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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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Philippine Bill Aims To Open SMEs and Start-ups To Foreign Investors

Philippines  -  January 2019

The Philippine House of Representatives has approved House Bill No. 8764 on its final reading, which attempts to amend the Republic Act No. 7042, referred to as the Foreign Investments Act of 1991. The bill intends to bring in more Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), facilitate transfer of technology, and share technical know-how.

House Bill No. 8764 seeks to make changes to a stipulation which restricts foreign equity to a certain percentage and bans the practice of profession in Pharmacy, Radiologic and X-Ray Technology, Criminology, Forestry, and Law, or foreign participation in some sectors of the economy like mass media, small-scale mining, recruitment, operation and management of public utilities, among others, that are in the Foreign Investment Negative List (FINL).

Small and medium-sized domestic market enterprises, with paid-in equity capital less than the equivalent USD 200,000.00 are reserved to Philippine nationals. But foreign investors are allowed to have minimum capital of USD 100,000 if they employ a minimum number of employess and are engaged in advanced technologiy areas as determined by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). HB 8764 seeks to lower the hiring magnitude to 15 from 50 employees.

(Source: Manila Bulletin; News Bytes; Business World)

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ICS-Verint Venture To Develop National Cybersecurity Platform For Philippines

Philippines  -  January 2019

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in the Philippines has awarded a contract for the development of a national cybersecurity platform called Cybersecurity Management System for intelligence sharing, monitoring threats and defending the country’s cyber 'infostructure' from cyberattacks. The platform aims to strengthen the resilience of the country, as part of the vision laid out in the National Cybersecurity Plan 2022 of having a “trusted and resilient infostructure.”

The system will be developed by a joint venture between Philippine company, Integrated Computer Systems, Inc., and Israel’s Verint System Limited, a provider of surveillance tools to companies and the Israeli government. The joint venture won the contract last year after submitting a PHP 508 million (USD 9.7 million) bid. The collaboration between the two companies was among those signed by President Rodrigo Duterte during his trip to Israel in September 2018. The Philippines had been reinforcing its partnership with Israel regarding its military capability buildup, supplying the country with air surveillance radars, surface to surface missiles, and force protection equipment.

The project runs with a license period of three years. The project will be delivered to DICT’s Cybercrime Investigation and Coordination Center in ten months which will be responsible on setting up parameters and manning the monitoring using also the AI tools to be supplied by ICS-Verint.

The centralized monitoring platform would enhance the country’s ability to act on threats, before, during, and after cyber attacks. It would also monitor cyberthreats in the dark web in support of law enforcement authorities, defense, and drug enforcement agencies functions as needed. The project's first phase would cater to 10 government agencies that were identified as priorities: DICT, the Office of the President, the Department of Finance, the Department of Energy, Department of Foreign Affairs, the National Security Council, the Department of Budget and Management, the Presidential Communications Operations Office, the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, and the Department of National Defense.

(Sources: Philippine Daily Inquirer; Philippine News Agency; Business World )

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Tanglawan Philippine LNG Inc Receives Approval To Build Terminal

Philippines  -  January 2019

The Tanglawan Philippine LNG Inc has been granted by the Department of Energy the Notice to Proceed to build an LNG terminal in Batangas. The company plans to break ground by 2019 for the regasification and receiving terminal with a capacity of 2.2 mtpa, with commercial operations targeted to start by 2023.

The LNG facility will help support the demand for a clean, low-cost, and environment friendly energy source in Luzon and contribute to the sustainable development of the Philippine economy. The integrated long-term project plan also aims to develop a gas-fired power generation facility with up to 2,000 megawatts installed capacity.

A possible joint venture arrangement for Tanglawan Philippine LNG Inc. is currently being discussed between China’s largest LNG importer and terminal operator, CNOOC Gas and Power Group Co., Ltd., and Philippine’s fastest-growing oil company, Phoenix Petroleum.

(Source: Phoenix Petroleum)


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New Law In Philippines Aims To Enhance Government Response To HIV-AIDS

Philippines  -  January 2019

The Philippine government is going to strengthen its response to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) cases as President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the Republic Act 11166, or the Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act of 2018.

