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About Philippines

The Philippines is the world’s 10th fastest growing economy globally with annual growth projected to be at 6.8% in both 2017 and 2018. Being the world's third largest English-speaking country, the Filipino workforce is one of the most compelling advantages the country has over any other Asian country.

The country, which has a population of over 100 million, has emerged as an attractive market for foreign companies due to its strong and stable economy and sound macroeconomic, fiscal and monetary policies. The government's plans for sustained infrastructure spending between 2017 and 2022 is expected to help keep the country’s economic engine running smoothly.

Population: 102.62 million
Inflation Rate: 1.8%
Currency: Philippine Peso (PHP)
Ave Exchange Rate: PHP 47.08 : US$ 1
Imports: US$ 77.52 billion
Exports: US$ 43.44 billion
GDP: US$ 311.7 billion
GDP per capita (PPP) US$ 7,700
Real GDP Growth 6.9%
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This report provides an overview of the medical technologies sector in the Philippines, which is one of the fastest growing economies in South East Asia. The Philippine Health Insurance Corp’s (PhilHealth) mandate to increase its coverage from 92% to 100% of the population is expected to...

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This report is designed to provide an overview of the smart cities sector in the Philippines. The Philippines, which has one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia, has joined the world’s move towards utilizing intelligent technologies that aim to speed up a country’s economy tow...

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The Philippines has improved remarkably in its economic standing over the past years, and is now listed by the World Bank as the 10th fastest-growing economy in the world. Its ballooning population, and high rates of urbanization have led to a growing demand for potable water, as well as a gre...

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Philippines Country Profile

The report offers a wide range of data and information collected from various sources that were built together in order to provide not just facts but deeper insights about the country. Unlike other country reports that focus more on macro-economic data, we think that the most valuable part of ...

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Agreement handshake %281%29


Philippines And Israel Sign 21 Business Deals Valued At USD 84.9 Million

Philippines  -  September 2018

During the visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Israel, 21 business deals worth USD 84.9 million were sealed. These are expected to generate 790 jobs in the Philippines. 

Some of the agreements were security-related, such as the transfer of know-how and technology agreement by Israeli weapons manufacturer, EMTAN to the Philippines-based arms manufactuer, Armscor for the latter to create a local weapons manufacturing facility in the Philippines under the license of EMTAN; exploring a mutually beneficial opportunities for collaboration on security, intelligence data mining and information technology; cooperation to develop cybersecurity-related certification courses in the Philippines; and, exploring opportunities in the manufacturing and refurbishment of small arms and ammunition.

Other MoUs and LOIs were on trading, agriculture and environment-related projects, tourism and shipping such as the collaboration to provide additional ships/vessels to service the country's local and international shipping requirements.

Below are the 21 agreements: 

  • MOA between Stone of David Corporation and Gaia Automotive Industries Ltd - Marketing and promotion of "tactical vehicles," technology transfer

  • MOA between Stone of David Corporation and MCTECH RF Technologies Ltd - Development of military and intelligence products and hardware

  • MOU between Integrated Computer Systems, Inc and Verint Systems Ltd - Explore collaborations on security, intelligence data mining, and information technology

  • MOU between AMA Education Systems (AMAES) and HackerU - Develop cybersecurity-related certification courses in the Philippines

  • MOU between Armscor Global Defense, Inc and EMTAN Karmiel Ltd - EMTAN to transfer know-how and technology to Armscor so that Armscor can create a weapons manufacturing facility in the Philippines, under license from EMTAN. This project has an estimated cost of USD10 million and is projected to generate 200 jobs.

  • LOI of Silver Shadow Advanced Security Systems and Rayo Illuminar Corporation - Explore opportunities in the manufacturing and refurbishment of small arms and ammunition, together with local partner Rayo Illuminar Corporation. This project is estimated to cost USD 50 million and is expected to create 160 jobs by 2019.

  • MOA between Century Properties, Inc and Globe Invest Ltd - joint venture agreement on energy, agriculture, and urban farming; prefabricated houses; wate desalination; real estate.

  • MOU between Century Pacific Food, Inc and Kvuzat Yavne - Distribution of Century canned tuna products within Israeli and Palestinian National Authority

  • MOU between the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE) -7Go Negosyo and Israel-Philippines Chamber of Commerce/Israel Chamber of Commerce - Develop and undertake initiatives related to the Kapatid Mentor ME Program

  • MOU between the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce - Exchange information on commerce, industry market updates, and identification of business and trade opportunities

  • MOU between the PCCI-National Capital Region and Jerusalem Chamber of Commerce (JCC) - Promote, strengthen, and expand trade, economic, scientific, and technological cooperation and exchange information on commerce, manufacturing, pharmaceutical industry, health and wellness, real estate, information communication technology, and renewable energy

  • MOU between Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and Eilat Port Company Ltd - Promote an "all-water route" between Port of Subic Bay and Eilat Port in Israel for trade and investment

  • MOU between Le Soleil Shipping Agencies, Inc and ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd - Provide additional ships or vessels to service the country’s local and international shipping requirements.

