Philippines morning news for April 18

Philippines morning news for April 18
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Philippines morning news

Philippines records 627 mln USD BOP surplus in March 2019
The Philippines’ overall balance of payments (BOP) position posted a surplus of 627 million U.S. dollars in March 2019, a reversal of the 266 million U.S. dollars BOP deficit recorded in March 2018, the Philippine central bank said on Wednesday.
— Xinhuanet

Balikatan 2019: US-Philippine troops hone battle skills as Chinese boats swarm (video)
Life is sure to get a lot quieter at Panatag Shoal (Tagalog: Kulumpol ng Panatag) with the conclusion last Thursday (April 11) of the Balikatan (Tagalog: ‘shoulder-to-shoulder’) 2019 military exercise, the largest US-Philippine military drills conducted annually.
— AEC News Today (video)

Hot money outflow hits 30-month high at $739 million
More foreign portfolio investments or speculative funds were pulled out of the Philippines in March, resulting in a net outflow of $739 million, the biggest in 30 months or since the $807.15 million outflow was recorded in September 2016, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
— The Philippine Star

Chinese vessels near PH-occupied islands confirmed — US think tank
THE presence of Chinese fishing vessels near Philippine-occupied islands within the Spratly Group of Islands (Kalayaan Island Group) is confirmed, a Washington-based think tank said.
— The Manila Times

Philippines, South Korea to pursue free trade agreement
The Philippines and South Korea, formally the Republic of Korea (ROK), have agreed to pursue a free trade agreement (FTA) in a bid to improve economic relations, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
— Rappler

Finance dept.: Provisions in China loan deals ‘standard’ in deals with other states, institutions
The Department of Finance (DOF) said Wednesday provisions in the country’s loan with China are not new as the are present in similar deals with other states, as well as multilateral institutions such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB).
— CNN Philippines

Japan gov’t turns over P50-million disaster reduction equipment to DSWD
The Japanese government has turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) JY110-million (over P50 million) worth of disaster reduction equipment under Tokyo’s Non-Project Grant Aid (NPGA) program.
— Manila Bulletin

New framework to fund $188.09 million proposed projects
The first United Nations Industrial Development Organization (Unido) Country Programme with the Philippines is expected to finance at least $188.09 million worth of projects from 2018 to 2023.
— Business Mirror

Duterte, the economy and the elusive Philippines unicorn
If you want to know how the Philippines is doing, you could pore over reams of data, charts and policy speeches. Or you could just follow the clues offered by ride-hailing app Micab.
— Nikkei Asian Review (paywall)

PH internet speed improves significantly, global index shows
The Philippines’ fixed broadband speed ranked 29th in Asia and 21st in Asia-Pacific in February 2019, a global index showed.

DepEd to integrate drug education into curriculum
The Department of Education (DepEd) plans to integrate the government’s drug education program into the curriculum in the coming school year.
— The Manila Times

House bloc files ‘red-tagging’ complaint against military unit before Comelec
Members of the House Makabayan bloc on Wednesday filed a complaint before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) against the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) for probable violation of the Omnibus Election Code.
— Business Mirror

What oppression? Guevarra: PH press ‘freest’ in Southeast Asia
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Wednesday (April 17) refuted the claims of a foreign mission that press freedom in the country is under attack.
— Politiko

4 RE projects labelled ‘nationally significant’
FOUR renewable energy (RE) projects have been added to the list of projects classified by the Department of Energy (DoE) as nationally significant.
— The Manila Times

Economic managers tout infrastructure, reform gains to US businessmen
STATE economic managers flew to Washington D.C. last week to showcase the country’s infrastructure developments and economic reforms, in efforts to woo more foreign firms to invest in the Philippines.
— BusinessWorld Online

Philippines remains attractive for foreign investors, British trade group says
The Philippines remains attractive to investors from the UK as businesses are looking at “new growth prospects” in Southeast Asia, British Chamber of Commerce Philippines chairman Chris Nelson said Wednesday.
— ABS-CBN News (video)

Philippines utilises tech for transparency of government projects
The Presidential Anti-Crime Commission (PACC) of the Philippines had recently awarded the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) for using science as a way to prevent corruption.
— OpenGov

DPWH cites Japan Embassy for infrastructure support
THE Japanese Embassy in the Philippines was cited for its government’s significant contributions in bolstering development in the Philippines through noteworthy infrastructure projects that support economic growth goals and uplift people’s lives.
— Business Mirror

