ECCP at Work

ECCP@Work Featured Articles | August 2, 2022

August 02, 2022

ECCP Online

ECCP at Work

Former Trade Secretary touts RCEP as ‘enabling’ economic recovery

Ratifying the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade deal should be a priority because it will help accelerate the economic recovery and ensure food security, former Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said. Mr. Lopez said RCEP will help the Marcos administration achieve goals laid down in the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA). The Philippines has yet to finalize its participation after the Senate did not give its concurrence as the previous Congress stepped down. Some senators expressed concern over the lack of safeguards for the agriculture sector. Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual has said that the Department of Trade and Industry will push for the RCEP’s ratification and that of other FTAs to encourage more foreign investment that will aid the economic recovery.  

Medalla says economy may have expanded by as much as 9% in Q2

THE Philippine economy likely grew by as much as 9% in the second quarter, according to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Felipe M. Medalla. However, Mr. Medalla told reporters on Friday that he expects gross domestic product (GDP) growth to be “slower” in the second half of 2022. Mr. Medalla said his personal GDP growth projection this year is 7%, the midpoint of the government’s 6.5% to 7.5% target. Economic activity picked up in the second quarter, as most parts of the country were under the most lenient alert level. Mr. Medalla said consumption growth and capital formation have been expanding rapidly this year. However, the Philippine outlook for 2023 may be clouded by the expected slowdown in the global economy.

Veto of bill creating transport safety board ‘unfortunate,’ says Poe

Senator Grace Poe on Saturday expressed dismay over the decision of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos .Jr to veto a bill creating the Philippine Transportation Safety Board (PTSB). In a statement, Poe said the proposed PTSB could have been an agency to investigate transport accidents “as a global standard which should have been in place.” “An important outcome of the body will be safety recommendations to avert the next accident,” said Poe. “The veto is unfortunate given that from 2016 to 2020 alone, a total of 483 accidents have been recorded in the maritime sector, while the road sector reported a 12,487 yearly average deaths due to road crashes,” she added. Poe said that the increasing number of road accidents should no longer be ignored.

Marcos’ infra push to aid economic recovery

An economic think tank sees a reinvigoration of infrastructure development under the Marcos administration after the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic that delayed the rollout of some big-ticket projects. This year, the national government, local government units and state-run corporations have budgeted a total of P1.19 trillion for infrastructure, equivalent to 5.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). The Marcos administration wants to “build better more” by keeping public infrastructure spending levels within 5-6 percent of GDP during the next six years. By the time President Marcos steps down in 2028, the government is expected to spend a record P2.38 trillion on infrastructure that year, potentially equivalent to a historic-high 6.3 percent of GDP.

DOH assures monkeypox surveillance capabilities, preparedness

DOH Officer-in-Charge Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the agency has deployed surveillance teams in airports and other points of entry as early as May and briefed its personnel what to look out for in a monkeypox infection. The Bureau of Quarantine is likewise coordinating with the DOH for the surveillance of the disease.

BoC exceeds July collection target by 39%

In a statement, BoC said the July collection reached P84.43 billion, surpassing its monthly target of P60.78 billion. This was also a record monthly collection for the bureau. “The collection includes additional revenues from the Tax Expenditure Fund (TEF) collection of P1.128 billion and Post Clearance Audit Group (PCAG) collection of P527.65 million in the same month,” Customs said. In the first seven months of the year, the BoC collected P481.14 billion, surpassing its P388.6 billion target by 24%. This includes the TEF collection of P2.57 billion, and PCAG’s P1.37 billion. The seven-month collection was also 34% higher than the P358.92 billion logged in January to July 2021.

10 days of mourning declared for Ramos

President Marcos Jr. has declared a 10-day national mourning period, or until August 9, for the death of former President Fidel V. Ramos. In Proclamation No. 33 signed on July 31, Marcos said Ramos’ death “is a great loss to our country and the Filipino people.” “It is fitting to devote a period of national mourning to pay tribute to an esteemed leader who has dedicated his life to public service and has left a lasting mark on our country,” he added. All government buildings and installations in the country and abroad are ordered to fly the Philippine flags at half-staff for 10 days.

