AI reporting solutions expected to improve trade operations

Nov 22, 2023
THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it is optimistic about the use of artificial intelligence (AI) reporting solutions to improve operational efficiency in trade and ease of doing business in the Philippines.

“Palantir is a promising tool for the Philippines as we leverage cutting-edge technology for operational efficiency in our cross-border trade, ease-of-doing business, and trade facilitation,” DTI Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual said in a statement.

On the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Week 2023, Mr. Pascual and President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. met with the executives of US software company Palantir Technologies, Inc. to discuss intelligent reporting solutions.

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ECCP wants longer validity for import clearances

Nov 22, 2023
THE European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) proposed that the Philippines extend the validity of import clearances, which it said will provide relief to its members shipping in goods.

ECCP Vice-President Helen Grace Baisa said that as importers, European businesses are required to obtain clearances from the Bureau of Customs (BoC).

“You have to renew (some of them) on an annual basis,” Ms. Baisa said. “But in the last couple of months, we requested that the BoC simplify that or perhaps to make the validity longer, because it’s difficult.”

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PH semiconductor and electronics sector will continue to be a major driver of the country¡¯s economy

Nov 10, 2023
PH semiconductor and electronics sector will continue to be a major driver of the country’s economy — SEIPI 

THE Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation, Inc. (SEIPI) said the country’s semiconductor and electronics sector will continue to be a significant driver of the Philippine economy and the largest contributor to the country’s manufacturing sector, an industry with an employee base of over 3 million direct and indirect workers.
Last year, the total Philippine electronics exports grew by 6.88 percent and reached an all-time high of US$ 45.09 billion. This export performance is 13-percent higher than the pre-pandemic exports of US$43.3 billion as of August 2023, with the cumulative electronics exports reaching US$29.35 billion. This was 61.40 percent of the US$47.81 billion total Philippine commodity exports, which makes the industry a consistent top commodity exporter for the country.
This news came amid the successful holding of the 18th Philippine Semiconductor and Electronics Convention and Exhibition (PSECE 2023), which welcomed around 10,000 guests at the World Trade Center Manila.

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ACEN makes available $25 million facility for micro grids

Nov 10, 2023
MANILA, Philippines — ACEN Corp., through subsidiary ACEN Renewables International Pte. Ltd. (ACRI), has made available a $25 million facility to fund micro grid projects for telecommunications towers.
ACEN, in a stock exchange filing, said its executive committee authorized the company and ACRI to enter into an agreement with Yoma Strategic Holdings and its wholly owned subsidiary, Yoma Strategic Investments Ltd. (YSIL), to restructure the latter’s outstanding loan with ACRI.
Under the restructure agreement, ACEN said YSIL would purchase the loan from ACRI, payable within a 10-year period, with a Yoma parent guarantee.

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DTI-EMB generates $970 million potential sale

Nov 9, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — The Export Marketing Bureau of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-EMB) has generated around $970 million worth of booked and potential export sales from its participation in trade promotion events in the first nine months of 2023.


Government data showed that the DTI-EMB participated or led 36 trade promotion events from January to September this year.


Additional figures from the DTI showed it generated around $92 million from recent trade promotion initiatives, particularly participation in trade shows abroad in July to September.

This includes participation in the international trade events such as the Gamescom in Germany where the country generated $7 million in booked and potential export sales; External Development Summit (XDS) in Canada ($46 million); Anuga in Germany ($10 million); Malaysia International Halal Showcase ($3 million; and the Natural Product Expo East (NPEE) in the United States of America ($26.08 million).


Apart from international events, the DTI-EMB said booked and potential export sales were also generated from local trade events such as the World Coconut Congress (P6 million); Philippine Die & Mold Machineries & Equipment Exhibition (P3 million); Philippine Semiconductor & Electronics Convention and Exhibition ($1.1 million); Manila Fame ($3.7 million for Coconut Philippines only); and the Mining Philippines International Conference and Exhibition (P17 million)

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Senate OKs bill creating econ strategy to level up Philippine exports

Nov 9, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate on Monday unanimously passed the “Tatak Pinoy (Proudly Filipino)” bill — a measure that creates a national economic plan to boost local industries and diversify the local products that can be exported abroad.


During its final reading, Senate Bill (SB) 2426 received 23 affirmative votes and no negative votes or abstentions.


The proposed “Tatak Pinoy” measure creates a ''Tatak Pinoy'' council and strategy to establish metrics on how government agencies can prioritize local products and make them more globally competitive.


“Tatak Pinoy started as an idea on how to make the Philippine economy stronger by empowering businesses and industries to produce better, more unique and sophisticated goods and services,” read a press release by the bill’s sponsor, Finance Committee Chairperson Sen. Sonny Angara.

