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BUSINESS HEADLINES THIS PAST WEEK...
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

OFW HOUSEHOLDS SAVED MORE, INVESTED LESS IN Q3
[RELATED: OFWs exempted from paying travel tax, POEA fees]


SEPTEMBER 12 -BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said OFW households decided to save more as the spending outlook index of households on basic goods and services declined to 27.8 percent for the fourth quarter of 2016 from 30.2 percent in the previous quarter. STAR/File photo Filipino households receiving remittances from their loved ones abroad saved more but invested less in the third quarter, according to a survey conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). Teresita Deveza, deputy director of the BSP’s Department of Economic Statistics (DES), said results of the Consumer Expectations Survey (CES) for the 3rd Quarter 2016 showed an increase in the number of overseas Filipino workers’ households allocating remittances for savings to 39.6 percent in the third quarter of the year from 38.6 percent in the second quarter. “Overseas Filipino workers households that utilize their remittances for savings increased for the third quarter of 2016,” she said. The percentage of OFW households using remittances to save as of the second quarter was more than five times the 7.2 percent recorded in the first quarter of 2007 when the CES was launched. READ MORE...ALSO OFWs exempted from paying travel tax, POEA fees...

ALSO: Big nat’l budget for 2017 to sustain RP growth — DoF
[RELATED: Go Hotels Davao targets MeetingsIncentivesConferencesEvents (MICE) market]


SEPTEMBER 15 -DIOKNO There is no other aim for the Duterte administration behind the huge 2017 budget of P3.35 trillion but to aspire for the Philippines to have a sustained economic growth, the leader of the current administration’s economic team said. Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the augmented spending for infrastructure and investment in human capital will definitely give the country the growth it missed due to other priorities. “Higher government spending for infrastructure and investment in human capital is consistent with higher, sustained economic growth,” Diokno, who also headed the same department from 1998 to 2001, told the Daily Tribune. In the 2017 national budget, the highest in the country’s history, four government agencies were given higher budget so they can perform well. They are Public Works, Education, Interior and Local Government and Health. READ MORE...RELATED, Go Hotels Davao targets MeetingsIncentivesConferencesEvents (MICE) market...

ALSO:
OECD Eco Outlook - Ph seen outperforming Asean neighbors’ growth
[ALSO: ‘Ultra-rich’ to be taxed 35%]


SEPTEMBER 13 -The Philippines is expected to have the fastest growth for the second year in a row among the five major economies of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN-5) in 2017. File photo
The Philippines is expected to have the fastest growth for the second year in a row among the five major economies of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN-5) in 2017. Philippine Ambassador to France Ma. Theresa Lazaro presented recently the annual Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India during the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit in Vientiane, Laos. Lazaro said that among the ASEAN-5 countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam – the Philippines and Vietnam received the best growth forecasts for next year. “The economies of Philippines and Vietnam are expected to grow by 6.1 percent,” she said. The OECD Economic Outlook is an annual publication on Asia’s regional economic growth, development and regional integration process. It focuses on the economic conditions of the ASEAN-member countries as well as the relevant economic issues in China and India in order to reflect economic developments in the region. “Steady economic growth is expected to continue in the region in 2017,” Lazaro said. The Philippines is co-chair of the Economic Outlook until 2018, coinciding with the country’s chairmanship of the ASEAN summits in 2017.FULL REPORT. ALSO: ‘Ultra-rich’ to be taxed 35%...

ALSO: Phl-US economic relations safe from Duterte remarks - Pernia, Diokno


SEPTEMBER 13 -File photo
Economic relations between the US and the Philippines are "unlikely" to suffer as a result of President Rodrigo Duterte's comments against the country's long-time ally, lender and development partner. "(It's) unlikely to have impact," Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said in a text message on Tuesday. Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno agreed. "There is unlikely to be any problem since investors are usually looking at macrofundamentals," he said in a phone interview. Admitting he is not a "fan" of the US, Duterte said Monday that he intentionally missed a summit with US President Barack Obama but not before he criticized the US president over the possibility of raising human rights issues in the Philippine government's war on drugs. Obama, as a result, cancelled his first bilateral talks with Duterte, who, upon returning to the country also called for a pullout of US troops in Mindanao. A Palace spokesperson later on clarified that no official policy has been made to such effect. According to separate official data, the US is the biggest source of equity foreign direct investment (FDI) last year, accounting for 61.8 percent of total at $271.72 million. "Most investors will focus more on the economy's strong fundamentals. For as long as we are performing well, then that will be fine," Diokno said. READ MORE...

