• By Cai Ordinario, August 11, 2020; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2020/08/11/neda-exec-outlines-lgus-role-in-digital-new-normal/ Filipinos should brace for a “digital new normal” and local government units (LGUs) need to step up in bridging the digital divide beginning in their localities, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda). In a presentation in a webinar on Tuesday, Neda Undersecretary for Planning and Policy Rosemarie G. Edillon assured LGUs can count on the government’s support in this endeavor. Edillon said Bayanihan 2, which outlines the P140- billion stimulus package of the government, includes assistance to LGUs. She added that the budget for 2021 of the Department Read More…

  • By Melissa Luz Lopez, August 6, 2020; CNN Philippines https://www.cnnphilippines.com/business/2020/8/6/Q2-2020-PH-economy-recession.html Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 6) — The full weight of lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the economy over the edge, recording a sharp fall in activity during the second quarter. The economy shrank by 16.5 percent in April-June compared to last year, the Philippine Statistics Authority said Thursday. This captures two full months of Luzon under lockdown, particularly in Metro Manila which serves as the country’s main business hub. This also follows a 0.7 percent contraction in the first quarter — which was deeper than what was Read More…

  • By Cai Ordinario, August 4, 2020; Business Mirror http://businessmirror.com.ph/2020/08/04/only-medium-chance-of-meeting-development-goals-by-2022-psa/ Even before the pandemic, the Duterte administration’s progress in meeting its Philippine Development Plan (PDP) was not enough to meet its targets by 2022, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). Based on the Statistical Indicators on Philippine Development (StatDev), the PSA said the government only had a medium chance of meeting all its PDP targets by 2022. Of the 210 targets, the PSA said 91 targets may not be achieved and 23 had only a medium probability of being met. The PSA said 96 targets, however, have a high probability Read More…

  • By Katrina Hallare, August 2, 2020; Philippine Daily Inquirer https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1315549/duterte-oks-p4-5t-2021-national-budget Manila, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the proposed P4.506 trillion national budget for 2021, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said Sunday. In a statement, the DBM said that Duterte approved the budget during a special meeting with the Development Budget Coordination Committee last July 30. The proposed budget, according to the DBM, is aimed to sustain the government’s efforts in responding to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. “The proposed fiscal year (FY) 2021 budget aims to sustain government efforts towards effectively responding to the COVID-19 pandemic Read More…

  • By Richmond Mercurio, July 26, 2020; The Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/business/2020/07/26/2030547/over-10k-wifi-hotspots-seen-year-end MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Information and Communications Technology plans to increase the number of free WiFi spots nationwide to more than 10,000 by year-end. The DICT is targeting a total of 10,069 live sites this year, with 2,588 to be established in government hospitals and rural health sites to help in the efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic. The number will be doubled next year with a total of 23,100 sites eyed. The expansion is part of the DICT’s Free WiFi for All Program which aims to enhance internet Read More…

  • By Bernadette D. Nicolas, July 24, 2020; Business Mirror http://businessmirror.com.ph/2020/07/24/dbm-eyes-p4-5-trillion-budget-for-2021-on-covid-expense/ THE Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is eyeing a much higher national budget of P4.506 trillion for next year as it sees government spending continue to rise amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Budget Assistant Secretary and spokesperson Rolando U. Toledo said on Thursday this amount is up by nearly 10 percent from this year’s P4.1-trillion budget and is equivalent to 21.4 percent of GDP. This is also 3.94 percent higher than what was earlier approved by the Cabinet-level Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) in May this year. However, this was Read More…

  • By DJ Yap, Jeannette I. Andrade, and Julie M. Aurelio, July 21, 2020; Philippine Daily Inquirer https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1309574/house-sets-cha-cha-talks-after-sona MANILA, Philipines — Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, the chair of the House constitutional amendments panel, will call a meeting after next week’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) to determine whether it will be necessary or appropriate to discuss charter change (Cha-cha) proposals in the middle of a persisting health crisis. Rodriguez said he wished to “get the sense of his members and leaders of the House on discussing [Cha-cha] amid the COVID-19 pandemic.” “I will call a virtual meeting of Read More…