  • MOU between KEREM IT Solutions and Carbyne Ltd - The selling of each other's products in their respective countries.

  • MOU between KEREM IT Solutions and SuperCom - The selling of each other's products in their respective countries.

  • LOI of Amdocs Philippines, Ltd - Expand software development and support services in the Philippines as the company's hub in Asia-Pacific

  • LOI of TrueLogic Online Solutions, Inc - Expand software operations, systems development, and support services. This venture has an estimated cost of USD 500,000 and is projected to generate 100 jobs by 2019.

  • LOI of MIMA TECH and I GilanGroup - Expand operations in the field of agriculture and wastewater and sewerage treatment projects. This project is estimated to cost USD 20 million and expected to generate 300 jobs by 2019.

  • LOI of FlyEast Philippines - Expand Philippine operations on tourism development. This project is estimated to cost USD 400,000 and is expected to create 30 jobs by 2019.

  • LOI of FoodLab Capital - Build a FoodTech Acceleration Center within the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport (CSEZFP) to service the food industry locators of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA). This project is projected to cost USD 1 million.

  • LOI of Assuta Medical Center and I-DEA Ventures Group Inc - Build a "state-of-the-art" medical center CSEZFP for the medical needs of the locators of the CEZA. Also expected to cost USD 1 million.

(Sources: Philippine News Agency; Rappler) 

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Coding software laptop computer


Philippines Plans To Rollout National Biometric ID System

Philippines  -  September 2018

President Rodrigo Duterte recently signed into law the Philippine System Identification Act (PhilSys Act) which mandates the government to create a single identification card for all citizens. The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is the agency in-charge of the massive USD 562 million project.

Under the law, PSA, which will act as the PhilSys Registry, will require the biometrics of applicants, along with response to 10 basic identity questions, three of which may be optional. For newborns, PhilSys registration will be upon birth sans the biometrics. The first biometrics for child applicants will be captured at age five and they will be updated when he/she reaches the legal age of 18. Amidst concerns of breach of privacy and data leakage, the PhilSys Act ensures that biometrics and personal information will be kept in a resilient data system subject to the country’s data privacy law.

PSA is on-track to bidding out the contract and is finalizing the Terms of Reference (TOR) in coordination with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Privacy Commission (NPC). The agency has already received proposals from private-sector firms, one of them is the consortium of Ayala and Aboitiz, in partnership with Unisys Philippines, which will disburse PHP 15 billion (USD 270 million) in its proposal to design and develop said infrastructure.

The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) will be ready by the first half of October 2018. The pilot launch in December 2018 will enroll one million households who are beneficiaries of the state cash handouts. The entire population is expected to be registered in two to five years. Upon full implementation, several government-issued IDs will be invalidated. For initial registration, the PSA will enroll the first one million, who are beneficiaries of the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT). 

The new ID system will give not just an easy access to government’s social benefits but also in securing jobs and opening bank accounts. It is believed that there are millions of undocumented Filipinos who do not even have the basic requirements like birth-certificate required to obtain any of the thirty (30) types of ID accepted as proof of identity, making it a barrier for work opportunities. According to the central bank, about half of the population did not have access to banking services last year – one fifth not having the required documents, such as two nationally accepted IDs.

(Sources: Philippines News Agency; Nikkei Asian Review; Business Mirror; ABS-CBN News)

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Ships lng rigs oil gas


Philippine National Oil Co Seeks Partner For LNG Terminal

Philippines  -  September 2018

Government-owned Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) is shifting from unsolicited tender to solicited tender scheme for liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal facility in the country.

According to the Department of Energy (DOE), there were no compliant or comprehensive tenders received during the unsolicited bidding scheme. PNOC received offers from several firms including Korea Electric Power Corp. (Kepco), Lloyds Energy Group and China National Offshore Oil Co. (CNOOC), First Gen Corp., Energy World Corp., PT. Jaya Samudra Karunia, and PT PGN LNG Indonesia/PT Bosowa Corporindo with their local partner MOF Corp.

