• By Czeriza Valencia, January 17, 2020; The Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/business/2020/01/17/1985360/ppp-oks-funding-3-provincial-water-waste-projects MANILA, Philippines — Three projects in the cities of Bislig, Iloilo and Ormoc have been granted funding for project preparation and transaction advisory services, the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center said yesterday. Approved for funding support under the Project Development and Monitoring Facility (PDMF) last Jan. 9 are the Bislig City Bulk Water Supply and Septage Project, Iloilo City Integrated Solid Waste Management (SWM) Facility Project, and the Ormoc City Water Supply System Project. The PDMF support covers the conduct of feasibility studies, project structuring, preparation of tender documents, management of Read More…

  • By Charmaine A. Tadalan, January 16, 2020; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/govt-forms-anti-hunger-task-force-led-by-nograles/ The government has formed a task force to eradicate hunger in order to help achieve one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) under the United Nations 2030 Agenda. Executive Order (EO) No. 101 authorizes the formation of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger, which will be chaired by Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei B. Nograles. “There is a need to carefully coordinate, rationalize, monitor, and assess the efforts of concerned government agencies and instrumentalities to ensure a whole-of-government approach to eradicating hunger and achieving food security,” according to the EO, Read More…

  • By Maya M. Padillo, January 15, 2020; Business World http://www.bworldonline.com/mindanao-rail-track-configuration-still-contentious Davao City — The start of construction for the Mindanao Railway Project, which has been pushed back more than once due to right-of-way (RoW) issues within Davao City, is facing another stumbling block amid questions over the single-track diesel-powered system approved by the national government. Assistant Secretary Romeo M. Montenegro of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), said the community, including local governments and business groups, wants clarity whether the phase 1 segment approved by the National Economic and Development Authority-Investment Coordination Committee (NEDA-ICC) has provisions for future expansion to a Read More…

  • By Vincent Mariel P. Galang and Beatrice M. Laforga, Jnauary 15, 2020; Business World http://www.bworldonline.com/more-than-p500m-worth-of-crops-and-livestock-damaged-by-taal-eruption/ Taal Volcano’s eruption has damaged more than P500 million worth of crops and livestock, the Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday. Agriculture damage in the Calabarzon Region — made up of the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon — rose to P577.39 million involving 2,772 hectares of land and 1,967 animals, the agency said in a bulletin. Affected crops include rice, corn, coffee, cacao, banana and other high-value crops, it said. Vegetables accounted for 56.1% of the damaged crops, followed by banana (21%), Read More…

  • By Bernadette D. Nicolas, January 15, 2020; Business Mirror http://businessmirror.com.ph/2020/01/15/government-aims-for-19-increase-in-collected-revenues-taxes/ The Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) of the Department of Finance has set a P307.08-billion collection target for all provincial, city and municipal treasurers in a bid to push local government units to “optimize their local taxing and revenue-raising powers.” This year’s target is 19­ percent higher than last year’s original target of P257.58 billion, composed of own-source revenues of local government units (LGUs) from real-property tax (RPT), local business, and other taxes, fees and charges, and receipts from operations of local economic activities and enterprises. By end of Read More…

  • By National Economic and Development Authority, January 14, 2020; National Economic and Development Authority http://www.neda.gov.ph/poverty-in-ph-expected-to-be-halved-by-2022-neda/ Image Credit to Business Mirror The National Economic and Development Authority expects the country’s poverty rate to be halved by the end of the current administration’s term in 2022. “This would be the first time in history that the poverty rate will be halved in just six years, a significant contribution and achievement of this administration,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said. This is in line with the more ambitious target reduction of poverty incidence to 11 percent, from the original 14 percent, by Read More…

  • By Christina Mendez, January 10, 2020; The Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2020/01/10/1983649/duterte-signs-salary-law-14-million-government-workers Image Credit to Business Mirror About 1.4 million government workers are expected to benefit from the Salary Standardization Law 5, which was signed by President Duterte on Wednesday evening. Duterte himself will have an eight percent salary increase this year based on the salary adjustments under the new law. The 74-year-old Duterte, who publicly complained that his salary is not enough to support his two families, enjoys Salary Grade 33, the compensation of the president of the Philippines as the highest position in the government. During the last tranche of Read More…

