Komfie Manalo

DTI: ‘Execute, execute, execute‘ reform initiatives

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has called on all government agencies to earnestly implement the reform packages spelled out in Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business Act (EODB), to deliver on the Duterte administration’s campaign promise to make government transactions faster. DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, chair of the EODB/Anti-Red Tape Advisory Council, said during the recent 6th Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Summit at the PICC in Pasay City that the government has already implemented 19 reforms that it hopes would have an impact on the 2019 World Bank Doing Business (DB) Survey Report. Lopez said, “Our thrust is to ‘Execute, execute, execute.’ We must continue to implement these reform initiatives and identify the obstacles to our progress,” as he called on all government agencies to fully implement the restructuring programs identified by the EODB Task Force. Lopez said that some of the initiatives undertaken by various agencies are seen to have a positive effect on seven of the ten indicators of the DB Report. These indicators include: starting a business, dealing with construction permits getting electricity, registering property, protecting minority investors, trading across borders, and enforcing contracts. Among the reforms already implemented to streamline the business process are: The following reforms have been implemented: Company Registration System (CRS) implemented by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); Executive Order 11 issued by Quezon City creating a One-stop Shop (OSS) for business and building permits. Barangay clearances shall no longer be held as a prior requirement for business and building permit application, and Single Window Transaction initiated by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). In Quezon City, a one-stop shop for single, integrated application and approval for building permits, locational clearances, fire safety evaluation clearances, certificates of occupancy, fire safety inspection certificates, tax declarations (new warehouse), certificates of final electrical inspection, and certificates of machinery operation for construction permits. Meralco has also set up the CXE (Customer eXperience Engine) inside the Quezon City Hall to receive service applications and to inform contractors and customers on how to apply for electricity and submit requirements online. In addition, the departments of interior, public works and trade and industry have issued a Joint Memorandum Circular on Construction Permits that sets uniform standards for processing building permits and certificates of occupancy, including application forms, requirements, steps, processing time, one-time assessment, and payment of fees. Lopez stressed that the passage of the EODB should compel all agencies of government to comply with streamlining and re-engineering. This he said, effectively broadens the scope of the interagency task force.

DTI’s Project One to ease business process

\"We are ready to initiate an online application, One Form, One Number, One Portal for business registration\" The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is launching Project One which is designed to develop solutions to improve business registration in the Philippines under the recently approved Republic Act 11032 known as the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018. According to the DTI’s Industry-Competitiveness Bureau, Project One aims to enhance ease of doing business by streamlining the business registration process in the country, one that is focused on creating a pleasant customer experience (easy, not cumbersome nor confusing), addresses bureaucratic singularity (whole of government, one door policy) and promotes governance (data sharing, data accuracy, access to data, privacy issues). DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez commented, “Project One is the perfect start as the Anti- Red Tape Authority (ARTA) carries the torch of initiating the GovTech revolution in the Philippines. With the passage of the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Delivery Services Act, DTI’s efforts at pursuing reforms will be further strengthened. The law mandates all government agencies including LGUs to automate business registration procedures, and we are glad that it will be the first time that our government will use the Design Sprints, as innovation.” New Zealand-based Creative HQ won the bid to support the country’s efforts to significantly improve the EODB rankings of the Philippines and general ease of doing business for business owners, entrepreneurs, and investors. New Zealand presents an attractive partner to the Philippines as the country ranks 1st in the World Bank Doing Business survey and the Starting a Business indicator of the WB DB 2018 survey. Project One shall make use of a modern innovation format (“Design Sprints workshops,” a method developed by Google Ventures to solve specific business problems and validate potential solutions in just five days.) The three workshops shall cover the following: Design Sprint 1 (July 23 – 27, 2018): Creation of a “Wikipedia” of LGU registration process. DILG and DICT to collate and publish the most up to date processes for LGUs in one place. This will increase inter-agency collaboration, and provide highly useful information to business and investors, and increase transparency of LGU related information online. This concept follows the desire expressed by the Philippine Government to create “one portal” for all business-related information held by Government. Design Sprint 2 (September 3-7, 2018): Develop the implementation framework for a Philippine Business Number to provide a single, unique identifier that can be used by businesses when transacting with any government agency. This concept follows the desire expressed by the Philippine Government to use “one number” for all government transactions. Design Sprints 3 (October 1-5, 2018): Develop a prototype for an end to end registration application that allows business owners to complete their business registration on one website/ app. This was viewed as the ultimate leadership challenge as this is an excellent opportunity for the Philippines to become one of the first countries to adopt a business registration process that can be completed (end to end) on a mobile phone. This concept follows the desire expressed by the Philippine Government to use “one form, one portal” for all business to government transactions