PH logs first Omicron subvariant BA.2.75 cases

The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday reported that the country logged its first cases of Omicron subvariant BA.2.75 cases. In a press briefing, Health Officer-in-Charge Ma. Rosario Vergeire said the first two cases of BA.2.75 subvariant were both from Western Visayas. However, she noted that the two have already recovered. Meanwhile, the country also recorded 1,015 additional BA.5 cases which were detected in all regions except in Zamboanga Peninsula and Northern Mindanao. Three returning overseas Filipinos also tested for BA.5. Twenty-six new BA.4 cases have also been detected, the DOH added. The department said the country also logged 18 new BA.2.12.1 cases. The DOH said the exposure and travel histories of the newly detected cases of Omicron subvariants, including the first BA.2.75 cases, are still being verified.

Sustainable mining pushed

The government will need to strike a balance on expanding the mining sector and putting in more teeth to protect the environment as it sets its sights on growing the controversial sector. While the country is rich in mineral reserves, the mining sector has only been contributing less than one percent to gross domestic product (GDP). This may change under the Marcos administration, as it sees the high growth potential of the mining industry. For its part, the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) said it would continue to foster and promote responsible minerals development in the country. COMP, whose members consists of large-scale metallic minerals development companies, has called on the new administration to ensure a stable business environment for the mining industry. Earlier, the COMP said it would throw its full support to the new administration, especially in weeding out illegal miners and curtailing irresponsible mining practices, which have tarnished the reputation of the mining industry.

Businessman Jose Acuzar Named New Housing Secretary

Acuzar is the second secretary of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, which was created in 2019 to oversee the government’s key shelter agencies. President Marcos has appointed a real estate firm owner as chief of the housing department. According to an online encyclopedia published by the Balanga Historical Committee, Acuzar completed a vocational course in drafting at the former Bataan National School of Arts and Trades while working as cutterwelder in the iron works shop owned by his older brother Ben. Acuzar established the New San Jose Builders after obtaining his architecture degree from the Technological Institute of the Philippines in Manila.

PBBM picks Bacarro as AFP chief, Azurin Jr. to head PNP

The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of National Defense (DND) welcomed on Monday the designations of Lt. Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. and Lt. Gen. Bartolome Bacarro as incoming chiefs of the PNP and the military, respectively. The designations of both by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. was announced by Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles, who added Bacarro will assume his new post on August 8 and will be the first chief of staff under the three-year fixed term in the military.

NG borrowings hit P1.07T in January-June

The national government borrowed over a trillion pesos in the first half of the year, significantly less than the level recorded a year ago. Latest data from the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) showed the government’s gross borrowings from January to June this year stood at P1.07 trillion, plunging by 44.6 percent from P1.93 trillion in the comparable period in 2021. The bulk of the amount as of end-June consisted of gross domestic borrowings which settled at P741.26 billion, a 55-percent drop from P1.65 trillion.

Bank lending in June nears pre-pandemic levels–report

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported a 12 percent increase in bank lending in June this year, as the sector continues to recover from the ill-effects of the pandemic. Data showed that the outstanding loans of universal and commercial banks grew at a faster pace of 12 percent year-on-year in June, relative to the 10.7-percent uptick in May. Bank lending first collapsed into the contraction territory in December 2020 as the restrictions brought about by the pandemic affected the local banking industry.

Senator seeks to abolish travel tax

Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III is seeking to abolish travel tax, saying it unconstitutionally impairs Filipinos’ right to travel abroad. Through Senate Bill 76, Pimentel also seeks to exempt nationals from member-states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) from such tax. Pimentel pointed out that the travel tax was originally imposed to curtail unnecessary foreign travel and conserve foreign exchange. Subsequently, the travel tax was used to generate much-needed funds for tourism-related programs and projects, especially for the development and enhancement of the country’s competitiveness as a major tourist destination. He added that the national government should not shift the burden of improving tourism facilities and infrastructure to Filipinos exercising their right to travel.

  • Europe-PH News

  • July 02, 2024

    Eastern Communications' employee-centric culture earns Great Place To Work Certification™

    Manila, Philippines — Eastern Communications... Read More

  • June 28, 2024

    Healthy Employee, Happy Employee: How the Right Workspace Layout Can Lessen Health Risks

    The average office space at its core has not changed much in terms... Read More

  • April 05, 2024

    Unleash Hell in Makati: The Ultimate MMA Festival Showdown at Kombat Sports Kalayaan!

    Get ready to witness the ultimate showdown as Kombat Spo... Read More