August 16, 2017

August 16, 2017 Finance dep‘t views over 7% growth in second-quarter GDP as ‗possible‘ (Can also be read in Manila Bulletin, Philippine Star, Manila T...

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August 16, 2017

Finance dep‘t views over 7% growth in second-quarter GDP as ‗possible‘ (Can also be read in Manila Bulletin, Philippine Star, Manila Times, Malaya) THE Department of Finance said economic growth of over 7% in the second quarter is possible on the back of the double-digit rise in merchandise exports. Farm growth fuels Q2 GDP hopes (Can also be read in Manila Bulletin, Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Times, The Standard) FARM OUTPUT last quarter turned around from a year-ago decline, growing faster than January-March‘s expansion due to the past year‘s low base, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Tuesday ahead of its gross domestic product (GDP) report tomorrow. Remittances in June biggest in three months (Can also be read in Manila Bulletin, Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Business Mirror, Manila Times, The Standard, Sunstar, Malaya) MONEY SENT HOME by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) — a driver of household spending that contributes more than 73% to gross domestic product (GDP) — grew faster in June to hit a three-month high amid strong deployment, the central bank said yesterday. Economic managers pitch PHL opportunities to investors in Singapore (Can also be read in Manila Bulletin, Malaya) ECONOMIC MANAGERS of President Rodrigo R. Duterte flew to Singapore this week to woo more foreign firms to invest in the Philippines, branding the country as Asia‘s ―next economic powerhouse‖ with fresh opportunities for growth, particularly in infrastructure. Central bank likely to hike rates within 2017 as inflation picks up THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will still have to raise interest rates by yearend to keep up with faster inflation, analysts at BMI Research said, as they expect prices to rise by as much as 4% later this year.

Peso sinks on Fed rate bets (Can also be read in Manila Bulletin, Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Times) THE PESO continued to drop against the greenback on Tuesday, hitting another near 11-year low, as investors flocked to the safe-haven dollar following hawkish remarks from a US Federal Reserve policy maker. Higher metals prices boost value of PHL output (Can also be read in Philippine Star) THE Mines and Geosciences Bureau said the value of metals produced in the first half rose 4.27% from a year earlier, after miners obtained higher prices for their output. EO 30 and Energy Projects of National Significance Thinking Beyond Politics by Paco Pangalangan By now, most have probably heard or read about the Duterte government‘s infrastructure and economic plans. Its long-term vision, Ambition 2040, aspires for Filipinos to enjoy a comfortable and secure existence as an upper middle-income economy, while Dutertenomics and the ―Build, Build, Build‖ seek to usher in a golden age of infrastructure. A looming cement cartel By Andrew J. Masigan THE Consumer Protection Group of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has a lot of explaining to do. Earlier this year, the group, under the supervision of Undersecretary Teodoro Pascua, facilitated the passage of Department Administrative Order No. 17-02 (later on, amended by DAO 17-05), a statute that affects the supply and price situation of cement in the country.

Stakeholders pinpoint regulatory burdens that inflate PH logistics cost PHILEXPORT News and Features Logistics stakeholders have identified several regulatory factors as contributing to the steep cost of logistics services in the Philippines compared to the country‘s neighbors in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). FDA sets first regulatory fair on Aug. 17-18 at PICC The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be holding its 1st Regulatory and Advocacy Fair on August 17-18 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) coinciding with its 54th Anniversary. BSP releases rules on sanctions for AML violators (Can also be read in Philippine Star, Manila Times)

Violators or covered persons failing to comply with provisions of the anti-money laundering (AML) law will face sanctions that may be higher based on asset size and the gravity of the rule breakers. MB closes World Partners Bank (A Thrift Bank), Inc. (Can also be read in Philippine Star) The Monetary Board (MB) of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) prohibited World Partners Bank (A Thrift Bank), Inc. from doing business in the Philippines. Domestic wheat flour industry suffers from supply glut The domestic wheat flour industry is suffering from supply glut with several new flour mills opening their operations, flooding the market with supply, giving old players a run for their money, and forcing importation to slump amid a slowdown in local consumption.

Trade boost draws more Israel investors to Philippines Israeli investors are now looking at the Philippines with heightened interest after bilateral trade between the two countries experienced a revival last year. Higher inflation to prompt hikes in rates — Fitch unit (Can also be read in Business Mirror) BMI Research expects the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to raise interest rates 50 basis points until next year as inflation is seen hitting the higher end of the two to four percent target this year. Q2 agriculture output beats forecast The country‘s agriculture sector grew 6.18 percent in the second quarter, surpassing the government‘s growth targets on increased crops and poultry output. Market retests peso on easing US-North Korea tension (Can also be read in Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Times, The Standard) Share prices recovered yesterday from last week‘s slump, ramping up the initial recovery on Monday on the back of easing geopolitical tensions between the US and North Korea. No ban on fowl exports — Lopez Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez is ruling out the possibility of countries banning imports of poultry products from the Philippines following the government‘s confirmation of an avian flu outbreak in Pampanga last week. ASEAN at 50 years CROSSROADS by Gerardo P. Sicat

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. This mid-centennial celebration honors our country in a special way, for, by a lucky turn in the duties of rotation, the Philippines is the association‘s chairman during such a special year.