Early 2020 budget draft should avert 2019 fiasco
IN a move that should help avert the delay by three months in the implementation of the 2019 national budget, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has come out this early with a proposed budget for the year 2020.
— Tempo

Duterte threatens to sack MWSS execs
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to fire officials of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) for failing to prevent a water shortage in parts of Metro Manila and Rizal province, saying there were more qualified people to do their jobs.
— The Manila Times

Joma: No more peace negotiations under Duterte regime
Communist Party of the Philippines founding chair Jose Maria Sison said there would be no more peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the communists through the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) as long as his former student, President Rodrigo Duterte, remains in power.
— Davao Today

Hilbay: I’m straight, but being gay is not shameful
Senatorial candidate Florin Hilbay shot back at President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent tirade about his sexuality, saying he was a straight man who saw no shame in being from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) community.

Bulk of P10-B rice fund earmarked for farm modernization — NEDA
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said that bulk of the rice competitiveness enhancement fund (RCEF) will be used to modernize palay farms and support the government’s goal of increasing the sector’s productivity.
— Manila Bulletin

Maria Ressa joins ‘Time 100’ most influential people of 2019
Rappler CEO Maria Ressa was named Time magazine’s most influential people of 2019, joining the likes of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, music icons Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahatir Mohamad, US President Donald Trump, and Chinese President Xi …
— Rappler

Philippines: Fruit production up in 4th quarter of 2018
Philippine pineapple and mango production saw growth during the period of October-December 2018, say the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
— Fresh Plaza

Zamboanga City issues permits for home-based business
THE local government is issuing special mayor’s permit to home-based businesses such as sari-sari stores and the like.
— Sun Star

Construction spending growth seen slowing due to election ban, budget
THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) expects growth in the “low teens” for the construction sector this year, slower than the nearly 16% posted in 2018, due to the election ban on public infrastructure projects and the delayed 2019 budget.
— BusinessWorld Online

Duterte: Congress squabble delayed signing of 2019 budget
President Rodrigo Duterte blamed the bickering among members of Congress over the delay in the passage of the 2019 national budget, which he signed on Monday, three months after the government operated on a reenacted budget.

DBP launches lending program for water treatment, sanitation facilities
The Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) has launched a new financing facility aimed at assisting private firms and public entities including local government units (LGUs) and water districts in the development of water treatment and sanitation facilities to comply with existing environmental regulations, a senior official said.
— Manila Bulletin

Philippines: Banana coop to supply Eastern Europe
Small banana farmers cooperatives and associations from the Philippines have been tapped by the government to supply Cavendish bananas in Eastern European (EEU) countries, and Russia in particular.
— Fresh Plaza

Residents oppose Matabungkay environment fee collection
Residents of Lian town in Batangas are protesting the local government’s collection of environment user’s fee in Barangay Matabungkay, which allegedly did not go through the process of public consultation.

CHR warns red-tagging has ‘serious implications’ on security of groups
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Wednesday, April 17, cautioned the government against red-tagging of several groups, including workers’ unions, as it endangers the lives of members.
— Rappler

Duterte tells Sara not to seek the presidency: Sakripisyo, kaliit ng suweldo
President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said he told his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte not to entertain the idea of succeeeding him in Malacanang.
–GMA News

Japan, Philippines commit to further defence co-operation
Japanese Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya and his Philippine counterpart Delfin Lorenzana agreed on 17 April to broaden defence co-operation between their two countries, especially in the area of defence equipment.
— Jane’s 360

Govt stops galunggong importation
THE Department of Agriculture (DA) will stop the importation of galunggong (round scad) later this month, saying there was ample supply of the commodity for the domestic market.
— The Manila Times

Benguet capital town orders liquor ban, suspends number coding
Benguet’s capital town has ordered all bars and establishments to stop offering liquor for a solemn observance of Lent and at the same time lifted the number coding for more mobility.
— Philippine News Agency

7-day TDF rate down
The rate of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) seven-day term facility declined Wednesday amid high demand, as this was the only tenor offered on this shortened trading week.
— Philippine News Agency

Alejano: China’s clam poaching may be a prelude to reclamation
China’s extraction of giant clams and destruction of corals at Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal could be a prelude to Beijing’s reclamation plans in the disputed waters, Rep. Gary Alejano of Magdalo party-list said on Wednesday.

