Philippines: HIV cases up 3,147 percent in 10 years
New HIV cases continued to increase in the Philippines in 2017, with a 3,147 percent surge since 2007, according to an Al Jazeera analysis of the latest data published by the country’s health agency, bucking a downward trend worldwide.
— Al Jazeera
Philippine police arrest man suspected of recruiting for the Islamic State
Philippine authorities announced the arrest of a foreign national on Monday for allegedly recruiting local fighters for Islamic State-aligned insurgent groups.
— The Washington Post
Kuwait invites Philippine president to visit amid workers row
Kuwait has invited Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to visit, state news agency KUNA said on Monday, as the countries seek to settle their differences over allegations of extreme abuse of migrant workers in the wealthy Gulf state.
Duterte: Treat gov’t officials who attend hearings with respect
President Rodrigo Duterte appealed to lawmakers who summon government officials to legislative probes to treat them with respect.
— CNN Philippines
Philippines: Risks Rising With China Challenging US at Sea
The risks of a “miscalculation” and armed conflict have risen in the disputed South China Sea with a militarily stronger China now able to challenge the United States, which used to be the dominant power in the strategic waterway, the Philippine envoy to Beijing said Monday.
World Bank says PH monetary policy stance appropriate for now
The World Bank said the Philippines’ monetary policy stance is appropriate for now even as inflation is set to breach the central bank’s target this year.
— Manila Bulletin
Philippines’ Duterte plays down China military facilities in disputed sea
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte sought on Monday (Feb 19) to allay fears about China’s construction of military bases on manmade islands in the South China Sea, saying these were built to defend against America rather than confront neighbouring states.
— Channel NewsAsia
Manila Water to acquire 18.72% stake in Thailand’s Eastern Water
Philippine-listed water and wastewater services provider Manila Water Company Inc is acquiring an 18.72 per cent stake in Eastern Water Resources Development and Management Public Company Limited (East Water), a publicly listed water supply and distribution company in Thailand.
Military prepares a list of NPA’s supporters to be arrested
Government officials who are helping the New People’s Army (NPA) face arrests once the Communist Party of the Philippines is declared a terrorist organization by the court, according to The Manila Times Online report on Monday.
— Thai PBS
Philippines’ 2017 nickel ore output down 6 percent
Nickel ore output in the Philippines, the world’s top supplier, dropped 6 percent last year as several mines were under maintenance or temporarily closed due to environmental issues, the mines bureau said on Monday.
— Business Recorder
Philippine senate probes frigate deal; Duterte aide denies meddling
Philippine senators began a public inquiry on Monday into the $300 million (Dh1.1 billion) purchase of two navy frigates, to determine whether President Rodrigo Duterte’s closest aide had interfered in the procurement process.
Philippines’ Ayala finds toehold in Thailand with water deal
Philippine conglomerate Ayala is pushing into Thailand, with a water investment marking its first big step.
— Nikkei Asian Review (metered paywall)
BPO property demand in Philippines seen to rebound, then stay flat
After it took a beating last year, property demand from business process outsourcing (BPO) firms in the country is expected to rebound this year and then stay flat in the next two years, said a consulting firm.
Duterte not diluting EO on contractualization
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Monday allayed fears of labor groups that the new executive order (EO) on contractualization to be signed by President Duterte will be a “watered-down version” of the draft they submitted.
Duterte jokes about making PH a ‘province’ of China
President Rodrigo Duterte joked about making the Philippines a province of China, at an event attended by Filipino-Chinese businessmen on Monday.
— ABS-CBN News
Hong Kong tourist dies after being hit by boat at Philippine dive spot
Hong Kong’s Immigration Department confirmed on Sunday that the man was surnamed Young, and said it would continue to liaise closely with his family and relevant authorities to follow up on the incident.
— South China Morning Post
Philippines launches hearing into CMS procurement
The Philippines Senate started a public inquiry on 19 February into the government’s acquisition of the combat management system (CMS) to be integrated onto two frigates on order from South Korean shipyard Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).
Southeast Asian lawmakers’ group calls for de Lima release
The ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights called for the immediate and unconditional release of Sen. Leila de Lima, one of the most outspoken critics of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.
PH on the threshold of manufacturing resurgence
The opening of the country’s biggest stamping and welding facility of Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) last week signaled the government’s determination to give the local manufacturing sector the much-needed push to accelerate growth.
— Manila Bulletin
Feature photo Fabio Achilli
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