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PH NEEDS OVER $125 BILLION IN INFRA INVESTMENTS - FINANCE CHIEF


OCTOBER 13 -Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said in a speech during the Philippine Infra and Public-Private Partnership Roadshow in Hong Kong last week. At HK roadshow, DOF chief urges PH integration into global markets- The Philippines requires more than $125 billion in investment to build efficient infrastructure that would integrate the country into the global supply chains and cope adequately with the impact of climate change, the country’s Finance secretary said. “The Philippines is estimated to need at least $125 billion in infrastructure investments. My own estimate is that it’s more, because to be connected to the world, to be part of the global supply chains and tourist networks, you must have world-class infrastructure,” Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said in a speech during the Philippine Infra and Public-Private Partnership Roadshow in Hong Kong last week. Copies of the speech were released to the media on Tuesday. Being an archipelago, the country needs ports, airports and other inland means of transport to be interconnected so that the movement of people and goods within the country becomes much more efficient than it is at present. “So again, this is something that we cannot avoid and therefore, I’d like to look at it not as a cost but as an investment in the future, an opportunity to drive further the growth of the country to an even higher level,” he said. The Department of Finance (DoF) chief also sees infrastructure as a growth driver for the economy, stressing that the country’s fiscal space is dedicated to its development not only to help the country catch up with its neighbors, but also to face the challenges posed by climate change. “If you look at climate change, it’s double edged. It’s a problem, but we like to look at it as an opportunity, to again leapfrog the infrastructure [development] of our country. Again, being a late mover, we can build better infrastructure,” he said. This year, the government is aiming to raise the share of infrastructure spending to gross domestic product (GDP) to 4 percent, before ramping it up further to 5 percent next year. READ MORE...FIRST READER'S RESPONSE: Roralidrakkonis says: October 14, 2015 at 1:52 pm Now how can we attract $125B of investmentments when the Noynoy administration has proven time and again that infrastructure investments invariably grind to a halt. Aquino signed about 50 PPP infra projects since his term started, and all that has been completed near the end of that term is four puny kilometers of the Daang Hari Expressway when the DPWH says we need 135km. Most of those other projects have not even reached the bidding stage. The NLEX-SLEX Connector Road that would have cut travel time between the two expressways from over one hour to a mere 20 minutes was ready to be bid out in a Swiss Challenge (a delay in itself) since 2010, but Aquino only approved it this year. And even with that approval new delays have come up, thanks to poor planning and coordination by the different government agencies involved. But instead of clearing all those delays, Aquino goes and signs NEW projects to improve his image in the popularity polls. No wonder the DBM says there is massive underspending. None of the infra projects are moving. READ 2 MORE RESPONSES...

ALSO ONE-ON-ONE DIALOGUE: Forbes Media editor tells Aquino -We need you in Washington
[The president also said that the country has been "very prudent" in borrowing. "I am very conservative in terms of handling the people's funds," Aquino said. "That's why we need you in Washington," answered Forbes]


OCTOBER 14 -President Aquino engages Steve Forbes, chair and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, in a one-on-one dialogue during the 15th annual Forbes Global CEO Conference in Parañaque City. RTVM Screengrab
President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday joined prominent world business leaders and entrepreneurs at the 15th annual Forbes Global CEO Conference where he trumpeted the country's economic achievements under his watch.
In a dialogue with Steve Forbes, chair and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, Aquino touted the administration's sound fiscal management that helped the country attain its strong economic performance. Forbes praised Aquino for the "dynamism" of the Philippine economy. "When we get back to the United States, some of us should try to get a Constitutional amendment so that President Aquino, when he leaves office next year, could come to the US and give us a 6-percent growth rate," Forbes said. Aquino boasted of various accomplishments such as the 600-percent increase in foreign domestic investment, the gains of his anti-corruption drive, the increasing tourist arrivals and the improved tax collection that fueled government spending in infrastructure and social services. The president also said that the country has been "very prudent" in borrowing. "I am very conservative in terms of handling the people's funds," Aquino said. "That's why we need you in Washington," answered Forbes, who said that the Philippines's debt-to-GDP ratio has come down "dramatically in recent years." Aquino said the country's economic achievements renewed Filipinos' optimism and outlook. "Believing in the future, that's something the rest of the world needs which is why we hope after you leave office, you will come to the US and give us some of that belief in the future," Forbes told Aquino. - Louis Bacani THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO Tribune Commentary: RP excluded from US-led Trans-Pacific trade group, TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership 2015)


OCTOBER 15 -Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Leaders of TPP member states. Leaders of prospective member states at a TPP summit in 2010; Type -Trade agreement; Drafted -5 October 2015; Negotiators-2006 agreement parties: Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore; Others -Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, United States, Vietnam. FROM WIKIPEDIA Malacañang has been keeping a tight lid on the fact that the Philippines has not been invited to join the newly-formed free-trade group known as the “Trans-Pacific Partnership” (TPP) whose principal objective is to boost trade opportunities among the member nations. Noticeably absent from the roster of Pacific Rim sovereign states that comprise the TPP is China, whose creeping influence as a regional economic and political power is being targeted. Aside from the United States and Japan (said to be the prime movers of the ambitious trade pact), the others who have agreed to jump on the TPP bandwagon are Singapore, Canada, Mexico, Malaysia, Vietnam, Chile, Peru, Australia, New Zealand and Brunei. So why was the Philippines dropped like a hot potato, considering Japan and the US are the country’s main trading partners accounting for cumulatively 26 percent of total trade in 2014 worth some $24 billion? For its part, China is widely expected to establish its own rival group to be called the “Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific” to be comprised of nations left out by the TPP — such as Indonesia, Thailand, Burma and South Korea. Maybe this time around, the Philippines will be permitted to come to the table. Described as the world’s biggest regional trade bloc comprising some 40 percent of global GDP, the TPP is a product of some seven years of intense negotiations among the various economic ministers, affecting a host of products like medicines, cars, dairy and sugar. Under the terms of the far-reaching agreement — reputedly the largest regional trade deal in history eclipsing even the European Union — goods and services will be traded among the partners at greatly reduced tariffs, while others shall be accorded duty-free status. As many as 18,000 tariffs are going to be eliminated, due to which trade volume is expected to hit the $295-billion level by 2025. Forbes Magazine was all praises for the TPP, saying it would “bring big changes” to all concerned if it is implemented properly since the 12 member nations control more than a quarter of all global trade amounting to some $10 trillion. “It will remove barriers to foreign investment (and) streamline customs procedures.”

