PH Export Slump: Impact on 2024 Growth Forecasts

The Philippines faces hurdles in reaching its 2024 growth target due to a significant slump in exports. Weak export demand, particularly from key markets like the United States and China poses a challenge. 

Economists and experts have varying projections for the Philippine economic performance this year. While the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) remains optimistic with growth projections of 6.5 to 7.5 percent growth, others like the First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC) and the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) anticipate slower GDP growth of at least 6.0 percent this year. 

A recent publicly featured study by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) titled “Macroeconomic Outlook of the Philippines in 2023–2024: Prospects and Perils” predicts economic growth in 2024 to be between 5.5 and 6 percent, with inflation dropping to the target range. This study presents conditions shaping the global and regional outlook, projections on growth and consumer prices, and prospects coming into 2024. For further details, the complete study by PIDS is can be accessed through this link

Analysts anticipate the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to lower interest rates to stimulate investment growth, aligning with predictions of below-target growth in 2024. AOB

PHILEXPORT elects new Board of Trustees and Corporate Officers for 2024-2025

The Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) Board of Trustees and Corporate Officers, led by President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr., has been re-elected for a two-year term (2024-2025) to continue setting and driving industry policy and programs.
The 18 trustees were elected and took the oath during the organization’s General Membership Meeting on 16 January 2024 at the World Trade Center. 

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PBBM appoints former Batangas Solon as new DOF Secretary

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr appointed former Batangas Representative Ralph Recto as the new Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary, vice Benjamin Diokno, on 12 January 2024. 

The new DOF chief highlighted the need to build robust economic fundamentals made by his predecessors. He emphasized the need for reforms on the following e.g., Retail Trade Liberalization Act (RTL), the Foreign Investments Act (FIA), and the Public Services Act (PSA), which are all expected to increase investments in infrastructure, industry, and services aimed to reach P4.3 trillion in revenues to produce more employment and social services in 2024. 

Concurrently, Sec. Recto also serves as a member of the Export Development Council (EDC), championing export development in the country. JVL

Government Allocates P5 Billion Budget to Support Sugar Industry in Negros Occidental

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has approved a substantial budget of P5 billion aimed at directly purchasing sugar from farmers in the Philippines, particularly in Negros Occidental. This decision comes amidst a troubling decline in millgate sugar prices in the region.

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DTI Sets Ambitious 2024 Export Targets Amidst Market Challenges

Trade Secretary Alfredo “Fred” Pascual set a higher target for Philippine exports in 2024 to align with last year’s export target under the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2023-2028. The country needs to attain about 40% growth in export value from 2023 to catch up with the PEDP target; however, market projections suggest an increase of approximately 10% this year. The 10-percent export growth target surpasses the 5 to 6-percent export growth that the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) had projected.

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BOC Implements Full ATIGA e-CO Form D Issuance and Acceptance

Following Customs Memorandum Circular (CMC) 212-2023, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) started implementing the full issuance and acceptance of the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) Electronic Certificate of Origin (e-CO) Form D by the start of the year, 2024.

All exporters are advised to create an account in the eCO portal.

In reference to Indonesia’s Priority Economic Deliverbale (PED), under its ASEAN 2023 Chairmanship, ASEAN Member States (AMS) may only issue and accept e-FORM D to claim or grant ATIGA tariff preference. Paper-based CO may only be used in case of system downtime in the National Single Window (NSW) or the ASEAN Single Window (ASW). 

The EDC Networking Committee on Trade on Policies and Procedures Simplification fully supports the implementation of ATIGA e-CO Form D issuance as part of BOC’s modernization and trade facilitation initiatives. AGPM

PBBM inks the Ease of Paying Taxes Act

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has officially signed the Republic Act No. 11976, also known as the Ease of Paying Taxes Act, into law. This legislation aims to enhance government revenue collection by implementing digitalization initiatives. It introduced administrative tax reforms and amended various sections of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997. Additionally, it modernizes the Philippine taxation system by adopting best practices and replacing outdated procedures.

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Philippines Ranks 2nd among ASEAN on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation

Philippines ranks second-best among Southeast Asian (ASEAN) countries in the 2023 United Nations Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation, scoring 87.10%. The Bureau of Customs (BOC) had set a significant milestone in transforming the BOC into a world-class customs agency in modernizing customs administration and improving trade facilitation. 

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PNP-Firearms and Explosives Office: Advancements, Achievements, and Future Initiatives in Explosives Regulation

The Philippine National Police-Firearms and Explosives Office (PNP-FEO), through the Explosives Management Division (EMD), recently provided crucial updates on the Regulations and Control of Explosives, Explosive Ingredients (EEIs), Controlled Chemicals (CCs), and Firecrackers and Pyrotechnic Devices (FCPDs).

The EMD highlighted their Accomplishments for the CY 2023. Notably, there was a significant increase in the issuance of licenses and permits, totaling 5,924 and amounting to PHP 28,164,221.38. This represents a noteworthy surge compared to the fees collected in 2022, which amounted to PHP 25,798,680.88.

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