Philippines morning news for February 18

Philippines morning news for February 18
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Philippines morning newsSolon: OFWs set remittances record in 2018; highest monthly transfer in December
Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) sent home a record-high $3.2 billion in the month of December alone, bringing the total remittances for 2018 to a new record of $32.2 billion, House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries chair Henry Ong said on Sunday.
— GMA News

Duterte vetoes tax amnesty
Duterte has vetoed a provision of the Tax Amnesty Bill which grants a general amnesty program for taxpayers with unsettled obligations, the Department of Finance (DOF) said over the weekend.
— The Philippine Star

Drug money flowing into campaign—PDEA
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino said politicians could be using drug money in campaigning for the May 2019 midterm elections.

‘Lack of workers’ delaying infrastructure development
President Rodrigo Duterte said there was a delay in the implementation of the “Build, Build, Build” programme because of shortage of qualified workers.
— Gulf Times

Duterte signs law bolstering BSP’s capitalization to P200b
President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act No. 11211 which increases the capitalization of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas from P50 billion to P200 billion and expands its regulatory powers.

No respite from ballooning trade gap, say economists
Economists see no respite from the swelling trade deficit hitting record levels over the next two years amid soft global export market and rising imports of capital equipment and raw materials to support the growing economy.
— The Philippine Star

Manila Water to invest over P115 billion for STPs
Ayala-owned Manila Water Co. expects to spend more than P115 billion in the next 19 years for its used or waste water treatment facilities as part of its long-time effort to spare Manila Bay from sewage pollution.
— Manila Bulletin

Sen. Bam Aquino seeks to end ‘endo’ in private sector, gov’t
Reelectionist Senator Paolo “Bam” Aquino IV said he is prepared to vote for the measure that seeks to end contractualization prevailing in the labor sector but the bill has yet to be reported out in the plenary.
— Manila Bulletin

Biometrics to further enhance e-govt security, access control
As more and more people open social media accounts, personal identity has gone digital; which means it has become more mobile.
— The Manila Times

Senior Citizens Commission gets P520m in 2019 budget
With the imminent enactment into law of the creation of the National Commission of Senior Citizens, a lawmaker has asked the Department of Social Welfare and Development to lay the ground work for its operation at the soonest time.
— The Manila Times

Opposition senatorial bets press need to maintain Senate as independent institution
Opposition senatorial candidates have reiterated the need for voters to elect the next set of senators that would ensure that the Senate is an independent institution.
— Manila Bulletin

Inspired by Bangsamoro, Cordillerans push for full autonomy anew
The people of Cordillera are pushing again for full autonomy, including fiscal budgetary management, as the nation has witnessed the plebiscite in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Philip Morris set to introduce heated tobacco products in PH
Hong Kong—Philip Morris International is preparing to introduce in the Philippines a cutting-edge technology for smokers using heated tobacco products that have fewer health risks, pending the creation of regulatory measures for these products.

2 dead, 1 injured in EDSA shooting
Two men were killed while a woman was wounded in a shooting incident along EDSA on Sunday afternoon.
— CNN Philippines

DTI, antitrust body to strengthen market competition in new partnership
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) signed a memorandum of understanding to further strengthen the competition across all industries.
— Rappler

As Southeast Asia muzzles media, investors do business as usual
The arrest last week of a high-profile journalist in the Philippines and a gag order against a Thai television station are the latest reminders that Southeast Asia’s press freedoms rest on the whims of governments.
— Nikkei Asian Review (paywall)

Opposition bets say it’s time for divorce law in Philippines
Three senatorial candidates from the Otso Diretso opposition slate believe it is time for the Philippines to pass a divorce law. But administration bet and former journalist Jiggy Manicad thinks otherwise.
— Rappler

Philippines liberates rice market
THE PHILIPPINES’ Rice Tariffication Bill has been signed into law by President Duterte amid opposition from farmer groups and consistent prodding from economic managers and business organisations.
— The Nation (very annoying pop-ups)

