ECCP at Work

ECCP@Work Featured Articles | September 8, 2023

September 08, 2023

ECCP Online

ECCP at Work

SRA expects sugar harvests to grow 2.7% to 1.79m tons

“The outlook is basically very preliminary. That is based on the area planted [to sugarcane] and based on the production average last year,” SRA Acting Administrator Azcona said at the sidelines of the 2023 Sustainable Agriculture Forum organized by the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines. Yield may decline by 10 percent to 15 percent if the dry spell would be severe, Azcona said. The spate of strong typhoons in the fourth quarter of 2022 and the first half of 2023 affected the projected output of 2.2 million MT, he said.

Exports likely posted modest uptick in July

Philippine exports likely posted a modest growth in July, despite sluggish global demand, according to economists and business groups. ING Bank N.V. Manila Senior Economist Nicholas Antonio T. Mapa said there may have been modest gains in exports in July. “However, global trade remains sluggish on soft demand and thus any gains may be limited,” Mr. Mapa said. 

BSP flags continuing risks to financial PHL system

BSP Governor Eli M. Remolona Jr., the new chair of the Financial Stability Coordination Council (FSCC), said risks loom despite the recent strength of the economy.“While the high-level indicators are notable, there are many developments that we should still monitor. This is where systemic risk surveillance is critical because we need to assess if and how changing conditions in the global and regional markets mesh with our own domestic situation,” the Governor said.

Neda eyes calibrated cuts in rice tariffs to ease prices

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan called for a review of existing rice tariffs to help lower the price of the staple. To aid consumers—particularly the poor—Balisacan said the government needs to accelerate the Food Stamp Program (FSP) rollout. The FSP is one of the priority programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), which will provide P3,000 worth of food credits to target beneficiaries each month for six months.

Sugar production higher this year

Raw sugar production in 2022-2023 was down 1.6 percent to  1.79 million MT from 1.82 million MT the previous crop year. Pablo Azcona, SRA acting administrator, said at the Sustainable Agriculture Forum hosted by the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines in Makati City yesterday farmers were encouraged by the recent farm gate price of sugar. But Azcona also cautioned sugar production could fall 10 to 15 percent if the effects of  El Niño will be extreme.

P1.42T infra budget up 6.6% in 2024 NEP

DBM Secretary Amenah  Pangandaman said that almost half of the proposed infrastructure budget, or 43.5 percent, will go to transport-related facilities, such as road networks. Funding for railway systems is at P153.5 billion, a  283 percent increase  compared to its P40.1 billion allotment in the 2023 General Appropriations Act (GAA). Pangandaman said allocation for flood control systems is at P255 billion or 18 percent of the total infrastructure budget. Investments in social infrastructure include provisions for school buildings at P40.6 billion; hospitals and health centers, at P15.31 billion; and housing and community facilities, at P2.12 billion. These will necessitate allocations for water supply systems worth P5.43 billion, along with adequate sanitation facilities and power supply systems for P3.58 billion, including households and state universities and colleges  among others, nationwide.

BSP ready to raise rates to tame price pressures

“The BSP stands ready to adjust the monetary policy stance, as necessary, to prevent the further broadening of price pressures, as well as the emergence of additional second order effects in view of the persistent upside risks to the inflation outlook,” the central bank said in a statement. According to the BSP, the balance of risks to the inflation outlook continues to lean toward the upside owing to the potential impact of additional transport fare increases, higher-than-expected minimum wage adjustments in other regions, persistent supply constraints for key food items, El Niño weather conditions, and possible knock-on effects of higher toll rates on prices of key agricultural items.

‘Price cap effective only in short term’

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the price cap serves as a short-term measure against non-competitive practices by some market players. “Output will also fall as farmers are discouraged to plant, and importers will refuse to import because the suggested domestic retail price is lower than the implied landed costs of imports,” Diokno said. Asked what the exact timeline of “near term” is, Diokno said: “It is reasonable to assume, however, that the right time to lift the price control is when the conditions for its imposition no longer exist.” “It is crucial that the government ensures sufficient rice supply at reduced prices, avoids non-competitive behavior in the rice industry, and pursues targeted programs to protect vulnerable sectors,” Diokno said.

Marcos Jr. secures $22 million investment pledges from 2 Indonesian firms

Two Indonesian firms have pledged to invest a total of $22 million in the Philippines following meetings with President Marcos on the sidelines of the 43rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits here, officials said. Presidential Communications Office Secretary Cheloy Garafil said the companies met with Marcos for increased partnerships on animal health, artificial intelligence (AI) and digital connectivity.

DENR wants more women to lead mining sector

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is urging mining companies to provide women a platform to lead and harness their unique perspectives, knowledge and skills in the sector. “Mining companies are urged to enhance women participation in their conservation and restoration projects, acknowledging the indigenous women’s and other women’s invaluable knowledge of local ecosystems.

Wholesale price growth accelerates to 4.5% in July

Wholesale price growth of general goods accelerated to 4.5% in July from 4% in June, driven by the food, animal and vegetable oils, and manufactured goods segments, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Wednesday. The July reading of the general wholesale price index (GWPI) remained weaker than the year-earlier 8%, the PSA said, citing preliminary data. The recent high for the indicator was 5% in May.

  • Europe-PH News

  • April 12, 2024

    Digitalization initiatives to drive financial services and employment opportunities in the PH

    Makati City, Philippines – The release of latest ... Read More

  • April 05, 2024

    Unleash Hell in Makati: The Ultimate MMA Festival Showdown at Kombat Sports Kalayaan!

    Get ready to witness the ultimate showdown as Kombat Spo... Read More

  • March 18, 2024

    Milestone Achieved: ECCP Celebrates Restart of EU-Philippines FTA Negotiations

    Manila, Philippines – The European Chamber of Commerce of the Phil... Read More