strong first semester performance – Lopez; total exports up by 14%,
reaches USD 31 billion
August 24, 2017
MAKATI CITY —
Philippine (PH) exports weathered a slowdown in external demand in
June to register a strong first semester performance, the country’s
trade chief said.
“We always ensure that
exports are both resilient and diversified in terms of products and
markets,” Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon
Total merchandise exports
for the period January to June 2017 stood at USD 31.04 billion,
expanding by 14% over the USD 27.33 billion posted during the same
period in 2016.
Said expansion is seen
almost among all the country’s major export markets, with the
People’s Republic of China (including Hongkong SAR) as the country’s
top export destination, followed by Japan and the United States
(US), according to him.
non-electronics show off
Preliminary data from the
Philippine Statistics Authority showed that the 15% growth of
Non-electronics exports outpaced the 12.05% rise in Electronics,
accounting for almost equally at 50.1% and 49.9%, respectively, of
total merchandise exports.
“The stronger performance
of Non-Electronics products vis-à-vis Electronics reflects DTI’s
efforts to diversify merchandise exports and improve market mix,”
Sec. Lopez added.
For the first semester of
2017, receipts of the following non-electronics increased: Mineral
products (81%), Chemicals (11%), Coconut (78%), Footwear (70%),
Furniture & Fixtures (43%), Processed Food & Beverages (29%),
Machinery & Transport Equipment (24%), Garments (23%), Travel Goods
and Handbags (8%), and Iron and Steel (4%).
DTI Undersecretary and
Board of Investments (BOI) Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo confirmed
that non-electronics have been accounting for a bigger share of
total exports from an average of 40% in 2006-2010 to a 54% average
“DTI has been partnering
with relevant agencies, industry associations as well as specific
exporters in improving PH leadership in certain sectors such as in
activated carbon, oleochemicals, bananas, pineapples, tuna, and
carrageenan/seaweeds and other algae, where assistance to improve
quality and quantity of supply is top-most of the agenda,” said Usec.
DTI also creates more
conducive exporting environment for sectors that have crossed or is
close to crossing the USD 1 billion value of exports such as travel
goods, handbags, footwear and apparel, aircraft parts, coconut,
transport services, construction materials such as builders’ joinery
and carpentry of wood including wood panels.
In terms of PH markets,
PH’s expansion in exports can be seen in almost all of PH’s export
partners, with PROC (including Hongkong SAR) being top export
destination, followed by Japan, the United States (US), Singapore,
Korea, Thailand, Germany, The Netherlands and Taiwan. PH shipments
to almost all these country destinations increased.
According to Usec.
Rodolfo, it is worth noting that currently, ASEAN and East Asian
neighbors accounted for about 63% of total PH exports, while the US
and the European Union (EU) accounted almost equally for 14.7% and
14.9%, respectively, as a result of our pursuit of active trade
relations due to opportunities resulting from ASEAN’s free trade
agreements with China, Korea, Australia and India.
“We have been seeing in
recent years the gradual shift in market distribution leading to a
balance in market diversity,” said Sec. Lopez.
While the US continues to
be one of PH’s top export destinations, its share to PH total
exports has declined from 8% in 2006-2010 to 6% in 2011-2016.
Stronger relations with PH neighbors made ASEAN a consistent market
for bulk of our products.
China, in recent years,
has also emerged as a consistent top market for PH export products,
validating PH’s pursuit of an independent foreign policy as the
country opens up to new trade partners and finds new markets and new
value chain linkages for trade and investments. China accounted for
the fastest growth rate at 34%.
“Recent data also showed
exports to EU posted strong growth at about 36% due to greater
number of utilization of Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+)
trade privileges where over 6,000 product lines have 0% tariff
duty,” said Sec. Lopez.
The trade chief added that
the immense goodwill shown by President Rodrigo Duterte to other
nations has resulted to re-strengthened ties not only with China but
also with the Middle East. The benefits of special trade
arrangements with EU also led to faster export growth in many
accounted for 72% share of total electronics exports and 36% share
of total PH exports, expanded by 12%, driving the growth in
electronics. The share of electronics sector to total merchandise
exports has been reduced from an average high of 60% in 2006-2010 to
46% average for 2011-2016.
The strong global growth
in 2017, particularly the surge of global electronics demand, augurs
well with the implementation of the regional industrialization plan
of the CALABARZON area, which will diversify electronics exports
especially in the production of auto electronics parts and
components and business expansion towards merging manufacturing with
IT through engineering services outsourcing and other areas.
