ECCP at Work

ECCP@Work Featured Articles | September 30, 2022

September 30, 2022

ECCP Online

ECCP at Work

WB upgrades PHL growth outlook 

THE WORLD BANK (WB) upgraded its growth forecast for the Philippines for this year and 2023, citing an “accommodative” fiscal policy conducive to recovering domestic demand despite a hawkish central bank and a pessimistic global economic outlook. In its East Asia and the Pacific Economic Update report for October released on Tuesday, the Washington-based lender raised the Philippines’ gross domestic product (GDP) outlook to 6.5%, from the 5.7% given in April. This is at the lower end of the government’s 6.5-7.5% goal this year. The World Bank projects the economy to grow by 5.8% in 2023, from 5.6% previously, but still below the government’s 6.5-8% assumption for next year.

Removal from gray list to help Philippines attract more FDI 

A removal from the gray list of global dirty money watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) may help the Philippines attract more foreign direct investments (FDIs), according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). “The completion of the Philippines’ action plan with the FATF is critical to successfully exit the FATF list,” Cheng Hoon Lim, IMF mission head, said. She said the Phillippines’ ongoing efforts to improve Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CFT) effectiveness are a welcome development. 

Growth target still achievable despite Typhoon Karding – NEDA 

The country’s economic growth target for the year remains within reach despite the damage caused by Typhoon Karding, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). “We are thankful Karding (Noru), which whipped the belly of the Philippine economy (Luzon’s landmass), was not Ondoy, Ulysses or Yolanda. Still, damage appeared considerable, though not likely at a level that would make us kiss goodbye to our growth target for this year,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said in a tweet yesterday. Last July, the inter-agency body Development Budget Coordination Committee, which sets the government’s macroeconomic assumptions, lowered the gross domestic product (GDP) growth goal for this year to 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent, from an earlier goal of seven percent to eight percent.

House OKs P5.26 trillion budget for 2023

Nearly five weeks since budget hearings started, the House of Representatives ended last night its floor debates and approved on third and final reading the executive department’s proposed P5.268-trillion national budget for 2023. Two-hundred-eighty-nine lawmakers voted “yes,” three “no” and no one abstained during the voting. They approved in plenary House Bill 4488 or the General Appropriations Bill of 2023, which President Marcos certified as urgent.The agencies that have undergone grilling were the Office of the President, Presidential Management Staff, Congress and the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council with P9 billion, P883 million, P25.8 billion and P3 million budget, respectively. The three others were the Departments of Finance (DOF) and of Budget and Management (DBM), and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

House crafted bills to help PH recover – Romualdez before break

The House of Representatives did its best to pass bills to help the country recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis, Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said on Wednesday, two days before the chamber goes on break, from Oct. 1 to Nov. 6. A total of 5,696 bills were filed, while 21 resolutions and 37 bills on third reading were approved by the House, Romualdez said in his speech after the House approved on third and final reading the proposed P5.268 trillion national budget for 2023.

Hot money continues to leave PH

According to the BSP,  more foreign portfolio investments left the country in August. These investments are known as “hot money” because it can easily enter and exit the economy. In addition, these are often shares in the Philippine Stock Exchange and government securities. In a statement, the BSP noted that Registered foreign investments with the central bank recorded net outflows that amounted to $86 million last month, lower than the $103 million net outflows booked in July. Meanwhile, gross inflows in August stood at $792 million, 16.3% higher than in July.

Euro biz group, EU envoy laud British oil giant’s local unit for sustainability efforts

The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP), with the head of the European Union (EU) delegation, recently feted Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. for protecting the environment while conducting business here and abroad. The British energy giant’s Philippine subsidiary was among responsible foreign companies that implement innovative, sustainable intelligent solutions which help address local transport industry issues and challenges. Pilipinas Shell was conferred with the 2022 Europa Award for Smart and Safer Mobility by the ECCP. This year’s citations recognized firms with exceptional performance and contributions in promoting sustainability, in line with global standards and the Philippine Development Plan.

Vehicle sales recovery at risk if taxes reimposed on pickup trucks — Fitch Solutions 

THE PHILIPPINE auto industry’s sales recovery will likely be derailed if a measure reimposing excise taxes on pickup trucks is signed into law, according to Fitch Solutions Country Risk and Industry Research. In a commentary dated Sept. 26, Fitch Solutions said it expects total vehicle sales to post double-digit growth this year, after a strong performance in the first nine months but the outlook for 2023 has dimmed. “Prospects for the continued strong recovery in vehicle sales in 2023 have diminished following the possible reintroduction of excise taxes on pickup trucks, mainly due to the subsegment’s popularity in the country,” Fitch Solutions said. 