  • By Beatrice M. Laforga and Charmaine A. Tadalan, January 10, 2020; Business World http://www.bworldonline.com/philippines-eyes-more-japanese-funded-infrastructure-projects THE Philippine government is eyeing more Japan-funded infrastructure projects this year, as the two countries eased the approval process of loan agreements in a bid to fast-track the implementation of infrastructure projects under the administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program. “As our ambitious ‘Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure program accelerates this year, we see more opportunities for financing and technical support from the Government of Japan,” Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said during a bilateral meeting with Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Toshimitsu Motegi on Thursday. A copy Read More…

  • By National Economic and Development Authority, January 7, 2020; National Economic and Development Authority http://www.neda.gov.ph/neda-calls-for-industrial-policy-propelled-by-innovation/ Image Credit to PhilStar An industrial policy propelled by innovation is needed to drive the country’s manufacturing growth amid the bleak near-term outlook of the sector, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said. While majority of the manufacturing subsectors grew in production volume and value, the total manufacturing index posted negative growth in November 2019, based on the latest data from Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)’s Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries (MISSI). The year-on-year Volume of Production Index (VoPI) declined by 6.1 percent while Read More…

  • By Genalyn Kabiling, January 7, 2020; Manila Bulletin https://news.mb.com.ph/2020/01/06/duterte-signs-2020-budget-36-percent-for-healthcare-education-social-welfare-housing/ Image Credit to Alvin Kasiban/ Manila Bulletin The proposed P4.1 trillion national budget for 2020 has been signed into law by President Duterte in a bid to sustain government programs on education, healthcare, and infrastructure development, among others. In a ceremony held in Malacañang, the President inked Republic Act No. 11465 or the General Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2020 and vowed to ensure it would be protected from corruption and waste. “I am pleased to join you today as we welcome the New Year with hope — much hope for Read More…

  • By Genalyn Kabiling, January 7, 2020; Manila Bulletin https://news.mb.com.ph/2020/01/07/duterte-imposes-conditional-implementation-of-medical-assistance-other-items-in-2020-budget/ Image Credit to King Rodriguez/ Manila Bulletin To ensure the efficient use of public funds, President Rodrigo Duterte has imposed the “conditional implementation” of several items in the P4.1 trillion national budget for 2020. Among the budget provisions with conditions are the foreign travels of government officials, Last Mile Schools program, government subsidies, feeding programs, quick response funds, and medical assistance. Republic Act No. 11465, or the General Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2020, was signed into law by the President last Monday. “In truthful exercise of my Office in accordance Read More…

  • By Ben O. de Vera, January 04, 2020; Philippine Daily Inquirer https://business.inquirer.net/286559/ph-braces-for-possible-ofw-job-losses-oil-price-spikes Image Credit to Business Mirror The Philippines is bracing for possible job losses among overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Middle East as well as a potential uptick in inflation once global oil prices shoot up if tensions between the United States and Iran further intensify, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said Friday. Pernia told the Inquirer that in the short run, domestic oil prices would likely be impacted by the ongoing US-Iran conflict. After the US government confirmed that a targeted airstrike in Baghdad, Iraq’s international Read More…

  • By Czeriza Valencia, January 3, 2020; The Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/business/2020/01/03/1981548/neda-submits-12-projects-worth-p557-billion-board-ok Image Credit to Business Mirror MANILA, Philippines —The Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CabCom) of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has recommended for board approval 12 infrastructure projects valued at more than P557.44 billion. These include projects of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), as well as unsolicited proposals forwarded to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP). These projects were cleared for endorsement to the NEDA Board during the ICC-CabCom meeting dated Dec. 20, 2019. NEDA noted that the aggregate amount Read More…

  • By Chino S. Leyco, January 2, 2020; Manila Bulletin https://business.mb.com.ph/2020/01/02/dof-prods-congress-on-other-ctrp-bills/ Image Credit to Manila Bulletin The Department of Finance (DOF) urged the Congress to pass the remaining packages under the comprehensive tax reform program (CTRP) as well as other pending economic reforms to ensure the country’s “A” sovereign credit rating status. Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said the prompt approval of the three pending CTRP packages plus the amendments to the Public Services Act (PSA), Retail Trade Act (RTA) and the Foreign Investments Act (FIA) will secure the country’s “A” credit rating in two years’ time. Dominguez explained that Read More…

