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DBCC sees deeper economic slump

ECONOMIC MANAGERS once again slashed macroeconomic growth targets for this year as coronavirus-related quarantine restrictions continue to be implemented in parts of the country, but remained hopeful the economy will see a strong recovery starting in 2021. 

PHL raises $2.75B in global bonds

THE Philippines raised $2.75 billion (P132 billion) from its second dollar-denominated bond sale this year as it seeks to boost state coffers amid the economic slowdown.

UnionBank raises P9 billion from bond offering

UNIONBANK OF THE Philippines, Inc. raised P9 billion from its sale of two tenors of bonds, which will be used to ramp up the bank’s funding capacity and expand business operations.

World Bank Group’s IFC assigns new country manager for the Philippines

THE INTERNATIONAL Finance Corp. (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has assigned Jean-Marc Arbogast as the new country manager for the Philippines, it said in a statement on Thursday.

Construction spending of 5% of GDP seen as recovery ‘magic number’...

A CONSTRUCTION spending level equivalent to 5% of GDP will be the “magic number” that will likely drive an economic recovery, Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua, said at a construction industry conference.

BIR collects P548M from firms shut down for tax violations

THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said it collected P548 million in the nine months to September from establishments temporarily closed down for failing to register or pay taxes in arrears, the Department of Finance (DoF) said in a statement Wednesday.

Factory activity nears stabilization

FACTORY ACTIVITY in the Philippines inched closer to stabilization in November, after output rose for the first time in five months and the rate of job losses slowed, a survey conducted by IHS Markit showed.

Customs exceeds reduced target in November

THE Bureau of Customs (BoC) collected P44.69 billion in November, exceeding the revised target for the sixth consecutive month, but it was still lower than year-ago level as imports remained weak amid the pandemic.

Higher FIRB approval threshold seen weakening CREATE reforms

A CAMPAIGN to raise the investment threshold beyond P1 billion before a project can go before the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) would weaken tax reform by removing many investments from scrutiny, according to Action for Economic Reforms (AER), a policy think tank.

Lost regional economic output projected at $322.2 billion in 2021

SOUTHEAST ASIA could lose up to $322.2 billion in economic output next year due to the continuing fallout from the pandemic, with the Philippines among the leading losers in the tourism and services industries, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said.

Dominguez points to rebound next year in pitch to potential Japanese...

FINANCE Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III briefed Japanese businesses on the government’s plan to engineer a sharp economic rebound next year as part of a pitch for more investment.

Gov’t wants graphic health warnings on vaping, heated tobacco products

THE GOVERNMENT has ordered manufacturers, importers and sellers of vapor and heated tobacco products to print graphic health warnings on their packaging within 18 months,  according to the implementing rules and regulations of the laws taxing these products which were released Tuesday.

10-month borrowings reach P3.2T

THE government’s total gross borrowings reached P3.224 trillion in the first 10 months of 2020, breaching its P3-trillion full-year target after receiving a new round of cash advances from the central bank.

Pandemic impact felt disproportionately by poor

THE PANDEMIC has hit poorer households in the Philippines harder than the rest of the population, affecting their income and food security disproportionately, according to the World Bank.

Catch-up spending seen to lift Q4 GDP

STATE AGENCIES will have to significantly ramp up spending in December to boost fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP), after the government continued to underspend amid the coronavirus pandemic.   

CREATE’s lower corporate tax rate to be applied retroactively

THE PROPOSED 25% corporate income tax (CIT) will be applied retroactively to July 1, 2020 if the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) legislation is signed, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said.

Philguarantee could cover loans of up to P300M next year

PHILIPPINE GUARANTEE Corp. (Philguarantee) said it could cover loans of up to P300 million starting next year, with small-, medium-sized and large organizations eligible to apply.

BSP sees November inflation at 2.4-3.2%

Inflation likely settled between 2.4% and 3.2% in November on higher oil prices and crop damage caused by typhoons, said Philippine central bank Governor...

UN body says drought to worsen poverty

Drought threatens food security and poverty in Southeast Asian countries including the Philippines because it damages agricultural land and hurts the incomes of small...

DBM allots P3,000 hazard pay for gov’t health workers, P5,000 for...

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said it will grant government health care workers a hazardous-duty allowance of P3,000 per month for...

BIR, BoC ordered to investigate cooperatives allegedly fronting for rice traders

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III ordered the Bureaus of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Customs (BoC) to help the Agriculture department investigate alleged use...

CREATE bill finally hurdles Senate

THE SENATE on Thursday approved on third and final reading a measure that will immediately lower the corporate income tax (CIT) to 25% from the current 30% rate as well as streamline fiscal incentives.

Jobless rate seen to remain high until mid-2021

THE COUNTRY’S unemployment rate will likely remain at around 9-10%, roughly double its pre-pandemic level, until mid-2021, Asian Development Bank (ADB) Country Director for the Philippines Kelly Bird said.

