Philippines Morning News For December 20

Philippines Morning News For December 20
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Philippines morning newsDuterte signs P3.8-trillion 2018 national budget into law
After vetoing some line items, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the P3.767-trillion national budget for 2018 into law on Tuesday, December 19.

Income tax cut, but prices seen to go up
Wage earners can expect bigger take-home pay – but also bigger expenses on fuel, fares and goods such as sweetened beverages after President Duterte signed into law yesterday the first package of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN).

PH is Asia’s most dangerous country for reporters
The Philippines has become Asia’s most dangerous country for reporters, with at least five journalists being shot in the last year, four of whom died of their injuries.
The Manila Times 

Antibiotic approved for Philippines sale, amid global pressure to cut drug use
A drug to treat egg-laying poultry made by antibiotics manufacturer ECO Animal Health Group has won approval to be sold in the Philippines, amid intense pressure to combat antimicrobial resistance.

Amnesty for thousands of illegal Filipino workers in Saudi
About 16,000 Filipino who had been working in Saudi Arabia illegally were given amnesty under the Saudi government’s “A Nation Without Violations” program.
Asia Times 

Philippine tribal communities brace for deadly Christmas
Church figures in the Philippines have expressed fears Christmas might be bloody this year, especially in the provinces, after the National Police announced it would be launching operations against communist guerrillas.

Civil partnership more feasible than same-sex marriage
The country’s first transgender-lawmaker yesterday welcomed President Duterte’s latest pronouncements supporting same-sex marriage, but expressed belief that civil partnership is a more “feasible option” in the Philippine setting.

PT&T, Chinese company team up to roll out wireless broadband
Philippine Telegraph & Telephone Corp. (PT&T) said Tuesday it signed a deal with a Chinese technology company to roll out a wireless broadband project nationwide.
Manila Standard 

Why the Philippines Needs to Develop Its Coast Guard
In 2012, the Philippines was accused by China of militarizing the territorial dispute over Scarborough Shoal when it deployed the Philippine Navy’s flagship BRP Gregorio del Pilar to apprehend a Chinese fishing vessel and arrest its fishermen.
The Diplomat

Government sets P50-B funding for MSME development
The government intends to alleviate the plight of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as it plans to shell out P50 billion for an assistance and development program until 2022, the country’s trade chief said yesterday.

Philippines declines US development aid package to focus on rebuilding Marawi
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s government has opted out of a major US development aid programme that requires recipients to support democracy and fight corruption, the two countries said on Tuesday.
South China Morning Post 

Duterte wants China telco up and running in 90 days
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered government regulatory agencies to speed up the entry of China Telecom, saying the Chinese firm should be operating in 90 days or less.
The Manila Times 

PH Navy chief relieved after disagreement over P16-B warships
Following directives from “higher authorities,” Armed Forces chief General Rey Leonardo Guerrero has relieved Vice Admiral Ronald Mercado of his post as chief of the Philippine Navy 3 months ahead of his retirement in March 2018.

Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte defends granddaughter’s sumptuous ‘coming of age’ palace photoshoot
The family of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has been accused of reviving the opulence of the Marcos era after his teenage granddaughter staged a lavish photoshoot at the presidential palace in the capital, Manila.

Philippines: Indigenous people seek peace after attacks
Up on the verdant mountains of Talaingod, a young swine squeals as four men grab its legs and a freshly sharpened bolo readies to slash its throat.
Al Jazeera

Families claim Dengvaxia deaths
Parents of two schoolchildren who allegedly died due to the controversial anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia yesterday surfaced at the Department of Justice (DOJ) to demand accountability for their loss.

Urduja toll rises to 46; hopes for missing fade
THE death toll from Tropical Depression “Urduja” that pummeled central Philippines over the weekend rose to 46, the Philippine National Police said on Tuesday, as hopes faded for at least 45 other people reported missing after massive landslides.
The Manila Times 

The third telco: A security perspective
IT seems like an eternity of bad deals and mediocre service, but what’s a guy to do? There are only two telephone companies in the country; one possible solution (if your budget permits) is to subscribe to both.
The Manila Times 

MICC backs open pit mining but…
Amid President Duterte’s pronouncement that the ban on open-pit mines stays, the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) is set to forward to his office findings that support the practice.

Japan’s R&I affirms PH investment grade score
Tokyo-based Ratings and Investment Information Inc. (R&I Ratings) on Tuesday affirmed its “BBB” investment grade rating for the Philippines, forecasting solid economic growth given the Duterte government’s aggressive infrastructure plans.
The Manila Times

PH withdraws MCC aid application
THE Philippines has withdrawn its application for a second assistance package under the Millennium Challenge Corporation as the country focuses its time, energy and resources on the rebuilding of war-torn Marawi City, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said yesterday.


Feature photo Andy Maluche

Find our previous morning news feature photos in the AEC News Today Morning News Feature Photos gallery where you will find a pictorial display of daily life throughout the Asean Economic Community (AEC).

Philippines morning news by AEC News Today is your one stop source for Philippines news on matters of governance and policies affecting Asean business communities. It is published M-F by AEC News Today: Governance, not government; policies not politics.


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Leakhena Khat

Leakhena is a junior journalist at AEC News Today who is also currently studying International Relations, which she finds adds perspective to her work reporting on the Asean Community.

“I love what I am doing so much as it gives me a lot of great experience and provides challenges to my mind.

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