ECCP at Work

ECCP@Work Featured Articles | December 13, 2022

December 13, 2022

ECCP Online

ECCP at Work

Foreign chambers urge Senate action on Open Access bill - BusinessWorld Online

JOINT Foreign Chambers (JFC), called on the Senate to act on the Open Access in Data Transmission Act. This legislation is aimed at improving internet services in the country. Monday's House Bill No. 6 was approved by the House of Representatives. Monday's House Bill No. 6 was approved by the House of Representatives. This measure aims to encourage fair and open competition in the telecoms industry by removing barriers to entry.The Senate's counterpart measures were referred to the Committee on Science and Technology. It is headed by Senator Alan Peter S. Cayetano. In a previous position paper, the JFC stated that the bill's passage would allow for fast, reliable and affordable internet and data services in the country.

Infrastructure spending rises 39% in September 

The National Government disbursement report of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) shows a 39.3% increase in expenditures for infrastructure and other capital outlays in September. According to DBM, this is mainly driven by “the sizable disbursements of the Department of Public Works and Highways for completed and partially completed road infrastructure projects” and the Active Transport Bike Share System and Safe Pathways Program by the Department of Transportation (DoTr). The DBM also stated that the 13.4% expenditure increase from January to September since the same period year is due to the implementation of road infrastructure projects and capital outlay projects under the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program of the Department of National Defense.

Government debt payments slashed by half in October 

According to the Bureau of the Treasury, the government reduced its payments by 55% in October, from P89.07 billion in the same month last year to P39.82 billion. This indicates that the debt payments by the end of October currently stand at 71.51% of the P1.3 trillion debt service expenditure for 2022. The agency also reported an 88% decline in the principal amortization from P57.53 billion in 2021 to P6.63 billion. Additionally, 87% or P5.74 billion of the amortization goes was remitted to external sources while the remaining P894 million principal payments were allocated to domestic creditors during October. Meanwhile, interest payments increased by 17% in the first ten months of the year to P433.16 billion from P370.88 billion. The government also expects to pay down a record P1.3 trillion in debt this year, with P512.59 billion going toward interest and P785.81 billion going toward amortization.

Law for carbon credit systems in Philippines pushed

To facilitate the nation's effort to combat climate change, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is advocating for the passage of legislation that will institutionalize carbon credit systems. This development is said to be included in the department’s initiative in reviewing existing laws concerning the environment, including the Climate Change Act of 2009. In the COP 27 last month, the Philippine delegation led by Environment Secretary Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga advocated for the adoption of a specific definition of "loss and damage,” asserting the country’s rights in the face of the effects of climate change. Moreover, the DENR is also tapping its potential partners to think about implementing climate change projects, such as forestation projects, on a larger scale as it aims to establish partnerships with the private sector and other bilateral and multilateral organizations. 

BOI OKs nearly P126 billion investments in 3 months

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) stated that the Board of Investments (BOI) approved P125.9 billion worth of investments since Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual was appointed as head of the agency. Additionally, DTI also mentioned that approximately $18 billion in foreign investment pledges have been raised during the presidents' tours to Indonesia, Singapore, and the US. Aside from creating jobs, the agency recently signed the implementing rules and regulations for Republic Act 11904 or the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act, and allowed 100% work-from-home arrangements on information technology-business process management (IT-BPM) companies. Pascual also partnered with Google in providing 4,000 scholarships in the Google Career Certificate Courses on IT support, project management, data analytics, and UX design. The DTI was also able to aid 43,878 MSMEs in adopting e-commerce in light of the agency’s effect to accelerate the digital transformation in the country. In addition, DTI is also prioritizing projects to enhance consumer protection and ensure food supply. 

FDI slumps further to $626 million in September |

For the fourth consecutive month, foreign direct investment net inflows (FDIs), fell 7.9 percent to $626 million in September. This was compared to $680 million a year earlier. External headwinds were caused by tighter global financial conditions in order to combat soaring inflation. Chief economist at Rizal commercial banking Corp. Michael Ricafort said that the slowdown in FDI inflows in recent months was due to higher inflation and soaring interest rates. This is compared to a year ago when it reached $680 million.

South Korea expresses interest in renewables dev’t after PHL opens up foreign investment

During the 2022 Korea-Philippines Energy Forum on Friday, Soonchang Hong, Minister Counselor of the Korean Embassy, stated that the South Korean government is seeking to cooperate with the Philippines in achieving energy security via renewable energy, which was open to full foreign ownership last November. Department of Energy Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella was likely enthusiastic about the potential partnership opportunity between the Philippines and South Korea as talks about nuclear technology and renewables projects are being discussed. Sebin Cheon, senior manager at Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Corp., said that they would extend support to the rehabilitation of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant and recommended tightening safety measures. 

Marcos seeking investments that improve national security — Zubiri - BusinessWorld Online

PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. would like to direct invest.ment in assets that will strengthen the Philippines' national security situation, Senator President Juan Miguel F. Zubiri stated. House Bill 6398 proposes the Maharlika Wealth Fund, a sovereign wealth fund. Mr. Zubiri was referring back to the original Maharlika Bill, which required that the wealth fund be funded from the Government Service Insurance System and the Social Security System

Sen. Marcos calls for more RCEP safeguards - BusinessWorld Online 

The head of the Senate foreign affairs committee demanded safeguards to protect affected industries from the negative effects of what is being called the largest free trade agreement in the world.On Jan. 1, the RCEP was implemented in all jurisdictions. Ms. Marcos called for the creation of a technical group to complete the committee's report on the ratification. After the Christmas break, the committee will report it to plenary.

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