Philippines morning news for May 21

Philippines morning news for May 21
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Philippines morning news

BoP swung to a surplus of $4.27b in four months
The country’s balance of payments posted a surplus of $467 million in April, a reversal of the $270-million deficit recorded a year ago, buoyed by remittances, foreign direct investments and income from the investments of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas abroad.

Comelec reports 74.89% voters’ turnout in ’19 midterm elections
Technical glitches and election-related violence (ERV) failed to dampen the enthusiasm of over 46.3 million voters to participate in the 2019 midterm elections last week.
— Business Mirror

POGOs without valid work permits for foreign workers to be shut down — DoF
FINANCE SECRETARY Carlos G. Dominguez said that he will pursue the closure of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) companies employing foreign nationals without work permits, after learning that 12,000 foreigners are currently in the country without the proper authorization.
— BusinessWorld Online

Senate passes 10 measures
THE Senate on Monday resumed session and passed on third and final reading 10 bills, including one that seeks to amend the Labor Code and a measure that would create the Philippine Space Agency (PhiSA).
— The Manila Times

Philippines now in longest dollar inflow winning streak since 2013
Net dollar inflows into the Philippine economy surged to their highest level in almost six years due to a trifecta of substantial remittances from overseas Filipino workers, and a surge of both short- and long-term investments into the country.

DOF: Initial inspections revealed 12,000 foreign workers not paying taxes
The government is going after an initial 12,000 illegal foreign workers, mostly in the Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogo) sector, who are not paying taxes, the Department of Finance (DOF) said Monday.

BTr to recalibrate borrowing program
The Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) is planning to recalibrate its borrowing program for this year, including the planned samurai bond issuance, as it assesses the national government’s fiscal position and spending outlook now that the 2019 budget has been signed.
— The Philippine Star

Philippines prefers China loans over US ‘strategic confusion’ in South China Sea
The US is projecting “strategic confusion” in the South China Sea, the Philippines’ top diplomat said, prompting the South-east Asian nation to deepen its ties with China.
— The Straits Times

PH telcos downplay U.S. trade ban on Huawei
The country’s major telecommunication companies on Monday downplayed the trade ban imposed by the United States on Chinese tech giant Huawei, as they continue monitoring developments on the issue.
— CNN Philippines

9 investors seek clearance from Philippines for energy exploration
Nine local and foreign investors are seeking clearance from the Department of Energy (DOE) of the Philippines for their targeted nomination service areas in petroleum blocks under the Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting Program (PCECP), the DOE said on Monday.
— Xinhuanet

Analysts: Death penalty revival to bear on 2022 election chances
THE revival of capital punishment being pushed in the Duterte administration will have some bearing on the 2022 elections, analysts sought for comment said.
— BusinessWorld Online

DOE sets issuance of draft circular for smart grid technologies in Q3
The Department of Energy (DOE) will issue a draft circular for the adoption of smart grid technologies in the third quarter of this year, an energy official said on Monday.
— Business Mirror

Save the Children PHL: 1.8 million children at risk in Bangsamoro area
NONPROFIT Save the Children Philippines on Monday called on the government to improve living conditions in the Bangsamoro region to support and protect the about 1.8 million vulnerable children there.
— Business Mirror

Manila’s most expensive condo costs P550,000 per square meter
A LUXURY condominium project is now pre-selling at a whopping P550,000 per square meter (sq.m.), making it the most expensive in Metro Manila, according to Colliers International.
— BusinessWorld Online

Government, donors spent P21.5 billion for social services in Marawi
The national government as well as international agencies have so far spent a total of P21.5 billion for social services for Marawi residents since the start of the siege, Task Force Bangon Marawi Chair Eduardo Del Rosario said on Monday.
— Business Mirror

Gov’t payroll breached P1T in 2018
GOVERNMENT payroll broke the trillion-peso mark for the first time ending 2018, with P1.014 trillion in total obligations for Personnel Services (PS) including salaries, allowances and other benefits of officials and employees in national government agencies.
— Malaya

Number of DTI-registered businesses rises to 1.42 M
The number of registered businesses in the Philippines has reached 1.42 million as of end-May, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.
— The Philippine Star

Rehab policy may drag income – FNI
The government’s policy on progressive rehabilitation among mining companies may negatively impact Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc. (FNI) and its bottomline this year, according to its top official.
— The Manila Times

