Philippines morning news for April 2

Philippines morning news for April 2
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Philippines morning newsPhilippines Alarmed by Roughly 200 Chinese Ships Near Disputed Island
More than 200 Chinese ships have been spotted near the Philippine-occupied Thitu Island in the South China Sea since the start of the year, triggering a diplomatic protest from the Philippines.
— Bloomberg

Measles cuts a deadly path through Asean
Once declared as eradicated from some countries and ‘under control’ in many others, measles is once gain cutting a deadly swathe through the world.
— AEC News Today

Manufacturing PMI hits 7-month low
Manufacturing growth hit a seven-month low in March with a key indicator falling for a fourth straight month, an IHS Markit/Nikkei survey found.
— The Manila Times

Senate, House continue bickering over budget
SENATORS and congressmen are still bickering over last-minute changes made in the proposed P3.757-trillion national budget for 2019 even if the measure has been submitted to Malacañang for President Duterte’s signature.
— Malaya

Committed investments approved by PEZA down as of Feb. in value terms
VALUE of committed investments approved by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) fell in value terms year-on-year in 2019’s first two months despite an increase in number of projects, reflecting what the agency’s head said was cautiousness ahead of the May 13 mid-term legislative and local elections and possible policy changes under the incoming 18th Congress.
— BusinessWorld Online

Maria Ressa posts P126,000 bail for new case
Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa on Monday, April 1, posted yet another bail of P126,000 (US$2,397) before a Pasig City court in connection with an anti-dummy case that had been split into two.
— Rappler

1,700 evacuated after soldiers clash with NPA rebels in Negros Occidental
More than 1,700 people were evacuated and graduation rites were disrupted after Philippine Army soldiers clashed with New People’s Army fighters in Barangay Quintin Remo, Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental on Monday morning.

Marawi, Maguindanao town get P27 million from Japan to construct and repair damaged school buildings
Two schools in Maguindanao and Marawi City got P27 million in combined grant assistance from the Japan government, one set of new school building to bring it nearer to school children, the other one to repair battle-damaged building.
— Business Mirror

DoH-Davao raises alert as dengue cases in the region rises
HEALTH OFFICIALS in the Davao Region have raised the alarm after the number of dengue cases increased in the first quarter of the year, with two deaths reported due to the mosquito-borne disease.
— BusinessWorld Online

Senate made several cuts in proposed 2019 budget – Lacson
Senator Panfilo Lacson on Monday admitted that several budget cuts by the Senate in the 2019 General Appropriations Bill (GAB) had prompted him to disagree with approval and ratification of the measure in Congress.
— Manila Bulletin

World Bank sees PH GDP growth at 6.4% in 2019
The World Bank (WB) expects the Philippine economy to expand by 6.4 percent this year, with election spending and lower inflation projected to boost private consumption.
— Philippine News Agency

Philippine inflation seen easing for fifth straight month in March: Reuters poll
Philippine annual inflation likely slowed for a fifth straight month in March due largely to easing food prices, a Reuters poll showed.
— Reuters

Roadmap targets P130-T PH construction industry
The construction industry is projected to contribute P130 trillion to the domestic economy and 7 million skilled workforce by 2030 aided by newly completed roadmap that sets direction for a sustainable growth and development of the industry.
— Manila Bulletin

U.S. kicks off Balikatan exercise in Philippines
Balikatan 2019, an annual military exercise involving thousands of troops — and, for the first time, the F-35B Lightning II stealth fighter — began Monday in the Philippines.

Rising cases of measles noted among adults in SoCot
ealth personnel in South Cotabato have recorded increasing cases of suspected measles infection among adults.
— Philippine News Agency

Duterte urged to restore ‘BBB’ items in 2019 budget bill
The chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations on Monday urged President Duterte to consider restoring several items in the proposed 2019 P3.757-trillion General Appropriations Act (GAA) that have been removed by the Senate.
— Business Mirror

Philippines taps UNDP to accelerate free Wi-Fi rollout
The Philippines’ Department of ICT (DICT) has signed a partnership agreement with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) aimed at fast-tracking the deployment of free Wi-Fi access in public places.