ALSO the "rival group": China-led 'Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP)' -a Roadmap and Priority Tasks


MARCH 3, 2015 -PHOTO APEC SUMMIT 2014: China leads ‘historic step’ to Asia-Pacific free trade. World leaders take their seats as China's President Xi Jinping (Center) prepares to deliver opening remarks at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' meeting at the International Convention Center at Yanqi Lake in Beijing, November 11, 2014. The organization will conduct a two-year study into establishing the FTAAP..Throughout the forum, Xi Jinping emphasized the growing power of China, which is planning to spend tens of billions of dollars on building overseas infrastructure along key trade routes. US President Barack Obama welcomed the initiative of a free trade deal a day after he hailed the separate US-led Trans-Pacific partnership (TPP) that doesn’t include China or Russia. In an interview to XInhua news agency he denied speculation that the TPP is a way of containing Chinese influence..(Reuters / Pablo Martinez Monsivais) / Reuters China and other APEC members recently put forward many proposals for pragmatic cooperation in the fields of regional economic integration, innovative development, reform and growth, and interconnectivity, trying hard to formulate an open, inclusive, mutually beneficial, and win-win partnership. In promoting regional economic integration in particular, China and other APEC members conducted close and frequent consultations and reached a series of important consensuses on initiating and pressing ahead with the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), and formulated the Beijing Roadmap for APEC’s Contribution to the Realization of the FTAAP. That was a milestone achievement of the 2014 APEC conference, as well as a substantial boost to the FTAAP initiative. The Beijing Roadmap features the most systematic and comprehensive elaboration of the FTAAP since the it was first put forward at the 2006 APEC gathering. It is aimed at transforming the FTAAP into concrete actions. APEC is therefore in a privileged position to kick-start the FTAAP. APEC economies are diverse and broadly representative. READ MORE....

ALSO SOCIO ECO CHIEF Balisacan: P19.2B needed for El Niño mitigation plan


OCTOBER 13 -Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan The government will need to spend about P19.2 billion to mitigate the negative economic impact of the El Nino weather phenomenon, a Cabinet official said on Tuesday. Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan told reporters that President Benigno Aquino 3rd would likely be briefed this week about an El Nino roadmap that would include increased imports of agricultural commodities, particularly rice.“The indicative amounts that we have discussed with the agencies involved are amounting already to something like P19.2 billion, covering both the remaining months of this year next year,” Balisacan said. “Some of these [funds] are already within the existing budgets of the agencies, some will need to be identified, but I would like to stress that this [the P19.2 billion] is indicative and needs to be validated,” he added. Balisacan noted that the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration expects the El Nino dry spell to last until June of next year. “The readings … on the areas covered and on the expected intensity of El Nino is that this is likely going to be as bad as the 1997 to 1998 [dry spell] in terms of intensity, and if we go back to that period agricultural production shrunk quite significantly,” he said. The NEDA chief said 66 provinces would be hit by severe drought, with seven already suffering the condition: Quirino, Aurora, Quezon, Bohol, Siquijor, Camiguin and Misamis Oriental. Through an El Nino task force, agencies are proposing to undertake mitigation activities that will include imports of agricultural commodities. “We have to ensure that we have adequate supply. That means we’ll have to have a timely importation of rice and possibly other basic agricultural commodities to make sure that we don’t get price spikes, as we had in 2013, when we had a shortage of rice,” he said.For rice, Balisacan said the country had already imported a total of 1.9 million metric tons (MT) this year. For 2016, a provision of 500,000 MT for the first quarter has been approved. “Based on our analysis of the current data, we might need to increase imports by another 1 million MT for 2016 to maintain a 45-day buffer,” Balisacan said.READ MORE...PLUS ONE RESPONSE: Inocencio Bolo says: October 13, 2015 at 10:49 pm This is bad news! If only this amount of money is wisely and honestly used to support our rice farmers, we can produce all the food that we need to feed our people, even under an El Niño situation.There are more than one million hectares of rice land that are producing less than 4 tons per hectare in the Philippines. We now have the technology to achieve this kind of yield per hectare per harvest.The problem is not El Niño and other climate related disturbances. If only our farmers have access to credit and other resources they need to produce 4 tons of harvest per hectare, then there would be no need to import more rice.

