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Economic Performance and Indicators July 2017


Gross Domestic Product

  • The Philippine economy expanded by 6.4 percent in the first quarter of 2017, down from 6.9 percent the previous year.
  • This figure missed the government forecast of 7%. The services and industry sectors – the major contributors to the economy – both slowed in the first quarter. Agriculture, on the other hand, was able to grow 4.9%, turning around a 4.3% decline last bars
  • Despite the weak start in our GDP growth this year, the Philippines is still one of the best-performing emerging economies in the region. Our GDP growth is second only to China and surpasses that of Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.
  • Economic managers are confident the economy can catch up in the coming quarters to hit their target of 6.5-7.5% growth by the yearend.
  • Early this month, the World Bank has projected the country to continue its robust growth in 2017, saying the country’s economy will expand at 6.8 percent this year.

Trade / Exports / Imports

  • As of April this year, total exports increased by 12.1 percent to $4.805 billion in 2017 from $4.285 billion in 2016. Meanwhile, total imports slightly decreased by 0.1 percent from $6.865 billion in 2016 to $6.857 billion in 2017.
  • The country’s balance of trade in goods (BoT-G) registered a $2.052 billion deficit in 2017 lower than the $2.580 billion deficit in April 2016.


  • The headline inflation at the national level decelerated to 3.1 percent in May 2017. It was registered at 3.4 percent in the previous month and 1.6 percent in May 2016.
  • Slower annual increments were posted in the indices of the following commodity groups: Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages (3.8%), Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (6.1%), Clothing and Footwear (2.2%), Furnishing, Household Equipment and Routine Maintenance of the House (2.3%), Health (2.4%), Transport (2.7%), Communication (0.2%), and Recreation and Culture (1.4%),


  • The employment rate in April 2017 was estimated at 94.3 percent.  In April 2016, the employment rate was 93.9 percent. 
  • The unemployment rate as of April 2017 was estimated at 5.7 %. Last April 2016, the unemployment rate was 6.1 %. 

Budget (Revenues and Expenditure)

  • The National Government (NG) fiscal balance was at a surplus of P2.2 billion for the first month of 2017, a reversal of the P3.5 billion deficit posted in the previous year. This marks the first time NG achieved positive fiscal balance for the month since 2010. This reflects improved revenue collection effort and prudent spending with year-on-year growth of 10% and 7% for revenues and expenditures, respectively.
  • Total revenues for the month reached P200.3 billion, P18.1 billion higher compared to the level posted in January 2016. 92% of revenues were from tax collections.
  • The biggest contributor to the revenue expansion is Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) which posted collections of P147.4 billion for the month that grew 14% over the last year, attributed to higher tax payer compliance and other reforms undertaken by the Bureau such as expansion of its Large Taxpayers Service.
  • The NG disbursed a total of P198.1 billion in January, 7% or P12.4 billion higher than comparable figure last year. This is in spite of the 7% YoY decline in interest payments for the month. Only 21% of the total expenditures went to the payment of interest, against the previous year’s 25% showing that the growth in disbursements mainly came from releases to productive components of the budget. Total interest payments was at P42.4 billion for the month.
  • Netting out the interest payments from the expenditures, NG recorded a P44.6 billion primary surplus for January, exceeding the primary surplus for the same period last year by 6% or P2.5 billion.

Foreign Direct Investment / Portfolio Investment

  • For the first four months of 2017, the Philippines had a net inflow of $51 million in foreign portfolio investments. The BSP said this was a reversal from the $460 million net outflows recorded in March and $354 million outflows from a year ago. 
  • This development may be attributed to investor reaction to the World Bank’s view that the Philippines will continue to be a top performer in the region, coupled with positive sentiment in anticipation of the country’s strong gross domestic product number for the first quarter of 2017.
  • The BSP however also noted that the first four months of the year resulted in net outflows of $516 million on a year-to-date basis, vis-à-vis the $56 million net inflows for the same period in 2016.
  • It added that registered foreign portfolio investments fell 3.9 percent to $1.3 billion in April compared to $1.4 billion recorded in March.  

Currency / Reserves  

  • The Peso depreciated against the US dollar in Q1 2017. On a q-o-q basis, the peso depreciated by 1.79 percent to average ₱50.00/US$1 in Q1 2017 from the previous quarter’s average of ₱49.11/US$1.  
  • Likewise, on a y-o-y basis, the peso depreciated by 5.45 percent relative to the ₱47.28/US$1 average in Q1 2016. The weakening of the peso during the review quarter was due mainly to the US Fed rate hike in March 2017, expectation for further rate increases in 2017, and strong US dollar requirement by local corporates. 