Electronics exports are
concentrated in the CALABARZON area, specifically in Laguna, where
sales reached almost USD 7 billion for a remarkable growth rate of
146%, and in Cavite, with exports valued at USD 3 billion for a 72%
growth. Together, Laguna and Cavite accounted for almost 60% of
total electronics exports.
“We are off to a good
first semester. The second semester should see us further raising
our game to boost PH exports for a bigger share of the global
market,” Sec. Lopez concluded.
encounter with NPA in Burauen, Leyte
DPAO, 8ID PA
August 15, 2017
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – A 20-minute fire fight ensued between the Scout Platoon
from 78th Infantry (Warrior) Battalion and the communist terrorists
at Barangay Roxas, Burauen, Leyte on August 15, 2017 at 10:00 o’
clock in the morning.
This resulted to the
troops’ recovery of one (1) back pack, one (1) sack of rice, and
subversive documents from the communist terrorists. No casualty was
reported on the government side and undetermined number of
casualties on the enemy side.
The successful seizure of
the enemy encampment is the result of the mutual cooperation of the
villagers in the said barangay about the presence of the NPA rebels
that continue to extort, recruit and harm the less fortunate.
Maj. Gen. Raul M Farnacio,
Commander, 8ID commended the people of Burauen for their untiring
cooperation with government forces against the presence of the NPA
terrorists. Rest assured that the 8ID remains steadfast in its
unending commitment to serve the people and to become one of the
catalysts for peace and development in Eastern Visayas.
2018 budget is war chest vs. Filipino people
August 13, 2017
QUEZON CITY – In
time for the budget hearings of the Department of National Defense
at the Committee on Appropriations at the House of Representatives,
Karapatan joined the Save Our Schools (SOS) network and various
people’s organizations in a protest action against the proposed 2018
budget, particularly items in furtherance of fascist and anti-people
policies of the Duterte administration.
Secretary General of Karapatan, said that, according to the
alliance’s initial study of the 2018 proposed budget, “more than
P300 billion is being proposed to fund the Duterte administration’s
three wars that heavily impact on the Filipino people, particularly
the poor - the war on drugs, war on terror and war against the New
Marked increase is noted
in the proposed budget allocation for the Office of the Presidential
Adviser on the Peace Process, which pursues the disarmament,
demobilization and reintegration (DDR) approach of the United
Nations, as adopted by the Duterte administration on its so-called
peace processes. Such approach, Karapatan said, is criticized by
progressive human rights and peace advocates worldwide as a
palliative and ineffective way to address the root causes of armed
conflicts. “The DDR strategy plays right into the whole
counter-insurgency objectives of the Duterte regime, using combat
operations and deceptive schemes to pacify the people and
revolutionary movements, instead of genuinely addressing poverty,
inequality and transgressions on national sovereignty,” Palabay
Proposed 2018 intelligence
and confidential funds also increased from 200% to 400%, as compared
to the 2016 actual budget. Moreover, out of the proposed 2018
proposed budget of the PNP, at least PhP94 billion is allocated for
conduct of operations against so-called dissidents, subversives,
lawless elements, and organised crime syndicates.
“These funds will be used
by AFP Chief Eduardo Año and PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa
to operate on perceived and make-believe enemies of the Duterte
regime – from small-time drug users/peddlers tagged by Duterte as
anathema to public security, to imaginary terrorists and
revolutionary groups tagged as enemies of the State. The State’s
limited and deficient understanding of the roots of the social ills
prevalent in Philippine society has allowed for the funding and
continuation of deceptive and dubious policies meant to mask
intelligence and other military and police operations.
The State’s security
machinery, led by Año, Esperon, Lorenzana and Dela Rosa, are clearly
uninterested in solving the roots of the conflict. Instead, they
seem perfectly content in their ignorance and mindless targeting of
civilians and progressive organizations. As in the Aquino III
administration, these funds will not only be used to justify the
killing of civilians, but these will be used to further the
money-making schemes of the soldiers and police who are just out for
the bounties,” Palabay added.
Karapatan said that
“instead of funding such bloody campaigns that result in the
increased violation of people’s rights, the Duterte regime should
reallocate public funds to key economic and social reforms that will
genuinely address the root causes of societal problems.
DILG - PNP
DILG – Office of
DILG - Bureau of
Jail Management and Penology
DILG - Local
DILG - National
DILG - Philippine
Public Safety College
Budget for PAMANA
(except PNP-DILG, DND and NICA allocations, which are
included in their agency budgets)
rich in contradiction – Kontra Daya
August 12, 2017
QUEZON CITY –
Latest data on the net worth of the members of the House of
Representatives (HOR) show that the party-list system is rich in
contradiction and poor in execution.