PNP to use Landbank’s e-payment for police clearance

The Philippine National Police PNP will soon use Landbank of the Philippines’ (LBP) online payment platform Link.Biz Portal for police clearance fees. PNP chief director general Chief Oscar D. Albayalde and LBP president and CEO Alex V. Buenaventura recently signed of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to finalize details of the deal. Under the MOU, the PNP will avail of the e-payment channel to accept payments of fees, dues, and charges from police clearance applicants. The Link.Biz Portal will interface with the PNP’s National Police Clearance System (NPCS) website, where applicants can set an appointment and pay for their police clearance applications online. “Applicants will soon experience hassle-free and secure payment for their police clearance applications. We welcome this new partnership with the PNP as part of our continuing efforts to provide efficient and secure channels for government fee payments,” said Buenaventura. The new NPCS will undergo at least two months of pilot testing in five identified police stations in the Quezon City Police Department. Gradual implementation will soon follow in 174 police stations. This payment option will be made available for LANDBANK account holders, but may also be used by applicants maintaining peso accounts with any BancNet-member bank, and those who are using the accredited payment channel G-Cash. The LANDBANK Link.Biz Portal was piloted in 2017 with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for tax payments. Landbank has since expanded the available services, with more partner-agencies now using the Landbank Link.Biz portal as an alternative payment channel for their clients. The MOU was inked inside Camp Crame, Quezon City in the presence of Landbank senior vice president Leila Martin, PNP PDir for Investigation and Detective Management Elmo Francis Sarona, and other senior officials from Landbank and PNP.

ADB extends P50.32B loan to BBB infra projects

\"The focus on project investments for infrastructure over the next years is welcome. This makes us more optimistic that the Build, Build, Build program will be rolled out without delay.\" The Asian Development Bank is extending some P50.32 billion in fresh loans to the Philippines this year to support the Duterte administration’s ambitious ‘Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure program. The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) undersecretary for investment programming Rolando G. Tungpalan said the amount is higher than original P48.98 billion originally earmarked for Manila under the lender’s technical assistance to the Philippines covered in its 2018-2020 Country Operations Business Plan. The loan is the biggest amount extended by the ADB to support the government’s efforts to revitalize the economy through massive infrastructure projects to encourage inclusive growth. For 2019 and 2020, the bank has programmed to lend Manila P75.54 billion each. “The focus on project investments for infrastructure over the next years is welcome. This makes us more optimistic that the Build, Build, Build program will be rolled out without delay,” Tungpalan said during the wrap-up meeting of the Country Programming Mission late in May on ADB loans and grants, for the Philippines from 2019 to 2021. Tungpalan added that investment loans provide greater clarity in terms of results, costs and benefits, and time frame of projects. Joining him in the meeting with ADB Philippine Country Office officials were assistant secretary Ma. Edita Z. Tan of the Department of Finance (DoF) and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ Monetary Board member Felipe Medalla. In its presentation during the meeting held at the NEDA headquarters, ADB said there are two policy-based loans (PBLs) worth $600 million, one results-based loan worth $300 million, and two other projects worth $45 million for this year. ADB has been providing the Philippines policy-based lending in the form of budget support for structural reforms and development expenditure programs. In ADB’s proposed lending pipeline of $2.47 billion for 2019, there are two PBLs worth $600 million and eight projects worth $1.87 billion. For 2020, the total lending pipeline of $2.40 billion has two PBLs worth $600 million and six projects worth $1.80 billion. On the other hand, the total lending pipeline of $2.10 billion in 2021 has two PBLs worth $600 million and seven projects worth $1.50 billion. ADB-Philippines principal country specialist Joven Z. Balbosa said the main features of ADB’s proposed operational support are responsive to needed infrastructure investments in the government’s Build Build Build program. “As we progress from 2019 to 2021, we see that the projects are increasing in terms of numbers and amount,” Balbosa explained. “Our robust pipeline of projects and programs for the next three years from 2019 to 2021 reflects our seriousness to Philippine development,” Kelly Bird, country director of ADB in the Philippines, said. Tungpalan said program loans would be guided by the Philippine government’s overall fiscal programming. For project loans, the NEDA Board’s Investment Coordination Committee vets on the viability of proposed projects while the DoF assesses how these will be financed. A memorandum of understanding on ADB’s pipeline of projects is expected to be signed in June by ADB and the Philippine government through NEDA and DoF.