The new law aims to be a landmark legislation to curb the prevalence of HIV and AIDS and reduce the stigma of people with such illness. According to a recent report by the Department of Health (DOH), the country has the highest percentage increase of HIV cases from 2010 to 2016 in Asia-Pacific Region. In addition, there were 954 new cases recorded last November 2018, where 18% are in an advanced stage, most of whom are male with an average age of 27 years old.

Some of the general provisions under this law as summarized by several news outfits are:

  • Mandates the government to allocate more funds to promote HIV prevention, diagnosis and treatment and require education about public health concerns in schools and communities

  • DOH would establish a program for free and accessible anti-retroviral treatment and medication for people living with HIV.

  • Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC) will be reconstituted and streamlined to ensure the implementation of the country’s response to the HIV and AIDS situation.

  • Mandates the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation to develop a benefit package to include coverage for inpatient and outpatient medical and diagnostic services, including medication and treatment.

  • Requires all schools to teach students of the causes, modes of transmission and prevention of HIV, AIDS and other sexually-transmitted infection.

  • The government will encourage voluntary HIV testing

  • HIV test will be compulsory if a person is charged with a violation of the Anti-Rape Law of 1997; when it is necessary to resolve issues under the Family Code of the Philippines; and if a person wants to donate blood.

  • Minors under the age category of 5 to under 18 could consent to voluntary HIV testing without the approval of their parents or guardians, as previously required under Republic Act 8504.

(Sources: CNN Philippines, Manila Standard, Manila Bulletin)

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DENR Prepares to Launch Manila Bay Rehabilitation Project

Philippines  -  January 2019

The Philippine government has entrusted the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to spearhead the rehabilitation of Manila Bay. President Rodrigo Duterte is allocating PHP 47 billion (USD 893 million) to support the clean-up. The funds are expected to be obtained from road users’ tax upon abolition of the Road Board. 

According to the DENR the rehabilitation process would tentatively be a 7-year plan although they also said that there isn’t a final completion date as it will be a time-consuming process and dependent on how the bay responds to the treatments. DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu hopes to finish the project by the end of Duterte's term in June 2022.

Manila Bay is only one of the many spots in the Philippines that is undergoing a series of clean-ups and rehabilitation. This project was long overdue for nearly 10 years, pending since December 2008, when the Supreme court issued a mandamus stating that 13 government agencies should spearhead the clean-up of Manila Bay.

Furthermore, President Duterte released a statement saying that he would not think twice about ordering establishments to close down if they are found violating any regulations on proper waste disposal such as water treatments, filtration, etc. The Manila bay Rehabilitation will commence on January 27, 2019 at The Manila Yacht Club. 

(Sources: Philippine Star; CNN Philippines; The Manila Times)

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Spain Offers €300 Million Funding for Philippine Infrastructure Projects

Philippines  -  January 2019

Two memorandum of understanding (MOU) are currently being finalized by the Spanish Embassy in the Philippines and the Philippines' Department of Finance (DOF), following Spain's proposal to invest in the current administration’s various projects, mainly in the infrastructure, agro-food and tourism sectors. 

Spain offers to fund €300 million to cover possible projects in infrastructure, energy and renewable energy, telecommunication, water treatment, solid waste treatment, agro-food industry and tourism sectors. The cost of borrowing offered by Spain to the Philippines is a 0.25% interest rate over a 35-year period, and 1.15% rate over a 20-year period, as of the third quarter of 2018.

Another agreement on economic and financial cooperation is also being proposed by Spain, with focus on investments in the current administration’s “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) program, particularly in railway build-ups. The Philippie government has welcomed the offer, citing that Spain and its companies are most welcome to take part in the 75 flagship projects under the BBB, particularly in providing rolling stock and other equipment for the rail projects in Metro Manila and Luzon.

Under this proposed MOU a Joint Intergovernmental Committee (Joint Committee) will be created to identify opportunities for cooperation in such fields as agriculture, transportation, basic infrastructure, disaster-risk finance, energy and environmental economics. This joint panel will be composed of representatives from both countries, to be co-chaired by an undersecretary of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Secretary of State of Trade of the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness of Spain, with a representative from the Department of Finance (DOF) as member.

