ECCP at Work

ECCP@Work Featured Articles | January 17, 2023

January 17, 2023

ECCP Online

ECCP at Work

2024 national budget to address economic scarring, global headwinds

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has issued its budget call for the 2024 spending plan, which it said will focus on addressing the impact of a looming global recession and economic scarring from the coronavirus pandemic. “The 2024 budget is poised to respond to the expected continuing headwinds brought about by the Russia-Ukraine war, the external recessionary pressures which inflation has stoked and the economic scarring which COVID-19 has wrought to our economy,” the DBM said in its National Budget Call for Fiscal Year 2024 released on Jan. 12. The issuance of a National Budget Call signals the start of the budget preparation throughout the bureaucracy.

Gov’t support seen needed to develop sustainable jet fuel

The government must send strong signals that it supports the development of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in the country through tax incentives and other policies, as a crucial step toward meeting the industry’s target to cut carbon emissions from air travel by 2050, airlines said. “Government incentives will definitely help as they will accelerate [SAF] development and adaptation in the Philippines,” Cebu Pacific Chief Strategy Officer Alex B. Reyes told BusinessWorld in an e-mailed reply to questions recently. “This can be in the form of tax exemptions on the use of SAF or government funding to help develop local production of SAF in the Philippines,” he added. SAF is a liquid fuel that cuts carbon emissions by up to 80%, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

HOTBED OF FAKES: 3 markets placed in EU watchlist

The European Union  has listed Baclaran and Divisoria, the Greenhills Shopping Center and the Cartimar Shopping Center in its latest Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List. This is the first time  Philippine markets have been cited in the biennial list since its launch in 2018, according to the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL). But  in a similar watch list released last year, the United States Trade Representative’s Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy List, Greenhills is the only counterfeiting and piracy hotspot identified in the Philippines.

PEZA sees more Swiss investments [mention]

A total of 28 Swiss projects worth P19.618 billion employing 8,547 workers are being hosted by various economic zones in the country to date and is expected to further improve following strong interest from various companies during business meeting held by the Philippines with local companies as part of the President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s trip to Switzerland, the Philippine Ecozone Zone Authority (PEZA) said. PEZA was the first to sign up for the SECO-GRI program in the Philippines. GRI will also bring on board the DTI-EMB and Philexport in the crafting of Sustainable Reporting guidelines for export-oriented industries. In the past during the time of DG Lilia de Lima, PEZA likewise led the government’s participation in the European-funded initiatives such as the GTZ Eco-Industrial Development project, ECCP Energy Efficiency and Savings Program, and ECCP Integrity Pledge.

NAIA privatization in the works; tourism, MSMEs to benefit

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has completed the terms of reference for the privatization of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) which aims to increase the aircraft movement per hour by 25 percent. “We will work (to) fast-track the privatization of NAIA. Being the only major airport in Metro Manila (it) has breached its rated capacity; it’s high time to modernize and expand the NAIA, because MIA remains the primary gateway to the Philippines,” DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista told the Senate Committee on Public Services chaired by Senator Grace Poe last Thursday.Bautista said NAIA can only handle 40 to 44 movements of aircraft an hour and once privatized can handle up to 55 aircraft movements.

France mobilizes €150M for PH climate goals

France, through the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), has mobilized 150 million euros to support the climate ambitions of the Philippines, the Department of Finance (DOF) said yesterday. In a statement, the DOF said it conducted a ceremonial exchange of loan agreement with the AFD following the signing of the 150 million euro policy-based loan for the Climate Change Action Program, Subprogram 1 (CCAP1) to help the Philippines scale up its efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The CCAP will support the Philippines to implement its national climate policies and institutional reforms, including its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) which aims to peak greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and scale up climate adaptation and disaster resilience, dependent on external support and technology transfer.

Preparing the public health system for the next pandemic

Battered by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Philippine healthcare system has to shift to preventive care from “sick care” and shore up human capital in order to withstand the next infectious disease outbreak, health experts said. The Philippines already has three viruses that are in the same family as pathogens identified by the World Health Organization as having “pandemic potential” — with a possible fourth on the horizon. “There needs to be a lot of global coordination… for us to focus not just on reactions, not just on surveillance, but also at the complex drivers of zoonosis, such as climate change, pollution, and disasters,” said Noel Lee J. Miranda, a veterinarian and an independent regional consultant who specializes in emerging pandemic threats.

