Economic performance and Indicators – September 2018

ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE AND INDICATORS – September 2018

Gross Domestic Product economic indicators

• The Philippine’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) slows down by 6 percent in the second quarter of the year. GDP grew by 6.8 percent in the first quarter of the year.

• NEDA has attributed the slowdown to policy decisions which would promote sustainable and resilient development.

• The growth in the 2nd quarter of the year was mainly driven by Manufacturing, Trade, and construction.

Trade / Exports / Imports

• The Philippines’ total external trade in goods In July 2018 reached US$15.25 billion, indicating an increase of 17.5 percent from US$12.97 billion recorded during the same month in 2017.

• From January to July, total imports payments went up by 15.7 percent to US$61.234 billion in 2018 from US$52.923 billion in 2016, whereas, total export receipts shrank by 2.8 percent at US$38.744 billion in 2018 from US$39.869 billion in 2017.

• The country’s balance of trade in goods (BoT-G) yielded a US$22.49 billion deficit in January to July 2017, 72.3 percent bigger than the US$13.055 billion trade gap in same period of 2017.

Inflation

• The headline inflation rate at the national level further accelerated by 6.4 percent in August 2018. In the previous month, inflation was posted at 5.7 percent and in August 2017, 2.6 percent.

• The indices of the following commodity groups recorded higher annual increases during the month: Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages (8.5%); Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (21.6%); Furnishing, Housing Equipment (3.5%); Health and Restaurant and Miscellaneous Goods and Services (4.0%); and Recreation and Culture (2.4).

Employment

• As of July 2018, the unemployment rate was estimated at 5.4 percent. The unemployment rate in July 2017 was 5.6 percent.

• Estimates showed that 94.6 percent of the labour force population were employed in July, a slight increase from 94.4 percent last year.

Budget (Revenues and Expenditure)

• From January to June, government revenue collections vis-à-vis spending narrowed fiscal deficit to US$3.5 Billion, due to improved collections thanks to the new tax reform law (TRAIN law).

• Revenue collections reached US$26 Billion in the first half of the year.

• Government disbursements reached US$29.6 Billion or 20 percent higher than the US$24.6 Billion in the same period in 2017.

Foreign Direct Investment / Portfolio Investment

• For the first semester of the year, Foreign direct investments (FDI) grew by 165 percent to US$14.5 billion from US$5.5 billion for the same period in 2017, reflecting continued confidence of investors in the Philippine economy.

• By country, Indonesia topped all foreign investors with US$118 million, followed by Japan with US$48 million and China with US$16 million worth of investments.

Foreign Exchange Reserves

• The country’s foreign exchange reserves buffer improved to US$77 billion in August, up 1.4 percent from July’s US$76 billion.

• As of end-August, the Bangko Sentral has foreign investments of US$61.68 billion, higher than the previous month’s US$60.74 billion. Gold reserves however fell to US$7.62 billion from US$7.78 billion in July.

Remittances

• Data from Bangko Sentral showed that money sent by OFWs recovered in July this year. OFW personal remittances grew by 4.5 percent in July to US$2.7 billion. On a cumulative basis, personal remittances grew by 3 percent year-on-year to US$18.5 billion.

• More than 79 percent of total cash remittances came from the US, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Singapore, Japan, UK, Qatar, Canada, Germany, and Hong Kong.

• There are currently 10 million overseas Filipinos worldwide.

• From January to July 2018, cash remittances from the UK to the Philippines increased by 9.9 percent at US$ 856,256,000 from US$ 799,049,000 for the same period in 2017. The UK remains the top source of overseas Filipino remittances in Europe, representing 35.36 % of the total remittances from the region.

Tourists

tourism

scene of beach in coron, philippines

• First semester tourist arrivals increased by 10.4 percent (or 3.7 million), compared to the 3.3 million arrivals recorded for the same period last year.

• Despite the closure of Boracay, tourism officials are confident that the year-end target of 7.5 million arrivals will be achieved.

• Arrivals from the UK have reached 89,782 within the first five months of this year. The UK still ranks as the 8th top visitor market for the Philippines.

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Asia Diversity Summit 2018

Asia Diversity Summit 2018, presented by Teletech, on September 25 (a full day event) at the Manila Marriott. REGISTER HERE.

Asia Diversity Summit establishes Philippines among the elite nations of the world that recognize and support diversity and inclusion in business and society.

Asia Diversity Summit recognizes the millions of people who still live in shame and fear because of the special way they were put on this earth. Help us spread the word that ALL people can reach their highest limits by their personal contributions and not be hindered by their personal orientations.

