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Not all tax reforms approved by yearend

REMAINING TAX REFORMS targeted by the Executive will bag final approval in the House of Representatives this 17th Congress, a leader of the chamber assured on Monday, but not all will hurdle both legislative chambers by yearend as President Rodrigo R. Duterte (PRRD) requested in his third State of the Nation Address (SoNA) last July.

Typhoon to raise inflation expectations, draw monetary policy response

THE AGRICULTURE sector’s lackluster performance in the second quarter will continue this quarter and may further weigh on overall economic growth, with the destruction from typhoon Ompong (international name: Mangkhut) exacerbating inflation, analysts said.

Tax bureau clarifies interest charge on unpaid tax is 12%

THE BUREAU of Internal Revenue (BIR) has released implementing rules and regulations for the interest rate imposed on unpaid taxes, as well as guidelines on how the charges are to be computed.

Government cash utilization improves to 86% in August

CASH utilization by government agencies improved to 86% in August from 78% in July, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said.

Gov’t borrowing rises sharply in July amid foreign loan inflows

GOVERNMENT borrowing surged in July amid inflows of foreign funds for new program loans, according to Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) data.

First-half current account gap shows more pressure in store for the...

THE COUNTRY’S current account balance reversed to a deficit in the second quarter, largely under the weight of a growing merchandise trade gap, making the first-semester shortfall hit the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) full-year forecast and signalling more pressure ahead on an already beleaguered peso.

No reason to panic over inflation, economic managers say

ECONOMIC managers said current inflationary conditions do not amount to a “major” crisis and added that they are confident that an Executive Order expected in the next few weeks will stabilize prices by next month.

Philippines not yet growth ‘outperformer,’ but still a ‘very recent accelerator’

THE PHILIPPINES fell short on being an economic “outperformer” among emerging markets, according to a discussion paper from McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) which nevertheless noted that the country’s rapid growth in recent years signals its potential to be so in the medium to long term.

New Clark City short on US participation — DoF

THE DEPARTMENT of Finance (DoF) said it questioned the lack of participation by US investors in the New Clark City project in a meeting with a State Department official.

Tax think tank calls for harmonized rules on financial instruments

THE NATIONAL TAX Research Center (NTRC) said failure to harmonize regulation of financial instruments has led to arbitrage to take advantage of favorable tax regimes, resulting in foregone revenue for the government.

DoF flags tax reform bill’s fiscal impact

THE SENATE version of the second tax reform package that cuts corporate income tax rates and streamlines fiscal perks may result in bigger foregone revenues than the bill approved last week by the House of Representatives, a senior official of the Department of Finance (DoF) told reporters on Wednesday.

Senate sets work on 2nd tax reform

THE SENATE will start next week committee-level work on the second tax reform package designed to overhaul the corporate tax and incentives scheme.

Foreign investment easing seen as achievable goal ahead of federalism shift

THE GOVERNMENT should make foreign investment liberalization its priority as Congress moves to amend the constitution, instead of being sidetracked by the long process of adjusting to federalism, a former Secretary of Finance said.

Peso nears P54:$1 level on trade tensions, data

THE PESO weakened against the dollar on Tuesday as it inched closer to the P54 level amid continued cautiousness over trade tensions abroad fuelled by a wider local trade deficit in July.

Ompong could be next super typhoon in PHL by Wednesday

TYPHOON MANGKHUT, which was still outside the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) as of Monday, could develop into a super typhoon and be in the country by Wednesday, Sept. 12, according to weather bureau PAGASA.

Credit raters cautious on political noise

DEBT WATCHERS are cautious over increased political noise due to moves to persecute another of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s critics and changes at the Supreme Court, even as one said these developments are unlikely to alter its assessment on the country unless they dampen business sentiment.

GOCC subsidies nearly double in July

SUBSIDIES to state-owned firms nearly doubled in July, according to Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) data.

BSP warns currency speculators, re-actives CRRP

THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Friday warned currency speculators, saying it will “take all actions necessary to deal with speculative activity by market participants,” as the peso hit its lowest level against the US dollar in more than 12 years.

Consumers turn pessimistic for Q3 — BSP

FILIPINO CONSUMERS turned pessimistic on the outlook of the economy in the third quarter as they expect commodity prices to continue to rise in the near term, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Inflation to remain above 6% until Oct — Nomura

INFLATION is seen to remain above 6% until October, bolstering expectations of more rate hikes from the central bank, economists from Nomura said.

Gross international reserves climb in August

THE COUNTRY’S gross international reserves (GIR) grew in August on the back of net foreign currency deposits of the government and income from the central bank’s external investments, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said on Friday.

Rising prices weigh on business

BUSINESSES OPTIMISM softened this quarter from the past year amid rising commodity prices — marking the third straight quarter-on-quarter dip and the lowest point since 2010 — although the outlook for the next three months improved on expectations of higher consumer demand ahead as Christmas holidays approach.

