PH mission secures P20 B-worth of commitments from Japan

TOKYO—Philippine-Japanese trade relations remain robust as the Philippine Mission to Japan headed by the Department of Trade and Industry secures over Php 20 B investment commitments from Japanese firms during the three day visit.

In sidelines to the Investment Forum in Tokyo and the 35th annual meeting of the Japan-Philippines Economic Cooperation Committee (JPECC) and Philippines-Japan Economic Cooperation Committee (PHILJECC) 35th Annual meeting, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez recently (28 February – 3 March) met with to top Japanese Executives who have specified their interest to invest and expand in the Philippines.

Secretary Lopez met with Tsuneishi President Kenji Kawanoto to discuss the expansion plans of the company in the Philippines. “These projects with Tsuneishi involves a 120-hectare ship reuse center in Negros Occidental, a Biomass Fuel Project in Mindanao, and an International Ship Recycling Facility that will be equipped with state of the art green technologies, ” said Secretary Lopez.

The projects with Tsuneishi are projected to generate a total number of PhP 15.2 billion with 32,000 additional direct and indirect jobs in Shipbuilding and Biofuel industry.

Ichijo Co. Ltd, a prefabricated housing components manufacturing company, also discussed with the trade chief about their plans of further expanding their facility in Cavite by building a two-storey warehouse. The facility is estimated to cost nearly Php 2 Billion and generate roughly around 600 additional jobs.

“Ichijo’s competitive operations in the Philippines catapulted its ranking from number 6 in Japan to number 1, alongside Sekisui House,” said the Secretary Lopez highlighting the investor opportunities in the Philippines.

Secretary Lopez also met with Senior Executives of Sōgō Shōsha, Japan’s seven major trading houses namely Mitsubishi Motors, Mitsui & Co., Ltd, Sumitomo Corporation, Itochu Corporation, Marubeni Corporation, Toyota Tsusho and Sojitz Corporation, joined by Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade and Honorable Jose Laurel V.

The Sōgō Shōsha group expressed interest for further venture on participation in trade partnerships with the Philippines namely in the fields of renewable energy, railway and transportation, water management and Security.

These projects include a coal power plant with an estimate cost of over Php 75 Billion , capacity enhancements of mass transportation namely LRT Line 1 South extension, LRT Line 2 East extension, North-South Commuter Railway Project and possible development of transit systems in Davao, Cebu and Clark, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Multi Role Response Vessels (MRRV).

For the latter half of 2016 to 2018, Sōgō Shōsha group of companies (including subsidiaries and affiliates) expressed investment interests amounting to P198.5 billion in the aforementioned segments of the present government’s Philippine economic development plan.

The Philippine Mission to Japan garnered more than Php 200 Billion investment interests, securing over Php 20 Billion worth of commitments from Japanese companies.

“Japanese investor remains confident of business prospects in the Philippines.” said Secretary Lopez. We urge Japanese investors to take the chance to invest in the Philippines as it experiences its momentous economic takeoff in the region” he added

DTI triples number of Negosyo Centers nationwide to 447


Hits 200% of target last year

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) significantly expanded and strengthened its support and services to the growing number of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) nationwide, tripling the number of Negosyo Centers established across the country from 144 in 2015 to 447 in 2016.


In 2016, DTI hit almost 200% of the 150 target with 298 Negosyo Centers built. Majority of the Centers launched last year covered the period July to December 2016 under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, with 197 centers launched.


DTI also surpassed its set targets for the establishment of Negosyo Centers for two consecutive years. In 2015, DTI established 144 Centers, exceeding the 100 target.



People’s partner


Through Negosyo Centers, DTI assisted a total of 491,314 clients nationwide and conducted over 6,000 seminars for MSMEs and aspiring entrepreneurs. Negosyo Centers also created over 41,000 MSMEs. There were 213,092 clients served from July to November 201 alone.
“An entrepreneurial nation is what will give the Philippines a good chance towards economic prosperity. Negosyo Centers are people’s partners towards inclusive growth. This is part of the government’s commitment to encourage entrepreneurship among ordinary Filipinos,” said DTI Sec. Ramon Lopez.


As infrastructures of entrepreneurship, Negosyo Centers provide efficient services to MSMEs across the archipelago, including through provision of business mentoring services, information on market and access to money. These Centers are expected to bring in business opportunities to communities and MSMEs and contribute to countryside development.


MSMEs, backbone of the Philippine economic growth, have become a priority of President Duterte, with the DTI placing the sector’s development at the center of the trade agenda. The sector is composed of 99.6% of locally registered businesses, generating over one million jobs each year.