ALSO By Babe Romualdez - US-Phl relations: Not personal but country's interest


SEPTEMBER 15 -PHOTO FROM WIKIPEDIA: It was bad enough the country lost the opportunity to interact with a close ally like the United States during the ASEAN Summit in Laos, but now people are even more shocked by President Rodrigo Duterte's pronouncements that he wants American troops out of Mindanao. The president is blaming the US for the situation in Mindanao which experts noted has become a training ground, if not a safe haven for foreign terrorists, in particular the Islamic State (ISIS) that has intensified its recruitment activities in Southeast Asia. Intelligence sources are also pointing to the possibility of the southern Philippines becoming the next “wilayat” or province of ISIS. As pointed out by former Magdalo party list representative and security expert Ashley Acedillo, southern Philippines is part of the so-called Sulu-Sabah-Sulawesi triangle that is being exploited by terrorists and traffickers as entry/exit points due to the porous borders. Cabinet officials are trying to “contextualize” the president's statements by claiming it was an expression of concern for the safety of the Americans who could be targeted by the Abu Sayyaf Group. US soldiers know how to take care of themselves and, in fact, there has not been any report of American military being abducted in Mindanao. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

OFW households saved more, invested less in Q3


SEPTEMBER 12 -BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said OFW households decided to save more as the spending outlook index of households on basic goods and services declined to 27.8 percent for the fourth quarter of 2016 from 30.2 percent in the previous quarter. STAR/File photo

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 19, 2016 (PHILSTAR) By Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) September 12, 2016 - Filipino households receiving remittances from their loved ones abroad saved more but invested less in the third quarter, according to a survey conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Teresita Deveza, deputy director of the BSP’s Department of Economic Statistics (DES), said results of the Consumer Expectations Survey (CES) for the 3rd Quarter 2016 showed an increase in the number of overseas Filipino workers’ households allocating remittances for savings to 39.6 percent in the third quarter of the year from 38.6 percent in the second quarter.

“Overseas Filipino workers households that utilize their remittances for savings increased for the third quarter of 2016,” she said.

The percentage of OFW households using remittances to save as of the second quarter was more than five times the 7.2 percent recorded in the first quarter of 2007 when the CES was launched.

READ MORE...

On the other hand, Deveza said the number of households that allocated remittances for investments declined to 3.8 percent in the third quarter from 4.5 percent in the second quarter.

Despite the decline, the percentage of OFW households investing a portion of their remittances now is still better than the 2.3 percent level when the survey was first conducted.

Of the 500 households included in the survey that received OFW remittances for the third quarter, 95 percent used the remittances that they received to purchase food and other household needs.

About 39.8 percent allotted part of their remittances for debt payments, while 20.2 percent used the money that they received to purchase consumer durables.

Furthermore, 67.6 percent of OFW households allocated part of their remittances for education, 55.2 percent for medical expenses, 10.2 percent for the purchase of house, and 6.4 percent for the acquisition of motor vehicles.

BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said OFW households decided to save more as the spending outlook index of households on basic goods and services declined to 27.8 percent for the fourth quarter of 2016 from 30.2 percent in the previous quarter.

“This means that even as majority of respondents continued to expect higher spending on basic goods and services, the number that said so declined compared to a quarter ago, indicating that growth in consumer spending could slow down in the near term,” he said.

Guinigundo said respondents anticipated inflation to decline to 1.8 percent from 3.4 percent reflecting their lower inflation outlook over the next 12 months.

“This indicates that inflationary expectations are likely to moderate over the next 12 months as the number of respondents with views of higher inflation declined compared to a quarter ago,” he said.

Likewise, fewer respondents expected interest rates to increase.

The 3rd Quarter CES survey also showed the confidence of Filipino consumers turned positive for the first time in nine years as the confidence index soared to a new all-time high 2.5 percent in the third quarter from -6.4 percent in the second quarter.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

OFWs exempted from paying travel tax, POEA fees By Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 15, 2016 - 12:00am 5 2704 googleplus0 6


Overseas Filipino workers returning to their jobs or same employers abroad are now exempted from paying travel tax as well as securing overseas employment certificate and paying Philippine Overseas Employment Administration processing fee. File photo

MANILA, Philippines – Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) returning to their jobs or same employers abroad are now exempted from paying travel tax as well as securing overseas employment certificate (OEC) and paying Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) processing fee.