  • By Alexis Romero, July 20, 2020; The Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2020/07/20/2029267/pcoo-seeks-inclusion-foi-bill-urgent-measures Manila, Philippines – The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) wants the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill included in President Duterte’s list of urgent measures this year. As early as 2016, Malacañang claimed that the FOI bill, which will require agencies to disclose information about their projects and other matters that involve public interest, was a priority of the President. The measure is still languishing in Congress even if the legislature is dominated by allies of the Palace. Pending the passage of the measure, Duterte signed an executive order on FOI Read More…

  • By Cai Ordinario, July 20, 2020; Business Mirror http://businessmirror.com.ph/2020/07/20/avoid-aggressive-measures-during-pandemic-adb-exec/ Incurring more debts, bailing out firms not immediately requiring such aid and printing money should be avoided by countries during the pandemic, according to an expert from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). In an Asian Development Blog, ADB Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department Principal Economist Jong Woo Kang said current and long-term economic policies during the pandemic will help define the level of prosperity of future generations. Kang said recent “aggressive measures” such as large stimulus packages to support households and businesses are not without cost. According to Kang, while Read More…

  • By National Economic and Development Authority, July 16, 2020; National Economic and Development Authority https://www.neda.gov.ph/neda-supports-digital-platforms-to-access-retail-treasury-bonds/ MANILA – The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) supports the recent move of the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) of the Philippines to explore digital platforms in allowing investors to access investments in retail treasury bonds (RTB). “The launch of BONDS.PH app comes at a very opportune time. When the country is in most need of financing, this app makes it easier for us to participate in debt markets from the safety of our homes,” Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua said. Chua Read More…

  • By Rainier Allan Ronda, July 14, 2020; The Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/nation/2020/07/14/2027753/deped-cites-blended-learning-fund-sources Manila, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) has given assurance that it has funding strategies for the implementation of its learning continuity program amid the coronavirus 2019 or COVID-19 pandemic. DepEd’s learning continuity program features the blended education or distance learning scheme for school year 2020-2021, which will open on Aug. 24. The agency said its funding strategies would not put all the pressure on local government units and their special education fund (SEF). Aside from tapping the SEF of LGUs, DepEd can realign funds allotted for other Read More…

  • Reports from Bong Sarmiento and Ben O. de Vera, July 13, 2020; Philippine Daily Inquirer https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1305933/eu-oks-p3-4b-for-mindanao Manila, Philippines — The European Union has approved grants totaling 60.5 million euros (around P3.4 billion) for two government projects in Mindanao, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III announced on Sunday. Dominguez said he recently signed separate financing agreements for the 35.5 million euro (P1.98 billion) Mindanao Peace and Development Program (Minpad) and another 25 million euro (P1.4 billion) for the Support to Bangsamoro Transition (Subatra) program. He said the grant for the Minpad project, to be implemented by the Mindanao Development Authority, would involve Read More…

  • By Lorenz S. Marasigan, July 10, 2020; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2020/07/10/dict-seeks-p46-6-billion-budget-for-2021-to-boost-digital-renewal/ As digital becomes an integral part of the “new normal,” the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is pushing for the approval of its proposed P46.6-billion budget for 2021. DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II said the budget will help “effectively implement the department’s strategic programs towards digital transformation in the new normal.” Under its proposal, the DICT seeks to allot P22.1 billion for its Digital Connectivity and Access Programs, which include the National Broadband Program (NBP), the Free WiFi for All in Public Places and State Universities and Read More…

  • By Ben O. de Vera, July 9, 2020; Philippine Daily Inquirer https://business.inquirer.net/302114/adb-6-month-quarantine-to-shed-p1-9-trillion-from-ph-gdp Manila, Philippines — The Philippine economy could shed as much as $38.1 billion (almost P1.9 trillion) or 11.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) if COVID-19 quarantine restrictions dragged on for six months, the latest Asian Development Bank (ADB) estimates showed. The Manila-based multilateral lender’s updated COVID-19 economic impact assessment as of June showed that under a shorter containment of three months, losses would reach $25.6 billion (nearly P1.3 trillion), equivalent to 7.7 percent of GDP. Earlier estimates of the state planning agency National Economic and Development Authority Read More…