Peso plunges to 14-year low, shares up

‘...peso depreciation translates to cheaper products in the world market for the country’s export sector’ The Philippine peso plunged to a new 14-year low against the U.S. dollar even as local stocks went up. The local unit closed at 52.95 against the greenback, after shedding 25 centavos compared to last Friday’s finish at 52.70, registering its weakest level since 2004. Historically, the peso reached an all-time high of 56.34 in October 2004. The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) climbed 0.40 percent, or 30.56 points, to 7,771.30 points. The broader All Shares tracked the main index with a 0.31 percent increase, or 14.44 points, to close at 4,704.54 points. Both Holding Firms and Mining and Oil registered the biggest gain with 1.24 percent each, followed by Industrial, 0.41 percent, and Services, 0.27 percent. The Property counter, however, registered the highest loss with 0.92 percent, followed by Financials at 0.11 percent. Advancers edged out decliners, 103 to 84, while 48 stocks remained unchanged as transactions reached 849 million shares amounting to PHP4 billion. Weak peso good for OFWs, export Meanwhile, the weak peso is seen to benefit dollar earners, as well as families of overseas Filipino workers and exporters, industry analysts said. The peso depreciation translates to cheaper products in the world market for the country’s export sector, while families of dollar earners in the Philippines will have more money in their pockets. Speculations of another round of rate hikes in the US this week, as well as weak Philippine trade numbers, are adding pressure to the peso against the US dollar. The US Federal Open Market Committee will be meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss policy rates, reports said. With PNA

Domeng exits but wet days ahead

Tropical storm Domeng (Maliksi) has intensified into a typhoon as it veered away from the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) but is expected to continue to enhance the southwest monsoon (habagat), which will bring monsoon rains over Luzon and Western Visayas for the next two days, weathermen said in their latest weather bulletin. Domeng is expected to exit the PAR by morning today. Weather forecasters said the typhoon is now packing sustained winds of 85 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center, up from 65kph the previous day, and gustiness of up to 105 kph. Domeng has also picked up its pace and is now moving north northeast at 21 kph. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has advised residents in affected areas to take appropriate actions against possible flash floods and landslides and coordinate with their local DRRM offices. “Sea travel is risky over the eastern seaboard of Northern Luzon and the western seaboard of Southern Luzon and Central Luzon,” the NDRMMC said. Penalties also await SkyJet Airlines after its aircraft overshot a runway, the third time since its operation in December 2012, in Busuanga airport in Palawan Friday afternoon amidst the gloomy weather. Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) spokesman Eric Apolonio said the results of the investigation would come out in the next 48 hours. “Let’s wait for the result of the investigation. There are corresponding penalties for violators, involving the carrier and the crew if proven that they were at fault,” the CAAP spokesman told the Daily Tribune in a Viber message. SkyJet’s flight M8 717 overshot the east side of the runway of Francisco B. Reyes airport (formerly Busuanga airport) at 4:40 p.m. last June 8. CAAP called the incident a “runway excursion,” meaning it failed to stop before the end of the runway upon landing. The aircraft, a British Aerodspace BAe 146-100, was carrying 80 passengers and six crew members on board. All onboard the aircraft were said to be safe, according to CAAP. The BAe 146-100 was a 29-year-old plane built in 1989, according to a Twitter feed obtained by the Tribune. It was the third runway overshooting recorded by the boutique airline. The first incident, which happened in October 2013, was at the airport of a posh members-only resort in Quezon while the second occurred in February 2018 at the Sayak airport in Carmen, Surigao del Norte. Among its three overshooting incidents, the first was the worst because the plane involved was damaged beyond repair. “They have mediocre pilots, dilapidated planes. They may kill passengers soon,” one of the passengers said. According to its website, SkyJet said it has four aircraft and flying in five destinations--Coron via Busuanga, Siargao, Batanes, Caticlan, and Balesin. SkyJet is the sole boutique airline operating in the Philippines.