  • By Ben O. de Vera, January 3, 2020; Philippine Daily Inquirer https://business.inquirer.net/286476/pernia-sees-at-least-6-6-q4-gdp-growth Image Credit to Business Mirror The country’s chief economist on Thursday said the economy likely grew at a faster pace in the fourth quarter of last year and that the downscaled growth target of 6-6.5 percent for 2019 was achieved. Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia told the Inquirer that the gross domestic product (GDP) was expected to have expanded by “at least 6.6 percent” in the fourth quarter to bring full-year GDP growth at “6 percent or better.” The government will report on the fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 Read More…

  • By Alexis Romero, January 2, 2020; The Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2020/01/02/1981408/pinoys-us-not-covered-philippines-visa-requirement-plan Image Credit to The Philippine Star MANILA, Philippines — Filipinos living or traveling in the United States are not covered by the administration’s plan to impose a visa requirement on Americans, Malacañang has clarified. President Duterte has threatened to require Americans to secure a visa before entering the Philippines as a response to a 2020 US budget amendment that bars individuals behind the detention of opposition Sen. Leila de Lima from entering the US. The administration has also banned US Sens. Richard Durbin of Illinois and Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Read More…

  • By Charissa Luci-Atienza, December 30, 2019; Manila Bulletin https://news.mb.com.ph/2019/12/30/solon-hails-govt-approval-of-biosafety-permit-for-gr2e-golden-rice/ Image Credit to Manila Bulletin AAMBIS-OWA Party-list Rep. Sharon Garin described on Monday the government’s approval of the biosafety permit for GR2E Golden Rice as “a victory for all Filipinos”, even as she called on House leadership to prioritize the passage of a bill seeking to eliminate the regulatory complications hampering the commercial release of biotechnology products. The proponent of biofortification since the 17th Congress hailed the issuance of a biosafety permit to the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) for GR2E Golden Rice. “We are Read More…

  • By Elijah Felice Rosales, December 31, 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/12/31/pids-study-urges-government-to-develop-creative-industries/ Image Credit to NEDA Website The state’s think tank is calling on government executives to develop the creative industries, saying the sector could potentially contribute to the country’s economic growth. In a recent public seminar on digital trade, the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) Senior Research Fellow Ramonette B. Serafica said the government should develop an export strategy to strengthen the creative economy. She argued that the promotion of such sector would be in line with the objectives of the government’s development plan. “This would be in line with Read More…

  • By Cai Ordinario, December 19, 2019 http://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/12/19/neda-water-concession-contracts-must-be-shorter/ Image Credit to Business Mirror The National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) said on Wednesday the water concession period must be shorter than 25 years to avoid creating the same problems that are now plaguing the country’s water sector. Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said in a news briefing that water concession contracts must be shortened to 15 years instead of the 25 years given to concessionaires. This should be complemented by efforts to remove other “onerous provisions” in the concession agreement signed by the government in 1997 with Manila Water and Read More…

  • By Czeriza Valencia, December 13, 2019; The Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/business/2019/12/13/1976529/adb-approves-233-million-loan-improve-competition-environment Image Credit to Business World MANILA, Philippines — A $23.3-million loan has been extended by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to the Philippines to strengthen the capability of its institutions enforce the 2015 Philippine Competition Act. The “Capacity Building to Foster Competition Project,” which will be spearheaded by the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC), builds on the technical assistance provided by ADB since 2016 for the training of its staff on international best practices to stop and prevent anti-competitive practices. The loan will be repaid over a period of 28 years, Read More…

  • By Delon Porcalla and Paolo Romero, December 12, 2019; The Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/12/12/1976429/mwss-cancels-water-contract-extension Image Credit to The Philippine Star ‘What will happen to us?’ MANILA, Philippines — The government has revoked the extension of the contracts of the two Metro Manila water concessionaires from 2022 to 2037 – a move that the firms said yesterday has alarmed investors and jeopardized their financial viability, which could affect their services. Metro Manila’s west zone, has given up its compensation claim of nearly P4 billion from the government. Officials of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System had told a hearing at the House Read More…

