ECCP at Work

ECCP@Work Featured Articles | July 29, 2022

July 29, 2022

ECCP Online

ECCP at Work

Palace extends authority of OICs in government agencies until December 2022

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. has extended the term of officers-in-charge (OIC) of government agencies until December this year, Malacañang announced on Thursday. Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 3, signed on Wednesday, supplements MC No. 1, which declared certain positions in government vacant to make way for new appointments. MC No. 1 also designated OICs in government agencies where Marcos has yet to appoint any secretary. Based on this circular, OICs were only supposed to fulfill their responsibilities until July 31 or until a "replacement has been appointed."In the latest order though, Malacañang noted the need to "ensure the continuous and effective delivery of government services" by extending the term of office of government officials and employees covered by MC no. 1.

Senate, House elect committee leaders

Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives have elected the chairpersons of some of the committees that monitor ongoing government operations, identify issues suitable for legislative review, gather and evaluate information, recommend courses of action and start public hearings on priority bills. Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri presided over the session last night with Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva nominating the senators to lead their respective committees for the 19th Congress.

More House members get committee chairmanships

The House of Representatives elected more of its members to lead some of its committees. During the session, members of the majority block nominated chairpersons for various committees including agrarian reform, agriculture, labor and development, transportation. The majority block likewise nominated lawmakers to the House leadership - Deputy Majority Leaders and Assistant Majority Leaders.

IMF raises Philippine growth forecast to 6.75%

Multilateral lender International Monetary Fund (IMF) has raised its 2022 gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast for the Philippines to 6.7 percent from the original target of 6.5 percent despite the expected slowdown in the second half. IMF resident representative Ragnar Gudmundsson said in an e-mail that the latest GDP growth projection based on the July 2022 World Economic Outlook Update reflected the strong recovery momentum in the first half. Gudmundsson said the Philippines’ real GDP returned to its pre-pandemic level in the first half. “However, the growth momentum is expected to moderate in the second half of 2022 and in 2023,” Gudmundsson said. 

Improved Foreign Investments Law aims to draw $10B yearly

The implementing guidelines of the Amended Foreign Investments Act took effect on Thursday, paving the way to the government’s aspiration of seeing $10 billion in annual foreign direct investments to be drawn into the country by economic liberalization. According to documents of the National Economic and Development Authority, implementation of Republic Act (RA) No. 11647, which was signed by former President Rodrigo Duterte in March, was now in full swing.

A consensus is forming around agri, tech as the hot new investment areas

Between 1980 and 2010, the Philippines established its reputation as the “sick man of Asia,” growing by only 3.6% annually -— much slower than the “Tiger economies” of East Asia, which grew by over 6% a year over the same period. The absence of export-driven growth made the Philippines rely less on global trade, which insulated it from global economic downturns. That partly explains why the Philippines performed strongly relative to the rest of the region in the 2010s, growing at an average of 6.3% per year during the decade. “The Philippines is a market with a lot of potential and prospects for foreign investors, especially now that the world economy is recovering from the pandemic,” European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) President Lars Wittig told BusinessWorld in a Viber message.

NEDA: New PH development plan seeks 'more inclusive' growth

“The upcoming PDP aspires for growth that is more inclusive this time compared to previous planning periods so that all Filipinos, including the poor, are given opportunities to participate in the growing economy,” NEDA chief Arsenio Balisacan said regarding the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028. Balisacan said creating high-quality jobs and improving productivity among sectors, especially agriculture, is “critical” to the PDP.

Extended producer responsibility bill lapses into law

Sen. Cynthia Villar yesterday called on concerned sectors to help in the proper implementation of Republic Act 11898 or the Extended Producer’s Responsibility Act of 2022, which lapsed into law on July 22. Villar, who chairs the Senate committee on environment and sponsor of the law, said there must be “strict implementation, monitoring and innovation” for the law to succeed. “It’s a good start,” she said, referring to the law that mandates extended producer responsibility (EPR), an approach at waste reduction that lodges environmental responsibility with the producer throughout the lifecycle of a product. She urged the public, especially the organizations fighting for better solid waste management, to see it as an opportunity.

BIR, BoC ordered to fast-track modernization

Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno has ordered the country’s revenue collection agencies to accelerate their digitalization transformation programs to improve the Philippines’ tax effort. “My marching order to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) the Bureau of Customs (BoC) is to fast-track their respective modernization programs to increase our tax effort,” he said “The government expects to collect more revenues on the back of a faster and more broad-based economic growth. Thus, efficient and effective tax administration will be critical in funding our socioeconomic priorities,” Mr. Diokno said.

PCC to ensure fair market competition in pharma industry

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) vowed to ensure fair market competition in the pharmaceutical industry in line with the directive of President Marcos to make medicines more accessible and affordable. In a statement yesterday, PCC officer-in-charge chairperson Johannes Bernabe said the competition authority shares President Marcos’ vision of enabling access to lower priced medicines for Filipinos. “With the President’s exhortation to achieve a level playing field and fair competition in the pharmaceutical industry, the PCC will pursue with even more resolve inquiry into the pharmaceutical sector, on top of its current efforts in this priority sector,” he said.