PNR train ops suspended from April 18 to 20
The operations of Philippine National Railways trains are suspended from April 18 to 20.
— Eagle News

Currency vulnerabilities shifting; peso seen at risk
Currency upheavals similar to those that hit emerging economies last year are unlikely but risks are on the rise for some EMs such as the Philippines, a London-based research consultancy …
— The Manila Times

BoC intercepts packages with P2-M illegal drugs
The Bureau of Customs (BoC) said on Wednesday its agents assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) intercepted five different packages containing P2 million worth of illegal drugs.
— Tempo

CHED allots P1 billion for short-term student loan program
Starting this year, students from public and private universities can avail of short-term loans from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).
— Rappler

Iloilo province eyes state of calamity due to El Niño
The Iloilo Provincial Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) approved a resolution recommending the declaration of Iloilo province under a state of calamity due to the effects of El Niño.
— Philippine News Agency

Pag-IBIG Fund contemplates hike of monthly savings by 2021
The Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG Fund, the country’s single largest source of housing loans is seriously considering raising the P100 monthly savings (MS) to P200 in 2021, said Engr. Beder Morandarte, branch head, Pag-IBIG Zamboanga. …
— Philippine Information Agency

Clash erupts in Cotabato while serving warrant vs. BIFF member
Clash erupted between security forces and members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) when authorities served a warrant of arrest against Samad Madrox Masgal on Tuesday in Midsayap, North Cotabato.
— GMA News

Opposition bets urge public to protect press freedom amid ‘intimidation’
Opposition senatorial candidates on Wednesday urged the public to support and protect the freedom of the press amid the increasing levels of intimidation and a shrinking space for the free press in the Philippines, as observed by a mission of international journalists.
— GMA News

EDC to supply energy to Mondelez PH
ENERGY Development Corp. (EDC) has clinched a contract to supply geothermal energy to snack producer Mondelez Philippines.
— The Manila Times

Antique’s Sibalom town under state of calamity
The municipality of Sibalom in this province is now in a state of calamity due to the damage caused by the dry spell.
— Philippine News Agency

PNP, BFP, BJMP on full alert for Holy Week 2019
The Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) have been placed on full alert nationwide, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) announced on Wednesday, April 17.
— Rappler

Penitential suffering
AT the rate the water is drip­ping out of the faucet like tears, this has to be the worst, cryingest Lenten season of suf­fering. It takes 25 minutes to fill a 5-liter jug.
— Tempo

Long queues at NAIA for Holy Week
From April 8 to April 16, around 1.2 million passengers have left the NAIA terminals 1, 2 and 3 for domestic and international flights.
— GMA News

IN PHOTOS: Albayalde inspects transpo hubs for Holy Week 2019
With the Philippine National Police on full alert status for Holy Week, PNP chief General Oscar Albayalde moving from one transportation hub to another on Wednesday, April 17, to personally check the situation on the ground.
— Rappler

Tangub is first drug-free city in NorMin
“Tangub City, drug-free!” This was the resounding pronouncement of Tangubanons as their city was officially declared drug-free on April 11, making it the first drug-cleared city in Region 10.
— Philippine Information Agency

3 cocaine packs found near Batanes lighthouse
Three sealed plastic packs containing a kilogram of what is believed to be cocaine with an estimated PHP5.7-million street value were found by a fisherman off the sea near the Naidi Lighthouse in Basco, Batanes on Tuesday.
— Philippine News Agency

Several banks announce system upgrades from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday
Some of the country’s biggest banks will take advantage of the holiday break in observance of the Holy Week to upgrade their systems.
— The Manila Times

DOE: No power interruptions expected today, April 17
Power interruptions are not expected today, April 17, with the Luzon grid operating under normal conditions, the Department of Energy said.
— Eagle News

SC to judges: Be “very circumspect” in acting on applications for search warrants during election period
The Supreme Court on Wednesday, April 17, reminded judges nationwide to be “very circumspect” in acting on applications for search warrants during election period.
— Eagle News

Native American Leaders Want Less Drilling Near Sacred Sites
Acoma Pueblo tribal Gov. Brian Vallo told members of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources at a hearing in New Mexico that not enough is being done to safeguard sacred sites scattered beyond the national park at Chaco Canyon.


Feature photo Catholics&Cultures

This week’s Philippines Morning News feature photo acknowledges Good Friday, April 19. We wish all of our Philippines readers a safe, healthy, and enjoyable Easter.


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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