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Central bank to ‘go slow’ on interest rate cuts

BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said monetary policy easing will not be as “aggressive” this year compared to 2019 and will be delivered at a slower pace as inflation is expected to stay within target, and with other data showing the economy remains strong.

Gov’t makes full award of T-bills as rates drop on strong...

THE GOVERNMENT fully awarded the Treasury bills (T-bills) it offered on Monday as rates declined across-the-board amid strong demand.

UnionBank books higher profit on loans, trading

UNIONBANK OF THE Philippines, Inc. saw its net earnings nearly double in 2019 on the back of a higher loan portfolio, margin recovery and strong gains from trading activities.

JUUL Labs to stop making flavored vaping products

JUUL Labs Inc. will stop producing and selling flavored vaping products after a recently signed law banned their production while imposing higher taxes on alcohol and electronic cigarettes.

Peso weakens on fears over China virus

THE PESO continued to depreciate on Monday due to rising concerns on the spread of the new coronavirus from China.

T-bill rates may move sideways on ample liquidity, lack of leads

YIELDS ON THE Treasury bills (T-bills) to be auctioned off on Monday will likely move sideways amid strong liquidity.

POGO tax collections in 2019 rise nearly 170% to P6.42B

THE government’s tax take from Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) and their service providers grew nearly 170% to P6.42 billion in 2019 amid a compliance crackdown, the Department of Finance (DoF) said Sunday.

LGU tax collections in 9 months to Sept. top P200B

TAX collections by local government units (LGU) topped P200 billion in the nine months to September, with nearly half consisting of business taxes, the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) said.

Gov’t to sell at least P30B in RTBs

THE Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) is looking to raise at least P30 billion via the issuance of retail treasury bonds (RTB) starting Tuesday, Jan. 28.

BIR suspends tax deadline in Batangas due to Taal eruption

THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has suspended the deadlines of filing and payment of tax returns in Batangas to provide relief to the residents affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano, until the situation returns to normal.

Philippines joins ASEAN Single Window

THE PHILIPPINES has officially joined the ASEAN Single Window (ASW) and went live last Dec. 30 via its three pilot ports, the Department of Finance (DoF) said.

BPI raises P15.3 billion from bond offer

BANK OF THE Philippine Islands (BPI) raised P15.3 billion in peso-denominated bonds following strong demand, marking its second largest issuance to date in the local debt market.

GDP growth falls to 8-year low in 2019

THE PHILIPPINE ECONOMY grew by 6.4% in the fourth quarter, its fastest pace for 2019 on the back of robust household spending and a rebound in government spending, but was not enough to hit the full-year goal, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported yesterday.

Duterte gives go-ahead to review UP Technohub deal

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has given formal approval to initiate a review of an agreement to develop land owned by the University of the Philippines (UP), his spokesman said, adding to the list of allegedly one-sided deals entered into by past governments that has called into doubt the viability of long-term agreements undertaken by some of the country’s biggest firms.

Budget department sets spending deadlines for cash-based 2020 budget

THE Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has set deadlines for spending the 2020 Budget, requiring agencies to wrap up capital outlays for infrastructure projects by the end of the year while giving them until the end of 2021 or later to disburse funds to finance the completion procedures for these projects.

Gov’t raises €1.2 billion from euro bond issue

THE government raised €1.2 billion from its offer of two tenors of euro-denominated bonds following strong demand from investors, including the three-year papers priced at a near-zero coupon.

Third-quarter 2019 GDP growth scaled down

THE PHILIPPINE ECONOMY in the third quarter grew at a slower pace than previously reported, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said a day before it announces preliminary figures for the fourth quarter and full-year 2019.

Chevron ‘open’ to talks but DoF wants gov’t control of leased...

CHEVRON Philippines Inc. said on Wednesday that its lease contract with a subsidiary of state-led National Development Co. (NDC) had been beneficial for both the government and the company, with the deal entered into “in compliance with all Philippine laws and regulations.”

ASEAN research office revises 2020 PHL inflation forecast to 3%

THE ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) maintained its growth forecast for the Philippine economy at 6.4% this year but revised its inflation rate projection upwards.

Offshore bond issuances likely within 1st semester

THE Bureau of the Treasury could offer all its offshore bond issuances within the first half of the year after successfully securing all the necessary approvals, a top official said.

DoF finds ‘onerous’ terms in Chevron lease deal

THE Department of Finance (DoF) said on Tuesday that the lease contract between a unit of a state-led corporation and privately owned Chevron Philippines, Inc. contains “onerous” provisions as the oil firm is paying lower-than-market rental fees on a government property in Batangas.

