ECCP at Work

ECCP@Work Featured Articles | July 04, 2023

July 04, 2023

ECCP Online

ECCP at Work

PHL remains a lower middle income economy 

The Philippines remained a lower middle-income economy in 2022, according to the World Bank, as its gross national income (GNI) per capita lagged behind most of its Southeast Asian neighbors. Data posted on the multilateral lender’s website showed the Philippines’ GNI per capita increased by 11.3% to $3,950 in 2022, from $3,550 in 2021. Despite the increase, the Philippines’ GNI per capita still fell within the World Bank’s bracket for lower middle-income economies of $1,136-$4,465. The income bracket was once again raised from $1,086-$4,255 a year ago.

NEDA: Marcos admin's policies to help PH return to high growth 

The Philippine economy remains on track to returning to its high-growth trajectory, backed by several initiatives implemented by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.'s administration. "One year into the Marcos Presidency, the Philippine economy remains firmly on track as it returns to its high-growth norm, supported by a strong labor market performance and a downward-trending inflation that is on its way to reaching the government’s target," National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said. 

PHL rated third in 2023 investor relations ranking

The Philippines improved its investor relations (IR) score this year to third-best, according to a ranking compiled by the Institute of International Finance (IIF). In its 2023 IR and Debt Transparency Report, the IIF said the Philippines has been strongly communicating developments in its economy to investors and other interested parties. The Philippines’ IR country score was 47.8 points out of 50. In a statement, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said the score is significantly improved from 41 points in 2022, good enough for 12th place. The Philippines had the most improved score among the top 10 countries.

National gov't provides PHP7.3B subsidies to GOCCs 

The national government's subsidies for government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) amounted to PHP7.38 billion in May. Data from the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) showed the amount was slightly lower than the PHP7.9 billion in the same month last year. The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) was the biggest recipient of budgetary support anew, amounting to PHP4.22 billion. The National Food Authority received PHP849 million, second on the list, while the National Housing Authority came in third with subsidies amounting to PHP363 million.

World Bank okays $600-M loan to boost farmers’, fishers’ income

The World Bank on Friday approved a USD600-million loan to further increase the market access and income of almost half a million farmers and fisherfolk in the country. In a statement, the World Bank said the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) Scale-Up, would expand on the implementation of the PRDP launched in 2014 by the Department of Agriculture. Its financing will come from a loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). The Rural Development Project, which is being implemented in 80 provinces, including 640 municipalities and 32 cities, has reached almost 633,000 farmers, raised incomes, and improved connectivity to markets through the construction of roads and bridges, and the provision of post-harvest facilities, among other interventions.

PH set to hit digital payments target

Digitalization efforts in the Philippine payments system are on track to meet the target of converting half of total retail payments into digital form in 2023, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). The BSP said in a report titled 2022 Status of Digital Payments that as of last year, digital platforms accounted for an overall share of 42 percent of the number of all transactions that year, rising from 30 percent in the previous year. In terms of value, digital payments represented 40 percent of all transactions, declining from 44 percent in 2021. In the report, the BSP pegged total transactions at $195 billion, of which $78.17 billion were done digitally.

MIAA studies moving foreign flights of AirAsia to Terminal 1

The country’s airport operator is considering the transfer of the international flights of low-cost carrier AirAsia Philippines to Terminal 1 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport but only after the coming peak travel season. “Together with AirAsia, we are studying how we can fine-tune their schedules. And we are identifying several foreign carriers that we can swap with them from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3,” Bryan Andersen Y. Co, officer-in-charge of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), told reporters on Saturday. He made the statement after the MIAA implemented over the weekend the final stage of its Schedule and Terminal Assignment Rationalization (STAR) program, which involved the transfer of AirAsia’s domestic flights to Terminal 2 from Terminal 4.

Marcos backs national innovation agenda to boost economic growth

 President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., as the chairperson of the National Innovation Council (NIC), has given his full support to the National Innovation Agenda and Strategy (NIAS) for the period of 2023-2032. According to a statement released by the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) on Saturday, the NIASD 2023-2032 serves as a blueprint for the country's efforts to improve the “innovation governance” and establish a “dynamic innovation ecosystem.” It facilitates collaboration through active, reliable and useful platforms, providing innovation actors with the necessary resources and facilities to transform their ideas into groundbreaking products and services. The NIASD also aims to connect innovators and entrepreneurs with potential investors and funders.