Long known for being caring and supportive, Filipinos are leading the way in Asia in harnessing the special abilities and commitments of diverse people. Large organizations in Philippines already report LGBTQ employee participation rates as high as 20 and 30 percent.

Asia Diversity Summit features pioneering leaders speaking on inclusion strategies, common challenges and future opportunities in establishing your organization as world class.

ASIA DIVERSITY SUMMIT 2018

Be with us for Asia Diversity Summit to make your organization a truly open and inclusive one for all people — especially those who identify themselves as a bit different.
Be with us for Asia Diversity Summit 2018, presented by Teletech, on Tuesday, September 25 (9:00am – 4:30pm) at the Manila Marriott. REGISTER HERE. The cost is Php5,000 and includes 5-star Marriott lunch and hors d’oeuvres (Php6,000 if paid at the door).

Speakers for Asia ECOMM Summit 2018 include:

Arthur NowakArthur Nowak
Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific Operations
Teletech

PRESENTER: Arthur is President and General Manager of the Teletech operations Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand entities. He is also global head of Training and Leadership Development responsible for building the skills of over 50,000 employees in the world.

Geraldine RomanGeraldine Roman
Congresswoman
Republic of the Philippines

PRESENTER: Geraldine is the first openly transgender women elected to the Congress of the Philippines. She is representative of the 1st District of Bataan following the 2016 Philippine elections. Geraldine is helping the poor by awarding scholarships and pushing for anti-discrimination laws.

Randy Estrellado Randy Estrellado
Chief Operating Officer
Maynilad Water

PRESENTER: Randy oversees one of the nation’s largest utility companies. He was previously the company’s high-regarded and long-term CFO. Randy has an MBA from Harvard and was previously CFO for Metro Pacific Investments and ABS-CBN Broadcasting.

Jimmy NguyenJimmy Nguyen
Chief Executive Officer
nChain Group

PRESENTER: Jimmy’s mission is to enable massive growth of the Bitcoin network focusing on Bitcoin Cash as the true Bitcoin. The nChain group of companies consists of world-class scientific research, engineering and other professionals primarily based in London, United Kingdom and Vancouver, Canada.

Kate CordovaKate Cordova
Member
Philippine Country Coordinating Mechanism of Global Fund

PRESENTER: Kate is one of the nation’s most prominent promoters of transgender issues. She is the key force behind the Association of Transgenders in the Philippines. Kate also manages a motivated group of talented people at Capital One Philippines Support Services.

Boy AbundaBoy Abunda
TV Host
King of Talk

PRESENTER: is a Filipino television host, publicist, talent manager and celebrity endorser. He has been dubbed as the King-of-Talk in local show business.

Mark LwinMark Lwin
CEO and General Manager
AIG Philippines Insurance, AIG Shared Services (Philippines)

PRESENTER: Mark is unique in that he oversees 2 demanding business operations: AIG Insurance (in the day) and AIG Shared Services (in the night). He is recent winner of the Expatriate Executive of the Year at Asia CEO Awards.

Brian TenorioBrian Tenorio
Chair and Founder
The Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce

PRESENTER: Brian is currently an International Consultant for Branding and Design at the Asian Development Bank and a Design and Communications Consultant at the World Health Organization. He also chairs the Designers for Development Network New York. All this while heading his business in coffee+culture in the Philippines, Kape Coffee Co. and Tenorium Ent, his multi-disciplinary design agency in Manila.

Mark WoolfreyMark Woolfrey
Executive General Manager
QBE Group (Global Shared Services Center)

PRESENTER: Mark leads a high-profile operation with 3 sites in Manila and Cebu, providing a range of high value services supporting 34 countries across Australia / New Zealand, Asia, Europe and North American Operations. He previously ran shared services operations for ANZ Bank.

John NichollsJohn Nicholls
Former COO
HSBC Philippines

PRESENTER: John is one of the region’s most senior banking executives with senior experience throughout the world (UK, Russia, Brazil, Peru, Azerbaijan, Taiwan, UAE, Philippines). He actively supports multiple social advocacies – corporate responsibility; diversity and inclusion; mentor to graduates working as public school teachers.

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Philippine Economic Briefing – London

Philippine Economic Briefing – London

25th September at 09.00

According to the World Bank the Philippines is one of the most dynamic economies in East Asia and Pacific Region having had sustained annual growth over the past five years of 6.3 per cent.

makati philippines

Makati city skyline. Makati city is one of the most developed business district of metro Manila and the entire Philippines.

At this briefing, key members of the Philippines Cabinet including the Finance, Budget and Trade ministers will be discussing the key macroeconomic and infrastructure developments.

This UK-ASEAN organised briefing will provide an in-depth insight into the Philippine government’s plans for the economy and the market’s potential for international investors.