Domeng, monsoon to bring more rains

Tropical storm Domeng (Maliksi) maintained its strength yesterday afternoon, with maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour (km/h) near the center as it continued to enhance the southwest monsoon, bringing rains to the northern part of the country. Weathermen from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) forecasted Domeng to be 560 kilometers east of Aparri, Cagayan, moving north northeast at 19 kilometers per hour (km/h). Pagasa said in its weather bulletin at press time that “the combined effects of ‘Domeng’ (Maliksi) and rest of western sections of both Luzon and Visayas this weekend. Residents of these areas are advised to take appropriate actions against possible flash floods and landslides and coordinate with their local DRRM offices. Sea travel is risky over the eastern seaboard of Central and Southern Luzon and of Visayas, and the western seaboard of Southern Luzon. Rainy season yet to start The rainy season has yet to start and the rains in several parts of the country are due to the tropical depression or the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). Charlie Depra, Weather Observer at the Iloilo synoptic station of PAGASA, said that in the next few days the weather agency may possibly declare the start of the rainy season since their target dates run from June 4 to June 14 this year. He added that they are now analyzing the criteria that have been established to officially announce the start of the rainy season. Based on the criteria, there has to be 25 millimeters or more rainfall within five consecutive days and it should be recorded in eight different stations to satisfy the general onset of rains. These are stations based in Laoag, Vigan, Dagupan, Iba, San Jose (Mindoro), Metro Manila, Ambulong and Iloilo. Nonetheless, he said that as part of their preparations, they have been disseminating information to the public about weather and rainfall updates or weather advisory. “Maging alerto lang sa posibleng flash floods and landslides lalo na sa mga nakatira sa low-lying areas dahil prone sila (Just be alert for possible flash floods and landslides, most especially for those living in low-lying areas),” said Depra. He added that this month two storms may possibly enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility and approximately four storms in July. Meantime, he said the occurrence of a hailstorm in Sta. Barbara and Badiangan towns on Tuesday was due to intense thunderstorm. Due to the intense evaporation the thunderstorm turns into hailstorm, he said. “Not every time that there is thunderstorm there would be hailstorm,” Charlie Depra said. If the freezing point of the clouds is at 10 kilometers below the ground, there would be formation of ice crystals that will form into a hailstorm. Hailstorm would not last due to fast evaporation. It will run from 30 minutes to one hour.

NEDA: Push trade deals to boost economy

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) on Friday called on the national government to take advantage of “existing free trade agreements (FTAs) and forging new ties” with trade partners to expand the country’s export market. However, NEDA stressed that the Philippines’ trade industry recorded an upward trend. NEDA made the call after fresh data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that exports fell in April for a fourth consecutive month by 8.5 percent year on year as non-electronic manufactured products (wood manufactures, machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, processed food & beverages, and furniture and fixtures) and agro-based products declined. Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia commented, “Seizing the benefits of existing free trade agreements (FTAs) and forging new ties are equally important to expand the market for exports. To make FTAs more beneficial, the government needs to continue to encourage exporters to familiarize themselves with the proper tariff classification of products to find the lowest applicable tariffs as well as apply the rules of origin to avail of zero or lower tariff rates.” He explained that enhancing trade relations with the country’s non-traditional partners would also contribute highly to the growth of the exports sector. Pernia went on to say, “The current turnout of imports is encouraging. But much has to be done to create an environment that is necessary for exporters to thrive. The signing into law of the Ease of Doing Business Act of 2018 is a step in the right direction.” At the same time, Pernia said that exports in electronic products jumped by 5.5 percent in April, contributing to 69.1% of the total exports for the month that tempered the effects of the decline in export volume. The increase in exports of electronic manufactures was led by faster growth of semiconductors (5.3%), compared with the 3.1 percent uptick recorded in the previous month, reflecting the global trend as chip sales worldwide continued to grow at a double-digit pace. With the hefty increase in imports making up for exports’ soft performance, merchandise trade returned to positive growth at 8.8 percent in April 2018, a reversal from March’s 2.7 percent decline. He explained that the new law could bring down business costs, encourage wider participation among firms, and attract foreign investors—eventually boosting exports in the near to medium term. Regarding trade facilitation, Pernia said that government efforts are also underway to better link up more agencies to TradeNet, the country’s link to the ASEAN National Single Window, which will enhance intraregional trade. The PSA data also showed that imports accelerated to 22.2% in April after a moderate increase of 0.3 percent the previous month. That is attributed to the rise in inbound shipments of capital goods, raw materials and intermediate goods, consumer goods, and mineral fuels and lubricants. Solon chides NEDA Meanwhile, administration lawmaker Rep. Salvador Belaro Jr. of 1-Ang Edukasyon Party-list asked NEDA to apologize to the Filipino people and admit that they made a mistake when Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon said that a P10,000 monthly income is enough to provide a decent living for a family of five. Belaro said that a sincere apology would allow the NEDA to regain public trust. “Issue a sincere public apology for not understanding how difficult daily life is for the poor and the middle class and for not explaining their statistics better,” Belaro said adding that the apology should be made within the next few days. Belaro also told NEDA officials to immerse themselves in an urban poor community for one week to see up close how the poor do their best to make ends meet with their meager earnings.