  • By Cai Ordinario, July 9, 2020; Business Mirror http://businessmirror.com.ph/2020/07/09/tax-reforms-passage-tops-palace-wishlist/ Passing the remaining tax reform programs and the bills that would boost the country’s ability to adapt to the “new normal” amid the still-raging Covid-19 pandemic constitute the legislative wishlist of the President’s economic team for both houses of Congress. In a pre-State of the Nation Address (Sona) forum on Wednesday, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III also said specifically, they hope the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) bill, which used to be the second package of the tax reform effort of the administration, will be passed. Dominguez Read More…

  • By Cai Ordinario, July 8, 2020; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2020/07/08/amid-inflation-uptick-rebound-still-unclear/ Local economists said the recent increase in inflation is not yet a clear indication that domestic demand has indeed recovered or is recovering from the lockdowns imposed in March. Based on the latest data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Tuesday, inflation averaged 2.5 percent in June, higher than the 2.1 percent posted in May but still slower than the 2.7 percent posted in June 2019. Inflation averaged 2.5 percent in the first semester of the year. Core inflation, which is an indicator of long-term inflation trend and future Read More…

  • By Jasper Y. Arcalas, July 6, 2020; Business Mirror http://businessmirror.com.ph/2020/07/06/online-purchases-seen-to-push-up-phl-food-retail-sales/ Online food purchases by Filipino households during the Covid-19 pandemic will drive the country’s food retail sales to rise by a fifth to a record-high $60 billion this year, according to the Global Agricultural Information Network (Gain). The Gain report, which was prepared by the United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service in Manila, expects a 30-percent shift by Filipino consumers to online food shopping. The country’s food retail sales reached an unprecedented $50 billion last year on the back of higher purchases by the middle-income class earners, according Read More…

  • By Beatrice M. Laforga, June 24, 2020; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/neda-eyes-private-sector-help-with-natl-id-registration The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is looking to work with the private sector to speed up the implementation of the national ID system. NEDA Acting Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua said he proposed that the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) adopt a “two-track system on registration” of individuals in order to expedite the program’s implementation. The PSA is the main implementing agency for the national ID system. “What I’m working now with the PSA is to have a two-track system on registration, so this is still an idea, it Read More…

  • By Ben O. de Vera, June 11, 2020; Philippine Daily Inquirer https://business.inquirer.net/299706/japan-agency-gives-ph-a-minus-credit-rating-stable-outlook The Philippines’ credit rating has reached the coveted “A” grade level for the first time after Japan Credit Rating Agency Ltd. (JCR) on Thursday (June 11) announced an upgrade in the country’s sovereign rating to “A-“ with a “stable” outlook. The new credit rating was one notch higher than “BBB+” previously, while the outlook meant JCR will likely keep the rating in the near term. While JCR—Japan’s top debt watcher—may be smaller than the top three credit rating agencies Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investors Service, and S&P Global Ratings, Read More…

  • By Pilar Manuel, June 10, 2020; CNN Philippines https://www.cnnphilippines.com/business/2020/6/10/BIR-online-sellers-businesses-register-July-31.html Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 10) — The Bureau of Internal Revenue has directed online sellers and other digital-based businesses to register their activities, declare previous transactions and settle their corresponding taxes no later than July 31. “This Circular is issued to give due notice to all persons doing business and earning income in any manner or form, specifically those who are into digital transactions through the use of any electronic platforms and media, and other digital means, to ensure that their businesses are registered pursuant to the provisions of Section Read More…

  • By National Economic and Development Authority, June 10, 2020; National Economic and Development Authority http://www.neda.gov.ph/structural-logistics-reforms-needed-for-ph-trade-recovery-neda/ Structural and logistics reforms are necessary to support ongoing government efforts in ensuring a quick rebound of the country’s trade sector, the National Economic and Development Authority said. The Philippine Statistics Authority reported today that the country’s total merchandise trade contracted by 59.8 percent, reaching USD 6.1 billion in April 2020, its lowest monthly decline since 1991. Both merchandise exports and imports registered declines of 50.8 percent and 65.3 percent, respectively. Global trade flows remain hampered by production supply chain bottlenecks and reduced external demand Read More…

  • By Gabriel Pabico Lalu, June 8, 2020; Philippine Daily Inquirer https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1288187/lto-opens-online-portal-for-car-registration-payment-to-avoid-covid-19-transmissions MANILA, Philippines – Motorists may now apply or renew their car registration and driver’s licenses online through the Land Transportation Office (LTO) online portal, to avoid direct contact and possible coronavirus transmissions. LTO explained on Monday that people can use portal.lto.gov.ph to access their records away from LTO branches, easing car registration and license application procedures, which may take some time and may necessitate close contact with other people — violating physical distancing protocols. Aside from Metro Manila and other areas, the service has been made available in the Read More…

