Philippines morning news for March 26

Philippines morning news for March 26
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Philippines morning newsExternal debt service up 5.4% in 2018 at $7.7 B
The Philippines’ external debt service burden rose by 5.4 percent in 2018 to $7.704 billion from $7.309 billion in 2017 as public sector borrowing to fund infrastructure projects increased last year.
— Manila Bulletin

No request to renegotiate PH-US Mutual Defense Treaty
United States Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Patrick Murphy has clarified that there is no request from either Manila or Washington to renegotiate the provisions of the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) despite “many voices” in the Philippines who are making observations about the accord.
— Manila Bulletin

China, Philippines Living By Tacit Deals at Sea despite Sovereignty Dispute
China and the Philippines have learned to live with each other over the past three years at sea despite an unresolved sovereignty dispute, marginalizing a new international legal complaint aimed at Beijing.

PHL still an FDI laggard in region
THE Philippines is still one of the countries with the lowest inflows of foreign direct investments (FDI) in 2018, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed.
— Business Mirror

Maria Ressa arraignment set for P70 million tax evasion raps
The Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) has set the arraignment of Rappler chief executive officer Maria Ressa on P70.228-million tax liabilities to the government despite her pending petition for review before the Department of Justice (DOJ).
— The Philippine Star

Senate, House aim to pass budget before month’s end
The Senate and House of Representatives moved a little closer yesterday to resolving their dispute over the proposed P3.7-trillion national budget for 2019 and are looking at transmitting the spending authority to President Duterte before the end of the month.
— The Philippine Star

2009 Maguindanao massacre promulgated soon
A Quezon City court gave the prosecution and defense panels in the November 2009 Maguindanao massacre case 15 days within which to submit their respective memoranda before it resolves the 58 counts of murder charges filed against at least 93 accused, including principal suspect Andal Ampatuan Jr.
— Manila Bulletin

Tighter watch looms on realty loans
THE CENTRAL BANK plans to roll out by next year new tools to better monitor lending to the volatile real property sector, according to a senior official of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
— BusinessWorld Online

3M children immunized vs measles
The Department of Health (DoH) had inoculated more than 3 million children in its intensified drive against measles.
— The Manila Times

Anti-corruption body asks Duterte to probe Duty Free ‘smuggling’ scheme
The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) recommended to Malacañang an investigation into contracts entered into by Duty Free Philippines Corporation (DFPC) which appear to allow private companies to benefit from the tax-free privileges of the government …
— Rappler

OSG asks SC to junk challenge vs. Mislatel
Government lawyers asked the Supreme Court (SC) to turn down a suit questioning the awarding of the third telecommunications slot to Mindanao Islamic Telephone Co. (Mislatel).
— Philippine News Agency

Manila Water customers ask MWSS to penalize service concessionaire
Customers affected by the water supply interruption filed a petition against service concessionaire Manila Water over the water shortage felt in parts of Metro Manila and Rizal.
— The Philippine Star

P22 billion taxes uncollected yearly from foreign POGO workers — DOF
The government may be losing P22.5 billion in uncollected income taxes a year from foreign nationals employed by Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGOs), the Department of Finance (DOF) said yesterday.
— The Philippine Star

Deal with ICTSI to yield $2.44 B to Sudan gov’t
The Sudanese government will make 2.13 billion euros ($2.44 billion) over a 20-year period from a deal with Philippine port operator International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) to expand port capacity, a government official said.
— Manila Bulletin

Mislatel group seeks common tower proposals
THE Mislatel consortium is seeking common tower proposals as the third telecommunications player moves forward with its rollout plan while waiting to receive a permit to operate and the frequencies from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
— BusinessWorld Online

Cebu under state of calamity due to El Niño
The Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office placed the entire province under a state of calamity yesterday due to the effects of El Niño on crops.
— The Philippine Star

Government rushes order to ease congestion in ports, regulate high shipping fees
THE government is rushing to conclude a joint administrative order (JAO) that will address port congestion and regulate high shipping fees, as it admitted the two issues are taking a toll on the country’s trading activities.
— Business Mirror

