Philippine government sees economy growing around 6.5% for 2023

Even though HSBC and the World Bank revealed their own 2023 economic growth forecasts for the Philippines to be below 6%, the national government still sees the economy growing around 6.5% this year, according to a recent Manila Bulletin news report.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Manila Bulletin news report. Some parts in boldface…

The Philippine government expects a strong full-year gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2022, most likely much faster than its growth target of 6.5 to 7.5 percent, Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Benjamin Diokno said here on Jan. 16 (Switzerland time).

Diokno said this during a Monday luncheon hosted for President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Philippine chief executive officers (CEOs) in Davos, Switzerland.

In addition, Diokno said the Philippine economy is seen to “grow by around 6.5 percent this year” due to the expected slowdown of the global economy.

“And that’s still one of the highest, if not the highest, growth projection in the Asia-Pacific Region,” he said.

According to Diokno, the country’s bustling manufacturing sector, record-low unemployment, and stable and resilient banking system can alleviate buffers against external headwinds, all indicating a resilient economy.

Further, opening economic sectors to foreign equity, improving the ease of doing business, and allowing modern transformative industries to take root and grow will sustain the economy.

At the same time, the Finance chief said the Marcos government has created a more competitive and enabling environment through public-private partnership (PPP) to expand further the Build, Better, More infrastructure agenda of the administration.

Diokno said this would further boost investments on top of the government’s goal to spend at least five to six percent of GDP on infrastructure, stressing all these form the backbone for the rapid and sustained growth of the Philippines.

But because of the current challenges, he said the Philippines is taking the first steps toward launching the Maharlika Investment Fund, the country’s first-ever sovereign wealth fund that will support the goals set by the administration in the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this new development? Do you believe that the Philippines’ economic fundamentals are strong enough to keep the economy growing around 6.5% this year? Do you think that the tourism industry alone will be a major driving force of economic growth and earning foreign currency? Apart from the announced Maharlika Investment Fund (sovereign wealth fund) new economic initiatives do you want to see from President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. If you want to support my website, please consider making a donation. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/.

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Muntinlupa City Mayor clarifies issue about P1.2 billion standby loan from Landbank

If you are a local resident of Muntinlupa City, were you a recipient of circulating text messages about a certain loan worth over a billion Pesos that was allegedly used by City Government? Recently, Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi clarified the issue, according to a Manila Bulletin news report.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Manila Bulletin report. Some parts in boldface…

Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi refuted claims by his detractors that the city government already used a P1.2 billion standby loan from Landbank of the Philippines.

In March 2021, the Muntinlupa City Council passed an ordinance authorizing Fresnedi to enter into a loan agreement with Landbank in the amount of P1.2 billion to fund various projects.

During the flag raising ceremony at the Muntinlupa City hall quadrangle on March 7, Fresnedi reiterated that the city government has not availed of the standby loan.

“The Muntinlupa City government gave us the authorization to get a loan from Landbank. As of Dec. 31, our ending balance [at Landbank] is more than P2 billion. The [Landbank] manager said we have not availed of our standby loan. This means we have not taken any [amount from the standby loan],” said Fresnedi.

Fresnedi clarified the issue after text messages circulated claiming that the city government already got the loan from Landbank.

Landbank earlier issued a certification stating that the Muntinlupa City government has not availed of the loan.

“This is to certify that per records of this office, City Government of Muntinlupa has no outstanding drawdown as of December 31, 2021,” according to a certification issued by Landbank and signed by Lani Pornuevo, head of the Loan Operations Management Department.

Fresnedi said getting a loan is not a bad thing. He said when he assumed office during his first ever term as mayor, the city government took out a loan and used it to construct the Ospital ng Muntinlupa.

“Please remember, getting a loan is not bad when it is used in the right way,” he said.

The mayor said if ever the city government avails of the standby loan from Landbank, it will be used to fund ongoing projects of the city government.

In fact, he said, Landbank has sent two letters to the Muntinlupa City government to remind it about the standby loan.

According to Fresnedi, the standby loan is a program of the national government for economic recovery. The standby loan carries an interest of four percent per year.

