ECCP at Work

ECCP@Work Featured Articles| April 23, 2024

April 23, 2024

ECCP Online

ECCP at Work

EU firms seek PEZA clarity on tax perks for aviation projects

In recognition of the role of PEZA, ECCP Executive Director Florian Gottein has called for a discussion on the “plans and priorities of the agency for 2024 with a special focus on investments in the aviation industry.” Particularly, Gottein said “We would like to raise the concern that our members have about certain provisions of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Law and their impact on aviation industry locators.”

Around 15 PPP projects up for NEDA Board approval next year

Around 15 public-private partnership (PPP) proposals may be submitted to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board for approval next year, the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center said. European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) Board Director Diana M. Edralin said that digitalizing the healthcare sector with the help of artificial intelligence is crucial to identify necessary PPP projects for local government units (LGU).

Cancer Center PPP up for NEDA board approval

The proposed change in the cost and terms of the University of the Philippines - Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) Cancer Center public private partnership (PPP) project will be presented for the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) board approval next week, the PPP Center said. 

EU FTA negotiators expected to pursue procurement easing

The European Union (EU) is expected to look into the opening up of government procurement and full market access to public utilities in negotiating the EU-Philippine free trade agreement (FTA), a business council official said. Chris Humphrey, executive director of the EU-ASEAN Business Council, said that nevertheless, he does not expect “too many big hurdles” in negotiating for the FTA.

Inflation uptick unlikely in April, says NEDA official

“We’re hoping that it (inflation) will be good because we’re already harvesting,” NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie G. Edillon told reporters on the sidelines of a forum. The dry harvest season for rice started last month and will last until end-April. “Of course, we are concerned that many areas are still experiencing this intense heat, but with respect to our farming sector, a lot of them were able to do advance planting,” Ms. Edillon said.

BoI says investment pledges reach P607B

Investment commitments approved by the Board of Investments (BoI) reached P607.22 billion as of April 17. The investment promotion agency approved a total of 117 projects, which mostly came from domestic investors. “Our total approved investments increased by 15% because last year, from January to April, we recorded P527.24 billion worth of investment approvals, while for January to this week, we already have P607.22 billion,” BOI Director Recolizado said.

PEZA approves P15-B investments in April

PEZA approved 23 projects worth P15 billion, mostly in manufacturing, at its board meeting last week, its top official said. Of the 23 projects, eight were in manufacturing while six were in information technology and business process management (IT-BPM). The board also greenlit six economic zone (ecozone) development projects, two facilities and one logistics project.

Philippines’ January external debt service more than doubles

The Philippines’ external debt payments more than doubled in January as principal payments surged, central bank data showed. Preliminary data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed that the country’s external debt service burden soared by 110% to $1.729 billion from $823 million a year ago.

NEDA supports ‘well-targeted’ RCEF as DA seeks extension

“NEDA is looking at that issue. There are pros, there are cons (to extending). I would like to think that keeping the RCEF and targeting it well, using it well to improve the productivity on rice is not a bad idea,” NEDA Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said. “But at the same time, the President has also issued an Administrative Order reducing unnecessary barriers to imports especially when there are domestic shortages so that inflation will be averted, so things like that would need to be examined,” he said.

DA told to ease agri import process

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. ordered the Department of Agriculture (DA) to ease the importation process of agricultural products, including allowing industrial users to directly import sugar. Administrative Order (AO) No. 20, directed the DA, in coordination with the departments of Finance and Trade, to “undertake measures to further streamline administrative procedures and policies on the importation of agricultural products and remove non-tariff barriers.”

DoTr awaiting NEDA approval to open Swiss challenge for Bohol airport

The Department of Transportation (DoTr) may open the Swiss challenge for the New Bohol-Panglao International Airport next month and is still awaiting approval from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) for the proposal to upgrade the airport.

Future SRPs to specify unit cost in measure against ‘shrinkflation’

“Because the DTI wants to address consumer concerns with respect to shrinkflation, our strategy is to add a new feature to the SRP bulletin,” Consumer Protection Group Assistant Secretary Amanda F. Nograles said. “Through this, we will add a third column that will be the unit cost. We will now require the manufacturers to indicate the unit cost so that consumers can easily compare them,” Ms. Nograles said. 

Many Filipino PWDs still struggle to join the workforce, remain poor

Companies that lead in disability inclusion drive more revenue and profit, according to a 2023 study of the US workforce by Accenture and Disability:IN. Accenture first documented the business case for hiring persons with disabilities (PWD) and offered guidance on how to advance inclusivity efforts in 2018, just before a global coronavirus pandemic. “In the past five years, the business case for hiring persons with disabilities has become even stronger,” Accenture said in the 2023 report.


The Bureau of Customs (BOC), in its effort to strengthen existing trade facilitation efforts and mechanism, convened the 7th Trade Facilitation Working Group Meeting under the ARISE Plus Philippines Project via virtual conference. On behalf of Atty. Vincent Philip C. Maronilla, Assistant Commissioner, PCAG, and Chair, BOC Project Team for Strengthened Trade Facilitation Capacity Building, Atty. Julito L. Doria, Deputy Collector for Operations, Port of Manila (POM), and Vice-Chair, ARISE Plus, BOC Project Team, presided the meeting.

First phase of PH fiber backbone inaugurated

The government inaugurated the initial stage of a national connectivity project that is expected to boost the country's development via the delivery of improved internet services. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., speaking at the launch of the National Fiber Backbone (NFB) project's first phase, said he envisioned a landscape where the smallest business ventures could easily go online. "One of the most important aspects that we have always focused upon... is a very big push to bring MSMEs (medium, small and micro enterprises) into the digital space," he said.

DOTr seeks support for EDSA Greenways

The Department of Transportation (DOTr), together with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), held a market sounding conference  with the private sector for the implementation of the $140-million EDSA Greenways Project-Phase 1 civil works, the  largest investment in pedestrian infrastructure. DOTr led the meeting for the project’s civil works package to address the inquiries of the private sector and ascertain their level of interest. DOTr undersecretary Timothy John Batan said the pedestrian infrastructure is expected to enhance active transport by connecting the project to mass transit stations.

PH first to sign RRO agreement

Finance Secretary Ralph Recto signed a groundbreaking crisis and disaster response deal with the World Bank Group (WBG), marking the country as the first signatory of the Rapid Response Option (RRO) agreement. Recto and WBG Managing Director Anna Bjerde signed the agreement during the WBG and International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings in Washington, D.C. on April 20, 2024.

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