23 incumbent officials nabbed in CIDG ops
A total of 23 incumbent elective officials were among those arrested by police authorities during the conduct of a one-time-big-time (OTBT) operations aimed at securing the mid-term elections in May.
— Philippine News Agency

Legal issues delay P4.3-billion tax refund of Meralco users
The government will have to forfeit first the unclaimed tax refund of Manila Electric Co. customers amounting to P4.289 billion in favor of the state before it can be used to reduce the power rates, the power retailer said.

Japanese firm set to invest P392-M in Subic
A Japanese steel company has committed to invest some PHP392.million in this premier freeport for the production of gear parts for industrial robots and specialty steel products for other companies here and abroad.
— Philippine News Agency

PH, Czech Republic sign deals on expanded trade cooperation
Representatives from the Philippines and the Czech Republic have signed two documents seeking to expand trade cooperation between the two countries at the inauguration of the first Joint Economic Consultations (JEC) meeting in Prague.
— Manila Bulletin

China won’t condone nationals working illegally in PH
China will let the Philippines deal with illegal Chinese workers in accordance with local laws but urged authorities to consider their “humanitarian needs.”
— Tempo

PH, Indonesia strengthen trade, investment ties
Indonesia has agreed to allow more Philippine agricultural products, particularly bananas and coconut-based products, to penetrate its huge market, as the two countries work to enhance bilateral trade and investment, and reduce trade gaps between them.
— Philippine News Agency

PH offshore gaming operators employ 138,000 foreigners
An inter-agency task force said Monday some 138,000 foreign nationals are employed in the Philippine offshore gaming operations.

DOF pegs Philippine offshore gaming operators income tax losses at P32 billion
The government may be losing an estimated P32 billion in uncollected income taxes a year from some 138,000 foreign workers in Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs), according to the latest estimates from the Department of Finance (DOF).
— The Philippine Star

USTR flags corruption, red tape at Customs
THE United States government has flagged corruption and red tape in the Bureau of Customs (BOC) as a key factor making trade more costly and less efficient.
— Business Mirror

Philippines: Competition Commission to probe onion cartel
The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) is about to start probing alleged cartels in the onion industry as prices of the crop have declined significantly.
— Fresh Plaza

Trade hub plans for Tawi-Tawi pushed
Developing Tawi-Tawi’s full potential and taking advantage of its strategic location in the map of maritime business will position the Philippines firmly as an important transshipment hub and open a lot of economic opportunities for the country.
— The Manila Times

Former DPWH chief backs creation of Dept. of Water
A former Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) secretary is supporting calls to create a Department of Water to efficiently manage the country’s water supply amid the current El Nino situation.
— Philippine News Agency

Oil companies to roll back pump prices effective on Tuesday
MOTORISTS will get a respite starting on Tuesday as oil companies reduced the prices of petroleum products after last week’s seventh consecutive increase.
— The Manila Times

Energy dep’t issues draft storage rules to support renewables
THE DEPARTMENT of Energy (DoE) has released a draft circular covering the regulation and operation of energy storage systems (ESS) after proponents of the technology raised concerns about the lack of a governing policy framework.
— BusinessWorld Online

PHL proposes scheme to cap fisheries subsidies
THE Philippines has proposed to the World Trade Organization (WTO) a scheme to cap monetary subsidies for fisheries which offers more flexibility for developing and least-developed member groups.
— BusinessWorld Online

Negros Oriental residents terrified in wake of killing of 14
Residents terrified by the killing of 14 persons in coordinated police and military operations in Negros Oriental on Saturday have been sleeping in the middle of sugarcane fields, plantations, and in other people’s houses.

