February 14, 2018

bidding in response to President Rodrigo R. Duterte‘s call to scrap the practice of ... once the country shifts to a federal form of government...

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February 14, 2018

Electronics group keeps conservative 2018 target (Can also be read in Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Business Mirror, Daily Tribune) THE COUNTRY‘s electronics industry association has kept a ―conservative‖ but ―robust and healthy‖ six percent target for export sales this year on the back of 2017‘s recovery from 2016‘s low base, according to the industry leaders on Tuesday, saying this year will see even more local inputs in their products. BSP eyes ‗enabling‘ rules on sustainable finance THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will stick to ―enabling‖ rather than prescriptive rules on sustainable finance, as the regulator eyes to promote ―flexible‖ policies covering banks. Peso nears P52-per-dollar level (Can also be read in Philippine Star, Malaya) THE PESO dropped further against the dollar on Tuesday, breaching the P52 level intraday, ahead of the release of US January inflation data. Chinese, US investors looking at Mindanao solar, hydro investments DAVAO CITY — Renewable energy projects, particularly the manufacture of solar panels and the development of hydroelectric plants, are among the opportunities that foreign investors are looking into, the Mindanao business lobby said. Government to fund 78% of infrastructure program with internal funds — NEDA THE GOVERNMENT will finance with budget appropriations about 78% or P7.096 trillion of its ambitious infrastructure program, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said, signalling confidence in the economy‘s prospects and capacity to pay with tax reform shoring up the state‘s fiscal position. Davao business chamber undertakes study on local tax increase THE DAVAO City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) is aiming to release by end-February its study on the business tax increase implemented by the local government this year, which has drawn complaints from various sectors.

DoF says perks for small miners may lead others to seek tax exemptions (Can also be read in Business Mirror) THE Department of Finance (DoF) reiterated its concern that tax exemptions for small-scale miners may have the effect of ―legislated tax evasion‖ and lead other segments of the economy to seek similar privileges. DBM: New law needed to scrap lowest-bidder rule THE GOVERNMENT can at best amend implementing rules to fast-track public bidding in response to President Rodrigo R. Duterte‘s call to scrap the practice of awarding contracts to the lowest bidder, the Budget secretary said. Senator: Benham Rise research funded since 2016 SENATOR LOREN B. Legarda in a statement on Tuesday said she had allocated funds for the Philippine Rise (Benham Rise) expedition as early as 2016 and every year thereafter. Ms. Legarda said she did this in her capacity as chairperson of the Senate committee on finance. Gov‘t gets P350-B offer for NAIA rehab (Can also be read in Manila Bulletin, Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Business Mirror, Malaya) A CONSORTIUM composed of some of the country‘s biggest conglomerates has submitted to the government a P350-billion unsolicited proposal for the rehabilitation, operation and maintenance of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). ‗Solid fiscal program‘ for Bangsamoro region sought (Can also be read in Business Mirror, Malaya, Daily Tribune) FINANCE SECRETARY Carlos G. Dominguez III on Tuesday said the Department of Finance (DoF) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) are willing to provide technical assistance to local officials in coming up with a sound fiscal policy for the proposed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region. DENR to verify Boracay water treatment capacity (Can also be read in Daily Tribune) ENVIRONMENT Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said his department will meet with Boracay‘s water concessionaire, Manila Water Co., Inc. to discuss its potential capacity for offering expanded waste water treatment services. Boracay business group says ‗closing‘ entire island is not fair (Can also be read in Business Mirror) BORACAY FOUNDATION, Inc. (BFI), the biggest business organization in the popular tourist island destination, said it welcomes the ―six month ultimatum‖ given by President Rodrigo R. Duterte to establishments violating environmental laws, but asserted that his threat to ―close Boracay‖ is not fair to the majority that are compliant. World trade growth seen above trend

