Philippines morning news for February 22

Philippines morning news for February 22

Philippines morning news2018 fiscal deficit hits P558.26 billion
THE national government reported a budget deficit of P558.26 billion for 2018, as its expenditures of P3.408 trillion outpaced its revenues pegged at P2.85 trillion.
— Business Mirror

Jan. budget utilization accelerates to 60%
THE national government posted a budget utilization rate of 60% in January, well above the year-earlier rate of 33%, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said.
— BusinessWorld Online

UNICEF-WHO Philippines: Measles Outbreak, Situation Report 2, 20 February 2019
Between 1 January and 18 February 2019, 9,267 measles cases including 146 deaths were officially reported through the routine surveillance system from the Philippines Department of Health (DoH): a 266% increase with the same time period in 2018 (see Table 1).
— ReliefWeb

Philippines Steps Up Regional Edge In Antitrust Law Enforcement
The Philippines is gradually transforming into a regional leader in the enforcement of antitrust laws as the Southeast Asian country jumped to 5th place in 2018’s Asia-Pacific policy records.
— Business Times

UP, DLSU among top universities in Asia Pacific
Two Philippine universities were included among the top educational institutions in the Asia-Pacific region, according to London-based data provider Times Higher Education (THE).
— CNN Philippines

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Philippines’ DFA and Central Bank say USD 50 billion Thai cheque is fake
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and Central Bank of the Republic of Philippines have notified the Angolan authorities that the USD 50 billion Thai cheque is in fact fake, a key evidence in the “Thai Swindle” trial.
— EIN Newsdesk

Google Job Search launches in Philippines with 500,000 listings
Google’s Job Search launched in the Philippines on February 13, featuring about 500,000 job listings on its initial day.
— HRM Asia

Basic goods pricier; weak peso, costly materials cited
THE retail prices of basic goods have gone up in February largely due to the surging cost of raw materials and the depreciation of the peso against the dollar, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
— Business Mirror

Japan OKs P1.8-B addt’l assistance to PH
The Japanese and Philippine governments on Thursday signed exchanges of notes worth JPY3.56 billion (about PHP1.8 billion) composed of two grants for additional support in Mindanao and one grant for the provision of train simulators in the country.
— Manila Bulletin

New SSS law to add 13 more years to fund life
State-run pension fund Social Security System said the enactment of Republic Act No. 11199, or the Social Security Act of 2018, will add 13 more years to its fund life or until 2045.

P37.8-trillion energy savings eyed in efficiency law
AN energy-efficiency measure must be signed within the first quarter of the year if the country wants to realize P37.8 trillion in energy savings until 2040.
— Business Mirror

Duterte Doubles Paid Leave for New Mothers in the Philippines
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has expanded leave benefits for working new mothers, a move that could bring more women in the workforce in a nation with the least female participation in Southeast Asia.
— Bloomberg

After applause, P40-billion UHC gap a challenge
THE signing of the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law will not produce results overnight as the P40-billion gap in the funding, including lack of health-care manpower, must also be addressed, Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said on Thursday.
— Business Mirror

Expanded Maternity Leave to cost SSS P7.5-B more
The Expanded Maternity Leave law, which was signed into law last February 20, is expected to cost the Social Security System (SSS) an additional PHP7.5 billion in benefits.
— Philippine News Agency

WB pushes 4.5% of GDP infrastructure spending
DEVELOPING COUNTRIES like the Philippines should invest more to improve living conditions and contribute to global efforts against climate change, the World Bank said.
— BusinessWorld Online

Bank assets reach record P17.2 trillion in 2018
Assets of Philippine banks booked a double-digit growth of 11.1 percent to hit a record high of P17.24 trillion last year from P15.52 trillion in 2017, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas showed.
— The Philippine Star

PCC hikes thresholds for mergers and acquisitions notifications
The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has increased the thresholds for compulsory notifications of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) set to take effect by next month.
— The Philippine Star

Hefty fine eyed for tourists, travelers with pork from ASF-affected countries
The Department of Agriculture (DA) is looking into the possibility of imposing penalties on tourists who will bring in pork products from African swine fever (ASF)-affected countries to deter the entry of meat and/or meat products that could transmit the dreaded hog disease.
— Business Mirror