In a newly approved memorandum circular, the POEA said the new policy was in line with the government’s efforts to streamline the processing of OFWs’ documents.

In a related development, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said Filipino household service workers (HSWs) and other OFWs abroad could expect better protection as the International Labor Organization adopted the Fair Recruitment Principles and Operational Guidelines during a Tripartite Meeting of Experts in Geneva, Switzerland last week.

According to the POEA, Balik Manggagawa (BM) or returning workers’ group has long been calling on the government to enhance the processing of their OECs or exit clearance.

OFWs returning abroad are required to secure OECs prior to their departure.

POEA said workers who would be going back to the same employer could register online to update their personal and employment data with the POEA.

Data submitted to the POEA would be forwarded to the Bureau of Immigration to serve as reference of the BI officer in validating the exemption of BM members at the time of their departure.

POEA said the BM members would have to present valid work visa or employment contract so they could be exempted from paying terminal fee and travel tax.


TRIBUNE

Big nat’l budget for 2017 to sustain RP growth — DoF Written by Ed Velasco Thursday, 15 September 2016 00:00


DIOKNO

There is no other aim for the Duterte administration behind the huge 2017 budget of P3.35 trillion but to aspire for the Philippines to have a sustained economic growth, the leader of the current administration’s economic team said.

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the augmented spending for infrastructure and investment in human capital will definitely give the country the growth it missed due to other priorities.

“Higher government spending for infrastructure and investment in human capital is consistent with higher, sustained economic growth,” Diokno, who also headed the same department from 1998 to 2001, told the Daily Tribune.

In the 2017 national budget, the highest in the country’s history, four government agencies were given higher budget so they can perform well. They are Public Works, Education, Interior and Local Government and Health.

READ MORE...

Among the changes in the revised budget proposal was the discontinuation of the previous administration’s Bottom-Up Budgeting (BuB) scheme which was branded by watchdogs as a resurrection of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled Executive actions creating the DAP were unconstitutional and ordered its authors and its implementors to prove “good faith” in a proper tribunal.

Diokno said the BuB was a waste of public money since it was employed for political purposes.

Next year’s budget is also saddled with criticisms. One major criticism comes from the budget watchdog Social Watch Philippines which urged Diokno to name congressmen allied with President Rodrigo who have P80-million worth of projects.

In related development, lawmakers expressed concerns on the Department of Tourism’s proposed 2017 budget, which is 32 percent below the current P3.66 billion allocation.

Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin Drilon called on the DoT to repeal its proposed budget of P2.49 billion during the first round of committee meetings on the proposed 2017 budget of the agency.

The DBM earlier cited the previous DoT administration’s unspent funds for maintenance, as well as miscellaneous and other operating expenses as the cause for its appropriation of P2.49 billion for 2017.

-----------------------

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Go Hotels Davao targets MICE market By Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 18, 2016 - 12:00am 9 137 googleplus1 0


The facade of Go Hotels Lanang.

MANILA, Philippines - Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC) is positioning its newly opened Go Hotels branch in Davao City as a major player for meetings, incentives, conferences, events (MICE) and as a preferred destination of free independent travelers (FIT).

The company hopes to hitch a ride in the growth of Davao as a prime destination for MICE.

Robinsons Hotels and Resorts general manager Elizabeth Gregorio said the opening of the latest Go Hotels in Davao City is timely given the city’s growing prominence for MICE.

Go Hotels Davao has 183 rooms, the biggest provincial branch of the hotel chain to date. It also features a conference room with a seating capacity of 200 people.

Gregorio said such features are seen to appeal to the FIT market, which is tech-savvy and always on the lookout for the best deals when booking online.

Room rates range from a low P388 to P2,388 plus VAT per room night. As an added feature, Go Hotels also gives guests the opportunity to enjoy the same room at the lowest possible price if booked early.

Go Hotels Lanang-Davao, located along J.P. Laurel Avenue, is in close proximity to major malls such as SM Lanang and Robinsons Cybergate Davao while the airport is just twenty minutes away. It is also 20 to 30 minutes away from Samal Island.

