Philippines morning news for December 20

Philippines morning news for December 20

Philippines morning newsBoP position improved to $847-m surplus in November
The balance of payments position swang to a surplus of $847 million in November from a deficit of $44 million in October, lifted by the foreign exchange operations of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and income from its investments abroad.

Philippines gets P20.5 billion insurance coverage for government assets
The Philippines has successfully purchased a parametric insurance policy from the international reinsurance market which will provide a maximum coverage of P20.49 billion to protect the government’s assets against the impact of natural disasters, according to the Department of Finance (DOF).
— The Philippine Star

28K Pinoys barred from leaving PH in anti-trafficking drive: BI
Over 28,000 Filipino travelers have been barred by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) from leaving the country from January to October as part of the government’s intensified campaign against human trafficking.
— Philippine News Agency

Reenacted budget detrimental to Philippines’ economic growth — Diokno
Reenacting the national budget for next year will slow down economic growth and will adversely affect public infrastructure and poverty-alleviation programs.

No new infra project can start under reenacted budget: Diokno
No new infrastructure project can start under a reenacted budget, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said on Wednesday.
— Philippine News Agency

Domestic trade rises 10.6% by value in Q3
DOMESTIC TRADE, both in terms of volume and value, increased during the third quarter, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
— BusinessWorld Online

Construction projects increase 17% in Q3
Approved construction projects from July to September this year increased by 16.7 percent, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported Wednesday.
— Philippine News Agency

Rebels storm Agusan Army patrol base, seize 12 militiamen, 2 soldiers, firearms
SOME 50 suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels stormed a military patrol base in Agusan del Sur on Wednesday, seized a cache of high-powered firearms and captured two soldiers and 12 militiamen, the police and military said.
— Business Mirror

Diokno sees disbursements cut by P44B in Q1
TOTAL disbursements will be reduced by P44 billion if the budget will be reenacted for the first quarter next year, Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said on Wednesday.
— Business Mirror

Record dollar outflow seen this year
The recent appreciation of the peso against the US greenback helped draw in more hard currency in November, but failed to derail the Philippines’ steady trek toward recording its biggest full-year net dollar outflow since central bank records became publicly available 19 years ago.
— Philippine Daily Inquirer

U.S. to defend PH from invasion – envoy
The U.S. would defend the Philippines in case of a foreign invasion, its ambassador said Wednesday.
— CNN Philippines

No more cheap NFA rice in 2019 – Piñol
The government cannot afford subsidized rice anymore, according to Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol.
— Rappler

Rice tariffication up for approval; NFA future at stake
President Rodrigo Duterte will soon sign into law the rice tariffication bill, Malacañang said on Wednesday after the Chief Executive certified the measure as urgent two months ago.

Clark passenger arrivals hit all-time high mark of 2.5M in 2018
Passenger arrivals at the Clark International Airport (CRK) hit an all time number of 2.5 million, the highest in the airport’s 23-year history.
— Philippine News Agency

PSE raised P187B, sees challenges in 2019
Local companies raised P187.84 billion through new listings at the Philippine Stock Exchange, up 12 percent from the P167 billion registered in 2017 but slightly short of the P200 billion annual target of the bourse.
— Manila Bulletin

Duty Free taps PPP Center for study on privatization
Duty Free Philippines Corp. (DFPC) is engaging the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center for the conduct of a study on its possible privatization, a top-ranking official said.
— The Philippine Star

Illegal workers are just the beginning: Duterte’s pivot to China is not having the desired effect
Despite making extensive concessions to Beijing, the Philippines has not received much in return.
— Asean Today

Marines, Navy men rescue Abu Sayyaf man’s wife, kids
A woman and her two children, who fled their home and hid in a mangrove forest to escape heavy fighting between Abu Sayyaf bandits and government troopers in Patikul, Sulu last week were rescued on Tuesday.
— The Philippine Star

No truce with Reds for first time in 30 years
For the first time in 30 years, the government will not suspend military operations over the holidays, despite a unilateral ceasefire declared by the communist rebels Friday, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.

13 villages in southern Negros get P4.3-M for projects
A total of 13 villages in Isabela, Negros Occidental on Tuesday received PHP4.3 million in financial assistance from the provincial government for various projects.
— Philippine News Agency

US seeks robust engagement with PH in 2019
The United States expects better engagement with the Philippines in 2019 through increased military exercises, closer partnership on the economic front, and improved people-to-people ties.
— Philippine News Agency

Philippines most tweeting country during Miss Universe coronation — Twitter
The Philippines topped the list of most tweeting countries during the Miss Universe 2018 coronation ceremony with nearly six million tweets generated, Twitter said on Tuesday.