Senate to look into Philippine’s agricultural competitiveness

The Senate committee on agriculture and food is set to conduct an inquiry into the country’s agricultural competitiveness to come up with government interventions to boost farmers’ income while ensuring food security. The inquiry was called by Sen. Francis Escudero in his Senate Resolution 55, where he cited the need to assess the current state of the agriculture sector, which employs 23.9 percent of the Filipino workforce or about 10.3 million people. He said hearings will help align laws and policies in order to “stabilize and improve incomes of farmers and fisherfolk, and to make food affordable and accessible to the poor and marginalized sectors,” as well to avoid “diverging, if not competing, public policy directions.”

IPOPHL unveils projects to revive creative sector

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has unveiled projects with about P1.2 million in funding to revive the creative economy. In a statement, the IPOPHL said the projects are funded under the Copyright Plus Program of the Bureau of Copyright and Related Rights (BCRR), targeted to help creators gain from copyright and protection of works through registration. “Our Copyright Plus Program will be a major enabler in equipping Filipino artists with sufficient knowledge on the full breadth of their copyright and related rights. It will fulfill the pursuit of our President Marcos, Jr., who reiterated in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) the need to accelerate the recovery of Philippine artists,” IPOPHL director general Rowel Barba said.

Marcos’ infrastructure push to support property market recovery

THE MARCOS ADMINISTRATION’S increased focus on infrastructure, digital business expansion, as well as its promise to not impose any future lockdowns, will help support the recovery of the property sector, JLL Philippines said. Janlo C. De Los Reyes, JLL Philippines head of research and strategic consulting, said at a briefing on Wednesday President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s assurance that there will be no lockdowns will encourage more companies to operate at pre-pandemic levels. Mr. De Los Reyes said Mr. Marcos’ infrastructure push will be important for the recovery of the real estate sector. The government’s efforts to expand digital businesses will be positive for the real estate sector, particularly data centers. The JLL executive also noted recent laws such as the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act, the amended Public Service Act, and Foreign Investment Act will improve the Philippines’ attractiveness as an investment destination. The government should also continue to develop more economic zones. JLL expects the Metro Manila real estate market to gradually recover this year.

Diokno: Review of RTL is not a priority of new government

Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said President Marcos Jr.’s decision to not mention the review of the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL) in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) proves that this is “not a priority” of his administration. Marcos, who also serves as the Agriculture secretary, was silent about the review of the RTL during his hour-long speech on Monday, despite saying earlier that he wanted an amendment to the measure to make it more “local farmer-friendly” and to stop the country’s dependence on rice imports.

Marcos swears in Enrile as chief legal counsel

Former senator Juan Ponce Enrile has officially returned to government as chief legal counsel of President Marcos, the son and namesake of the late dictator whom he served as martial law administrator and helped oust in 1986.The 98-year-old Enrile took his oath yesterday before the President at Malacañang, making him the oldest Cabinet member of the second Marcos administration.

Marcos son elected senior deputy majority leader

The rookie lawmaker-son of President Marcos has been elected senior deputy majority leader in the House of Representatives.Rep. Ferdinand Alexander “Sandro” Marcos of Ilocos Norte’s first district will be working under the guidance of House Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe of Zamboanga City, who is in charge of trafficking the flow of measures in the plenary. Among the young Marcos’ colleagues are his fellow neophyte congressmen Franz Pumaren of Quezon City and Jude Acidre of Tingog Party-List, and veteran lawmakers Jaye Lacson-Noel of Malabon and Marlyn Primicias-Agabas of Pangasinan, among others.

Stronger aviation, travel sectors seen under new gov’t

LOCAL carriers Philippine Airlines, Inc. (PAL) and Philippines AirAsia, Inc. (AirAsia Philippines) said the administration’s plan to upgrade and build new international airports, which President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. highlighted in his first address to the nation on Monday, will open up new growth opportunities for the industry. “The construction of new international airports will help boost tourism targets, generate economic growth, and create employment opportunities in the aviation, travel, and tourism industries,” PAL President and Chief Operating Officer Stanley K. Ng said in a statement. “New access roads will help these economic benefits to flow into local communities. As industry stakeholders, we welcome and support these plans announced by President Marcos in his State of the Nation Address,” he added. Mr. Marcos said his administration aims to boost the country’s tourism industry.

Benjamin Diokno: Digital shift for wider financial inclusion, better tax take

The Marcos administration will embark on a big digitalization push to widen the financial inclusion net as well as improve tax administration, its chief economic manager said. Diokno said Marcos’ eight-point socioeconomic agenda included action plans to expand the country’s digital infrastructure in the next six years. It also aimed to promote innovation, as well as research and development (R&D), the finance chief added. 

Better loan access to farmers: Agri-Agra bill lapses into law

Farmers, fisherfolk, and other agricultural stakeholders may soon get better access to loans after the bill repealing the Agri-Agra Reform Credit Act of 2009 lapsed into law on Thursday as neither then President Duterte nor current President Marcos Jr. acted on the measure. Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno, who previously served as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor, announced this development on the measure, which was earlier certified as urgent by former President Duterte.

DTI chief: PHL aims to become top creative economy in Asean by 2030

The Philippines is targeting to become the top creative economy in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) by 2030, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual highlighted that “The DTI’s Competitiveness and Innovation Group has also developed six roadmaps so far.” The Trade chief added that digital advertising, animation, game development, software development, toys and characters, and TV, radio, and print media are all examples. Pascual emphasized that “the roadmaps are essential in getting stakeholders to agree on where to take specific creative industries”.

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