Go Hotels Lanang-Davao is a joint venture between RLC’s Go Hotels and Udenna Development Corp., the real estate arm of Udenna Corp., the holding company owned by the Uy family, behind Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc.


PHILSTAR

Philippines seen outperforming Asean neighbors’ growth By Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 13, 2016 - 12:00am 0 4 googleplus0 0


The Philippines is expected to have the fastest growth for the second year in a row among the five major economies of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN-5) in 2017. File photo

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines is expected to have the fastest growth for the second year in a row among the five major economies of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN-5) in 2017.

Philippine Ambassador to France Ma. Theresa Lazaro presented recently the annual Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India during the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit in Vientiane, Laos.

Lazaro said that among the ASEAN-5 countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam – the Philippines and Vietnam received the best growth forecasts for next year.

“The economies of Philippines and Vietnam are expected to grow by 6.1 percent,” she said.

The OECD Economic Outlook is an annual publication on Asia’s regional economic growth, development and regional integration process. It focuses on the economic conditions of the ASEAN-member countries as well as the relevant economic issues in China and India in order to reflect economic developments in the region.

“Steady economic growth is expected to continue in the region in 2017,” Lazaro said.

The Philippines is co-chair of the Economic Outlook until 2018, coinciding with the country’s chairmanship of the ASEAN summits in 2017.

---------------------------

RELATED FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

‘Ultra-rich’ to be taxed 35% posted September 14, 2016 at 11:55 pm by Gabrielle H. Binaday


Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez

The ‘ultra-rich’ or those earning P5 million or more annually will be taxed 35 percent of their income under the proposed tax reform package, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said Wednesday.

Dominguez said those earning over P5 million annually would be taxed a high of 35 percent under tax reform proposal which would be submitted to Congress before the end of the month.

“For the highest income earners, which are those earning P5 million and above, we are planning to increase that from 32 [percent] to 35 percent,” Dominguez told reporters at the sidelines of the oath-taking ceremony for newly appointed officials of the Finance Department.

Dominguez said the ‘ultra-rich’ would face higher taxes, so that the government could ease the tax burden on those earning less. “For those who earn less than P3 million [a year], [the income tax rate] will go down, [they] will get a tax break,” Dominguez said.

Newly-appointed Finance undersecretary Antonette Tionko said those earning P3 million to P5 million a year would be taxed 32 percent, while those earning below P3 million twould be taxed 25 percent.

Tionko said those earning more than P5 million were considered ultra rich. “It’s very low, and actually if you’re earning P5 million and up, based on the World Bank data, you’re considered ultra rich,” Tionko said.

Tionko said the current seven tax brackets would be streamlined to about six or five brackets. The proposal is one of the five packages the Finance Department will present to Congress.

Package one includes the adjustment of brackets to correct income creeping; reduction of the personal income tax maximum rate to 25 percent over time, except for the highest income earners to maintain progressivity; and to shift to modified gross system to simplify the personal income tax system.

The department said along with the reduction in the personal income taxes, tax exemptions currently enjoyed by single, married and with dependents would be lifted.

“It means that basically, since the threshold, the lowest bracket is very high, we can do away with the exemptions, because when you have a child, you have to present evidence that you have a child at this age. It’s simplifying it, so the first bracket is high. So it’s gonna get covered already,” Tionko said.

The current tax system provides that single individuals and married individuals with no qualified dependents enjoy a P50,000 tax exemption annually while married individuals also enjoy P50,000 tax break and an additional P25,000 tax exemption for each qualified dependent up to four children.


PHILSTAR

Philippine-US economic relations safe from Duterte remarks By Prinz P. Magtulis (philstar.com) | Updated September 13, 2016 - 5:52pm 4 55 googleplus0 0


File photo

MANILA, Philippines -- Economic relations between the US and the Philippines are "unlikely" to suffer as a result of President Rodrigo Duterte's comments against the country's long-time ally, lender and development partner.

"(It's) unlikely to have impact," Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said in a text message on Tuesday.

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno agreed. "There is unlikely to be any problem since investors are usually looking at macrofundamentals," he said in a phone interview.

Admitting he is not a "fan" of the US, Duterte said Monday that he intentionally missed a summit with US President Barack Obama but not before he criticized the US president over the possibility of raising human rights issues in the Philippine government's war on drugs.