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Digital economy lags in PHL despite heavy internet use

Nov 9, 2023
Digital economy lags in PHL despite heavy internet use
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THE evolution of the digital economy lags in the Philippines, even though its citizens lead the world in terms of internet use, an official said at a briefing.


“What the study says is that while the internet users in the Philippines are amongst the most engaged in the world, our digital participation remains low compared to others,” according to Mary Jean T. Pacheco, assistant secretary of Digital Philippines and officer-in-charge of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Consumer Protection Group.


A study conducted by Google, Temasek and Bain & Co. found that digital participation in the Philippines remains low even with internet users who are among the world’s most engaged.


It concluded however that low digital participation “signals sizable headroom for digital economic growth over the medium to long term as incomes grow.”

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Good day! Here¡¯s the news for today.

Sep 29, 2023
AboitizPower, Vivant, Vena Energy to Construct Samar Wind Project
Aboitiz Power Corp. has partnered with Vena Energy and Vivant Energy Corp. in putting a 206-megawatt (MW) wind power project in Visayas.

The joint venture will be called Lihangin Wind Energy Corp. The three companies signed an agreement to construct and operate the San Isidro Wind Power Project in San Isidro, Northern Samar.

In a report by Philippine Star, Aboitiz Power said that the wind project is looking to reach its financial close and begin construction by the fourth quarter.

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Marcos signs ‘Trabaho’ Act into law to craft job generation masterplan
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Wednesday signed into law Republic Act No. 11962 or the “Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act” into law to address unemployment, underemployment, and other challenges in the country’s labor sector.

“I am very pleased to stand before you today at this ceremonial signing of the Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act, a significant milestone towards the sustainable and inclusive development of our country,” the President said.

“The law will help us solve the various challenges plaguing our labor sector such as low-quality jobs, skills mismatch, and underemployment among others,” he added.

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PH economy seen growing by 5.5% in 2023
MANILA – The Philippine economy is projected to grow by 5.5 percent this year, driven by the growth in government spending, a report released by the First Metro Investment Corporation (FMIC) and the University of the Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) said.

In the September issue of The Market Call released on Wednesday, FMIC and UA&P said Philippine economic growth in the third quarter of the year will likely reach 5.0 to 5.2 percent.

For the fourth quarter of this year, FMIC and UA&P project the country's gross domestic product (GDP) to grow by 6 percent.

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Li-Ion Battery Improvements to Drive a 6x Increase in Global EV Battery Output by 2030
With aggressive government decarbonization targets and OEM electrification strategies, electric vehicle (EV) production will majorly increase this decade. This will require a corresponding growth in EV battery output. New research from global technology intelligence firm ABI Research finds that global EV battery output production will increase nearly six times to 2,585GWh by 2030.

“Battery cost and production volume are the key barriers to adoption for EVs. The most important technologies are, therefore, those that make batteries cheaper or easier to manufacture at scale. Revolutionary technologies such as solid-state batteries promise improved ranges and reduced charging times, generating much media attention, but are too expensive and difficult to manufacture. Battery developments this decade will focus on evolutionary improvements on current lithium-ion batteries,” said Dylan Khoo, Electric Vehicles Industry Analyst at ABI Research.

The most advanced lithium-ion batteries currently available can achieve 1,000 km of range or charge in under 20 minutes. Further improvements will be made through technologies like the fully silicon anodes developed by companies such as Sila, expected to be delivered as soon as 2025. Solid-state batteries are unlikely to significantly impact this decade because their adoption would require changes in cell design and manufacturing, unlike improvements on existing lithium-ion battery technology.

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BOI-approved investments hit P720 billion

Sep 11, 2023
MANILA, Philippines — Investments approved by the Board of Investments (BOI) continued to rise, reaching P720 billion as of August or almost close to last year’s approval of P729 billion.

“We see now a recent positive BOI investment approval performance,” BOI governor Marjorie Ramos-Samaniego said in a forum organized by the Center for International Private Enterprise.

“The approved investment level as of August is actually equivalent to 72 percent of our original P1-trillion investment target,” she said.

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PEZA to exceed goal; reforms on charter pushed

Sep 11, 2023
The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) expects to exceed the 10-percent investment target set for the year as  growth continues to pick up.

But Tereso Panga, director-general of PEZA, cites the need to introduce amendments not just to the incentives law but the PEZA charter as well to become more competitive.

Panga said there are key reforms that have to be introduced to the 28-year old PEZA law including the removal of a presidential requirement for ecozones, reinforcement of separate customs territory and exclusive jurisdiction over ecozones, and introduction of new types of ecozones.