Palace agrees that focus should be on why children commit crime
Malacañang on Thursday said it agreed with the remark made by Miss Universe Catriona Gray that government should “readjust” its focus to why children commit crimes.
— Philippine News Agency

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Measles outbreak declared in 4 of 5 provinces in Cagayan Valley
The Health Department declared a measles outbreak in Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino after an 8-month child died and 82 cases of the contagious disease were reported across these areas as of Wednesday.
— CNN Philippines

Biometric adoption: Harnessing new technologies to build a stronger society in the Philippines
Since the Philippines gained independence in 1946, the country has witnessed decades of political instability.
— Asean Today

Bankers to fund priority Agri-Agra projects
Some major players in the country’s banking industry have pledged to finance agriculture projects that are certified Agri-Agra Projects compliant, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said.
— Philippine News Agency

Typhoon Ompong victims get P9.24-M fishing gears
Various fisherfolk associations in the coastal city and towns of Ilocos Norte have received fish aggregating devices and nets as part of fishery livelihood projects from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).
— Philippine News Agency

Robredo opposes Duterte’s ‘harsher’ drug war plan: Killing not the solution
Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday opposed President Rodrigo Duterte’s plans of a “harsher” anti-drug campaign, which he himself said could be bloody.
— CNN Philippines

Philippines to launch retail T-bonds sale on Feb 26
The Philippines plans to issue at least 30 billion pesos ($575.93 million) worth of five-year retail bonds next week, the Bureau of Treasury said on Thursday, to help fund this year’s budget and provide individuals investment opportunities.
— Nasdaq

Senate resumes probe on influx of Chinese workers to PH
The Senate committee on labor, employment and human resources development on Thursday resumed its probe on the influx of Chinese illegal workers in the country.

Government to settle for 93% rice self-sufficiency rate
The government will have to settle for its current rice self-sufficiency rate to accommodate the incoming unimpeded entry of rice imports into the country.
— Rappler

P11-M NCMF debt to Saudi company nearly spoils 2019 Hajj
Philippine pilgrims had nearly been blocked from attending this year’s Hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia over a National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) debt to a Saudi Arabian tourism company, a ranking NCMF official said Thursday.
— Philippine News Agency

Philippines to unveil Advanced Manufacturing Centre for 3D printing research
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is set to unveil the first Advanced Manufacturing Centre (AMCen) in the Philippines.
— OpenGov

PH more biz-friendly with Revised Corporation Code
The newly-signed Revised Corporation Code of the Philippines will help simplify corporate governance, provide a more business-friendly environment and boost the competitiveness of the country’s economy, President Rodrigo R. Duterte said.
— Philippine News Agency

Duterte orders government lands to be converted to agricultural lands
President Duterte has ordered all agencies to identify government-owned lands that can be distributed to land reform beneficiaries.
— The Philippine Star

Dad wants ‘public display of affection’ banned at Burnham
A city councilor here has filed a proposed ordinance which seeks to prohibit couples to engage in scandalous “public display of affection” (PDA) at the children’s park in Burnham.
— Philippine News Agency

Duterte signs law to modify ranks of policemen
President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a measure that modifies the classification of ranks in the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Police to Try Diplomatic Approach to Free Hostages in Philippines
National Police Headquarter stated that it would coordinate with Foreign Affairs Ministry, Indonesian Military Force (TNI), and the National Intelligence Agency (BIN) to free two Indonesian hostages taking by a Philippines armed groups Abu Sayyaf.

Imported car sales dip 25%
Sales of imported vehicles dropped 25 percent in January but the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID) remains confident numbers will improve in the remaining months of the year.
— Malaya

Rice self-sufficiency not achievable
THE Philippines stands to miss its goal of achieving 100-percent rice self-sufficiency given the liberalization of imports, a Cabinet official warned on Thursday.
— The Manila Times

Measles cases up: No vaccination, no enrollment policy eyed
The Department of Education (DepEd) is reviewing a proposal of the Department of Health (DOH) to implement a “no vaccination, no enrollment” policy in public schools as the number of measles cases rose to 11,459 with 189 deaths.
— The Philippine Star

PNP: Almost 12,000 deadly weapons seized amid gun ban
The Philippine National Police (PNP) has seized at least 11,920 deadly weapons since the January 13 imposition of the gun ban for the May 2019 midterm elections.
— GMA News

