Dec 142017

The Asian Development Bank has upgraded the Philippines growth outlook this year from 6.5% to 6.7% and from 6.7% to 6.8% in 2018.

The Manila-based ADB said strong household consumption, manageable inflation and infrastructure investment are the factors for the improving growth data.

“The government is on track to achieve its target of spending 5.3 percent of GDP on public infrastructure this year. Household consumption remained strong despite moderating slightly from last year,” the ADB said.

The multilateral bank agency said the recovery of exports in the first nine months of the year as well as the strong contribution of services and manufacturing to the economy also factored into the higher growth forecast.

“This outlook assumes that growth in the government’s infrastructure program will accelerate, supported by improvements in budget execution, with more large investment projects underway,” the ADB stressed.

Growth projections in Southeast Asia—the country’s immediate neighborhood—was likewise raised to 5.2 percent this year from five percent in September and 5.2 percent in 2018 from the previous projection of 5.1 percent.

ADB said the subregion is benefitting from stronger investments and exports with growth emanating from Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

“Infrastructure investment continued to play an important role in Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. Robust domestic demand—particularly private consumption and investment—will continue to support growth in the subregion,” said the report.

ADB likewise hiked its growth projections for developing asia this year to six percent from 5.9 percent in September but retained its growth forecast of 5.9 percent for 2018.

Apr 102014
DOE issues power-saving tips

MANILA, Philippines – As part of its campaign to promote energy security, the Department of Energy (DOE) is urging consumers to use fuels and electricity judiciously, especially during the summer months when demand will be high. Some simple household energy-saving tips are posted on the DOE website and Equally important, the DOE is also encouraging consumers to buy products that carry an energy label. Yellow energy labels are mandatory on household air conditioners (except inverter type), household refrigerators (size range: 5-8 cubic feet), compact fluorescent lamps (self-ballasted), linear fluorescent lamps, circular fluorescent lamps and ballasts. To reduce electricity bills from air conditioning devices, look for a high Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) when buying a new unit. EER refers to the cooling efficiency of the unit. For refrigerators and freezers, the yellow energy guide bears the Energy Efficiency Factor (EEF) of the unit. The higher the energy efficiency rating, the lower the energy consumption. For fluorescent lamps, the energy label indicates the light output in lumens, power consumption, lamp efficacy and average life. More lumens mean more light output. The higher the efficacy rating, the lower the energy consumption. The safety tests, on the other hand, are being administered by the Bureau of Product Standards of the Department of Trade and Industry. In addition, the DOE has established state-of-the-art laboratory facilities for performance testing of television sets, washing machines, refrigerators, and freezers through the assistance of the Asian Development Bank.  Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

Dec 292013
BTr to offer securities worth P135B in Q1

By Michelle V. RemoPhilippine Daily Inquirer 8:42 pm | Sunday, December 29th, 2013 The government plans to sell P135 billion worth of treasury bills and bonds in the first quarter of the coming year, according to the Bureau of the Treasury. The amount represents a nearly 10-percent rise from the P122.96 billion worth of government securities sold in the domestic market in the same period of 2013. The decision to raise domestic borrowings came on the heels of the government’s announcement to hike public expenditures for infrastructure and social services. The government has been forced to beef up spending and support reconstruction activities in areas affected by Supertyphoon “Yolanda,” which devastated the Visayas last month. To accommodate the higher spending, the government is ready to post a higher budget deficit and borrow more in 2014. In the notice posted on its website, the Treasury said P60 billion worth of T-bills and P75 billion worth of T-bonds would be auctioned off in January to March. About P4 billion worth of 91-day T-bills and P6 billion worth of 182-day bills, as well as P10 billion in 364-day notes will be sold each month. Also, P25 billion worth of bonds will be sold each month. Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima told reporters that the government would continue to borrow more from the domestic than the foreign market in the coming year. This will allow the government to minimize its exposure to foreign-exchange risks, he explained. The government does not need to borrow abroad if Read More …