Lloyds Energy Group of Dubai was the first in line among the interested organizations who expressed its intention to submit a proposal for partnership with PNOC to build the LNG terminal hub soon. Meanwhile, First Gen Corp. of the Lopez Group also expressed interest in partnering with PNOC. However, proponents have to wait until PNOC and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to finish formulating the guidelines for the solicited scheme. ADB was tapped by PNOC to be its consultant in finding a suitable partner and development of the LNG hub.

The key features of the LNG project under the PNOC’s solicited scheme, which is estimated to cost between USD 600 million to USD 1.4 billion are the following:

  • Minimum capacity of three metric tons per annum, equivalent to 3,000 MW to cover existing immediate needs with future increase to five MPTA.

  • Phased development to cope with future market developments.

  • Flexibility to allow Floating Storage and Regasification Unit in the first phase, but eventually, the terminal will be land-based as demand increase and to ensure greater security.

  • Implemented as a joint-venture with PNOC to ensure public oversight of the project development and operation.

  • PNOC would make site available in the Batangas area.

(Sources: Business Mirror, Manila Standard. Philippine Star, Manila Bulletin, Philippine Resources)

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Health insurance


IFC Invests USD 40 Million In Fullerton Health Philippines

Philippines  -  September 2018

Fullerton Health Philippines Holdings Corporation and Fullerton Health Philippines Pte. Ltd., two wholly-owned subsidiaries of Singapore-based Fullerton Health, have secured a USD 40 million investment in the form of a long-term loan facility from World Bank member group, International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The investment from IFC will enhance the provision of affordable, quality healthcare in the Philippines and enhance efficiencies in the health maintenance organisation (HMO) market through increased integration between the financing and provision of healthcare. HMOs are private providers of healthcare insurance, providing access to doctors within their network. The funding will also be used to provide training opportunities for health practitioners. 

In May 2018, Fullerton Health entered the Philippine market by acquiring 60% stake in the Intellicare Group. The acquisition reinforces Fullerton’s strategy of expanding its presence in markets across the Asia Pacific region.  Intellicare Group is comprised of three (3) companies: Asalus Corporation, engaged in the delivery of health maintenance organization (HMO) services, Avega Managed Care Incorporated, a third-party service provider for corporate clients, and Aventus Medical Care Incorporated, which operates a network of outpatient and mobile clinics.

The financing is in line with IFC’s goal of financially supporting long-term sustainable development projects as it sees addressing wide gap in health insurance coverage crucial in the Philippines. The growth of Intellicare and other companies in this segment is expected to reduce low and middle-income households’ reliance on out-of-pocket payments to fund healthcare expenses.

(Sources: Manila Bulletin; International Finance Corporation)

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Water resources pipeline sewerage


MWSS, SKorea’s Daegu Ink Water Agreement

Philippines  -  September 2018

The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and South Korea’s Daegu City signed a memorandum of understanding to develop solutions to water-related problems, improve their respective water systems, and strengthen cooperation among their water institutions.

The signing of agreement happened in a special ceremony at the Korea International Water Week in Daegu Exco on September 12. Specifically, the two parties agreed to:

  • Share information on water related challenges and issues encountered by the two cities.

  • Develop an integrated water-resource management that will address the challenges and issues as well as pioneer new markets and share strategic technologies related to their respective water and sewerage systems.

  • Both parties will select, develop and implement regular cooperation programs to further develop the water industry, and boost cooperation between water-related businesses, educational institutions, and industry organizations.

According to MWSS Administrator, the agency can tap Daegu to act as third-party consultant for the sewerage and wastewater management system in Metro Manila.

(Sources: Business Mirror, Manila Times)

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USD 423 Million Allocated For Manila North Harbor Port Modernization

Philippines  -  September 2018

Philippine conglomerate, San Miguel Corp (SMC), has allotted PHP 22.9 billion (USD 423 million) for the rehabilitation and modernization of the 55-hectare port facility Manila North Harbor located in Tondo, Manila. Manila North Harbor is one of the busiest ports in the Philippines with quay length of 5,200 meters and 41 berths that can accommodate all types of vessels such as containerized and non-container types vessels.

SMC intends to develop Manila North Harbor to become the country’s biggest domestic port that would grow two or three times its current size. Port congestion is among the major problems in the country’s port operations and as an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands, the Philippines not only needs to build more ports, but it also needs to expand the capacity of existing ones to make them more competitive and get a larger share of the international trade and tourism markets.  

SMC has already spent PHP 13.8 billion (USD 254 million) for the improvement and upgrading of Manila Harbor’s passenger terminal complex. This includes the development of berth and quay lines, reclamation of the piers, rehabilitation of container yards and the construction of new passenger terminals. The remaining budget will be used for the phase 2 rehabilitation target to be completed by December 2022.

