October 26, 2018

may, in turn, make the central bank pause from its rate hike streak when its policymakers convene next month. Right of way in the way NO FREE LUNCH by...

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October 26, 2018

Employers warn maternity leave law imposes more costs on companies PHILEXPORT News EMPLOYERS said their questions about the new maternity leave law center on additional costs that companies are liable for, while noting the new 105-day leave entitlement exceeds the international norm of 98 days. SEIPI announces partnership to expand presence in France THE Semiconductor & Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation, Inc. (SEIPI) will soon partner with a group of tech start-ups in France to expand its presence in the country’s internet of things (IoT) market. DoF wants to make public list of businesses with tax perks (Can also be read in Philippine Star, Business Mirror, Manila Times, Manila Standard, Daily Tribune) THE DEPARTMENT of Finance (DoF) wants to make public the names of businesses that avail tax incentives. Inflation elevated till yearend — BSP Increases in daily minimum wages are expected to push the overall inflation rate even higher as businesses pass on the added cost to customers by raising prices. WAGE and transport fare hikes will likely keep inflation high for the rest of 2018, the central bank said, adding that overall price increases are expected to moderate only next year. Peso-renminbi spot mart to boost trade, business (Can also be read in Philippine Star, Manila Times) THE PHILIPPINES is set to have a peso-renminbi (RMB) spot market, which is seen to help boost trade and business relations between the Philippines and China. Sugar lobby wants 6-month fuel excise freeze (Can also be read in Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Business Mirror)

THE Confederation of Sugar Producers’ Associations (CONFED) of Negros and Panay urged the government to extend the suspension of excise tax for fuel in order not to increase the production cost of sugar. Senator calls for full suspension of fuel excise tax hike (Can also be read in Manila Bulletin, Philippine Daily Inquirer) SENATOR Paolo Benigno A. Aquino IV on Thursday hopes that the government will cancel the excise tax hike on fuel called for under tax reform in order to provide relief from rising prices. Increased integration with China expected to show up in BPO, infrastructure industries CHINA and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region have room to deepen their economic ties, the economic research arm of a regional integration organization said on Thursday. Economist calls on conglomerates to do more heavy lifting for development (Can also be read in Philippine Star) CONGLOMERATES have the resources to play a bigger role in helping achieve the goal of inclusiveness amid the weakness of national institutions, National Scientist and economist Raul V. Fabella said. Zamboanga fisheries sector makes wish list to boost production THE FISHERIES sector in Zamboanga City has drawn up a proposal designed to increase production and harvest in fishponds, seaweed farms, and common fishing grounds, as well as improve the income of those engaged in fish and dried fish trading. Carmencita C. Sanchez, officer-in-charge of the City Agriculturist Office (CAO), said the proposal was the sector representatives’ output during the food security stakeholder’s consultation conducted by the CAO last week. Customs bureau considering 12% hike in collection target for 2019 (Can also be read in Philippine Star) THE BUREAU of Customs (BoC) is considering a P670-billion collection target in 2019, 12% higher than the P598 billion target set this year. Customs officials fired, Lapeña moved to TESDA (Can also be read in Manila Bulletin, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Daily Tribune) PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte on Thursday fired on the spot all Bureau of Customs (BoC) officials and moved controversial Customs Commissioner Isidro S. Lapeña to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). PH, Spain strengthens logistics, defense material cooperation (Can also be read in Manila Bulletin)

THE Department of National Defense (DND) and the Spain’s Ministry of Defense discussed a memorandum that seeks to strengthen logistics and defense material cooperation. Japan, China seek warmer ties amid US trade friction TOKYO — Japan’s prime minister arrived in Beijing on Thursday for his first formal bilateral summit with Chinese leaders in seven years as the Asian rivals seek to build on a thaw in ties against a backdrop of trade friction with the United States.

P20 wage hike a ‘slap in the face’ (Can also be read in Philippine Daily Inquirer) A slap in the face. That’s how Makabayan solon Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate described the supposed P20 wage hike being discussed by employers and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) amid the rising cost of basic goods. Senator urges culture of innovation to boost economic competitiveness (Can also be read in Manila Standard) Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate economic affairs committee, asked on Thursday the Duterte administration to develop a culture of innovation in order to boost the country’s economic competitiveness. Duterte: Gov’t helpless in addressing inflation (Can also be read in Philippine Star) President Duterte said that there really is nothing that the government can do about inflation, particularly the rising price of oil in the world market, even if he gets beheaded in public. DOTr to inaugurate P2.5-billion south bus terminal November 5 (Can also be read in Philippine Star, Business Mirror, Daily Tribune) The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is inaugurating the country’s first land port, the P2.5-billion Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) with a daily capacity for 200,000 passengers on November 5, 2018. After Boracay, all other resorts under environmental scrutiny (Can also be read in Philippine Star) In the wake of the Boracay Island controversial mess, all island resorts and beach tourist destinations in the country will now be closely monitored for possible environmental and other violations. Asian markets suffer bloodletting after overnight Wall St. fall (Can also be read in Philippine Star)