  • By Joann Villanueva, December 11, 2019; Philippine News Agency https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1088521 Image Credit to Philippine News Agency Economic managers on Wednesday trimmed the range of growth target to 6 to 6.5 percent this year, and 6.5 to 7.5 percent for 2021-2022 partly due to fiscal prudence. In a briefing after the 177th Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) meeting at the Department of Finance (DOF) office in Manila Wednesday, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon attributed the “tighter” growth target band for this year to the below-target output in the first half of the year. “For the year, we’re actually Read More…

  • By National Economic and Development Authority, December 10, 2019 http://www.neda.gov.ph/neda-urges-improving-export-market-strategies-to-bolster-ph-trade-performance/ Image Credit to National Economic and Development Authority Exploring alternative production strategies, participating in international trade fairs, and implementing consistent branding strategies are needed to increase the presence of Philippine products in the global market, the National Economic and Development Authority said. The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that the country’s total trade in October 2019 reached US$15.9 billion from US$15 billion in the previous month. The slight improvement was brought about by the positive growth rate in exports, but was 6.7 percent lower compared to the same period in Read More…

  • By Chito Chavez, December 9, 2019; Manila Bulletin https://news.mb.com.ph/2019/12/09/task-force-submits-2nd-set-of-proposed-constitutional-amendments-to-house-panel/ Image Credit to DILG 10 via PIA as cited by Manila Bulletin The Inter-Agency Task Force on Constitutional Reforms (Task Force CORE) insisted its proposed constitutional amendments will strengthen political parties as public institutions, prohibit turn-coatism (balimbing), make the anti-political dynasty provision of the Constitution self-executing, advocate for finance reform through the creation of a democracy fund, and extend the terms of local government officials to five years with one reelection. To achieve this, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary and Spokesman Jonathan Malaya bared that members of Read More…

  • By Melissa Luz Lopez, November 29, 2019; CNN Philippines https://www.cnnphilippines.com/business/2019/11/29/NAIA-rehab-proposal.html Image Credit to Edwin Tuyay as cited by CNN Philippines Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 29) — The plan to repair and upgrade the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) went a step closer to reality as it secured final approval from the government. The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte gave the green light for the NAIA Rehabilitation Project on Friday, after several versions of the proposal. The NAIA Consortium — composed of Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc.; AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp.; Alliance Global Group, Read More…

  • By Charmaine A. Tadalan, Decem,ber 2, 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/senate-resolution-calls-for-probe-on-flagship-projects-china-funding/ Image Credit to Business World A RESOLUTION filed in the Senate calls for an inquiry on the implementation of infrastructure projects under the “Build, Build, Build” program and its reliance on official development assistance (ODA), particularly from China. In Senate Resolution No. 221, Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian noted that “the government’s flagship infrastructure program has been hounded by several issues, including delays in project implementation, onerous terms of the loans secured from China, as well as concerns about increased reliance on ODA loans with China.” Citing National Economic and Development Read More…

  • By Cai Ordinario, November 25, 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/11/25/neda-lists-priority-bills-for-last-3-yrs-of-duterte/ Image Credit to Philippine Star AT least a dozen bills are being eyed as priority legislation in the last three years of the Duterte administration to boost economic growth, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda). In a recent presentation at the House of Representatives, Neda Undersecretary Rosemarie G. Edillon said the priority bills will be included in the updated Philippine Development Plan (PDP), the medium term socioeconomic blueprint. The priority bills include the land use bill for the agriculture sector; e-vehicles bill, industry sector; and open access in Read More…

  • By Daxim L. Lucas, November 14, 2019; Philippine Daily Inquirer https://business.inquirer.net/283321/adb-oks-300m-loan-for-ph-lgus-to-deliver-services-reduce-poverty Image Credit to Business World The Asian Development Bank has approved a $300-million loan to support efforts to help local government units nationwide deliver high-quality and accountable services, push progress and reduce poverty. In a statement, the Manila-based multilateral lender said the loan, which is part of its Local Governance Reform Program, will help local governments meet needs of citizens. It would also ensure delivery of basic services aligned with local nuances, improve revenue collection by local government units and lower costs of doing business for the private sector. Read More…

