ECCP at Work

ECCP@Work Featured Articles | November 18, 2022

November 18, 2022

ECCP Online

ECCP at Work

PH has so much to offer – Zubiri

SENATE President Juan Miguel Zubiri beseeched European Union stakeholders to invest in the Philippines as the country has so much to offer given its potential and recent growth. The various opportunities are trade and manufacturing, foreign investments, tourism, post-Covid recovery, nuclear energy, climate change mitigation and defense. "I had a chance to visit several facilities within the EU, such as the Naval Group, one of the top military shipbuilders, and the Flamanville nuclear power plant, and I tell you, there is indeed a lot to learn from them, especially in terms of energy usage," the senator pointed out.

DOE pushes RE Act’s IRR changes to attract investors

THE Department of Energy (DOE) has moved to amend the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 through Department Circular No. 2022-11-0034. The energy chief stressed, however, that the appropriation of waters direct from the source shall continue to be subject to the foreign ownership restriction in the Water Code. It further states that “the State may directly undertake such activities, or it may enter co-production, joint venture or co-production sharing agreements with Filipino citizens or corporations or associations at least sixty percent of whose capital is owned by Filipinos. DC 2022-11-0034 will take effect 15 days upon its publication.

Q3 foreign investment pledges drop

FOREIGN INVESTMENT pledges declined 22.4% in the third quarter as investors fretted over a looming global economic slowdown, soaring inflation and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. The PEZA accounted for 70.9% or P9.25 billion of total investments in the July to September period, followed by BoI with 16.5% or P2.16 billion and the CDC with 10.5% or P1.36 billion. The approved investments of foreign and Filipino nationals in the third quarter surged 58% year on year to P159.18 billion. Of the total, Filipino nationals accounted for P146.13 billion or 91.8%.

PHL socioeconomic planning blueprint ready for approval by December–Neda

The country’s next socioeconomic planning blueprint, the Philippine Development Plan (PDP), may be completed ahead of schedule, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda). The PDP is expected to be presented to the President and members of the Cabinet by early December for approval and adoption. Secretary Balisacan said the timely completion of the PDP gives the government a huge head start in executing policies and programs as the various government agencies already have a clear strategy.

S&P affirms Philippines’ investment grade rating

S&P GLOBAL RATINGS affirmed the Philippines’ investment grade rating, amid the economy’s continued recovery from the pandemic. Under S&P’s global rating scale, “BBB+” is considered an investment grade rating, and reflects a sovereign’s “adequate capacity to meet financial commitments, but more subject to adverse economic conditions.” The “BBB+” sovereign rating is a notch away from the “A”-level grade targeted by the government, while a “stable” outlook means the rating is likely to be maintained in the next six months to two years.

ARTA vows to pursue reforms

The newly appointed director-general of the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) vowed to continue the reforms that will ease doing business in key sectors — telecommunication, logistics and health — and deliver better services to Filipinos. According to Perez, ARTA has resolved to work with the Office of the Ombudsman following a “misunderstanding” over their mandate: ARTA for anti-red tape and the Ombudsman, anti-corruption. ARTA and other government agencies will hold three separate summits for these sectors this month and in December as part of the yearend review of the reforms.

BSP delivers jumbo rate hike anew

THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) raised its key interest rate for a sixth time this year to tame inflation, which it now sees rising to 5.8% by yearend. “In deciding to raise the policy interest rate anew, the Monetary Board noted that core inflation has risen sharply in October, indicating stronger pass-through of elevated food and energy prices as well as demand-side impulses on inflation,” Mr. Medalla said. The BSP also raised its average inflation forecast for this year to 5.8%, from 5.4%. The BSP’s rates on the overnight deposit and lending facilities were also increased to 4.5% and 5.5%, respectively.

Uptick seen as COVID-19 positivity plateaus

A slight uptick in new COVID-19 cases was reported in the National Capital Region over the past week, with a member of the OCTA Research Group noting that the positivity rate has started to plateau. Citing data from the Department of Health, OCTA fellow Guido David said the region reported an average of 268 new cases per day from Nov. 10 to 16 – up 11 percent from the 240 average daily new cases reported the previous week. Meanwhile, the NCR positivity rate – or the number of people who test positive out of the total tests conducted – slightly decreased from 7.8 percent on Nov. 8 to 7.4 percent on Nov. 15.

Philippines seeks redefinition of climate finance for developing countries

The Philippines calls for the inclusion of needs and priorities of developing countries in the definition of “climate finance.” The Department of Foreign Affairs said the Philippines called for the adoption of a transformational and operational definition of climate finance to include the principles or characteristics of the New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG) at the fifth High-Level Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Finance of the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP27, in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. States parties shared the challenges and key areas of progress in climate finance, how the delivery and transparency of climate financing can be further enhanced, and lessons learned that can be applied to deliberations on the new collective quantified goal. The NCQG is the new set of climate financial support that takes account the needs and priorities of developing countries from a base of $100 billion per year.

‘PDP details strategies for accelerating growth’

Malacañang said the government has set its sights on achieving rapid economic growth via the new Philippine Development Plan (PDP) in its bid to slash the poverty rate to 9 percent by 2028. “This is part of the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028 of the Marcos administration, which sets the government’s eight-point program and contains targets and actionable plans that will help the country pursue a greener economy and more sustainable, affordable and livable residential areas in the next six years,” the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) said in a statement.

