Philippines morning news for February 20

Philippines morning news for February 20
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Philippines morning newsBoP surplus hits 6-year high in Jan
The country’s balance of payments (BoP) surplus hit a six-year high in January, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported on Tuesday.
— The Manila Times

DOH Eastern Visayas reports rising measles cases
Measles cases in Eastern Visayas continue to surge as the outbreak has already killed 16 children while nearly 200 cases have been added in more than a week, the Department of Health (DOH) reported on Monday.
— Philippine News Agency

Philippines revokes Sanofi’s product license for dengue vaccine
The Philippines has permanently halted the sale, distribution and marketing of Sanofi’s dengue vaccine in the country after the French drug maker failed to meet the directives of regulators.
— Reuters

Dollars surge into PH in January thanks to gov’t’s foreign borrowing
The Philippine economy started the year with a surge of net foreign currency inflows thanks mainly to a large dollar-denominated borrowing of the national government in January aided by positive sentiment on the local currency, the central bank said on Tuesday.

A week’s haul: P472.6-M cocaine bricks found on Philippine shores
Over a span of a week, an estimated P472.63 million of cocaine bricks were found along the shores of 4 provinces in the Philippines, a country believed to be primarily a market for shabu (methamphetamine) .
— Rappler

Mislatel rollout may be pushed back to after elections – DICT
The rollout of 3rd telecommunications player Mislatel may be delayed until after the elections, as both chambers of Congress need to resolve the consortium’s franchise issues, Acting Information and Communications Technology Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr said on Monday, February 18.
— Rappler

NFA assets may be sold to pay P145-billion debts
THE Department of Finance (DOF) is looking into selling some of the assets of state-run National Food Authority (NFA) to cover part of the agency’s debt, which has already ballooned to P145 billion.
— Business Mirror

BSP: Defacing Philippine banknotes a punishable offense
Defacing Philippine banknotes is a punishable offense under the law, the Bangko Sentral ng Philippines (BSP) warned the public on Tuesday.

Rice prices seen to drop by at least P7 due to tariffication law
The prices of rice are expected to decrease by P2 to P7 per kilo following the signing of the tariffication law by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, the Department of Finance (DOF) said on Tuesday.
— Philippine News Agency

PH tower sharing attracts more firms
Three more foreign tower companies (towercos) on Tuesday signaled their intent to enter the Philippine tower sharing business.
— The Manila Times

1,000 National Food Authority employees to lose jobs
Close to a thousand employees of the National Food Authority (NFA) will lose their jobs as the agency will undergo restructuring following the enactment of the rice tariffication law.
— The Philippine Star

Priest rearrested for molesting 50 victims
A Catholic priest arrested last year was served five more warrants of arrest at his detention cell at Camp Bagong Diwa yesterday for allegedly sexually abusing 50 more victims, mostly altar boys as young as seven years old.
— The Philippine Star

S.B.M.A. grants P4.9 million worth of community facilities to Aeta tribe
Some P4.9 million worth of community facilities were awarded to the Pastolan Ayta Tribe by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).
— Business Mirror

MSMEs get boost from Senate bill
Continued financial support has been assured for micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) producing locally made products all over the country under a bill filed in the Senate.
— Business Mirror

Meralco ordered to use unclaimed tax refund to lower distribution rates
THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has directed Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) to submit a scheme that uses customers’ unclaimed tax refund to reduce the power distribution rates, the agency said on Tuesday.
— BusinessWorld Online

PRRD to install 80-man BTA this week – OPAPP
The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) on Tuesday said the 80-member Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) will take their oaths of office in Malacañang this week.
— Manila Bulletin

Veto further delays release of P100-billion coco fund
Three years into presidency, President Rodrigo Duterte is still yet to deliver his promise to release to the coconut sector the controversial coco levy fund, which is now estimated to have grown to around more than P100 billion.
— Manila Bulletin

PH, US to hold bilateral talks on free trade
Businessman and US-Philippines Society co-chairman Manuel Pangilinan said Tuesday the Philippines should seriously prepare for the bilateral talks with the US on the proposed free trade agreement.

