Philippines morning news for January 4

Philippines morning news for January 4

Philippines morning newsGovernment debt jumped by P758 billion to reach P7.2 trillion in November
Outstanding government debt jumped P758 billion, or 11.8 percent, over a 12-month period to hit a record P7.195 trillion in November 2018, data from the Treasury show.

Gov’t moving to allow work to resume at gas field in disputed waters
THE DEPARTMENT of ENERGY (DoE) is recommending to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) the end of the suspension of exploration in a disputed South China Sea area covered by Service Contract (72), after PXP Energy Corp. — the company with the biggest stake in the project — submitted its request to pursue its work program, Energy officials said on Thursday.
— BusinessWorld Online

House probe uncovers P332-billion flood fund scam
Clearly a “flood control scam,” lawmakers said yesterday of the allocation by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) under Benjamin Diokno of P332 billion for non-existent flood control projects in a short span of three years.
— The Philippine Star

P10B tax leak from drinks bared
The Department of Finance (DOF) suspects that sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) manufacturers may have failed to pay the correct amount of taxes, as the government posted a P10-billion shortfall in its excise tax collections on SSBs as of end-October 2018.
— Malaya

P3.7-B financial aid set aside for farmers in typhoon-stricken areas
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said on Thursday that the agency has earmarked some P3.7 billion this year in financial assistance to to farmers affected by calamities, particularly Tropical Depression “Usman.”

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Palace authorizes extension of 2018 maintenance, fund
PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte signed a resolution extending the availability of the 2018 national budget for the maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) and capital outlay (CO), pending delays in the passage of the 2019 budget, Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea said Thursday.
— BusinessWorld Online

GDP growth seen to ease as rate hike bites
The Philippines may post a slower economic expansion this year after the series of rate increases adopted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) last year to rein in inflationary pressures, according to a France-based investment bank.
— The Philippine Star

PH agri exports down by 4.3% in Q3 2018
Agricultural exports from the Philippines declined by 4.3% in the first quarter of 2018, data released Thursday by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.
— Minda News

Gov’t workers’ pay hike hangs pending 2019 budget approval
Government workers have to wait for the approval of the proposed PHP3.757-trillion 2019 national budget before they can enjoy the fourth and last tranche of the Salary Standardization Law of 2015 (SSL).
— Philippine News Agency

NFA releases over 8K bags of rice for ‘Usman’ victims
The National Food Authority (NFA) has released a total of 8,730 bags of rice as of Thursday for relief operations in nine provinces of Regions 4, 5 and 8 hit by Tropical Depression Usman.
— Philippine News Agency

Rough start for 2019 for agri sector as ‘Usman’ damage tops P800 M
The country’s agriculture sector is having a rough start for the year, with nearly a billion worth of farm output recently wiped out by Tropical Depression “Usman.”
— Manila Bulletin

Davao City to give P10-M aid to provinces hit by ‘Usman’
Dabawenyos are once again showing their readiness to help provinces hit by calamities such as Typhoon Usman, which ravaged several Luzon provinces last month.
— Philippine News Agency

Duterte OKs Congress resolution ensuring funds for disaster aid
President Duterte has signed a joint congressional resolution extending the validity of the maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) and capital outlays (CO) in the 2018 budget so that the government could continue responding to the devastation caused by natural calamities that hit the country last year.
— Philippine Daily Inquirer

PRRD endorses 3 admin bets
President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Thursday night endorsed three administration candidates anew after a survey for the senatorial race showed that they failed to make it to the top 12 list.
— Philippine News Agency

Norway: Large demand for organic products from Philippines
Organic fruits and vegetables have a good export potential for Philippine enterprises who are ready to export to Norway under the Philippines-European Free Trade Association Free Trade Agreement (PH-Efta FTA).
— Fresh Plaza

Cash-based budgeting system scrapped
The government will no longer adopt the cash-based budgeting system because President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a resolution extending the 2018 national budget until December 2019, House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. said on Thursday.
— The Manila Times

House approves bill waiving fees for fresh grads applying for work
The House of Representatives approved on second reading a bill seeking to waive fees from various government agencies for fresh graduates applying for work.
— ABS-CBN News

SC ruling sought on foreign gov’t ownership of third player
THE Supreme Court (SC) has been asked to review the award of third-player status to a consortium led by Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company Inc. (Mislatel), with the tribunal pressed to clarify whether a consortium member, which is owned by a foreign government, can invest in public utilities.
— BusinessWorld Online

China to repair reefs damaged by its island-building in PH waters
China has announced the start of restoration work on coral reefs damaged by its island-building in Philippine waters in the heavily disputed South China Sea.