Aug 252013
DOE to use part of P4-B budget for projects

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Energy (DOE) will use part of its P4.05 billion budget to finance the department’s continuing activities including the household and sitio electrification program, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said.  Petilla earlier said the Aquino administration is aiming to cover 33,000 sitios under the rural electrification program by 2015. Aside from household and sitio electrification, the DOE will allocate portion of the budget for “biofuels blending, renewable energy installation and development of indigenous resources and clean energy technologies,” Petilla said. The Energy chief also said that the department has three ongoing special projects – the high impact solar project, which entails promoting the use of solar energy in the Philippines, the high impact hydro project, which is a joint venture with the Philippine National Oil Company-Renewables Corp., electric cooperatives and the private sector and the electric vehicles (e-trike) project, which is under a loan agreement between the government and the Asian Development Bank. For the e-trike project, the ADB is working with the government to promote the adoption of e-trikes in Metro Manila and soon, throughout the country. Ultimately, ADB and the government hope to see 100,000 electric tricycles on the road by 2016. Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 The e-trike produces no noise and zero tailpipe emissions and can be charged at night during off-peak electricity hours, according to the ADB.

Jul 122013
Gov't plans to borrow less next year

MANILA, Philippines – The national government has proposed a slightly lower borrowing program for next year, with the bulk still to be financed locally in a bid to take advantage of huge domestic liquidity, the National Treasurer said. A total of P714.6 billion will be borrowed by the Aquino administration next year, 2.78 percent down from this year’s P735 billion, said Rosalia de Leon in a phone interview with The STAR on Friday. “The borrowing mix will be 87 percent to 13 percent, in favor of domestic borrowings,” she said. Broken down, funds to be raised in the domestic market will amount to P620 billion, a decline of 7.44 percent from the programmed P669.8 billion this year.  “We still expect strong appetite for government securities even in terms of tenor. Definitely, we see strong demand in the long-end of the curve,” De Leon said. Inflation is expected to remain benign, she explained, and thus that would drive investors to seek for higher yields which will be found in longer-termed papers. Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 On the foreign market, De Leon said a total of P94.6 billion, equivalent to $2.2 billion, may be raised through bond flotations and official development assistance (ODA) from multilateral financial institutions.  Of the total foreign financing, $1 billion may be sourced through offshore bond issuances, while the remaining amount of $1.2 billion may come from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, among others. The planned external borrowings for 2014 will Read More …

Jul 042013
Phl making big push to lift agri, other sectors

MANILA, Philippines – The Aquino Administration is making a big push to expand its  manufacturing,  agriculture, infrastructure and tourism sectors as it works toward achieving sustainable, inclusive growth. Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad said the government would focus its efforts on attracting investments into the country as well as creating jobs to keep the local economy moving forward.  “There’s going to be a greater push for expansion in industries because of the challenge of inclusive growth, that’s why more investments are needed to promote poverty reduction and job generation,” Abad said. In particular, he said the Aquino Administration is looking to get more investments into the country’s infrastructure development program as it rolls out more projects to boost infrastructure spending to five percent of GDP by 2016.  Abad said increased infrastructure spending would help spur the growth of key industries like agriculture and tourism while at the same time getting more people into work. Between now and 2016, the government must adopt measures to create a total of 14.6 million jobs. Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 “We’re going to be rationalizing the infra program because unlike in the past, each agency was worrying about its own infra program.  But since we’re very clear about economic targets, this time around we have to operate differently, meaning there has to be somebody who will oversee the government’s infra plan,” he said. In the five months ending May this year, government infrastructure spending reached P106.4 billion, up 35.6 Read More …

Apr 042013
Former Finance chief Jayme passes on

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Finance mourned the passing of former President Corazon Aquino’s Finance chief Vicente Jayme on Thursday, remembering his campaign for good governance “at a time when his country needed it most.” “When (Jayme) was appointed by President Aquino, Ting was a brilliant Finance Secretary whose legacy will be remembered as having steered the Philippines away from the brink of financial collapse,” Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said in a message of condolences issued on Thursday. Jayme, who co-founded the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) and led the Asian Development Bank from 1990 to 1997, is also regarded for his prudence in enacting policies in a period of the country’s history when it was still rebuilding from the Martial Law days. “We want to let Ting Jayme’s family and friends know that the DOF family that he helped build condoles with them as well,” Purisima said.