Congress okays 1-year martial law extension; Lawmakers vote 240-27 in joint session
CONGRESS yesterday granted President Duterte’s request to extend martial law (ML) in Mindanao for a year because of the continuing terror threats posed by ISIS-inspired groups and communist the New People’s Army which was recently declared a terrorist group.
PHL seen sustaining 6.7% GDP growth for the year
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) raised its forecast for the Philippines’s GDP expansion this year to 6.7 percent, although Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said this is just “the minimum” growth the government is now expecting given the economy’s performance thus far.
More Filipinos see better life, economy in 2018 – SWS
More Filipinos are optimistic that their personal quality of life and the economy will get better in 2018, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) said in its latest survey.
PHL thumbs down tariff cuts on farm goods in exchange for safeguard deal at WTO meet
Negotiations on the establishment of a special safeguard mechanism (SSM) for developing countries, such as the Philippines, and least-developed countries (LDCs) ended in stalemate on the third day of the 11th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC11).
Sanofi official apologizes for global advisory
A key official of a French drug manufacturer accused of mass selling the Dengvaxia anti-dengue vaccine apologized for his company’s issuance of a global advisory warning the public of the ill-effects of the vaccine if administered to persons who have not yet been infected with the deadly mosquito-borne virus.
— Manila Bulletin
Filipinos not prepared to go federal, says Rody
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte says Filipinos are not ready for a shift to a federal type of government despite his continuing efforts to get them to embrace the idea.
— Manila Standard
FAO calls for more food investments in Mindanao
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is calling for increased investments in the country, particularly in Mindanao, to address food security, rural development, resilience-building and peace in the area.
Philippine tax reform fills Duterte’s infrastructure war chest
The Philippines has paved the way for a massive infrastructure program, as parliament on late Wednesday formally approved the first phase of President Rodrigo Duterte’s tax reforms.
— Nikkei Asian Review (paywall)
With Martial Law Extended in the Philippines, What’s Next for Duterte’s New ‘Communist Terrorist’ War?
A closer look at a development that could have significant implications for the country’s domestic politics and foreign policy.
— The Diplomat (paywall)
Japanese carmakers dominate auto sales in the Philippines in 2017
Car manufacturers Toyota Motor Corp. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. are leading automobile sales in the Philippines, together accounting for 60 percent of 380,000 units sold so far this year, according to industry data obtained Wednesday.
— The Japan Times
Philippines ‘will not move its embassy to Jerusalem’
The Philippines on Wednesday denied reports it is considering moving its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
— Arab News
What’s in the New Singapore-Philippines Urban Warfare Terror Training?
The interaction is an example of indigenous capacity-building initiatives underway on the counterterrorism front.
— The Diplomat
Did Sanofi, WHO ignore warning signals on dengue vaccine?
When French drugmaker Sanofi published the results of clinical trials of children given its dengue vaccine two years ago, the overall findings were that it protected against the world’s biggest and fastest growing mosquito-borne disease.
Aquino faces Senate panel over dengue vaccine mess
FORMER President Simeon Benigno Aquino III will testify today before the Senate blue ribbon committee on the resumption of the investigation on the P3.5-billion procurement of Dengvaxia vaccines during his administration.
Carrier eyes 30% revenue growth
Low cost carrier Philippine Air Asia sees a 30-percent increase in revenue in 2018 on expectations of strong passenger growth and backed by its continued expansion. “If this year is good for us, next year is going to be very, very good,” said Dexter Comendador, PAA chief operating officer.
House, Senate ratify TRAIN bill
The Senate and the House of Representatives ratified the bicameral conference committee report on the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) bill late Wednesday night.
No one to blame for dengue vaccine mess – Duterte
President Duterte is not passing judgment on anyone with regard to the Dengvaxia vaccine mess but is hopeful that the truth about the controversy will come out.
Duterte’s legislative adviser proposes new parliament setup under federal system
Presidential Adviser on Legislative Affairs Adelino B. Sitoy has drafted his own version of federal parliament in the Philippines as an alternative proposal to that of former Senate President Aquilino Q. Pimentel Jr.
DTI sees more growth in merchandise exports
The Philippines’ merchandise exports are expected to continue growing this year after posting an 11.68-percent surge in the January-to-October period, an official of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has said.
— The Manila Times
Conglomerate beefs up health business
Ayala Healthcare Holdings Inc. (AC Health) looks to close this year with 24 FamilyDOC clinics, and this is expected to swell to 54 by next year with its continued expansion, said Paolo Borromeo, AC Health chief executive officer.
Duterte to journalists: I am not your enemy
Despite the negative publicity his administration has been getting, especially on the issue of extrajudicial killing, President Duterte told the media the other night that he trusts and respects freedom of the press.
Duterte won’t rule out nationwide martial law
Martial law in Mindanao can be expanded outside the region if enemies of the state converge and consolidate forces to topple the government, President Duterte said last night, with a warning to terrorists and rebels that the government would be ruthless against those who sow terror in the country.
PH bitcoin transactions averaging $8M monthly
Virtual currency transactions in the Philippines now average over $8 million per month, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said.
— The Manila Times
Jetro vows to boost Philippine-Japan economic ties
The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) has vowed to further boost trade and investment cooperation between Manila and Tokyo, the Department of Finance (DOF) said yesterday.
Feature photo Brian Evans
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