Given that three
party-list representatives are among the 10 richest legislators, it
is clear traditional politicians and political dynasties have
benefited most from a Supreme Court decision four years ago. It may
be recalled that on April 5, 2013, the SC, voting 10-2-1, said that
"National parties or organizations and regional parties or
organizations do not need to organize along sectoral lines and do
not need to represent 'any marginalized and underrepresented'
In a statement last year
prior to the 2016 elections, Kontra Daya already stressed that this
SC decision “makes it even harder for grassroots based party-list
groups to gain entry into Congress as they face further
That the richest
legislator is currently Rep. Michael Odylon Romero (1-PACMAN) with a
staggering net worth of ₱7.01 billion makes a mockery of the
Party-list System Act (Republic Act No. 7941) enacted in 1995. The
law, after all, is supposed to “enable Filipino citizens belonging
to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors, organizations and
parties, and who lack well-defined political constituencies but who
could contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate
legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole, to become
members of the House of Representatives (Sec. 2, Declaration of
Even if Kontra Daya also
observes that nine out of the 10 poorest legislators are also
party-list representatives, it is imperative for the SC to review
its 2013 decision and reaffirm what then Justice Artemio Panganiban
wrote as regards Bagong Bayani v. Comelec in 2001.
Sixteen years ago,
Panganiban stressed that the Party-list System Act which was
“crafted to address the peculiar disadvantages of Payatas hovel
dwellers cannot be appropriated by the mansion owners of Forbes
The ruling elite,
especially the political dynasties, should not appropriate the
party-list system to add more seats among themselves, paying lip
service to representing the marginalized and underrepresented. The
party-list system belongs not to them but to those they claim to
represent but continue to exploit.
Road Safety Program in Cebu
August 11, 2017
TAGUIG – Global
Online Car Platform Carmudi has officially launched its CSR
initiative, which aims to uplift and educate young drivers on road
Held at Cebu Doctors'
University in Mandaue, Cebu, the Carmudi Academy for Road Safety
(CARS) program is designed to create awareness and help students
(particularly in Universities and Colleges) elevate their basic
understanding of road safety.
During the event, Kris
Lim, Head of PR and Marketing of Carmudi Philippines said that the
CARS program is focused on three basic aspects, which every students
need to have-right knowledge, right skills and right attitude.
Lim shared insights about
the stunning figures of road accidents in the country. He explained
that there's a huge number of the motoring public (composed of
drivers, pedestrians and commuters) lack the basic understanding on
road signs, markings, traffic rules and regulations, has seemingly
insufficient skills on defensive driving road scenarios, as well as
unruly behavior while on the road.
“These three components
are very significant on what we will be teaching from the students.
This is not a one-time seminar and workshop for schools, we are
serious to continue and spread road safety awareness, said Lim.
According to him, while
waiting for the pending proposal to include road safety education as
curriculum in schools and universities, they have started the
program to provide a refresher course and additional knowledge to
their target areas to beef up drivers at an early age.
Last 2014, Representatives
from the Lower Congress filed house Bill 4160 (of Representatives
Rufus and Maximo Rodriguez) to include road safety curriculum at the
elementary and secondary learning institutions. On the other hand,
Senate has received a similar proposal (Senate Bill 1231 filed by
Senator Grace Poe) in November 2016.
Further, the Automobile
Association Philippines (AAP) – a constant partner of Carmudi
Philippines in their road safety efforts – took part in the
inauguration of the CARS program.
Through AAP Advocacies
Manager Cynthia Reyes, the national auto club provided the
participants an overview of the Republic Act 4136 – also known as
the Land Transportation and Traffic Code – and showed scenarios
which yield to road crashes.
Reyes said that they are
looking forward to future collaborations with Carmudi, who has
shared their commitment in making roads safer.
“The AAP is truly honored
to have been invited to Carmudi’s Academy for Road Safety. We are
happy with the partnership that we have established with Carmudi who
has been continuously making efforts to teach the public about
traffic discipline and road safety. We hope to continue this
proactive collaboration with Carmudi as we share a firm commitment
to safer roads throughout the country,” Reyes said.
Carmudi forged partnership
with AAP that also led to assisting the club in the reproduction of
copies of the RA 4136, which was also given to the participants.
Aside from AAP, Carmudi
Philippines also invited Cebu Road Heroes (CRH) as road safety
partner to present the latest road crash scenarios that is happening
in their area.
Prior to CARS, Carmudi
Philippines has been advocating road safety efforts in the country.
Late last year, Carmudi made their debut CSR program in Taguig,
successfully made in partnership with Turbo Zone. The event was
concluded with hundreds of students in attendance.
Philippines Chief Operating Officer Cholo Syquia expressed optimism
on their current efforts, saying that they are looking forward to
safer roads sooner than they expect.