The World Bank predicts that the Philippine economy will continue its expansionary path and grow at an annual rate of 6.7 per cent in both 2018 and 2019 making it one the strongest performers among major developing economies.

The World Bank puts this performance down to increasing urbanisation, a growing middle-income class, and a large and young population. The Philippines’ economic dynamism is rooted in strong consumer demand supported by improving real incomes and robust remittances. Business activities are buoyant with notable performance in the services sector including the Business Process Outsourcing, real estate, and finance and insurance industries.

The economy is currently growing at its potential but it’s investment growth hinges on the government’s ability to effectively and timely implement its ambitious public investment program.

This briefing is a chance to hear an in-depth update on the Philippine macroeconomic and infrastructure development agendas from key figures of the Philippine cabinet listed below:

Finance Secretary       Carlos G. Dominguez III
Socioeconomic Secretary        Ernesto M. Pernia
Budget Secretary       Benjamin E. Diokno
Trade Secretary          Ramon M. Lopez
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor           Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr.
Transportation Secretary         Arthur P. Tugade
Public Works and Highways Secretary         Mark A. Villar
Energy Secretary          Alfonso G. Cusi
Bases Conversion and Development Authority President & CEO      Vivencio B. Dizon

The presentations will cover:

Philippine Macroeconomic Developments
Philippine Infrastructure Development Agenda

To express an interest in participation please email ‘events@ukabc.org.uk‘. This event is being organised by the Republic of the Philippines.

 

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Philippines Guide Books – The Best

Finding the Philippines guide books – the best – is a must now that the travel industry has discovered the delights of the Philippines. For a long while the Philippines has been one of the best kept secrets to those in the know. Fantastic people, great cities, beautiful scenery and beaches – it has it all. But how do you research a visit to the Philippines to get the best out of your time there? The best Philippines Guide Books, of course.
We have selected two guide books out of the not so many that are available for the Philippines. Whatever your reason for going there, either of these books are widely available and comprehensively cover the country from all angles.  You can easily buy them from Amazon here.white boat on tropical bantayan island in philippines

There is a massive amount of information available for travel planning these days. So we suggest first considering what your specific needs are before jumping into your research and planning. Start with a few general questions:
• Are you interested mostly in weather information, and information on health issues, visas, hotels, restaurants and shopping opportunities?
• Do you need historical and cultural background information for your travel?
• Perhaps you are looking for detailed guides to museums, art, and architecture?
• Looking for the best resorts and beaches?
• Or, do you simply need a general overview of the country you are about to visit?
Some guidebooks are good for planning your trip but not necessarily for carrying around because of their weight.
The two we would recommend are Lonely Planet and The Rough Guides.

Lonely Planet Guides

They not only offer the best guidebooks, but they literally “cover the planet”. Ask any travellers to southeast Asia and they’ll tell you that Lonely Planet is their bible. Lonely Planet guides are packed with information, they’re compact and easy to carry, and they are updated regularly. Be sure you get the most current edition, though, if possible. You can also access the many of the Lonely Planet Guides’ e-book version through Amazon Prime. With a Kindle version you can download any number of these guides and have them handy on the road.

Lonely Planet guides cover general history and give good detail about the places to visit. The ‘Getting There and Away’ sections are always good for the border crossings. Plenty of simple maps to give you an idea of where you are, and of course they always hunt out the cheapo cafes with the best mango drinks.
Use the prices as a reference point only, as some of the guides can be a few years old, and a lot can change overnight. Some Lonely Planet recommendations might even have closed down.
Some people consider they may have lost a little of their buzz but Lonely Planet are still concise and informative even if they are no way near as up-to-date as you would like. They’ve also recently updated their Philippines editions. Whatever you say about Lonely Planet you cannot deny that they are still the number one choice for many casual travellers thanks to their range of titles, easy-to-understand info and details of all the best spots for backpackers to hang out.

Rough Guides

Rough Guides were started by Mark Ellingham in 1981. While traveling in Greece he met Martin Dunford, who was in Greece teaching English at the time, and on their return to the UK Mark, Martin and a small group of writers created their own guidebook series that aimed to combine a journalistic approach to description with a practical approach to travellers’ needs. The series was initially aimed at low-budget backpackers but have since evolved to recommend off-the-beaten path suggestions for travellers on all budgets.

Rough Guides may be not so good on the map score, but I found the music section and other cultural snippets more worthwhile than some of the opinionated comments in Lonely Planet.
They’ve earnt their reputation as backpacker’s choice thanks to their focus on budget selections. Rough Guides also offer maps and phrase books in addition to their guidebooks.

 

&nbs

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