ECCP at Work

ECCP@Work Featured Articles | April 5, 2024

April 05, 2024

ECCP Online

ECCP at Work

PH cuts economic growth target to 6%-7% — NEDA chief Balisacan

National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said that the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) has revised the growth target for 2024 to the 6% to 7% range, down from the previous target of 6.5% to 7.5%. Balisacan made the announcement during a Palace press briefing a day after the 16th full Cabinet meeting with President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.

Inflation quickens to 3.7 percent in March

Inflation quickened to 3.7 percent in March amid higher food prices, and higher costs in transport, restaurant and accommodation services, the Philippine Statistics Authority said on Friday. "Food inflation at the national level rose to 5.7 percent in March 2024 from 4.8 percent in February 2024," the PSA said. The March inflation figure brought the average inflation for the first three months of the year to 3.3 percent.

BOI approves P1.9 trillion green lane projects

A total of P1.9 trillion worth of strategic projects have been approved for green lane processing, the Board of Investments (BOI) said. Trade Secretary and BOI chairman Alfredo Pascual said 59 projects worth P1.9 trillion have been approved by the BOI covering the period of 2023 until the first quarter of this year for green lane services.

PHL growth likely 2nd fastest in SE Asia

The Philippines is projected to be the second-fastest growing economy in Southeast Asia this year and in 2025 as domestic demand is expected to remain resilient, according to Moody’s Ratings. “We have kept unchanged our 2024 and 2025 forecasts for the Philippines and Malaysia and also expect sequentially higher growth in both countries. Domestic demand remains the primary economic growth engine for the Philippines,” it said in a report.

Resolving CREATE ambiguities expected to unlock investments

Ambiguities in the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act are serving as a brake on investment, with amendments to the law expected to clear up any uncertainties for investors, property consultancy Colliers said. “The government must respond immediately… as maintaining the status quo may result in forgone billions of pesos in revenue and economic opportunity losses,” Colliers said in a report.

PSA lowers economy’s growth to 5.5% in 2023

PSA data showed gross domestic product (GDP) — the value of all finished goods and services produced in the country at a given period — grew by 5.5% last year, slightly lower than the 5.6% initially reported on Jan. 31. Philippine GDP growth in 2023 was slower than the 7.6% expansion in 2022. It was the weakest growth since 2020 when GDP contracted by 9.5% amid the strict lockdown.

DOE, DOST partner for R&D on renewable energy

The Department of Energy has partnered with the Department of Science and Technology for the conduct of renewable energy (RE) research and development (R&D). Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla and DOST Secretary Renato Solidum Jr. signed a memorandum of agreement for both agencies to work on research projects for the efficiency, affordability and scalability of RE technologies through the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD).

PHL, Japan vows to address decarbonization challenges

Tokyo and Manila vowed to address challenges and come up with solutions to advance efforts for decarbonization. The DOE announced that a Japanese mission led by Maeda Tadashi, Special Advisor to the Cabinet, together with the officials of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and Japanese private sector executives held a meeting with Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla. 

Philippines debt pierces P15 trillion mark 

The issuance of domestic securities pushed the country’s debt to hit the P15-trillion mark in February, a new record high in outstanding obligations, the Bureau of the Treasury said. Latest data from the Treasury showed that the national debt settled at P15.18 trillion as of end-February, the highest level to date. This is also 10 percent higher than last year’s P13.75 trillion debt.

Ban on cross-ownership in energy sector sought

Lawmakers are pressing for the swift approval of an amendment of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira) to strengthen regulations within the power sector. Emphasizing the susceptibility of the current Epira framework to exploitation, Rep. Caroline L. Tanchay, along with Rep. Rodante D. Marcoleta, both from SAGIP Party-list, have co-authored House Bill (HB) 174 or the proposed “Act Prohibiting Cross Ownership Among Distribution Utilities and Generation Companies.” 

Travel service trade swings to surplus

The Philippines posted a net trade surplus for the first time in 15 years in 2023. Trade surplus means spending by international travelers to the Philippines is greater than what Filipinos spend overseas. The DOT cited data from the BSP which showed the country recorded $2.45 billion in net trade surplus in travel services from a $743 million deficit in 2022 and breached the $1.93 billion surplus last recorded in  2007.

Hydro power plants boost Green Lane projects to P1.9T

Two projects valued at P441 billion being undertaken by companies under Prime Infrastructure Capital Inc., the infrastructure arm of businessman Enrique Razon Jr.,  have been recently granted Green Lane certification. The two bring to P1.9 trillion the total investments given special facilitation as of the first quarter of the year.

Recto: Big-ticket power storage projects to boost PHL’s RE goal

Finance Secretary Ralph G. Recto said the two big-ticket power storage projects in Luzon will help accelerate the realization of the Philippines’s ambitious goal of increasing the share of renewable energy in its power generation mix.

20% drop in furniture, handicraft exports seen in 2024 

A local trade association of exporters is expecting exports revenues from consumer durables such as furniture and handicraft to end up lower by $100 million or about a fifth this year, citing local hurdles and foreign competition. Robert M. Young, president of the Foreign Buyers Association of the Philippines (FOBAP), said they have estimated that their exports of hard goods will reach $400 million in 2024, which is 20 percent lower than the $500 million they recorded last year.

Government trade-marketing arm seeks additional perks for exporters

As a new tax law threw a monkey wrench on the exports engines, a government unit under the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is eyeing the establishment of a “green lane” and wider coverage of value-added tax (VAT) exemption. The latter, an official of the DTI’s Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) said, is anchored on a bill that passed in the Lower House.

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