HONG KONG (AFP) – Asian markets went into freefall Thursday, tracking a plunge on Wall Street, with trading floors awash with negativity on geopolitical concerns and following weak US economic and earnings data.

Think tank urges gov’t to plug tax collection loopholes first A local think tank has urged government to justify new or increased taxes particularly those with inflationary effects. DOF nixes extension of sunset period for TEZ incentives The Department of Finance is not keen on the possibility of extending the sunset period for the grant of incentives to tourism enterprise zones (TEZs) which will lapse next year, a top official said yesterday. Philippines wins seat in international privacy body (Can also be read in Daily Tribune) The Philippines has secured a seat in the five-member executive committee of the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners (ICDPPC), two years after the country became a member of the premier global privacy body. Foreign tourist arrivals up 6.8% in September Foreign tourist arrivals bounced back in September after contracting the previous month, and are bound to grow further as tourists gear up for the reopening of Boracay island on Friday after a six-month rehabilitation. DOE orders study on remaining gas supply in Malampaya The Department of Energy (DOE) has ordered a technical study to determine the remaining gas supply in the Malampaya deep water gas-to-power project as it explores various options for the gas field after its contract expires. ‘Trade with China to continue despite Philippine-US ties’ Trade with China will continue despite the Philippines’ stronger economic ties with the United States, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said, as President Duterte expressed reservation over a condition that he said is being imposed by Washington on its trade partners. Metro Manila workers want P1,300 daily pay Metro Manila workers yesterday insisted that they need at least P1,300 daily minimum pay just to survive. Local stocks tumble amid Wall Street crash (Can also be read in Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Times, Manila Standard) Share prices suffered heavily yesterday with the Philippine Stock Exchange index spiralling down below the 7,000 mark again.

NFA to still miss procurement target for 2018 The National Food Authority (NFA) still expects to miss its local palay procurement target for the year despite the additional incentives given to farmers. Boracay back in business; mayor suspended (Can also be read in Manila Times) After it was shut down for six months for rehabilitation, top tourist destination Boracay Island reopens today to tourists. New entrants to spur telco competition in Asia Pacific Global credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service said the telecommunications sector in Asia Pacific (APAC) will face stronger competition and increasing commoditization in 2019 caused by new entrants in the industry. ASEAN urges deeper economic integration with China Prospects for a broader and deeper integration between ASEAN economies and China in the coming decades are “bright” as these countries complement each other in their economic goals, according to a new report by the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO). EDITORIAL – Another BOC chief After prolonged denial followed by a sheepish admission that indeed, billions of pesos worth of shabu concealed in magnetic scrap lifters likely slipped out of the Bureau of Customs, Isidro Lapeña was unceremoniously shipped out of the BOC yesterday by President Duterte.

Worst seen over for inflation crisis Domestic inflationary pressures —which made local consumer prices accelerate to their fastest levels in almost a decade in recent months—seem to be abating and may, in turn, make the central bank pause from its rate hike streak when its policymakers convene next month. Right of way in the way NO FREE LUNCH by Cielito F. Habito Back in the 1990s, the foremost problem causing delays in the implementation of our infrastructure projects was right of way (along with illegal occupants) in project sites. One would think that, more than two decades later, we would have already found a way to deal with the issue and keep it from causing wasteful delays in public infrastructure projects. Development snags at the LGU level Opinion by Meliton B. Juanico It’s good that the national government has keenly embarked on programs that would accelerate our country’s socioeconomic development. As contained in the Philippine

Development Plan 2017-2022, among the government’s main goals are enhancing disaster risk reduction and management mechanisms and creating more resilient communities.