  • By Beatrice M. Laforga, May 27, 2020; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/dbm-sees-only-p130-billion-in-budget-realignments-for-stimulus The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said the government has about P130 billion on hand from savings and budget realignments with which to fund stimulus measures, much less than various proposals now being considered in Congress. Undersecretary Laura B. Pascua told BusinessWorld that the total comes from national government savings and suspended programs, activities or projects (PAPs) from 2020 and leftover funds from 2019’s General Appropriations Act (GAA). “We can only find funding for them from savings from discontinued PAPS from the 2019 & 2020 GAA. Hence, the economic Read More…

  • By Filane Mikee Cervantes, May 26, 2020; Philippine News Agency https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1103931 MANILA – The House Defeat Covid-19 Committee (DCC) approved on Tuesday an economic stimulus package worth around PHP1.3 trillion to help the economy recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, the chairperson of the DCC, said the proposed Philippine Economic Stimulus Act (PESA) aims to restore economic growth, maintain employment levels, and expand the productive capacity of the country in the aftermath of Covid-19. “The economic stimulus program is meant to ensure business operations and job retention in this time of Covid-19 pandemic,” Romualdez Read More…

  • By Ian Nicolas Cigaral, March 31, 2020; The Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/business/2020/03/31/2004536/world-bank-follows-rest-paints-bleaker-growth-outlook-due-covid-19 Manila, Philippines — Consistent with government projections, the World Bank becomes the latest institution to sharply lower its projections for the Philippine economy, a picture also painted across East Asia and the Pacific battling the effects of the global coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In its latest report detailing the impact of COVID-19 in the region, the multilateral lender forecasts the local economy to either grow 3% under a “baseline scenario” or contract by as much as 0.6% under a “lower case scenario.” The economy grew 5.9% in 2019. The Read More…

  • By Jovee Marie de la Cruz, April 1, 2020; Business Mirror http://businessmirror.com.ph/2020/04/01/govt-to-activate-network-hubs-to-ensure-sufficient-supply-of-food-during-ecq/ The National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) is setting up a network “hubs” to address supply chain concerns and bottlenecks in the supply, distribution and movement of essential goods and services, amid the implementation of an enhanced community quarantine in Luzon, President Duterte said, even as he assured that the country’s food supplies will last up to 75 days. In an 18-page report dated March 30 to Congress as mandated by the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, President Duterte said these “hubs” would serve as a network Read More…

  • By Ben O. de Vera, March 30, 2020; Philippine Daily Inquirer https://business.inquirer.net/293680/ph-eyes-aiib-health-infra-financing The Philippines is con­sidering the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s (AIIB) pitch to finance more health infrastructure across the region in order to better respond to future health crises. “Together with the Department of Health, we will evaluate the AIIB’s offer, as future-proofing our health care system is definitely a key element in our program,” Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said. Last week, the Beijing-based AIIB, in which the Philippines is a founding member, said it was “working to scale up infrastructure investment—including in public health, healthcare and Read More…

  • By National Economic and Development Authority, March 29, 2020; National Economic and Development Authority http://www.neda.gov.ph/neda-urges-lgus-outside-ncr-to-better-combat-covid-19/ Local government units (LGUs) outside the National Capital Region must effectively implement better strategies to contain the spread of COVID-19 in their respective localities, the National Economic and Development Authority said. “COVID–19 is a novel coronavirus, which means that there is a lot that we do not know about it. Extensive monitoring and health surveillance systems need to be undertaken to build the knowledge base, so that prevention, management and treatment can be improved. LGUs can help in the conduct of these systems. Smart LGUs Read More…

  • By Luz Wendy T. Noble and Beatrice M. Laforga, March 30, 2020; Business World https://www.bworldonline.com/phl-may-go-into-recession-diokno/ The Philippine economy could go into recession this year, central bank Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said on Sunday, as the coronavirus pandemic brings everything to a standstill. “We’re looking at negative to maybe 1% [growth] given this development,” he told the ABS-CBN News Channel. The global economy has now entered a recession — a period of economic decline where output falls for two successive quarters — that could be as bad or worse than the 2009 downturn, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva Read More…