Gov’t makes partial award of 7-year bonds

THE GOVERNMENT made a partial award of its offer of seven-year Treasury bonds (T-bonds) yesterday as investors asked for higher rates.

Income lost from Taal eruption could hit P4.3B

FOREGONE income from Taal Volcano’s eruption could hit as much as P4.314 billion, equivalent to 0.17% of the region’s economic output in 2018 according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

BDO eyes P5B from bond offering

BDO Unibank, Inc. is looking to raise P5 billion via the fixed-rate bonds it began offering on Monday to diversify its funding sources and support its lending activities.

NEDA counting on passage of land use measure, tax reforms this...

THE National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said it is counting on the passage of priority bills this year, particularly the remaining tax reform packages and measures regulating land use and enhancing disaster resiliency.

NEDA’s Pernia says marine resources underutilized

SOCIOECONOMIC Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said marine and coastal resources are underutilized, and called for proper management of the sector known as the “blue economy.”

Q4 GDP growth likely at 6.6-6.7% — Pernia

THE last three months of 2019 likely saw the economy grow at its fastest pace during the year, amid higher infrastructure spending, private construction and public consumption, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said.

BIR sets goals for regional offices; Makati told to collect P129.5B

THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has released the collection targets for its various regional offices, led by its Makati operation, which has been set a goal of P129.51 billion.

Fuel marking volumes top two billion liters

THE total volume of fuel marked as of Jan. 18 has topped two billion liters, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said, citing a report from the Bureau of Customs (BoC).

Nov. GOCC subsidies grow 46%

STATE SUBSIDIES to government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) grew 46.11% year-on-year to P11.815 billion in November, the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) said.

TIEZA backs ‘rationalizing’ travel tax after DoF threat

THE Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) said it accepts the need to “rationalize” the travel tax a day after the Department of Finance threatened to take it away due to alleged underspending by the agency.

New ADB president assumes office

THE Asian and Development Bank (ADB) said its new President Masatsugu Asakawa assumed office on Friday.

Peso weakens slightly on lack of clarity from US-China trade deal

THE peso moved sideways on Friday on the back of a “disappointing” US-China phase one trade deal and as big data releases next week pushed investors to the sidelines.

Taal eruption’s impact on inflation to be minimal — DoF

THE Department of Finance (DoF) assured that the inflationary impact of Taal Volcano’s eruption will be minimal and manageable, its top official said Thursday.

BIR issues rules on BSP’s tax exemption

THE BUREAU OF Internal Revenue (BIR) has issued the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the central bank’s tax exemption from all national taxes under its amended charter.

PDIC pays P1.18 billion in deposit insurance for closed banks in...

THE PHILIPPINE Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC) paid a total of P1.18 billion in deposit insurance last year to 51,278 valid deposit accounts, it reported on Thursday.

DoF to seek lower DST, warns TIEZA could lose travel tax

FINANCE Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said Thursday he will seek to lower the documentary stamp tax (DST) to restore the Department of Finance’s original program when it proposed legislation that later became the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (TRAIN).

Fitch Solutions says drug price controls a threat to pharma multinationals

FITCH SOLUTIONS Macro Research said the government’s plan to impose price controls on a list of widely-used drugs will be positive for the market over the long term but will likely threaten the operations of multinational drugmakers, whose business models are based on expensive medicines under patent protection.

IRA ruling could see more functions shifted to LGUs

THE government could respond to a Supreme Court ruling increasing local governments’ share of national government revenue by shifting more of its functions to the local level, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said.

PHL agreed to water terms in 1997 when fiscal position was...

THE Philippines “gave up its sovereignty” in negotiating the water privatization contracts in 1997 at a time when the government could not improve its water distribution system using its own resources, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said.

Legal gender equality improves in Philippines

LEGAL gender equality in the Philippines slightly improved after it enacted a law that increased the duration of paid maternity leave, according to a World Bank (WB) study.

Taal eruption may push prices of pork, chicken higher as supply...

FOOD PRICES, particularly of chicken and pork, may spike if the unrest at Taal Volcano in Batangas continues, as the Calabarzon Region is considered as a major source of livestock in the country, according to an economist.

Crunch time approaching to pass CITIRA — EIU

CORPORATE tax legislation, still pending at the Congress, needs to pass by the first half to keep the tax reform program on track, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Duterte to leave P1.4-T infrastructure projects to successor as ‘legacy’

THE Duterte administration will likely leave an estimated P1.4 trillion worth of infrastructure projects in the pipeline that will be up for implementation by the next administration, according to the Department of Finance (DoF).

More than P500M worth of crops and livestock damaged by Taal...

TAAL VOLCANO’S eruption has damaged more than P500 million worth of crops and livestock, the Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday.