PH needs more reforms to maintain bright growth outlook
Birgit Hansl, World Bank’s lead economist

WORLD Bank is confident that the Philippines will remain among East Asia and the Pacific’s fastest-growing economies despite lingering uncertainty abroad and over “the ultimate direction of macroeconomic policy” under the new administration that assumed office last July but more reforms maybe needed to maintain the status.

In its latest Philippine Economic Update report, titled “Outperforming the Region and Managing the Transition,” the WB retained its Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) growth projections of 6.4% for this year.

The figure practically matched forecasts earlier given by the International Monetary Fund and Asian Development Bank.…

Read more: PH needs more reforms to maintain bright growth outlook

 PH moves to ratify WTO’s trade deal

DESPITE the obvious aversion of President Rodrigo Duterte to some international groups like the United Nations and the European Union that promote the implementation of an established and efficient world order, the Philippine government is reportedly inching closer to ratifying the new Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

Business analysts say the accord is expected not only to significantly reduce the costs of trading, but will also boost global merchandise exports by up to $1 trillion yearly.

Palace sources said that the re-endorsement of the World Trade Organization’s TFA agreement had already been transmitted by the Department of Foreign Affairs to the…

Read more: PH moves to ratify WTO’s trade deal

Tax reform package faces hurdles

IT MIGHT appear pro-poor on the surface but the tax reform package submitted by the Department of Finance (DOF) before Congress recently could actually be carrying some anti-poor venom beneath it.

As a result, some lawmakers would not give assurance to the DOF that the proposed measure will have a smooth sailing during its deliberations at the Lower House.

Quirino Representative Dakila Carlo Cua, who chairs the House committee on ways and means however said it might be difficult to pass the package especially those concerning raising excise taxes on oil and other products.

At the core of the proposed…

Read more: Tax reform package faces hurdles

Tired of Corruption

REPORTS abound that murder cases are up in the Philippines. Personally, I cannot find any accurate number on cases because data varies from sources to sources.

This gives a feeling of being in 2012 all over again when authorities tried to deliberately downplay the crime situation by reporting only 51,000 cases for crimes against persons which was pretty low for a population of 98 million.  

The very next year it was up 245,821 and then 258,444 for 2014.  Those numbers seemed more realistic.  

Although a lot of numbers are being thrown around, these huge kill numbers still need…

Read more: Tired of Corruption

Telco duopoly leads to poorer connectivity

WHEN San Miguel announced late last year that it was partnering with Telstra of Australia to form a local telecommunication firm, consumers were delighted that at last they had another choice for service provider.

But the euphoria was too short as San Miguel aborted the deal despite a franchise granted it by Congress.

The official reason given on the termination of the deal was a disagreement over the terms for return on investment for Telstra but the real cause was actually the pressure exerted by telecom giants PLDT and Globe to block their entry in the market.

The telecom giants…

Read more: Telco duopoly leads to poorer connectivity

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