Philippines morning news for December 19

Philippines morning news for December 19

Philippines morning newsExternal debt service rises by 11% in September
The country’s external debt service burden was up by 11 percent year-on-year to $5.88 billion end- September, based on Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) data.
— Manila Bulletin

HSBC sees inflation easing to 5.7% as food and fuel prices drop
Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp. expects inflation rate in the Philippines to ease to 5.7 percent in December from 6 percent in November, mirroring the downtrend in food and fuel prices.

Official death toll in Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs exceeds 5,000
The official death toll from Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-drugs campaign has surpassed 5,000, authorities said on Tuesday.
— South China Morning Post

Philippines: Duterte Adds Troops to Combat Abu Sayyaf
President Rodrigo Duterte has added additional forces on Jolo island in the southern tip of the Philippines, bringing to 10,000 the number of troops in the region tasked with crushing Abu Sayyaf militants, military officials said Tuesday.
— Benar News

Philippines to keep moratorium on new mining projects
The Philippines’ Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC), a government panel overseeing the operations of the country’s 41 mines, has deferred a recommendation to lift the six-year-old moratorium on new mining projects, the finance ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
— Reuters Africa

Gov’t generated more than 820K jobs in 2018
More than 820,000 jobs were created in 2018, resulting in the employment of more than 41 million workers, Labor Secretary Silvester Bello III said on Tuesday.
— Philippine News Agency

P350-M drug rehab center in Sarangani unveiled
The government of China and the Department of Health (DOH) unveiled on Monday the newly-completed P350 million Soccsksargen regional drug treatment and rehabilitation center in the Sarangani town of Alabel.
— Philippine News Agency

Duterte will sign any bill legalizing medical marijuana — Palace
President Rodrigo Duterte will sign any bill that will legalize the use of medical marijuana in the Philippines, his spokesperson said Tuesday.
— CNN Philippines

DTI asked to recall safeguard duty petition on imported cement
Consumer advocacy group Laban Konsyumer Inc. has urged the Department of Trade and Industry to recall the moto propio safeguards duty petition on imported cement.
— Manila Bulletin

Tier 1 status proof of PH’s proactive stance vs. trafficking
The Philippines staying in Tier 1 status at the United States Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, as well as its initiatives against the issue, show that the government is “proactive in fighting human trafficking,” an executive of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) said Tuesday.
— Philippine News Agency

Global media groups start fund-raising for Rappler
Rappler and its executive editor and CEO, Maria Ressa, will be the first recipients of a legal fund that international media groups are raising for journalists “facing extensive legal battles meant to suppress critical journalism.”
— Rappler

Gov’t bolsters financial literacy initiatives for OFWs
The Philippine government has bolstered its financial literacy initiatives for overseas Filipino workers (OFW) by integrating finance and investment topics in all OFW pre-departure briefings, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Tuesday.
— Philippine News Agency

Steel industry group urges ban on discarded furnaces from China
A group of local steel manufacturers is calling on the government to ban second hand steel furnaces from China, which produce lower quality steel and cause pollution.
— ABS-CBN News (video)

Palace: Duterte to sign bill scrapping Road Board amid corruption reports
Malacañang on Tuesday said President Rodrigo Duterte will sign the bill abolishing the Road Board of the Department of Public Works and Highways as soon as he receives it, amid allegations of corruption hurled against the body.
— The Philippine Star

Special-use trust funds exempted from reserves under new BSP rules
NEW RULES exempting special-use trust funds from bank reserves will take effect next year, as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) streamlines rules for trust companies.
— BusinessWorld Online

PHL presses no-subsidy rule for fisheries in WTO
THE Philippines is insisting that World Trade Organization (WTO) member-countries, including China, should remove subsidies for fishing operations conducted in disputed waters to level the playing field for poor nations.
— Business Mirror

UnionBank completes P1.2 billion takeover of PETNET
Listed Union Bank of the Philippines has completed a P1.2 billion deal to take over remittance and payments firm PETNET Inc. as part of the consolidation of the banking and financial services business of the Aboitiz family.
— The Philippine Star

Banks’ bad loans rising
BAD LOANS held by big banks climbed further in October but remained modest compared to growth of total lending, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed.
— BusinessWorld Online

