Philippines morning news for March 20

Philippines morning news for March 20

Philippines morning news

Philippine banks roll-out relief to ease COVID-19 financial pain
Banks across the Philippines have begun rolling out a range of measures aimed at easing the financial pain the COVID-19 outbreak is causing households under government imposed lockdowns.
— AEC News Today

Philippines bans entry of foreigners due to coronavirus outbreak
The Philippines will stop issuing visas to foreigners worldwide to prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus in the country, Foreign Secretary Teodoro Loscin Jr said on Thursday, March 16.
— Rappler

Philippines has 15 new COVID-19 cases, brings total up to 217
The Philippines has recorded 15 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total up to 217.
— GMA Network

Coronavirus wipes out P1.16 trillion in Philippine stock market
A whopping P1.16 trillion in market value was wiped out at the Philippine Stock Exchange on Thursday, March 19, as the government grapples to contain the novel coronavirus .
— Rappler

Tax filing deadline extended to May 15
THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) extended the deadline for the filing of income tax returns (ITR) by one month to May 15, but the Finance department said this may result in an “estimated delay and shortfall in tax collections of around P145 billion.”
— BusinessWorld

Phivolcs: Taal alert level downgraded to 1
THE status of Taal Volcano was downgraded from Alert Level 2 to 1, which signifies “abnormal condition”, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said.
— Manila Times

Power demand falls 30% amid Luzon community quarantine as economy slows
The enhanced community quarantine in Luzon reduced electricity demand by around 30 percent from the same period last year, based on the Energy Department’s monitoring.

Benguet halts entry of chicken dung amid avian flu report
Trucks carrying chicken dung are temporarily suspended from entering the province with the reported avian influenza, coupled with the threat of the Corona Virus Disease – 2019 to avoid possible transmission.
— Philippine Information Agency

EARTHQUAKE: 5.0 Magnitude Quake Hits Catanduanes
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) recorded a 5.0 magnitude quake in Catanduanes, March 20, 2020. Most of the time, quakes hit with no prior signs.
— Philippine News

35 Cebu mayors on self-quarantine
The president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) Cebu Chapter and 34 other town mayors in the province are undergoing enhanced social distancing and self-quarantine.
— Philippine News Agency

Shares plummet as trading resumes after halt
LOCAL SHARES crashed to historic lows yesterday as the market recorded heavy sell-offs as it reopened after a two-day shutdown.
— BusinessWorld

Duterte tells stranded people to go to military camps for help
President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said people who are stranded due to the enforcement of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine can go to military camps for assistance.
— GMA Network

Cagayan de Oro placed under community quarantine
Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno placed the city under community quarantine following the death of two women at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) who were classified by health officials as persons under investigation (PUI).
— Rappler

Singapore gets 6 more coronavirus cases from Philippine travelers
Singapore confirmed 6 more cases of the novel coronavirus involving travelers who recently visited the Philippines , as the city-state tightens its borders to stop the importation of COVID-19 from other countries.
— Rappler

EARTHQUAKE: 4.5 Magnitude Quake Hits Zambales
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) recorded a 4.5 magnitude quake in Zambales, March 19, 2020.
— Philippine News

Study finds weak spots in government’s health-decentralization program
Insufficient health budgets prevent local government units (LGUs) from improving health services in their respective localities according to a study released by the state-owned think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS).
— Business Mirror

Romualdez orders 23-day lockdown in Tacloban City
Tacloban City–The local government will enforce a 23-day lockdown in this city, Eastern Visayas’ regional capital, in the face of rising threats of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

DTI tells food, medicine manufacturers with 1-month inventory to stop production
The trade department has urged food and medical supply manufacturers whose stocks are good for one month to temporarily stop their operations to minimize the number of people going out of their homes while Luzon is under enhanced community quarantine.
— The Philippine Star

SM Supermalls waives tenant rentals nationwide
The SM Supermalls announced on Wednesday that it will waive rentals to all tenants nationwide from March 16 to April 14, 2020.
— The Philippine Star

Marikina barangay chief to face charges for spreading fake news on Covid-19
A barangay chairman in Marikina City will face charges for causing panic after he disseminated false information on coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
— Business Mirror

DTI ensures free movement of cargo
THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) released its memorandum ensuring the free movement of cargo amid the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.
— BusinessWorld

