ECCP at Work

ECCP@Work Featured Articles | December 22, 2023

December 22, 2023

ECCP Online

ECCP at Work

Bongbong Marcos signs P5.768-trillion 2024 nat’l budget

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed into law the 2024 national budget (Republic Act No. 11975). “Although it is teeming with numbers, this budget is more than a spreadsheet of amounts of a ledger of projects, rather, it details our battle plan in fighting poverty and combating illiteracy in producing food and ending hunger and protecting our homes and securing our border, treating the sick, keeping our people healthy, creating jobs and funding livelihoods,” Marcos said.

22% of pledges materialized 

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said 22 percent or P170 billion of the P757.1 billion pledged investments through 34 letters of intent and agreements signed during the Japan visit of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in February have materialized. DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual said these investments have created 9,700 jobs, citing reports.

PEZA investments seen to hit over P170B

Investments approved by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) this year would likely reach over P170 billion. “As of Dec. 7, we have approved a total of P160.44-billion (investments). We expect to approve an additional P12 billion during our board meeting (Dec. 19),” PEZA Director-General Tereso O. Panga said in a Viber message, putting the estimated PEZA-approved investments for this year at P172 billion. To date, PEZA has already exceeded its full-year target of P154.77 billion.

PHL posts BoP deficit of $216M in November

The Philippines’ balance of payments (BoP) deficit narrowed to $216 million in November from the $756-million gap a year ago, preliminary data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed. “The BoP deficit in November 2023 reflected outflows arising mainly from the National Government’s (NG) payments of its foreign currency debt obligations,” the BSP said in a statement. On a month-on-month basis, the BoP position swung to a deficit from the $1.5-billion surplus recorded in October. The BoP deficit in November was also the smallest since the $57 million in August.

NEDA: 2024 budget to support economic growth

NEDA said the approved P5.768 trillion national budget for 2024, which allocates the biggest appropriation for the social services and economic services sectors, will support the priorities and policy directions of the administration’s 8-Point Socioeconomic Agenda and is aligned with the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028. 

NG plans to borrow P585B domestically in Q1

THE NATIONAL Government (NG) plans to borrow P585 billion from the domestic market in the first quarter, the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) said. The BTr said it seeks to raise P195 billion from the issuance of Treasury bills (T-bills) and P390 billion from Treasury bonds (T-bonds) in the January to March period. In January alone, the government eyes to borrow P195 billion from the domestic market, more than triple the P60-billion borrowing plan for December. This consists of P75 billion in T-bills and P120 billion in T-bonds.

DBCC’s revised growth target is too ‘meager,’ say analysts

The Development Budget Coordination Committee’s (DBCC) latest revision to the 2024 growth outlook is too insignificant, analysts said as they urged the government to focus on efforts to mitigate local and global headwinds. At its Dec. 15 meeting, the DBCC narrowed next year’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth target to 6.5-7.5% from 6.5-8% previously. However, the DBCC kept this year’s goal at 6-7%. Most multilateral institutions’ Philippine growth forecasts do not meet the lower end of the DBCC’s target range for 2024, including the World Bank (5.8%), the International Monetary Fund (6%) and the Asian Development Bank (6.2%).

No. of jobless Pinoys falls to 7.9M: SWS 

The number of jobless Filipinos fell to   7.9 million in October from 10.3 million in June, results of the third quarter survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS). This translated to a joblessness rate of  16.9 percent as of October from 22.8 percent in June 2023 and is the lowest  since the 15.7 percent in December 2017. The survey, which had a margin of error of ±2.8 percent, was done from September 28 to October 1 and involved 1,200 adult respondents nationwide.

P82B project endorsed for green lane 

The Board of Investments (BOI) has approved for green lane services to the P81.675-billion 450-megawatt Frontera Bay wind power project in offshore Cavite of Ivisan Windkraft Corp. The BOI in a statement said the green lane endorsement will expedite and streamline government transactions for this strategic investments.

Upside inflation risks seen to linger

THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) retained its 2-4% inflation target range through 2026, although risks to the outlook remain “strongly tilted to the upside.” “The inflation target range of 3% ± 1.0 ppt (2-4%) remains an appropriate representation of the medium-term goal for price stability, given the current structure of the Philippine economy, recent economic developments, and the overall macroeconomic outlook over the next few years,” the BSP said.

Vehicle sales seen topping full-year target 

Motor vehicle sales grew 24 percent in the first 11 months of the year, hitting 390,654 units from 315,337units in the same period in 2022, a  joint report by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA)showed. The industry has so far achieved 92 percent of the target of 423,000 units for the year. The 24-percent growth was achieved despite a slight decline in sales in November from October.

PEZA to leverage on C+1 policy, tags Taiwan as priority market 

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) has identified Taiwan as a priority market for outbound investment missions next year. Tereso Panga, director-general of PEZA, said the agency is banking on the existing bilateral investment agreement and New Southbound Trade Treaty between the Philippines and Taiwan. Panga also said PEZA will take advantage of the  China Plus One (C+1)  policy,  a business strategy adopted by companies, especially multinational corporations, to diversify their production and supply chain activities by adding an alternative manufacturing or sourcing location to China.

WB sees faster remittance growth

Remittance Flows to the Philippines are projected to grow by 5% this year and next year, the World Bank (WB) said, as demand for Filipino migrant workers remains strong. Data from the World Bank showed the Philippines remained the fourth-largest recipient of foreign remittances in the world this year with $40 billion, after India ($125 billion), Mexico ($67 billion), and China ($50 billion). “Remittance flows to the Philippines — the largest recipient after China in the East Asia and Pacific region — are likely to reach $40 billion in 2023, growing at over 5% compared to under 4% in 2022,” the multilateral lender said in its latest Migration and Development brief. For next year, remittance flows to the Philippines are expected to grow by around 5% to $42 billion.

Big banks’ Q3 asset growth fastest in two quarters

The Combined Assets of the Philippines’ biggest banks rose by 8.78% in the third quarter, while lending growth slowed amid high borrowing costs. The latest edition of BusinessWorld’s quarterly banking report showed the combined assets of 45 universal and commercial banks (U/KBs) increased by 8.78% year on year to P23.37 trillion in the July-to-September period from P21.48 trillion a year ago. This was a tad faster than the 8.38% growth logged in the same period last year and 8.76% in the second quarter.

DOE honors energy-efficient entities from the public and private sectors, energy conservation act mitigates affordability, energy security and climate change

Twenty-seven (27) out of three hundred sixty (360) entries from the government and private sectors emerged as the leading organizations with exceptional implementation and adoption of energy efficiency and conservation programs, innovations, and practices, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced during the 2023 Energy Efficiency Excellence (EEE) Awards held on 19 December 2023.


Expand and deepen the practice of energy and conservation, DOE urges households and business sector amid El Nino

The Department of Energy (DOE) reiterates its call to households and the business sector to contribute to the judicious use of energy and accelerate energy efficiency and conservation efforts amid El Nino. Historically, the El Niño phenomenon increases the ambient temperatures and heat index by one to two degrees. In some parts of the country where ordinarily 39 to 40 degrees are being felt, one to two degrees higher could be felt during those times. This is also the period when the use of electricity increases dramatically.

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