Green infrastructure investment seen potentially supercharging PHL recovery

INVESTMENT in “green” infrastructure can help the Philippines bounce back faster and become more resilient after the pandemic, according to a report published by the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) and prepared with the Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Budget deficit widens in October

THE government’s budget deficit swelled in October, bringing the 10-month gap to nearly P1 trillion as state revenues remained weak and spending continued to decline even as economic managers pledged to ramp up spending to stimulate the economy.

PAL eyes court protection from creditors, says DoF

PHILIPPINE AIRLINES (PAL) is planning to seek court protection from creditors as it works on a debt restructuring plan, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said on Wednesday.

Economy may return to pre-pandemic growth by mid-2022

THE Philippine economy may go back to its pre-pandemic growth trend starting mid-2022, on the back of strong fundamentals and an expected rebound in consumer confidence amid optimism that a coronavirus vaccine will be available by next year, experts said on Wednesday.

Fourth quarter marks start of economic pickup — FMIC, UA&P

SIGNS OF an economic recovery are emerging this quarter based on readings of recent industrial activity and trade data, First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC) and the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) said in a joint report.

Pagcor to provide P2 billion for evacuation facilities

PHILIPPINE AMUSEMENT and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) said it will provide P2 billion to help build multi-purpose evacuation centers in provinces vulnerable to typhoons.

Land registry agrees to share data with BIR

THE Land Registration Authority (LRA) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said they signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) running for five years which will allow the two agencies to share records in aid of improving tax assessments and collections.

Too early to say worst is over, says ex-BSP exec

FORMER economic managers warned it might be too early to claim the “worst is over” for the Philippine economy, saying that quarantine restrictions should be further loosened to ensure a stronger and more inclusive recovery.

South Korea eyes more investments in PHL but flags ‘high’ corporate...

SOUTH KOREA is looking to expand investments in the Philippines, but expressed concern over the country’s “high” corporate income tax rate, according to the Department of Finance (DoF).

Gov’t told to expand digital tax foothold

THE government should look at digital payment systems that can cover cross-border transactions to widen its digital tax base, according to the National Tax Research Center (NTRC).

ADB study points to favorable outcomes for tricycle drivers borrowing from...

TRICYCLE DRIVERS that availed of loans from financial technology (fintech) companies en route to owning their vehicles improved their earnings considerably despite working fewer hours compared to those that did not take out loans, according to a survey by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Less than two-thirds of Bayanihan II funds released so far —...

THE BUDGET department has released less than two-thirds of the P140-billion stimulus package under Republic Act No. 11494 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan II), a month before the law expires.

DoF’s Dominguez calls for ‘aggressive’ action to mitigate climate change

FINANCE Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III asked the Climate Change Commission (CCC) to be more aggressive in mitigating the impact of climate change, in the wake of consecutive calamities that have set back the economy even further while it is still dealing with the pandemic.

Typhoons to further dent 2020 GDP

DAMAGE CAUSED by the recent string of typhoons and massive floods is estimated to shave 0.15 percentage point off the already grim gross domestic product (GDP) outlook for the year, preliminary estimates by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) showed.

Agencies told to hasten spending

CASH UTILIZATION by government agencies remained weak in the 10 months to October, prompting the economic team to direct agencies to ramp up spending in the remaining weeks of 2020.

NEDA sees less severe drop in overseas worker remittances

THE National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said the contraction in overseas Filipino worker remittances this year could be “much lower” than previously forecast after strong inflows in September.

Creation of a child trust fund proposed

THE Capital Market Development Council (CMDC) is studying the possibility of setting up the country’s Child Trust Fund (CTF), which would aim to encourage low-income families to save for their children’s college education.

ADB to offer technical assistance for vaccine distribution effort

THE Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it has a technical assistance fund of $20.3 million to help its member countries organize the distribution of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines once these are available sometime next year.

Entrepreneurs either avoid debt or cannot borrow amid pandemic

ABDUL JOHN A. CANDELARIO, 30, tried to borrow half-a-million pesos from a bank so he could expand his Korean barbecue business and capitalize on the booming food delivery service amid a lockdown meant to contain a coronavirus pandemic. He got turned down.

Economic team studying typhoon’s budget implications

THE government’s economic team is studying whether this year’s P4.1-trillion budget will need to be augmented to fund the rehabilitation effort after major typhoons hit Luzon.

PHL economic outlook dims

CREDIT RATING agencies and other institutions are likely to further cut their gross domestic product (GDP) outlook for the Philippines this year, after third-quarter data showed a slower-than-expected pace of recovery and the country continues to struggle to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Gov’t urged to seek foreign aid after typhoons

A SENATOR on Sunday urged the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to seek help from the international community for victims of Typhoon Vamco, which killed at least 67 people and submerged many parts of Luzon island last week.