Central bank rates appear close to peaking in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asian central banks look like they are close to done fighting inflation using interest rates, with economists seeing the tightening cycle ending after 25 to 50 basis points of moves in the coming months. Policymakers in Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand will each raise borrowing costs by a total half-point in the coming months before reaching their peak rates, according to median forecasts in a Bloomberg survey. Malaysia, meanwhile, will cap the rate hike cycle with one more quarter-point increase, the survey showed. While the region faced fewer headwinds than did peers in South Asia, policymakers reached for both conventional and unconventional tools in the past year to cool inflation and support currencies pressured by the Federal Reserve’s interest rate increases.

SEIPI sees slower growth this year

Philippine electronics exports are expected to grow at a slightly slower pace this year amid weaker global demand, the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation, Inc. (SEIPI) said. SEIPI President Danilo C. Lachica said the industry group is targeting 9% growth for Philippine electronics exports this year, slightly lower than the 10% growth goal in 2022. “We are hoping we reach $50 billion (worth exports) by the end of the year, combined of semiconductor and electronics. It is equivalent to around 9% growth,” he told reporters at the sidelines of the US Trade and Development Agency forum in Makati City last week.

Debt payments down

The national government’s total debt payments in the first 11 months of the year amounted to P991.05 billion, data released by the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) showed. According to the latest cash operations report, the national government’s debt payments in January to November is 12.61 percent lower than the P1.13 trillion paid out in the same period the prior year. Amortization declined by 27.35 percent to P531.8 billion from the P731.98 billion paid out in the same period the previous year. Of the total principal payments made during the period, P409.04 billion was used to pay local lenders while P122.78 billion was spent to settle foreign obligations.

Preparations for Malayampaya shutdown underway

Prime Energy assured preparatory measures are being undertaken for the two-week scheduled maintenance shutdown (SMS) of the Malampaya deep water gas-to-power project on February 4 to 18. The maintenance activity will ensure the equipment and assets within the facility operate safely, reliably, and efficiently to avert any untoward incidents that can affect the continuous supply of gas to the power plants, Prime Energy said. “The scheduled maintenance shutdown is a preventive maintenance activity that is executed at regular intervals to ensure that the Malampaya project continues to produce safe and reliable energy to supply the grid and meet the power requirements of the country,” said Sebastian Quiniones, Prime Energy general manager, in a statement.

NPC pushes for stronger data protection by telcos

The National Privacy Commission (NPC) found Smart Communication Inc., Globe Telecom, and Dito Telecommunity Corp., have demonstrated capabilities in protecting the personal data of their clients as they roll out the registration of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards. At a Compliance Check On-Site visit by the NPC, the three telcos were appraised of some gaps in their personal data privacy implementation and were required to submit proof of compliance within 15 days. The NPC did not provide details. NPC in a statement said it has conducted an on-site visit at three local telcos offices to ensure they are implementing appropriate security measures to protect the personal data of Filipinos registering their SIM cards.

DOTr may privatize air traffic control

The Department of Transportation wants to privatize the communication, navigation and surveillance/air traffic management (CNS-ATM) system to secure enough funds for its upgrade and prevent a repeat of the airspace shutdown. Transportation Undersecretary Roberto Lim told reporters that the DOTr may privatize the CNS-ATM system in the future, adding to the list of infrastructure that the agency plans to turn over to the private sector. To prevent a repeat of the New Year fiasco, Lim said the DOTr is looking at the option of putting up an agency separate from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) with the task of operating and maintaining the CNS-ATM system.r may privatize air traffic control

More air infra investments needed

There is an urgent need for more investments in the country’s air transport infrastructure to make the sector competitive and capable of meeting the increasing air travel demand, according to a report released by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS). The PIDS discussion paper titled Philippine air transport infrastructure: state, issues, government strategies assessed the current state of the country’s air transport infrastructure and reviewed government plans and programs for the air transport sector. “While the government recognizes the need to improve the country’s air transport infrastructure by building new airports and improving existing facilities and technical capabilities, huge investments are needed to catch up with the burgeoning demand for air travel,” the report authors PIDS research fellow Kris Francisco and research analyst Valerie Lim said.

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