  • By Czeriza Valencia, March 25, 2020; The Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/business/2020/03/25/2003170/neda-warns-lower-negative-gdp-growth Manila, Philippines — The prevailing coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 crisis will likely slow down Philippine economic growth this year to a range of between negative 0.6 up to 4.3 percent this year, if the adverse impact of the contagion on the economy is felt until June, according to a report by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). In the report, titled “Addressing the Social and Economic Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic,” the country’s lead socioeconomic planning agency said the combined effects on both the supply and demand side Read More…

  • By National Economic and Development Authority, March 24, 2020; National Economic and Development Authority http://www.neda.gov.ph/seamless-coordination-comprehensive-plan-needed-to-mitigate-impact-of-covid-19-neda/ Well-coordinated measures guided by a comprehensive plan are crucial to contain the spread of the COVID-19 and to mitigate its social and economic impact, the National Economic and Development Authority said. “This public health emergency brought about by COVID-19 shows us how crucial it is for us to have a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach in addressing this challenge,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia. “The response measures should delicately balance the health and economic objectives, particularly as the impact varies by economic class. Otherwise, Read More…

  • By Cai Ordinario, March 23, 2020; Business Mirror http://businessmirror.com.ph/2020/03/23/msmes-import-export-bloc-need-%e2%82%a733-2b/ To cope with the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) as well as large firms that export and/or import would require a bailout of P33.2 billion this year, according to estimates by economists from the University of the Philippines. In a discussion paper titled “Vulnerable to the Virus: Globally Oriented Manufacturing Firms at Risk From the Spread of Covid-19,” UP School of Economics assistant professor Karl Jandoc; UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies Research Associate Adrian Mendoza; and Representative of the 2nd District of Marikina Stella Read More…

  • By Ben O. de Vera, March 20, 2020; Philippine Daily Inquirer https://business.inquirer.net/293053/dbm-gives-agencies-more-time-to-submit-2021-budget-proposals-online-amid-covid-19-pandemic Manila, Philippines — The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has given agencies more time to submit their 2021 budget proposals while enjoining them to do so online amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Budget Secretary Wendel E. Avisado on March 17 said via National Budget Memorandum (NBM) No. 134 that the Online Submission of Budget Proposals System (OSBPS) will be accessible and operational during the one-month enhanced community quarantine of Luzon, which will end on April 13. “Since it is a web-based system, agencies shall continue to have access Read More…

  • By Melissa Luz Lopez, March 19, 2020; CNN Philippines https://cnnphilippines.com/business/2020/3/19/BSP-rate-cut-coronavirus.html Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 19) — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) slashed interest rates by half a percent on Thursday, in a bid to spur the economy amid the slowdown due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno announced that the Monetary Board pulled down the key interest rate to 3.25 percent, 50 basis points (bp) lower than the current level to lower cost of borrowings that can in turn encourage more business activities that could soften the impact of the coronavirus. “With a manageable inflation Read More…

  • By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat, March 19, 2020; Manila Bulletin https://business.mb.com.ph/2020/03/19/business-urges-govt-to-grant-tax-holidays-relief-measures/ Business groups have urged government to grant tax holidays and relief measures to industries to help mitigate the economic impact brought about by this month-long lockdown in Luzon to fight the local transmission of COVID-19. In a statement, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) headed by Ambassador Benedicto V. Yujuico has identified 14-point recommendations to the government. The Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands president Jose Luis Yulo Jr. also urged government urged to grant tax holidays and extend deadline for tax filing of taxes until such time Read More…

  • By CNN Philippines Staff, March 18, 2020; CNN Philippines https://cnnphilippines.com/news/2020/3/18/world-bank-ph-coronavirus-loan0.html Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 18) — The World Bank has provided the country a loan of $100 million to help fight the coronavirus disease pandemic, the Department of Finance said Wednesday. The DOF said the amount is a “fast-track loan” which the country can receive in “a matter of weeks.” The loan will enable the Department of Health to procure more personal protective equipment for health workers and testing materials, it added. The country is also eligible for a waiver for the first year of commitment fees. On March Read More…

