Philippines morning news for February 8

Philippines morning news for February 8
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Philippines morning newsPhilippines set to pass budget on Friday after monthlong impasse
The Philippines’ 2019 budget is set to be ratified on Friday, ending a monthlong impasse and limiting the damage to one of Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing economies.
— Nikkei Asian Review (paywall)

‘Pork funds’ still intact in 2019 budget: Lacson
The alleged congressional “pork” allocations have been retained in the bicameral version of the proposed PHP3.757-trillion national budget for 2019, Senator Panfilo Lacson revealed on Thursday.
— Philippine News Agency

Journalists, institutions decry ‘absurd legal attack’ against Rappler
A number of journalist groups and institutions slammed the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) recommendation to file cyber libel charges against Rappler Incorporated, its CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa, and former researcher Reynaldo Santos Jr over a nearly 7-year-old story written months before the cyber libel law was enacted.
— Rappler

Philippines aims to attract 8.2 mln tourists in 2019
The Philippines is aiming for 8.2 million tourist arrivals this year, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Puyat said on Thursday.
— Xinhua

Measles outbreak spreads to regions
The Department of Health (DoH) has confirmed that measles outbreaks have been reported in various regions across the country, leaving at least 56 dead in the National Capital Region (NCR or Metro Manila), Central Luzon and Eastern Visayas.
— The Manila Times

PHL dollar reserves rose to $82.13 billion in January
THE country’s gross international reserves (GIR) as of end-January again breached the $80-billion mark due to the net foreign-currency deposits of the government and the increase in the international price of gold.
— Business Mirror

W. Visayas records 166 suspected measles cases, 3 deaths
The Department of Health Center for Health Development 6 (DOH-CHD 6) has received reports of 166 suspected measles cases with three deaths as of January 26 this year.
— Philippine News Agency

Palace: Duterte to exercise veto power over 2019 budget if needed
President Rodrigo Duterte will exercise his veto power if some items in the proposed P3.757-trillion national budget for 2019 failed to comply with the Supreme Court ruling that declared unconstitutional the pork barrel system, Malacañang said Thursday.
— GMA News

ARMM gets P1.4-B sand and gravel investment
The newly ratified Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) is up to a good start this year after a PHP1.4-billion sand and gravel project was approved by the Regional Board of Investments (RBOI), officials said Thursday.
— Philippine News Agency

Mislatel passes major hurdle in 3rd telco bid
The Department of Information and Communication is optimistic Mislatel consortium of Udenna Corp and China Telecom will soon be recognized as the country’s third telecommunication player following the Senate’s move clearing issues on its franchise.
— Malaya

DPWH-7 to roll out P23-B flood control projects for Metro Cebu
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7 (Central Visayas) is ready to implement PHP23.5 billion worth of infrastructure projects that will combat flooding in Metro Cebu in the next three years.
— Philippine News Agency

BSP keeps rates steady; cuts inflation forecasts
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) policy-making Monetary Board (MB) on Thursday decided to keep key policy rates steady, in apparent expectation of a more manageable inflation environment.
— Philippine News Agency

Cebu bridge clinches P19B financing
Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corp. (CCLEC), a unit of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) yesterday secured from local banks a P19-billion syndicated loan, ensuring the completion of the construction of the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) project.
— Malaya

Vaccination alarm amid Dengvaxia’s legal impact
Two developments relating to the national health issue right now compel prompt action and attention by the government and the public.
— The Manila Times

Hybrid producers ask gov’t to exempt rice seeds from tariff
Domestic hybrid rice producers like SL Agritech Corporation (SLAC) asked the government not to impose tariff on imported rice seeds as part of the liberalization of rice importation in the country.
— Manila Bulletin

China sent paramilitary force as PHL builds on Pagasa Island
THE CHINESE government deployed a paramilitary force in December last year in response to the ongoing construction by the Philippine government of a beaching ramp on Pagasa Island, also known as Thitu, according to American-based think tank Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI).
— BusinessWorld Online

State of calamity in Davao Oriental due to floods
Davao Oriental has been placed under a state of calamity amid flooding caused by rains spawned by Tropical Depression Amang and the tailend of a cold front in the past weeks.
— The Philippine Star

No work permits to be issued to blue-collar foreign workers – Immigration
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced it will impose stricter requirements and procedures in issuing special and provisional work permits to foreigners planning to seek jobs in the Philippines.
— CNN Philippines

Human rights an issue in new US funding support to the Philippines
The Philippines will receive US funding assistance under the newly-signed Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA) that aims to promote Washington’s security and other interests in the Indo-Pacific region, but no funds will be given in support of the government’s anti-narcotics campaign unless certain human rights standards are satisfied.
— ABS-CBN News

Salceda: P36-billion UCT for 10 million poor families
The government’s unconditional cash transfer (UCT) program, a financial assistance scheme for poor Filipinos will get an additional P12 billion in the 2019 national budget that will cushion the impact of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) on low-income families.