Biz Buzz: Power sector politics It took a while — several months of planning, maneuvering and, finally, execution, to be exact — but Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi finally has the ―clean slate‖ he‘s always wanted at Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC). Getting out of debt Money Matters by Efren Ll. Cruz Question: How easy is it to ask for a restructuring from my licensed creditors? I am past due with them for only a few months. Previous to being past due, I was always on time but able to pay only the minimum amount required. —asked at ―Ask a friend, ask Efren‖ free service available at and Facebook.

DTI urges Bataan exporters to tap EU-GSP+ tariff scheme FREEPORT AREA OF BATAAN—The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is urging manufacturers, export producers and registered business locators here to take advantage of a preferential tariff scheme granted by the European Union (EU) that allows duty-free access to exporters from developing countries, like the Philippines. PHL trade chief urges Asean to collaborate, communicate KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—As the Asean celebrated its 50th founding anniversary, 2017 marks an opportune time to reflect on what Asean has achieved over the past five decades and what it seeks to accomplish ahead. Philippine sugar production hits 2.5 MMT The country‘s sugar output has reached 2.5 million metric tons (MMT) as of August 6, surpassing the production target of the government for the current crop year, according to data from the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA). Poultry growers incur huge losses due to bird flu–Ubra Just days after the Department of Agriculture (DA) announced the outbreak of avian influenza (AI) in Pampanga, the United Broiler Raisers Association (Ubra) said poultry sales have declined by as much as 50 percent. DENR eyes Asean forest training hub in Zambales

TO further boost the country‘s reforestation effort, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is forging ties with the Asean-Republic of Korea (ROK) Forest Corp. (Afoco) to establish a forest regional training center in Candelaria, Zambales. Davao Mayor Duterte-Carpio: Retail industry a huge driver of Philippines economic growth The retail industry has been a huge driver in boosting the growth and development of the Philippine economy, Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio said at a recent retail conference, as she urged businessmen to seek investment opportunities at the country‘s South—which offers greater opportunities for retailers to access untapped markets and further expansion. Bird flu seen cutting farm growth in H2 Philippine farm output could grow at a slower pace in the second half of the year following the discovery of the avian influenza (AI), or bird flu, outbreak in Pampanga, according to economists. North Korea takes a pause but PHL consulate in Guam remains on alert HAGATNA, Guam—North Korea‘s state-run newspaper reported on Tuesday that its leader Kim Jong Un has taken a pause on his plan to fire missiles toward Guam, but the Office of the Philippine Consulate said it would be premature to lift the precautionary alert for Filipinos living on Guam. ‗China‘s intellectual-property theft must stop‘ President Donald J. Trump on Monday instructed the office of the United States Trade Representative to consider an investigation into China‘s sustained and widespread attacks on America‘s intellectual property. This investigation will provide the evidence for holding China accountable for a decades-long assault on the intellectual property of the United States and its allies. Asean at 50 By Edgardo Angara The Asean has evolved slowly but surely into one of the most dynamic regional blocs in its five decades of existence. Some even consider the Asean the most successful supranational grouping in the world today. It comprised 10 countries with total population of 650 million, the world‘s third-largest labor force and an economy poised to become the world‘s fifth-largest by 2020. Tax on sugar-sweetened beverages stirs bittersweet flavor for industry Conclusion AS some government officials seek to find the right track for the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) bill, some are uncertain with the course it is undertaking. CIAP, EMB ink partnership to promote PHL construction industry Part Two

The Philippines is aggressively promoting services, such as information technology BPM (services/software development and business-process outsouring like contact centers, Health Information Management System (HIMS), game development and animation and other services, like franchising and education audio-visual among others. Tougher policies needed to fight bird flu BusinessMirror Editorial For more than a decade, the Philippines had enjoyed the distinction of being free from the avian influenza (AI) or bird flu, particularly the strain that could infect humans.

Inclusive businesses key to Asean economic growth MORE inclusive businesses (IBs) are contributing to economic growth in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) by providing income opportunities and affordable services and, a trade official said. New NEA web portal expected to improve industry oversight TO improve the supervision of electric cooperatives (ECs), the National Electrification Administration (NEA) launched on Monday its web portal and business intelligence technology (BIT) system.

Low bread demand slows flour imports Rising flour prices are giving importers a difficult time to catch up on sales. Importers fire back at big cement firms By Ray S. Eñano Government‘s attempt to tighten up on cement shipments has drawn sharp rebuke from small importers. A group of cement importers has protested department administrative order (DAO) 07-02 of the Department of Trade and Industry requiring them to obtain an Import Commodity Clearance on top of the Product Safety mark. The order exempts the big cement manufacturers-importers from the ICC requirement.

DA to monitor poultry farms in Davao Region THE Department of Agriculture (DA) in Davao Region will conduct surveillance monitoring for the commercial and backyard poultry farms in the five areas in the region that are located at or near hot spots for the migratory birds coming from China and other countries in September. Neda 7 awarded as outstanding partner of BSP THE National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) 7 is among this year‘s awardees of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for supporting the financial institution in its programs and other initiatives to improve the quality of life of all Filipinos. Price of rice, corn grits stable PRICES for commercial rice and corn grits remained the same with their last month‘s prices based on the monitoring conducted by the National Food Authority-Davao Region.

PH champions inclusive business in Asean The Philippines, which chairs this year‘s Asean, initiated discussions and initiatives to encourage the creation of inclusive business (IB) models in the Asean.

20 LGUs soon connected to RP business registry PHILEXPORT News and Features The government is preparing 20 local government units (LGUs) to be connected to the Philippine Business Registry (PBR) this year in line with its target to fully implement the online system by 2020, said the country‘s economic planning chief.