Govt must train 30,000 construction workers annually to meet demand
THE government must increase its number of newly-trained construction workers by an average of 30,000 per year to meet increasing industry demands.
— Business Mirror

PHL natural-gas output peaked in 2018
The country’s natural-gas production peaked in 2018 at 150,804 million standard cubic feet (MMcf), bringing the total output since 1994 to 2,093,564 billion cubic feet (Bcf).
— Business Mirror

Vietnam pork imports banned after African Swine Fever finding
AGRICULTURE Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol announced a ban on pork and pork products from Vietnam on Sunday, after traces of African Swine Fever (ASF) were discovered in some products from that country.
— BusinessWorld Online

De Lima, newest member of ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights
Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has been introduced as the newest member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) in recognition of her strong advocacy for justice, human rights and democracy in the Philippines.
— Manila Bulletin

P520M in OP budget allocated for senior citizens’ commish
WITH the expected enactment into law of the creation of the National Commission of Senior Citizens, a lawmaker on Sunday said the government will allocate P520 million for the commission.
— Business Mirror

SEC sees strong demand for green bonds amid gov’t infrastructure push, new rules
THE SECURITIES and Exchange Commission (SEC) said there is strong demand for green bonds domestic firms can take advantage of amid the infrastructure push of the government and following relaxed rules on bank bond issuance.
— BusinessWorld Online

NGO protests delisting 625 cases from UN disappeared cases
The Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND) non-governmental organization protested the Philippine government’s plan to delist 625 cases of Filipinos who were disappeared from 1975 to 2012 from the United Nations Working Group on Enforced and or Involuntary Disappearances (UNWFEID).
— GMA News

Polls, illegal logging surge linked
The election season was blamed for a spike in illegal logging in the Sierra Madre mountain range, which an antilogging Church leader said continued with impunity.

Revilla seeks denial of Ombudsman bid for him to pay P124.5-M liability
Former senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. is seeking to deny the motion of Office of the Ombudsman before the anti-graft court Sandigan Bayan to compel him to jointly settle with his co-accused Richard Cambe and Janet Lim-Napoles the P124.5-million civil liability in relation to their plunder case.
— GMA News

Duterte urges public: Get kids vaccinated
President Duterte has appealed to parents to have their children vaccinated against measles following outbreaks of the disease in several parts of the country.
— The Philippine Star

NEDA to tackle repackaging of Mindanao Railway-TDD segment
The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Board is set to tackle the proposed PHP97-billion repackaging and realignment of the first phase of the Mindanao Railway Project (MRP) of the Department of Transportation (DoTr).
— Philippine News Agency

ROTC infuses balance in PH military: prof
Mandatory reserve officer training corps (ROTC) in senior high school will bring the country into safer hands with future military organization that has a mixture of officers from both the civilian schools and the military academy, a professor who is also a senior reservist …
— Philippine News Agency

Bulacan Mega City expected to create 100K jobs
The soon-to-rise 400-hectare Bulacan Mega City that will straddle three municipalities — Pandi, Bocaue, and Balagtas — is expected to create 100,000 jobs for Bulakenyos, a former town official in the province said.
— Philippine News Agency

WATCH: Pinoys invent app to help kids with autism
A group of 5 Filipinos from the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) has developed an application that aims to transform manual mental health record-keeping into an online-friendly platform.
— Rappler

Foreigners list ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’ in PHL–Tourism poll
AS the Department of Tourism (DOT) launches a refreshed “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” advertising campaign, a global survey indicated the challenges to the country’s goal of becoming a major tourism player.
— Business Mirror

Unifrutti secures P1-B loan from DBP for banana area expansion
UNIFRUTTI TROPICAL Philippines Inc., one of the country’s major banana growers and exporters, has signed a $19-million loan agreement with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) for the expansion of production areas in different parts of Mindanao.
— BusinessWorld Online