  • By Cai Ordinario, March 20, 2020; Business Mirror http://businessmirror.com.ph/2020/03/20/study-finds-weak-spots-in-governments-health-decentralization-program/ Insufficient health budgets prevent local government units (LGUs) from improving health services in their respective localities according to a study released by the state-owned think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS). In a study, titled Fiscal Decentralization and Health Service Delivery: An Assessment, PIDS Supervising Research Specialist Janet S. Cuenca said this is due to the mismatch between the cost of devolution and the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of LGUs. “The findings of the DID [difference-in-differences] analysis suggest that greater health decentralization has negative impact on access to hospital inpatient Read More…

  • By BusinessMirror, March 17, 2020; Business Mirror http://businessmirror.com.ph/2020/03/17/bsp-seen-to-cut-rates-by-25-bp-on-virus-woes/ The Monetary Board (MB) might trim the interest rates of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) by 25 basis points (bp) this week to aid the economy currently in slump due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. In an economic research, JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. said that the policy cut was backed by declining inflation rate and “easing of external monetary conditions.” The possible interest rate cut, JPMorgan said, would bring the overnight reverse repurchase (RRP) rate to 3.5 percent. In February, MB cut BSP’s RRP by 25 bp to 3.75 percent, Read More…

  • By Cai Ordinario, March 16, 2020; Business Mirror http://businessmirror.com.ph/2020/03/16/government-announces-p27-1-billion-stimulus-package-to-fight-covid-19/ The Duterte administration has announced a P27.1 billion package to finance efforts to fight 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The largest chunk of the package is P14 billion for programs and projects of the Department of Tourism (DOT) amounting to P14 billion from the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) to support the tourism industry. The smallest allocation was P1 billion for the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for its Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-Asenso (P3) Microfinancing special loan package of the Small Business Corp. (SBC) for affected micro entrepreneurs/micro, Read More…

  • By Cai Ordinario, March 11, 2020; Business Mirror http://businessmirror.com.ph/2020/03/11/phl-affirms-goal-of-11-poverty-rate-despite-virus/ The President’s economic team played down the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) on the country’s poverty rate, saying the Philippines remains on track to cut poverty to 11 percent by 2022. In a briefing on Tuesday, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said the impact of COVID-19 would be “transitory, if at all.” The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said around 66 firms have implemented adjusted work arrangements and 19 of them temporarily stopped operation due to COVID-19. “The estimated job losses Read More…

  • By CNN Philippines Staff, March 10, 2020; CNN Philippines https://cnnphilippines.com/business/2020/3/10/House-approves-public-service-act-amendments.html Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 10) – The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on final reading the bill which will amend the decades-old Commonwealth Act No. 146 or the Public Service Act, lifting foreign ownership limits in certain sectors. House Bill No. 78, authored by House Ways and Means Committee chairperson Joey Ma. Salceda, received 146 approval votes, 43 voted against the bill, and one abstention. If approved into law, the bill will also open the telecommunications and transport sectors to foreign ownership. The 1987 Constitution provides that 60-percent Read More…

  • By Louise Maureen Simeon, March 8, 2020; The Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/business/agriculture/2020/03/08/1998953/year-tariffication-farmers-feel-worse-off Urdaneta, Pangasinan, Philippines –Sixty-five year old Pepito Parahas has been farming for 40 years and last year has been by far the most difficult with palay (unhusked rice) prices hitting record lows. The farmgate price for palay plunged to P10 per kilo – the lowest level Parahas has ever seen in four decades of tilling the soil – from its peak of P23 in September 2018. The passage of the Rice Tariffication Law in February 2019, which the Duterte administration and its political allies said would help farmers improve Read More…

  • By Mary Grace Padin, March 9, 2020; The Philippine Star https://www.philstar.com/business/2020/03/09/1999184/economic-cluster-discuss-covid-19-impact Manila, Philippines — The Duterte administration’s Economic Development Cluster is set to meet tomorrow to discuss the potential economic impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 outbreak, according to the Department of Finance (DOF). In a press briefing last Friday, Finance Secretary and cluster head Carlos Dominguez said the economic cluster would examine COVID-19’s impact, particularly on tourism, manufacturing and construction. “We’re meeting on Tuesday, the Economic Development Cluster (EDC) to really take a look at the potential impact on the different sectors of our society, including tourism, Read More…

