Philippines morning news for February 7

Philippines morning news for February 7
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Philippines morning newsCongress fails to pass budget bill
LAWMAKERS missed their self-imposed Wednesday deadline to approve the much-delayed 2019 national budget bill.
— The Manila Times

3 public-private partnerships projects secure preparation funding
Funding has been approved for the preparation of three national projects that would be pursued via public-private partnerships (PPP), the PPP Center said.
— The Philippine Star

Bank deposits grow to P12.5 trillion in 11 months
More Filipinos continue to entrust their savings with banks as deposits rose by nearly nine percent in the first 11 months of last year amid the strong economic growth.
— The Philippine Star

Davao City allocates P436M for disaster management program
DAVAO CITY’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund Investment Plan (CDRRMFIP) for 2019 has been approved with an allocation of about P436 million.
— BusinessWorld Oniline

Senate allows transfer of Mislatel control to Udenna, China Telecom
The Senate has allowed the transfer of Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company’s (Mislatel) ownership control to a consortium.
— CNN Philippines

Measles outbreak erupts in Philippine capital
The number of measles cases in the Philippine capital region has surged 10 times at the start of the year after jumping more than 900% in 2018.
— Bangkok Post

House withdraws approval of death penalty for drugs
The House of Representatives has withdrawn its approval on third and final reading of a bill that would have re-imposed the death penalty on convicted drug offenders, particularly those found committing the offense during parties, social gatherings and meetings.
— The Philippine Star

DOH: Dengvaxia mess a ‘major reason’ behind 2 million unvaccinated children
Millions of children remain unvaccinated against measles, flu and other diseases, mostly due to their parent’s fear of another Dengvaxia mess, a Department of Health (DOH) official said.
— CNN Philippines

‘No more limit’: Philippines import cap removal could see 1.2m MT of rice entering the country
The Philippines’ lifting of a 20-year old rice import cap is likely to result in some 1.2 million metric tons of rice being imported into the country in the wake of ongoing shortages and price hikes, the National Food Agency (NFA) has said.

Bicam OKs expanded sex harassment bill
A BICAMERAL conference committee on Wednesday formally passed the reconciled version of the proposed Safe Spaces Act, which will impose heftier penalties for “any unwanted and uninvited sexual actions or remarks against any person” in public spaces.
— The Manila Times

Philippines to tighten entry of foreign workers
The Philippines has said it will soon impose stricter requirements and procedures in issuing work permits to foreign nationals who intend to work in the country.
— All India Radio

Farmers warn against rice tariffication bill
The Federation of Free Farmers warned that the signing of the rice tariffication bill will render the government powerless to control price spikes and market failure in the future.

PH, US to meet this year to review the Mutual Defense Treaty
Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana said a delegation from the United States is expected to arrive in the country within the year for exploratory talks on the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT).
— Manila Bulletin

Philippines’ construction sector to grow 10.9% in 2019
The establishment of much-needed transport infrastructure like the Metro Manila Subway project are already underway.
— Singapore Business Review

Import ban on fresh produce from ASF-hit countries stays
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol on Wednesday reiterated that the import ban on fresh fruits, meat and its by-products, as well as plants from countries hit by African Swine Flu (ASF) is being strictly enforced by authorities.
— Philippine News Agency

Policy reforms pushed to reinvigorate agriculture sector
The Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEF) is urging government to prioritize policy reforms that would help reinvigorate the agriculture sector and prevent the occurrence of inflationary pressures on the supply side of the economy.
— The Philippine Star

Filipino exporters want a big slice of Germany’s market
THE Philippine furniture and home décors sector is strengthening its bid to to get a bigger chunk of Germany’s market through the country participation in the upcoming Ambiente 2019 show this month.
— Sun Star

Amid PHL manufacturing decline, Neda prescribes liberalization of sugar industry
THE liberalization of the sugar industry will boost the country’s food and beverage manufacturing industry, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).
— Business Mirror

Ex-DBM exec Mario Relampagos cleared of ‘pork barrel’ charges
Former budget undersecretary Mario Relampagos has been cleared of the charges filed against him in connection with the alleged misuse of P50.5 million in Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of former Cagayan de Oro congressman Constantino Jaraula.
— The Philippine Star