PH aerospace exports to reach P135B by 2022

The Philippines is gearing to become a reputable partner in aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) and aerospace manufacturing in the Asia Pacific region, with exports in the sector seen to reach P135 billion by 2022. Indeed international clients and buyers signified their intention to establish business partnerships with their local counterpart at the recent Aeromart Summit Clark Philippines Exhibition, held in Clark Field, Pampanga. Trade Undersecretary for industry promotion and Board of Investments (BOI) governor Nora Terrado said, “Philippine aerospace and aviation companies are ready to absorb the robust global demand for aircraft MRO operations, and aerospace parts manufacturing. As the exhibition was a great opportunity for the local companies to meet, know, and show each other’s capabilities with their global counterparts and discuss where they can converge and be partners, we expect these positive developments into sealed business deals and subsequently, translate to more export earnings for the country.” Terrado made the comments after witnessing some of the business-to-business (B2B) meetings during the two-day international exhibition that also underscored the investment and outsourcing opportunities in the Philippines and served as a platform to expand the reach of local aerospace industry players with global clients through B2B deals. “The growth of the aerospace industry will mean more export earnings for the country and more quality jobs for Filipinos,” she added. About 64 foreign companies, 51 local companies, 13 embassies and chambers, six schools, four local industry associations, and three international industry associations from a range of aerospace and aviation industry suppliers, sub-contractors, exhibitors with selling capabilities or services in sales, marketing, business development, and technical promotion as well as buyers, contractors, decision-makers seeking commodities or capabilities for the supply chain, procurement, purchasing, engineering, fabrication, and research & development participated in the Aeromart Summit Exhibition. Local companies currently produce parts for major aerospace manufacturers like French company Airbus and US-based Boeing. Meanwhile, Trade Undersecretary for industry development and BOI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo said the summit generated greater awareness on the country’s capabilities as a significant supplier of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers like Airbus and Boeing with aerospace parts ranging from flight control actuation systems to galleys and interior fit-outs. “A lot of Philippine industries are well-known globally, such as our strong information technology-business process management (IT-BPM), electronics and creative industries. However, regrettably, the Philippine aerospace industry is not one of those we are known for. It is not because we are not good at it, but simply because most have not even heard that we have an aerospace industry. This has to change from here,” said Rodolfo. Rodolfo added the country’s MRO companies led by Lufthansa Technik and SIA Engineering Philippines also services various models of aircraft from different manufacturers and airline operators such as Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air, and the country’s large value of importation of aircraft and aerospace parts is a proof of the growing MRO segment in the Philippines. Philippine MRO companies he said, have authority approvals from the United States, Europe, Cayman, and Australia. Data showed that the Philippine aerospace industry is among the fastest growing sectors in the Asia-Pacific Region, with exports growing by 42 percent annually from 2012-2016, translating into a significant 30-place increase in the country’s rank in the PWC Aerospace Manufacturing Attractiveness Index of 2017.
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