Lanao del Norte rejects inclusion of towns in Bangsamoro region
Lanao del Norte has rejected the inclusion of key areas of its province in the new Bangsamoro region.
— Rappler

Palace to certify urgent bill retiring military men at 60
President Rodrigo Duterte will certify as urgent a proposed law suggesting that pension payments for military and uniformed personnel may only start at age 60 instead of 56, the Palace said on Thursday.

House to ‘cleanse’ recalled drug bill of death penalty provisions
House Majority Leader Fredenil Castro on Thursday said an invalidated drug bill would be “cleansed” of any provision imposing capital punishment before being presented again for second and third reading, preferably before Congress goes on break for the campaign period.
— Philippine News Agency

UnionBank to roll out first virtual currency ATM
UNIONBANK of the Philippines, Inc. is set to launch the first virtual currency automated teller machine (ATM) in the country, allowing customers to buy and sell digital units for cash.
— BusinessWorld Online

Foreign traders push for 3 bills to ease investment restrictions
Foreign business groups supported the call of the government’s economic managers for Congress to swiftly approve three bills that aim to lift or ease restrictions on the entry of foreign investments.

Davao City to release new investment code within 1st half of 2019
THE DAVAO city government is aiming to release a new Investment Incentive Code within the first semester of the year, with the draft now under review for approval by the Investment Promotions Center’s board.
— BusinessWorld Online

$10.9 Billion Philippines Mobile Retail Shopping Market by 2025 – Covering Retail Spend Analysis and Consumer Attitude & Behaviour –
The retail shopping through mobile in Philippines is expected to record a CAGR of 26.9% to reach US$ 10,904.9 million by 2025. The mobile wallet payment in retail industry increased at a CAGR of 27.6% during 2018-2025.
— Business Wire (media release)

More cost-efficient to invest in PHL than hire Pinoy workers for jobs in Europe–EU envoy
COMPANIES abroad, such as those in the European Union (EU), are starting to realize that it is more cost-efficient to invest in the Philippines than hire Filipino workers to work in Europe.
— Business Mirror

Contracts Signed for Clark International Airport Expansion and Modernization, Pioneering Hybrid PPP
The 25-year concession, involving the equipping and full management of the entire Clark airport facility, follows the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) public-private partnership (PPP) concluded in 2017. This is the first airport project in the Philippines to be tendered under the Philippine government’s recent hybrid PPP policy.
— AEC News Today/ PR Newswire (media release)

ARMM residents won’t elect regional leaders in May 2019 polls due to BOL ratification
Residents of the new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BAR) won’t vote for their regional leaders in the May 2019 polls due to the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic law (BOL).
— GMA News

Duterte tells local officials, cops involved in drug trade: ‘Prepare your obituaries now’
President Rodrigo Duterte has issued another chilling warning against local officials and policemen involved in the illegal drug trade.

Technology benefits Filipino workers in HK
ROUGHLY 10 million Filipi­nos work abroad and ac­cording to the World Bank they remit $33 billion a year.
— Tempo

Duterte set to sign Rice Bill into law, for the ‘greater good’–Palace
President Rodrigo Duterte will sign into law the rice tariffication bill for “the greater good,” Malacañang said on Thursday, adding that the Chief Executive will not heed the request of the rice industry stakeholders to veto the measure.

Duterte to ISIS: ‘Do not surrender because I will kill you’
President Rodrigo Duterte warned of more terroristic attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which he described as “insane” and “made in hell.”

