ECCP at Work

ECCP@Work Featured Articles | April 11, 2023

April 11, 2023

ECCP Online

ECCP at Work

Philippine Q4 GDP in 2022 revised down

The domestic economy’s growth rate in the final quarter of 2022 was revised downward, per the Philippine Statistics Authority. In a statement, the PSA revised the Philippine economy’s gross domestic product in the fourth quarter to 7.1% from the previous 7.2%. It kept the annual growth rates for 2021 and 2022 at 7.6% and 5.7%, respectively.

PHL exports of digitally delivered services up 11% to $27.66B–WTO

The Philippines’ export of digitally delivered services rose 11 percent to $27.66 billion in 2022, from the $24.94 billion recorded in 2021, according to the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) estimates. The WTO report titled “Global Trade Outlook and Statistics” shows that the Philippines ranked 24th among the 30 “leading exporters of digitally delivered services” in 2022. The country has a 0.7-percent share in the global exports of digitally delivered services which reached $3.82 trillion in 2022.

DBM calls on agencies to prioritize infrastructure, human capital, food security in budget proposals

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said the 2024 budget will highlight infrastructure, human capital development, and food security, and urged agencies to prepare their budget proposals accordingly. “Priority will be given to shovel-ready infrastructure projects, investments in human capital development, and sustainable agriculture and food security, among others, which will steer the economy back on a high growth path,” the DBM said in its National Budget Memorandum. 

Inflation remains top priority – Diokno

The head of the economic team of the Marcos administration said that the government would continue to consider inflation as a pressing concern, both in the immediate and long-term, despite the significant easing of inflation to a six-month low in March. Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the 7.6 percent inflation print last month is a welcome development as price pressures have moderated, noting that the government aims to sustain such downtrend.

Job creation, security Peza head’s key focus

Job creation and job security will be the main focus under his watch in attracting foreign investments and locators, according to Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) Director General Tereso O. Panga. According to the investment promotion agency, the foreign investments and locators should have an “immediate impact” on Filipino lives in the areas where they are located. Peza also noted that economic zones have been a hub for job creation in the regions.

FLIGHT MOVEMENTS EXCEED 2019: Air passenger volume nears pre-COVID level

Passengers at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) more than doubled to 10.9 million in the first quarter of the year compared to last year,  and closer to the 11.6-million pre-pandemic volume of the same quarter in 2019. The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) also reported flight movements from NAIA during the quarter exceed those made in the same period in 2019. The recorded passengers in the first three months of 2023 were 158 percent higher than the 4.2 million passengers that traveled through the country’s primary gateway in the same period last year. Flight movements also increased by 77 percent to 67,781 in the first quarter from 38,269 last year. MIAA said the flight movement in the first quarter is 4 percent more than the 65,161 flights in the first three months of 2019.

ERC, NEDA discuss ‘affordability index’ for power

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said that it held discussions with the government’s economic planning agency on establishing an electricity affordability index to better implement subsidized power rates for poor consumers. The ERC said it met with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to discuss the index as part of the regulator’s activities in response to Republic Act No. 11552, An Act Extending and Enhancing the Implementation of the Lifeline Rate. The lifeline rate is a socialized pricing mechanism for marginalized end-users. It was first authorized by RA 9136, or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA). RA 11552 amends Section 73 of EPIRA. 

Smartphones assembled in PHL? Govt hopes so

The government is pinning its hopes on smartphone manufacturing companies considering the Philippines as assembler for their products, given its “strength” in semiconductor and electronics, a Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) official said. “… I think Apple is venturing with Vietnam already for the assembly of iPhone products, so again we hope that…other companies into smartphone manufacturing . . . can consider the Philippines because of our strength in electronics and semiconductor industry,” DTI Assistant Secretary for International Trade Policy and Trade Negotiation Allan B. Gepty said. If the Philippines wants to position itself as a manufacturing hub, one area it should look at are high-value technology products, he added.

Prices of rice seen going up

Retail prices of rice are expected to go up in the next few weeks due to low buffer stock, high farmgate prices of palay amid the dry season and the rising cost of imported rice, an official of the Department of Agriculture (DA) said yesterday. DA Assistant Secretary and deputy spokesman Rex Estoperez said the agency is projecting an increase of up to P5 per kilo of rice. “During the dry harvest season, prices normally shoot up because the rice is already dry. Plus, the fact that our inputs are also increasing,” Estoperez said.

El Niño to affect rice production – DA

The El Niño phenomenon will affect the country’s rice production as many farmlands start to dry out ahead of the expected drought in the second half of this year, a ranking official of the Department of Agriculture (DA) said. In an interview yesterday with The STAR, Agriculture Assistant Secretary and deputy spokesman Rex Estoperez said rice inventory would further dwindle if rice farmers, especially those in rain-fed areas, would not be able to plant because of El Niño.