Gov’t ready to roll out TRAIN safety net benefits

THE GOVERNMENT has completed the implementation guidelines for P83.85 billion worth of social protection programs in 2019 to cushion the impact of the Tax Reform For Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.

DoF says NFA had access to enough cash, credit to buy...

THE DEPARTMENT of Finance (DoF) said that the National Food Authority (NFA) had sufficient cash to buy palay, or unmilled rice, from domestic farmers while also settling its debt.

August inflation fastest in nearly a decade

HEADLINE INFLATION in August caught state economic managers and financial markets by surprise, shooting up to its fastest clip in almost a decade, according to official data the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) released on Wednesday.

State infrastructure spending, other capital outlays maintain growth

STATE SPENDING on infrastructure and other capital outlays surged in July on roadworks and flood control projects, along with the purchase of heavy capital equipment for the military and the coast guard, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said on Wednesday.

Tax reforms gain ground in House

TWO TAX REFORMS — one that cuts the corporate income tax rate and removes redundant fiscal incentives, and another that provides for a general amnesty — were approved at different levels in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

Customs exceeds collection goal anew due to weaker peso

THE BUREAU of Customs topped its collection target in August due to a weak peso, high oil market prices and enforcement of proper valuation, marking the seventh straight month that goals were exceeded.

Fitch cites economy’s strength amid risks

CREDIT RATER Fitch Ratings said that the Philippines maintains a generally “favorable growth outlook” even as overheating risks have begun to show.

Costs, weak currencies weigh on ASEAN PMI

PURCHASING activity, a proxy for the robustness of the manufacturing sector, exceeded the regional average in the Philippines but placed the country in the second tier among Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), according to an IHS Markit survey conducted for Nikkei released on Tuesday.

Business picks up for factories in August

MANUFACTURING ACTIVITY in the Philippines saw “a modest improvement” in August as new business inflows and optimism picked up and more jobs were generated, even as production growth slowed and input costs and prices rose “at marked rates,” according to a survey conducted by IHS Markit for Nikkei, Inc..

Economic growth expected to fall short of target

OVERALL economic growth will likely fall short of the official target this year, according to the country’s Finance chief and a financial and investment advisor, partly due to quickening inflation even as infrastructure development should pick up steam.

Gov’t makes full award of Treasury bills

THE GOVERNMENT fully awarded P15 billion worth of Treasury bills (T-bill) on Monday even as yields rose across- the-board amid expectations that inflation picked up further in August.

Construction of Clark industrial park for Chinese firms may start in...

CONSTRUCTION OF a planned industrial park catering to Chinese firms in New Clark City, Pampanga may start next year, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) said.

Concerns about shift in gov’t form unresolved

THE MEETING last Wednesday of state economic managers and members of the Consultative Committee to review the 1987 Constitution failed to dispel worries about the fiscal impact of the draft federal charter, whose fate now lies with Congress.

DoF hopes to tap yuan loans from AIIB, betting on strong...

THE PHILIPPINES hopes to tap Chinese-currency loans from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to take advantage of favorable borrowing costs, the Department of Finance (DoF) said.

DBM: no spending slack from poll ban

THE DEPARTMENT of Budget and Management (DBM) expects state spending to continue improvement, even with the 45-day ban on such disbursements ahead of the May 2019 mid-term elections, its head said on Wednesday.

Budget chief bares more China loans in the pipeline

THE GOVERNMENT expects to ink about 10 loan agreements for infrastructure projects with China during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit here in November.

Gov’t lines up priority infrastructure for 2019

THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION has lined up the start of P36.23 billion worth of large-scale flood control, road and railway projects next year, which marks the midterm of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

Diokno says local gov’t code allows Palace to reduce IRA

THE GOVERNMENT has threatened to invoke a clause in the Local Government Code that allows it to reduce local government units’ (LGUs’) allocation from national taxes if it finds that higher allocations, as ordered by the Supreme Court, will lead to an “unmanageable public sector deficit.”

DBM holds firm, says Congress bound to implement its budget proposals

THE DEPARTMENT of Budget and Management (DBM) said Congress has “no choice” but to work with budget proposals made by the executive branch, and cannot seek more funding, amid a dispute over the new cash-based budgeting system and how long it takes for access to allocated funds to expire.

Gov’t sets pledging for Marawi rehab

THE GOVERNMENT will hold a pledging session in November to seek funds from development institutions for the rehabilitation of battle-scarred Marawi city.

50,000 sacks of rice up for bidding

THE BUREAU of Customs (BoC) will auction off on Wednesday some 50,000 sacks of white rice that is 5% broken. In an advisory, the BoC’s Manila International Container Port (MICP) said that it will bid out about 100 50x20’ containers containing the staple grain that arrived on July 24.

Gov’t funding utilization rises slightly to 78% at end-July

CASH USAGE by government agencies rose slightly to 78% in the seven months to July, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said.

‘Too many’ populist moves, former state economic planner warns

A FORMER state economic planner has cautioned against populist measures that could harm the country’s fiscal health.