PHL pushing agri products in Eastern Europe
MANILA is keen on gaining a stronger foothold in Eastern European markets where Philippine farm products, such as coconut oil and mangoes, are popular.
— Business Mirror

Inclusive CSR urged by ECOP
The umbrella organization of Philippine employers is pushing for inclusive corporate social responsibility (CSR) approach to promote sustainable economic development.
— The Manila Times

SSS aims to collect P13 billion from OFWs’ mandatory contributions
THE SOCIAL SECURITY System (SSS) expects to collect P13 billion during the first two years of the implementation of the mandatory contributions from overseas Filipino workers (OFW).
— BusinessWorld Online

Business groups push secondary water source
BUSINESS groups on Monday demanded that the government secure a secondary water source for Metro Manila so as not to repeat the ongoing shortage experienced in the capital and its surrounding areas.
— Business Mirror

Finance department denies waiving PH’s natural assets in China loan deal
The Department of Finance (DOF) denied waiving any natural assets of the Philippines in its loan deal with China in relation to the multibillion-peso Chico River pump irrigation project.
— CNN Philippines

Philippine private sector network hosts international knowledge exchange on disaster management
Of the 172 countries covered by the 2018 World Risk Index, the Philippines ranked third due to its very high exposure to extreme natural hazards.
— ReliefWeb

Philippines set to roll out first domestically made commuter train
The Philippines’ rickety railway system continues to chug along in its makeover efforts, with the country set to launch its first domestically produced train in the near future.
— Nikkei Asian Review (paywall)

PDEA, QC ink pact on rescue drive for ‘solvent’ kids
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the local government of Quezon City on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to provide temporary shelter for rescued street children hooked on solvent sniffing.
— Philippine News Agency

ERC approves feed-in tariff of P0.22/kWh
The Energy Regulatory Commission said Monday it approved a new feed-in tariff allowance of P0.2226 per kilowatt-hour, representing a reduction of P0.0337 per kWh from the current rate of P0.2563 per kWh.

2 police execs relieved over P2-B illegal investment scheme
The Philippine National Police (PNP) has relieved two top police officials in Region 12 (Soccksargen) on Monday pending investigation into the nearly P2-billion illegal investment scheme that victimized police personnel and residents in the region.
— Philippine News Agency

PHL milk imports hit record high in 2018
The country’s milk import bill in 2018 rose by 9.4 percent to an all-time high of nearly $1 billion as traders were encouraged to buy dairy products from abroad due to low prices.
— Business Mirror

Expanded maternity leave to cut SSS actuarial life by 1 year
The Expanded Maternity Leave law is estimated to shorten the Social Security System’s (SSS) fund life by one year if a contribution hike is not imposed to correct this situation.The law, which took effect this month, is projected to increase SSS’ maternity benefit …
— Philippine News Agency

Stricter implementation of rainwater harvesting law urged
An environmental advocacy group has called for a stricter implementation of the rainwater harvesting law in the city amid concerns that Davao City could experience water shortage.
— Philippine News Agency

Drug situation has worsened – Duterte
The drug situation in the country had worsened and law enforcers are close to giving up the fight, according to President Rodrigo Duterte.
— The Manila Times

Voters will decide on narco-list officials
PRESIDENT Duterte announced last Thursday, March 14, a list of 46 officials allegedly in­volved in the local drugs trade. They were 33 mayors, eight vice mayors, three congressmen, a provincial board member, and a former mayor.
— Tempo

Water level in dams continue to decline amid dry season
The water levels in various dams in the country continue to drop amid the dry season and the prevailing weak El Niño.
— GMA News

Calida: ICC withdrawal no effect on Philippine justice system
The government’s chief lawyer stressed that the Philippine justice system functions independently from the international tribunal.
— The Philippine Star

Ex-cop Acierto speaks out: Duterte, PNP ignored intel on Michael Yang’s drug links
A disgruntled veteran anti-drug operative who had been implicated in drug smuggling accused President Rodrigo Duterte and the Philippine National Police (PNP) of ignoring an intelligence report and blocking further probe into presidential economic adviser Michael Yang’s …
— Rappler

