ECCP at Work

ECCP@Work Featured Articles | January 16, 2024

January 16, 2024

ECCP Online

ECCP at Work

Biz groups welcome Recto's appointment 

ECCP Executive Director Florian Gottein said Recto's leadership would be "pivotal" in steering the nation toward greater economic resilience and attractive foreign investments. "[Former] House Deputy Speaker Ralph Recto [is] also marked with wealth of experience and dedication to public service," he added.

PEZA adopts export, investment diversification tack 

Acknowledging the slowdown in the global electronics market, the PEZA will be more aggressive in promoting the Philippines to global investors in a wider range of sectors. “We’ve been trying to diversify our export products and investments so while we anticipate a flat growth in electronics, we’re looking at EV (electric vehicles) as a strong potential for investments as well as exports into  agriculture and  IT which is still bullish at 10 to 15 growth,” Tereso Panga, director-general of PEZA said.

PHL faces blacklisting risk by FATF

AMLC Executive Director Matthew M. David said the FATF only encourages its members and all jurisdictions to consider the FATF information on the listed country in their financial dealings. “Nevertheless, continued inclusion in the gray list may pose some reputational consequences, with some financial institutions considering Philippine-related transactions to be of higher risk,” he said. “Continuous inclusion in the FATF gray list also increases risk of blacklisting.”

Recto’s main priority: Raise P4.3T in revenues

Finance Secretary Ralph Recto said his main priority would be to raise P4.3 trillion in revenues this year as the administration targets expanded social services and creating more jobs to continue the economic recovery despite the lingering impact of the pandemic. Recto said the Bureau of Internal Revenue would be collecting P3 trillion, the Bureau of Customs P1 trillion and the National Treasury P300 billion.

Full rollout of EVOSS to attract RE investments

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said a comprehensive implementation and better fund utilization of the Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop (EVOSS) system will attract more renewable energy (RE) investments in the country. Gatchalian, who is vice-chairperson of the Senate committee on energy, said that the EVOSS completion rate stands at 85 percent since it was enacted in 2019, based on the November 2023 data of the Department of Energy (DOE).

Industry buildup urged after weak jobs outlook

The Philippines must work to develop industry and agriculture in anticipation of growing global joblessness this year, labor organizations said. “The government should look more into helping industries become more competitive and enhance the agriculture sector’s productivity to boost employment generation, and mitigate the increase in prices of basic commodities,” Renato B. Magtubo, chairman of labor group Partidong Manggagawa, said.

German interest in PHL to grow pool of RE investors

Renewable energy (RE) tie-ups with Germany raise the prospect of leading-edge technology and financing being introduced to the solar and offshore wind sector, industry officials said. “Germany can provide financing and technology for the deployment of RE,” Michael O. Sinocruz, director of energy policy and planning at the Department of Energy, said.

Solons to work with new DOF chief on tax policies 

The House Committee on Ways and Means, through Committee Chairman Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda,   vowed to work closely with Finance Secretary Ralph G. Recto for the passage of the “most urgent” tax policies. These objectives include addressing the country’s position as one of the first to propose a value-added tax on digital services but among the last to enact such a policy among the Asean-6, challenges in the booming electronic commerce sector, and decline in tobacco excise tax collections due to vaping. 

DOE wants better TOR for microgrid bidding system

The Department of Energy (DOE) plans to improve the terms of reference (TOR) for the next round of bidding for the development of microgrid systems. DOE Assistant Secretary Mario Marasigan said another round of competitive selection process (CSP) for the microgrid systems provider is targeted this year after the agency concluded late last year the first-ever bidding, which only attracted one bidder after nine firms previously expressed interest. 

Power consumption to go up by 5%

Online stockbroker expects power demand to continue to grow this year as the economy expands, pegged by consensus estimate at 5.7 percent. “We estimate the projected added capacity from new renewable plants will be sufficient to meet the projected increase in demand even as no new large baseload capacity is expected to be added to the country’s grid,” said. They also cautioned that the projected depletion of the Malampaya gas field could put a strain on the country’s aging baseload plants, which could potentially result in more unplanned outages.

PCCI backs sectors for MIF financing

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) expressed support to the sectors identified to be financed by the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) saying these are critical to the productivity of enterprises and industries and the country’s sustained growth: energy, water, transport and information  and communication technology and infrastructure projects which are capital-intensive. PCCI president Enunina Mangio expressed support for the MIF’s blueprint to include energy security and urged the government to act with haste on pending power development projects.