Philconsa sues to block Bangsamoro law
THE Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) has filed a petition before the Supreme Court seeking to declare Republic Act 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), which grants wider autonomy to Muslim Mindanao, as unconstitutional.
— Business Mirror

Electronics exports rise 5.2% in first 10 months to $31.71 billion
THE value of electronics exports in the first 10 months of the year rose 5.20% to $31.71 billion, with the industry maintaining its place as the Philippines’ biggest source of merchandise exports.
— BusinessWorld Online

Agriculture sector to slow in 2018
The agriculture sector is seen to slow down this year, but is expected to bounce back next year amid better rice production with the entry of more funds as a result of the liberalization of the industry.
— The Philippine Star

PDEA needs to ‘clear’ 1,000 villages a month in antidrugs campaign
IN order to clear all barangays of prohibited drugs by the time the President steps down from office, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said there is a need to double its efforts and clear as many as 1,000 barangays a month.
— Business Mirror

Stop Bangsamoro law, group asks Supreme Court
With just a month to go before the plebiscite to ratify the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), a group of constitutionalists has asked the Supreme Court to strike down as unconstitutional the charter of a proposed new autonomous region for Muslims in Mindanao.
— Philippine Daily Inquirer

MMDA to fine illegally parked cars up to P4,000 a day by December 19
Think twice before parking your vehicles, as higher penalties on illegal parking are set to take effect starting Wednesday, December 19.
— Rappler

BIR files raps vs couple in P2.6-billion excise tax charge in fake cigarettes
THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) filed a criminal complaint against a couple for allegedly manufacturing fake cigarettes in a factory-warehouse in Lubao, Pampanga.
— Business Mirror

GSIS opens loan condonation program
GSIS started accepting applications on Dec. 18 for its one-time condonation and restructuring program from members who are already out of government service to settle their outstanding loan balances in full or in part.

Iloilo City commits P5-M for national hero’s center
The city government is providing PHP5-million fund to complete the center for Ilonggo national hero Graciano Lopez Jaena.
— Philippine News Agency

The Philippines: Dangerous for journalists
Being a journalist has never been easy. Many of them work long hours, travel to faraway places and go through plenty of mud just to get a scoop.
— The Asean Post

The Philippines Adds a Direct Flight Route to China
On December 18th, China’s Xiamen Airlines officially launched its Davao to Quanzhou direct flight, marking the opening of Davao’s first direct flight route to Mainland China.
— AEC News Today/ PR Newswire (media release)

Philippines to rehabilitate polluted Manila Bay
The Philippine government plans to start in January next year a clean up drive to rehabilitate the
polluted and foul-smelling Manila Bay, a well-known natural harbor in the capital that offers a scenic sunset view.
— Xinhua

Philippine DOJ Recommends Indictment of Japanese Gambling Tycoon Kazuo Okada for Fraud
The Philippine Department of Justice has recommended the indictment of Japanese pachinko and casino mogul Kazuo Okada on three counts of fraud in relation to the alleged misappropriation of more than $3 million from Tiger Resorts — the operator of the Okada Manila, in the Philippines’ Entertainment City.
— Casino.Org

Philippines eyes meat, vegetable export deal with Singapore: Piñol
The Philippines is eyeing to export meat and vegetables to Singapore starting next year, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel said Tuesday.
— ABS-CBN News

Philippines to deploy ‘hijab troopers’ nationwide
Hijab-clad female soldiers are to be deployed throughout the Philippines as part of a major counterterrorism initiative.
— Arab News

24K village volunteers in Bukidnon get cash aid
The provincial government of Bukidnon has distributed financial assistance worth PHP83.7 million to 24,409 volunteer workers in the province’s 46 barangays from Monday to Tuesday (December 18).
— Philippine News Agency

Philippines: Malaysian company interested in joint venture for bananas
A Malaysian company is interested in pursuing a joint venture with banana planters in the Philippines to tap into the export market to China, according to an official of the Malaysian Chamber of Commerce and Industries Philippines Inc (MCCI).
— Fresh Plaza

Cement imports imperil 42,000 Filipino jobs
CeMAP, as the association of the cement manufacturers of the Philippines, promotes the development of cement based products for consumers, and prevents unfair competition to ensure a level playing field for the manufacturers.


Feature photo LWF/Sean Hawkey

This week’s Philippines morning news feature photo acknowledges International Human Solidarity Day, December 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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