GENEVA — Global trade in goods will continue growing above trend during the second quarter, the World Trade Organization‘s (WTO) quarterly outlook indicator showed on Monday. The bright side of TRAIN Thinking Beyond Politics by Victor Andres C. Manhit A chorus of local and international economic analysts made a unanimous forecast for 2018: economic growth is expected to be faster than the 6.7% expansion in 2017. As Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez himself proclaimed, there is ―unprecedented optimism‖ over the country‘s economic prospects under the Duterte administration. Philippine Rise as a legacy By Edgardo Angara The Duterte administration recently revoked all permits given to foreign entities conducting scientific research in Philippine Rise (formerly known as Benham Rise). The Philippine Navy and the Air Force were ordered to regularly monitor—and chase away if needed—any foreign fishing or research vessel sailing in the area.

Duterte not interested in leading transition gov‘t ahead of shift to federalism President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is not interested in leading a transition government once the country shifts to a federal form of government. ERC non-committal on approval of Meralco supply deals The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is still extremely evasive when it comes to giving definitive timeframe on when it can act on the pending power supply agreements (PSAs) of the power projects being advanced by Manila Electric Company (Meralco). Include fiscal experts in Con-Com – Angara Senator Juan Edgardo ―Sonny‖ Angara said Malacañang should include fiscal experts in the consultative committee that would review proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution under the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). Contact center sector shows no sign of slowing down – CCAP Despite the looming challenges that may come its way, the Philippines‘ call center sector is expected to remain as among the strongest segments that contribute to the national economy, according to the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP). PH lifts ban on entry of Belgium poultry products The country is now allowing the entry of domestic and wild birds and their products from Belgium after the areas in the country that were earlier exposed to bird flu have already been cleared from the virus.

Fix the leaks instead of a shift Not everybody can be a local government leader. Secretary Jesse Robredo said that he must be ―marangal, magaling, at matino.‖ (honorable, effective, and efficient). He can be no less. The challenges that face him are daunting. He is the father, the leader, the provider, the protector, the visionary, the resource provider, and, the enforcer. His constituency prefers to have everything for free. They have been spoiled by paternalistic politicians who bought their loyalty through dole-outs and patronage.

Total exports breach target last year as services boom (Can also be read in Manila Times, Malaya) Aggregate Philippine exports surpassed last year‘s target and likely grew at least 10 percent as service exports finished with another double-digit expansion, an official of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said yesterday. Remittances rebound by 9.3% in Dec — HSBC British banking giant HSBC said remittances from Filipinos abroad may have rebounded strongly in December in time for the Christmas holidays, enabling the country to exceed the projected four percent growth set by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). Electronics sector maps out new blueprint (Can also be read in Malaya) The electronics and semiconductor industry is mapping out a new strategy to bolster the amount of new investments and continue propelling exports to new highs. Gov‘t mulls development of Tokyo property The Philippine government is considering to develop its 2,500-square meter Nampeidai property in Tokyo, Japan to generate new income and reduce settlement costs, the Department of Finance (DOF) said. Managing inflation, or rising prices The Philippine Statistics Authority reports that prices in January compared to those of the same month last year, rose four percent. Global recovery pulls up local stocks (Can also be read in Philippine Daily Inquirer) The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) recovered during yesterday‘s trading, buoyed by US and Asian regional markets. ADB prepares $11-B Philippine infra projects for feasibility studies Around $11 billion worth of complex infrastructure projects would be initially prepared using the $100 million technical assistance loan provided by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) last year for project preparation.

PH‘s GDP can increase by $8 billion in 4 years through digital transformation — study In the next four years, digital transformation is estimated to contribute $8 billion (P416.9 billion) to the Philippines‘ GDP, with an increase in growth rate by 0.4 percent annually, according to an IDC study. Recto wants Senate inquiry into proposed hike in SSS contribution rate Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto filed on Monday a resolution calling for an inquiry into the proposed increase in the contribution rate of Social Security System (SSS) members. Wholesale, retail prices of rice, palay rising Both wholesale and retail prices of rice continued to increase in the first week of February together with the prices of palay, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.