NBI told to explain threat to Rappler staff
Agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) accused of threatening a Rappler staff for video recording the arrest of Maria Ressa have until Monday to submit their explanation to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
— The Philippine Star takes down 2002 article on Wilfredo Keng, the Philippine Star’s online news platform, took down a 2002 article on businessman Wilfredo Keng, after the latter raised the possibility of legal action.
— Rappler

Progressive groups fear new tariff law will lead to rice cartels
Anakpawis Representative Ariel Casilao warned that the rice tariffication law , which President Rodrigo Duterte signed Friday, February 15, may have similar results as the oil deregulation law.
— Rappler

Gov’t zeroes in on online casinos
THE BUREAU of Internal Revenue (BIR) has asked the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) to include proof of tax registration and payment as a requirement to renew the licenses of offshore gaming operators, who have hired a growing number of workers from China.
— BusinessWorld Onine

PH gov’t sincere in resolving ‘desaparecidos’ cases
The head of the Philippine delegation to the United Nations (UN) Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.
— Philippine News Agency

Duterte in Hong Kong to celebrate Honeylet’s birthday
President Rodrigo Duterte is currently in Hong Kong to celebrate the birthday of his common-law wife, Honeylet Avanceña.
— The Philippine Star

Surrender unlicensed guns, public urged
National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) head, Director Guillermo Eleazar on Saturday called on owners of firearms that either unlicensed or whose licenses have yet to be renewed to voluntarily surrender these to the police.
— Philippine News Agency

ePLDT first with cybersecurity badge
Digital business solutions enabler ePLDT Inc. continues to lead the local ICT industry in delivering best-in-class cyber security solutions as it becomes the first DNSSEC-compliant provider of DNS Security in the country.
— The Philippine Star

Top PH companies offer help in Manila Bay cleanup
Businesses led by the country’s biggest shopping mall chain have offered to adopt and clean Metro Manila rivers, which was part of the government’s effort to clean Manila Bay and other waterways, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said here on Saturday.

Aquino eyes one doctor in every village
SEN. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino 4th on Sunday raised the need to designate one government doctor in each of the 44,000 villages (barangay) nationwide. The re-electionist senator, who is running …
— The Manila Times

Gas prices set to go up
Another oil price increase is expected this week as global crude prices jumped to its highest this year.
— The Philippine Star

Catholics told: Don’t votefor selfish, greedy candidates
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle yesterday told the faithful not to give their votes to candidates who are selfish and greedy.
— The Philippine Star

Modernization of maritime units vs. drug smuggling begins
The Philippine National Police (PNP) has started the modernization of its maritime units in a bid to enhance its capability to combat seaborne illegal drugs smuggling.
— Philippine News Agency

R-10 MSO update on corn, cassava pests, diseases
To tackle on corn and cassava pests and diseases and validate data in the region, the Regulatory Division of the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10), convened its municipal surveillance officers (MSOs) here.
— Philippine Information Agency

Whale takes center stage at National Museum
To celebrate World Whale Day, the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) in Rizal Park, Manila, yesterday unveiled to the public its newest permanent display: the Marinduque Sperm Whale.
— The Philippine Star

Service sans the uniform: Former military, policemen seek gov’t posts in 2019
MANILA, Philippines – When police and military officers hang their uniforms for the last time, it does not always mean they will retire from public service.
— Rappler

Withholding tax on Meralco refunds
The Department of Finance (DOF) recently issued Revenue Regulations (RR) 1-2019, amending the creditable withholding tax (CWT) rates on refunds paid by the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) to its customers.
— The Manila Times

DENR chief Cimatu fears Baguio ‘may lose pine trees’
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu on Saturday, February 16, assured residents of this Philippine summer capital that he will study what is best for Baguio after he observed that many pine trees were dying in areas where the trees were supposed to thrive.
— Rappler


Feature photo Brian Evans


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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