  • By Franco Luna, November 14, 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/11/14/1968764/mobility-czar-office-pursued-alleviate-mass-transport-crisis-encourage-public-transpo Image Credit to Miguel De Guzman, The Star MANILA, Philippines — Two Senate panels earlier this week pushed for the establishment of a now-approved “mobility czar” position to address the ongoing traffic crisis in Metro Manila. The holder of the position is tasked with proposing a comprehensive plan to decongest the roads of Manila, Cebu and Davao, as well as a separate long-term nationwide road map. According to the initial committee report, the mobility czar shall also “submit a monthly report to the COC on the efficiency and effectiveness of the Read More…

  • By Patricia Lourdes Viray, November 14, 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/nation/2019/11/14/1968744/duterte-scraps-pasig-river-rehab-body Image Credit to Michael Varcas, The Star MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has officially ordered the disestablishment of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC). The president earlier called on Congress to abolish the body as it no longer has a function to perform as there “is nothing to clean in the Pasig River.” Malacañang released a copy of the order dated November 8. Duterte signed Executive Order 83 abolishing the PRRC and transferring its powers to the Manila Bay Task Force, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department Read More…

  • By Keith A. Calayag, November 15, 2019; Daily Tribune https://tribune.net.ph/index.php/2019/11/15/speaker-wants-infra-oversight/ Image Credit to Daily Tribune Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has a counter-offer to the proposed emergency powers to President Rodrigo Duterte to push the flagship projects under the “Build, Build, Build” program, which is the creation of a committee to be chaired by Tarlac Rep. Carlos “Charlie” Cojuangco to oversee the infrastructure buildup. Cayetano believes it is already too late in his term to give the President special powers. “I’m a believer in special powers. However, I’m going to give those members who filed the bill including (Albay) Congressman Joey Read More…

  • By Beatrice M. Laforga, November 6, 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/expanded-list-of-flagship-infra-projects-approved/ Image Credit to Samal LGU as cited by Business World THE REVISED list of 100 flagship infrastructure projects was approved by the Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CC) and the Cabinet-level Committee on Infrastructure (INFRACOM) yesterday, expanding the list to include private sector-initiated projects while dropping some works due to lack of feasibility. Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) President and CEO and the presidential adviser for flagship programs Vivencio B. Dizon said that of the 100 projects, 26 projects will be financed through private-public partnership (PPP), against the eight such Read More…

  • By Chito Chavez, October 23, 2019; Manila Bulletin https://news.mb.com.ph/2019/10/23/380-lgus-get-dilgs-seal-of-good-local-governance/ Image Credit to Philippine Information Agency cited by Manila Bulletin Some 380 local government units (LGU) were accorded with the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG), a coveted award given to localities that exhibit excellent governance and delivery of public service. Despite the more stringent assessment criteria, the DILG noted that the number of LGU passers this year is 44 percent more than last year’s 263. DILG Secretary Edurado M. Año said noted the LGUs’ improved performance considering that “this year’s standard was beefed up to challenge them to up their Read More…

  • By Jenina P. Ibañez, October 25, 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/metro-manila-cities-top-lgu-competitiveness-ranking/ Image Credit to Business World QUEZON CITY dominated the annual list measuring the competitiveness of local government units (LGU) in the country for the fourth time, elevating the city to the Hall of Fame of the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) 2019 released on Thursday. This year’s index was released during the 7th Regional Competitiveness Summit held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City. The rankings often reflect regions’ contributions to gross domestic product (GDP). The Philippine Statistics Authority reported that Metro Manila contributed the largest share to Read More…

  • By Gresheen Gift Libby, October 31, 2019; Cebu Daily News https://cebudailynews.inquirer.net/267309/unesco-designates-cebu-as-creative-city-of-design Image Credit to Cebu Daily News CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu’s vibrant art community never fails to deliver world-class design as it becomes the second city in the Philippines, after Baguio, to be designated as a Creative City by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) last Wednesday, October 30, 2019. Cebu was announced as creative city of design along with 65 other cities from around the world. The Unesco website says that “the member cities that form part of the Network come from all continents and Read More…