ALSO: EL NIÑO EFFECTS WILL TELL ON PRICES; KEY RATES STAY


OCTOBER 15 -The effects of El Nino on basic goods will likely be felt next year. The result would be inflation rate below target. In turn, the monetary may be expected to keep its key rates up until the first quarter of next year. The effects of El Nino will be felt starting 2016, according to Joey Cuyegkeng, senior economist of ING Bank Manila. He pointed out monetary authorities have plenty of room to square up with disinflation which he said may continue up to the end of the year. “We expect fourth quarter inflation to average around 0.8 percent resulting to a 2015 average inflation rate of less than 1.4 percent,” Cuyegkeng said. This is lower than the latest readings of the Bangko Sentral which shows inflation averaging at 1.6 percent for the whole year. BSP’s target range for inflation this year is between 2 and 4 percent. But Cuyegkeng maintained that upside risks exist, specifically created by the prolonged drought. “The effect of El Niño on prices is likely to be felt in 2016. Government’s mitigating measures including additional rice imports would moderate price pressures,” Cuyegkeng said. The government on Tuesday announced it will be importing additional 1 million tons of rice next year to mitigate possible effects of El Nino. “With a prolonged dry spell food inflation would likely head higher in 1H 2016. Food and non-alcoholic beverages account for 39 percent of the CPI. Prolonged dry spell could bring inflation for this sub-basket to 3-5 percent. Power and other utility rates could also rise next year. Demand pressures could exacerbate the impact of the dry spell on prices of basic goods. We currently expect 2.2 percent 2016 average inflation rate,” Cuyegkeng said. Cuyegkeng added oil inflation remains low and could continue to exert downward pressure on headline inflation until first two quarters of next year. Cuyegkeng said monetary policy remains focused on upside risks. “Aside from El Niño related price pressures, financial market volatility as it impacts the financing performance of the financial sector is another source of risk. Excessive and prolonged financial market volatility could affect the banking sector’s disposition to finance economic activity,” Cuyegkeng said. READ MORE...

ALSO MALAYA OPINION: CREDIT CRUNCH? NO. NOT IN PH


OCTOBER 15 -By Amado Macasaet Emerging markets which are over borrowed may suffer from a credit crunch and even default on their sovereign obligations. This is a potential curse that economists say may be remedied by quantitative easing similar to the stimulus created by the Federal Reserve Board of the United States when its economy reeled under the impact of the collapse of its mortgage market. Business Insight explained in a recent banner story the problem of the Philippines is not exactly lack of money but lack of borrowers. That is what we meant when we pointed out lending institutions are trying to edge each other seeking the small borrowers and small business being lured to borrow a loan. There should be no fear that while the Philippines is relatively a smaller emerging market in Southeast Asia, it also has one of the strongest financial institutions that keeps it away from a credit crunch feared by the International Monetary Fund. Basic is the fact the dollar reserves of country are more than twice as big as its foreign debt. Still, the peso appears volatile chiefly as a result of the weakening of global trade and the slowdown of the Chinese economy. Just as basic is the fact the dollar reserves do not come from positive balance of trade. On the contrary, the balance of trade has been historically negative against the Philippines. The good part is the reserves come from practically no-cost sources. They are dollars remitted by about 10 million Filipinos hard at work in many parts of the world. Smaller amounts represent foreign direct investments. It is important to note the economy is slowly gaining internal strength mostly from the service sector. Business process outsourcing contributes large amounts of dollars to the reserves. The prediction is that by the end end of the year 1.2 million jobs would have been created by the business process outsourcing industry. It is in this sense this business newspaper, judged,” most read” by A.C. Nielsen before it could complete its fourth year, argues against efforts at promoting manufactured exports. We fail to see the gain considering Philippine exports have very large imported components. There are very few emerging markets in the world similarly situated as the Philippines although it is constantly threatened by a rapidly expanding population the State does not want to control although there is the Reproductive Health Law, out of unfounded fears of the wrath of the Catholic Church. It may be necessary to point out while the IMF is worried about how emerging markets can get out of the debt trap without leaving a scar, the fiscal and monetary operations in the Philippines appear to be close to ideal. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

‘PH needs over $125B in infra investment’


Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said in a speech during the Philippine Infra and Public-Private Partnership Roadshow in Hong Kong last week.

MANILA, OCTOBER 19, 2015 (MANILA TIMES) October 13, 2015 9:54 pm by MAYVELIN U. CARABALLO, REPORTER - At HK roadshow, DOF chief urges PH integration into global markets- The Philippines requires more than $125 billion in investment to build efficient infrastructure that would integrate the country into the global supply chains and cope adequately with the impact of climate change, the country’s Finance secretary said.

“The Philippines is estimated to need at least $125 billion in infrastructure investments.

My own estimate is that it’s more, because to be connected to the world, to be part of the global supply chains and tourist networks, you must have world-class infrastructure,” Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said in a speech during the Philippine Infra and Public-Private Partnership Roadshow in Hong Kong last week. Copies of the speech were released to the media on Tuesday.

Being an archipelago, the country needs ports, airports and other inland means of transport to be interconnected so that the movement of people and goods within the country becomes much more efficient than it is at present.

“So again, this is something that we cannot avoid and therefore, I’d like to look at it not as a cost but as an investment in the future, an opportunity to drive further the growth of the country to an even higher level,” he said.

The Department of Finance (DoF) chief also sees infrastructure as a growth driver for the economy, stressing that the country’s fiscal space is dedicated to its development not only to help the country catch up with its neighbors, but also to face the challenges posed by climate change.

“If you look at climate change, it’s double edged. It’s a problem, but we like to look at it as an opportunity, to again leapfrog the infrastructure [development] of our country. Again, being a late mover, we can build better infrastructure,” he said.

This year, the government is aiming to raise the share of infrastructure spending to gross domestic product (GDP) to 4 percent, before ramping it up further to 5 percent next year.

READ MORE...

The government had said it was on track toward meeting its goal of raising infrastructure investment to 5 percent by next year, having augmented its allocations for public works and communications under the proposed 2016 national budget.

It said public works and communications infrastructure would be getting a total of P829.6 billion under the P3.002-trillion proposed budget.

