inception, implementation, and eventual repeal of regulations. The ARTA said the NPRMS would also lay down the implementing guidelines and procedures for the implementation of the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) requirement pursuant to Sections five and 17 of Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018. It emphasized that an improved, competitive, and integrated regulatory environment would eventually lead to more inclusive, economic growth for all Filipinos.

PH still monkeypox-free amid WHO global alert

The Department of Health (DOH) maintained that the Philippines remained monkeypox-free even as the World Health Organization (WHO) on Saturday declared the disease a global health emergency — the highest alarm it can sound. The DOH said the country has been preparing for the monkeypox virus ever since an uptick in cases was reported in other countries last May. On May 24, the DOH issued interim technical guidelines on monkeypox surveillance, screening, management, and infection control.In line with the WHO’s “temporary” recommendations for countries such as the Philippines that have no history of monkeypox in humans, the DOH said it has activated multisectoral coordination mechanisms to stop transmission, intensify detection capacity and raise awareness about prevention and protective measures.

Digitalization to boost capital market – DOF

The Department of Finance (DOF) has called on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to further boost the capital market through digitalization in order to contribute to overall economic growth. Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the SEC should make the capital market more broad-based and inclusive through digitalization and strengthened corporate governance. The finance chief also called on the SEC to ensure the provision of safe and secure financial and investment instruments for Filipinos. Diokno said the SEC should be relentless in unmasking investment scams to protect investors and maintain trust in the country’s financial system.

Tesda backs government review of educational curriculum to address skills-job mismatch

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) said that they are willing to revisit the country’s education curriculum, as planned by the Marcos administration in order to further enhance workforce job readiness, competitiveness and relevance. The agency has been strengthening its industry boards and its coordination with industry associations so that these groups will be more involved in the development of competency standards and training regulations. Tesda noted that it has actively engaged industry partners in developing the content of training regulations for our workers and tech-voc trainers. This will help to ensure further that what is being taught in tech-voc institutions are the exact skills needed by the industry, Tesda said.

SIPP Cebu roadshow well-received – BOI [mention]

The Board of Investments (BOI) said its recent Strategic Investment Priority Plan (SIPP) roadshow in Cebu City was well-received, as over 100 company representatives and business chamber members participated. In a statement, the BOI said the recent SIPP roadshow is  the first installment of a series being planned  to attract more investments in the Central Visayas region. The chambers were also well represented in the event namely the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham) and European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) Region 7 branches.

Government identifies key challenges to renewable energy roadmap 

The DOE, in its updated National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) 2020-2040, said addressing the complex and tedious permitting and licensing procedures would be imperative for renewable energy (RE) projects to materialize. Timely availability of infrastructure in the whole power supply chain, particularly transmission and distribution, is also seen as critical in delivering and integrating all the upcoming RE generation capacities. The DOE said the financial sector is likewise an important catalyst for RE development by providing the needed capital.

PH tourism to recover with eased international travel

Tourism activities are expected to further gain traction in the second half with more foreign tourists arriving on local shores following the reopening of international borders, a Department of Tourism (DOT) official said. Sharlene Batin, Tourism Regional Director for National Capital Region, said that over 800,000 foreign tourists have arrived in the country since the start of the year until July 15 as they maximize opportunities to travel for leisure and business. She explained that meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) events have been driving the tourism sector as they bring in more tourist arrivals. According to global travel technology firm HotelPlanner, business events coupled with leisure trips have been on the rise and these are expected to drive hotel bookings in the country.

Business groups welcome Marcos’ economic promises, online VAT

LOCAL BUSINESS GROUPS welcomed President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s plans for economic recovery, as well as the proposed legislative measures that include the imposition of a value-added tax (VAT) on digital transactions. “We are glad his proposal to tax online transactions which will put online merchants on equal footing with in-store retailers on tax burdens. Big opportunity for new government revenue source and will level the playing field with traditional retailers,” Roberto S. Claudio, Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) vice-chairman, told BusinessWorld via mobile phone message. In his first State of the Nation Address, Mr. Marcos pushed for a VAT on digital services, which he said would initially generate P11.7 billion in revenues if implemented in 2023.

PH tourism to get a boost with more international airports, road — Marcos

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. wants to beef up the tourism sector, one of the industries most affected by the COVID pandemic, with more international airports and road improvements. To entice more travelers, the President said that aside from improving roads leading to tourist destinations, his administration would also focus on creating more international air hubs to decongest the main gateway in Manila, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Marcos wants to reexamine PH's nuclear technology, renewable sources in energy agenda

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. wants to prioritize the use of renewable energy sources to address climate change and the country's disaster resilience capabilities. Marcos said the country must increase its use of "hydropower, geothermal power, solar, and wind" energy sources and rehabilitate the country's water supply systems, especially in urban areas. He said that he has already instructed Environment Secretary Toni Yulo-Loyzaga and Public Works Secretary Manny Bonoan to explore possible partnerships with the private sector to ensure fresh water supply in parts of the country. He also stressed the importance of investing in technology that would provide more accurate weather forecasts and disaster impacts, in line with his goal of disaster-proofing communities. The President also reiterated the need to build new power plants, as well as his previous position to reexamine the government's strategy to build nuclear power plants in the country.

Marcos vows to continue Duterte's infra program, commits to completing railway projects

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. vowed to continue “Build, Build, Build,” his predecessor's infrastructure program and committed to finishing railway projects that have been approved. "The infrastructure program of the Duterte administration must not only continue, but whenever possible, be expanded," Marcos said during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday. In expanding the program, the chief executive said this would be achieved with the help of the private sector. Early in July, the Marcos administration bared ten priority projects under PPP, which include expressways, and the rehabilitation of a major road and a bridge.

No more lockdowns despite rising COVID cases, Marcos vows

There will be no more lockdowns imposed despite the increase in COVID-19 infections, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. pledged on Monday during his first State of the Nation Address (Sona). “For our health situation, the threat of COVID-19 is still there, especially now that variants are being discovered. But we cannot afford another lockdown,” Marcos said, speaking in Filipino. “We will not implement another lockdown. We have to balance our health and the welfare of our citizens at one end and the economy on the other.” However, Marcos told the public that the COVID-19 alert level would still remain.

Sona praised by biz leaders, criticized by advocacy groups

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s first State of the Nation Address (Sona) drew praise for its “technical” merits in addressing economic growth and high prices, but it was found wanting on specific details and the lack of clarity on its agrarian reform agenda. “I think the target audience was the business [community] and maybe the supporters whom he has to convince,” Joseph Roxas, president of stock brokerage house Eagle Equities, told the Inquirer. Michael Ricafort, the chief economist at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., appreciated specific policies such as the proposed value-added tax on digital services, which could raise revenues of P11.7 billion next year.

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