ROTC bill marches forward in cadence to approval
The House of Representatives last night approved on second reading the bill seeking to revive citizens’ military training for Grade 11 and 12 students.
— Manila Bulletin

EU envoy: Better labor policies boost PHL bid to retain trade perks
GOVERNMENT reforms promoting labor welfare and efforts to rehabilitate tourist destinations boosted the country’s bid to retain its trade privilege with the European Union (EU).
— Business Mirror

Electric cooperatives decry DOE franchise cancellation maneuvers
The country’s electric cooperatives (ECs) are up in arms against the maneuver of the Department of Energy (DOE) recommending the cancellation of legislative-issued franchises of at least 17 in this league of power industry players.
— Manila Bulletin

No more swimming: Manila Bay to be fenced off
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu led yesterday the installation of a fence along the Manila Bay boardwalk on Roxas Boulevard to prevent residents from swimming in the polluted waters during the rehabilitation of the bay.
— The Philippine Star

Firm looking for site of CNOOC-Phoenix $2-B LNG projectsNew
An affiliate company of Tanglawan Philippines LNG Inc. is the entity securing the site for the US$2.0 billion worth of liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects being pursued by the joint venture of China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc. of businessman Dennis Uy.
— Manila Bulletin

BOC launches fuel marking to check vs oil smuggling
THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) has formally launched the fuel-marking system that will be used nationwide to check if fuel products being distributed in the country have gone through the correct process and have paid the right duties and taxes.
— Business Mirror

Canadian chat solutions launched to boost online trade in PHL
CONCERT 8 Solutions (Philippines), a wholly owned local subsidiary of Concert 8 Solutions Inc. Canada, has launched YourChatTeam on the back of bright prospects for online trade in the Philippines.
— Business Mirror

Enhanced surveillance, longer detention of suspects in Senate anti-terror bill
Saying terrorism seems to have no end in sight, Senator Panfilo Lacson pushed for the amendment of the country’s anti-terrorism law, which this time, would redefine the act, use technology to conduct surveillance operations and remove the penalty imposed on the state for wrongful detention of suspects.
— GMA News

EMB-7 gives firm ultimatumin waste dumping
The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB)-7 gave a facility a 45 day ultimatum to comply with the necessary permits and requirements set by the bureau or face stiff sanctions on a daily nasis.
— Philippine Information Agency

Draft UN document says 12-years-old as criminal responsibility age ‘too low’
A child rights group called on Congress anew not to lower the mimimum age of criminal responsibility (MACR) as an upcoming quasi-legal document from the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) stated that 12 years is too low as a threshold.
— GMA News

‘Let fire survivors stay’
CEBU City Councilor Joel Garganera is asking the City Market Authority to allow the families affected by the fire in Barangay Ermita to stay longer inside the unfinished Carbon Public Market Unit 2.
— Sun Star

Pacquiao pushes for excise tax hike on alcoholic drinks
Senator Manny Pacquiao on Wednesday pushed for higher taxes on alcoholic beverages, following a similar proposal to raise duties on cigarettes.
— ABS-CBN News

Enrile says he uses marijuana oil to reduce tension
Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile on Wednesday said he supports the legalization of medical marijuana in the Philippines, revealing he has been using cannabis oil to relieve tension.
— ABS-CBN News

Economic cluster calls for greater focus on agri
Economic managers are calling on the Department of Agriculture (DA) to boost the farm sector’s performance as the administration continued to work on tempering inflation, noting that the industry “needs greater attention now more than ever” if the government wants to boost economic growth.

Mindanao tribes hope for better future in Bangasmoro
Bangasmoro, a new autonomous region in Mindanao could be expanded further if an indigenous tribe votes on whether to join it.
— Al Jazeera

Bill widens law on cash aid to senior citizens
THERE have long been comments about the P100,000 given to Fili­pinos upon reaching their 100th birth anniversary. In the beginning, only a few local governments gave the benefit to their centenarians, prompting comments that it should apply to all centenarians in the country, not …
— Tempo

Monetary Board seen keeping rates unchanged
Monetary authorities will likely keep key interest rates unchanged today, February 7, but could start easing later this year if inflation continues to slow, analysts from ING Bank Manila and…
— The Manila Times