  • By Mayen Jaymalin, October 29 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/nation/2019/10/29/1964245/3rd-polio-case-confirmed-maguindanao Image Credit to Agence France-Presse MANILA, Philippines — A four-year-old girl from Datu Piang, Maguindanao has been confirmed as the third polio case in the country since the reemergence of the disease after 19 years. “On Oct. 24, stool samples sent to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Japan tested positive for vaccine-derived poliovirus,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said yesterday. Duque said the case was genetically linked to the first confirmed case in Morogong, Lanao del Sur. He said the girl did not receive any dose of oral polio vaccine. Her case Read More…

  • By Jenina P. Ibañez, October 28 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/trade-dept-drafting-e-commerce-regulations-for-2022-road-map/ Image Credit to Reuters THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it concluded a technical assistance agreement with the University of the Philippines (UP) Law Center, which will help put together its e-commerce industry plan. The law center’s input on regulating the industry forms part of the DTI’s drafting of the Philippine e-commerce road map to 2022. DTI Undersecretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba and UP Law Dean Fides Cordero-Tan signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish the partnership on e-commerce policy, DTI said in a statement Monday. Under this partnership, Read More…

  • By Denise A. Valdez, October 29 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/central-bank-eyes-interest-rate-cap-for-lending-firms/ Image Credit to Business World THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas is considering the imposition of a cap on interest rates and other fees that lending and financing companies charge on consumer and payday loans, in response to a request by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In a statement Monday, the country’s corporate regulator said it wrote to BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno on Oct. 8, asking for a limit on interest rates, fees and other charges that lending and financing companies impose on borrowers. In that letter, SEC Chairman Read More…

  • By Alexis Romero and Edith Regalado, October 28 2019; Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/10/28/1963953/duterte-healthy-enough-attend-asean-meet Image Credit to Agence France-Presse MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte is in good condition and healthy enough to push through with his trip to Thailand this week to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit, Malacañang assured world leaders yesterday. Some world leaders have expressed concern over Duterte’s health after he fell off his motorcycle within the Presidential Security Group compound at Malacañang earlier this month. Speculations about the 74-year-old President’s health mounted after he cut short his trip to Japan due to what his officials described Read More…

  • By Beatrice M. Laforga, October 28 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/economists-cite-state-spending-anchor-of-q3-gdp/ Image Credit to Business World FASTER third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth expected to be reported on Nov. 7 will bear the clear imprint of government efforts to catch up with its expenditure plan, state and private sector economists said last week, even as the increase in spending was smaller than a year ago. Preliminary data show that the national government spent about 16.99% more at P1.04 trillion in July-September from P886.19 billion a year earlier, although the increase was smaller than the year-ago 29.61%. At the same time, third Read More…

  • By Victor V. Saulon, October 28 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/regulator-looks-at-lower-price-cap-at-wesm/ Image Credit to Business World THE ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION (ERC) is looking at a lower secondary price cap at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) — which accounts for about a tenth of the Manila Electric Co’s monthly supply — in a move to better minimize price spikes. The regulator is now looking at P4,502 per megawatt-hour (MWh) from P6,245/MWh in order to reflect current market conditions. In a draft resolution, which the ERC posted for industry feedback, the secondary price cap (SPC) will be imposed once the threshold 72-hour Read More…

  • By Charmaine A. Tadalan, October 28 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/congress-revives-push-for-better-land-use/ Image Credit to Business Mirror A MEASURE deemed priority by the current administration and business groups that will improve the use of land and resources has been filed anew in Congress. Senate Bills 38, 358, 510 and 886 that mandate the National Land Use Commission (NLUC) to draft a unified framework that will govern the use of land resources have been filed by Senators Francis N. Pangilinan, Risa N. Hontiveros, Pia S. Cayetano and Ramon B. Revilla, Jr., respectively. In his explanatory note, Mr. Pangilinan said the bill seeks to Read More…

  • By Lorenz S. Marasigan, October 24 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/10/24/dpwh-sets-dec-1-deadline-on-slex-work/ Image Credit to CNN Philippines PUBLIC Works (DPWH) Secretary Mark A. Villar said the construction work on the extension of the South Luzon Expressway (Slex) should be completed by December 1, a critical milestone that is seen to ease the current traffic congestion along the thoroughfare. Currently, motorists experience traffic congestion along the northbound lane of the Slex due to the construction of the P10-billion extension of the Skyway System to Susana Heights. This triggered the closure of the outermost lane of the Skyway System’s Alabang viaduct, resulting in heavy Read More…