SC upholds 3rd martial law extension
The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday ruled to uphold the constitutionality of Malacanang’s Proclamation No. 216 extending martial law and suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao.
— Philippine News Agency

BSP to act if liquidity not enough to maintain growth: Guinigundo
The Philippine central bank will act swiftly if it judges there is not enough liquidity in the financial system to maintain economic momentum, its deputy governor Diwa Guinigundo said on Tuesday.
— ABS-CBN News

NYC chief asks Duterte to remove scholarships of ‘rebellious students’
Taking the government’s crackdown against the Left a step further, National Youth Commission (NYC) Chairman Ronald Cardema asked President Rodrigo Duterte to issue an order revoking government scholarships of students suspected to have links to the movement.
— Rappler

Calabarzon records almost 2,500 measles cases, 61 deaths
The recorded suspected measles cases in the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon, or collectively known as Calabarzon, have reached 2,494, with 61 reported deaths.
— Philippine News Agency

‘Pedophile priest’ now under Metro Manila police’s custody
Father Kenneth Hendricks, the American Catholic priest accused of molesting more than 50 people in the province of Biliran, is now under the custody of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).
— Rappler

Duterte signs national integrated cancer control act
President Rodrigo Duterte has signed the National Integrated Cancer Control Act, a measure that aims to prevent cancer cases and improve cancer survivorship among Filipinos by scaling up essential programs and increasing investments that battle cancer.
— ABS-CBN News

Gov’t asks UN panel to remove over 600 from list of disappeared
The Philippine government has asked a United Nations committee to remove over 600 Filipinos from its list of victims of enforced disappearances.
— GMA News

Duterte signs bill protecting children in armed conflict into law
President Rodrigo R. Duterte has signed into law a bill providing the special protection of children in situations of armed conflict.
— Philippine News Agency

Duterte signs into law measure creating Housing department
PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte signed a law creating the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development through the consolidation of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).
— BusinessWorld Online

Philippines looks to drones to boost farming
Technology is fast advancing and has produced machinery that could change what was once a laborious and tedious farming process into an efficient and automated one.
— OpenGov

What Does the Sale of $1.5 Billion in Philippines Government Bonds Really Mean?
The Philippines Government recently became the first in Asia to borrow money from the international debt markets.
— Pattaya Mail

Mobile users can now keep their numbers for life: solon
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Tuesday expressed his gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte for signing into law a measure allowing mobile phone users to retain their numbers for life even when they switch service providers.
— Philippine News Agency

Philippines tribal leaders oppose Kaliwa dam project
Plans to dam the Kaliwa river in the mountains of the northern Philippines are being fiercely opposed by tribespeople who live there.
— Aljazeera

Car sales continued slump with a 15% drop in January
Vehicle sales opened 2019 with a 15-percent drop in January, following the 16-percent slump in 2018, data from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. and the Truck Manufacturers Association Inc. show.

Clark airport earnings hit P1 billion for first time in 2018
The Clark International Airport, the second gateway to Metro Manila, hit a record P1.07 billion in revenues for 2018, the first time the airport breached the billion-peso mark since it was created in 1995.
— Rappler

DPWH to turn over P700-M capitol building to Bohol officials
The PHP700-million new four-story Capitol building that will be turned over to Bohol’s provincial officials on Thursday is a commitment of the Duterte administration to provide the people with a spacious edifice to transact business with their local government, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7 (Central Visayas) said Monday.
— Philippine News Agency

Manila Philippines Development Agency (MMDA) to Adopt mit messenger Technology for 20 Million Manila Citizens
mit messenger developed by Korean technology company – Stargram Global will be introduced in the administrative processing for civil affairs business in the Philippines capital city, Manila.
— AEC News Today/ PR Newswire (media release)

mit messenger Has Been Chosen as the Private Messenger of 15 Million Philippines Overseas Workers
Stargram Global (CEO KJ Kim), a developer company of mit messenger has signed an official contract on February 4 in Philippines’ Minister of Labor Silvestre H. Bello III’s office, located in Manila, Philippines, to use mit messenger as a business messenger for Philippines overseas workers.
— AEC News Today/ PR Newswire (media release)

BIR-Region 12 aims to collect P14.3-B in 2019
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Revenue Region 12 (BIR-12), which covers Negros Island and Siquijor, is aiming to collect PHP14.3 billion in tax this year.
— Philippine News Agency

Concern raised on measles outbreak impact on OFWs, tourism
With the number of measles cases still on the rise, the Department of Health yesterday expressed concern over its possible impact on tourism and the deployment of workers overseas.
— The Philippine Star

Fear stalks kin of drug war victims
Relatives of suspects who died in the government’s war on drugs in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) region have not been pursuing cases out of fear for their lives, an official of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said.