  • Personal remittances from Overseas Filipinos (OFs) amounted to US$10 billion for January to April 2017, registering 4.7 percent year-on-year growth.  
  • Personal remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more aggregated US$7.8 billion while those from sea-based and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year totaled US$2.1 billion for the same period. However, personal remittances in April (at US$2.3 billion) were 5.2 percent lower than the level posted in the same month last year.
  • For the first four months of 2017, cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks recorded 4.2 percent growth from the level posted in the same period a year ago, reaching US$9.0 billion. Specifically, remittances sent by land-based workers increased by 5.8 percent, compensating for the 1.4 percent decline in sea-based workers’ remittances. For April alone, total cash remittances fell by 5.9 percent year-on-year to US$2.1 billion. This was attributed to the 7.6 percent drop in cash remittances from land-based workers which offset the marginal increase (0.3 percent) in transfers from sea-based workers.
  • Cash remittances coming from the United States (US), Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Singapore, Japan, UK, Qatar, Kuwait, Hong Kong, and Canada comprised about 80 percent of total cash remittances in the first four months of 2017.
  • Cash remittances from the UK to the Philippines reached US$ 458,114,000 from January to April 2017, down by -1.8% from US$ 466,742,000 for the same period in 2016. UK remains the top source of overseas Filipino remittances in Europe, representing 36.8 % of the total remittances from the region. (Note: UK is followed by Germany, Italy and Greece.). 


  • For the first two months of 2017, a total of 1,210,817 visitors arrived in the Philippines. This volume is 10.88% higher than the accumulated 1,091,983 arrivals in the same period last year.
  • Total earnings gained from tourism activities from this period amounted to Php 40,081.85 billon.
  • Arrivals from the UK have reached 30,973 within the said period. The UK still ranks as the 8th top visitor market for the Philippines as of February 2017.


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Ambassador Tambunting Awarded OBE

PBBC Co-Chairman awarded OBEOBE

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has recognised Ambassador Jesus Paraiso Tambunting as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. This honorary award entitles him to be known henceforth as Jesus P. Tambunting OBE.

Ambassador Tambunting served as the Philippine Ambassador to London from 1993 to 1998 with great distinction. He has been co-chairman of the Philippine British Business Council since 1993 and has been instrumental in the significant growth in commerce between the two countries. The President of the Republic of the Philippines and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom marked the 20th anniversary of the PBBC in 2014, acknowledging the contribution of Ambassador Tambunting.Tambunting OBE

British Ambassador, Asif Ahmad, conducted the formal ceremony in the presence of Ambassador Tambunting’s family and friends in Manila in May. He said:

Chuching Tambunting and I have known each other for over 13 years. He has been a great friend of the United Kingdom and the award of this OBE is a visible and permanent symbol of our deep appreciation. Ambassador Tambunting has been with us in London, Singapore, Hong Kong, Manila and Davao as we promoted business opportunities between the UK and the Philippines. We share a passion for enlarging links between our respective small and medium sized enterprises. This is a proud moment for the Tambunting family and his many friends will join me in extending my congratulations to him.

In my time as Ambassador in the Philippines, we have consolidated our position as the largest investor in the country from the EU. In 2015, growth in UK exports to the Philippines was the second highest in the world. From a tiny base, we have seen three large investments into the UK from the Philippines totalling more than 60 billion Pesos. These are tangible indicators of the role Ambassador Tambunting has played in enhancing our commercial ties.

Jesus Tambunting OBE said:

I am deeply honoured to be the recipient of this very prestigious award. It was a privilege to have served my country in promoting and strengthening the commercial relationship between the Philippines and a country I admire, the United Kingdom of Great Britain. I was a banker for most of my professional life and I was more than happy to use my knowledge in finance and investments to strengthen the ties between our two countries.

Ambassador Tambunting is Chairman of Capital Shares Investment Corporation, an investment and management company. He was Chairman of Planters Development Bank, the Philippines’s leading bank for promoting and growing SMEs, which he founded in 1971. He was previously appointed by President Benigno Aquino III to Head the Philippine Department of Trade’s Small Business Corporation. Other roles include being a member of the Board of Trustees of the Carlos P. Romulo Foundation, Philippine Business for Education, PinoyMe Foundation, ABS-CBN Bayan Foundation and Makati Medical Center Foundation. He is a member of the Makati Business Club National Issues Committee. From 2004 until May 2008, he served as Chairman of the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific, a regional organization of 127 development banks and institutions in 44 countries. He was elected to the Board of Directors of BPI-Philam Life Assurance Inc. in 2009.

Ambassador Tambunting was conferred Master Entrepreneur and Entrepreneur of the Year 2009 by the British firm, Ernst & Young and the SGV Foundation, and inducted into the World Entrepreneur Academy in Monaco in June 2010. He also received the International Alumnus Award from the University of Maryland in April 2011, the first Ramon V. del Rosario Sr. Award in Nation Building in 2010, the Distinguished Person of the Year 2009 from the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific, the Management Man of the Year 2003 from the Management Association of the Philippines, the Lifetime Achievement Award for 2005 from the Asian Bankers Association, the Distinguished Service Award from the Department of Foreign Affairs and “Knight Commander with Star” in 2008 and “Knight Grand Cross” in 2016 from the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

The Ambassador earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Maryland. Prior to that, he had obtained his secondary education from the Culver Military Academy in Indiana and his elementary education from the Ateneo de Manila University.

