October 19, 2016

October 19, 2016 Moody‘s raises PHL ... small farmers as its core strategy to fight poverty. ... advantage or opportunity that is certain than having ...

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October 19, 2016

Moody‘s raises PHL growth forecast (Can also be read in Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Times, The Standard, Malaya) MOODY‘s Investors Service has raised its growth forecast for the Philippines in the face of robust domestic demand and a ―well-defined‖ reform agenda, even as it noted that ―political risks have become less predictable‖ under President Rodrigo R. Duterte‘s administration. Self-rated hunger in Q3 lowest in 12 years THE PROPORTION of Filipinos who experienced involuntary hunger at least once last quarter hit its lowest point in over 12 years, as the reading improved across all areas in the country, a new Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed. DoF: Tax reform a boon to entry-level workers (Can also be read in Manila Bulletin, Business Mirror) ENTRY-LEVEL employees may enjoy over P12,000 a year worth of additional takehome pay if the proposed personal income tax reform package is passed into law, a Department of Finance (DoF) official said. House revisits bill hiking SSS pensions, will work to void veto THE House of Representatives will expedite the passage of bills granting P2,000 worth of additional monthly pension payments for Social Security System (SSS) retirees and expand the powers of the Social Security Commission (SSC), after committee-level approval for the latter yesterday. WESM Sept. average spot price falls 31% vs August (Can also be read in Philippine Star, Business Mirror, Manila Times) ELECTRICITY consumers paid an average of P2.86 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the energy bought at the wholesale electricity spot market in September, down 31% from a month earlier, the market‘s governance arm said on Tuesday. BSP shield vs foreign exchange losses sought

THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) has formally asked lawmakers to allow it to put up reserves that would soften the blow of foreign currency fluctuations on its balance sheet. Peso tracks Asian currencies clawing back losses (Can also be read in The Standard) THE PESO rebounded against the dollar yesterday, tracking mostly stronger Asian currencies as the greenback took a breather. Salaries, jobs top priorities for Filipinos -- Pulse Asia WORKER pay and job creation emerged as the top concerns of Filipinos, even as the government remained focused on fighting crime, particularly illegal drugs, polling organization Pulse Asia said in its ―Ulat ng Bayan‖ survey. Implementing rules establish framework for ICT dep‘t operations THE Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for the newly-established Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) were issued yesterday, allowing the agency to proceed with its initial plans for the information technology sector. Brunei enlisted to boost credibility of PHL‘s halal certification system (Can also be read in Manila Bulletin, Philippine Star, Business Mirror) PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte‘s Brunei visit will generate assistance from the Sultanate‘s government in the area of halal food certification, helping Philippine producers tap a world market estimated to be worth trillions of dollars, officials said. Revisions to DoF‘s income tax reforms expected next week (Can also be read in The Standard) THE House ways and means committee may come out this week with its revisions to the first tax reform package submitted by the Department of Finance (DoF) to Congress last month. ―Merging Hard and Soft Solutions to the Daily Gridlock‖ Written by Thinking Beyond Politics -- Victor C. Manhit The traffic situation in Metro Manila has become indescribable. Traveling between Makati City and Quezon City easily takes four to six hours of a commuter‘s day. Worse, during the rainy season, Metro Manila grinds to a halt thanks to flood-prone streets. Studies say that at least P2 billion is lost daily due to the effects of severe traffic congestion in the National Capital Region. ―Rethinking agriculture‖ Written by Grassroots & Governance -- Teresa S. Abesamis I hope that the Duterte government is not looking at a massive transfer of land to small farmers as its core strategy to fight poverty.

Piñol seeks extension of rice import restriction Manila – The Philippines' farm minister is making a last-ditch appeal to his colleagues in the cabinet to postpone opening the country to higher rice imports next year, saying local farmers need more time to prepare to compete with cheaper grains. Power industry players frown at nuclear option Department of Energy (DOE) is pushing the envelope when it comes to integrating nuclear into the country‘s technology options in the shifting energy mix, but power industry players are giving it the cold shoulder. Duterte now in China (Can also be read in Malaya) BEIJING, China --The President arrives in Beijing Tuesday night to strengthen the country‘s relations with China, particularly on trade and investments. Duterte‘s visit coincides with the 41st anniversary of the establishment of the relations between China and the Philippines. PAGASA warns signal no. 5 possible amid Lawin‘s wrath Three provinces have now been placed under tropical cyclone warning signal number 2 as a much stronger Typhoon Lawin approaches northern Luzon. 12 areas under Signal No. 1 as ‗Lawin‘ intensifies Typhoon ―Lawin‖ (international name ―Haima‖) continues to gain strength and could reach super-typhoon category before its expected landfall over Cagayan province on Thursday. China sees new dev‘t path for PH as President Duterte opens state visit (Can also be read in Philippine Star) China expressed its belief that under the leadership of President Duterte, the Philippines and its people can now ―explore a development path that suits their national realities‖ as it prepared for the arrival of the Philippine leader for his state visit to China on October 18-21.