Obama, as a result, cancelled his first bilateral talks with Duterte, who, upon returning to the country also called for a pullout of US troops in Mindanao. A Palace spokesperson later on clarified that no official policy has been made to such effect.

According to separate official data, the US is the biggest source of equity foreign direct investment (FDI) last year, accounting for 61.8 percent of total at $271.72 million.

"Most investors will focus more on the economy's strong fundamentals. For as long as we are performing well, then that will be fine," Diokno said.

READ MORE...

The US is also the largest holder of Philippine debt at $13.29 billion, equivalent to 17.11 percent as of the first quarter this year, but the Budget official said even this should not be a cause of concern.

The country was also the second-biggest source of official development assistance (ODA) in 2014, and the government had already programmed 80 percent of its foreign borrowings from ODA next year.

Interest rates on money being lent, the budget chief said, will remain market-driven, adding that the bulk of Philippines' ODA come from Japan.

"Remember also that by next year we are sourcing minimal amount from foreign borrowings," Diokno said. Rates of existing ODA are normally fixed. 'US not a top source of remittances' In terms of overseas Filipino remittances, he explained that while data would show US as top source, this is in fact a "misnomer".

Central bank figures showed 32 percent or $4.28 billion of total remittances as of the first semester coming from the world's superpower.

"The reality is that most remittances are just coursed through the US, particularly New York, because of the banks," Diokno said.

"But, actually, our primary remittance source is the Middle East," he added. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas takes note of such practice on its database.

Diokno, however, did not comment on the country's trade relations with the US, which is the second-biggest export destination and fourth-biggest source of imports.

He however maintained that the Duterte administration's economic program remains intact.

"We continue to see strong economic performance," Diokno said.


PHILSTAR

US-Phl relations: Not personal but country’s interest SPYBITS By Babe G. Romualdez (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 15, 2016 - 12:00am 0 10 googleplus0 0


SEPTEMBER 15 -PHOTO FROM WIKIPEDIA:

It was bad enough the country lost the opportunity to interact with a close ally like the United States during the ASEAN Summit in Laos, but now people are even more shocked by President Rodrigo Duterte's pronouncements that he wants American troops out of Mindanao.

The president is blaming the US for the situation in Mindanao which experts noted has become a training ground, if not a safe haven for foreign terrorists, in particular the Islamic State (ISIS) that has intensified its recruitment activities in Southeast Asia.


Francisco Ashley Acedillo Master of Management, AIM FROM LINKEDin

Intelligence sources are also pointing to the possibility of the southern Philippines becoming the next “wilayat” or province of ISIS. As pointed out by former Magdalo party list representative and security expert Ashley Acedillo, southern Philippines is part of the so-called Sulu-Sabah-Sulawesi triangle that is being exploited by terrorists and traffickers as entry/exit points due to the porous borders.

Cabinet officials are trying to “contextualize” the president’s statements by claiming it was an expression of concern for the safety of the Americans who could be targeted by the Abu Sayyaf Group. US soldiers know how to take care of themselves and, in fact, there has not been any report of American military being abducted in Mindanao.

READ MORE...

Philippine military officials cannot really comment about the issue, but many admitted being “stunned” because the US troops have been providing valuable technical assistance to the AFP and more importantly, humanitarian aid as attested to by the almost tearful plea of local officials in Sulu and Basilan for the president to reconsider his statement.

A disaster-prone country like the Philippines needs all the help it can get from allies like the US whose military transport assets could be utilized for search and rescue, medical evacuation, dropping of relief goods and other humanitarian and disaster-relief activities — as seen when the country was devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda.

Some argue the presence of American military in Mindanao makes the Philippines a target of terrorists — but look at the example of France that has been the target of recent terrorist attacks. As noted by Acedillo, France adopted a “live and let live” stance with some areas even becoming “safe havens” for terrorists. The French government also distanced itself from the US war on terrorism. Yet France still became a target of terrorists who accused it of showing “partiality” to America.

“The same thing could happen to us,” warned the former soldier. Assuming we let go of our alliance with the Americans, it won’t be long before these extremists come up with another grievance as an excuse to target locals which they are in fact doing, kidnapping and beheading an 18-year-old Filipino last month.

PERSONAL OR FOR THE COUNTRY

Is it possible the president is using this anti-US stance to appease the Chinese and get them to be more open in discussing mutual concerns without the baggage of our close ties with the United States?

