ECCP at Work

ECCP@Work Featured Articles | October 18, 2022

October 18, 2022

ECCP Online

ECCP at Work

Business groups buck call to abolish ARTA

A NUMBER of major business organizations opposed the Ombudsman's proposal to abolish the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA). In a joint statement on Monday, 32 business groups defended the creation of Republic Act 11032, or the "Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act" which created the ARTA in 2018. "We were concerned when the Ombudsman called for ARTA's abolition. We agree that the Ombudsman, within the wide scope of its authorities, has a role to play in improving government services, but ARTA's primary role is to improve government services. The Ombudsman and ARTA complement each other's functions, hence, both should be working together," the business organizations said. Signatories to the petition include the European Chamber of Commerece of the Pilippines.

PH ready for foreign investors in telcos, airports, roads: Diokno

The amended Public Service Act (PSA) has liberalized several industries such as telcos, allowing 100 percent foreign ownership. Aside from encouraging investments to the country, the Department of Finance said Diokno briefed potential investors on the Philippines economic outlook, fiscal policies and its Medium-Term Fiscal Framework. The economic team of President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. is dealing with elevated inflation, high interest rate, depreciating peso against the US dollar, ballooning debt, widening trade deficit, delayed poverty reduction goals and the scarring impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, among others.Diokno said headwinds could be mitigated by following the 8-point economic agenda which includes lowering the debt-to-GDP ratio, generating more jobs and sustaining a robust economy, among others.

NEDA: Invest in productive sector, human capital to address unemployment

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) emphasized the need to invest in productive sectors and human capital to address unemployment. NEDA said the country’s unemployment rate is largely at par with major Asian economies based on the latest data available. According to the latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, the country’s unemployment rate translates to 2.68 million unemployed Filipinos in August, higher than the 2.6 million in July. Considering the changes in the nature of work brought by the pandemic, the NEDA said it is encouraging the further implementation of work arrangements. The agency said utilizing technology would help improve response measures and mitigate possible labor market downturns in times of disaster. It is also encouraging sharing of best practices across local government units. In addition, the NEDA said full implementation of the amendments to the Public Service Act, Foreign Investments Act, and Retail Trade Liberalization Act will help attract investments and in turn, help create more quality jobs.

Diokno gives green light to foreign investors, says PH fully prepared to address ongoing risks to economy

Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno gave investors the green light to do business in the Philippines while the government is employing the necessary policies and reforms to address ongoing risks to the economy. Secretary Diokno detailed the structural reforms that would attract beneficial foreign investments and create high-value jobs in the country. The Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act and amendments to the Public Service Act, Retail Trade Liberalization Act, and Foreign Investments Act have paved the way for the Philippines to be a strong competitor in the region. On top of that, the Administration is also increasing its efforts to guarantee adequate power supply to enable the economy to continually function.

PEZA-approved investments down 23% in 9 months

Investments approved by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA)  In a statement, PEZA officer-in-charge (OIC) Tereso Panga said the investments came from 148 new and expansion projects. Specifically for July to September, the PEZA said its board has approved a total of 58 new and expansion projects expected to bring in P17.142 billion worth of investments. This is also seen to create $877.807 million worth of exports and generate 13,904 jobs.. Among the approved new and expansion projects, 21 are for export, 19 for information technology, seven for facilities and three for tourism, according to the PEZA. In addition, eight ecozone development projects were approved to boost the PEZA’s countryside development strategy: four manufacturing ecozones in Cavite, Batangas, Bulacan and Pampanga; two IT parks in Iloilo and Davao, and two agro-industrial zones in Iloilo.

The ASEAN-EU Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement (CATA) is here

ASEAN and the EU have officially concluded the world’s first bloc-to-bloc air transport agreement. The ASEAN-EU Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement (AE CATA) will bolster connectivity and economic development among the 37 member states of ASEAN and the EU. Under the agreement, airlines of ASEAN and the EU have greater opportunities to operate passenger and cargo services between and beyond both regions. 

PSEi seen to recover to 7,600 by mid-2023

Maybank Securities’ head of research strategy Jacqui de Jesus said business fundamentals were intact, with corporate earnings forecast to grow by double digits this year until 2023 with the further reopening of the economy.Nevertheless, investors could still reap returns as the stock analyst is forecasting the Philippine Stock Exchange Index to recover to 7,600 over the next 12 months, or by mid-2023.This implies an upside of about 28 percent for the index, which has lost 17 percent since the start of 2022 and entered a bear market in late September. De Jesus said corporate earnings were expected to grow 14 percent this year and 16 percent in 2023 while major drivers would be the property and banking sectors.Property stocks are also seen to benefit without the disruptions earlier caused by pandemic restrictions and the return of foot traffic in shopping malls.

DICT: SIM registration as easy as opening an e-wallet

Registering subscriber identity module (SIM) cards could be done in the same way like opening an account with a popular e-wallet platform, according to the top official of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). This method would allow for the fast and convenient registration of about 144 million SIM cards, DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy said on the sidelines of a recent event in Mandaluyong. Subscribers should only go to a telco’s service center if there were concerns with the registration process, he said.

Quick Take: BSP reminds rate hikes coming and 2 more market updates

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Felipe Medalla said the question on the next interest rate hike is just “whether it is 50 or 75 basis points”. The BSP has meetings scheduled for mid-November and mid-December, and rate hikes from both meetings are possible. Metrobank [MBT 50.05 1.83%] shortens the offer period for its P10 billion bond sale because of high demand. The original end of the offer was scheduled to be October 19th, but MBT moved that up to October 17th. The bonds pay 5% per year, and have a tenor of 1.5 years. MBT plans to use the proceeds for “general working capital needs. Department of Finance (DoF) is backing a move to extend the lower tariffs on certain commodities like corn, coal, pork, and rice. DoF is hoping this will help prevent “price shocks” should the executive orders lapse without renewal.

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