SRA sees sugar prices easing further due to imports The Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) said it expects the retail price of sugar to further decline after it has allocated 149,950 metric tons (MT) of the total import volume it green lighted to traders and end-users. Trade row-wary investors eye PHL as haven FOUR Chinese investors fleeing the fallout from the trade war are eyeing to locate in the Philippines, but are holding off their plans with the looming rationalization of tax incentives, according to the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza). CIAC starts squatter-clearing ops anew for new airport road DIOSDADO Macapagal International Airport—The Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) has announced the clearing of squatters occupying lands within the Clark civil aviation complex. NFA palay purchases this year may reach 30,000 MT–Piñol The National Food Authority (NFA) expressed confidence that it will be able to buy more than a third of its palay procurement target of 82,000 metric tons (MT) this year after it offered additional incentives to farmers. PHL dairy imports up 12.64% in January-June–NDA report Philippine dairy imports in the first half rose by 12.64 percent to 1.425 million metric tons in liquid milk equivalent (MMT-LME), from last year’s 1.265 MMT-LME, according to the National Dairy Authority (NDA). Boracay reopens Friday; no more beach parties SAY goodbye to beach parties and water sports when the white-sand resort of Boracay Island in the central Philippines reopens to tourists on Friday after a sixmonth shutdown. Economic complexity as development paradigm BETTER DAYS by Sonny M. Angara “Global competitiveness” has long been an idea around which many countries, including the Philippines, have rallied their efforts for achieving economic development. The thinking goes that if a country is more globally competitive, the more likely it will grow and prosper faster over time.

China’s BRI to boost PH investments China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is likely to result in an investment boost for Asean economies, a Singapore-based think tank said. LGU investment facilitation deal signed by BoI, DILG The Board of Investments (BoI) and the Department of Interior and Local Government-Bureau of Local Government Development (DILG-BLGD) recently signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on investment facilitation and promotion activities for local government units (LGUs). Thai firm to support PH sorghum production THE PHILIPPINE unit of Thai firm Charoen Pokphand Foods (CP) has pledged to support the Sorghum Production Program (SPP) of the country to help provide a source of alternative feeds for the poultry and livestock industries. Coffee industry to honor movers Five proponents in the Philippine coffee industry will receive the Coffee Cup of Distinction award for their exceptional achievements and outstanding contributions to the industry. Talim bamboo industry to be developed The bamboo stick producers of Ginoong Sanay, Talim Island, Laguna de Bay, are being linked with partners for financing and machine supply by the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB).

Philippines 5th most competitive economy in Southeast Asia (Can also be read in Daily Tribune) The Philippines is fifth most competitive economy in Southeast Asia and 56th out of 140 economies worldwide, according to the latest Global Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum. Workers insist on P334 wage increase The labor group Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines on Thursday said it would not yield to the P20 wage increase proposed by the Employers Confederation of the Philippines but would continue to insist on a P334 wage increase they petitioned before the Metro Manila wage board. Smaller government; $10 million for startups

From Where I Stand by Eric Jurado Based on recent news reports, the government is prepared to suspend the 2019 fuel tax hike to decrease inflationary pressures and help Filipino consumers.

Showrooms as tourist stops EXPORT showrooms can be interesting sites for tourists to visit. Not only will exporters be able to attract sales, but they can also showcase the creativity of Filipinos. EDITORIAL – Economy and politics IT IS always good to talk about the economy and take a respite, even if only for a few hours, from politicking, the focus of many government officials from the national to the local levels. Consider the recent Slingshot Cebu Innovation Conference that discussed, among others, the state of the country’s entrepreneurship ecosystem and its problems.

Sustainable dev’t rests on gender equality Countries in Asia and the Pacific must accelerate progress on gender equality to reach the ambitious and progressive global goals under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, according to a new report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and UN Women released today at the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Women in Ha Noi. Moderating October inflation seen at 6.55% The country’s inflation might have already peaked in the third quarter when it averaged 6.7 percent in September, the Dutch financial services giant ING Bank in Manila said on Thursday. 3rd telco seen serving missionary areas Remote or so-called “missionary” areas should soon enjoy the benefits of internet connectivity once a third communications player enters the scene to challenge the existing duopoly in telecommunications, according to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). Boracay wetland rehab

The Aboitiz Group is supporting the government’s ongoing rehabilitation of Boracay Island by partnering with the Department of Tourism (DoT), Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Blockchain to empower the poor Blockchain technology, the underlying technology behind digital currencies, is seen to help the Philippine banking system transition into inclusive digitized transactions as it empowers the unbanked and the “unrecorded” poorest sectors gain access to financial services. Employers an endangered species? Employer’s Corner by Ed Lacson In developed economies, employers are given the freedom, with minor government interference, to control all factors of production. This is based on the capitalist tenet of private ownership of property and decision making anchored on a free and fair competition in the production and distribution of goods.