SM Supermalls introduces first in-mall customer service robot
[Editor’s note: Coming to SM Supermalls is SAM, an AI robot designed to serve as a smart in-mall concierge. Below is the press release by SM Supermalls.
— Rappler

DOE closely coordinating with power suppliers as demand goes up
The Department of Energy (DOE) assured the public of continued coordination with power industry players in view of the heightened demand for electricity during the sweltering summer season.
— Philippine News Agency

Indonesia eases entry of Philippine agriculture products
The Indonesian government is easing restrictions on Philippine agricultural exports as both countries seek to strengthen bilateral relations.
— The Philippine Star

Lazada’s ‘Shoppertainment’ offer bolsters PHL, Asean sales
ELECTRONIC commerce (e-commerce) giant Lazada has proven effective its pioneering effort to bring entertainment to its trading business as it recorded over 5 million transactions during peak hours in the Philippines, or twice the number of visits to its portal on a normal day.
— Business Mirror

Ex-Quezon City officials get 30 years for 2001 hotel fire
Eighteen years after the fire that took the lives of 74 persons, the Sandiganbayan has sentenced former officials of the Quezon City government and several others to 10 to 30 years in prison for their negligence and failure to perform their duties that led to the August 2001 Manor Hotel blaze.
— The Philippine Star

Philippine Airport Ground Support Solutions proposes to develop Siargao airport
Philippine Airport Ground Support Solutions Inc. (PAGSS), a ground handling services company, is seeking to operate and expand the Siargao airport in Surigao del Norte amid plans by the government to relocate the gateway.
— The Philippine Star

Chinese envoy says fishing as usual at SCS
Fishing can “go on as usual” in the South China Sea but Chinese and Filipino fishermen must abide by certain limitations, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua said.
— Tempo

Panelo, Zhao agree: PH-China agreements negotiated on ‘equal footing’
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua agreed Monday that the loan agreements the Philippines has entered into with China were negotiated on “equal footing.”

Analyst: China militia near Pag-asa shows prospect to take island
China’s maritime militia around Pag-asa Island (Thitu) in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) shows a possibility that the island could be seized with “little difficulty” if China opts to, an analyst has warned.

Cleaner rivers, estuaries seen within 2019 – Cimatu
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is confident that there will be a more noticeable change in the quality of water in the rivers and estuaries leading to Manila Bay within the year.
— Rappler

China ready to cooperate with PH to verify Chinese ships near Pag-asa
China is prepared to cooperate with the Philippines to verify the alleged presence of Chinese vessels near Pag-asa Island and handle the issue though “friendly and diplomatic channels.”
— Tempo

Chinese vessels in Pag-asa Island not armed, says China envoy
Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua on Monday assured that the Chinese vessels seen in the Manila occupied-Pag-asa Island in the South China Sea are not armed.

NPA membership in itself not a crime under law — CHR spox
Whether one is a criminal or not depends on one’s actions, not affiliations, the spokesperson of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said in the wake of allegations that the 14 individuals killed by the police in Negros Oriental had communist links.
— GMA News

Pangasinan town trains out-of-school-youths to make eco-bags
Some 10 out-of-school youths (OSYs) in this town will undergo a three-day handicraft-making using waste materials training organized by the Solid Waste Management Office (MSWO) here.
— Philippine News Agency

Clean restrooms, free Wi-Fi in terminals bill awaits President’s signature
Congress has transmitted to Malacañang a bill seeking to provide free internet services and clean comfort rooms for commuters in transport terminals.
— GMA News

Cathay Dragon adds 2 more Davao-Hong Kong flights
Expecting a large volume of vacationers this summer season, Cathay Dragon has added two more flights to service Davao-Hong Kong routes starting on Tuesday, April 4.
— Philippine News Agency

Catriona Gray is Esquire Philippines’ sexiest woman alive
She’s the most beautiful in the universe. And, at least according to Esquire Philippines, she’s also the sexiest woman alive.
— Rappler

PACC eyes graft, gross misconduct charges vs PNR chief Junn Magno
Philippine National Railways (PNR) General Manager Junn Magno may face charges of graft and gross misconduct, after the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) said it found evidence to formally charge him.
— Rappler

W. Visayas poll bets urged to report threats from NPA
The Police Regional Office (PRO)-6 (Western Visayas) has urged political candidates in the May 13 elections to report any threats coming from the New People’s Army (NPA).
— Philippine News Agency

China province execs in Cebu for cooperation seminar
To promote a new trend of trade liberalization and economic globalization, officials of the Shandong Provincial People’s Government will hold a cooperation seminar here on Tuesday.
— Philippine News Agency


Feature photo World Heath Organization Philippines

This week’s Philippines morning news feature photo acknowledges World Health Day, April 7.


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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