Philippines morning news for February 14

Philippines morning news for February 14
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Philippines morning newsRappler CEO Maria Ressa arrested for cyber libel
Officers from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) arrested Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa early Wednesday evening, February 13, in connection with a cyber libel case filed by the justice department.
— Rappler

Senate, House to share P99-billion ‘pork barrel’ in 2019
Senators and congressmen will share a total of nearly P99 billion in pork barrel funds this year – that is, if President Duterte ignores the appeal of anti-“pork” Sen. Panfilo Lacson for him to excise fat in his administration’s proposed P3.757-trillion budget.
— The Philippine Star

Goal! UEFA Champions League live on Twitter for (some) Asean fans
Football fans in four Asean member countries will be able to catch all of the action of the UEFA Champions League Round 16 direct on their smartphones or computers as the result of a deal between Goal media, Twitter, and the UEFA League.
— AEC News Today

P1-B ‘Bahay Pag-asa’ funds allotted in 2019 budget: Sotto
A total of PHP1 billion has been allocated in the proposed 2019 budget of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to fund the construction of “Bahay Pag-asa” centers, or the rehabilitation facilities for children in conflict with the law (CICLs), Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Wednesday.
— Philippine News Agency

2019 nat’l budget ready by Q1: Diokno
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has assured that the 2019 national budget will be enacted before the end of the first quarter.
— Philippine News Agency

P79B eyed from TRAIN this year
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) expects to raise P79.012 billion this year from the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.
— Malaya

‘Persecution by a bully government’: Journalists, politicians slam arrest of Maria Ressa
Several journalist groups and politicians slammed the Duterte government for the arrest of Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa over cyber libel charges on Wednesday night, February 13.
— Rappler

Candidates have until Thursday to remove illegal posters, COMELEC warns
After noting multiple violations on the first day of the campaign period, the Commission on Elections warned candidates they have until Thursday to remove illegal posters before they take action.
— CNN Philippines

Solon wants creation of strategic fuel reserves
A lawmaker at the House of Representatives on Wednesday reiterated his call for the establishment of a Philippine Strategic Fuel Reserves (PSFR) following President Rodrigo Duterte’s admission that he could not do anything about oil prices due to the country’s lack of fuel reserves.
— Philippine News Agency

Philippines: Vaccine scare blamed for deadly measles outbreak
Health officials in the Philippines are racing to contain a deadly measles outbreak the government blames on a marked decline in immunisations after a scandal surrounding a dengue fever vaccine.
— Aljazeera

Court names veteran in rehab cases as new receiver for Hanjin
The regional trial court (RTC) in this city has appointed a new receiver to manage the properties of Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction-Philippines (HHIC-Phil) while the beleaguered South Korean shipbuilder is undergoing court-supervised corporate
— Business Mirror

House bill pushes P500-million electronic upgrade for PHL libraries
A lawmaker is pushing for the passage of measure seeking to hike the budget of the National Library to P500 million to upgrade the country’s public libraries by incorporating the latest electronic technologies in filing and cataloguing reading materials and research resources.
— Business Mirror

Contract signed for EDSA side of MRT-LRT common station
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Wednesday, February 13, inked an agreement with a private builder for the construction of the Metro Rail Transit and Light Rail Transit (MRT-LRT) common station’s Area A facing EDSA.
— Rappler

Nearly 235,000 gov’t jobs created under PRRD so far
A total of 234,704 government positions were created since the Duterte administration took over in 2016, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Benjamin Diokno said on Wednesday.
— Philippine News Agency

Reforms to cut Q3 inflation to 2%–Diokno
Inflation could fall to as low as 2 percent in the third quarter as measures rolled out by the government to boost food supply will further stabilize consumer prices, according to Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno.
— Business Mirror

Philippines ignores US over Huawei
The telecoms sector is providing another example of the growing influence of China across Asean, as its controversial mobile giant, Huawei, prepares to roll out its impressive technology in the region.
— Asean Economist

Cordillera gets P2.4-B infra project fund from DA
The Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) now has 51 infrastructure sub-projects amounting to PHP2.4 billion, approved under the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP).
— Philippine News Agency

Google Stations opening in 50 locations in the Philippines
Google is opening Google Stations which will offer free and high quality Wi-Fi hotspots in more than 50 locations in the Philippines.

Search on for 600K hypertensive, 300K diabetics in west Visayas
The Department of Health (DOH) is hoping to reach out to more than 600,000 individuals with hypertension and more than 300,000 with diabetes in Western Visayas for them to be given proper intervention.
— Philippine News Agency

DAR to further streamline process in land conversion
The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) will be making changes to further streamline the distribution of land titles and the process of land conversion after President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent “outburst” over reported delays.
— Rappler

Bill punishing catcalling up for Duterte’s signature
A bill punishing catcalling, wolf whistling, leering and other forms of sexual harassment is now up for President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature.
— CNN Philippines

Environment dept. allots P10 million for local biodiversity-friendly enterprises
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is allocating P10 million to finance biodiversity-friendly social enterprises for coastal communities within Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
— Business Mirror

Duterte to place Nueva Ecija under land reform
In line with his commitment to distribute lands to Filipinos, President Duterte is planning to place Nueva Ecija under the agrarian reform program.
— Manila Bulletin

China donates IT equipment to PBS, PNA
The Chinese Embassy in Manila on Wednesday donated sets of equipment to state-run Philippine News Agency (PNA) and Radyo Pilipinas of the Philippine Broadcasting Service (PBS) in a ceremony led by Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua and Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.
— Philippine News Agency

Crown Awarded the Best Material Handling Equipment Company in the Philippines
Crown Lift Trucks Philippines Corp., part of Crown Equipment Corporation, won the Best Material Handling Equipment Company award for its industry-leading customer service standards and the positive results customers have achieved by working closely with Crown, one of the world’s largest material handling companies.
— AEC News Today/ PR Newswire (media release)

PAF allots P12-M for AW-109 attack chopper parts
The Philippine Air Force (PAF) is allocating PHP12 million for the acquisition of main rotor dampers for two of its AgustaWestland AW-109 attack helicopters.
— Philippine News Agency

PHL meat imports up 22.73% in 2018–BAI
PHILIPPINE meat imports in 2018 rose by over a fifth to a record high of nearly 850,000 metric tons (MT) as requirements from processors for raw materials expanded, coupled with a growing demand by Filipinos for protein products.
— Business Mirror

More funds needed to hike social outlay
THE PHILIPPINES can afford to increase state spending on social protection to help attain better living conditions by 2030, but it will have to raise more revenues to do so, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said in a report released on Wednesday.
— BusinessWorld Online

Fruit output mainly higher in fourth quarter led by banana, mango — PSA
BANANA, mango and pineapple production rose in the fourth quarter of 2018, while calamansi production declined during the period, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said on Wednesday.
— BusinessWorld Online

PLEA loans released to farmers, fishers hit P1.64 billion
THE Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) said it has disbursed P1.64 billion in loans to small-scale farmers from June 2017 to December 2018, as part of government efforts to expand their access to affordable credit.
— Business Mirror

SBMA seeks expansion of economic zones
The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) is pressing for the expansion of Subic Bay Freeport boundaries as well as that of the neighboring Clark Freeport.
— Malaya

ADB urges fiscal reforms for social protection
Social protection agendas in the region will benefit from the right fiscal reforms and policies, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said, with the Philippines tagged as one of several Asia-Pacific economies with the potential to meet the challenge.
— The Manila Times

Banks may directly lend to DA to comply with Agri-Agra law
Some Philippine banks may finally break their years of non-compliance of the Agri-Agra Reform Act by providing loan of as much as P200 billion to the Department of Agriculture (DA).
— Manila Bulletin

China’s State Grid brings solar power to Zambales homes
State Grid Corporation of China, the technical partner of power grid operator National Grip Corp. of the Philippines, is spearheading efforts to provide solar power in Zambales that will benefit over 1,000 residents in the province.

Rappler CEO to post bail
Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa will post bail for her cyber libel case before the courts on Thursday.
— CNN Philippines

DOTr selects contractor for P2.8-b common LRT station
The Department of Transportation on Wednesday signed a contract with the consortium of BF Corp. and Foresight Development and Surveying Company for the construction of a common station linking Light Rail Transit Line 1, Metro Rail Transit Line 3, the planned MRT 7 and the Metro Manila Subway.

Japan donates P53-million equipment to PNP
Japan on Tuesday turned over to the Philippine National Police (PNP) P53.3 million worth of equipment for public safety and counterterrorism.
— The Philippine Star

Private banks offer P200B to fund agri-agra projects
Private banks have offered P200 billion in funds to the agricultural sector to comply with the Agri-Agra law, a Cabinet official said.
— The Manila Times

SGC mulls P100 million investment for new ceramic tile kiln
Thai conglomerate Siam Cement Group (SCG) plans to invest P100 million in the Philippines this year for a new kiln to provide high quality ceramic tiles.
— The Philippine Star

ACPC disburses P1.64-billion loans to farmers in 2 years
The Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) has disbursed P1.64 billion worth of loans since the launch of its Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) program almost two years ago.
— The Philippine Star

Outbreak may persist ’til June, group warns
The measles outbreak could last until June, the leader of the country’s leading professional association of specialists in infectious diseases and microbiology said Wednesday.

BIR to collect P79.012 billion under TRAIN Act in 2019
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has been tasked to collect P79.012 billion in taxes from the higher or new levies slapped on various goods under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act this year.

Bong Go: Don’t vote for me if I used gov’t resources for Senate bid
ANGELES CITY, Philippines – Former presidential aide Bong Go denied he is using government funds or resources for his senatorial bid.
— Rappler

Truckers face new regulation
THE BUREAU of Customs (BoC) now requires trucking services to register with it, despite concerns from an industry group that its members are already heavily regulated.
— BusinessWorld Online

4.9-magnitude quake jolts Surigao del Norte
A 4.9-magnitude earthquake struck Surigao del Norte on Wednesday, Feb. 13. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said the quake struck 43 kilometers southeast of General Luna at 2:50 p.m.
— Eagle News

Criminal charges eyed against road contractor
The chairman of House committee on appropriations said Wednesday criminal charges may be filed in connection with the allegedly rigged bidding for P1 billion worth of public works projects won by a contractor that was said to be favored by Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno.