‗Bill on security of tenure could wipe out MSMEs‘ PHILEXPORT News and Features The umbrella group of Philippine exporters has raised grave concerns regarding the substitute bill on security of tenure and contractualization, saying its provisions support ―business-unfriendly labor policies‖ that threaten to obliterate the country‘s micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Business groups back Duterte administration‘s TRAIN (Can also be read in Daily Tribune) Reforms on tax system and bureaucracy rolled out by the Duterte administration had helped to have a better environment for businesses in the Philippines, top executive of Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Inc. (HKCCPI) said. DTI-EMB lauds 2017 export figures, consistent electronics-industry efforts THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) welcomed the significant development in the country‘s export sector for 2017, as electronics cornered 52.02 percent of the total share of merchandise exports, while nonelectronics, 47.98 percent. Share of electronics used to be over 60 percent of the total exports 10 years ago. PHL eyes more shipbuilding investments, pivots delegation to Asia Pacific Maritime THE Department of Trade and Industry, through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (Citem), seeks to expand the Philippines‘s shipbuilding sector in its first-ever participation in the 15th Asia Pacific Maritime (APM) from

March 14 to 16 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. DTI welcomes PHL honorary consuls from Europe THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) welcomed 20 Philippine honorary consuls based in Europe through a Philippine Trade and Investment briefing, in support of the honorary consuls‘ trade and investment promotional efforts in Europe, held on February 8 in BDO North Tower, Makati City. ‗Displaced OFWs could work for government‘ Displaced Filipino domestic helpers from Kuwait could consider taking on jobs that will become available once government projects are rolled out under its priority infrastructure program, dubbed as ―Build, Build, Build.‖ Palace backs NFAC call to review rice-buying price Malacañang backed the proposal of the National Food Authority Council (NFAC) for the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) to again review the government‘s palay-buying price. Lower chamber passes bill creating housing superbody The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved the bill creating the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHUD), one of the priority measures identified by the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (Ledac). Conglomerate helping shepherd MSMEs to digital marketplace PLDT Inc., long known for pushing connectivity, recently embarked on a digital pivot to become a more relevant force in the digital world by introducing various products and services to the public for the digital lifestyle. Creatives as partners for growth By Nora K. Terrado / Undersecretary for Trade and Investment Promotions Group DTI-EMB I AM always excited to meet creatives. As the supervising undersecretary for Trade and Investments Promotion Group, we value the great contribution of the creativeservices sector in uplifting and promoting the Philippine brand to the global market. I see them as partners in leveling up the game for the same challenge that we all have: How do we narrate the good stories we have as Filipinos? Redefining NFA‘s role BusinessMirror Editorial A few days before the Department of Agriculture (DA) announced that paddy production rose to 19.27 million metric tons (MMT) in 2017, from the previous year‘s 17.62 MMT, the National Food Authority (NFA) sounded the alarm

Asian markets mostly up but investors remain wary HONG KONG: Asian markets mostly rose Tuesday, tracking another rally in New York after last week‘s battering, but early gains were tempered and Tokyo ended down on lingering uncertainty and worries about further turmoil. Higher debt, spending cuts mark Trump budget WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Monday unveiled an ambitious proposal to renew American infrastructure as part of a budget that calls for a stunning rise in debt and trillions in cuts to the social safety net and other spending.

Energy issues guidelines on power purchase The Energy Department said Monday it issued guidelines on competitive selection process and asked the Energy Regulatory Commission to come out with a template for power supply agreements. DoF rejects sale of Japan property Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said he is not in favor of selling the Nampeidai property of the Philippines in Tokyo, Japan, saying it must be developed instead to economically benefit the government.

PH, China agree to build trust DESPITE the militarization by China of contested islands in the South China Sea, the Philippines and China yesterday agreed to ―exercise self-restraint‖ in their actions and to conduct more confidence building measures. PH to benefit from contact center shift Industry analysts agree the Philippine contact center sector is poised to benefit the most from an ongoing shift from customer service to customer experience. Direct-seeding to reduce rice production costs Direct-seeding, which uses pre-germinated seeds sown directly on the soil surface, reduces high labor costs in rice farming according to scientists at the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice).

