ECCP at Work

ECCP@Work Featured Articles | May 7, 2024

May 07, 2024

ECCP Online

ECCP at Work

Marcos hopes PH-EU free trade pact talks finalized by 2027

Marcos, in a message read by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin for the 2024 European-Philippines Business Dialogue and European Investors’ Night, said the PH-EU FTA is a “crucial step in enhancing the trade partnership between the Philippines and the EU.” “We look forward to negotiations being finalized by 2027 and to elevating trade and investment flows through a comprehensive agreement that includes advanced provisions for digital trade and intellectual property rights," Marcos said.


DTI hoping to conclude EU FTA by 2027

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said that it is optimistic about the FTA talks with the EU wrapping up ahead of the 2027 target. “The Philippines aims to finalize these trade talks by 2027 … But I could be more optimistic, given that the negotiations between the Philippines and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) took only a year to complete. So we have a model to follow,” Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual said at the European-Philippine Business Dialogue.


ECCP calls for agricultural value chain development to address food insecurity, poverty, rural underdevelopment in PHL

“The pursuit of agricultural value chain development is paramount for the Philippines to address the challenges of food insecurity, poverty, and rural underdevelopment,” the advocacy paper of ECCP noted. The chamber said that by investing in technologies, infrastructure, and institutions that strengthen the entire agricultural value chain, the Philippines can unlock the sector’s full potential, increase food production and achieve food security. 


EU firms urge Manila to boost aviation sector

“The Philippine aviation industry plays a crucial role in the country’s economic growth. However, one significant challenge it faces is the notable pay disparity between aviation professionals in the Philippines and those in other countries,” the group said in its report entitled “ECCP Advocacy Papers 2024.” The ECCP said this pay gap affects not just the morale and retention of skilled professionals, adding that it also hampers the industry’s competitiveness as a whole.


Philippines, EU to resume free trade talks

At the European-Philippine Business Dialogue, Pascual said they have no specific timeline for finalizing such a deal, but because the Philippines currently enjoys a trade deal with the EU under the GSP+ he hopes that can help move the FTA talks further. Under GSP+, over 6,000 Philippine products can enter Europe duty-free, provided the country commits to implementing international core conventions covering labor rights, human rights, good governance, and environmental issues. It will end in 2027.


PH hopes to accelerate free trade talks with EU

Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual at the European-Philippines Business Dialogue expressed optimism this would be achieved based on the FTA negotiations with the EU-PH FTA which took only a year. Pascual said the chief negotiators on both sides will meet in June to lay the groundwork for the FTA to commence negotiations. Pascual said this aligns with the Philippines’ goal of achieving the upper middle-income status and moving beyond the EU GSP framework. The FTA is seen to boost trade by 6 billion euros. Last year, two-way trade.


4-month national government revenue rises 12.6% to ₱1.42 trillion

Revenues generated by the national government through tax and non-tax revenues reached P1.418 trillion from January to April this year, exceeding what it collected in the same period a year ago. The preliminary revenues in the first four months are higher by 12.63 percent, or P159 billion, than the P1.259 trillion recorded in 2023. Finance Secretary Ralph G. Recto said that tax collections continue to grow alongside non-tax revenues which reached P206.4 billion as of end-April.


PH debt service bill swelled in March to P533.5B

The debt service bill of the Marcos administration swelled nearly four times year-on-year in March mainly due to fatter payments of domestic liabilities, data from the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) showed. The government settled P533.5 billion of its obligations in March, significantly higher than the P142.2 billion it paid to creditors a year ago, figures showed.


April inflation quickens to 3.8%, still within target range

Inflation slightly quickened to 3.8 percent year-on-year in April, mainly due to costlier vegetables and fish, as well as higher pump prices of petroleum products, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported. Price growth last month was faster than the 3.7 percent recorded in March. But it remained within the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) 2 to 4 percent target range for the fifth consecutive month, defying expectations of an above-target reading.


Economic growth likely faster in Q1

Philippine economic growth likely picked up in the first quarter from the prior three-month period amid strong private consumption and government spending, but elevated inflation and interest rates could have hampered expansion, analysts said. If realized, this would be faster than the preliminary 5.5% growth recorded in the previous quarter but slower than the 6.4% expansion logged in the first quarter of 2023.


Progress of 2025 budget on track, says DBM

“Our preparation for the 2025 national budget is well on schedule,” Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said. “While agencies were able to submit their proposals as of April 30, some are still in the process of providing complete documentation in support of their budget proposals, such as detailed listings, inventory and other similar materials that will prove the implementation readiness of the proposals,” she said.


Agricultural output seen flat in Q1 as El Niño bites

THE PHILIPPINES’ agricultural output may have been flat in the first quarter amid the impact of the El Niño dry spell on the sector, especially on palay production, analysts said. “First-quarter agricultural output in terms of growth should be around 1.8%. It could have been higher, but El Niño contributed to a lack of water, thereby lowering output,” former Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said.


President Marcos wants faster permit process for flagship infrastructure projects

To speed up the implementation of major infrastructure projects, President Marcos ordered government agencies and local government units (LGUs) to further simplify the permitting process for these developments to support the country’s continuing economic transformation. In issuing Executive Order 59, Marcos emphasized the need to further streamline the process for issuance of required licenses, clearances, permits, certifications or authorizations to expedite the implementation of infrastructure flagship projects or IFPs.


DOE awards 92 offshore wind energy service deals

The Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a total of 92 offshore wind (OSW) energy service contracts with a potential capacity 65 gigawatt hours (GWh). These are spread mainly in north of Luzon, west of Metro Manila, north and south of Mindoro, Panay and Guimaras Strait. The DOE said all OSW service contracts are currently under development stage, mainly preliminary wind data gathering, applications for endorsement, and request for system impact studies. Four of the 92 OSW service contracts recorded as of March 25 were awarded to 100-percent foreign owned companies. OSW is the only renewable energy with its own Executive Order which directs the establishment of the policy and administrative framework for its development.


Incentive package being readied for EV makers, buyers, PUV operators

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is preparing a “comprehensive” package of incentives for electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers, vehicle buyers, and public utility vehicle (PUV) operators. Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Innovation Rafaelita M. Aldaba said the DTI hopes to present a draft to President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. within the year. “These are still under discussion within DTI, but the next plan is to discuss them with other agencies like the Department of Finance,” Ms. Aldaba told reporters on the sidelines of a German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry forum.

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