3 Responses to ‘PH needs over $125B in infra investment’
Roralidrakkonis says:
October 14, 2015 at 1:52 pm
Now how can we attract $125B of investmentments when the Noynoy administration has proven time and again that infrastructure investments invariably grind to a halt. Aquino signed about 50 PPP infra projects since his term started, and all that has been completed near the end of that term is four puny kilometers of the Daang Hari Expressway when the DPWH says we need 135km. Most of those other projects have not even reached the bidding stage. The NLEX-SLEX Connector Road that would have cut travel time between the two expressways from over one hour to a mere 20 minutes was ready to be bid out in a Swiss Challenge (a delay in itself) since 2010, but Aquino only approved it this year. And even with that approval new delays have come up, thanks to poor planning and coordination by the different government agencies involved. But instead of clearing all those delays, Aquino goes and signs NEW projects to improve his image in the popularity polls. No wonder the DBM says there is massive underspending. None of the infra projects are moving.
Reply
L A says: October 14, 2015 at 12:03 am That is showing how small mind this Cesar is. Either he does not know what he is talking about or he thinks only of barriotic infrastructure that lacks world class character. I made some simple calculations for world class airports in at least 20 locations and at least 30 high speed train systems traversing certain provinces with accompanying new townships in every train station and it has surpassed USD150 Billion already. For me, these will just be a fraction of the support infra for the military industrial complex I will create when I am president. The best part is that I know where to get all the money for these pursuits which all the other hopefuls lack – and we do not need foreign investments nor do we need to raise taxes to achieve these.
Reply
Sam javier says: October 14, 2015 at 10:09 am You are correct L.A., $125b is probably just enough to build world class highway to Isabela province from Manila.


PHILSTAR

ONE-ON-ONE DIALOGUE: Forbes tells Aquino -We need you in Washington (philstar.com) | Updated October 14, 2015 - 5:12pm 9 1209 googleplus0 1


President Aquino engages Steve Forbes, chair and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, in a one-on-one dialogue during the 15th annual Forbes Global CEO Conference in Parañaque City. RTVM Screengrab

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday joined prominent world business leaders and entrepreneurs at the 15th annual Forbes Global CEO Conference where he trumpeted the country's economic achievements under his watch.

In a dialogue with Steve Forbes, chair and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, Aquino touted the administration's sound fiscal management that helped the country attain its strong economic performance.

Forbes praised Aquino for the "dynamism" of the Philippine economy.

"When we get back to the United States, some of us should try to get a Constitutional amendment so that President Aquino, when he leaves office next year, could come to the US and give us a 6-percent growth rate," Forbes said.

Aquino boasted of various accomplishments such as the 600-percent increase in foreign domestic investment, the gains of his anti-corruption drive, the increasing tourist arrivals and the improved tax collection that fueled government spending in infrastructure and social services.

The president also said that the country has been "very prudent" in borrowing.

"I am very conservative in terms of handling the people's funds," Aquino said.

"That's why we need you in Washington," answered Forbes, who said that the Philippines's debt-to-GDP ratio has come down "dramatically in recent years."

Aquino said the country's economic achievements renewed Filipinos' optimism and outlook.

"Believing in the future, that's something the rest of the world needs which is why we hope after you leave office, you will come to the US and give us some of that belief in the future," Forbes told Aquino. - Louis Bacani


TRIBUNE

RP excluded from US-led Trans-Pacific trade group (TPP)’ Written by Louie Logarta Thursday, 15 October 2015 00:00


Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Leaders of TPP member states. Leaders of prospective member states at a TPP summit in 2010; Type -Trade agreement; Drafted -5 October 2015; Negotiators-2006 agreement parties: Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore; Others -Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, United States, Vietnam. FROM WIKIPEDIA

Malacañang has been keeping a tight lid on the fact that the Philippines has not been invited to join the newly-formed free-trade group known as the “Trans-Pacific Partnership” (TPP) whose principal objective is to boost trade opportunities among the member nations.

Noticeably absent from the roster of Pacific Rim sovereign states that comprise the TPP is China, whose creeping influence as a regional economic and political power is being targeted.

Aside from the United States and Japan (said to be the prime movers of the ambitious trade pact), the others who have agreed to jump on the TPP bandwagon are Singapore, Canada, Mexico, Malaysia, Vietnam, Chile, Peru, Australia, New Zealand and Brunei.

So why was the Philippines dropped like a hot potato, considering Japan and the US are the country’s main trading partners accounting for cumulatively 26 percent of total trade in 2014 worth some $24 billion? For its part, China is widely expected to establish its own rival group to be called the “Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific” to be comprised of nations left out by the TPP — such as Indonesia, Thailand, Burma and South Korea.

Maybe this time around, the Philippines will be permitted to come to the table.

Described as the world’s biggest regional trade bloc comprising some 40 percent of global GDP, the TPP is a product of some seven years of intense negotiations among the various economic ministers, affecting a host of products like medicines, cars, dairy and sugar. Under the terms of the far-reaching agreement — reputedly the largest regional trade deal in history eclipsing even the European Union — goods and services will be traded among the partners at greatly reduced tariffs, while others shall be accorded duty-free status.

As many as 18,000 tariffs are going to be eliminated, due to which trade volume is expected to hit the $295-billion level by 2025. Forbes Magazine was all praises for the TPP, saying it would “bring big changes” to all concerned if it is implemented properly since the 12 member nations control more than a quarter of all global trade amounting to some $10 trillion. “It will remove barriers to foreign investment (and) streamline customs procedures.”

READ MORE...

The monumental pact could not have come at a better time, with global growth slowing down and mounting tariffs threatening to stifle trade, Forbes added.

UNPOPULARITY

The TPP, however, is not universally popular and in fact was greeted by criticisms across a broad spectrum as “catering to the interests of giant multi-national companies at the expense of consumers, the working class and the environment.” There are several contentious issues centered on intellectual property rights, climate change, cost of medicines, labor rights, investment, e-commerce, financial regulation, agriculture and tobacco control.