“But what the city government needs to pay, if ever we avail of the loan, is only two percent per annum. The other two percent will be paid by the national government,” he said.

He said this is being done to help businesses to run and to help people get jobs, which are part of the national government’s national economic recovery plan.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Muntinlupa City resident, what do you think about the mayor’s clarification? Were the details explained well by him? Do you personally believe that the LGU (local government unit) should always be scrutinized over any loan it takes?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: EastWest Bank employees and partners receive protection through FilVax COVID-19 vaccination program

Are you looking for something inspiring or interesting during this pandemic? Check this out…EastWest, a major bank here in the Philippines, had its employees and the personnel of its partners vaccinated for COVID-19 recently.

The EastWest logo.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from EastWest’s announcement sent to me via email. Some parts in boldface…

We’re glad to announce that we’ve now made an important step in fighting COVID-19 by vaccinating our employees and partners across the Philippines!

Last August 3, EastWest and its parent company Filinvest Development Corporation had launched FilVax, a conglomerate-wide vaccination program. Our EastWest employees, janitorial services, drivers, messengers, security guards, and other partners had begun receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine at its supersite in Festival Mall in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, with more sites to be launched across the country soon after. This is part of the 100,000-dose order of the Filinvest Group, and is open to all of EastWest’s employees and partners nationwide, beginning with the bank’s frontliners. We are aiming for full vaccination of our employees by this October.

The vaccination program is the latest initiative in our efforts to protect our customers and employees from COVID-19, which include regular sanitization and disinfection of stores, a remote working setup for employees, and private shuttles for employees reporting for work in our stores. With these efforts, your safety and our uninterrupted service for all your banking needs continue to be our top priority.

It’s nice to see that EastWest made moves to protect its workforce plus other personnel from the dreaded effects of COVID-19. This means it is safe to visit their bank branches and do over-the-counter transactions. Moves like this one is key to help the nation’s economy recover. EastWest and its FilVax program deserve admiration. Getting vaccinated is truly essential!

Meanwhile residents of Muntinlupa City who remain unregistered and unvaccinated should make a move to get registered by learning the ways to do it. Those who are prepared (with personal information available) and willing to go through online registration for the free vaccines in Muntinlupa are encouraged to click https://vaccine.muntinlupacity.gov.ph/muncovac/

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction about EastWest Bank employees and partners getting vaccinated for COVID-19? Do you bank regularly at EastWest? How many EastWest banks are there in your local area right now?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: Online stockbroker predicts PSE index to reach 8,100 level by the end of 2021

With the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) all set to take effect all over Metro Manila for two weeks starting August 6, a lot of people are disturbed about what lies ahead. For one thing, there is the highly infectious Delta variant spreading nationwide. There is also the potential economic damage and the effects ECQ will have on many workers.

And then there is the local stock exchange. While many investors are constantly looking on different directions and varied factors to decide what to do with their respective investments, the COL Financial Group recently revised its end-of-the-year estimate for the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) but their new prediction still points to a higher count than what the current index shows.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Philippine News Agency (PNA) article. Some parts in boldface…

Online stockbroker COL Financial Group expects the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) to end the year at 8,100, slightly lower than previously projected, supported by optimism for faster economic recovery and earnings growth.

COL chief equity strategist April Lynn Tan said their forecast for PSEi has been reduced from 8,300 considering the lower earnings incurred by property companies as their mall operations are affected most by the implementation of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

The National Capital Region (NCR) will be placed under the most restrictive ECQ from Aug. 6 to 20 to prevent the spread of the more infectious Delta coronavirus variant.

This, after the one implemented from May 17 to April 13, 2021 to stem the country’s coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) surge.

We cut our earnings forecast and fair value estimates for the property companies given that they are part of a lot of the big holding companies that also dragged our fair value estimates. (But) an 8,100 target is still significantly higher from where we are today. That is why, we keep on saying that the negatives are priced in,” Tan said in a virtual press briefing Monday.

She said companies are “coping well” with the pandemic, adding that almost all sectors, except the property sector, reported higher year-on-year earnings.