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10th Philippine HR Summit

10th Philippine HR Summit



This much-awaited annual event is a great gathering of HR Professionals, Company Executives, Department Managers, Businessmen, Entrepreneurs, Recruiters, Recruitment Providers and Other HR Professionals – PLUS conference and exhibit participants and visitors.


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This ground-breaking event will give you the best mileage and VALUE FOR MONEY!


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 Date       :    August 3-4, 2017

Time      :    8:30am – 5:30pm

Venue    :    Crowne Plaza Galleria




HR Forecasting and Planning in the Digital Age


Best Practices in HR Programs


The HR Technology Challenge – HR as Innovation Catalyst How HR Can Be a Driver of Organizational Innovation


Hiring The Best Talents Through Social Media


Total Compensation and Benefits


Interviewing Techniques


Impacting People Management



The Dynamics of Business and People Growth




How Can HR Technology Optimize Human Capital Management?


Developing Pay and Benefits Policies





Attraction and Retention of Key Talents to Create
a Strong People Brand


The Outlook for Job Creation and Destruction in the Next Decade


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Drugs, Office Romance, LGBT, Sex, HIV, AIDS, TB and Related Diseases





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Jollibee Foods Corporation – UK Business Franchise Opportunity

Introduction to Jollibee Foods Corporation (Philippines) Jollibee logo

Jollibee is the largest fast food chain in the Philippines, operating a nationwide network of over 900 stores. A dominant market leader in the Philippines, Jollibee enjoys the lion’s share of the local market that is more than all the other multinational brands combined. The company has embarked on an aggressive international expansion plan in the USA, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Brunei and Singapore, firmly establishing itself as a growing international QSR player. It is now focussed on Europe looking at the UK and Italy in the first instance.

A company that values family

Jollibee was founded by Tony Tan and his family with its humble beginnings as an Ice Cream Parlour which later grew into an emerging global brand. At the heart of its success is a family-oriented approach to personnel management, making Jollibee one of the most admired employers in the region with an Employer of the Year Award from the Personnel Management Association of the Philippines, Best Employer in the Philippines Award from Hewitt Associated and a Top 20 Employer in Asia citation from the Asian Wall Street Journal. Aside from promoting a family oriented work environment, the brand’s values also reflect on their advertising and marketing. Jollibee knows their target audience very well: the traditional family and all communication materials focus on the importance of family values, making Jollibee the number one family fast food chain in the Philippines and a growing international QSR player.

A Well-Loved Brand

Customer satisfaction has always been key to Jollibee’s success. Never losing sight of its goals, Jollibee has grown to be one of the most recognized and highly preferred brands in the Philippines. Now the market leader among fast food chains in the Philippines, claiming a market share that totals to more than half of the entire industry.

Great tasting products and quality systems

Jollibee’s growth is due to its delicious menu line-up – like its superior-tasting Chickenjoy, mouth-watering Yumburger and Champ hamburger, and deliciously satisfying Jollibee Spaghetti -ably complemented with creative marketing programs, and efficient manufacturing and logistics facilities. It is made possible by well-trained teams that work in a culture of integrity and humility, fun and family-like. Every Jollibee outlet welcomes customers with a clean and warm in-store environment and friendly and efficient service. And it is this tried and tested formula of delivering great-tasting food, adherence to world class operating standards and the universal appeal of the family values the brand represents that are driving the expansion of Jollibee both locally and in the overseas market.

Widest store network in the Philippines and an emerging global player

Jollibee is the largest fast food chain in the Philippines, operating a nationwide network of more than 750 stores. A dominant market leader in the Philippines, Jollibee enjoys the lion’s share of the local market that is more than all the other multinational brands combined. The company has also embarked on an aggressive international expansion plan, and currently has 80 stores outside the Philippines-USA (26), Vietnam (32), Brunei (11), Jeddah (7), Qatar, Hong Kong, and Kuwait (1 each), firmly establishing itself as a growing international QSR player.

A Triumph for and of the Filipino and a source of Filipino pride.

Jollibee dedicated its continuous success to the Filipinos who have been there from the very start. Jollibee is so well-loved everytime a new store opens, especially overseas, Filipinos always form long lines to the store. It is more than home for them. It is a stronghold of heritage and monument of Filipino pride.
Interested in being a Jollibee Franchisee in the UK? – then you will need to be:

An entrepreneur who is self-driven
Able to devote time to oversee the day-to-day operation of the restaurant
Willing to undergo full-time training on restaurant operations
Ability to fund the investment requirement (USD450-800k)
(Jollibee ideally like their franchisees to have a minimum net worth of USD5 million).

Apply now for Jollibee franchising!

Further information, a Franchise application form and assistance preparing a proposal are available. However, Jollibee are sending senior staff to London in the first full week of July 2017 and are extremely keen to meet interested parties face-to-face. If you would like to discuss this opportunity with senior staff of Jollibee then please contact Eamonn Staunton (Jollibee’s Representative in the UK and Member of the Philippines British Business Council) on 020 3723 5772 (landline), 07544 431642 or by email to immediately.

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