NEDA considering longer NAIA concession period 

The  Department of Transportation (DoTr) expects the government’s economic planning agency to complete its review of the unsolicited and solicited proposals for redeveloping the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) by July, and is currently studying whether to grant a longer concession period to allow proponents more time to recover their investment. This unsolicited proposal involves P267 billion worth of investment, which includes a P57-billion upfront payment and around P211 billion in development costs over a 25-year concession period. In June, the DoTr and the Manila International Airport Authority submitted to NEDA a P141-billion solicited proposal which gives the private concessionaire 15 years to operate the airport and recover its investment.

DOE Conducts 2nd Round of Green Energy Auction in the Philippines 

The Department of Energy (DOE) generated 3,580.76 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy capacities that have been committed to deliver energy for the period 2024 to 2026 at a price that is lower than or equal to the Green Energy Auction Reserve (GEAR) Prices set by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). The ERC, on 15 June 2023, released the Final GEAR Prices for the GEA 2 for the following technologies: Php4.4043 per kWh for ground-mounted solar, Php4.8738 per kWh for the rooftop solar, Php5.3948 per kWh for the floating solar, Php5.8481 per kWh for onshore wind, Php5.4024 per kWh for biomass and Php6.2683 per kWh for the biomass waste-to-energy. Through the GEAP, the Mandated Participants of the Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) Program are given substantial assistance to procure their energy requirements through a competitive process and ensure compliance with their minimum RPS requirements designed to continuously trigger the increase of RE capacity in the country. This will help realize the government’s target of 35% RE in the energy mix by 2030 and 50% by 2040.

Gov’t asked to go beyond condonation of ARB debt

The government has been asked to do more to help agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) beyond debt condonation, with a peasant organization calling for continuing land distribution. Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado M. Estrella III has said that President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. — who is also the Secretary of Agriculture — will sign the New Agrarian Emancipation Act on July 7. The House of Representatives passed House Bill No. 6336, its version of the measure, in December while the Senate approved Senate Bill No. 1850 in March. Both chambers separately ratified the measures in bicameral conference and sent the report to the President before the legislative recess on March 25.

EV charging station accreditation assigned to bureau of Energy dep’t 

The Department of Energy (DoE) said on Monday that it placed one of its bureaus in charge of registering electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS) and accrediting suppliers. In an advisory dated June 23, the Energy department said EVCS provider accreditation and equipment registration applications will be taken by the Energy Utilization Management Bureau.  The registration rules require that the EVCS be “interconnected with the same electrical branch circuit system, located in the same unit building/floor and bounded by the same building, (otherwise) separate applications will be required,” the DoE said.It said multiple EVCS points will be considered one registration if on the same floor; within the same facility and connected to one electrical branch circuit. However, the DoE said that only DoE-accredited “own-use charging stations” and “commercial-use charging stations” will be allowed to register.

DOTr set to re-file MRT fare hike petition 

The Department of Transportation said they will file another petition for a fresh set of Metro Rail Transit Line 3 fare increases, despite calls from civil society to hold off on rate hikes. The fair adjustment petition, which will be filed at the DOTr’s rail regulatory unit, is set to move today. The announcement was publicized in a statement by DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Cesar B. Chavez. “It can be recalled that MRT-3’s fare hike petition was deferred due to infirmities in complying with the requirements and procedure,” the statement read. The DOTr indicated that petitions for fare adjustments on the MRT-3 have not been approved in the past eight years. 

Government trims GOCC subsidies in May 

 The government trimmed its budgetary support to state-run firms by almost 10 percent to P7.4 billion in May, with the bulk of the subsidies intended to support the agriculture sector. Data from the Bureau of the Treasury showed subsidies to government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) in April went down by seven percent to P7.39 billion from P7.97 billion in the same period last year. During the month, budgetary support for major non-financial government corporations reached P5.54 billion, down by 15 percent.

Hog raisers say big piggeries also suffer due to ASF

Local hog raisers on Monday urged the government to also extend support to pork integrators who are currently battling an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in their farms. In an interview, Edwin Chen, past president of the Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines (Pro-Pork), said much of the government’s resources to combat ASF is being directed toward backyard piggeries, which, he said, generally lack the capability to produce on an industrial scale. Chen, who is also a director at the Philippine Chamber Agriculture and Food, Inc. (PCAFI), said government assistance “may take many forms,” but stopped short of saying whether his members are seeking financial assistance or other perks.

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