‘Go Negosyo’ Act


The launching of Negosyo Centers are in line with Republic Act No. 10644 or the Go Negosyo Act which aims to help MSMEs, promote ease of doing business, facilitate access to grants and other forms of financial assistance to MSMEs and provide access to Shared Service Facilities (SSF) and other equipment.


Principally authored by Senator Bam Aquino, RA 10644 also indicates support for MSMEs through national government agencies (NGAs), easier business registration, provision of management guidance, improved working conditions, and facilitation of market access and linkage services for entrepreneurs.


OFW lanes at Negosyo Centers


A special lane has been opened for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) at Negosyo Centers.  In essence, these lanes provide OFWs and their families options to either pursue business and stay in the country for good or continue working abroad and entrust business to their families and relatives.


One of the success stories is the former OFW couple whoe In an anecdote shared by Sen. Aquino, an OFW family went to a Negosyo Center in Iloilo City to explore possible government support it could get in rolling out a business.

Completing the initial registration, the OFW family was provided training needed to start a small pastry shop. Taking advantage of an OFW facility offered by a local bank, the family expanded its bakeshop by purchasing more equipment.

With such improvements, the family’s local pastry shop has now become one of the suppliers of cupcakes served in Filipino coffee shops and retail outlets.

Sec. Lopez called on OFWs to invest back in the country as demand for work abroad may not be an all-time high. He said that OFWs may explore idea-based, demand-driven and innovation-led business and investment opportunities at home in the industries of food, franchising, agriculture and services.


“OFWs’ distinguishing characteristic of being hardworking is the same element that will lead them to better quality of life,” he said.  

OCEAN 16 to pave collaboration towards Industry 4.0

Companies join tech experts and changemakers in leading digital revolution

Breakthroughs in technology are fundamentally transforming whole systems of production, management, and governance to aid societies overcome challenges from business and energy, to transportation and climate change.

Called the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” or “Industry 4.0,” this trend presents an opportunity for the Philippines not only to keep up with more advanced nations, but also solve urgent problems plaguing the country.

“This year in Davos, we talked about the Fourth Industrial Revolution – how high technology will promote rapid industrialization and how digital can impact lives for the better,” said Winston Damarillo, a Filipino Young Global Leader recognized by the World Economic Forum (WEF) which held its 2016 meeting at Davos-Klosters, Switzerland in January.

Several organizations are already working towards supporting Industry 4.0 in the Philippines by helping companies and government adapt to Big Data, Cloud Computing, and other digital innovations.

Energy goes digital

With new demands and advancements disrupting power industry norms, energy giant Meralco is spearheading discussions on emerging solutions with its annual Technology and Innovation Summit (MTECH).

Already in its second year, MTECH brings in fresh insights and experiences from global technology companies to help inform the local energy industry and pave the way for smarter utilities. This year, the summit revolved around creating intelligent customer-centered solutions that enhance human lives.

Alongside the discussions, Meralco implemented its Automated Distribution Management System (ADMS) this year to digitize the electrical grid and automate power distribution in the event of an outage.
ADMS is part of the company’s efforts to transform the business, enabling it to support alternative forms of energy like wind and solar, as well as digital trends such as Big Data and Cloud.

Empowering MSMEs

Digital technology is no longer the privilege of large corporations. Through PLDT SME Nation, micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) as well as startups can leverage business-enabling solutions through hardware, broadband connectivity, and mobile devices to gain competitive advantage.

One such solution is the Smart Tracker which enables business owners to monitor their vehicles or field force personnel in real time to ensure operational productivity and security. Smart Tracker is part of a suite of industry-specific enterprise tools called Smart Logistics Solutions that include fleet management, e-ticketing systems, and digital proof of delivery.

This year, PLDT SME led a series of road shows to promote disruptive technologies for business. These forums served as avenues where aspiring entrepreneurs can learn from businesses that found success in their respective industries through available digital solutions.

Next steps for PH

Disruptive and transformative technologies show promise in fostering productivity, cost-efficiency, and sustainability across many sectors, but adoption has been slow.

To promote Industry 4.0, top executives from Meralco, PLDT SME, Landbank, BDO, Hortonworks, and NEC Philippines will present along with other young Filipino luminaries and changemakers at theOpen Collaboration with East Asia New Champions Summit 2016 (OCEAN 16) in Bohol.

OCEAN is a biennial gathering where global leaders discuss how to better shape the future. Organized by the New Champions of the World Economic Forum, the upcoming event will impart insights from Davos 2016 as well as introduce a roadmap for “Digital Bohol” that will serve as a guide for local government units in harnessing smart technology.