A glaring example is the opposition of international aid groups who fear basic pharmaceutical drugs could be put out of reach of the world’s poorest people owing to TPP protections.

Al Jazeera said there was much hue and cry over the drafting of rules of the deal because it was “negotiated in deep secret” raising speculations that big business orchestrated the discussions at the expense of the vested interests of many countries.

The Obama administration, Newsweek said, relied only on a small group of “cleared advisers” (allegedly mostly corporate lobbyists) to make suggestions on something that would affect the lives and livelihoods of millions.

!!! So, will P-Noy, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and National Economic Development Authority chief Arsenio Balisacan please tell us clueless natives what the frick is going on? Last modified on Wednesday, 14 October 2015 13:27 Published by the Tribune wires in Commentary

4 comments

Guillermo Hernandez No progressive agricultural policies .......manufacturing industries almost non-existent compared to other ASEAN countries.....a government run like a student council ......graft and corruption at all levels of government specially at the highest levels .......economy propped-up by 10 million overseas workers contributing US $ 26 billion per year in remittances......but most of a country with an IDIOT as a PCOS-elected President !

Now, tell me what trade group would like to have a country like the Philippines as one of its members ?

No one !

Guillermo Hernandez Friday, 16 October 2015 01:48 Comment Link tesboy -- The world knows that Abnoy government was engaged in double talk and much of his speeches does'nt match with the realities his been talking. There you are TPP if I am Abnoy I will one by one go to the offices of his advisers and secretaries and I will kick their ass and fire them. Its his fault he pick up his student government much more the helplessCesar Purisima who put this country in bankcruptcy

tesboy Thursday, 15 October 2015 22:59 Comment Link --Arch. Lito L. Mallonga Very good to hear that the Philippines is not included with TPP. All of this group mention thinks that the Philippines is a poor country. THATS WHAT THEY ALL THINK HA HA HA.

Lets see when my group gets in. This will surprise them all. I am just waiting if they will approved my candidacy to run as Independent for President of our beloved country. The COMELEC can not deny me as I have a very strong programs and funds backing it up.

I am bringing in the largest Consortium that has never been formed in the world who will be helping on a real development of Infrastructure that no one has ever done in the world. I don't talk and talk as the MALLONGA's deliver and walk. SABI NG TATAY KO TRABAJO LANG !!!!!

Arch. Lito L. Mallonga Thursday, 15 October 2015 00:20 Comment Link -- Darren Buffett Don't hold your breath Louie.....P-Noy, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and National Economic Development Authority chief Arsenio Balisacan don't have any friggin idea of what's going on.

Darren Buffett Wednesday, 14 October 2015 16:02.

THE COLUMNIST


ABOUT LOUIE: Incumbent Secretary of the National Press Club of the Philippines; columnist of the opposition newspaper The Daily Tribune; started as a police reporter with the OLD Manila Chronicle; a pioneer staffer of the Philippine Daily Inquirer with the late Louie Beltran as editor; formerly connected with newspapers The Daily Globe, Manila Standard, The Philippine Post; formerly connected with the Public Information Office of the Philippine National Bank during the '70s; studied at Lourdes School QC and Ateneo de Manila FAVORITE QUOTES The Golden Rule; Peace;make love not war; live and let live; drinking champagne on a beer budget; a stitch in time saves nine; he who hath the gold makes the rules; ugly is as ugly does; penny wise, pound foolish. FROM Louie's facebook timeline.


CHINAUSFOCUS.COM

Mar 03, 2015

CHINA-LED Asia-Pacific Free Trade Area (FTAAP): a Roadmap and Priority Tasks


PHOTO APEC SUMMIT 2014: China leads ‘historic step’ to Asia-Pacific free trade. World leaders take their seats as China's President Xi Jinping (Center) prepares to deliver opening remarks at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' meeting at the International Convention Center at Yanqi Lake in Beijing, November 11, 2014. The organization will conduct a two-year study into establishing the FTAAP..Throughout the forum, Xi Jinping emphasized the growing power of China, which is planning to spend tens of billions of dollars on building overseas infrastructure along key trade routes. US President Barack Obama welcomed the initiative of a free trade deal a day after he hailed the separate US-led Trans-Pacific partnership (TPP) that doesn’t include China or Russia. In an interview to XInhua news agency he denied speculation that the TPP is a way of containing Chinese influence..(Reuters / Pablo Martinez Monsivais) / Reuters

China and other APEC members recently put forward many proposals for pragmatic cooperation in the fields of regional economic integration, innovative development, reform and growth, and interconnectivity, trying hard to formulate an open, inclusive, mutually beneficial, and win-win partnership.

In promoting regional economic integration in particular, China and other APEC members conducted close and frequent consultations and reached a series of important consensuses on initiating and pressing ahead with the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), and formulated the Beijing Roadmap for APEC’s Contribution to the Realization of the FTAAP. That was a milestone achievement of the 2014 APEC conference, as well as a substantial boost to the FTAAP initiative.

The Beijing Roadmap features the most systematic and comprehensive elaboration of the FTAAP since the it was first put forward at the 2006 APEC gathering. It is aimed at transforming the FTAAP into concrete actions. APEC is therefore in a privileged position to kick-start the FTAAP.

APEC economies are diverse and broadly representative.

READ MORE...

The 21 current members of the APEC are located on both sides of the Pacific. They feature different stages of development, have divergent economic systems and cultural traditions, and are thus broadly representative. All concerned parties’ ideas and efforts will create positive momentum for the materialization of the FTAAP. Meanwhile, APEC’s adherence to “open regionalism” will appeal to today’s non-members.

