Government’s Debt-GDP Ratio Improves to 34.6% in 2016

The government’s debt-to-GDP ratio in 2016 improved to 34.6%, compared to the 36.2% in 2015. This was attributed to the improvement in government’s cash position, debt management reforms, and economic growth. It came despite the higher nominal general government debt of P5.016 trillion in 2016, 3.9 % up from the end-2015 level of P4.829 trillion. More than half, or P2.933 trillion, was accounted for by domestic borrowings,… Continue reading

Military Believes Maute Group Leader and Malaysian Financier Now Dead

The military said that two leading figures of the Maute Group are now believed to be dead. The two are Omarkhayam Maute, one of two brothers who founded the terror organization, and Mahmud bin Ahmad, a Malaysian financier believed to have channeled more than P30 million for the group’s firearms and logistics. Members of the terror group are still holed up in Marawi, though they have been cornered into… Continue reading

BSP Holds Interest Rates Steady

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP, Philippine central bank) held steady the country’s interest rates as it forecasts inflation to remain manageable and within the target for the next three years. It acknowledged that there might be a potential transitory impact resulting from the proposed tax reform program still pending in Congress, but assessed that social safety nets would mitigate the resulting inflationary pressures. The BSP also… Continue reading

Duterte Vows Passing of Bangsamoro Basic Law in Three Years

President Rodrigo Duterte promised to push for the passing of the Bangsamoro Basic Law within three years. If passed, it would grant autonomy to Muslims in several provinces in Mindanao. The two biggest Muslim organizations, namely the Moro National Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MNLF), have been making this demand in return for a peace agreement. A similar proposal during the… Continue reading

Military Taps Spy Planes from US, Australia in War Against Islamic State-Linked Groups

The Armed Forces of the Philippines has enlisted the help of the US and Australia in its effort to nail down members of Muslim terror organizations in Mindanao. Spy planes from the two countries are combing the region in order to pinpoint the exact locations and hideouts of Islamic State-linked groups, including the Maute Group, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and the Abu Sayyaf Group. Earlier, a maritime cooperationContinue reading

Government to Borrow P889.72-B in 2018

The government plans to borrow P889.72 billion next year, 22.3% more than the revised P727.64-billion program for 2017. It will retain an 80:20 borrowing mix in favor of domestic sources. The administration is looking at a wider deficit ceiling equivalent to 3% of GDP annually starting 2017, as it plans to drastically raise spending, particularly on infrastructure. The borrowing schedule, however, does not factor in yet the plan to issue panda bonds that Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez want to issue within the… Continue reading

Philippines, US Conduct Joint Naval Exercises in Visayas

Another round of joint military activities with the United States has been conducted in the central Philippines. The maritime exercise would focus on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. Still, this is considered significant given President Rodrigo Duterte’s repeated threats that exercises with the US would be cancelled. He has since backtracked after admitting that the military already has a rapport with US troops and that the… Continue reading