IT-BPM industry still bullish on growth  

THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY and business process management (IT-BPM) industry is targeting to generate as much as $59 billion in revenues by 2028, as it sees continued growth despite the dimming global outlook. IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) President Jack Madrid said on Wednesday that the industry expects to grow annually by 8% in the next six years. “Our industry also has the potential to almost double in revenue what our contribution is to the economy. By the end of 2028, that number could be as high as $59 billion. It shows the potential of the industry to grow further,” he said at a virtual press conference. In 2021, the IT-BPM sector generated $29.5 billion in revenues. Mr. Madrid said the industry aims to create another 1.1 million in direct jobs by 2028, of which 54% will be in the countryside.

PH raises RE sourcing requirement

The Department of Energy (DOE) has mandated distribution utilities, electric cooperatives and retail electricity suppliers to source starting next year 2.52 percent of their annual energy demand from renewables, nearly three times the current allotment. This increased the percentage of utilization of renewables for on-grid areas from 1 percent under the Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), in line with the government’s aspiration to promote renewable energy (RE). The adjusted annual percentage increment under the RPS will take effect in 2023, as stated in department circular No. 2022-09-0030 signed by Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla on Sept. 23.

PBBM: Clark airport terminal launch signals opening of PPP deals in PHL

Efforts are now underway to transform the country into a logistics center and an accessible tourist destination by attracting more foreign investments to regional airports. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. made the announcement on Wednesday during the grand opening of the new terminal building of the Clark International Airport in Mabalacat, Pampanga. He said the new 110.000 square meter modern terminal, which is currently operated by the Luzon International Premiere Airport Development Corp., “is another building block” to the country’s aspiration to become a major logistics hub in Asia. The new facility, he added, will serve as another gateway for foreign tourists to enter the country.

Continued push for infrastructure to boost Phl Real Estate recovery 

Connectivity and accessibility can boost the value of a property. These two elements can be achieved with more infrastructure developments. With the new government committing to continue the Build Build Build (BBB) program of the previous administration, this is seen to accelerate the recovery of the country’s real estate market, according to Lobien Realty Group (LRG). “The Philippines’ real estate industry needs all the help it can get as it continues to rebuild. LRG believes that continuing to Build, Build, Build is the key to a faster and more effective recovery not only for the real estate market but for many other industries as well,” LRG said in a recent report.

IBPAP projects 1.1-million direct countryside jobs in next 6 years 

The IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) said 54 percent of the 1.1 million direct jobs target in the next six years will be in the countryside. With an estimated growth rate of 8.5 percent, IBPAP said the Philippine IT-BPM industry is expected to create up to 1.1 million direct jobs in the next six years. Of the 1.1 million direct jobs target, IBPAP said 54 percent will be in the countryside, which the organization said will bring the sector’s total headcount to 2.5 million by 2028. Highlighting the industry’s “multiplier effect,” IBPAP also projects generating up to 3 million indirect jobs for allied sectors such as retail, hospitality, infrastructure, transportation, and real estate.

Business groups welcome bill easing taxpaying process but cast doubt on revenue estimate

Business Groups said the estimate of additional revenue to be generated via the proposed Ease of Paying Taxes (EoPT) law might have been premature, though they welcomed the measures streamlining companies’ dealings with the tax authorities. The House of Representatives on Monday passed on third and final reading the proposed EoPT law, which its backers said would generate an estimated P73.1 billion in additional revenue over five years. Alexander B. Cabrera, governor for tax of the Management Association of the Philippines, said uncertainty hangs over the revenue impact estimate accompanying the bill. “We cannot surely say that the estimated additional revenue will be the effect,” he said by phone. “What I see in the bill is the simplification of the payment of taxes and that it is beneficial for small taxpayers.”

‘Give biz owners a free hand on work setup’

BUSINESS owners must be free to decide the work arrangements for their own employees. That’s the stand of Go Negosyo founder and head of the Jobs committee of the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) Jose Maria A. Concepcion III. “I am not against the 70:30 on-site—work-from-home arrangement for IT-BPO companies. In fact, I was part of the council that recommended it and am the leader of the Jobs group which presented this suggestion,” said Concepcion. He stressed that the IT and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) sector has its unique work arrangement and “deliverables,” as do sectors like manufacturing, retail, finance services, among others, “who may need to have all employees render in-person work at all times.”

DA: Karding farm damage to jack up rice, veggie prices

According to the Department of Agriculture, Karding has wiped out P2.02 billion in agricultural produce as of Thursday. The rice sector accounts for nearly 82 percent or P1.66 billion of the recorded damage in the farm sector. In addition, the rice sector was followed by high-value crops, which suffered P271.6 million in losses; corn, P44.6 million; fisheries, P43 million; and livestock and poultry, P7.9 million.  With that, Agriculture Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban said they were expecting a spike of 15 to 20 percent in the prices of food items because the rice-producing region of Central Luzon suffered the brunt of the typhoon.

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