APEC has made impressive headway in trade liberalization and facilitation. When APEC was founded in 1989, the average tariff level of member economies was 16.9 percent. But, it had dropped to 5.8 percent by 2010. During the same period of time, trade in goods among APEC members increased from $1.7 trillion to $9.9 trillion, increasing almost five times, accounting for 67 percent of overall trade in goods of all member economies. APEC’s overall volume of trade in goods and services also rose from $3.1 trillion to $16.8 trillion, increasing fourfold. Between 2002 and 2010, APEC’s two trade facilitation programs reduced transaction costs between member economies by 5 percent.

New breakthroughs have been made in regional economic integration, and the TTP negotiations have entered its final stage. Australia has formally signed free trade agreements with the Republic of Korea and Japan; China has concluded substantive negotiations with the Republic of Korea and Australia on free trade areas. China and ASEAN have started negotiations on an “upgraded version” of a free trade area, and the construction of an ASEAN economic community has made impressive progress. The RCEP has completed six rounds of talks, proceeding from consultation on procedures to substantive negotiations.

The FTAAP will have more advantages than the TPP and RCEP. Given its limited membership and strict rule of origin, the TPP will dismember the production network and value chain already in place in East Asia; the RCEP generally fits well with the East Asian production network, but it will also tear apart the local value chain because it doesn’t include economic entities on the east coast of the Pacific. The FTAAP, on the other hand, can overcome the chokepoints on both the industry chain and supply chain of the Asia-Pacific, deepening integration of the global value chain.

There also are undesirable factors in the Asia-Pacific’s march toward the FTAAP.

First is the FTAAP’s own complexity. Though the FTAAP will have much fewer members than the WTO, it has a very similar demographic structure, and its members have very different interests and pursuits. Secondly, some APEC members are less than enthusiastic. The FTAAP was first incorporated into the APEC agenda in 2006 under the auspices of the United States. Japan and China have since been its main proponents. Australia, Singapore and some other members have also demonstrated considerable enthusiasm for it. The US, however, has made the TPP its current imperative, showing less interest in the FTAAP. The participation of other potential members is another source of concern. It will be a challenge for the FTAAP to decide who will be included in its future membership.

Now is time to lay the groundwork in order to transform the FTAAP from a mere vision into a reality. And this will entail joint strategy studies and functional cooperation, determination of next-generation trade and investment topics, information sharing, and capacity building.

The RCEP negotiations must be completed as scheduled. The RCEP has 16 member countries, accounting for approximately 48.8 percent, 28.7 percent, 27 percent, 24.4 percent and 23.3 percent of the world’s population, GDP, trade, foreign direct investments, and overseas investment. With the largest number of participating parties, and the biggest scale of negotiations in East Asia, the FTAAP features the integration of existing and mature free trade areas. The RCEP has strong inclusiveness, and suits Asian industrial structures, economic models and social traditions. Its incremental approach can accommodate member countries’ different levels of development.


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The RCEP and TPP are both viable routes towards the completion of FTAAP, and each has its own comparative advantages: The RCEP is more representative of developing economies’ aspiration for regional economic integration; the TPP represents advanced, industrialized economies’ aspiration for making 21st century trade rules. Obviously the FTAAP must take both aspirations into consideration. Incorporating the RCEP and TPP into the FTAAP, and gradually dovetailing and merging the two is in the best interest of the entire Asia-Pacific, and hence the most reasonable strategic choice for the region.

In the future, the FTAAP will inevitably include both the Chinese and US economies. In a certain sense, the future integration of the RCEP and TPP means that the two countries reach agreements on bilateral trade and investments.

Efforts should be made this year and next for a comprehensive, high-quality, non-discriminatory, open, and transparent bilateral investment agreement. From there, the two parties can further enrich their cooperation.

In July 2014, Zeng Peiyax n, chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, proposed to negotiate a bilateral investment and trade treaty (BITT), which received positive resonance from both sides. The BITT will cover such key fields as tariffs, investments, agricultural trade, service trade, government procurement, intellectual property rights, and environment for competition, and it will substantially promote China-US collaboration in technological innovation, cyber security, infrastructure, clean energy, and the ecological environment.

On the basis of the BITT, the two sides can continue to proceed towards a China-US free trade area. As the two largest economies, China and the US are trying to formulate a new-type of major-country relationship. The establishment of a free trade area should be an integral part of such relationship. This will be a challenging mission. But the rewards will be tremendous. The free trade area will respectively bring $100 billion and $300 billion to US and Chinese national incomes, both higher than that to be brought by the TPP and RCEP to the US ($76.6 billion) and China ($249.7).

The process of China and the US negotiating and accomplishing the BIT, BITT and free trade area will be conducive to dovetailing and merging TPP and RCEP rules, and open pathways for developing economies to adapt to next-generation trade rules. Although such a process may be long and arduous, from the perspective of promoting regional economic integration in the Asia-Pacific, it is consistent with the FTAAP, thus worthy of serious attention from both sides.


MANILA TIMES

Balisacan: P19.2B needed for El Niño mitigation plan October 13, 2015 9:42 pm by MAYVELIN U. CARABALLO, REPORTER


Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan

The government will need to spend about P19.2 billion to mitigate the negative economic impact of the El Nino weather phenomenon, a Cabinet official said on Tuesday.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan told reporters that President Benigno Aquino 3rd would likely be briefed this week about an El Nino roadmap that would include increased imports of agricultural commodities, particularly rice.

“The indicative amounts that we have discussed with the agencies involved are amounting already to something like P19.2 billion, covering both the remaining months of this year next year,” Balisacan said.

“Some of these [funds] are already within the existing budgets of the agencies, some will need to be identified, but I would like to stress that this [the P19.2 billion] is indicative and needs to be validated,” he added.

Balisacan noted that the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration expects the El Nino dry spell to last until June of next year.

