Philippines reaches deal with Japan to fix troubled metro
The Philippines and Japan have reached a deal to rehabilitate and maintain Manila’s Metro Rail Transit (MRT), which has been plagued by reliability and capacity problems. The rail reportedly suffered from at least 500 disruptions last year.
— Asia Times
PH ranks high in cybersecurity
Filipinos should be cautious and vigilant in accessing the internet given the increasing cybersecurity threats, said information technology expert Rey Lugtu.
Philippines exhumes bodies of two children in dengue vaccine probe
A Philippine government agency on Thursday exhumed the bodies of two children whose parents suspect they died of dengue after receiving a new vaccine against the disease, although its maker said it was not known to have caused any deaths in the country.
— Channel NewsAsia
Philippines not taking down statue of WW II sex slave despite Japan’s objection
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will not act on an objection by Japan to a new statue in Manila that commemorates the Filipino “comfort women” who worked in Japanese military brothels during the Second World War, his spokesman said on Thursday.
Lawmakers ask Supreme Court: Stop TRAIN
Leftist lawmakers are seeking the help of the Supreme Court (SC) in stopping the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law that they say was railroaded by their colleagues in violation of the Constitution.
Indonesia, Philippines Hold Talks on Security Cooperation
The Philippines and Indonesia are working together to stop supporters of the Islamic State terror group from entering the Philippines.
Tax reform law seen to put brakes on PH’s auto sales growth in 2018
The local auto boom that fueled record monthly sales for the past years is expected to wind down, after the government implemented new excise tax rates that are seen to sap demand.
Coal to remain dominant in PH energy mix
Coal-fired power plants are expected to continue to account for a significant share in the Philippines’ energy mix until 2020 despite strong headwinds from government and civil society.
— Philippine Daily Inquirer
BMI: Stability risks rising for PH banks
Philippine banks remain stable but risks are rising on the back of expected higher interest rates, a Fitch Group unit said in declaring a neutral view of the industry.
— The Manila Times
Big money for PH projects, no access to all documents
THERE is no dearth of hard lessons in Philippine procurement. The PEA-Amari and Textbook Scams in the 1990s, the Fertilizer Fund Scam, and the botched NBN-ZTE and North Rail deals in the 2000s, the Pork Barrel Scam in 2013, and the Dengvaxia controversy last year are just a few examples of why procurement, a major government undertaking, is fraught with big risks, too.
5 killed as PH police resume drug war
Five narcotics suspects have been killed in the Philippines, police said Thursday, January 11, as authorities again ramp up a drug war that has drawn warnings that President Rodrigo Duterte may be overseeing a crime against humanity.
Gov’t losing P301B in tax holidays yearly
Over P300 billion in potential annual revenues are being lost due to income tax holidays and other incentives with no time limits, the Finance department claimed on Thursday.
— The Manila Times
PH passport is 67th most ‘powerful’ in the world
Filipinos can enter 62 countries visa-free, making the Philippine passport the world’s 67th most powerful in the world, according to 2018 rankings from Passport Index.
No NFA rice price hike due to TRAIN
The National Food Authority (NFA) said it will not increase the price of Filipinos’ main staple amid fears of the expected impact of the new tax system.
Metro Pacific’s unsolicited proposal for MRT 3 upgrade illegal–Sobrepeña
WHILE the intention of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. to rehabilitate, modernize and expand the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT 3)—a privately owned but government-operated facility—is good, its multibillion-peso unsolicited proposal is viewed by the owners as illegal.
2017 banner year for PHL tourism
Exceeding expectations and shrugging off political noise on the war on drugs and terrorism in Mindanao, tourist arrivals in the Philippines reached a record 6.8 million last year, exceeding the government’s target of 6.5 million, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT).
NIA OKs construction of 2 irrigation systems
The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) has approved the construction of two irrigation systems in Luzon and Visayas.
Congress has authority to re-impose death penalty: Panelo
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Thursday said Congress had the authority to re-impose the death penalty if there were compelling reasons involving heinous crimes.
— Philippine News Agency
DICT proposes transparency rooms for gov’t bidding process
An official from the Department of Information and Communications Technology on Thursday made several suggestions on how to fight corruption and improve the government procurement process.
Chinese delegation briefs Philippine president on CPC party congress
A Chinese delegation wrapped up its three-day visit to the Philippines Thursday, briefing President Rodrigo Duterte on the spirit of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
— Xinhua Net
DOH confirms dengue deaths after taking Dengvaxia
The Department of Health (DOH) yesterday confirmed that the deaths of 14 children vaccinated with the anti-dengue vaccine were mostly due to dengue.
NFA wants to import rice soon as stockpile good for only 3 days
The National Food Authority (NFA) is urging the interagency National Food Security Committee (NFSC) to recommend the importation of 250,000 metric tons (MT) of rice to beef up its stockpile.
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