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Marcos woos US investors: PH economy ‘robust, resilient’
by Philippine Resources - September 21, 2022
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. speaks to American businessmen at the New York Stock Exchange Business Forum in New York City on Sept. 20, 2022 (Tuesday, Philippine time). Marcos, who is on the second day of his six-day trip to the United States, said his engagement at the NYSE serves as an "invaluable opportunity" to share with business leaders how the Philippines is ramping up efforts to open up the economy and accelerate post-pandemic recovery. (Contributed photo)
President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Monday enticed more American businesses to invest in the Philippines, assuring them that the country has a robust and resilient economy.
Speaking before the business leaders from United States (US), Marcos shared that his administration is ramping up its efforts to further open up the Philippine economy and accelerate the country’s recovery from the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
“Despite external headwinds, the Philippine economy’s resilience — reinforced by sound policies and decisive leadership — makes us confident about our future,” Marcos, who is currently in the US, said during the New York Stock Exchange Business Forum.
Marcos said he looked forward to more investments from the private sector for the development of various fields such as public infrastructure, energy, and agriculture, as well as for the digitalization of the Philippines.
“Over the past few decades, as the Philippines transformed into one of the most promising emerging markets, the United States has been among our steady partners. For that, we are truly grateful. At the same time, American companies doing business in the Philippines have benefited significantly from our economic successes,” he said.
“I wish to emphasize that the Philippines is keen to continue nurturing the ties that helped produce mutual benefits for both our economies, our organizations, and our peoples. Let us achieve many more milestones together,” Marcos added.
Marcos made the remarks, as he acknowledged the US and the Philippines’ “strong and enduring” ties in trade and commerce.
The US is the Philippines’ third largest trading partner and second major source of foreign direct investment applications in 2021.
On his second day in the US, Marcos also rang the closing bell of the NYSE, signaling the end of the day's trading.
‘Mutually beneficial’ investments
Marcos guaranteed that the Philippines has increased the scope for “mutually beneficial” investments aimed at generating more jobs for Filipinos and giving them a “better” life.
“For investors, doing business in the Philippines is an opportunity to reap the benefits of a vibrant economy,” he said.
Marcos told the American businessmen that the country is offering investment opportunities in areas such as information technology and business process management; medical products and devices; electric vehicles and batteries; agribusiness; and telecommunications infrastructure and services.
He stressed that despite the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, the Philippines’ economy remains “robust” since 2021 and is slated to achieve its goal of becoming an “upper-middle-income” country in the coming years.
"Bouncing back from the pandemic, the Philippine economy has seen robust growth since last year and has returned to its path toward upper-middle-income country status, achievable within the next few years,” he said.
To be recognized as an upper-middle-income economy, a country must reach the World Bank’s gross national income (GNI) per capita threshold of USD4,256 to USD13,205.
In 2021, the Philippines’ GNI per capita rose to USD3,640 in 2021 from USD3,430 in 2020 or at the height of the pandemic, according to the World Bank data.
Liberalizing the economy
Wooing the US investors, Marcos cited key legislations that would further liberalize the Philippine economy.
The enacted policies, Marcos said, include lowering corporate income tax rates and rationalizing fiscal incentives; reducing the minimum paid-up capital requirements for foreign retailers and startups bringing in advanced technology; and allowing full foreign ownership of companies providing public services.
“To international investors, the Philippines offers high-quality labor, a large consumer market, and a wide range of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives. At the same time, we remain committed to maintaining sound macroeconomic fundamentals providing a clear development roadmap,” Marcos said.
Marcos also ensured that the country’s resilience to crises, noting the improved employment situation, accelerating manufacturing activities, and growing demand from trade partners in the Philippines despite the pandemic.
He said his administration’s top priorities include managing inflation, reducing the scarring effects of the pandemic, and ensuring sound macroeconomic fundamentals.
“And again, the private sector business leaders also are here with us precisely to show and explain to our prospective investors where the Philippines is headed, what changes we have made so that investment will be more profitable and more attractive for foreign investors, especially coming from the United States,” he said.
“So it plays a central role in all that we are planning to do for our economy. It is once again something that we recognize in government we have a part to play,” Marcos added.
PH workforce as ‘greatest asset’
Marcos likewise bragged that the country’s workforce is its “greatest asset” in its economic transformation, saying Filipino workers are competent and contribute to the success of investments in the country.
“They are ready to take up the cudgels, they are ready to work for the country, they are ready to do what needs to be done to bring the country forward,” Marcos said.
“So, again we have adjusted many of our ways of doing business at the behest of our friends in the United States and of the Americans businesses that are already in the Philippines,” he added.
Marcos is set to deliver the Philippine national statement at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Tuesday.
He will be the first leader of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to deliver a statement at this year's high-level General Debate.
Aside from sharing the country's views on various global concerns at the UNGA, Marcos will meet with world leaders and continue to hold dialogues with foreign investors to do business in the Philippines.
Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
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Philippine Resources - September 27, 2022
PH-EITI holds first meeting under Marcos admin, approves plan to improve multi-stakeholder engagement in the extractives
Photo credit: PH-EITI The Philippine Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PH-EITI) convened its first Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) meeting under the Marcos administration on Friday (September 16), two weeks after the country reaffirmed its commitment to implement the EITI. EITI is the global standard for transparency and accountability in the oil, gas, and mining sectors. The MSG – the body that governs EITI implementation in the country – is chaired by the Department of Finance (DOF) and composed of representatives from government, industry, and civil society. The government began implementing the EITI in 2013 pursuant to Section 14 of Executive Order No. 79, s. 2012 and Executive Order No. 147, s. 2013 that created the PH-EITI. “This meeting demonstrates the government’s continuing commitment to improve transparency and accountability in the extractive industries,” said Finance Undersecretary and PH-EITI Focal Person and Chair Cielo Magno. To improve resource governance, the MSG agreed to strengthen spaces for multi-stakeholder participation and advocate for more spaces along the extractive industry value chain. The group also agreed to include an MSG report on the status of civic engagement in the annual country report. The MSG also discussed remaining initiatives for 2022, including the production of the FY 2021 PH-EITI Country Report, the 2022 National Conference, and a planned visit of EITI Chair and former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark to the Philippines in November 2022. The PH-EITI publishes independently reconciled data on oil, gas, coal, and mineral resources through an annual and comprehensive country report. To date, the PH-EITI has produced seven country reports, reconciling over P362.5 billion in government revenues from extractive projects from 2012 to 2019. Aside from disclosing extractives data to inform research and policy recommendations, the PH-EITI also provides space for multi-stakeholder participation in resource governance. Article courtesy of the Department of Finance
Philippine Resources - September 27, 2022
Marcos admin commits to transparency and good governance in the extractive industries
Photo credit: EITI / CC BY-SA The Marcos administration demonstrated its commitment to pursue transparency in natural resource governance by rejoining the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and enabling the continued development of the mining sector. In a letter to EITI Chair and former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno cited the value of good governance and anti-corruption measures in maximizing the extractive sector’s contribution to resource mobilization and sustainable economic growth. EITI will complement the administration’s agenda on transparency and accountability. “We welcome the opportunity to re-engage in EITI. We also commend the progress of the EITI Board in reviewing the validation standard and making it more relevant to implementing countries. We believe that EITI is an important tool for resource-rich countries like the Philippines to improve transparency and increase accountability in the management and governance of the extractive industries,” said Secretary Diokno. Secretary Diokno said that other government agencies, as well as industry and civil society stakeholders who have been actively implementing EITI in the country, are supportive of the move to rejoin the global initiative. On June 20, 2022, the Philippines through the Department of Finance (DOF) withdrew its participation in the EITI over concerns on metrics and procedures used for assessing country compliance with the international organization’s transparency requirements. In an August 23, 2022 letter, EITI Chair Helen Clark invited Secretary Diokno to re-state the country’s commitment to the EITI on behalf of the Marcos administration and build on the progress that the Philippines has achieved in the past nine years. The PH-EITI multi-stakeholder group is chaired by the DOF and is composed of representatives from government, industry, and civil society. The government began implementing the EITI in 2013 pursuant to Section 14 of Executive Order No. 79, s. 2012 and Executive Order No. 147, s. 2013 that created the Philippine EITI (PH-EITI). Annual disclosure of contracts, financial, economic, social and environmental data is mandatory for extractive industries pursuant to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2017-07. To date, the PH-EITI has produced seven country reports, covering data from mining, oil, gas, and coal industries and reconciling over P362.5 billion in government revenues from extractive projects from 2012 to 2019. In 2017, the Philippines was recognized by the EITI as the first among 50 plus countries in the world to have fully complied with the 2016 EITI Standard. The EITI updates its standard every three years and subjects member countries to validation to ascertain their compliance. Secretary Diokno said that the Marcos administration is committed to engage and unite various stakeholders in pursuing good governance and policy reforms in the country. “Rest assured that we remain committed to pursuing good governance in the extractive sector,” said Secretary Diokno. Article courtesy of the Department of Finance
Philippine Resources - September 26, 2022
Metro Manila Subway project nominated for int’l digital awards
Artist rendering of the Metro Manila Subway (Photo courtesy of DOTr) The Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP) has been named as one of the finalists at the 2022 Going Digital Awards in Infrastructure for the best use of infrastructure software to save both time and money. The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said the general consultant for the MMSP Phase 1, the Japanese consortium Oriental Consultants Global (OC Global), developed a common digital engineering system and a “single source of truth” using ProjectWise and ComplyPro -- both programs by Bentley Software Inc. The MMSP, the DOTr said, presented communication and coordination challenges that other software programs failed to address. “The project team at OC Global realized that the implementation of collaborative BIM workflows, proactive risk management, and cost monitoring would require a connected data environment to be established,” it said. The system developed by OC Global for the MMSP enabled real-time data sharing that optimized collaboration -- saving an estimated 5,000 resource hours within the project’s first six months. “Combined with SYNCHRO for construction simulation, Bentley’s integrated technology solution identified and resolved 50 clashes, eliminating rework, shortening the project schedule, and saving costs. The successful BIM (Building Information Modeling) implementation has already achieved a return of investment of over USD600,000,” it said. The Going Digital Awards in Infrastructure is an annual event meant to honor Bentley software users for advancing infrastructure design, construction, and operations worldwide. The event’s finalists are deemed to demonstrate “excellence and digital advancements” in their respective award categories. The award winners will be announced during the program’s main event in London on Nov. 15. By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
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