Philippines morning news for May 16

Philippines morning news for May 16
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Philippines morning newsDeficit-to-GDP ratio eases to 2.1% in Q1
The national government’s fiscal deficit as a share of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) narrowed in the first quarter as expenditure effort declined due to the delay in the 2019 budget, according to the Department of Finance (DOF).
— The Philippine Star

Duterte blames lawmakers’ pursuit of pork for Q1 slump (video)
President Rodrigo Duterte blamed the nation’s lawmakers over the weekend for the country’s sluggish gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the first three months of this year.
— AEC News Today (video)

Tax effort improves to 14.6% of GDP
The national government’s tax effort improved in the first three months of the year as the Duterte administration continues its programs aimed at raising its collection efficiency, the Department of Finance (DOF) said yesterday.
— Manila Bulletin

Spending to GDP ratio drops to 18.5% in Q1
The national government posted a lower expenditure effort of 18.5 percent in the first quarter, still due to the implementation of a reenacted budget during the first three months of the year, the Department of Finance (DOF) said yesterday.
— Malaya

Duterte and ‘drug war’ won midterm polls, Locsin tweets
The results of the 2019 Senate elections are the public’s stamp of approval of President Rodrigo Duterte and the bloody “war on drugs”, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Wednesday.
— The Philippine Star

PH raises 2.5B RMB from panda bonds
A warm reception from investors has enabled the government to raise 2.5 billion renminbi (RMB) from its issuance of panda bonds, the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) announced on Wednesday night.
— The Manila Times

Duterte ally to file petition for failure of election in Bohol due to vote-buying
Citing massive vote-buying by his opponent in the gubernatorial race in Bohol, former Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco announced he would file a petition for failure of election, a move he described as “the last one legal option to right an infirmed election.”
— ABS-CBN News

OFW remittances increased by 6.6% to $2.5 billion in March
Money sent home by Filipinos working overseas climbed 6.6 percent in March to $2.5 billion from $2.4 billion a year ago, led by higher remittances from the United States.

Crunch time for gov’t spending as DBM pressed to issue budget circular
THE Department of Budget and Management (DBM) needs to issue a circular for the next budget in order immediately to get the ball rolling on government programs that were stalled by the delays in Congress passing the 2019 budget, the Department of Finance (DoF) said Wednesday.
— BusinessWorld Online

Andanar slams ‘erroneous narratives’ vs Duterte on Netflix show
Hasan also heaped praises on journalist and Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and Senator Leila De Lima for “standing up against Duterte.”
— GMA News

Worldwide: German FDI In ASEAN Part IV: The Philippines And Singapore
German investment in the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been increasing steadily and has the potential to grow further in the coming years.
— Mondaq

Comelec defers payment of P1.4B to suppliers over defective poll equipment
THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) will withhold some P1.4 billion in payments to suppliers, including the state-run National Printing Office (NPO), over defective election paraphernalia, an official said on Wednesday.
— The Manila Times

Supporters of rival political clans clash in Maguindanao
A 10-minute clash erupted Tuesday between armed supporters of rival political clans in the town of Talitay in Maguindanao province sending a few hundreds of civilians scampering to safer grounds.
— Philippine News Agency

‘Pork’ cases affected Enrile, Estrada, Revilla’s Senate bids –UP prof
The plunder and graft cases filed against former senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Bong Revilla in 2014 have affected their rankings in the 2019 Senate race, a university professor said Wednesday.
— GMA News

169 tons of campaign trash collected; MMDA offers materials for repurposing
A TOTAL of 168.84 tons of campaign trash was collected by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) following the just-concluded midterm elections, including those placed outside designated areas during the campaign period and those taken down after Monday’s vote.
— BusinessWorld Online

Passage of anti-terror bill pushed
Senate President Vicente Sotto 3rd on Wednesday stressed the need for the immediate passage of the bill that seeks to strengthen the Human Security Act amid reports that Islamic State jihadists are seeking to extend their presence in the Philippines.
— The Manila Times

China keeps eye on PH-US coast guard drills in South China Sea
ABOARD BRP BATANGAS, West Philippine Sea — With Chinese government ships watching from a distance, one of the US Coast Guard’s biggest and most advanced vessels conducted drills with Philippine counterparts near the Scarborough Shoal in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
— Spratly Islands

Fitch Solutions cites policy boost, long-term political risk as Duterte consolidates influence on Congress
EMERGING results of the May 13 mid-term elections showing President Rodrigo R. Duterte will likely consolidate his influence on lawmakers, especially those in the Senate, will mean stronger impetus for reform but also carry long-term political risk, Fitch Solutions Macro Research said in a May 14 note e-mailed to journalists on Wednesday.
— BusinessWorld Online