If that is the strategy, then we certainly hope he succeeds. But if the issue seems to be personal, then the president should start reconsidering because he is no longer speaking for himself but for 110 million Filipinos — a very large majority of whom believe the US is still our best ally judging from the comments received by the Philippine STAR in reaction to the headline the other day.

Looming infra boom

The government’s commitment to “redouble” improvements on infrastructure has boosted the confidence of businessmen who took part in the recent forum on the future of infrastructure in the Philippines. Spearheaded by Euromoney Seminars and IJGlobal, “

The Philippines Energy and Infrastructure Finance Forum 2016” held at the plush Fairmont hotel in Makati centered on the bullish infrastructure development plans of the administration, the opportunities and challenges present in the power industry, and the emerging role of renewable energy.

Not surprisingly, discussions on the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program in the segment dubbed as “Maximizing opportunities in roads and railways” generated a lot of interest among participants and key resource persons that include Andre Palacios, former PPP Center director; Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. president and CEO Rodrigo Franco; Private Infra Development Corp. CFO Myrna Reinoso; Acciona Infraestructuras’ Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia Business Development director Nicholas Wall; and Obrascon Huarte Lain, S.A. director for Asia Pacific Francisco Moreno.

Discussions touched on the modifications by the past administration that continue to remain relevant, and the proposed changes by the current administration such as those relating to risk mitigation. Areas for collaboration between local and foreign developers were also tackled as well as the possibility of obtaining foreign funding for PPP projects.

The OHL team of Moreno — who recently paid a courtesy visit on Public Works Secretary Mark Villar — forged key strategic partnerships with Ayala Corp.’s AC Infrastructure Holdings and also Aboitiz Equity Ventures in some projects. OHL recognizes the importance of infrastructure in jumpstarting a country’s wellbeing and economic growth, and they are looking at railway projects that would help spur economic activity in many areas of the country.

According to Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, the government is preparing to roll out 14 railways projects worth P1 trillion, most of which will be in urban centers in Luzon as well as Cebu, Mindanao and of course, Metro Manila where traffic congestion seems to have become the new normal.


BY BABE ROMUALDEZ

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RELATED FROM GMA NEWS ONLINE

FIRST MEETING UNDER DUTERTE ADMIN NEDA Board approves P171.14B worth of projects Published September 15, 2016 6:21pm


PERNIA

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board approved nine projects worth P171.14 billion during its first meeting under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte on September 14.

“Once implemented and completed, these approved projects will help attain our medium- and long-term development goals of making the agricultural sector competitive, improving mobility by making our transport system safer and more efficient, increasing disaster resiliency, and improving health services ,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said in an emailed statement on Thursday.

The nine projects set to be completed within the next six years include:

•The P10.2-billion Inclusive Partnership for Agricultural Competitiveness (IPAC) under the Department of Agriculture (DA)

•The P2.4-billion Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center Modernization (EVRMC) Project of the Department of Health (DOH) 

•The P2.2-billion Modernization of Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital, also under the DOH 

•The P23.5-billion Metro Manila Flood Management Project, Phase I of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA)

•The P37.8-billion Metro Manila Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)-EDSA of the Department of Transportation (DOTr)

•The P4.8-billion expansion of the Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) Area of the Bicol International Airport, a joint project of the DOTr and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP)

•The P7.4-billion change in the scope of the New Bohol Airport Construction and Sustainable Environment Protection Project, also under the DOTr and CAAP

•The P74.6-billion Ninoy Aquino International Airport public-private partnership (PPP)

•The P8-billion Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project for the PCG, Phase II of the DOTr and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)

NEDA Board revamp 

The NEDA Board is expected to halved its members to 11 from 22.

The Board will be reduced to the following members: the President, the secretaries of NEDA, DOF, DTI, DPWH, DBM, DOTr, DOE, the Executive Secretary, the chairperson of MINDA, and the central bank deputy governor.

The NEDA Board Executive Committee composed of the President, the secretaries of NEDA, DOF, DBM, and the Executive Secretary will be reactivated.

“These changes in membership will still be formalized through an Administrative Order or Memorandum Order. Through Executive Order 230, the President is empowered to modify the membership of the NEDA Board whenever deemed necessary,” NEDA said. — Jon Viktor Cabuenas/VDS, GMA News


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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