Reforming the country’s education system
Just how relevant and responsive is the country’s current higher education system?
— The  Manila Times

Año: Indonesian, his wife left their 10-year-old daughter with Abu Sayyaf supporter days before they carried out twin blasts in Jolo, Sulu
The Indonesian couple who carried out the twin blasts at Jolo, Sulu in January left their 10-year-old daughter with an Abu Sayyaf supporter days before.
— Eagle News

Davao City LGU gives 20 motorbikes to police, TF Davao
Mayor Sara Duterte released today 20 big Kawasaki motorbikes worth  P12,900,000.00 to the Davao City Police Office and Task Force Davao to boost their crime-fighting capabilities.
— Philippine Information Agency

Military still verifying reports saying Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Susukan was killed in Sulu
The Armed Forces of the Philippines is still verifying reports Abu Sayyaf sub-commander Idang Susukan was killed in Jolo,
— Eagle News

Sandiganbayan OKs Holy Land trip of Acharon
The Sandiganbayan has allowed South Cotabato 1st District Representative Pedro Acharon Jr. to go on a 14-day trip to the Middle East and Africa for a Holy Land tour.
— GMA News

Duterte to certify bill seeking reforms in military pension system as urgent
President Rodrigo Duterte is set to certify as urgent the bill seeking to reform the pension system for the military and uniformed personnel, Malacañang said Thursday.
— GMA News

Amid measles outbreak, President Duterte orders “vigorous campaign” for immunization
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered a “vigorous campaign to promote the complete immunization of children,” the Palace said on Thursday, Feb. 7.
— Eagle News

Protocol in shambles
THE recent Jolo bomb­ings, particularly the Mt. Carmel Church ep­isode, has once again underscored the fragile peace that exists in Mind­anao and vulnerability of churches to attacks.
— Tempo

Plenary approval for one SALN?
IN Article XI, Accountability of Public Officers, of the Philippine Constitution, there is this provision in Section 17:
— Tempo

Lorenzana: PHL to reclaim land on Pag-asa to lengthen runway
The Philippines will soon conduct reclamation activities on Pag-asa Island in the Spratlys to increase the length of its aircraft runway, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Thursday.
— GMA News

Palace: Duterte believes Dengvaxia cases vs. Duque won’t prosper
President Rodrigo Duterte is confident that the criminal complaints filed against Health Secretary Francisco Duque III over the Dengvaxia matter will not prosper, Malacañang said Thursday.
— GMA News

Citing “infirmities,” CA junks ACT petition vs PNP “profiling”
Citing “infirmities,” the Court of Appeals junked the petition filed by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers to stop what it said was the police’s profiling of its members.
— Eagle News

House bill filed declaring Manila Bay a ‘reclamation-free’ zone
Progressive lawmakers from the House of Representatives on Thursday filed a bill that seeks to prohibit any form of reclamation activity in the Manila Bay, which is currently under rehabilitation.
— GMA News

Sandiganbayan affirms imprisonment of ex-DPWH exec despite prostate cancer
The Sandiganbayan has affirmed the imprisonment of a former regional director of the Department of Public Works and Highways found guilty of graft, despite his diagnosis of stage 2 prostate cancer.
— GMA News

Davao City to build new dog facility
City Veterinarian Dr. Cerelyn Pinili bared that  Mayor Sara Duterte has budgeted Php 5-million for a new rehabilitation facility that will shelter impounded dogs.
— Philippine Information Agency

Palace: DepEd wants drug education in public schools
The Department of Education (DepEd) is eyeing the implementation of a drug education curriculum in public schools, Malacañang said Thursday.
— GMA News

Shrine of La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc in Ilocos Norte declared minor basilica
The St. John the Baptist Parish Church, also known as the Shrine of La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc in Badoc, Ilocos Norte, was officially declared a minor basilica during rites attended by top Church leaders.
— TEempo

Over 6,000 workers regularized in CagVal
At least 6,027 workers in the different private firms in Region 2 were recently regularized through the intervention of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
— Philippine Information Agency

DPWH opens bike lane on Laguna Lake Highway in Taguig
Bikers can now use a 5.58-kilometer bicycle lane on the Laguna Lake Highway in Bicutan, Taguig City which was finally opened to the public yesterday Thursday.
— Tempo

RNC-1 calls for action on nutrition plan 2017-2022 implementation
With the aim to identify deterring and facilitating factors in the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) 2017-2022 implementation, the Regional Nutrition Committee (RNC-1) gathered nutrition stakeholders in a Regional Program Implementation Review (RPIR) on Jan.
— Philippine Information Agency

Phinma finalizing acquisition of Indonesian school this year
THE Phinma Group said the proceeds from a recent transaction with Ayala Corp. will help fund the expansion of its education business in Southeast Asia, as well as its construction business.
— BusinessWorld Online


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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