“The reason why companies were able to deliver higher profits in the first quarter of this year compared to last year even though we are still in the pandemic is because they have adapted to the pandemic scenario by cutting cost and of course they also benefited from the lower tax rate, thanks to the CREATE (Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives) law,” Tan said.

President Rodrigo Duterte last March 26 signed into law the CREATE Act reducing the corporate income tax rate by 5 to 10 percent for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and other corporations.

Moreover, Tan said they remain bullish of the stock market on the back of efficient vaccination efforts and inflation reaching its peak.

Predicting the future is very unpredictable no matter what category gets discussed. Remember when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) predicted a brighter post-Olympics future for the city of Rio de Janeiro in relation to hosting the 2016 Summer Olympic Games? What happened after Rio Olympics were lots of unfulfilled promises, deteriorating facilities and a lot of embarrassment.

Going back to Philippine stocks, the COL Financial Group showed lots of details in their explanations of their 8,100 index end-of-2021 prediction. They were right to point to the CREATE Law which itself was a factor in the spike of foreign direct investments (FDI) in the country last April. The CREATE Law effectively reduced the corporate income tax rates for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). From this point on, it is interesting to see how the CREATE Law will impact the national economy and the local stock exchange in the months to come.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are an investor, what can you say about COL Financial Group’s end-of-the-year prediction for the Philippine Stock Exchange? Are you confident that the economic stakeholders, the businesses and investors will emerge stronger starting with the end of the next ECQ period until the end of the year? Is the CREATE Law positively impacting your business and/or investments?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa City Government grants zero-interest loan to 112 “Muntipreneurs” to help them recover amid pandemic

In a bid to assist local businesses and revive the stalled local economy brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the City Government of Muntinlupa has provided zero-interest loan to MSMEs and micro-entrepreneurs dubbed as “Muntipreneurs.”

Specifically the City Government assisted at least 112 micro-entrepreneurs through its Tulong Negosyo Program (formerly Dagdag Puhunan) and has distributed P2,762,000 cash assistance from March to September 2020. Muntinlupa City is the first LGU to introduce the micro-financing program.

Tulong Negosyo caters to MSMEs and provides micro finance assistance which ranges from P2,000 up to P150,000 depending on the business capital ceiling and payment record of beneficiaries. The program aims to provide additional capital for business expansion for aspiring and established business owners in Muntinlupa.

On September 23, Mayor Jaime Fresnedi led a turn-over ceremony of loan assistance amounting to P990,000.00 to 28 Tulong Negosyo Batch 116 beneficiaries in Muntinlupa City Hall. Among the beneficiaries, three local entrepreneurs received P100,000 each while one member received P150,000.

Fresnedi vows to continue the program and assist Muntipreneurs especially in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. The mayor hopes to revive the local economy by support grassroot players through various programs.

Recently, the loan repayment period was extended by three months for clients with existing loans from March to June 2020 in a bid to help them recover from losses due to the pandemic.

Tulong Negosyo program has three categories namely: Simulang Kapital (SIKAP) Pangkabuhayan with loan application amounting to P2,000 – P5,000, Asenso Loan Program amounting to P6,000 – P75,000, and Maunlad Loan Program amounting to P75,000 – P150,000.

Further, a Savings Program has been incorporated in the loan assistance to teach clients about the importance of economizing and serve as protection to the clients and the program. Entrepreneurial education through trainings and other related interventions are also conducted.

Due to the ongoing health crisis, the Tulong Negosyo has implemented Online Application services and cashless repayment system through Smart Padala and G-Cash.

To apply, visit Joint Resources Financing Program – JRF Facebook Page or click the following links: New Applications – bit.ly/TulongNegosyoNew, and Renewal – bit.ly/TulongNegosyoRenewal. The Muntinlupa Joint Resources Financing Program is located at 2F Plaza Central, Brgy. Poblacion with contact numbers 8772-3457and (0921) 888 6124.

Muntinlupa City is hailed the country’s Most Business-Friendly LGU in 2017-2018 by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

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Latest City Government of Muntinlupa details sourced from their official media release. Some parts were edited for this website.

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, no distorted views and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.