DCCCII wants to convert interests to investments THE interest of foreign delegates expressed through exploratory trade missions should be converted into investments, said Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII) official. DTI resolves 651 consumer complaints CITY OF SAN FERNANDO - The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Central Luzon, along with its seven provincial offices, were able to resolve a total of 651 consumer complaints in 2017. Body to oversee logistics, transport sectors needed A STUDY published by state think-tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) has recommended the creation of a lead agency that would oversee the logistics and transport industry of the country. Misamis Oriental allots P4M for Oolong tea processing plant MISAMIS Oriental Governor Yevgeny Emano has allocated some P4 million for the construction of a processing plant in Barangay Kalagonoy, Gingoog City, to help increase the production of Oolong tea. BIR going after tax evaders to hit P13-B target collection THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in Negros Island will strengthen its efforts in going after tax evaders to reach its target collection of almost P13.2 billion this year, its top official said. P600-M socialized credit program available for planters SUGAR board member Emilio Yulo III said a funding of P600 million is now available for small sugar planters/farmers under the Socialized Credit Program of the Land Bank of the Philippines. Solgen says Ombudsman ended probe into plunder complaint vs Duterte (Can also be read in Daily Tribune) SOLICITOR General Jose Calida on Tuesday, February 13, said the Office of the Ombudsman has terminated the investigation into the plunder complaint filed against President Rodrigo Duterte. 'Basyang' makes landfall over Dumaguete City TROPICAL Depression Basyang, which made landfall over Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental on Tuesday night, is now moving towards Sulu Sea, the country's weather agency reported. Gacad: Let's be serious! By FELIZARDO GACAD JR. OVER the past few days, some illegal small scale miners operating in the City were ordered to cease and desist from undertaking their activities. The action of the national government, particularly the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on these illegal and irresponsible mining practices was in

compliance to instructions in the implementation of action items by the National Task Force on the Mining Challenge.

Rody bares Loida Lewis‘ role in ICC probe President Duterte yesterday said he had heard a tapped conversation proving that New York-based Filipino-American businesswoman Loida Nicolas-Lewis is among those bankrolling the progress in the case hurled against him at the International Criminal Court (ICC). Duterte looking for remedy to solve OFW woes in Kuwait After being fueled over Kuwait‘s tolerant inaction on abuses done on overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), President Duterte yesterday said that he eyes to exhaust all diplomatic means to fix the country‘s ties with the Gulf state. Mayon-affected workers to get P60-M job, livelihood aid Some 10,000 workers and evacuees affected by the restive Mayon Volcano are expected to benefit from the P60-million livelihood and emergency employment assistance of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE). BI to ban OFWs bound for Kuwait The Bureau of Immigration said it will not allow overseas Filipino workers (OFWS) whose destination is Kuwait to leave the airports and seaports in the country following President Rodrigo Duterte‘s order to strictly implement the ban on the deployment of OFWs to Kuwait. BI Commissioner Jaime Morente directed the bureau‘s port operations chief Marc Red Mariñas to immediately enforce the ban and conduct stricter immigration formalities on all departing passengers. Palace considering rise in NFA rice to compete with rice traders To compete with commercial rice traders, Malacañang yesterday said it it considering an increase in the National Food Authority‘s (NFA) rice purchasing power. Learn from China, RP regulators told China is now realizing the dangers posed by its financial system, a development that local banking regulators must monitor and act accordingly so dangers can be avoided. Haven‘t we seen this before? Written by Tribune wires The yellow axes grinding against President Duterte which are the suspects behind the sudden disappearance of National Food Authority (NFA) rice in the market and may also be instigating the spike in the inflation rate that is being blamed on the

showcase tax reform program called the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) law. A paradise lost Written by Aldrin Cardona Maybe not a few would agree with the observation long made by its residents and old habitues that Boracay had lost its magnificence soon after the start of a construction boom in the 1990s.