  • By Elijah Felice Rosales, October 24 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/10/24/pcc-to-conduct-probe-into-retail-prices-of-rice/ Image Credit to Business Mirror THE country’s antitrust regulator is stepping up its investigation into anticompetitive practices in the rice sector that may be preventing retail prices from falling sharply under a deregulated trade regime. Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) Chairman Arsenio M. Balisacan on Wednesday said the agency is intensifying its examination of the possible collusion or abuse of dominant position within the rice sector. Competition officials are curious as to why the retail price of rice is not falling as fast as the farm-gate price of palay. Balisacan said Read More…

  • By Jenina P. Ibañez, October 24 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/outsourcing-firms-embark-on-upskilling/ Image Credit to Business World THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) industry is set to pilot educational programs to reskill and upskill 1 million workers over five years to adapt to automation. Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) President and Chief Executive Officer Rey C. Untal said in an interview on Monday that he wants the industry’s upskilling program to exceed the 100,000 per year employment growth target. “Why one million? We also want to get ahead of the curve. We don’t want to Read More…

  • By Recto Mercene, October 23 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/10/23/locsin-rejects-bid-to-bring-arbitral-ruling-to-u-n/ Image Credit to Business Mirror FOREIGN Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. has rejected the notion of having the Philippines go back to the United Nations to relitigate the Hague arbitral award, saying those making the suggestion may be on the payroll of Chinese intelligence, “but paid peanuts.” In a tweet on Tuesday, the outspoken DFA chief said, “The Arbitral Award is money in our pocket. I have the strongest assurance on both points from Western intelligence.” At the same time, he denied allegations that former Supreme Court Justice Francis Jardeleza Read More…

  • By Roderick Abad, October 23 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/10/23/iskos-vow-illegal-vendors-cant-return-to-divisoria/ Image Credit to Business Mirror MANILA Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagoso warned illegal vendors that they cannot go back to the sidewalks of Divisoria and other areas he cleared from illicit trade to maintain their accessibility for public transport and pedestrian use in time for Christmas. “I guarantee you they are not allowed to return there. [It’s] no season for me. That kind of season is being abused already for so many times, for so many mayors,” he said in mixed Filipino and English during a networking forum held at the World Read More…

  • By Vincent Mariel P. Galang, October 23 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/farm-dept-maintains-2-growth-goal-despite-asf-impact-as-rcef-kicks-in/ Image Credit to Philippine Star THE DEPARTMENT of Agriculture (DA) has maintained its 2019 growth target for the agriculture sector at two percent, as it launches operations using the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) seven months after Republic Act No. 11203, which liberalized rice importation, took effect. “We will maintain that target. Itong pagkaumpisa nag-implementasyon ng (The start of the implementation of) RCEF will be a big factor, reckoning from August 2019 to end of July 2020,” Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said in a briefing in Quezon City on Tuesday. Read More…

  • By Beatrice M. Laforga, October 23 2019; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/state-spending-short-despite-sept-boost/ Image Credit to Reuters STATE SPENDING rose by its fastest pace in almost a year and a half in September as the government rushed to make up for muted expenditures last semester, but even this boost was not able to ensure that the nine-month program was met, according to data the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) released on Tuesday. And with revenue collections growing by double-digit pace and a smaller year-to-date fiscal gap, the government also fell short of its programmed deficit. SPENDING National government expenditures jumped by 39.01% to Read More…

  • By Bianca Cuaresma, October 22 2019; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/10/22/6-growth-for-phl-not-yet-impossible-expert/ Image Credit to Business Mirror CHASING the lower end of the government’s economic growth target for the year is still doable, a local economist said, especially if it lets out a “double dose” of stimulus in the second half of the year. In a recent assessment of the Philippine economy, ING Bank Manila economist Nicholas Antonio Mapa said despite the dismal gross domestic product (GDP) growth of the country in the first half of the year, the second half is shaping up to be a “different story.” “The budget delay coupled Read More…