Pangasinan town bans sale, distribution of alcoholic drinks
The Local Government Unit (LGU) of Calasiao town banned the sale and distribution of liquor and other alcoholic beverages in the municipality in line with the implementation of enhanced community quarantine in the entire Luzon amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) threat.
— Philippine Information Agency

Business firms release one-month salary, 13th month pay of workers
BIG business heeded the call of President Rodrigo Duterte and the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) to take care of their workers and employees during this time of national calamity and committed to advance their full one-month salary and 13th month pay for the duration of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak.
— Manila Times

CHED asks private universities to delay tuition payments
To aid students and their families, Commission on Higher Education Chairman Prospero de Vera III on Thursday, March 19, called on private universities to delay tuition payments until the Luzon lockdown ends on April 12.
— Rappler

Braving a pandemic: Frontliners battle fear to confront the novel coronavirus
Gelza Zabat wakes up an hour before the start of her 8 am rounds. The house is empty now – her mother had to move out when she started to treat patients with coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
— Rappler

All-industry revenue growth eases in 4th quarter
REVENUE across all industries grew in the fourth quarter, but growth slowed compared to year-earlier levels, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.
— BusinessWorld

Butuan to undergo month-long localized quarantine
Mayor Ronnie Vicente Lagnada has issued an executive order placing the city–the economic hub of the Caraga Region -under localized community quarantine.
— Philippine News Agency

SEC approves PSE offsite trading protocols amid quarantine
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved the offsite trading protocols that the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) will adopt while Luzon remains under enhanced community quarantine to contain the new coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
— Philippine News Agency

Work-from-home surge slowing internet services
THE Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said the Luzon-wide lockdown being implemented to contain COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) slowed Internet speeds due to a surge in users.
— BusinessWorld

FDA approves commercial COVID-19 test kits
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday announced that it has initially approved four commercial test kits for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
— GMA Network

More Philippine laboratories to conduct COVID-19 testing –WHO
The sub-national laboratories of four hospitals in the Philippines will begin conducting tests for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on Thursday, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
— GMA Network

Former health secretary pushes for ‘Covid-19 hospitals’
WITH the escalating situation of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) situation in the country, former Health secretary and Iloilo 1st District Rep. Janette Garin is pressing for the Department of Health (DoH) to tap a hospital in each region that would solely care for virus-infected patients.
— Manila Times

PRRD declares 2nd week of March as ‘PH Digestive Health week’
President Rodrigo Duterte has declared the second week of March as “Philippine Digestive Health Week”, stressing the need to raise awareness on diseases and conditions relating to digestive health.
— Philippine News Agency

House leaders want March 22 declared as nat’l day of prayer
The leadership of the House of Representatives has requested President Rodrigo Duterte to declare Sunday, March 22, a “National Day of Prayer” amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.
— Philippine News Agency

Bilibid, all penal colonies coronavirus free – BuCor
The New Bilibid Prison (NBP) and the rest of the 6 penal colonies in the country are free of the novel coronavirus, the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) said.
— Rappler

Gov’t working overtime to process media workers’ special passes
The International Press Center (IPC) is working overtime to process all requests for special passes which exempt media personnel from the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine, its head said on Thursday.
— Philippine News Agency

Marikina to provide free COVID-19 testing to health workers, persons at risk
The Marikina City government will provide free COVID-19 testing for health workers and suspected COVID-19 cases starting on Tuesday, March 24, Mayor Marcy Teodoro said Thursday.
— GMA Network

Duterte orders gov t agencies, state-run schools to conserve water
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered government agencies to implement water conservation measures ahead of the dry season, which usually begins in April.
— GMA Network

Palace confident 2020 tax collection still achievable
Malacañang on Thursday expressed confidence that the government’s tax collection target remains attainable, despite the extension of the deadline for the filing of income tax returns as the country grapples with the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
— Philippine News Agency

Sotto asks Duterte to call for special session to approve coronavirus fund
Senate President Vicente Sotto III is pushing for a special session to approve a supplemental budget, including a food subsidy fund for disadvantaged households, during the one-month total lockdown in Luzon .
— Rappler

189 e-tricycles hired in Manila to ferry health workers to hospitals
The Manila City Government and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) have hired 189 electric tricycle (e-trike) drivers to service health workers during the Luzon lockdown, Mayor Isko Moreno announced Thursday, March 19.
— Rappler

De Lima says she won’t get tested for COVID-19
Senator Leila De Lima on Thursday said she does not need to undergo laboratory test for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as she had been under involuntary quarantine in the past three years.
— GMA Network