Legislative franchises for telcos should be removed–PIDS study
IF the government wants to improve telecommunication activities in the country and encourage more players, it may do well to consider removing the need to secure legislative franchises prior to operation, according to a study released by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS).
— Business Mirror

Fire guts down 13 houses in Dumaguete
A fire razed 13 houses in a densely-populated area in Purok Germilina, Barangay Bagacay here on Sunday.
— Philippine News Agency

DOE undertakes roadshow in US on petroleum contracting
Following the enforcement of 90-day deadline extension on tender submissions, the Department of Energy (DOE) is undertaking this week the United States leg of its roadshow to entice more investors into the 14 pre-determined areas (PDAs) or petroleum blocks that the government has been offering via the Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting Program.
— Manila Bulletin

Philippines loans 2 eagles to Singapore
The Philippines will be loaning a pair of Philippine eagles to Singapore in a bid to increase the population of the country’s national bird, which is listed as critically endangered.
— Rappler

COA: Management Office inaction led to P3.2B loss
THE negligence and inaction of former officials of the Privatization and Management Office (PMO) resulted in losses to the national government totaling P3.283 billion, a 2018 report of the Commission on Audit (COA) indicated.
— Malaya

Study urges mandatory measles jabs as cases surge
Vaccination against measles should be mandatory for children before they start school in order to prevent future outbreaks of the resurgent disease, according to a new analysis released Friday, May 17.

Kalinga DILG urges LCEs to prepare smooth transition
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) provincial office here enjoins local chief executives to create Local Governance Transition Team to prepare effective turn-over of responsibility and to ensure continuity in local governance following the May 13, 2019 elections.
— Philippine Information Agency

SoCot starts rollout of enhanced livelihood program
The provincial government of South Cotabato has started the full implementation of its enhanced livelihood for poor and marginalized communities, with initial funding of about PHP4.3 million.
— Philippine News Agency

NLEX implements Subic Freeport Expressway Project
New expressway lanes, bridges and a tunnel will be constructed at the Subic Freeport Expressway (SFEX) to accommodate the growing number of vehicles going to and from Subic Bay Freeport Zone.
— Philippine News Agency

House OKs bill which originally sought ‘death penalty’ for drug possession in parties
The House of Representatives on Monday re-approved on third and final reading the measure which originally sought to impose a penalty of life imprisonment to death on illegal drug possession during parties, social gatherings and meetings.
— GMA News

Congress Can Still Affirm Excise Tax Hike For Tobacco Products
The Philippine Congress Can Still Affirm Tax Hike For Tobacco Products CONGRESS – The plan to increase excise tax for tobacco products can still be affirmed before it can be suspended in June 7 according to Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian.
— Philippine News

PNP forms task group to probe killing of lawyers
The Philippine National Police (PNP) has created a special investigation task group (SITG) to investigate the killing of two lawyers in Pangasinan and Rizal last week, PNP chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde, said on Monday.
— Philippine News Agency

NEDA pushes for speedy release of rice fund
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is urging the administration’s leadership to immediately release the PHP10-billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) that aims to help modernize and boost the productivity of rice farmers.
— Philippine News Agency

27 politicians in Duterte narco list win in May polls
At least 27 politicians who are in President Duterte’s list of alleged narco-politicians won in the midterm elections, the nation’s top police officer said yesterday.
— Tempo

Libyan leader Khalifa Haftar helps free 3 seized Filipinos
Libyan military strongman Khalifa Belqasim Haftar, head of the Libyan National Army, played a key role in the release of three Filipino engineers who were abducted in western Libya 10 months ago.
— Tempo

Divide land parcels to individual titles, PRRD tells DAR
President Rodrigo R. Duterte ordered the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to facilitate the survey and re-documentation of collective land titles to certificates of land ownership awards (CLOA).
— Philippine News Agency

Duterte won’t meddle in House speakership race
Malacañang on Monday said President Rodrigo Duterte will not meddle in the selection of the next speaker of the House of Representatives.
— Philippine News Agency

‘Narcopols’ won probably due to voters’ immaturity – Año
Interior Secretary Eduardo Ao blamed on Monday the victory of several re-electionist “narcopoliticians” in the midterm polls partly to the immaturity of voters.