Incomplete rules on foreign workers hit
The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), the country’s biggest labor group, criticized the Bureau of Immigration (BI) for coming out with new but ‘incomplete’ rules on work permits which it claimed is subject to corruption.

Palace on Maria Ressa arrest: ‘No one is above the law’
“No one is above the law,” Malacañang said Wednesday after the National Bureau of Investigation arrested Rappler chief executive officer Maria Ressa over a cyberlibel case.

Bank of Taiwan starts operations in Philippines
THE Bank of Taiwan has started its operations in the Philippines, the central bank said, which comes months after receiving its license from the regulator.The state-run Taiwanese bank opened its representative office in Manila
— BusinessWorld Online

Philhealth-Bicol assures coverage for measles confinement
LEGAZPI CITY, Feb. 12 (PIA) – With the increasing cases of measles in the Bicol region, , the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) – Regional Office V guaranteed the public that confinements due to measles are compensable.
— Philippine Information Agency

Solons on Ressa arrest: It could happen to anybody
Party-list lawmakers chorused in condemning the arrest of Rappler chief executive officer Maria Ressa over a cyber libel case in 2012, warning that it could happen to anybody.
— GMA News

City Dad supports no backpack policy
Councilor Mabel Sunga-Acosta (leftmost) greets the personnel from the Regional Crime Laboratory during the City Council Session on Feb. 12.
— Philippine Information Agency

Duterte: Hate my drug war? Call God
Unfazed by criticisms hurled against his brutal crackdown on illegal drugs, President Rodrigo Duterte taunted Wednesday, February 13, the human rights groups by daring them to “call God to intervene” if they are opposed to his policy.
— Sun Star

Strict security set after ‘No’ vote in Lanao del Norte
Stricter security measures remained in effect in Lanao del Norte province in anticipation of potential adverse response in the aftermath of the defeat of the Yes votes in the recent plebiscite of the Bangsamoro Organic Law ((BOL).

PH infra push will unlock tourism growth potentials, says AmCham official
The Philippine government’s infrastructure push will continue to unlock potentials for the country’s tourism growth.
— ABS-CBN News

The evolving (and sustainable) business of micro-entrepreneurs
Jake Palario used to work as a security guard at night but, with his meager salary, he could hardly provide for the needs of his growing family. He was forced to think of another way to augment his income.

Domestic liquidity still sufficient – BSP exec
The Philippine financial system continues to enjoy sufficient liquidity given the interest in the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ term deposit facility (TDF), a senior BSP official said.
— The Manila Times

Local firms should save Hanjin – business group
Filipino firms should be the ones taking over the Korean shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Co. Philippines instead of foreign companies, the Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands (CPPI) said
–The Manila Times

Comelec dismisses disqualification cases vs Pimentel
-The Commission on Elections has junked the two disqualification cases filed against Senator Koko Pimentel, paving the way for him to run for a Senate seat unhampered in the May elections.
— Eagle News

Masbate town mayor, vice mayor face raps after raids in their house, resort yield guns, explosives
Charges are slated to be filed against the mayor and vice mayor of a town in Masbate after raids of their residence and resort yielded firearms and explosives.
— Eagle News

Western Union Debuts New Payment Option for Shoppers in the Philippines
The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in cross-border, cross-currency money movement, today unveiled a new payment option that allows customers in the Philippines to pay in local currency for their purchases.
— AP

Omnistream sees opportunities in Southeast Asia expansion
SINGAPORE-BASED start-up Omnistream Pte. Ltd. said its cost-structure model will attract more conglomerates in the region as it expands into Southeast Asia, including the Philippines.
— BusinessWorld Online

Pryce income hits P1.4B in 2018 as revenues jump 11%
PRYCE CORP. reported a 12.4% increase in consolidated net income in 2018 to P1.405 billion, from P1.25 billion after posting double-digit growth in revenues.
— BusinessWorld Online

WHO notes record number of people with measles in Europe in 2018, even with increased immunization
The World Health Organization said that a “record number of people” were also affected by measles even in Europe last year, even as it noted increased vaccination of children that year.
— Eagle News

Mariwasa investing P100m in machines
Mariwasa Manufacturing Inc., a partner of the SCG group, is spending P100 million to upgrade existing tile manufacturing machines in the Philippines.

Oversized posters & other campaign law violations
CAMPAIGN posters and tarpaulins of all kinds have proliferated all over the country these last few weeks.
— Tempo

Japan opens Consulate General in Davao City
Guests of the Japanese Consulate General opening held Feb.11 at the Waterfront Hotel perform a Kagami Biraki or the breaking of the Sake barrel case, Kagami Biraki is a Japanese ceremony held during special occasions.
— Philippine Information Agency


Feature photo End Rabies Now

This week’s Philippines morning news feature photo acknowledges World Radio Day February 13.


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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