Local raw sugar supply down as of end-October

The country’s stock of raw sugar has declined by more than 20 percent as of end-October, prompting the government to look at using the sugar allocated for exports for local consumption. The latest data from the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA)showed that raw sugar stock as of Oct. 30 reached 150,976.75 metric tons, a hefty decline of 26.89 percent from 206,511.77 MT in the same period last year. This, combined with the reduction in the country’s buffer of raw sugar, prompted the SRA to craft a policy to use sugar originally intended for exports for local consumption to ease the pressure to hike prices.

Cargo movements through local ports dip on high inflation

The volume of cargo discharged and loaded at the local ports recently showed a nearly 3-percent decline as demand for shipping goods and raw materials slowed down amid rising consumer prices. Cargo traffic for the January to September period, meanwhile, slipped by 1.28 percent to 197.57 million MT from last year’s 200.13 million MT. The majority of the cargo throughput was in Manila and North Luzon with 77.13 million MT, followed by Northern Mindanao with 36.07 million MT. Domestic throughput In total, domestic cargo throughput amounted to 76.63 million MT.

Vehicle sales continued growth momentum in October

Vehicle sales in the Philippines last October grew 42.4 percent year-on-year, continuing its double-digit ascent, albeit a bit slower compared to the last two months, according to data from the local automobile industry. “The continued double-digit growth recorded anew in October is boosting optimism for the automotive industry, further accelerating full recovery this year from the pandemic disruptions,” Campi president Rommel Gutierrez said in a statement. The local automotive industry is targeting to sell 336,000 units by the end of 2022. Local automobile firms went from a yearly sale of 369,941 units in 2019 to 223,793 units in 2020.

PPA reports 3-digit jump in passenger traffic

Philippine ports posted a triple-digit jump in the number of passengers they facilitated in the third quarter, but saw a decline in the volume of cargoes due to various challenges, according to the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA). Based on PPA data, most of the travelers either came from or headed to Visayas. The PPA said that Philippine ports registered a 30-percent increase in the number of ship calls to 119,977 during the period. The domestic segment increased by nine percent to 759,884 TEUs, while the foreign bracket improved by 10 percent to 1.28 million TEUs.

BOI approves P35.2 million IT-BPM project

The Board of Investments (BOI) has approved the application for registration of a P35.2 million information technology (IT) service project in Taguig as it will strengthen the country’s IT-business process management (IT-BPM) sector. “In support of the income and job generation of many Filipinos, the new project is seen to provide job opportunities to 198 (direct labor and selling/admin) full-time employees in the fifth year of its operation,”the BOI said.

MWSS board OK’s water rate hike starting 2023

Patrick Lester N. Ty, chief regulator at the MWSS-Regulatory Office, said the board approved on Nov. 10 the rate rebasing adjustments for Manila Water Co. and Maynilad Water Services, Inc. that will be implemented from 2023 to 2027. It also sets the water rates in a manner that allows the water suppliers to recover their expenditures. Beginning January 2023, Manila Water will increase rates by P8.04 per cubic meter, followed by a P5 hike in 2024, P3.25 in 2025, P3 in 2026 and P1.08 in 2027. For the succeeding years, Maynilad will implement a P6.26 rate hike in 2024 and P2.12 hike in 2025.

National strategy for logistics industry due in December

THE government is drafting a national strategy for the logistics sector for launch next month, with the goal of attracting more investment into the industry, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said. Assistant Secretary Mary Jean T. Pacheco said that the national logistics strategy is expected to be launched on Dec. 19. “We are currently drafting a national logistics strategy that will identify and set the roadmap for the short term, medium term, and long term. It involves everything in logistics such as adopting technology, modernization, reducing costs, addressing issues, private and public investment, and workforce development,” she added.

Energy dep’t estimates offshore wind to require $157.5 billion in capital

THE Department of Energy (DoE) said it expects investment in offshore wind (OSW) projects to require $157.5 billion, based on a rule-of-thumb cost estimate of about $5 million per megawatt. Offshore wind entails a significant cost premium over land-based wind projects because of the additional engineering required to generate power from water-based facilities. Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla said the department is currently reviewing its offshore wind policies in preparation for issuing future service contracts. “The refinements to the existing policies, framework and guidelines governing the administration of wind energy service contracts cover the technical, financial, operational, and administrative risks and challenges of OSW development,” Mr. Lotilla said.

PH eyeing to hike share of RE to 50% by 2040

The government aims to increase the share of renewable and other low-emission energy in the country to up to 50 percent of the power generation mix by 2040, President Marcos Jr. said. He said the government’s target is to increase the share of RE in the country’s power generation mix to 35 percent by 2030 and to 50 percent by 2040. The President said the Philippines has prioritized the use of renewable energy (RE) options such as hydropower, geothermal power, solar and other low-emission energy sources to address the country’s power supply needs while taking the issue of climate change into consideration.

DOTR readies privatization of transport projects

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is inviting the private sector to participate in the preliminary market sounding exercise for the privatization of the National Capital Region Edsa Busway and North Long Haul Inter-Regional Railway, the first batch of public-private partnership (PPP) projects. The DOTr in cooperation with the PPP Center has started the initial market sounding exercise for transport PPPs yesterday, November 16 and this will run until November 23. DOTr has applied to utilize these funds for its upcoming transportation PPP projects.

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