Senate approves creation of PH Space Agency
The Senate on Monday approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to strengthen the country’s space program with the creation of a Philippine Space Agency.
— Philippine News Agency

PPCRV: ‘Bottleneck’ reason for 7-hour delay in unofficial tally display
Election watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) has echoed the Commission on Election’s (Comelec) finding that a bottleneck in the transparency server caused the 7-hour delay in the display of the unofficial vote tally last May 13.
— GMA News

Alvarez to re-file death penalty bill in next Congress
Reelected Davao Del Norte Representative Pantaleon Alvarez said on Monday he would once again push for the passage of the controversial death penalty bill in the 18th Congress — a measure that was set aside at the Senate during his term as Speaker of the House.
— GMA News

House oks bill encouraging corporate social responsibility
The House of Representatives on Monday approved on third and final reading a bill that encourages business organizations to engage in corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities.

Debris of missing plane found but pilot, student still missing
THE wreckage of a trainer aircraft that was reported missing after takeoff at the San Jose Airport last Friday has been found as the wife of its pilot asked for prayers for his rescue.
— The Manila Times

Senate identifies priority bills for last days of 17th Congress
Senators have identified several priority measures that they aim to pass on third and final reading before the 17th Congress adjourns in June.
— Philippine News Agency

Sinking feeling: Philippine cities facing ‘slow-motion disaster’
When Mary Ann San Jose moved to Sitio Pariahan more than two decades ago, she could walk to the local chapel. Today, reaching it requires a swim.
— The Jakarta Post

PPCRV: Comelec should explain ‘bottleneck’ that delayed poll update
The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) on Monday said the Commission on Elections (Comelec) should explain the ‘bottleneck’ that led to the seven-hour delay in updating poll results on election day.

Marking 100 years, NDC gears up towards high-impact projects
National Development Co., the government’s investment arm, is looking at high impact projects where it continues to act as an enabler and support provider to local enterprises.
— Manila Bulletin

Philippines: Food poisoning sickens 100s at Bukidnon event
Philippines officials are reported an outbreak of suspected food poisoning in Bukidnon province in the Northern Mindanao region.
— Outbreak News Today

Incentives help PH keep, grow foreign investments: electronics manufacturers
Incentives for companies in economic zones help offset high operating costs in the Philippines, making the country more attractive to foreign investors, the head of a manufacturing group said Monday.
— ABS-CBN News (video)

DOF mulls total ban on e-cigarettes
A total ban on electronic cigarettes in the Philippines is one of the options that the Duterte administration may consider amid the proliferation of the unregulated battery-operated devices, the Department of Finance (DOF) said.
— Manila Bulletin

JUST IN: Water Interruption Set in 20 Villages in Quezon City On May 24 (List)
List of 20 Quezon City Villages To Experience Water Interruption On May 24 WATER INTERRUPTION – A total of twenty(20) villages in Quezon City is set to experience temporary stopping of water services on May 24 (Friday). Water is among the basic needs of humans.
— Philippine News

Mandatory ROTC for Senior HS students gets final House nod
The House of Representatives on Monday approved on third and final reading a President Duterte-backed bill reviving the mandatory Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) for grades 11 and 12 students in public and private schools.
— The Inquirer

Comelec: Proclamation of winning Senate, party-list candidates may take place on Tuesday, May 21
The Commission on Elections sees the proclamation of winning Senate and party-list bets on Tuesday, May 21.
— Eagle News

Palace backs calls to review pact on OFWs’ protection with Kuwait
Malacañang on Monday said it will support migrant rights groups’ calls for a review on the memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the protection of Filipino workers in Kuwait following the recent death of a Filipino household worker in the Gulf state.
— Philippine News Agency

PRC CamSur receives P1M financial assistance from Davao City
Philppine Red Cross-Camarines Sur Chapter Chairman Fortunato Peña (far left) witness the turn over of the Financial Assistance from the City Goverment of Davao to, PRC- Cam. Sur OIC Chapter Chapter Administrator Ma. Theresa Bongiad (3rd from left).
— Philippine Information Agency

DepEd decries alleged plan to repeal K to 12 program
The Department of Education (DepEd) has no plan to repeal the K to 12 Basic Education Program implementation.
— Philippine News Agency

Bill on flexible work arrangements hurdles final reading at Senate
The Senate approved on third reading on Monday a bill that will give employers and employees an option to adopt flexible working arrangements.
— Philippine News Agency