UN Special Rapporteur report ‘highly misplaced’: Palace
Malacañang on Tuesday said the report of a United Nations (UN) special rapporteur raising concern over the situation of Filipina human rights defenders is “highly misplaced.”
— Philippine News Agency

Moody’s cites risk to 2019 growth view
MOODY’S Investors Service sees a chance of even slower growth for the Philippines this year, with local construction works bogged down by budget delays and little support from subdued global demand.
— BusinessWorld Online

165 cops killed, 575 hurt in drug war
A total of 165 police officers have been killed and 575 others were wounded in the government’s war on drugs, the Philippine National Police (PNP) reported yesterday.
— The Philippine Star

Unifrutti secures US$19M loan for Philippine banana expansion
Unifrutti Tropical Philippines, one of the country’s biggest banana grower-exporters, has reportedly signed a US$19 million loan agreement for the expansion of production areas in Mindanao.

GE Philippines mulls entry into hydropower
Global energy solutions provider GE is looking at opportunities in hydropower and battery storage in the Philippine energy sector.
— The Philippine Star

Government expands use of solar irrigation to corn farming
The government is expanding the coverage of its flagship solar-powered irrigation system to include the corn sector in a move aimed at doubling the commodity’s production.
— The Philippine Star

Aklanons urged to maintain cleanliness to combat dengue
The Provincial Health Office (PHO)-Aklan urged the public to maintain the cleanliness of their respective homes and surroundings as this is one way of eliminating or preventing the breeding of the dengue-carrying mosquitoes.
— Philippine Information Agency

Two senators back Sara Duterte as country’s future president
Two senators on Tuesday, Feb. 19, backed Davao Mayor Sara Duterte as the country’s president in the future, noting what they said were her good qualities.
— Eagle News

Gov’t goes after more businesses polluting Manila Bay, waterways
The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) on Tuesday, February 19, continued its crackdown on businesses found to have violated environmental laws in the cities of Pasay and Manila.
— Rappler

CPP hits SC ruling on 3rd martial law extension in Mindanao
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) said Tuesday that the Supreme Court decision to uphold the legality of the third extension of martial law in Mindanao would lead to more abuses by government forces.

PCOO officials’ Europe trip a ‘desperate PR stunt’ — rights group
A local rights group on Tuesday criticized the government’s move to send Presidential Communications officials to Europe to clarify issues in the Philippines, calling it a “junket” to salvage the government’s “notorious” human rights record.
— The Philippine Star

TF Bangon Marawi chief Del Rosario: Marawi not a ghost city
The inter-agency task force leading the rehabilitation efforts in war-torn Marawi City on Tuesday took exception to a foreign media report that the city remained a ghost town more than a year after it was liberated from Islamist militants.
— GMA News

Palarong Pambansa 2019 to showcase indigenous sports
The upcoming 2019 Palarong Pambansa from April 27 to May 4 in Davao City will reintroduce indigenous sports in addition to its existing games to make the annual multi-sports event special and interesting.
— Philippine Information Agency

Web, mobile app launches to hasten support services to farmers
The government has launched a web and mobile-based (Android) application meant to fast track interventions needed for farmers to be more productive.
— Philippine News Agency

Kickback allegation intends to destabilize Duterte admin – DBM
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Tuesday denied that the Department of Public Works and Highways’ (DPWH’s) P100-billion in payables restored the so-called kickback systems.
— GMA News

Palace: Duterte to sign into law Universal Healthcare bill on Feb 20
President Rodrigo Duterte is set to sign into law the Universal Healthcare bill on Wednesday, February 20, Malacaang said.


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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