ECCP at Work

ECCP@Work Featured Articles | June 27, 2023

June 27, 2023

ECCP Online

ECCP at Work

Department of Agriculture opens more export markets |

The Department of Agriculture (DA) is opening more export markets and investment opportunities for local high value crops to carve a position in the global market. The country is negotiating to export more high value crops after “determined strides” last year that opened opportunities for cash crops, DA Undersecretary for policy, planning, and regulations Mercedita Sombilla said during the ECCP luncheon meeting. For this year, the DA is working on exporting more cash crops to new areas. President Marcos had earlier directed the DA to come up with strategies congruent to strategizing, clustering, and optimizing toward becoming more export-oriented and being quality competitive.

5-mo national government revenue up 10.8% to nearly P1.6T

The national government earned more income in the first five months of the year on an annual basis as revenue bureaus ramped up their collection efforts, giving the finance chief optimism that the state would surpass its full-year revenue target. The DOF said state revenues from January to May reached almost P1.6 trillion, about 10.83 percent higher than the P1.437 trillion recorded income in the same period of last year. DOF data showed that the state’s tax collections during the five-month period rose by 9.71 percent to P1.414 trillion from P1.289 trillion last year, while its non-tax revenues posted a 20.56-percent growth year-on-year to P178 billion.

Nestlé sets sights on PHL dairy sector

Nestlé said it is looking at expanding its coffee business and is keen on new “growth initiatives” in the dairy business in the Philippines. “We see exciting opportunities expanding the coffee business, also new growth initiatives in the dairy business,” Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider said. As the company is “deeply committed” to the Philippine market, Schneider said it is “particularly interested in manufacturing and sourcing more from the Philippines.” He added that sourcing more coffee from the country is a “key initiative” of Nestlé. According to Schneider, the Philippines is “one of the top 10 markets in the world and the largest market in the zone Asia, Oceania, and Africa.” Marzouki, for his part, revealed that the company is targeting an annual turnover of P170 billion for 2023 for the Philippine market. In 2022, he said the local market generated P150 billion.

PH seen importing more milk, other dairy products

The Philippines is seen to import more dairy products this year as consumers and the food processing industry will need more of these commodities, a report by the United Nations (UN) said. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the country is expected to purchase 2.9 million tons of dairy in 2023, up by 2.2 percent from 2.8 million tons year-on-year. FAO said the higher demand for imported dairy in Central America, North Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia will offset the import contraction in China—the world’s largest dairy importer—as well as the European Union, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Public, private’s guide to 2023 revised JV guidelines

Joint Ventures (JVs) remain as the chosen and sought-after Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement by government owned and controlled corporations. With the recently released National Economic Development Authority (NEDA)’s “Revised Guidelines and Procedures for Entering into JV Agreements between Government and Private Entities” that took effect on April 25, it is a must for businesses and GOCCs to know about these changes. To guide those in the public and private sectors on these, the Center for Global Best Practices will host a pioneering MCLE-accredited training entitled Public and Private Entities’ Guide to NEDA’s 2023 Revised Joint Venture Guidelines and Procedures to be held on Tuesday, July 18.

Government ramps up infrastructure spending to P87 Billion in April

The government ramped up its infrastructure spending to P87 billion in April, mainly to finance road and rail projects, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said. Based on the latest national government disbursement performance report of the DBM, state infrastructure expenditure and other capital outlays jumped by nearly 37 percent to P87.3 billion in April from P63.8 billion in the same period last year. The DBM said the substantial increase was due to the billings for advance payments or mobilization costs for the implementation of ongoing projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Diokno hopes inflation would return to BSP target as rate hikes hold

Finance chief Benjamin Diokno expects inflation to decelerate by the final quarter of 2023 and land within the central bank’s target as monetary policy does its job of curbing price growth. “We’re expecting the inflation rate to be within the 3-4% range in the fourth quarter. This will be at 4% by the end of the fourth quarter,” he said. The chief of the Department of Finance pinned his hopes on the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ aggressive rate hikes, which left the policy rate at 6.25% at its meeting this month, to tame rising inflation.The BSP injected 425 basis points into the benchmark lending rate to temper inflation that has sapped the public’s purchasing power.