Index rallies on bargain hunting (Can also be read in Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Times, The Standard) MANILA, Philippines – The stock market snapped out of its losing streak yesterday, soaring 212.94 points to settle at 7,571.15 due to massive bargain hunting, analysts said.

Tourism body gears up to promote MICE in Philippines MANILA, Philippines – The Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) is targeting to increase the number of international meetings, incentive trips, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) in the country to catch up with its ASEAN peers. Strong Aug remittance growth baffles economists (Can also be read in Business Mirror) MANILA, Philippines – Authorities and economists are baffled by the sharp rebound in the growth of cash remittances in August and expect the amount of money being sent home by overseas Filipinos to slow down in the coming months. Philippine e-commerce lags behind Asian peers MANILA, Philippines – As the Philippines lags in terms of e-commerce adoption, the government and the private sector will need to work together to educate businesses as well as address trust issues on selling and buying items online to promote continued development of enterprises. House to pass P3.35-trillion 2017 budget today MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives is expected to approve today the proposed P3.35-trillion 2017 national budget. NEDA pushes more infra investments in NE Luzon MANILA, Philippines – In line with the Duterte administration‘s push to spur growth in the regions, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is eyeing more infrastructure investments in Northeastern Luzon to boost agriculture trade. DTI engages BPI Family Bank to extend support to MSME MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has entered into a partnership with BPI Family Savings Bank to provide technical and financial assistance to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) clients of Negosyo Centers. House lukewarm on higher fuel taxes MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives appears lukewarm to the Duterte administration‘s proposal to increase the tax on gasoline and impose a P6per-liter levy on diesel, kerosene, cooking gas and bunker fuel, which is used to produce electricity. NEDA lists investments to boost long-term water supply MANILA, Philippines – The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is identifying investments that would address the long-term water security needs of Metro Manila by 2037 and beyond. House to pass P3.35-trillion 2017 budget today MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives is expected to approve today the proposed P3.35-trillion 2017 national budget. European carriers mull direct flights to Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – Some European airlines have expressed their interest to fly directly to the Philippines, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said. ‗More on ‗endo‘ and employment‘ CROSSROADS (Toward Philippine Economic and Social Progress) By Gerardo P. Sicat Removal of ―endo,‖ or contractualization, is not as simple as proponents want it to be. It has major implications on the employment situation and, hence, on poverty. Is there a favored player? HIDDEN AGENDA By Mary Ann Reyes Urbandictionary.com defines this expression as follows: it is better to have an advantage or opportunity that is certain than having one that is worth more but is not so certain. A bird in the hand is yours, and it‘s not going anywhere unless you let it go. But if you leave it and go for two in the bush, there is no guarantee you‘ll catch them, you might end up with nothing in the end. In essence, don‘t be greedy and stick with what good things you already have, instead of going after something you‘ll probably never get.

Ombudsman targets open dumps, illegal logging, mining The Office of the Ombudsman is targeting the closure of 100 more open dumps next year, as it sets its sights on perpetrators of illegal logging, mining and fishing. Bridge plan across Manila Bay to link Cavite, Bataan CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—A bridge across Manila Bay, starting from Naic town in Cavite province and ending in Mariveles town in Bataan province, is being pushed as a solution to the traffic crisis in Metro Manila. PH to agree on joint oil exploration with China in disputed sea BEIJING—The Philippines is set to enter into a deal with China to jointly explore energy sources in the disputed West Philippine Sea. Expectations high for hefty Chinese investments in PH HONG KONG—As President Duterte heads to mainland China for a historic state visit this week, expectations are high that he will obtain commitments to hefty Chinese foreign direct investments that will help ease local infrastructure bottlenecks while boosting cooperation to curb drug trade.

