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Report | The Report: The Philippines 2015

The Philippine economy is gradually on the rise, largely driven by its business process outsourcing, industry and construction sectors. The average pace of growth in the Philippines in the first half of the decade was 6.3%, compared to 6% in Indonesia, 5.8% in Malaysia and Vietnam, and 3.6% in Thailand. The government has been widely commended for its efforts to improve business conditions and reduce corruption, while a relatively conservative fiscal policy has helped boost the economy’s credibility and steer investment into the private sector.

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Chapter | Tax from The Report: The Philippines 2015

This chapter examines the key elements of the Philippine tax regime, featuring an interview with Marivic C Espano, Chairperson and CEO, Punonbayan & Araullo.

Chapter | Legal Framework from The Report: The Philippines 2015

This chapter examines important legal and regulatory developments in the Philippines, with particular focus on the liberalised entry of foreign banks, Islamic banking and finance, merger control and data privacy. It also features an interview with Rafael A Morales, Managing Partner, SyCip Salazar, Hernandez & Gatmaitan.

Chapter | Mining from The Report: The Philippines 2015

The Philippines boasts some of the world’s vastest precious metals reserves, valued at around $840bn at 2010 prices. In 2013 the Philippines was tied with Indonesia as the largest nickel producer in the world, producing some 440,000 tonnes each. The country’s vast and largely untapped mining potential will continue to draw strong interest from foreign and domestic actors despite decreasing investment in the short term. Although overall output and revenue are being sustained by existing operations, new investment continues to lag, as mining companies wait out the finalisation of new mining regulations. The question is when the regulatory framework will catch up with demand. This chapter contains an interview with Geraldo H Brimo, President and CEO, Nickel Asia Corporation.

Chapter | Education from The Report: The Philippines 2015

As of 2016 the Philippines will extend mandatory basic education to 12 years, up from the 10-year mandate that has been in effect since 1987. The increased role of the private sector in providing educational services is crucial to the realisation of this task, with growing opportunities on the horizon and the authorities taking slow but steady steps to define them. Challenges of access and quality remain, and the government continues to address them through a host of pragmatic initiatives. With the dialogue between the private sector and educational institutions increasing and accompanied by reforms aimed squarely at better preparing students for employment, the sector continues to move in the right direction. This chapter contains an interview with Armin Luistro, Secretary, Department of Education.

Chapter | Health from The Report: The Philippines 2015

The Philippine experiment of combining public health care spending with private sector delivery continues to evolve. As health care remains central to the public interest, there is a heavy onus on improving access and efficiency in accordance with the goal of providing universal health care coverage for all Filipinos by 2016. The year 2015 is expected to focus on consolidation, as inefficiencies in PhilHealth and shortcomings in the investment environment are addressed with an influx of funding. The battle to improve the quality of care in rural areas remains pressing and efforts to keep qualified health care staff close to home should start having an effect on the sector overall. This chapter contains an interview with Alexander A Padilla, President and CEO, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation.

Chapter | Agriculture from The Report: The Philippines 2015

Directly employing more than one-quarter of all workers in non-service industries, agriculture provided a livelihood for more than 11m Filipinos in 2013. The sector continues to play a pivotal role in the economy, even as the government looks to develop other industries to lead the way in the future. Recent public and private efforts to boost output and efficiency have led to promising improvements across several segments, including a drive for self-sufficiency in the staple crops of rice and corn and expansion of the sugar industry, while continued investment has produced growth in export-oriented cash crops. Determining the most effective means of countering the effects of inclement and often devastating weather will be a key concern going forward. This chapter contains interviews with Francis N Pangilinan, Secretary, Office of the Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernisation; and John P Perrine, Chairman, Unifrutti Group Philippines.