5.5-magnitude quake jolts Pangasinan
A 5.5-magnitude earthquake struck Pangasinan on Wednesday, Feb. 6, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said. According to PHIVOLCS, the quake struck at 6:25 p.m. six kilometers southeast of Aguilar.
— Eagle News

PH Space Agency is an excellent idea
IT is one of those pieces of news that one desperately wishes would have gotten more attention than it has, even if it appears a little outlandish at first glance…
— The Manila Times

Original proponent status eyed for airport proposals
The Department of Transportation (DoTr) hopes to soon award original proponent status (OPS) to three conglomerates looking to develop regional airports. Unsolicited proposals were received by the government from Aboitiz…
— The Manila Times

Bill penalizing catcalling, wolf-whistling hurdles bicam
The bicameral conference committee has approved a measure that seeks to penalize catcalling and wolf-whistling, among others. If signed into law, the Safe Spaces Act will also penalize “unwanted invitations,” misogynistic comments, among others, that are …
— Eagle News

Palace respects House findings vs. Aquino, Garin, Abad over dengue vaccine mess
Malacañang on Wednesday called for the prosecution of people behind the controversial dengue vaccination program that has been linked to the deaths of several school children.
— GMA News

Comelec: Voting in BOL plebiscite not a requirement to secure voting rights in May 2019 polls
A registered voter’s failure to cast his or her vote during the two rounds of the plebiscite on the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) which establishes the Bansgamoro Autonomous Region and the inclusion of additional areas for the region does not disqualify them from casting their …
— GMA News

Peso ‘one of the more stable in Asia’ – DoF
The Finance department on Wednesday touted the peso’s stability amid continued global uncertainties and analysts’ forecasts of a further weakening this year. “The Philippine peso continues to be one of…
— The Manila Times

Senate approves transfer of ownership of Mislatel Inc. to the company’s partners in consortium
(Eagle News) — The Senate on Wednesday, Feb. 6, approved the transfer of ownership of Mindanao Islamic Telephone Co. Inc. (Mislatel Inc.) to its partners in the consortium that was named the third telecommunications player in the country.
— Eagle News

Abad, Garin say Dengvaxia allegations recycled, not grounded on facts
Two former Cabinet officials of the Aquino administration whom the House of Representatives wants sued over the Dengvaxia vaccine mess denied the alleged wrongdoing and said they would clear their name in the proper forum.
— GMA News

PDEA declares Brgy. Bondoc, Calapan as drug-cleared
Calapan City Chief of Police, Police Superintendent Efraim A. Camara speaks before people of the barangay during the Awarding of Certificate as Drug-Cleared Barangay held recently in a Brgy. Bondoc, Calapan City.
— Philippine Information Agency

PHO to parents: Get your children vaccinated against measles
The Provincial Health Office (PHO) in Pangasinan has urged parents to get their children vaccinated against measles as it is the most effective way to prevent their children from catching the measles virus.
— Philippine Information Agency

Palace: Let legal process take its course in Dengvaxia mess
The Palace on Wednesday, Feb. 6, reiterated whoever violates the law will have to be held liable regardless of social status and political affiliation.
— Eagle News

Learning cloud-based, electronic invoicing from our neighbors
In response to the thrust of the Asia-Oceana Tax Consultants’ Association (AOTCA) to have more exchange of information among its members in the Asia-Pacific region, the Tax-Accountancy Association Union of…
— The Manila Times

DOLE-ECOP deal to regularize ‘endo’ workers
The Department of Labor and Employment said on Wednesday that thousands of workers employed under the “contractual or endo” scheme will be regularized starting this month once an agreement with the Employers Confederation of the Philippines and the DOLE this week.
— Manila Standard

Pageant for married women responds to online backlash
After receiving hate messages online, mostly from supporters of losing candidates, organizers of the Mrs. Philippines Asia Pacific pageant finally broke their silence.

Intl speakers power women-upliftment talks in Cebu
CEBU CITY, January 29 (PIA)–About 300 participants from the academe and corporate sectors attended the transformative, empowerment and leadership for women symposia initiated by Zonta Club of Cebu over the weekend.
— Philippine Information Agency


Feature photo Philippine News Agency

This week’s Philippines morning news feature photo acknowledges Chinese New Year, 2019.


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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