OGPI gets new energy use ISO certification
OceanaGold (Philippines), Inc. has renewed its ISO 50001:2011 Energy Management System (EnMS) certification which is focused on achieving continual improvement of energy performance, including energy efficiency, energy use and consumption.
— Philippine Information Agency

Cardema slams Rep. Elago, Kontra Daya, insists he filed substitution papers on time
National Youth Commission (NYC) chairman Ronald Cardema on Monday condemned Kabataan party-list Representative Sarah Elago and anti-poll fraud group Kontra Daya for being bitter with election results.
— GMA News

MMDA defends proposed EDSA provincial bus ban before lawmakers
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Monday defended its initial move to ban provincial buses from plying along EDSA in a bid to reduce traffic along one of the metro’s busies thoroughfares.
— GMA News

Siblings killed in Isabela road mishap
A 20-year-old motorcycle driver and his sister died after they crashed into a van in Bugallon Norte village on Sunday evening.

Military, civilian agencies turn focus on indigenous Manobo tribe
The Philippine Information Agency (PIA) represented by Frances Mae Macapagat, PIA regional head for PIA-XI, and Jeanevive Duron-Abangan, PIA head for Davao del Norte, has pledged strategic communications support for the unified efforts to uplift the far-flung community of Sitio Tapayanon.
— Philippine Information Agency

Navy opens BRP Emilio Jacinto to public ahead of 121st anniversary
According to a report by Vonne Aquino in GMA News TV’s Balitanghali on Monday, the Philippine Navy’s headquarters in Manila opened its doors to the public on Saturday.
— GMA News

Poe tells DOTr after LRT-2 accident: Prioritize passenger safety
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) should not forget the safety of the commuting public even as they are attending to many other projects, Senator Grace Poe said Monday.

San Jose school gets solar energy system
The Delegate Angel Salazar Jr. Memorial School (DASJMS) here is the first public elementary school to access clean renewable solar energy.
— Philippine Information Agency

Pilmico holds expo to promote backyard farming in Pangasinan
Pilmico, the food subsidiary of Aboitiz Equity Ventures, conducted an Agri and Livelihood Expo at the Urdaneta City Cultural and Sports Center in this city Saturday, May 18, to promote sustainable livelihood through backyard farming.
— Philippine Information Agency

50 Persons Rescued From Submerged Motor Banca In Davao
Submerged motor banca in Davao rescued by PCG Philippine Coast Guard rescued 50 persons, 45 passengers and 5 crew members, from a submerged motor banca in Davao.
— Philippine News

Brigada Eskwela 2019 to focus on disaster preparedness of schools, says DepEd
More than the annual repainting of classrooms and repairing of armchairs, this year’s Brigada Eskwela, with the theme Matatag na Bayan Para sa Maunlad na Paaralan, will focus on ensuring the disaster preparedness of schools, according to the Department of Education (DepEd) on Monday.
— GMA News

DPWH Kalinga lower district orders fast-tracking of Tanudan bridge project
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Lower Kalinga Engineering District orders the speedy implementation the Php100 -million worth Tanudan bridge project crossing the Tanudan river at Dumanay which was retargeted complete within this year after a year of delay.
— Philippine Information Agency

Zambo water firm eyes negotiated contract for cloud seeding
The Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD) is planning to enter into a negotiated contract for the cloud seeding operations here, which were aimed at inducing rainfall and cushion the effects of the El Niño phenomenon.
— Philippine News Agency

Youth groups ask Comelec to junk Cardema’s bid for substitution
Five youth groups and an anti-poll fraud organization on Monday asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to reject the last-minute bid of National Youth Commission (NYC) chairperson Ronald Cardema to replace a nominee of Duterte Youth party-list.
— GMA News

BOC-Cebu to dispose of pornographic items seized at Mactan airport
The Bureau of Customs Port of Cebu (BOC-Cebu) will soon dispose of seized pornographic items smuggled from China, a customs official said on Monday.
— Philippine News Agency

Valenzuela public school students to receive free ‘Balik Eskwela 2019’ packages
A citywide “Balik Eskwela” initiative of the Valenzuela City governments aims to give free school supplies to all its public school students for the upcoming academic year.
— The Inquirer


Feature photo Philippine Beekeeping

This week’s Philippines morning news feature photo acknowledges World Bee Day, May 20.


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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