Philippines morning news for December 21

Philippines morning news for December 21
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Philippines morning newsFitch reaffirms Philippines investment grade, flags overheating risks
Fitch Ratings yesterday cautioned the Philippines about overheating risks, including strong credit growth and wider current account shortfall, as it reaffirmed the country’s investment grade credit rating.
— The Philippine Star

See all of Asean’s Miss Universe 2018 entrants (HD video)
Internet social media channels have been abuzz this past week as netizens from across the globe lined up behind their national entrants in the 2018 Miss Universe pageant.
— AEC News Today (video)

Over 1 mln Chinese tourists visit Philippines in first 10 months of 2018
Nearly 1.06 million Chinese tourists visited the Philippines in the first 10 months of this year, making China the Philippines’ second largest source market of foreign tourists, government data showed on Thursday.
— Xinhua

PH among top 10 countries ‘most impacted’ by terrorism: report
Experiencing its highest number of deaths related to terrorist incidents in more than a decade, the Philippines entered the top 10 list of countries “most impacted” by terrorism, according to an international peace and conflict think tank.
— ABS-CBN News

Lacson: Wasteful projects worth P583 billion
Out of every P100 Juan de la Cruz paid in taxes to run the government for a year, almost P20 went to projects that were later suspended, stopped or under litigation as these were found to be irregular, unnecessary, extravagant or unconscionable.
— Philippine Daily Inquirer

NEDA-ICC approves P17.95 billion port, infrastructure preparation projects
The National Economic and Development Authority Board – Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CabCom) has approved two new projects collectively valued at P17.94 billion — a fish port to serve the greater Metro Manila area and an infrastructure project preparation facility.
— The Philippine Star

Bangko Sentral income surges to P48.33 billion in first 10 months
THE CENTRAL BANK saw its net income rise fourfold as of October, driven by huge gains from foreign exchange at a time of a weaker peso.
— BusinessWorld Online

It wasn’t a picture perfect smile, choice of swimsuit or even a view on world peace that proved controversial in the judging of Miss Universe 2018. It was the ethnicity of the winner, Catriona Gray of the Philippines.
— South China Morning Post

DENR shelves recommendation to lift ban on new mining projects
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the government agency tasked to regulate the mining industry through Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), said it is now up to the Department of Finance (DOF) what ideal tax structure to slap against mining companies as well as to push for the lifting of ban on new mining projects.
— Manila Bulletin

IN THE KNOW: Better uses for P583.5B spent on ‘wasteful projects’
The P583.5 billion that Sen. Panfilo Lacson said was spent on ‘wasteful projects’ could have funded the following instead.

Amid SCS rows, PHL prods US on defense treaty review
THE Department of National Defense (DND) wants a review of the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty with the United States, saying that it is high time both sides looked into its provisions given the dispute in the South China Sea.
— Business Mirror

PHILIPPINE DEMOCRACY IN 2018 Where do we fall in world rankings?
Several events challenged the state of democracy in the Philippines in 2018.
— Rappler

Duterte relaxes rules on foreigners in Subic
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has signed an executive order (EO) amending the measure that governs the admission and stay of foreign nationals as temporary visitors in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, giving them more flexibility.
— The Manila Times

Battle of Marawi: Three months on
It has been just over 100 days since the Battle of Marawi, the military siege that lasted five months, from May to October last year.
— The Asean Post

Singapore firm to build $4.5-b resort in Cagayan
The Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport in Sta. Ana, Cagayan will be home to a $4.5-billion seaside resort, after the government signed a memorandum of understanding with Singapore developer LongRunn Capital Pte. Ltd. and Mercurio Design Lab.

DOLE gives livelihood aid to 287 informal sector workers
The Department of Labor and Employment Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Program (DILEEP) released PHP4.7 million to 287 recipients from the informal sector at the Evelio B. Javier Gymnasium here on Thursday.
— Philippine News Agency

103 ex-NPAs in Bukidnon get P4.6-M aid
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) office has released a total of PHP4,615,700 in cash aid to 103 former members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Bukidnon this year.
— Philippine News Agency

DICT opens market to all common tower builders
The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is opening up the local market to all interested common cellular tower builders as long as they are able to secure contracts with telecommunications companies.
— The Philippine Star

Gov’t introduces reforms to ensure VAT refund
The government has introduced four reforms to ensure the faster processing of value-added tax (VAT) refunds of exporters and other qualified entrepreneurs, according to the Department of Finance (DOF).
— The Philippine Star

PH takes step closer to adopting nuclear energy program
The Philippines is now ready to make an informed commitment to adopt a nuclear energy program following a detailed assessment by international experts, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
— Philippine Daily Inquirer

Fitch affirms Philippines’ debt rating
FITCH RATINGS has maintained its grade for Philippine debt, citing the country’s sustained strong overall economic growth even as it flagged overheating risks evidenced by rapid bank lending and a growing trade gap.
— BusinessWorld Online

42 House reps, 2 senators seek release of P1.9-B road tax funds
Forty-two members of the House of Representatives, almost all of them allies of President Rodrigo Duterte, and two senators had asked the Road Board for a total of P1.98 billion in funds raised through road user’s tax, according to documents released to the media by House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr.
— Philippine Daily Inquirer

Gov’t prepares for 500th anniversary of Christianity in PH
The government has prepared various activities for the official launch on December 21 of the Philippine Quincentennial Commemorations of the Victory at Mactan, introduction of Christianity, and Circumnavigation of the world in 2021.
— Philippine News Agency

Medical marijuana needs more research—Duque
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Thursday stressed the need for more research before legalizing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Local manufacturers raises alarm over sudden rise of imported cement
Local firms were concerned after the sudden rise of imported cement in the last few years, making the competition “more challenging” despite the increased demand driven by the government’s Build, Build, Build program, a stakeholder said Thursday.
— ABS-CBN News

No special treatment for 4 Chinese in floating shabu lab case, Palace assures
Malacañang assured on Thursday that no “special treatment” will be accorded to four Chinese nationals convicted by a local court of illegal possession of illegal drugs, even after being caught operating a floating shabu laboratory off the Subic coast in 2016.
— Business Mirror

Changi-led consortium wins contract to operate Clark airport
THE government on Thursday awarded the operations and management contract for the Clark International Airport in Pampanga to a consortium that includes the operator of Singapore’s Changi Airport, as well as the Gokongwei and Gotinanun groups.
— BusinessWorld Online

Philippine Rights Commission’s Landmark Climate Change Inquiry
The Philippines Human Rights Commission is mounting an audacious challenge to the world’s fossil fuel energy producers, alleging that they are responsible for the increasing damage wrought on the country as tropical storms increase in intensity and fury.
— Asia Sentinel

Philippine lawmaker wants holiday to honour South China Sea ruling in favour of Manila
A Philippine lawmaker has proposed a bill to honour an international court’s ruling in favour of Manila in its maritime dispute with Beijing in the South China Sea, saying the move would boost national pride.
— South China Morning Post

Facebook launches Filipino translations for Messenger
Facebook Messenger may soon translate messages into Filipino.
— CNN Philippines


Feature photo LWF/Sean Hawkey

This week’s Philippines morning news feature photo acknowledges International Human Solidarity Day, December 20.


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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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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