House bill provides framework for One Nation Bank

A bill has been filed with the House of Representatives providing a legal framework for the planned merger of the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP). House Bill 7685, filed by Parañaque City Rep. Gus Tambunting on March 17, proposes the merger of the two government-owned banks into a single entity to be called “One Nation Bank.”

‘Philippines must adapt new tech for energy security’

The Philippines must adopt new technologies, like battery storage systems and new-generation nuclear power plants, to ensure energy security and accelerate the country’s transition to cleaner energy, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said yesterday. Adoption of new technologies is necessary, according to Gatchalian, to ensure energy security as the demand for electricity is expected to surge in the next years and the country moves toward cleaner energy to protect the environment.

‘Philippines more prepared for El Niño than in 2019’

National Water Resources Board (NWRB) executive director Sevillo David Jr. yesterday assured the public that the country is now more prepared for the possible impact of the El Niño phenomenon compared with 2019 during the drought that led to a water crisis. In a radio interview, David emphasized that the government learned from that year’s El Niño episode, where Angat Dam reached its lowest level of 116 meters in June. “We are now more prepared. There were developments that were not present in 2019. These are the treatment facilities at Laguna Lake and deep wells,” he said, referring to the Cardona Treatment Plant and Putatan Water Treatment. He added that the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) has already prepared a contingency plan to minimize the effect of the drought on the irrigation system.

Diokno touts economic data of PHL before IMF

AMID the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing global uncertainties, the Philippines has transformed into one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said on Monday. “The Philippines did not sit idly by and wait for the virus to fade. Instead it adopted new laws to open up the economy to foreign investors and make the economy vibrant and competitive,” Diokno said at the sidelines of the World Bank-International Monetary Fund spring meeting. The economic numbers support the positive outlook, he asserted.

Farmers’ debt condonation bill up for PBBM’s signature

A bill emancipating agrarian reform beneficiaries from financial burden through condonation under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) is awaiting the signature of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., House Deputy Speaker Ralph Recto said on Monday. The lawmaker from 6th district of Batangas said the condonation shall cover all principal loans, unpaid amortizations and interests and exempting payment of estate tax on agricultural lands awarded to farmers by virtue of CARP.

AMRO to PHL, Korea, SG: Maintain tight stance

THE ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) advised the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the central banks of Korea and Singapore to maintain their tight monetary stance until inflation cools. In its recently released ASEAN+3 Regional Economic Outlook (AREO 2023), the research arm said monetary policy should remain tight in economies in the region where inflation remains above target. Inflation in the Philippines is still above 8 percent, significantly higher than the 2 to 4 percent medium-term inflation target.

As ASF soars and pork shortage looms, vaxx pushed

A group of farmers blames what it called the unlimited and untested importation of pork into the Philippines for the continued spread of African swine fever (ASF) in the country, with the surge sparking fears of a pork shortage. This has prompted  a senior lawmaker on Monday to urge the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) to consider  a nationwide immunization drive to contain the killer pig disease. For its part, the biggest alliance of farm producers sought hefty aid for their sector. “The government should look into providing assistance for local hog raisers and farmers, as there is no indemnification being given,” Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag) Executive Director Jayson Cainglet said on Monday. “It will not matter if you impose movement protocols and biosecurity measures in local farms and transport of live hogs if we continue to have unlimited entry of untested imported pork at the port of first entry,” he said.

More women in green jobs vital to green economy move

Transitioning to a green economy will not be possible without increasing the participation of women in green jobs, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB). In an Asian Development Blog, ADB Senior Communications Officer Pinky Serafica and Senior Gender and Social Development Specialist Veronica Mendizabal Joffre said women’s participation in green jobs remains lower than men. Data showed that in 2021, there were 62 women considered as “green talent” for every 100 men. This is a concern, they said, given that there is already a high demand for green talent and women are needed to bridge the gap.

Worker upskilling needed to address IT-BPM ‘talent crisis’

The Philippines needs to have a national talent upskilling program to address the lack of qualified workers for jobs in the information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) sector, according to industry groups. Jack Madrid, IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) president, said a national talent upskilling program would help improve the IT-BPM workforce and ease the “talent crisis” plaguing the sector. He told BusinessWorld in an e-mail there is a need to form an IT-BPM services online talent hub, as well as establish early-stage interventions to improve the employability of senior high school and higher education institution graduates. He also proposed raising the capacity for specialized degree courses to increase talent supply for the IT-BPM sector.  Rosario Cajucom-Bradbury, managing director of the Contact Center Association of the Philippines, said many IT-BPM companies have invested in improving the skills of their employees. The CCAP, representing the contact center sector, is one of the sub-sector partner associations of the IBPAP.  

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