Bond issuances decline by 53 percent in 2023 

Government and corporate bond issues tumbled by more than half last year amid a challenging environment including high interest rates. Corporate bonds dropped to P106 billion last year compared to P327 billion in 2022, while bank bonds declined to P98 billion from P179 billion a year ago. Government bonds amounted to P355 billion, lower than the P878 billion issued in 2022, while P88 billion worth of preferred shares were issued in 2023 versus zero in 2022.

BI aligns upgrades with tourism

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said on Monday that it is gearing up for extensive modernization projects in 2024 that aligns with the country’s ambitious tourism targets. In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Norman G. Tansingco revealed that the BI is set to replace 25% of its manual operations with electronic gates this year as part of a medium-term plan. This is strategically timed with an expected influx of tourists, following the Department of Tourism’s aggressive promotional efforts.


Manila sees US presidential trade mission bolstering public-private partnerships

The United States’ upcoming Presidential Trade and Investment Mission (PTIM) in Manila is expected to bolster public-private partnerships between the two countries, according to the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). “The PTIM will be the first of a series of major commercial events between the Philippines and the United States (US) for the year,” the DFA said. US National Security Council Spokesperson Adrienne Watson said the PITM “will enhance US companies’ contributions to the Philippines’ innovation economy, connective infrastructure, clean energy transition, critical minerals sector, and the food security of its people.”

Exporters, manufacturers eye $3.82M in trade show 

About 40 Philippine exporters and manufacturers of furniture and ceramics are aiming to generate $3.82 million in sales at an upcoming trade show in Germany, according to the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (Citem). DESIGNPhilippines, Citem’s branding initiative that “positions” the Philippines as a sourcing destination for “finely crafted products” in the international stage, will participate in European trade show Ambiente in Messe Frankfurt, Germany from January 26 to January 30. In the 2023 edition of Ambiente, Citem said the DESIGNPhilippines generated $2.73 million in sales with 30 participating companies.

Motor vehicle and credit card loans sustain growth in November 2023

Credit card and motor vehicle loans boosted consumer loans in November 2023, according to the latest data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). Preliminary data showed consumer loans to residents increased by 23.6 percent in November 2023 from 22.8 percent in October 2033. “[This was] driven by the faster increase in credit card loans, motor vehicle loans, and salary-based general purpose consumption loans,” BSP said.

Canada eyes Philippine critical minerals sector amid global ‘green’ energy push 

Canada is interested in helping the Philippines build its capacity to extract critical minerals “responsibly, ethically and sustainably” to help the global economy transition to clean energy, Canadian Ambassador to Manila David Hartman said. This developed as Canada’s minister for international development, Ahmed Hussen, visited the Philippines Thursday and announced Canada’s aid worth C$15 million (P626 million) to help the Philippines adapt to climate change and for local officials to implement the Universal Health Care program.

Remittances ease to $3 billion in November

Data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed that personal remittances – the sum of net compensation of employees, personal transfers, and capital transfers between households – amounted to just $3.02 billion in November 2023. This is 2.9 percent higher than the $2.93 billion in the same period in 2022, but slower than the 3.1-percent expansion recorded in October 2023.

Technical evaluation starts for 4 NAIA bidders 

DOTr’s pre-qualification bids and awards committee opened the technical bids and completed the preliminary evaluation of the technical proposal of four bidders on January 15. After that, a detailed technical bid evaluation will be conducted until February 4, or no longer than 20 days, pursuant to the instruction to the bidders announced last December 29, said Timothy John Batan, DOTr undersecretary for planning. “The announcement of the compliant technical bid is on Feb. 5, 2024,” Batan said.

Chief economists see unstable year ahead for world economy

Conducted each year ahead of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting in the Swiss resort of Davos, the survey of 60-plus chief economists drawn globally from the private and public sectors attempts to sketch priorities for policymakers and business leaders. Some 56 percent  of those surveyed expect overall global economic conditions to weaken this year, with a high degree of regional divergence. While majorities saw moderate or stronger growth in China and the United States, there was broad consensus that Europe would muster only weak or very weak growth. The outlook for South Asia and East Asia and Pacific was more positive, with very high majorities expecting at least moderate growth in 2024.

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