DILG to LGUs: Realign your budgets to feed more during Luzon lockdown
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday, March 19, advised local governments to realign their budgets so they can allot more money for relief assistance to the poor during the month-long Luzon lockdown.
— Rappler

No total lockdown in Quezon City? Belmonte says police lacks manpower
Despite its big number of coronavirus cases, Quezon City will not be placed under total lockdown yet due to insufficient police force, Mayor Joy Belmonte said on Thursday, March 19.
— Rappler

LIST: Banks’ grace period for card, loan payments amid coronavirus
Philippine banks are offering a grace period for consumers amid the Luzon-wide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic .
— Rappler

Solon proposes 30-day national payment holiday amid enhanced community quarantine
Quezon City Representative Precious Castelo is proposing a one-month waiver of all payments in government institutions and private establishments amid the enhanced community quarantine implemented to combat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
— GMA Network

Duque takes Covid test, goes on self-quarantine
HEALTH Secretary Francisco Duque 3rd on Thursday announced he was on self-quarantine after one of his officials tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
— Manila Times

Pasig to comply with ban on tricycles during coronavirus lockdown
Tricycles, too, will no longer be allowed on the streets of Pasig, after the national government rejected a plea from city mayor Vico Sotto to allow the modified motorcycle taxis to take limited trips during the Luzon-wide lockdown to avert the spread of the novel coronavirus.
— Rappler

Tacloban City under community quarantine starting March 21
Tacloban City will be placed under community quarantine from Saturday, March 21, until April 12 to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus disease.
— Rappler

Senator asks BIR to also extend other tax filings
Senator Joel Villanueva on Thursday implored the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to also extend the deadline for all other tax filings.
— Philippine News Agency

All sectors enjoined to support PSA’s conduct of 2020 census
President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a memorandum circular, enjoining all sectors to support, cooperate with, and provide assistance to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) to ensure the successful conduct of the 2020 Census of Population and Housing (CPH) in May 2020.
— Philippine News Agency

Freeport workers shouldn’t be forced to go to work — AFAB
The Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) reminded workers inside the Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB) that they should not be forced to go to work due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
— Philippine Information Agency

Filipinos find ways to improvise safety in the time of coronavirus
As the number of coronavirus infections in the country continue to rise, many rush to pharmacies and drug stores, depleting stocks of face masks and alcohol to guard against disease.
— Rappler

FALSE: Hontiveros says ‘police and military more frightening than dying from virus’
Claim: Senator Risa Hontiveros said that she is ready to get coughed on, and that the police and military are more frightening than dying from the virus, according to a graphic that circulated on Facebook.
— Rappler

Senate eyes special session to pass ‘food subsidy’ budget
The Senate is eyeing a special session to tackle a “food subsidy budget” for daily wage earners who lost their income due to the enhanced community quarantine being imposed in Luzon amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Thursday.
— Philippine News Agency

DTI to online shopping firms: Refuse overpriced hygiene items
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will run after sellers who overprice hygiene products, such as alcohol and sanitizer, amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
— Philippine News Agency

Japan expresses solidarity with PH in fight vs. coronavirus
The Japanese government expressed solidarity with the Philippines in its efforts to contain the highly contagious coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
— Philippine News Agency

Cebu church masses go online amid coronavirus ban on crowd gathering
Churches in Cebu started bringing masses and worship services to the Internet on Thursday, March 19, following instructions from Cebu Arcbishop Jose Palma to ban crowd gathering amid the coronavirus pandemic.
— Rappler

NCAA moves to officially terminate Season 95
PUTTING the safety of its stakeholders above all else, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) on Thursday officially terminated the already-suspended Season 95 over the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
— BusinessWorld

Ex-violent extremists now covered by E-CLIP
President Rodrigo Duterte has expanded the coverage of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) to include former violent extremists as its beneficiaries.
— Philippine News Agency

Distrust on both sides as gov’t starts ceasefire with communist rebels
Government forces warily stand down as rebel leaders declined to reciprocate President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of a ceasefire during the nearly month-long lockdown of Luzon over the coronavirus pandemic.
— Rappler



Feature photo The Philippine STAR/ Walter Bollozos

This week’s Philippines morning news feature photo focuses on The Metro Manila COVID-19 lockdown.


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).



About Philippines morning news.

Philippines morning news roundup is the most comprehensive hand-curated selection of Philippines English language news headlines published. Each weekday we scour hundreds of local and international news sites and websites to find the most recent Philippines English language news today.

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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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