SMC holds a 43.3% stake in Manila North Harbor. International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI), the Philippine port-handling leader, recently increased its holding in the harbor to 50%. ICTSI acquired 34.8% of the harbor's shares from Petron Corp (controlled by SMC) last year.

(Sources: The Philippine Star; Rappler) 

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Robotic arm in production


Israeli Arms Manufacturer To Open Plant In Philippines

Philippines  -  September 2018

Israeli firm Silver Shadow Advanced Security Systems Ltd (SSASS) and the Philippines’ Rayo Illuminar Corporation (RIC) signed a memorandum of undetaking to set-up a manufacturing plant in the Philippines.

Under the agreement, the facility will initially manufacture and assemble firearms and ammunitions which is anticipated to employ at least 160 personnel. SSASS is committing to put an initial investment of USD 50 million and will provide training.

SSASS’ CEO Amos Golan is expected to visit the country soon to finalize the partnership and begin the construction and installation of essential apparatus. Limay, Bataan is the prospective location being eyed by the two firms for the manufacturing facility. While the agreement was signed during President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit in Israel, RIC and SSASS already had a series of exploratory meetings.

SSASS specializes in the production of weaponry systems and small arms, such as various assault rifles, submachine guns, sniper rifles and more, for military, police and security applications.

(Sources: Philippine News Agency; The Asian Policy; The Jerusalem Post)

Airport terminal


“Super Consortium” of Philippine Top Conglomerates Progresses Towards NAIA Redevelopment

Philippines  -  September 2018

Philippine’s biggest conglomerates Metro Pacific Corp, Aboitiz Group, Ayala Inc, Alliance Global Group, Emerging Dragon Corp, Filinvest Development Corp and JG Summit have formed a consortium that plans to redevelop the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila. The consortium submitted an unsolicited proposal to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) last February 12, 2018, seeking to transform NAIA into a regional airport hub and expanding its capacity to meet the anticipated growth in passenger traffic from the strong economies of the Philippines and the region.

DOTr and MIAA have granted Original Proponent Status (OPS) to the “NAIA Consortium” for its proposal to rehabilitate, upgrade, expand, operate, and maintain the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for 15 years, brought down from the originally proposed concession period of 35 years. This OPS is the first step in the NAIA receiving an upgrade to improve the passenger experience for Manila’s international gateway airport. The proposal will still be subjected to a Swiss challenge, where the government will invite other players to make bids..

The PHP 102 Billion (USD 1.8 billion) proposal involves expanding and interconnecting the existing terminals of NAIA, upgrading airside facilities, developing commercial facilities to increase airline and airport efficiencies, enhancing passenger comfort and experience, and elevating the status of NAIA as the country's premier international gateway. According to the proposal, these improvements will be implemented with minimal disruption to ongoing airport operations.

The NAIA project supports the government’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ program with its plan to develop NAIA into a world-class facility and a regional air transport hub by upgrading its airside, landside, and air navigation support—building on the gains already achieved by the DOTr in terms of improving the traffic of aircraft movements on its runways.

(Sources: Metro Pacific; The Philippine Star) 

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Philippines Reducing Non-Tariff Barriers To Agricultural Imports

Philippines  -  September 2018

President Rodrigo Duterte issued an administrative order on 21 September to eliminate non-tariff barriers to the imports of rice and other agriculture products. The order aims to address the impact of inflation which rose to 6.4% in August, the highest since 2009, and ensure the stability of the prices of agricultural products in the domestic market. Applicable fees will reduced or removed. 

According to the Administrative Order Subject to conditions imposed by applicable laws and consistent with their respective legal mandates, the National Food Authority (NFA), SRA, and DA, in coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), will undertake immediate measures to remove administrative constraints and other non-tariff barriers on the importation of agricultural products. 

This includes streamlining procedures and requirements for the accreditation of importers and minimizing the processing time of applications for importation. Traders already accredited will be exempt from registration requirements. It will also allow the import of food products beyond the authorized Minimum Access Volume (MAV) and where applicable, reduce or remove fees in order to ensure their sufficient supply in the domestic market at more affordable prices. 

The order also aims to liberalize issuance of permits and accreditation of traders who want to import rice to break monopoly. It will temporarily allow direct importation by sugar-using industries to lower their input cost. 

DTI and DA have also been asked to take concrete steps to improve logistics, transport, distribution and storage of agricultural products to reduce input costs.

(Sources: PhilStar; officialgazette.gov.ph) 





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