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ACEN set to triple investments in Australia¡¯s energy transition

Sep 11, 2023
ACEN Corp. is on track in its renewable energy expansion in Australia and is poised to triple its investments in the country’s energy transition, the Ayala-led company’s top official said.
“ACEN fully supports Australia’s energy transition, and the company is gearing up to triple its Australia investments in the next three years,” ACEN President and Chief Executive Officer Eric T. Francia said in an e-mailed media release on Sunday.
Mr. Francia made the statement as President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese signed a strategic partnership agreement on Friday to boost the two countries’ bilateral ties.
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Globe says non-telco revenues to rise in three years

Sep 11, 2023
Good day! Here’s the news for today.

GLOBE Telecom, Inc. anticipates its non-telecommunications revenues to grow in the next three years mainly driven by its diversification strategies, its top official said.

“The non-telco earnings will grow. They could either be consolidated into our P and L (profit and loss statement) or they could be in a sharing equity earnings of a subsidiary if we become a significant minority investor,” Ernest L. Cu, president and chief executive officer of Globe, said in a media release on Sunday.

The listed telecommunications company said its non-telco revenues will fuel its overall revenues.

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Meralco expands RE portfolio, deploys more EV

Sep 1, 2023
Good day! Here’s the news for today.

Manila Electric Co. (MERALCO) continues pursuing its long-term initiatives toward sustainability as it expands its renewable energy portfolio to 1,880 megawatts (MW) of RE capacity compared to its initial target of 1,500  MW.

This decisive action is part of compliance and supports the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) policy that aims to increase the RE portion in the country’s energy mix to 35% by 2030 and 50% by 2040 by mandating electricity suppliers to source a portion of their RE requirements at +2.52% per annum.

The portfolio allows MERALCO to reduce its total carbon emissions by 15% vis-a-vis its projected baseline 2030 emissions.

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U.S. economy entered recession in February

Jun 25, 2020
The Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research said in a statement its members “concluded that the unprecedented magnitude of the decline in employment and production, and its broad reach across the entire economy, warrants the designation of this episode as a recession, even if it turns out to be briefer than earlier contractions.”
The designation was expected, but notable for its speed, coming a mere four months after the recession began. The committee has typically waited longer before making a recession call in order to be sure. When the economy started declining in late 2007, for example, the group did not pinpoint the start of the recession until a year later.
U.S. gross domestic product fell at a 4.8% annualized rate in the first three months of the year. The outcome for the April to June period is expected to show an even worse annualized decline of perhaps 20% or more. The unemployment rate rose from a record low of 3.5% in February, hitting 14.7% in April and 13.3% last month.
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Cargo volume decreased by 4.5% in first quarter as COVID-19 hit shipping industry

Jun 24, 2020

State-run Philippine Ports Authority said Monday passenger traffic and cargo volume fell in the first quarter amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019.
Data from PPA showed that total cargo volume reached 56.70 million metric tons from January to March, down by 4.49 percent from 59.37 million MT registered in the same period last year.
Domestic cargoes dropped 3.26 percent in the first quarter to 25.44 million MT from 26.30 million MT a year ago, while foreign cargoes decreased 5.4 percent to 31.26 million MT from 33.06 million.
The PPA said import cargoes fell 5.8 percent to 23.24 million MT from 24.68 MT, while export cargoes declined 4.4 percent to 8.01 million MT from 8.38 million MT.

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Business and industry groups, SMEs cite measures for econ recovery

Jun 17, 2020
Members of local and foreign business chambers, industry groups, and small and medium enterprises presented a list of measures that the government should take to help the country quickly recover from the impacts of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis.
The list of recommendations was presented by Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) President Benedicto Yujuico to Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua and Finance Department Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd during the Sulong Pilipinas online conference held on Monday.
The groups also said that the government must improve internet connectivity and accessibility in the country; improve the availability of public transportation as the country manages the impact of and recovery from Covid-19 a by allowing the operation of mass public transportation; and strengthen the manufacturing sector.
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Quarantine change possible next week

Jun 17, 2020
THE government might reclassify the community quarantines declared in various areas next week, Malacañang said on Monday.
But Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said officials would have to examine the situation in Metro Manila before deciding if it could be placed under modified general community quarantine.
“Well, it’s an even chance, I would say. Pero titignan po natin ang datos dahil, alam niyo naman, talagang ang sentro ng Covid-19 ay dito sa Metropolitan Manila (We will have to look at the data because, as you know, the center of Covid-19 is in Metro Manila),” he added.
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Stocks plummet on coronavirus fears

Mar 16, 2020
THE STOCK MARKET on Thursday plunged nearly 10% to its lowest since 2012 as investors headed for the exit amid deepening fears over the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

This as the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday officially declared the spread of the coronavirus as a global pandemic.

he benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gave up 616.99 points or 9.71% to 5,736.27 on Thursday — its biggest single-day decline since the 12.27% drop in Oct. 27, 2008 at the height of the global financial crisis.

Thursday also saw the PSEi close at its lowest since the 5,636.59 finish on Dec. 18, 2012.

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