ECCP at Work

ECCP@Work Featured Articles | September 20, 2022

September 20, 2022

ECCP Online

ECCP at Work

NEDA assures government of secure investment climate for PPPs

As the government is banking on the private sector to help drive the country’s economic growth, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) vowed to promote a more secure investment climate for public-private partnership (PPP) projects. “We assure the private sector the investment climate for PPP projects will be made more secure as we balance the objectives of both the public and private sector,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said during the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines’ webinar on 17 September.

PH foreign debt vs GDP eased in Q2 to 26.8%

The Philippines’ outstanding foreign debt, reckoned in relation to the size of the domestic economy, decreased in the second quarter to 26.8 percent from 27.5 percent in the first quarter as the Russian invasion of Ukraine sent ripples across the global economy. Data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) show that external debt, which refers to all types of borrowings by Philippine residents from nonresidents, was pegged at $107.7 billion as of end-June 2022, down by 2 percent or $2.1 billion from the $109.8 billion at the end of March.

House aims to approve proposed 2023 budget by Sept. 28 

The House of Representatives aims to approve the proposed ₱5.268 trillion budget for 2023 by Sept. 28, Committee on Appropriations senior vice chairperson Stella Quimbo said Monday. “If all things go well, by September 28 we can end the period of debates, we will open the period of amendments. If the bill is certified urgent, which is typically the case, we can approve this bill on third reading on September 28,” she said in a public briefing. The lower chamber is scheduled to start plenary debates on Tuesday. The education sector accounted for the highest funding with ₱852.8 billion, followed by infrastructure (₱718.4 billion), health (₱296.3 billion), social protection (₱197 billion), and agriculture (₱184.1 billion). Quimbo said the 4.9% increase in next year’s budget is important as the government continues to work on recovering the economy from the health crisis and the allocation of more funding to sectors like agriculture.

DOLE pushes for continued work-from-home scheme

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) yesterday pressed private establishments to continue adopting work-from-home schemes provided they are mutually agreed upon by employers and employees. “DOLE calls on employers and workers to mutually adopt telecommuting programs to help sustain the country’s economic recovery,” Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma said in Department Order (DO) No. 237. “To optimize the benefits of technology, the State encourages employers and employees to jointly adopt and implement telecommuting programs that are based on voluntariness and mutual consent, taking into account competencies, available technologies and resources, the nature of the work to be done, and other practical circumstances,” the DOLE added.

NEDA assures government of secure investment climate for PPPs

As the government is banking on the private sector to help drive the country’s economic growth, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) vowed to promote a more secure investment climate for public-private partnership (PPP) projects. In line with the push for PPPs, a cabinet-level committee chaired by the NEDA and co-chaired by the Department of Finance, approved the revised Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR). “NEDA plans to publish the revised IRR in the last week of September,” Secretary Balisacan said.

IT-BPM firms’ move to BoI will be seamless, says Trade department

Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual vowed a seamless transfer of the registration of information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) firms from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) to the Board of Investments (BoI). “The procedure for transfer of registration from PEZA to BoI will be seamless — to be carried out expeditiously,” Mr. Pascual said in a statement sent to reporters over the weekend. Mr. Pascual, who is also the chair of both PEZA and BoI, said up to 100% work-from-home (WFH) arrangements would also be available to IT-BPM firms that will be registered for tax incentives in the future.

Marcos orders transfer of TESDA to DOLE

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has transferred the supervision of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). The move was formalized through Executive Order (EO) No. 5, which was signed by Marcos. TESDA was previously attached to the Department of Trade and Industry. The DOLE secretary shall also serve as the chairperson of the TESDA board, according to the EO.

Private firms’ debt-to-GDP ratios ease in Q2 as economy recovers

The share of the private sector’s outstanding debt in Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) eased in the second quarter, data from the Institute of International Finance (IIF) showed, amid a rebound in business activity and improved economic conditions. The IIF’s global debt monitor released last week showed the debt-to-GDP ratios of Philippine households, nonfinancial corporations, and the financial sector went down year on year to 14.8%, 31.3%, and 10.5%, respectively, as of the second quarter from 16.4%, 32.4%, and 11.7%. However, the Philippine government’s debt-to-GDP ratio rose to 58.3% in the second quarter from 55.2% last year, IIF’s report showed.

New immigration chief named

President Marcos has named a lawyer and former congressional chief of staff as new immigration commissioner. Norman Garcera Tansingco has been appointed commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles confirmed in a statement yesterday. He replaced Rogelio Gevero Jr., who was designated as the bureau’s officer-in-charge last month.

BSP to hike rates by 50 bps — poll

THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) is likely to continue its rate hike cycle, with several analysts forecasting a 50-basis-point (bp) increase as the US Federal Reserve is also expected to further tighten policy this week. A BusinessWorld poll last week showed 14 out of 15 analysts expect the Monetary Board (MB) to raise its benchmark interest rate. Eleven analysts believe the central bank will deliver a hike of 50 bps, while two analysts see a 25-bp increase. One analyst expects a 75-bp hike, while another sees the BSP keeping rates unchanged.

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