Miss Universe Catriona Gray lands in the Philippines – in pictures
Now that the dust has settled on her Miss Universe win, Catriona Gray has a message for her fellow Filipinos.
— The National

Philippine gov’t rescue nearly 30,000 Filipinos from human traffickers in first 10 months of 2018
Nearly 30,000 victims of human trafficking have been rescued by the Philippine immigration authorities from January to October this year, the government said Wednesday.
— Xinhua

300,000 poor college students to get subsidy: CHEd
Jocelyn Martin’s tears easily fall every time she remembers her struggles just to fulfill her dream of finishing her studies.
— ABS-CBN News

President George H.W. Bush Sponsored Young Boy In Philippines For 10 Years
The former president, who was laid to rest earlier this month, wrote letters and sent money through Compassion International for years. Peter Daut and Crystal Cruz report.
— CBS Los Angeles

Beijing and Hong Kong renew pressure on Philippines over four men jailed for life on drug charges
Beijing and Hong Kong have renewed their calls for the Philippines to ensure the rights are respected of four Hongkongers jailed for life in the country on drug charges.
— South China Morning Post

House members covet road tax fund – Diokno
Many members of the House of Representatives, including Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. and Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, have sought the release of P45 billion from the road user’s tax for the 2019 midterm election campaign, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said on Wednesday.
— Philippine Daily Inquirer

U.N. expert to PH gov’t: Stop stigma against human rights defenders
A United Nations (UN) expert on Tuesday, December 18, urged the Philippine government to stop the “public stigmatization” of human rights defenders and immediately address the worrisome rise of violence against them.
— Rappler

Beijing is right to take up Hong Kong’s drug case in Philippines
Beijing says it will protect the human rights of all Chinese citizens aboard.
— South China Morning Post

President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration was mired in rice problems during his second year in office, pulling it away from his target of 100% rice self-sufficiency by the end of the year.
— Rappler

Over 400K workers regularized from January to December: DOLE
Over 400,000 contractual workers have been given permanent employment as part of the anti-“endo” campaign of the government, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported on Wednesday.
— Philippine News Agency

Govt insures 25 disaster-vulnerable provinces
The Philippines successfully placed on the international market its parametric insurance policy with a maximum cover of P20.49 billion to provide quick liquidity to national and local governments, the Bureau of the Treasury said Wednesday.

160,000 nabbed in drug war
Drug coddlers who continue to resist arrest have to face the consequences of their actions, Malacañang said Wednesday.

PH, Indonesia renew MOU for education dev’t
The Department of Education (DepEd), led by Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones, and the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia renewed their productive cooperation under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) during a welcome dinner for Education Minister Prof. Dr. Muhadjir Effendy held Tuesday at the Summit Lounge of Holiday Inn Manila Galleria, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.
— Philippine News Agency

Rappler, Ressa are awardees for press freedom defense fund
Self-assertive news website Rappler and its founder and chief executive officer Maria Ressa were chosen by a group of international media organizations as the first recipients of a fund-raising campaign for the defense of press freedom.

DA allocates 100K hectares for sorghum production
The Department of Agriculture (DA) is boosting sorghum production by alloting at least 100,000 hectares of under-utilized land, mainly in the Tribal Ancestral Domain Areas, for the sector in 2019.
— Philippine News Agency

The threats to democracy in 2018 have been imperceptible, gradually chipping away at institutions designed to strengthen and protect it.
— Rappler

Deal with Turkey to boost PH defense
The Department of National Defense (DND) of the Republic of the Philippines and the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) of the Republic of Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on defense industry cooperation at the Philippine Air Force headquarters, in Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.
— Manila Bulletin

Cebu Pacific completes deliveries of A321CEOs
Cebu Pacific has received its brand-new Airbus A321CEO aircraft, completing the delivery of its order with the European airplane giant for an additional seven A321CEOs.
— The Philippine Star

Pinoy biz leaders appeal for PH pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai
Philippine business leaders here have urged President Rodrigo Duterte to approve their proposal to mount a Philippine Pavilion at Expo 2020 set in this city.
— ABS-CBN News

Phoenix gets SEC nod for P10-B commercial papers
PHOENIX PETROLEUM Philippines, Inc. said the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had approved the registration of the company’s P10 billion worth of commercial papers and its permit to sell the securities.
— BusinessWorld Online

Villar Group offers to take over Iloilo airport
The group of real estate magnate and former senator Manuel Villar Jr. has submitted an unsolicited proposal for the operation, maintenance and expansion of a regional airport and may soon get the upper hand in the project.
— The Philippine Star

PLDT, Smart to sign more deals with tech firms to develop 5G
PLDT Inc. and subsidiary Smart Communications Inc. will sign more agreements with tech companies for the development of 5G technology and to launch more of its Smart 5G cities in 2019, a company executive said on Wednesday.
— Business Mirror pivots Cebu Daily News to be fully digital, the number one Filipino news website, announced its acquisition of the URL and trademark of Cebu Daily News (CDN) and its plan to pivot CDN to a fully digital platform on New Year’s Day of 2019.

BSP advises public to use banks in saving money
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is urging residents to avail of the services of banks for their financial needs and in keeping savings.
— Philippine News Agency


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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