Last November Spain pledged an additional PHP 2.619 billion (USD 50 million) for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the war-torn city of Marawi in Mindanao. Spain’s pledge is on top of the technical assistance it had provided to government agencies, in preparation for the implementation of projects under the Bangon Marawi Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Program (BMCRRPP).

(Sources: Philippine News Agency; Business Mirror; Philstar Global)


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Factory inside steel


Cargill Subsidiary and Filipino Realtor Ramp Up Development of Industrial Complexes

Philippines  -  January 2019

The Philippine subsidiary of multinational firm Cargill, Cargill Joy Poultry Meats Production (or C-Joy), has partenered with Filipino company CentralHub Industrial Centers to develop industrial facilities across the country.

CentralHub Industrial Centers is the industrial leasing unit of Philippine real estate development company, DoubleDragon Properties Corp. This team up with C-Joy  is in line with the company's goal of becoming the country's leading supplier of industrial complexes, targeting eight projects with a total 100,000 square meters of leasable industrial spaces by 2020. 

“We are very optimistic for the growth prospects of CentralHub as we expect the demand for modern industrial complexes to continue to increase significantly as more companies will require modern standardized multi-use warehouses suited for commissaries, cold storage, light manufacturing and logistic distribution centers,” said DoubleDragon chief investment officer Hannah Yulo.

DoubleDragon is one of the top property developer in the country that has identified industrial leasing as another growth area. The surge of the retail sector, particularly, e-commerce, and demands from the industrial sector such as electronics, automotive, and chemicals and pharmaceuticals, are the top contributors for the expected sustained growth of the logistics and warehouse sector in the Philippines in the medium-term. 

(Sources: Manila Standard; Business World; Philippine Star; Press Reader) 


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Philippines Legislature Passes Bill Creating Space Agency

Philippines  -  January 2019

In December 2018, the Philippines House of Representatives approved House Bill No. 8541, or the Philippine Space Development Act, designed to help beef up the country’s development of space technologies, applications and a more secure and independent space access.

The bill aims to create a central government agency called Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) which will be under the Department of Science and Technology (DoST). According to the explanatory note of the bill going to the Senate, the PhilSA will be responsible for developing space science technology policies, implementing research and education programs, and establishing industry linkages between private and public sector stakeholders. It will also be the Philippines’ representation for international space agreements and arbitrations.

PhilSA’s headquarter will be housed on 30 hectare of land, which are under the administration of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority within the Clark Special Economic Zone in Pampanga and Tarlac.

The bill also requires establishing a Philippine Space Development and Utilization Policy (PSDUP), a roadmap that would enable the country to be a globally capable nation on space front.

(Source: Philippine News Agency; Manila Bulletin)

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Vista Land Plans To Adds 7 New Malls To Its Portfolio By 2020

Philippines  -  January 2019

Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc, one of the largest property companies in the Philippines, plans to complete seven new malls over the next two years that will add 274,000 square meters of gross floor area to its existing leasing portfolio of 1.16 million square meters comprising of 26 malls, seven office buildings and 50 commercial centres across the country.. In 2019, the company plans to complete the 54,000 sqm Vistamall North Molino phase 1 in Bacoor, Cavite, the 35,000 sqm Vistamall Mintal phase 1 in Davao City, the 40,000 sqm Vistamall Dasmariñas in Cavite and the 45,000 sqm Vistamall Sta. Maria in Bulacan.

In 2020, Vista Land expects the completion of the 40,000 sqm Vistamall Santiago, in Isabela province, the 40,000 sqm Vistamall Cabanatuan in Nueva Ecija and the 20,000 sqm Vistamall Butuan in Butuan City. The construction of these new malls will be funded with the PHP 10 billion (USD 190 million) worth of fresh capital that was raised via a bond offering in December 2018.

By 2020, Vista Land plans to operate 60 malls that are expected to generate a steady stream of leasing revenues for the company. The company has established presence in about 133 cities and municipalities across 46 provinces. It plans to focus on the development of integrated urban development combining lifestyle retail, prime office space, university town, healthcare, themed residential developments and leisure components.

(Source: Manila Standard)


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Business Incorporation/ Site Selection

We counsel businesses on where to locate their office and industrial operations and what the optimal business structure should be to meet local government and tax requirements. Some of the quest...

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