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Philippine GDP growth drops to 4-year low in Q1 2019

MANILA, Philippines: Analysts and experts expected economic growth to slow down, but not as slow as this. The Philippines’ gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the 1st quarter of 2019 plunged to a 4-year low of 5.6%, said the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Thursday, May 9. The 1st quarter growth is the lowest since the 5% recorded in the ... Read More »

Philippine peso risks losing ‘best Asian currency’ title

Manila: A sense of caution is gripping peso bulls as markets approach the Philippine central bank’s interest-rate decision. Increased speculation that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will ease monetary policy is threatening to break the peso’s Asia-beating rally this quarter. A reduction in the benchmark rate could give foreign investors — who already don’t seem too keen on buying ... Read More »

BSP eyes April inflation between 2.7-3.5%

MANILA: Higher domestic fuel and electricity prices are seen as upside risks to the country’s April 2019 inflation, which is projected to stay between 2.7-3.5 percent. “However, these pressures may be partly offset by the continued decline in rice prices and by the peso appreciation,” the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said in a statement Tuesday. “Moving forward, the BSP ... Read More »

Philippines warns diplomatic relations with Canada could be at risk amid garbage dispute

The Philippines is not really going to start a war with Canada over garbage but it is warning that Canada’s inaction to take back its trash is threatening 70 years of diplomatic relations between the two nations. President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to “declare war” on Canada earlier this week, saying that Canada had one week to take back the shipping ... Read More »

Personal remittances hit $5.3-B in first 2 months of 2019

MANILA: Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) amounted to USD2.56 billion in February 2019, higher by 1.2 percent from USD2.53 billion in February 2018. This brought the cumulative remittances for the first two months of the year to USD5.30 billion, representing a 2.3 percent year-on-year growth, BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno announced on Monday. Personal remittances from sea-based and land-based ... Read More »

Exports down, imports up in February

MANILA, Philippines: Merchandise exports declined for the third straight month while imports posted growth for two consecutive months in February, further widening the trade-in-goods deficit to $6.708 billion at the end of the first two months. Preliminary Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data released Thursday showed that sales of Philippine-made goods overseas fell 3.9 percent year-on-year to $10.456 billion as of ... Read More »

Customs exceeds Customs exceeds collection target in Q1collection target in Q1

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) exceeded by more than a tenth its first-quarter target collection of import duties and other taxes as the total take from January to March reached P155.3 billion. The latest BOC data showed that the combined collections of the country’s 17 ports during the first three months surpassed by 11.7 percent the P143.6-billion goal for the ... Read More »

Spider surprise: Philippines seizes 750 smuggled tarantulas

Philippine authorities said Wednesday they cracked open a gift-wrapped package shipped from Poland to discover 757 tarantulas crammed into plastic containers. The illicit payload found at a mail facility near Manila’s airport was the latest seizure in a nation that is a major source and transit point of wildlife trafficking. Customs thought the package suspicious and after opening it found ... Read More »

World Bank cuts Philippines’ growth forecast amid budget delay, El Niño

MANILA, Philippines: The World Bank has downgraded its growth forecast for the Philippines to 6.4 percent for 2019 as the government operated on a reenacted budget in the first quarter and amid a looming prolonged dry spell due to El Niño. In a press conference Monday, World Bank senior economist Rong Qian said the updated 2019 forecast – lower than ... Read More »

PH, Hungary agri chiefs hold bilateral meeting

MANILA: Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol and Hungary’s Minister of Agriculture Dr. Istvan Nagy on Wednesday met to discuss emerging opportunities in the agriculture sector and how they can lead to stronger trade and investments ties. Piñol said issues discussed in the bilateral meeting were market access concerns and the proposed cooperation in the field of crops ... Read More »

PH, India seen weathering global crisis fastest

In case the global economy again experiences a downturn, the Philippines and India were tagged by UK-based Oxford Economics as two countries most likely to bounce back the fastest. “Most EMs (emerging markets) have reasonable prospects to secure a soft landing, even if external conditions deteriorate. Our soft-landing scorecard suggests India and the Philippines are the most secure, and Argentina ... Read More »

Disney closes $71B deal for Fox entertainment assets

Disney has closed its $71 billion acquisition of Fox’s entertainment business, putting “Cinderella,” ”The Simpsons,” ”Star Wars” and “Dr. Strange” under one corporate roof. The deal is likely to shake up the media landscape. Among other things, it paves the way for Disney to launch its streaming service, Disney Plus, due out later this year. It will also likely lead ... Read More »

Over 1 500 turtles found inside luggage in Philippines

Philippine authorities have found more than 1 500 live exotic turtles stuffed inside luggage at Manila’s airport. Customs officials said in a statement Monday that the various types of turtles were found on Sunday inside four pieces of left-behind luggage of a Filipino passenger arriving at Ninoy Aquino International Airport on a Philippine Airlines flight from Hong Kong,. The 1 ... Read More »

Rice import applications reach 1.6 million metric tons

MANILA: As the Philippines opens its market to cheap imported rice, the number of applications to bring in the commodity under the out-quota scheme has reached 1.6 million metric tons, almost near the projected record-high imports for the country. Based on the updated list released by the National Food Authority, 278 firms have already applied for the out-quota importation of ... Read More »

Philippine Airlines sets systems upgrade on March 23 to 24

MANILA: Philippine Airlines said Monday select online and mobile services would be unavailable on March 23 to 24 to give way to a systems upgrade. The flag carrier said it would continue to operate scheduled flights but purchase of new flights, tour bookings, rebooking, rerouting and refunds will be temporarily unavailable during the said period. On March 22 to March ... Read More »

Over 1 500 turtles found inside luggage in Philippines

Philippine authorities have found more than 1 500 live exotic turtles stuffed inside luggage at Manila’s airport. Customs officials said in a statement Monday that the various types of turtles were found on Sunday inside four pieces of left-behind luggage of a Filipino passenger arriving at Ninoy Aquino International Airport on a Philippine Airlines flight from Hong Kong,. The 1 ... Read More »

Philippine Peso Surprises to Become Asia’s Best Currency

The Philippine peso has defied a yawning current-account deficit to emerge as Asia’s best-performing currency in February. And it may continue to surpass its peers. Peso bulls say record remittances, rising investment and a buoyant domestic economy will propel further gains in the currency. Easing inflation could also lend a hand, as higher real yields burnish the appeal of Philippine ... Read More »

9 reasons why the Philippines is ripe for business in 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government’s economic managers missed their growth targets in 2018. This year, they are confident that they can do better. The country’s top economic experts are banking on legislative developments and several external conditions to spark growth and a better environment for doing business. Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III recently told the business community in Japan ... Read More »

Rogue banks face more painful sanctions under new charter

MANILA, Philippines: The higher fines and new set of penalties under the revised charter of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas would deter rogue banks from committing violations, according to BSP Assistant Governor and general counsel Elmore Capule. Capule said the administrative sanctions on supervised entities under RA 11211 signed by President Duterte last Feb. 14 make it more painful and ... Read More »

Philippine Airlines welcomes 5th Airbus A350-900

MANILA: Philippine Airlines on Thursday said it has received its fifth Airbus A350-900 dubbed as the “Love Bus.” In a statement, the flag carrier said officials welcomed the aircraft at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 on Wednesday. The “kissmark” logo on the brand new A350-900 commemorates the 40-year partnership of PAL and plane-maker Airbus, the airline said. ... Read More »