ECCP at Work

ECCP@Work Featured Articles | April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

ECCP Online

ECCP at Work

Gross borrowings up 22% in Feb.

Data from the BTr showed that total gross borrowings jumped by 22% to P419.973 billion in February from P343.625 billion in the same month a year ago. Month on month, gross borrowings more than doubled (106.7%) from P203.151 billion in January. Nearly all of February’s gross borrowings (98.9%) came from domestic sources.

BIR releases implementing rules for Ease of Paying Taxes law

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has released six sets of revenue regulations (RR) for the implementation of the Ease of Paying Taxes Act. The regulations cover the new classifications of taxpayers, the simplified filing process for tax returns and payments, and amendments to penalty rates, among others.

DTI eyes release of Internet Transactions Act’s IRR this month

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is set to release the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the Internet Transactions Act this month, paving the way for the implementation of a law that will provide greater protection to consumers and businesses in the online space. Trade Undersecretary Mary Jean T. Pacheco, the government agency’s e-commerce lead, gave this timeline to reporters Thursday.

BIR expects to hit P198-B goal from net income tax

Internal Revenue Commissioner Romeo D. Lumagui Jr. expressed confidence that the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) will hit its target of raising the P198 billion from taxes on net income and profit to be collected this month on the back of strict enforcement on fake receipts and digitalization efforts.

Business less optimistic in Q1, cites competition–BSP survey

Competition from foreign traders and more goods in the market were among the reasons that made businesses less optimistic in the first quarter of the year. The BSP said stiff competition made businesses less optimistic in the first three months of the year. The data showed business sentiment in the Philippines turned less upbeat in the first quarter as the overall confidence index (CI) declined to 33.1 percent from 35.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Luzon and Visayas grids placed under yellow, red alert

The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) will place Luzon and Visayas grids under red and yellow alerts on April 16, as several power plants are either offline or running at a reduced capacity. NGCP said a red alert will be raised in the Luzon grid from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The yellow alert, on the other hand, will be up from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.

PH secures support on infra, connectivity

President Marcos Jr. has secured the support of the US and Japan for the Philippines’ continued development especially in infrastructure and connectivity. Mr. Marcos said the Philippines, the US and Japan had discussed various ways of enhancing cooperation in areas of mutual concern such as economic resilience and security, inclusive growth and development, climate change, and maritime cooperation.

PH tourism recovery lags behind peers

International tourism recovery in Asia has been uneven, with the Philippines still lagging due to its heavy reliance on Chinese tourists, a Bank of America (BofA) Global Research said. In terms of tourism recovery, countries like Japan and Vietnam are leading the way, BofA said in a report, while China, Hong Kong and the Philippines are lagging.

Carbon tax seen bolstering climate funding in region

A proposed carbon tax could help provide the funding Southeast Asia needs to mitigate climate-related disasters, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said in a webinar, noting that the region is lagging in raising such funding.The Department of Finance said in January that it is studying a carbon tax that is “responsive and economically sensitive.”

DA lifts ban on poultry imports

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has lifted the temporary ban on the importation of domestic and wild birds from Belgium and France after no additional bird flu outbreaks were reported since February 21 and  February 24, respectively. DA Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. issued separate memorandum orders dated April 11 to lift the import prohibition, including products like poultry meat, day-old chicks, eggs and semen.

Agri trade deficit narrows in 2023

Trade in agricultural goods posted a deficit of $11.49 billion last year as both imports and exports fell, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed. The PSA said this represents a 2.6-percent dip from the $11.8 billion posted in 2022. In 2022 and 2021, the total balance of trade registered annual increments of 32.8 percent and 39.4 percent, respectively.

ADB urges Philippine gov’t to broaden online tax take

The Philippine government must consider expanding taxes for digital services and enhance revenue collection efforts, an Asian Development Bank (ADB) official said. “We know with just from the COVID [pandemic,] the proliferation in some of the consumption on online consumption and buying… so I think that’s an area where we could look at, probably broadening the tax take there,” ADB’s Philippines Country Director Pavit Ramachandran said.

Local brands eye overseas expansion 

A new batch of 20 to 25 local brands are eyeing to go international, according to Chris Lim, chairman of the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA). But PFA said local companies wanting to export or to bring their brands abroad need government support to make compliance to regulations overseas much faster.

Debt and climate back on IMF, World Bank spring meetings agenda

The spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are due to open on 16 April, with two clear objectives: help countries combat climate change, and assist the most indebted nations. The meetings will kick off with the IMF’s publication of its updated World Economic Outlook.

‘No oil price surge amid tensions’

The Department of Energy (DOE) does not expect a spike in domestic fuel prices in the wake of the worsening conflict between Iran and Israel, but continues to  monitor developments in the world oil market. “While the market may initially have reacted, we hope it will normalize,” Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said.

February remittances grew 3% to $2.65b — BSP 

Cash remittances grew for the 37th straight month in February 2024, providing a lifeline to the Philippine economy despite a host of external challenges. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said cash remittances amounted to $2.65 billion in February, up 3 percent from $2.57 billion in the same month last year.

PHL power supply made resilient with USAID initiative–Pres. BBM

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said the country’s power supply is set to become more resilient during natural calamities with the launch of the two components of the $34-million “Energy Secure Philippines” initiative of the United States Agency for International Developments (Usaid).

PHL may explore gas reserves within ‘nonconflict’ areas

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. on Monday said the Philippines is looking into exploring gas reserves in nonconflict areas within the country’s exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea, as it tries to diversify its energy mix and boost its power generation capacity. “So, the low-hanging fruit will be those reserves that are within our exclusive economic zone that are not in a conflict area,” said President Marcos Jr.

Philippines faces $16-B funding gap for green transition

The Philippines saw a 57% increase in “green” investments to $1.46 billion in 2023, but still falls short of the over $16 billion in required capital investments needed for its green transition, a report by Bain & Company, GenZero, Standard Chartered and Temasek showed. Private green investments in the Philippines accounted for nearly a fourth of the $6.3 billion in total green investments in Southeast Asia last year, according to the 2024 Green Economy Report for Southeast Asia.

BIR extends grace period for online merchants

Revenue Memorandum Circular (RMC) No. 55-2024 dated April 15, 2024, imposed the extension of the transitory period to an additional 90 days or until July 14, 2024, “in order to provide the said taxpayers sufficient time to comply and adjust to the requirements.”

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