Palace: China controls West Philippine Sea
The Philippine government can only do so much as protest China’s actions in the West Philippine Sea as Beijing has control over the area, Malacañang said Monday.
— The Philippine Star

Philippines has no say in loan deals with China – Panelo
The Philippine government is powerless when it comes to determining the terms of loan agreements it enters into with China, said Malacañang on Monday, March 25.
— Rappler

El Niño to have minimal effects on inflation – NEDA
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is optimistic that El Niño will barely affect the inflation rate, which had finally settled within target last February .
— Rappler

Fishers’ group asks government to protest China’s ‘bullying’ in Scarborough
A fisherfolk group on Monday appealed to the government to protest China’s blockade of Scarborough or Panatag Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.
— Philippine Star

W. Visayas eyes 388 solar-powered irrigation systems
If the 6,200 solar powered irrigation systems (SPIS) national target of the Department of Agriculture (DA) will be equally distributed among all 16 regions in the country, Western Visayas is entitled to 388 units, or 65 in every province.
— Philippine News Agency

9 NPA rebels surrender in Sultan Kudarat
Nine communist rebels surrendered over the weekend to authorities in Senator Ninoy Aquino town of Sultan Kudarat, police said Monday.In a report, Brig. Gen. Eliseo Tam Rasco, Police Regional Office -12 chief, said the surrenderers are members of the New People’s Army’s …
— Philippine News Agency

MBC keeps faith with privatization of water system
The Makati Business Club (MBC) stands by its conviction that privatizing Metro Manila’s water service is still a better option despite the lengthy service interruptions customers of Manila Water has been suffering this month.

Ex-police official: Duterte photographed with drug-linked Chinese
A former senior Philippine police official said President Rodrigo Duterte, who has faced widespread criticism over his deadly drug crackdown, has been photographed with two Chinese men involved in illegal drugs and that he sent a report to warn him about the two.
— The Inquirer

‘May magagawa ba tayo?’ Palace says of reported harassment of Filipino fishers in Scarborough Shoal
Malacañang on Monday said it could not do anything for now about China’s assertiveness in the South China Sea following the release of a documentary regarding Filipino fishermen being driven away from the Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal by the Chinese Coast Guard.
— GMA News

Stakeholders commit to improve Butuan creek
BUTUAN CITY, March 25 (PIA) – In celebration of the World Water Day (WWD), employees from different government and private sectors and volunteers have participated this year’s celebration through a clean-up drive and beautification of the Ambangan Creek at Barangay Libertad, here facilitated by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Caraga region.
— Philippine Information Agency

4.5-magnitude quake hits Bohol
A 4.5-magnitude earthquake struck Bohol on Monday, March 25. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said the quake struck 7 kilometers northeast of Antequera at 10:53 a.m. Depth of focus of the quake was 10 kilometers.
— Eagle News

China donates IT equipment, books to Ateneo
The Chinese Embassy in Manila has donated books and IT equipment to the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU).T
— Philippine News Agency

5th Catholic bishop installed in Pagadian diocese
Bishop Emmanuel Cabajar (left) welcomes Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines Italian Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia who witnessed the installation on Monday of Bishop Ronald Lunas as the new bishop of the Pagadian Diocese.
— Philippine News Agency

QC Memorial Circle used as ‘staging area’ for prosecutor’s slay — NBI
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Monday presented before the Department of Justice (DOJ) the footage from a close circuit television (CCTV) that show the movements of police officers tagged in the ambush-slay of Quezon City deputy prosecutor Rogelio Velasco in …

Duterte urges Ombudsman to file charges vs. fired gov’t officials
President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday urged the Office of the Ombudsman to probe and prosecute government officials he fired for corruption.
— GMA News

DENR calls on Biliran LGUs to implement ecowaste law
The prevailing low compliance and even non-implementation of the law on ecological solid waste management among the local government units (LGUs) in Biliran province has prompted the new chief of the provincial environment office in Biliran to call on LGUs to follow and implement what is provided for in the said law.
— Philippine Information Agency

New species of sardines found in Manila Bay, other areas in Philippines
A new species of sardines has been discovered in the waters of Manila Bay and other parts of the country.
— The Philippine Star


Feature photo Philippine Red Cross


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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