Philippines to be a premier gaming destination, Duterte directive
Casinos are big business in the Philippines, and the industry is definitely growing. In the first quarter of this year, PAGCOR, the Philippine Amusement, and Gaming Corporation reported earnings of PHP18.27 billion (S$477 million) from gaming operations, up by over 15 percent from the same period last year.
— The Independent

DOE eyes 70% cap on power plants’ contracting capacity by Q3
Power producers in the Philippines will be required to have a 70-percent cap on their contracting capacities, likely by the third quarter of 2019, to ensure availability of buffer supply during times of need.
— Philippine News Agency

Philippines IRs growing faster than Macau, Singapore and Las Vegas: Morgan Stanley
Gaming in the Philippines is growing faster than most other key jurisdictions both locally and globally, including Macau, Singapore and Las Vegas, with that trend expected to continue through 2019.
— IAG (blog)

‘Expect tyranny’ in House with only 18 elected LP representatives – Kit Belmonte
The composition of the House of Representatives in the 18th Congress won’t be much different, as opposition lawmakers are set to be outnumbered by administration allies once again.
— Rappler

Congress to probe poll glitches
A joint congressional panel will be looking into the glitches encountered during the midterm elections.
— CNN Philippines

3.0-magnitude quake hits Surigao del Norte
-A 3.0-magnitude earthquake struck Surigao del Norte on Wednesday, May 15. The quake, an aftershock of the 5.5-magnitude quake that hit the province on April 26, struck 67 kilometers southeast of General Luna at 10:30 a.m.
— Eagle News

Winning candidates with pending DQ cases not yet off the hook — Comelec’s Jimenez
Winning candidates with pending disqualification cases should not yet celebrate.
— GMA News

Palace slams Bayan; says loss of left-leaning groups in polls “clear indictment” people don’t believe in their “advocacies” vs Duterte
The Palace on Wednesday, May 15, slammed militant group Bayan for its claims the results of the 2019 elections were due to President Rodrigo Duterte’s “dark magic.”
— Eagle News

Ex-DAR exec pleads guilty to fund misuse
The Sandiganbayan has found the former regional director of the Department of Agrarian Reform guilty of using P184,904 worth of public funds for his personal benefit.
— GMA News

Ronnie Dayan’s daughter ordered arrested for skipping De Lima’s disobedience hearing
A Quezon City court has ordered the arrest of the daughter of Ronnie Dayan, detained Senator Leila de Lima’s former driver and alleged bagman, according to Allan Gatus’ report on Dobol B sa News TV on Wednesday.
— GMA News

Some Senatorial Candidates Almost Exceeded Spending Limits, AD Rates Show
Some Of The Senatorial Candidates Spent Way Too Much On Advertisements SOME SENATORIAL CANDIDATES – During the campaigning period for the 2019 midterm polls, senatorial candidates had to make political advertisements.
— Philippine News

No assurance admin-backed bills will be passed into law — Senate leaders
The Senate leadership assured the public Wednesday that it will remain as an independent institution amid the entry of pro-administration candidates poised to win in the just-concluded midterm polls.
— GMA News

Vietnam launches tourism campaign to attract more Filipinos to visit country
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, in cooperation with the Embassy of Vietnam, has launched a campaign to further promote Vietnam as a tourist destination for Filipinos. Dubbed “Soulful Vietnam,” the campaign hopes to make Filipinos more aware of tourist spots …
— Eagle News

DBM: Higher pay ready for military, uniformed men
With the P3.7-trillion 2019 national budget already approved by the President, military and uniformed personnel can now receive their higher pay mandated under Congress Joint Resolution No. 1 issued last year.
— Philippine Daily Inquirer

New Australian envoy pushes for stronger economic, trade ties with PH
Australia and the Philippines have a “very sound” relationship but “more can be done” to boost trade and economic ties, the newly-appointed Australian envoy said Wednesday.
— ABS-CBN News

Improved Boracay network boosts local businesses, island rehabilitation effort sees return of tourists
SMART Communications, Inc. (Smart) is set to further expand and upgrade its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network on Boracay island to empower tourists, residents and local businesses in the Philippines’ premier tourist destination.
— Sun Star

Adjusted palay production for Q1 2019 down to 4.69 million metric tons
The adjusted production of palay or unhusked rice in the 1st quarter of 2019 decreased by 4.6% year-on-year to 4.69 million metric tons (MMT), data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.
— Rappler

Environment group demands immediate ban on import of hazardous waste to PH
An environmental justice organization called for the immediate ban on the importation of hazardous waste and other garbage, following the failure of the Canadian government to comply with the May 15 deadline to take back tons of trash illegally shipped to the Philippines in 2013.
— Manila Bulletin

Report on ‘onerous’ gov’t contracts due this month
THE Department of Justice (DoJ) is set to submit to President Rodrigo R. Duterte its initial report on the review of government contracts with firms and other countries, including the water concession agreements and the foreign loan contracts with China, within this month, Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said on Wednesday.
— BusinessWorld Online

Palace advises critics, Reds to accept defeat
Malacañang on Wednesday called on the opposition and leftist groups to be “humble enough” to accept their defeat in the May 13 mid-term elections.
— Philippine News Agency

Panelo: Inquirer editorial on matrices lacks ‘common sense’
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo, who has failed to clearly explain the links in the “Oust Duterte” matrix, slammed an INQUIRER editorial for lack of “common sense.”