Senator Bam Aquino, a co-chair of OCEAN 16, believes that “government support is important to unlocking the potential for technological innovation. That is why we are pushing for the Innovative Startup Act, so that we can boost our digital startup community.”
“Bohol will be a whole new experience. It’s a microcosm of what we want to achieve for the theme of this year’s OCEAN,” said Damarillo, who is also a co-chair of OCEAN 16. “Technology will help Filipinos everywhere tap into their creativity, come together to share resources, and include more and more people into the economy and the conversation that is now taking place online. Technology can help us be who we are, but better.”

To learn more about OCEAN 16, please visit

Bohol to ramp up investments with “one voice for one destination”



USAID facilitates tripartite partnership in investment promotion in Bohol and Tagbilaran City



Tagbilaran City – The Bohol Provincial Government, the Tagbilaran City Government, and the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) entered into a tripartite partnership to formalize their commitment to pursuing inclusive growth. Recognizing the need for a solid “one voice for one destination” vision in promoting investments, the partnership is anchored on a unified and enhanced investment promotions program for Bohol and Tagbilaran City.


“The government must work with the business sector, civil society, and other stakeholders to achieve sustainable development,” said Bohol Governor Edgardo Chatto.


“The private sector is an important driver of growth,” he added. “As the province prepares for the influx of more tourists and businesses with the opening of the new international airport in Panglao in 2018 and the completion of infrastructure projects in Tagbilaran City, the more we need to synchronize our efforts to reach our potential as an economic growth hub in the region.”


The partnership was the result of a series of workshops on investment promotion organized by the U.S. Embassy Manila’s U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), through its Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) Project, in Tagbilaran City. The BCCI will take the lead in aggressive investment promotions for the province and Tagbilaran City, drawing foreign direct investments that can bring in more jobs and revenues. Governor Chatto will issue an Executive Order to create the Tripartite Technical Working Group.


“The tripartite partnership signifies the public and private sectors’ commitment to building a mutually beneficial economic relationship that will help generate more jobs and wealth and ultimately uplift the lives of citizens,” said Jeffrey Lehrer, Director of the USAID/Philippines Office of Economic Development and Governance.


Tourism and investments


Tourism continues to be the competitive advantage of Bohol, given its status as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Philippines. Tourism played a crucial role in the recovery of the province after an earthquake and a typhoon in 2013.


While the consecutive calamities caused a sharp drop in tourist arrivals, the province, with the support of international donors, invested heavily in its tourism recovery program, Visit Bohol 2015. As part of the project, Tagbilaran City allotted PhP15 million (US$308,412) for the construction of the Bohol Friendship Park, which is designed to become a major tourist attraction in the city. According to the Department of Tourism, the number of travelers to Bohol nearly doubled from 356,370 in 2012 to 602,257 in 2015. Governor Chatto expects to attract 1.7 million tourists a year when the new international airport opens in 2018.


According to the National Competitiveness Council’s rankings in 2016, the province’s competitiveness increased by 18 places among the country’s 74 provinces, advancing from a rank of 54th in 2015 to 36th. Meanwhile, Tagbilaran City’s competitiveness increased by 9 places, from 34th to 25th among the 110 cities in the country.


Tagbilaran City Government identified tourism development, revitalization of information and communications technology (ICT), and a rationalized infrastructure program as the priority areas for development in the next three years.


“Various infrastructure projects are already in the pipeline and we are optimistic these initiatives will bring in significant contributions to what we have today—specifically, attracting investments that will eventually generate more jobs in the city,” said Tagbilaran City Mayor John Geesnell “Baba” Yap.


Strategic directions for investment promotion


The tripartite partnership will revise the enhanced Bohol Investment and Promotion Center’s two-pronged strategic direction to support business registration and micro, small, and medium enterprise development, and at the same time attract big investors. It will also strengthen the capacity of the center through learning exposures in international investment promotions conferences and destinations. This alliance will work toward establishing an Investment Promotions Center to be led by the private sector, supported by the government, and registered with the Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission.


“We believe in the province and city’s economic growth prospects, and the business sector intends to bring it to greater heights. The province and the city have various investment opportunities to offer and we just need to set the stage for more investments to come in,” said Marietta Gasatan, Vice President for External Affairs of BCCI.


“I commend the involved partners for coming together to plan for Tagbilaran City and Bohol’s future investment direction. USAID is committed to support the province and the city in improving its business environment, which will gradually contribute to deepening the Philippines’ competitive efforts globally and locally,” said Lehrer.