Trade chief: Tourism helps MSMEs grow

PASAY CITY—Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez expressed strong support for the development of the Philippine tourism industry during the 42nd Philippine Business Conference and Expo on October 13. PHL, Brunei seek to boost MSE cooperation, DTI chief Lopez says The Philippines and Brunei have pledged cooperation to aid micro and small enterprises in a financing initiative and the possibly revive ―heritage‖ local industries, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said on Tuesday. DICT partners with consortium to help MSMEs tap e-commerce The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is partnering with the Ureka Forum consortium to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) tap e-commerce. DOF-sponsored tax plan excludes nearly 5 million from higher levy An estimated 4.7 million Filipinos comprising 83 percent of the country‘s tax base for individual taxpayers will be exempt from paying income tax under the tax-reform program of the Department of Finance (DOF). Regulator asks Congress to recast BSP charter, 2 other measures (Can also be read in Manila Times) The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Tuesday urged the House of Representatives to recast not only its charter but the Anti-Money Laundering Act (Amla), as well as the secrecy provisions covering bank deposits to help promote financial and monetary stability in the country. Government urged to expand hybrid-rice subsidy Local hybrid-rice producer SL Agritech Corp. (SLAC) on Tuesday appealed to the Duterte administration to expand the government‘s hybrid-rice subsidy program so more farmers would plant the variety. Pangilinan to Cabinet: Release position on rice-import quota The Cabinet should make known its position regarding the lifting of the quantitative restriction (QR) on rice to guide Congress‘s legislative action, Sen. Francis N. Pangilinan said on Monday. Home Business Export Unlimited Electronics top exports in August By Kathleen Joyce D. Bondoc / Office of the Undersecretary for Industry Promotion Group / Department of Trade and Industry Senators see early O.K. of PHL‘s entry into China-led bank Senators see no major hitches in the early ratification of the Philippines‘s entry into the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), even as members of the treaty-ratifying chamber said they still need to conduct hearings to review the AIIB‘s Articles of Agreement. Farm tourism attracts more visitors–Alegre FARMS and wellness spas are luring more foreign visitors to the country, even as an increasing number of domestic tourists patronize these new attractions.

DOT seeks to lure more Chinese tourists to PHL THE Philippines and China are slated to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on tourism cooperation during the visit of President Duterte in Beijing this week.

Broaden base, eliminate VAT exemptions – WB (Can also be read in Malaya) THE World Bank said the Philippines should broaden its tax base and eliminate a number of existing exemptions on the value-added tax (VAT) to boost revenue and address policy and administration gaps in the system. I-ACT to review road diggings in Metro Manila THE Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (I-ACT) will start a review of all ongoing excavations in the metropolis for possible exemption from the moratorium on road diggings that the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will impose this coming holiday season. Peso rebounds on US data The peso rebounded after two days of losses, tracking regional peers as latest US data signified weak manufacturing, prompting speculations that the Fed will delay any rate hike. It also received a boost from a rise in the local equities market, which posted its biggest gain in five months Tuesday.

Du30 to take Silk Road BEIJING—President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday he wanted Manila to join Beijing‘s proposed Belt and Road Initiative to make up for the country‘s lack of funding for much-needed infrastructure. Govt studies 1% tax on stocks The government plans to double the tax rate on stock market transactions to 1 percent of the gross selling price in a bid to offset possible revenue losses brought about by other tax measures, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said. Remittances, BPO, electronics to infuse $67b Remittances, business process outsourcing revenues and electronics exports will generate more than $67 billion worth of inflows this year, British bank Standard Chartered said Tuesday. Duterte also facing exodus of Filipino workers from Saudi Arabia

After two years working in Saudi Arabia, Arman Abelarde packed his bags in September and went home to the Philippines, joining an exodus of foreign workers who have been a major source of labor in the Arab Gulf for half a century. A flawed number-coding scheme Editorial THERE are several things wrong with the plan to extend the coverage of the number-coding scheme, as announced by the Department of Transportation.

China lifts banana ban EXPORTS of Philippine bananas for the last quarter of this year are expected to rise following China‘s lifting of restrictions on Philippine exports early this month. PH accepts ASEAN BAC chairmanship from Laos ASEAN Business Advisory Council (BAC) Philippines Chair Joey Concepcion assumed the chairmanship of the ASEAN BAC following the successful term of Oudet Souvannavong of Laos. Biz community hails Ambisyon Natin 2040 PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte‘s move of adopting National Economic and Development Authority‘s (Neda) ―Ambisyon Natin 2040‖ is a welcome move especially for the business community.

Higher excise taxes to disrupt CARS plan proposal by the Department of Finance (DOF) to increase the excise taxes on motor vehicles would have an across-the-board impact on the prices of vehicles, including the models of the much-flaunted Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS).

Weak exports due to outside forces The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) yesterday said the country‘s exports are declining for the past straight 17 months due to global markets.According to the BSP, the slowdown is not because of the waning markets for Philippine products.

Manufacturing sector adopts green program Six pilot manufacturing sectors took initiatives to improve environmental sustainability and strengthen their global competitiveness.