SC ruling portends lower power rates for ratepayers
THE cloud of uncertainty that hovered over stakeholders in the power sector was lifted by the Supreme Court (SC) decision on May 3 on the competitive procurement of power supply by distribution utilities, mainly for residential ratepayers. The aims and expected results of that decision are to be …
— BusinessWorld Online

MMSU eyes creation of special ecozones
The Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) here is eyeing recognition from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) to establish its Special Economic Zone (SEZ) initiatives in the Ilocos region.
— Philippine News Agency

Party-list groups urge Comelec to release info on data logs
Some party-list groups urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to release the information on the election data logs to determine no irregularities have taken place during this year’s mid-term polls.
— Philippine News Agency

Comelec Willing To Undergo Tech Audit After Server Malfunction
The Commission On Elections Is Open For Technical Auditing To Prove Fairness COMELEC – The election body recently stated that they are willing to participate in a technical audit to prove that no manipulation happened last Monday.
— Philippine News

CBCP urges Comelec to delay proclamation of winners for national positions
Proclamation of winners in the national level should be deferred pending a probe into the alleged manipulation of votes during the elections.

LRT 2 operations resume after air pressure glitch
Operations of the Light Rail Transit 2 resumed after the line suffered a technical glitch on Wednesday.

Experts tackle medical care for elderly persons with cancer
Medical experts, doctors, scientists, academics and political leaders in Asia Pacific countries convened on Wednesday to formulate medical care policies for countries with increased cancer cases among older populations.
— Philippine News Agency

Pinay OFW Takes Selfie Before Taking Her Own Life
Pinay OFW Who Takes Selfie Before Committing Suicide Elicits Comments Online The photo of a Pinay OFW who was able to take a selfie before committing suicide garnered various reactions online after it was posted on social media.
— Philippine News

Cebu Pacific won’t be fined for April 28-May 10 flight cancellations — DOTr
The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) will not be imposing fines against budget carrier Cebu Pacific over its series of flight cancellations from April 28 to May 10, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Wednesday.

Sandigan clears ex-Nueva Ecija mayor from ‘anomalous’ petroleum products purchase
The Sandiganbayan has acquitted the former mayor of Lupao, Nueva Ecija, due to the prosecution’s failure to prove his guilt over the alleged anomalous purchase of petroleum products in 2011.
— GMA News

PHL Red Cross gives aid to more than 12,700 individuals during May 13 polls
– The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) helped more than 12,700 people during the May 13 midterm elections, including those needing medical aid and senior citizens.
— Eagle News

Flash Mob Marriage Proposal In Cagayan De Oro Goes Viral
The unique flash mob marriage proposal in Cagayan de Oro went viral on social media. It’s no secret that a flash mob is one of the most effective and epic marriage proposals.
— Philippine News

PPCRV: Comelec should consider bidders with ‘global experience’
Villanueva told reporters that she thinks it’s better if more technology experts are part of the bidding process.
— GMA News

NIA-MRIIS to release water for irrigation starting June 3
The National Irrigation Administration – Magat River Integrated Irrigation System (NIA – MRIIS) announced that it will start releasing stored waters from the dam for irrigation on June 3, 2019.
— Philippine Information Agency

Kezar Innovations brings latest tech to Filipino firms (and homes)
Technology has become an indispensable tool for human beings.
— BusinessWorld Online

Ceres-Negros poised to complete sweep of Group G rivals
Ceres-Negros is poised to complete a six-game sweep of its Group G rivals in the 2019 AFC Cup as it takes on Vietnam’s Becamex Binh Duong at the Panaad Park and Stadium on Wednesday night.
— Philippine News Agency

PHL, Japan working on new labor initiatives
THE Philippines and Japan are now collaborating on new labor initiatives to further strengthen the ties between the two countries, the Japanese ambassador to the Philippines said.
— Business Mirror

Agreement signed on welfare of Filipino workers in New Zealand
THE Philippine Embassy in Wellington witnessed the signing of a “landmark deal” with New Zealand employers to ensure protection of Filipino workers, particularly in the construction sector.
— Business Mirror


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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