“The readings … on the areas covered and on the expected intensity of El Nino is that this is likely going to be as bad as the 1997 to 1998 [dry spell] in terms of intensity, and if we go back to that period agricultural production shrunk quite significantly,” he said.

The NEDA chief said 66 provinces would be hit by severe drought, with seven already suffering the condition: Quirino, Aurora, Quezon, Bohol, Siquijor, Camiguin and Misamis Oriental.

Through an El Nino task force, agencies are proposing to undertake mitigation activities that will include imports of agricultural commodities.

“We have to ensure that we have adequate supply. That means we’ll have to have a timely importation of rice and possibly other basic agricultural commodities to make sure that we don’t get price spikes, as we had in 2013, when we had a shortage of rice,” he said.


At least one million workers in the agricultural sector stand to lose their jobs in the coming months as an intense El Niño threatens to lay waste large tracts of agricultural lands in several provinces, according to the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP). The TUCP, the country’s biggest labor group, aired the warning even as it urged the government to immediately institute mitigation plans, including provision of livelihood assistance to farmers and other agricultural workers who will be adversely affected by El Nino, a prolonged dry spell. PHILIPPINESTODAYUSA.COM POSTED 10/08/2015

For rice, Balisacan said the country had already imported a total of 1.9 million metric tons (MT) this year. For 2016, a provision of 500,000 MT for the first quarter has been approved.

“Based on our analysis of the current data, we might need to increase imports by another 1 million MT for 2016 to maintain a 45-day buffer,” Balisacan said.

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The NEDA chief said the additional importation is going to be discussed by the National Food Authority council and approved by the President.

“[W]hat we want to avoid is domestic prices are shooting up while world prices are relatively stable. We want to make sure that supply is there when we need it most,” he said.

Another mitigating activity would be cash for work programs in severely affected areas that will provide additional sources of income for farmers, Balisacan said.

He said the task force had identified about P2.9-billion worth of projects under the Public Works, Labor, Trade and Social Welfare departments, the National Irrigation Authority and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority for implementation this year and requiring another P7.3 billion next year.

Water management projects for farms will require P1.75 billion this year and P2 billion for the first half of 2016, he added.
Balisacan said the task force was also planning to introduce food stamps in El Nino-affected urban areas.

“If there are very vulnerable groups, households who are not producers and who may not be in a position to work due to certain circumstances and location … food stamps might be the appropriate intervention for them,” he said.

“That would be need about P1.3 billion for 2015 and P1.9 billion for 2016.”

One Response to Balisacan: P19.2B needed for El Niño mitigation plan
Inocencio Bolo says:
October 13, 2015 at 10:49 pm
This is bad news! If only this amount of money is wisely and honestly used to support our rice farmers, we can produce all the food that we need to feed our people, even under an El Niño situation.There are more than one million hectares of rice land that are producing less than 4 tons per hectare in the Philippines. We now have the technology to achieve this kind of yield per hectare per harvest.The problem is not El Niño and other climate related disturbances.
If only our farmers have access to credit and other resources they need to produce 4 tons of harvest per hectare, then there would be no need to import more rice.
Reply


MALAYA BUSINESS INSIGHT

EL NIÑO EFFECTS WILL TELL ON PRICES; KEY RATES STAY By JIMMY CALAPATI October 15, 2015

The effects of El Nino on basic goods will likely be felt next year. The result would be inflation rate below target. In turn, the monetary may be expected to keep its key rates up until the first quarter of next year.

The effects of El Nino will be felt starting 2016, according to Joey Cuyegkeng, senior economist of ING Bank Manila. He pointed out monetary authorities have plenty of room to square up with disinflation which he said may continue up to the end of the year.

“We expect fourth quarter inflation to average around 0.8 percent resulting to a 2015 average inflation rate of less than 1.4 percent,” Cuyegkeng said.

This is lower than the latest readings of the Bangko Sentral which shows inflation averaging at 1.6 percent for the whole year.

BSP’s target range for inflation this year is between 2 and 4 percent.

But Cuyegkeng maintained that upside risks exist, specifically created by the prolonged drought.

“The effect of El Niño on prices is likely to be felt in 2016. Government’s mitigating measures including additional rice imports would moderate price pressures,” Cuyegkeng said.

The government on Tuesday announced it will be importing additional 1 million tons of rice next year to mitigate possible effects of El Nino.

“With a prolonged dry spell food inflation would likely head higher in 1H 2016. Food and non-alcoholic beverages account for 39 percent of the CPI. Prolonged dry spell could bring inflation for this sub-basket to 3-5 percent. Power and other utility rates could also rise next year. Demand pressures could exacerbate the impact of the dry spell on prices of basic goods. We currently expect 2.2 percent 2016 average inflation rate,” Cuyegkeng said.

Cuyegkeng added oil inflation remains low and could continue to exert downward pressure on headline inflation until first two quarters of next year.

Cuyegkeng said monetary policy remains focused on upside risks.


Most places in the Philippines are expected to have a 60 to 80 percent drop in rainfall due to the El Nino phenomenon (AFP Photo/Romeo Gacad)

“Aside from El Niño related price pressures, financial market volatility as it impacts the financing performance of the financial sector is another source of risk. Excessive and prolonged financial market volatility could affect the banking sector’s disposition to finance economic activity,” Cuyegkeng said.

He added strong capitalization of banks could moderate the impact of such volatility but may not be enough if the financial sector volatility results to a less favorable asset quality of banks.

“Macro prudential measures have been put in place to guard against such developments while stabilizing the financial sector through targeted intervention would also help. In the meantime, the current policy settings remain appropriate and are a stabilizing factor for financial markets. Domestic demand is expected to continue to push overall economic growth closer to 6 percent for the full year of 2015 and above 6 percent in 2016,” Cuyegkeng said.