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PCC gets P2.6-T worth merger, acquisition deals as of 2018
The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) reported Thursday that a total of PHP2.6 trillion worth of merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions were filed with the Commission as of end-2018.
— Philippine News Agency

Duterte expresses dismay over resulting SWS Senate survey frontrunners
President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday, Jan. 3, expressed dismay over the results of a recent Social Weather Stations survey on winning Senate bets in the 2019 polls, saying his bets were better choices for the people.
— Eagle News

145 foreign sex offenders barred from entering Philippines
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said on Thursday it barred the entry of 145 foreign nationals convicted of sex crimes in their home countries during the first 11 months of last year.
— Philippines Magazine

Lawmakers want Daraga town under Comelec control
Legislators want justice to be served soon for their slain colleague AKO Bicol Representative Rodel Batocabe, whom the police suspect was killed by a private army hired by Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo.
— Rappler

Bad loans of rural, cooperative banks climb further
BAD LOANS held by smaller banks surged faster in September 2018 to outpace a modest expansion in total lending, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed.
— BusinessWorld Online

DPWH bares massive destruction to road infra in Bicol and Southern Tagalog after typhoon
AS of 12 noon on January 3, 2019, five national roads remain impassable to all types of vehicles due to road cut, landslide, and damaged bridge structure and approach brought by Tropical Depression Usman.
— Business Mirror

Solon pushes food-waste reduction through donation, waste recycling
Deputy House Speaker Sharon Garin renewed her call on Thursday to reduce the country’s food waste through donations and waste recycling in the wake of the holiday season.
— Business Mirror

Taguig officially debt-free with P1.6-b payment
The Taguig City government has ended the year 2018 on a high note as it officially became a debt-free local government unit for 2019.

DOST continues to boost human resource, R&D capabilities
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is continuously exerting efforts to boost the country’s human resource and research and development (R&D) capabilities.
— Philippine News Agency

PNP: Daraga mayor ordered Batocabe slay
The Philippine National Police on Thursday tagged Mayor Carlwyn Baldo of Daraga, Albay province, as the brains behind the killing last month of Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe.
— Philippine Daily Inquirer

DOE-7 warns illegal petroleum retailers
The Department of Energy (DOE) in Central Visayas on Thursday warned illegal resellers of petroleum products that they face the full force of the law even if local government officials tolerate the illegal activity in their jurisdictions.
— Philippine News Agency

All PHL banks, credit card issuers complete shift to EMV technology
ALL BANKS and credit card issuers have fully migrated to chip-based cards as of end-2018, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said, which comes after a four-year transition period.
— BusinessWorld Online

BSP tells BSFIs to strengthen PESONet, InstaPay implementation
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has given BSP-supervised financial institutions (BSFIs) not later than March 31, 2019 to ensure that all its frontline personnel have the necessary know-how implement fund transfer services PESONet and InstaPay.
— Philippine News Agency

RCBC’s Rizal MicroBank sees loans growing by 27-30% this year as it ramps up operations
THE THRIFT banking subsidiary of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) expects to sustain its lending growth this year as it plans to improve the efficiency of its channels.
— BusinessWorld Online

MGB confirms illegal treasure hunting in Negros Oriental town
The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has confirmed that the supposed treasure hunting activity that led to a disaster in Boloc-boloc, Sibulan town in Negros Oriental, was illegal in the absence of permits from the National Museum of the Philippines.
— Philippine News Agency


Feature photo Presidential Communications Operations Office

This week’s morning news photo focuses on the death, pain, and loss that typically occurs at this time of year on Asean roads due to drunk driving, speeding, and a failure to wear protective helmets when travelling on motorbikes.


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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