“We hope that this is a
good start and will continue to have a longing effect, not just to
the students but to everyone that they will interact with,” Syquia
Aid reaches 7,000
home-based evacuees of Marawi fighting
August 11. 2017
MANILA – The
ongoing conflict in Marawi City in Lanao del Sur province has
displaced thousands of people, with more than 77,000 fleeing to
hard-to-reach areas along the eastern shore of Lake Lanao. The
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in partnership with
the Philippine Red Cross, has just completed from August 9-10 an aid
distribution among 7,000 displaced people in Tamparan municipality.
Though aid has started to
arrive, much more is required to meet the needs of people who have
fled to this area when the fighting erupted on 23 May. Unlike those
who fled towards the north or west of Marawi, displaced families
along the eastern shore of Lake Lanao have not received regular help
owing to access, logistical and security issues.
“Displaced families on
this side of the lake continue to struggle with very limited food
supplies,” said Tomoko Matsuzawa, head of the ICRC office in
Cotabato City. “Many of them have been staying with relatives for
nearly three months. They have hardly any income, and their host
families’ resources are also running low.”
Complementing the aid
delivered by the authorities, the ICRC focused its distribution on
evacuees staying with their relatives, who have been underserved
till now. The organization distributed a half-month food ration and
household essentials, i.e. 25 kg of rice, 12 cans of sardines, 1
litre of cooking oil, 1 litre of soy sauce, 1 kg of sugar, 500 g of
salt, two jerry cans to store water, one blanket and one mosquito
net per family.
Among the thousands who
have received ICRC help is Asliya Casanali, a young mother of three
from Marawi City who now sells spices in Tamparan market to try to
make ends meet. Her husband was a tricycle driver in the city until
the fighting broke out. “Minsan kapag walang ulam, kanin na lang.
Hindi namin naranasan yun dati (When there is nothing else
available, we make do with rice. We had never faced such a situation
before),” she said.
In Tamparan, the ICRC has
also been providing the public hospital with essential medical
supplies to handle the sudden influx of people in need of medical
attention. Its engineers have also set up a mobile
water-purification system to improve the supply of drinking water in
the hospital compound.
In the coming weeks, the
ICRC will continue its efforts to help the thousands of displaced
people along the eastern shore of Lake Lanao.
The ICRC is a neutral,
impartial and independent humanitarian organization whose
exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity
of victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence and to
provide them with assistance. The ICRC also endeavours to prevent
suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and
universal humanitarian principles.
DTI, TESDA ink
MOA to offer entrepreneurship trainings for TESDA grads
August 11, 2017
MAKATI CITY – As
part of the agency’s thrust to increase awareness on the positive
gains of entrepreneurship, the Department of Trade and Industry
(DTI) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)
link up to provide TESDA graduates with access to trainings on
entrepreneurship to help generate to equip them with the necessary
skills on entrepreneurship and employment.
According to DTI Sec.
Ramon Lopez, acquired business skills by TESDA trainees from the
Skills Training for Employment/Entrepreneurship Program (STEEP) can
be used in effectively running their businesses in the future.
“This partnership not only
complements our objective to equip our people with the right mindset
and basic skills, it also contributes to our national goal to
realize inclusive growth towards shared prosperity, powered by
smarter Filipino entrepreneurs,” Sec. Lopez said.
STEEP aims provide
interventions through skills development by providing access to
training on entrepreneurship to graduates of TESDA program for self
or wage employment to uplift their economic status.
“Through this partnership,
we are glad to help TESDA graduates acquire more skills and
development which can give them more opportunities to improve their
lives by engaging in vibrant entrepreneurial activities,” said DTI
Regional Operations Group Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya.
Under the agreement, TESDA
will provide its list of graduates to DTI from the Special Training
for Employment Program (STEP) and other similar scholarship program,
assist in the conduct of the entrepreneurship training, and monitor
and evaluate the implementation of the project.
Upon assessment and
selection of TESDA’s certified STEP graduates, DTI, in turn, will
provide entrepreneurship training, assist in availment of the
microfinancing facilities, provide them access to start-up capital
for micro enterprises, and even facilitate business registration of
those who wish to engage in business/sole proprietorship.
“This is the service that
we will provide to them,” Maglaya explained, adding that “from
giving them the right mindset, to ensuring that they will have
assistance until they decided to put up their own business, we will
make sure that we are with them every step of their entrepreneurial
The STEEP agreement with
TESDA is one of the Department’s initiatives to sustainably generate
employment and further promote entrepreneurship in the country as
DTI pushes for its “Trabaho at Negosyo” agenda.