Tagbilaran City is one of USAID’s six partner cities under the Cities Development Initiative (CDI). The SURGE Project, the CDI’s flagship activity, is developing conditions for broad-based, inclusive, and resilient economic growth in the six cities, and will soon expand to cover additional cities.


SURGE supported the Tagbilaran City Government in updating its Comprehensive Land Use Plan to integrate climate change adaptation, gender equality, and social inclusion. It also facilitated the expansion of the inter-municipal alliance, the Panglao Island Executive Council, into the Panglao Island and Tagbilaran Executive Committee (PITEC). The PITEC, represented by local government heads from the province and the cities of Tagbilaran, Dauis, and Panglao, is addressing common concerns in urbanization and in managing the impacts of the construction and operation of the new international airport. A provincial ordinance will be issued to institutionalize the PITEC.


Moreover, the SURGE Project and the local government are developing an action plan to streamline the business registration process to three steps to improve the city’s business enabling environment.


The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) is the main implementing partner for SURGE. ICMA is a global organization composed of more than 11,000 city, town, and county managers who work to professionalize local government management around the world.


Tripartite partners strike an “all of one, one for all” pose to symbolize a solid partnership.

Tripartite partners strike an “all of one, one for all” pose to symbolize a solid partnership.

Padala gikan abroad nga nagkantidad og P10K paubos, tax free na

TAGBILARAN CITY, October 26 (PIA)–Tungod sa nagsingabot nga Pasko, maayong balita ang gipahibalo karon sa Philippine Postal Corp. ngadto sa publiko nga tigpadala pinaagi sa koreo o Post Office nga ang mga padala gikan sa ubang nasod nga nagkantidad og P10,000 paubos, tax free na karon.

Kini base sa bag-ong probisyon sa balaod ubos sa bag-ong Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) nga gilagdaan niadtong Mayo 30, 2016 isip Republic Act (RA) 10863, aron e-rebisar ang 38-ka tuig nga Tariff and Customs Code sa Bureau of Customs (BOC) nga gipalabang niadtong 1978, aron mahatagan ang mga ordinaryong katawhan, overseas Filipino workers ug konsumidor nga mogamit sa serbisyo postal sa nasod.

Matud pa sa Chapter 3. Section 423. Determination of the De Minimis Value.— “ No duties and taxes shall be collected on goods with an FOB of FCA value of ten thousand pesos (P10,000) or below. The Secretary of Finance shall adjust the de minimis valued as provided herein, every three (3) years after the effectivity of this Act.

Nahimo kining epektibo kagahapon, Oktubre 25, 2016 human ang kinse (15) ka adlaw nga pagpamantala sa official gazette.

Sa bag-ong balaod, gisaka ang “tax-free cap” sa mga pakete nga ginapadala sa mga OFWs pinaagi sa Post Office.

Dako og mapahimos ang mga OFWs niining bag-ong balaod tungod kay mahimo na sila makapadala og mga personal items sa ilang mga minahal sa kinabuhi sa Pilipinas pinaagi sa koreo nga dili na buhisan basta ang mga ipadala dili molapas sa presyong gitakda ug wala gidili sa balaod.

Ang balaod sa “minimum thresholds” o ang “de minimis” mao ang gitakdang kantidad nga buhisan sa mga ipasulod o gipadala sulod sa nasod.

Ang Pilipinas nagtakda og minimum “thresholds” aron ang tanang ubos og kantidad nga ipasulod o ipadala nga moabot sa nasod mahimong “duty ug tax free”.

Gawas sa mga pantalan ug tugpahanan, moagi sa Post Office ang mga pakete ug sulat gikan sa ubang nasod nga kasagaran pahamtangan og buhis sa BOC base sa kantidad sa gipadala. (ecb/PIA7-Bohol)


Overseas Filipinos’ (OFs) personal remittances in August 2016 increased by 16 percent year-onyear to reach US$2.6 billion, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Officer-in-Charge Nestor A. Espenilla announced today. On a year-to-year basis, personal remittances for the first eight months of 2016 grew by 4.4 percent from the previous year’s level to US$19.5 billion. Personal remittances comprised largely of transfers from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more (at US$15.1 billion) and remittances from sea-based and land-based workers of less than one year (at US$4.1 billion).

Similarly, cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks registered an increase of 16.3 percent in August 2016. Cumulative remittances I the first eight months of 2016 posted a 4.6 percent increase totaling US$17.6 billion. In particular, cash remittances from land-based workers rose by 6.5 percent to US$13.1 billion while that of sea-based workers fell moderately by 1.9 percent to reach US$3.8 billion. About 80 percent of cash remittances came from United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Japan, Qatar, Kuwait, Hong Kong, and Germany.