  • By Ben O. de Vera,March 7, 2020; Philippine Daily Inquirer https://business.inquirer.net/292034/boc-modernization-project-okd Economic managers on Friday green-lighted the planned P5.5-billion project to mo­dernize the Bureau of Customs (BOC) which was aimed at further boosting the government’s tax revenue. The National Economic and Development Authority’s (Neda) Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee approved the Philippines Customs Moder­nization Project, which would be partly financed by the Washington-based World Bank, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said after their meeting. The World Bank will finance the bulk or 84.5 percent of the project. World Bank documents had shown that its board was sche­duled to approve the Read More…

  • By Ben O. de Vera, March 5, 2020; Philippine Daily Inquirer https://business.inquirer.net/291870/pernia-resuming-talks-with-banned-donor-countries-to-benefit-infra-buildup Manila, Philippines — Resuming the negotiations for loans and grants from the 21 countries that wanted to scrutinize the Philippines’ human rights record will help the government’s infrastructure development push, the country’s chief economist said. The Duterte administration last year deferred talks for financing deals from countries that voted for or supported the United Nations’ probe of alleged human rights abuses in the Philippines due to its war on illegal drugs, but lifted this suspension last week. Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia told the Inquirer on Wednesday Read More…

  • By Leila B. Salaverria, March 5, 2020; Philippine Daily Inquirer https://business.inquirer.net/291840/ban-lifted-on-loans-from-18-countries Manila, Philippines — Malacañang is now open to getting loans and grants from countries that had backed Iceland’s resolution in the Human Rights Council seeking an investigation into the rights situation in the Philippines. A Feb. 27 memorandum from Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea lifted the suspension of negotiations and the signing of loans and grant agreements with the 18 countries that cosponsored and voted in favor of the July 11, 2019, Iceland resolution. On Aug. 27 last year, the country suspended negotiations for loans and grants with Argentina, Australia, Read More…

  • By Angelie Villapando and Kate Shiene Agna and ARTA, March 4, 2020; Philippine Information Agency https://pia.gov.ph/news/articles/1035675 The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) launches its flagship program NEHEMIA aimed at reducing costs and processes in government transactions in order to help speed up the socio-economic agenda of the Duterte Administration. Program NEHEMIA or National Effort for the Harmonization of Efficient Measures of Inter-related Agencies is a sectoral-based streamlining effort which targets to reduce the time, cost, requirements, and procedures in sectors of economic and social significance by 52% within 52 weeks. “Through the reforms that will be created by Program NEHEMIA, we Read More…

  • By Business Mirror, March 4, 2020; Business Mirror https://businessmirror.com.ph/2020/03/04/covid-19-prompts-fitch-to-cut-growth-forecast/ International think tank Fitch Solutions has cut its growth forecast of the Philippine economy for 2020, as the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) is likely to affect four of the country’s main economic streams. Fitch Solutions—the research arm of Fitch Group—said in an announcement on Tuesday that it has lowered its projection for Philippine economic growth to 6 percent, down from the earlier forecast of 6.3 percent. “We expect the Covid-19 outbreak to weigh on growth in the first half of 2020. As such, we have lowered our 2020 growth forecast […] to Read More…

  • By Consuelo Marquez, March 3, 2020; Philippine Daily Inquirer https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1236457/pasay-govt-installs-online-application-for-building-permits Application for building permits in Pasay can now be done online to fast-track business transactions in the city. In a statement on Tuesday, Pasay Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano said the online process would allow anyone to apply for building permits through their personal computers. “They no longer need to go back and forth in city hall just to comply with certain requirements,” the mayor said. The online application form for a building permit can be accessed at “Xerxys” which can be found at pasay.gov.ph. Digitalization of permit application is in compliance Read More…

  • By Bernadette D. Nicolas, March 2, 2020; Business Mirror http://businessmirror.com.ph/2020/03/02/govt-share-to-adb-grant-fund-seen-to-bolster-regional-growth/ The Philippine government’s first-ever contribution to a grant facility of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will not only bolster the economic growth of the country but also that of the Asia-Pacific region, the finance chief believes. In a statement on Sunday, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said the growth of least developed countries (LDCs) will provide the Philippines and the rest of the region with new potential markets to further boost domestic and regional economic expansion. Dominguez added the Philippines’ contribution to Asian Development Fund (ADF) is set to Read More…