Philippines Morning News For March 20

Philippines Morning News For March 20
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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.


Philippines morning news


Philippines’ Duterte says can’t stop China developing shoal
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Sunday (Mar 19) he could not stop China from building on a disputed shoal near his country’s west coast because it was too powerful.
— Channel NewsAsia

Banks ordered to update anti-money laundering rules
THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has ordered banks and other financial entities to update their anti-money laundering rules to accommodate a more “flexible” approach on client verification, which allows the firms to adopt digital processes and relax requirements for the unbanked segment.
— Business World

Philippines’ Duterte welcomes prospect of ICC case, says ‘brutal’ war on drugs to go on
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday welcomed the prospect of the International Criminal Court (ICC) putting him on trial over his bloody war on drugs, saying he would not be intimidated and his campaign would be unrelenting and “brutal”.
— Reuters

Philippines to strengthen military facilities in South China Sea
The Philippines said on Friday it would strengthen its military facilities on islands and shoals in the disputed South China Sea and announced initial plans to build a new port and pave an existing rough airstrip.
— Reuters

Parents in Philippines taking money from Western paedophiles for webcam abuse
Authorities in the Philippines have warned the sexual exploitation of children online is a “growing trend”, despite ramped-up global efforts to rescue minors from abuse.
— Sky News

Philippine bishops preach against restoring death penalty
Philippine Catholic bishops fired back against efforts to restore the death penalty with a special prayer read at all masses on Sunday (Mar 19).
— Channel NewsAsia

De Lima vows to continue speaking out
Sen. Leila de Lima vowed yesterday to continue speaking out against the “crooked and violent” Duterte administration as she thanked her supporters for giving her strength while in jail.
— Phil Star

World Bank funds Metro Manila BRT system
In a statement sent to reporters on Friday, the World Bank said its Board of Executive Directors approved the financing for $109.4-million Metro Manila BRT Line 1 project, which will come from the lender and the Clean Technology Fund (CTF).
— Business World

Duterte blasts EU anew: Do not impose your culture on us
President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday blasted the European Union (EU) anew, days after the it raised concerns about the human rights situation in the Philippines before the United Nations Human Rights Council as the casualties in Duterte’s controversial war on drugs continue.

SolGen backs Speaker Alvarez’s impeachment bid vs Robredo
Solicitor General Jose Calida said that he will support House Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez’s plan to file an impeachment complaint against Vice President Leni Robredo over the latter’s video to the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs where she criticized the conduct of the administration’s anti-drug campaign.
— Phil Star

Duterte eyes pact with Myanmar on food security, agriculture
The Philippine government may sign a memorandum of understanding with Myanmar on food security and agricultural cooperation on the second day of President Rodrigo Duterte’s first visit to the country.
— Inquirer.Net

PH scientists get P140M in US grants for research
Just after US President Donald Trump razed funding for foreign aid, including that for US Agency for International Development (USAID), the US ambassador to Manila was hailing what he said were some of the Philippines’ best scientific minds who are beneficiaries of a USAID grant and scholarship program.
— Inquirer.Net

Duterte hits critics in front of Filipinos in Myanmar
President Rodrigo Duterte blasted his critics in front of the Filipino community gathered at the Horizon Lake View Resort in Nay Pyi Taw on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Duterte is in Myanmar for a two-day visit. (Video from RTVM)
— Inquirer.Net

Foreign debt at six-year low in 2016
THE COUNTRY’s foreign debt declined in 2016 to a six-year low, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said, as the Philippines settled more of its offshore borrowings and as the stronger dollar pulled the gross amount down from a year ago.
— Business World

Regional governments should encourage local products` competitiveness: President
President Joko Widodo has expressed hope for regional governments that have direct borders with neighboring countries, to encourage local products competitiveness for the export market.
— Antara News

Duterte reveals daughter Sara wanted to resign as Davao mayor
President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday revealed that his daughter, Sara Duterte, attempted to resign from her post as Davao City mayor.

House leader affirms support for tax reform package despite setback
A HOUSE of Representatives leader has affirmed congressional support for the Department of Finance’s (DoF) comprehensive tax reform package despite its setback in his own committee.
— Business World

Indonesia eyes increased trade with Mindanao
More robust trade between Indonesia and the Philippines, particularly within the areas of the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines (BIMP) sub-regional grouping, is expected with the soon-to-be-launched Davao-General Santos-Bitung roll-on, roll-off (RoRo) cargo route and increased marketing initiatives.
— Business World

Analysts see two BSP rate hikes this year
THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) will likely hold fire on policy settings this Thursday despite last week’s widely expected rate hike in the United States, although some analysts expect up to two increases later this year in the face of rising inflation and a weakening peso.
— Business World

Wilcon to raise P7B in Philippines’ 1st IPO this year
WILCON Depot, Inc. is raising P7 billion in the first initial public offering (IPO) this year after pricing the deal at the low end of its target range.
— Business World

Solar pioneer starts 150-MW Tarlac solar farm
Solar Philippines has kicked off the construction of its 150-megawatt (MW) solar farm with battery storage here, its largest solar power project to-date, which can provide the province’s requirements in six months time, its top official said yesterday.
— Manila Bulletin

P326-B infrastructure projects start this year
THE FINANCE department said groundbreaking is expected this year on three railway projects outside Metro Manila, as well as new public transport lines along the main Metro Manila artery, Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA).
— Business World

PH, China sign 6-year trade, economic dev’t plan
A six-year Philippines-China trade and economic development program was signed here Friday by National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) director general Ernesto Pernia and Vice Minister of Commerce Fu Ziying.
— Manila Bulletin

Duterte denies hand in impeachment of Robredo; VP ramps up criticism
President Duterte denied yesterday having any hand in the calls for the impeachment of Vice President Leni Robredo insisting that he is already “beyond politics.”
— Manila Bulletin

PH seals deal with cruise giant to build port in Aklan
The Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Province of Aklan on Tuesday clinched an important business deal that would further open the Western Visayas region to the global cruising market.
— Manila Bulletin

Duterte to PNP: Spare civilians in drug war
President Rodrigo Duterte over the weekend said that he will not allow civilians to be killed in the continuation of the administration’s war against drugs.
— The Manila Times

Philippines rejects European Parliament’s call on senator
The administration of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday rejected a call by the European Parliament for the release of Sen. Leila de Lima, a leading critic of the president who has been detained on drug charges, and told the international community to refrain from influencing her case.
— Marianas Variety

The Philippines is on the rise in medical tourism
Top notch medical expert on international patient safety and quality healthcare, The Medical City Clark Philippines, was highlighted at the recently concluded Medical Travel Congress at Kuwait Health.
— Khaleej Times

Philippines Joins the Paris Agreement on Climate Change
Earlier this week, the Philippines formally joined the Paris Agreement. The next step for the country, according to its Climate Change Commission, will be to finalize and mainstream the “country’s obligations under the agreement into national policies, plans and programs.” These obligations include a conditional commitment to reduce emissions by 70 percent below projected levels by 2030.
— Natural Resources Defense Council

DOLE downplays layoff scenario
An official of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) shrugged off yesterday the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines’ warning that Department Order No. 174 would lead to massive displacement of workers.
— Phil Star



Feature photo: Ericson Moredo



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Stella-maris Ewudolu

Journalist at AEC News Today

Stella-maris graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, Education from Ebonyi State University, Nigeria in 2005.

Between November 2010 and February 2012 she was a staff writer at Daylight Online, Nigeria writing on health, fashion, and relationships. From 2010 – 2017 she worked as a freelance screen writer for ‘Nollywood’, Nigeria.

She joined AEC News Today in December 2016.

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