PH, World Bank sign loan agreements to support econ recovery, agriculture, education, and sustainability - Department of Finance

Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno and World Bank (WB) Country Director for the Philippines Ndiamé Diop signed four (4) loan agreements amounting to US$1.14 billion on June 26, 2023 to finance various government initiatives aimed at accelerating economic recovery, strengthening climate resilience, improving the quality of education, and developing the agriculture and fisheries sectors. US$276 million will support projects of the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR), specifically the Mindanao Inclusive Agriculture Development Project (MIADP) and the Philippine Fisheries and Coastal Resiliency (FishCoRe) Project. The MIADP aims to sustainably increase the agricultural productivity, resiliency, and accessibility to markets and services of organized farmers and fisherfolks in selected ancestral domains and for selected value chains in Mindanao.

Insurance premiums growth in PH to outpace global expansion

The pool of insurance premiums in the Philippines is expected to grow by 11 percent yearly over the next 10 years until it reaches 22.6 billion euros in 2033, according to Allianz SE. That yearly growth rate will outpace that of global expansion, penciled in at 5.2 percent, the Germany-based global group of insurers and asset managers said in a report. Through the forecast period, the Philippines is also primed to outperform the entire Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan, particularly China (8.1 percent).

Marcos: PHL must focus on upgrading seafarer skills

With the rapid emerging technological advancements in the shipping industry, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. called for more long-term international investments to upskill and reskill seafarers to allow them to cope with the said changes. Marcos stressed the need for such preparation with the introduction of  “modern ships” equipped with new and sustainable fuels as well as make use of digitalization and automation for its operations. 

DOLE ready to give Labor and Employment Plan

Following extensive stakeholder consultations, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is now set to submit its proposed Labor and Employment Plan (LEP) to the Cabinet for approval. This is after the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (NTIPC), the consultative and advisory body of DOLE, approved on Friday the draft LEP, which will contain details to promote job generation and how to address other labor-related concerns.

S&P: Tourism a vital growth driver for Philippine economy

The tourism comeback is expected to be a significant growth driver for the Philippines this year, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. In a report released yesterday, S&P Global Market Intelligence Asia-Pacific chief economist Rajiv Biswas said the easing of pandemic-induced travel restrictions last year has allowed a gradual reopening of both domestic and international tourism travel in the Philippines. “This will provide an important boost to the economy in 2023,” he said. From Jan. 1 to May 12 this year, international visitor arrivals in the country reached a total of two million. Last year, international visitor arrivals in the country reached 2.65 million, generating P210 billion worth of tourism revenue.

BAP launches dollar-peso cross currency swap market

Major domestic and international banks can now undertake transactions using a new dollar-peso cross currency swap market that was recently rolled out by the Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP). BAP said in a statement that market makers include BDO Unibank Inc., Bank of the Philippine Islands, Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., Philippine National Bank, Security Bank, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, ING Bank, JP Morgan and Standard Chartered. Moreover, lenders who signed up as regular participants were China Bank, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., Robinsons Bank, Union Bank of the Philippines, Mizuho and MUFG Bank. The currency swaps will allow banks and clients to mitigate risks associated with foreign debts and other transactions. The dollar-peso cross currency swap market will be supported by the fixed-income trading platform of Bloomberg, the US-based financial technology and media giant. This means trading is only allowed for qualified participants and subscribers of Bloomberg.

PH urged to fix 'issues' to attract more foreign investments

The Philippines must address the challenges faced by foreign firms to attract more investments to the country, economists said. Enhacing government processes, education and skills training and improving labor and operational costs could be beneficial for the country in terms of foreign investments, BPI lead economist Jun Neri said in a briefing. He said investors are looking at human capital when scouting for areas of development, he said.

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