Calida blocks release of drug war docs, Supreme Court must rule
Solicitor General Jose Calida is trying to block the release of the thousands of documents related to the killings in the war on drugs, saying that they contain “very sensitive information with law enforcement and national security implications.”
— Rappler

Dagupan targets to vaccinate 12,000 cats, dogs
The City Veterinary Office (CVO) here has already vaccinated 2,000 pet cats and dogs in 10 barangays of the city since January 1 this year, out of its 12,000 targets to prevent the spread of rabies virus.
— Philippine News Agency

PhilHealth direct contributors to receive additional incentives
Philippine Health Insurance Corporation’s (PhilHealth) direct contributors or those who have the capacity to pay premiums will receive additional health care incentives under the Universal Health Care Act to encourage them in paying their contributions, government officials said on Thursday.
— GMA News

Immigration bureau halts issuance of special working permits to foreigners
The Bureau of Immigration announced it would temporarily halt the issuance of special working permits to foreign workers for certain jobs amid the influx of foreigners who were observed to be taking jobs of Filipinos.
— GMA News

Gov’t income and jobs for Filipinos ‘lost’ to Chinese workers – Villanueva
Senator Joel Villanueva said on Thursday, February 21, that laxity in regulating Philippine Online Gambling Operations (POGOs) in the country had led to a loss in government income and opportunities for Filipinos.
— Rappler

PLDT in talks with other 5G vendors amid Huawei issues
PLDT Inc. has entered in talks with other vendors for the rollout of 5G technology amid security concerns raised by lawmakers in the US.
— The Philippine Star

Government to settle for 93% rice self-sufficiency rate
The government will have to settle for its current rice self-sufficiency rate to accommodate the incoming unimpeded entry of rice imports into the country.
— Rappler

Panelo says Catriona Gray may be ‘misinformed’ about bill on criminal liability age
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo urged Miss Universe Catriona Gray to study the bill lowering the age of criminal responsibility from 15 to 12 years old, saying her recent remarks about it may have been misinformed.
— Rappler

PH pilgrims almost barred from 2019 hajj over NCMF debt to Saudi firm
The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos is investigating suspected fund misuse in the office which reportedly almost got Filipino pilgrims barred from this year’s hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, a ranking NCMF official said.
— Rappler

Karapatan: Duterte warning vs state university students violates right to free education
A human rights group criticized President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday over his warning to students of state-run schools that they may lose their scholarships if they support communist rebels.
— GMA News

PSC upbeat about PHL sports dev’t after President Duterte signs into law PHL Sports Training Center Act
Philippine sports officials are upbeat that the country’s sports training would greatly improve after President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the Republic Act 11214 or “the Philippine Sports Training Center Act.”
— Eagle News

Catriona Gray wants to promote Philippine culture, destinations
She promoted the Philippines in her series of videos , and if given a chance, Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray said she would do even more.
— Rappler

Abu Sayyaf threatens to behead 3 hostages
Abu Sayyaf terrorists have posted a video online threatening to execute a Malaysian and two Indonesian hostages held captive in Mindanao if ransoms are not paid.
— The Manila Times

Bacolod bishop urges speedy resolution of businessman’s slay
Bishop Patricio Buzon of the Diocese of Bacolod has called for the speedy resolution of what he called the deplorable slay of a businessman here.
— Rappler

HPG to apprehend motorcycle drivers with kids on board
The provincial team of the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) in Negros Oriental is urging the public to heed the law prohibiting small children from riding on board motorcycles.
— Philippine News Agency

PH to Israel: Treat Filipinos facing deportation well
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has asked the government of Israel to be “orderly and benignant” in the manner in which they would repatriate overstaying migrant Filipino mothers and their children.

Princeton alumni, students call for end to ‘intimidation campaign’ vs Maria Ressa
Distinguished Princeton University alumni expressed their solidarity with Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa, denouncing what they described as the Philippine government’s clear campaign of intimidation.
— Rappler

WATCH: CCTV clips show businessman Yulo before, after EDSA shooting
MANILA, Philippines – The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Eastern Police District (EPD) has released the CCTV clips showing scenes before and after the EDSA shooting that killed businessman Jose Luis Yulo and his driver Allan Santos on February 17.
— 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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