As inflation is seen to continue slowing down for the rest of the year, possibly averaging lower than government targets, the Monetary Board last month decided to keep the key rates of the Bangko Sentral unchanged.

This is the 8th time the rates were maintained after a 50 basis points hike last September.

Amando Tetangco, BSP Governor Governor said the overnight borrowing rate will remain at 4 percent and the overnight lending facility at 6 percent.

Other rates including SDAs and banks’ reserve requirement ratios were likewise left unchanged.

Tetangco said that given these considerations, the Monetary Board believes that the benign inflation outlook and the economy’s underlying growth momentum provide ample room to keep monetary policy settings unchanged at this time.

Diwa Guinigundo, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas deputy governor, said with supply conditions remaining generally favorable and demand continuing to be manageable, monetary officials expect inflation to keep within their forecasts of 1.6 percent for 2015, 2.6 percent for 2016, and 3 percent for 2017, stressing that the current monetary policy “remains appropriate.”

“Any development in the US Fed and China should be addressed by our preemptive moves last year which gave us the monetary space today,” Guinigundo said.

He added the Monetary Board sees upside inflation risk coming from the impact of “stronger and protracted” El Nino conditions on food prices and utility rates as well as pending petitions for power rate adjustments and the weakness in the global economy and continuing uncertainty in the global financial markets.

“We do expect the El Nino condition will be more serious in the sense the forecast is a stronger El Nino and it’s going to be prolonged until the end of June 2016. Any additional risks from the dry weather conditions related to el Nino, will significantly affect the balance of risk,” Guinigundo said.

“Second because of global uncertainty and the volatilities in the global financial market we see how regional currencies have depreciated and the Peso is one of them. Now the weakness in the Peso could have inflationary implication in 2016 and 2017,” Guinigundo added.

Lower price increases in food, power and oil brought inflation to a new low at 0.4 percent in September but economists and monetary officials expect inflation bottoming as impact of the El Nino starts trickling in towards the end of this year.


MALAYA OPINION

CREDIT CRUNCH? NO. NOT IN PH By Amado P. Macasaet October 15, 2015


By Amado Macasaet

Emerging markets which are over borrowed may suffer from a credit crunch and even default on their sovereign obligations. This is a potential curse that economists say may be remedied by quantitative easing similar to the stimulus created by the Federal Reserve Board of the United States when its economy reeled under the impact of the collapse of its mortgage market.

Business Insight explained in a recent banner story the problem of the Philippines is not exactly lack of money but lack of borrowers. That is what we meant when we pointed out lending institutions are trying to edge each other seeking the small borrowers and small business being lured to borrow a loan.

There should be no fear that while the Philippines is relatively a smaller emerging market in Southeast Asia, it also has one of the strongest financial institutions that keeps it away from a credit crunch feared by the International Monetary Fund.

Basic is the fact the dollar reserves of country are more than twice as big as its foreign debt. Still, the peso appears volatile chiefly as a result of the weakening of global trade and the slowdown of the Chinese economy.

Just as basic is the fact the dollar reserves do not come from positive balance of trade. On the contrary, the balance of trade has been historically negative against the Philippines. The good part is the reserves come from practically no-cost sources. They are dollars remitted by about 10 million Filipinos hard at work in many parts of the world.

Smaller amounts represent foreign direct investments.

It is important to note the economy is slowly gaining internal strength mostly from the service sector. Business process outsourcing contributes large amounts of dollars to the reserves. The prediction is that by the end end of the year 1.2 million jobs would have been created by the business process outsourcing industry.

It is in this sense this business newspaper, judged,” most read” by A.C. Nielsen before it could complete its fourth year, argues against efforts at promoting manufactured exports. We fail to see the gain considering Philippine exports have very large imported components.

There are very few emerging markets in the world similarly situated as the Philippines although it is constantly threatened by a rapidly expanding population the State does not want to control although there is the Reproductive Health Law, out of unfounded fears of the wrath of the Catholic Church.

It may be necessary to point out while the IMF is worried about how emerging markets can get out of the debt trap without leaving a scar, the fiscal and monetary operations in the Philippines appear to be close to ideal.

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One clear example is the government’s own prediction it would incur a budgetary deficit in the first semester of the current year. It gave itself a surprise when the Department of Finance reported a modest surplus instead. The surplus means the revenue agencies notably the Bureau of Customs are collecting more than the State can spend.


Full Cabinet Meeting Tackles Gov’t Underspending Date Posted : June 18, 2015 | by Metrocebu News Team, newsinfo.inquirer.net

However, it must be understood the surplus was a direct result of the state not spending fast enough to speed up economic growth faster than the present pace.

The World Bank, the IMF and the Asian Development Bank say the pace of growth is threatened by slow or low spending on vital projects notably infrastructure.

Thus, the Philippines is not, unlike other emerging markets, burdened with paying foreign debts. Because it cannot spend fast enough, it does not borrow massively.

Other emerging markets cannot raise enough money. They borrow massively but the positive results of the use of the money have not begun to tell on their economies. The IMF is rightfully worried about a default on foreign obligations and the possibility of credit tightening.

In cases such as these, the IMF comes to the rescue. Its first order is to raise taxes before it would issue what is generally described as a hill of good housekeeping which in turn is used by the Fund to endorse loans from commercial and multilateral lenders.

The IMF’s prescription is nearly similar to efforts to bleed a turnip.

The Philippines is out of the clutches of the IMF precisely because its problem, in a manner of speaking, is looking for people, big and small, who need loan money. Loan interest rates in this country have never been as low as they are at the present time.

Another way of explaining the difference is that emerging markets are burning the midnight oil trying to extricate themselves from the quagmire of debts while the Philippines cannot spend its revenues fast enough to hasten the pace of economic growth.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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